The downsides of living in an affordable townhouse complex

I recently came across an article titled “The downsides of living at Trump Tower.”

Complete with advice from the author’s life coach, the article reads like a parody but is not, as best I can tell.

It’s easy to mock such an article, so I did, on Twitter, following up with a retweeted of the author’s plug of his own article. Things got weird, though, when the author, who on twitter goes by the handle @parttimesnob, thanked me for my retweet.

The initial temptation was to reply with the snark possible when one has never used a moving company to move and thus can never have been the subject of said moving company’s ire. That inclination was followed by an urge to write a backlash to my imagined smarm; Who, I planned to ask, has the right to condemn a little bit of first-person service journalism hoping to inform like-minded souls about certain inadequacies in the place one might choose to call home? And it was the guy’s first Medium post.

So instead, I decided on an homage. My own home is not a particularly horrible place to live, but even it has its downsides.

Having lived at Bakerview Estates, a strata complex of 60 or so townhouse units, for two years, I’ve become accustomed to the not-too-shabby level of shelter provided. The people on strata have wasp spray you can borrow, the lawn maintenance guys mow my 10-square-metre plot of grass every now and then, and a brand new slide just got installed at the complex’s playground to replace the old cracked yellow one that was slowly separating from its anchors. But as my physics teacher taught me, every positive has a negative, and we’ll ignore that that means life can never actually be any good. So here are 10 downsides to living at Bakerview Estates.

  1. It has a pool. Having moved to Bakerview Estates from a home with no pool, you may be accustomed to regularly not swimming in water, which was fine because you tend to sink in water and because you are lazy. Bakerview Estates, though, has a pool. And although it’s currently filled with green algae and some trash the neighbourhood kids threw over the fence, and although the “Pool Guy” was recently carted off in an ambulance to hospital, where he died, there’s a chance that the pool will be cleaned by the May Long Weekend and you’ll once again have to live with the knowledge that you are not using that pool because you are too lazy.
  2. Security isn’t tight. Here’s a scenario: Your wife is at Value Village, where she buys a garden gnome for $3 as a joke, or something. She straps the garden gnome into the backseat of your car, again as a joke. You see the garden gnome. You chuckle. You leave the garden gnome in your car because, as previously established, you are lazy. You forget about the garden gnome because you’re too busy thinking about the pool. You park on the well-traveled street outside your backyard gate and when you wake up the back window of your car is shattered and the gnome is gone. You will pay $300 to replace the window. Your wife will never purchase another gnome for a joke.
  3. No rentals allowed. You’re not allowed to rent out your unit. This is to keep the crackhead-to-weekend-drunk ratio down. It works, but it also means you can’t become a slumlord.
  4. The friends you con into helping you move will hate you. Your unit will have a fireplaces, but it won’t be up to code, which means you can’t get fire insurance if you plan on using it. If you want that insurance, you might as well get rid of the ugly insert that reeks of four-decades of charcoal. The insert is made of something that is as heavy as lead, but seemingly heavier. You will tell your weak-ass friends you need help moving some boxes and when you spring the insert on them at the end of the move, they will vow to kill your first-born child.
  5. You will be shocked. There’s a power outlet right beside the dishwasher. Hopefully the dishwasher works.
  6. Wood laminate floors. These actually look pretty classy, but your wife will warn against spilling any beverages on them. You won’t, and when you do, you will dry the spill up with your sock, which will only elicit another glare.
  7. No elevator. Elevators mean you don’t have stairs for your children to purposely fall down.
  8. Birdman. You’re technically allowed a maximum of two pets, but the next door neighbour has a small tropical country’s worth of birds in his upstairs bedrooms. The guy is an older fellow, with a cranky face, a friendly voice and a cane. He’s nice in a gruff sort of way, but sometimes you hear the birds going off next door and you can only hope they’re not dining on Birdman.
  9. That damn dishwasher. You know what? Screw this. I’m trying to mimic the guy’s list and I get to No. 9 which is about Mr. Parttimesnob’s beeping dishwasher with a five-million-dollar view and I just can’t keep this up. I can’t come up with an equivalent to his dishwasher because there is no equivalent. When I was a teen, I did the dishes every night in the tiny-ass kitchen in the mobile home we lived in. One summer, it was almost tolerable because I would look out the window and occasionally see the blinds on the window in an adjacent bedroom inch open, giving me the hope that the girl was looking at me. But actually doing the dishes? That always was horrible, with bits of unchewed food suckling at your fingers, and discarded milk and gravy turning the water the colour of the Mississippi River. Ever since college, every rental place I lived in had a dishwasher installed and this townhouse does too and it’s fucking awesome.
  10. No meeting/party rooms. Who doesn’t love a good party room?