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Old 07-21-2011, 07:20 PM
78 posts, read 368,298 times
Reputation: 55


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!
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:06 PM
1,574 posts, read 580,683 times
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The resale for three bedroom homes is better in most places. Home offices are becoming more and more popular, and this, too, is a plus for resale. Having the third bedroom for a guest room is a good idea, for grandchildren visits, and out-of-town guests, too. In addition, there may be times when one of you is sick and you may want to sleep in seperate room so you don't spread germs. As long as you do have a first floor bedroom and a bathroom with at least a shower, you will be fine. The walkability of the home location, as well as it's proximity to your children's homes, is a big consideration, too. Property taxes, too. Also, is there a spot where you could place a computer on the first floor in case one of you can no longer climb the stairs? Good luck, and congratulations on your home sale!!
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:06 PM
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Are all other elements of both situations exactly equal? Or is one house in a more residential neighborhood than the other, one closer to a busy road, closer or further from neighboring houses, one in an area where the value will hold better and or appreciate in value more?

Calculate the WHOLE picture and it may ease your decision. Are you and your husband creative and still have enough energy to make the larger house cute? The landscaper can probably make the yard and gardens to a par with the smaller, again, if you feel up to it and enjoy gardening you might want to do some or all of this yourself.
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Old 07-21-2011, 11:07 PM
Location: Florida Gulf Coast
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I say keep looking for a one-story house with three bedrooms if that's what you want. With the second home, even though your room would be on the first floor, you'd still have to go up and down those stairs pretty regularly. Remember the reasons you wanted a one-story. The yard maintenance shouldn't dissuade you....almost my whole neighborhood uses a lawncare company to mow.
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Old 07-22-2011, 03:00 AM
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Isn't part of downsizing, getting rid of "stuff"?
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Old 07-22-2011, 05:35 AM
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
15,071 posts, read 19,013,423 times
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Avalon08 already said EXACTLY what I was about to say. And yes, I speak from experience.

in 2007 we "downsized" into what we intended to be our first retirement home. The one sensible thing we did was insist on a one story with three bedrooms - I agree with the resale issues of a two bedroom and I wanted an office.

The big mistake we made was buying a larger house than we needed and a yard that required maitenance. All require money and tine for upkeep. Utility and water costs are higher. Now that we are fully retired, we travel more and leave that big house and yard empty, but still costing us money and hassle to maintain. $30 bucks per week for the gardener plus the water for the lawn adds up over the year.

Are we sorry? Yeah, but it's still a gorgeous house. We do enjoy it, but will end up not living in it for as long as we intended.

DON'T get those stairs. We rented this summer (to get out of the heat of Phoenix), and the house has stairs. We are good bit younger than you, and the stairs are not acceptable for the long term.
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Old 07-22-2011, 05:50 AM
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I'd have to agree with those who say reject the larger home due to it being a two story residence. That alone is a deal breaker. My parents kept our family home. Eventually, neither could make the stairs, the upstair's, and the basement's. Not saying this would happen to you good folks, but I would look for a one floor house. Also it may be time to rethink your belongings. Seems when people move, they move the stuff, and after all that work get rid of some of it upon arrival. The time to unload it is before the move, not after. Good luck.
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Old 07-22-2011, 06:29 AM
5,822 posts, read 13,318,850 times
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We retired from a 2600 sq ft townhouse with no outside maintenance, to a 1900 sq ft ranch home with 3 acres. The stairs in the townhouse were killing us (3 levels). Being on one floor is so much easier on those old knees and although we have 3 acres, DW loves to garden and the maintenance isn't really a big deal. Cut lawn with John Deere zero turn once a week. When she doesn't want to garden, we'll mow them down. We do travel quite a bit but have good neighbors who watch over everything and cut grass or plow snow.
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Old 07-22-2011, 06:53 AM
Location: Florida
2,291 posts, read 4,946,814 times
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I downsized 5 years ago, planning for my retirement. I went from a two story 4,300 sq ft house to a one story 850 sq ft house...talk about a challenge.

This house only has 2 bedrooms, I use the second one as a office/guest room. I have a hide a bed couch for guests. So far, it has been slept on twice. My friends and family are local so I do not have a real issue with out of town visitors.

I would agree with the others, ditch the stairs, if you really want 3 bedrooms, then I would keep looking.

I also travel alot in my motorhome, so, I am glad that I do not have a large yard or a big house to maintain. The older I get, the more difficult it becomes to keep up with everything...also, I do not want to be tied down, I want to enjoy my retirement!
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Old 07-22-2011, 07:12 AM
29,988 posts, read 37,214,479 times
Reputation: 12765
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.
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