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Old 02-03-2010, 08:20 PM   #21
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I have a 1400 sq. ft. house with a 300 sq. ft. garage/shop. I would happily 'flip' those two areas (big shop, teeny house)

Steve
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Old 02-03-2010, 08:26 PM   #22
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We're in a couple stories of maybe 15-1600'. Spare bedroom for the spiders and Christmas wrap; more than enough. Back from doing a circuit looking for a possible winter home, something small and cozy with a mile or so of view.. In St.George Utah we saw a 1978 construction home with oversize 3 car garage, three stories, 6-OMG-000', decks and walkways all over, full living area in the bottom floor as well as above. Updated baths and giant walk in closet off the master bath, which was the size of our office. Huge wrap around windows on all floors, backed up to a redrock hillside, overlooking a golfcourse. 3-4 fireplaces. Biggest darn white elephant ever. Woulda bought it on the spot for the views and value/square foot but it had sold at auction the day before. Who says there's not a higher power to protect us from ourselves?

This is a shot of the back middle main floor entrance with master bedroom deck area above and the other side of the main floor with a bit of the garage roof deck area. Dang it had the views - I'd a gone for it like a big ol' bass!
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Old 02-04-2010, 12:39 AM   #23
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Man, all of you with bigger houses don't know how good you've got it.

We are yearning for more space. 4 people, big dog, two cats, 2/1.5, 950 sq. ft. If we didn't have an 800+ sq ft yard and a mild climate with great parks, I'd be psychotic. No garage, no attic, so what's in here is what we've got. It's feeling kinda snug, and the kids are only going to get bigger....
I agree that layout is really important, so I think I would give that more value than straight square footage, but a third bedroom and a garage would send me into fits of hyperventilating happiness right about now.
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Old 02-04-2010, 07:35 AM   #24
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Well, when you have kids you really do need a bigger house!

But when there are just two adults and few visitors......
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Old 02-04-2010, 08:36 AM   #25
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I have a 1400 sq. ft. house with a 300 sq. ft. garage/shop. I would happily 'flip' those two areas (big shop, teeny house)

Steve
By myself, all I would need is an RV - a class C will do here - parked inside a hangar-like garage. Yeah, if I can have a view of the Seattle skyline from the front of that hangar, that would be paradise. Can I afford a lot like that? Will the zoning ordinance allow it?
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:10 AM   #26
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.... Has anyone managed to successfully downsize from a house to an apartment and were you happy with your decision? By moving from a house to an apt. I would expect that we are going to cut our costs by 25% at least. I can't believe how expensive a house is to heat, my electricity bill has been running at $250 a month recently.
Size isn't everything. Believe that, I'll sell you the bridge I see from the roof. Last time I went apt. hunting, no one listed square footage, still don't know what mine is, don't care, let's just say I pay $35/mo for gas & electric in the coldest season, less the rest of the year. IMO, it is much harder to clean a small space because I need to move things around to get at the dirt. This morning I scanned just one item into the laptop--moved the cat bed off side table; moved table near printer; moved globe, phone and clock off of printer onto said table; scanned; then reversed. I hated moving from the larger space but would never consider going back to that overall situation. My smaller space does have much better views, windows in three rooms, which do make the space seem larger, Presidio on one side and city view on the other, haven't grown tired of those views in 16 years.

As Urchina says, it helps a lot to be able to get outside to parks, etc. year round. I also have a good layout and found that adding several large storage cabinets made a huge difference. I stock up on stuff and store emergencies supplies out of sight.

I always find it painful to downsize but feel a lot lighter afterward. btw, don't miss an aging George Clooney in "Up in the Air;" he inhabits that part, Great anti-super bowl activity.

Good luck, DM, keep us posted.
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Old 02-04-2010, 12:42 PM   #27
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Have you checked out the "not so big house" books by Sarah Susanka (www.notsobighouse.com)?
Lots of great ideas how to make best use of less space.
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Old 02-04-2010, 02:29 PM   #28
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Thanks for that post, chris2008. I just spent the morning looking at HGTV's site for "Small Space, Big Style." I prefer smaller places myself...less cleaning, less expense (I figure I have better ways to spend my time and money).
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Old 02-04-2010, 02:47 PM   #29
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Now if the appliance and furniture stores would just get on board! It drives us crazy how "big" everything is - especially the smaller kitchen appliances. Makes it tough to find things that fit in a motorhome kitchen.

Audrey
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Old 02-04-2010, 03:57 PM   #30
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In my early 30s I lived with my new wife in a small 1 bdrm duplex in Venice Beach, 3 blocks from the ocean. I think it was about the size of my current apt, which is 500 sq ft. Our furniture consisted of her piano, a Goodwill dining table and 4 chairs, some big kapok filled pillows, a mattress on the floor and two small dressers painted orange.

Perfect in every way. We had a garden, we had the beach and the ocean and all the fun stuff on the Boardwalk, and we had the west (and best) part of LA a short drive away.

It would likely be hard for a middle aged couple to be happy in this situation, but I might be willing to try. The beach and all the activity there serves as the release valve that others may get from having many rooms.

Ha
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Old 02-04-2010, 05:15 PM   #31
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I just spent 12 days in a 3BR condo, which was a free upgrade I didn't expect at all. I was a first time customer and they had a lot of empty condos.
I felt very comfy there all by myelf and not at all cramped. The design was full and open and very bright. The bedrooms were actually bigger than the ones in my own home.
I could easily picture myself living in smaller space than my bi-level 1700 sq ft house. But this will be many years down the road when I no longer want to have a big back yard and house in the country and a garden and open space all around me. As much as I complain about the cold weather, it is really beautiful where I live.
As long as dh2b and I can have our own privacy and escape little hobby rooms, we would be just fine.
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Old 02-04-2010, 08:09 PM   #32
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In my early 30s I lived with my new wife in a small 1 bdrm duplex in Venice Beach, 3 blocks from the ocean. I think it was about the size of my current apt, which is 500 sq ft. Our furniture consisted of her piano, a Goodwill dining table and 4 chairs, some big kapok filled pillows, a mattress on the floor and two small dressers painted orange.

Perfect in every way. We had a garden, we had the beach and the ocean and all the fun stuff on the Boardwalk, and we had the west (and best) part of LA a short drive away.

It would likely be hard for a middle aged couple to be happy in this situation, but I might be willing to try. The beach and all the activity there serves as the release valve that others may get from having many rooms.

Ha
Ha, this sounds like a beautiful dream. What wonderful memories you must have of the place. It reminds me of the small appartment DH and I first shared when we got married at the age of 19. It was filled with art, music and good friends. We were so happy there even though we were poor.
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:25 PM   #33
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In my early 30s I lived with my new wife in a small 1 bdrm duplex in Venice Beach, 3 blocks from the ocean. I think it was about the size of my current apt, which is 500 sq ft. Our furniture consisted of her piano, a Goodwill dining table and 4 chairs, some big kapok filled pillows, a mattress on the floor and two small dressers painted orange.

Perfect in every way. We had a garden, ...

Ha
And what did you grow in your garden?

This is Venice Beach in the 60/70s, right?

There is a cover band doing Doors music there most nights. Great place in the day but not so good after nightfall.

Yakers, happy in Pasadena and remembering once being a young American male in London
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Old 02-05-2010, 12:27 AM   #34
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And what did you grow in your garden?

This is Venice Beach in the 60/70s, right?

There is a cover band doing Doors music there most nights. Great place in the day but not so good after nightfall.

Yakers, happy in Pasadena and remembering once being a young American male in London
It was a bit dicey at night back in the day too. We used to walk on the boardwalk late at night, but carried a club and kept our eyes open, and stayed at the central part.

Ha
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Old 02-05-2010, 08:33 AM   #35
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I am hoping to downsize to a 2 bed/2ba. However, this morning I have been entertaining ideas of a 1 bedroom place. Has anyone managed to successfully downsize from a house to an apartment and were you happy with your decision? By moving from a house to an apt. I would expect that we are going to cut our costs by 25% at least. I can't believe how expensive a house is to heat, my electricity bill has been running at $250 a month recently.
I used to regularly downsize to a submarine stateroom... does that count? It takes a specific psychotic psychological profile to live in such a small volume, let alone share it with a significant other, and downsizing will surely test the strength of any relationship.

My father lives in a 2BR with only one bed, so when I visited he insisted on sleeping on the LR floor with a sleeping bag. It's a situation crying out for a futon fold-out couch in the spare BR but he doesn't see the need. His bias certainly discourages repeat visitors.

Spouse and I have found that we both enjoy having our own room to hang out during the day, whether it's a LR or a spare bedroom. Like W2R, we use the rest of our house's space as noise insulation. We know how to hang out together in the same room, and we do just fine at it, but it's nice to have a choice.

I think you might find that you'd prefer the second bedroom just for the ability to shut a door. You could furnish it with a futon couch or a Murphy bed or even a sleeper sofa, but it also gives you someplace to put a desk, a file cabinet, and a craft table. Without a second BR you'd want a huge open LR/DR/kitchen plan with space enough to spread out from the second occupant a bit.

I don't know if it's a reaction to my former lifestyle, but I enjoy kvetching about maintaining a large home more than I think I'd enjoy the savings of a small one. But then we don't pay much in utility costs.
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Old 02-05-2010, 09:56 AM   #36
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Yakers, happy in Pasadena and remembering once being a young American male in London
Ah, yes, I remember it well, the studio apt. I visited regularly in the early ‘70s, Madison, WI, Miffland (similar to Haight-Asbury), guy mellowed out saying a very slow “Hi” smoking something not Camels out on the sidewalk, pseudo-intellectual graffitied song lyrics on the lobby walls. Shopping at the nearby not-very-clean food co-op. I didn’t know those were considered small spaces.
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Old 02-05-2010, 10:11 AM   #37
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If you're really serious about downsizing, this site has some ideas for you.

Tumbleweed Houses

I'd be happy with a 500 to 600 sq. ft. model as long as it had a big honkin' workshop with a man-cave next to it. Unfortunately, DW doesn't share my enthusiasm
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Old 02-05-2010, 07:10 PM   #38
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Nearly 50K for this? Buy a used travel trailer for 5K.
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Old 02-05-2010, 10:50 PM   #39
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Have you checked out the "not so big house" books by Sarah Susanka (www.notsobighouse.com)?
Lots of great ideas how to make best use of less space.
i went to the website and clicked on "Sarah's Not So Big Showhouse in Orlando" and found out it was very big, 3500 sq ft. that website is bogus and should be reported for false advertising
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Old 02-05-2010, 11:19 PM   #40
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To make up for the 'not so big' big house site, here's another Tiny House site. I love the website name. Don't know if I could really handle 120 sq. ft. though.
Tiny Green Cabins

Steve
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