Carol Jacobs on Right-Sizing Her Home: ‘It’s One of the Best Transitions I’ve Ever Made’
Main Line resident Carol Jacobs knows all about transition. For over 14 years she’s been the Director of College Guidance at Bryn Mawr’s Jack M. Barrack
Hebrew Academy, where she assists high school students with the college process, from visits and applications to decisions. But three years ago she made her own change – rightsizing from her large house to a new home at Athertyn. From travel and beach time to grandchildren, she’s now free to spend her days off doing what she enjoys most. Read on for her story:
What made you consider moving to a lifestyle community?After caring for a large home longer than I needed
to, it was time for a change. I was spending so much
time doing household chores and yard work when I
could have been pursuing my own interests. A big
house wasn’t the best lifestyle for me since I regularly
spend weekends in Avalon and both of my daughters
After exploring your options, what made Athertyn the first choice?Charlie and I looked at everything — ranch homes,
apartments and other condominiums — but
nothing compared to the beauty, spaciousness and
surroundings that Athertyn provides.
When researching housing options I attended
an Athertyn homeowner event and realized all
the preconceived notions I had about a lifestyle
community — the kind of people I would be living
near — were inaccurate. We met people of all ages
who were vivacious, active and interesting. Meeting
our future neighbors made a big difference!
What do you love most about living here?I’m focusing on enjoying life. When we first moved
in a beautiful white snow had fallen. Instead of
shoveling the driveway, I put on my boots and went
for a hike with one of my new Athertyn neighbors.
It was gorgeous. Because yard work is taken care
of, my time is spent tending to our tomato patch
in the community garden. I enjoy sitting outdoors
on the terrace and hearing the faint noise from the
Reserve’s playing fields — it adds a sense of vibrancy.
And when my granddaughter visits, we walk to the
fantastic new township playground, where there’s
lots of room to run around and play.
What was the transition like, balancing a full-time job and a move?When you’re downsizing, it’s a process and there are
a lot of decisions to be made. But moving within the
same neighborhood made it easier. And once we
arrived, we settled into the lifestyle immediately. The
week we moved in people were showing up at our
door with meals they had made for us! I would tell
anyone to attend social gatherings at Athertyn before
moving in — getting to know some of the neighbors
beforehand makes the transition that much easier.
Which Athertyn amenities do you appreciate most?I enjoy attending the Enrichment Series programs
and monthly gatherings. Everyone is so warm and
welcoming; it’s great to chat with people from so
The fitness center is so convenient! No matter the
weather, I can zip over to meet my personal trainer
or for a yoga class. The yoga instructor is fabulous
— she challenges us to keep focused, but she’s
cognizant of the fact that most of us are over 55. I
enjoy keeping in shape and also frequently use the
trails for walking. And, the Clubhouse is the perfect
space for entertaining; I recently hosted a baby
What are the advantages of an Athertyn home?There are so many benefits to the homes here at
Athertyn. Like the fact that I never hear my neighbors.
And the layout! The great room is fantastic for
entertaining and easily seats 12 for a dinner party.
We have a corner residence that provides lots of light
from different directions. Yet, it takes very little air
conditioning to keep things cool.
There’s all the privacy in the world, but you can still
look out the window and see people coming and
going. People at Athertyn are very friendly, open and
diverse. They’re from different backgrounds, jobs
and ages. We enjoy going out to dinner with other
couples; our conversations are always interesting.
How were you able to achieve your vision for your home?When we moved into our home everything had
already been retrofitted beautifully. I appreciate
the gracious archways, custom woodwork and that
each room has its own unique design. We added a
custom built-in in our dining room to store linens
and china. It was enjoyable to start fresh and choose
where to display our favorite paintings and antiques.
Everything found a place in our home. In fact, the
only new purchase we had to make was a rug.
How has your life changed since moving to Athertyn?Now I’m spending my free time doing what I love,
from photography and volunteer work to beach
weekends. Most importantly, I feel comfortable
‘lock and leaving’ when I visit my children and
grandchildren, or take a trip abroad. This summer
we spent three weeks in Scandinavia and Russia and
not once did I worry about our home.
And all that is wonderful about life remains. I’m in
the same neighborhood; have my fulfilling job and a
great circle of friends. All that has changed is that I
now live in a beautiful new home, with little upkeep.
Life here at Athertyn really is simplified…It’s one of
the best transitions I’ve ever made.
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