Home > I have a dream...

I have a dream...

February 24th, 2013 at 08:58 pm

I want to moveÖ

A lot of you already know that. Iím looking to downsize a bit from the 1650 square feet I have now into a somewhat smaller space, and I also want to eliminate my exterior maintenance duties.

Being a real estate copywriter, looking at real estate is sort of a hobby of mine. I like to keep abreast of whatís available and in which direction prices are headed. Iíve been looking at condos for literally years now, but have yet to find more than one complex, really, that seems suited to what Iím looking for: a 2-bedroom, preferably ranch unit of about 1400 sf with central air, gas heat and some sort of private outdoor space where I can still garden and hang out. Newer construction not more than 30 years old with updated kitchen and baths. In the neighborhood of $250K.

Iíve also considered a small, updated ranch with a small yard but they seem hard to find around these parts. I think for builders, a big house = big profits, so most ranches around here seem dark and outdated.

Today I was researching and writing about the town of Madison, Connecticut for a real estate sales brochure Iím doing. Madison is a small, leafy suburban town, fairly affluent, and in those ways is pretty similar to where I live now. But itís also on the shoreline and is where Hammonasset State Park is, the stateís largest, with 2 miles of coastline as well as great biking trails (all flat, unlike much of the state), boardwalks, a nature museum and lots of saltwater inlets to put in a kayak or canoe. Iíve always been a big outdoorsy person and so this would really agree with me.

Madison has also been on my mind of late becus The Author mentioned that she and her husband might rent a house there for a year or so while they try to sell their house here. She loves Hammonasset, and in fact we were supposed to go bike-riding there last summer but never did.

Anyway, I went on a realtor website and did some quick research. To my surprise, I found several condo complexes in Madison that may be just what I was looking for: DETACHED CONDOS. They seemed to have a lot of outdoor privacy and open space. Not only that, they were within walking distance to town and beaches PERFECT. I love the idea of being able to walk to town without having to jump into my car all the time. And they were in my price range or a bit higher, around $279K.

My area here only has one complex Iím aware of that has detached condos but it has a reputation for not being well-built. I know there are tons of them on the Jersey shore because my dadís ex-significant other bought one of them. It basically looks like a small single family house with a small yard.

So, hereís the plan. As soon as the spring weather breaks, I may contact a realtor and spend a half day with them showing me some of the different complexes, to see if they look as good in person as they do online. I would also plan a few excursions on my own, or maybe with The Author, to scope things out in town generally.

If I moved, I could take my freelance work with me, of course, for it goes where I go. But Iíd still need some kind of regular work. I figure Iíd be no worse off than where I am now, which in my opinion is NOT a reasonable (under an hour) commute to any of the stateís urban jobs centers like Hartford, New Haven or Stamford. Madison is much closer to New Haven. Iíd have to give up my $12/hr proofreading job, but that job is very unimportant to me anyway. Surely I could find something to take its place.

My mother, of course, would be very upset with me. My relationship with her has often been difficult. She is kind of a needy person and I often feel Iím still attached to the umbilical cord with her. You might call me a terrible daughter, but the thought of moving over an hour away where she could no longer call me daily is sort of exhilarating. I am concerned about caregiving issues; my sister is nearby but never gets involved with my mother, but dang nab it, for once I would like to make a life decision based on whatís best for ME.

If I did end up moving, I probably would not inform my mother until things were fairly well finalized, for I know she would give me a lot of grief about it and make me feel guilty for leaving her all alone.
I am aware that Madison is also further away from my dad, who will drive 3 hours and back in a single day just to visit with me and my sister where we are now; but in reality, he will be 80 this spring and I donít think he has many years of driving left, given his vision problems.

I donít feel Iíd be leaving a lot of friends behind. My favorite neighbors behind me are putting their house on the market next month and moving to Tennessee; The Author and her family are moving to Delaware; and while I have a lot of acquaintances, I donít feel I have many other close friends right here in town anyway.

Moving there would sort of feel like starting over for me, for I donít know a soul in Madison. Hopefully, I will have learned some lessons from when I moved all by myself to Springfield, Vermont to accept a job as a news reporter. Springfield was a small, family-oriented farm community and the only friends I ever made there were other reporters who, like myself, were hired from out-of-state. Despite strong introvert inclinations, I would need to push outside my comfort zone to get involved in local groups and get to know people.

Anyway, for the firsts time in my new home search, I actually feel excited about the possibilities. A move still might not happen for a few more years (it might be better if my older cat passes on before a move) but it will give me more time to make repairs here and wait for further appreciation.

In other newsÖ
Been doing a ton of writing lately. My boss at the proofreading job asked me to write 2 blog posts related to college graduation (my employer makes/sells high falutiní diploma frames, some priced at as much as $250!). So I spent 5 hours and wrote 2 very good ones, one a roundup of 2013 commencement speakers at different schools/universities and the other a look at interesting college commencement traditions. I think sheíll like them.

Then today I did the Madison write-up, which is for a sales brochure for a new condo complex in that town. I also need to do the same kind of write-up for the town of Cheshire. Tomorrow, I have 2 phone interviews to do, one with a developer who blew me off Friday after Iíd left my proofreading job early just to talk to him, and the other with a realtor who can tell me more about the complex.

I also have a test writing assignment for a job I applied for though I donít even know if I should bother since the job didnít specify if it was remote or on-site, and itís located too far away for me to commute.

8 Responses to “I have a dream...”

  1. Jerry Says:

    Well, that is one thing about freelance writing work... it travels with you wherever you go and leads to some insurance of stability (if they are stable gigs, that is). That sounds like an absolutely lovely place, and there is nothing quite like New England. Good luck deciding on what to do!

  2. looking forward Says:

    That sounds very nice. I can tell just through your post that you are excited.

  3. snafu Says:

    I'm surprised that you desire to sell now that you're mortgage free and even prepaid the sewer assessment.

    When you set up an appointment with a realtor, I suggest asking them to bring the list of restrictions for each condo complex you plan to visit. It's helpful know any 'special assessments', HOA fees and their increases since 2008 and what is included.

  4. My English Castle Says:

    Interesting! I can see the attraction of the sea front.

  5. Says:

    Very good idea, Snafu. Thanks.

    I've been wanting to sell for a while. Having no mortgage now doesn't really affect my decision to sell and buy a condo since I would pay cash for the condo with the proceeds from the sale of my house. so I would not be taking on any new debt.

  6. CB in the City Says:

    Sounds like you may have found your niche!

  7. Ima saver Says:

    Sounds wonderful!

  8. starfishy Says:

    thanks for sharing your process. i will most likely go through a similar decision in the next few years. since buying my old house almost 9 years ago, i've dreamed about living in an easier condo instead, but have always been worried about neighbor noise (either through a wall or ceiling). Detached condo - never even crossed my mind!! what a great compromise! i hope you find something that meets your needs. i know that you've wanted to sell your house for years and it would be great if you were able to do that and transition into a new, easier place that you love. good luck!

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