Overhead view of the surrounding countryside

An Alternative and Unique Independent Living Option: Cottage Homes

May 17, 2021


The transition into an independent living community is a big decision. It is common for seniors or their adult children to feel unprepared or hesitant to make the jump. Some of that is related to the desire to maintain home-ownership — or at least, the benefits of living in a house.

Every Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) or Life Plan community offers on-site residential living for its residents. But depending on the community, independent living options may vary from the type of residence to an array of floor plans. The main options start with deciding between senior apartment, condo, or even a detached single-family home.

At Applewood, single family home are known as a “cottage” house. Cottage homes may be a perfect solution for those who want the benefits of a senior living community with a more traditional dwelling. At Applewood, for example, our cottage homes provide a service-rich and maintenance-free environment, and residents enjoy a full slate of amenities and dining options available.

“A cottage home is appealing to the person or couple who knows that, deep down, they need to make a change,” says Eric Eichhorst, Applewood’s director of sales and marketing. “Maybe it’s the idea that home maintenance is too cumbersome, but being required to live in an apartment is not something they’re ready to do.”

Applewood’s cottages offer private entrances, a wide range of finishes, and an attached garage. And like everyone on campus, you’re free to come and go as you please (and with that garage, your car is that much closer, which is especially nice in winter).

Naturally, many seniors wonder about the benefits of a cottage home living option, especially when compared to the hundreds of 55+ communities that offer similar floor plans and exterior maintenance services. Here are some common questions about cottage living at a CCRC:

How much of the property is maintained?

Unlike a 55+ community, homes within a CCRC campus are fully maintained (inside, outside, and the building itself). In a 55+ community, while yard work may be handled, owners are still responsible for paying for repairs inside and out, along with utilities and a homeowner’s association fee. In a CCRC, you have one consistent bill each month covering most utilities and living expenses.

Maintenance-free living leads to less stress, more time, fewer home expenses and allows you to focus on enjoying retirement (though, some of our residents are still enjoying their careers!). Cottage residents, like apartment residents, also get the benefits of bi-weekly housekeeping and linen service, plus access to scheduled transportation and campus events.

What features do cottages offer compared to apartments?

While there are only a limited number of cottages available, each offer conveniences and comforts of a detached home: a yard for gardening, an attached garage, and plenty of room to roam. Within walking distance (just across Candy Apple Lane), residents can enjoy Applewood’s dining rooms, fitness center, indoor pool, gardens and other amenities.

Applewood cottage features

  • Great Room
  • Stainless steel kitchen appliances
  • Solid surface kitchen countertops
  • Recessed lighting
  • Full size washer and dryer
  • Attached, oversized 1-car garage

Are the healthcare benefits similar to other living options?

Yes. All cottage residents can access our popular (and most common) Life Care contract, which gives you access to the full continuum of care, if ever needed: assisted living, skilled nursing, and memory care. Many individuals find peace of mind with this benefit and cite this predictability as a top reason for moving to a CCRC.

Without home equity, how is financial safety ensured?

Since cottage homes are in the confines of the community, members do not build home equity. On the other hand however, residents also don’t have to worry about home repairs, upkeep in and out of the home, or most utilities, and gain the peace of mind that comes with predictable, affordable expenses in one convenient monthly rate.

When paired with a Type A (also known as Life Care) contract — a guarantee of long-term care — cottage home residents find their lifestyles the same as when they lived in a home they owned, only better. Life Care plans and associated entrance fees are often refundable up to a certain level.

In 2021, when many seniors need it most, new residents qualify to receive 25% off the cost of all traditional contract options (closing is required on or before July 31, 2021).

What are the floor plans like?

While Applewood’s cottages come in a variety of floor plans, each offers its residents roomy comfort and large windows for sun-soaked views. Begin envisioning your new home by choosing one of our single-story floor plans, here are some of those options:

Check out our Virtual Tours. View our Floor Plans:

  • Royal Cottage
  • Embassy Cottage
  • Monarch Cottage

Learn more about cottage living at central Jersey’s best CCRC.

Arrange for a tour of Applewood’s cottages and see for yourself how you can live in a home without the hassles of ownership. Reach out today.