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View Poll Results: What is the ideal house/apt square footage for a single woman in her 60's?
250-750 square feet 16 13.56%
750-1250 square feet 61 51.69%
1250-1750 square feet 33 27.97%
1750-2250 square feet 6 5.08%
2250-2750 square feet 0 0%
2750-3250 square feet 1 0.85%
>3250 square feet: Go for the McMansion!!! 1 0.85%
Voters: 118. You may not vote on this poll

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Ideal house/apt size for singles?
Old 10-03-2007, 03:31 PM   #1
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Ideal house/apt size for singles?

What do you believe is the ideal range in square footage for a single person in their 60's living alone? Money is not an issue, and it could be a house, condo, apartment, or whatever.

The reason I am asking is that for ER purposes I am eventually planning to move to a very low cost area, and I don't want to yield to temptation and end up with a behemoth of a house. So, it would be nice to get a general idea of what most people might think would be an ideal square footage, more or less.
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Old 10-03-2007, 03:37 PM   #2
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I think functionality of the space is more important than the specific SF. If planning on entertaining, a more open floorplan for the kitchen/living/dining are would be desirable - even if on the smaller side. One office, one bedroom, maybe a guest room and at least 1.5 bath (ok, so this is my desired situation - with an awesome basement for gym/toys/couch pit/etc) Single in 60's....I believe I'd look for a condo - less maintenance=more freedom to travel during your RE!
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Old 10-03-2007, 03:39 PM   #3
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I'm single and live in the Dallas area and have a smaller 3 bedroom/2 bath/2 car garage house with around 1450 sq ft. That seems just about right to me. I rarely even go into the 2nd and 3rd bedrooms and feel that I have more than enough space. Once every few years I might need some extra space for visitors but it's not worth paying extra for it in my opinion. Some people need more space for their things, but I find that you can do with less if you really want to. And every couple of years I give items away to charity to keep my house from getting too cluttered.
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Old 10-03-2007, 03:45 PM   #4
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Having lived in a studio appt. (<500 sq. feet), and homes of 1400, 1800, 2500 and 4700 square feet, in my opinion the optimal size for one (or two) people is probably a little more than 1,000 and less than 1,600 sq. feet. Plenty of room for special interests/hobbies and the occasional guest without bumping into anyone but not overwhelming to clean, furnish, etc.

Although I must say, living in that studio appt really made me pay attention to every single purchase/acquisition. "Hmmm, love that rocking chair! Oh, never mind, I have no place for it!" "Jumbo bottle of detergent? No way."
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Old 10-03-2007, 03:54 PM   #5
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More info needed: Do you entertain? 4-6 people for a card game or dinner party, or a dozen or more for a cocktail party? Out of town guests? How long do they stay (or how quickly do you want them out)? Hobby rooms? e.g., I've got about a 500 sq foot room on my lower level just for a pool table and trains.

Plus some people like to bunker in one place (my dad says if my mom goes first, he just wants to get a studio), others like to roam based on their mood or what they are doing, or just to have a change of scenery. Which kind you are will help decide how many rooms and how much space is needed.

I agree with Fireup2005 that an open works better for maximizing space and keeping a small place from feeling cramped. For single and alone you don't have to worry about isolating noises like a family might want to.
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Old 10-03-2007, 03:54 PM   #6
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I couldn't vote because I live in a studio apt. and they are never advertized by square footage so I only know stuff like: top floor, sunny, close to shops and transit, etc.

I've been following your threads and you might want three bedrooms so your daughter could visit and one extra room for whatever use you come up with. A studio requires too much effort at creative organization.
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Old 10-03-2007, 04:04 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Want2retire View Post
What do you believe is the ideal range in square footage for a single person in their 60's living alone? Money is not an issue, and it could be a house, condo, apartment, or whatever.

The reason I am asking is that for ER purposes I am eventually planning to move to a very low cost area, and I don't want to yield to temptation and end up with a behemoth of a house. So, it would be nice to get a general idea of what most people might think would be an ideal square footage, more or less.
1152 sq ft - or 864 sq ft built built en mass in 1970. At some point the garage 'went' and the 864 sq ft 3 bedroom, one bath and later got it's 12 by 24 garage enclosed and became 1152 sq ft. One level - handicapped equiped - room for four at the time we moved.

Here's the point - find the town/area you want and an 'older RE person' - in Missouri towns you get to find two 'sweet spots' - old vic's/frame styles in various stages of update(some quite small by our standards) and tract out of can from various past decades(also smaller when we weren't as pretentious). Make sure you see a full years utility gas and electric on the older frame houses.

I would have went an old vic - except I had three handicapped women then and hills/steps/stairs were a no no.

85k in 2005. North of KC.

heh heh heh
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Old 10-03-2007, 04:21 PM   #8
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Bty - my Blonde buddy is going to desert her Brother in the fishing resort(she not a fish person) on Weiss Lake in the corner of Alabama/Tenn/Georgia where she grew up and look back around greater Slidell with long time friend who just finagled a transfer back from Arizona - there goes my free place to stay come next years fishing season.

Thinking condo's Slidell or vicinity - work is at Stennis in Ms I believe.

heh heh heh - I know zilch about condo living - although I visited a couple with one last July's wedding trip plus a doublewide out in Ms. I'm a house or apartment person I think.

heh heh heh - so do you like lawns/gardens and associated maintenance? And I have a back patio/gas grill - still have the illusion I can grill/BBQ.
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Old 10-03-2007, 04:54 PM   #9
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My mom's in her late sixties, and she's got a 1200 square foot house. Just the right size for her -- three bedrooms, one of which is her sewing/craft room, the other is where her brother and SIL stay when they visit a couple of times a year.
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Old 10-03-2007, 05:10 PM   #10
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More info needed: Do you entertain? 4-6 people for a card game or dinner party, or a dozen or more for a cocktail party? Out of town guests? How long do they stay (or how quickly do you want them out)? Hobby rooms?
No entertaining at all, no out of town guests. No hobby rooms right now since I have no time for hobbies, but might want more space for something once I am ER'd. :confused: I may want a room for a home gym, which I don't have now.

Right now I have a 1558 square foot house and actually I don't use two of the rooms much at all. However, I'm at work all the time. Maybe I would need more space once I am retired. (?) I would be home a whole lot more.

I have been looking at houses online, from 900 to 3500 square feet. I can't imagine what I'd do with the latter.
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Old 10-03-2007, 05:24 PM   #11
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1152 sq ft - or 864 sq ft built built en mass in 1970. At some point the garage 'went' and the 864 sq ft 3 bedroom, one bath and later got it's 12 by 24 garage enclosed and became 1152 sq ft. One level - handicapped equiped - room for four at the time we moved.

Here's the point - find the town/area you want and an 'older RE person' - in Missouri towns you get to find two 'sweet spots' - old vic's/frame styles in various stages of update(some quite small by our standards) and tract out of can from various past decades(also smaller when we weren't as pretentious). Make sure you see a full years utility gas and electric on the older frame houses.

I would have went an old vic - except I had three handicapped women then and hills/steps/stairs were a no no.

85k in 2005. North of KC.

heh heh heh
I love the old Victorians, but I think I want something lower maintenance than that (plus I don't want stairs, either). So now, I just need to figure out what size of a home (built from about 1950-2007) I would like!

I keep thinking of what a nightmare I would be for a realtor, since I am so indecisive right now concerning basic things like this.
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Old 10-03-2007, 05:28 PM   #12
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Consider a garage - far enough north that it is better?? than a carport. Although mixed in my neighborhood. With about a quarter with neither(me) - park in driveway/street.

Think hail and ice storms.

Also note in many cases up here the basement varies widely from zilch to full headroom(like mine - not in sq ft count).

heh heh heh
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Old 10-03-2007, 05:30 PM   #13
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Bty - my Blonde buddy is going to desert her Brother in the fishing resort(she not a fish person) on Weiss Lake in the corner of Alabama/Tenn/Georgia where she grew up and look back around greater Slidell with long time friend who just finagled a transfer back from Arizona - there goes my free place to stay come next years fishing season.

Thinking condo's Slidell or vicinity - work is at Stennis in Ms I believe.

heh heh heh - I know zilch about condo living - although I visited a couple with one last July's wedding trip plus a doublewide out in Ms. I'm a house or apartment person I think.

heh heh heh - so do you like lawns/gardens and associated maintenance? And I have a back patio/gas grill - still have the illusion I can grill/BBQ.
To tell the truth, I don't like lawns/gardens and associated maintenance at all. Still, I think I'd rather buy a place with nothing but grass and then hire someone to mow, than pay condo fees. I don't like having to deal with people or associations much. On the other hand, all the "cool" newer houses seem to be in communities with homeowners' associations. If I don't want that, I would probably have to get an older house and update. Decisions, decisions!

I definitely want a garage (don't have one now, but it seems like it would be cool to have!). I am ambivalent about basements, since I've heard they are nice for safety from tornados but I've also heard they flood. Never had one of those, either.
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Old 10-03-2007, 05:38 PM   #14
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I couldn't vote because I live in a studio apt. and they are never advertized by square footage so I only know stuff like: top floor, sunny, close to shops and transit, etc.

I've been following your threads and you might want three bedrooms so your daughter could visit and one extra room for whatever use you come up with. A studio requires too much effort at creative organization.
I think you're right. A 3-bedroom place is in order, for resale, if nothing else! So, I am sure I won't actually get one in the smallest size category (250-750 sq ft), though I could find a 3-bedroom place in any of the other categories.
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Old 10-03-2007, 05:54 PM   #15
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I definitely want a garage (don't have one now, but it seems like it would be cool to have!). I am ambivalent about basements, since I've heard they are nice for safety from tornados but I've also heard they flood. Never had one of those, either.
I have sump pump in the basement - there is an old flood mark about three inches above the floor so at time past the basement got some water.

Make sure you find out where the local tornado siren is - the one negitive After we moved in (9/2005) I swear it went off in our living room - startled the you know what out of us - plus they believe in better safe than sorry(within a county or two) And they 'love' to test the dang thing.

heh heh heh
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Old 10-03-2007, 05:57 PM   #16
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3/2 1650sf currently: could/may downsize some day. Guest BR currently occupied by son, with middle BR used as home studio. Two baths, good for resale value. Two-car attached garaged/woodshop/exercise room. Large patio, fairly large yard (75X150) which is a joy to mow when it's 105 degrees...
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Old 10-03-2007, 06:03 PM   #17
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I have sump pump in the basement - there is an old flood mark about three inches above the floor so at time past the basement got some water.

Make sure you find out where the local tornado siren is - the one negitive After we moved in (9/2005) I swear it went off in our living room - startled the you know what out of us - plus they believe in better safe than sorry(within a county or two) And they 'love' to test the dang thing.

heh heh heh
LOL!!! I'll be sure to check on that. Oh well. At least you know when to head to the basement!

If I have a basement, I guess I'll have to learn about sump pumps. I've never even seen one and they sound pretty complicated.
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Old 10-03-2007, 06:13 PM   #18
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3/2 1650sf currently: could/may downsize some day. Guest BR currently occupied by son, with middle BR used as home studio. Two baths, good for resale value. Two-car attached garaged/woodshop/exercise room. Large patio, fairly large yard (75X150) which is a joy to mow when it's 105 degrees...
I think I'll want two baths because I really REALLY like having a stand alone shower. My fantasy shower would be really big and lavish, tiled with small tiles, lots of light, and with a bench at one end. (Doesn't everybody have a fantasy shower? LOL) With a shower in one bath, it would be nice to have another full bath with a tub, for re-sale.

My present 50x100 yard is no joy to mow in the heat, either (so I finally gave up and hired someone for $30/mow). But my present yard is so small that my neighbors' dogs sound like they are in my living room. I think I will get a yard that's at least 80'x120', for my retirement home.
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Old 10-03-2007, 06:25 PM   #19
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My house is a little over 1300SF. Two bedrooms, 2 baths on the main floor with a 3/4 finished daylight basement. Twelve foot ceilings in the living, dining, kitchen area - all open. The basement has a family room, an office area and another bath. I do all of my living on the main floor, but I have to have a basement for tornados. My house isn't fancy but it's pretty much maintence free with vinyl siding and brick exterior. I hire out the yard work. My daughter still lives with me but sometimes I wish I could reclaim her closets so I think that after she is launched, the square footage will be just right for me.
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Old 10-03-2007, 06:43 PM   #20
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My house is a little over 1300SF. Two bedrooms, 2 baths on the main floor with a 3/4 finished daylight basement. Twelve foot ceilings in the living, dining, kitchen area - all open. The basement has a family room, an office area and another bath. I do all of my living on the main floor, but I have to have a basement for tornados. My house isn't fancy but it's pretty much maintence free with vinyl siding and brick exterior. I hire out the yard work. My daughter still lives with me but sometimes I wish I could reclaim her closets so I think that after she is launched, the square footage will be just right for me.
Your house sounds lovely! I adore 12 foot ceilings.

It seems like most basement homes have the washer and dryer downstairs. In that case I'd try to have them moved so that I didn't have to lug my laundry up and down the stairs. But otherwise, a walk-out basement like that could be a good option. No sump pumps, I would imagine!
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