Quality of living in a Condo in the city vs Suburbs for couples without kids

For the last 13 years my wife and I (no kids) have lived in the suburbs and have come to realize how dull and boring life here is. Big house, lawn, etc but seems like a constant money pit where we are maintaining the house rather than living our lives. The pros are that security and safety are top notch. Neighbors are mostly high quality individuals albeit indulge in droll conversations around money, investments, kids etc. Don’t get me wrong, I love finance as much as the next guy but would love friends with diverse and vibrant personalities.

So we are planning to take the plunge into living in Buckhead. Does anyone on the forums live in the city and what has been your experience? I have always viewed condos as a terrible investment but found out that wasting time and your life in the suburbs is a far costlier mistake. Am I romanticizing city living? I understand it comes with its own set of issues.

PS - If anyone has experience living in a condo like the Ritz or Waldorf Residences, please chime in if the HOA of $1000-1500/mo is worth it and what do you like/dislike about living there.

I’d suggest leasing a property in the area you’re interested in for 6 or more months before selling your current home and purchasing something that is so different. If you decide you like it, great, now ypu know you wont have regrets. If it doesn’t work out as well as you like, then you can return to your home without loss. (Think rising real estate costs, higher interest rates, etc.)


Move to Idaho. The high end neighborhoods are full of normal folks like farmers, business owners, execs, etc. w/some retired and some with families & kids, and lawn maintenance is cheap.

I’d go nuts living in a condo… anywhere!

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Good point. Thank you

Perhaps you are just in the wrong suburban location. Here in suburban Philadelphia, there are many 55+ communities with HOA taking care of site maintenance chores. Visiting children are restricted to outside playgrounds, not running over neighbor’s property.

I like having kids around, it helps keep old people thinking young. To me, hearing kids being noisey when they’re having fun is just as pleasant as listening to the songbirds tweet. And when they act up, like kids are prone to do, I look at it as “payback time” for all the stuff I did as a kid that ticked off the old people. :slightly_smiling_face:

When I was a kid of 6 or 7 years old in the 1950s, we lived next door to an old bachelor and his elderly mom. I made friends with her and she told me stories of when she was a young girl of 15 y/o, who married a man 30 years old and became part of the first Oklahoma Land Rush in 1889… She told me about how life was among the early settlers of that era. There were bad guys, good guys, people dying of rattlesnake bites and people who were suspected of being “Sooners.”

There’s a lot to be gained from the mixing of the old and young, on both sides.


…so make sure you locate yourself near one of the playgrounds dotted throughout the community, or visit them often.

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It sounds like you may be better off among people like yourself, have fun talking with grumpy old men about the “good ole days.”…

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Actually I’m in a modern suburban housing development with scads of unsupervised children and most of my neighbors are 20-30s. We get along well, they’re often over my house using my workbenches, tools, etc. I marvel at the unsupervised children ramming their bikes into concrete abutments, teasing chained dogs. Just waiting for the next serious injury. As a First Responder, I’ll probably be the rescuer… Again, the kids aren’t bad, the uncaring or unqualified or too busy for kids parents are. You sound very much like one of the problems.

In my experience, I’ve noticed a cultural difference between the folks from your part of the country and that of the people in the Intermountain Region. I think there’s less of a tendency to make assumptions regarding people’s intent and folks seem to be a tad more friendly and understanding out here than what I see and have experienced in the NY and Philly area.

It also sounds like there might be a significant difference in housing density between what we experience in our daily lives. If so, that fact probably weighs heavily on our attitudes towards neighborhood kids.

For the last 43 years I’ve been fortunate enough to live in residential neighborhoods with large (1.5 to 7 acres) lots. I’m sure that makes a difference if you compare the normal everyday noise levels I experience with those you might have if your lot sizes are less than 1/2 acre. We also live some distance, (over a mile) from any busy roads, 5 miles from a two-lane highway and 15 miles from a freeway. There’s no public parks within two miles.

So kids running and playing are less a nuisance and mainly takes place a ways away and probably within earshot of their parents who seem to take parenting seriously. Our streets have as much or more foot and bicycle traffic and dog-walkers as car traffic.

Like I said earlier, I’d go nuts living in a condo or co-op building.

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I have downsized from my 1639 vintage house on a major numbered highway - the original turnpike house from the 17th century, (turnpike meaning the home and public house of the man who collected tolls and “turned the pike” to permit passage on the then private road connecting Philadelphia to Allentown. I sold my acreage off to a 55+ development and sold my house + 2.5 acres and moved to a new house on a 3/4 acre lot in a setting of mixed lot sizes of 1/4 to my 3/4 acres, most prevalent being 1/2 acre all with 100’ frontages. The kiddies slamming into abutments to which I referred are the abutments of a culvert allowing my 300’ long driveway to pass over a government-mandated drainage swale. The kiddies seem to be playing a game where they pedal bicycles as fast as possible to “ditch” them as if crashing in a race or shot down warplane. When I attempt to stop them, one mouthy bugger says "my mother told me not to listen to you - the ground isn’t yours, it belongs to the township. I immediately posted the property and hand-carried letters to the mentally deficient parents advising them of the truth…the kids kept coming. I eventually had to take videos and turn the situation over to the police. It has since tapered down a good bit, I suppose equally due to official action + the aging of the idiots and their broods. My next door neighbor has a water retention area about 80’ square, likewise government mandated that he had to fence to keep the morons’ unsupervised kids out of standing water. These kids are about elementary school age-1st-4th graders I’d guess.

I don’t want to ever live in a community that doesn’t include all ages. I do like having a large lot, but i could live part time in a smaller space.

Actually I love to experience things that take me out of my daily routine and surroundings. My wife and I have tried to do that when we take vacation trips.

Rather than stay in fancy hotels and resorts, we like to spend time living like the locals live. The most fun we’ve ever had is staying in our home away from home in Mauke, Cook Islands. Here’s a pic:

I just watched a Noah Braumbach flick and enjoyed reading words that are very much out of our vernacular (brood, swale, culvert, abutment, etc) for us 40 year olds this is so nice to read. I wish you all well. Please keep writing and sharing your opinion.

I retired in 2009 from a 4 decades long career as a Real Estate Broker, Appraiser, heavily involved in new construction residential development. If those terms are no longer being used, what the H do they now call the concrete headwall and pipe channeling streams under roadways? The terms are still relevant around here as they are commonly used at municipal planning and code meetings and are still written on subdivision and engineering plans.