I’m moving. I have decided to sell my condo at Woodland House and buy a house so that I can have a backyard. I also want a fireplace. Since we have 5 months of Winter in Connecticut, a fireplace just seems right.
But first, a story:
After 15 years living in New York City, I never thought I would own my own home. I figured I would stay in NYC my entire life and be a renter. A small one-bedroom in NYC can run you $700K. How would I ever save up for a 20% down payment when I was living in New York? It’s expensive just to walk out of your apartment there!
I thought maybe I might eventually buy a vacation home somewhere (to rent out and earn money from), but I never thought I’d buy a place to live in fulltime.
When a series of events lead me to move back to Connecticut in 2011, I still never thought about owning my own place. I rented the first floor of an old Victorian home in Hartford’s West End, right down the street from UConn Law. And I was satisfied as a renter. Until one summer day my friend Ellen invited me to go to the pool in her building called Woodland House. I couldn’t believe she had a pool at her building, and it was only 3 blocks from my apartment. I expected a typical rundown-motel-pool with a few rusted out lounge chairs around it. And I walked outside to this:
I immediately started thinking about buying a place at Woodland House and that fall, three days before Thanksgiving, a corner unit 2-bed, 2-bath condo overlooking the pool went on the market. The owner had already moved and was looking to sell quickly. I put in an offer, it was accepted 20 minutes later, and then I started panicking. Was I ready to be a home owner?
Here’s what it looked like when I moved in in January of 2015:
Not only sad looking, but the owner had left a bunch of her belongings and actual trash in some of the closets, as well as those horrible drapes. She had also paid someone to paint the entire condo. They did a terrible job. You could see the previous color in many rooms.
Over the past 3.5 years, I updated all of the appliances, removed the “fixtures” the previous owner had affixed to the wall, replaced the outdated lighting fixtures, installed dimmer switches, installed new blackout shades in both bedrooms (I love a cold, dark room to sleep in), and patched up areas of the parquet floor that desperately needed it. I recently had it freshly painted and now it looks like this:
If you’re interested in looking, call my agents Vicki Leeds (860) 966-8788 + Gary Emerito (860) 716-7601 at Berkshire Hathaway. I’m going to miss this bright, easy condo when I move, but it served me very well for the past 3.5 years.