Am I alone?

buckeye1August 4, 2006

Just to give you some background I am married with two children (3 and 6 years old).

We recently sold a 4 bedroom 3000 sq ft single family home on 3/4 of an acrea to move to a very upscale townhouse community. Our new townhouse is 3 bedrooms with approx 2400 sq ft of living space with ammenities such as a swimming pool, a club house with a billiards room, a very large entertainment area with a big screen tv, full size kitchen etc.... with a full gym on the ground floor. We do have a small backyard that we are able to fence in if we so choose.

Friends and family think we should not have moved but I love the slightly smaller place with no maintanence (outside) issues, a swimming pool that I don't have to clean, a gym, very close knit community, and with less mortgage, taxes, gas and electric payments I put a whole lot more in the bank for today and down the road and take better and longer vacations. The downside is definately smaller living space.

Is there any one else out there that has downsized like this with children? Are you thinking about downsizing? If so I would like to hear your experiences and whether you have regretted it or not.

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just did the reverse..sold a 2000sf home on 3/4 acre, with a terrific pool and spa,,went to a 4300 sf home on 1.75 acres, no pool,but it is coming soon :)

I actually like the more space, 3 children, each with their own BR, and a guest suite...MBR has a sitting room off the BR, 2 walkin closets, large BR...Lots more cleaning and yard work, but thus far,i have no regrets

    Bookmark   August 4, 2006 at 2:22PM
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I have never "down-sized" with respect to my home. But we live in a pretty modest home by today's standards (2500 sq.ft.). No kids, but an elderly, live-in parent. We have loads of space.

I think alot of what choice is "right" depends on how you feel about your home. I love to garden, I love being outdoors, and I love having the sort of space that allows us to let the cats outdoors. I wouldn't be comfortable with all the "rules" that go hand in hand with condos, but I understand why they have to have them!

But I also see the benefit. If you don't care a fig about gardening and dealing with a pool is a pain, as well as expensive, and it doesn't bug you that you can't put awnings on your unit without permission, then you have made a wise decision.

I can't wait to see what other people have to say!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2006 at 2:45PM
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I think one day we will downsize. I love the space I have now, but can see in the future I will not want the large yard to keep up. I know people who are retirement age and have built homes so there is enough room for the children and grandchildren to come and stay for extended times. I don't understand that. I figure mine can get a hotel room if I don't have enough room at holidays, or I'll just go to their house! I picture a nice small cottagey type home one day.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2006 at 10:34PM
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After this heat and going back to work to log my hours after spending half of every afternoon getting a medical treatment this week, I drove by some apartments with a great-looking pool and said, hum..... . ;-) Instead, I dragged in to my under-airconditioned home at 9 pm and sweated in an 85 degree family room and dreamed of a pool.

If you have enough rules to keep neighbors in line - and if you don't mind being kept in line yourself, it could be very nice. I am not sure I would enjoy it at this stage of life, I think I would have to wait until my hearing starts to go to truly appreciate high-density housing.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2006 at 10:39PM
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Sorry ... what was that you said?

I don't hear very well, I fear.

I moved from a rented 2 br. unit in a townhouse in the city to my old uncle's 2 br. bungalow on his farm, as the sod-farmer who bought uncle's farm after his death only wants the land - and he wants about a third less rent.

We plan to upgrade the insulation when I get some structural work done in the (unfinished) attic (I want to install deeper joists and a floor, to store stuff). But it hasn't been unbearably hot in the recent heat wave.

I have a dehumidifier going in the basement, as it gets damp in sumer.

Turn on the furnace fan late afternoon or early evening to blow cellar air into the living area and it moderates the heat somewhat so that the place is reasonably comfortable.

Uncle added a family room (but he never had a family) so I have that as an extra over what I had before.

If you have a house with a basement, try to plan some chores in the basement when the really hot weather hits!

I have a couple of air conditioners, know that one doesn't work, but there's not a convenient place to install the other, as Uncle installed those crank-out windows a while ago.

Landlord and I have a garden in what was Uncle's barnyard. I've been freezing green beans, the last few days, and finding homes for surplus cucumbers (though the plants are dying, with this fungus, I presume, they've provided us with some nice cucumbers before doing so).

I have some corn about to produce, and some canataloupe getting big.

Have an enjoyable summer, everyone.

May as well enjoy life - if you complain, no one listens.

Just call you "crabby".

ole joyful

    Bookmark   August 5, 2006 at 4:05PM
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At the present we live in a 3,000+ 100 year old home and wouldn't trade it for the world. I like my space and the fact the kids have a large yard to play in. They can have their friends over and have the room (both inside and out) to play music, games etc. without distrubing the neighbors. So do we adults! So at this point in our lives downsizing is not for us. The kids would be pissed also if we moved. Maybe some time when we reach retirement age we will but we aren't there yet. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   August 11, 2006 at 11:30AM
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Buckeye, I thought of you and your downsizing today when I drove past a new townhome/condo development. It is one of those nice three-storey ones with a garage in the basement around the back that looks like a row of brownstones (without the brown stone - LOL!). I found myself wondering where the pool and community center were, I almost turned in to see before I caught myself. Look what sleep deprivation does to your attention span!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2006 at 11:44PM
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I wish my DH could be convinced to downsize. With 1 kid and 2500 sq ft, we have way too much space. What happens then is we accumulate "stuff"ala George Carlin. It makes me want to scream!

Garage? What garage? Oh, you mean that 400 SQ FT of JUNK?!?!

Don't even get me started on pool maintenance. Grrr. Just go out the back door and fling $100 bills into the water. Works just as well....

Austin is just now starting to understand the value of communities like you described. Maybe in a few years we'll find something like this heaven you have. In the meantime, we have to keep dusting the pool table...

    Bookmark   August 12, 2006 at 3:19PM
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Nancy in mich (I guess we can talk now before football season It was ironic to read your response because our townhouse is three stories and they look like the old fashion brownstones you see in cities.

Since this is a new development we are started to see more rules and regulations and so far they ALL seem to be in the best interest of the homeowners and I really feel when you have a large development (300 townhouses) you need rules to make sure the development remains in pristine shape. Any how it is not for everyone but so far so good.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2006 at 10:46AM
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Great! If the rules are good, you have made a good move.

Higher density housing is more ecologically "correct," so if the kids ever complain about not having a big yard, tell 'em they are doing their part for the planet. Here, there is a town named Royal Oak. It seems to have taken over the role of "cool downtown" that poor Detroit lost decades ago. These townhouses are popular there. We are in the next county over from that town, and wannabe "cool" areas are getting these neat townhouses, too. They look very interesting.

As for football, I went to the green school, not the blue one, and I cursed the semipro football team that occupied the same campus because I had to pay $4 to park at the library on football Sundays! DH went to the blue school, but hated the experience. Neither of us are very commmitted to winning anything. So you can talk to us year-round!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 10:54PM
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I live in half the space you do, w/ the same number of people, in an apartment w/ restricted outdoor space (my kids can't go out there and place; i can't fence it in, etc.). Your place sounds huge and wonderful to me!

My FIL was desperate for us to buy a house. He only shut up about when I finally said that DH and I *both* didn't want to have to clean gutters, mow lawns, remember to put the garbage out on Sun & Thurs, shovel snow, rake leaves, etc.

I can barely keep the bathrooms cleaned regularly and the carpets vacuumed! Give me an apartment--then I have more time to get my kids to activities, etc. So I'm not downsizing, but I am refusing to upsize--for many of the same reasons.

You've got a lot of room, in my eyes (without extra to deal with--it does take time to clean & maintain the extra rooms!). Plus you've got a pool, and if you want to have a big party and your home is too smal, there's that entertainment room.

I think friends and family should just shut up!

Esp. if there are other kids in the complex, that's actually BETTER for your own kids, bcs they'll all be nearer one another, and it'll be easier to get to know the other parents, etc.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 10:09AM
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You can do whatever the heck you want.

If the fam wants you to have a big house and yard, no doubt you'd be glad to let them buy it for you--and the cleaning service to go with it.

Just think about all those people in India and whatnot who have to live 10 people to 500 sq ft. You're livin large compared to them.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 12:33PM
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Our daughter, her husband and 5 kids live in 1500 sf on a largish town lot and I would never dream of making comments about whether the space is right for them or not. It is their choice. They are living within their means and demanding less of the resources from this planet than a lot of other families on our continent.

If my friends and relatives were so crass as to make such comments on my choice of accomodation, I would just say, "That's interesting. Will you email me the benefits that you think we would get by moving again, so I can evaluate your suggestion properly."

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 8:52AM
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Boy, I really don't understand the family & friends disapproval. Unless they feel the need to gain status by the size of your house & lawn (I have some family members who fit that description, probably why I am responding to this post). Or maybe they are suspicious of condos. Look, I have lived in a 1250 s.f. 2 story for 13 years with one child--it is 3 BR. Most of my neighbors have 2 or 3 kids. It is quite small by current standards but we have plenty of space with separate living and family rooms. The yard and nearby parks are plenty big for play and for me to maintain, I don't have to pay through the nose for heating & a/c, I have money in the bank instead of in the house, and I know my neighbors. Lots of advantages to a smaller space. I like it & it suits me. It sounds like you have moved to a great place for you, that YOU like, that is what counts. It really doesn't matter to the kids what size the home is, it is what kind of a family they have that is important. Enjoy your new place!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 11:52AM
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buckeye1: You done good. Had to re-read your post a couple of times to determine you didn't get the 3 story walk-up.. that would have been stupid.

You have all the amenities with none of the responsibilities. YOU ROCK!!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2006 at 3:52AM
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