The Downsizing Experiment

An unsolicited chain of events over the last couple of weeks has given us an opportunity that very few get: to downsize into a Pearl District condo without giving up our current home for a specified amount of time. Could we be happy in a condo that’s just over 20% the size of our current home? We have wondered about Pearl living and now we’re going to find out. We’ve rented our house out for six months, fully furnished. The 1902 house that we renovated in 2005 is nearly 5000 square feet and without a doubt more space than we need but it’s what we’ve got and we do love it.

We’re now living in 1054 square feet plus a balcony in the Pearl District; one happy family including a two-year-old toddler and Tasman, the 60 pound, nine-year-old, Australian cattle dog (red/blue heeler). We just spent our second night here and turn the keys over to our house at the end of the week. Our goal is not to have to go back and disturb the tenants for things we can’t live without. The move has been a much bigger chore than either of us expected. I think that’s partially due to the downsizing; picking what you think you’ll need but leaving everything else behind. We can’t just box it all up and figure it all out later. Though not a real estate transaction, the experience parallels it in an expedited manner. By the end of the two week Friday-Friday period we will have:

  • Offered the opportunity
  • Decided to move
  • Researched condos and apartments
  • Negotiated two contracts
  • Decluttered as if we were listing for sale
  • Bought and sold some stuff on Craigslist
  • Packed
  • Moved
  • Assembled some Ikea furniture
  • Completed (with help) a long list of “house projects” that as the owner you see every day but ignore with mild disdain. Every project we’ve done would also have needed doing if we were listing for sale.

I’ll be writing more details about what we’ve experienced with each topic above in the future along with the usual market reports and commentary. There will be a new Case Shiller report out tomorrow. I expect that the report will not be glowing and that market reports that reflect the Arctic Blast and holiday slowdown will be especially brutal. Antidotally, we’ve seen more client activity in the last three weeks of January than we saw in the last six weeks prior to that. That could mean anything in the long run but keeps us busy today.

5 Comments on “The Downsizing Experiment

  1. We did an experiment like that a couple of years ago and we really loved it. Even though we later followed our master plan and moved to a house in the NE with all of our stuff, both of us still miss the fun and simplicity of our time downtown. The only hassle I recall was taking the dog for a walk late at night in the rain instead of just letting him out in the back yard.

  2. What prompted you to do this? And to clarify, you are renting this apartment, correct?

  3. Two weeks ago, the idea of moving had never crossed our minds. We were given the opportunity to rent our house fully furnished so we’ve taken a six month lease in a condo- we are renting. We get to try a type of living we’ve never done and save some money in the process.

  4. Can everyone in real estate collectively agree to stop using the term Pearl living. Its just so pretentious.

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