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A taste of life at Highland Springs

Texas couple moves sooner than anticipated with great results

Created date

January 11th, 2017
Carol and Max Haenel recently moved into Pecan Grove, the newest residence building at Highland Springs in North Dallas.

Carol and Max Haenel recently moved into Pecan Grove, the newest residence building at Highland Springs in North Dallas.

Carol Haenel may be a new resident at Highland Springs, but her ties to Erickson Living date back more than two decades.

“My father’s older sister moved to Charlestown [in Catonsville, Md.],” says Carol, a Baltimore native. “My Aunt Anna was the first family member to move to an Erickson community.”

More family members followed. Carol’s cousin Mary Loretta Seiler, who also happens to be her godmother, moved to Oak Crest in Parkville, Md., in 1996.

Carol’s father Robert Ferris also moved to Oak Crest, as did another one of Carol’s cousins.

“I’m a second-generation Erickson resident, so I’ve seen the lifestyle from both sides,” says Carol, who retired after a 21-year career in higher education administration. “I’ve seen family members thrive at [these] communities, and now I’m getting to experience it myself.”

Carol and her husband Max recently moved into Pecan Grove, the newest residence building to open at Highland Springs. It wasn’t their first stop at the North Dallas community, however.

“We’ve been living in an apartment in the Crestview Terrace residence building since May 2016, while we waited for our Pecan Grove apartment to be completed,” says Carol. “It’s allowed us to get to know the people and the community over the past seven months.”

Benefits of the priority list

Max and Carol’s journey to Highland Springs started eight years ago when they joined the Erickson Living priority list.

Joining the priority list is the first step toward a vibrant future at an Erickson Living community. Whether you see yourself moving in several months or several years, joining the priority list is the best way to guarantee you’ll have the best selection of apartments once you’re ready to move.

All it takes to join the priority list is a fully refundable $1,000 deposit, plus a $150-per-person nonrefundable processing fee, to reserve your place in line for the floor plan of your choice. The day you join the priority list becomes your priority date. This gives you preference over everyone else who joins after you. 

Should your plans change, you can transfer your priority status to another Erickson Living community, as was the case with Max and Carol.

“Our daughter Anna lives in Springfield, Ohio, so we initially looked [there],” says Carol. 

But when the couple’s son and his family moved to Waco, Tex., Max and Carol followed.

“We opted to live in Round Rock,” says Carol. “It was close enough to visit our son and his family and far enough for us each to have a little space.”

Once they settled in Round Rock, north of Austin, Max and Carol couldn’t imagine leaving the Lone Star State.

“We fell in love with Texas,” says Carol. “That’s when we started to consider a move to Highland Springs in Dallas.”

The couple transferred their priority status to Highland Springs and waited for the opportune time to move.

Closer to family, still in Texas

“The catalyst that spurred our move to Highland Springs was our son and his family moving to Hutchinson, Kans.,” says Carol. “Moving farther north in Texas put us three hours closer to them.”

Max and Carol also briefly considered a move to Tallgrass Creek, the Erickson Living community in Overland Park, Kans., but kept coming back to Highland Springs.

“I love the big city life,” says Carol. “I really like the fact that we’re in the Dallas area. There’s so much going on here.”

Their eight-year tenure on the priority list ensured that Max and Carol were able to reserve the apartment home of their choice when Highland Springs unveiled the floor plans for Pecan Grove.

“We chose a brand new floor plan, the Mitchell,” says Carol. “It’s a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment, and we selected the unit on the fourth floor.”

Max and Carol were drawn to the layout of the Mitchell, which measures just over 1,000 square feet.

“We like the openness of the floor plan and having the kitchen, dining area, and living room as one big space,” says Carol. “We also like the peninsula in the kitchen.”

Eager to move

In preparation for selling their Round Rock home, Carol read up on real estate trends.

“I read an article that said April is the best month to sell a home,” says Carol. “That was in April 2016, so I called Christina Christie [sales counselor at Highland Springs] and asked if there were any available apartments that we could live in temporarily until our Pecan Grove apartment was ready. She said we could move into a two-bedroom apartment in Crestview Terrace.”

Carol’s next call was to her real estate agent.

“I told her I was ready to list the house,” says Carol. “She sent a photographer over at 3 o’clock that afternoon, and our house was on the Multiple Listing Service by 5:30 that evening.”

Over the next day and a half, 15 potential buyers walked through Max and Carol’s house.

“We couldn’t eat a meal at home because we had so many showings,” says Carol.

The couple soon had two full-price offers on the table, which escalated into a bidding war.

“We sold our home for much more than we anticipated,” says Carol.

Jumping into life at Highland Springs

Max and Carol took advantage of their sooner-than-expected move to Highland Springs.

“We found the number one way to get to know others is to eat with different people in the restaurants every day,” says Carol.

Highland Springs currently has two on-site restaurants, Chisholm’s and the Fireside Grille, with a third restaurant, Reunion Grille, opening soon in Pecan Grove.

Carol and Max also jumped at opportunities on the community’s robust social calendar. Carol joined the Sit ‘N Stitch needlework group and uses the on-site fitness center and indoor swimming pool. 

Max, a retired mechanical engineer, is putting his design prowess to use in the community’s woodshop, where he helped the Highland Springs Woodchucks craft holiday toys for underprivileged children. Max also plays billiards in the Hillcrest Clubhouse.

As new residents of Pecan Grove who’ve already enjoyed a taste of life at Highland Springs, Max and Carol want to extend that same warm welcome to their neighbors in the community’s newest residence building.

They’ve signed up to be Diplomats, an initiative that pairs existing residents with new residents.

“It’ll be fun getting to know our neighbors,” says Carol. “We’re excited to take this next step at our own Erickson community.”