What is it really like to live at Pringle Creek Community (PCC)?  Does living in an energy efficient home make much difference?  Is the quality of life any better?

I’d been wondering about this when, during  the monthly neighbor meeting, Anna, a relatively recent neighbor, volunteered some thoughts about her experiences living here so far.  I asked her afterward if she’d take some time to share more about her life at PCC so far.  She happily agreed.

Anna decided that she needed to move to the south Salem area in order to be closer to family.  She also wanted to downsize in order to accommodate her desire to actually utilize the space that she has instead of fill vacant home space with more stuff.  Although she originally expected that she’d relocate to a condominium, once she found PCC, she knew she’d found her new home.

fall colors 7        cousteau loop beginning to take shape with six LEED certified houses! copy

While looking to relocate, she had three goals in mind:  1) find a location in south Salem 2) reduce yard maintenance and 3) reduce monthly expenses.

Pringle Creek Community is in the right location for Anna – just three miles south of downtown Salem, near to shopping and many goods and services.  Maintenance needs to both the home and outdoor spaces are much reduced for all residents.  Each home is purposefully built on a smaller footprint giving space to the 12 acres of shared green space that is maintained by the PCC staff.

shared space between homes




Fall view of PH and glasshouses from afar





fall colors 6 PCC street

Anna said that she really enjoys the landscape and property at PCC;  she especially loves the fall colors of the red maples and the ‘gift’ of wildlife that we have here.  In fact, there’s quite a lot of wildlife on our property that she enjoys seeing – wild turkeys, deer, red-tailed hawks to name a few regular visitors. She also appreciates the fact that a number of older, historic buildings were kept when the property was redeveloped.  They add grace and a lot of character to life here at PCC.

They've grown so much!

badminton & chimney




pringle creek community - nature (trees and buildings)

The renovated ‘glasshouses’ or conservancy are both part of that past as well as a community gardening amenity.  Anna noted that she has yet to fully take advantage of this gardening opportunity, although she has shared in the fruit from the orchards – notably the pears!

John Muir Circle-41 glasshouse bounty 4-2014pears

What about her monthly expenses?  Anna is thrilled with the monthly savings offered by reduced energy use.  She admitted that she’s someone who’ll wear extra sweaters rather than turn up the heat, BUT, with the low cost to heat her home, she said that she’s looking forward to a warmer home this winter season. Anna’s house is heated and cooled with our large geothermal system which uses the earth’s constant temperature to either increase the temperature in the home or decrease it.  The only cost to the homeowner is the power to run the water furnace which exchanges the heat.

Another benefit that Anna mentioned was the floorplan and layout of her home. Anna wanted to downsize.  Anna mentioned that she doesn’t like having extra square footage that she doesn’t use and even now she doesn’t use her extra bedroom/office so much.Her home is 1,026 square feet, smaller than her previous house.  She is thrilled with how well designed her home is.  There is plenty of natural light decreasing her need for switching on lights, but also the layout makes her home pleasant and comfortable.

0429-cottage-2 Passive rendering11x17 (1)@0 pringle creek community - homes (fern cottage)









Anna also shared her appreciation of her neighbors.  They are very amiable and approachable while they also respect each other’s privacy.  Anna said that she doesn’t feel as though she needs to hide away but rather welcomes the opportunities to say hello and visit or to simply wave in greeting while sitting out on her porch.

Paco & Wilson's giggling 2014 Earth Day family birthday outside