Originally Posted by friar1610
For those who are retired (early or otherwise) AND who moved in connection with retirement, how large was your pre-retirement home? How large is your current retirement home? If you downsized, upsized or otherwise made a significant change in the size/type of home, what thoughts do you have on your decision? To what degree did you take guests (friends for the weekend, family, grandkids, etc.) into consideration when sizing your retirement home?
Why I'm asking: considering a move and am trying to rethink what we really need;
I think your last statement is the one that's most relevant. Does any consideration need to be given to the home's dispensation after you're gone? (Will it be bequeathed or sold, and if so, will desirability or marketability be an issue?) Will this (definitely) be the "last" move? Will you be buying existing or building new, and if the latter, tract or custom? Regular neighborhood, planned (e.g. 55+ active adult) community, or Walton's Mountain?
We're in the same process (rethinking current & future needs & desires). We each sat down and made lists of what we wanted, and after comparing them and concluding what we actually needed was two
homes, we got more realistic and began the reality-check compromising. There are room requirements, lifestyle requirements, and "what-if..." considerations. Most space can & will be shared, but there is also need (in most couples' cases) of personal space to avoid the hassles & inconveniences subsequent to mariticide/uxoricide. Orientation may also be a factor (which rooms face which compass, sunrise, sunset directions). Some activities/hobbies -- current & future -- may require dedicated space, or in some cases, rooms.
In our case, we have no need of a formal dining room, so we've been looking at using that space for office, den, media room, etc. DW requires a dedicated sewing room near the laundry. We've only ever had one vehicle, and while we only need garage space for one, most newer homes are being built with 2 - 3 car garages. We've been looking at models/plans that have, or can accommodate, converting part of the garage as an extra usable room. We prefer "open planning" but also recognize the need for some privacy, hence we both need offices.
I've noticed that most tract houses these days look like they were designed by students or morons. Wasted space (usually in the form of superfluous hallways, L-shaped rooms, ridiculous traffic patterns, closets accessible only by going through
a bathroom, and poorly designed kitchens -- no thought given to work triangles) are just some
of the hallmarks of these pitiful designs.
If you can, visit a home show or two -- even if you're not planning on building or buying new. It may help give you some ideas and insights into your needs, as well as some things to avoid.