Kendal at Oberlin residents are basically a happy bunch who love where they live.
And what’s not to love. Oberlin is a vibrant intergenerational community, with an eclectic downtown, a bike trail, a private liberal arts college offering concerts and an art museum, and much more. The city is just a short drive to downtown Cleveland, with arts, sports and lakefront venues, and a world-renowned medical center.
That said, wouldn’t it be fun to visit a city like Philadelphia or Washington, D.C., and do so while living in a nearby home for free?
What is the “Home Swap” Program?
Starting this year, that question is being posed to residents who live in Oberlin and the other 10 Kendal life plan communities. The “Home Swap” program allows residents to temporarily swap their home with another resident for a mutually agreed upon time.
“Home Swap” differs from the “Try It” program, which gives potential residents an opportunity to experience firsthand what it is like to live in a particular community before deciding on a move.
The “Home Swap” is exclusively for people living in Kendal communities. Using an online bulletin board website, residents set-up an account and post information about their home, along with travel interests and dates, and then search swap requests of other residents.
Oberlin Couple Plans to “Home Swap”
Oberlin couple Priscilla and Ira Steinberg plans to home swap. They have a daughter in Chicago, home to Kendal’s Admiral at the Lake, and family members who live near the Lathrop Communities in Massachusetts. But visiting relatives is only half the appeal, Priscilla says.
“I’d like to see what other Kendal communities are like,” she says, adding, “Nothing can be as great as Oberlin.”
Over the past few months representatives from The Kendal Corporation visited communities to introduce the program to residents. “What about a 3-way swap?” asked an Oberlin resident, who attended the introduction in the fall.
“If you can set it up, go for it,” organizers told her.
Residents agree to the Terms of Participation, such as purchasing meals at community dining rooms, but residents work out many other details as well, such as use of a car or watering plants. Kendal communities are located in Kennett Square (PA), Hanover (NH), Oberlin and Granville (OH), Ithaca and Sleepy Hollow (NY), Lexington (VA), Easthampton and Southampton (MA), Chicago (IL), and Mitchellsville (MD – near Washington, DC). The organization is working out the details for Kendal at Home members to participate if they choose to do so.
Molly Kavanaugh frequently wrote about Kendal at Oberlin for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, where she was a reporter for 16 years.