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Downsizing your life

I see Professor Althouse is moving out of her large, four-bathroom house* and into a downtown Madison condo. Lot of that going on these days, apparently; older folks with empty nests shedding the house and moving closer to work or fun or whatever. That's allegedly what's fueling the condo explosion in Minneapolis, though I think they're going to need another battalion of cops if they really want to make that scene happen. Mr. & Mrs. Middle America don't much like having gang-bangers for neighbors; it's not their idea of acceptable cultural diversity.

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.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 8th, 2006 05:08 am (UTC)
livingcloser to fam my make it difernt
Feb. 8th, 2006 05:22 pm (UTC)
Yeah...I've thought about condos in the Arlington/Alexandria area, but the big problem with most of those is that instead of appreciating like houses (most of the time) they depreciate like cars or doublewides. So I dunno. Have to think about it some more sometime.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )