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Old 07-22-2011, 09:45 AM
 
Location: SoCal desert
8,093 posts, read 13,234,579 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by margeaa View Post
Husband and I are retired...I'm 66; husband is 71. We have sold our home and are now looking for another. The plan was to downsize; have little or no maintenance; and buy a one story home. We have found 2 homes that we like. One is smaller..2 bedrooms, 2 baths...1 story...no maintenance yard...less expensive. The other is larger...3 bedrooms, 2-1/2 baths...2 story...yard has a lawn which would need to be maintained..and slightly more expensive than the other. We both want the larger home! Has this happened to anyone else...and if so...were you unhappy? I think part of this whole thing is that I want to have my own "space"...one of the bedrooms would be "mine" where I could have a desk and my books and all my craft things....plus a day bed where guests could stay and I could relax on and read. The other bedroom would be for guests. The master bedroom is on the first floor and has on office space off it for my husband to use. I guess I just feel that I'm not ready to give up a lot of my "stuff" because I have downsized...and I'd like to be able to have enough room for my children and grandchildren when they visit.

As far as the yard with the lawn goes...it's not that big and we could either mow it ourself or find someone to mow it....or dig it up and put stones on it.

The trouble is that the other smaller house is cute and it's a good buy..and it has a beautiful yard. But I think that I would have a hard time at this point of my life to give up a lot of my "stuff." There's definitely not any storage areas.

Trying so hard to make the right decision!
I think you know what the right decision is ... but your stuff and your heart and your memories are shouting so loud that your brain can't hear the right decision
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Old 07-22-2011, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Toronto, Ottawa Valley & Dunedin FL
1,409 posts, read 2,355,294 times
Reputation: 1159
I agree, don't get sucked in by the stairs and the yard maintenance.

You are downsizing, so you are going to have to shed a lot of stuff, not store it. That is a good thing, it makes you think about what's important. We went from a 4 level midtown semi with about 2000 sqft to an 1200 sqft condo with 2 bedrooms plus a den. We do not have guest space, except in emergencies when someone can crash on our pull-out sofa. That works fine. Although we have good closet space and a storage locker included, we shed *lots* of stuff and are very glad of that.

You can make that second bedroom multi-purpose. Get a sofabed, and lay out the room so that you can use it for your craft projects, etc. And define a space somewhere in your bedroom, or between the lr/dr for a small office space.

Our 2x2 Florida condo (2nd home) is laid out like that, and that's how we'll use it--yes, we will have guests (hopefully frequently), but when you have guests you don't do projects, do you?
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Old 07-22-2011, 11:30 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,585 posts, read 39,962,822 times
Reputation: 23719
Quote:
Originally Posted by lifelongMOgal View Post
Choose either the smaller house or keep looking until you find the right smaller house. We are headed for tougher times economically speaking. The less money you put into a house now the better off you will be down the road. ... If you need more space to get away from your spouse go outside or get a hobby/part time job.

...
Take heed ^^^^ don't get stuck with a home you dislike or can't manage, and cannot sell (this can take a LONG time 5-10 yrs)

Small house, large shop w/apartment in a low tax neighborhood is in my future. (multiple living qtrs for destitute friends or self)

I try to buy 30% under current market and ONLY something that is unique and attractive to potential buyers. (View, waterfront, nice setting, EZ commute, ...)
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Old 07-22-2011, 11:43 AM
 
Location: NW. MO.
1,817 posts, read 5,964,652 times
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I'd choose based on what lifestyle you enjoy. If you are indoors most of the time I'd go for more room but if you and hubby like to have time and money to travel and go out I'd go ahead and choose the house with less yardwork and cost.

I'm 41 and have been downsizing things and can tell you it feels wonderful in so many ways to not have to much stuff!!
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Old 07-22-2011, 03:04 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
39,547 posts, read 47,744,756 times
Reputation: 110404
OP, we're in the same age range as you. We downsized to a 2BR duplex in a HOA maintenance free community. The HOA takes care of all maintenance outside, painting, roof, yard, garage door, gutters etc. If we want to plant anything we can, but we are responsible for only those plants. We have time to be ourselves and to do what we want when we want, travel when we want to. For extra storage we built additional shelving in the closets, laundry area, and in the garage to house our wanted extras. We have an attic also in the garage to store items. Our neigbors watch our place when we leave for extended periods of time.
As some have mentioned, larger equals more headache and way more expense.
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Old 07-22-2011, 03:37 PM
 
48,516 posts, read 83,943,432 times
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I have a freind who has bulit homes for many older retired people. The one thing I learned was they have to have easy access and often more room for elderly and special accessories for safety alone. That got me to to looking and many smaller homes would be hard for a person with walker to access much less actually use a bathroom . Not to even think about a wheel chair. I have seen many of his homes and would never think of all the things for just in case they thought of thru experince of others.
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Old 07-22-2011, 05:04 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,978,143 times
Reputation: 15649
Buy the house that has the best chance of resale. If one house has the better chance of resale AND better (or equal) property taxes, buy that one.

If this isn't a deciding factor, buy the house that is closest to the things you love or need (ocean, mountains, parks, friends, your kind of stores). The nicest house in the world without any close-by amenities can be a real bummer as we age.

A small house can be made bigger by adding on a room. A big house can be made smaller by closing off rooms when not in use, and making a bedroom on the first floor. Size should not be a factor.
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Old 07-22-2011, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,888 posts, read 25,327,549 times
Reputation: 26385
The 2 story thing would be a deal killer for me. Maybe you just haven't found the right house yet.

And the idea of downsizing for me included getting rid of a LOT of stuff. No way would I buy a bigger house just for STUFF. And I wanted the cheaper utilitity bills from heating and cooling a smaller space.
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Old 07-22-2011, 07:15 PM
 
Location: Boca Raton, FL
5,174 posts, read 8,696,248 times
Reputation: 6194
Smile Not exactly ancient

Quote:
Originally Posted by lifelongMOgal View Post
Choose either the smaller house or keep looking until you find the right smaller house. We are headed for tougher times economically speaking. The less money you put into a house now the better off you will be down the road. It would be silly to purchase a 2 story at this point in your lives just because you are attached to your "stuff". Hand over the extra heirlooms to your children/grandchildren or other family members and move on with what is left of your lives! If you need more space to get away from your spouse go outside or get a hobby/part time job.

Do your children and grandchildren visit and stay overnight so often that the additional cost of a larger home and the maint. of it really offset what it would cost if they were to stay in a nearby hotel instead of with you? Grandchildren usually don't have any problems sleeping on a couch or on the floor for a night or two, or at least, they shouldn't.
In my book, 66 isn't that old. Finding a 3 bedroom on 1 level would be great but follow your heart. You could be in that house for 30 years!!! My mom was an older mom, then an older grandma. Her first grandchild was born when she was 63 and the last when she was 70 - there were 12 of them - and she often had 2 or 3 at a time. What fun they all had with her and my dad! Today, the "grandkids" talk about those great times! But I like space - I've lived in large homes (childhood), condos (young adult - way too small - I was so depressed) and now a decent sized home.
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Old 07-22-2011, 09:50 PM
 
6,999 posts, read 6,990,757 times
Reputation: 5820
Don't buy the big 2 story. We did that 7 yrs. ago (when we were younger) and now regret it. The real estate market makes selling it very difficult now. We can easily manage the stairs still, but it is tiring to be going up and down them all the time. We have a big yard with a landscaper, but that is an extra cost and watering it in all this heat is also expensive. We have closed off rooms but there is still the large property tax and HOA. Can't wait until we can find a nice smaller 3/2.5 one story house. Don't burden yourselves with a large home. Keep looking until you find that 3 BR one story. There should be lots of them out there at a good price now.

Sure we can accomodate lots of guests, but we don't really want too many anymore!
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