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Old 06-18-2019, 07:10 AM
 
Location: Central CT, sometimes NH.
3,472 posts, read 5,142,736 times
Reputation: 3528

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We downsized from 2800 sq ft home in a rural setting to a 1700 sq ft one in a walkable community. We don't really miss anything from our old house except the garage space. We are working on solving that problem by reducing vehicles. We are currently looking to eliminate one car (3 to 2) and a motorcycle. We have even given some serious thought of going down to one vehicle since my wife (still working) now takes the bus to work and absolutely loves not having to drive. Getting rid of unnecessary extra items is also an on-going process (we've been giving things away, listing items for sale, donating, etc.).

Our old house was an 8 year old custom build and our new one is 100 years old. We've been busy renovating, repairing, and upgrading systems (electrical, adding AC). We are just about done with all the major projects and are now looking forward to truly settling in. We always planned to eventually retire to an 850 sq ft vacation home. We are now giving some serious thought as to whether or not that will be our longterm plan as we might just prefer to retire right here and escape south for a month or two in the dead of winter.
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Old 06-18-2019, 07:31 AM
 
571 posts, read 264,523 times
Reputation: 1023
went from 2700 to 1900 - the problem is there crap is still from 2700 sq ft- OMG the fights we had of what to throw out - i have a three car garage with one car in it0 guess you can figure out who won and who lost
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Old 06-18-2019, 07:40 AM
 
242 posts, read 87,967 times
Reputation: 544
Went from 1575, 4/2, two story to 1725, 3/2, one story. Yard size is about the same but we have a pool now. We looked for single story, wide doorways/hallway, and walk in shower.
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:10 AM
 
1,622 posts, read 557,035 times
Reputation: 3076
Did downsize but it had nothing to do with offspring no longer being at home; it was purely due to both the property taxes and the cost of insurance (waterfront community) becoming completely unaffordable. If I could have afforded to stay there for the rest of my life, as was the original plan, I would have.

What size house did you downsize from and to?

5000 sq ft colonial to a ranch with 1400 sq ft of actual living space, which is 1000 sq ft less than what I wanted to downsize to; but 2400 sq ft ranches were not in my price range. The painful part is that this house turned out to be such a money pit that I could have easily had a 2400 sq ft ranch for the same total money I ended up spending on this one. But the property taxes on the larger one would have been higher too, there is no such thing as a 2400 sq ft anything hereabouts with taxes under $10K/year and that was my initial ceiling. Five years later I'm still under $10K taxes but only just; it'll top it, next year. (Those 2400 sq ft ranches are now at $13K taxes so it's all relative)

What size yard did you downsize from and to?

Same size, just different shape. Went from a perfectly square 1/2 acre (150x150) to a long rectangle (109x200, the short side being the front/rear property lines.) A half acre is my minimum for privacy. I've lived on 1/4 and 1/3 acre lots and the neighbors are just too close; but there's no way I could maintain more than 1/2 acre anymore.

What features were you looking for in a house when you downsized?

Was looking for a ranch so as to avoid stairs but it took me a couple of years to stop feeling 'vulnerable' in a house with a ground-floor bedroom; I much prefer them to be on a higher floor. Was also looking for a house with a full basement in order to avoid any rooms with a slab base; in retrospect I regret this because the basement here has problems that I've already spent a small fortune to only partially correct. I wanted a 2-car garage and ended up with a partial 1-car that is useless for a vehicle (before purchase, my contractor told me garage could be enlarged but lied to me about the cost.) I hate that my car can't be garaged but have to live with that because I'll never be able to afford to move.

When I house hunted I was limited to only a couple of specific communities that met my requirements for location and property taxes as well as house style and land topography .... the lot had to be either flat or with only a slight rise to the house. A number of houses would have worked but for one reason or another the property did not. There was one house I loved but the driveway from street to house was a ski-slope of more than 45 degrees. Not do-able for the future 90-year-old me.

But I will never EVER live in a condo or any kind of attached housing. It would drive me insane to have "shared walls" with anyone else. Even with all its shortcomings, disappointments and problems, my current house is the Taj Mahal compared to that scenario. I want and try very hard to love this house but it sure hasn't made that easy, LOL.

Last edited by BBCjunkie; 06-18-2019 at 08:24 AM..
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:29 AM
 
2,139 posts, read 524,377 times
Reputation: 3736
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lieneke View Post
You've sorted out the Will and ensured that children are not stuck cleaning up the mess?
What mess?
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:43 AM
 
5,405 posts, read 2,813,304 times
Reputation: 10101
Quote:
Originally Posted by submart View Post
Did you (or will you) downsize when you retired or when your children left home? If so,
A. What size house did you downsize from and to?
B. What size yard did you downsize from and to?
C. What features were you looking for in a house when you downsized (i.e. single story, no yard, tub free home, wide doorways, no steps to enter home, close to family, in a retirement community, etc.?)

If not:
A. How are you making your current home work for you during retirement (i.e. see section C)?
We downsized twice in succession. The first time reduced both living space and land; should never have downsized in land !!!!!. The second time went further downsizing the living space but went way, way up in land, like 320 times as much land, LOL. I love it.

We’re down to a combined total of about 1200 to 1300 sf living space in two buildings.

We went to single story this time (easier to move things around in—we actually like climbing stairs but not carrying heavy things up and down). Obviously, the “yard” is far bigger than what we used to have, one bathroom has a combo tub/shower, doorways are normal size, and there is one step up to the entries. Family lives far away, which is perfectly fine, and we did not want to live in a retirement community, just a real place that includes retirees among its mix without being dominated by them.

Some day I suppose we’ll have to give it up to be crammed in among people blathering about grandkids, bodily ailments, bad memory, medications, and obnoxious yapdogs. We don’t care to rush “progressing” to that stage, though. I really can’t envision living happily in densely populated areas. BTDT and it sucked bigtime.
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Northern VA
511 posts, read 631,117 times
Reputation: 621
Planning to downsize from our current 4,000+ sq ft, 4 bedroom, 3 full and 2 half bathroom house and 1 1/2 acre yard.

Looking for 2,000 sq ft or smaller, one-level living, and no or minimal maintenance. Extra bedrooms on a second floor would be OK.

Right now we're planning to put the house up for sale in the Spring and downsize to a 2 or 3 bedroom apartment. Might even consider a 1 bedroom plus den if my daughter and grandson move out but the odds of that happening are pretty slim.
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:37 AM
 
Location: Texas of course
563 posts, read 265,646 times
Reputation: 2897
Quote:
Originally Posted by submart View Post
Did you (or will you) downsize when you retired or when your children left home? If so,
A. What size house did you downsize from and to?
B. What size yard did you downsize from and to?
C. What features were you looking for in a house when you downsized (i.e. single story, no yard, tub free home, wide doorways, no steps to enter home, close to family, in a retirement community, etc.?)

If not:
A. How are you making your current home work for you during retirement (i.e. see section C)?
A. We had over 2000 sq. feet, it had a living room and den, dining room, 3 bedrooms, kitchen, 2 baths. Previous owners used the den as an extra bedroom. It was located in the country, my husband also had a shop which was about the size of 4 car garage. We also had a large pasture and barn.
We downsized to just a little over 1200 sq ft mobile home in a 55+ community. We all own our lot or lots and they vary. It has a Texas room built on, metal roof and vinyl siding for low maintenance.

B. We had a big place out in the country in Texas with a large pasture, now we have a little over 5000 sq ft yard and we're fine with it because we didn't want much upkeep. Some people here have 2, 3 or 4 lots. One lot was fine with us.

C. We wanted a smaller home in retirement community, metal roof and vinyl siding for low maintenance and small yard with fence to let dogs out.

Our previous home was bigger than we needed and was a lot of maintenance, we needed to make things easier.
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:58 AM
 
8,820 posts, read 5,119,154 times
Reputation: 10086
I have already downsized, but have not yet retired. Post divorce, I bought a 1441 sq ft 4/2 cute little house in a nice subdivision, postage stamp lot. Kids are now grown, sold the house, had been living in a travel trailer (on SO's property, 100 plus acres). Bought a new 5th wheel last month. It's perfect. Looking forward to retiring and hitting the road. Still a couple of years away.
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:06 AM
 
319 posts, read 150,271 times
Reputation: 1276
Yes.

Went from a 2460 sq. foot to about a 950 sq. foot house, and moved from Texas to Colorado (retired for the most part).

I found a builder who would build the smaller home -- it has two bedrooms, one bathroom, one utility room, and a combined living/dining/kitchen area.

It will be easy to keep clean and won't cost as much for utilities -- mainly heat in the winter. And no yard to mow.
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