About a year ago I leveraged the equity in my current house to buy a downtown condo. It’s under construction now, due to be finished in another two years. My original intention was to rent it out or sell it (depending on market conditions around the time of closing), but ever since I came back from Europe, I’ve been flirting with the idea of moving there myself and renting out my house instead.
I’ve missed that feeling of connection after walking in cities that were bustling and full of life. There’s a certain intimacy to urban living that I long for, where everything is within walking distance and people are all around. It doesn’t help that I work from home in a sleepy area in the east end, mostly inhabited by retirees.
It’s an extremely tempting proposition. I’d finally have a balcony and view from a corner unit on the sixth floor, close enough to the ground to do some people watching but far away enough to stay private; something I’ve missed greatly from my first years out of university. I’d have big south-facing windows to fill the place with light in the mornings. I’d be in the heart of downtown, just a block off Elgin, walking distance from the Rideau Centre, Byward market, and the NAC. I’d have access to the 4500 sq. ft. recreation centre which includes an indoor swimming pool, a sauna, fitness facilities, a private lounge, and guest suites.
The condo is also a lot more my style, as these are modern, New York-inspired lofts (most of the suites taking their names from NY neighbourhoods and landmarks), each one with hardwood floors, individual HVAC and stackable washer/dryers, a flush European-style kitchen, and 24-hour concierge service. I get to pick out my colours and finishes soon, and I’m already planning where I’d want to put my furniture.
But I don’t know if I can give up the place I have now, due to the luxuries afforded to me by the extra space: a spare room I can use as a photo and Tai Chi studio, a giant closet, and least of all, a living room large enough to host intimate house shows or small gatherings.