Mark Twain

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do ...
Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Where to go ...

The big question is ... 


Where are we to go?

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:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!  
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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!


  1. Happy Birthday....I read to the end! I agree about retirement properties. The place we might possibly move to in the future is built to similar standards but has a wider range of neighbours.

  2. I don't think any steps should be considered. When I moved my mother several years ago (she has since passed away), we went for a ground floor condo because she always like having a yard. Having the ground floor allowed her to feel like she still had an individual home and she could go sit outside and be able to chat with neighbors out walking dogs. Lowes and Home Depot are filled with gadgets for home safety. I never worried about someone breaking into her home.

    1. One of our preferred communities has steps in all but a handful of the units. There are steps even with their 1st floor unit. Steps have been kind to us over 30 years and left us both with strong legs. But 49 steps are too many. I guess someday 7-8 steps will be too many. But I won't rule out a unit if there are a few steps - and it hit all the other items on my list. It does seem like there would be a work around regarding safety of first floor units. Thanks for the ideas.

  3. Happy Birthday! Hope you have a wonderful day!

    Your pending changes are certainly a plateful....I like lists too. Home is where you hang your hat and the right place is out there.

    No matter how long you've lived in one place and then move, those moments and memories are yours. They pack easily and come with you.

    Good luck!

  4. Happy Birthday, Elaine! And happy new home hunting! Good Luck!

    1. Thanks, Carolyn. The numbers of birthdays are starting to get pretty large, but still it is better than the alternative, for sure.

  5. Happy Birthday Elaine!! I wish you many, many more. Your list is quite detailed. I hope you find most of those when you finally light on the perfect place!

  6. A very Happy Birthday to you Elaine. : )

  7. What do you mean – I always read every word! Hope you had a wonderful birthday. Maybe that ONE property is meant to be YOUR property. ;-)

  8. Happy Birthday and Happy house hunting.

  9. Happy Birthday, and good luck finding your new home. I have just started reading your blog,it is most enjoyable .

  10. First Happy Belated Birthday, Elaine.

    I wish you luck with finding everything on your list. I had a similar list and couldn't find anything that fit all my wants. In the end I choose a property with only one of my wants, the garden space. I miss the community I lived in for twenty-five years, some days more than I care to admit. I too considered senior complexes because they have select handicap apartments completely designed for wheelchairs but I just couldn't see myself there. I too enjoy diversity and will be sad if the situation ever forces that choice on me. I've got my fingers crossed for you.


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