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Old 02-12-2014, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
34,694 posts, read 33,709,656 times
Reputation: 51924

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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleDolphin View Post
If smaller, more economical homes are being marketed as "starters," why do they not market smaller, economical homes to retirees as "enders."
Because we have "stuff."

"Starter home" is code for "not a lot of closets." <kidding>
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Old 02-12-2014, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Miraflores
786 posts, read 895,355 times
Reputation: 1531
You can't mention "Trailer Park" without throwing down some "trailer trash" jokes!

You know you are Trailer Park Trash when:::
-Your house moves but your twelve cars don't.

-You take your dog for a walk and you both use the same tree.

-You can entertain yourself for more than 15 minutes with a fly swatter.

-Your boat has not left the driveway in 15 years.

-You burn your yard rather than mow it.

-You think "The Nutcracker" is something you do off the high dive.

-The Salvation Army declines your furniture.

-You offer to give someone the shirt off your back and they don't want it.

-You have the local taxidermist on speed dial.

-You come back from the dump with more than you took.

- You keep a can of Raid on the kitchen table.

- Your wife can climb a tree faster than your cat.

- Your grandmother has "ammo" on her Christmas list.

-You keep flea and tick soap in the shower.

-You've been involved in a custody fight over a hunting dog.

- You go to the stock car races and don't need a program.

-You know how many bales of hay your car will hold.

-You have a rag for a gas cap.

-Your house doesn't have curtains, but your truck does.

-You wonder how service stations keep their rest-rooms so clean.

-You can spit without opening your mouth.

-You consider your license plate personalized because your father made it.

-Your lifetime goal is to own a fireworks stand.

-You have a complete set of salad bowls and they all say "Cool Whip" on the side.

-The biggest city you've ever been to is Wal-Mart.

-Your working TV sits on top of your non-working TV.

-You've used your ironing board as a buffet table.

-A tornado hits your neighborhood and does $100,000 worth of improvements.

-You've used a toilet brush to scratch your back.

-You missed your 5th grade graduation because you were on jury duty.

-You think fast food is hitting a deer at 65.

-You let your twelve-year-old daughter smoke at the dinner table . . . in front of her kids.

-You've been married three times and still have the same in-laws.

-You think a woman who is "out of your league" bowls on a different night.

-Jack Daniels makes your list of "most admired people."

-You wonder how service stations keep their restrooms so clean.

-Anyone in your family ever died right after saying: "Hey watch this."

-You think Dom Perignon is a Mafia leader.

-Your wife's hairdo was once ruined by a ceiling fan.

-Your junior prom had a daycare.

-You think the last words of the Star Spangled Banner are:
"Gentlemen start your engines."

-You lit a match in the bathroom and your house exploded right off its wheels.

-The bluebook value of your truck goes up and down, depending on how much gas is in it.

-You have to go outside to get something from the fridge.

-One of your kids was born on a pool table.

-You need one more hole punched in your card to get a freebie at the House of Tattoos.

-You can't get married to your sweetheart because there's a law against it.

-You think "loaded dishwasher" means your wife is drunk.

-Your toilet paper has page numbers on it.

-Your front porch collapses and kills more than five animals.

-At some point in your life you've been too drunk to fish.

-The Halloween pumpkin on your porch has more teeth than your spouse.
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Old 02-12-2014, 10:58 AM
 
Location: Albuquerque NM
1,661 posts, read 1,527,824 times
Reputation: 3650
Great list, Alpineprince! I plan to share it with family and some friends. Having been raised in the deep South and living in a mobile home for several of those years, I can relate to some of these.

Getting back to the subject, we have one 55+ manufactured home park in my city and it is rather nice but I don't know what the fees are or if there are noise complaints, etc. My impression though is that the quality of living is good. Then there are several other parks not limited to 55+ that are real dumps - I don't know of one nice one although some are dumpier than others.

My older sister is retired and lives in Oregon in a manufactured home on five acres. She wanted to have a horse and that is the only way she could afford to live in the country and own that much land. The community is an old ranch that was subdivided into 2-10 acre parcels. Mainly manufactured homes but some regular homes. While the community is not limited to 55+, most of the people living there seem to be older and take good care of their property and animals. Of course there are some outliers. She was able to get a good deal on the place because the home was used and the place was a dump with old junk all over the place. It was a lot of work cleaning it up, hauling junk to the dump, painting and recarpeting, putting in a new well, insulating the pipes so these did not freeze every winter, fencing the place (she used lots of the bits and pieces of miscellaneous fencing that was cluttering up the yard), putting in small grassed and fenced yards in the front and back, building a small barn, etc. But it is now quite nice and comfortable although nothing elaborate. Lots of wildlife.
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Old 02-12-2014, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
5,372 posts, read 9,869,967 times
Reputation: 10243
Yes, I agree with the size concept of around 1300 sf is ideal for two retiree people. That's my dream house--kind of like the adorable bungalows from the 1920's.

I want a home with a good-sized open concept kitchen--not walling away the chef from the activity.

Add in a nice wood/gas fireplace, bedrooms with built-in computer nooks, lots of practical closets and a nice-sized kitchen with good light and great storage...and please make the kitchen sink overlook a view.

It would be great if the soaking tub in the master bedroom had a window overlooking some cool and private scene--maybe a flower-filled grotto with a fountain?

Right now we have both a formal living room and a formal dining room. The living room gets used for yoga a couple of times a week--and the dining room is used maybe 2-6 times a year. Otherwise we eat in the dining nook in the family room--that's also where we have our 'media center" aka tv/sound system.

So we could easily live without the living room and the dining room.

And I'd want the house built from easy-care materials and very energy-smart and well-insulated. Don't want to spend my Golden Years doing home maintenance.
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Old 02-12-2014, 01:07 PM
 
Location: Vermont
371 posts, read 397,273 times
Reputation: 755
I've lived in two "manufactured" homes in New Hampshire, both on their own land. The first was an older (1987) double-wide on a poured concrete foundation. That one had all the water connections, etc. in the basement so the only problems we had were finding the right plumbing parts. All the faucets and fittings were different than standard stuff, so only a mobile home dealer could supply them. This was a better-quality home than the second one, but still a pain in the butt whenever anything broke, which was often.

The second home was new when I moved in (2002) but of lesser quality. It was on a concrete slab, no basement. That one had issues with water pipes freezing (you need heat tape in the northeast) and if you lose power, good luck keeping the pipes warm. It's the forced hot air ducts that keep the pipes from freezing, and heat tape on the main line coming up from the ground. No plumber would work on it, and I could see why. Who wants to work in a cramped, freezing, dark crawl space? The vinyl siding was so cheap it cracked the first winter.

Roofs are an issue with these homes in the northeast as well. They are not designed to handle heavy snow load. I put standing seam on both homes, but still needed to roof rake as the pitch on a double-wide isn't steep enough to effectively shed snow.

Both were reasonable to heat, but not as reasonable as a stick-built or modular house of the same size. The walls and floors are thin. I think these homes make sense in climates without heavy snow or severe cold, but not where there are hurricanes and/or tornadoes. They are usually tied down but wind is their enemy and they rarely fare well in that kind of weather. I don't know that I would live in one again in the northeast, simply due to the maintenance.

One thing to be careful of in a park setting is the possible sale of the park. This has happened twice in Vermont, where the owner decides to sell the park to a developer and everyone has to move. Co-op parks eliminate this possibility but require a buy-in.

I have a 800 sq. ft. house in Vermont that is very efficient but I can't seem to sell it. Everyone that comes wants bigger. Mostly they are young couples and not only want more space, but more amenities as well, such as granite countertops and more than one bathroom. I keep hoping for an empty nester that wants to downsize to a manageable and affordable property, but so far, no such luck. But I didn't mind living there. I'm from NYC, so am used to very small spaces. Actually, my apartment in NYC is bigger than my house in Vermont lol. Maybe this will be my lucky year for selling it!
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Old 02-13-2014, 07:18 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,988,950 times
Reputation: 15649
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZDesertBrat View Post
My place is small too, about the same as yours. It's quite comfy for me and two cats.

I read in our paper that they are rehabbing a big building in town to turn it into senior housing. We have long been a magnet area for retirees and have tons of 55+ communities...mostly mfg. homes but realllly nice AND cheap. I did give some thought to what it might be like to live in a place like that but as much as I hated apt. living I wouldn't really want to.

At the Eastern States Exposition in Feb they're having a "tiny homes" exhibit and tour. I plan to go. Personally I need a rather large living room and bathroom, but bedrooms can be few and small and I can cook more efficiently in a galley kitchen. I'm in 1400 sf now (2 floors) but could easily live in 750900 sf with high ceilings and the right room dimensions.
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Old 02-13-2014, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,988,950 times
Reputation: 15649
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soup Nazi View Post
I have a 800 sq. ft. house in Vermont that is very efficient but I can't seem to sell it. Everyone that comes wants bigger. Mostly they are young couples and not only want more space, but more amenities as well, such as granite countertops and more than one bathroom. I keep hoping for an empty nester that wants to downsize to a manageable and affordable property, but so far, no such luck. But I didn't mind living there. I'm from NYC, so am used to very small spaces. Actually, my apartment in NYC is bigger than my house in Vermont lol. Maybe this will be my lucky year for selling it!
What town is your VT house in? Is it listed for sale?
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Old 02-13-2014, 07:55 AM
 
Location: Verde Valley AZ
8,623 posts, read 9,689,321 times
Reputation: 11000
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
At the Eastern States Exposition in Feb they're having a "tiny homes" exhibit and tour. I plan to go. Personally I need a rather large living room and bathroom, but bedrooms can be few and small and I can cook more efficiently in a galley kitchen. I'm in 1400 sf now (2 floors) but could easily live in 750900 sf with high ceilings and the right room dimensions.
I have checked out a lot of tiny house websites and think they are just cuter than heck. I like that they are so well organized and make good use of what space there is. I have actually lived in a couple of places that small but it's been many years.

I agree about the bedrooms. What time I spend in there is generally sleeping...or cleaning!...so I don't need a lot of room. Can even eliminate a dresser if I get a bed with drawers built in. I do okay with galley kitchens too. Like you, I do like a larger area where I'm going to spend most of my time. I have that here, but no high ceilings. I also have a thing for windows. I love a house with lots of windows and I have that here as well.
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Vermont
371 posts, read 397,273 times
Reputation: 755
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
What town is your VT house in? Is it listed for sale?
It's in Windsor, which has been on a downhill slide for several years that hasn't bottomed out yet. I am relisting in the spring. The problem is Windsor has the second-highest tax rate in Windsor county, but the second-lowest home valuation; very poor schools, lots of drug activity, and has a large percentage of badly maintained houses converted to multi-family rentals. The only stores that have survived are a couple of pizza places and a Chinese restaurant. There is a newly-opened art and gift gallery that sell jewelry as well, but it's a joke as the cheapest thing in the newest store is about $125.00 for a bracelet. People around here can't afford that type of store and this isn't exactly a mecca for tourists. Just another store that will go belly-up in a year. Even the McDonalds went out of business a few years ago, something I don't think I have ever seen in a town this size where the nearest other fast-food place is at least 25 minutes away. The town spent tons of money on new sidewalks last year on a side street that is literally nothing but abandoned, boarded-up storefronts. The sidewalks where people actually walk are in horrendous condition. Very poor town management, and no pride of ownership in the homes. My block was all owner-occupied in 2007; now it is 75% rentals.
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:52 AM
 
48,516 posts, read 83,966,925 times
Reputation: 18050
Quote:
Originally Posted by cousinsal View Post
Remember when new houses were small? Families lived together in small homes. Growing up, we had a small ranch house for five people. Now, I think my condo is bigger than that, for just me! I think today, people want a "wing" for each person in the family. They all have to have their own TV's, phones, etc. We all shared one of each.

I never heard of that "minimum square foot" requirement - that's insane. Who can tell you how big the place has to be? What's wrong with a small house next to a big house? That's the government going too far.
There are still starter type homes. Much of the housing I and others raised in were built post WWII to house growing population of returning veterans and families. Altho there are said starters many opt for large home especially has population ages likely. But even then in retirement areas you'll see more and more retirement homes ;not only smaller but built to age in in conveniences like larger interior door sizes ;bath facilities etc. As a friend who owns reality company said single story ; easy entry not elevated; large door openings especially bath and good shower entry sells homes quicker as it opens it to more and more retirement shoppers.
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