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Old 04-16-2009, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Sacramento, CA, USA
84 posts, read 191,627 times
Reputation: 52

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Quote:
Originally Posted by miruca View Post
mmhere - re your post on community ... I'm aboard with your definition - I'm into making community work in a manner that is less expensive and more creative than the traditional over 55 villages. I like small efficient space - 800 square feet sounds perfect if designed correctly. I do not think, however, that I want an RV or manufactured home situation. Nor do necessarily want it limited to women - I just like interesting, creative people of all ages. Many of my roomates have been in their 20 or 30's and it works out great.
Sometimes rules can be guidelines. I wouldn't be totally opposed to living in a community with men or people younger than 55 -- if they shared the same vision. But, being a single person, I'd have to think seriously if the community has lots of couples or kids.

Not sure how it is on the East Coast, but on the West Coast, room to park your RV is a 'basic' feature of a home. Used to think I'd never consider a mobile home or manufactured home. Then I really looked into it. Changed my mind. I don't want to drive my home all over, but the newest mobile, manufactured homes aren't our parent's mobile homes. I'm particularly drawn to what's called modular homes. The big attraction is affordability, but they are extremely energy efficient and comfortable.

Anything that is less than 1,000 square feet is in the small home category. I've been completely blown away with what I've learned about small home design, efficiency, comfort and affordability. If anyone wants some URLs that demonstrate this kind of home, just let me know.

 
Old 04-16-2009, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
1,918 posts, read 6,247,221 times
Reputation: 2654
Quote:
mmhere: Used to think I'd never consider a mobile home or manufactured home. Then I really looked into it. Changed my mind. I don't want to drive my home all over, but the newest mobile, manufactured homes aren't our parent's mobile homes. I'm particularly drawn to what's called modular homes. The big attraction is affordability, but they are extremely energy efficient and comfortable.
I agree. I am finally becoming more practical as the inevitable is looming -- I am putting my house on the market (May 1st is my new deadline, as I had so much to do that I couldn't make my April 18th deadline). I am part of the New Mexico contingent, however....I am trying to keep my fingers in many pieces of the pie so that I have options.

I hadn't really thought of it before, but maybe a mobile home here where I already am -- in Santa Cruz! The space rents vary wildly around here, so don't assume anything on Realtor.com. I never thought I'd consider this either. I am trying to find a home for my dog now.... (Sorry MN2CO) He seems to be the biggest impediment to getting into someplace. I am so sad about it all.

I work really hard at problem-solving and I'm usually pretty good at it -- but some things aren't that easy to solve, if at all..... And, it's hard to remember I'm 61 -- but I have to get a grip on myself and start being practical. What about ten years from now (if I'm lucky to be around)? My property is wonderful and large, I can have all the pets, but....it is TOO large, I am struggling already with my carpal tunnel and I know I can't keep up this property. PLUS, the biggest thing is I cannot financially afford to retire there -- there just is NO way to make the numbers work, unless someone wants to give me $200,000????

So....I am now finally grasping the mobile home idea. If I were near the beach and within walking distance of stores and all, that could work. Ironically, most of the mobile home parks around here ARE near the beach -- which seems odd to me, as I would think they'd hide them out of the way...but maybe it's just that a "real" stick home here is so expensive...I don't know the reasoning.

There are 55+ communities and all-age parks. In a way, I'd almost rather be in an all-age park, so that my daughter could visit me, or maybe I could take in a foreign exchange student (if they'd let me)...and I think they allow more pets....I really don't know as I haven't done extensive research -- it's just another thing rolling around in my head.

For those considering the PNW, I, too, like Anomoly suggest calling each other or getting together. The New Mexico contingent has been emailing and sometimes calling (Anomoly!) each other, and that is helpful.

It's all so confusing. Why did I think I'd never grow old!?? But here I am. Anyone else want to think about Santa Cruz?????

Last edited by Wisteria; 04-16-2009 at 12:11 PM..
 
Old 04-16-2009, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Sacramento, CA, USA
84 posts, read 191,627 times
Reputation: 52
Red face Dragging my feet

Quote:
Originally Posted by anomoly View Post
Now why aren't more of you moving on these ideas? ... If we're just happy sharing ideas, then let's just say that. But for those who are planning on making this reality,
What is really stopping most of you??
Dragging my feet and not wanting to take a risk is #1 on my list these days. In my life, I haven't usually been this way, so it feels very strange. When I became disabled, everything went topsy turvy -- I can't just go do things like I used to do. (It also shouldn't take me 10 or 20 years to make up my mind!)

The economic downturn has caused me to scale back a bit since my money lost most of its value. I've had some stumbling blocks on the road to getting rid of more 'stuff' which I absolutely need to to before moving anywhere. (Twice in my life I got pared down, then my mom dumped a ton of furniture and 'stuff' on me and I had to start all over. Not saying I don't share the responsibility for this happening. It's a process. Some days I have the energy to make great strides. Other days I don't go any further than from my bed to my Lazy Boy lounge chair.)

If it came down to several of us wanting to move to the same town or share a lot, I'd be concerned about making a commitment to being somewhere by a set time. Yeah, I don't really need to worry about this until it's in front of me. There is still so much I'm learning about myself since I became disabled.

Guess fear of the unknown is big for me. Does that sort of thing become more difficult as we get older? Didn't think twice about moving 550 miles to a rural township where I didn't know anyone back in my mid 20s. I keep expecting this to feel like that, I guess. Another thing holding me back.

I suspect if some of us find places we like together, we might arrive there on different time schedules. Several of us have a few years of work left to do. Others can take the blocks out from behind the trailer tires and be wherever by tomorrow. Then everyone else is in between.

I'd be willing to meet up with a few of the PNW people, rent a car, then hit some target locations. Or someone could fly to Sacramento instead of Seattle or Portland and help me drive my car north.

This would give us a chance to meet and get to know each other a little, which might be the best way to light a fire under us.
 
Old 04-16-2009, 01:02 PM
 
Location: Sacramento, CA, USA
84 posts, read 191,627 times
Reputation: 52
Wink Developers need to make money too

Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
Anomoly,
I just can't believe that with all the "developers" out there, someone with some brains hasn't figured out a way to give us what we want...NOT gated communities, pricey 55+ yuppie communities, cookie cutter condo communities....why isn't someone with some $ and smarts figuring out that we could use something truly alternative and unique?
Ah HA! I can answer this one. Most of the developers working on cohousing projects had to look for people with a particular income level to make developing the project profitable. With smaller homes, the profits drop, even though there is a big need. A few developers and/or architects have built two or three-unit small homes on one lot. They got special permission to bypass planning commission rules which prohibit most residential lots to one dwelling.

Not sure exactly where the break even point is located. So many people still are stuck in the McMansion era. One person tried to build her house on her own land. She planned on 1,000 square feet. The county planning commission set a minimum size of 1,200 square feet. Lenders wouldn't make a loan because 'no one will want to live in a house that small' she she sells it.

It's much easier for most developers to keep doing what they have been doing already. Also, many people believe McMansions are here to stay. They still see their homes as an investment that must appreciate. I think smaller homes are where the market will go. But it will take a long time before many people change how they think about homes and simple living.
 
Old 04-16-2009, 01:12 PM
 
Location: Sacramento, CA, USA
84 posts, read 191,627 times
Reputation: 52
Talking Outreach and reinventing the wheel

Quote:
Maybe those who want to start some action should call a "summit" for sometime this summer, someplace in the Midwest ? where forum folks could get together and start talking in person. The idea of creating an intentional community from scratch may prove daunting, and so mayb e there's other kinds of intentional c's where people just live in the same city in different places and support one another...but then there's the transportation problem as we get older. So, it's more complicated than what meets the eye. I'm not saying it can't be done...it can! It just needs some realistic discussion of ideas and needs.
I'll bet the people behind Intentional Communities (the group) have dealt with this situation. I know the Cohousing group has dealt with it by building projects specifically for older people -- room for a nurse or caregiver to live if people need to be watched overnight. It isn't any less expensive than regular cohousing projects.

Maybe it would help if we reached out to specific organizations and gathered information about similar movements, then bring it back to everyone here. There still will be a lot of new things to discover, but maybe we can avoid reinventing the wheel.

Last edited by mmhere; 04-16-2009 at 01:25 PM.. Reason: format, spelling
 
Old 04-16-2009, 01:51 PM
 
Location: Sacramento, CA, USA
84 posts, read 191,627 times
Reputation: 52
Thumbs up Santa Cruz is good...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisteria View Post
I hadn't really thought of it before, but maybe a mobile home here where I already am -- in Santa Cruz! I never thought I'd consider this either.

It's all so confusing. Why did I think I'd never grow old!?? But here I am. Anyone else want to think about Santa Cruz?????
Sorry if this gets posted twice. It disappeared on me half-way through writing it.

Santa Cruz is quit appealing to me. One of my problems with mobile home parks or homeowner associations is that I would lack control over my expenses. Since I'm on a fixed income, it's important to predict my expenses.

Wisteria -- how many acres do you own? What is the zoning there? Is it possible a few small homes could be built on your lot, thus helping you with your expenses?

Sorry to hear about your dog. My pets are my family. I'd love to have a dog, but don't for the same reason you are dealing with now. I have 2 cats and have been turned away from rentals that allow only one cat. Couldn't bare to live without them. Hope you find a good solution for your doggie.

YIKES about how old I'll be in 10 years and how that will relate to my energy and mobility. That's one of the reasons I'd like to consider finding a large, single-story home and live there with several other people. Splitting the expense of everything we start to need as we grow older has big appeal. I've shared homes with other people before. The layout of the home makes a big difference on how things work out.

The small homes I'm looking at can be built and completed for less than $50,000, depending on what you install and how much of the work you do yourself. I think there are several manufacturers that sell great small homes where you can have the manufacturer do the construction. Since the house is smaller, it only takes less than a week to build. It's the only way I'll ever be able to afford owning my own home.

Many of the manufactured or mobile homes I've seen on Realtor.com have many, many steps built in the front and back of the structure at the entrances. Today, I see steps and I cringe. When I moved into my current apartment, I didn't think twice about it being on the second floor.
 
Old 04-16-2009, 02:21 PM
 
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
1,918 posts, read 6,247,221 times
Reputation: 2654
Hi, no I can't build on my land -- it is only a third of an acre, and in Santa Cruz County you now must have ONE acre of land per house to build!! Crazy stuff! Besides, I'd like to get out of the woods and back into town. I have a cute little cottage as an extra building on the property, but I'm not even allowed to hook it up to the septic system for the main house! Not legal. Zoning is very tough here.

I just spoke to a woman who retired from my agency, and she was visiting for lunch today -- I did not know that she lives in a mobile home, and she said her space rent is only $550 including utilities! Maybe she has a special rate because she's been there a long time. But it's definitely within walking distance of the beach!

I am waiting to hear more about space prices (apparently, they vary by the size of the mobile, location in town, club house amenities, etc.). Of course, I still have to sell my house.....

I feel bad about my pets. One cat is mostly an outdoor cat, so I am going to try to get him a home on a Ragdall rescue site -- he's a pedigreed cat! But he just loves to live outdoors. I have two in-door cats, and the dog.

I'm going to be on a fixed income, too, which is why I am looking around because I already have an idea of how low that fixed income will be! I prefer a stick-built house, so Las Cruces is still at the top of my list -- cheaper there. Santa Cruz, I could only "afford" (being a relative word) a mobile home. I am slowly adjusting to that concept.

Anyway, I'll keep you posted on Santa Cruz mobile homes. Like I said, they vary quite a bit in cost of both the mobile and the space rent and if utilities are included or not. I am just beginning to research.

Talk to you all later.
 
Old 04-16-2009, 02:34 PM
 
Location: DC Area, for now
3,517 posts, read 12,064,147 times
Reputation: 2141
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmhere View Post
Santa Cruz is quit appealing to me. One of my problems with mobile home parks or homeowner associations is that I would lack control over my expenses. Since I'm on a fixed income, it's important to predict my expenses.
The small homes I'm looking at can be built and completed for less than $50,000, depending on what you install and how much of the work you do yourself. I think there are several manufacturers that sell great small homes where you can have the manufacturer do the construction. Since the house is smaller, it only takes less than a week to build. It's the only way I'll ever be able to afford owning my own home.

Many of the manufactured or mobile homes I've seen on Realtor.com have many, many steps built in the front and back of the structure at the entrances. Today, I see steps and I cringe. When I moved into my current apartment, I didn't think twice about it being on the second floor.
I lived in a double wide trailer for a while when I was in college. It was nicer than I ever thought it would be. A PhD candidate had bought it and rented out a rather small room for cheap. Where the weather isn't too bad, they can be a decent inexpensive dwelling. They pose safety issues in places with severe weather. I would think that having pets would be fine since you own it.

Steps into houses varies a lot. It really depends on the terrain around the house and the climate.

Does that $50k mean the costs to buy the modular from the company? There are a lot of costs to building a house over and above the cost to buy the modular (the lot, foundation, all exterior things like decks, porches, steps or access into the house, driveway, walks, getting electricity and water to the house, and often there is work on the inside to finish it up plus the transit costs and crane costs to set the house on the foundation). These can add up to as much or more than the modular itself. As always, you have to look carefully at just what any building price includes.

I have a friend who built a modular house but she ended up spending a little more than I did for a finished used house at the same time. The house is nice but the roof failed in 18 years instead of the 23 years I got out of mine and it is showing some wear.

There was a time when I would have loved to live in Santa Cruz. But it really looks to me like California is not a good place to move into these days unless you have beaucoup bucks. Their taxes are very high and there are few to no breaks for retired or old people. I think it is different for the people who live there already as there are some significant tax breaks you can carry on with you. If I already lived there, it might be a different story but I think I would do better in some other states.
 
Old 04-16-2009, 02:38 PM
 
Location: Sarasota Florida
1,236 posts, read 3,612,654 times
Reputation: 1230
Cool Santa Cruz........ Yayyyyyyy !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisteria View Post
It's all so confusing. Why did I think I'd never grow old!?? But here I am. Anyone else want to think about Santa Cruz?????
YES, it would be one of my preferred options if I stayed on the west coast; altho I'm not close to being "ready"
 
Old 04-16-2009, 04:12 PM
 
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
1,918 posts, read 6,247,221 times
Reputation: 2654
One more for Santa Cruz. I think Nancy thereader would like it, too -- I know she likes San Francisco. But....I can only consider a mobile home. If you want a "real" house, you're looking at well over $500,000, and usually around $700,000.....

Why I didn't think of this before...I don't know. (Maybe it's from being from the eastcoast and the whole "trailer" aversion -- out here, it seems to be quite acceptable and a good cheaper alternative.) And there are popular RV parks here, too, for Anomoly!

If I could buy a mobile on land of my own, that'd be even better ... but not in Santa Cruz....has to be a park. I'll let you know what my realtor advises, as she says she knows about the parks, which ones are best, etc. (She's in Arizona this weekend.) But remember, I still may be in New Mexico -- it's NOT off my list!

Okay, making the list...checking it twice.
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