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Retirement House (Optimum Size)
Old 06-23-2007, 07:24 PM   #1
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Retirement House (Optimum Size)

I am considering the size of house/condo to target for a downsize when DW and I ER. If we decide to buy a house, it will be a ranch.

I was thinking something in the 1500 sq ft with an unfinished basement for storage.


What is you optimum size home.
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Old 06-23-2007, 07:34 PM   #2
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My criteria is usually price, location, operating costs, quality and finally the size. I'm single so that make the decision process easier.
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Old 06-23-2007, 07:50 PM   #3
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Our house is about 1250 sq ft, and it's the perfect size for us. Single story, with no basement. Kitchen, living rm, 2 br, nice size bathroom, 3 built-in closets, large utility rm, a front entry/parlor room, and a good size hobby room for Mom. We also have a 2 car, detached garage that's been converted to a work shop, and I have a LARGE hobby room attached to that.

We have quite a bit of storage space in the garage, so lack of a basement is OK. We live in kind of a low lying area, and basements aren't a good idea in our 'hood. Besides, that's a lot fewer steps for either of us to fall down!

It's big enough for the 2 of us, yet small enough that it doesn't require much time or effort for cleaning or routine maintenance.
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Old 06-23-2007, 08:17 PM   #4
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Currently we live in a 2400 square foot home including a finished basement. We like the area and the neighborhood that we may decide to retire in it but more than likely we will downsize to a 1600 to 1800 square foot one story condo or a ranch.
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Old 06-23-2007, 08:27 PM   #5
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Currently we live in a 2400 square foot home including a finished basement. We like the area and the neighborhood that we may decide to retire in it but more than likely we will downsize to a 1600 to 1800 square foot one story condo or a ranch.
We have a similar situation, 2400 sq ft 4BR 2.5BA that we're just about done optimizing. It's on a great lot with a fantastic view. I can't claim that it's a good size for us, but it's certainly a great location and when we're empty nesters we figure we'll just live with the feeling of being two BBs rattling around in a boxcar.

Spouse seems to be having no problem locating sufficient tchotchkes to fill every horizontal surface. As long as she's doing the dusting I guess I can't complain.
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Old 06-23-2007, 09:50 PM   #6
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Presently I live alone in a 1550 square foot house. I really don't need such a large house, but couldn't find a smaller one in my area with the amenities I wanted.

When I retire, probably I will end up in another 1500-1600 square foot home on a large lot (for quiet and privacy). I would like an attached garage in addition to that square footage. The size of home that I require really depends on the floor plan; some have more wasted space than others.

Although I will focus on this size, if I don't find what I want right away I might look at houses in the range from 1300-2000 square feet. Of course, size is not the only criterion that I have for a retirement home. Neighborhood, style, and amenities all matter too. A huge, brightly lit ceramic tile shower could persuade me to bend a little on the square footage one way or another, for example.
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Old 06-23-2007, 10:15 PM   #7
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We're very content with a 1630 square foot house on a 1/2 acre lot. In addition to an attached garage, we have a 24x24 square foot shop where we store our RV. This is the perfect size home for DW and me.
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Old 06-23-2007, 10:24 PM   #8
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Ideally: ~600sf one bedroom/efficiency with broadband and with attached garage and large patio with good sun with someone else doing yard work.
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Old 06-23-2007, 10:56 PM   #9
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I'm single with 1350sf on main floor and a 550sf finished lower level family room and a 300sf deck. I use about 1/4 of the space on a regular basis. I could live in 900sf if I had a good size deck and garage.
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Old 06-24-2007, 12:22 AM   #10
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Small enough and with the right surface materials to be easy to clean is good for living areas. Having his and hers offices and storage areas away from the main house is good. Connected by a covered patio, our house and garage are about the same size to fit those requirements.
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Old 06-24-2007, 03:21 AM   #11
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just bought this week a 1900 sq ft with finished basement bringing it to 3000 sq ft, the basement was pretty much a free bee
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Old 06-24-2007, 07:08 AM   #12
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What do you think about these manufactured home? Are they built well? Do they make sense to purchase?

And more importantly, are they less expensive and of the same quality as a house that is built onsite?
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Old 06-24-2007, 08:47 AM   #13
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Small enough and with the right surface materials to be easy to clean is good for living areas. Having his and hers offices and storage areas away from the main house is good. Connected by a covered patio, our house and garage are about the same size to fit those requirements.
Someone needs to design a house that can be hosed out.
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Old 06-24-2007, 08:56 AM   #14
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Our house in a "55 or better" community is 1840 sq ft. It is all one level. Two bedrooms plus office/ 3rd bedroom, 2 full baths, family room, kitchen, living/dining area and two car garage. We also have a patio which overlooks the woods. We downsized from a large 4 bedroom colonial.

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Old 06-24-2007, 09:20 AM   #15
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Ideally: ~600sf one bedroom/efficiency with broadband and with attached garage and large patio with good sun with someone else doing yard work.
I saw one of those in Georgia next to a huge 500K house. It was an interesting contrast.
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Old 06-24-2007, 01:54 PM   #16
 
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We have a 2 story 4 bedroom, 1 3/4 bath house with an attached garage and no basement. Our lot is 60 x 100. When we move in four years we want a single level ranch with 2 or 3 bedroom plus a laundry room. A basement would be welcome but isn't a necessity. We also want a larger piece of land (don't want any close neighbors) preferably no in a subdivision. One of my concerns is my ability to do the outside work as I grow older so a condo house might be a consideration. Our house is about 1400 sq feet and we would be happy with a house of that size but wouldn't object to one up to 1600 sq feet.
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Old 06-24-2007, 05:23 PM   #17
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I want a 3 bedroom 2 bath house with a large living room and large kitchen but two bedrooms can be very little. But I want it on 20 acres of forest with a little fenced area for the yard, patio and gardens, the rest of the land can be filled with deer and elk. I might left boyfriend fence of a little for a horse, chickens and barn but when he goes it will revert to forest so I will leave every 5th tree to give it a head start. I don't want to maintain a huge amount of space but a barn would be nice to store excess stuff so I didn't need to declutter just box up stuff and store until I die let the heirs toss my stuff. If I had enough space in the house to have Christmas Eve for 10 I would have enough space. I like two bathrooms even for just me so I can always have one that works even if one is being fixed.
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Old 06-24-2007, 11:24 PM   #18
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I think my optimal size, for a permanent abode, would be two bedroom one bath with some patio space and maybe a one car garage -- so say 900 square feet plus patio plus one car garage -- although I don't really need the garage. I have never lived by myself in a place larger than 650 sq. feet or had a garage, but the above would enable me to easily host company, have dinner parties, and roam the open spaces . . .

Now that I have downsized, I don't really have much to store. I would advise anyone contemplating a move to go through their stuff and determine what they really need. I thought I was light, but after going through my stuff in the last few weeks, I can't believe how much I have gotten rid of and how disorganized I was -- and I was carrying around so much unnecessary paperwork and books. In coastal California apartment rental space and also storage space is roughly around $180/sq. yard per year. This is the figure I have typically had in mind before I buy anything. It makes a washer/dryer incredibly expensive, for instance. In other parts of the country where space is not so expensive, space lifecycle cost is less of an issue.

Kramer
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Old 06-25-2007, 10:57 AM   #19
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Someone needs to design a house that can be hosed out.
It must have been around for the last 7 years...from a 1950's popular mechanics mag...I think your flying car is parked in the garage!

2400 square feet seems to be optimal for three people, three dogs, three cats and two households worth of furniture.
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Old 06-25-2007, 11:58 AM   #20
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It must have been around for the last 7 years...from a 1950's popular mechanics mag...I think your flying car is parked in the garage!
Ah, excellent.

Spouse is on travel this week, and this graphic imagery is exactly the sort of e-mail I need to keep her wondering how much we miss her!
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