One Month after Selling our House and Moving into an Apartment

We sold our house and moved into an apartment one month ago.  We were aiming to simplify our lives while saving time and money.  A month in and things are going well.

The Good and the Bad

I find myself missing something unexpected about living in our house – the sound of rain falling on the roof.  That sound is so soothing and always felt happy to me.  Now we’re on the first floor of a three story apartment building, and I hardly noticed the downpour yesterday.

The 15 minute drive to work has been fantastic.  I’m barely using half a tank of gas per week compared to the two tanks a week I had been using.  That is a huge savings in time and money.

The maintenance aspect of apartment living has been great too.  We had the pest control come by once to take care of some ants.  We just had a few meandering about, but since pest control is included we took advantage of it.

Even better is that we had an air conditioning problem that we didn’t even know about.  Normally that would be a bad thing, but the maintenance guy was checking another A/C unit and noticed a problem with ours.  Apparently the outside unit was running all the time, even when our inside unit was off.  They ended up replacing the outside unit with a more efficient model.  The air conditioner was something we always worried about in the house.  It was only a matter of time before it broke completely and needed to be replaced to the tune of $4000.  Here in our apartment it was done at no extra cost to us.

I’m sure not all apartments are the same, so we consider ourselves fortunate to have one with good management and a great staff.

Cooking vs. Eating Out

The first couple of weeks we were eating out a lot as we got settled in.  The cost of dining out can really add up quickly, so we are paying attention to that.  We live just minutes away from dozens of restaurants, so it’s easy to slip into a habit of eating out.   Now we are back in the groove of cooking meals.  It was really nice to get back to home cooking, those few weeks of eating out got old, and I was really craving some home cooking.

Unpacking

We managed to get most of our boxes unpacked in the first week.  We had about five boxes that took a little longer.  The lack of storage is noticeable as we try to make all our stuff fit.  We purged a ton of stuff before we moved, but we still ended up getting rid of even more stuff as we unpacked.

We ended up buying some plastic storage drawers to put in our closet.  These are housing our office supplies and our daughter’s art supplies.  We also bought a tall skinny bookcase which we put in our bedroom.  It is holding our daughter’s books, the few books that I kept, and a basket to stash my collection of cables.

Now we are down to one box of stuff that need a home. It is full of kid type stuff.  Things like puzzles, flash cards, and coloring books.  We hoped to put some of that stuff in the bookcase, but we ran out of space.

I also have a few things that I’m trying to sell on craigslist, and I’ll be happy when they are sold and no longer taking up space.  One is a subwoofer that went with the speakers that we sold with the house.  The speakers were mounted to the walls and the buyer asked to buy them.  I was going to replace them when we moved into the apartment, but we decided we didn’t really need them, so now I have an unused subwoofer.  I also have two LCD computer monitors that I don’t need anymore since I’m working from my laptop on the kitchen table.  The last items is some old amps from a car stereo I had several cars ago.  I hung onto them in case I ever wanted to build up another car stereo system, but I’m really not planning to do that, so it’s time to sell them.

Clutter and cleaning

I find that the smaller space gets cluttered much faster.  There is less space for things to accumulate, so it’s more noticeable when it does.  On the plus side, it’s also faster to clean up.

Overall, things are going well.  I’m looking forward to summer when the evening grow longer and we have more time for outdoor evening activities.

Comments

  1. says

    It sounds like it’s going great! Do you hear a lot of stomping/moving about from the upstairs neighbors? Do you miss having a yard for playing? We actually purchased our house about 2 years ago because we hated apartment living so, so much! I keep finding that I’d actually prefer less house and more yard (we have 1200 sq ft of indoor space and decent for our area yard). I have to give you SO much credit because I just don’t think we could go that route again unless forced into it. Where would we put the 12′ trampoline, the most used item we have?! ;)

    • says

      Hi Megyn,
      Thanks for the kind words. Yes, things are going great. I’m not sure if the apartments we are in are built really good, or if we just have quiet upstairs neighbors, but we rarely hear them at all. The only noise we hear is the upstairs shower when it first turns on, the occasional cabinet door slamming shut, and people talking or closing doors in the hallway. Overall it’s really pretty quiet.

      I can relate to having a big yard. The yard was great, but I actually miss the driveway and sidewalk more than I miss the yard. We used to spend time in front of the house, coloring on sidewalks with chalk, and riding scooters and bikes.

      Funny that you mention a trampoline. Faith’s grandmother just bought one at Christmas time for all the grandkids to use. We used to live an hour away from grandma, and now we are a very short ten minute drive. Faith has been getting lots of time in on that trampoline lately. I think those kids would bounce on that thing all day long if they could.

  2. says

    Just today I was thinking about the advantages of apartment living (we live in our own home) and others doing the maintenance was high on the positives list. While I enjoy my garden, it does take up time and expense. I would most likely miss the garden though if I didn’t have it.
    Willow´s last blog post ..Two weeks worth

    • says

      We didn’t have a garden, but we did spruce up the landscaping, especially in the spring. I always liked the smell of the fresh pine bark mulch.

      I saw a documentary not long ago. It was filmed outside the United States, and showed a guy planting his garden. Instead of on his own lot though, it was in a public area set aside for gardening, and everyone had a small plot on which they could plant whatever they wanted. It seemed like a neat idea to have a community area for gardening.

  3. Ang says

    You are living my dream! I came to the same conclusions about the american dream (nightmare) about a year ago. Currently, my 4 bed, three bath house is on the market and I am downsizing like a mad-woman. It is so liberating to get rid of the stuff and focus on what makes me truely happy! Until I find my own rental apartment, I will live vicariously through you!! Thanks.

    • says

      Hi Ang,
      Welcome. I’m excited to hear that you are embarking on a similar journey. Doesn’t it feel great to get rid of all that stuff. That downsizing and decluttering is a good first step. For us it made things more bearable until we were able to finally sell the house. Good luck with the house sale and apartment hunt.

  4. says

    Our family has just decided this last weekend to embark on a similar journey. We are just about to start the de-cluttering process. We are all excited to be in your same position, once we are able to dump our money gobbler of a home.
    Sandy´s last blog post ..Goodmail Days I Have Seen

    • says

      Awesome!!! We really enjoyed the decluttering process. It’s amazing how good it feels to get rid of stuff. Each item that leave your home frees up a tiny bit of your time and attention. Keep us posted as your journey progresses. :)

  5. Leslie says

    Congrats! I am doing the same thing at age 55. I’ve owned a home for 24 yrs and am shortly moving to a 2BR apartment. I am looking forward to it and have some trepidation, at the same time. I am getting rid of tons and tons of stuff: books, CDs, photographs, dishes, linens…you name it. I want to go back to those times when I had very little other than my clothes and a few pieces of furniture. I was actually forced into this move by having too much debt, but I think it is a blessing in disguise. When my house closes, I will be 100% debt free, have money in the bank, no kids at home and only the stuff I use. I sense a whole new adventure awaiting me!

    • says

      Hi Leslie,
      Overall we’ve been enjoying apartment living. I love not having to mess with any maintenance. No maintenance really frees up a lot of time.

      Check back in once in a while and let us know how things are going.

  6. Pat says

    After living in houses most of my life, I rented out my 4 BR, 2 BA home and moved into a 2 BR, 2 BA apartment. I love it! What a relief to get out from under the burden of all that overhead. My rent is now 1/2 of what the cost was per month in my house. And now I can call management to fix things, free of cost. I can come and go without someone noticing my every move (like they did at my house). I feel much more secure, living on the 2nd floor with only one entrance to the apartment. There were doors and windows everywhere in my house. My neighbors are really quiet here, and I have a beautiful waterfall and pond right outside my balcony. I could not be happier.

  7. Nicole says

    I stumbled on this link wondering if I was doing the right thing. I’m near closing on the sale of my home in Los Angeles and am having some weird feelings. I’m happy but sort of sad to go. I don’t really care for the neighbors and the area and had only owned this home for 3 years. I was burglarized when I first bought the place. I guess I never really adjusted after that. I cant leave town without worrying. It’s not fun anymore. Every since then I decided life was much simpler when I rented. I’m profiting from the sale so I guess it’s not the end of the world. Can’t wait to see where life takes me.

    • says

      Hi Nicole,
      It sounds like you know deep down that you are doing the right thing, it’s just scary to make such a big change. We had that fear too when we sold our house, wondering if we were doing the right thing. I’d love to hear back from you after you move to see how things went.

  8. PK2 says

    Freedom, I am really enjoying your post…I am not alone.

    I am too in the same place as others who have written. I am in the process of de-cluttering and preparing to downsize. I am moving into an apartment while the selling process plays itself out. I have not told a lot of people I am selling yet. To be honest with you I am ready for a range of responses from delight to disappointment. I am not sure why such a broad range….I think family and friends mostly hold on to home ownership and the mark of success in life despite other things. For me, they make think I have given up on marriage and kids. My reply to all of the “I want you to have a big house…and complain about bills” people is this….”I am over it.” I am a single woman in a my early 40′s living in a 4br house. This makes no sense…nine years ago when I bought the house I did dream of a husband and children, and everyone running around in the big back yard….hasn’t happened yet. And I did have the curiosity of peeking inside the American dream to see what it was like. I found that its not all about the house, you can start a family in a apartment, owning a home is expensive and you can dream in that same apartment.
    Ok, I am over it. I am leaving behind the adventures of owning a home for now including maintenance issues inside and out, sky high electricity bills at least six months a year, grass cutting, house washing, tons of Christmas decorations, a mini Sam’s club storage in the garage—and club membership, homeowner association fees, and many other things. Don’t mention the stress of selling a house.
    With that said it was a great experience…now it’s time to just live and be happy….just buying what I need when I need it. All the best for your adventure.

    P.S. I am downsizing to a 1br apartment.

    • says

      Awesome! I love to hear from people that are downsizing. I think you are on the right track and am excited for you and your future potential.

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