• 7 Jul 2024, 11:39 a.m.

    Update for anyone who's interested: we've had a bit of a talk and I shared some of my unhappiness at my premature move to a retirement community. She shares some of that although not quite to the same degree as me. We have agreed that I will start looking into buying a condo in Toronto in order to enable a lifestyle that involves more time spent in the city, and see where that takes things.

    I'm sorry to tell you that I will not be traveling with Chicago to Bhutan, although we are making plans to spend a weekend drinking in NYC next month.

  • 7 Jul 2024, 11:54 a.m.

    I have been aware of the word 'condo', and its longer form, in relation to property, for most of my life.

    I still don't really know what it is.

  • 7 Jul 2024, 12:03 p.m.

    Some kind of Bhutan-esque dance?

  • Squad
    7 Jul 2024, 12:03 p.m.

    It’s a flat.

  • 7 Jul 2024, 12:40 p.m.

    @Russ what drove the move to the country in the first place?

    I get a lot of people at work asking me when I'm moving out of London and my answer is always never. I don't need a bigger house and garden but do enjoy easy access to transport links, sporting, music and theatre venues. Even being able to walk 10 minutes to the local Odeon.

  • 7 Jul 2024, 12:41 p.m.

    Commonly but not always. When I first moved here I had a condominium townhouse.

    Condo refers to a specific ownership model - condos are operated by a condominium corporation that is responsible for all the upkeep, upgrade and maintenance of common elements, and when you buy a condo you also buy an equal share in the condo corp. That gives you the ability if you so wish to be elected to the condo board which makes financial decisions for the corp, as well as an equal share of the liability for any costs. Condos come with a monthly maintenance fee levied by the corp which finances those works.

    We don't really have the concept of leasehold ownership here in the same way that the UK does, buildings are generally either condos or apartment buildings which are owned and operated by a separate for profit corporation and the dwelling units are rented out by that corporation.

  • 7 Jul 2024, 12:44 p.m.

    Height of covid, massive boom in the prices of family homes in downtown Toronto, saw the opportunity to cash in and buy a house three times the size for a third of the price in close proximity to a beautiful golf course while also buying some investment properties to set us up for retirement. Financially speaking it was an excellent decision, but for exactly the reasons you state it was a poor life decision. I've realised I'm nowhere near as close to retirement as I thought I wanted to be.

  • 7 Jul 2024, 1:03 p.m.

    Moving to the country does not equal retirement… in fact, I’d argue the opposite. The closer I get, the more I’m likely to move to a city. My shirelife has been great. Sure it’s helped by being 35mins to London or 15mins to Oxford and the fact that my job has involved a lot of travel. Until last Thursday this was deep Tory territory but it’s the people rather than the place that make it.

    In other news, I went to Bhutan 25y ago on my honeymoon. Can highly recommend.

  • 7 Jul 2024, 1:14 p.m.

    This has always puzzled me. Having everything closer with decent transport seems to be something you want more as you get older.

    Countryside living with a family I can see a bit more but see my post above, living in a village/small rural town when you can't drive isn't the best.

  • 7 Jul 2024, 1:37 p.m.

    We lived in a small village for almost 30 years while our kids were growing up. Now live in Southwell, which isn't perfect but it's great to be able to walk to shops and other facilities.

  • 7 Jul 2024, 1:40 p.m.

    I read Guru's post as that he was saying precisely the same thing.

  • 7 Jul 2024, 2:09 p.m.

    So did I, I was agreeing with him.

  • 7 Jul 2024, 3:29 p.m.

    We moved to a magnificent house further away from Chicago proper but still 30 minutes from the city. I drive there everyday. I work so much the days off in the relative quiet are just great. We have a very diverse neighbourhood and some interesting problems. Where we live is kind of feral. Our immediate neighbours are ace but a bit further away everyone is a mental noisy nutter. 4th of July here was like the Dresden bombings. Fireworks in the street. Pavements, gardens. Explosions everywhere. Smoke permeating everywhere. Nutty as a fruitcake. The people across the street own a mansion and we walked over there and sat on their third floor open balcony and watched the mayhem. We live in a township that has inner city madness but suburban benefits.

    I can still go play football and hang with the boys if I want (although my knees are wank biscuits), but like to rest on Sundays and work on the garden stuff. Still have basement problems because of water and a developer we are still trying to get legal action against but it has done our marriage an absolute world of good.

    My wife is very happy (probably for the first time in our relationship for a sustained period of time. So much so she has given up drinking and is looking after herself and she has she shed loads of weight and looks incredibly healthy.

    So our story is sort of the absolute opposite to Russ. It’s been less than a year though so I might start to get restless but my work is so busy and relentless coming home here has been a godsend.

    Having said that, I do still plan on trying to get in two holidays a year for a bit of sanity (something that was put on hold because of the house buying for a year).

    I am not drinking as much as I used too to support wifey. I suspect if I can make it to NYC then Russ will probably laugh at my wimpy liver.

    Chicago: Suburban superstar.

  • 7 Jul 2024, 5:10 p.m.

    Without wishing to trivialise Mr. Russ' really very quite serious life decisions and ensuing discussions or owt, I couldn't read past this bit without mentally finishing the sentence with "gonna eat a lot of peaches".

    That's all I have to contribute.

    Please do carry on.

  • 7 Jul 2024, 5:17 p.m.

    Apologies, misread your post.

  • 7 Jul 2024, 7:16 p.m.

    TBF, your version of "in the country" and mine are rather different. I'm a 4 hour journey from Toronto and a 75 minute drive from anything resembling a city.

    Also, the people here are largely awful. Braindead white racist Conservatives to a man.

  • 7 Jul 2024, 7:23 p.m.

    Get a gun.