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Old 02-06-2010, 04:02 PM   #41
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My biggest complaint with smaller apartments - ie. 1 bedroom apts - is for some reason, architects seem to believe that they should downsize the living areas at the same time.

I really wish housing designers were a bit smarter as that would make it easier to live in a small space. For example, how many master bedrooms do you see where there is limited wall space to place your bed and dresser? What about living areas - everyone knows that the TV is the altar of worship in the majority of living rooms - so why not design the room so there is a wall for the TV to be placed on that allows sufficient space for the couch to be placed without dislocating your neck everytime you watch. Why not take sunlight reflection into account when designing where a TV is likely to be placed?

Also just because I want a 1 bedroom does not mean that I don't want an attached garage.
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Old 03-18-2010, 08:50 PM   #42
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We started our married life almost 20 years ago in a small one-bedroom third-floor apartment. Since then we rented a farm house, bought an old house in the city, and five years ago built a new house in an urban/suburban subdivision. Each house was larger than the previous one. Said subdivision is now over 5000 in population and about to incorporate into a city.

Unfortunately about a year after we built our current house (2000+ sq. ft. w/ 3-car garage) we decided to retire early. We paid off all debt and then began saving back crazy amounts of money. Next step is to get out of this beautiful, modern house which has started to feel like an albatross around our necks. Tomorrow we should sign a one-year lease very near the downtown square of the town we both work in. I'll have a half-mile walk or bike ride to work. The wife will have one mile. We'll sell one of the cars. We will have groceries, convenience stores, restaurants, bars, wine bars, a park and coffee shops galore all within walking distance. On top of that we will be cutting our expenses by around 45%.

The apartment is a ground floor one-bedroom, about 700 sq. ft. It's a great exercise in downsizing. Everything that won't fit will be sold or donated. In about a year or so, depending on investments, etc., we'll then downsize further into a travel trailer. Living space will shrink to under 200 sq. ft., but I'm looking forward to walking out the door, sitting under the awning and staring at trees, mountains and lakes for our 'bonus' room.
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Old 03-18-2010, 09:03 PM   #43
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Quote:
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The apartment is a ground floor one-bedroom, about 700 sq. ft. It's a great exercise in downsizing.
I have to applaud any older couple who can live in a 700 sq ft one bedroom apartment. Good going!

Ha
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Old 03-18-2010, 09:07 PM   #44
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I have to applaud any older couple who can live in a 700 sq ft one bedroom apartment. Good going!

Ha
define 'older'

we're 50-ish, but one of my younger co-workers described me as a "14-year-old girl trapped in a man's body" - I think young, so sue me.

we've been enjoying planning out the living space in the new digs. Living room with adjoining dining area, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom. It's easier to plan when options are limited...
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Old 03-18-2010, 09:41 PM   #45
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I have a long history of downsizing because of either moving from countries or because of affordability in an expensive city and looking back, I think this has helped me to simplify my life. I've moved from a 1,400 sq ft house to a 300 sq ft apartment and then to a 500 sq ft apartment and then to a 750 sq ft apartment and finally to a 1,100 sq ft apartment (I'm using usable sq ft numbers here). The last one is the ideal size for 2 of us. An apartment is definitely quieter, easier to manage and lock up and cheaper to maintain. If you are not one for interacting with neighbours, apartment life is wonderful. I hardly meet my neighbours at all. Also, living in smaller spaces helps to minimise and simplify your life - less clutter. You tend to buy and store less. Basically, you use what you have rather than put them away in storage. As regards to guests, unless you are the type who loves to have lots of house guests, living in smaller places reduces the opportunity of house guests which is good for me. 2 bedrooms is fine as you can use the spare one as a reading room. If you want, you can place a sofa bed there in case you have guests. Otherwise, you can have afternoon naps or read on the sofa bed. I like the extra bedroom as it has lots of uses. A small storeroom will come in handy for storing things which you may need to buy in "smaller" bulks like toilet rolls (no point buying one roll at a time!), tissue boxes, tools, bottled drinks, etc.
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Old 03-18-2010, 10:56 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by dixonge View Post
define 'older'

we're 50-ish, but one of my younger co-workers described me as a "14-year-old girl trapped in a man's body" - I think young, so sue me.

we've been enjoying planning out the living space in the new digs. Living room with adjoining dining area, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom. It's easier to plan when options are limited...
Well, I am not likely to sue you, I was trying to compliment you and your wife. I know I wouldn't want to be penned with a 50+ woman in anythig less than 3x your apartment space. But whatever you feel like, you are "older". Obviously you are younger than some, but you are also 15-20 years older than the American median.

Don't fret; I am over 30 years older than the American median and I am not suffering. Although they may not be true of any female who had to live with me in 700 sq ft!

Ha
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Old 03-21-2010, 09:45 AM   #47
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We downsized from a 4 bdr, 2+ car garage on 2 acres to a 3 bdr townhouse with a 1 car garage and very small backyard.

Then, downsized into a 2 bdr, 1.5 bath apt (about 950 sq ft) with a small storage locker. Then upgraded to 2bdr/2bath (much better to have second full bath) with a larger storage closet. Still around 1000 sq ft.

On this last move upgraded to a 1500 sq ft apt (2bed/2bath) b/c it was actually cheaper! No storage closet, though...so our sun room currently is holding our bikes, camping stuff, etc.

We love the extra space but storage is really important, too. I think we've discovered what we really need to be happy is about 1000 to 1200 sq ft with storage space. Must have 2 bdr and 2 full baths. However, we could give up some space and luxury if the apt happened to be on the beach or something...that would be worth the sacrifice!
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Old 03-21-2010, 05:53 PM   #48
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We lived in a 2200 sq ft house for 27 years, then retired and moved 200 miles away to a small community. Our plans were to "downsize" and we got rid of tons of stuff before moving. Well, our "downsizing" turned out to be 175 sq feet--about 1 bedroom and 1 bath. Our ranch house is 2000 sq feet with 3 beds and 1-1/2 baths. I have a large dining room, but we entertain a lot and use it at least weekly, sometimes more. Since we're retired we do our own cleaning and yard work. Did I mention we "upsized" to a 1.1-acre lot? LOL We're very happy here in NE Ohio.
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Old 03-22-2010, 10:20 AM   #49
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We started in a 1 bedroom apartment, then built a 1700 sf house, then built the 3500 sf house we live in now. I wouldn't mind downsizing in house sf, but I would still need garage space for 3 cars, boat and at least 400 sf workshop space on acreage.
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We're UPSIZING IN RETIREMENT......
Old 03-22-2010, 05:05 PM   #50
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We're UPSIZING IN RETIREMENT......

We live in a 1200 sq foot house now including the garage.

We're moving into a 3000 sq ft house including the garage. DW wants to have people visit us, and since the house is in a class resort national park, they probably will.

But in the winter we can live in the 1000 sq ft side and heat it with wood toasty warm. If we have a party we can use the propane heaters and heat the other side, or invite people in the summer to stay there.

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Old 03-22-2010, 08:10 PM   #51
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Live in a deteriorating ~900 sf house.
Want to move to 1 bedroom apt
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:45 PM   #52
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My DW/me lived in a 700sq foot single-wide trailer on a small private country lot when we were first married (love conquers everything - even being poor ).

No thanks; been there - done that.

Today, we have 2400sq feet on a bit more than an acre of ground for just the two of us, our fourth home in a bit over 40 years. We enjoy it and being retired, I have no problem getting on the lawn tractor and taking a ride every week.

We'll downsize someday (if needed), but not yet. It took us too many years to get to this level and have no problem paying somebody to do the household work when we get tired of it.

Different strokes...
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Old 03-22-2010, 10:17 PM   #53
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We haven't acquired a retirement location yet but I've got my fantasies. My ideal would be a 5 acre parcel for noise isolation, and a smallish house, maybe 1000 sq feet in the middle of it. It would have a good sized shop building of at least that size for my many hobbies.
Ages ago, I knew a guy who had the extreme version of this. Cute little 800sq foot cottage which his wife kept spotless. And out back, his 2500 sq ft heated man-palace with hydraulic car lift, wood shop, bath with shower, kitchenette, and small guest room. He may not be married anymore. As it was, his wife rarely saw him.
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