I’m sure many of you can relate to the feeling of wanting to get out of your current living circumstances….. for a variety of reasons! Well…. the next 30 days is going to be filled with reasons why I LOVE my current living situation!
Part of the law of abundance, is expressing and feeling gratitude for where you are and what you have right now! I actually really do love my condo for many reasons…. which we will be discussing for the next 30 days. However…. there are things that we don’t like and rules that we are not fond of…. which is typical when you live in a Home Owners Association (HOA). For those various reasons…. we have decided that we would like to move back into a home. This next 30 days of sincere gratitude for our current circumstances will help bring about those things in our life that will move us toward making the change we desire.
I don’t know if this is the appropriate place to describe and tell you how we ended up here….. it’s kind of a long story. But let’s just say that we knew when we moved in that we would most likely be making another move. However…. after all the work it was to move out of the home we’d been in for 21 years to move here….. my husband said, “We are NOT moving again!” But…. that was before living here for a few years and dealing with an HOA…. and also realizing that the condo really does not meet all of our needs.
So…. here we go. 30 days of all the wonderful reasons this condo is so great! I don’t know that they will necessarily be posted in any order of preference…. just 30 good reasons I love it!
LET’S DO THIS!
#1 — NO Yard Work! That should be reason alone to love living in an HOA! It’s so nice to not have to worry about mowing the lawn! It’s wonderful for when we go out of town for several weeks and have no worries about the yard!
#2 – More Square Footage! We moved from a home in Murray that we lived in for 21 years before we moved here. We pretty much raised our kids in that Murray home…. with the exception of the 7 years we lived in an older home in Salt Lake City. Each time square footage has increased with a move. We have almost 3000 square feet now. What I would have given to have that when the kids were growing up! But we love the extra space it provides us now!
#3 – Gas Fireplace! One of the first things that caught my eye when we came to see this condo for the first time was the gas fireplace. It’s so nice to have a fireplace that flips on with the flip of a switch! I love the ambiance of a fire and the warmth it gives the room when I’m chilly! I don’t think we had more than 3 or 4 fires in our fireplace in our Murray home in the 21 years we lived there! This is so convent, easy and clean! It’s been a joy!
#4 – Solid Surface Countertops! Many of us lived in the days of formica (laminate) being the bing trend in kitchen counters. If you’re like us….. we didn’t like it very well after a few years. It started to look worn and would start to curl up at the seams from damage from water. When we remodeled our kitchen in our Murray home, we installed Granite tiles ourselves. When we remodeled here… I talked him into solid surface countertops. We chose to go with a Granite deposit countertop by the name of Silestone. It’s much easier to care for than granite, but has a similar look. We really do enjoy the look and the ease of these counters!
#5 – Beautiful remodeled Kitchen! I wish I had before and after pictures to show you here. Unfortunately, the camera we took before pictures with was stolen. Lost all the pictures I had taken. Even though our condo was only five years old when we bought it in 2006, we still had to remodel it. At least for me to be able to stand to live in it. The sweet little old lady that owned it first didn’t havethe same taste as I do. Imagine if you will, mint-green carpet and pinklaminate countertops. Yeah….. Just let that sink in for a minute! Hence, one reason why we had to remodel! But, now I have lovely off white cabinets (which we painted ourselves), with the new countertops I just mentioned. Oh….. And the floors…….
#6 – Beautiful Hardwood floors! I love my dark maple hand scrapped wood floors! They are so pretty! I don’t miss carpet at all! We only have one room in the whole house with carpet. It’s a lovely thing.
#7 – New Furniture! I can’t complain! I got a lot of new furniture when we moved in here! Of course, the fact that the lady that bought our home in Murray bought a lot of my old stuff helps……. Anyway you want to look at it…… I was blessed with a lot of new things when we moved.
#8 – Main Floor Laundry! I’m sure many of you are accustom to having a main floor laundry room….. but for the 21 years we lived in Murray and were raising our kids….. you know, the time you have mountains of laundry to do? Yeah…. it was in the basement then! (Though I did love the size of my old laundry room and the sorting bins my hubby built!) It’s so nice to not have to go up and down the stairs for laundry! Even though my AWESOME husband is the one who ends up doing a lot of the laundry (just cause he’s awesome…..) I know he enjoys it too. Great feature. Wouldn’t have it any other way. Unless of course I was really young and had a two story home with all the bedrooms upstairs…. then I would want the laundry room up there. But for now and pretty much the rest of my future….. I’ll take main floor laundry!
#9 – Walk In Closet! I attend a LOT of Parade of Home shows. Pretty much every one I can get to in my general area. Every year. I’m what I call a Parade of Homes Junkie. I’ve seen many walk in closets in those trips. Always wanted one. Our home in Murray didn’t have a walk in closet, though it did have two closets in the Master bedroom which was very nice. It made it much easier to organize our clothes. When we moved into this condo I finally got a walk in closet in my bedroom! Every bedroom in the condo has a walk in closet. Nice feature. Wouldn’t want to go back.
#10 – Second Kitchen! Yes, I know. That is a luxury….. but we opted to put in a full kitchen in the basement instead of another bedroom. Here’s why…. We were remodeling the kitchen upstairs anyway and would be getting new appliances. Since the condo was only 5 years old when we bought it, we figured we’d just use the old appliances in the kitchen downstairs. Plus…. the way I designed the kitchen gave me a large counter for me to use as my ‘crafting’ area. It’s a great place to cut fabric or work on my jewelry projects, etc.. It also serves to make easy access to the large family room downstairs. It’s a great combo.
#11 – Large Family Room in Basement! Oh how I wish I would have had this when my kids were growing up! I think they wish it too! We so enjoy the large area we created in the basement when we finished it off after moving here. As I already mentioned…. the combination of the 2nd kitchen and family room together make social gatherings really fun. We also invested in a very large screen TV so watching a movie together or playing a Wii game or even having a presentation at our home for our business is really convenient. It’s really one of my favorite areas of my condo!
#12 – Fancy Fans and Lights! One of the fun things about remodeling was being able to pick out my new lighting. There was just very basic lighting in the house before we got started. We decided that we wanted fans in several rooms and I didn’t want your standard fan from Lowe’s or Home Depot. Not that they don’t carry some nice fans…. I just couldn’t find what I wanted there. So…. off to the lighting store I went! We ended up with 3 different fans, but all are remote control. Now that’s a nice feature! We added some island lights in the kitchen when we reconfigured it and I got matching lights for the entry way and over my dining table. Again…. not your standard lights. But….. remember…. we thought we were going to be staying here, so I was doing everything the way I wanted it done! I do like my lighting.
#13 – Stainless Steel Appliances! Sometimes I’m a real ‘matchy’ person. Not just color…. but brand! We had replaced our appliance in our Murray home before we moved and I really enjoyed them and wanted the same thing. I was going to bring my fridge with me from Murray, but the buyer talked us out of it….. so I had to get another new one! Luckily, at the time, we had a connection through my son to get a great deal on them. I pretty much ordered the same appliances as Murray, but upgraded a few things and got a new trash compacter too. Don’t argue with me about trash compactors! I love mine and would hate to be without one!
#14 – My Entry Tile! Have I mentioned the tile in the entry? No… I think not! Our original plan was to rip out the tile that was there and to put the wood floor we installed in the rest of the upstairs in the entry too. Well…. the closer we looked at trying to tear out the tile…. the less probable it looked! However…. I did NOT like what was there! So…. plan B was devised! I found a place on the internet that told you how to tile over the top of tile….. so that’s what we did! Our tile went from boring beige to beautiful ceramic tile with veins in it and little glass tile corners in the pattern. We tiled the entry and into the front bath with the same tile. I love it and think it blends nicely with my dark wood.
#15 – Basement Bathroom! Oh…. there’s many reasons why I like this…. but the most important one was not having to go upstairs to use the bathroom anymore! My son was particularly happy about that one! I also love the way we finished it. I kind of get a kick out of picking out tile and ‘designing’ the patterns…. probably much more than my husband does because he’s the one that has to install my crazy designs! Though we ended up using the same tile in the downstairs bathroom as we used in the entry…. I designed it different and we used different accent pieces. I’m quite happy with the way it turned out and am very please with the basin cabinet we found.
#16 – Cabinet Dividers/ Roll Outs! I know I’ve mentioned my remodeled kitchen as an overall thing I love about my condo…. but I have to get a little specific about a few things….. cause I really do love them! One of the best things we did was replace the 12″ deep cabinet over the fridge with one that is 24″ deep. At least you can use the cabinet that way! My kitchen in my Murray home was a custom designed kitchen and had some awesome dividers in the cabinet above the fridge. They were perfect for storing my cookie pans, my Wok and cooling racks, cutting boards, pizza stone, etc.. Since that was a feature I really loved in Murray…. we made it work here. Since we only ordered a few stock pieces of cabinets to go with the ones we already had when we remodeled, we were able to find metal dividers at IKEA…. at least that’s where I think we got them….. By screwing those into the bottom of the cabinet, we were able to create similar dividers in this cabinet above the fridge. But this one is even better because it has a shelf above those dividers that works wonderful for my large platters. I also love the pull out shelfs we ordered for our base cabinets. It’s so much easier to get to things when you can pull it out and see what’s there!
#17 — Central Vac! You know how you used to see everyone else that had Central Vac in their house and be jealous? Well….. we took care of that when we moved here. Before we finished off the basement, my husband installed Central Vac for me. Since he’s such a handyman… it was much cheaper to install it ourselves. One of the things I love about it is the Vac pan that sits under my island counter in the sink. There’s also one in my master bath. They are just little openings in the counter that have a switch that will turn on the vacuum right at the opening. It makes it really great for a quick sweep of the floor. Just sweep that dirt right to the opening and it sucks it right out to vacuum dirt collector in the garage. Great feature!
#18 — Fireworks from the Deck! When we moved to Riverton, there were adjustments to make living further south in the valley than we did for 21 years….. but there are some advantages too. Our condo is located only about 1 mile or less away from the city park, so because of our location and the way our deck faces…. we can sit out on our deck on the Fourth of July and enjoy the city fireworks without ever having to leave home! Now that is nice. Partially because my husband is kind of a Grinch when it comes those sort of thing and rarely wants to be there in person. This way I at least get to see them…. even if it’s by myself! I can also go sit in the back of a neighbors house and see the ones from Draper and Sandy on other nights. Yes…. their yard would be considered ‘common area’ so technically I’m not intruding.
#19 – Stream in Back! Speaking of the deck….. though it’s man made, we have this little stream that runs through our back yard. Of course, it runs through the back yard of all the condos on this street, but it’s still kind of cool! At least when it’s maintained well. It’s time for some weed pulling again, but once that’s done, it’s kind of a nice thing. It’s not very big and doesn’t really get a lot of water down it… but it’s a nice look. Apparently there was a natural spring up the street, so they decided to design it’s ‘exit’ as part of the condo’s backyard.
#20 – Room on Porch! Though my porch here is not huge…. it still has enough room on it for me to add a little seasonal decor, which I never really had room for in Murray, other than garlands around the doorway. Here…. I actually have room for a few things to sit on the ground, like my cute snowman for Christmas or my lovely potted flowers in the Summer.
#21 – An Entry Way! One of the things I hated most about my Murray home was that we had no entryway. It was a split level home, so the doors opened to stairs going up and going down and the landing was not very big. I never really had the room to decorate or make that entry inviting. I’m so grateful we have a nice entry way into this condo!
#22 – Shutters! One of the first things that caught my attentions when we walked into this condo for the first time were the shutters on the doors on the deck and in the kitchen bay window. I love shutters! Even though I was taken a little aback by the mint green carpet and the pink countertops…. my eye did catch the beautiful shutters. That was a definite plus for me. I love the ease of opening and closing shutters and how easy they are to clean. I think seeing out of them is easier than blinds. Let me clarify here… my shutters have 4 inch slates on them, so the space between each shutter is easy to catch the view outside. It’s one thing I really want in my next house!
#23 – Community Pool! Though I’m not an avid swimmer by any means…. we have enjoyed using the pool the last couple of Summers. For me…. it’s mostly to catch some rays! My husband enjoys the hot tub. We try and go a couple of times a week in the Summer. We do pay a fee for upkeep on the pool…. part of our HOA fees… so it’s nice to get some use out of it! One thing different about our pool compared to most community pools in other neighborhoods is, because we are a 55+ community…. there’s usually not many people there. Anyone using the pool has to be with a resident, so the only kids there are grandkids of residents. Though I don’t necessarily agree with the need for the resident to be there (especially when they are 80+ years old… and it’s 90+ degrees outside…) it does keep the crowds down!
#24 – Walking Trail Near By! We have so enjoyed being close to a walking trail. It’s so nice to take the dogs for a walk and have a place to go that’s close and easy to walk. The Jordan River Parkway trail is truly a jewel. We were lucky enough to live close to it when we lived in Murray and walking there was a regular habit with us. How grateful we were when we moved here to be close to the trail again! It will be interesting to see if we end up close to the trail once again when we move!
#25 – Storage! Just ask my husband….. I require lots of room to store things! One of the first things we finished in the basement when we moved here, besides a bedroom for my son, was the storage rooms. I needed a place to organize and put all my holiday decor and other stuff! We finished a large storage room for my decor which also included the under stair storage, plus another area with shelving for food supply. As time went on…. my hubby built an area in the attic to store things too. This allowed us to get rid of the storage unit we had had for several years. Though I’m not as organized as I’d like to be with all that stuff…. at least it’s all here!
#26 – Walk Out Basement! The first condo we looked at in this development, before we bought this one was up above on the hill. Though the colors were more neutral (What! You mean no pink countertops and mint green carpet????) and it was the exact same floor plan as the condo we are in now….. it did not have a walk out basement. It’s one of the furthers units west and therefore sat on fairly level ground. We just happened to drive through the neighborhood and found this one as a For Sale By Owner so we wanted to take a look. Of course, the price was much cheaper here than the first one we looked at…. (do you think those pink countertops had anything to do with that??) but one of the appealing things was the walk out basement. It provides more ‘outdoor’ living area and opens up to the little stream that runs behind the condo (see #19). I’ve always been a fan of walk out basements, so I was thrilled that this condo had one!
#27 – Quiet Neighborhood! As we contemplate moving on from here, I’ve noticed as we’ve checked out other neighborhoods how many little kids (and teenagers) there are around. Not that I have anything against kids….. I can hardly wait to be a Grandma (someday)….. but living in this 55+ community really does mean that there isn’t much noise around. Oh… the neighbors have their grandkids here in the area on occasion…. but it really isn’t quite the same as a neighborhood full of children. Even the fact that we are a community…. separately maintained streets and all….. we don’t get much traffic through here. When we lived in Murray, our home was on a very busy street. It was the street that came into the neighborhood off of 5300 So, so anyone coming from that direction had to drive by our house. That meant for a lot of action and a lot of noise. So living here has been quite a change from that. But I can’t say I mind. It makes taking naps in the middle of the day easier! 🙂 It will be an adjustment to go back to that kind of noise when we move into a family neighborhood again!
#28 – Snow Removal! I can’t believe I went this long without mentioning snow removal! That’s part of the not having to worry about the outside yard…. but having to deal with things in the cold is a bear! One extra thing nice about our community is not only do they do the streets…but the snow removal does cover the driveways too. Not all communities take care of the walks and driveways, but ours does! Probably a good thing since this is a 55+ community! Not many of these older people want to get out to shovel the driveway! My husband appreciates it the most!
#29 – The Ward! We have a great ward. The longer we are here, the more I get to know people….. the better the Ward becomes to me! I’m so grateful for my association with my friends at church. It’s such a big part of my life! They are, in a way, like a family to me. You really do learn to love and care for one another. I’m grateful for the wonderful example of so many people in the Ward. I wasn’t sure it would be an easy adjustment after living in the same neighborhood for 21 years to come and make new friends… but it’s been a good thing.
#30 – The Neighbors! We have some of the greatest neighbors anyone could ask for! We truly feel blessed to have met so many incredible people here. It’s amazing what you can learn from people. I don’t want to start mentioning names because I might forget some people…. hopefully they know who they are….. but we have neighbors in this condo community that we dearly love! Though sometimes we don’t agree with all the ‘rules’ the community wants to make…. they are great people! I will dearly miss many of them when we make our move! Some of those personalities are just irreplaceable! This is truly a great place to live….. for those with the right personality. Unfortunately, we are not one of them! The time has come for us to move on. Now the problem is figuring out where!