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Old 10-24-2014, 12:10 AM
 
Location: Paranoid State
13,047 posts, read 10,428,989 times
Reputation: 15678

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We tried to downsize, but then upsized.

We lived in a custom 5300 sf house in the foothills above Silicon Valley overlooking a famous California fruit company. We retired & moved to Las Vegas, purchasing an almost-finished 3300 sf condo. In the interim, we rented a 2700 sf house. Then, the condo developer went belly up, putting our condo on permanent hold (along with losing a ton of upgrade money).

We found out we were really not ready to downsize; we discovered we really were not small space people.

We spent that first winter of retirement skiing in Park City & living in a 1300 sf condo; that's when we realized we really, really, really were not small space people. We upsized to a 3800 sf ski chalet.

We now own a 4400 sf house in the 'burbs of Las Vegas awaiting the completion of a custom 8600 sf house. It will be turned over to us in about 2 weeks. We're looking forward to the extra space.

Here's our new view:




The moral of the story -- if you think you want to downsize, it may well be worth your time to try a smaller living space.
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Old 10-24-2014, 11:28 AM
 
28,231 posts, read 39,872,938 times
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Good point. One of the reasons we changed our living style is stairs. We returned to Iowa recently to pick up our car and bring the last of our stuff here. The first time I walked up the stairs I was glad we moved to a ranch. We probably would have enjoyed a slightly larger house but this one is feeling more comfortable every day. We have already chosen two areas where can add on a room or expand an existing one. Time will tell if we want or need to.
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Old 10-24-2014, 12:32 PM
 
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Job loss in '09 forced us to move and thankfully a friend had a place for us outside Atlanta. Shortly after the move I obtained employment in Southeast Georgia. Most folk would not be very happy with the area as the summers can be opressive and there's not much "exciting" and "cool" things to do but we're happy because we're in reach of some of that stuff but like the quiet life here.

Last January we bought what I figure is our last home. I know a manufactured home is not in many folks standards but this place is nice with full 8' flat ceilings throughout the 2,300+ sqft, 4br, 3ba layout. This home came on a 7.25 acre lot that is about 30% forested, one large maybe an acre grass/garden lawn and the rest open with abundant trees. Our front door is 800' from the road and you cannot see it until late fall. There is also a 1/3 acre wet/dry pond.

We both are in reasonably good health entering our 60's and we have the tools and know-how to take care of everything this place offers. I guess we're pretty much locked in here since it's not what you would call an investment property and if our kids had to take it over they'll be disappointed if they wanted to liquidate it fast, serves them right. Just kidding, they'll have other things to make them happy.

I'm not sure I could be happy living in a down-sized condo or apartment. I'll take the aches and pains of riding the tractor and picking up branches in 98 degree heat over cabin fever in a 1,200 sqft box any day.
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Old 10-24-2014, 11:34 PM
Status: "I am Blessed." (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: Spurs country. "Go, Spurs, Go!"
3,399 posts, read 3,962,033 times
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Bump.
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Old 10-25-2014, 05:26 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,879 posts, read 25,306,858 times
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It took me a long time to figure out I was being paralyzed by 'Stuff'. My stuff, H's stuff, my parents and even grandparents stuff. And all the previously mentioned, except for me, are dead. So why do I have all this stuff? I had allowed myself to become a dumping ground.

At one point I was very worried about selling all of it. Lots of antiques. I listed stuff on e-bay, craigslist, etc. I didn't make enough money to make it worth my while. So now I am just donating truckload after truckload of stuff. And every single load makes me feel better. I am probably still going to sell some stuff. I think I will take all the copper cookware to a pawnshop. It's brand new and has never been used. I never used it because I didn't want to clean it! Next week I have a brand new aquarium still in the crate that I need to figure out how to move to be donated. One of those custom jobs that are built into the walls between 2 rooms. It's cool but I can't use it so it has to go!

I cleaned my closet and got rid of tons there(my stuff). And I have a sleep number bed/box springs that's going out to the curb on Sunday for trash pickup Monday morning. More space reclaimed! I need to move all my DVD's to their new home and then I can get rid of all my old antique barrister book cases. Probably made in the 30's, originally from Columbia Law Library. Valuable, yes, but they are worth nothing if you can't find a buyer. I'm still sad about donating the quartersawn oak pub table but what can you do if you can't find anyone to repair it? Also got rid of all the surround sound/stereo components.

So far my big reward is a newly finished room with no clutter and I can now see some floor in the garage. There's more than just a path out of the house. I was able to actually use two of my rugs that had been stored in the garage for years.

One day at a time. I need to just keep on getting rid of stuff! Everyone's stuff!
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Old 10-25-2014, 06:39 PM
 
48,516 posts, read 83,890,268 times
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I agree. Homes stay large because of large living/family rooms; shops ;offices and larger bathrooms; kitchens and bedrooms. Makes sense seeing that they will spend much more time there versus when they worked.
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Old 10-25-2014, 06:44 PM
 
Location: Paranoid State
13,047 posts, read 10,428,989 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tek_Freek View Post
Good point. One of the reasons we changed our living style is stairs. We returned to Iowa recently to pick up our car and bring the last of our stuff here. The first time I walked up the stairs I was glad we moved to a ranch. We probably would have enjoyed a slightly larger house but this one is feeling more comfortable every day. We have already chosen two areas where can add on a room or expand an existing one. Time will tell if we want or need to.
We were pretty sure we wanted a ranch to avoid stairs. I had a skiing accident 8 years ago (tibia x2, fibula x2), and there was a flight of stairs to get from our garage up to the main floor, and we realized as we age, we wanted a single story.

Living in a condo (1 floor) and a rental home (1 floor), we realized the advantage to stairs is it helps you keep in shape. So, the house we live in now is 2 story, as is our ski chalet. The new house we're building is 2 story, but to future proof, I put in an elevator that fits a wheelchair nicely.

But we really like the exercise of going up & down stairs.
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Old 10-25-2014, 07:39 PM
 
48,516 posts, read 83,890,268 times
Reputation: 18049
Yes we also bought a single floor home two years ago. For many tho they can not afford home on larger lots in many areas.
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Old 10-25-2014, 07:44 PM
 
Location: it depends
6,074 posts, read 5,331,639 times
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I care less and less about "stuff" every day. 1200 sq ft condo is more than enough. But it is a free country, so do what you want.
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Old 01-23-2015, 02:34 AM
 
Location: Cochise county, AZ
4,960 posts, read 3,451,255 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emigrations View Post
But a lot of the things we possess are often things that have piled up over the years. Most people are good at bringing stuff into the home, but it's difficult to part with.

Like I mentioned, my grandmother has an attic full of "stuff" and a basement full of things that were used when my grandfather was healthy, but that was more than a decade ago. There are lots of canning supplies down there that are no longer used, nor will they ever be used again. These things need to go, or at a minimum, sorted through and donated.

A lot of folks believe their "stuff" has value, when objectively it has minimal value. I was obsessed with Beanie Babies as a kid. My parents bought me Beanies...and more Beanies. I have several hundred of these things now. It would cost me more to ship them than the whole lot would be worth, and I doubt I'd get $200 on craigslist for them all. They are bulky and difficult to store, and filled up my entire trunk. I want to keep at least some of them, but I'm faced with either donating the rest, throwing them away (don't want to do that), or trying to get whatever I can get out of them. It's much the same thing with my hundreds of books, many of which are older, no longer relevant, and have no value. It would be hard to get rid of a bunch of political commentary books from the Bush presidency at a used book store.

Point being I think most couples could fit what they NEED in a 2BR condo (aside from tools, lawn equipment, outdoor furniture, or anything very bulky), and more stuff than that is probably not being regularly used.
Those beanie babies might come in real handy for the Salvation Army, Toys for Tots, etc come Christmas time. You're looking at families that can afford very little & little folks might really enjoy them. Just a thought.
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