Live worry-free at Realife Cooperative of Phalen Village

If you’re age 55 or older and looking for a comfortable, welcoming community close to a multitude of services and amenities, you may have found your new home at Realife Cooperative of Phalen Village.

The cooperative offers an array of common areas for members to enjoy as well as secured entrances, accommodations for pets, van transportation, free laundry facilities, a heated garage and car wash, and much more — all within walking distance of many conveniences such as Cub Foods, Lake Phalen and the Phalen Golf Course, tennis courts and the Bruce Vento walking and biking trail.

Best of all, as “shareholders” of the cooperative, members receive all the tax benefits of homeownership without having to worry about any of the maintenance.

Brad and Eileen Johnson moved in to their unit in July 2014, and are fully enjoying their new home.

“We made a good move,” Brad says. “It is like an oasis.”

“Move as soon as you can,” Eileen adds, echoing Resident Services Manager Debbie Setering’s sentiment of encouraging seniors to move when they can, not when they must.

“It’s OK to sell your home and enjoy co-op living,” Setering says. “It’s very important for couples to move to a co-op together — that way, if something happens to one spouse, they’re amidst friends and family, and their kids don’t have to worry about a parent living alone in a single-family home.

“The difference between being here and living alone is like night and day.”

Opportunities to socialize abound at Realife. Between card games and bingo in the cooperative’s library, Social Hour in the Fireside Room, monthly catered dinners and 24/7 fresh, free coffee in the great room, residents will find a multitude of activities to keep in touch with friends and neighbors.

The Johnsons moved to be closer to their daughter, who lives 5 minutes away, and the two guest rooms at Realife allow their son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren to visit from Chicago without having to stay in an expensive hotel room miles away.

“The guest rooms are available for a very reasonable price. $30 — you can’t beat that,” Brad says.

Recently, the Johnsons hosted an 80th birthday party for Eileen’s brother, taking advantage of the facility’s great room, which residents can reserve at no charge. The room has ample tables and seating, and features a kitchen area with a refrigerator, dishwasher and serving space.

How early do some people move into Realife? Eileen points out several residents still work, and love the fact their free time is now truly free — from having to maintain a home and lawn.

Brad Steen and Lori Schleis moved to Realife to be closer to Lori’s office. The two say they realized they weren’t really enjoying their former single-family home; they were just spending a lot of time working on it.

Perennial travelers, the two also enjoy the benefits of cooperative living when going on vacation for the winter. No longer do they have to arrange for snow removal, pet care or holding mail. At Realife, they can fill out a form, lock the door and head to the airport. Staff takes care of the rest.

Setering says many residents find themselves wishing they had made the change sooner.

“People say, ‘We should have moved here 20 years ago.’”


Realife Cooperative of Phalen Village

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