Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Flirting with the idea....

What a view, huh? The big red building in the distance it the University of Utah.
And you turn a little to your right to see this....the Wasatch mountains.
More to the right there is this....
Then you start seeing downtown....

And all the high rises. Imagine how pretty that view would be at night.

This is the view from the living room and balcony of a 9th floor condominium on South Temple, a street which happens to have been declared to be one of the prettiest streets in America.
We were in the condo because we have a new real estate agent, and because we are flirting with the idea of buying a condo in a high rise building instead of a suburban house.
Just flirting, mind you...
Our new agent is a delight. That's her chatting with Bernie. We asked her to show us just one condo so we could meet her and get a feel for how it would be to work with her when the time comes to seriously look for a house. (No nibbles on the Houston house; this truly was a dry run.)
Bernie and I are finding life in a small 700 square foot apartment to be quite charming. And the downtown location to be terribly exciting and convenient.
That three to six minute commute is fantastic! Walking to restaurants and to the park is delightful. Church bells and trolleys, high rises and cityscape fascinate us.
It is all so different than how we have ever lived before.

We are having a hard time thinking about living in the suburbs again, and doing the homeowner-ish stuff like trimming and mulching and taking in the trash cans.

Anyway, for now, we think and talk and pray and flirt with the idea of urban living. And we both keep coming to the same thought:

We just don't know what kind of housing we will get in the end.

So we're just going to enjoy living life in the city in an apartment for as long as it lasts.

This is the front of the condo building from the street. It has flowers everywhere, and inside there is an atrium, an indoor swimming pool, workout center, HEATED garage...

Fun to think about living there. But until our house sells, it is just thinking, just for fun.

Another interesting view: A pile of rubbage on the street that is a routine event in SLC. They have regular neighborhood heavy trash days, when everyone just dumps all their discards into the street. As I drive around SLC, I'll come around a corner and EVERY house has a pile of junk out front.

What really surprises me is that almost every house has either a sofa or a mattress to discard. Guess they must be hard on beds and couches around here!

I stopped and picked up clay flower pots for our balcony garden from one pile. I guess that would officially make me a trash picker.
Oh well.
I was glad to have the pots for free!

Homeless folks walk along and get all kinds of treasures...it would be hard not to want to go trash picking regularly as I've seen lots of very usable stuff out there.

You could probably furnish a whole house that way if you weren't too fussy.

Want to start a whole new life, cheap and real easy like?
Just head for SLC, rent an unfurnished apartment, and start poking around town.

This just might be just the solution to America's woeful finciancial problems.
Don't worry if your retirement income has gone with the wind.
Just come to SLC instead!
Everything you need will be found somewhere on the streets!

The views are wonderful above...(my attempt at splicing two pictures together. I need to work on it a little more if I want to create seamless panoramic shots.)

I guess I am just going to have to admit that this is a pretty trashy post

I just thought that the tiger striped trash trucks are pretty interesting too.

Although I would appreciate it if they would stop being so interesting at 6 am on Saturday mornings!

Have you ever imagined what it would be like to live downtown in a major city?
Does the idea thrill you, or scare you?
Would it be an adventure that you would chose to go on if you could?
And do you think having an endless view and a garden balcony with perhaps a fountain, small table and chairs, potted trees and vegetables growing in pots could ever be as satisfying as having your own front yard and a garage that had a door right into your house?
Is knowing that you will NEVER have to shovel snow be worth giving up a garage to store your stuff?
We have lots of things to consider. Feel free to flirt with the idea along with us.
Point out the the pros and cons as you see them.
We're still very open to suggestions.


Julie said...

Interesting post Jill.. what a different world!
I think what's fun, Jill, is that what you are free to do is play 'dress up' with housing options.
What I find fun is that I can watch you play the game and see how you come out the winner !!

I'm sorry your house hasn't sold yet. It only takes ONE buyer and hopefully he/she will show up soon.

I do love your view photos...and I love that you are loving where you are!! smile

Laura said...

Definately thumbs up to the view, which is always thoroughly enjoyed. It can be nice to have that trash chute a bit down the hall, and that heated garage! Ompa!
Thumbs not so up: Stuff that does not fit into the tiny garbage chute, forgetting something in the car and having to make that long elevator ride back down and up, and from my Hawaii experience up high the winds frequently make sitting on the lanai a bit trecherous.
other than those major downs, well, it's all good!

Lovella said...

Did I not just suggest this? When I think of you and Bernie living in SLC .. .I always imagine you living in the City . .walking to Restaraunts and the Cinema. .
It suits your lifestyle so well.
One thing I would think about though . .is if you ever do have the privilege of becoming Grandparents. . .how would this work living in an apartment? I actually think it might be great. . .walking everywhere. . .We live in the country and I can't walk down the road with the wee ones for fear of being driven over by big trucks. . .
I'll pray with you for this.

amyletinsky said...

I think it's wonderful that you guys are enjoying your apartment and the new situation in which you find yourselves. It's amazing how something so unplanned on our ends can be such a blessing, but that's often how God works, isn't it. He needed to open you guys up to the idea, maybe just for this season, maybe more. I'm certainly benefiting from the great photos from your city life!

Islandsparrow said...

I lived in downtown Philly for a year - as a student - it was exciting but I love the quiet of country life. I think if I had to choose between suburbia and inner city - I might lean toward inner city.

Anonymous said...

Go with the condo. And spend any extra time and money on travel!

Vicki said...

I've often thought about living in a metro-downtown area, especially if it was where we worked/shopped/worshiped. In fact, when Doc and I first married, we were living downtown in a very large city. We did that for three years until he finished graduate school. I walked one mile each way to work (snow, rain, sleet, and shine) and enjoyed working amid the business/retail/dining/convention area of town. Our 3rd floor apartment didn't have a balcony, but we did have a "functional" ledge (the plants and the grill were happy there). The only downside was the three hospitals within two blocks - lots of sirens and helicopter noises around the clock. There was a bit more crime in the area, too, but we felt safe enough in small groups.

The area we're in now is too rural to offer such amenities in its downtown area...and the soon-to-be location of Doc's workplace is many miles from any downtown. We are, however, looking at zero-or-low-maintenance living...like a villa (similar to a home with a garage, but all exterior and lawn maintenance is not our responsibility). We're tired of cleaning the pool, mowing the lawn, and hauling out the trash.

Speaking of trash, on 'heavy trash' days, I've seen people drive up and take off with some pretty interesting 'treasures!'

Anonymous said...

My husband and I made the transition to a "townhouse" about 5 years ago, and have never looked back - we LOVE it! There is definitely an advantage to having your driveways shoveled, your gardens and lawns tended to, gutters cleaned, windows washed etc. I could go much longer ..... We looked long and carefully before we bought to make sure we found one big enough we'd be comfortable in and that the floor plan was practical.
The photos of the one on your post look fabulous - stunning views, and the right real estate agent can make a huge difference. I'll continue to pray for your Houston house to sell.
Lori T

Frank's Girl said...

Hi Jill,

I LOVE your pictures! What a great view every morning when you wake, if you decide to go condo...

I'd also like to say how sorry I am that your house in Kingwood hasn't sold yet. Such a beautiful home deserves a caring caretaker.

Your friend in Texas,


Virginia Rigby said...

Hi Jill,

Sorry to read that your home in Kingwood hasn't sold yet. But, happy to read that you are doing well.

I love your panoramic shots.

Your friend in Texas, Virginia

Anonymous said...

It's a romantic thought you are considering. Flirting! For this time in your lives it may be the perfect location. The views and the ammenities look tempting. My uncle moved into a down town high rise with an amazing view and great location. They moved from a lovely big home with large manicured gardens. They have never looked back with regret on their decision. They enjoyed their home and are enjoying the condo now. God will open and close the doors for you. Enjoy working through your options. All the best. Kathy

Sara said...

Oh yes, about 8 years ago we seriously looked into that here in Long Beach and almost did it....but then we decided we wanted to retire and not have a huge mortgage hanging over our heads, so we stayed put. Now...I wonder what a condo like that goes for in SLC? Hmmmmm....

City living like this has always appealed to me ever since I read Helene Hanff's books about New York City.