Home News N.J. empty nesters downsize to renovated Philadelphia condos

N.J. empty nesters downsize to renovated Philadelphia condos

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Mindy and Bill Hauptmann had planned to wait until they were both retired to downsize and move to Philadelphia.

Both of their children are grown up and gone. Their Center Hall Colonial in Voorhees has a large garden and needed more work than necessary. They were eager to start the next phase of their lives in a city they regularly visited for entertainment and restaurants.

But Bill, 60, and Mindy, 59, have a vision of a large, low-maintenance entertainment space with a large kitchen and room for Bill’s Steinway grand piano and space for future grandchildren to play. could not find a house that satisfies

So they bought a condo adjacent to the 37-story Academy House on Locust Street in Center City and began planning to put the units together.

“Being able to create spaces to suit our needs was appealing to us,” says Mindy. “We feel we can get the best of both worlds: city life and space.”

This effort would have always been a big undertaking and a radical change. However, Hauptmans said he purchased the condo in February 2020. The couple’s journey from vacant suburban single-family home to city-dwelling condominium owner has continued throughout the pandemic and highlights trends in the housing market over the past two and a half years.

“There were times when I thought, ‘What is it that got me hooked?'”

Mindy Hauptmann

In the early days of the pandemic, news stories portrayed people Leave the city for more space in the suburbsBut the mansion became part of a stream of residents moving in the opposite direction.

Bill has since retired from his medical career, and Mindy continues to work as a market research consultant. Through this process they became buyers, sellers, landlords and homeowners. They welcomed adult children into their space. And like many property owners during the pandemic, they’ve renovated their homes to meet their changing needs.

Hauptmans purchased a condominium on the 32nd floor of Academy House in a real estate sale.Their new corner house overlooks Washington Square Park, with William Penn perched on City Hall. art house condo Go up Located on Broad Street. They look east to New Jersey where they can see fireworks when the celebrations and storms come.

The view was a big selling point for the couple, says Katherine Rowley, the Hauptmanns’ architect and interior designer and senior project manager in Philadelphia. Based Toner Architects.

Laurie sent the first designs to the Hauptmanns in February 2020. The couple had planned to begin renovations in the spring. Everyone expected the project to take about a year.

“Except for the whole COVID thing, it was questionably smooth.”

Architect Katherine Lowry

When the pandemic hit, construction faced a new hurdle as Hauptmann “made the difficult decision” to delay plans as the country tried to figure out what was going on — Including work stoppage in Philadelphia — and supplies became harder to come by. The two rented out the condo to her daughter, now 26, and two of her friends while they waited to see what the pandemic would bring.

With restrictions easing and Philadelphia reopening by the summer of 2021, the mansion has decided to move forward. Construction will start in October 2021, a year and a half late.

” read more: The Philadelphia construction boom has calmed down due to the new coronavirus (from April 2020)

Doing the type of renovation they did was “not for the faint of heart,” Bill said.

“There was a time when I thought, ‘What am I into?'”

For homeowners, the renovation process is always a “big deal,” Rowley said. The pandemic has accentuated that.

As floor plans and visions of space evolved, they and their team shied away from the curves imposed on them. A pipe from the upper unit’s bathroom meant they couldn’t open some of the foyer ceilings as high as they had planned. is created. A shelf adorned with pictures of the couple’s children eased the pain of not being able to remove part of the wall.

Additionally, when renovating a home in a high-rise building, you may need to get permission from your neighbors to access the units above or below to do your job, or if workers and materials have to be moved in elevators. There were additional challenges, such as not being able to

Of the Academy House’s 551 units, residents have combined more than 20 units into double or triple units, so the building is well suited for Mr. and Mrs. Hauptmann’s level of renovation and has approved the plan. Neighbors never complained about noise or other issues. Homeowners, building companies, and contractors worked together.

“It was questionably smooth,” Lowery said. “Except for the whole COVID”

Workforce and supply chain issues caused delaysBuilding materials have become more expensive and difficult to obtain. When the tiles were ready to be installed, another worker had to step in because the tile installer contracted his COVID-19.

Construction took six months, two more than expected, said Adam Sherman, owner of Devon-based design and construction firm Cottage Industries.

” read more: Philadelphia-area homebuilders continue to struggle despite slowing buyer demand

Hauptmans extended the bathroom, enlarged the foyer and created a larger kitchen. They added closets to the bedrooms, turned his one of the bedrooms into an office, and got a laundry room. And they created dedicated spaces for eating, reading, and playing the piano.

On March 30, the Hauptmanns moved into the house they had purchased two years earlier. They are still waiting for some furniture to arrive.

Our two bedroom, two bathroom condo measures approximately 2,080 square feet and offers plenty of space for your vacation. The couple welcomed family and friends.

“Everyone,” said Bill.

Once their condos had gathered, Hauptmans entered what was then still a hot housing market in January. They put their Voorhees home for sale Friday in need of renovation. By Monday they had eight of his offers.

Their architect, Rowley, has a lot of experience combining apartment units in New York City at his previous firm and has worked with other homeowners moving from suburban to urban settings. Unlike their clients, the Hauptmanns are “very ready” for the move from single-family homes to condos, she said.

“Our goal is to be cool city grandparents.”

Bill Hauptmann

“Sometimes people try to fit that suburban lifestyle into a completely different setting in the city,” Lowry said. . However, Hauptmans accepted the necessary downsizing.

They enjoy the freer lifestyle of owning a condominium. When they owned the house, Mindy said, “There was always something to do.”

” read more: What Aging Homeowners Should Consider When Navigating Their Next Move and Decades of Memories

Their daughter and 29-year-old son presented a framed illustration of the Voorhees family in a family photo in the foyer. Bill and Mindy brought in some touches from the old house, including photos Bill took during his travels and a wooden bed wall he got in his ’80s.

Now that the renovation is complete, the mansion is enjoying life in the city and looking forward to his next adventure.

“Our goal is to be cool city grandparents,” Bill said.

Not only millennials, but also many unemployed child-rearing generations and retirees Housing demand in Center Cityaccording to the Center City District promoting the downtown area.

“From here on, everything is convenient,” said Mindy.

Bill rides his bike to and from town. He knows his Park Fairmount well and recently when he visited the waterfront of the Delaware River he listened to his trio jazz and saw jugglers. Mindy finds a Zumba studio and enjoys strolling down charming side streets. They have been to shows at the Academy of Music and the Vilma Theater. I have a growing list of restaurants I want to try.

” read more: 5 Takeaways from Center City Focused Housing Report

“We are constantly blown away by everything the city has to offer,” said Bill.

More than 1,000 people live in their nearly 50-year-old building. undergraduate and graduate students; young professionals and retirees; Bill said the neighbors in the building and the people he meets on the street are “unbelievably friendly.” When the Hauptmans lived in New York, they didn’t talk to their neighbors. At Voorhees, not so much.

“I feel more community than I thought I would,” said Mindy. “It’s very easy to make my little village in this big city.”

Bill said they often ask the question: Do you miss your home and your huge, beautiful backyard?

“And we all say, ‘Not a millimeter.'”

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