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Old 05-26-2019, 08:18 AM
Status: "The nicest curve on a woman's body is her smile" (set 14 days ago)
 
Location: Florida/Tennessee
2,365 posts, read 4,302,446 times
Reputation: 1256

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hefe View Post
Note to self: Avoid Tennessee & the arrogance/ignorance demonstrably there.
Believe me when I say you can't see the forest for the trees. Probably 70% of the nation would agree with the advise and the experiences of transplanted NY'er.

Self awareness is important to cultivate.
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Old 05-26-2019, 11:53 AM
 
2,031 posts, read 858,396 times
Reputation: 5027
About 11 years ago, we downsized to a small ranch on a 1/3 acre 100x150 ft. lot in a suburban middle class neighborhood from a two story colonial single family home with a basement on a 40x85 lot. The neighbors' driveway was right on the side of our house a few feet from our LR and our bedroom, so we could smell exhaust and hear coming and going at all hours, so primary on my list was a bigger lot with more privacy and quiet. We threw out stuff twice a week for about 6 months before we were ready to move. It's mind boggling how much stuff we accumulated over 20+ years that we didn't need or want anymore.
Where we live now, some people cut their grass, some don't. Some people maintain their houses, some don't. I like the live and let live environment. We know people in 55+ communities and we chose not to live in one because of all the rules, and the lack of different ages, and the small lots, no fences or putting anything on your lawn, and the higher taxes and the HOA fees, and the higher purchase prices, etc.
With a 100x150 lot, we don't hear the neighbors. With a small energy efficient ranch, we run the heat or AC whenever we want without worrying about utility bills. Water is expensive so I don't water the lawn, just the flower beds. What has survived on the lawn is a mixture of grass, weeds, clover, etc., but when it's cut it looks like a green lawn.
We pay a crew to cut our grass, blow leaves and gutters in the fall, shovel snow. It costs about $1,000 a year. They have also cut down a couple of large trees in our yard at reasonable prices, chipped the wood, ground the stumps and didn't leave a leaf or twig behind. So we have the maintenance benefits of a 55+ or condo HOA community without the restrictions and higher costs.

Last edited by bobspez; 05-26-2019 at 12:18 PM..
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Old 05-27-2019, 05:43 AM
 
Location: Ypsilanti, MI
2,435 posts, read 3,659,178 times
Reputation: 4778
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobspez View Post
About 11 years ago, we downsized to a small ranch on a 1/3 acre 100x150 ft. lot in a suburban middle class neighborhood from a two story colonial single family home with a basement................
Quote:
We know people in 55+ communities and we chose not to live in one because of all the rules, and the lack of different ages, and the small lots, no fences or putting anything on your lawn, and the higher taxes and the HOA fees, and the higher purchase prices, etc. ................
Quote:
So we have the maintenance benefits of a 55+ or condo HOA community without the restrictions and higher costs.
Sounds like what we are looking for also. Smaller, easier to maintain, but without high fees and restrictive covenants. Driving through the nicest part of town yesterday my wife saw a gorgeous ranch home with a For Sale sign in the yard. I got home and checked the internet.

Alas, it had sold one day prior and the sign hadn't been removed yet because of the Holiday weekend. Four negatives were that this home would have been larger than our current home by nearly 600 sq feet, larger yard (but no pool), it has hydronic heat which eliminates air conditioning (except with a ranch you can install a full ducted A/C system in the attic), and the asking price was $100K higher than a reasonable sales price for our current home. On the other hand, the 2 car garage shared only a sidewall with the home and probably could be extended rearward to house 4 cars plus lawn equipment. The photos may be from early this spring before flowers bloomed and the lawns recovered from winter.



Too early in our discussions and search to take action too.

Last edited by MI-Roger; 05-27-2019 at 05:52 AM..
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Old 05-27-2019, 10:58 AM
 
2,031 posts, read 858,396 times
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That's a pretty large home. Ours is about 1400 sq. ft. plus the garage. It's a 3br 2 ba with a laundry area and an attached garage. It's not grand but it's comfortable. We set up one of the 3 bedrooms as an office/music studio and the other as a guest bedroom.

We sold our colonial for $385K, bought the ranch for $320K and put about $55K in upgrades (hardwood floors throughout, painted all the rooms and put up ceiling and floor molding, added two storm doors, added an island in the kitchen with storage and three bar stools, blacktopped the gravel driveway, added a trex deck off the kitchen back door, put up 200 ft. of privacy fence on the neighbors' sides of the back yard and side yards.)

The ranch had been expanded by the seller (who was a flipper) with a new roof, a master bedroom and a laundry area and second bathroom, all new fixtures and appliances, central air and heating in the new attic, and thoroughly redone from the ground up through the new stand-up attic, so it was essentially a new house when we bought it about 13 years ago. We spent about 6 months getting all the upgrades done before we sold the old house and moved into the new one. So after closing costs and moving expenses it came out an even trade.

When I got home from the hospital 3 years ago I was in a wheel chair for a couple of months so my son put up a ramp from the driveway to the side of the raised front porch. Even though I'm mobile now we kept the ramp. It's convenient as a second access to the front porch when carrying something heavy from the car. We put up an 8'x10' shed on 1" concrete paving tiles, in the back yard to hold the lawn mowing and gardening equipment including a riding mower I used until about three years ago when we started hiring a crew to do the lawn and yard maintenance and leaf and snow removal. We also put in two raised flower beds in the front and back yards. None of these items in the front and back yards or the fencing would have been allowed by most 55+ HOA communities.

Here's 3 pix.

https://tinyurl.com/y4phcyht

https://tinyurl.com/y5rucdku

https://tinyurl.com/y2qskrx2

Quote:
Originally Posted by MI-Roger View Post
Sounds like what we are looking for also. Smaller, easier to maintain, but without high fees and restrictive covenants. Driving through the nicest part of town yesterday my wife saw a gorgeous ranch home with a For Sale sign in the yard. I got home and checked the internet.

Alas, it had sold one day prior and the sign hadn't been removed yet because of the Holiday weekend. Four negatives were that this home would have been larger than our current home by nearly 600 sq feet, larger yard (but no pool), it has hydronic heat which eliminates air conditioning (except with a ranch you can install a full ducted A/C system in the attic), and the asking price was $100K higher than a reasonable sales price for our current home. On the other hand, the 2 car garage shared only a sidewall with the home and probably could be extended rearward to house 4 cars plus lawn equipment. The photos may be from early this spring before flowers bloomed and the lawns recovered from winter.



Too early in our discussions and search to take action too.

Last edited by bobspez; 05-27-2019 at 11:41 AM..
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Old 05-27-2019, 11:16 AM
 
2,443 posts, read 2,068,483 times
Reputation: 5690
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobspez View Post
That's a pretty large home. Ours is about 1400 sq. ft. plus the garage. It's a 3br 2 ba with a laundry area and an attached garage. It's not grand but it's comfortable. We set up one of the 3 bedrooms as an office/music studio and the other as a guest bedroom. We sold our colonial for $385K, bought the ranch for $320K and put about $55K in upgrades (hardwood floors throughout, painted all the rooms and put up ceiling and floor molding, added two storm doors, added an island in the kitchen with storage and three bar stools, blacktopped the gravel driveway, added a trex deck off the kitchen back door, put up 200 ft. of privacy fence on the neighbors' sides of the back yard and side yards.) The ranch had been expanded by the seller (who was a flipper) with a new roof, a master bedroom and a laundry area and second bathroom, all new fixtures and appliances, central air and heating, and thoroghly redone from the ground up through the stand up attic, so it was essentially a new house when we bought it about 13 years ago. We spent about 6 months getting all the upgrades done before we sold the old house and moved into the new one. So after closing costs and moving expenses it came out an even trade. Here's a couple of pix.

https://tinyurl.com/y4phcyht

https://tinyurl.com/y5rucdku
What state is your home located? In some retirement states, that price would seem high.
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Old 05-27-2019, 11:18 AM
 
10,606 posts, read 12,130,459 times
Reputation: 6500
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasperhobbs View Post
What state is your home located? In some retirement states, that price would seem high.
And in some it would seem low. I am looking at a house similar to the one posted by MI-Roger. In fact, when I first opened his post, I thought it was the exact house (the one I like has a flagpole). It is in Northern Virginia though---price $689,000. Not a price I want to pay as I'm downsizing!!

Here it is: https://www.realtor.com/realestatean...5_M59529-31579

Last edited by ChristineVA; 05-27-2019 at 11:55 AM..
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Old 05-27-2019, 11:49 AM
 
2,031 posts, read 858,396 times
Reputation: 5027
We are in south NJ, about 10 miles from the ocean and about 50 mi. south of NYC. Friends of ours who bought a new two bedroom home in a retirement community near us spent about $60K more than we did and their property taxes are about $3K a year higher than the $5K we pay. On the plus side, the state income tax for retirees over 65 is negligible if anything at all.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasperhobbs View Post
What state is your home located? In some retirement states, that price would seem high.
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Old 05-27-2019, 11:51 AM
 
2,443 posts, read 2,068,483 times
Reputation: 5690
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobspez View Post
We are in south NJ, about 10 miles from the ocean and about 50 mi. south of NYC.
Not a bad price at all for the area.
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Old 05-27-2019, 12:11 PM
 
2,031 posts, read 858,396 times
Reputation: 5027
After the housing crash the prices dropped about $100K then gradually are coming back. Right now Zillow says our house is worth $265K, but my guess is probably closer to $285K. Lots of similar houses in the neighborhood for less than $300K.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasperhobbs View Post
Not a bad price at all for the area.
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Old 05-27-2019, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Ypsilanti, MI
2,435 posts, read 3,659,178 times
Reputation: 4778
I agree that the home we drove by yesterday, and is pictured above, is much larger than we need. 1400-1500 sq ft is our target.
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