I like rural living, but I like the convenience of being close to places to shop for the things I need. I told my wife that if we could find an apartment where I could walk outside and go fishing, then I would be okay with selling our home and moving. She looked for apartments in Wichita, and she found a place with a 22-acre lake that is stocked with fish. It could not get anymore perfect than that. I knew we needed to sell this big old place and move closer to our work, but it was not easy to do.
The apartment complex at Twin Lakes has five saltwater swimming pools. There are five of them! I like having a pool, but I never liked the daily maintenance. Now, someone else is doing that. Plus, this is a saltwater pool. The swimming experience is different than swimming in chlorine water. The one thing that cinched the deal for us, not the lake, is that the place is pet-friendly. Our two mutts are our kids, so they go where we go.
We have been enjoying our one-bedroom place here, and it is very rent-friendly too. It is much more affordable than our house was. Plus, we have no variables to worry about such as having to put on a new roof or come up with money to fix a cracked foundation. We have been through both of those in just the last few years of home ownership. The fact is that apartment living does not build real estate equity. However, that is not the be all end all of financial freedom. For us, having more cash left over at the end of each pay period and not having to squirrel away money to fix things put us way ahead in being able to save for retirement and buy things we want as well. It was simply cheaper for us to live in an apartment.