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Old 05-13-2015, 06:49 PM   #41
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We downsized to central Florida four years ago. Don't miss the traffic and crime of our previous home in the Baltimore Washington area. I'm A five minute walk away from 6 bar restaurants, a Starbucks, Panera, entertaining town square and grocery store. I Usually take the golf cart.
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Old 05-13-2015, 07:27 PM   #42
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We did it, we had a retirement home on a lake in the Phoenix area, palm trees, oranges, limes, grapefruit. 150 ft of waterfront in the desert with a dock for our party boat. Moved to the side of a mountain in SE Arizona, only human in our section (640 acres). Hour to go shopping, 2 hours to the dentist, helicopter ride if I really get sick or hurt.

Very close to being a hermit except our community is very sociable, plus we need to entertain ourselves. We had a community renaissance fair, with folks doing skits, dancing, singing, with 100 participants. Trouble was there was no one to see it that wasn't in it. Same with our St Patrick's Day and 4th of July parades.
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Old 05-13-2015, 07:46 PM   #43
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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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That may be the option I have to settle for as I am not having any luck finding a place with a variety of city amenities with no people.


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Old 05-13-2015, 10:23 PM   #44
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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. . . . . . . . . . . .

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.
I love Chicken Fried Steak and Tex Mex food, and it's nice to have no personal Texas state income taxes.

But I don't love $7,500-$8,500 per year property taxes anywhere. My best friend lives in North Dallas, and when his property taxes got to $50,000, he sold the big house and moved into a rental. With that big lifestyle, he's still working while his buddies are retired and playing golf.
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Old 05-14-2015, 06:47 AM   #45
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I actually moved from a rental to a Condo prior to retirement. This was to freeze my cost structure since rentals just keep going up and up. Also since I paid cash my income dropped due to the money being tied up in the Condo. This qualifies me for higher ACA subsidies.
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Old 05-14-2015, 07:10 AM   #46
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But I don't love $7,500-$8,500 per year property taxes anywhere. My best friend lives in North Dallas, and when his property taxes got to $50,000, he sold the big house and moved into a rental. With that big lifestyle, he's still working while his buddies are retired and playing golf.
Amen, brother. Property taxes in Texas are one of the most contentious items we have. Legislators are about to pass a bill now that would slash the average homeowners property taxes. By $200. No, not per month, per year. Ugh.
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Old 05-14-2015, 07:37 AM   #47
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It's not really downsizing, but we started snowbirding from the Eastern Shore of MD to SW FL. Our home in MD is 4400sf on a bay and a golf course, and a 5 mile drive to anything (further for anything useful). Our home in FL is 1200sf and 2 miles from the beach, in a neighborhood of mansions, small houses, and trailer parks. I can walk or bike to any store I need. It's a really major contrast in lifestyles that we have to adjust to every 6 months or so.

After a few years of doing this, we've decided we like the smaller house life better, and are starting the process of de-cluttering the big house in preparation to downsize that side of our lives. It will take a few years to get there, but that gives us time to figure out exactly what we want. That house in the city with the back porch overlooking the farm sounds good.
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Old 05-20-2015, 06:34 AM   #48
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A local TV station just aired a story on tiny houses. A portion of the story features a retired couple who are downsizing from a 3,000 sq ft. home in Michigan to a 400 sq. ft. tiny house in Myrtle Beach, SC. They spend more time outside now.

Tiny house movement arrives on Grand Strand : News : CarolinaLive.com
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Old 05-20-2015, 08:34 AM   #49
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A couple years we finally sold the 3200sf home on 1.6 acres with pool and 3000sf barn. It was traumatic to have to get rid of so much stuff but glad we did it back then. Took off in our coach for 2 years. Found out we didn't care for the lifestyle (too many campgrounds and resorts were too close to the neighbors) sold it and bought a 1700sf house in a retirement community back in Louisiana. Now we're about 1/2 way between our 2 sons. We have a postage stamp yard that costs $100/month for cutting. Electric bill came in yesterday $67 vs. over $250-600 during the summer at the bigger house. Have great neighbors that watch the house while we're traveling for a month or longer. Our home is on a pond with only 1 other house so we have a private view rather than a tiny fenced yard.
So far we love the community but it's getting hotter and humid-er so can't wait until end of June when we head to Colorado for July and August. Oh yeah, we'll pass through Canon City where we left the trailer with Rzr and other stuff.

And I don't even use dryer sheets....
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Old 05-20-2015, 08:38 AM   #50
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Gamecock (I'll forgive you for your wrongful allegiance, lol), that is a cool story! I love the Katrina cottages, and I had no idea someone built a group of them up in Garden City. Her 576 is basically my dream tiny house, and I adapted the Cusato design for the one I'm going to (eventually) build in my backyard.

Neat, I'll have to try to find them next time I'm up that way. Thanks! And GO TIGERS!
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Old 05-20-2015, 12:39 PM   #51
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Downsizing is a mental exercise, mostly because you typically are giving away so many things that you may have more attachment to that you think. It took a year for me to slowly sell and give away enough belongings to even think about the move, but now that we have, I love it.


We went from 2500sq home with large backyard in Chicago burbs to 1100 sq ft apartment in Raliegh Nc. I settled in almost immediately and have loved it. First it reduced our expenses by almost $3k/month which allowed me to retire. Second we moved someplace where there is lots of shopping near by, a 5500 acre park with over 30 miles of trails just minutes from the door with lakes for canoeing and kayaking. What I miss in our house, I make up for in the amenities in the apartment which has everything you'd have at a resort. Even my garden I don't miss as I can volunteer at Duke Gardens which is amazing.


I looked at the pictures of all the stuff I gave away and one or two items make me a little sad, but I don't actually miss having them. The one great thing about downsizing is we hand selected only the best to come with us..so purging the towels that have seen better days, tossing the 150 bottles of "stuff" you've accumulated in the linen closet, and picking the best sofa, the nicest bedroom set, so now when I walk in to my apartment, I only see the nicest, high end furniture which makes it seem like I almost got an upgrade.


Ironically the bathrooms, closets, and kitchen are bigger in the apartment then my home. Yes I traded Dental molding and Granite countertops for some basic but nice and new kitchen cabinets/countertops, but its nice not having to worry about keeping everything updated... I really enjoy calling maintenance and know it costs me $0.
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Old 05-24-2015, 10:16 AM   #52
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We downsized from 4200 s.f. to 1300 s.f. just about six years ago. At the time, it felt like jumping off a cliff! We had an estate sale (though I had to assure the company that no one had died) and we sold somewhere between half and two-thirds of all our stuff.

We measured the new space and my husband drew a floor plan, then cut out templates of our furniture. We only kept what would fit in the new house.

Of course, nothing is static, and stuff continues to flow into the house. We are getting ready to apply the principles in Marie Kondo's "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" to reduce the accumulated clutter. Like karen1972, we found that when we only had what we really loved, we appreciated it more and it felt new and even luxurious.

We only missed ONE thing that we sold: a card table. My dad ended up giving me his when he downsized, so now I don't even miss that.
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Old 05-24-2015, 10:39 AM   #53
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Good luck with the book Begood. My GF bought a decluttering book a year ago...and now it too has become part of the clutter. If it wouldn't destroy the relationship I would go in there one day while she was at work and take care of the problem.


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Old 05-24-2015, 10:43 AM   #54
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Good luck with the book Begood. My GF bought a decluttering book a year ago...and now it too has become part of the clutter. If it wouldn't destroy the relationship I would go in there one day while she was at work and take care of the problem.


I read the book in an afternoon, highlighting and underlining as I went, with a few stars and exclamation points added along the way. I gave it to my husband and he said he didn't need to read it because he's already tidy (true: he taught me the joy of a clean surface). I told him I'm ready to take it to the next level.

Yesterday we cleaned out the breezeway between the garage and the house and ended up with: three bags to give away and two bags to throw out.
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Old 05-24-2015, 10:53 AM   #55
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Im curious Begood why you were a clutterer and how reading a book helps. My GW will not talk about it all to me. Though she has said it is a "source of disappointment" in her life. Maybe my traits of sterile and few emotional attachments to things I don't need help me. But it seems simple if it isn't pictures, tools or documents and you haven't used it in a year or two....chuck it in dumpster!


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Old 05-24-2015, 11:14 AM   #56
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I thought I was pretty well de-cluttered, but gosh, I have thrown out so much while packing for this move, and also I have quite a bit to donate. I have been severely decluttering as I go. My guess is that only about half of my boxable stuff will actually make it to my new home.

I can't figure out how to fit all of my furniture into my dream house either, so I plan to give away or donate the excess which is about 1/3 of my furniture. There's some downsizing right there. In my case, I guarantee that I won't miss a thing...
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Old 05-24-2015, 11:44 AM   #57
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We actually up-sized - by moving to a less-expensive location

We sold our bay-area place in 2007 right before the crash, in preparation for our first "retirement" (it turned out to be a long sabbatical instead). We then traveled around the world in 2008-2009, seeing our networth reduced 30% during that time. We down-sized from a good sized home to a bed in many hostels, but it was liberating. It was a real good feeling that you don't have to worry about anything "back home".

In 2010 we bought a much big home very cheaply in a location much less expensive than the bay area.

It was a fun experience.
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Old 05-24-2015, 12:18 PM   #58
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Im curious Begood why you were a clutterer and how reading a book helps. My GW will not talk about it all to me. Though she has said it is a "source of disappointment" in her life. Maybe my traits of sterile and few emotional attachments to things I don't need help me. But it seems simple if it isn't pictures, tools or documents and you haven't used it in a year or two....chuck it in dumpster!
I could probably make a whole thread about this, and maybe I will so we don't hijack the OP's thread too much, but here's the basics:

There's a spectrum for clutter like there is for anything else. It sounds like you fall on one end of the spectrum and your girlfriend falls somewhere on the other, "more cluttered" end. At the far end of that spectrum is hoarding - a mental-health issue that is beyond the "Why don't you just clean this crap up?" stage.

Some people do form emotional attachment to things. In some cases, it's rooted in nostalgia: photos that remind us of good times; a T-shirt we wore to a concert in college; stuffed animals won at a fair with a first boyfriend. The real wonder of Marie Kondo's book is her open acknowledgment of that emotional reaction. The eye-opening moment for me was trying out an exercise she suggested: Say goodbye with ceremony. Thank the item for its service. Explain that it's no longer needed here, but it will find service somewhere else, with someone else. I tried that strategy with my 13-year-old daughter, who holds on to things like pine cones that she found in the woods near her grandma's house. Grandma died, and the pine cones helped my daughter feel close to her. We kept one and reintroduced the rest into the woods, with a little ceremony to thank them and wish the well on their next journey.

Sounds crazy, right? But it WORKED. Kondo also recommends going from easy to hard. Don't start with papers and family photos and sentimental items. Start with clothes, specifically shirts. By the time you get to the more difficult, sentimental stuff, you will have learned to trust your own judgment about what's important - what brings you joy - and what doesn't.

My husband and I (ages 49/50) both grew up with older parents who lived through the Depression. It can be very, very hard to move out of the "but I might need it someday" mentality, the "what if I can't afford to get another one" mentality. I saw it yesterday in my husband, when I saw that he had kept a chicken-feed container that no longer had a lid because animals had chewed through it. He still hasn't thrown it out. "All it needs is a lid," he said. And this is an incredibly tidy man who is usually rational about things. I'll update when that thing is finally in the trash for good.
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Old 05-24-2015, 02:15 PM   #59
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If only I had a house to sell in the SF Bay Area where I live, then I would have many more choices. However, I've been living in a cute, incredibly small one bedroom, one bath, one closet duplex for over 20 years, rent cheap compared to the rest of the area because I know the landlord. There are no mod cons, no w/d, but a huge yard in a nice town where I can walk downtown in 10 minutes.

My plan - since I only have a small amount of cash - is to buy into a limited -equity townhouse coop about an hour and a half away in a college town. I will go from my hovel to a 3 bedroom (albeit one bedroom is tiny), 2 bath place with laundry room and a small patio. My monthly assessment will be less than my rent here. It's not modern either, but has everything I need and is in a fun town filled with activities and restaurants and is close to the Bay Area and the rest of Northern CA. I'll still be living a simple life - I don't acquire things, just experiences and my extra bedrooms will be for the office where I continue to write a novel and a guest room for all my friends. I'll also have more than one closet! A linen closet, a coat closet, on my!

Now my dream house would be a Craftsman bungalow but I would need to move very far from California to buy that and I'm not comfortable moving away from my support group as a single woman with health issues.

I so envy all of you who own homes!
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Old 05-24-2015, 03:07 PM   #60
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I used Marie Kondo,s book for cleaning my clothes closet .It worked.I threw out six bags of clothes,purses and shoes and my closet looks great .
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