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Old 04-17-2009, 01:13 AM
 
Location: Sacramento, CA, USA
84 posts, read 191,402 times
Reputation: 52

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Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
People will turn to smaller homes when oil and gas climb out of sight again. ... My nephew and his wife, on a combined income of 140K, just bought a house for half a mil. Unbelievable. What do they do if they lose their jobs? Who needs 3500 sq ft? (esp since she's a poor housekeeper! maybe they'll be able to afford a team of house and yard keepers...)
I've always lived below my 'means' too. Maybe I've missed out on some wonderful things some people enjoy a lot. But it would drive me crazy to have a mortgage I know I can't keep up with.

Quote:
Anyway, we'll all wind up doing what we can afford to do. That's the bottom line. My "thing" to avoid is prop taxes and other costs that will take up an entire SS income. if we're truly free, we can live simply and small and pay little and enjoy our time off from unnecessary chores
I see a trend for many people 55+ going into less expensive condominiums so they have a lower mortgage (if any at all), less to clean inside and no outside maintenance. I remember a friend asking me once (in my 20s) how I could afford to spend 2 weeks vacation in England. I said traveling is what I like to do more than growing my fancy wardrobe or going out to eat every night, or whatever else I could think of that I knew she did that I didn't do. She spent her money on what was important to her.

 
Old 04-17-2009, 01:14 AM
 
Location: Alaska
384 posts, read 877,310 times
Reputation: 186
mmhere - thanks for the sites. I think our posts crossed paths. One of my very favorite small house designs is from one of Sarah Susanka's design books. It is 16 x 40 with shoji screens, and a bump out window seat.

I have friends who built two 4 x 8 bumpouts in the living area that serve as extra seating and sleeping areas. They even have roll down bamboo type blinds for privacy if one wants. Great use of space, and guest love the novelty of sleeping there.
 
Old 04-17-2009, 01:32 AM
 
Location: Sacramento, CA, USA
84 posts, read 191,402 times
Reputation: 52
Smile Attain your dreams

Janb,

Thank you so much for those links. It fills in a blank space in my research to build community. Have you ever visited an area where either of these groups has helped build affordable or manufactured homes? My reading is set out for me. :-)

The Senior Co-op Conference sounds wonderful. I wanted to go to the cohousing conference in Seattle, but really can't afford the cost of housing and air fare. I 'know' so many of the cohousers through their mailing list. It would be nice to put a face to the name. You will get wonderful ideas from them.

The Small House group just discussed buying a mobile home park exactly like what you describe. It had a number of apartments and existing mobile homes to rent, so it would need a professional manager. When you get to that point, please let me know. I'd be proud to help you accomplish one of your dreams that I share.
 
Old 04-17-2009, 01:53 AM
 
Location: Sacramento, CA, USA
84 posts, read 191,402 times
Reputation: 52
Cool Great small house ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by miruca View Post
mmhere - thanks for the sites. I think our posts crossed paths. One of my very favorite small house designs is from one of Sarah Susanka's design books. It is 16 x 40 with shoji screens, and a bump out window seat.

I have friends who built two 4 x 8 bumpouts in the living area that serve as extra seating and sleeping areas. They even have roll down bamboo type blinds for privacy if one wants. Great use of space, and guest love the novelty of sleeping there.
Yes, I know Sarah Susanka's work. I have Shay Salomon's book, "Little House on a Small Planet," that is very informative about the entire process. It constantly surprises me what people devise that makes better use of a smaller space. I get a lot of that from the Small House mailing list. Almost everyone there has a blog of some sort where they document their process.
 
Old 04-17-2009, 02:23 AM
Status: "Could be worse" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: Las Cruces, New Mexico
510 posts, read 1,308,752 times
Reputation: 447
Default I'm a good Coordinator when I have a good Vision!


Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
Others, like me, are still tied to the roles of "wife, mother, elderly caretaker," etc. and by sheer necessity tied to places that are still supplying some kind of income. ... less likely to be able to take that leap into joining in on the ideas that have been going around on this thread, re: "community."

For ex, I love the idea of it, but in no way can relocate to where most of you are talking about....the West Coast. Health issues, family proximity, low income (cannot afford to travel to see family), and the need to keep making a living off the networking I've established are all major reasons why I haven't jumped on the community bandwagon....even though in my twenties I experienced community (this was land-based wholistic) and know all the pros and cons. We know what we want...that's a first step, but everyone's needs WITHIN that shared goal are strikingly different. I've heard talk of PNW, CA, Cleveland, etc etc...those are VERY different geographies and lifestyles. Some of us are also worried about property tax, and all kinds of hidden costs in a new location. It's complicated! Yeah, it is!

It may be easier for a lot of us if the community were already formed and the parameters/ground rules of the community were already in place. I know, I know...you're going to say "WE need to make it happen!" I hear you, believe me! But there are leaders and there are followers, and each needs the other in order to survive.
Hey, NEgal, my thoughts exactly. BUT, I know I'm able to take the lead on getting 'something', even small, established as a pilot project to give us an example to follow. So, no, I'm not saying WE, I'm saying ME. I've had a vision for a very long time, and I see what will be an actuality because I know what's realistic, and what's not.

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?
Oh there are, but most of us have noticed that they don't come cheap. I liked the one I saw in Tucson, (there are a few there) but too expensive and I don't know those ppl. They usually have an interview process to make sure it's a good fit. So, It would be much easier if we all lived in the area we wanted to live, but we don't, and most of us can't see investing in something we can't imagine, or that isn't very practical.

I was hot on ElderSpirit for a while until I found out that if and when you sell your unit, you are bound to give back 50% of your proceeds to the community! Ridiculous! So down went yet another idea.

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 transporation 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.
Right back at ya, again!
I am in the position now to provide the parameters/ground rules of how to formulate the idea into the reality. Every community will be different, according to the members. I'm not a control freak, but I'm a good coordinator, and very motivated to see things succeed, according to the wishes of the community.
Here's the path I'm forming:
1. I am/will be organizing a meetup before the end of the year. I can do that part by myself, and will consider it a success if even 3-4 show up. It will be an example for others.
2. Las Cruces will be a go. I think it will start out with me and Wisteria living there, and meeting up with DancingEarth up in Santa Fe regularly.
3. I think the PNW might be next, but a ways down the line. I think Las Cruces will be the example for the PNW gals. I'm not in that loop, but there's just too many of you out there who would like to see something to happen there, and they will look to us in NM to see that it CAN happen, and how it's going.
4. I will keep pushing the ball forward for group projects:
a) my priority is a book related to our group (with all us 'closet' writers),
also
b) some artsy project, like that 'Dancing Peppers' thing, or something to do with pottery, or art,
c) educational ventures-classes, trainings, sharing skills and experience
and
5. I will continue to focus on keeping our online "community" a reality. That means more meetups, and other ways of 'strengthening the bonds', and reaping the benefits of growing older together. We have so much to go on here, and I know most people need a 'model' to follow.

Sounds like several here on this thread have similar needs and goals and are attracted to a specific region such as PNW. Maybe it's a small group that gets things going...like the pilgrims! But I agree w you, it's now or never!

~~NewEnglGirl
NewEnglandGirl, you've given me a great post to piggyback on!
I totally understand it's complicated, and in fact, I had to actually read the 'thread title' again, which is "Women retiring alone to a new city/state--where will you go and why?" And I did so, because I wondered if we'd really drifted off into some 'commune movement' and away from the original thread. But, no, Wisteria has brilliantly provided a place for our voices, and I think we've all been thriving on the discussions. Some of us have serious ideas and plans, others love the hopes and dreams we bring out of each other, and some just love to know we're out there!
You're one of the newer ones, so I think it's natural where you're at, and what you get out of the thread. But, others seem to have provided a commitment to some things, but then I don't think I've heard of any major accomplishments of that goal. I'm not talking about the group thing, more like I want to say "Women retiring alone to a new city/state-where DID YOU GO AND WHY?
I guess I just expected at least a few would have done something by now.
For example, your situation, do you think you'd actually move somewhere new back east by yourself? I know you're not 'there' yet, but I'm waiting to hear from those who are or have done it, like ConeyIsBabe, and to hear their stories. But, LOL, even she's talking about missing warm weather in the winter! But, that's what I thought I'd be hearing by now: stories of making the move, whether they like it, what they miss, if they have regrets....
I really didn't want to sound like 'I did it, why can't you?' cuz I know I'm one of the fortunate few to have no other commitments or family to consider. And I'm pretty adventurous, so it's actually easier for me.
But some here, have been pretty serious, and so I wonder: what happened, is there progress, was it the 'economy crisis' that changed plans? For those in 'discussion mode', I don't mean you. I just lost track of those who sounded ready.
In truth, I'm winking at Wisteria and Nancy theReader right here, but I am catching up with them recently, and yanking their chain! (Do you hear me, Nancy?)
 
Old 04-17-2009, 02:40 AM
Status: "Could be worse" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: Las Cruces, New Mexico
510 posts, read 1,308,752 times
Reputation: 447
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmhere View Post
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.
Beautifully stated, mm!
 
Old 04-17-2009, 02:49 AM
Status: "Could be worse" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: Las Cruces, New Mexico
510 posts, read 1,308,752 times
Reputation: 447
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmhere View Post
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.
mm, LOL, bin there, dun that--- you ARE reinventing the wheel LOL. We've hunted, gathered, regrouped and recombined, simmered, tasted, shared and ended the session till the following year, when the new seeds sprout.
Forgive me guys, don't take me personally!
 
Old 04-17-2009, 02:58 AM
Status: "Could be worse" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: Las Cruces, New Mexico
510 posts, read 1,308,752 times
Reputation: 447
Quote:
Originally Posted by janb View Post
NCB Capital Impact


ROC USA - Making Resident-Ownership of Manufactured Home Communities Viable Nationwide

sorry for the short reply... I'm busy writing thesis + wrapping up some internships (due next week).

Attending Senior Co-op conference in May, and national Co-housing convention in June (Just info gathering, NOT BECOMING ONE (Yet)+ getting the 'mansion' (Casa Grande) ready to sell. It's gotta go. I'm feeling a serious cash crunch with having to cough up $6k for property taxes on 30 April (only 1/2 yr's worth).

But my first order of business is to go buy a senior Mobile Home park in an income tax free state. I need long-term 'steady' income, I may live there, but I doubt it. I may keep a place there and rent it to a site manager, and hopefully have an activity building with a small apartment for me, when I happen to be around . (very seldom) Mine will be very low restriction, exchange students, boomerang kids, and grandkids will have some restrictions, and will be 'guests', subject to expulsion if they can't fit in

Eventually I hope to build a cottage community with large greenspace / orchard / gardens / workshop, within proximity to a jr college, medical care, an airport, and public transportation (with friendly LT Taxes... mine used to be $800/ yr, instead of $12,000).

I'll let you know when that happens. But I may be my own first 'senior' customer. (limping around, and hunched over, but that's OK, at least I will have accomplished my dream)
You're always my hero, JanB, I know you'll always be there for help with the hard stuff! Thanks.
 
Old 04-17-2009, 03:03 AM
Status: "Could be worse" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: Las Cruces, New Mexico
510 posts, read 1,308,752 times
Reputation: 447
Quote:
Originally Posted by MN2CO View Post
How mini? 1600 SF is as low as I will go - that's stretching it.
??? We be in different leagues, m'lady...
 
Old 04-17-2009, 03:12 AM
Status: "Could be worse" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: Las Cruces, New Mexico
510 posts, read 1,308,752 times
Reputation: 447
Quote:
Originally Posted by MN2CO View Post
Did Anomoly get out of the wrong side of the bed?

What's stopping me? Pick up any newspaper or turn on any news channel. My home is part of my investments and I can't sell when it's at the bottom - how stupid would that be? I'm not in a position where I have to move, so I'll be a snowbird next winter. Fear isn't keeping me here - common sense is. I've always had lots more common sense than $$. So, relax.
I was sooo afraid of coming off that way. Yikes, that's not how I meant it at all, I'm sorry... I just meant individually, what's the status?
Dam CD, I can't go back and delete myself. Oh, jeez, AND I got your name wrong in my DM...ooooopps!
So, I guess MNCO, the economy speaks for you. That makes it hard. Where will you be snowbirding--CO?
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