Condo Chronicles: One Year in my Condo

Today is my one year anniversary of moving into my condo! It’s insane to think it’s already been a year and that someone actually let me buy a condo last year. In honor of the day, I’ve written down some of my thoughts about my condo/living alone, and I’ve also answered some of your questions!

If you can’t handle me at my air mattress in the living room, you don’t deserve me with actual couches. For the first month of living in the condo, I didn’t have a couch or loveseat. Last summer there was a delay on furniture—honestly, it probably hasn’t gone away—so we ordered my living room furniture early, about a month before I closed on the condo. The estimated delivery time was the middle of August, which seemed reasonable. So I set up an air mattress and butterfly chair from college in my living room. It looked so sad but, hey, it worked until my couch and loveseat were delivered on a Saturday morning in August.

And I love the couches. So much. Not just because I actually have them but they’re super comfortable and great for couch naps.

From the day I moved in last summer

I’m never living without a garage ever again. There was one at home with my parents but it wasn’t one I could park in. I’ve been spoiled with having a detached garage right in front of my condo.

No yard work! I’ve never had any interest in doing yard work, so that’s why buying a condo appealed to me because they take care of the landscaping. I also appreciate that they clean up after snow storms.

I’ve ranked my favorite to least favorite chores:

  1. Changing and washing bed sheets
  2. Regular laundry
  3. Taking trash/recycling out
  4. Cleaning the bathrooms
  5. Vacuuming
  6. Ironing

The moral of the story here is that I absolutely hate ironing. Absolutely hate it. I’d pay someone to iron if I could.

I can do whatever I want, whenever I want. I knew that with moving out would come independence, and it took me a little while to get used to it. When I lived at home, it was just me and my parents—and the pets—and for the most part we were on the same schedule, like when it came to getting up, getting out of work, meal times, showering, etc. So sometimes I felt like my schedule had to fit into theirs, and now, I’m the only one and I can have whatever schedule I want.

I’m a somewhat decent cook. And haven’t given myself food poisoning yet, which is one of my biggest goals. I’ve been able to surprise myself in what I can make, and it’s a nice accomplishment.

I honestly thought I’d have more people over. Maybe it’s just a result of COVID or everyone just having busy schedules, but I thought I’d have more friends over. I mean, Josh comes over about 3 times a week, but I don’t know if he really counts as “company”. I’ve had one of my friends from work over a few times, my parents have come over a couple of times, too, and had family friends stop by to see the condo, but other than that, Josh is my most frequent visitor.

Finances are such an adult thing. In the process of looking at condos and then buying this particular condo, my dad worked with me to figure out what I could afford. I was able to put down a lot of money to make my mortgage payments more affordable, and I got a discount on my condo insurance by bundling it with my car insurance at Allstate. Those are the same amount every month, along with my HOA fee and internet, but my gas and electric vary by month along with my credit card bill, so I keep an eye on those. I recently moved everything on auto-pay to be taken out at the beginning of the month so I can see what I actually have to work with for the rest of the month. I’ve always split my paycheck from work between my checking and saving accounts, so I’m still able to put money in my savings while using my checking for monthly bills. I think my dad and I are going to sit down soon to look at my expenses after living here a year and see if I could make any adjustments.

Some pictures so far!

Your Questions!

Bex‘s Questions

1. Any weird neighbors or neighbor stories?

No weird neighbors; I’m the youngest in my little 4 unit area, and I don’t see my neighbors too often. I’d say the only “weird” thing is that since I’m on the second floor, I do a bit of spying out of my kitchen window since I can see directly out into the cul-de-sac and at the other condo building. I know who has dogs, I think I know where the cats that wander outside live, and I know when most of the people leave for work/get home from work. I’m a one-woman neighborhood watch.

2. Thoughts on getting a pet?

Down the road, I’d still like to get a cat, but I want to make sure I can financially afford a kitty. Maybe next year; I want to make sure I can still keep myself alive let alone be responsible for a little creature.

3. Have you replaced those ugly-to-you lights in your bathroom yet (I still think they’re stunning; just not for a bathroom)?

Nope, they’re still there, purely out of laziness. At this point, I might as well keep them just because. They wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the fish on top of the lights, but I find the fish so weird.

4. Do you have a favorite kitchen gadget?

My air fryer, 100%. Best thing I could have bought.

5. Now that you’re in a relationship, have you two discussed moving in together?

Josh is sort of already a part-time roommate since 9 times out of 10 we hang out here, but I think for now I want to keep living alone. That was my original intention when I moved out last year—before meeting Josh—and I’d still like to have that experience for a while. Plus Josh works weird hours and I don’t want to deal with him getting up at 3:00 a.m. on the weekends (he knows this, too).

Paul‘s Questions

1. What are some of the things you’ve had to Google because there isn’t anyone around to ask?

Since I wrote this post, I don’t think I’ve Googled much. If anything, I’ve called home more to ask my dad stuff. (My parents keep joking they’re going to add my HVAC questions to my bill.)

2. Is there anything you wish you had known about your condo before moving in?

Specifically about this condo? That I’d have to replace the hot water tank and AC unit within the first 3 months of living there. Knock on wood, I haven’t had any issues since, but it created a bit of a headache for me, especially since I had to call the condo property people and put in a formal request with the board to have my AC replaced.

3. Which room do you like to read in?

I have two, and one isn’t really a room. The first is the living room, and the second is out on the balcony.

4. What’s the worst thing about living alone?

You’re responsible for everything: meals, chores, taking care of yourself, putting stuff away, etc. It took me a while to get a good chore schedule figured out, but sometimes I’m like, “Oh God, I have to make my own meals and keep myself alive.”

5. What would you still like to add to your condo?

I’d like to replace the faucet in my small bathroom off the bedroom. I replaced the faucet in the main bathroom months ago, so at some point, I’d like to replace the other one (which means my dad will actually install it). I’ve also been looking on and off at armchairs for my office; I’d like to make a little reading nook in there, but I think I’d need to go somewhere to try out the chairs instead of blindly ordering one online.

6. Do you talk to yourself?

Not as often as I thought I would. When I had COVID, I really didn’t know how my voice sounded unless I was on the phone with my mom or Josh. Sometimes I find myself saying little things (like “Whoops, that doesn’t go there” or “Please don’t boil over”), but I’m not having full on conversations.

7. Do you have a designated spot at the kitchen table or do you switch it up?

My dining room and living room is one big area (as you can see in the picture from my move-in day, the layout hasn’t changed at all). I always watch TV while having my meals, so I’ll move to the end of the table so I can see the TV better. I’ve noticed, though, if Josh and I have meals together, we always sit in the same chairs opposite each other.

8. Is there a food/meal you’ve made where, afterward, you’re like “Wow, I’m really proud of myself for making that.”?

I think I’ve mastered chicken tacos with onions and peppers, and I can efficiently make kielbasa and pierogies. Those are my favorite meals to make so far.

Josh’s Questions

1. Would you rearrange the furniture in any fashion in the future?

I don’t think so. I like how everything is right now, and I feel like no other configuration would work with the furniture I currently have.

2. You’re getting a cat, right?

You want me to get a cat so that I have a furry buddy to hang out with.

3. What’s your second favorite spot in the condo? Why? (Favorite is either the bed or the couch)

My second favorite spot is my office. After working from home for a year and a half in my bedroom when I lived at home, it’s nice to have a separate space for work and to have my little library of books. (My favorite spot is the couch.)

4. What are you most proud of in the condo?

How I’ve decided to decorate it. This is my first time having a big space of my own, and I think I’ve done a good job with the overall decor of the condo.

5. Besides me, what are some things that annoy you about the condo?

Sometimes if it’s quiet enough, I can hear my neighbors below when they flush their toilet. I guess it’s a consequence of living on the second floor above another unit with an identical layout, but sometimes it’s weird and throws me off.

And that every time you use the bathroom sink, you leave a puddle of water on the counter.

6. Besides me, what are your favorite things about the condo?

Having laundry in the unit and on the same floor, having a separate office space, and having a bedroom big enough for a queen-size bed.

And that you voluntarily take the trash and recycling out for me.

7. If there was any one chore that you do in the condo that could just do itself, which one would you choose and why?

Ironing. I absolutely hate it, as you can see ranked above.

I didn’t do much today to celebrate the day; I actually went out to lunch with my mom and then went back to my parents’ house to use their printer (I took this week off from work). It’s extremely humid and rainy today, so I’ve stayed in since I got home, and honestly, I’ll probably just read or watch the Home Run Derby later.

And thanks to everyone on here for following along on this journey with me over the past year!


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