The whole thing makes sense to me except for the moving downtown part, because it's essentially what I did when I sold the house. Houses take a lot of work to maintain or a lot of money, and sometimes they need both. If you don't have the handyman skills then you will pay a sizable stack of zoobs to have the professionals come in and do the necessary repairs and improvements, and if you can't do that then the house will slowly decay around you until something major fails and you have to move out. It's a lot easier to just call the landlord.
This is not exactly a new thing. We've had residential hotels at various points on the income scale for some time, and it was perhaps inevitable that some clever fellow would see the appeal of allowing people to purchase their rooms instead of renting them. Unfortunately, a lot of condo and co-op buildings do seem to combine the worst features of apartment living with the evil conformist aspects of a planned community. I don't need to worry about it for a few years anyway.
*I don't quite get her shame at having four bathrooms. It makes her house sound like quite the party palace - but not for $800K, not in Madison.