Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Cedar Rapids Senior Living Options: Village Cooperative of Cedar Rapids

Village Cooperative of Cedar Rapids

We're continuing our tour of Cedar Rapids Senior Community options.
Join along to learn more about Co-op living at the Village.
It's a unique living choice you may not have considered.
Photo courtesy of Village Cooperative

1230 English Lane NE, Cedar Rapids
Located off Boyson Road between Council Street & C Ave NE
Phone: 319.294.6563
Call or email Val Steuber, Member Services Manager, for a tour.

We were warmly welcomed by Val Steuber, Member Services Manager, and Sheri, a resident.  They kindly gave us a tour of the building, and not only did we get to see an available vacant unit, but we were thrilled to see an occupied unit of a member who graciously allowed us in, as well as Sheri's own home.
It was a great way to see the scale of the spaces when fully furnished.
Additionally, each home we saw was of a different floor plan.
There are 11 different floor plans in the building!

Scroll below and we'll discuss four main considerations:
                                1) The type of community and levels of care available.
                                2) Price
                                3) Amenities
                                4) Location and Facilities

Photo courtesy of Village Cooperative

 1) Type of Community and Levels of Care
The Village is a community for active seniors 55+ looking for a community-minded,
 maintenance free lifestyle.

It is for Independent Living only.
There is not a continuum of care with options for greater levels of care, such as Assisted Living, Memory Care, or Skilled Care.

The community space that greets you in the entry.

What is a co-op?  
Why would I want to live in a co-op?

From the Village Cooperative site:

"Cooperative housing combines the financial advantages of home ownership with the convenience of community living. Designed to fit your changing lifestyle, one of the key features of a cooperative is joint ownership of the property. To that end, a cooperative is a community of active adults who own an equity share—not just a unit—in the entire community through a not-for-profit Cooperative Corporation. Each equity share is held through an official Membership Certificate upon purchase."

Probably the greatest difference between life in cooperatives and other housing options for seniors is the attitude of the members. The attitudes of our members reflect a sense of belonging that is reminiscent of the neighborhood where they lived and raised their families."

Mail Room
Inviting Club Room to gather with other members or to reserve for private family events.

"People who choose to live in cooperatives typically move here to share and participate in the
 great lifestyle and activities within the communities."

2) Price
"There are two primary costs involved with membership in the Village Cooperative.
The cost of the share is a one-time upfront payment that purchases a share in the Cooperative Cooperation.  If a member decides to move, the Cooperative has the first option to buy the share, helps facilitate the sales process and returns the member's share plus accrued equity (transfer value).
Members also pay a monthly carrying charge.  The monthly carrying charges cover operating expenses including the mortgage principal and interest, real estate taxes, operating expenses, interior and exterior maintenance, water, sewer, and trash removal.  The monthly fee also covers liability insurance for the building, legal and accounting services, and professional management."

As I mentioned previously, there are 11 different residence floor plans available ad pricing will vary depending on the size of the unit. 
I'll cover a couple of different options as examples.

First, The "A" Home, a 1 Bedroom, 1 Bath residence.
I included some photos of an actual residence, since it was vacant I took photos.

Notice the height of the dishwasher! Great idea for making loading and unloading easier. 

Living Room
Storage space in the laundry/storage area.
Washer and dryer and slightly different angle of storage space

For the "A" Home there are variations in price (Cost of the Share) depending on which floor it is located on:
1st Floor - $64,770
2nd Floor - $62,230
3rd Floor - $67,310

There's the Monthly Carrying Charge designated for that share.
Continuing with "A" Home example:
1st Floor  - $842
2nd Floor - $822
3rd Floor - $864

Additional expenses that the resident is responsible for:
Electricity, Gas, Telephone, Cable TV, Personal Contents insurance

For comparison purposes, let's look at a 2 bedroom, 2 bath residence with 1380 sf.

The "H" Home floor plan
1380 sf

For the "H" Home there are variations in price (Cost of the Share) depending on which floor it is located on:
1st Floor - $97,790
2nd Floor - $95,250
3rd Floor - $100,330

There's the Monthly Carrying Charge designated for that share.
Continuing with "H" Home example:
1st Floor  - $1311
2nd Floor - $1290
3rd Floor - $1332

As in "A" Home plan (and all plans), there are the additional expenses for electricity, gas, telephone, cable tv, and Personal Contents insurance.

The "F2" Home floor plan.
The most expensive residence available is the "F2" Home plan.
It has 1565 sf, 2 bedrooms, 2 baths and a specific dining room space.

The "F2" Home also has variations in price (Cost of the Share) depending on which floor it is located on:
1st Floor - $114,300
2nd Floor - $111,760
3rd Floor - $116,840

There's the Monthly Carrying Charge designated for that share.
Continuing with "H" Home example:
1st Floor  - $1498
2nd Floor - $1478
3rd Floor - $1519

Again, there are the additional costs of electricity, gas, telephone, cable tv, 
and Personal Contents insurance.

What IS covered in the Monthly Carrying Charge?
Mortgage principal & interest, mortgage insurance
Real Estate taxes, liability insurance for common area
Hazard insurance for the entire building
Operating expenses
One underground heated parking space
Common area heat and air conditioning
Sewer, water, trash removal
Snow removal and lawn care service
Maintenance: all interior and exterior repairs
Required reserve funds for operations and replacement of cooperative property
Wireless high-speed internet service
Professional management by Real Estate Equities Development, LLC

Selling Your Share/Moving
"Shares in the Village Cooperative may be sold for the 'Transfer Value' (original share plus 3% annual increases).  Using the 'limited equity' approach, appreciation is limited by the Cooperative with the amount of return determined by a formula established in the Bylaws.  This ensures that the units remain affordable.  Experience dictates that as units become more and more affordable over time, the Cooperative's waiting list builds, which facilitates timely resale and is a direct benefit to the Cooperative's members.

3) Amenities
 "Standard features include a community room, reading areas, club room, woodworking shop, guest suites, garden plots, “while-you’re-away” services, free wireless Internet, underground heated parking with a car wash bay – all wrapped up in a fully secure building. The homes are equipped with all appliances including a washer and dryer, in-home storage, walk-in closets and individually controlled HVAC systems.

Workout room
Woodworking Shop
Woodworking Shop
Drive-under, heated garage
Car-wash bay

 4) Location and Facilities
The Village Co-op is located at 1230 English Lane NE, Cedar Rapids

It's a 3 story building with 65 homes featuring 1 and 2 bedroom floor plans.
There's a heated drive-under garage for parking, plus a car-wash bay.

"Members are allowed to have small pets in their homes, following a few guidelines. 

Cooperative ownership creates a sense of pride resulting in maintaining the property and participating in civic activities, which creates a friendly and active community.

As a Village Cooperative member, you can travel for days, weeks or months without worrying about your home with our “while-you-are-away” services. The no-maintenance lifestyle sets you free to do the things you like to do whether you’re at home or away. Still working? Perfect! Where else can you find yourself living exactly where you want, near everything you need and so affordably while easing into your next stage of life—retirement!"

Are there special requirements for membership?

"One member in each home must meet the minimum age restriction, which varies by location (see location page or call for more details). In addition, members must be capable of an independent lifestyle and be able to meet certain financial criteria."

 There is a wait-list for a share (residence).  Some members have moved into the Village before their ideal residence was available, just so they were able to get in and start enjoying all the benefits.  When other residences become available, current members have first opportunity to switch and move.
Val and Sheri explained it's common to have members moving to find the "right fit" as residences become available.

I'm hoping the information gives you a better understanding of the Village concept. 
There really are some amazing benefits to co-op living.
Call Val for a tour or to answer questions - 319.294.6563.

If you're starting to consider downsizing and all that entails with getting  your house ready
 to put on the market, give us a call.
Judy - 319.551.3170 and Steve at 319.551.3375

We can create an outline to help get you from A to B.
It doesn't have to be scary, you just need a plan.

~ Judy



Thursday, October 7, 2021

Cedar Rapids Senior Living Options: Grand Living at Indian Creek

 Grand Living At Indian Creek

We're embarking on a tour of the Senior Living options in the Cedar Rapids area.

As Senior Real Estate Specialists we realize many people are trying to plan as they decide
what will be the right fit for them.
It can be overwhelming, but the most important thing is to do your homework

We'll feature various communities here to give you an idea about what's available.
Our objective isn't to advertise or promote any one community, but to give you a sense of what to expect.  
Please note that information is accurate at the time of this post and pricing and options change over time.

After sharing general information for each community, we'll cover 4 main aspects to consider for each.

1) The type of senior community or levels of care available
Independent living, Assisted Living, Skilled Care, Memory Care, Continuum of Care

2) Price
Monthly Fees
The less care needed, the less expensive the price is.
Fees increase with care.  Assisted living is more expensive than Independent living, and Memory and Skilled care are more expensive than Assisted living.

3) Amenities

4) Location and Facilities

Please join our first tour . . .

Grand Living at Indian Creek

325 Collins Road SE, Cedar Rapids

Grand Lounge with fireplace & grand piano

Katie Dostal, Regional Director of Sales, graciously gave us a tour.

She explained that the concept of Grand Living communities is based on that of the Ritz-Carlton Company, where hospitality and exceptional service is key -
their community is like living at a resort full time.
And who wouldn't like that?

This newer community is nestled along the Indian Creek Reserve with views of trees and wildlife, but with convenient proximity to shopping and entertainment.

Courtyard & patio area

"We proudly offer a remarkable hospitality experience for you to enjoy the best years of your life.  Our entire service approach is epitomized by THE STERLING TOUCH, which we created in concert with luxury resort  brands.  This exceptional service to our residents and guests embraces the uniqueness of each individual.  Discover how joyful life can be at Grand Living."

Notables: Pets are allowed, there are Chef-prepared meals, FACETS - their "collection of life-enriching experiences.  From our BRAVO program of world-class music and entertainment performances in our Forum Theatre, to cocktails in the Legends Club.  Enjoy a game of cards or bocce ball, or take part in our Grand Patriots or Grand Perspectives programs."

1) Type of Community?
Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care
Grand Living has a continuum of care through Assisted Living with a Personalized Service Plan.

2) Price
"Monthly fees are based on size, residence amenities and location."

Age-in-Community Design
All utilities including telephone (local and long distance), DirecTV &
wireless internet.
Full maintenance and care of residence & common areas
Two Chef-prepared meals daily in dining venue of choice
Weekly housekeeping
Grand Spa & Fitness Center Membership including full-time Fitness Director
Scheduled Social, Educational, Recreational, Cultural programs
Scheduled chauffeured transportation for medical appointments, shopping & worship services
Use of all common areas & outdoor environments

Residences include the following:
Granite countertops and kitchen island
Full stainless steel appliance package
Washer and dryer in all residences
Walk-in closets
Individually controlled heating and air conditioning
9 foot ceilings
Select balcony and patio residences

Independent Living:
Studio Residence (446 to 497 sf) - Starting at $2785 per month
1-Bedroom Residence (681 to 757 sf) - Starting at $3295 per month
1-Bedroom/Den Residence - Starting at $3995 per month
2-Bedroom Residence (1072 - 1170 sf) - Starting at $4825 per month
2-Bedroom/Den Residence (1252 sf) - Starting at $5125 per month

Second Resident Fee - $800 per month
Heated Garage Stall - $95 per month
Storage Lockers - $25 to $40 per month

For instance, a couple living in a 1-bedroom residence (without a den) with 1 garage stall and a small storage locker would expect this type of monthly fee:
$3295 for the residence fee
$800 for the Second Resident Fee
$95 for the heated garage stall
$25 for storage
Total: $4215 per month

Additional One-Time fees:
One-Time Pet Service Fee - $1500
A fully-refundable Reservation fee of $1250 reserves the residence of your choice,
which will be applied to your one-time Community fee of $3,750 upon move-in.

Here are examples of floor plan options, though there are additional configurations besides these as you'll see in the pricing structure.

1-Bedroom Residence with Balcony

Kitchen in 1-Bedroom Residence

Bedroom in the 1-Bedroom Residence (en suite bath to the right)

Assisted Living:
Studio Residence (446 to 497 sf) - Starting at $4415 per month
1-Bedroom Residence (681 to 757 sf) - Starting at $4,925 per month
1-Bedroom/Den Residence - Starting at $5,625 per month
2-Bedroom Residence (1072 - 1170 sf) - Starting at $6,455 per month
2-Bedroom/Den Residence (1252 sf) - Starting at $6,755 per month

Assisted Living Residents enjoy the same amenities as Independent Living Residents with the following additions:

Service delivered to your residence of choice
Three Chef-prepared meals daily in dining venue of choice
Healthy snacks available throughout the day
Emergency Pendant System with GPS locator
Basic Assisted Living Package includes up to 20 hours per month of care
according to your Personalized Service Plan.
On-Staff Registered Nurse as Director of Health and Wellness
24-hour Care Staff coverage
Wellness checks and planned care assessments.

Luminations Memory Care
Memory Care Studio (448 to 469 sf) - Starting at $6780 per month
Memory Care 1-Bedroom (595 sf) - Starting at $7,380 per month
Memory Care 1-Bedroom/Den (722 sf) - Starting at $7,880 per month

Our Luminations program supports individuals living with memory loss and their families.  Our hospitality focus means the relationship we have built with the resident and family helps us understand their personal needs to navigate their day and maintain a sense of self and individuality.  In each of our neighborhoods - Monarch Lane or women-only Lavender Lane - our team is more than prepared to create a warm and welcoming environment.

3) Amenities

The Legends Club with Fireplace

A variety of dining options: formal, casual, a bistro and p
rivate dining.

From-scratch meals with menus that change daily

An in-house theatre (the Forum Theatre)

Music & Entertainment performances

The Legends Club - for socializing and gathering

Art & Game Studios

Billiards Room

Woodworking Shop

The Grand Spa  & Fitness Center with a full-time Director of Fitness

Full-service salon

The Grand Library

The Grand Lounge

Woodworking Shop

Chapel and Meditation Center

Outdoor space - courtyard, fire pit, pet park, bocce ball

Pet Grooming Center

Underground heated garage

Storage lockers

Controlled Access and security

Forum Performance Theatre

Exercise Studio

Fitness Center

Billiards Room

4) Location and Facilities
Located in SE Cedar Rapids, Grand Living at Indian Creek is east of
Slumberland Furniture off Highway 100.

The building and grounds of Grand Living are clean and beautifully kept.
Curb appeal is lovely and "grand," as you would expect, fulfilling the hospitality vibe.

If Grand Living at Indian Creek is of interest, give Katie a call for a tour.
Residences are available immediately.

As you consider a move, reach out to us for a free home evaluation.
As your Senior Specialists, we can connect you with a great team of resources to help with downsizing, donating/re-homing, and packing.
We also have the contacts for any necessary repairs or updates needed before your house goes on the market.
We're a one-stop shop to simplify your move!

Call Judy at 319.551.3170 or Steve at 319.551.3375.

~ Judy

Enter Our Drawing - Choose from Loads of Darling Doormats to Cozy-Up for Fall and Winter!

We're Having a Drawing!

Win a $40 gift card to TheWelcomeCrew

Contest ends Sunday, October 10th at 5:00 pm

Visit our Facebook Page and on our Post for the Drawing, 
comment with your 1 favorite thing about fall.
Pretty easy!

Don't forget to check out Karlissa's Etsy Shop.
You'll love the fun custom doormats, plus there's Iowa related apparel items.
Even if you aren't our winner, you're sure to get some gift ideas for the holidays.
(Karlissa is a teacher right here in Cedar Rapids!)


Sunday, October 3, 2021

Cedar Rapids Senior Living Options: What to Look For When Choosing Senior Living Communities


Getting Started:
How Do I Choose the Right Senior Living Option?

While "Aging in Place" (living in your own home) is the goal for many,  
people are also realizing the benefits that a senior community holds.

What are some of the top reasons?

1) Low or No Maintenance Living
2) Socialization/community opportunities
3) Safety  & Security
4) Amenities
Walking paths, gym, outdoor spaces, dining, exercise classes
5) Help with Personal Care
6) Transportation (as needed)
7) Meal and Dining options

Okay, so if those reasons have you thinking maybe a Senior Community is something to consider,
how would you choose one?

1) Location
This might seem obvious, but as you age it may be more critical to choose a community
where you envision yourself long term, years in the future.
Is family nearby? Is it important to have adult kids or extended family close?
If kids live in another state, do you have any interest in finding a community closer to them?  
Does climate factor in?  Have you always dreamed of warmer weather where you can enjoy
golf or swimming year-round, for instance?  
It's a big decision, so take the time to evaluate where you see yourself not only now, but years ahead.

2) Level of Care
 There are varying degrees of care in the Senior Community world.
Independent living, of course, requires no additional care. You'll hear
the term "active" seniors, which of course has its own spectrum.  But primarily it means older adults who can live independently without help for ADLs (Activities of Daily Life).
ADLs include:
Eating - preparing food and feeding one's self
Bathing - hygiene and grooming
Dressing - the ability to dress and undress
Transferring - movement and mobility
Toileting - continence related tasks

Another consideration when planning is if there is a preference for a community that has a continuum of care.  Some have detached homes for independent living, then apartment-style assisted living as needed, memory care units, and skilled nursing.

3) Price
There are a range of prices when it comes to Senior Living communities.
It's important to be realistic about what you can afford so you're prepared as you start comparing.
Take an inventory of your sources of income:
Long-term care insurance
Social Security
Pensions, retirement income
Veterans Benefits
Governmental Programs
Depending on your situation, talk with your financial advisor
* Proceeds from the sale of your current home *
This can be a huge part of your financial picture.

4) Culture and Amenities
Choosing the right place depends on what you like to do and how the 
Senior Community can support you. 
This is where price also becomes a factor as well.

What hobbies are important?
Gardening?  Are there gardens to help with?
A library for those who love to read?
Is there an activity calendar with events of interest?
If a fitness center is key, be sure to see that on a tour.  
Don't assume all Senior Communities will provide what matters to you.
Take the time to think about what  you want and find a center that fits.
Pay attention to the interaction among residents; does the community
feel welcoming and inclusive?
Questions to ask:
Are pets allowed?
Are there "community" pets?
Do residents engage with the surrounding community?
What types of activities are planned - game nights, movie nights?
Are there volunteering options?

5) Caregivers and Support
Staff will be important in a Senior community.
Do you feel they will take care of you or your loved one and make them feel special?
Are there medical professionals on staff 24 hours a day?
How often is the community inspected?
Can staff administer medications?
Is staff available to help with ADLs (activities of daily living) like
dressing, grooming, bathing, etc.)?

6) Meals
How many meals are provided each day?
Are there set times?  
Am I able to get meals as take-out to eat in my own apartment?
Can I prepare my own meals in my apartment?
If special dietary needs are required, how available are they?

7) Curb Appeal and Safety Features
What's your first impression?  This could potentially be your home, so
pay attention to your first reaction.  Do you feel that it's welcoming?
Is it neat and well-maintained?
Take note of cleanliness and upkeep throughout buildings and apartments.
Does it meet your expectations?
Are there safety features such as grab bars, rails, and zero-entry showers?
How about doorways to accommodate walkers and wheel chairs? is an excellent resource.
They have put together checklists as you navigate this journey.

If you have questions as you look to the future, you're always 
welcome to reach out.
We can provide you with a free home valuation as you determine your plans.

~ Judy