Carl and Marie Lillvik enjoy having two offices and a common area.
From the moment Carl and Marie Lillvik stepped foot in a “combo home” at Seabrook, an Erickson Senior Living community in Tinton Falls, N.J., they knew they had found their new home.
Combo homes, created by merging two apartment homes into one, boast extra-large living spaces. In this case, the unit they toured also featured a bright, scenic view of the community’s picturesque landscaping.
“We walked in there and I looked out the window. Immediately, I said, ‘This is the place!'” Carl recalls.
Carl’s comment took his wife of 62 years by surprise. “I don’t think I had ever heard him make such a decisive statement–not since he retired from the army,” Marie says. “While he was looking out the window at the trees, I looked at his face and realized I didn’t have to bargain with him.”
The couple was sold. Now, the combo home suits the Lillviks’ engaged lifestyle perfectly, providing them with ample space for two offices and a common area in between to entertain friends and family.
“Whenever anyone comes to visit us and we open the door, they gasp and comment that it’s more like a house than an apartment home,” Marie notes.
Meeting a need
Dan Simms, Seabrook’s sales director, explains that combo homes are a great option for retirees looking for additional space.
“Many retirees, especially those who have lived in larger single-family homes, appreciate having extremely spacious and distinctive floor plans to choose from,” he says.
Simms anticipates that the community will add ten new combo homes this year.
“We’re happy that we can offer this new, open concept design–that has really never been done before at Seabrook,” he explains. “We’ve taken advantage of the additional space by incorporating floating kitchen islands, which are increasingly popular because they’re so conducive to socializing.”
The Lillviks can attest to that. Since moving into their combo home in 2021, they have fostered many friendships and are always eager to host group gatherings and holiday meals for family–with plenty of space to spare.
Choosing custom finishes
For retirees who have reserved combo homes that are still in the works, they have the unique opportunity to provide further input on design choices.
“They can choose custom finishes, like kitchen cabinets and countertops, flooring, and even paint colors,” adds Simms. “If you’re interested, don’t wait to contact the sales team!”
While touring a combo home sealed the deal for the Lillviks, their move to Seabrook was spurred by a determination to be in control of their future plans.
“None of our children live in New Jersey or even the same state as each other,” Marie says. “The bottom line is, we wanted to relieve them of any burdens.”
Thanks to the predictable monthly service package, which covers everything from appliance repairs and utilities to lawn care, their combo home is completely worry-free. And with access to the on-site medical center and pharmacy, appointment and prescription management has been a breeze.
“That gives peace of mind to our kids,” Carl adds. “They don’t have to worry about checking on us.”
Since happily waving goodbye to home maintenance, Marie and Carl have more free time to entertain friends and family in their combo home and explore plenty of activities.
Marie serves as a member of the Resident Advisory Council’s (RAC) dining committee, attends meditation and fitness classes, and co-facilitates a writer’s group called Writing in the Moment, which she founded.
Carl is part of the RAC’s general services committee and the veterans’ group, for which he co-produced a video documentary.
Together, the Lillviks volunteer as resident ambassadors, providing tours for potential residents–so more retirees can fall in love with Seabrook the same way they did.
The idea of having extra living space also intrigued Barbara Solan, who joined Seabrook’s Priority List after giving a friend a ride to a special event at the community.
Barbara toured a range of apartment homes, but she was particularly attracted to a combo home that provided so much space, as well as plenty of storage.
She moved to Seabrook in 2016–and hasn’t looked back on costly house maintenance.
“I hated taking care of my three-story house! There was always something that needed repair,” says Barbara, who now calls General Services for any issue that arises–even for something as simple as a burnt-out light bulb.
Like the Lillviks, Barbara finds that she has more time to pursue the activities she’s interested in. When she’s not busy playing mah-jongg and Rummikub or attending movies and concerts at the community’s spacious auditorium and outdoor amphitheater, she’s serving as a resident ambassador alongside Marie and Carl.
“There’s so much to do here!” she says.
To learn more about senior living at Seabrook, visit SeabrookCommunity.com to get the scoop on amenities, floor plans, and so much more.