The Discussion

J.D. brought up this grand idea that we should live downtown for a year before we start making little ones. My thought - “Now how the HECK could we afford that?!”. He had already crunched the numbers together and all we needed was the “OK” from the wife. I told him I would get back with him once I reviewed the logistics. Within 2 hours, I accepted. Of course, he wasn’t expecting that answer from me. I thought, “Why not?”.

This is a great opportunity to have fun and do something a little crazy. And so our adventure begins...here’s how we made it happen less than 2 weeks.

 

The Plan

  • Budgeting. Renting out our house should be more than the mortgage that we are paying, nothing less. NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • Finding tenants. We needed to find tenants who are OK with a 1 year lease. We also made requirements: background checks, credit checks, rental history, and interview. This was necessary because we will be moving back 1 year later, and it would suck if someone were to trash our house! Only after finding good renters would we start looking at apartments.
  • Apartments vs Condos. We went back and forth if we should rent out an apartment or a condo unit. We ultimately chose apartments due to the fact that it’s a corporation and we didn’t want to deal with a landlord if we wanted something to be fixed within a timely manner.
  • Where to put ALL our shit. When you have a house, you tend to accumulate tons of crap over the years. Our house has 4 bedrooms and 2 baths. Let me tell you, we had so much shit. We found a storage unit close by the house so moving back could be at ease. Garage sale was a MUST and everything that did not sell was donated to Salvation Army.
  • Transportation. I gave up my car for a year because a parking spot downtown would cost 150.00/month! Screw that. I’m taking public transportation, walking, or riding my bike, thank you very much. One of us had to keep our vehicle, and that will be J.D. since his commute to work is further away.

 

Apartment Searching

Within 1 week we found tenants who signed a 1-year lease. Once the contract was signed, we immediately started to look for apartments in the downtown area. We created a “must-have” list, because if we were going to put down the money, then we should be happy at the location we will be living at for 1-year.

We chose the area we absolutely had to be in, then we scheduled an appointment to view 3 apartments in that area within our budget. When looking at these places, we did a look-and-lease aka “L&L” where we would look at a place and lease that same day. This is a great opportunity to haggle, and my game face was on! When we arrived, we stated that we are willing to put down a deposit in the next 3 hours. At this time, offers were thrown at us like crazy. This is where the bargaining began. My favorite game.

It took us about 1.5 hours to decide. How did we choose so fast? Well being married to your partner in crime, we talked it out. That took us less than 20 min: Pros and cons for each place, including the offers the leasing agent gave us - we made a deal and put down a deposit. Our move-in date was the next day. 🙂

The Move

Packing our ENTIRE house in a day was very impressive. Our garage sale was a success and we ended up making extra money. The rest of the stuff that wasn’t sold we either gave away to friends and family or it was donated to Salvation Army.  

It took us 15 hours to settle into our new apartment, we didn’t waste time because the faster we got it done, the faster we could enjoy our time here. I suppose it helped that we both have type A personalities when it comes to getting things done.

We hired a company called Square Cow Moovers to help with moving all the big items to our storage in our new apartment - I highly recommend hiring movers if you don’t want to deal with moving the heavy furniture up 20+ floors. Hahaha. 

Living Downtown

We really enjoy living downtown, this gives us the opportunity to check out new places to eat and explore. Our place is so convenient and close to everything, not to mention the trails. J.D. jogs the pups every morning before work at Ladybird Lake, and they absolutely love it! Thank goodness we live in Austin, because it’s such a dog-friendly place.

Public transportation is how I get around and go to work. I don’t miss driving at all because I usually nap, read, or make new friends on the bus. We hardly use the truck since everything is walking distance. 

Downsizing from a house to an apartment is actually really nice. The space is smaller, which is great because we get to spend lots of family time together. But if we want some alone time, one of us could just hop onto the elevator and head to the family room.

We are definitely taking advantage of the amenities, we would be crazy not to! Free coffee everyday, 24/7 gym, family room...hell yeah! Even the pool is like going to a resort everyday! Live it up.

Overall, this is an experience we will never forget. If you had the opportunity to do it, what’s stopping you? You could make it happen OR regret it. Live life with no rAgrets. Not even a single letter.

 

Mahal,

Joanna Callaway

Have you ever wanted to experience the downtown life? If so, what’s holding you back? If you already lived the life, how did you like it? Let us know your thoughts and/or experience!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *