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Old 09-11-2011, 09:47 AM
 
Location: East Coast
2,402 posts, read 2,329,117 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
A real estate agent posted in the Real Estate Forum recently that one-story homes are in short supply and may be difficult to find. The theory was that so many two-story homes were built during the real estate bubble (2000-2007) but now baby boomers who are beginning to retire are downsizing, selling their two-story homes and looking for one-story ones, hence the high demand (and short supply) for those. Of course all real estate markets are local; I am wondering if the OP has found this to be the case.
This makes a lot of sense. In my neighborhood, the ranchers (one story) get snapped up almost immediately (as long as they're in decent shape)...most often by the downsizing/retirement crowd. And, yes, ranchers are hard to find in my area too.

My parents own a Cape Cod and their bedroom has always been on the first floor. They're in their 80s now, and when my Mom had a stroke several years ago, we were all very grateful that they could essentially live on the first floor of their house.
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Old 09-11-2011, 10:33 AM
 
Location: The Triad (nc)
17,600 posts, read 23,805,174 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
...that one-story homes are in short supply
...baby boomers ... downsizing ... looking for one-story
Quote:
Originally Posted by LibraGirl123 View Post
This makes a lot of sense.
...ranchers (one story) get snapped up almost immediately
most often by the downsizing/retirement crowd.
Somewhat related are the number of small frame cottage type homes that were bulldozed to make way for those more now prevalent over-sized houses; which reduces the raw number in the pool of potential for sale properties.

btw, I'm one of those people who recently snapped up one of those modestly priced smallish (1200sf) 3br ranchers on a largish suburbany lot. Not ideal but close enough.

This one also has a ground level basement that is due for remodeling into an apartment which along with the ground level first floor offers all sorts of flexibility.

I'm about to start the 1st level remodeling, which needs to be complete before doing the basement level, but all told it will still add up. Being able to do this work in stages is both an advantage and option for me... but many (most?) might be better off by just starting everything from scratch to get the floor plan and room sizes etc that really suit.

Maybe another of those in-town tear downs?
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Old 09-11-2011, 11:14 AM
 
Location: SW MO Aux Arcs
19,220 posts, read 16,572,878 times
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We consider ourselves fortunate to have found a one-story house, just the right size, in the area we wished to retire. As hilly as the Ozarks are, the predominance are at least two level, most with an at least partially above-ground basement. But therein is usually located the utility room and hauling laundry up and down stairs was not our idea of a good time.

Between my wife's bad back and my over-used and abused knees, we decidedly wanted a single level home with an inside utility room (not in the garage) and found it. The only steps we have are three to the front deck, three down into the garage and two into the sun room. Those we can easily handle.

This was a major, post-retirement consideration since I doub't we'll get any younger.
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Old 09-11-2011, 12:15 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
9,323 posts, read 7,269,587 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
Somewhat related are the number of small frame cottage type homes that were bulldozed to make way for those more now prevalent over-sized houses; which reduces the raw number in the pool of potential for sale properties.
That makes a lot of sense too. The whole mindset which made over-sized houses the norm not only contributed to the housing bubble but now creates an under supply of smaller homes that people would like to down-size to in these difficult economic times.
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Old 09-11-2011, 12:25 PM
 
Location: New England
12,386 posts, read 8,620,077 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
btw, I'm one of those people who recently snapped up one of those modestly priced smallish (1200sf) 3br ranchers on a largish suburbany lot. Not ideal but close enough.

This one also has a ground level basement that is due for remodeling into an apartment which along with the ground level first floor offers all sorts of flexibility.
Interesting idea. Do you plan on renting the unit? Is it a walkout lower level? In your area, will your taxes rise on your property if the town learns you have a rentable second unit? Do you have to get permits? My house would be perfect for a second unit to rent out, as it is walkable to a college, but I worry that if I put in a second bath (even if it's a shared kitchen), the assessors will be on my doorstep upping my taxes, which are high enough.
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Old 09-11-2011, 12:49 PM
 
Location: The Triad (nc)
17,600 posts, read 23,805,174 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
Interesting idea.
My house would be perfect for a second unit to rent out, as it is walkable to a college, but I worry that if I put in a second bath (even if it's a shared kitchen), the assessors will be on my doorstep upping my taxes, which are high enough.
c'est la vie

Do check their math, but if you have the construction budget...
it's rarely not worth doing based on the taxes.

Quote:
Do you plan on renting the unit? Yes; that's my vacation & play budget
Is it a walkout lower level? Yes.
Do you have to get permits? Yes.
Will your taxes rise... Yes; finished space, #of toilets, etc.
I plan to put in a full kitchen and bath downstairs with a floor plan that is ideal for an adult single and still suitable for a couple... but I'm specifically NOT making it into a separate apartment which requires splitting meters and HVAC systems and other expensive measures. This means that whether I end up renting out the upper level or the lower (and that may change as time goes on) the rent will need to include all utilities and lawn care etc. I can live with that.

The lower level (1200sf) will still have a common use area (about 500sf) with equal acces to the HVAC equipment, water heater, washer, dryer, laundry tub, water filter stuff, electric panel, sump pump and some storage shelving and the stairwell.
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:47 AM
 
Location: New England
12,386 posts, read 8,620,077 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
c'est la vie

Do check their math, but if you have the construction budget...
it's rarely not worth doing based on the taxes.

I plan to put in a full kitchen and bath downstairs with a floor plan that is ideal for an adult single and still suitable for a couple... but I'm specifically NOT making it into a separate apartment which requires splitting meters and HVAC systems and other expensive measures. This means that whether I end up renting out the upper level or the lower (and that may change as time goes on) the rent will need to include all utilities and lawn care etc. I can live with that.

The lower level (1200sf) will still have a common use area (about 500sf) with equal acces to the HVAC equipment, water heater, washer, dryer, laundry tub, water filter stuff, electric panel, sump pump and some storage shelving and the stairwell.
I am really impressed with your ability to live in 1200 sf. I brought up a big family in no more than 1400 sf, and to me 800-1000 sf, if well laid-out, is more than adequate for one person. I spend most of my time in the study (second bedroom), sleeping (first bedroom), and kitchen. One of the best kitchens I ever had the pleasure of cooking in was in a huge farmhouse apartment in Italy where the kitchen was about 6' x 10'. Everything was immediately at hand, no time wasted looking for anything, and everything that got made was fabulous. I've also cooked in very large kitchens and the space had absolutely no effect on the outcome.

I also applaud your practical thinking in making another living level. I'd love to see a picture of what you do.
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:30 AM
 
Location: The Triad (nc)
17,600 posts, read 23,805,174 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
I am really impressed with your ability to live in 1200 sf.
What passed for a relationship fizzled out last year so at present it's just me; and I'm living in about 600sf.
The three bedrooms and half bath are unoccupied with doors closed which has me using the living room as a luxuriously large bedroom.

The (planned) upstairs remodeling in addition to the very needed kitchen and hall bath work...
will expand the master BR (w/ half bath and tiny closet) to have a 3/4 bath and 8' deep walk-in closet.

There is also a real possibility of adding the 2nd BR area to the really too small Master BR by cutting out the adjoining wall
and reorienting the entry from the hall... which will sacrifice that bedroom for a housemate to use (we'll see).
The 3rd BR will remain as is for an office or for occasional guests...

The decision on eliminating the 2nd BR is less about how I'd prefer to live than the risk of too much of a change
for the suburban neighborhood if/when I resell. I haven't resolved that yet but if I move downstairs then I don't have the conflict (again, we'll see)

Quote:
...and to me 800-1000 sf, if well laid-out, is more than adequate for one person. I spend most of my time in the study (second bedroom), sleeping (first bedroom), and kitchen.
Exactly. Absent overly large furniture and the need to host Thanksgiving Dinner for 30...
800sf is entirely enough space (when well laid out) for one; two if they get along very well.
This house is 1250sf actually but has too much wasted feet allocated to the underused and isolated living room.

Quote:
One of the best kitchens I ever had the pleasure of cooking in was in a huge farmhouse apartment in Italy where the kitchen was about 6' x 10'.
Agreed. The K&B people I've been talking with are all horrified that as part of the kitchen and bath remodel work I'm actually (gasp!) making the kitchen and hall bath smaller than they are now! But the space for that walk in closet and large shower have to come from somewhere.

When complete the Kitchen will be 8' x 7' (+3' aisle) and the bathroom 5'8" x 9'6". Still big enough.
Another contemplation related to the whole scheme is to create a pass thru between the living room and the dining room.

Quote:
I also applaud your practical thinking in making another living level.
Thanks. The original er, rationalization... was that one or another of my adult kids would be moving into the space... which still may happen but seems less and less likely. I'm within easy commute of two major hospitals and three universities so finding suitable adult! tenants (up or down) shouldn't be difficult (faculty, working professionals, NO undergrads tyvm).

Quote:
I'd love to see a picture of what you do.
If I weren't such a Luddite I'd set up a webpage...
Heck even getting my digital pictures down to a manageable (transfer) size seems daunting.

Last edited by MrRational; 09-12-2011 at 09:40 AM..
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Old 09-14-2011, 09:26 PM
 
Location: Florida -
4,950 posts, read 3,553,011 times
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Another possibility; ... one we've gone with, is Condo living (oceanfront initially; and now harbor front). Whatever size one desires, single floor, elevators, parking in the building, maintenance, repairs and upkeep all handled by the Association (I've worked as HOA board member/president), but that's optional. Pools, spas, excercise areas and other ammenities, as desired. Want to travel or visit ... simply lock the doors and take off!

One downside we anticipated was the expected feeling of living in an apartment ... But, that's never materialized (10 years, 3 condos). Ultimately, if you choose/need to rent your home (eg; assisted living/nursing home, etc), there is still no maintenance/upkeep hassle.
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Old 09-15-2011, 06:23 AM
 
Location: New England
12,386 posts, read 8,620,077 times
Reputation: 8955
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
We consider ourselves fortunate to have found a one-story house, just the right size, in the area we wished to retire. As hilly as the Ozarks are, the predominance are at least two level, most with an at least partially above-ground basement. But therein is usually located the utility room and hauling laundry up and down stairs was not our idea of a good time.

Between my wife's bad back and my over-used and abused knees, we decidedly wanted a single level home with an inside utility room (not in the garage) and found it. The only steps we have are three to the front deck, three down into the garage and two into the sun room. Those we can easily handle.

This was a major, post-retirement consideration since I doub't we'll get any younger.
I don't think you ever told the story on CD of how you ever found your place. You were on the West Coast--did you make many trips over time before you decided on moving to the Midwest? What made you choose that particular location over others? Or did you mostly search on the Net for location and your specific house? (I'm always fascinated when someone moves to the Midwest from CA ).
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