Where the living’s easy

The surprising reason why Jane Watts traded her four-bedroom house for an apartment

Created date

August 14th, 2019
Enjoying “A Night on the Boardwalk,” one of the theme dinners hosted by Tallgrass Creek’s dining staff, are (from left) neighbors Karen Keenan, Jane Watts, Restaurant General Manager Megan Sova, and neighbor Jill Jones.

Enjoying “A Night on the Boardwalk,” one of the theme dinners hosted by Tallgrass Creek’s dining staff, are (from left) neighbors Karen Keenan, Jane Watts, Restaurant General Manager Megan Sova, and neighbor Jill Jones.

Before Jane Watts decided to move to Tallgrass Creek, she compared a list of all her home expenses to the monthly service package at the Overland Park, Kans., community. 

“I was leaving a large, four-bedroom home with a nice-sized yard, so there were quite a few items on the list,” says Jane. “The comparison showed that Tallgrass was a good value, and when you add in not dealing with yard and home maintenance issues, it’s a great value.”

Jane was among the first to reserve an apartment home in Hummingbird Square, a modern, four-story building that was in the beginning phase of construction at the time. She moved in soon after the building was completed in 2017. 

“I reserved early because I wanted a certain location and floor plan,” says Jane. “It also gave me plenty of time to plan a move.”

Worry-free living

Though Jane loved her former house, she says it had become a “constant drain” on her energy and pocketbook. 

“When I’m with friends who still live in their homes, I’m reminded how fortunate I am to live at Tallgrass,” says Jane. “The conversation usually turns to a dishwasher that isn’t working, a basement that’s flooded, or some other maintenance problem that I no longer worry about.” 

Jane is also reminded of the costs associated with owning a house when she pays her annual insurance premium, which covers just her belongings, not her entire home. 

“The insurance premium covering my former home was huge and due at the end of every year,” says Jane. “Insurance coverage for only my belongings is inexpensive. It’s so nice not anticipating that large bill every year.”  

Tallgrass Creek Sales Director Blake Marshall notes many prospective residents have a misconception about the affordability of living at Tallgrass Creek. 

“When people consider normal yard and home maintenance costs along with ‘pop-up’ problems like replacing appliances, roof repair, and weather-related issues, it puts things in perspective,” says Marshall. “All these things and more are taken care of here.”

Finance Director Lynn Schaffer adds that along with amenities, integrated health care options, and the financial stability of the community, varying contract types are an important consideration when evaluating retirement communities. 

“We offer a ‘fee-for-service’ contract where you pay for the services and care you need as compared to a ‘life care’ contract, where you essentially pay for long-term care while residing in independent living,” says Schaffer. “As a result, our entrance deposits are lower than comparable communities.”

Schaffer also notes monthly fees at Tallgrass Creek are lower and include numerous amenities, such as a secured entrance, on-site emergency responders, and access to the on-site medical center, fitness center, and swimming pool.  

Qualified and experienced

Jane found additional value in using a Tallgrass Creek-recommended real estate agent, moving company, and downsizing organization.  

All recommended providers qualify for Erickson Realty and Moving Services, a program that provides complimentary coordination of all realty and moving needs. This includes downsizing, home staging, packing, and selection of real estate professionals. 

“The local providers we work with really know their business,” says Personal Moving Consultant Nancy Worthington. “It saves time, stress, and confusion not having to research real estate agents, movers, estate sale companies, and more.”

“I’d heard from other residents that these people really know what they’re doing,” says Jane. “They were absolutely right. They were worth every penny.” 

Jane also relied on Worthington’s sound advice, reassuring support, and 25 years of experience working in senior living. 

“Nancy visited me in my house and spent a lot of time helping me plan my move,” says Jane. “She has great suggestions and is a delight to work with.”   

Priceless advantages 

Among other benefits Jane experienced immediately at Tallgrass Creek were the interesting activities and new neighbors she now knows.  

“I eat dinner almost every night with friends I’ve met here, and it’s so enjoyable,” says Jane.

She also enjoys having someone else do the meal planning, cooking, serving, and cleaning up. 

“It’s wonderful to relax, be waited on, and just enjoy each other,” she says.

Jane notes that she has become quite accustomed to the worry-free lifestyle at Tallgrass Creek. 

“It’s a completely different life, but it’s a really good life,” says Jane. “It’s hard to put a price on the friendships, activities, and low-stress lifestyle that I’ve found here.”