Little did Carole and Mike Laughlin realize that what began as a short, uneventful drive home from their son’s house to their home of 47 years in Pitman, would result in none other than the one-of-a-kind, Summerfields West lifestyle experience that they enjoy today. In fact, as Carole Laughlin recalled, moving to this remarkable—affordable— 55+ community couldn’t have been further from her mind at the time.
“It was nothing more than an ordinary drive home, when we rode past Summerfields West in Williamstown and just matter-of-factly decided to check it out. Some time later, we drove by again and decided to take a closer look and tour the model homes; and that’s when we fell in love with the place, particularly the Wildflower home design, which we would eventually purchase.”
The Laughlin’s decision to buy emanated from careful thought about future maintenance and livability concerns at their previous home in Pitman, not the least of which were grounds maintenance, high heating and cooling costs, property taxes, and the steeply inclined steps of the house at which they raised their family. Since they were retiring, they gave living at Summerfields West more serious thought, which, according to Carole, turned out to be the smartest move they could ever have made. “We are so happy here, I would have felt so sad if we had missed this opportunity. But even aside from the beautiful homes which are one level and so easy to live in, we noticed the close-knit nature of the community’s residents when we were visiting. Everyone was so friendly. In fact, one of our neighbors went out of her way to give us all kinds of information about the community and how much everybody enjoys living here in this quiet location and with so many activities to enjoy.”
One Level Homes with Plenty of Space
Of the five available home styles, the Laughlin’s chose the Wildflower design that offers both privacy and spaciousness for the homeowners. “Mike has a lot of collectibles, so we turned a bedroom into a space that is perfect for that. I quilt and sew so I use the second bedroom for a trundle bed (in case we have guests), my sewing machine and computer,” Carole said. “The Wildflower provides our own spaces for our own interests. The master bedroom is so big that we have a recliner in there for football season to provide a certain someone with ‘escape space.’ We love the morning room and usually have our coffee and breakfast there. The kitchen has a center island, lots of cabinets and a place for everything. Best of all, the house is all on one floor, but has plenty of living area and storage spaces.”
Like many Summerfields West homeowners, the Laughlin’s chose to customize the standard layout of their home, thanks in large part to the affordable base pricing that allows for costs involved with personalization of the floor plan, as Carole continued. “We customized the master bath by removing the large soaking tub and replacing it with the shower. We also added a vanity and a large linen closet. After we moved in, we changed some of the light fixtures, customized the fireplace with brick and had back steps built to match our front porch with a shingled roof over them. We did hardwood flooring in the living room and hallway but decided on wide plank wood vinyl for the kitchen and dining room because I cook a lot. Everyone thinks they are real hard floors, anyway! Of course, we couldn’t have done all of this if the house wasn’t so reasonably priced in the first place.”
To get the most out of Summerfields West’s serene location, the Laughlin’s opted for a home site that backs up to open spaces, ensuring ultimate privacy and tranquility. “Unlike our old house that had a home right behind us, the property we are on makes it feel like living out in the country, yet we’re actually very convenient to shopping, restaurants, parks, golf courses, Philadelphia, everything we want and need,” she explained. “Plus, when the clubhouse is completed, we’ll be able to walk to it and see the swimming pool right from our backyard.”
The couple also takes advantage of the community’s many onsite activities as well as trips. I participate in the book club and do crafts. Mike and I both play cards. The Recreation Center serves as the gathering place for residents as the clubhouse is being built.
The Laughlin’s are emblematic of the active, fun-loving and value-conscious homeowners who call Summerfields West home, where strong sales have necessitated the ground breaking of the community’s Phase II, featuring 21 new home sites.
“This community is nothing short of unbelievable,” said Carole. “The people are friendly and caring, our house is everything we wanted and more. We love the whole atmosphere at Summerfields West and feel very comfortable and safe here.”