Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Condo People

My last couple of posts have made me start thinking of the difference of condo people vs. house people. I never quite know which category I fit into. Obviously, I live in a condo now, and at one time I thought buying a condo was a good idea. But I lust after houses, so that must mean I'm a house person… right?

When you think of your typical condo people, two images are conjured. The urban, young couple who eats most of their meals out, walks everywhere, works long hours and has their BlackBerries attached to their ears at all times. They buy an airy, downtown loft condo where they can walk to all the trendy restaurants and hip shops. The other image: the retired, empty nesters who sell their house and downsize. They are more likely to buy a condo in a quiet neighborhood, but close to things by car. They're interested in simple, one level condos that are neatly landscaped. Maybe two bedrooms so they can have a space for visiting grandkids and a sewing or exercise room. Most of the people in our association fit this demo to a tee.

When you think of house people, you probably think young families. Perhaps in the 'burbs. They drive an SUV or crossover with car seats in the back. They have a dog. They spend many a weekend at the Home Depot working on their next project.

But us? We're young, but we have a family. We're decidedly not hip anymore. We don't work long hours, and while we like a walkable neighborhood, we want it to be close to parks, libraries and grocery stores, not bars. We live in the 'burbs, technically, but so close to the city, where we spend a lot of time. But we're not above the suburbs at all. I love me some Target, and we're known to hit up the chain restaurants nearby us. No dogs for us… we have cats.

So maybe we should live in a neighborhood full of houses, where we can garden and play in the backyard. On the other hand, maybe being condo people is best for people like us. We are both working parents, and as any working parent will tell you, our time with our son is so precious. Instead of maintaining a house, we get to write a monthly check and sit back and let the association take care of it. That frees us up to spend time with Sebastian, walking to the park or entertaining friends.

Perhaps my dream of something bigger and better is getting in the way of seeing what's right in front of me: that I already live in a place that's perfect for me and my family. Our quiet, wooded neighborhood next to trails, schools and parks appeals to the side of me that yearns for space and nature. Our small, easy to maintain condo unit in bright, modern colors appeals to the on-the-go, city gal in me.

Maybe I don't need to cram myself, or my home, into a category. Maybe it can just be what it is, which is home.

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