Staying Put–Again

For several years I’ve vacillated over whether to move to a condo where I won’t have to be responsible for snow, lawn and house maintenance, or stay in the family home I’ve been in 54 years.

The arguments for moving seemed obvious, especially this year when I had to replace a leaking roof, redo the paved driveway, replace 30-year-old carpet and constantly call trusty repairmen to attend to HV/AC, plumbing and electrical problems.

Seemed like an expensive, tiresome year and I yearned for the carefree life in a condo that I thought would probably cost about the same as keeping up this place

Then I met Barbara. She made that transition when her husband died several years ago, moving to a two bedroom, spacious condo in an upscale, gated community.

“I have a mortgage because my accountant said it would help with write-offs, and a monthly assessment. I’m very upset because the assessment was $200 when I move in and now its $600. Also, we’re getting a special assessment next year for new roofs on all the buildings.”

I thought that was all, until she added, “Then my refrigerator broke, flooding the kitchen, and I had to replace the entire floor. That was covered by insurance, but the maintenance man saw my workmen, and reported it to the building management company which threatened me with a lawsuit because I didn’t ask their permission first. I hate them and I hate the maintenance guy.”

Well, stuff happens. But then she got going again: “Then the lady upstairs had a broken toilet that dripped down through my ceiling and ruined the paint on all the walls and ceiling. This time I did ask management about the insured repairs, and they insisted they only had to repair the area over the tub and I argued that the whole room was a mess. The inspectors came out and agreed with me and it’s finally settled. But I spent two weeks with each incident on the phone and waiting around for workmen.”

So that convinced me to stay put, because I believe the same problems follow us wherever we go. And this way my family can still enjoy holiday dinners around the same big old table we’ve been eating and laughing around for 54 years.

Did you have a downsizing experience different from Barbara?