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Old 08-05-2012, 11:47 AM   #41
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Posts: 3,362
Pre-retirement: 3400 sq ft, two story, 4 bedrooms plus office, 3 car garage
Post-retirement: 2550 sq ft, one story, 3 bedrooms plus office, 2 car garage
(no basements in this area)

We actually bought the new house, remodeled it (new kitchen, new floors, handicap accessible, etc) and moved before I decided to RE (it's less than 2 miles from our previous house as we wanted to stay in the area). We originally were planning to go even smaller (2100 sq ft or so) but the houses in this area that size were too "chopped up" for us - lots of small rooms rather than more open space. We also needed a formal DR as I wasn't ready to part with my great aunt's antique furniture. So it's a little bigger than we wanted but all the remodeling turned out great and we really enjoy it.

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Old 08-06-2012, 08:17 AM   #42
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Thanks to all who responded to my original question. Very interesting info and, as I suspected there might be, a variety of philosophies on how to deal with the "retirement" home. Obviously there is no one size fits all answer to the question.

Thanks again.

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Old 08-09-2012, 11:08 PM   #43
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Location: Upstate
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Late to the party...

Originally Posted by friar1610 View Post
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;
Hi Friar,

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.

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Old 08-10-2012, 06:10 AM   #44
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: St. Augustine, Fla.
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We currently have 3300sqft, 2 Car, 3 Bed, 4th Bed/Study, 3 Bath of which 2850sqft is on one floor. the other 450sqft is a self contained guest suite above the garage that we do not use on a day to day basis. No Basement (FLA).

My biggest issue is not so much the home size but the garage. I have lots of tools and 2 cars, I like to tinker about and repair/create anything in the house. Our ideal would be < 2000sqft with a 3 car attached on one level. I would move today if I could find something (With a View). Otherwise when I finally quit this year, we will stay put till house prices go up a little. DW will remain working till we move. Downsizing under the correct circumstances would certainly be welcome.
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:23 AM   #45
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Posts: 413
Pre: 2 story ~1900 fin + 1100 unfin bmt, 2 car, 3 bd 2.5 ba
Post:2 story ~2200 fin + 800 unfin bmt, 3 car, 3 bd 2.5 ba

(Planning to enclose my patio soon.)

I don't need all of this space as a single person but it was the best house I could get for the money with the features I wanted. I will likely downsize in the next 10 years though. I like the Pocket Home concept so that will be the driver.

Retired - Class of 2011
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