We went to look at a condo today, and I know that several friends are going to have many detailed questions about it, so I thought I'd answer them here:
First of all there are some really practical questions that we need to have answered before we can even contemplate moving forward regarding the pet policy, condo fees, etc.
We really liked the space a LOT. It is very bright and open and the living spaces are good-sized. There are some pretty significant changes we'd like to make but I think we all really liked the overall feel of the place.
- really open feel w/ 2 story ceiling on the main level and overlooking upstairs hallway
- lots of windows, great light, even in the afternoon on a cloudy day!
- BIG 2 car garage with pull in spot for extra parking (currently we have a 1 car garage that is too small to park in and is used for storage - no big deal when the weather's nice but SUCKS in the winter.)
- Nice big entry way and big closet for coats/shoes/etc. (this is a big frustration in current house, particularly in winter)
- no yard maintenance!
- still walkable to our neighborhood park, school, etc.
- enough of a front yard for the boys to play outside
- definitely more practical living space than we currently have
- choosing a less expensive home means more saving for retirement, travel, etc.
- 1st floor master is small (not a major issue, we don't need a big bedroom) but it has 2 TINY closets. Master bath is the only bath on main level, though it does have a door from entry way. The bathroom is set up strangely, and I would want to open it up and remodel.
- No designated dining space, although I *think* we could open up the kitchen to the living room and create one.
- Kitchen is somewhat dated, although it is better than what we have now.
- Scott thinks it makes more sense for us to use one of the upstairs bedrooms, but that would mean sharing a bathroom with the kids. Also, in my head one of the reasons this place was so great was that the boys could have the upstairs to themselves. The upstairs bathroom is also set up very strangely and again I would want to remodel eventually.
- Would want to paint and put in new carpeting throughout the condo.
- Potential restrictions/downfalls of living in a shared community.
There would be a bit more remodeling than I had anticipated in order to get it where we want it. However, we could potentially purchase the condo for as much as 30-40,000 LESS than our current home is worth and could comfortably mortgage a significant amount more than that for improvements. So, all of the updating is financially feasable. It's more a question of whether or not we want to take on that much work.
I really liked the idea of a 1st floor master with the boys having their own living space upstairs. Fisher has already started asking for his own bedroom, and the only other option would be to put him on the main level or down in the extra room in the basement eventually). I dont' really like either of those options. Potentially we could remodel the master suite and make it more workable, but I'm not sure. This is going to be the big question after all the other questions are answered.
Any questions? :)