The big question is ...
I have given this some thought. If you know me personally, you know I love lists. Here is my list of criteria for our search - in pretty much the order of importance:
- Stay in Howard County where there is an excellent hospital, ideally stay in the city of Columbia where we have lived for 43 years, and if all the stars align correctly, remain in our current neighborhood where we have lived for 31 years. Guess you could say we have history here. :-) Thankfully we have two lovely condo developments close to us that fall comfortably within bullet #1.
- Buy down - meaning, buy at about 80% or less of the current value of our town house. Although that narrows our choices, there are options in that range.
- Two bedrooms and two bathrooms. At a minimum a full and a half bath - 2 toilets! At our age, waiting to use the toilet is not realistic - at least not without a change of pants (ha!). Just say'en.
- No interior steps. It is amazing how many units have steps within the condo. We might have to take 5 or 6 steps to get to our front door, but lack of steps inside the condo is non-negotiable. After living with 49 steps in total, I think we can do 6 to the front door.
- Square footage should be between 1000-1200 square feet. If I was single, I could go smaller, but two people need more space - especially two people who have been married for 47 years. If you have been married that long you know exactly what I am talking about!
- Walking distance to a grocery store. Most couples share driving duties. There is a main driver and a back up driver. Well, our main driver, my husband, stopped driving 10 years ago - and our back up driver, me, is getting older by the minute. Just to be safe, close access to basic necessities is important.
- No top floor condos for me - even if there is an elevator. I'd like to think I could jump from a burning building and have a chance of surviving. :-) Meant as a joke, but at the same time I am very serious. So a second or third floor condo is preferred. An elevator building is required for a third floor condo.
- I am on the fence in getting a first floor condo - but I am trying to keep an open mind. I live in a city, a safe city mostly, but crime happens even in safe places.
- I am not interested in a 55+ plus community. I enjoy living around a variety of people of different ages and backgrounds. Besides, those 55+ communities are more expensive than we can afford.
- And finally, no condo fixer-uppers! My husband and I are degrading into fixer-uppers. We don't have to live in one!
So that is my top 10. Will I get all 10? Chances are against it.
I have spent considerable time checking out online properties. The real-estate listings today are wonderful because they provide pictures and details without ever leaving your living room. That search has resulted in exactly one property that meets all 10 criteria. Only one out of hundreds. Amazing. I must be too picky. Of course every day is a new day in the real-estate world. Who knows that will be listed tomorrow.
Next week we will see the one condo that fits our needs ... if it is still available!
Oh ... and today is my birthday!!
Happy Birthday to me.
Guess I will find out who actually reads to the end of my wordy contributions
to the blog-sphere!