Downsizing to a Condo – The Move

Things have been quiet this week at Go To Retirement.  We took another step on our downsizing path. We  drove a U-Haul truck up to the Long Branch Lakes condo with some furniture, closed on the sale, and then have been working hard to settle in. Moving is not a fun process but the excitement of trying life in a brand-new 1500 sq.ft. condo took over.

I will post (bore you with) photos of the condo  next week after a lot of our tasks are complete. Our three sons and one significant other are coming up here for Thanksgiving. This will be their first chance to see the completed condo and for one, his first visit to Long Branch Lakes.

We are condo pioneers here. We are the first occupant in the first of what will be 8 buildings, each having 8 condo units. The builder has been fantastic to work with. There are a few projects left inside and outside our unit but work is progressing rapidly.

We are without TV or high-speed internet service. The local provider is a rural cooperative that is having technology problems running and terminating optical fiber to our building. That may get resolved next week.

Meanwhile, because I work so much from home, I found an interim solution. I bought a cellular USB modem on Craigslist for $10 ( a real deal) and then purchased a 30 day, 5 GB mobile broadband data plan from Verizon for $80.  It’s fast and reliable enough that I can get my work done. I may use this strategy for when we travel as well because Verizon also has daily and weekly pre-paid data plans.

Although this will be our smallest residence since I was in law school, it doesn’t feel cramped. I think part of that sensation is because we are part of a 5,000 acre, low density development with thousands of acres of woods, trails, pastures, and lakes. If we want space, we just walk out the front door. Our two black labs are surely enjoying that space.

I can’t say we are true downsizers yet because we still own (and will use) our larger home back in Nashville. If our experiences here are what we expect then I anticipate that the “big” house will be on the market sometime in the next three years.

Do any of you have some tips for us as we begin this condo/downsizing experiment?


  1. says

    We did the real downsizing a couple of months ago, moving from a large 5-level split in a so-so neighbourhood to a small 1000-sq-ft bungalow with walkout basement, in a 50+ complex in a really nice neighbourhood. It was the arthritic knees that prompted the move – all those stairs in the split-level!

    I got rid of an incredible amount of “stuff”. My method: on 3 Saturdays, I held what I called “garage non-sales”. I put a bunch of stuff onto the driveway, with big FREE signs everywhere. I posted the events on the local Freecycle site. There was a constant stream of traffic. And a lot of appreciation for the good stuff I was giving away. (I did sell some of the more valuable items.)

    My reason for the giveaway? My experience with garage sales or classified ads is that they take a lot of time for fairly little return – especially since the Freecycle phenomenon took hold. Because now people don’t even want to pay ten cents on the dollar any more.

    My new house is in a peaceful location with lots of trees and close to a huge natural park with many walking/biking trails.

    And the best part, given that we’ve just had the first major snowstorm of the season (I live in Canada), is that SOMEONE ELSE SHOVELS THE SNOW!!! Priceless!

    But back to the downsizing concept. So far, after two months in the new place, I find that I don’t really miss the things that I eliminated.

    And the lack of clutter adds to the serenity of my surroundings.

    I love it!

  2. says

    Try Out Condo Living: Spending a month or two in a condo setting is a great way to do a trial run at condo living. You can get a feel for having yard done through the Home Owners Association, having a pool without spending the cash to build one and sharing common space with quiet neighbors. At the same time get the feel for downsizing before the trauma of packing up all the life mementos. Return to your home with new information about whether or not to make the move down the street to condos in your home town or across the country to be closer to family. It can be a new adventure and a welcome change to nickel/diming house maintenance costs. Look at the condo option with new eyes and an adventurous spirit. Try it; you may like it. See the link to see senior-friendly condos in Palm Springs, CA

  3. says

    We moved to condo and it still has been quite an adjustment. It’s so hard when the kids and grandkids are over – we truly feel like we are on top of one another. Cleaning – I couldn’t be happier. My husband does not like the move but he is one that hates change and only thinks of himself anyway. I feel safer – knowing people are so close. Mostly it is good; I’m happier. But still an adjustment.

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