Residents Ray and Joan Racelis looked at six Life Plan Communities in three states before deciding that a villa at Vi at The Glen in Glenview, Illinois, was the right choice for their lifestyle. “The villas are very unique,” said Ray. “We were attracted to the size. Our villa has a two-car garage, a spare bedroom for guests, and we still have a den, which was really important for us—it’s our communication center!”
“Residents who have moved into the villas have told us they enjoy having the space of a single-family home to entertain their families without the responsibility of maintenance,” said Ellen Nemirow, move-in manager at Vi at The Glen. “Plus, it’s just a short walk or drive to the amenities of the community clubhouse, where they can dine with friends, enjoy the pool, and join our clubs and activities.”
Making Room for Family
Though the first step in the Racelises’ journey to retirement was making a home in Sarasota for the last 20 years, the second was making the choice to move to a Life Plan Community nearer to their four children and 12 grandchildren. “When we thought about staying in Florida, they encouraged us to come up here, so we could see each other more often,” said Joan. And now with the space to entertain, the entire family is welcome. “We just hosted a party for the family on Father’s Day, and everyone likes to come for Sunday brunches at the Vi.”
Along with entertainment space, the villas at Vi at The Glen include full-size basements for storing important keepsakes and extra furniture. “In Florida, you don’t have a basement, so that is a big gain for us living here,” said Ray. “We used to rent a storage space for things like our Christmas tree and ornaments, but now we can keep it all here.”
Adding the Finishing Touches
While all apartments and villas at the community come move-in ready, some residents, like the Racelises, choose to customize finishes and spaces before moving in, which they can do with the help of the community’s Design Center. From the color and style of kitchen cabinets and countertops, to floor tile and carpet, the Design Center offers a variety of options. “We had so many options; it was fun to choose,” said Joan.
Villa residents can also elect to add an upgrade package, packages range from a spa bath or chef’s kitchen to a finished basement or backyard entertainment area. “We added a patio with manufactured bluestone and a barbecue area,” said Ray. “They landscaped it beautifully! We are quite happy with it.”
Moving Made Easy
Even with the added storage space of their villa’s basement, the Racelises decided to take advantage of the expertise offered to all potential residents by Vi’s external floor planning consultant. Prior to a move-in, the consultant visits current homes if residents are local or uses photos and floorplans to discuss downsizing options. From there they help residents envision their new home based on their furniture and chosen floor plans. “It really helps you visualize how your belongings will fit into your new space,” said Nemirow.
Vi also partners with trusted move-management vendors who can help make the process as smooth as possible for residents who choose to enlist their services. “They can orchestrate and pick up donations, pack and unpack, help you with an estate sale and arrange for shipping,” said Nemirow. “We’ve really got you covered from start to finish.”
And that made all the difference for the Racelises. “We literally sat back and watched people packing and unpacking our things,” said Ray. “For older people like us, that’s a big relief.”
Looking Forward to What Comes Next
After moving into their new villa in March, the Racelises are confident they chose the right home, and look forward to enjoying the benefits of an active senior living community, which includes lectures, musical performances, happy hours and more. “The villa is absolutely perfect for us. It’s warm, cozy and beautiful!” said Joan. “Now that the move is behind us and our house is ready, we’re going to go to plays, use the pool and fitness center, and do things with our new friends and neighbors.”