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Old 11-03-2016, 10:26 PM
 
8,996 posts, read 8,147,445 times
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Our home is 3,700 sq. ft, 4 level (garden level is lowest no basement), custom very contemporary home. Nothing to compare to it in town or near by. 25 feet of soaring windows in Living Room. Sits on 5 acres, across the street from the best area of town. We like it, and we are both in our latter 80s.

We have set it up for our living in it. We have 3 chairlifts to go between the floors as stairs are a danger for elderly people. We have a housekeeper come in 3 days a week to take care of keeping it clean, etc. One acre in landscaping. 4 acres in rail fenced pasture complete with barn and 2 stables. We furnish the tractor/mower and have someone come in and mow weekly in summer. Great view of the Rocky Mountains in the distance. Deer, rabbits, etc. are always in the yard. Big flocks of geese and ducks use the 300 acre field behind us all year around. Birds of all kinds. We even had one cougar that passed through the pasture right behind our back yard we have fenced for our dog.

Some people downsize, but we are not leaving till our health conditions demand it.
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Old 11-03-2016, 10:52 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,718 posts, read 40,123,670 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtrader View Post
Our home is 3,700 sq. ft, 4 level (garden level is lowest no basement), custom very contemporary home. ...We have a housekeeper come in 3 days a week to take care of keeping it clean, etc. One acre in landscaping. 4 acres in rail fenced pasture complete with barn and 2 stables. ...
Some people downsize, but we are not leaving till our health conditions demand it.
good for you,

Add an apartment in the stables for future caregiver (You might already have separate qtrs...)

Enjoy it to The End

I can be nice to age & enjoy HOME!
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Old 11-03-2016, 11:27 PM
 
6,735 posts, read 3,787,331 times
Reputation: 13887
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
I'm back in small town Tennessee and it's a different world than the affluent Indiana suburb I resided in. Back here with my parents generation, there seems to be a lot of priority placed on having a large home on a large lot, no matter how practical that actually is for the owners.

Over the last few months I've been back, I've noticed that most of these ~60 year old couples have way too much house! Many raised their kids in the homes they still live in, with many rooms of those large homes sitting mostly unused. They're still trying to care for these homes - often in failing health going into their 60s and those without failing health often carp on about wanting to downsize, but no serious effort is made to do it. These people are going to own far, far more house than they can reasonably take care of as they age, and many have been unwilling to consider downsizing so far!

Do you own too much house? Can you reasonably take care of what you have? If not, do you have plans to downsize? What are you downsizing from and to?
I'm looking for a retirement home. I'm single, 62. I'm UPsizing.

I had a 1565sf older cottage with a very large yard. I've moved and was hoping to find something equally charming. It's not happening.

What I've discovered: I want a decent sized to largish yard. Most houses with such a yard come with a larger house. They don't waste that lot size with a small house.

A decent to largish size yard isn't much more trouble than a small yard. I'll pay someone to mow it. It will cost just a bit more, if any more at all, than a small yard, if it doesn't need fancy edging and weedwacking.

Hobbies. I want a garden or two, a few fruit trees, some fruit bushes, and several quality shade trees. Those things require space and little upkeep (well, the garden will require upkeep). I'll be able to replace some of what I buy with what I grow. Once established, I'll have figs, satsumas, blackberries, watermelon, and the like, at very little cost.

Space. Having lived in a small, but well designed house, I am finding that designs in other houses are not good and efficient. I have to increase my square footage to get the good use of space that I had in a much smaller house.

More space. If it's not too much more square footage, it's not any more trouble to maintain. It means a slightly larger living area (just a couple of swipes with the vacuum cleaner), a larger bedroom, a larger bathroom.

Changes: I've spent most of my life in small spaces. Living areas where I had to be creative to fit normal furniture in, for a normal seating arrangement. Bedrooms where I had to measure a tv down to the inch to make sure it'd fit in the small corner (and even then, a door would hit it). Bathrooms where I'd hit my head on a cabinet if I wasn't careful. I would like to spend my last years having a little space to breathe and not having to measure every piece of furniture down to the inch to fit into some odd little space (although the creativity of that is sorta fun).

If I could find a cute little cottage with a decent sized yard in a good, safe neighborhood, in my price range, I'd snap it up. But that isn't going to happen, apparently. The only cute small cottages I've seen have almost no yard or in bad, unsafe neighborhoods.

You have to choose from what's available. If I want a house in a particular nice neighborhood with mature trees, that means the house I buy there would have to be about 2200sf minimum, because that's what is there.

So I'm upsizing, not downsizing. But I am retiring in a slightly lower cost of living area.
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Old 11-03-2016, 11:46 PM
 
6,735 posts, read 3,787,331 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
Unfortunately a lot of people in the "Old South" are in failing health in their 60s. Bad diet and not much exercise. Or maybe I should say that what they eat would agree with a very active lifestyle like cutting pulpwood for a living, but the amount of exercise they get would agree with a mostly vegetarian diet with severely restricted calories.

I guess I can say that because I am from there.
This is true. I'm from the deep south. Been decades in "the big city" in another state. Now I'm back in the deep south house hunting for a retirement house.

I was astonished when I started going to the local WalMart and other stores at how many obese and morbidly obese people there were! The majority of people I saw were overweight, with a not insignificant percentage of them being obese.

I don't think it was that way when I left 30 years ago. What the heck happened? Or was it that way, and I just don't remember?

My dad is an exception. Mid 80s and still very active and in pretty good shape. He cares for his yard himself. It's half an acre with all sorts of landscaping and fruit trees and who knows what. There are others like him. So it's possible to be healthy and live in the deep south.

OTOH, when I went on business trips to New York a few times, to Times Square area, I was struck at how there were very few overweight people. Either it's because they walk everywhere, or because you had to walk around that area, overweight people tended not to work there? But not a lot of overweight people.
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Old 11-03-2016, 11:54 PM
 
6,735 posts, read 3,787,331 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowsnow View Post
Downsizing was the best thing I ever did! My old house was 2 story, 1ac lot(on a hill of course), and a triple driveway. Beautiful because it was waterfront but way too much work. It was in Minnesota and you just haven't lived till you are treated to shoveling a triple driveway! Especially the 2 tons of ice at the end that was deposited by the snowplow! And it was in the middle of no where so there was nothing to do.

The house I have now is 1500sf in Las Vegas. No yard work, just rocks and cactus. And no shoveling. 2br, 2 ba, 2 car and a pool! Perfect for me!
OMG! From Minnesota to Vegas? How have you managed the extreme heat there?
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Old 11-04-2016, 05:38 AM
 
Location: Floyd Co, VA
3,416 posts, read 5,154,140 times
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First Oakland house a 2/1 about 800 sf on very busy street with a shared driveway. Lived there for 8 years.

Second Oakland house another 2/1 but about 1200 sf on a quiet cul-de-sac. Lived there for 16 years.

Each of those homes were situated on tiny city lots, less than 1/10 of a acre.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TuborgP View Post
The key question is not if you planned home size appropriately when you are beginning retirement but whether 5-10 years into retirement you look back and decide then if you did it right.
Third and hopefully last house that I retired to 11 years ago. Rural VA. 2,800 sf plus a 24 x 48 garage. it's on 28 acres. Also has a 16' x 24' covered back porch that I spend a lot of time on. The big back yard was already well fenced to contain dogs.

I was not looking for this much house or land but when you fly cross country and have just 5 days to find a place to BUY in a county with about 5,000 housing units, with some of them being apartments, the selection is very limited. I would never have found a place to rent with 4 big dogs and a cat.

I did not want a place with a 1/4 mile winding, steep, rutted dirt driveway to get to a rutted dirt road, then 4 miles until you hit a paved road, etc. I have a 250' flat paved driveway and am just .3 miles to the main east -west road of the county and about 10 miles to town.

Main level is about 2,000 sf and has everything I need. Upstairs is around 800 sf and has a very large bedroom with a deck off it, a full bath and a spacious sitting/family room. If I reach the point where I need live in help I've got the room.

A friend pastures several horses here and if there is a deep snow he has to plow my driveway to bring them hay bales. In the summer he comes over with his big riding mower and does the front and side yards, I do the back with my equipment.

So in a sense this is more than I need but the property can be divided and 1 more home built on it so I may sell 15 - 20 acres at some point. I still think that I made the right choice for the long run. If I ever needed critical care a medevac helicopter has room to land in the front, side or back yards.

Last edited by zugor; 11-04-2016 at 05:54 AM..
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Old 11-04-2016, 07:41 AM
 
2,952 posts, read 1,650,261 times
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2 of us. Went from 6000 sq ft to 3000 sq ft. During the peak of the market, 2005. Made 7 figures on the old house which paid for the new.
One story. I can't go any smaller. In fact about 300 sq ft more would be good. Thought about adding on but too busy now.

I'm leaving this house feet first. The EMT's will be taking me out covered in a sheet. Last house we'll own. Its got the view, wildlife, location.

And we've overdone it on the remodeling. But we want to live in it the way we want, not what some agent thinks it'd bring resale. In a location where snowbirds go. Our heirs will probably keep it for a get away home.
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Old 11-04-2016, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,740 posts, read 17,696,480 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SportyandMisty View Post
An elevator is only about $50K.

Yes, we have a home gym. And a home theater set to host sports viewing events - several screens, and the main screen can be fed through a video processor so it is segmented into 4 smaller screens, each with its own game on.

We have a dining room large enough to comfortably seat 16 (custom furniture).

We do like to entertain; 3 or 4 times a year we throw a party for a hundred or so guests, or host a fundraiser for our favorite charity, so we have ample cooking & prep space for the catering staff, and full bar setup for the bartenders both upstairs and downstairs.
You're obviously quite affluent. An elevator for "only $50k" is a cheap house around here. If you can afford segmented home theaters and multiple bars in your home, downsizing is absolutely not a financial necessity at all. Many people downsize out of financial necessity or of the difficulty in upkeep. An affluent person can just pay other people to perform the maintenance and stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
Unfortunately a lot of people in the "Old South" are in failing health in their 60s. Bad diet and not much exercise. Or maybe I should say that what they eat would agree with a very active lifestyle like cutting pulpwood for a living, but the amount of exercise they get would agree with a mostly vegetarian diet with severely restricted calories.

I guess I can say that because I am from there.
True. Not really a house thing per se but many of these people are in bad shape and just can't take care of a house like they used to. Yes, there are plenty of healthy 60 year olds here, but also a probably higher than average proportion in poor health.

It would definitely contribute to them downsizing sooner.

Last edited by Serious Conversation; 11-04-2016 at 08:40 AM..
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Old 11-04-2016, 10:40 AM
 
Location: Paranoid State
13,047 posts, read 10,489,371 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
It's a matter of perspective. If you're a 5%er, "it's a feature". If you live in Eastern Nowhere, TN where the median household income is $25K and most people you know are a physical wreck by age 60, your point of view is incredibly insensitive.
No, my point of view is not insensitive. Here's what you miss: Half the people will have above average health, and half the people will have below average. This is not fictional Lake Wobegon where everyone is above average. There is only so much that we control. Much of health is genetics and luck, neither of which we can control. What we can control is taking care of ourselves.

What you point out is merely that it is smart to take care of yourself. It is also smart not to play with matches, jump off a bridge, or play on the freeway. Even so, affluent people do indeed engage in risky activities such as skiing and skydiving.
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Old 11-04-2016, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Paranoid State
13,047 posts, read 10,489,371 times
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Originally Posted by jasperhobbs View Post
You are running neck and neck with another on city data forum as the richest poster. Be right back, I am going to check the Vegas line to see who I am betting on.
Hardly. I am not rich. I am far, far from rich. Perhaps if my net worth were 10x or 20x -- but I am not rich.
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