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View Poll Results: What kind of living space are you retiring on?
Home size - 100 sq.ft - 999 sq.ft 23 8.39%
Home size - 1,000 sq.ft. - 1,799 sq.ft. 96 35.04%
Home size - 1,800 sq.ft. - 2,499 sq.ft. 76 27.74%
Home size - 2,500 sq.ft. - 3,499 sq.ft. 46 16.79%
Home Size - 3,500 sq.ft. - 5,000 sq.ft or more 33 12.04%
Voters: 274. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-04-2015, 09:48 AM   #41
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our FRP is pretty big (5000+) mostly one story - we needed to make sure we could get gurneys and wheelchairs in it along with DWs antiques - not a joke
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Old 12-04-2015, 10:02 AM   #42
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We live in the same house we raised the family in. It has lots of space and has been customized to be exactly how we like it. Same with the yard. Some of the trees I planted are just starting to get big.

Some day we may move, but don't really see any reason to at this point.
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Old 12-04-2015, 10:31 AM   #43
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We've lived here ~18 years, 2300 sf with addition of 800 for MIL I built 9 years ago. That's been converted to a "grandchildren suite" for visits by DD with her four kids and husband. We've been able to accommodate her growing (well, it's stopped now she says) family visits very nicely with this house since the MIL passed. We can afford to keep all this for just the two of us even though most of the time it's way more than needed. I'd love a basement for a shop, but inertia just keeps us here. We like the location (unless our two kids would actually take up permanent residence somewhere we like almost equally) and the fact that we look out on a lake makes it very appealing to us.

I'd guess if we were drawn away we'd go under 2000 ft. As much as I prefer a SF house as opposed to a condo, the repairs are becoming tedious. The house is only 19 years old but like so much built these days, has some serious issues I've had to deal with. It makes not owning a 19 yo house appealing. As other posters mentioned you almost have to oversize to acquire quality.

I think my dream home, which would be hard to sell, would be two car garage w big shop, then 2000 sf with two bedrooms, huge custom kitchen, and simple great room. We'd have to give up the grandchildren visits but we'd just go there.
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Old 12-04-2015, 10:36 AM   #44
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I am retired and the current home is about 2200-2400 SF (can't remember the specifics, I think there was an issue with the basement size on the tax records, and I am too lazy to measure it off). Our house in Texas was about 2100 SF and was a perfect size for DW and me (no kids). When we make the last move to our retirement home (probably 2-3 years) I am thinking it'll be about 2000 SF. Any more is just too much and any smaller the DW won't be happy.

Oh and to add. The "last house" will be single story (NO STAIRS!) with 4-sided brick. There will be a simple hip-roof (metal) and only concrete patios...no wood decks. Just about as simple as you can get for maintenance in a SFH.
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Old 12-04-2015, 10:40 AM   #45
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our FRP is pretty big (5000+) mostly one story - we needed to make sure we could get gurneys and wheelchairs in it along with DWs antiques - not a joke
My Dad's home is about 2400 SF and they built it when they were in their 40s as their last home. My Mom (who designed it) made sure the doorways were wheelchair friendly and it's all single level, no stairs at all. It is an excellent home for getting older in and in fact, when my Mom got sick, that is where her palliative care was administered. She died in that home and that is exactly how she wanted to go. When the funeral home came to wheel her out, they made the comment about how very easy the removal was which I guess isn't the case most of the time. Not trying to be morbid, but just highlighting how good planning can actually work out sometimes.
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Old 12-04-2015, 10:41 AM   #46
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There needs to be a vote for "Other".

When I retire in January we'll be spending 8 months of the year in our 5th wheel (400 sq ft with the slides out) and 4 months of the year in our house which is 2,000 sq ft.

I guess technically my answer is >999.
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Old 12-04-2015, 10:42 AM   #47
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We used to live in a 3,300' place, then downsized to 1,500' and 3 years ago downsized again to 1,250' (2 bed, 2 bath, integral double garage). The spare bedroom is only used for visitors once or twice a year these days but it has a nice walk-in closet that is full of our stuff.
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Old 12-04-2015, 10:46 AM   #48
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Our house is 1654 sq ft. When the kids moved out we "downsized" by just not using the upstairs 2 bedrooms and a full bath.

Now DH has moved his desk, computer, shortwave radios, scanners and assorted electronics stuff out of our downstairs bedroom to one of the upstairs bedrooms. It's his own man cave kind of area.
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Old 12-04-2015, 10:50 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Lisa99 View Post

When I retire in January we'll be spending 8 months of the year in our 5th wheel (400 sq ft with the slides out) and 4 months of the year in our house which is 2,000 sq ft.
I have a similar situation and was going to do a weighted average, but before going too far down that road I thankfully remembered my sig line...
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Old 12-04-2015, 10:57 AM   #50
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2BR/2bath I700' living space all one level on 1/2 acre. Have an exercise room downstairs and the rest of lower area unfinished and used for storage. 700' 2 car garage. There was a very "rustic" cabin on the property (no water or electricity) that we now use to store crab traps, garden tools, lawn mower, fertilizer and potting soil. The second BR is for guests or DD when she visits. Otherwise, not used.
Have a 500' deck facing the water and that is where we spend our time in the warmer months.




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Old 12-04-2015, 11:03 AM   #51
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Plan to stay in current house after retiring next year. 1700 sq ft single level, no stairs, in a great neighborhood, easy walking to nearest grocery and multiple parks.
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Old 12-04-2015, 11:03 AM   #52
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We have kept the same house so far. It will be too big for the two of us but we like the location and it has been a good investment over the years.
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Old 12-04-2015, 11:05 AM   #53
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We are in the large (but not largest) home category. We had a plan to move to a @1500-1700 sq ft place next summer but complications have arisen and I think we will stay put for about 5 years.
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Old 12-04-2015, 11:39 AM   #54
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We are in the larger home category. We would be willing to come down a little, if builders would build quality smaller homes, on decent-sized lots, in decent neighborhoods. The way they did, oh, two generations ago.
Agree. I have not retired yet so didn't vote. But in looking at the MLS for my planned retirement locale, it is difficult to find a smaller single family home in the better neighborhoods. Unless you move to an older neighborhood but I want newer, more energy efficient, less maintenance. I'm single and my first home was a 2BR/1BA 1300 SF home which was too small. Now I'm in a 2600 SF home that is way too big. I'm estimating that 1700-2000 SF would be just right but plan to rent first to test it out.
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Old 12-04-2015, 11:41 AM   #55
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Agree. I have not retired yet so didn't vote.
I haven't retired yet either but I'll tell you one thing - I'm never moving again!
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Old 12-04-2015, 11:48 AM   #56
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Currently live is a 1488 sq. ft. all brick ranch with 3 bedrooms and two baths, additionally there is a 4 season room of approx. 350 sq. ft. that we only use as a 3 season room. We also have a full basement with laundry room, a full third bathroom, large family room, and a huge storage room. There is a large 2 car attached garage plus we are in the process of building a separate 3 car garage for my toys and a workshop.
This all sits on 2 acres with 34 mature oak and maple trees with a fantastic view of a pond in the back. We see deer and wild turkeys almost every day this time of year.
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Old 12-04-2015, 11:48 AM   #57
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My ideal retirement house is 1200-1500 sq ft with a 3000 sq ft garage. But for now I don't have a retirement house, I have a 2000 sq ft working house and 1200 sq ft garage
That sounds perfect to me. At one point I had a 7200 sq. ft. garage. I miss that property.

We're buying next year and expect it to be in the 2K range. Hopefully with some shop space.
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Old 12-04-2015, 12:14 PM   #58
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We're still living in the "big family house" but plan to downsize at some undefined point in the future... probably when the cleaning and maintenance become too physically demanding. For now, we like it here quite a bit, and we can handle it financially and physically.

Current living space is just over 4500 sqft. This includes a 530 sqft detached guest house with full bath and kitchenette. Main house is 4000 sqft... 2 story, 4 bedrooms, 4.5 baths. There's also a 625 sqft "barn"/storage building, which is not included. This all sits on 2.2 heavily-wooded acres with a pool, deck, and a large pond that we share with a few neighboring properties. It's going to be hard to leave this place, but we will eventually, as it's completely impractical for the two of us.

We also have two rental houses, one of which might become our downsize house. One is 1100 sqft, 2 BR, 1 bath, 1 carport, with a large yard. The other is 1800 sqft, 3 BR, 2 bath, 2-car garage, with a very small yard.

Our dream house is ~2300 sqft, 2 BR, 2 bath, huge kitchen, great room, on 1 acre, atop a hill with a view in the Texas Hill Country, along with a 1000 sqft woodworking shop. Not sure that would count as "downsizing" though.
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Old 12-04-2015, 12:50 PM   #59
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Main house is about 2,200 sqft, but there is a two bedroom two bath guest house that is about 600 sqft.
Have you ever considered moving into the guest house and renting the main house? I have a similar situation and I think that's what I'm going to do. I will pay the gas bill and the main house will pay electric and water. I should clear at least $2,000 per month if I do it...
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Old 12-04-2015, 03:33 PM   #60
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My house is 1500 square feet with a detached garage of perhaps 900 additional square feet.

Like Goldilocks might say, it's not too large; it's not too small; my dream house size is Just Right (for me). See below.

It helps to look beyond simply square footage, and consider layout. Also a house with a great deal of space devoted to storage, large closets, laundry room, halls, and/or entry, is going to have fewer square feet left for the rooms. So, a 1500 square foot house may seem smaller than another 1500 square foot house.

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