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June 29, 2016

Bob and Judy Perry greet their visitor in the elegant foyer of their home. A soaring, two-story fireplace warms the entrance, leading to the handsomely appointed main parlor. Floor-to-ceiling windows frame sweeping views of a lovely courtyard, its focal point an oyster shell tabby fireplace and comfortable grouping of chairs for frequent gatherings of friends and family. “We don’t just live in our apartment, we use all of the rooms and spaces,” said Judy, taking in the gorgeous surroundings of Carolina Bay at Autumn Hall. “This is our home.”

Choosing Carolina Bay

The Perrys moved to Wilmington from Westport, Connecticut in 1992, building a more than 3,000-square-foot home in Landfall. “We wanted to scale down as we were getting older,” said Bob. “We also wanted to make that decision on our own, instead of leaving our children to deal with it.” Bob and Judy agreed that, while downsizing can be difficult, once the decision was made, the move was surprisingly easy, even liberating. “Our children took what they wanted and we donated the rest to charity,” said Judy. “I don’t miss our old house one bit.”

The Good Life, Even Better

Judy described their life at Carolina Bay, her voice full of the energy it must take to maintain such a schedule. “Every morning we go to the gym,” she said. “Then I run upstairs to our apartment and change into my bathing suit for water aerobics.” The couple continued to enumerate their activities: tai chi, yoga, bike rides, leading a Bible study, attending concerts, sharing cocktails with neighbors. The list went on and on. Judy pointed out that more than 70% of Carolina Bay’s residents participate in fitness programs. “We don’t act or feel old,” she added. “This place is full of life. There is a real focus on living long and living well.” Bob said having all of their recreational and dining options in the same building as their apartment makes things so convenient. They enjoy all three dining venues regularly, and have been delighted with the quality of the food.

A Caring Community, The Feeling of Family

Carolina Bay residents enjoy the attention of a full staff that includes the administration and managers, plus an activities director, a wellness director, a driver, several chefs and wait staffs, a mixologist and a housekeeping crew. “The staff really does care about the residents,” said Judy. “They are so warm and accommodating.” As a continuing care retirement community (CCRC), Carolina Bay at Autumn Hall provides residential options ranging from independent living to assisted living to skilled nursing care. There is also a rehab center on site, for those who are recovering from illness, injury or surgeries. “It’s reassuring to know that if we need to make a transition at some point, we will not have to leave our home,” said Bob. The single-payment structure of Carolina Bay is another important consideration for the Perrys. “I have never seen my husband so relaxed,” said Judy. “He doesn’t have to worry about paying bills or maintaining our home because everything is included. It’s wonderful.”

Between Here, There and Everywhere

Considering the adage that the three most important considerations in real estate are location, location and location, Carolina Bay is triply blessed. The community of Autumn Hall is a key benefit, with its gorgeous homes, lovely landscaped walking paths, bike trails and parks. Carolina Bay residents also enjoy excellent proximity to Wrightsville Beach, Mayfaire, UNCW and downtown Wilmington. “We are so glad Carolina Bay came along,” summarized Judy. “We’ve heard it called a retirement resort, and that’s exactly what it feels like. Our family loves visiting us here, even the two teenaged grandchildren who live nearby. They call and ask if they can come eat with us.”

Life is sweet here, indeed.

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Carolina Bay at Autumn Hall

630 Carolina Bay Drive
Wilmington, NC 28403


Bradley Creek Health Center

740 Diamond Shoals Road
Wilmington, NC 28403