Frank and Linda Simmons moved to Fairhaven at the tail end of 2019. Shortly after settling in, COVID-19 hit the nation, and they felt safe and at ease in their cottage close to nature with exclusive access to premium healthcare with a range of medical assistance conveniently on campus.
The Simmons share what led to their decision to move to their Sykesville, Maryland, retirement community and how it quickly became home.
What made you decide on Fairhaven?
Linda Simmons: We lived in a 55-plus community and then we just got tired of being homeowners and worrying about how do we get this fixed, who do we call, all those kinds of things. And it was just time. We wanted to make the decision. We didn't want our two children to someday make that decision for us.
Were you ever told, you're "too young" to move in?
Frank Simmons: That's what we heard (laughs).
Linda Simmons: Our children understand that yes, we're aging, and they live in Howard County, so we are still very close to them.
What's it like to escape the burdens of home ownership?
Frank Simmons: I love that aspect of it. We were in the 55-plus community in the townhome for 15 years. So we were done with that stuff. Living here, you don't have to worry about anything pretty much.
Linda Simmons: If something breaks, you call maintenance, or all you do is you go online, put in a ticket, or call someone and they'll write up a ticket for you as opposed to us trying to decide, so who are we going to call to fix the roof this time? It just makes life so much simpler.
Frank Simmons: Yes, you can't put a price on not having to do or worry about those things. And I haven't had a water bill or electric bill in five years.
Linda Simmons: Being here in a cottage, we still have outdoor space. And for me, I do like gardening. I still have space where I can go outdoors and garden. But no mowing the grass, no calling in the exterminator. Someone else takes care of all that part of it, but I can go out and play with my flowers and that's a nice thing.
How easy is it to make friends at Fairhaven?
Linda Simmons: It's a very friendly community. That is, I think, one of the biggest advantages to this size of community as opposed to those larger ones where you're talking maybe 2,000 people. We have such a welcoming, supportive group of neighbors.
What sets Fairhaven apart from other retirement communities?
Linda Simmons: It was an easy decision for us, a combination of the setting with this beautiful outdoor resources, a gorgeous setting. And it's convenient, we have all the standard stores just up the road.
Frank Simmons: We have one of the best cottages in the whole campus with a garage.
Linda Simmons: One of the biggest drawbacks at some of the larger communities, is the best you can hope for is a reserved, open parking space. Whereas here, even if you're in the apartments, you have an underground garage to park your car. That's unheard of in most communities. And is very convenient on a rainy day.
What is your favorite part about living at Fairhaven?
Linda Simmons: It's the feeling of community. I really think now that we're here, that is the biggest thing. We have so many activities here to become engaged with and it is a smaller community, the feeling of community is overwhelming. In a good way.
Frank Simmons: I love the country, but you know, you’re close to the city too, and all the conveniences.
Linda Simmons: Whether it's going up to Eldersburg or going into Ellicott City, Columbia, both equally convenient. The nature trails on our campus are also amazing. I enjoy going to social events, fitness classes and using the library. There's just a lot of things to do and fun people to be around.