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Re: Downsizing
Old 07-18-2005, 10:00 AM   #21
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Re: Downsizing

I can't downsize any more than I already have. I built a 2500 sq ft house a few years ago but sold it to be closer to my mother and aunt(87 and 93 years old). My aunt moved in with my mother and I am using my aunt's house. Her house is about 1200 sq feet and seemed so small when I first moved in, but now I can't imagine ever needing anything any larger. I like the small cozy feeling and low maintance. I won't stay there forever as it is in a declining neighborhood, but its gonna be small houses for me from this point forward. Also frees up more cash for golf trips.*

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Re: Downsizing
Old 07-18-2005, 10:08 AM   #22
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Re: Downsizing

Quote:
Originally Posted by DOG50
I can't downsize any more than I already have. I built a 2500 sq ft house a few years ago but sold it to be closer to my mother and aunt(87 and 93 years old). My aunt moved in with my mother and I am using my aunt's house. Her house is about 1200 sq feet and seemed so small when I first moved in, but now I can't imagine ever needing anything any larger. I like the small cozy feeling and low maintance. I won't stay there forever as it is in a declining neighborhood, but its gonna be small houses for me from this point forward. Also frees up more cash for golf trips.*

Man, I heartily second that notion. I also owned about 2500 SF when I lived in
northern Wisconsin. Got terribly tired of maintenance work (and I was 13 years
younger). Anyway, current place is about 1100 sf and we could go even smaller.
Condo is 1000 sf and of course the work there is pretty limited. If we ever
did move again I know larger is out.

JG

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Re: Downsizing
Old 07-18-2005, 10:18 AM   #23
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Re: Downsizing

And another thing.................. I believe I have posted about the cabin I owned in
Upper Michigan. I sold it long before I met my current spouse who was bortn and raised in Michigan. Otherwise, we would probably be living there. Absolutely lovely and remote, 4 acres with 400 ft. of river frontage. Anyway, I would estimate
the SF at about 600, plus a loft, large deck and two (2) storage
buildings. I have no doubt we would have been most comfortable
there.

JG
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Re: Downsizing
Old 07-18-2005, 10:45 AM   #24
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Re: Downsizing

One of my coworkers in Rhinelander was considering a cabin in U.P. He is already in the woods with a nice house built about 10-15 years ago and Rhinelander is 7000-8000 people with enough shopping and things to do, so I think he gave up on. Is stuff a lot cheaper as you go farther out in the sticks?

A few years ago, land here in NW Wisconsin was 500/acre for ag. land and now I hear 3000-4000/acre, which is probably not as bad as a lot of areas, but when you consider you need 40 acres usually for building any type of house, you are talking about big bucks and many more years as a wage slave, lol. I am glad that I am in my current rural house with the remodel, much of it is like new (with a lot lower taxes).
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Re: Downsizing
Old 07-18-2005, 11:27 AM   #25
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Re: Downsizing

Still, you said you are a couple in mid-30s. Are you sure you either can't have or don't want to have kids?

Definitely sure. In fact we've been researching getting me the snippety snip operation soon, since I'm not qualified to attempt it on myself.

So I have another question for you wise people. We pretty much want to start looking around on weekends etc. and if we find the townhome we want jump on it. Given that we have enough equity in existing house to buy outright what's the best way to go about this? We've never sold a home before, so pretty clueless. I figure some of our options are:

- Have our current home equity line limit increased to 200k and just right a check when we find the house we want, then sell existing house.

- Prequalify for interest only mortgage and use that to buy new townhome, then sell existing home and use proceeds to pay it off.

- Make an offer on new townhome with qualifier that we'll pay for it as soon as existing home sells.

The homes that have been selling in our neighborhood have generally been going in a day, some without even getting a real estate sign up. I'm fairly confident we could unload our house for a fair price in a hurry if we needed to.

Thoughts?
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Re: Downsizing
Old 07-18-2005, 12:12 PM   #26
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Re: Downsizing

Quote:
Originally Posted by WRBT
- Have our current home equity line limit increased to 200k and just right a check when we find the house we want, then sell existing house.
That's the way we did it. We settled on our new home on 1/25/05 and paid cash at settlement using a HELOC on our old home. We then settled on our old house a few days later. The second settlement paid off the outstanding HELOC balance (including a few days interest). It all went smoothly and cost was very low.

Grumpy
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Re: Downsizing
Old 07-18-2005, 12:26 PM   #27
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Re: Downsizing

sell FSBO (be honest, no caveat emptors), buy FSBO, pay cash.
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Re: Downsizing
Old 07-18-2005, 02:26 PM   #28
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Re: Downsizing

Quote:
Originally Posted by WRBT
- Have our current home equity line limit increased to 200k and just right a check when we find the house we want, then sell existing house.
Probably not a big concern, but keep in mind that interest deductability only applies to the first $100K.

Quote:
- Prequalify for interest only mortgage and use that to buy new townhome, then sell existing home and use proceeds to pay it off.
Loan closing costs could bite you.

Quote:
- Make an offer on new townhome with qualifier that we'll pay for it as soon as existing home sells.
That's the traditional approach, but if the market you're buying in is "hot" then such a contingency could kill the deal.
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Re: Downsizing
Old 07-18-2005, 03:36 PM   #29
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Re: Downsizing

Quote:
Originally Posted by wabmester


Loan closing costs could bite you.

You can get a higher interest rate loan to make sure you have no closing costs. 2 months of an extra $40 bucks until you pay it off is nothing compared to 3 grand out of pocket. In fact, Etrade will actually pay you (give you credit) for taking a higher rate, You could get a check from them for 3 grand, agree to 3/4 point increase for a whole 2 months, pay off, and go on a vacation!
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Re: Downsizing
Old 11-28-2005, 11:08 AM   #30
 
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Re: Downsizing

For those of you who have a house larger than 3000 sq ft -- do you clean it yourself, or have someone come in?
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Re: Downsizing
Old 11-28-2005, 11:28 AM   #31
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Re: Downsizing

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
For those of you who have a house larger than 3000 sq ft -- do you clean it yourself, or have someone come in?
We both work and don't have time to do the major stuff so we have a lady who comes in once every two weeks for the heavy cleaning. I also have a crew that cuts the grass during the growing season that way I don't have to try to fit it into my schedule. After RE I will cut my own grass and we may reduce the housekeeping to once a month. We both have bad backs so paying someone to do the heavy stuff is more than worth it to us.

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Re: Downsizing
Old 11-28-2005, 01:23 PM   #32
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Re: Downsizing

potential problem with a townhouse; see what kind of people are living next to you.
Young families with loud kids, or, are most of the other units rentals ?
What about the potential for big increases in the condo fee ?
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Re: Downsizing
Old 11-28-2005, 04:04 PM   #33
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Re: Downsizing

I have lived in a townhouse complex, for ten years. Unless you spend a ton of money for attorneys to keep the by-laws up to date and have people that actually want to be involved in the operation, it can be a less than happy experience.

Everyone, eventually, will expect someone else to take care of all the little and big problems, while they sit on their collective butts!

Things wear out or get broken. Homeowner dues have to be increased, to offset normal cost increases and unplanned emergencies. No one expects to pay for any of that, from their own pocket. They expect the Townhome Association, to pick up the tab. But they do whine, when you raise their dues!!

You can't even get people to attend a homeowners meeting, to discuss anything, because they are afraid they'll be thrust into a position of some responsibility. It's just easier, to let someone else do it

Sorry this turned into a rant.
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Re: Downsizing
Old 11-28-2005, 04:10 PM   #34
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Re: Downsizing

Quote:
Originally Posted by bennevis
potential problem with a townhouse;* see what kind of people are living next to you.
Young families with loud kids,* or,* are most of the other units rentals ?
What about the potential for big increases in the condo fee ?
Having bought my first condo, I was not familiar with "normal" condo fees.
We have good cash flow, even though the fee seems pretty high to me.
The association
is awash in cash. OTOH, they are quick to handle needed
improvements. Overall, I don't mind paying a bit more as long as I can see
the results.

JG
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Re: Downsizing
Old 11-28-2005, 04:13 PM   #35
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Re: Downsizing

See my post about "teams" in another thread... *:P

I like the idea of duplex/townhome/condo for retirement abode, for no/low maintenance, making life and travel easier. But the thought of someone living immediately underfoot/overhead/on the other side of the wall, gives me pause. Not to mention the association fees...

Hmmmmmmmmm??
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Re: Downsizing
Old 11-28-2005, 04:21 PM   #36
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Re: Downsizing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Have Funds, Will Retire
See my post about "teams" in another thread... *:P

I like the idea of duplex/townhome/condo for retirement abode, for no/low maintenance, making life and travel easier. But the thought of someone living immediately underfoot/overhead/on the other side of the wall, gives me pause. Not to mention the association fees...

Hmmmmmmmmm??
I know what you mean. In our case, we are on the 3rd floor of a 3 story condo.
Also, the front balcony wraps around 3/4 of our place. Thus, the only common wall is in the back. Plus, we have the best lake view in the building.
Some of this was just luck. Anyway, most units are owned by
"weekenders", so it's pretty quiet during the week.

JG
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Re: Downsizing
Old 11-28-2005, 04:25 PM   #37
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Re: Downsizing

Just love carrying groceries to the third floor. Once lived on the third floor of an apartment complex...and I was young, and in shape!
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Re: Downsizing
Old 11-28-2005, 06:29 PM   #38
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Re: Downsizing

Quote:
Originally Posted by MRGALT2U
Having bought my first condo, I was not familiar with "normal" condo fees.
We have good cash flow, even though the fee seems pretty high to me.
The association
is awash in cash.* OTOH, they are quick to handle needed
improvements.* Overall, I don't mind paying a bit more as long as I can see
the results.

JG
JG: What do your monthly fees run per month?

I assume they cover the exterior of the unit, etc. etc.
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Re: Downsizing
Old 11-28-2005, 06:50 PM   #39
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Re: Downsizing

My problem with townhomes, is that after a few years; things that were absolute, in the bylaws and restrictions,when you purchased, are allowed to slide and no one seems to have the backbone to enforce anything anymore. Homeowner Directors change, develop different philosophys of what they will or not allow. Next thing you know, you're back in the projects again, where it's every homeowner for himself.

Homeowner dues, that you pay each month, for lawn maintenance, trash pickup, repairs of maintenance; will eventually increase, that's a given. So don't be taken in, by what they quote you today. If a major disaster occurs, even though you're not affected, you may be assessed a sizeable fee, to assist the Homeowners association, in paying the bill.

Things that look good today; low maintenance, nice new neighborhood, may change, in a few years, when owners start renting out their properties. It just takes one, to get it started. Daddy still owns the place, next to you, but he lets his college age son live there rent free. Think there might be a few parties?

Or Daddy's single daughter, with the three kids, moving in next to you. You can't make em move, Daddy owns it!!

What we should all have, in our desire for a perfect retirement home, is to have a neighbor, as nice and considerate as I am! :laugh Wish you all could be my neighbor!



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Re: Downsizing
Old 11-28-2005, 06:51 PM   #40
 
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Re: Downsizing

Quote:
Originally Posted by MRGALT2U
Having bought my first condo, I was not familiar with "normal" condo fees.
We have good cash flow, even though the fee seems pretty high to me.
The association
is awash in cash.* OTOH, they are quick to handle needed
improvements.* Overall, I don't mind paying a bit more as long as I can see
the results.

JG
I am the President of our 14 unit Townhome Association. It is good to be awash in cash, as there are expenses down the road that Include New Roofs, New exterior siding, painting - Driveway repair and Landscaping.

You don't want a meager cash balance, requiring assements as needs come due! *- Try to collect then - What a pain in the ass!
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