The real estate market is crazy right now. So naturally, I had to take advantage of it. I had been living in my home for over thirty years and owed very little of the mortgage I had often refinanced to help with raising the kids and cover related home-renovation costs.
It was time for a change, and as we all know, change brings on fear. Where would I go? I knew I would do well selling my home, but I was also well aware that buying another home would leave me with little cash to live on. I did my due-diligence, and alongside my real estate agent, investigated many areas known for being less expensive. Then it was suggested I look at condominiums.
I had to be honest with myself: the thought of living in a condo was unknown. Many people have many opinons. The first thing people tell you is that you will miss the garden, that you’ll be waiting a bit for an elevator, that it’s noisy.
I decided to check it out for myself.
Fast forward to today: In my new condo. I was able to cash out a good amount of equity with the sale of my home, and in turn paid almost less than half to purchase the condo.
I have no mortgage now, and it feels wonderful! I have cash in my pocket, I have been able to invest, I have money in the bank and am using a financial planner to help manage it.
I no longer need a car because my condo is walkable to everything – even the bus stop is a 30 second walk. My building is five years old, the condo is quiet as can be, yet, I have many friendly neighbours who say ‘hello’ daily. Chessie (my cat) and I are no longer alone.
Do I miss my garden? At first it was that dreaded change that was strange to get used to… Making sure the sprinkler was on, weeds were out, grass was mowed, and in the winter, well, you know. In my new home I have a beautiful balcony with planters and hanging baskets, and where I am even growing my own potatoes in a bucket! It’s all I need. So no, I don’t miss my garden and if I ever did, I’d visit my daughter and help her weed (can’t see that happening though!)
My home doesn’t take much to clean now. I don’t have to worry about the electrical, if I must change the furnace filter or fret about my tax bill coming in. Security means nobody will rob me, and I can lock the door and take off in a whim to golf in Florida (not that I golf, but you get the picture).
I am not rich by any means, but I am happy.
Why am I sharing this with you? Because this change in homes saved my life, and if it can help you, it’s all worth it. Too often we are prisoners of those four brick walls, and in our latter years we don’t see past them. It’s just a house.
Is it time to make a change? Don’t let the years pass you by without at least considering it. You owe it to yourself. •
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“Cathy” is a regular reader of Silver & Gold. To send her questions or notes, please contact her through us: firstname.lastname@example.org
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