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Old 06-28-2015, 10:08 AM   #101
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For those that have downsized from a house to a condo - have you adjusted to living in close proximity to others?


When younger, DW and I lived in a condo complex before we bought our current house to raise our family.


While the thought of downsizing later when we are finally empty nesters sounds like a smart move, I remember the condo complex life and am not too thrilled with the "stuff" we had to put up with.


Thoughts/experiences appreciated.
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Old 06-28-2015, 12:35 PM   #102
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For those that have downsized from a house to a condo - have you adjusted to living in close proximity to others?


When younger, DW and I lived in a condo complex before we bought our current house to raise our family.


While the thought of downsizing later when we are finally empty nesters sounds like a smart move, I remember the condo complex life and am not too thrilled with the "stuff" we had to put up with.

Thoughts/experiences appreciated.
I think it depends entirely on the condo and the type of people who live there.

Mine is quasi downtown. There is one other retired guy besides me. People are friendly and try to make one another's lives pleasant.

My girlfriend lives in a building with better off people, some but a minority of whom are retired. It feels different socially, but it is fine also.

The kind of crazy condo stuff you read about is essentially unknown in both places.

Ha
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Old 06-28-2015, 12:46 PM   #103
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I've lived in condos, houses, and apts. The current plan is to move into a condo (we lived in a house for the last 10 years). The main concern with regards to neighbors is noise and that seems to depend most on the construction -- i.e. high rise with concrete floors seems pretty quiet but cheap wood frame (found in low/mid rise) are terrible.
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Old 06-28-2015, 12:53 PM   #104
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We're just finishing week three of moving stuff out of our house into a condo.

Every week we've filled up 6-12 garbage bags, and made our 10th trip to Salvation Army. Sold a few things to a pawn shop, but they are surprisingly picky about what they'll take.

Lots of memories going thru old pictures, purging much of it, but probably keeping way too much. Just threw out my notice from the Selective Service in 1972 informing me of my 1-H status. I've always thought those born, like me, in 1954 were very lucky. The draft ended, vote given to 18 year olds, drinking age lowered to 18, and then back up to 21 shortly after turning 21.

Movers are coming for the furniture in 3 more weeks.

Going to talk with a realtor tomorrow to see their thoughts on "staging" - whether we should move furniture out or leave in house to be sold. Making for a hectic summer.



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Old 06-28-2015, 01:18 PM   #105
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For those that have downsized from a house to a condo - have you adjusted to living in close proximity to others?
We met a couple who downsized and were now in too close of quarters to each other.
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Old 06-28-2015, 01:19 PM   #106
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Another retirement factor to consider is ideology, if that is important to you:

How liberal or conservative are America’s cities?
Daily chart: Urban ideologies | The Economist

The more we consider other cities to live, the more we remember why we personally moved to where we did. Living in a compatible political climate was an important factor for us.
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Thanks for posting the link. Political climate (and everything correlated with that) is an important factor for DW and I as well. Not surprisingly, everyplace we're considering is in the bottom half.
I never have and would never consider the politics of an area as a factor in deciding where to live. It just seems really strange to me to even consider it, but to each their own. That said, I'm relatively moderate to conservative and live in one of the most liberal states in the country (which was one of the most conservative states in the country on the day I was born).
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Old 06-28-2015, 04:56 PM   #107
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I never have and would never consider the politics of an area as a factor in deciding where to live. It just seems really strange to me to even consider it, but to each their own.
Well here's an example of one of my political considerations. I'd like to live in a state which supports the ACA and trys to make it as successful as possible. When the governors and elected officials of a state say they want to repeal ACA (but without putting a viable alternative forward) -- it doesn't give me a good feeling to live there.

But mostly I want to live in an area where (1) folks are highly educated, (2) the area is diverse ethnically and intellectually, (3) I'm least likely to experience personal racism, (4) the weather is nice, (5) there are good universities in the area. Largely this corresponds to "liberal" areas within the US.
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Old 06-28-2015, 05:25 PM   #108
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Well here's an example of one of my political considerations. I'd like to live in a state which supports the ACA and trys to make it as successful as possible. When the governors and elected officials of a state say they want to repeal ACA (but without putting a viable alternative forward) -- it doesn't give me a good feeling to live there.

But mostly I want to live in an area where (1) folks are highly educated, (2) the area is diverse ethnically and intellectually, (3) I'm least likely to experience personal racism, (4) the weather is nice, (5) there are good universities in the area. Largely this corresponds to "liberal" areas within the US.
Risks related to medical care availability in retirement really aren't political matters. They're risks to individual health and finance. Those risks may in turn be driven by externalities like dominant ideologies, but let's try to keep those separate.

Ideological discussions, whether about politics, geocentricity, or the number of elephants supporting the Earth have no place on this message board, so please, do try to avoid them.

Risks to one's pocketbook, ability to retire, or obtain medical insurance are reasonable topics, but please bear in mind that there is a line that really shouldn't be crossed, lest we offend the delicate sensibilities of those of a differing philosophical bent.

(Personally, I insist that its turtles all the way down, but that is neither here nor there.)
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Old 07-02-2015, 05:11 PM   #109
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Downsizing has both enjoyments and benefits.

I'm moving this year to a new home abroad. It took months for me to give away everything but 50 medium boxes of favorite things plus 4 small pieces of beloved furniture.

My most productive hours of decluttering were when I was angry. I'm still menopausal so a hot flash or two can really spur me onto going through every cabinet and closet. Watching the news can make me angry, so that's another hour of sorting. Someone did something nasty to a friend of mine - my anger produced several days of sorting.

Another point of view about downsizing -
When your living space is small, you donít live in a small space: you spend less time at home and more time in public.
>Public spaces in your condo building including gym, garden, book exchange room, pool, social rooms.
>Friendly free spaces such as your local library and senior center.
>Inexpensive paid spaces such as museums when you join for a reasonable fee ($75 or more a year usually entitles you to no admission fees).
>Food courts and cafes with reasonable prices. When I lived in a 625 sqft condo, a multi-ethic vendor-owned food court was across the street. Fabulous Thai, French, BBQ, Mexican, Chinese, and more cuisines for under $10 for a big meal.
>If you love gardening, you can find opportunities to rent a space in a community garden or help tend food gardens in which the produce is enjoyed by the gardeners and the local Food Bank. Check with your local Food Bank and Master Gardener certificate educator. I had an adorable garden on my balcony filled with herbs, ivy, jasmine, and a small Italian fountain.
>When you want to hostess/host a party too big for your new smaller home, use public spaces. Social spaces in your condo building, restaurants, cafes, community centers, and parks.
>If you love animals, absolutely do NOT buy a place that does not allow pets. You may want to be pet-free because you want to travel. You also may wish to pet sit for friends, foster pets waiting for adoption, help pet rescue groups, etc. Iíve told my local Emergency Preparedness group I can take 4 small dogs when needed. I always keep a monthís supply of dog food on hand.
When my beloved first pug died, I knew I was not ready for another pug. So I started pug sitting and fostering/training pugs for Seattle Pug Rescue. This is how I got my pug cuddle fixes.
If you are moving into an Assisted Living or Altzheimerís home, be certain they allow residents to have pets. Residents / patients with pets live years longer than those who live without pets. This has been verified via several studies. Dogs, cats, and birds help - fish donít.
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Old 07-02-2015, 06:23 PM   #110
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I think it depends entirely on the condo and the type of people who live there.

Mine is quasi downtown. There is one other retired guy besides me. People are friendly and try to make one another's lives pleasant.

...

The kind of crazy condo stuff you read about is essentially unknown in both places.

Ha
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I have only lived in condos and would never own a single family home and all the maintenance that goes with it. Never had "crazy" issues, always had good, friendly neighbors. Yes, there is noise, but I'm in an extremely dense, busy, and active area anyway.

Will be leaving here for a much smaller metro area in about 4 years, and will probably downsize more. Currently remodeling, I've found I only use about 400 sq ft (bedroom, bath, kitchen) of my place, and never use any other rooms. Where I live, no one entertains because a plethora of restaurants/nightlife/activity are a 5 minute stroll away down a boulevard. I dislike collecting/maintaining stuff and am seriously considering moving to a boat, or at least a floating home when I leave here.
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Old 07-05-2015, 08:41 AM   #111
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Options, if you don't like maintaining stuff, you may want to reconsider the boat idea. :-)

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Old 07-05-2015, 09:22 AM   #112
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photoguy touched on a point which does not come up very often but is still there. I can fit in anywhere but not everyone has it that easy. That said, there are states and places in the USA where I am distinctly uncomfortable, for reasons that might surprise some. Then there are places outside the US where it is unpleasant to be identified as an American, regardless of other factors.

It is reasonable to consider such things when thinking about a move.

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Old 07-05-2015, 10:26 AM   #113
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So happy about the insistence of non-political discussion on this board. It makes asking questions that sail close to the wind of politics difficult, but the resultant civility and usefulness of this board make it worth it in my view.
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My downsizing experience this week
Old 07-05-2015, 11:11 AM   #114
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My downsizing experience this week

I moved last week from a 1600 square foot 3 bedroom house to a 1500 square foot 2 bedroom house. That doesn't sound like much difference, but my previous home had very little closet space or storage, and no laundry room, and my present home has all of those (so, less space in the other rooms).

I gave away a bed since I have no more guest bedroom, and one of those "big chairs" because it just wouldn't fit anywhere. And somehow managed to cram all the rest of my furniture into this house.

However, I would strongly suggest not doing what I did, and instead donating or selling more furniture than I did if/when anybody downsizes to the same extent that I did. The thing is, when you have a lot of furniture that seriously limits the possible arrangements of that furniture, that will fit into the available space. Not only that, but the new place will seem pretty crowded with too much furniture. What fits into one room, may not fit into another room with the same square footage due to the floorplan.

Besides, most of us have more furniture than we truly need. Sure, we get attached to it but at some point one has to cut the cord.

Another thought that came to mind after moving, is that moving really IS harder as one gets older. So, for those over 60 I would suggest not expecting yourself to be able or willing to do as much as you once may have done for a move.
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Old 07-05-2015, 02:03 PM   #115
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I agree. Having someone else do the packing/moving/unpacking is really convenient.

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Old 07-05-2015, 03:38 PM   #116
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Besides, most of us have more furniture than we truly need. Sure, we get attached to it but at some point one has to cut the cord.

Another thought that came to mind after moving, is that moving really IS harder as one gets older. So, for those over 60 I would suggest not expecting yourself to be able or willing to do as much as you once may have done for a move.
Good advice.
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Old 07-06-2015, 06:22 PM   #117
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I moved last week from a 1600 square foot 3 bedroom house to a 1500 square foot 2 bedroom house. That doesn't sound like much difference, but my previous home had very little closet space or storage, and no laundry room, and my present home has all of those (so, less space in the other rooms).

I gave away a bed since I have no more guest bedroom, and one of those "big chairs" because it just wouldn't fit anywhere. And somehow managed to cram all the rest of my furniture into this house.

However, I would strongly suggest not doing what I did, and instead donating or selling more furniture than I did if/when anybody downsizes to the same extent that I did. The thing is, when you have a lot of furniture that seriously limits the possible arrangements of that furniture, that will fit into the available space. Not only that, but the new place will seem pretty crowded with too much furniture. What fits into one room, may not fit into another room with the same square footage due to the floorplan.

Besides, most of us have more furniture than we truly need. Sure, we get attached to it but at some point one has to cut the cord.

Another thought that came to mind after moving, is that moving really IS harder as one gets older. So, for those over 60 I would suggest not expecting yourself to be able or willing to do as much as you once may have done for a move.

You are so right about this. I moved last week from a 2200 to an 1800 SQFT place, with smaller closets. I am going to have to let some furniture and some boxes I was previously keeping go. They just don't fit in the current place. And I don't remember previous moves being this physically challenging.
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Old 07-06-2015, 07:37 PM   #118
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Thank you OP for this thread and to whoever posted the previous decluttering links. I retired 01/03/14 and have not done a thing about downsizing or to get ready to sell my house. I've been procrastinating and enjoying retirement. I'm going to now set a goal and get on with it...it's time. I'll have 2 big projects now..downsizing and Medicare as I turn 65 soon. Thanks again!
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Old 07-07-2015, 12:49 PM   #119
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Condo pluses - no yardwork, no snow removal, heat/gas included in maintenance.
Minuses - Noise from others, dealing with a board that may propose things you do not agree with, possible special assessments.

I have been in a 816sf condo for the last two years and like it a lot. Much better than renting. Decided to fire my landlord and buy something. Reduced living expenses allow me to live on very little income and maximize health care subsidies.
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Two Years and Five Months Into the "Great Purge"
Old 07-07-2015, 07:07 PM   #120
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Two Years and Five Months Into the "Great Purge"

Slowly but surely it is happening.

Three friends of DH (passed away in Jan.) came over today to sort through his workshop in the basement. I asked them to make three piles: tools I might need in my future, tools DS might need as he gets more accustomed to home ownership, and anything I could sell at a garage sale.

Results of today's work:

Approx. 10% of "workshop stuff" set aside for me.

Ditto for DS

Approx. 30% can be sold at a garage sale.

The rest I boxed up to throw out (after filling all the trash cans). The garbage men will have their hands full (no pun intended) when they get to my house this week.

Workshop is empty, vacuumed, ready to be scrubbed down and painted.

I truly hope to never have a basement again. They simply fill up too easily!

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