In 1998, my sister had just ended a relationship and moved back to my parents. I was still living at home as well. About the time she decided to come home, I was itching to find my own place. I wasn’t exactly sure where I wanted to go but I knew I wanted it to be close to my job and my parents. I had a good job and I was happy there, so I was more than ready to start the next chapter of my life. After talking to my parents about it, they suggested Patty and I purchase a house or a condo together. It turned out to be one of the best decisions we ever made together, as well as one of the happiest times of our lives.
We started our house hunt, looking at houses first, and soon realized it would be too much for us to maintain. Seriously, I wasn’t interested in mowing any grass at that time of my life! Lol! So, we changed directions and started looking at townhomes and condos. We were adamant about finding two equally sized bedrooms and two bathrooms. That was our only real requirement.
At the end of our search, we finally found the one we both loved. More importantly, both bedrooms were equal in size! The only real difference is the bedroom was mine had a Master bath attached. I think that as soon as we walked in, we knew this was the one for us. The condo was in a small complex, with only 24 units. Our unit was on the third floor. At about a 1,038 sq ft, the unit had 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, dining room, living room and kitchen. It also had its own laundry closet, which was perfect! We were so happy that we would have our own laundry room in our unit.
As you entered our front door, you entered the living room. It wasn’t technically an open floor plan; however, the living room and dining room were “L” shaped, so it made it feel open and airy. Off the living room, we had a small balcony. We were able to get a small table and two chairs, as well as a small electric BBQ grill. The unit was all electric but, honestly, it never bothered either of us. We had a really nice view of New York City as well. We really enjoyed our little balcony.
From the living room, you entered our small galley kitchen. It wasn’t updated with modern granite counter tops or new cabinets, but it was very well-maintained and we loved it. As small as it was, there was plenty of storage, counter space and a dishwasher.
Another bonus with this unit was having attic space. At that time, I collected everything under the sun. I had so much stuff that I needed the additional storage. When we moved in, originally, we had to access the attic from inside Patty’s bedroom closet. My dad installed a better access with a pull-down attic ladder from our living room. It was so easy to get in and out of the attic any time we needed to store something.
Once we made our decision on the condo, we were ready to make our offer. We were so happy it was accepted! We were able to move in shortly after. I must admit, Patty and I were a little sad leaving our parents, but it was just the next town over. We knew we would be seeing them all the time.
Before we moved in, there were some updates we wanted to do. We painted all the rooms, ripped out the old carpeting, installed new carpeting, and did a little updating in the bathrooms. We had to purchase furniture, linens, some appliances and décor. Patty and I had so much fun decorating and setting up our little place. Once everything was complete, it was time to move in!
I honestly don’t remember too much about moving day, except one thing – all of us getting emotional saying goodbye when it was time for my parents to leave. We have always been very close. Even when Patty left our parents’ home the first time, we were all a mess. Not that she moved across the country; it was, again, only the next town over.
Patty and I settled in nicely. Once settled, we added another roommate – Patty’s dog, Justice. When Patty decided to come back home, she had to keep her dog with a friend until we were able to take him. During that time, we had a very tiny poodle named Tiffany and there was no way we could have both living under one roof at my parents. Justice was a 95-pound Samoyed with a beautiful disposition and the best smile you’ll ever see on a dog. I was a little nervous at first because I never had a big dog like Justice but, once I got to know him, he was a sweetheart. He really adjusted to our new home very well and he was the perfect companion for both of us.
We moved in around October, but Patty and I had already decided that once December came around, we would plan our first Christmas party! We invited our family and friends and squeezed everyone in to see our new place! It was a tradition that we kept in place for about the first five years we lived there.
About the same time I was moving into the new condo, I met my husband, Gabe. Gabe eventually moved in once we got engaged. Patty got engaged, too, and our parents relocated out of New Jersey. We often joked that we were like the TV show “Three’s Company’s,” in a strange kind of way. LOL! We have so many fond memories of our condo and I was truly sad to leave it. Oddly enough, I seem to feel that way with every house I move out of. I guess I get attached to all the memories and it’s hard for me to let go. I just keep reminding myself, you take your memories with you no matter where you go.
In March of 2008, we sold our condo. Patty and Teddy were already looking for a house and Gabe and I began planning our wedding. We moved into an apartment in a two-family house for a short time before finding our home that we live in now.
I will always remember the last time we were at our condo. Patty and I did one final walk-through, making sure we didn’t leave anything behind. I had tears in my eyes, but I tried to keep myself together. As I locked the door behind us, I said to Patty, “Do you want to take one more look?” She replied to me, “Oh come on.” She gave me a hug and said, “This will be good for us, you will see.” She was right.