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Longtime home to highrise condo, comments
Old 05-11-2010, 09:59 PM   #1
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Longtime home to highrise condo, comments

Well, after some research, we are ready to make the "huge" change in lifestyle. No actions taken yet other than research. But here is the decision at hand.

1. Long term residents of Los Angeles and San Diego. Have lived for years in a typical ranch style home in Rancho Palos Verdes and more recently a highrise rental apartment in San Diego.
2. We absolutely love the freedom of rental and especially highrise with stunning views of downtown and bay. And walking out the front door with not a care in the world.

SO, we are on the cusp of selling our home in RPV, and the current tenants want it badly. So "pre-sale" pretty much.

We loved Seattle and the Aspira is a brand new apartment building with views of Lake Union, we found a condo for rent at 1521 on 2nd Ave and several other condos for rent downtown. All in the $1500 to $2000 range.

We also found a condo in Marian Blue which is adjacent to American Airlines arena in Miami for $1500.

We also found a condo in the Ritz Carlton in Denver for $945.

OK, the question is really: "Would you sell a 1960's home for $3.5mil-$4mil and plan to live your old age in condos all over the place without the burden of home upkeep as you get to the WTFAIDT age?" [Hint. Why the...doing this]

We are leaning hard.
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Old 05-11-2010, 10:31 PM   #2
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OK, the question is really: "Would you sell a 1960's home for $3.5mil-$4mil and plan to live your old age in condos all over the place without the burden of home upkeep as you get to the WTFAIDT age?" [Hint. Why the...doing this].
No, I wouldn't. I prefer to commit to one community and not bounce around (which to me sounds like indecision). Also as I get older, I'd want to be in the same town as my doctor and so on.

BUT, there are others here with two or more homes (see the recent thread on that one). They are already doing this.

What interests me, is why would you care what we would do? If that is what you want to do, then I think you should do it.
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Old 05-11-2010, 10:46 PM   #3
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So you are not planning to move to another country and take that citizenship Citizenship?? At least I don't think Seattle is another country. Yet.
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Old 05-11-2010, 11:01 PM   #4
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So you are not planning to move to another country and take that citizenship Citizenship?? At least I don't think Seattle is another country. Yet.
Exactly what I was thinking. You seemed pretty serious about moving to another country last week.
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Old 05-11-2010, 11:27 PM   #5
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....WTFAIDT age?" [Hint. Why the...doing this]....
Don't you mean "WTFAWDT"?
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Old 05-12-2010, 12:03 AM   #6
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Well, after some research, we are ready to make the "huge" change in lifestyle. No actions taken yet other than research. But here is the decision at hand.

1. Long term residents of Los Angeles and San Diego. Have lived for years in a typical ranch style home in Rancho Palos Verdes and more recently a highrise rental apartment in San Diego.
2. We absolutely love the freedom of rental and especially highrise with stunning views of downtown and bay. And walking out the front door with not a care in the world.

SO, we are on the cusp of selling our home in RPV, and the current tenants want it badly. So "pre-sale" pretty much.

We loved Seattle and the Aspira is a brand new apartment building with views of Lake Union, we found a condo for rent at 1521 on 2nd Ave and several other condos for rent downtown. All in the $1500 to $2000 range.

We also found a condo in Marian Blue which is adjacent to American Airlines arena in Miami for $1500.

We also found a condo in the Ritz Carlton in Denver for $945.

OK, the question is really: "Would you sell a 1960's home for $3.5mil-$4mil and plan to live your old age in condos all over the place without the burden of home upkeep as you get to the WTFAIDT age?" [Hint. Why the...doing this]

We are leaning hard.
Well, this question pretty well answers itself! But unless you want to try some different cities, since you are from Palos Verdes, why not rent a condo on Wilshire, or in Westwood Village or Santa Monica? You sure found nice stuff for more than reasonable prices!

I like renting too, but I think depending on price now might be a good time for me to get some of my housing expenses fixed.

I have found a very nice place in a quiet neighborhood maybe a quarter mile up the hill from Downtown which I may offer on. From this place I could walk in one mile or less to Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, all the markets in Chinatown, plus anything I might want to do downtown in much less than a mile. Maybe 1/4 mile to the Link train to the airport. 80% of Seattle hospital capacity is a few blocks away.

I also feel that a good apartment in a quality building in a location like this is better than money in the bank.

Ha
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Old 05-12-2010, 07:54 AM   #7
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I hate moving, so I can't imagine doing this long term. ONTH, I can see selling the house and spending several years moving from one furnished place to another. We kinda did that. I just don't like schlepping furniture and stuff around.
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Old 05-12-2010, 09:26 AM   #8
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Well, lots of questions to address.

First about the foreign citizenship. I would much prefer to trade Seattle for Paris but I don't see us being comfortable with "zero" US abode until we were able to see how the first year or so of the "permanent foreign residency" went. And these condo's or apartments would be rentals, at least for the first few years.

So the long term goal is foreign living, and whatever form that eventually takes and this step simply frees us of owning and those responsibilities.

As for moving out of a home, neither of us like housework and/or yardwork. And it really was kinda nice when we suddenly had that time to spend during the day doing such things as sitting in oyster bars having a relaxing day. Or eating a cheeseburger/having a beer at the Green Flash.

The question is because no matter how thorough one researches and/or imagines somethings outcome, there might be someone who has already walked down this road and have some good ideas.

We are also, maybe naively, of the opinion that as we get older we will not need a 4th bedroom or 5th bath, nor all the cleaning/repair/upkeep that comes with them.

We brought my wife's grandmother out to Los Angeles in 1998, and it was her first trip out of Nebraska, EVER, and she wanted to go home immediately, like the 2nd day. So I do realize moving around is not for everyone.
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Old 05-12-2010, 09:40 AM   #9
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Your plan isn't exactly clear. Are you going to keep apartments in all of those cities at the same time and then bounce around between them ? Or are you just going to keep one at a time ? without a house anchor you would be free to move wherever you want.

It goes without saying that selling the house will free up a pretty big asset that can generate more than enough cash to fund (pretty much) any or all of the apartments you listed.

Are you more concerned about the lifestyle thing about apartments/condos versus a house ? A house offers more privacy/space but as you mentioned requires more upkeep. The apartments/condos require little maintenance but can have issues with noise/parking and neighbors (in close proximity) doing goofy things. For example, imagine someones teenager playing the stereo loudly or someone smoking nearby wafting into your place.

For tax reasons, consider living (at least two weeks a year) in a no-income tax state like Texas or Nevada. The advantages could be big depending on your situation. A good CPA could enlighten you on these benefits. Along those lines, I know that the 1st ex-pres George H W Bush resides most of the year in kennebunkport Maine but spends 2 weeks a year in a Houston hotel to avoid Maine state income taxes.
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Old 05-12-2010, 09:52 AM   #10
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I hate moving, so I can't imagine doing this long term. ONTH, I can see selling the house and spending several years moving from one furnished place to another. We kinda did that. I just don't like schlepping furniture and stuff around.
Those are exactly the thoughts we are having. Currently living in a furnished condo in a nearly new building, Icon, and killer views. Looks directly down into Petco Park (Padres not in town yet). We get up and have a quick breakfast at one of the many coffee shops nearby, and at lunch we manage to find a new gem every day.

We catch the bus over and eat here at least a couple of days a week, usually more. We both travel at least once a week, and simple to catch the bus right to the airport.

I can see where some would prefer a more laid back day, but right now our lifestyle seems to be in active mode.
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:08 AM   #11
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Your plan isn't exactly clear. Are you going to keep apartments in all of those cities at the same time and then bounce around between them ? Or are you just going to keep one at a time ? without a house anchor you would be free to move wherever you want.

It goes without saying that selling the house will free up a pretty big asset that can generate more than enough cash to fund (pretty much) any or all of the apartments you listed.

Are you more concerned about the lifestyle thing about apartments/condos versus a house ? A house offers more privacy/space but as you mentioned requires more upkeep. The apartments/condos require little maintenance but can have issues with noise/parking and neighbors (in close proximity) doing goofy things. For example, imagine someones teenager playing the stereo loudly or someone smoking nearby wafting into your place.

For tax reasons, consider living (at least two weeks a year) in a no-income tax state like Texas or Nevada. The advantages could be big depending on your situation. A good CPA could enlighten you on these benefits. Along those lines, I know that the 1st ex-pres George H W Bush resides most of the year in kennebunkport Maine but spends 2 weeks a year in a Houston hotel to avoid Maine state income taxes.
Yeah, it did not make some things clear. But a lot of it is not even clear to us yet. We are considering a place in Seattle at the Aspira, and that would be what we call, the home base. It would have the bare minimum personal stuff like pictures, records, momentos, etc. Then another place in Miami for the winter months only, so a 6 month lease at Marina Blue.

So the $18k at Aspira and $9k at the Marina Blue are $27k which is not much more than our current taxes, insurance and maintenance are on our home. So darn near a wash. One cost is just pure burden to own and the other provides a shiny new view of the world.

We are not brand new to highrise condo/apt living and have done it several times over the years, even in Hong Kong for 6 months back in the 90s. And it's interesting but I have never (NEVER) had noisy neighbor issues. I think because the cost of rental usually rules out teens or 20-somethings.

Bonus would be getting rid of 2 cars, as so far in San Diego we have not needed a car once. We did use it to pick up a visitor once and to pick up somethings at Loews but could have done that with a rental.

Yeah, WA is a nice tax situation and so is FL.
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:08 AM   #12
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Who says we have to stick with a single lifestyle? As famous folks have said:
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consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds
or better

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Old 05-12-2010, 10:11 AM   #13
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As famous folks have said:
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:23 AM   #14
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My thoughts are that you have really answered your question already. You like the lifestyle of condo living. You enjoy being close to restaurants, good views, etc. I think you should do it!

My husband and I gave up the suburbs for inner city living for the last few years that we worked and we loved the life. We rented an apartment and as you say, we walked out the door without a care in the world. I would definitely think about that lifestyle as a retiree at some point.

I think you need to do what makes you happy. That is more and more important to me as I age. I don't want to waste one day doing yard work and maintenance if I don't have to! To each his own! Some people like living in one place and seeing the same people and doing the same things. I like change!

I say shake it up and go for it!
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:28 AM   #15
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We have done something similar in that we sold our 3,500', 5 bed house and moved to Texas into a very nice rental complex, 2-bed, 2 bath 1,200' house for $12k/year. (no income tax, no property tax).

This year we are spending 18 weeks in 3 different locations - Colorado, England and Canada. Next year we are planning on 6 months in England, the year after will be a long vacation in Australia and New Zealand.

We have managed just fine now for 5 months with only one car - the place we live is easy reach by foot or bicycle to everything for the occaisions when both of us need to be in different places at the same time. We very much like the "lock and leave" capability of this lifestyle, and recognize that it is not for everyone and may not be for us in the long term.
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:33 AM   #16
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Who says we have to stick with a single lifestyle? As famous folks have said:
or better
Exactly, I've lived in the home on PV for many years, and nothing about it is exciting to me and my retirement "empowered" me to do lots of things. And that includes trying a totally different lifestyle.

Nothing says I have to stay with the highrise living more than 6 months if it turns out to not be the "fun" I am imagining.

So yeah, I think I'll smack that hobgoblin and do something adventurous.

BTW, Alan, we also looked at a place called the Austonian in Austin and that is a plush building. But the pricing and large sizes were not to our liking. And that "lock and leave" feeling is something that many will never understand. It's awesome to feel, FREEEEEEEE as you leave the front door.
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:34 AM   #17
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Yes, I don't see any huge negatives for selling the multi-million house and using proceeds to fund a nice rental.

But to play devil's advocate, how much will you pay in taxes on the gain from the sale of your house and can you actually sell it in the near term in this market? You likely won't net 3.5-4 million, probably closer to 2.5-3 after fed and state taxes I assume. Still, more than ample to fund a $1500-2000 a month apartment year round and a temporary winter retreat in different places. As you say, cutting out taxes, insurance, and maintenance will basically pay the monthly rent for your new digs.

And assuming you don't pull more than 3-4% a year from the lump sum proceeds from your house sale, you could always buy back into a community somewhere. If you are not married to a high cost of living area, there are plenty of nice shiny new houses, townhouses, mid- and high-rise condos, 55+ houses, etc in other parts of the US for sale in the $250-500+k range.

Edit to add: There was a poster here years ago (OldAgePensioner) that basically did what you are talking about (well, except for selling the mult-million dollar house). After coming back to the states after a career as an expat, he lived in a nice high rise apartment for 6 months to a year at a time in a number of different large US cities (Seattle was one I think). Very little possessions, more of a vagabonding lifestyle.
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:40 AM   #18
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And assuming you don't pull more than 3-4% a year from the lump sum proceeds from your house sale, you could always buy back into a community somewhere. If you are not married to a high cost of living area, there are plenty of nice shiny new houses, townhouses, mid- and high-rise condos, 55+ houses, etc in other parts of the US for sale in the $250-500+k range.
I'll supply some second thoughts here.

1. If you sell your house, that pretty much means you are going to have to sell (or otherwise get rid of) lots of household goods too. They are gone forever. Even if you have no sentimental attachments to the stuff, you have realized a big loss. If and when you decide to settle down into a home again, you will have to replace all that stuff.
2. Housing inflation can wreck one's plans for getting back into the home/condo owner's club. After six years of gadding about, we are presently locked out of all the neighborhoods that we planned/expected/hoped to settle in.
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:57 AM   #19
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My mom moved from a house she lived in for 50 years into a highrise condo..... she loves it...

She downsized to a 1 BR, with 900 sq. ft. She is long past her travel days, so this is it for her..

I have lived in a highrise for a couple of years paid for by my old company... I did not have a problem with neighbors at all... The high rise are constructed better than the stick ones... but also cost more...


What are you thinking about when it comes to furniture Are you renting furnished places?


If it were me... I would choose a 'home base' and buy a small unit... that way I can 'come home' to my stuff every once in awhile.... but if you makeup is to constantly move... then that is not for you...
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Old 05-12-2010, 11:15 AM   #20
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I lived in 2003-4 in a high rise near the Drake Hotel/Michigan Ave. Gold Coast in Chicago. I learned one important thing: If there is no washer and dryer in my apartment/condo or on my exact floor, you can forget it. I had to schlep my laundry from the 2nd floor up to the 21st floor. Usually this meant using the closer utility elevator--with it's lovely odors--if it was free. Otherwise, you stood there with your dirty tidy whities in your laundry basket with all looking in since I'm shorter than most of the men....yeah, lots of fun. Not.
Just say'in.
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