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Small House Lust Again
Old 07-24-2015, 08:42 PM   #1
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Small House Lust Again

We're getting small house lust again (easy to heat, easy to clean), and we're kinda thinking about this house:



821 Big Lagoon Park Road | Patty Stearns | Realtor

We'll probably reject that because it's too close to the cliff, which is actively eroding.

But the big question is whether a small house like that would work. Would we downsize and move then regret it? I was thinking it could be a good idea to rent a cabin like that for a month or longer.

Anyone done that?
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Old 07-24-2015, 08:48 PM   #2
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Yeah, we did a 600 square feet cottage that looked a lot like this for a few weeks. With good weather, it was no problem. For just two of us, it was fine, and surprisingly big. It started me thinking about a plan to have six of these in six different cities.


Not quite there, but we did go from 4100 to one at 1800 and one at 1200
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Old 07-24-2015, 09:06 PM   #3
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You sure have a fantastic location now!!!


Definitely try a rental first. Downsizing can be tough.
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Old 07-24-2015, 09:07 PM   #4
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It's very nice! I think renting for awhile would be a good way to try out a small house.
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Old 07-24-2015, 10:08 PM   #5
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We are now used to ~2,350 sf but spent February in a 920 sf condo and had all the room we wanted and needed. Hardly used the second bedroom other than for storage.

I could do it but I'm not sure about DW.... too much stuff.
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Old 07-24-2015, 10:32 PM   #6
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Very cute house with great views but at 600 square feet way to small for me . Where will the grandchildren stay when they come to visit ?
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Old 07-24-2015, 10:48 PM   #7
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Great views.... price seems a bit high (for Texas stnds).... but then again, we have pricy RE along the coast...

I would not want to go that small.... two BR is about as small as I would want...


Also, looks like a good drive to get to stores etc... and it looks like the middle of nowhere....
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Old 07-25-2015, 12:38 AM   #8
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Maybe the perfect size. DW & I have lived for 25 years in 1K SQ FT 2BD 1 BA house, nothing to downsize to but our travel trailer. Now this was our 'starter home' which was all we could afford at the time. Our financial life improved enough that we later contemplated gettinga larger place or adding on, but...she didn't get on with her mom and I owuldmantion that mom would want to come & stay with us for extended visits. DW never pressed the issue and now the the two boys are gone MIL is in a senior home and not capable of visiting.
So, your proposed house could be the perfect size if you don't want a lot of guests.
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Old 07-25-2015, 01:12 AM   #9
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Great views.... price seems a bit high (for Texas stnds).... but then again, we have pricy RE along the coast...
+1

$349K for 624 sq.ft. = $560/sq.ft.

It is not clear how much land is included. The description says homeowners share the 62-acre subdivision, but the common land may be there just for open space. I would want my own lot so I can grow a garden or have some outdoor structure.
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Old 07-25-2015, 01:29 AM   #10
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I suppose you know yourselves better than we do. If you love "togetherness", you probably will do okay. Still, renting first seems like a good idea, just to be certain. DW and I tried a 1 BR/LR 1 bath 600 Sqft apartment before moving to Paradise. We decided we needed more room or a divorce. As it is, we went with 1100 soft 2br/2ba. I have a Les Nessman office area and it all seems to work for us. Good luck as YMMV.
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Old 07-25-2015, 01:53 AM   #11
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Our granny flat Casita is 700sf and also a 1br, 1ba... It's a good size if you don't have guests often. Especially if you can carve out two separate areas- so when you're getting on each others nerves you can physically separate.

We plan on moving to the casita and renting our 2ksf house once our kids are launched... We'll get more rent for the larger house.

Pluses of your posted house - looks like good storage with the walk in closet and the garage. Minuses - no separate office space or nook.
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Old 07-25-2015, 08:43 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
We're getting small house lust again (easy to heat, easy to clean), [...]
But the big question is whether a small house like that would work. Would we downsize and move then regret it? I was thinking it could be a good idea to rent a cabin like that for a month or longer.

Anyone done that?
Don't forget that when you rent a cabin for a month, if you still have your present house, then you won't have all of your STUFF with you and you wouldn't have to be cramming all of it into a small space. I guess you could completely move out of your present house first and then rent for a while.

Or, instead of renting a cabin, could you just shut off rooms in your present house to see how that goes? Take absolutely everything out of those rooms, and store it in the rooms you are using. And then, never, ever go into the empty rooms until the experiment is over.

Creating your own individual space in such a tiny house could be an issue. I think there would be lots more compromises and very little "alone time".
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Old 07-25-2015, 09:02 AM   #13
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That looks perfect! Where will Lena live?
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Old 07-25-2015, 09:55 AM   #14
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An added plus will be the awesome view of the incoming tsunami after the "big one".
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Old 07-25-2015, 10:33 AM   #15
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+1

$349K for 624 sq.ft. = $560/sq.ft.

It is not clear how much land is included. The description says homeowners share the 62-acre subdivision, but the common land may be there just for open space. I would want my own lot so I can grow a garden or have some outdoor structure.

Around here you can get houses less than $100 per foot.... but I am not on the water.... you can get condos at less than $100 pf.... but some do go up as high as $500....
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Old 07-25-2015, 11:04 AM   #16
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When I go on Zillow and look at this subdivision, there is no delineation of the property lines. I suspect that in this situation, anything you do on the outside will require a vote from the community.

Arghhh! I never live in a home with an HOA before, and this would drive me nuts.
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Old 07-25-2015, 11:17 AM   #17
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Are there empty lots between you and the ocean that someone could build on? The possibility that someone could put a McMansion between that house and the ocean would impact my decision. Do the CC&R's allow you to add on to the house? Maybe you could add a 2nd bedroom down the road if more space is needed.
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Old 07-25-2015, 01:03 PM   #18
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It started me thinking about a plan to have six of these in six different cities.
I have thought of that option, too,

We're staying in the house we have for now as we have adult kids not yet past boomerang age. We plan to start renting smaller places and see how we get along in a space half the size or less of what we have now for some point in the future. We looked at a retirement village the other week that was like living in a resort - golf courses, swimming pools, and many other amenities. I think with relatively temperate weather and lots of shared facilities and bus service to shopping and the train station we might not need a big indoor space of our own.
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Old 07-25-2015, 01:25 PM   #19
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Our granny flat Casita is 700sf and also a 1br, 1ba... It's a good size if you don't have guests often. Especially if you can carve out two separate areas- so when you're getting on each others nerves you can physically separate.

We plan on moving to the casita and renting our 2ksf house once our kids are launched... We'll get more rent for the larger house.

Pluses of your posted house - looks like good storage with the walk in closet and the garage. Minuses - no separate office space or nook.
That is a really clever way to downsize. You can keep your Prop 13 and the big house is still there if you change your mind and move back in when the lease is up.
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Old 07-25-2015, 08:15 PM   #20
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I don't recall the square footage of your current house, Al, but this house you are considering is pretty small........I know it would be way too small for my wife and me. Oh, we could do it, but with all the stuff we have in our current house (which has a large basement and an upstairs), there is no way I'd want to move to a place that small (and we do use a lot of the stuff, at least occasionally....it's not just stuff that never gets used). Plus, we do have grandkids and kids (and friends) stay overnight with us on occasion, and a house as small as you are considering would never work for that. Is the cleaning and heating/cooling of your current house that big a problem for you? It hasn't been a big deal for us (although our house is not spotless, and I guess I'm okay with that). And the cost of heating our larger house (with natural gas) has been reasonable, even though we live in a cold climate (northern Michigan). We have a small cottage on a lake nearby (similar to the size of the house you are looking at), which we use a lot in the summer, and we are fine with that......but I'd never want to downsize our primary house to something as small as the house you are considering (unless I had to for budgetary reasons, which I don't see happening anytime soon).
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