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Start early, end happy

Give yourself plenty of time to downsize

Created date

August 28th, 2017
Yvonne and Earl Routh, with their dog Boudreaux, moved to Eagle’s Trace in the fall of 2016.

Yvonne and Earl Routh, with their dog Boudreaux, moved to Eagle’s Trace in the fall of 2016. 


From their living room window, Earl and Yvonne Routh can watch the progress of Galveston Crossing, the newest residence building at Eagle’s Trace, as it’s under construction.

It wasn’t that long ago that Earl and Yvonne watched their own residence building, Amarillo Terrace, go up. 

The couple was among the first to move to Amarillo Terrace when it opened at the West Houston, Tex., Erickson Living community in the fall of 2016. Now that Earl and Yvonne have lived at Eagle’s Trace for almost a year, they’ve had the opportunity to reflect on their move and all the ways their lives have changed, and stayed the same, over the past year.

“We didn’t have an appointment ourselves the first time we visited Eagle’s Trace,” says Yvonne. “Our friends, Kent and Pat Drummond, were scheduled to meet with Jodie [Schroeder, sales counselor], and we decided to tag along.”

The Rouths developed an easy rapport with Schroeder and were impressed by the amenities at Eagle’s Trace, particularly the on-site continuing care neighborhood.

“Both Earl and I had parents who needed additional care as they got older, so we recognized the value of having memory care, assisted living, and post-acute care right on campus,” says Yvonne.

The couple joined the priority list at Eagle’s Trace on their first visit, putting down a fully refundable $1,000 deposit to reserve their place in line for the apartment home of their choice.

“Whether you see yourself moving to Eagle’s Trace in a few months or a few years, joining the priority list is the best way to ensure that you’ll get the apartment you want when the time is right to move,” says Schroeder.

The date you join the priority list becomes your priority date, giving you first right of refusal for your desired floor plan over everyone else who joins the priority list after you. Should you pass on an apartment, your priority status doesn’t change, and you’ll be offered the next available apartment that meets your preferences, according to your priority date.

‘Let’s go’

“Once we got home, I told Earl that we needed to establish a timeline,” says Yvonne. “Were we planning to move in three years? Five years?”

Earl’s reply, “If we’re going to move, let’s go,” astonished her.

“I was surprised for a number of reasons,” says Yvonne. “We’d lived in our home in Santa Fe [Texas] for 43 years, and we were established there. We knew our neighbors. Earl loves working outside, and he had a large vegetable garden and a 30- by 40-foot metal building behind our house where he kept his tools. I thought he’d need more time to adjust to the idea of moving.”

Earl, a retired teacher, coach, trainer, and principal, acknowledges his roots run deep in Santa Fe. The Earl Routh Jr. Field House at Santa Fe High School is named after him.

“I was perfectly happy in Santa Fe,” says Earl. “But I also knew we needed to plan for the future. I wanted to move while we’re active and can enjoy this next stage of life.”

Making plans

The timing of the couple’s first visit to Eagle’s Trace, in summer 2015, coincided with the construction of Amarillo Terrace.

“We decided to reserve an apartment in Amarillo Terrace,” says Yvonne. “That gave us time to downsize and sell our house.”

The couple selected a two-bedroom, two-bath Lucchese-style floor plan with a bright, airy kitchen that opens into the spacious living room.

“I’d run across an article about downsizing in the Tribune,” says Yvonne. “One line caught my attention. It said, ‘Remember, where you’re moving, you won’t even need a screwdriver.’ That became my plumb line as I sorted out what we would bring with us to Eagle’s Trace.”

The couple took advantage of resources available through Erickson Realty and Moving Services, which includes the services of a personal moving consultant who offers complimentary coordination of moving resources.

Haven Benoit, the personal moving consultant at Eagle’s Trace, met with Earl and Yvonne to customize a moving plan.

“We used all the resources Haven recommended,” says Earl. “The real estate agent she recommended was terrific. We listed our house in spring 2016 and got more than we thought we would for our house.”

The couple also used an Erickson Living-preferred senior move manager, Lone Star Transitions, to pack up the items they were bringing with them to Eagle’s Trace and unpack them in the couple’s new apartment.

Maintaining old ties, developing new ones

Once settled, Earl and Yvonne started putting down new roots at Eagle’s Trace while still nurturing important ties to Santa Fe.

“We still drive back to Santa Fe each Sunday to attend church,” says Earl.

The couple is also getting involved at Eagle’s Trace. They’ve signed up to be ambassadors, those who welcome guests to the community and provide a resident’s perspective on life at Eagle’s Trace. They both serve on the Community Outreach Committee. Yvonne volunteers in the continuing care neighborhood, and Earl tends his garden in the Eagle’s Trace community gardens.

The couple’s dog Boudreaux, a Catahoula, also enjoys his new home, with plenty of places to explore on the scenic 70-acre campus.

Timing is key

For those who will soon be their neighbors in Galveston Crossing, Earl and Yvonne say one of the keys to a successful move is giving yourself plenty of time to downsize and prepare.

“We had stuff in the attic we hadn’t seen in 43 years,” says Earl. “It brought back memories as we went through it, particularly things from when the kids were little.”

Yvonne, for her part, says having the time to cull through the items was invaluable.

“For those who are moving to Galveston Crossing, I’d give the same advice that we received,” says Yvonne. “Don’t wait too long. Give yourself enough time, and use all the resources available to you.”

Featuring 118 new apartment homes, Galveston Crossing is scheduled to open in summer 2018. In addition to nine never-before-seen floor plans, Galveston Crossing will include a variety of previously sold-out designs back by popular demand.