I had been entertaining the idea of selling my downtown condo for some time and almost put it up for sale before Christmas but choose to hold off.
I know some people question why you would want to get rid of one of your biggest assets in retirement but there were a couple of factors at play.
While my pensions were providing me with enough to live on each month they weren't providing enough for the longer holidays etc - also when I started down the retirement road some 10 years ago the markets were providing a much larger return on their investments than they are now - so I have been using some of the equity in my condo to finance the cruises etc.
My condo building is coming up to 40 years old and will need to be upgraded and renewed over the next three to five years - there were likely to be several significant assessments over that period of time - all of which I would need to use the equity to pay for.
That in itself isn't necessarily a bad thing - if the market continues to grow etc - but that is a big if - some were predicting a market correction here in Vancouver. etc.
Also while my health is okay now - okay I have the usual aging problems - hearing loss, cataracts etc I don't have any major life threatening or altering issues BUT you never know when that could happen.
I didn't want to be stuck in a situation where a health issue arises, there is a bad real estate market etc., etc., etc.,
So in early February I called an old real estate friend that I knew from my working days at the Y - we discussed the situation on Wednesday, agreed on a price and he arranged an open house for the Sunday - over 100 people viewed it - three offers were tendered on Monday - I accepted the middle one - only $1000.00 less than the highest but there were no subject clauses and it was still $6000.00 over asking.
It also was a month end closing so I needed to get a place to rent - while I could have rented in a condo building I choose to go with an all rental building - still in the downtown core - about 6 blocks from my old place - it's closer to the shopping core - I am 17 stories up in the sky - in a roomy 580 sq. ft one bedroom apartment with views to the south east and around to the northwest as it is a corner unit.
The move in when fine - I will be able to pay for about 80% of my rent from the proceeds of the sale and with a saving on condo fees and a friend repaying a private loan it takes very little from my monthly budget and will still have monies available for trips etc for many years to come.
So for the first time really in my adult life - except for one year in the 70's - I am not a home owner but a renter - my new place is managed by a large rental management firm and if first impressions mean anything I am very impressed on how they manage the building.
Since moving in I am heard almost no noise from either the suite above or below me.
I also have a built in washer and dryer, a large balcony - can't barbecue but there is a barbecue area on a lower floor - I have a good parking spot - a large storage locker and a good secure bike storage.
So the next chapter in my life is unfolding and it's time to say Cheers!