New home, new chapter

Maris Grove attracts younger residents

Created date

March 25th, 2020
Sales Counselor Lindsey Bonaventure welcomes new resident Dan Blanton.

Dan Blanton was ready to move to Maris Grove as soon as he turned 62. Joining the priority list and working with the sales team, he found an apartment that perfectly fits himself and his cat, not to mention his budget. 

A new year and new life began for Dan Blanton in January 2020, when he and his cat Blackie moved into the Maple Crossing neighborhood at Maris Grove.

Dan knew of the community long before he became a resident. He often visited his aunt, who lived at Maris Grove for many years, and was impressed by what he saw. “People were in the pool, playing cards, and I thought, ‘I can picture myself living here,” he recalls. “It was warm and cozy, and the amenities looked wonderful.”

He was too young to reserve a home, but Dan never forgot the positive feelings he had about the community. When he turned 61, he decided to explore the possibilities in earnest. “I wasn’t sure that I could afford it,” he says, “but the sales office showed me that a one-bedroom, one-bath was well within reach.”

Dan joined the priority list, reserved the floor plan of his choice, and went to his first event in August 2019. He understood that he had to be 62 when he moved in, but wanted to begin the process of downsizing and selling his house. He spoke with Sales Director Liz Harrington, who gave him the guidance he needed. 

His house sold in short order and Dan was ready to move in as soon as he turned 62. Single and without immediate family in the area, he found it easy to let go of the family home. Says Dan, “I was tired of the upkeep and the taxes. I spent every Sunday cutting the grass, only to have to do it again the following week. I decided I’d had enough of home ownership, and that was that.”

Dan has kept his job on the grounds crew at Swarthmore College, where he’s worked since 1976. “I got the job years ago and just kept coming in. No one ever asked to me leave, so I’ve kept at it,” he jokes. He plans to work at least until he’s 65. “I’m not ready to retire,” he notes, “but I’m ready for the retirement lifestyle.”

The road to Maris Grove

Dan exemplifies a recent trend at Maris Grove: People at the minimum age for entry, 62, are requesting tours and reserving homes. Harrington believes the uptick is easy to explain.

“There’s a moment in your early 60s when you start picturing the next few decades of your life,” she says. “People see our beautiful homes, state-of-the-art facilities, and rich social life, and say, ‘What am I waiting for? I can enjoy a carefree lifestyle now and feel secure that my future needs will be taken care of.’”

Dan agrees with her assessment. “I wanted the security of a gated community, the dining, and the option to be involved in clubs and activities as time permits,” he says. “Plus, I don’t have children, so knowing that higher levels of medical care are available on campus gave me tremendous peace of mind.”

Of the more than 150 clubs, Dan was most interested in the Pet Club. “Blackie made me want to connect with other animal lovers,” says Dan. “He came up out of the woods and practically knocked on the door asking to be fed. We’ve been buddies ever since. I think he likes Maris Grove as much as I do.”