Liberty Lofts | Downsizing Can Be Liberating

ANN ARBOR, MI –  Moving from a family house into a loft can be both scary and liberating, according to some new owners of the condominium residences at Liberty Lofts, 315 Second Street, in Ann Arbor.

“You do feel freer,” said Susan Galardi. She and her husband, Robert, both in their 50s, moved from their home in the Burns Park neighborhood of Ann Arbor in October. “You look at things you own, which we did about a year ago. It was mind-boggling. I had saved every art project by my children. I had boxes and boxes of watercolors.” An accountant, Galardi had 30 years of family tax returns, for which she called a professional shredding company.

“We donated a lot,” she said. “It felt so good to get rid of all this stuff. You’d look at something and say ‘if I haven’t looked at it in 15 years, I’m not ever going to look at it.’”

Pending the sale of the house, the Galardis rented it, with all its furnishings.

“We went shopping for everything – coffee grinders, coffee pots, furniture, silverware,” she said. “It felt like we were on a honeymoon or something.” She only kept her china.

Bryan Neal, president of Assisted Moving in Plymouth, Mich. confirms that the move out of the family home is often an exhilarating experience.

“In many cases this type of transition is like a fresh start,” Neal said. Many of his clients share the Galardis’ enthusiasm for buying new furniture. They also are happy to forego the upkeep of a traditional home and welcome the simplicity and escape from maintenance that condo living provides.

Neal’s company helps its clients organize their possessions into four categories: Objects to keep, pass on to friends and family, sell or discard. He recommends that parents establish a fair plan to distribute valuable and sentimental items among children; for example, by letting the oldest child choose first, then moving down to the youngest.

John and Marsha Chamberlin sold a traditional family home in Ann Arbor to move into Liberty Lofts.

“It wasn’t hard getting rid of stuff, like extra beds, but it meant getting rid of a fair number of books – a few of which I’ve already missed,“ said John Chamberlin, 63, a University of Michigan professor. The couple is still making decisions about what to keep. “We had an attic and a basement and a garage. Now we have a 4-by-6-by-8 storage closet,” he said. The Chamberlin’s greatest challenge has been where to hang their art. Marsha is the president/CEO of the Ann Arbor Art Center and the couple has an extensive collection.

Founded in 1993, Morningside Group is a real estate development firm that specializes in creating premier mixed-use and multi-family developments in urban locations throughout the Midwest. Long recognized as a leader in the design and construction of highly acclaimed buildings, Morningside Group has built an enviable track record of successful public-private partnerships.

Morningside’s incomparable work ensures that each new development will join a growing portfolio of prized buildings which includes, in Michigan, SkyLofts Royal Oak and SkyLofts MarketSquare in Royal Oak and, in Illinois, Arbor Court and Prairie Town Center in Oak Lawn, Crescent Court and Museum Square in Elmhurst, Morningside Square in Downers Grove, The Glen Astor in Glen Ellyn and buildings in Evanston and Skokie.

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