Ahead of the Game. A real life Durham depositor’s experience

In early August, the last few boxes were sealed, and the moving company drove away with their things, heading to the new apartment where they will stay until RiverWoods Durham is built. Diane Riley stopped at the end of the driveway to the home she and husband Chet lived in and raised their daughters in for 49 years.  Looking back at the house, “I cried…”, said Diane.  “And then I moved on.”

One week later, as Diane drove by her old home, she had a much different sentiment.  She looked over at it and thought, “those poor people who live there now…they have this huge house to care for.”

The Riley’s now live in an apartment in Exeter and couldn’t be happier.  They went from over 3,000 sq. ft. to 1,100 sq. ft.  For 3 months before the move, Diane and Chet would wake up by 6am and work on their daily to-do list – sorting through their possessions, figuring out what to keep, what to sell, what to donate, and what to bring to the transfer station.

They gave some furniture to their daughters, then had a huge garage sale with the proceeds going to the Pan-Mass Challenge, a 2-day bike ride to benefit Dana Farber Cancer Research.  With a barn on their property, there was a lot to get rid of.  They had the help of an auction company to sell some items they didn’t have the resources to sell on their own, including 30-40 bottles of alcohol stored in the basement dating back to their parents’ generation.

Now that they have simplified, she said they are enjoying life so much.  “It’s fun to live in a new place, and it’s easy. We’re on one floor now, we’ve minimized, and it’s just great!”

Diane and Chet are slowly unpacking all the boxes and settling into their new home. The apartment is nice and quiet, and they have a balcony with a view.  The people who live there are very nice, and they have get-togethers in the building like card games and pot luck dinners.

Diane’s final words of advice for other future residents of RiverWoods Durham would be this – start the packing process early, at least 6 months in advance if you can.  Make a check list for each day and you can get through it all.  “It’s a good decision to do this, and don’t look back!”

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