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Q & A about two senior citizens pulling up stakes to move into a condo



Memorial Day Parade in Holt, Michigan.
We live in a small town where there was actually a Memorial Day parade yesterday. This doesn't show the crowds of people. My wife is in the foreground.



My wife and I were sitting on the couch in our living room of our old house a year ago talking about the next chapter in our lives.  We are both senior citizens.  I'm 70 and my wife is four years younger.  Our nest had been empty for quite awhile in our paid off house in the middle of a somewhat quiet urban neighborhood.

We had considering buying a house near Grand Rapids.  Real estate there was way too expensive.  We ruled out Florida and we even thought about moving closer to our kids.  

Then while sitting on the couch talking about renting an AirBNB in Hell's Kitchen in New York City and epiphany hit us.  What about looking at condos in the outlying areas of Lansing.  We weighed it carefully.  A requirement for our new place was space to have special family occasions where our five grandkids and their parents can fit.  And we wanted a place that we could leave for extended periods of time.

Our goal was to sell our city house and get enough to buy a condo in essentially a swap of funds.  We talked to a Realtor friend familiar with our house who encouraged us to take a few months to get the house ready and then list it in February just as people were looking for houses.  And that's what we did.  We expected to have a few showings over the coming months with maybe a nibble of interest.  What happened?  We got a very friendly offer within three days.

Over last fall and winter, we had purged many carloads of stuff and took it to Goodwill and we threw out a lot.  We also set a lot of stuff on the curb where it was picked up within a half hour.

How have we made the adjustment to the far end of a bedroom community where you go down the road and there's a dairy farm?

Question #1--What's it like living in a condo on the outskirts of Michigan's State Capital City?  Have we had any regrets about leaving our home of 18 years and moving to a place where they cut your lawn and take care of most outside stuff?

Answer #1--We really like our new place.  To find it, our Realtor had to show us about 15 condos.  We had to

visualize ourselves and our stuff in each space to see how we would fit.  And we had to look ahead to times when climbing stairs would be too hard.  We found one with three bedrooms and a finished basement about six miles from where we lived.

Do I miss the lawn mower?  We came home the other day and saw the lawn was close to needing a cut.  I momentarily raised my eyes about doing it and then realized that we had people for that.  

Question #2--In moving how did we meet the challenge of moving big stuff like beds and cabinets and couches?

Answer#2--Our help for the big stuff came from two different sources.  Our son-in-law came up for a Saturday and part of a Sunday and handled the mid-sized stuff in his van.  And two close friends came with their pick-up truck and SUV.  They all were great and very gracious in helping us.  We could not have done it without them.

The big stuff was moved by Two Men And A Truck.  They were fantastic.  They knew what they were doing and they did it.  Within a couple of hours, everything was at our new place and the price was reasonable.

Question #3--Why am I sharing this and what am I trying to say?

Answer #3--If you're older and thinking about doing a refresh with where you live and you're not quite sure whether you're too old, then you need to embolden yourself.  We have proved it can be done as senior citizens.  Will you be overwhelmed with memories from what you are leaving?  

For me who is the captain of habit and ritual and who has eaten oatmeal most mornings for breakfast in the past 20 years, I find that my oatmeal eating hasn't changed, but the location has.  For us, it has been very doable.