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Old 10-17-2011, 07:20 PM   #21
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We upsized from 1800 to 3100 and totally love it. Our marriage is better with space. We will not give it up. We have an acre, I would be willing to give up some land, not the space in the house though.
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Old 10-18-2011, 12:23 AM   #22
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Scott Burns just had a good article on this in Sunday's paper. Mentioned things like "focus on needs, not on palaces". Had three avenues on excess, I recognized quite a few people I knew who took one of those routes.

"Today a second home is like Super Glue - touch it and you'll be stuck for life."

"The new house has more square feet, more bathrooms, a bigger kitchen and closets larger than Rhode Island. It has a dining room large enough to seat a Rotary chapter. This is all done in the expectation of visits on Thanksgiving Day."
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Old 10-18-2011, 02:03 AM   #23
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Good for you. I am happy living in a condo, less than 1,000 sq ft with no intention of upsizing.
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We are moving but instead of downsizing, we upsized to a property double the size of what we've lived in for the past 30 years.
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Old 10-18-2011, 06:39 AM   #24
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We downsized in the size of the house (1,700sf to 1,300sf) and did a monstrous super-sizing on the land (1/8th acre to 100 acres). We will never go back to city life. As our grandson says, this is "more better".
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Old 10-18-2011, 05:04 PM   #25
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Almost everyone I know that went into a full assisted living quarters seemed to fade away much faster. Having to cut your own firewood for heat, and put it in the stove, and make your own food, and do other things means keeping your mind active. An active mind is an active body, and a longer life.
That observation is echoed by a friend of mine whom I visited on Cape Cod recently. He has a part-time retirement job at one of the retirement communities there as a driver. (Drives people to medical appointments, etc.) He says that he sees people go downhill rapidly when everything is taken care of for them. (Of course, it's possible that they were already on the downhill slide anyway and that's why they moved into the community.) But he's sold on the idea of working for the place but never living there.
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Old 10-18-2011, 06:25 PM   #26
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We are really involved with two granddaughters as well. Plus my son got divorced so the 3 of them come every other weekend. We love it, and glad we have the space.
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Old 10-18-2011, 06:45 PM   #27
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Has anyone ever bought two small houses side by side? I was toying with the idea of retiring to two homes, using one as an art studio/office while living in the first house. When we get tired of being creative (or too old to make a big art studio necessary), we could sell or rent the 2nd house and not have to actually downsize or move house.

We currently have a 3600 sq ft house, and use 1/3rd of it for studio space but would like more. The living space is very spacious and we could live in less. So buying two houses that were, say 1600-1800 sq ft, side by side, might work well. In Albuquerque, some of the newer energy efficient houses are going for around $180-220K, and our current home on an acre is worth around $600K. Just a thought.
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Old 10-18-2011, 06:58 PM   #28
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I like the idea. My hub is a serious introvert and needs his quiet space, I could see retreating to the other house so he could have it.
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Old 10-18-2011, 07:23 PM   #29
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I still live in the 1700 sq ft raised ranch house bought as a newlywed, for $63K in 1984. My "starter" home has served me well over the decades. The interior has been completely updated except for the lower floor great room. The outside was systematically improved with newer roof, new septic and leach field systems, an asphalt driveway, and better landscaping than when the house first purchased.
As long as Mr B (age 60) and I (age 53) can manage the stairs and the yard maintenance, we will stay here. We had a brief illusion of moving back to MA or NH, but it is not within our financial means to do so, at least not until he can draw SS. Traveling to see his family is a much better idea on many levels.
I rarely use the downstairs great room anymore. It has 2 single beds and a TV set up for guests. I do my indoor clothes drying there on a regular basis. I also use it as a "no-dust" storage area for infrequently used kitchen and household items. I may move my sewing machine desk and exercise bicycle down there to free up space in what is becoming my winter gardening room.
It's nice to have a lower floor room without the rainy day drainage and unavoidable mold problems of a standard basement.
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Old 10-18-2011, 07:43 PM   #30
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Has anyone ever bought two small houses side by side? I was toying with the idea of retiring to two homes, using one as an art studio/office while living in the first house. When we get tired of being creative (or too old to make a big art studio necessary), we could sell or rent the 2nd house and not have to actually downsize or move house.

We currently have a 3600 sq ft house, and use 1/3rd of it for studio space but would like more. The living space is very spacious and we could live in less. So buying two houses that were, say 1600-1800 sq ft, side by side, might work well. In Albuquerque, some of the newer energy efficient houses are going for around $180-220K, and our current home on an acre is worth around $600K. Just a thought.
We will probably end up with side by side houses someday. Frank and I enjoy living in our own houses, both about 1600 sq ft right now. It would be great and very convenient if they were side by side. I would be flexible about house size if an opportunity like that came up.
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Old 10-18-2011, 09:20 PM   #31
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We are moving but instead of downsizing, we upsized to a property double the size of what we've lived in for the past 30 years.

Rather than trying to part with all the stuff with all the memories, we decided to take them all with us, and have room for lots of freinds and family to visit us.
To each their own, I can see the reasons for each - but I can't help noticing that your choice seems oddly inconsistent with your screen name!

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Old 10-19-2011, 10:45 AM   #32
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We downsized from a 5000 sq.ft. house on an acre to an 1100 sq.ft. apartment. After 3 years, we upsized to a 3300 sq.ft. condo. We could make do with 2400' if necessary.
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Old 10-19-2011, 12:48 PM   #33
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Just like Walt, we upsized from 1,000 sf to 1700. We were not aiming to get into a bigger place. The two of us managed quite well with 1000 sf---having a tiny galley kitchen never stopped us from preparing great meals. But we wanted to move from a garden style condo to a ranch condo and they are all 1700 sf. With it being 3 BR, there is still a BR we never use (it's kitty's boudoir, with just an exercise bike as well). It's nice to have the extra footage, but not necessary.

And also like Walt, after 30 years of adult/married life without a garage, we are thoroughly enjoying having one and can't imagine doing without.

In my mostly 55-up community, we are truly the only ones who have upsized---the rest are older people who downsized considerably and always moan and groan about the lack of space for all the possessions they have accumulated over the years.
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Old 10-19-2011, 01:05 PM   #34
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To each their own, I can see the reasons for each - but I can't help noticing that your choice seems oddly inconsistent with your screen name!

-ERD50
Not really.... We have actually conditionally supersized. We used to own a property that had a huge amount of acreage in a very rural area, and a 1000 sq ft house we built in the middle of it. But it was too isolated to retire to, as we learned from living in it on weekends and summer vacations. So we downsized to a much smaller 1.5 acre lot. The house we live in now for 7 more days, we have lived in for 25 years. Its about 1600 sq ft.

But the house we are moving to will also be about 1600 square feet in the part that we mostly live in in the late fall-winter-early spring, and we will close off the back 800 sq ft and not heat it during those months, unless someone visits. We have a 200 sq ft garage as part of the house, but we gain a giant 800 sq ft garage that is separate from the house for storage enough and for two cars and for a workshop.

The real reason is not living space for us but for a place for people we don't really know that well to stay with us, and have privacy. Also, we are actually moving far away from family so that we can actually be closer to family. Our kids live far away and one said she would never visit us in the current house and the other won't come for more than a day because all his friends are gone and there is nothing to do. But both agreed to come and stay longer in the new location since its in a more resort like area in new England.

As to Thoreau, while he lived in a very very simple place, its his simple intellectual view, imo, that is significant about his work. When you pare down life to the most essential qualities, and then you provide circumstances to respond to those most essetnial qualities, then you are doing what Thoreau meant even if you are not actually immitating him. When its all said and done, for us, the only reality is people, and people interactions, and friends and family. This dwelling will allow us to maximize friendships, have a place for friends to get together with us, and to socialize with as many people as we can.
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Old 10-19-2011, 02:05 PM   #35
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Our marriage really improved with more space. I can't see giving that up. Oh also, we moved further away from Boston, so we paid less for this large house than the one we lived in that was closer in to Boston. So although energy costs are higher (taxes about the same) we aren't paying more for this large house.
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Old 10-19-2011, 08:17 PM   #36
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As to Thoreau, while he lived in a very very simple place, its his simple intellectual view, imo, that is significant about his work. When you pare down life to the most essential qualities, and then you provide circumstances to respond to those most essetnial qualities, then you are doing what Thoreau meant even if you are not actually immitating him. When its all said and done, for us, the only reality is people, and people interactions, and friends and family. This dwelling will allow us to maximize friendships, have a place for friends to get together with us, and to socialize with as many people as we can.
Not to mention that he had a number of the things he didn't have in his little house supplied to him by others. His sister did his laundry and cleaned, and friends and family cooked and delivered food for him. I could live in a nice little house on a lake and write if I had all the PITA chores taken care of by someone else.
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Old 10-19-2011, 08:31 PM   #37
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We bought a 1,900 SQFT home this year, up from ~1250 SQFT. We didn't need more space, we moved to be in the city (and I am so glad we did).

I like the new house a lot. It is a really cool English Tudor that was built in 1929. There is an opening in the wall on the second floor that looks down onto the living room.

I had this installed in the garage to take advantage of the attic:

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...ven=Aggregates
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Old 10-19-2011, 10:24 PM   #38
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I THING YOU COULD PUT ONE OF THESE TOGETHER with one pulley on a loop for about $100. its the slow speed motors that are so expensive.
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Old 10-19-2011, 10:57 PM   #39
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As to Thoreau, while he lived in a very very simple place, its his simple intellectual view, imo, that is significant about his work. ...
I actually did read up a bit before posting to refresh my memory. Yes, he was not a hermit, he was just trying out simplicity for a while.

I totally enjoyed On Walden Pond, when we read it in HS. Most of my classmates were bored. Not that I really wanted to live that way, but I guess I just thought it was cool that he gave it a try for a while just to check it out.

Enjoy the home and the company!

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Old 10-20-2011, 10:15 AM   #40
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Sometimes I wonder about becoming one of those red-orange robed monks and renouncing all worldly possessions. It would really free me. But in the US I might have a few problems out there. So I think I'll hold on to those possessions and bank accounts for awhile longer.

I really liked reading Thoreau in high school. But giving up my internet connection is not in the cards now. Still, one can get out for a walk and enjoy nature as they are not incompatible.
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