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Old 06-18-2019, 03:40 PM
 
Location: Knoxville, TN
1,243 posts, read 586,648 times
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A. What size house did you downsize from and to? From 1800 sq ft to 2200 sq ft.
B. What size yard did you downsize from and to? Technically .4 acres to .3 acres, but the new house includes the subdivision entrance and the HOA maintains that part, so my actual yard is MUCH smaller
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.?). Master on main ( I ended up with a one-level with only the finished bonus room over the garage upstairs), small yard, neighborhood pool (I swim laps), separate laundry room (last house had the washer-dryer in a closet behind bi-fold doors and I hated that), close to family (although family has since moved)
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Old 06-18-2019, 06:44 PM
 
Location: Columbia SC
8,947 posts, read 7,725,979 times
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I downsized several times since age 48. First was from a typical suburban tri-level, 4 bedroom home to a 3 story, two bedroom townhouse where the association did all outside maintenance and within 5 miles of each other. Next was 1,000 miles to a 2500sq ft, one level, 4 bedroom, retirement home where I had to handle all outside maintenance. Last was 100 miles to my present 1400sq ft, 3 bedroom, one story, patio home where the association takes care of all outside maintenance as in landscaping and house exterior shell. I do not own hoses, rakes, shovels, lawnmowers, weed wackers, etc. I am a happy camper.
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Old 06-18-2019, 06:54 PM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
221 posts, read 147,361 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parnassia View Post
You could easily search this forum and find lots of answers to all of this OP. Not exactly a virgin topic.
True, but it's good to know what people think rather than just read articles. What is recommended vs. what is actually done is very different.

Answers varied a lot on this forum. Some went bigger, but most went smaller. It was fun reading the answers.
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Old 06-18-2019, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Idaho
4,621 posts, read 4,458,547 times
Reputation: 9035
Quote:
Originally Posted by marino760 View Post
For myself as a single person who has always lived in a small ranch style house, I'm infatuated with what I've never had. The largest house I've lived in since my 20s has been 1100 sq ft. The thought of an old wooden staircase with a beautiful banister is very appealing to me as is wanting more space. The homes I've lived in have been boring, boring, boring. I want a basement and maybe an attic too, LOL. All the things I've never had...
Re: the bolded above...

I would caution you about those stairs. As a child growing up, I remember thinking, "all the rich people had two-story houses, and they all lived above Foothill Boulevard". Eventually the circumstances became such that I purchased the house I described in my post. It was two story, and both floors have 10-foot ceilings. That made for a whole lot of stairs. Had to have a landing half-way up where you had to make a U-turn. Made moving furniture and mattresses up and down quite troublesome.

Lived in that house for about fourteen years before I retired and I came to really despise those stairs. As one ages, they really don't want to go back upstairs because they forgot something or other. Never again! I lived in a house like the rich people above Foothill did, and it's not all that glamorous.
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:11 PM
 
Location: KY
579 posts, read 136,472 times
Reputation: 1320
Yes. One level ranch house. With less sq. ft. to maintain, less yard to maintain = less labor and money spent. No more stairs. Laundry on same level as living space. No more extension ladders needed for gutter/house maintenance. No more exterior painting needed.

To me, downsizing is what I call "tuning" ones environment to be more compatible with their degenerating body. Because with every day of aging, we are going to need to be able to spend more of our money and labor on our bodies, than we should be spending on our homes. Because we cannot take anything with us anyway, on our last trip.
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Old 06-19-2019, 05:57 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
10,279 posts, read 4,856,239 times
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I'm in a 2 bedroom 2 bath ranch style house with a 1 car garage and a fenced yard. Previously I was renting a condo but the noise from the upstairs neighbors was driving me crazy so when I had the chance to buy this small house I jumped at it not realizing how much work a house can be for a single woman.

When I have enough equity in it, I plan on selling and buying a townhouse so nobody lives above me and I don't have to worry about the yard anymore. Sure I could hire somebody to do the yard but that's a waste of money since I'm capable of doing it myself.
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Old 06-19-2019, 08:09 AM
 
1,629 posts, read 559,576 times
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One thing I am in the process of changing is the type of garden (although not the size.) All my previous gardens had many more perennials and bulbs than trees and/or shrubs (I've never been into annuals.) But in this retirement garden I've decided to go very much the other way and focus on shrubs instead.

Part of the reason is that I'm constantly dealing with poison ivy and invasives (some from neighboring properties, others were planted by the prior owner and are resisting eradication) and it's a lot harder to spot and eliminate them amidst swathes of perennials; but also because shrubs require less maintenance (if chosen properly.)

I'm becoming more and more enamored of dwarf conifers and other shrubs that don't exceed 3 to 6 feet in ultimate height. And I've eliminated those that seed themselves around in a nuisance fashion, like spiraea and the dreaded Rose of Sharon. It's also easier to weed around shrubs than in beds of perennials; trying to pick grass and weeds out of a bed of creeping phlox is NOT any sort of fun!
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Old 06-19-2019, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Denver CO
21,159 posts, read 11,761,610 times
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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. Currently in 1800+ square feet, 3 bd/2.5 ba, 2 stories plus basement. I would anticipate looking for something in the 1200-1400 sq ft range, and want it on a single floor, and no outside maintenance responsibilities.

B. Current yard is tiny, and I've covered it all with a deck. This isn't my house but you can get a good sense of what yards are like in my area (planned new urban community, with lots of public greenspace in lieu of bigger private yards. I would be happy to have some yard space in a retirement home, but more likely I'll end up in an apartment style condo, unless I change locations

https://www.recolorado.com/listing/2...nver-co-80238/

C. Single story inside, no stairs to enter home is mandatory. My preference already is for a big shower, no tub, although I'd make sure there are grab bars in the next house. Walkable amenities - stores, restaurants, park, hopefully a library.

My mom actually bought much what I'd want, and my sister and I pretend fight over which of us gets to keep it down the road, because it is what both of us want in an ideal location in terms of amazing amenities all within a couple of blocks. I'm a lot further away from retirement though since I'm younger and I also waited a lot longer to have my kid, and he's still in HS. I won't sell my current house until he's out of college (and grad school if that happens) and settled down somewhere.
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Old 06-19-2019, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Podunk, IA
3,992 posts, read 1,806,395 times
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I went from a 2500 sq ft house to a 1400 sq ft condo.
I may still move again, either to a warmer climate or a house with a 3-car garage.
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Old 06-19-2019, 11:09 AM
 
5,410 posts, read 2,816,274 times
Reputation: 10106
Quote:
Originally Posted by submart View Post
True, but it's good to know what people think rather than just read articles. What is recommended vs. what is actually done is very different.

Answers varied a lot on this forum. Some went bigger, but most went smaller. It was fun reading the answers.
Recommended vs done can be night and day.

Standard advice is for seniors to live close to in-depth medical care, municipal services, lots of other people, eliminate yardwork and snow shoveling, avoid stairs and steep hills, make sure there is transportation for when they can no longer drive themselves, etc.

The above pretty much means living inside town limits, with the towns of a certain minimum population to support all those services. Not everybody is happy with that kind of living.

Soooo, do you live where you love regardless of it going against The Advice—possibly for another 30 good years—or do you play it safe by moving to someplace that The Advice says fits you but does not, possibly shortening your remaining good years due to unhappiness?
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