Personal Posts

10 Reasons I’m Tired Of Condo Living

Matt and I have lived in our condo for almost six years.  (It’ll be six years in July.)  Until recently, I’ve been perfectly fine with it.

I’ve actually liked that I have a tiny place (at only 834 square feet) and don’t have lots of rooms that I don’t even use, but still have to clean.

I have LOVED that I don’t have a yard to maintain.

I’m comforted by the fact that all of the exterior stuff is someone else’s responsibility, and I don’t have to pay anything for it.  If the roof is damaged during a thunderstorm, I don’t have the responsibility to repair it.

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You get the idea.  There really are some great advantages to owning a condo, and for the last almost-six years, I’ve been focusing on all of those positives, but lately…about the last month…the negatives have started outweighing the positives.  I want a house so badly I can taste it.  I spend time online looking at houses.  I dream about houses.  The thought consumes my mind each and every day.

So why have I all-of-a sudden become disillusioned by condo living?  I’ve made a list.  (By the way, I don’t want this list to come across as complaining.  It’s more like I’m sharing with you my “pros and cons” balance sheet that helped me make the decision that I’m over condo living.  The positives are above.  The negatives are below.)

1.  I don’t like having a bike rack outside my front door.

For almost six years, I’ve looked at this thing every time I walk to and from my front door.  I look at it when I sit at the table in my breakfast room working on my computer.  It’s an eyesore, and it’s right outside my window.

I was standing just outside my front door to take that picture.  Yes, it’s that close.  And throughout each year, it gets filled with bikes that are forgotten, left there when a student moves out.  Then it gets rusty, the tires get flat, and it becomes an even uglier eyesore.  I’d love to be able to walk out my front door and NOT have to see a bike rack.

2.  I want some privacy.

In the almost-six years that Matt and I have lived here, I could count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen other people use the patio area outside of our condo.  In fact, to be specific, I’ve seen only two other people use it in six years.  So I thought that this year, I’d spruce it up a bit, and we’d actually get some enjoyment out of it.

I thought that it would be almost like our own little private patio, since nobody…NOBODY…ever uses it.

Well, it turns out that if you put something pretty and useful there, people will come…like moths to a flame.  And unfortunately, I’ve learned something about myself.  I’m stingy.  It’s true.  I’m not proud of it.  It’s just a fact.  I don’t want people who I don’t know sitting on my chairs, walking on my rug, and leaning on my pillows.  I know that sounds awful.  I’m just being honest.

But I can’t tell them not to use it, because that patio isn’t mine.  As a condo owner, I have no ownership of any specific outside area.  Plus, I don’t like to be rude.  If I were to put my stinginess on one side of a scale, and my desire to not be rude on the other side of the scale, my desire to not be rude would win out.  Not by much.  But enough to matter.

But even if my stinginess won out, and I wanted to tell people to stay away, I just can’t.  That patio space is public space that can be used by anyone who lives here.  I have no right to tell people to stay away.

I just want my own backyard, my own patio, where I can put my own furniture, pillows, rug, gardens, etc.  That way I have full control over who visits my patio and enjoys my stuff.

3.  I want a real garden.

My elevated garden beds were the best I could do since I live in a place where I don’t own any outdoor space.  But I want my own area, hidden from prying eyes by a nice, high fence…in my own back yard.

Watering my gardens is such a pain.  In this whole building, there’s only one outdoor water spigot.  It’s about 65 feet from my front door.  Can you see it in this picture?  Of course not.  It’s too tiny.  But it’s at the end of that arrow.

So each time I want to water my garden, I have to roll my water hose all the way down there and hook up the host.  To make it worse, that spigot is right outside someone’s window.

And then I have to drag the hose across the lawn and throw the sprayer over the hedges.  Then I walk around the hedges, grab the sprayer, pull the hose to give me some slack, and then water my gardens.

When I’m done, I throw the sprayer back over the hedges, walk around to grab it, and then walk it back to the spigot and roll up my hose.

This inconvenience…just to water my garden…is really starting to frustrate me.  Even more frustrating is the fact that there used to be a water spigot right outside my front door, and for some reason, it was removed at some point before we bought our condo.  I’d sure love to have that put back!!

4.  I desperately need a garage, or a storage building, or a workshop, or all of those things.

Right now, if I need to work on a project that can’t be done inside (e.g., sanding, spray painting, painting with oil-based paint, etc.), I have to drag my project, my tools, and my work table outside my front door and work on the sidewalk.

In addition to this not being an ideal work space, I also hate how everything gets messy and dusty, and my front door gets easily banged up because I’m constantly lugging power tools like my miter saw in and out of the door.

I just want my own garage…and workshop…and storage building.

5.  I can’t stand not having curb appeal…and having no control over it.

The building I live in has absolutely no curb appeal.  In fact, that’s an understatement.  The outside of the building is just flat out UGLY.  In fact, when Matt and I were looking at condos, the first time we drove up to this building, I almost told him to turn away just because the building was so ugly and drab.

But I kept my mouth shut.  I figured since we were there, and we had scheduled an appointment to see it, we might as well look at the condo.  Plus, I was kind of curious about how they looked inside anyway.

So we went in, and almost immediately I forgot about the drab outside.  The condo we looked at was owned by a Baylor University professor, who was living there with his wife.  They had created a beautiful, comfortable home, and I realized that these condos do actually have potential.  We ended up purchasing a different condo with the same floor plan.

But even though the interiors have great potential (and I’m still working on mine), I’m ready for something that actually looks pretty on the outside as well.

6.  I want to have input…or actually, full control…over the landscaping.

While it’s very nice to not be responsible for any outside stuff…landscaping, yard work, exterior maintenance…there’s also a down side to that.  For example, I have to live with hedges that look like this…

…and like this…

…along with the dying grass that nobody does anything about.

And then there’s this monstrosity…

What the heck is that?!  Is there anyone who actually thinks that looks good?  It’s like a shrub that got so overgrown that it’s now a tree, but they keep cutting it like it’s a little tiny shrub.  I’ve been so tempted to borrow a chain saw and cut the thing down.  It’s just ridiculous.

If I have a house, I can always hire gardeners and lawn maintenance people, but I’m definitely ready to be in full control of what plants are planted, and how they’re taken care of.  No crazy overgrown bush trees with chili bowl haircuts.

7.  I want to be able to go into my garage or out my back door to throw out my garbage.

I know that sounds strange, but if you live in a house, you know the convenience of having your big garbage cans in your garage, or perhaps in a dedicated area outside your back door.  Then once a week, you roll your garbage cans out to the end of the driveway.

Well, I guess the positive point about living in a condo is that I don’t have the responsibility of remembering to roll my garbage cans out to the street once a week.  The negative point is that when I do want to throw out a bag of trash, I have to drag it all the way to the end of this corridor…

…and then about 30 more feet to the dumpster.

And I hate having a dumpster right there by a main entrance.  Talk about no curb appeal!!!  There are specific times of the year (when students are moving in for the fall semester, or moving out for the summer) when that dumpster overflows and garbage gets piled all around the dumpster.  Yeah…pretty.

I don’t want the word “dumpster” to be a part of my regular vocabulary anymore.  I’m ready for normal trash cans, perhaps the big, nice ones provided by the city, that I can keep close and wheel out once a week.

8.  I don’t like being “connected” to trashy neighbors.

Does that sound too mean?  I don’t care.  It’s true.

I know that when you live in a house, there’s always the possibility that your neighbors won’t take care of their house, and things will fall into disrepair.  But it’s one thing when that person is your neighbor living in a separate house (at least visitors know it’s “the neighbors” and not you).  But it’s something altogether different when your neighbor’s disrepair is actually connected to your home.

I’m tired having eyesores like this connected to the same building in which I live.

Screens that are torn and never repaired.  Screen frames that are bent and mangled.  It’s ridiculous.  How does this even happen…on the SECOND FLOOR?

And their trashiness makes me look trashy.  If I’m going to look trashy, I want it to be of my own making…not because of someone else.

I want a house where I have full control over the repairs, so that I don’t have to look at (and be connected to) eyesores like this for months and years on end.

8.  I want to live somewhere where constant advertising isn’t necessary.

I understand that most of the condo owners rent out their condos, and they (or their property manager) need to be able to advertise that there are vacancies.  But I’m too old to have to look at stuff like this every time I drive up to my home.

And then there are the rent / lease / sale signs that are a constant throughout the year, every year.  When you live in a complex that has about 128 condos, it stands to reason that there will always be condos that are empty, so there will always be signs.

I want a house…where the “For Sale” sign can be removed permanently once I sign the papers and take ownership.

 

8.  I want my mailbox close…with no key required.

It’s basically the same issue as with the dumpster.  But to get my mail, I have to walk down that long corridor…

…and then turn to the right and walk about 70 more feet.

Then I have to wrestle with my tiny key in the rusty keyhole to get my mail out.

I know that seems like a small issue, but it’s definitely on the “con” side of my pros and cons list.  I want my own mailbox, at the end of my own sidewalk, and I don’t want to have to use a key to get my mail out.

 

10.  I hate satellite dishes.

Allowing satellite dishes in a condo complex with at least 128 condos is a bit different from one homeowner having one satellite dish on their home.

These things are everywhere…in the grass, attached to the building, on the roof.  There’s absolutely no consistency to how they’re installed.  They dish company just comes out and sticks them anywhere they can find a space for it.  I absolutely hate them.

 

So those are my top ten reasons.  There are many more.  But suffice it to say that I’m done with condo living.  I’ve completely over it.  I want my own home.  I don’t even want anything fancy, and if you know me at all, then you know it absolutely must be a fixer upper.  I want to be able to design it my own way.

Unfortunately, Matt and I aren’t in a position where we can buy a house just yet.  But we’re both feeling incredibly motivated to save up a downpayment so that we can make this happen.  Perhaps at this time next year, I’ll be in my own little home, with my own patio, and my own backyard where I have my own gardens that I water with a hose that’s attached to my own water spigot, and my own garbage cans in my own garage, and my own mailbox at the end of my own sidewalk.

I’m so ready, and feeling so restless, I don’t even know how I’ll be able to wait.   But I have no choice.



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66 Comments

  • Reply To This Comment
    TheThinkingMom
    May 31, 2012 at 11:08 am

    I completely agree! We are eagerly anticipating being able to purchase our own home someday 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment
    Ellen
    May 31, 2012 at 11:09 am

    Ahh! Kristi! There are so many totally cute, old (i.e. needing some DIY Blogger/Decorator love), charming and *affordable* houses in our neighborhood of Waco! When you get around to thinking about moving more seriously, let me know!

    • Reply To This Comment
      Kristi Linauer
      May 31, 2012 at 11:20 am

      Ellen, your area of town is probably EXACTLY where we would be looking, too. I’ve been looking at realtor.com and there are a few really cute, older homes that I would LOVE to get my hands on. I definitely want something on the smaller side. Who knows…we might end up being neighbors! 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment
    Brooke
    May 31, 2012 at 11:15 am

    Yeah, totally don’t blame you for any of those things! It would make me miserable too. Good luck saving up and house hunting!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Deb Donner
    May 31, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Sounds like it’s time to become a finisher, get the place on the market and move!!! You know what’s involved~~ do you want it bad enough?? Blessings!!

    • Reply To This Comment
      Kristi Linauer
      May 31, 2012 at 11:22 am

      You’re absolutely right, Deb! In fact, as soon as I posted this, I told Matt almost the exact same thing. The time to finish projects around here is NOW…rather then waiting until we’re ready to put it on the market and then getting stressed out about how much there is to do.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Virginia
    May 31, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Ah! Kristi! I totally feel ya on that one! Living in our condo before we moved into our current house was just awful! I was so stir crazy after being there for 5 years. The things you listed are the EXACT things that drove me nuts! I hope ya’ll are able to make the dream a reality soon! Hugs!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Western Warmth
    May 31, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    I hear you loud and clear. I remember that feeling distinctly! It makes the homeownership that much sweeter, when you’ve really really hungered for it. Wishing you the best!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Michelle R.
    May 31, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    The house next to me is available. I would LOVE to be your neighbor! It doesn’t quite fall into the older fixer upper though. Hope you are able to find your dream home soon.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Heidi Ferguson
    May 31, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    I want to write a post like this. I’ve been living in small apartments with my family for the last 6 years and we have 3 kids now! We have the same issue with the dumpster and our mailbox is either a walk with stroller or get in the car and drive there. Our assigned parking space is also quite far away so we just park in the uncovered (which with the sun in AZ wreaks havoc on our cars.) We have three kids in a 2 bdrm apt and I want to scream when I think about how cramped we are. But there is blessed, blessed news. We are moving! Not into our own house, but into a much bigger place with tons more space. Good luck to you–I feel your pain!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Heather
    May 31, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Every single reason you listed is the same reason I have for HATING my apartment.

    Oh and the fact that I HATE having used carpet is another reason. SICK

  • Reply To This Comment
    Diane Mansil
    May 31, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Don’t forget to look on Craigslist, ebay classifieds and ebay itself. Also look for a local website such as this one for my part of the world: http://www.northwestmissouri.com – sites like these are great for finding the diamond in the rough that won’t be spotlighted on realtor.com.

    When I was house hunting in Missouri and living in Nebraska, I used google earth and “walked around” houses and entire neighborhoods to see what they were like. While I did end up buying a house that was only advertised in a local paper, and was located in a small town that you couldn’t ‘walk around’, it did give me some direction. And it really doesn’t hurt to start looking now, even if you’re not planning to move until next year.

    Oh, and do not forget to check the HUD website and the website for the city you’re considering. If you want a really old house, go to historicproperties.com and check out what they have. If I had the money, I’d buy this!:
    http://www.historicproperties.com/detail.asp?detail_key=ncmob006

    Start making a list of what you must have and what you can live without and it will help you to find the right place. My criteria was mostly price-driven as I was paying cash for whatever I got and I didn’t have a lot of cash. I love my house but there are things I would have done differently had I been in less of a hurry and had a less outside influence. Still, it’s mine and I’m going to make it the best house it can be.

    • Reply To This Comment
      Dolly
      May 31, 2012 at 9:48 pm

      I love the house you would buy, lovely! And thank you for that link, I love looking at all the gorgeous houses!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Christine
    May 31, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    On a completely unrelated note I.found this article that may intrest you. I though of you when I read it since you did that article on that blog website and the fact that you use pinterest often http://ddkportraits.com/2012/02/why-i-tearfully-deleted-my-pinterest-inspiration-boards/

  • Reply To This Comment
    Bev
    May 31, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    I hear you! We have had it both ways in our married life and I love having a yard to complain about mowing 😉 If anyone can do it, it will be you and Matt!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Julie S
    May 31, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    I just have to say that your condo complex looks like my freshman college dorm. I think you should get a cute little ole house too 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment
    Eileen
    May 31, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    First, I totally get everything you said. Second, don’t cut down the tree….big trouble with the board!! I know you were only semi-serious!! Third, and this is to everyone, interest rates are being artificially held to the lowest in Years so If you can move, do it now!! Make it happen. If you can’t , then get on the board so you have some clout. I lived in a gorgeous co-op for 17 years and went door to door at election time to collect proxies because I didn’t like the color they were painting the halls. I ended up vice prez and had some say. Every one of your reasons is so valid and I hope you find your dream home in the near future.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Emily
    May 31, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    I can relate to ALL of your issues. My husband and I live in a mobile home park. It was the only thing we could afford after getting married. My biggest issue is not having my own yard and being so close to our neighbors. A couple of months ago I planted some flowers outside our door and found my neighbor watering the plants. I felt like he invaded my privacy because I wanted to water and take care of the plants myself. I know it’s silly, but it is frustrating. Hopefully, you can move soon. I know I’m ready too!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Christine Leahy
    May 31, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    Girl I’ve had this same list!!!! In a weird way I’m glad I’m not the only one who obsesses over the “one day”. One thing I dream about is natural sunlight….seriously, I imagine a house where REAL light in my office, my bedroom, and my bathroom. Right now I have 3 windows…. Is it possible to have seasonal affective disorder in the summer!? LOL!

    Hang in there!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Mary
    May 31, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    I agree completely with what you’ve said. I was a life-long renter–always said I’d NEVER buy a house. Why buy when I can rent and have someone else worry about all those house maintanence stuff? Until one day, I couldn’t stand all the limitations–two dusty layers of carpeting in the bedroom, white walls, can’t plant flowers outside, can’t do a garden, no privacy…well, you get the idea.

    I used a loan program through the USDA Rural Development that didn’t require the 20% down payment (http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/RD_Loans.html) and found a house that’s perfect for me and my son. Contrary to what some might think, we’re not “rural” at all–I live outside of a fairly large city and have city water & sewer (two of my main requests!), neighbors (it’s a wonderful neighborhood), and everything that I wanted. Yes, I have a garden and not a white wall in my entire house!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Sue
    May 31, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Kristi- I have been reading your blog for a few months. You have always exuded such happiness and contentment.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Dolly
    May 31, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    Hi! I’ve been subscribed to your blog for a while and love reading your posts! I completely understand where your coming from, I lived in an apartment building all of my life (Brooklyn, NY)…until 4 years ago when I bought my own house. I LOVE owning my own house, and so will you! For me, all of the work and expenses are totally worth it. I hope you don’t mind, but I have one little suggestion for you. You said you would like a little house. Little is perfectly fine, my house isn’t very large (2,000 square feet), but try to get as much house (rooms, basement, garage, etc) for your money in an area/block that you LOVE. It took me 6 years of endless searching (and had 2 kids in that time) to find my perfect house. It certainly wasn’t the biggest or newest, but it had so many rooms, closets, and potential. I picked it, because it had 11 rooms, a full stand-up basement, and a big 2 car garage. It was also cheaper than most others I saw but it was a fixer-upper with a small property. So what I’m suggesting is, if you can, try getting the most rooms, storage and closet space you can because I find I always seem to need more space…a den, an office, a guest room, etc. I find that if the rooms are a managable size, more rooms are so much better (and it’s not that bad cleaning – some rooms just stay clean for so long because messes are made in the main living areas so the small rooms don’t need heavy duty cleaning as often). So many people I know got house with big rooms, but just a few (around 6 rooms) and a huge property – so they have way too much room outside, and not enough inside. And the area I chose was not the fanciest, but so convenient, friendly neighbors, manageable property, tons of parking spots, central to everything but also tucked away on a block with non-existent traffic. My husband and I had totally different dreams when it came to our dream house. He wanted huge rooms, huge property, all the way in the middle of no man’s land to have privacy, not to mention higher taxes. Now that we’ve been here for a while, he’s so happy with my choice (wink wink) – his commute is so much better then so many others he works with, the property is inexpensive to maintain, he has his own den, his own garage, basement, storage rooms and the list goes on. One thing I always remembered when I was looking was, you can change almost everything about a house, except for it’s location, so I really had to pass up many nice houses because of their not so nice location (tons of traffic, no parking, inconvient, etc.) So, I didn’t mean to write a novel here, and like I said I hope you don’t mind my little bit of advice. I know you’re going to find a wonderful home, the sweet home of your dreams!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Diane | An Extraordinary Day
    May 31, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    Isn’t it funny how all of a sudden it’s like you put on a different pair of glasses and see life differently? Maybe your discontent if from God. He works in amazing ways. Maybe it’s time to finish all those projects you just talked about, pray hard, take a step of faith and put your little place on the market. You never know. 😀

  • Reply To This Comment
    Jill Wilhelm
    May 31, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    I completely agree! We moved into our condo about a month ago. I love certain things about it, BUT it does have it’s downfalls! Yesterday I took it upon myself to trim the bushes and the rose bushes. The grass always looks nice, but for some reason, nobody attends to the things that could make it all look better! I’m glad that nobody complained about me doing that! I also have this 80 year old neighbor (very sweet) with demensia, who seems to have a crush on my husband lol. She come over at all time of the day (and night) and will stay for hours! She came over today and stayed for 3 hours and when she realized that my husband had come home….came back! No privacy is right!! I also have been used to having a work space, and now I feel like I can’t do any projects! The other night I “attemped” to build a table top, but was told that the hammer was too loud..UGH! The first week I was here, I was informed by the neighborhood gossip guy, that the couple across the street are crackheads, the guy next to him is a drunk….so don’t be surprised if you see him passed out in the front lawn some mornings, and that his dad is the president of the association, and that “he is a real dickhead!” HAHA! Then another neighbor felt the need to let me know that that guy is sleeping with the lady that live at the end of my building. I know to make sure I don’t talk to them about anything I want left private, right?! Other than that, I love it 😉

  • Reply To This Comment
    Jean
    May 31, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    That takes me back to all of the military housing we lived in for 20 years. Hated it for all the same reasons and more. Godspeed on getting your own home!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Anne @diy projects
    June 1, 2012 at 3:38 am

    Oh, my! So many reasons to get your own house. We live in a house. We bought a really old place and I’ve done it up slowly. I tried to do each job on a budget and have shared all of the before and after on my diy blog.

    We lived in a flat in Paris when we first married. Now, 3 kids later, a flat is no longer an option. I love having my own house. I would hate all those things you mentioned. I can understand why you do. Not being able to water your plants properly (I love my garden), or having those for rent signs outside your window would drive me completely nuts.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Jayne
    June 1, 2012 at 6:04 am

    I feel your pain! You would be amazed how motivation to own can really get you to save a down payment, good luck, can’t wait to see how you decorate a whole house!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Little Bit
    June 1, 2012 at 6:18 am

    oh good post! As the work on keeping up my house weighs me down sometimes, I’ve considered if I could live in a condo and be happy… it’d be such a change from how I live now. But the points you make are valid, some being thoughts I’ve wondered if they’d bug me… after reading your post, I think they would bug me too, I’m too independent. Thanks for sharing. Little Bit

    • Reply To This Comment
      Sickandtired
      December 8, 2012 at 2:19 pm

      Do not ever move into a condo community. They will dictate what you do, your exterior improvementss, evennifmtheybare improvements, they will not like it. Because it does not ” fit in” with the over growth and mismanagement.

      I’m just saying. Been there. Only move into a condo if you do not care about the landscaping and maintenance of your building. Because, sweetheart, let me tell you one thing you can take home to the bank. THEY DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOUR LIVING CONDITIONS. If you are the kind of person whom doesn’t care, then go for it. But I warn you, will sincerere intent, that if you wish to live in a decent, respectable community that cares about the exterior and landscape,
      tread VERY carefully. Buy a single family home. Condos will abuse you fiscally and make you sorry the daft you moved in. Assessment after assessment.

      DO NOT DO IT. NO CONDO. BUY A FREE STANDING HOUSE. IM JUST SAYING. DO YOUR HOMEWORK.

      • Reply To This Comment
        James
        September 18, 2013 at 2:15 am

        That is your opinion but there are many who like condos and naturally there are rules or condos wouldn’t be fit to live in if someone wanted to paint their door purple or some other lame thing and have no regard for neighbors.
        Not all condos are the same , some are very well run.
        Condos have reserve funds that 20% of the monthly maintenance fees go to so you don’t have special assessments when a large repair comes.
        Learn about how condos work before posting ignorant rants on here.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Pam
    June 1, 2012 at 8:12 am

    The things you don’t like about your condo building are unique to your complex.. I live in a beautifully landscaped high-rise condo at the beach. No bikes, no torn screens, private 48’x7′ balcony overlooking Gulf of Mexico, trash chute on each floor with recycling bins under the building, no signs (and no commercial vehicles with advertising allowed on grounds), no satellite dishes (cable & internet are included in monthly maintenance fees) & lovely pool and common picnic area if residents want to use it. However, I agree with you about having space to work on projects…it’s a challenge!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Make It Happen Monday…Starting Next Week
    June 1, 2012 at 11:54 am

    […] yesterday I shared my top ten reasons that I’m finished with condo living. I’m done. I’ve over it. I want a […]

  • Reply To This Comment
    Josee
    June 8, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    I wish you well, and that the house dream comes true soon! Thanks for sharing your great ideas!

  • Reply To This Comment
    PlasticHouseHater
    June 19, 2012 at 3:32 am

    That place doesn’t look all that terrible. The alternating vertical brick & window “stripes” have a goofy early-’70s look about them; they were obviously trying to save the expense of lintels above above the windows. It does look a little like a dorm or a former chain-hotel. But compared to some of the vinyl-sided firetraps built recently, it looks almost dignified. I don’t see why the condo association doesn’t crack down on the signs and satellite dishes; my condo strictly prohibits any signs and limits dishes to the rear-slope of each roof. Small signs on reasonably-sized business vehicles are quietly ignored, though. I’ve always wondered why each dish company can’t install one dish with a splitter to send the correct signals to all the customers in a given building. I don’t know if I’d even notice the bent screen, though I have screens like that (with little clips to keep them from falling out) and they are a PIA. That one had probably suffered one too many clumsy attempts to take it out for cleaning. My pet peeve around here is people who replace their inward-opening doors with ones that open outwards, without adding a closer; nothing looks worse than a door hanging open in the wind. But condo-living has its advantages; I HATE yard work and love being able to bring trash to the dumpster any time without having to worry about animals or making the weekly collection deadline. For now, I can live with the downsides.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Malissa
    July 3, 2012 at 10:32 am

    I can understand why you do not wish to live so closely with others, but I find most of your complaints to be selfish. You knew what you were getting into before you moved in. By the way, you front door looks terrible. If I was a neighbor, I would hate to see your tools and the mess/dust left by same outside your door. If you want others to be considerate of you – BE CONSIDERATE OF THEM.

    You should never have moved into a condominum if you wish to have a garden. Maybe you should rethink your attitude and find it in your heart to be less judgemental and harsh concerning the landscaping. If you want to be in control, run for the Board. If your not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Anon
    December 20, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    Actually, I’m tired of condo living because of folks like you. You sound like the type of person who files complaints incessantly. Why do you let petty things bug you? Instead of seething when someone sits in one of your chairs that you put in a public space (God forbid), why not hang out with them?

    Your misanthropic behavior is going to drive your boyfriend into the welcoming arms of another woman. Seriously. Think beyond the patio and the signage. Attitude is everything.

    Please, if anyone is thinking about buying a condo that isn’t mine… don’t. Really, just don’t. You have to deal with so much BS—complaints against you, the HOA—you will never be comfortable in your own home.

    I can’t wait to sell my condo and I don’t care if I don’t make anything off of it.

    • Reply To This Comment
      Kristi Linauer
      December 20, 2012 at 8:05 pm

      I’ve never once filed a complaint against a neighbor, and I do spend time in the courtyard with my neighbors and get along with them wonderfully. I also don’t have a boyfriend. I have a HUSBAND who’s ready to move probably more than I am. You have no idea who I am, so feel free to move along.

      It’s sad that so many people today enjoy hiding behind anonymity online just so that they can leave a trail of complaints and rude comments everywhere they go.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Anna M. Dela Cruz aka: Anna Banana
    January 23, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    Hi there Kristi,
    Well, right off the bat…I’ll say, yes I’m a Real Estate Agent for Exit Realty Granada in California. The first thing I have to say is it is fine to vent, put your likes and dislikes out there because there are so many stages we all go in life. When I was young, I was an apt. dweller. I didn’t have a job that would allow me to save tons of money and I wanted a car more than a house and I was young. I could move anywhere. Then I got older, got married, kids – I wanted a house. The mindset was different for me, I needed security and a place I could raise my kids and they could know that it was their home, their rooms, they had special places they could be in and not be bothered. Then I started selling Real Estate and they were grown and they left and wow, I took a leap and moved into an apt. bldg again. Such a difference but it went along with my needs and wants. I didn’t want a house to tie me down, I wanted to have the freedom of going anywhere, anytime…such as I did in my younger days. Travel with my hubby and go places while we can. My children are apt. people and my daughter just moved into a condo…we’ll see how that one plays out…but it may be something she’ll do for one to who knows how many years. People’s lives change, their needs and wants change so this is the time you are seeing that…more powere to you! The Real Estate market is the best it can be at this point…tons of lenders with fantastic interest rates and lower deals on homes. Do your research and get a Real Estate Agent/Broker to help you. There is no charge for their help and you’ll have a better chance to get a home than you think. Good luck to you and if you ever need to talk, just e-mail me. I do go by Anna Banana….:)

    • Reply To This Comment
      dvz
      May 26, 2013 at 5:38 am

      Hey Anna, what’s with the ellipsis instead of regular punctuation, and more importantly, what the hell is your point?

  • Reply To This Comment
    MSP
    February 23, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    Your point and the point of the somewhat insulting Anon are both valid – some people feel their neighbors are slobs, others feel the neighbors are too picky and complain too much. I’m not taking sides on either, but after owning a condo for 4 years (after owning a home for a few decades), I’m selling it and moving back to a house. I just like to have control over my own space – ok, I mostly agree with your points, but I know of excessive complainers as well…

  • Reply To This Comment
    kris
    March 1, 2013 at 7:23 am

    Just ended up on this site after searching google about leaving my condo door open, after a security guard just told me to close my door (it was open because my GF was coming in with some heavy items in a few mins)

    Anyway, sounds like you’ve been living in a condo for too long.

    It is nice at first, for many reasons, everything is taken care of, but as the years go by and your family grows etc, condos just became a royal pain in the butt, they are also quite expensive with the monthly dues.

    I’ve spent the last 8 years or so travelling and living around the world as a online entreprenuer, i spent years living on a island, (boracay island) right on the beach and ive never been happier.
    After that i’ve lived in mostly condos since then, i loved them at first but now it feels like every single month we are discovering new limitations that are stopping us from what we need or want to do. e.g. had to stop one of my small online businesses because i wasn’t allowed to bring up a handheld box every few days in the elevator!

    Im not saying that these limitations are wrong, they are for the good of the community, i get that. But they’re annoying. So now i have house fever too, i want my own place, im sick of living in a condo and completely understand your frustrations 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment
    Anon
    March 27, 2013 at 8:42 am

    Yeah, that tree is pretty bad. I’d get on the HOA board and see if you can get some influence.

  • Reply To This Comment
    julie
    April 8, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    Hope you get your house, Kristi. You so deserve it. You will be in heaven. (Can’t wait to read your blog posts about it!) And thank you for making me appreciate my little house and garden. I am going through a divorce and am very fortunate that I am able to stay in my house. I’m in the middle of changing it from “our” home to MY home. (might even start a blog about this!) Wishing you all the best.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Debby
    September 9, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    At 58 years old, we sold our home of 27 years and purchased a penthouse condo not even a mile away from our old house. We left a five bedroom colonial with an in ground pool that backed up to a park. It was the home we raised our two children in. Our new condo is approximately the same square footage as our home was (excluding basement and sunroom), but all on one floor. We decorated our condo in a contemporary style which meant I had to sell and/or give all our traditional pieces from our house, along with all of my treasured accessories. While I love the way our completely renovated, newly decorated, one floor condo turned out, I very much regret leaving my house. I am now on the seventh floor which means I can only hope that there is a cart by one of the entryways when I return from the grocery store ( I purchased my own cart but when I’m lugging in beverages, water…or heavy items, I really need the grocery store carts the association provides because they are much more sturdy), which there usually is not. They are supposed to be returned for others to use but most people leave them outside their doors hoping some poor desperate recent shopper will search the halls and take it off their hands but you’re never really sure if they are done with it so instead, I end up making multiple trips carrying my bags up. Couldn’t agree more with the whole garbage set-up- our incinerator is at the opposite end of our building , so again, I’m lugging and trying to fit alarge garbage bag into a mediumsize square. Our mail is also at the opposite end of our building only it is in the basement and if something is too large to fit in our box, half the time that means a trip to the post office. Our maintenance fees are apps. $1200. a month, but I hear that when something outside needs repair, we are either on our own or assessed. My list could continue but to suffice to say, I really regret the move, of course the men love it-it removes any and all responsibility that homeowners must assume, but if you’re the woman, your life just gets harder. We’ll give it another year-there is probably no way we’ll break even if we decide to move because we went state of the art with everything-travertine flooring, Viking appliances( which by the way, aren’t all they’re cracked up to be!) quartz countertops,expensive vanities, sinks…but at some point it comes down to being happy to wake up everyday. If you get your home and I do hope you do, never leave it- just live in it and love it as I wished I had.

    • Reply To This Comment
      Tom
      September 18, 2013 at 2:05 am

      Those maintenance fees would be enough to send me packing,

      But in regard to the garbage shoot , I wouldn’t want it near my door anyway and being able to get rid of garbage 24/7 now , why would you have a large bag of garbage when you can dump it before it gets too large and not have to wait a week like you did in the house to get rid of it.
      Shop more frequently so you don’t have a huge grocery load and you can use a small cart and not worry about some lazy bugger not returning the building cart.

      Stop using home shopping club and you won’t have large parcels you have to pick up at the post office.

    • Reply To This Comment
      Jason
      July 6, 2014 at 5:01 pm

      This complex may have been sold as condos to individual owners but you can bet few owners actually are living there so in reality it is probably full of renters.
      What were you thinking buying here.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Don
    September 18, 2013 at 12:43 am

    Lived in houses all my life but when I retired at 55 I sold my house and got a nice condo walking distance from everything. I missed the house for a while and that was to be expected as this is very different living but now I travel a lot and when I come home I know my place will be as I left it and not robbed.
    No maintenance to worry about and nothing stops me from buying another house if I want one but I’ve become used to this place now and don’t miss all the upkeep of a house.
    This condo is 3 bedrooms and two four piece baths large outdoor patio and from the 15th floor I can see all over. Quiet building no problems with anything.
    The condo costing less then half of what the house sold for left me with a nice windfall and I have a good pension so for me it was the right call.

    No argument here that a house is the ultimate thing to have but my needs changed and for me , this was the way to go.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Randeep
    October 9, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Not sure why people are going off on the bike rack. People riding bicycles is a good thing, and we should promote bike use. Also, if someone has left an abandoned bike on the rack put a note on it, and if the owner doesn’t take action have a locksmith cut the lock and get rid of it. Not a big deal.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Anthony I. Orenstein
    February 9, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    I have probably done the opposite of most people: lived in an apartment most of my life and then moved into a private house. I think I would blow my brains out if I had to move back into a dump like the one I lived in for 23 years of my life. The place you describe reminds me of the place I used to live in, but you didn’t mention anything about insects or rodents. The place I lived in had both.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Kevin
    March 28, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    I like how you call a low rent apartment complex a condo lol.

    • Reply To This Comment
      Kristi Linauer
      March 28, 2014 at 12:54 pm

      LOL…yeah, silly me. I guess I was thrown off by the fact that the name of the complex has the word “condominiums” in it. And the fact that each unit is individually owned. And the fact that we didn’t sign a rental agreement, but signed a purchase agreement. And the fact that we don’t pay rent, but we pay a mortgage payment each month. And the fact that we pay property tax. And the fact that we pay HOA (that stands for home OWNERS association) fees each month.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Kevin
    April 5, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    Well the jokes on you then I guess because you bought an apt they passed off as a condo.

    • Reply To This Comment
      Kristi Linauer
      April 5, 2014 at 9:25 pm

      con·do·min·i·um
      ˌkändəˈminēəm/
      noun
      noun: condominium; plural noun: condominiums

      1. a building or complex of buildings containing a number of individually owned apartments or houses.

      If you’d like to continue leaving idiotic comments, feel free. I’m always looking for a good laugh.

  • Reply To This Comment
    santa
    May 19, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    No, Kevin is right. Your place was an apartment complex turned into a condominium place. I always tell people to avoid those places when buying a condo.

    • Reply To This Comment
      Kristi Linauer
      May 19, 2014 at 1:02 pm

      How in the heck would you presume to know that information when you live in Connecticut and this building is in Texas? That’s not something you can tell by the way a building looks. And NO!!! THESE WERE NEVER APARTMENTS!!! I have a copy of the original condominium bylaws, written WHEN THE BUILDING WAS BUILT in the 80s. It was always, from the beginning, a CONDO.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Daki
    June 24, 2014 at 11:20 am

    To be honest when I first read this I thought, “wow, she sounds really spoiled”. BUT everything’s about perspective. I guessed I’ve actually lives in some actual crappy places (not the worst mind you, but things you probably definitely couldn’t handle). So reading this I was like get a grip! lol

    But on the other hand I get it. My husband and I were living in a terrible apartment complex about a year ago and I wanted to get out SO bad (I’m talking mice, roaches, TERRIBLE management, fights in the parking lot bad, etc.). So we got so desperate that we moved in with my folks (yes it was that bad) for a few months and are finally staying in a nice condo (renting). It’s beautiful on the inside and out, really clean, decent neighbors, etc. We look forward to moving into a house in a few years, but for now we had it so bad that this is like lifestyle of the rich and famous! lo

    The only real complaint I have so far is thin walls and creaky floors. So I guess that falls under privacy (and annoyances). So yeah, I think it’s good that you vented. And I hope you guys were able to move into a place you like (this is my first post I read of yours).

    Oh, but to # 8 (trashy neighbors) you can’t always assume! We just had our windows power washed (the entire condo did), and they tore everyone of our screens. It looks like crap yes but it wasn’t our fault. We told the owner and provided pics so hopefully he fixes it. But yeah…”trashy neighbors” I do get it, but it’s not always what you think. We had someone URINATE in the hallway in our old apartment, that’s TRASHY! lol

  • Reply To This Comment
    Marc
    August 28, 2014 at 8:55 am

    I lived in a condo 7 years, and then bought a house. After 5 years in the house, I’d do anything to get back into a condo. The monetary expense and work of owning a single family home FAR outweighs the small inconveniences of condo/apartment living. Ever dealt with leaking roofs or flooding basements? Not just a little water either, 14 inches. You want the lawn to look nice, but that requires mowing, watering, fertilizer. Gardens require constant upkeep, weeding. Then a tree dies on your property, along comes the digging up roots and $300 to plant a new one. Bees get into the shutters, siding comes loose, window washing, driveway re-sealing, shoveling snow (if you live north). These are just the things you now have to deal with outside, nevermind the larger interior to maintain.

    You mention the neighbors. At least when you close the door to your condo/apt, no one is really in your space unless you open that door. Neighbors can be an even bigger hassle in houses, because now you deal with property lines, people on your lawn, dogs pooping on your grass.

    Then comes the mortgage and property taxes. Lets not even go there, my taxes alone cost 2x what my condo mortgage was.

    I guess all I am trying to suggest here is that I’d consider the above 10 items rather insignificant, considering what you could deal with in a house. This is, of course, my take on it, but just keep in mind what they always say…the grass isn’t always greener.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Bob
    September 13, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    We recently moved from an apartment to a house. It has cost us 10% of the value of this new house in repairs in 18 months of living here. In our case 11k on a $110,000 house. I have an extra 4-8 hours of work every 1 or 2 weeks relative to the condo, and probably doubled my rent in expenses every month, even though my actual mortgage is 700 bucks a month and my apartment was 600. I have very needy neighbors who do things that are far more annoying than anything you have posted about your condo. Think twice before you jump into some HGTV fantasy.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Nila Ridings
    September 6, 2016 at 12:34 am

    I hope I’m reading the blog of someone that no longer lives in a condo and did not buy a home with an HOA.

    I wish the problems you describe with your condo were my problems. I could deal with all of them. Like most people, I did not realize when I bought into an HOA, sometimes called COAs for condo associations, I was signing to take on massive risks. I’ve learned the consequences of these risks now and I’ve lost every dime I’ve worked for all my life. I’m also lost the pigment in my skin to a disease called, Vitiligo caused by the prolonged stress of living in this horrible mess.

    Buying into an HOA means you are signing away your Constitutional Rights. You are becoming business partners with all of your new neighbors in a non-profit corporation. And you are becoming the guarantor for payment on all debts, loans, lawsuits, settlements, liabilities, construction defects, and disaster rebuilds for the entire HOA.

    HOAs and COAs are destroying home ownership in America. They are a scam and nothing more.

    My local newspaper just did a major expose’ on HOAs and it’s well worth reading. This literally is a small example of what HOA home ownership is like. And every HOA is just one vote away from being a nightmare. One vote puts a rogue board member in a position of power to fine, lien, and foreclose on your home! http://www.kansascity.com/news/special-reports/hoa/

    I certainly do hope you are living HOA free today!

  • Reply To This Comment
    sarah
    September 28, 2016 at 11:41 am

    I hate the fact that im always being spied upon by the security guards. You need a card to enter and last week my family was almost not able to come in as the card didn’t work and the security guard gave us hell about whether we really lived here or not.There’s also a big camera in the pool recording everything you do 24 hours. Today a security raised his voice at me because i wear clothes to the pool (just a light shirt and leggins ) as I am an albino person without any pigmentation that needs shielding from the sun and cannot be exposed. I explained my situation and he still didn’t care, im supposed to wear a bikini like everyone else or…what exactly is going to happen? I mean i pay 200 dollars each month for amenities and he is supposed to stay out my damn business because im paying for his salary. I was going to complain about it and another security who rolled his eyes at me when I asked him about how the mail system worked around here as I was new and he acted like I was bothering him. I fucking hate these pricks but lo and behold there’s no phone number or email listed in the official condominium website. This feels like a police state little town where everything you do is wrong and theres no privacy. I lived in a house for 5 but my genius mother decided to sell it and bought two condominiums, now we all want to move to a house again.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Jennifer
    October 17, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    I see this post was made several years ago, I hope you’ve found your way home and enjoying it! We recently sold our condo and used the equity for a down payment on a free standing home. After several months of searching and having our offers declined due to condo sale contingency, we finally found a place. Not quite what I expected, it’s 20 years old and was built very cheaply and pretty boring. We saw potential though and despite having to pay for dry rot repairs the sellers wanted no part of, I think we can work it out and make it a lovely home. All the things on your list but 1 came true for us. We still have to walk down the street and use a key to get our mail, but it’s a small price to pay as we were able to get rid of all the things that annoyed us as a condo owner. We also were stuck with an HOA, but at 1/4 of the monthly dues as the condo and front yard maintenance. We have such a little bit of area out front that they control and I can plant however I wish along the walkway to our door since it doesn’t show from the front. So far they have been helpful and reasonable, unlike the HOA we had with the condo. Anyway, enjoyed reading your post and smiling with the thought that you have perhaps found your home! I don’t think you could still bear all those annoying things about condo living 4 years later!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Jennifer
    October 17, 2016 at 6:32 pm

    Update to my last comment from a few moment’s ago… I looked at your recent posts and see that you did get a house and you are decorating it so beautifully! I can’t wait to see more!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Trudy
    January 10, 2018 at 5:23 pm

    I’m living in a condo, as a renter, and it’s one of the worst experiences of my entire life. My husband and I would love to purchase a detached house of our very own but our city (in Ontario) is becoming so increasingly expensive that home ownership is an impossibility, unless you’re filthy rich. As a result many people are purchasing condos because they’re still considered affordable – but only just barely so, compared to how cheap they used to be.
    I will never be desperate enough to buy a condo, I know too much about the truths behind them, not just from experience but from befriending and speaking with repairmen and certain members of the property management team. I’ve been told and shown that our condo was not built properly, the kitchen floors are now rotting away because the back door to the patio was never properly installed or sealed (and this is in a new “luxury” condo that’s only five years old). There is a draft in our upstairs bedroom where they clearly didn’t put any insulation. There are no firewalls separating the majority of the units here, and you can hear everything the neighbors are doing because, unsurprisingly, they are a bunch of self centred dickheads who play loud club music. They also park in our reserved space and leave dog crap piled up around our patio, which I can’t use anyway because our trailer trash neighbor to the left sits on her arse all day chain smoking out there.
    I always laugh when I hear people argue that condo living is a lifestyle, the truth is that there isn’t a condo lifestyle after all, it’s just a bunch of people with incredibly low standards of living. I’m glad to know that you’ve found yourself a better place. I can only hope and pray that we’ll find our own some day.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Maureen
    March 25, 2019 at 11:52 am

    My husband and I are seniors who live in a detached home in Calgary but last month I had a pet sitting assignment in a senior’s condo in B.C. It was located across the road from the hospital and somehow I must have picked up a C Diff bacteria off the elevators, door handles or in the hallways. I figure that the senior population going back and forth to the hospital across the road may have carried the disease to to the condo. It was fancy inside, all glass and crystal but poor air flow, very few windows or doors to open and none that allowed an air flow throughout (probably due to air conditioning). I could hear the upstairs neighbour walking across the floor every morning and every time the toilet was flushed or bathtub used. Once, she banged on my door and asked me to lower the TV which was already so low I couldn’t hear it. The little dog I had to take up and down the elevator four times a day to the back door to relieve himself, bumping into other dog owners along the way, fighting to keep the dogs apart and had to walk him constantly to keep him from getting bored. The road out in front was so busy the little dog was afraid to walk along the sidewalk there. I was so bored I didn’t know what to do with myself, but at home there’s always the garden, the yard, the garage – lots to keep busy with. I was sick the whole time I was there and so glad to get back home where I could open the back door, open a window, walk in and out and breathe some fresh air and recover from what could have been a deadly disease. I am recovering now but I am flat out scared of condo living and call them “apartments in the sky” and will avoid them from this point on. The same logic applies to senior residences where common space is shared with so many others. They are a breeding ground for disease. A townhouse with a separate entrance and small back yard or a duplex might be better, depending on who you get for neighbours.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Maureen
    March 25, 2019 at 2:16 pm

    I would like to add additionally that the problem of disease in high rise senior’s condos has not been fully addressed. In these places you are frequently sharing common areas and especially in the senior population, many are under medical care with antibiotics. It is the same problem you encounter in hospital environments and daycare centres for children (something that I have experience with as a worker). Any place that large groups of people congregate heightens the dangers of disease transmission. One way of solving this housing dilemma is to live in ground level townhouses with separate entries, duplexes, or ground floor apartments in houses. This would space people out so that fewer areas would have to be shared and bring us more into the natural way of living close to grass and trees instead of living in these “cages in the sky”. It would appear that we are the victims of developers who capitalize on people to make a profit. Even sharing your home with a boarder poses a risk but smaller groups, smaller risk. Something to think about.

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