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More than a rental

Brooksby Village offers abundant amenities, on-site health care options

Created date

May 31st, 2017
Joan Santeusanio considered a move to a rental apartment or condo before choosing Brooksby Village for its amenities and onsite health care options.

Joan Santeusanio considered a move to a rental apartment or condo before choosing Brooksby Village for its amenities and on-site health care options.

Joan Santeusanio was keeping an eye toward the future. She just wasn’t sure which way to look.

“I’d lived in my home in North Reading for 44 years,” says Joan. “It was starting to become something of a money sponge, so I made the decision to sell it. I wasn’t sure where I would go, but I knew that I wanted to stay in the same geographical area.”

Joan listed her house in April 2016 and was contemplating a move to a rental apartment or condo when a friend suggested she look at Brooksby Village, the Erickson Living community in Peabody, Mass.

“To be honest, Brooksby wasn’t even in my viewfinder when I put my house on the market,” says Joan. “There are plenty of places to rent around North Reading, where my son and his family live, and I thought I’d move into a rental.”

Weighing her options

Joan’s first visit to Brooksby left her with a lot to consider. 

“I still work,” says Joan, who retired as a high school administrator with Belmont Public Schools in 2003 but has since returned to the classroom as a consultant and substitute teacher. “I wasn’t sure I was ready for a retirement community.”

Still, Brooksby’s amenities gave Joan pause.

“I love the indoor swimming pool,” she says. “My home in North Reading had an outdoor pool, but I didn’t get much use out of it with our New England weather. The enclosed walkways that connect every building at Brooksby were another selling point. They allow you to walk as far as you want for as long as you want, and you don’t have to worry about the weather.”

The community’s location was also a plus.

“The Northshore Mall is five minutes down the road from Brooksby, and Market Street in Lynnfield is nearby,” says Joan. “You can access a lot of shops and restaurants in a very short time from Brooksby’s location.”

Still, Joan wanted to explore her options. She looked at rentals and even ventured farther south to visit retirement communities in Dedham, Lincoln, and Concord.

“None of them offered the enclosed walkways,” says Joan. “That was a big differentiator for me.”

As Joan began to warm up to the idea of moving to Brooksby, she met with Sales Counselor Jane Kiegel and Personal Moving Consultant Laurie Phillips.

“By this time I was starting to experience the ups and downs of selling a home,” says Joan. “It was the only home my husband and I had ever owned.”

Resources and support through the moving process

During Joan’s meetings with Kiegel and Phillips, she learned that Brooksby offers resources and support to assist future residents through a move.

As personal moving consultant, Phillips offers complimentary coordination of moving resources for anyone moving to Brooksby.

“I take care of the details, so prospective residents don’t have to worry about them,” says Phillips. “At Brooksby, we have the resources to make the moving process as streamlined and simple as possible.”

The tipping point in Joan’s decision to move to Brooksby came as she realized she didn’t want to have two potential moves in her future.

“A move to a condo or rental apartment would have been a lateral move, an intermediate step,” says Joan. “A rental doesn’t offer all the same amenities as Brooksby, nor is there onsite continuing care. In the back of my mind, it’s comforting to know that continuing care is available should I ever need it.”

Joan joined the priority list in August 2016, just as the sale of her house was experiencing rocky terrain.

“My house was under contract three times before it finally sold,” says Joan. “Even though I’d listed my home before deciding to move to Brooksby and wasn’t using an Erickson Living-recommended real estate agent, Laurie [Phillips] became my guardian angel. She was there for me every step of the way.”

Joan reserved a two-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath Hastings-style apartment with ample wall space for her collection of artwork.

“Laurie visited me in my home before I moved and helped me determine which furniture pieces I was going to bring with me to my new apartment,” says Joan. “She brought a magnetic board with moveable furniture pieces, so we could play around with the layout in the new space.”

Present and future benefits

At the time of her move, Joan was substitute teaching in a class of first graders while their teacher was on maternity leave.

“It was so nice to have Laurie’s recommendations for moving companies because I knew she’d already vetted them,” says Joan. “The company I chose took extra care with my artwork, crating each piece and making sure everything arrived safely at Brooksby.”

Joan moved to Brooksby in mid-October 2016. Her home closed later that month. And while Joan made the decision to move to Brooksby with an eye to the future, she didn’t count on reaping benefits almost immediately after moving in.

“I have to tell you, when I’ve been teaching all day, it’s a real treat to come home and have five restaurants within walking distance of my apartment,” says Joan. “I have access to so many amenities at Brooksby; I call it my à la carte menu.”

Joan also appreciates the courteous, responsive general services staff.

“If I need something done in my apartment, I just call general services and they’re on it,” she says. “When I needed work done in my house, I had to find people to do it. Now there are trusted, skilled workers [at Brooksby] to take care of those things.”

Smart, economical choice

With the benefit of hindsight, Joan says her move to Brooksby was the best choice she could have made.

“I’ve heard other people say that a place like Brooksby costs more than a rental,” she says. “But when you factor in all the amenities and meals, [Brooksby’s] one monthly fee is reasonable and economically feasible. Plus, I’ve learned that the taxes on my home in North Reading have gone up $4,000 since I moved to Brooksby, so I’m thankful I don’t have to worry about all those costs associated with owning a home anymore.”