9 Years a Condo Owner

corridorIn July of 2005, I bought a condo in St. Louis.

It was the first time I’d ever owned any form of real estate. I remember looking down my long hallways that first night, moonlight glinting off the floorboards, with a sense of awe. I own this floor. I own these walls. I own that ceiling.

Now 9 years have gone by. I never imagined I would be here for 9 years. The condo was a short-term plan, something to buy and sell within a few years, but things didn’t work out that way. No one could sell a house in 2008 or in the rough years that followed. In 2010, the plan was to sell my place and move to Charlotte with my long-distance girlfriend, but then I realized that I didn’t like her anymore. I then refinanced and settled in for the long haul.

This condo has seen me host 6 roommates: a college friend, a girlfriend, a yoga instructor, an actress, a cousin, and another college friend. Oddly enough, the best experience was probably with the girlfriend–the others were fine, but I greatly prefer living alone. Now there isn’t even space for a roommate since I work at home.

I think I’ve gotten to the point when it’s tough for me to imagine living anywhere else. Which is odd, because my place isn’t that great. It’s functional, but it’s certainly not the dream home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright I assumed I’d live in someday. I guess you just get used to the way things are over time, and you can’t imagine them being different, so different just seems worse.

Have you ever encountered that feeling about a home or anything else? What does it mean?

3 thoughts on “9 Years a Condo Owner”

  1. Every home I’ve ever lived in (or apartment), I’ve learned something about myself and made memories. With my last apartment, I learned what it truly meant to be independent and how to be a good hostess (something I’ve learned I really enjoy), so even though the apartment wasn’t great I was reluctant to pack up everything and move on to a new place– I’m glad I made that decision instead of being complacent and staying at a not so great apartment. I collect memories of experiences that I’ve had in every place I’ve ever lived, and often think about some of the moments that stand out the most and how they helped make me who I am today.

    The feeling of being comfortable even though things aren’t “perfect,” or how you imagined they would be is something that I think a lot of people experience, with housing, jobs, and even in relationships. It’s risky to start fresh with anything, and stepping outside of the familiar comfort zone is a hard decision, especially if things are working, but not ideal/perfect.

    • Katy: I like that perspective about learning from the various places you’ve lived. Do you think the risk of trying something new (in terms of housing) is worth it? How often is it worth it?

      • As a renter, I’d say it’s a good idea to try out different places, but that’s because there is very little risk involved–the worst thing I can think of with renting is signing a lease and being stuck for a year or facing the lease penalties for breaking it early if the place has some major issue that you can’t live with/around. With owning property, I’d say it’s a much bigger risk since there are the financial considerations attached to owning something, and most people would probably have to be able to either sell or rent out the old place before committing to a new one. Unless there are major life changes that require a new home, I’d stick with what’s comfortable and working, although one friend is taking a different approach and has been looking and properties that will match his future plans of having a family.


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