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Old 07-04-2016, 09:20 PM   #41
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Downsizing makes a lot of sense if one keeps a sense of proportion.

Am I the only person who thinks that Tiny Houses are poor value for the money and not something that most people can endure for very long. I guess I just don't understand the appeal of a sub 300 sqft house.
My cut off is around 700 sqft how about the rest of you?
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Old 07-04-2016, 09:59 PM   #42
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My cut off is around 700 sqft how about the rest of you?
I have 1000 sqft, but could go as low as 800 or maybe a little less if it had the perfect layout...but, that would have to include a full basement to use as a rehearsal space for 2 bands.
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Old 07-04-2016, 10:47 PM   #43
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This is the view from our porch. South mountain is 2000 feet high and a mile away
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Old 07-05-2016, 07:54 AM   #44
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My cut off is around 700 sqft how about the rest of you?
My vacation condo is 825 sq feet. I could easily live in it and feel comfortable. I do enjoy having 1700 sqft in my primary home, but it's also the minimum allowed in the neighborhood.
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Old 07-05-2016, 07:59 AM   #45
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Our house is around 3700 SF, workshop 500 SF. I wish it was the other way around. DW does not, but we could compromise at 1300 SF


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Old 07-05-2016, 08:03 AM   #46
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My vacation condo is 825 sq feet. I could easily live in it and feel comfortable. I do enjoy having 1700 sqft in my primary home, but it's also the minimum allowed in the neighborhood.
Minimum allowed? I've heard of maximum allowed but this is a first for me! Are you in an HOA?
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Old 07-05-2016, 08:07 AM   #47
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Currently we have 3300sqft. I ask myself the question all the time, how small could we go? We do have a 400sqft guest suite that only gets used now and then, but the other 2.8k I feel we use all/most of the time. We do like his and her studies, DW uses Bedroom 2, I have a dedicated study/office that I added a Closet to so I could classify the home as a 4 BR. We do not really use the dining room that is about 250 - 300sqft. We do use our 400sqft Florida room. Of course the Kit, MB & LR are always in use.
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Old 07-05-2016, 08:17 AM   #48
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Minimum allowed? I've heard of maximum allowed but this is a first for me! Are you in an HOA?
The neighborhood is completely full at this point, but that was the minimum at the time of construction. We are part of an HOA with covenants. I did not build this house. But I did build one back in the late 90's on the other side of the golf course and we had a minimum there.
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Old 07-05-2016, 09:17 AM   #49
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I actually prefer smaller houses. We lived in 1400 SqFt when we lived overseas and it was fine for a family of 4. The problem in the US is layout.

Small houses tend to have tiny/no yard, small kitchens, small living areas and few bedrooms.

Ideally what we would like is 3-4 small bedrooms, no formal living/dining room and a large kitchen/living area... on a large lot (like 10k SQFT). You could EASILY fit that in 1400 sqft, but I haven't found it. The house we got is the closest thing to that we could find. If you want a large kitchen and living area on a large lot, that tends to come with larger bedrooms, formal dining/living areas and these crazy master suite bedrooms that no one ever seems to actually use
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Old 07-05-2016, 09:20 AM   #50
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Currently we have 3300sqft. I ask myself the question all the time, how small could we go? We do have a 400sqft guest suite that only gets used now and then, but the other 2.8k I feel we use all/most of the time. We do like his and her studies, DW uses Bedroom 2, I have a dedicated study/office that I added a Closet to so I could classify the home as a 4 BR. We do not really use the dining room that is about 250 - 300sqft. We do use our 400sqft Florida room. Of course the Kit, MB & LR are always in use.
We're the same way. Considering that housing is the #1 cost in the US household budget and nearing 50%; it baffles me that there aren't 1400-1600 sqft houses that just do away with all the unnecessary space, make the bedrooms smaller (hello... most people only SLEEP in them), and focus on a larger open living area. Also, keep the lots the same size so there's actually a yard to do stuff in.

That would also cut down on utilities and the "need to fill my house with crap" factor.
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Old 07-05-2016, 09:21 AM   #51
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I could more easily adjust to a down-sized house than give up a nice-sized shop. In truth, I've done somewhat the opposite - gone from a small house/large shop to a large house/tiny shop. I do miss the shop but not the too-small house.




I enjoy following the tiny house movement. Even though it's not for me, there was a short time when it might have been and I give kudos to those who can pull it off. Indeed I would guess it's a short term solution for most practitioners of the lifestyle. Yet living in someone else's backyard - commonplace among tiny house dwellers - would probably have been a non-starter for me, even back in my early 20s.

Guess i should have continued my rant
1250 sq ft house
2400 sq ft shop
A man must have priorities! LOL
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Old 07-05-2016, 09:34 AM   #52
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My assessment is base on the fact that in retirement I assume one's primary residence is fully paid for, as is ours. While this is not the case for all it does weigh into our equation significantly. Our home(s) have been paid off for the last 20 years so running costs other than taxes are fairly comparable to a smaller residence all things being equal.
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Old 07-05-2016, 11:36 AM   #53
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We're the same way. Considering that housing is the #1 cost in the US household budget and nearing 50%; it baffles me that there aren't 1400-1600 sqft houses that just do away with all the unnecessary space, make the bedrooms smaller (hello... most people only SLEEP in them), and focus on a larger open living area. Also, keep the lots the same size so there's actually a yard to do stuff in.

That would also cut down on utilities and the "need to fill my house with crap" factor.
I think we are seeing this. Most new homes around here (and the older one being renovated) have a very open floor plan. Kitchen, dining and living as one space. As far as bedroom size goes though...yeah, still lots of wasted space with that. When I was a kid, the ONLY think I did in my bedroom was SLEEP. Our house had a "rec room" in which we did all our family living stuff in. And the formal living room was used on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day...that was it.

I think the perfect house for me would be about 1,500 SF, but my DW requires a large WIC so I am thinking it will be closer to 2,000.
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Old 07-05-2016, 03:11 PM   #54
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Been considering this myself. We live in a 3300sf house in New England and I have a separate 1000 sf shop. Our mortgage is pretty comfortable and we love where we live, very small town, picturesque area. But taxes, insurance and utilities are averaging $1600+/mo and I think that that is going to be difficult to justify going forward. I am retiring at 54 at the end of the year. I have an antique auto hobby and 8 vehicles in total.

The discussions that my wife and I have been having revolve around given careful thought about what you enjoy/value and why you enjoy it. I am not a have just to have person. But I did enjoy driving a '69 Mercedes convertible to a 4th of July party yesterday for example. Enjoyed it VERY much in fact, as I usually do.

We think we will stay put for another 5-10 years probably but at some point have to make that list of the things we enjoy/value, prioritize that list and then figure out how to downsize and keep as much of our enjoyable as we can.

I would also add that regarding paying off a mortgage, I have always been warned that that is NOT a good idea when you are still working as Interest is one of the very few tax deductions that you still have and keeping a mortgage and investing money that you might otherwise use to pay it off puts you in a better overall position. Paying off after retiring does make sense however....
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Old 07-05-2016, 03:39 PM   #55
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We didn't pay off our mortgage and actually took money out thru a HELOC to keep our taxable income under the ACA cliff until we are Medicare age. If interest rates go up eventually we'll keep the mortgage and if they go down probably just refinance. There isn't a high degree of asset protection for personal residences in our state compared to housing costs, so we'll probably always keep a mortgage on the house for relatively simple asset protection.

We would like to downsize but Prop 13 has kind of a lock in effect. Plus there are few good value smaller homes in our area. Housing is crazy high here right now in the Bay Area, so smaller, more relatively affordable houses are in high demand. Downsizing only makes sense for us if we move out of the area, which we have thought about but so far haven't found any location we are sure we would like more than where we live now.
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Old 07-05-2016, 05:11 PM   #56
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I have been looking to downsize for awhile but I haven't found the house .Just like W2R has her dream house I want one I really really like . I want 1800 square feet with a gorgeous kitchen. a community pool and close to all my friends and shops with a small back yard and it must be unique . I hate cookie cutter houses. I currently live in 3800 square feet on Sarasota Bay . Three stories with an elevator to the first and second floor . It is very unique .
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Old 07-05-2016, 05:50 PM   #57
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I have been looking to downsize for awhile but I haven't found the house .Just like W2R has her dream house I want one I really really like . I want 1800 square feet with a gorgeous kitchen. a community pool and close to all my friends and shops with a small back yard and it must be unique . I hate cookie cutter houses. I currently live in 3800 square feet on Sarasota Bay . Three stories with an elevator to the first and second floor . It is very unique .
Good luck and I hope you find just exactly the right house!
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Old 07-05-2016, 06:22 PM   #58
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We have been looking for 10 years. One big issue is property taxes on our home. This is a low COL area but not for taxes.

Going to move for an adventure, lower taxes and better weather(heat index is 112 according to the weather folks). The plan to locate here for opportunities was a success, time to celebrate it. Single floor living with more opportunity to allow things to be done easier. Cut down from 3800 to 2200, lose the extra 1500 SF garage too.

Better climate with access to more hobbies.
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Old 07-05-2016, 06:56 PM   #59
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2800 sq ft house
1800 sq ft shop
1200 sq ft lanai/pool area

We could live in a smaller home but this felt about right.

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Old 07-06-2016, 07:32 AM   #60
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"Downsized" from 1250sqft for 10 years with one child, to 1000sqft for the last 5(-ish) years.

LBYM. 2yrs away....
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