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Old 03-19-2015, 08:56 AM   #21
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May 2013 -- A tornado hit our 3000 sq ft suburb home ( no injuries ) and we had to move out for repair work, which took 6 months ( $100,000 insurance claim -- USAA rocks ! )

On a whim we decided to rent an apartment downtown ( Oklahoma City ) just for something different while the rebuild took place --- Over that 6 months we fell in love with the small city life --

House was repaired 100% by Christmas of 2013 and we sold it in Aug 2014 to move permanently downtown and bought a 1200 sq ft 2bd/2ba condo.

So we had a traumatic stressful event that turned into something wonderful !

The tornado damage and first move out of the damaged home helped us make the tough call on ALOT of STUFF and things not needed as well as damaged furniture etc... so we had a good head start when we came to the realization that we were ready to pull the plug on the Big House and become City Folk.

Two garage sales after we moved back into the repaired house we had really streamlined our possessions.


We were fortunate enough to make enough from the sale of the house ( which was like brand new when done in many ways ) to solve many of our storage needs in the condo by hiring a carpenter to do alot of custom work in the closets, bathrooms and living room. We moved to the condo in a couple 8x14 trailer loads and whittled down further from there alot. Helps to have a designated, fenced and gated, 8x10 storage area for each unit in the underground parking garage.

Now my DW is a mile or so from work (can see it from our balcony) , I am a 3 min walk to a wonderful YMCA --- Restaurants, theatre, nightlife abound within easy walking distance and I have been to about 15 OKC Thunder games this year! ( 8min walk from condo) Baseball season opening day is Apr 9th for our new AAA Dodgers team (Stadium is a 5 min walk away)

I hear and feel the concerns over giving up some "freedoms" that a single family house affords ... ( shared walls, HOAssociation dictates etc ) It is a trade off BUT there can be some careful choices made in your condo selection to preclude some annoyances , like choose a unit that is on the top floor ( no stomps, pot drops, etc from above) also look carefully as to where the unit is in relation to elevators, trash closets and other things that neighbors would have need to use and make noise right outside your unit.

When an annoyance arises remind yourself of the grass your not mowing or paying to have mowed and the snow your not shoveling -- the list goes on

I would have NEVER imagined this outcome 2 years ago! Funny how life happens
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Old 03-19-2015, 10:04 AM   #22
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So we had a traumatic stressful event that turned into something wonderful !

The tornado damage and first move out of the damaged home helped us make the tough call on ALOT of STUFF and things not needed as well as damaged furniture etc... so we had a good head start when we came to the realization that we were ready to pull the plug on the Big House and become City Folk.

Two garage sales after we moved back into the repaired house we had really streamlined our possessions.
Experiences Make People Happier Than Material Goods, Says University Of Colorado Prof -- ScienceDaily


Quote:
"We found that people receive more enduring pleasure and satisfaction from investing in life experiences than material possessions," said CU-Boulder assistant professor of psychology Leaf Van Boven.
I think most of know this is true. I try to limit my purchases and and the stuff I store to those that will enhance my experiences in a significant way.

But, it is so easy to justify just one more thing while out shopping.

Quote:
"Our culture highly values accomplishing goals and challenging oneself. We strongly value accomplishments," Van Boven said. "Also, experiences tend to be associated more with deeper personal meanings than possessions."
Think about it, would one like to own a Stradivarius as a show piece that is never used, or be able to play a lessor violin in a way that thrills oneself and the listeners?
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Old 03-19-2015, 10:06 AM   #23
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May 2013 -- A tornado hit our 3000 sq ft suburb home ( no injuries ) and we had to move out for repair work, which took 6 months ( $100,000 insurance claim -- USAA rocks ! )

On a whim we decided to rent an apartment downtown ( Oklahoma City ) just for something different while the rebuild took place --- Over that 6 months we fell in love with the small city life --

House was repaired 100% by Christmas of 2013 and we sold it in Aug 2014 to move permanently downtown and bought a 1200 sq ft 2bd/2ba condo.

So we had a traumatic stressful event that turned into something wonderful !

The tornado damage and first move out of the damaged home helped us make the tough call on ALOT of STUFF and things not needed as well as damaged furniture etc... so we had a good head start when we came to the realization that we were ready to pull the plug on the Big House and become City Folk.

Two garage sales after we moved back into the repaired house we had really streamlined our possessions.


We were fortunate enough to make enough from the sale of the house ( which was like brand new when done in many ways ) to solve many of our storage needs in the condo by hiring a carpenter to do alot of custom work in the closets, bathrooms and living room. We moved to the condo in a couple 8x14 trailer loads and whittled down further from there alot. Helps to have a designated, fenced and gated, 8x10 storage area for each unit in the underground parking garage.

Now my DW is a mile or so from work (can see it from our balcony) , I am a 3 min walk to a wonderful YMCA --- Restaurants, theatre, nightlife abound within easy walking distance and I have been to about 15 OKC Thunder games this year! ( 8min walk from condo) Baseball season opening day is Apr 9th for our new AAA Dodgers team (Stadium is a 5 min walk away)

I hear and feel the concerns over giving up some "freedoms" that a single family house affords ... ( shared walls, HOAssociation dictates etc ) It is a trade off BUT there can be some careful choices made in your condo selection to preclude some annoyances , like choose a unit that is on the top floor ( no stomps, pot drops, etc from above) also look carefully as to where the unit is in relation to elevators, trash closets and other things that neighbors would have need to use and make noise right outside your unit.

When an annoyance arises remind yourself of the grass your not mowing or paying to have mowed and the snow your not shoveling -- the list goes on

I would have NEVER imagined this outcome 2 years ago! Funny how life happens
Do you happen to live in the new behemoth that many of the local OKC (the old heads) have come to hate? The DW is from OK and has quite a few family members in/around OKC but none that live DOWNTOWN.

As far as condo living, I don't think that I could do it. I just really need my space and some sort of yard. We have been considering what our next move will be and I would like to think that it will be our "forever" home. My parents built their "forever" home in their 40's and designed it to be "old folks" friendly (ranch style, no steps, wide doors for wheel chairs, etc). The only issue is the yard, but what I can't take of, we have someone deal with it.

The DW and I came across a foreclosure ranch on 5.5 acres that I would LOVE to have, but it's not near my family (a no go at this point) and the house is 3,500 SF which is about 2,000 TOO much for me. BUT...the price is absolutely awesome. We are giving serious consideration to purchasing this and renting it out. Perhaps we would move there one day, or not.

BUT...I have also thought that the perfect "forever" home would be a patio style home. About 1,000 SF with a very small yard. I thought that until I lived in San Antonio on a .19 acre lot (that was a little bigger than the standard .12 acre lot in the hood though!). I absolutely HATED that house and neighborhood.


As for the downsizing, I am all about that. Remember, we will ALL downsize EVERYTHING eventually. So the question becomes "how much crap and for how long"?
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Old 03-19-2015, 10:16 AM   #24
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Do you happen to live in the new behemoth that many of the local OKC (the old heads) have come to hate?
Have no idea what the behemoth would be... ? Our place has maybe 45 units total I think and the first two floors are retail space for law offices, salon, upscale retail etc... ( helps keep our HOA dues low )

The bigger complexes that are built downtown or are being built downtown/midtown are for rental apartments
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Old 03-19-2015, 10:23 AM   #25
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Have no idea what the behemoth would be... ? Our place has maybe 45 units total I think and the first two floors are retail space for law offices, salon, upscale retail etc... ( helps keep our HOA dues low )

The bigger complexes that are built downtown or are being built downtown/midtown are for rental apartments
That's my bad. I was referring to Devon Tower. I originally thought that it also had condos in it, but I was mistaken. For those who don't know, here's a picture. It really doesn't "fit" in the skyline of a smaller city like OKC.
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Old 03-19-2015, 10:28 AM   #26
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That's my bad. I was referring to Devon Tower. I originally thought that it also had condos in it, but I was mistaken. For those who don't know, here's a picture. It really doesn't "fit" in the skyline of a smaller city like OKC.
First I have heard of any negatives about the Devon Tower -- It has brought a ton of jobs and investment to OKC and the building itself is a top notch piece of work. I guess every up and coming small city has to have one tower pierce the skyline first
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Old 03-19-2015, 11:04 AM   #27
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Several years ago DH and I purchased and painstakingly restored a grand victorian. After the project was completed, the day-to-day annoyances of having to maintain the property (and worry about it when we were traveling) made the experience of ownership unpleasant. We downsized to a super modern condo in a fun area. The lock and leave aspect of ownership was wonderful, as was the experience of getting rid of many of our antiques (especially those uncomfortable turn of the century sofas...) We found that a mix of modern and antique pieces actually worked just fine in the condo. After a time, though, some aspects of living in that condo got on our nerves, including: no private outside space, not enough storage, inconvenient parking, expensive HOA dues, potential HOA litigation regarding construction defects, limitations on our ability to rent our unit, and the "fun" neighborhood just feeling too urban and impersonal. Eventually we sold our condo and moved into a very small house in another fun area, with less of an urban vibe. We've been in the little house for six years, and really love it. It shares almost all the upside of the condo without the problems: there's very little maintenance needed, and we feel comfortable locking up and leaving when we want to travel. We can walk to just about everything. The small space encourages us not to accumulate too much junk. The cost to own and maintain is actually quite a bit less than the condo, in part because the construction style of that condo was a glass-and-steel high rise that had lots of needs and issues, and in part because we manage expenses more carefully than the HOA did. Anyway, YMMV, but I wanted to share this experience, because it didn't really occur to us to look for a little house when we were downsizing, even though that choice was the right one for us.
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Old 03-19-2015, 12:29 PM   #28
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Sunsnow, it sounds like you've hit the jack pot after several hits and misses. I hope to do the same. The condo I'm considering appears not to have the issues you mention. I'm anticipating that the condo costs would be a lot less than my current house-- including heat, which is a big expense here. Instead of the endless outlay needed to keep up/fix up an old house I could do other things like travel, etc.

The small space is giving me pause, but I also realize so much of my identity for all the years of my adult life has been as an "old house person." But your mention of the uncomfortable turn of the century sofa rings so true. Most of my antiques are beautiful to look at and largely impractical. It seems rather ridiculous. But how to sacrifice charm for practicality? And yet I long to live with a comfortable sofa, air conditioning, etc for once in my life!
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Old 03-19-2015, 12:57 PM   #29
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As for the downsizing, I am all about that. Remember, we will ALL downsize EVERYTHING eventually. So the question becomes "how much crap and for how long"?
This is the ultimate downsize we are all headed for!
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Old 03-19-2015, 01:00 PM   #30
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Well, that's cheery Meadh

Maybe we should be like medieval monks and sleep in coffins as a reminder. You can't take it with you.
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Old 03-19-2015, 01:14 PM   #31
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...moved into a very small house in another fun area, with less of an urban vibe. We've been in the little house for six years, and really love it. It shares almost all the upside of the condo without the problems: there's very little maintenance needed, and we feel comfortable locking up and leaving when we want to travel. We can walk to just about everything. The small space encourages us not to accumulate too much junk. The cost to own and maintain is actually quite a bit less than the condo, in part because the construction style of that condo was a glass-and-steel high rise that had lots of needs and issues, and in part because we manage expenses more carefully than the HOA did. Anyway, YMMV, but I wanted to share this experience, because it didn't really occur to us to look for a little house when we were downsizing, even though that choice was the right one for us.
Thank you for sharing this. I am considering something similar and started a new thread at the same time you posted to this one. Any additional advice you have from your experience would be appreciated.
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Old 03-19-2015, 01:20 PM   #32
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Another Hermit-type guy moved into the area. He lives in a 20 foot trailer and wants to build a 20' by 20' cabin. I laid it out in Sketchup and added furniture so he could have an idea of the size. I am encouraging him to make it 24 by 24. It will be very small either way.
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Old 03-19-2015, 01:24 PM   #33
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Ugh, answering to an HOA, sharing walls or space with nosy/obnoxious neighbors, being at the mercy of whatever the association wishes to charge in maintenance/special assessments... No thanks. Then again, I would happily live in a compound in the woods if DW did not insist on suburbia.


De gustibus non disputandam...
Too bad DW is not on board. You could be a Hermit family!
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Old 03-26-2015, 05:34 PM   #34
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In the 1950s the average house size was 983 sq feet. My entire family lived in a house not much bigger than that.
My house is bigger....it's 986 sq ft

But...it has a full basement, and a 630 foot deep lot that ends at a farmer's field. With a side deck, fence, and strategically planted trees, I can sit on the deck in complete privacy and not see another house.
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Old 03-26-2015, 06:20 PM   #35
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My house is bigger....it's 986 sq ft

But...it has a full basement, and a 630 foot deep lot that ends at a farmer's field. With a side deck, fence, and strategically planted trees, I can sit on the deck in complete privacy and not see another house.
Nice! The small house, full basement, big lot is a great combo
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Old 03-26-2015, 06:54 PM   #36
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This is the ultimate downsize we are all headed for!
That is still too big. I am thinking more of a size of a jar (urn).
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Old 03-26-2015, 07:24 PM   #37
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That is still too big. I am thinking more of a size of a jar (urn).
That is still too big. Use the urn to scatter me somewhere, and then return it for a full refund.
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Old 03-27-2015, 01:31 AM   #38
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Sunsnow, it sounds like you've hit the jack pot after several hits and misses. I hope to do the same. The condo I'm considering appears not to have the issues you mention. I'm anticipating that the condo costs would be a lot less than my current house-- including heat, which is a big expense here. Instead of the endless outlay needed to keep up/fix up an old house I could do other things like travel, etc.

The small space is giving me pause, but I also realize so much of my identity for all the years of my adult life has been as an "old house person." But your mention of the uncomfortable turn of the century sofa rings so true. Most of my antiques are beautiful to look at and largely impractical. It seems rather ridiculous. But how to sacrifice charm for practicality? And yet I long to live with a comfortable sofa, air conditioning, etc for once in my life!
Marita, we own a small 4th floor summer condo near the MSP airport that overlooks the MN River Valley and we love it. With the heat off it never gets below 60 degrees in the winter. Utilities are almost nothing. We like to travel as well. Walking distance to the light rail and 10 mins to the airport.
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Old 03-27-2015, 03:20 AM   #39
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check6, thanks for your input! Well, I've opted for the small condo and could not be more excited. Although there is NO storage elsewhere, there are two huge walk in closets with nicely designed closet systems, and there is a utility room with the furnace, boiler, and stacked laundry units that also provides ample room for shelving. In my soul-searching over the last few weeks I've realized that I live in only a few rooms of my current much-too-big house. As my week in Europe this last week also confirmed, I am comfortable in small spaces (the Europeans certainly have this one down!). The purchase price (cash) and on-going costs of this condo are going to be so much lower than my current house that I am gleefully planning for nearly all new furniture, all of which will be carefully thought out to be useful as well as beautiful. Since I've lived in old houses all my life for the first time I will have luxuries like air conditioning and closets where I can actually hang clothes on hangers without them getting squished when the door closes! The more I think about it, the more the condo is ideal to a carefree living style which was really the aim as I approach retirement. It just came a little sooner than I expected, but it is good to now start radically downsizing while I have the health and energy to do so.
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Old 03-27-2015, 06:37 AM   #40
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New condo and new furniture! Sounds like you'll be quite busy and that this is working out nicely. Good luck.
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