The Fall 2016 issue of Nantucket Today had a wonderful article about the Residences at Sherburne Commons and several of our younger, working professional residents.
Lisa and David Lazarus were living in a house they adored on York Street when they learned last year it had been sold. Their landlord gave them about a year’s notice to find a new place, but it was harder than they thought.
“We loved that place. We looked for an entire year for something suitable, but there was nothing,” said Lisa, 58, director of the Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum. “We had secured a very nice winter rental, so in January, we weren’t too panicked, but we were getting there.”
Then they heard about Sherburne Commons, the elder-living community off South Shore Road purchased out of foreclosure by an island-based nonprofit in 2015 when it was in danger of shutting down, leaving its 40 or so residents in danger of losing their homes.
Under the new owners, however, Sherburne Commons had turned the corner, and was actively marketing its rental homes to working couples 55 and older in addition to retirees. The Lazaruses decided to take a look.
“We were thinking we might have to move off-island, but then I bumped into (former selectman) Bruce Miller, who’s on the board, in the post office, and he said they were opening up rentals to people 55 and older, and it didn’t matter that David had a teenage daughter, who lives with us,” Lisa said. “We took a look around, and decided to do it.”
Today, the Lazaruses couldn’t be happier. They’ve been in their “cottage” – a threebedroom, three-bathroom, two-story home – for about three months, and give Sherburne Commons rave reviews. Their house has two living rooms, a fireplace, a kitchen with state-of-the-art appliances, central air-conditioning and a garage. It is located across the street from the main building, which houses the community’s 32 independentand assisted-living apartments, the dining room and recreation rooms.
“There’s plenty of room for guests. My kids in their 20s come to stay. It’s got great facilities, a little gym, and a wonderful library with a fireplace in the main building. We’re very happy. We feel very lucky to have been made aware of the situation,” Lisa said.
While they do have to participate in the Sherburne Commons meal plan – residents are required to take at least one meal a day from the communal dining room, although they can bring it home – they say the rent is comparable to similar homes on the island, if they could find one, especially when the trash pick-up, maintenance and many of the utilities are factored into the cost.
“It’s probably a little more expensive than a place on Hooper Farm Road, but there is no market for year-round rentals right now. Most significant to us is that you’re not in the imminent danger zone of your house being sold out from under you. That seems to be happening to everyone on the island who rents,” said David, 64, an artist.
“Part of making it work financially is getting rid of the studio rental I had before, but it almost feels like being in an artists’ colony here. It’s very conducive to not having to go out.”
“We have garbage pick-up, the landscaping is taken care of, there’s plowing in the winter, and some of the utilities, not all, are covered, which makes it a little bit more nice,” Lisa added.
Read more about our efforts to increase occupancy rates and the people who live at Sherburne Commons on Nantucket Today Online (click here).