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#103080 - 01/15/07 08:08 AM Re: Downsized? Regretted it? [Re: Louisa]
Lola Offline
Member

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 3703
Loc: London UK
Hi, Hannelore: One route which is taken in the UK is conversion of single family homes into two or multiple flats. You can opt to live in one unit then rent out or sell the other on leasehold terms but still retain freehold title for the properties. Backgardens can be enjoyed as a common area for the occupants and similarly, service and maintenance charges are shared. Is this sort of conversion done in Germany? That way, you would not have to move and still be able to downsize. This is the route I am opting for in the future when I refurbish the house to accommodate a "granny flat". My son would live in one part and I in the other.
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#103081 - 01/15/07 11:52 AM Re: Downsized? Regretted it? [Re: Lola]
Edelweiss Offline
Member

Registered: 06/05/06
Posts: 4136
Loc: American living in Europe
Dejavu, waiting out the next 5-10 years and then deciding to move is probably the best for us too. We would be forced to stay in the area as well, because of my mother and business…so might as well stay in our house.

Dianne and Louisa, that's what I'm ready for; to simplify my life. Interesting, although you both are glad you moved, you still have mixed feelings about going from a house to a condo. Dianne, I think I would have had a problem with not being able to furnish the apartment with my furniture as well. But how does that saying go? The smarter one gives in.

Louisa, I love where you live and your view. If I were single, that would be my choice, but as long as Hubby can putter about in a garden; well, he needs that like he needs air to breathe.
Oh my gosh, You had 3 water leaks from above ?! We had a water pipe break once in our cellar, and that was stress pure. I can't even begin to imagine having that happen 3 times in your own apartment. Eeegads! Soggy rugs. At least you were insured.
Oh yes, those are def. strong points, about not being your own boss in a condo anymore. Another thing to consider are the condo assessments. They are almost as high as rent, which is crazy.

Lola, I think your future house plans are perfect if you have a family member to share with. Although I love my sons like crazy, I don't think I would want to live under one roof with them and their families. Some of the happiest families do get ruined that way. Gee, just take 'Dallas' as an example. Ha ha . But then again they had to share the dining room table. If it's possible to change a house to a complete two family house, then I agree, it's a fantastic solution.

Does anyone here share their home with their adult children and families? How's it going for you? Would you ever consider doing that?

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#103082 - 01/15/07 12:18 PM Re: Downsized? Regretted it? [Re: Edelweiss]
Lola Offline
Member

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 3703
Loc: London UK
That's exactly how I have planned it, Hannelore. A house into two family homes with separate entries and facilities independent of each other. The common areas would be the backgarden, driveway/garage and back porch. You don't have to share with any of your sons. You can rent out the second unit.
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#103083 - 01/15/07 12:19 PM Re: Downsized? Regretted it? [Re: Edelweiss]
Louisa Offline
Member

Registered: 07/11/04
Posts: 2132
Loc: MA
Hannelore, It's the condo fees that are almost like rent. Those are monthly fees for maintenance, water bill, insurance, snow and trash removal, etc. When I say assessments, that's something else above and beyond. For instance, the Board of Trustees we had didn't do the right thing with the money way back when. To keep the condo fees down, they put things off. As a result, when we got some new folks on the Board and things had to be done, there was not enough money in our reserve fund. (another important thing to know.) We have three buildings. The garage in one of them needed a new floor and major overhaul which cost over a million dollars and the roof on our building had to be done. Well, this is done through special assessments. We were assessed over 10,000 last year. Most smaller places, the assessments aren't as big, but again, we had major work to be done. The first sewer back-up, not only did we not have the right coverage (because of the insurance company, but that's a whole other story,) but the condo itself didn't have the right coverage. They helped the 7 families a little, which was done through an assessment so it cost us plenty anyway. Even when you have the insurance, it is awful. I better not get started on insurance companies.

I would rather have gone to a smaller house than a condo. I also wouldn't convert to a multiple dwelling because I owned a two family home for 27 years. Don't want that hassle again. When things are going well here, it's really nice. My husband is also a gardner, but we have the huge patio and he does he flowers and loves it. No lawn is great. There really is a lot to consider.

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#103084 - 01/15/07 12:21 PM Re: Downsized? Regretted it? [Re: Edelweiss]
Anno Offline
Member

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 4434
Loc: Minneapolis Minnesota
When D and I met, I owned a large condo and he owned a huge house in the suburbs. When we decided to purchase a home together, we moved into a house in the city that was about the size of my condo.

Giving up possessions did not bother me, but it was very difficult for Dennis. For the first year our basement and garage were packed with "stuff." Over the years, we have sold, given away and thrown soooooo much. We still have more to give away, but we are close to actually fitting in our home.

I have never regretted going smaller for one minute. We still have a deck and a back yard that I have converted into a garden paradise (very small paradise - Ha Ha) and we are on a quiet street where I can sit in the yard and see people, not traffic.

I really liked condo life for the same reasons that others have mentioned and disliked it for pretty much the same reasons too. I had a couple that visited me, maybe once a month, and he was almost deaf. Poor sweetheart loved his rock and roll. He would turn on the music, as low as possible, and within minutes, someone would be knocking at the door. This was not night time, mind you, but in the afternoon, usually on a Sunday.

I did share a house with an ex's adult children and grandchildren for a while. This was a very dysfunctional family. Would not repeat that mistake again. Consider the relationship you have with the people you will share the house with and then make the decision. I would venture to say that relationships will not improve as a result of living together. Healthy relationships - maybe yes. Dysfunctional - whoa, no, no, no.

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#103085 - 01/15/07 12:33 PM Re: Downsized? Regretted it? [Re: Louisa]
Edelweiss Offline
Member

Registered: 06/05/06
Posts: 4136
Loc: American living in Europe

Thanks for the explanation Louisa. I've never sold a house in English, so real-estate lingo in English is new for me. Right, I actually meant the condo fees. They are high over here too. What the German's don't have are high real-estate taxes. May I ask you what you pay for yearly taxes? Please, don't answer that question if you don't want to.

Lola, since we have a ranch house, it's sort of hard to rebuild into a duplex. My offices are under the roof, but if changed, they could be at the most a 2-3 room apartment with bath and kitchen. Your house sounds perfect for a duplex.

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#103086 - 01/15/07 01:02 PM Re: Downsized? Regretted it? [Re: Edelweiss]
Lola Offline
Member

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 3703
Loc: London UK
What's a ranch house, Hannelore? From what you've described, your property seems to have a lot of potential.

In my case, it would be a lot of work and I might have to extend to accommodate the improvements i.e. utility room, kitchen and bathroom but it's do-able.

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#103087 - 01/15/07 01:33 PM Re: Downsized? Regretted it? [Re: Lola]
Edelweiss Offline
Member

Registered: 06/05/06
Posts: 4136
Loc: American living in Europe
A ranch house is a house where you have all rooms on one level. Our kitchen, 3 bedrooms, bath, guest toilet and living room are all on the first floor. We built three office rooms and an additional bathroom in the attic. We also have living quarters with daylight in the cellar. There we have a guest room with a bath, a fitness room, and several more rooms to clean...phew. That's why I want to downsize, but I can't move my Hubby. Hmpf. I'd have to leave him here…and then who would massage my feet?????

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#103088 - 01/15/07 01:51 PM Re: Downsized? Regretted it? [Re: Edelweiss]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I downsized after divorce from 2400 sf to 1215 sf. Yet, although the sf is no problem, its having 3 bedrooms of which the master is like 14x14 and other two 11x11, very little room for queen size beds. This is not my final home, yet in my 'dream home' I'd prefer 2 large master bedrooms and larger bathrooms. Also, larger laundry with extra storage space and a sink to alleviate having my extra bedroom closets stuffed w/ boxes! I basically purchased this home as an investment and did not want to pay rent w/ no tax return. I was lucky to afford a 20% down payment, thus alleviating mortgage insurance which would have been $80 a month -- money down the tube! I am also lucky enough to have a house payment less than rent on a two bedroom apartment in my local area.

I 'dream' of my dream home as described above, to include solid surface counter tops and would like to coordinate the entire house hardware (knobs, lights, door handles, etc.) to coordinate, wood floors in living and kitchen areas, molding, etc.

Yet, my next home will either be a townhouse/garden home and I shall board horse at stable, or purchase land and build. Although I prefer the later idea, taking care of the land will be very stressful, b/c horses are social animals, if you have one on your own land, you'll need another, thus increased costs. Being single, I'd prefer to put the burden of all that work and maintenance on the stable owner, especially when I want to go out of town. Also, must consider the cost of horse trailer and other farm equipment when owning land/horse(s). Okay, now I'm rambling!

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#103089 - 01/15/07 02:18 PM Re: Downsized? Regretted it? [Re: ]
TVC15 Offline
Member

Registered: 09/03/04
Posts: 2538
Loc: North Carolina
We moved south and up-sized.
After 22 years in a tiny house, I love having the extra space to spread out. Once the kids move out, I may feel differently though.
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