Forward Progress: Selling Our Home and Moving Into Temporary Quarters at Judson Manor

Meet Peter and Donna Pesch. This is second in a series where they detail, first-hand, their decision to move to Judson Manor’s newly renovated 11th Floor. Enjoy a candid, insider’s point of view of what it’s like moving to a Judson community.


As noted in our earlier blog, we contacted Lee-Ann Spacek, a relocation consultant to help us with our move. She recommended two real estate agents we were favorably impressed with, and we ended up working with both of them, as they agreed to work together.

Both agents and Lee-Ann urged us to list our house as soon as possible, rather than waiting for a date closer to the completion of our apartment on Judson Manor’s 11th floor. Judson assured us that they would provide a temporary apartment for us to occupy until ours is ready.

We accepted the appraisal suggested by the agents, and on the second day of listing, we had a signed purchase agreement – for our asking price! Inspection, disclosure and bank appraisal all proceeded smoothly, and we were scheduled to sign all the closing papers within weeks of putting up the listing.

Taking Advantage of Relocation Services

We then contacted Susan Kent of Moving by Design, who put us in touch with Lincoln Moving & Storage, and a moving date of June 2 was selected.

In preparation for moving, we packed the things we would take with us and got rid of the stuff we would no longer need. With the exception of our studio piano, which we sold, everything else was given away to family and friends or donated to various charities. We tried to find good homes for special things:

  • My younger daughter’s first quarter-size violin went to the Cleveland Music School Settlement
  • Nine books of class notes from Peter’s graduate school days were sent to Archives at the University of Chicago
  • Old cameras went to a friend who collects cameras
  • Three books in Spanish covering the popular music known as “Boleros” went to a friend who was born in Cuba and raised in Puerto Rico
  • The tool chest from the days when I (Peter) worked on my old Jaguars was given to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History
  • My road bike was donated to Ohio City Bike Co-op
  • And two huge Digger Pine cones, which Peter collected at the Mt. Wilson Observatory in California, went to the Botany Division of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

On June 1 the movers came to pack whatever we had not yet packed (surprisingly, there was still a lot!), and we separated out the things that were going into temporary storage from those going to Judson Manor. The following day, the movers returned and by mid-morning their van arrived at the Manor and everything was brought up to our temporary apartment on the 10th floor.

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Susan Kent appeared as if by magic, and helped with the unpacking of boxes and arranging of the furniture. In addition to her efficient help and wise advice, Sue brought an aura of calm into the inevitably rushed atmosphere. Donna, in particular, was soothed instantly, as if she had been darted with a tranquilizer.

Settling in to a Maintenance-Free Lifestyle

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We immediately took advantage of no longer being responsible for maintenance issues. There was a toilet malfunction, and after a telephone call, Operations Director Rachelle Rowan appeared with a wrench half as large as herself and the problem was solved. Rachelle then brought up some screens so we could open a few windows to take advantage of the breeze from the lake.

Before retiring for our first night in our new home, we watched the sun sink below the horizon over Lake Erie. It was magical.

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In the afternoon of our second day, the residents and staff had organized a farewell party for John K. Jones, vice president of Judson Manor, who was leaving after fifteen years to take a new job on the west side. There was standing room only in the lounge for this event. The talent, humor, and very sincere emotions apparent at this affair brought home to us that Judson Manor is not just a beautiful building in University Circle with an interesting history and inhabited by seniors – it is a vibrant community of active and creative people who interact with an amazing staff.

After only two days, we already know we made the right decision.

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