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Old 11-02-2016, 10:13 AM
Location: Saint John, IN
11,043 posts, read 4,018,064 times
Reputation: 13561


I'm not retired (20 years to go) but this thread caught my eye. We just downsized from 5,000 square feet (3400 main levels and 1600 finished basement). Our new home is 2350 sq ft and the basement which we are in the process of finishing is 1000 sq ft. When my first daughter was a baby we built our old home thinking we would have at least 4 kids and my mother living with us. Well, after 2 kids that was it and my mother never moved in. We stayed there for 10 years and thought it was ridiculous to have that much space. Not to mention the upkeep, yard, etc. Our new home is the perfect size and once the basement is finished it will be more than enough! I think about 10-15 years ago everyone wanted these huge homes and now everyone is going smaller.
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Old 11-02-2016, 10:32 AM
Location: Central IL
15,250 posts, read 8,585,320 times
Reputation: 35707
Originally Posted by Pitt Chick View Post
You obviously don't care to entertain family and have overnight guests, and that is fine.
But many of us need the extra space and want the extra space.

It is nice to have actual rooms and beds for everyone, and not cots in the living room.
Would YOU sleep on a cot in the living room?
Hahah...maybe that's the idea!
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Old 11-02-2016, 10:36 AM
Location: Central IL
15,250 posts, read 8,585,320 times
Reputation: 35707
I have about 10 years to go and am in a 1,750 sq. ft. 3 bedroom ranch with full unfinished basement. It's myself and SO who sometimes works in another city so plenty of room for the two of us. Especially if I decided to finish the basement and essentially double the space - that would be partially for some nice built in storage with the other half semi-finished to accommodate "messy" hobbies.

The yard is only 2,500 sq.ft. which for now I easily mow in 30 min. and another 10 min. with the weedwacker.

I don't see moving - just maybe making some changes to better age in place.
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Old 11-02-2016, 10:45 AM
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
5,372 posts, read 9,884,095 times
Reputation: 10251
We could have planned better..but needs change with age. If and when we move, we now want:

--Master bedroom on main with en suite bath (ours is upstairs with only a powder room down)

--More outdoor space such as a porch & deck. We love being outside and do have a nice screened porch but would love a four-season sun room and a deck, too.

--a lower maintenance lot..ours is nice but a lot of lawn/shrubs/trees to maintain. Would enjoy a smaller lawn with woods instead.

--a kitchen that's open to the great room. Now, it's next to the family room but not open to it. But it's a good-size and we enjoy cooking in it.

--a bit smaller. Right now we have a formal living room and a formal dining room which are rarely used. Our family room has an alcove just right for a round table that seats 4 and that's where we dine most of the time (except, weather permitting, when we eat on the screened porch).

Is anyone else familiar with architect Susan Susanka's designs? She published a book that I'm a big fan of The Not So Big House. The Not So Big House

Her designs strike me as warm and cozy and seem to fit the way we live (many of us, at any rate). I'd love to live in one of her homes. Kind of modern Craftsman style.
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Old 11-02-2016, 10:53 AM
382 posts, read 354,424 times
Reputation: 2004
I went from 2300 sq ft to a 2600 sq ft (including walk out finished basement) to a 1717 sq ft townhouse with a downstairs master. DH has Alz, and this home will be fine for me for the rest of my time. HOA takes care of everything. I do have two bedrooms upstairs, a small loft tv area, and a full bath. Plenty of room for visitors. However, I do not have a dining room Most visitors know I will not be doing serious cooking. Plenty of high end restaurants around for take out or wine bars, etc., for entertainment. I am in my middle 70s and I no longer like to take care of all the grandkids....too much work for me. If all children/spouses/grandkids come at the same time, I PAY for their stay at a very nice motel within a mile of house. I do not pay for visiting friends if they bring a large family with them. Paying the motel bill is still cheaper than paying the high property taxes and upkeep on a larger house. I do live in a large progressive city which offers many amenities.
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Old 11-02-2016, 11:00 AM
625 posts, read 384,183 times
Reputation: 698
This is funny. Most folks near me buy larger homes in retirement. I live in a 1,400 square foot house with my wife and three kids. The older ones are getting ready for college and we are looking to buy a 4,000 square foot house on a big plot with an inground pool.

I needed the small house as I wanted to live as close to city as possible and be in a good school district near train. Also had limited money at the time.

Now moving on I can pay cash for big house, and I have kids spouses, grandkids, inlaws to put up I need a bigger house.

The small houses near me were originally beach houses or retirement homes are around 750 square foot on a 30x80 lot. My neighbor lived in one and in summer he would open detached garage door throw a screen over the opening and lay cots out .Some holiday weekends he would have 18 people staying over in a 750 square foot house. Love it. Last summer I saw one of those houses where owner was bbqing on the sidewalk. No room in tiny yard so rolled it out there.
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Old 11-02-2016, 11:03 AM
Location: Sacramento
13,784 posts, read 23,836,202 times
Reputation: 6195
We have a 3400 square foot home we purchased after I retired, and don't mind the extra space at all. It lets us "spread out", we haven't had to dump off any of our stuff, and when we have company there is plenty of room to stay here.
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Old 11-02-2016, 11:03 AM
284 posts, read 260,676 times
Reputation: 715
We've gone in the opposite direction than many, but since we're youngish retirees, we figure this will be our next to last move. We honestly intended to downsize, but after looking at what we really wanted in a house, decided that about 2,200-2,400 sq ft on the main level was perfect. We looked at building, but ended up finding a house with 2,200 on the main level and a 1,400 sq ft finished basement. The main level includes all the living areas and my husband can't wait to turn the basement into his "man-cave". So while we never contemplated a 3,600 sq ft house in retirement, this particular house had everything we were looking for. We're removing all carpet and replacing with wood and tile floors, so cleaning should be much easier. As far as yard work goes, we've hired a lawn service that charges $40 per cut (every 2 weeks) and believe me, that will is money well spent!
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Old 11-02-2016, 12:03 PM
Location: SF Bay Area
1,424 posts, read 2,436,123 times
Reputation: 1776
I’ve been retired for over 10 years and haven’t moved from the home that I raised my children in, and don’t see a reason to move. My home is 1450 sq ft (3 br, 2b) single level that has an attached 2-car garage, no basement or attic space and the lot is 6000 sf. I’ve been in this home 20 years and the location is great.
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Old 11-02-2016, 12:19 PM
Location: Albuquerque NM
1,668 posts, read 1,534,612 times
Reputation: 3657
My first house was 1250 SF 2BR/1BA and always felt too small. So 20 years ago, I made the mistake of buying a 2600 SF house with a large yard for one person. It costs too much to maintain and I donít use several rooms. I wanted a smaller home but wanted to stay in my neighborhood and not many houses there come on the market and they sell fast. Fortunately I was able to get the house for a good price and I can afford it and the neighborhood is still great but my retirement home will be smaller. Iím interested in 1600-2000 SF with a small lot Ė a 1/4 or 1/5 acre at most. One story or the MBR on the first floor, 2-3 BR, 1 living area, a dining area rather than a formal dining room, and fewer but larger rooms. I' d consider a townhouse if there was some outside yard space.

When I relocate to Central Oregon, I plan to rent at least the first year so hope to have the opportunity to try out a smaller house or townhouse before deciding on an optimal size to buy. But as some have pointed out, it can be difficult to find smaller houses in the more desirable neighborhoods. Iíve been looking online for quite a while just for fun and most of the homes are more than 2000 SF. Many of the smaller houses are in rental or transient neighborhoods or donít have nice finishes. My friends in Dallas had a similar problem and ended up just downsizing from 4500 SF to 3000 SF but they figured the upstairs would be nice for when their adult children are visiting from out of state Ė my friends mostly hang out downstairs.
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