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Old 05-23-2016, 11:54 AM   #21
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I downsized my large house to some very affordable housing. Funny though, I was happier in the larger house.

I have attached some photos of the before and after. With the latter I could afford to ER much earlier.

You too can ER much earlier if you right-size your housing expenses. Do you want to work for the Man forever !
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Old 05-23-2016, 12:27 PM   #22
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We looked around and ended up staying in our current house. We would both like a smaller place, but so far have never found any place we would rather live.

I think we may also just hire out work as we get older until the house gets to be too much and a retirement village becomes the clearer choice for us. Because of Prop 13 and the escalating prices, if we sold our house now, there may be no easily going back to the same location and house size if we moved and didn't like the new place or house.
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Old 05-23-2016, 01:07 PM   #23
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We sold two large homes and rented one medium-sized penthouse. We got rid of much stuff and have continued to purge every year in the spring and fall. It has worked great so far. When all our relatives were gone, we also bought a condo in the sunbelt, so we are acquiring some stuff there.

We had no plan (other than a financial plan) so we are just playing it by ear. So far it feels right. But we are always aware that conditions might arise that might cause a change in plans.
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Old 05-23-2016, 01:17 PM   #24
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No plans to sell or move. Staying here in the 1400 sq-ft ranch that was built in 1984 and I bought in 1989.
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Old 05-23-2016, 01:46 PM   #25
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No plans to sell or move. Staying here in the 1400 sq-ft ranch that was built in 1984 and I bought in 1989.


That's probably going to keep its marketability for a long time. One of my concerns with our last house was that it was a McMansion among piles of McMansions in the area. They're not really suited to the ageing baby boomers- too many floors, steps, rooms to clean, etc. As it was, after 12 years of ownership we didn't get much more out than we'd put into it.
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Old 05-23-2016, 02:09 PM   #26
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Yes, it's recovered nicely from the bust of 2007-09 when foreclosure signs were epidemic out here. Not too big, not too small, and yes, no stairs.

Falling down the stairs was the beginning of the end for my Ma and now (age 61) is not the time for me to get some stairs -
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Old 05-23-2016, 03:58 PM   #27
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No plan to move out of the house we have had for almost 30 years. Its 2,700 sq.ft. is more than we need now that we are empty nesters, but moving is a lot of hassle and costs money.

At some point, I may sell the 2nd home in the high-country boondocks, but that's many years down the road.
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Old 05-23-2016, 04:03 PM   #28
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Falling down the stairs was the beginning of the end for my Ma and now (age 61) is not the time for me to get some stairs -

DH is 77 and has some balance issues so we wanted to avoid stairs, too. What we bought, though, has large, wide, carpeted stairs with large windows facing the lake and a landing partway down. It's the best of both worlds- he maintains his ability to navigate steps but in a safer setting. Our DIL used them to teach our granddaughter how to climb down stairs!
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Old 05-23-2016, 04:06 PM   #29
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No plan to move out of the house we have had for almost 30 years. Its 2,700 sq.ft. is more than we need now that we are empty nesters, but moving is a lot of hassle and costs money.

At some point, I may sell the 2nd home in the high-country boondocks, but that's many years down the road.
One idea that could be less hassle and cheaper than moving, might be to close off several of the rooms that you don't need at some point. You could just use them for long term storage or for nothing at all.

If/when they are closed off, there would be no need to heat or cool them as much as the rest of the house (saving on energy costs), and probably cleaning and maintenance needs would be reduced if they are closed off.
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Old 05-23-2016, 04:08 PM   #30
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WE downsized to a 1400 sq ft one story ranch home. We are making most everything outside no or low maintenance. Astro-turf, etc. It barely rains so good for our water reserves too. I am surprised how big the houses that many of your downsized too. I like being able to clean the house quickly and we still have room to have guests.
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Old 05-23-2016, 04:26 PM   #31
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It's in the plans for me but size wise it'll be upsizing, cost wise it'll be downsizing. I live in a barely 1100 sq-ft home in a popular SoCal area. I want to sell it and buy something around 1400sq-ft with a large garage/shop building (for my car/woodworking hobby) for what I have in equity - approx $250k. So I'm probably looking at a remote part of CA, or move out of state, don't know where I'll go AZ, NV, UT, CO sound good but OH, NE etc are cheaper yet. It has to be some place somewhat culturally diverse so I fit in easier.
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Old 05-23-2016, 04:43 PM   #32
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WE downsized to a 1400 sq ft one story ranch home. We are making most everything outside no or low maintenance. Astro-turf, etc. It barely rains so good for our water reserves too. I am surprised how big the houses that many of your downsized too. I like being able to clean the house quickly and we still have room to have guests.
I tried to get DW into a house that size from our 2200+ two story, but it didn't happen. So our downsized house is 1,960 square feet instead (one story). Still too big for my needs. So I guess we really didn't downsize much but did get rid of a lot of stuff we really didn't need.
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Old 05-23-2016, 04:44 PM   #33
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OH and NE have very high property taxes, and it's flat there.
I still prefer college towns in southeast as the quality of life is high there. And the cost of housing is ridiculously low outside of the major southern cities.
Atlanta homes are really cheap, but I chose to leave--too much traffic.
Since my wife is on disability, we receive a waiver on property taxes in Alabama. We're also fortunate to have three Robert Trent Jones golf courses within sight of our house--two of which are on our street.
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Old 05-23-2016, 04:46 PM   #34
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I tried to get DW into a house that size from our 2200+ two story, but it didn't happen. So our downsized house is 1,960 square feet instead (one story). Still too big for my needs. So I guess we really didn't downsize much but did get rid of a lot of stuff we really didn't need.
That sounds like a good step in the right direction.

Plus, as you and your DW grow older, you may start getting arthritis or bad knees or other problems that sometimes come with aging. If so, then you will be glad that you no longer have to climb stairs.
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Old 05-23-2016, 04:51 PM   #35
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- move to a smaller house, say 3K - 3.5K SF, ...

had a little trouble getting past the OP... DW still giggling.

Our first retirement home was a park model 400 SF. ..
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Old 05-23-2016, 04:55 PM   #36
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One idea that could be less hassle and cheaper than moving, might be to close off several of the rooms that you don't need at some point. You could just use them for long term storage or for nothing at all.

If/when they are closed off, there would be no need to heat or cool them as much as the rest of the house (saving on energy costs), and probably cleaning and maintenance needs would be reduced if they are closed off.
I have 5 rooms upstairs plus a full bath, and have been doing some light remodeling like putting down wood floor and painting. It's work in progress, but I intend to turn them into his and her hobby rooms, while keeping two guest rooms and a library.

The master bedroom and all the living space are downstairs. When I get older, can see myself not going upstairs very much.
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Old 05-23-2016, 04:57 PM   #37
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That sounds like a good step in the right direction.

Plus, as you and your DW grow older, you may start getting arthritis or bad knees or other problems that sometimes come with aging. If so, then you will be glad that you no longer have to climb stairs.
Yes, getting out of the two story house was a major decision for the move. People don't realize what a liability a second floor in a home becomes when you get at the age where body parts don't work as well as they used to.
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Old 05-23-2016, 05:34 PM   #38
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We haven't downsized yet and are struggling a bit with the idea. So threads like this are very interesting to me.

Our house is 4500sf on 2.2 acres with a pool and a 550sf detached living space. It backs up to a 10-acre lake that we share with 8 other similar properties. Financially, we don't need to downsize, and could probably afford to hire out more of the maintenance and upkeep. But at this point, I enjoy the maintenance and remodeling projects. There's always a long list of things to do, but I enjoy the satisfaction of doing almost everything myself and learning new skills. Cleaning is a pain, but we have a fairly regimented schedule and division of chores. So that's manageable, and again, we could afford to outsource that at some point.

We truly love the property and the neighborhood, but we know the day will come when it's too much. Kids are all nearby and with their growing families, it's nice to have the space for everyone to come together for big family gatherings. We are open to downsizing and have been looking. But we have very specific requirements for the new place, so it will take quite a while to find.

Biggest issue is just the emotional attachment built up over many years of watching our kids grow up and making this place our "family" home. Deep down, it feels like the wrong decision to stay here with just the two of us. But here we sit on the patio overlooking the pool, with our coffee, while the dog chases a family of geese back into the lake.
Jumping back in after being out all day. Interesting feedback by all. As expected, very personal and subject to change.

Cobra - your comments resonate with me and plays into some of my reluctance to pull the trigger. A combination of entertaining a fair amount, having 4 kids college age + (hopefully future grand kids), and my wife's large close family here locally (7 total siblings, 23 nieces/nephews) makes wanting to keep a larger place and what all of us call "home" somewhat desirable. On the other hand, my practical side is telling me to downsize. I suppose I will take the next few years to run some tests (i.e. check out what my peers are doing, trial run some vacation spots that could be options). Thanks al!
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Old 05-23-2016, 05:38 PM   #39
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had a little trouble getting past the OP... DW still giggling.

Our first retirement home was a park model 400 SF. ..
Its all relative my man. If 400 SF is your thing, I am happy for you!
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Old 05-23-2016, 06:04 PM   #40
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Just signed the closing papers today selling our ~4500sq-ft house with 5 car garage and downsizing to 200sq-ft. Extreme!

If you don't hear from me in a few weeks, I got eaten by a brown bear in Montana. Or stomped by a moose in Alaska. Or we are sailing in the Florida Keys and I can't get a cell signal.
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