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Old 10-25-2011, 06:34 PM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,467,321 times
Reputation: 29071

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Quote:
Originally Posted by NY Annie View Post
I've lived in apts and in duplexes. I have lived in sf homes. Right now we have a 3,000 sf home that is also a duplex. I detest having neighbors. I would NEVER EVER in a million years live in a HOA. So we bought our retirement home. 900 sf, 4 acres of mostly woods. Yard work? Yup, I'm having raised bed gardens built - for when I can no longer bend over. Grass? Maybe. But then maybe I'll get a goat, too. No HOA to tell me I can't have a pet goat and no darned someone else mowing the lawn. Part of moving expenses that we have already budgeted and saved for include the lawn tractor, adding solar panels and a new roof. So what if I can't have a garbage disposal - the compost pile will take care of most of that and we will hire garbage collection. There's enough in the budget to hire help when we want it, on our time, our schedule, to do it our way.

1 more year until he retires. I am so ready to spend my days puttering around the house IF I want to or watching him putter. Or maybe we'll take a drive somewhere.
Put in two raised beds for veggies two years ago and puttin' in a third in the spring. Ya just can't beat home-grown!

Add the yard tractor and all's right with the world.
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Old 10-25-2011, 06:36 PM
 
5,090 posts, read 13,542,042 times
Reputation: 6928
Having a house means being owned by a house. So, to be less of a slave that demanding master, it is wise to have a smaller house in retirement. I live in a small ranch, one story with a full basement and a two car garage. I have owned homes multiple stories--never again. A ranch is the best, easier and more economical to heat and cool. It is easier and cheaper to maintain.

I look around my area, there are many small all brick ranches that served the previous generation well. These homes are in developments that have no HOAs and no homeowners fees. They can work for in retirement. Obviously the homes needs some renewal and upgrading. Yet, there are some homes, where the owners have kept up and they are move in ready. Today, I see many of these small homes that have been acquired at extremely reduces prices because they are in foreclosure. The buyers renews these homes and put them back on the market at good prices.

The Denver area, where I live, is building a very large commuter rail system and many of the stations are going through older neighborhoods which have these small homes. You can see these older homes that are being bought and renewed, by small contractors, all around these stations. These homes within walking distance of a station gives a retiree on great advantage--the benefit of a good public transit.

I bought my home, new, in the 1980s, in a infilled development surrounded by homes just a decade to two older.I am lucky and fortunate because a rail station is being built 1/3 mile from my house and a new big supermarket also within walking distance. All around me, the homes that were built in the 1960-1970s are being purchased and being renewed. The station will be completed in 2016 and then the properties will increase in value.

An area in Denver, where a station was built about 4 yrs. ago, has a large development of returning GI homes built in the early 50s, across the street from the station. These homes are two bdr. and 1 bath on a much larger lot than you see today. The homes before the station was built sold for about 50-70K. Now the homes are selling for about 175-250K with some renewal. Some lots are being scraped and larger and modern homes can be built on these ample lots. This is a result of the station and the it helps that the development is surrounded by more upscale housing in a very safe, secure and progressive neighborhood. Interestingly, right next to the station is being built a new senior housing apartment with age and income restrictions.
Affordable senior housing being built next to Yale Light Rail Station along T-REX | Inside Real Estate News

Public transit is expanding rapidly all over the nation. Perhaps the best location for seniors to look is at some of these older neighborhoods with smaller homes, near the stations for the need of public transit as you age.

Livecontent
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Old 10-25-2011, 08:31 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,920,408 times
Reputation: 6716
Quote:
Originally Posted by NY Annie View Post
I've lived in apts and in duplexes. I have lived in sf homes. Right now we have a 3,000 sf home that is also a duplex. I detest having neighbors. I would NEVER EVER in a million years live in a HOA. So we bought our retirement home. 900 sf, 4 acres of mostly woods. Yard work? Yup, I'm having raised bed gardens built - for when I can no longer bend over. Grass? Maybe. But then maybe I'll get a goat, too. No HOA to tell me I can't have a pet goat and no darned someone else mowing the lawn. Part of moving expenses that we have already budgeted and saved for include the lawn tractor, adding solar panels and a new roof. So what if I can't have a garbage disposal - the compost pile will take care of most of that and we will hire garbage collection. There's enough in the budget to hire help when we want it, on our time, our schedule, to do it our way.

1 more year until he retires. I am so ready to spend my days puttering around the house IF I want to or watching him putter. Or maybe we'll take a drive somewhere.
Have you checked that you can do what you're talking about where you plan to move? There are some areas with big lots in our county where you can't have livestock (like goats) - because the zoning doesn't allow it. As for hiring a garbage collector - it's kind of hard to do on a one at a time basis (at least at a cost that makes any sense at all). And you should take a look at what you should and shouldn't put in a compost pile - it's not like you can simply dump all your food garbage in one.

FWIW - I think 4 acres is a lot for someone who has never even had 1/4 acre before. It's easy to talk about in the abstract - but I think the reality is harder (and more expensive) than the talk. Robyn
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Old 10-25-2011, 11:05 PM
 
Location: Earth Wanderer, longing for the stars.
12,408 posts, read 16,471,196 times
Reputation: 8776
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadManofBethesda View Post
My wife and I (and our house, of course) were the subject of a 1/2 hour episode of HGTV's Designed to Sell when they first started filming in the Washington, DC metro area. It was a fun experience.
I never had the pleasure of watching that show. Lucky you, not many people can say that.

I used to watch some of the decorator shows. Designing for the Sexes, with Mike Payne(I think) was my fave. Some of the other designers were from hunger, in my opinion.
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Old 10-25-2011, 11:24 PM
 
Location: Earth Wanderer, longing for the stars.
12,408 posts, read 16,471,196 times
Reputation: 8776
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robyn55 View Post
Just curious - when you put in the new septic system - did you have to upgrade it substantially? Where I live - the standards for septic systems have changed a lot over the last 25 years. So - if you have to put in a new one - you're dealing with building codes that are a lot more rigorous (and expensive).

Also - here in Florida - if you repair/remodel a house and the repair/remodel costs more than X% of the value of the house (think it's 25-50% - something like that) - everything you do has to meet current building codes - you can't simply repair things to the way they existed under old building codes. One good reason to avoid older "fixer-uppers". Another reason is that you'll have insurance problems with those older "fixer-uppers" (you won't be able to find private insurance and/or your premiums will be very high). Anyone planning to buy or build in Florida should look carefully at the small number of things that increase your chances of getting decent insurance at a reasonable price (like no gables in your roof line - the existence and nature of your roof tie-downs - etc.). We save at least 50% of standard homeowners' insurance premiums because we did a few simple inexpensive things when we built our house. Robyn
Around here almost anything you do to your house will generate an increase in taxes. Even replacing your old but expensive kitchen cabinets with newer, cheaper ones will raise taxes.
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Old 10-26-2011, 04:03 AM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,467,321 times
Reputation: 29071
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldengrain View Post
Around here almost anything you do to your house will generate an increase in taxes. Even replacing your old but expensive kitchen cabinets with newer, cheaper ones will raise taxes.
That's insane!
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Old 10-26-2011, 04:38 AM
 
Location: Prospect, KY
5,288 posts, read 17,951,905 times
Reputation: 6544
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldengrain View Post
Around here almost anything you do to your house will generate an increase in taxes. Even replacing your old but expensive kitchen cabinets with newer, cheaper ones will raise taxes.
Oh come on.
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Old 10-26-2011, 06:47 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,967,079 times
Reputation: 15649
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldengrain View Post
Around here almost anything you do to your house will generate an increase in taxes. Even replacing your old but expensive kitchen cabinets with newer, cheaper ones will raise taxes.
In my state you have to get a permit for additions, outbuildings, electrical, and plumbing. If you add a bathroom you're in for a big tax hike.

Do the tax officials come in to do an interior tour before tax assessment time?? If not, the only other way they could know about any improvements is if you're required to get a permit.
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Old 10-26-2011, 07:41 AM
 
8 posts, read 41,571 times
Reputation: 13
We sold our house two months ago and are renting, with every intention of downsizing to a low maintenance house. We've spent the last weeks looking at 55+ communities, new houses, old ranches, etc. trying to make a decision. Yesterday we saw a house that was built in 1880 but seems to have been well maintained and is within walking distance of an amazing downtown area. We see a money pit but a very charming one!...and are thinking it may be a better investment than some of our other choices. Should we stick we our original resolve or go with the charmer?
Thanks! :-)
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Old 10-26-2011, 07:54 AM
 
Location: Lexington, SC
4,281 posts, read 10,730,596 times
Reputation: 3716
Unlike some, I do not want old, I do not want large property, I do not want things I must maintain, I do not want a garden, I do not want tools/hoses/power equipment, etc. I had all of those things when I was young. I do not want nor need them as I age.

I live in a new, stand alone patio home in a 100 unit (85 in, 15 more to go), 1600sq ft, one story, stick built, brick front, vinyl siding, internal cathederal ceilings, one car garage, lawn sprinkler system, in a development controlled by an HOA. I have 25 feet from front door to street. 25 feet from rear screened porch to a pond (not all homes on the pond), 25 feet (minimum) between home sides. All exterior maintenance (including the exterior of my home) is done by the HOA. We have no pools, no tennis, no paths, no parks, etc. Streets, water, and sewage are city owned/provided. Private trash collection. The HOA dues are only $600.00 per year. Yes these costs could go up. All costs generally do.

Home cost base prices (several models to have built) $100 to $125K. This is the lowest cost, no maintenance, private home living I could find and we love it.

Last edited by accufitgolf; 10-26-2011 at 08:29 AM..
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