The Denver real estate market is moving full speed ahead, and many people are once again thinking about selling their homes and in turn downsizing their lives to a condo lifestyle. Downtown Denver offers some unique choices in terms of neighborhoods and locations, and living in and around the central business district offers a variety of not only lifestyle, but living options.
Location is often said to be the most important and influential choice among buyers, but the social aspect of the building is another factor to consider. Whether you are looking to move into a contemporary high-rise, a converted loft, a historically designated building, or a mixed-use development, each building type offers a different sense of community. How busy does the gym or pool get after work; is there a concierge to let your guests in; how secure is the building; and is there guest parking are questions worth investigating.
It’s also important to think about how you will use your new space. Condos typically differentiate themselves with open and versatile floorplans, compared to a home where many of the rooms have distinct functions. With condos, circulation spaces such as hallways and corridors are often minimized, replaced by flexible multi-use spaces. From a design point of view, there is more freedom to determine how you want to define the space. Think “versatility” in smaller spaces!
Your awareness of the surroundings could also change with the lifestyle. In a home you will “see” your neighbors, however in a shared wall situation, you might notice their sounds more. Ask about sound mitigation designs. Is the floor slab concrete; is there extra insulation added; and are the walls double layered. Street noise is another environmental issue that can take some getting used to (even if you’re 25 floors up) when you’re coming from a neighborhood.
Another challenge many people face when moving from a home to a condo is what to do with all their personal belongings. Emotionally this can be one of the biggest hurdles people face. Furniture that may have previously been designed for one specific room, now must be used for a variety of purposes. When you are used to a lot of space, moving into a condo can be daunting at first. To help put sizes in perspective, it helps to compare room sizes in the current home with ones that you know you might be moving into.
Economically downsizing offers even more options to think about. Many condos do not have separate energy, water, trash, or utility bills instead bundling those costs into a homeowners association fee. These fees also cover amenities like fitness centers, pools, concierge and security services and when combined can save you money in the long run. Likewise, not having to drive to a gym, or having someone available to walk your dog (some buildings have built-in dog parks), or deliver your dry-cleaning during the day can save you time and money. Living in the city can also cut down on your car expenditures. Being able to walk to dinner, or meet someone for a drink can also simplify your life.
On a deeper level, downsizing often signifies a change in one’s life, and living downtown can be new, fun, and exciting. After researching the fundamentals of downsizing into a condo, perhaps an “urban lifestyle” is for you. Jared Blank is a broker with Fuller Sotheby’s International Realty and specializes in the downtown Denver market. You can reach Jared at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-521-5025.