Exactly six years after the day we moved in, today we are moving out of our condo.
It’s hard to believe that six years has passed. When we purchased it, we thought it would be a good “starter” home and we would eventually move to a more permanent residence. We were under the assumption that when the time came to sell, we’d be turning a tidy profit. The only problem was that we bought the condo in late 2006 when the housing market was thriving. As you may know, the housing market is no longer thriving.
It is annoying that the collapse of the housing market has negatively affected us. Sure, we may have bought at the wrong time, but unlike many people who were buying property then, we didn’t buy more than we could afford. Too bad everyone didn’t do the same.
Despite the finances, it has been a good home for us. We spent six memorable years there, growing from an unmarried (but engaged) couple into to a small family. We actually said that buying property together was more of a commitment to each other than the actual wedding. Divorces are easy. Splitting up a condo is more difficult.
Unfortunately, there was one year of our stay that wasn’t quite so great. The year of the Stompersons.
When we returned from our honeymoon in June 2007, we discovered that we had new upstairs neighbors. This immediately became a problem.
A young couple was now living above us, and sometimes they had a small girl (the man’s daughter) living with them. As children tend to do, she would sometimes run around the condo. We could hear every step and jump that she took. And yet, we could have lived with that.
Sometimes, they would either play salsa music or turn up the television to insanely high volumes in the main room so that they could hear in their bedroom. This also allowed the music to be heard quite clearly in our condo. (Not to mention outside the entire building) And yet, we could have lived with that.
The problem that we couldn’t deal with was that just about every single night, the man would walk around the bedroom. And when the man walked, he walked hard. He wasn’t an especially large man, yet he must have had the world’s heaviest footsteps. Our walls shook with the impact of every step.
Making the problem worse was that he wasn’t consistent in the times that he would do his night walking. One night it might be at 2 AM. The next night, he could be up at 6 AM. Other times, he’d be walking at midnight, and again at 7 AM. And for some reason, the walking would often last up to an hour in duration.
Once we heard the stomping, it became almost impossible to sleep as we knew we’d probably have to deal with the noise for the next hour or so. Our sleep was ruined and we were constantly on edge. On the bright side, it would prove to be excellent preparation for raising a baby.
We tried asking them to walk softer or limit their walking. We tried anything we could think of to block out the sound. No matter what we tried, the late night wake-ups continued.
One night, I was able to successfully block out the sound thanks to earplugs. However, I was not able to block out the sound of my wife – unable to wear the earplugs – screaming and banging on the ceiling with a broom.
Thankfully, they only stayed one year. With no exaggeration, the day they moved out was one of the happiest days of my life. I remember feeling such relief that night that ironically, I didn’t even want to go to sleep.
Thankfully, we haven’t had much of an issue with any of the neighbors who have come since. There was one group who seemed to enjoy some illegal substances, but at least they were quiet when they smoked.
Regardless, one thing we are excited about in our new house is that we won’t have anyone living above us. Unless of course, some vagrants decide to move into our attic. And if that happens, we probably have more pressing concerns than the sound of their footsteps.
Noisy neighbors aside, we did have some good times at our condo. In addition to some memorable social gatherings, we got to watch our daughter begin to grow up there.
And we will miss some things about the neighborhood. There were plenty of places to walk to, and the deer and squirrels served as pseudo pets. I’m also sure that in the summer months, we will miss having a pool only a five-minute walk away.
But that is all behind us now, as it is time to move on to our new home. So farewell, dear condo. May you serve your new owner as well as you served us!