Ahhhh. The lawnmower won't start, mostly because the plugs have been fouled. Fouled by old age, fouled by being stored in a shed that you promised yourself would be your new Mecca come Saturday morning. But seriously, you're into yardwork as much as you're into that wall-size crossword you got for secret Santa. Three years ago.
You hate yard work. I hate yard work. Welcome to the support group; it's called everybody. And we meet at the Farmer's Market, to see how the successful folks do it.
What's your answer? Real estate's dirty little secret for those who just love turn-key living. Sure, you're paying $200-ish a month for homeowner dues, but when you break it down, and I do, it comes out to about $50 a weekend of yardwork you don't have to do. No skinned knuckles. No whipped ankle meat because you left the thread too long on the weed wacker. Or ran over the mole hillf instead of stomping it down like that brown bag of humility that got the best of you last Halloween.
Condos in Bellingham under $350,000 right now represent the Zen of reality. Sure, you're not playing the spin game of Time-traveler in 2,000 square feet of square footage, but let's face it: two bathrooms are about an hour worth of cleaning. I'll leave you to decide how often you do it. And someone has to vacuum.
You've got 250 to choose from, ranging from waaaay north to Fairhaven. Depending on your level of comfort, you can have whatever you like...
A couple points to ponder:
- 136 of these have been finished in the last 3 years, so inventory being high, there's a good chance you're the first to cross the threshold, and pick out colors.
- 47 are two bedroom; you can supplement your mortgage with a roommate, or convert it to an office, hobby room, or exercise room to harbor that treadmill to hold up all of your dry cleaning.
- 102 are under 1000 square feet. So you can put away the checkbook for the vacuum cleaner, and buy a Swiffer and a Rumba, and take your Saturdays to organize the dry cleaning in your home gym.
- Homeowner dues got you down? Why not negotiate the first two years into the contract, and try on condo living for a little bit? The worst the seller could say is no. If the HOD are $250 a month, that's only a difference of $6,000. And it's worth a shot in a buyer's market.
- 163 of the condos have some form of covered parking. Your Whitesnake CD cover will be safe from another winter of impromptu scraping after the weatherman promised "a 70% chance of snow, but only a 50% chance of that"
Condos aren't for everybody. If you're raising alpaca, or harboring a few adopted Malamute because your friend's spending their next few months in the Serenghetti, you're going to want some acreage. But if the idea of folding up your homelife with your laptop sounds appealing, and not needing a place to store a kayak without Quantum Physics as a side hobby, it might be for you.
Yes, there are fire alarms at 3:30 in the morning. And your neighbor might really, really like playing The Final Countdown by Europe to get going in the morning. But that guitar solo might beat weeding, cleaning gutters, edging, windows, or painting the fence because that darn Tom Sawyer's a better salesman that the Sham-Wow guy.