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#103070 - 01/14/07 01:54 PM Downsized? Regretted it?
Edelweiss Offline
Member

Registered: 06/05/06
Posts: 4136
Loc: American living in Europe
    Has anyone regretted downsizing?
    Would you like to downsize and just don't have the energy to do so?
    Or are you happy you downsized, and would do it again.

I'm sort of at a crossroad here myself. Don't know if it's wise to downsize, before a move is too exhausting, or just to wait it out and hope for the best.
What are your thought on this?

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#103071 - 01/14/07 02:42 PM Re: Downsized? Regretted it? [Re: Edelweiss]
Danita Offline
Member

Registered: 01/24/05
Posts: 1550
Loc: Colorado
Hannelore,

You posted this in the "finances" section. Are you downsizing your finances or your personal belongings?

If you are downsizing your finances and you need some where to get rid of it....I would be happy to PM you my home address. LOL

danita
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#103072 - 01/14/07 03:13 PM Re: Downsized? Regretted it? [Re: Danita]
Edelweiss Offline
Member

Registered: 06/05/06
Posts: 4136
Loc: American living in Europe
Danita, since there is no 'realestate' section, this was the next best thing. Of course I mean downsizing from a large house or apartment to a smaller house or apartment.

Yesterday I found some old German pennies behind our desk. They aren't worth the metal there printed on, but I'd be happy to send them on to you if you like. lol

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#103073 - 01/14/07 03:38 PM Re: Downsized? Regretted it? [Re: Edelweiss]
Danita Offline
Member

Registered: 01/24/05
Posts: 1550
Loc: Colorado
LOL, ok, I get what you are getting to. Are you staying in Germany?

I've downsized my "stuff"...and I'm thrilled to have less "stuff"!

German pennies, huh?! LOL

danita
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#103074 - 01/14/07 06:41 PM Re: Downsized? Regretted it? [Re: Danita]
Lola Offline
Member

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 3703
Loc: London UK
Hi, Hannelore: I can answer query no. 2 but with a different twist to the second part of the question.

I have thought about downsizing many, many times since I live alone. My house is much too big for one person to live in and I have a backgarden I cannot maintain. I have actually bought a flat two years ago after the divorce but, decided to rent it out instead, because the plan to downsize always gets thwarted when my daughter and her family come for their weekend stays. A smaller accommodation would not offer the same space for when they visit. That's the part which comes into the second half of the question.

Selling up at this time would be very lucrative for me, inflated as property values are at present time. That being the case, it might also be difficult for my son to acquire the appropriate property in the future when he starts his family. He lives in a flat at the moment. So I have decided to keep the house for him. Eventually, I may refurbish the house to accommodate a "granny" flat when the time comes. In the meantime, I have elderly friends who do not have backgardens and they tend to mine like their own.

In my case, plans to downsize comes with how I see my life in the future. Children and grandchildren play a dominant part so, I live with the space at the moment but I hope it gets to fill up again after my son marries.

As Danita has asked, do you intend to move back to the States?
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#103075 - 01/14/07 06:47 PM Re: Downsized? Regretted it? [Re: Danita]
Edelweiss Offline
Member

Registered: 06/05/06
Posts: 4136
Loc: American living in Europe
Yes, I'll be staying here as long as my Mom and my Hubby are alive. Then...who knows.

Maybe I'll become a member in one of those Boomer resorts in Colorado where they play golf all day. I'll probably be 80 by then...whatever. Maybe they'll need slow moving caddies. Or I can organize story telling seminars for the yunguns (60 years and up) about my wild hippy days, and how we flower children turned into Boomer children, where we banged, uh…boomed our way to this ripe old age.

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#103076 - 01/14/07 06:57 PM Re: Downsized? Regretted it? [Re: Edelweiss]
Edelweiss Offline
Member

Registered: 06/05/06
Posts: 4136
Loc: American living in Europe
Oh my Lola, we did it again; posting at the same time. It's our time zone!!!

I answered yes to Danita's question, yes I'll be staying in Germany.

Sounds like you weighed your pros and cons pretty good. I know what you mean about having room for guests. When we have family our guests, then I'm always glad that we can accommodate. I'm just sort of worried of missing that point in time where you still have the energy to move. I sell so many houses that belong to the Boomer generation. They downsize, move to cheaper places, and spend their money on travelling. It always sounds so appealing to me...but My Hubby can't deal with that. Oh well.

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#103077 - 01/14/07 07:23 PM Re: Downsized? Regretted it? [Re: Edelweiss]
dejavu Offline
journeyman

Registered: 08/16/06
Posts: 319
It's funny, my husband and I were just discussing this same topic this morning. Our house is about 3800 square feet, a ranch over a basement. The upstairs part of the house is complete as is - laundry, kitchen, etc. - and once the final kid is moved out, we wouldn't have to go downstairs at all if we didn't have company. So the question would be - should we move somewhere smaller (with a smaller yard to maintain, etc.) or stay where we are and be able to use the basement when we have a big family event or overnight guests.

We think, for the foreseeable future, we'll be staying where we are. Even if we moved, it would not be to a different area because of the family business and the married children who live nearby.

However, eventually, maybe in five to ten years, we might consider moving to a condo, for two reasons - one is property value, we should be able to realize a good profit from selling this house and could use that money when we retire. And two, after we retire we want to travel a lot and with a condo, we wouldn't have to worry about the yard, etc.
Plus I think (having dealt with my parents' estates) that downsizing forces you to thin down your possessions and spares your heirs a lot of hassles.


Edited by dejavu (01/14/07 07:26 PM)

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#103078 - 01/14/07 11:41 PM Re: Downsized? Regretted it? [Re: dejavu]
Dianne Offline
Queen of Shoes

Registered: 05/24/04
Posts: 6123
Loc: Arizona
Hannelore, we downsized last year at this time. Went from a 4000 sq ft home with huge yard to 1115 sq ft and no yard.

It has it's good side and bad side.

No yard. Come spring, I think I'll miss working in my yard but for now, I don't have to worry about shoveling snow and the assoc. pays for it and schedules it.

No front porch. I miss sitting there and looking at the beautiful Tennessee views but we have a great view from the 10th floor flat we're in.

One bad thing is my furniture is in storage. I miss it. The hub bought furniture for the flat and while it isn't really my taste, he did a good job. It's all black leather.

We now question why we had such a large house. The kids only visit about twice a year and the rest of the time, it was space that had to be cleaned but not used.

We have found that we love this simplified way of life. No clutter (you can't, there is no room!) When we had a basement we put stuff down there that stayed there and wasn't used and we ended up giving it all away or throwing it out. If there is room...we'll junk it up.

I wouldn't mind a small home with a yard but for now, I'm really liking it here.
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#103079 - 01/15/07 02:40 AM Re: Downsized? Regretted it? [Re: Dianne]
Louisa Offline
Member

Registered: 07/11/04
Posts: 2132
Loc: MA
I met my husband at about the same time he was going through a divorce and moving into a condo. He rented it for a couple of years until the time was right to buy it. So, my situation was a little different. When I eventually moved in with him, I didn't give up my house. (Until a year after we were married) So it wasn't a decision we made together to downsize. I found it hard only haveing 1000 sq feet of living space at first, but I like it now, except I would like more closet space. Our floor plan is open, so it looks bigger than it is. Unlike most condos, the first floor apartments in our building have huge decks so it makes up for not having a yard. We are on the water and love where we are.

But, Diane is right. It has its good points and bad.
I love not having to shovel, drag barrels out on trash day and having a mail slot right outside my door. No lawn to mow. And since I owned a two family home, no tenants to deal with.

I DON'T like so many rules. Communal living isn't always easy. I also don't like others making decisions (the trustees) that involve how we spend money, etc.

I would recommend to anyone thinking of buying a condo to first DO YOUR HOMEWORK.
1. Know where/what you are buying.
2. Ask questions.
3. Find out about the condo association.
4. Ask to see the condo docs.
5. Find out about the financial stability of the assoc.
6. Know the rules up front, such as pet policy, visitors,
parking, water heaters, maintenance.
7. Know what the condo fees are.

Hannelore, Being in RE this should be relatively easy for you.

I don't like downsizing my possessions. I have found thi difficult. We've had two or three mishaps with water heaters letting go above us and a pipe that burst. One of these episodes resulted in a major flood in our unit in which we had to replace all our new rugs, the ceilings, paint the whole unit. We had to live on the cement floors and without our ceilings for months while dealing with insurance companies and contractors.

We've had two major incidents of raw sewerage backing up into the seven first floor units. With this kind of thing, you have parts of your walls cut out because of bacteria. The first time this happened we were not insured for raw sewerage backup. The second time this happened almost did me in even though we had insurance for it this time. And each time, things got ruined and we were forced to downsize and get rid of stuff.

There was no way of knowing this would happen and it is happening more and more, also in single family homes.

Another thing to consider in a condo is assessments. If the place needs a roof or any major thing that comes up, you can get whacked with some pretty heavy assessments.

If we had it to do over, I don't think we would buy a condo again. And, you can't just up and sell it either, because you have to pay the assessments first.

But, I don't want to take care of a big house at this stage of my life. Don't want to wash windows and hang curtains all the time, etc. It's nice to come home, park the car and just go inside and let someone else do the maintenance.

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