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Old 02-18-2015, 12:22 PM   #61
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Anybody struggle with this before? Seems like a couple grown adults would be able to make an intelligent decision without all the heartache!
This is like a daily discussion at our house. But I think we decided to just stay put and maybe do some slow travel or buy an RV. It is good to look around though and we are going to continue to go to open houses. We appreciate our current house the more we look around and do not find any place that suits us better. Condos and townhouses cost more per square foot where we live and do not include a yard, so there is not as much financial gain in downsizing, at least locally, as we initially thought there would be.
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Old 02-18-2015, 12:49 PM   #62
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Downsizing and de-cluttering can be hard. Back in October, my Mom had a dumpster brought in at my grandmother's house. Grandmom has been bouncing around between the emergency room, rehabilitation, and assisted living facilities since August, and at this point I don't think she's ever coming home. However, at the time we didn't realize that. Mom had the dumpster brought in so we could remodel the bathroom to make it handicap accessible, and just throw the old junk out in it. And use it as an excuse to do a thorough cleaning and see what else we could throw out.

That dumpster was something like 24 feet long, maybe 7-8 feet high. What came out of the bathroom remodel didn't fill up much at all. But once we were done, it was pretty much packed to the gills. I even rounded up a pickup truck's worth of junk from my garage and threw it in there.

But, once it was all said and done, I swear it barely made a dent in Grandmom's house. Or my garage. It ain't easy, being a pack rat. I'll go through stuff and think oh, I might have a use for that at some point. And then have trouble parting with it.
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Old 02-18-2015, 04:27 PM   #63
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DW and I bought our retirement home in 2010, a two bed one bath year around home in the woods of northern MN. Its like upstate NY less 20 degrees. I've got a good wood stove and don't care. We use it as a vacation home and spend a long weekend every few weeks, we love it there.


We're going to sell our primary home in 2015. We're slowly bringing what we want to the new house when we visit. Once we have what we need there we're going to stop and get rid of what's left at the old home. What can't be donated to charity will fit in a small dumpster. Fortunately, we've lived a modest lifestyle and don't have expensive items to deal with. Our last trip will be what's left in the freezer and the dog.
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Old 02-19-2015, 11:58 AM   #64
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We are making some progress in this direction. For the last year we have been decluttering in waves. I think we're almost to the point where we have only possessions left that we are willing to move or store for some period of time. The sequence we have worked out is to rent an apartment of 1000 sf in a small city near our aging parents while we sell our current 2000 sf home. We just locked in the apartment and can begin moving things in after April 1st. We're aiming to get the house onto the market by May 1st. DH is 10 months into RE and able to dedicate quite a lot of time to the effort. I'm planning to remain in my job until the house sells. Then we'll both move into the apartment, which is 4 hours away from where we currently live. We opted for this route because I am more comfortable with the limited financial commitment of an apartment up until the house sells.
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Old 02-20-2015, 01:56 PM   #65
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Thanks for All of Your Perspectives

Have been following this thread this week because I need to learn from others' experience. DH passed away last month after a long illness. We had bought into a CCRC and had been working at downsizing so we could make the move (primarily so we could get the healthcare support he needed).

Sadly, he was never able to make the move. But now I am in a new (somewhat surreal) situation. I don't need to activate our contract with the CCRC until I am age 75 (14 years from now). I'm in good health so don't need the support systems (yet) that we had planned for DH.

So, instead of downsizing to move to a 2BR apt. at the CCRC, I've been wandering around on-line looking at condos for sale (about 1500-1700 sq. ft.) Moving to one would cut my housing square footage (and expenses) by at least half. Plus I wouldn't be bouncing around in in this cavernous lodge of a house filled with memories everywhere I turn.

I've been advised by many to make no major decisions for at least a year. And I would like to fix up this place and sell it at a fairly leisurely place. (It has been our dream home and we thoroughly loved it the 18.5 years we have lived here.) Financially, there's no need for me to hurry out the door.

But those condos are VERY appealing, especially the convenience of being able to come and go with fewer maintenance worries. DH was a Mr. Fixit everywhere we lived. I was more oblivious to maintenance, though am good at cleaning and wielding a paintbrush.

Has anyone here downsized sooner than planned? Were you glad you did it? Or did it create so many hassles that you regretted it?

Thanks in advance for your insights.
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Old 02-20-2015, 02:08 PM   #66
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Dear LitGal,

Sincere condolences on the death of your DH. One of life's major shocks. As you noted, probably not the best time to make a big impulse decision. While a condo may be an ideal solution or you, take your time. Try not to feel pressured by sales pitches. There will be other condos on the market in 6 months or 12 months' time. Besides, you will need to do your due diligence on the HOA, reserve fund, etc.. It's probably best to spend the next few months focusing on looking after yourself and gradually getting your house ready for sale. Things will seem much clearer by then.
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Old 02-20-2015, 02:14 PM   #67
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LitGal, deepest condolences for your loss.

I would echo Meadbh's words to take your time and not rush a real estate decision right now.
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Old 02-20-2015, 02:26 PM   #68
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I think I am a couple of years behind you but on same trajectory. Still shopping for a retirement spot. Working that into family travel when I can. Mind me asking which spot(s) you have found appealing for retirement ?

Hi. Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. We have been looking in two areas. One is not commonly seen as a retirement spot by many even around these parts but we have roots there. It is the Sarnia area of Ontario on the southern shore of Lake Huron. We would be looking for something waterfront. Already have something further up the lake which we would sell along with our primary residence. The lake is crystal clear, the beaches in front of the house would be very nice and the sailing is great. Good healthcare in town and a university Level 3 centre not far. Large enough to have all of the things we are looking for. Also a short drive to the International Airport in Detroit as well as the Tigers, Red Wings and Lions. Two of which I am actually a fan of...

The second place is the Tampa-St. Pete's area. We have friends in south Florida who plan to move a bit north and we hope to convince them that we wouldn't be a PIA to be dropping down in the winter time if they happened to find some extra money to get a house with a granny suite.
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Old 02-20-2015, 02:28 PM   #69
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Have been following this thread this week because I need to learn from others' experience. DH passed away last month after a long illness.
So sorry to hear the sad news, Litgal.
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Old 02-20-2015, 02:28 PM   #70
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Little Gal , So sorry on the loss of your husband . I am a widow so I can speak with experience that it is good advice to do nothing but take care of yourself for at least a year .After the first year your thinking will be clearer and you may be ready for the move .Memories will always resurface I was widowed sixteen years ago and they still pop up.
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Old 02-20-2015, 02:29 PM   #71
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Dear LitGal,

Sincere condolences on the death of your DH. One of life's major shocks. As you noted, probably not the best time to make a big impulse decision. While a condo may be an ideal solution or you, take your time. Try not to feel pressured by sales pitches. There will be other condos on the market in 6 months or 12 months' time. Besides, you will need to do your due diligence on the HOA, reserve fund, etc.. It's probably best to spend the next few months focusing on looking after yourself and gradually getting your house ready for sale. Things will seem much clearer by then.
I totally agree. Go slow....

I went through the loss of my DH just a little over 10 years ago. I understand the feeling of being in the same house, but not having your DH there. There was a particular downstairs room where we spent most of our time together, watching TV or reading.
One of the first things I did was to have friends come over and remove his recliner, since just looking at it made me feel even worse. Sounds silly, but removing a now empty chair made all the difference to my healing process.
I changed my hangout room to the upstairs living room. I did a little bit of furniture re-arranging in the downstairs room to give it a new look. It took me a long time to be able to go in that room without a severe heart wrench, but the different appearance helped with that.

I am so sorry for your loss. Speak of him well, speak of him often.
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Old 02-20-2015, 02:32 PM   #72
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Yes very sorry to hear of your loss LitGirl. I was responding to a post from earlier in the thread and hadn't seen your post. I understand totally about the memories. My father passed away 12 years ago and my mother is still living in the family home although she occasionally talks of moving to a condo. She likes the familiarity and sense of independence that the house and yard give her and it helps that she has two of her children close by to help with things.
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Old 02-20-2015, 03:58 PM   #73
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I totally agree. Go slow....

I went through the loss of my DH just a little over 10 years ago. I understand the feeling of being in the same house, but not having your DH there. There was a particular downstairs room where we spent most of our time together, watching TV or reading.
One of the first things I did was to have friends come over and remove his recliner, since just looking at it made me feel even worse. Sounds silly, but removing a now empty chair made all the difference to my healing process.
I changed my hangout room to the upstairs living room. I did a little bit of furniture re-arranging in the downstairs room to give it a new look. It took me a long time to be able to go in that room without a severe heart wrench, but the different appearance helped with that.

I am so sorry for your loss. Speak of him well, speak of him often.

Thanks to everyone for the great advice. Yes, you are all echoing the words of dear friends and family. But freebird's advice never occurred to me; yes, I think I'll try it. If I can make this place look different, and hang out in spots where the two of us didn't really hang out together.........that just might make the year pass more quickly.

And then there is his chair.........if only it weren't so comfortable, I'd give it up. One thing I started doing was sitting in his former spots, so I wouldn't have to look over and see them empty.

Thank you, everybody!
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Old 02-20-2015, 04:52 PM   #74
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Deepest condolences on your loss. I agree with the advice offered to not make a major decision this soon. God knows I made some dumb ones!


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Old 02-20-2015, 04:54 PM   #75
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LitGal: My sincerest of condolences to you on your very recent loss of your DH. I wish you the best in your grief.
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Old 02-20-2015, 05:06 PM   #76
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Lit Gal, so so sorry to hear this news.
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Old 02-20-2015, 09:59 PM   #77
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LitGal, so sorry for your loss.


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Old 02-20-2015, 11:30 PM   #78
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I'm so sorry for your loss, LitGal.
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Old 02-21-2015, 12:32 AM   #79
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I'm very sorry for your loss LitGal and hope you will take some time to heal before making any big decisions. Take care.
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Thank you everybody for your kind notes!
Old 02-21-2015, 12:43 PM   #80
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Thank you everybody for your kind notes!

I really did not mean to hijack this thread. However, I've been taking your advice and SLOWING DOWN. There's so much paperwork to do that I just want to escape by looking at all the condos available at Trulia.com. So, instead of trying to cram through all the work ASAP, I'm doing several chores a day and THEN allowing myself to condo shop on line, without talking to any realtors who might want to call me back.

The good news about this is that, yesterday, I found about 5 more condos I liked way better than the first couple of them I loved. Lesson learned: if I give this whole downsizing/prepping-the-house-to-sell at least a year, there will probably be some really cute, affordable places available then as well.

Also, by slowing down, have started enjoying Season 5 of Downton Abbey on DVD. Heck, all those stacks and piles are going nowhere. Will just shut the door on them and have some fun. No one has been knocking at the door saying I should move ASAP.

That was just me---- thanks for your wisdom, everybody!

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