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Old 05-11-2015, 04:50 PM   #21
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I think southern MO would have been cheaper for you.
Most definitely! It is a 1950's house, and there are many similar homes in Springfield for far less. But Frank isn't going to move any time soon, and I want to be with him.
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Old 05-11-2015, 05:38 PM   #22
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Four years ago I sold my 1800sf house and moved to a town that is a 10 minute drive from my job. I now rent a 900sf house on a bay just off the GOM. So far I've sold, given away, thrown away 75 percent of my possessions (with more to go). Most days away from work are either fishing or working on fishing gear. My uniform around the house is khaki shorts, t-shirt and crocs.

I was miserable at my old house but inertia kept me from trying to change my life. When the house I live in became available I debated what to do, and then realized that if I didn't like the new place I could always move back and be miserable.

I may change my mind tomorrow, but today its great.

Thoreau is on to something. Simplify, simplify, simplify.
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Old 05-11-2015, 06:07 PM   #23
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Inbetween downsizing from a 3600 plus sq foot home to a 1300 foot condo, we spent 7 months travelling and three months in a small 2br furnished apt.

When we returned we found that we had changed our minds with regard to what we wanted in terms of size, etc. We thought we needed 1800 sq feet. Now we want 1400/1500 max. Something with zero maintenance, easy to clean, no stairs, that we can lock the door and leave for eight weeks or so at time.

Our lifestyle has changed from accumulation to experiences. If I buy a book I now donate it to the library rather than keeping it. We have far fewer clothes hanging in the closet. We did not plan it this way it is just the way things have evolved.

Some of our friends think that we are renting because we spent/spend all of our money travelling. Nothing could be further from the truth. But what we realized during the'period when we had no home was how much it cost, actual and opportunity cost, to turn the key in our former home. It really did help to offset some of our travel expenses.
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Old 05-11-2015, 06:18 PM   #24
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Most definitely! It is a 1950's house, and there are many similar homes in Springfield for far less. But Frank isn't going to move any time soon, and I want to be with him.
So how much did the new dig's run you?
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Old 05-11-2015, 07:54 PM   #25
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Ironically, we're closing the sale on the Colorado cabin this Friday and on the Houston home next week and are moving to Reno. I'll semi-retire (teach online and pull from retirement funds) and DW will work but at a less stress and less salary.
Originally, we were going to downsize, but since the DS and his wife live 4 hours away, we bought a home just a little smaller than the Houston home so the kids can visit over Christmas and other times. We've thrown out or Goodwilled about 1/3 at least of the Houston house. Essentially, the note on the cabin will be the note on the Reno home, although we could pay it off, but I think I can earn more than 3% over time.
Not quite downsizing, unless you add up the two homes we're swapping for one. Costs will be quite a bit cheaper, though.
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Old 05-11-2015, 09:00 PM   #26
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Am in the middle of doing this right now. Am purging as much stuff as possible and prepping the house for sale. Should be ready by next spring. Have already found the condo development where I want to go: 10 min. from this town of many friends, yet about halfway to the town where DS and his wife live. Moving 10 min. from here (from 3,000 SF to 1,500 SF) should cut my housing expenses (including property taxes) by at least 50%. Am looking forward to greater freedom and simplicity........especially with friends and family who have invited me to months of visiting and travel.

I do love this place; will have lived here for 19 years. It was the dream home and "cabin in the woods" to which DH and I had always aspired. But, since he has passed away, it's far less fun, since he is not here to enjoy it too. (Birds have been swooping by, wondering why his many feeders are empty.......I just have too much to do in this place to worry about them.)

So, I plan to enjoy the months ahead..........and then turn the place over to a family who will love it as much as we have. (And maybe get those poor birds fed!)
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Old 05-11-2015, 09:25 PM   #27
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I'm bowled over by those that sell their big houses in expensive locations only to move to a slightly smaller house in a still very expensive location.

We lived 12 years in the fabulous Atlanta suburbs and had 4200 square feet in a swim/tennis community. But living in such a sprawling city with incredibly bad traffic takes a toll on the nerves. We simply dislike big cities, but those with cheap real estate prices have some benefits.

My parents' home town in Alabama happens to be on the Tennessee River with 3 major lakes in the county--Shangra La. We bought a 2350 square foot new home on one floor with a 900 square feet finished basement--sitting on 4 acres. Since my wife is on Social Security Disability, we have no Alabama property taxes. If I was paying property taxes, they'd be just under $600.

We live weekends in the lake house I built with my father for my parents' retirement. We've got 100' deep water, and a 6 mile water view of the sunset. We're 27 steps from the water and our double boathouse/pier with 2 boats. Although we've got a couple of thousand homes on our lake, it's a secret--unless you're a bass fisherman where we're the Holy Grail of Smallmouth Fishing.

Alabama is an extremely low tax state, and the cost of living here is very, very low. We're within 1 day drive of 1/2 the U.S. population and within 2 hrs. of three cities of 1 million people. We have good healthcare and shopping/restaurants.

We went from an inexpensive big city to an even less expensive medium size city of 140,000 people with virtually no rush hour. Thank you, Lord!

I bought my daughter a really nice 2800 square foot house recently 2 blocks from a great elementary school. The den's 16' x 40' and there's a 20' x 24' play room. The wooded back yard's flat and 237' across--great play space for 3 and 7 year olds. I paid $105K for the house, and spent $10K repainting and putting in new floors. It's all the house she'll ever need. This is an example of what's on our real estate market for those that'll get their hands a little dirty painting, etc.

We continue to travel extensively in our retirement and we have something to look forward to at all times. You just never know when an illness or injury might ground us, and we want to see as much of this world as we can.
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Old 05-11-2015, 11:25 PM   #28
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A similar approach has worked out for us. Sold our house in a high-priced city and moved to the country about 75 miles away -- close enough to still be in contact with good friends. No regrets so far. ER would not have been possible for us without our being able to bank the proceeds from the home sale and to reduce our COL by the move.
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Old 05-12-2015, 12:49 AM   #29
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In the middle of a move as well. From 1800sf ranch with 1000sf workshop and an acre to 910sf including the small garage. About the right size for us, but more expensive (US to UK).
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Old 05-12-2015, 05:49 AM   #30
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I'm in the middle of a big downsizing and move myself. So far no regrets, just joy at what lies ahead!
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Old 05-12-2015, 09:36 AM   #31
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I would love to sell my overly large house in a very expensive neighborhood and buy a smaller condo in a very expensive neighborhood, but can't sell the spouse on the idea. We did briefly live in a 1 bedroom apartment for a few weeks while moving and it did not go well, but there is a compromise in there somewhere. I'm putting my arthritic foot down when I turn sixty, though.
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Lifestyle may trump other factors
Old 05-12-2015, 10:27 AM   #32
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Lifestyle may trump other factors

Lifestyle trumps affordability in central Seattle, even for some budget-stretchers | The Seattle Times

Here is an article from this morning's Seattle Times about rent/home prices in various areas in and around Seattle, and how different people's expressed ranking of choice factors is.

The article name is Lifestyle trumps affordability in Central Seattle. Many of you are familiar with Seattle. What they are calling Central Seattle is the narrow waist of Seattle, south of the Ship Canal (thus south of the University District and Ballard) and north of I-90. In fact the same preferences would likely be found among University Distract and central Ballard dwellers. These preferences, and the associated European pattern of residential rents and home prices, is found in most big Pacific Coast cities, and many big Eastern seaboard cities. Public trans, and safety from crime are the big issues. Without these, central cities are going to be what is usually found in USA, dead zones after 6 pm, and not too welcoming before. In fact, in much of the US "central city" is a euphemism for dangerous place, stay out.

As many posters are showing, it's easy to downsize space needs. What isn't easy, and what many of us don't really want to do is to downsize our needs for stimulation and fun where we live. Tonight I can go to an early music concert for a few bucks, too far to walk at night but an easy bus ride. Later in the week I go to a free meetup where a former state department guy is talking about political shifts in Israel, also a short bus ride away. Both of these locations are easily reached by bus, but hard to find parking, night or day, without pretty high fees.

Maybe our travel budgets should be grouped with COL, so that the extra cost of living someplace where you are too hot, or too cold, or bored out of your skull will become explicit.

Ha
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Old 05-12-2015, 10:30 AM   #33
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I can see your point, Ha, and I think that city living will likely appeal to me when I get older. Now, my lifestyle meshes well with frugality, living out in the country, while I still have the get up and go to get out and visit with folks by car. But, I can see a day when this would be isolating, and I'd want to downsize my space in exchange for greater stimulation. Thanks for the interesting article. I have friends in downtown Seattle as well as in Snohomish, and they both love their choices.
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Old 05-12-2015, 04:21 PM   #34
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We have a rather large house for two people and are downsizing gradually. In a rather unusual case, we own a smaller home two doors down that is/was a rental that we will probably transition into in a few years after both children are fully launched. The plan is also to build a garage/workshop that has the shell of a house. It might be that we eventually transition to that years from now.
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Old 05-12-2015, 04:36 PM   #35
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When we realized our youngest was going to be out of high school in three years, we bought a 1300 s.f. 2BR 3BA house close to downtown Austin (walking distance to about a dozen bars/restaurants, 1/3 of a mile from grocery store, etc.). We rented it for 3 years, and then did a complete remodel. As soon as our youngest moved to college, we downsized from our 3,600 s.f. 4BR 4.5BA house to the remodeled one.

Couldn't be happier. Everything is cheaper. Never forget my last big electric bill in the old house - $750. Ouch! (Texas in August, just about every day that August was over 100 degrees, and our house was on the market). New house averages about $40. My biggest fear is that we'd be tripping over each other. For the most part, the new size fits us perfectly. Christmas and Thanksgiving has one child on the sofa, but that's fine with everyone.

Now getting ready to move out was not easy. When we got tired of cleaning and going through stuff, we'd watch about 4 episodes of Hoarders, and that would give us the extra motivation to purge. I will say, I'm much happier with less stuff.

Taxes are less, but only because our house is worth less. Still expensive at $7,500-$8,500/year, but the old house would be about $13,000. Yes, it's a lot of money, but we love the city and all that it offers, so we'll just tough it out and protest our taxes every year.
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Old 05-12-2015, 07:13 PM   #36
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I would love to sell my overly large house in a very expensive neighborhood and buy a smaller condo in a very expensive neighborhood, but can't sell the spouse on the idea. We did briefly live in a 1 bedroom apartment for a few weeks while moving and it did not go well, but there is a compromise in there somewhere. I'm putting my arthritic foot down when I turn sixty, though.
We lived in a 900 sf 2-bedroom condo for the month of February and it was fine. In fact, we joked that we didn't use the second bedroom at all except for storing golf clubs and beach chairs, but if we had a vacation condo in Florida we would want a second bedroom for guests. I found the smaller space liberating, but i am a bit of a minimalist.
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Old 05-12-2015, 10:41 PM   #37
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The perfect home is a condo in the city near all the shops and stuff, but has a big back porch overlooking your quiet farm.


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Old 05-12-2015, 11:20 PM   #38
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We are starting to hunt now for a house about half the size of our current home. Going down to 1000 square feet should be fine so long as there is some garage/shop space. Our goal is to be in a place with minimal upkeep and within easy walking/biking distance to restaurants, music, theater and other entertainment. We will still be only an hour from the ocean and an hour from the mountains. The new location will have somewhat better weather and will be somewhat cheaper than our current location and it is closer to my parents who are aging and will be needing more help.
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Old 05-13-2015, 02:16 PM   #39
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I am just getting started with purging stuff in our current 4BR 2250 square foot home, in preparation to sell next spring. We will be moving to our 3BR 1825 square foot retirement home on the other side of the country. We might have gone a bit smaller, but we're use to having a basement now, and they are extremely rare in the new location. So, one BR will probably become a gear room, and we have to have a guest room for the friends and family we already have lining up to visit us once we relocate.

I don't anticipate the new location to be any cheaper, and may be somewhat more expensive overall, but we accept that for the quality of life there.
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Old 05-13-2015, 06:33 PM   #40
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The perfect home is a condo in the city near all the shops and stuff, but has a big back porch overlooking your quiet farm.


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My dream home...
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