My husband and I finally faced a fact about ourselves: We are too lazy to live in a charming, old row house. Sure, it has a fairytale oak tree in the backyard, a skylight that magically lights up the top floor all year round, a brand new split-level deck, and an eat-in kitchen that was thoughtfully made over by décor pro Samantha Pynn who expertly mashed up an old world bistro aesthetic with a Scandinavian edge (I’m still in love with my custom made Marimekko curtains). However, lately we’ve been lusting after a loft condo similar to what we lived in when we first moved in together. You could say we’re having a mid-life crisis…and we’re having an affair behind our house’s back.
Which brings me to our big decision: We just bought a condo, a 1250 square foot box with a 240 square foot terrace and downtown finishes (read: concrete ceilings, white walls and floor-to-ceiling windows) that reminds us of our first home. Don’t freak out for us though. It’s bigger than most post-war bungalows across Canada (that are usually around 800 square feet). According to stats on the trusty ol’ interwebs, in 1975 the average Canadian home was 1075 square feet and in 2000, it more than doubled to 2266 square feet. While many want that much space (or even more), we’re ready to live small. There’s only three of us and our cat, so there’s nothing stopping us from making the move.
Midlife Downsizing: 3 reasons why it’s a good idea for us
- It makes financial sense . As luck would have it, the condo we bought costs less than the selling price of our house (this was an upside that we didn’t project when we started the hunt for a new home). Guess what we’re gonna do with extra cash flow? Pay down our mortgage and doing so will reduce our monthly household expenses, even with the extra condo fees we will have to roll into our budget. Some people may argue we’re losing potential equity on our home, however we see it as trading equity for cash that we can invest in other ways.
- We have the energy to do it. We’re not retiring anytime soon, however it’s something that we consider more and more as every year passes. Selling a house, packing it up and moving to a new house is overwhelming for any one of us, at any age. Today, we still have the hootspah to take on a move – physically, emotionally and mentally. We can’t imagine how stressful it would be when we’re seniors.
- We appreciate our time-off. We live for the pockets of time before-and-after-work and we seek every opportunity for a lazy weekend during which brunch, a bit of grocery shopping, a mid-day movie and a trip to the zoo is all that’s on our to-do list. Unfortunately these moments don’t fit into a high-rollin’ career that’s rewarded with serious pay dirt and the kind of home that has more ensuites than the number of people living in it. Since we want to work with less stress (which is hard to achieve but we’ll keep trying), we have to get used to living with less…and that’s relative to what we already have, which is plenty.
- We like being in each other’s way. Our row house is around 2000 square feet Including our basement that’s fully renovated. However, we all hang out in the kitchen and the main floor living room which tallies up to maybe 500 square feet, so we already know we don’t need that much space.
Stay tuned for more news about our transition and how we’re handling it (or not}. The condo is a brand new build and our move-in date is set for spring 2017, so I have plenty of time to prep, shop and freak out about our new home. (Right now I’m worried there isn’t going to be enough natural light. But that’s a whole other post). Until then, I found these family-friendly spaces that are smart, small and oh-so-chic.
I’m gaga over this clean and simple design on humble-homes.com that makes this 675 square foot apartment in Lithuania look bright and airy. What you don’t see: two bedrooms and a bathroom.
Check out this bold interior for a family of four and two pets in Boston on busyboo.com.