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Fair trade

Ridgewood couple trades 1905 farmhouse for maintenance-free living, travel adventures

Created date

September 20th, 2016
Carolyn and Ted Ogren chose the Washington-style floor plan—a corner unit featuring two bedrooms, two baths, a sunroom, and a balcony.

Carolyn and Ted Ogren chose the Washington-style floor plan—a corner unit featuring two bedrooms, two baths, a sunroom, and a balcony.

“Having a house is a lot of work, especially a 110-year-old house,” says Carolyn Ogren of the large colonial farmhouse she and her husband Ted shared for 45 years in Ridgewood, N.J. Their house was perfect for raising their four children, it wasn’t perfect for making the most of their retirement.

Fair trade

In July 2015, Carolyn and Ted traded snow shoveling, lawn mowing, and a roof that needed replacing for maintenance-free living at Cedar Crest, the Erickson Living community in Pompton Plains. 

“We were thinking ahead and liked what we saw here,” Carolyn says of their decision to move. “We liked the activities, the indoor pool; [Cedar Crest is] well-maintained and beautifully landscaped.”

“And the meals are good,” adds Ted.

As frequent travelers, they also appreciate Cedar Crest’s round-the-clock security and home maintenance. Whether they’re leaving for a weekend or the summer, they simply lock their door and leave.

“We have taken some trips already, and it’s been great to not worry about our home when we leave,” says Carolyn.

Ted says they visit their children more often now that they’ve moved and don’t have to worry about their home. They take pleasure trips, visit family, and go on summer vacation with the peace of mind that their home will be just as they left it when they return.

In fact, just after they moved last July, they left for an extended family vacation. They unpacked their essentials, and thanks to Personal Moving Consultant Anne Connor, they were able to settle in when they returned in September. 

Connor had visited the Ogrens in their Ridgewood home prior to their move and measured all their furniture. With the aid of a to-scale miniature floor plan of their Washington-style apartment home at Cedar Crest, she helped them determine which pieces they could bring with them and where they would go in their new home. 

Each Erickson Living community has its own local personal moving consultant who provides complimentary coordination of all realty and moving needs, including downsizing, home staging, packing, and selection of a real estate professional.

Connor meets with prospective residents in their home. She tours the home and sees which existing furniture pieces they want to bring with them to their new home. Then she measures them out and places the to-scale pieces on the magnetic floor plan.

“We brought quite a few pieces. We were pleasantly surprised that we could,” says Carolyn. “Anne was very helpful.”

Perfect fit

Carolyn and Ted chose their two-bedroom, two-bath apartment home that features a sunroom and balcony for its abundance of natural light. 

Located on a corner, the Washington floor plan has eight windows and a sliding glass door to access the balcony from the sunroom located off of the kitchen. A breakfast bar situated in between is the perfect spot to enjoy breakfast or lunch. Large walk-in closets in each bedroom provide ample storage space. 

Having joined the priority list in 2007 by making a $1,000 fully refundable deposit and $150-per-person, nonrefundable application fee, Carolyn and Ted visited the community several times over the years to determine the perfect fit for their wants and needs. 

“It was a process of elimination, and we really appreciated Ruth [Phillips, sales counselor]’s patience with us. We never felt pressured. There are so many apartment styles here at Cedar Crest, and she really took the time to find out what we wanted,” says Carolyn. 

When they first joined the priority list, they visited Cedar Crest occasionally for luncheons and apartment tours. “About a year before we wanted to move, we looked more seriously,” says Carolyn. 

She and Ted say Phillips’ attention to detail and superior listening skills enabled her to understand their needs and lifestyle. When they first met with Phillips for a personal appointment, she asked them specific questions about their lifestyle and retirement vision to help find the ideal floor plan and location.

“We went to a few open houses where we could see different apartment homes, but when Ruth called to show us this one, we knew it was it,” says Carolyn.

Because they had joined the priority list when they first started to consider moving to a continuing care retirement community like Cedar Crest, they were at the top of the list and had first right of refusal on the apartment home of their choice when they were ready to move. 

“It’s good to make an appointment and see Cedar Crest for yourself,” says Ted. “In the meantime, look at other places.”

“It was very helpful to look at other communities to compare,” adds Carolyn. “It helped us realize this was the best choice.”