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Old 11-02-2016, 07:04 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,581 posts, read 17,567,761 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randomparent View Post
That's definitely not universal. I live in Colorado where people tend to remain very healthy into their seventies and beyond. Every morning, I see my ninety-year-old neighbors out power walking, wife in a sports bra and little else. Those two are something! Down-sizing at age sixty for health reasons is not common here. People who do it at that age most often want the freedom to travel. Also, people are raising children later and later. My nextdoor neighbors are in their sixties and have a fourteen-year-old.
Not saying all or even a majority are that way, but it's a sizable number. There are counties within an hour or so of me with life expectancies well below 70.
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Old 11-02-2016, 07:39 PM
 
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1100 sq. ft. rancher, with full unfinished basement. Just DH and me. The house size is fine, but the yard is large @ 2/3 acre. DH is physically unable to help me with yardwork, so I would like a smaller yard. I hate mowing the lawn. I sometimes fantasize about just letting half of the backyard go wild. I compromise by only mowing that half of the backyard 4-5 times a season. So far, that strategy has worked. But one very rainy summer, and my plans would go kaflooey. I do love my raised-bed gardening, however, despite a cranky lower back.
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Old 11-02-2016, 08:44 PM
 
3,460 posts, read 2,199,734 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverBird View Post
I keep wanting an 800–1000 sf house and tried to design something simple in case we sell here and build. I'm curious to see your layout! And what state you're in that has zoning laws allowing to build more than one property on a lot or acreage.
If you are into having a smaller place built, there is a book with a title like Not So Big House.

What do you know, here is a link:
https://www.amazon.com/Not-So-Big-House-Blueprint/dp/1600851509
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Old 11-02-2016, 09:38 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robyn55 View Post
I guess one additional factor when considering "too much house" is "how much land". Proximity to neighbors/noise/privacy and related things.
When I went looking for a house I kept seeing neighborhoods with only eight feet between the houses. In that space there would be an air conditioner on a slab and a fence and maybe enough room to run a lawn mower. Sometimes there was a masonry wall between the yards. The back yard was maybe 15 or 20 feet deep. Sometimes the yard was enclosed in a high wall so you couldn't see other yards and had some privacy but it seemed too confined. You still have a noise problem with the AC unit, dogs, kids, cars and whatever else is going on. As an old city planner I know the push is to increase residential density and limit sprawl but that was too tight -- too many houses and families packed together.


There's a Del Webb senior community near me with tinier lots not much bigger than the footprint of the house but there is a common space -- a social area with a club house and a pool so it seems to work a little better. It seems very quiet, almost deserted on most days... much less activity.
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Old 11-02-2016, 10:19 PM
 
13,912 posts, read 7,405,593 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
Not saying all or even a majority are that way, but it's a sizable number. There are counties within an hour or so of me with life expectancies well below 70.
Sure, but there are also the massively affluent leafy suburbs of Nashville where 1%ers are healthy well into their 80's. This is a well documented socioeconomic problem. The more affluent you are, the more likely you are to have a longer life expectancy and the more likely you are to have behaviors that keep you healthy. Few affluent people smoke. It's unlikely you'd be wealthy if you had a big drug or alcohol problem; or any kind of debilitating health problem. Your diet is probably better. You have the leisure time to get exercise. You've had good health care your whole life.
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Old 11-02-2016, 10:31 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
Sure, but there are also the massively affluent leafy suburbs of Nashville where 1%ers are healthy well into their 80's. This is a well documented socioeconomic problem. The more affluent you are, the more likely you are to have a longer life expectancy and the more likely you are to have behaviors that keep you healthy. Few affluent people smoke. It's unlikely you'd be wealthy if you had a big drug or alcohol problem; or any kind of debilitating health problem. Your diet is probably better. You have the leisure time to get exercise. You've had good health care your whole life.
True - it's an issue of affluence. However, that's something people like myself and from my area know nothing of.
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Old 11-02-2016, 10:54 PM
 
Location: Gulf Coast
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We're over 4,000 sq ft. A couple extra bedrooms for when everybody comes. I've pondered over and over how we have all the family here if there is no room for them. I can't figure it out. Could they get a motel? Sure, not nearly as much fun for all.

This much sq. ft. is hard to keep clean and maintained. It is not nearly as easy for me to keep it cleaned, and not nearly as easy for DH to do the maintenance. Property is large also and requires a lot of time. Ceilings are high requiring lots of ladder work to change light bulbs, batteries in smoke detectors.

We'd thought, when we first moved here, that one day we would downsize, and I struggled with that idea because the house is beautiful. But I'd have no trouble going smaller, if I could figure out the bed situation for guests. However, DH has gotten attached and would rather not move. I never expected this of him, he never got attached to a dwelling before. I'm sure we'll have to have cleaning help, maintenance help in some time. Maybe that will cause him to change his mind. Who knows? At least we're on one floor, have grab bars, etc.
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Old 11-03-2016, 12:38 AM
 
Location: Round Rock, Texas
10,781 posts, read 10,189,641 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
Sure, but there are also the massively affluent leafy suburbs of Nashville where 1%ers are healthy well into their 80's. This is a well documented socioeconomic problem. The more affluent you are, the more likely you are to have a longer life expectancy and the more likely you are to have behaviors that keep you healthy. Few affluent people smoke. It's unlikely you'd be wealthy if you had a big drug or alcohol problem; or any kind of debilitating health problem. Your diet is probably better. You have the leisure time to get exercise. You've had good health care your whole life.
I disagree. There are many massively affluent people who die before the average life expectancy. Cancer disregards socioecomic status. A lot of this countrys centenarians are from modest means. As for drugs and alcohol, those disregard socioecomic status as well. In fact, people with the means are the ones who kept the cocaine Cowboys well paid. The difference is affluent people can check themselves in and out of rehab like a turnstile with little to no detriment whereas I'd end up a skid row bum.
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Old 11-03-2016, 03:16 AM
 
Location: R.I.
978 posts, read 605,665 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastcoastguyz View Post
There is a cost consideration to doing this if the concept is to just reduce the size of the home you live in. If you have/had gotten a fixed-rate 30 year mortgage many years ago, but the time it is paid off, the monthly amount you've been paying it very little compared to the costs of a new mortgage or rent. So people have to do the math, because selling your home less the price of real estate commissions, can end up leaving you with a new mortgage costing you more per month. I'm personally planning to get help cleaning the house when needed in retirement than selling it to just get a smaller place. We already use a service to take care of the lawn and we will most certainly continue to keep that in retirement as well.

Or are we talking about just feeling the house is too big? Because if the expenses are being met to take care of everything with hired help when needed, it doesn't bother me to have empty bedrooms. I do notice many people when they go to retire looking for a new place that has one-floor living to avoid the stairs.
I agree. I live in a very classic New England town in R.I. that is surrounded on 3 sides by the bay. To downsize by building in this town is pretty much impossible because there is minimal buildable land left, and the couple of developments that are available to build in the single digit lots left cost around $150,000 and they are not in as nice a location as mine. Plus, the deed restrictions to build on them the house has to be 2500 square feet or greater and to go this route to get to one level I would end up with a mortgage. Definitely do not want a mortgage in retirement especially since I have been mortgage free for nearly 20 years.

The few ranch and other style smaller homes that pop up for sale from time to time are old and need a boat load of costly renovations where if I sold my home and purchased one of these homes I would be lucky to break even. Actually, my sister and I inherited our parents small ranch style home located in the same town a stone's throw from the bay. This house is in the worst flood zone in town, and I can recall from my childhood just during a heavy rain at high tide over a foot of water in the basement. For this reason my parents paid very high home owner's insurance, and with their lot a little bigger than mine their property taxes on this home 1/2 size of mine was not much less and would have been the same without their senior citizen and veteran discount. We sold that tiny ranch home for close to $300,000 to a woman who was from town and very familiar with the flooding issues and taxes, but she did not care because she wanted a house in that location, and after she purchased it put close to $100,000 into it in renovations. Even my father told us before he passed to sell the house when the time came because had it not been for my mother wanting to live up the street from her parents he would have sold that home years ago and built or purchased another home in town not in a flood zone!!
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Old 11-03-2016, 04:25 AM
 
Location: Western Asia
3,187 posts, read 1,443,736 times
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Interesting question. I'm preparing to retire within a year. We just sold our 4000 square foot 2 story home to our daughter and downsized to a new 2750 square foot ranch that has a 4 car garage. The lot size is smaller and less maintenance. We believe we have right sized for us.
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