Right-Sizing: Finding Another New Home at The Hill

Natalie, a longtime Hill resident, enjoys a cup of tea in her new apartment.

Natalie and her second husband, Ray, first moved to The Hill at Whitemarsh after its grand opening in 2007. Prior to the move, they had lived in Haverford, which was close to her two daughters; one lives in Penn Valley and the other is in Lafayette Hill.

So, when there was news about a brand-new continuing care retirement community being built near Erdenheim Farm in Lafayette Hill, one of Natalie’s daughters brought it up for her mom and Ray to consider.

“We went to look at a sample unit on the property before anything else had really been built; it was just a lot of land, but we loved it and committed to moving in,” recalled Natalie. “In 2007, we finally moved into a cottage, which was perfect for us and exactly what we needed.”

The cottage that Natalie and Ray purchased was about 4,000 square feet split between the ground level and a basement. On the main floor, they had one large bedroom, his and hers dens, a living room, and an open-concept dining room and kitchen. They decided to renovate the downstairs space to accommodate family members who would visit from out of town, complete with an additional bedroom, bathroom, and living room space.

For 13 years, Natalie and Ray loved living in that cottage and built a beautiful life together at The Hill. After Ray passed away in 2020, Natalie started to feel like the cottage was too big for her to manage.

Unlike many other lifecare communities, The Hill at Whitemarsh is very flexible in accommodating its residents who wish to move into a smaller or larger home.

Natalie loves her new apartment and being in closer proximity to where all the action is.

“As residents, they have priority in choosing a new living space, should they wish,” said Christine Dwyer, Director of Sales at The Hill. “All they have to do is simply express an interest in a particular size home, and we show them what is available.”

Natalie spoke with the team at The Hill about moving from her cottage into an apartment, and they were happy to accommodate her. She was able to move into an apartment in the main building in early 2023.

“This process can take a few months for completion, but as with all our move-ins, The Hill strives to make the transfer as easy as possible,” said Christine.

“The move wasn’t stressful at all,” Natalie said. “An expert came to my house to measure everything; she helped me pack and unpack and hung all the pictures in my new apartment. Her team was amazing, and it made for a really easy transition.”

The new apartment is exactly what Natalie needed: one large bedroom, a second bedroom that she had converted into “a lovely den,” two bathrooms, and, after knocking down a wall in the kitchen, an open-concept living space.

“I brought a lot of my existing furniture over with me, thanks to them. Whatever we couldn’t fit in the new space, I decided to donate to low-income families in need of furniture. I’m happy it all went to a good place.”

Natalie loves her new apartment and being in closer proximity to where all the action is.

“I can easily pop down for movie nights, for meals, or to visit the fitness center, which is great,” Natalie said. “I also am in charge of managing the jewelry displays at The Treasure Chest, which is The Hill’s in-house resale shop that funds educational grants for The Hill staff.”

“The move wasn’t stressful at all. … [The] team was amazing, and it made for a really easy transition.”
– Natalie

Natalie’s new apartment is a centralized location for so many of her interests: workouts at the fitness center, a lecture on the female artists on display at The Barnes Museum, book club meetings–all just a few steps from her front door.

“My new apartment is really wonderful. It’s such a comfortable, beautiful space. I have lovely neighbors. I really love it!”