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6 weeks downsized , living in the country
Old 06-28-2018, 11:24 AM   #1
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6 weeks downsized , living in the country

We sold our city house a while back in Houston and moved to our weekend house in the country . Now we were laughing the area of Houston we lived in was 175,000 and the area we live in now is 353 . No malls no stores except the dollar store and the Valero.
Down sizing and living in your weekend home you find everything you did wrong on the home . We were talking to a neighbor they also moved from Houston 7 years ago . Their words on their home was no corners are square no walls are straight and no floors are level . But we just love it .
In 6 weeks we have been visited by the Baptist church , the Jehovas . We have a neighbor that his beagle had puppies so they are giving puppies away. Another giving some kind of squirrel dogs away.
We live on a gravel road so we have met the road crews . Everybody on the road crews are older then we are so not much gets done . They see you in your driveway , they shut down a road grader and want to talk. Kind of nice we found a winery not far that has 1st class entertainment . The neighbors all go 10.00 for a 2 hour show , Even the Baptists go ! Bring a lawn chair buy a glass of wine buy a cheese plate . For the 4th of July they are having a 17 piece boogie band from Austin . Then Saturday a Motown band from Indianapolis . Not bad for being in the stix.
All in All downsized and living in the country is not bad . We did have a lot of clutter and we still have more to go . A 1000sf home all of the sudden seems quite normal and comfortable After moving from over 2000sf .
We are right in the middle of the forest 23 miles to Montgomery , 25 miles to College Station and 21 miles to Huntsville .
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Old 06-28-2018, 11:30 AM   #2
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Sounds wonderful! We downsized almost three years ago, but stayed in the city. Getting rid of clutter was very, very liberating.


Enjoy your new digs!
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Old 06-28-2018, 11:35 AM   #3
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I went to Houston last weekend used to be OK with the traffic but last weekend was awful .
Kind of a downside DW did get bit by a Scorpion , we talked to a neighbor seems that is part of country living ..NO SNAKES !
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Old 06-28-2018, 11:35 AM   #4
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We're in the middle of doing something similar, though maybe not as drastic. Going from a city of 3 million to a city of 75,000. We've spent a lot of time in the new city and its just feels comfortable. A traffic jam is being the third car back at a traffic light. We always can park right in front of our favorite restaurant. The main street still has a music store, a shoe store, a candy shop. I loved the city. Many people have said we are "city people" whatever that is supposed to mean, but man o man, we love the slower pace of the new town.
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Old 06-28-2018, 11:39 AM   #5
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We also sold our suburban main home and moved into our rural vacation home.

We had an easy way of dealing with those unsquare corners, out of plumb walls and unlevel floors.... we tore the sucker down and rebuilt. We had plans to just gut the place and rehab it... new windows, roof, siding, insulation, drywall, etc. Had our builder, a high school friend, out to scope out the project and go over the plans.... he quickly told us that it might cost us a bit more but that we would be best off to tear down and rebuild on the relatively new foundation. After having fought for hours with an unsquare corner a few years earlier during a minor kitchen remodel, I decided that he had a good point. It was a good decision... otherwise you end up with a "new" old house.

The main thing for us in shifting from suburban to rural living is to be sure whenever one of us is "in town", about how we are doing on bread and milk. I'd like one of those new fangled refridgerators where you can look at the contents on your phone to see what we need.
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Old 06-28-2018, 11:43 AM   #6
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As we lived in a suburb of Houston 6.1 million met area this is different . Most of the people here are refugees from the Houston Metro area . Nobody seems to have been born here The guy across the street raises quarter horses . I asked him , is there money in quarter horses . He laughed at me and said used to be . I don't know anymore . I just like them . It's quite a crowd since we have our gates open 24/7 now we are being noticed
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Old 06-28-2018, 12:49 PM   #7
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Good for you, and congratulations! I recently visited a colleague who ER'd 2 1/2 years. He just closed on the sale of his suburban Fort Worth home and he and DW are settled into their 1975 brick house with fireplace and all original 1970s home decor in Cranfils Gap Texas. They have about 52 acres of hobby ranch mingled in with the remaining 158 acres if the old ancestral home place.

Their community is similar to what you described. About 250 people, one convenience store/gas station; the Horny Toad bar and grill that can and does function as a sports bar and live entertainment venue in addition to the good, affordable homestyle vooking for the locals and weekend biker tourists. It has a small library, a Baptist, Lutheran and Methodist church; and miles of beautiful Texas hill country in every direction. Property taxes and general cost of living is lower and they are living their dream.
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Old 06-28-2018, 01:03 PM   #8
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Ed B, while I have no doubt Cranfils Gap is a great place in central Texas to live in retirement, it isn't actually in the Texas Hill Country. The northern edge of the Hill Country is approximately 80 miles to the south - see map here: https://hill-country-visitor.com/hill-country-map/
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Old 06-28-2018, 01:14 PM   #9
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As we lived in a suburb of Houston 6.1 million met area this is different . Most of the people here are refugees from the Houston Metro area . Nobody seems to have been born here The guy across the street raises quarter horses . I asked him , is there money in quarter horses . He laughed at me and said used to be . I don't know anymore . I just like them . It's quite a crowd since we have our gates open 24/7 now we are being noticed
You are 46 miles from us (The Woodlands). If I could just talk DW into it, we would be your neighbors.
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Old 06-28-2018, 01:42 PM   #10
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That sounds fantastic, Breedlove!

I am originally from the Atlanta area, but for the better part of 20 years, the Air Force had me living all over the place. In 2012, I moved back to Atlanta to help take care of my aging parents. The changes (especially the population) to "my city" have been significant and not very enjoyable. There are just too damn many people living here...with more and more moving here everyday. But, with the recent passing of my dear Dad, we will be moving to flyover country in the fairly near future and I couldn't be more excited.

I will say that I am not looking forward to the "downsizing" aspect of it all. In addition to all the crap we have accumulated over the years at our house, I also have to figure out what to do with ALL THE STUFF my parents collected over the last 90 years...it's a formidable task, for sure. Plus getting two houses ready to sell is going to be a pain in the arse too. Thankfully, we have a SIL who just moved into their "forever" custom built home and are keeping the home they left as a rental property, so that will be our crash pad until we figure out if we are going to buy pre-existing or build. Nonetheless, we hope to have some land in the country (but within reasonable distance to *some* humanity!) with a house that won't require too much maintenance as we age in it. Hopefully, it will be that last one too...I am tired of moving.

Oye...just typing that out and thinking about it all has me worn out. It's a damn good thing I am retired...I don't know how we would be able to do it all
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Old 06-28-2018, 01:53 PM   #11
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Ed B, while I have no doubt Cranfils Gap is a great place in central Texas to live in retirement, it isn't actually in the Texas Hill Country. The northern edge of the Hill Country is approximately 80 miles to the south - see map here: https://hill-country-visitor.com/hill-country-map/
If you visit Cranfils Gap you will think you are much further south. The terrain, vegetation, soil, etc. is very much like the San Saba and Llano area. It is not hill country like the area around Utopia Texas but it is very much like your northern edge of the hill country.

You might say it is a distinction without a difference.
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Old 06-28-2018, 02:03 PM   #12
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My Texas hometown used to be small too, 50 years ago. Now it is part of the Dallas County urban sprawl.

When I was younger, I wanted to move to a much smaller Texas town and spent many weekend road trips visiting a lot of them. But it was in my best interest to keep my good corporate job in Dallas.

Now that I am older and retired, I think it is in my best interest to stay in my urban home with everything I could possibly need within a 5 mile driving distance.
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Old 06-28-2018, 02:10 PM   #13
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You are 46 miles from us (The Woodlands). If I could just talk DW into it, we would be your neighbors.
But The Woodlands has all that Breedlove wrote about plus if you have a heart attack on your couch, you will be in the cath lab in about 15 minutes as my friend related to me.
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Old 06-28-2018, 08:39 PM   #14
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Enjoy Breedlove!

Just don't re-accumulate (or worse get a storage unit). We are planning to do <1000 sqft post RE place also. Maybe 600 sqft if we put a basement under it.

So the big question: Do you have a dog yet?
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Old 06-28-2018, 09:02 PM   #15
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But The Woodlands has all that Breedlove wrote about plus if you have a heart attack on your couch, you will be in the cath lab in about 15 minutes as my friend related to me.
Not where we live; It will probably take 35 minutes to get to St. Lukes (one mile from us) if I get the BIG ONE between 2:00 PM and 6:00 PM on a weekday with the high school and college in session. That's IF the ambulance can get through the route 242 traffic quickly (to and from our house). Morning B.O., Ok, maybe 20 minutes.

One day recently, I left the house (242 & Gosling) at exactly 5:00 PM to go the Walmart which is one mile east on 242. I arrived at precisely 5:30 PM.

It's fun here and we are sitting on the edge of our couch waiting for the completion of the new construction (retail, apartments, condos, movie theater, etc) going on behind the new Methodist hospital (242 south side) which may bring us another few thousand residents and thousands of vehicles. That construction is about 1.25 miles from our house.

The new M.D. Anderson cancer center is nearing completion right outside our subdivision exit to 242, less than 1/2 mile from our house as the crow flies. The center is adjacent and in front of the Woodlands Church which has a membership of roughly 10,000 (?) local members. Exciting traffic on Sundays too!
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Old 06-28-2018, 09:53 PM   #16
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I have spent the last 15 years downsizing my parents, my aunt, my 2 houses and my daughter's house. At one time, I had equal to 7 single car garages full of "stuff.". We keep the best furniture and get rid of the rest--eventually.

We moved from 3350 square feet in the country to 5200 square feet in the city and finally had 2 clean garages. Then my daughter moved from her house and her treasures are now my trash. Here we go again. We hope you can downsize easier than we have. Good luck on downsizing, and I hope you have better luck getting rid of stuff you seldom or never use.
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Old 06-29-2018, 01:32 AM   #17
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I'm with you on downsizing (although not as extreme as you did), but did the opposite in terms of location.

We lived in Montgomery County about 7 or 8 miles south of Lake Conroe. We loved our house, but I hated the 20 minutes to get to a grocery store or really anywhere except 1 gas station. I hated having to drive 40 minutes for any major shopping and many restaurants I wanted to eat at. It seemed like all we did was drive.

So, 3 months ago we sold our house and moved to the DFW area (for those familiar with the area -- we moved to Colleyville). We did downsize a bit -- from about 3000 SF to 2300 SF. I'm doing OK with the smaller size but I am missing all of the built ins we had at the old house.

But -- I love, love, love the location. I like having at least 5 grocery stores within 5 minutes as well as many restaurants. I drove 35 minutes to my preferred Y in Montgomery County. Now, the Y is 6 minutes away (I actually debated whether that was "too far" since there were exercise facilities within 4 minute away). We are now in a situation where I have to think hard about whether to drive someplace that is 15 minutes away. Before, everything except one gas station was 15 minutes away. I like being in the middle of things and having everything close (I can definitely get used to Amazon Same Day delivery).
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Old 06-29-2018, 05:19 AM   #18
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We get the best of both worlds... rural Vermont in the summer... 10 minute drive to a convenience store and 25 minutes to a grocery store... and Sarasota in the winter with loads of restaurants and stores a short drive away (as long as you avoid the rush times of day).
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Old 06-29-2018, 11:22 AM   #19
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We live in an urban beach community. Dozens if not hundreds of restaurants and a nice large grocery store within walking distance. And a 10-20 minute drive to almost anything. Unless we have to go to LA for some reason, not much traffic either. For us it is the ideal spot, but people that donít like living close to neighbors would hate it.
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Old 06-29-2018, 12:11 PM   #20
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We live in the burbs but our 1970's house is quirky too (floors are uneven, walls are a bit wavy, corners are not always square). The house was inspected by a structural engineer and he showed no concern about any of it. So we have learned to deal with the quirks, even though they turn most home improvement project into a challenge.

We downsized too. We used to live in a 2,500 sqft, fully-furnished suburban house. Then we moved into a 1,100 sqft condo for the few years (resulting in some major downsizing). Now we are back in the house, but we have resisted the temptation to upsize too much on material possessions. So our decor is quite bare.

We live on the edge of a mid-size city. Our neighborhood is heavily wooded so it feels quite secluded, yet we are close to town and this is the perfect arrangement for us. Our new neighbors used to live in the mountains but they were too far from everything. So after 13 years, they decided to move back closer to civilization. They find that our neighborhood present a good balance between seclusion and convenience. I agree.
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