This just in: I’m a condo person. And I think I always will be.
I’ll probably get a house someday, but not any time soon.
Living in a condo is all about the lifestyle, and I’m enjoying my life right now…
I’ve come a long way since my pre-real-estate days.
I’m about to write a blog post about how I never want to leave the condo lifestyle, yet I’ll admit that before I got into real estate, I could be heard asking, “Who the hell would ever live in a condo?”
I couldn’t understand.
The thought of paying maintenance fees was a joke, to a 22-year-old version of me.
I used to say, “It’s like paying rent on a property you own!”
Even when I looked at the numbers – subtracting potential gas, electric, and water bills from the fees, I didn’t understand why people paid what was left over.
Now, things are different.
I’ve can’t fathom life outside of a condominium no matter how hard I try.
I’ve seen some of my friends take that next step in life and trade in their condo for a house, but I’m just not ready. I’ve been writing on my blog for two years now how I’m still searching for that “perfect” condo to move up to, and how I’m the pickiest buyer ever and no Realtor would ever work with me. Thankfully, I am a Realtor, but I’m thinking about dumping myself as a client…
It’s not just that I’ve grown accustomed to the condo lifestyle, but rather I see the value in it.
Let me explain by providing an example that is completely unrelated…
I have a fridge next to my desk at work, where I keep case after case of bottled water in my attempts to slowly kill planet earth, among other things…
Last week, I found the most amazing thing at Sobey’s: two-packs of hard-boiled, peeled, Omega-3 eggs! For $0.99!
I stocked up, and now it makes for a quick little protein-shot while I’m at my desk.
A colleague of mine said, “Wow, what a waste of money! How about you boil your own eggs?” I thought the value in Sobeys’ Omega-3’s was quite obvious, but I broke it down for her.
A 12-pack of eggs costs $2.99, and when you boil a dozen, you likely have two crack/burst/break on you, resulting in ten hard boiled eggs, at a cost of $0.30 each.
It takes you 10-15 minutes to boil the eggs, then you have to cool them in the fridge before peeling them. I don’t know about you, but I’m about as good at peeling eggs as I am at threading needles, and it takes forever. I always seem to find the one egg that has the shell stuck to it, and I have to pick it off in tiny little pieces. My Dad and I peeled about thirty hard boiled eggs during our summit of Mount Kilimanjaro last summer, and I never want to do it again. My Dad always seemed to have the knack for it, whereas I just gave up and ate the shell. We were living in filth and hadn’t changed our clothes in days – what can a little egshell do to you!?!?!
So at the risk of going WAY off on a tangent now, let me say that for an additional $0.19 per egg to NOT have to boil, cool, peel, and transport each egg, I’m okay with the upcharge from Sobey’s. My fridge at work is full of these quaint 2-packs, and will continue to be for some time.
So what’s the point?
Well, I think that condo living can be more expensive than owning a home, but the additional cost goes beyond convenience. It’s not about pampering yourself or being spoiled – it’s about a lifestyle that helps you in other areas of your world.
I work at least six days per week, and I usually get home after 8PM. I’m committed to this life, for now, and thus I think that condominium living is perfect for me.
Every morning, I take the elevator down to my parking spot, which remains free of rain, snow, and bird-crap. I’ve never had my car freeze on me, nor have I had to wipe snow off it.
I’ve never worried about the roof of my home, because I don’t have a roof. I don’t have to worry about the age of the shingles, the eavestroughs (cleaning and maintaining them), or about the pin-sized hole in the roof that is leaking, causing moisture to build up, and resulting in mold in the attic. I don’t have an attic…
I’ve never once raked leaves since I”ve been in my condo, nor have I ever had to mow the lawn.
I don’t have to clear the walkway of snow, and I don’t have to worry about old ladies slipping on the sidewalk and suing me.
I’ve yet to have my pipes freeze, my hot water tank break down, or my furnace malfunction. My condo is a cool 69-degrees in the summer (remember – I’m trying to kill planet earth), and I’m always warm in the winter – even when I open the door for some fresh air and crank up the heat in the process. It’s free! 🙂
I have a roommate; several, in fact. They are all men, and they look after me. These men work at the front desk downstairs, and they receive my many packages from UPS and Canada Post. When I buy 60 Titelist PRO-V1 golf balls on www.knetgolf.com, my concierge accepts the package for me, and calls me to let me know that the season has started.
I have a butler – but he calls himself a “property manager.” When I have a problem, I let him know, and he immediately fixes it.
When my neighbour turns her bedroom into a marijuana grow-op, I anonymously call the police, and they show up and bust her. Okay, fine – it wasn’t me, but I kind of wish it was…
Every day is garbage day in my condo.
When I was living in a house, the raccoons always got into my garbage. It wasn’t even worth the battle. I may as well have just fed them like old men feed birds in the park. They made an absolute mess, and I had to get up at 6:30AM on garbage day to take out the trash, rather than take it out the night before like when we were kids.
During the summer of 2003, I caught 33 raccoons in my trap (all taken across the Leaside bridge in the trunk of my car, and humanely let out on the football field of East York Collegiate Institute). But they just kept coming and coming until finally I admitted defeat.
There are no raccoons in my condo, but if they do get into the garbage downstairs, I don’t have to clean it up.
In fact, the garbage has nothing to do with me.
There is a giant hole in the wall called “the garbage chute” where I can throw away anything that I desire. There are no “garbage tags” in my building, and no limitations from the City of Toronto on when/what/how I dispose of my disposables.
If I want something gone, it’s gone, and I have immediate gratification. There’s no “every second Thursday” in this building. The garbage chute is a ten foot walk, and it takes absolutely anything.
If something won’t ft in the garbage chute, there’s a room downstairs where I can store it until “bulk garbage day.” I’m talking immediate gratification.
There is an on-site cleaning team in my building daily. It’s not a make-work project – they genuinely feel the need to clean the railings in the underground parking garage at least three times per week. I dare you to find a single flake of dirt.
If I rode horses (which I don’t), I’m sure I could come home with muddy boots and trek through the halls of my building, and by morning, the carpet would be as clean as a show-jumper’s jersey.
The only responsibility I have is to maintain the square footage inside my own condo unit, and based on my extreme obsessive-compulsive nature, I like to vacuum at least six times per week.
The thought of having to shovel snow, rake leaves, trap raccoons, open/close/maintain the pool, store and sort garbage, maintain the roof, heating/cooling/plumbing/electrical, mow grass, landscape, hand out candy on Halloween, have my house egged on Halloween, and then hand out posion-apples the following Halloween – all of this is just too much to handle during my current position in life.
I’m having trouble crossing “buy light bulbs” off my current to-do list. The thought of owning and maintaining a home is daunting.
I love the thought of owning a home years down the road when I’m married with kids, and when my kids are old enough to do all the chores for me.
But at 31-years-old, during my “earning years” when I’m a slave to the suit-and-tie, I absolutely love the condo life, and what’s more is I need it.
I don’t mind paying a $0.19 per egg premium if it means I don’t have to buy it, boil it, cool it, peel it, and transport it.
So paying a $250 – $300 per month premium to live in my condo with few responsibilities and all the convenience I can handle is worth every penny.
I probably won’t change my mind on this for……well,……at least a few years…