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Low maintenance, high demand

Worry-free apartments a popular choice for retirees ready to give up homeownership headaches

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October 13th, 2016
Lorraine and Albert Zorn moved to Oak Crest from Perry Hall one year ago in search of a maintenance-free lifestyle.

Lorraine and Albert Zorn moved to Oak Crest from Perry Hall one year ago in search of a maintenance-free lifestyle.

When Lorraine and Albert Zorn decided to sell their Perry Hall, Md., house one year ago in search of a more carefree lifestyle, they didn’t have to look far. Their dream home was less than five miles away.

“We always knew we would move to Oak Crest,” says Lorraine. “My parents had lived here, and we were familiar with the community. We liked it. We didn’t even consider looking anywhere else.” 

After 47 years in their four-bedroom, 2,000-square-foot, single-family home, Lorraine and Albert had grown tired of the upkeep and worry of owning a large house. 

“Every time we would go on vacation I would stress about the house,” says Lorraine. “We were away last summer in Colorado while there was heavy rain back here at home. The electric went off, and the sump pump overflowed into our basement. We had that happen numerous times.”

Custom home

A year ago, the Zorns decided to simplify their lives by selling their house and moving into a maintenance-free apartment at Oak Crest. They found a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment that satisfied every item on their checklist, but at first glance, it wasn’t exactly what one would call their dream home. 

“The entire place was gutted and under construction,” says Lorraine. “It was nothing more than a shell.”

Their desired floor plan and idyllic wooded view, combined with the notion of customizing their home, appealed to the Zorns. So they relied on their vision and began planning their move. 

“We liked the Kingston floor plan because the bedrooms and bathrooms were separated from the living area, kitchen, and dining room. Plus, we were able to select everything that went into the apartment,” says Lorraine. “Everything is new—the kitchen cabinets and countertops and stainless steel appliances. 

“We had a custom cabinet made with a big slab of granite where I can roll out cookies and bake. In the bathrooms, we upgraded the countertops and added a walk-in shower instead of a tub to one of them. We even chose small details like the kitchen cabinet hardware and faucets. Everything turned out beautiful. I just love it!”

Trade up

The Kingston design, like the one Albert and Lorraine now call home, turns out to be the perfect size for many residents. It has plenty of natural light, generous bedrooms, a recessed private balcony or walkout garden patio, a modern kitchen, two full baths, and a walk-in closet.

Still, the Kingston’s most popular feature is the maintenance-free aspect that comes standard with all of Oak Crest’s apartment homes. Oak Crest Sales Counselor Melisa Batac has helped hundreds of retirees like the Zorns discover there is an alternative to living in an oversized home that requires constant upkeep.

“I think one of the most common misconceptions is that the mere act of staying in your house makes you independent,” says Batac. “That couldn’t be further from the truth. By eliminating all of the obstacles and limitations your house places on you, you are free to pursue the things that matter and interest you most.”

“If you like gardening, you’ll be in good company with dozens of other neighbors who enjoy growing their own flowers or vegetables in our gardens,” says Batac. “If entertaining is your thing, we have private dining rooms with plenty of space to host your family gatherings and continue your holiday traditions. And when your grandkids visit, they will feel like they are on vacation with amenities like the swimming pool, putting green, and billiards.” 

Batac says just because you’re scaling back, don’t be fooled into thinking you’ll have to sacrifice the things you love most about living in your house. 

“At Oak Crest, you’re not just getting an apartment home, you’re getting an entire community at your fingertips—beautifully landscaped courtyards and flower gardens become your backyard; relaxing lounges transform into your extended living room; and, instead of one, you get your choice of five dining rooms with endless options,” says Batac.

If you ask Lorraine and Albert, they’ll tell you the trade-off was well worth it.  

“Our house was 47 years old,” says Lorraine. “Our kids were raised there, and we made a lot of memories, but I don’t miss it. We are happy with the way our apartment turned out, and we have no stress here. I love everything about it!”

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