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Downsizing has its upside

Charlestown’s one-bedroom Brighton offers more space, freedom, amenities than you ever imagined

Created date

September 17th, 2018
Ralph and Rose Ann Wade’s Brighton-style apartment home provides a private outdoor space for relaxing.

Ralph and Rose Ann Wade’s Brighton-style apartment home provides a private outdoor space for relaxing.

Rose Ann Wade has a long history with Charlestown. Her grandparents lived there, her mother as well, and now she and her husband Ralph call the Catonsville, Md., Erickson Living community home. 

“My grandparents lived here for 15 years, and my mother was here for 8. We always knew we would eventually move to a retirement community like Charlestown,” says Rose Ann.

A closer look

Born and raised in Maryland, Rose Ann and Ralph have lived all over the country, most recently in Winston-Salem, N.C. But when they were ready to move to a retirement community, they returned to their roots and decided to give Charlestown a closer look.

“We were going on a cruise to Alaska and stopped in Maryland to pick up my mom at Charlestown. We had three days before we left, so I decided I was on a mission to see if Charlestown was right for us,” says Rose Ann.

It turns out three days was all they needed to make up their minds.

“We met different people who lived in the community who were only in their 60s, and they all said the same thing, ‘Not one day goes by that we regret moving here,’” says Rose Ann. “After that, it was like the stars aligned, and everything just fell into place.”

The Wades worked with Sales Counselor Molly Fricker to select their new home. Before choosing an apartment at Charlestown, Fricker helps prospective community members take inventory of their unique needs.

“A mistake many people make is deciding that they need the biggest apartment home their money can buy,” says Fricker. “In most cases, that just isn’t the case. What’s more important is selecting an apartment home that supports your lifestyle and pleases you aesthetically.”

Fricker also encourages people to consider how much time they will spend in their home. A large living area may be a benefit for hosting friends and family, but a smaller apartment is perfect for those who travel frequently or utilize many of Charlestown’s community spaces such as its fitness center, indoor swimming pool, restaurants, and libraries.

Charlestown residents also have the option to work with the community’s Custom Interiors department to personalize their apartments with upgrades like crown molding, custom closets, upgraded lighting or flooring, custom paint, window treatments, and more.

Beautiful and budget-friendly

After a whirlwind tour of different apartment sizes, styles, and layouts, the Wades chose one of Charlestown’s most popular one-bedroom floor plans, the Brighton.

The Brighton features an open floor plan where the kitchen, dining area, and living room flow from one into the other, creating a great room that spans the depth of the apartment. The spacious master bedroom leads into a large bathroom and walk-in closet.

“We wrote down all of the things we wanted in an apartment. We decided the most important thing for us was a place where we could sit outside that was quiet and private. And a place where we knew that whatever happened, we would always be able to afford it comfortably,” says Rose Ann. “We are up on the second floor and look out at the nature trail from our apartment. “We have an inset balcony, so it’s very private, and it’s dry even when it’s raining.”

All apartment homes at Charlestown undergo a renovation for each new occupant, which allowed Rose Ann and Ralph to select the flooring, kitchen cabinets, countertops, and paint colors they wanted. They also furnished their space with some new pieces.

“Since we were downsizing, it was important to us to have a lot of storage. I needed space for my crafts to store all the things I use. So we bought furniture for our new space with that in mind. For example, we have a couple of desks in the living room that can be closed off so we can hide the mess when we entertain and have people over,” says Rose Ann.

The Wades have been in their new home for just under two years, but they’ve formed friendships and discovered newfound interests that will last them a lifetime.

“My husband is very active with the woodworking group,” says Rose Ann. “I’m involved with the quilling group, the video library, and now the Treasure Sale. Since I love to do arts and crafts, I’m working with a woman in the crafts department of the Treasure Sale helping to organize things. We really enjoy it here.”