Upgrading to a bigger house after the kids move out

HappyladiMarch 14, 2010

My husband and I have lived in the same house for 25 years, we bought it new. I have wanted to move for years but my husband hasn't, he has friends in the neighborhood and is attached to the house. It's a 1,600 sq foot starter house in a neighborhood that is starting to go slightly downhill. It has seemed too small for many years.

I think he is willing to move now but I'm nervous about it,too. Our daughter is moved out and our son is away at college and isn't home all the time. The house fits us better now size wise and it's cheap to live in.

I found a 12 year old house on a creek lot that is only 2 miles away but it's 2,600 sq ft. The master is down and from what I can see on the internet it's very nice. We can afford it, in fact we will pay cash for it but of course stuff like electric and taxes will be higher.

I am just so torn, I've lived here so long but I sort of feel like it's now or never as we are in our 50's.

Am I crazy to want to move to a nicer and bigger house? Has anyone else done something like this later in life?

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A bigger house comes with SO many things that once the novelty of nice newness has worn off you may well regret it. It's amazing how fast your body sort of starts to play tricks on you after 50, and just a little arthritis and/or who knows what else can make cleaning a small apt. seem arduous. Do yourself a favor and, if you want a change, get a smaller place and do it up beautifully, a "jewel box" place, but one that will not require so much maintenance or taxes, or yard work, etc. A condo could be ideal.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 5:45AM
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I am thinking go for it. We bought a new house also mainly because the neighborhood was going downhill. With each house that was sold or rented it was nothing but further degradation. In the end, after a couple years of thinking about it -- we got burglarized big time. There's your sign! I would not wait for your neighborhood to get worse. The worse your neighborhood gets and the cheaper the houses become in your neighborhood the less yours is worth.

Does the creek flood? I'd find out how much of the property is in the flood zone and go check it out after a few days of rain. A few other points: Can you find a house where ALL the bedrooms and laundry are on one level? I have seen so many couple have to sell because one of them cannot do stairs any more.

Also realize that your children may move out of town and visit for days with grandchildren in tow. You want your home to be big enough so they don't feel they have to stay at a motel when they come. My aunt has a rancher over a huge basement where many many comfortable (not squishy) holiday celebrations with extended family have taken place. She enjoys doing this. My inlaws moved and made a "grandchild" playroom and put in a pool! You can bet they see their grandchildren often.

Yes, going from 1600 to 2600 is a jump, but 2600 is not like 5,000. Since it's just the two of you, you won't be cleaning those extra rooms all the time. If the house has a larger yard, make sure one of you doesn't mind taking care of it. Whatever you do, do nothing impulsively -- go slowly and do research on buying a home since you are new at this. Best of luck to you!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 7:53AM
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I think it really depends on your lifestyle. I have had many clients that buy a bigger home after the kids have grown because the kids bring back spouses and grandchildren for the holidays and visits and they want to be where they come to stay. If you are the type that does the family cooking for holidays, grandchildren will come over to stay at grandmas in the future,you like to entertain, then go for the bigger house. The master is downstairs. It sounds like the perfect set up to me. How much different are the taxes? You can call the electric company to find out what the "new house" electric averages. (keep in mind, they may be a bigger family then you). I can't see it being much more than you are paying now, since what you use, is what you use, in whichever house.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 8:00AM
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This doesn't have to be an either-or situation. If you aren't happy in your current home, then you should start looking at other homes. That doesn't mean you should buy the first house you see on the internet though.

As for house size, you know the obvious trade offs. It costs more and is more upkeep. That is really a personal decision about what you value at this point in life. Space vs money/time.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 8:34AM
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I have a 2900 square foot home and it's just me and my hubby and I can tell you I'll definitely be downsizing to a smaller home in a few years. The space was nice when we had kids at home, but right now it's just a lot of extra space to keep clean and heat and cool. A much smaller home would really suit our needs better. So think carefully before you commit to a larger home. Will it fit your lifestyle? Can you manage the upkeep?

I understand your desire to leave your current home and neighborhood, but I also would not jump at the larger home without considering other options. Maybe a 1600-1800 sq ft home in a nicer area would suit your needs better.

I have a friend that was facing a similar issue, she is a single mom that lived in a 1600 sq ft home with her 2 kids, the neighborhood was going down hill. Her kids at the time were 15 and 12 and she wanted them to be in a better neighborhood. She purchased a 3400 sq ft home in a great neighborhood. Now her oldest is 18 and going off to the Navy this summer and her 15 year old won't be far behind, so she's now sitting in a home that was in reality much too large to begin with. She regrets her decision to buy such a large home.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 8:49AM
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I don't think there is anything wrong with wanting to do that. Since it seems like it has a 2nd story that might be used rarely - I don't think it is that much extra work. Depending on the size of the downstairs it might be about equivalent to your current home. The only thing is when you're older you might not be able to get upstairs to clean etc. without adding in a lift of some sort (stair lift or elevator).

My in-laws have 3 kids and about 10 years after they'd all moved out they built a new 3000 sq ft home. It is a single story so it is a lot to clean, but it is also very nice for them to have when all the kids and their families come to visit. Only me and DH live within 30 miles so everybody else stay the night. One large area of their sq footage is the gameroom which they tend to close off just during regular times - ie when not in use so they don't have to clean and the same with the guest rooms.

I'd say if it is a safer area then it definetly will be wort it too as you get older.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 10:03AM
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You're in a good place compared to so many new home shoppers. There is no pressure to buy and compromise. Don't you think if you just started exploring what is available, you'll have a better idea if you want to move or not? There isn't a pat answer because what is right for you is unique.

billl has the answer I'd give. Look at what your lifestyle will be in retirement. Look at how your present home fills the bill as to upkeep, floor plans, maintenance, taxes. Especially look at whether your area is holding its own or going downhill and becoming a dangerous or noisy place for older people to be.

There is no harm in looking because it will help you decide if you are better off staying or finding out there are better situations.

As to house size? I am laughing because my husband and I are living in a five bedroom 200 year old home. We have decided it will be our home for the long term because we have invested decades of our life renovating it and because we love the property and it suits our outdoor lifestyle. But, we also know it's a tradeoff in resources and have planned for energy efficiency and we could be living in a cheaper situation with much less upkeep. Does it keep us hopping in our retirement and semi-retirement? YES IT DOES.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 10:59AM
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Currently reside in a 4500sf home with 2000sf of finished basement..Eldest child about to enter college,next is 2 years away..Have no desire to downside at all..Love that family and friends can visit without concerns about space/bedrooms etc...Have 2+ acres to maintain and LOVE it..As others said, it is lifestyle choices..Do what YOU want to do,forget about what strangers on a forum suggest..

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 11:53AM
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When she was in her late 50s, my mom went looking for a home to grow old in. One with NO STAIRS, that could fit the washer and dryer on the main floor. One that would have a way to get inside that didn't involve stairs.

So that if she got feeble, or her knee gave out, she could stay in her home longer, and wouldn't have to deal with moving when she was 70, or 75, or 80, or 85.

I have always admired that. It means that she and Dad are settled in, building friendships, relationships w/ vendors and restaurants, routines, etc., while they are young enough. And when they get older, they won't find themselves having to leave the home they've lived in so long in order to have a safe surroundings.

They will have lived in that home long enough to *become* attached to it.

I would say also, focus on the neighborhood you will live in when you get older.

Ill you be able to get around? are taxi's available? Is there somewhere interesting to walk to? WILL it be harder to get together with your friends? That's VERY important, esp. since your kids are gone. They were a huge force ing etting you out of the house.

I know a family that moved miles and miles away, to a big & beautiful house, and now they sit in a huge house all by themselves, and nobody visits them, and visiting someone else is too hard. Now the wife is ill and riding in the car makes it worse. And a long visit from someone else is too stressful.

But nobody's going to drive 2 hours for a 20-minute drop-in to say hello to relieve her boredom, or quickly clean her bathroom for her and then go about their business. If the couple lived in their old neighborhood (which they left bcs the ethnic group was changing), or in a closer neighborhood, that's the kind of help they'd get from people.

For them, I think moving to a better home that is SO far away is a disaster.

I know another woman who realized that all the friends she had in her neighborhood were slowly leaving THEMSELVES. It was changing, and she and her peers were getting older and less hale & hearty. So she pulled herself out EARLY, and moved up to be by her daughter. Ãgain--young enough that she could more easily adapt to a totally new city, and have enough energy to get involved in an art club, and stuff at church. She bought a home near a bus stop, and not terribly far from her daughter.

For her, moving to bigger, nicer place actually put her in a better place.

As for sheer size--I don't know. I think extra space could be nice. You are at an age where it's smart to start thinking about whether you want to fix up stuff, and repair the house, etc. So, 12-year-old as houses go might mean that you'll be there when it's 22 and starts to fall apart. It's hard to tell.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 1:16PM
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Thank you for all your thoughtful remarks. I really appreciate all the suggestions.

Ideally I would want a house that's about 2,000 square feet or a little larger and one that's single story but there aren't many in the area that back to a wooded area but are still in a neighborhood.

I have been watching Zillow and Realtor.com for a year looking for a house with a lot like this one has. It's .30 acre so it's not too big but it backs to a wooded area and creek. The backyard is terraced so the creek is lower and fairly far away from the house. Houses like this almost never come on the market.

The two houses next door aren't too close (which is so common here) and the neighborhood is very nice and well maintained. It's only 2 miles from where we live now and 15 minutes from my daughter's house.

From what I can see on the internet the floor plan is really nice and the house has lots of great details like slate and hardwood floors, jetted tub, covered patio, granite, nice windows and window coverings. The master bath has white tile but I can change that.

There is no way I would want a smaller house then I have now. I want a house with two living, two dining and three bedrooms. This house has all this except it has four bedrooms. I'm sure I can figure out what to do with one extra bedroom.

My husband and I are both very healthy, I'm only 53 so I don't think I have to worry about going up and down stairs yet.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 8:28PM
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Ok, but would you mind explaining to me something that I can't fathom? And Please understand this is not directed at any one poster, just everyone in general. I can't understand why you'd need two dining rooms, and two living rooms for just two people even if you entertain a lot or have your kids home at times? But then I cannot fathom anyone needing 4,500 sq', or 3,400... Am I right in thinking it may just be "because you can"? Because possibly we've lost all perspective about who we are and what we're doing? No one short of millionaires (and back 'then' a million meant a lot) ever had anything close to that size of house 30 yrs ago, and that was when a lot of women were still at home, more able to cope with it all. What about giving a little to someone else who has only a 2 rm walk-up (through no fault of their own)? What about using the money for other things altogether? Is the feeling of having a lot of space that enticing, that addictive that spending so much is really worth it?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 9:23PM
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Larke, good questions. My house now has two living and one dining since we have turned the formal dining into a second living area. No, we don't NEED two of each. But I have a beautiful formal dining room set I've inherited from my inlaws that sit in my breakfast room. I would love to have a formal dining room to put it in.

And we use both living areas now. One has no TV and is a bright sunny room. We love to sit and read and talk in there. The other living room has the TV and fireplace.

The house I am interested in isn't a fortune. The asking price is under $275,000. You can get a lot of house for the money in the Dallas area.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 11:11PM
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I would also suggest that you go for it. I know the market is down and you would be selling your house on the low, but look it from the perspective that you are also buying when the market is low (hopefully in a property which would have a better appreciation rate than your current house, which you said is in an area going slowly downhill). Men like numbers, so go through the numbers with your husband and you will see that he will suddenly be very interested.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 1:36AM
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I think it is fine to get a bigger house after kids are gone. Having said that you need to think about if this is to be your retirement home or if you plan to sell in a few years. We are in the process of downsizing (from almost 4500 square feet) to 1900 Sq ft and we plan this to be our retirement home (I am mid-50s). Looking ahead one thing we decided on was no stairs. Yes, I am perfectly healthy and able to do stairs now. But what about 10, 15, 20 years from now? And do I want to do stairs?
I also looked at where this house is in relationship to shopping, hospitals, etc. Will I want to drive a long distance when I'm older? That kind of thing.

If you think this is not the final house do look at resale. Does the house have features that would make it hard to sell?


I currently live in a house with almost 4500 sq. ft. plus a guest house plus 2 detached garages. When we moved in we had 6 people living in the house. Five months from now it will be 4 (hence our downsizing). Even when we bought it I didn't really want something that large. However, it isn't that this house has a lot of extra rooms. It has a dining room, for example, but no breakfast room. It does have 5 bedrooms, a living room and family room. However, it does not have a game room which many smaller houses have.

The thing is that the rooms that it does have are very large. I would have been fine with smaller rooms but in the area where we wanted to buy all the houses are large. I wouldn't have built it that large if I was building it but we soon found that we either bought more square footage or we wouldn't find anything in the area we wanted to live in.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 12:41PM
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I definitely think the newer bigger house will hold it's value and perhaps even increase in value versus my current home. It's in the same school district but the schools that serve it are considered much better. It's in a nicer newer neighborhood. It's close to medical and shopping.

But I don't know if it's my forever house so resale is important. I can see that in 20 or 25 years that it could get to be too big a house.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 2:14PM
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You're fifty three and you're not thinking a forever house? In twenty five years, you'll be almost eighty. I started thinking forever house in my early forties, when my children were leaving the nest. By my early fifties we started modifying this house for our old age. I'm early sixties now and wrapping up on it whilst I'm still spry enough to finish the renovations.

I see nothing at all wrong with moving into a home you find so pleasing, and it's your business whether you want a big one or not. You also seem to be leaning toward considering this one as "IT". My only word of advice is to sit down soon with your husband and get a discourse going on how he views his golden years and make sure you are both on the same page. Especially where moving again in a couple decades are concerned.

I'm not being hard-nosed, I just have seen more than a few folks in retirement sort of end up spending the rest of their lives not doing what they'd anticipated all through their working years.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 3:50PM
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^^^^^ Problem with the above post is the fact they planned "forever" in their forties!!!! That may have been prudent a generation ago,but today 50 is the new 30 something...

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 6:07PM
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Yeah, and sixty is the new forty. The poster is not a generation younger than I. I'm speaking to economics and not chronological age. It's more prudent NOW than it was a generation ago to start planning for your retirement years as early as thirties. However you cut it, if you buy a home in your mid-fifties with a thought of moving in twenty five years, you're gonna be an octagenarian. If you live that long.

Retirements come earlier nowadays, sometimes with a buy-out package and against your will. I planned in my forties because my husband is more than a little older than me. It's called being realistic.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 8:02PM
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I'd definitely consider it for all of the good reasons that have been mentioned, and I'm older than you are! The negatives are valid, but the fact that your neighborhood is going downhill would make me want to get out of there. Your reasons are well thought out, and this isn't an impulsive decision. At least go and see the house, and that might help you decide better.


    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 8:57PM
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Keeping an eye on retirement is fine, placing all your energy and thoughts into retirement is a mistake..Sure, a generation ago,SOME had pensions,but the whole concept of retirement is a concept developed by money managers/mutual funds to get you to invest in their products...If you invested a decade ago you'd be even +- today..

To quote from Shawshank redemption:
"Get busy living or get busy dying"

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 8:57PM
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I don't get it, I guess everyone on this board is young. My husband and I just sold our home and are looking to buy another. He's in his 70's and I'm in my 60's. We both work full-time and plan to continue. We love the area we live and both have interests outside work which keep us busy.

We don't live thinking one day we won't do stairs or be senile. Many of the ideas posted here are disturbing to me. I really haven't given any thought to our age and are not letting that dictate what we plan to do with the rest of our lives.

We both love space, privacy and could not consider living in a small apartment. My husband loves music, plays piano and loves to blast his music on his enormous speakers. Couldn't do that in a retirement apartment. I love to garden, grow orchids, need lots of light and space. Couldn't do that in a small place.

My children and grandchildren come to visit and stay over, they need room. Kids need room to play, inside or out. When we buy another house, it will be at least as large as our old house. We always had stairs, never considered that a problem.

I can't see living with the expectation of tragedy or death looming.

I say, go get yourself that house. I would in a heartbeat!


    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 1:13AM
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No one's talking about "tragedy" or "death", but for the majority of people over 50 certain things should be considered. The fact you and your husband have been lucky genetically to both have such good health and/or lack of arthritis - it really can make all the difference regardless of how 'healthy' you might otherwise be - is just that, personal luck, but the rest of us may not be in that position, and without a crystal ball to know for sure that we'll end up ike you would be just sticking our heads in the sand or our wallets. And you may be financially in the kind of situation where even the possibility of mobility issues, if nothing else, can be flaunted, but for the majority of us, cannot. No one wants to get old, no one wants to feel limited, but if such things are not considered, and we find ourselves some day (sooner than 'expected') stuck with a big place, with lots of stairs, and a bad market situation, it could be a sad way to spend what time we have left, even if were to be decades.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 4:49AM
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The wooded creek lot sounds lovely and is an added bonus that will bring joy if you like nature, birds and privacy. Also note the the woods should help shade the hot sun - and might keep the summer AC bill lower than you might expect. Also - some homes have 2-zone HVAC systems so that you can alter the upstairs HVAC to save money and keep the downstairs comfy. This might keep the electric bill comparable to what you have now. Also if the home is newer, it likely has more efficicent HVAC than your current home.

I have had small homes and larger homes and I find that smaller homes are harder to keep clean than larger homes because you might be trying to cram too much stuff in a small room/ small home. With the larger place, there is more room for storage and such so there is much less work in putting stuff away and finding a place for things that you use. The only cleaning issue I have with the larger home is more windows to clean, but this isn't a reason to purchase or not purchase.

If your old neighborhood is starting to change, it is probably time to get out before it totally changes. Is 2 miles away far enough to move as far as getting away from a changing neighborhood? Often several miles at a time stay in-sync. Is the new place going to change as well?

Usually you have to go further than 2 miles to get away from a changing neighborhood.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 8:35AM
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I haven't had time to read all the posts in this thread thoroughly but a few points leapt out at me. Larke I agree many people bought (or would like to buy) more house than they need or can really take care of or enjoy. We've been fed a line of hype in this country about homeownership and always striving for "more, bigger, fancier..." And now many of those big newer houses are in foreclosure or the owners are barely hanging on, or they are trapped there because they overpaid and now can't move.

I take care of about a 1400 sf house, yard, husband, and pets. That's quite enough! If I had a house much bigger I don't think I'd ever be done with the housework.

A lot of newer homes were not only sold with toxic loans and artificially inflated prices, they were also built poorly. What may look great at first glance could have many shoddy components. To build a house that has a lot of space and fancy features, shortcuts are often taken where it counts--the structure, foundation, roof, etc.

Whatever house you decide to buy, be sure to have a really good home inspector, NOT one whose bread and butter depends on real estate agents continually recommending him so everyone gets their commission, regardless of what happens to you.

I sympathize about the OP's neighborhood going downhill but find out why. It would be very hard for someone who didn't do a LOT of objective study on these issues to try and guess whether a neighborhood was going downhill for good, or just suffering a setback because of the economy which is of couse widespread.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 10:33AM
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Yes, the new area is much nicer and newer. It's in a different city, though the same school district. People move into this new area for the excellent schools.

Two miles can make a huge difference here. The schools that my neighborhood feed into are one notch down from the new neighborhood. I realize I have no school age children but I think an excellent school district really makes a difference in home values.

My neighborhood isn't bad but it's a neighborhood of starter homes that is over 25 years old. Some are very well taken care of (like ours) but many of them are starting to show their age.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 12:30PM
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Happyladi -

We did exactly what you are thinking about 5 years ago. And we have no regrets at all! If fact it was one of the best moves we ever made.

For 24 years we had a 1,700 square foot raised ranch in a nice family neighborhood. It was a little tight at times but we enjoyed it and I did many upgrades over the years including putting on an attached two car garage. The house had 3/4 of an acre of land which was fine.

But as the boys graduate from high school and started to move on, we started thinking. A family event triggered my searching online and one thing led to another. We found a beautiful 3,100 square foot colonial with the open floor plan we always wanted, kitchen that opens to a big family room. The plus was the views and 8 acres of land! We were in a very good financial position so we went for it. Of course this house needed some work but no problem for me.

Now our oldest son is married and we have a grandson. They only live 4 miles from us so its great. When they come over and our two other sons are here with their girlfriends, we have plenty of room. Many of our friends call it a party house because of the layout. We entertain more now that we ever did before.

So if it works for you - go for it!!!!!

Enjoy the journey.
eal51 in western CT

    Bookmark   March 18, 2010 at 9:20AM
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If the neighborhood is slipping, your friends will finally move too. So to protect your investment, I would move. But at 50 I would think about buying a 1 story house should either of you ever have health problems and find stairs a challenge. Now, I much prefer the look and living in a 2 story, but that is what I would do. Years fly by, and a one story is a safer bet.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2010 at 10:34PM
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I agree with the comments about the first floor master -- a total consideration for anyone buying the home they intend to grow old in.

Even though you are only early 50's now and perfectly healthy, things can happen -- falls, arthritis, by-pass, gout, whatever... I have seen so many people I know have to have surgery and then struggle with stairs during their recovery.

I am only 40 and can't wait to have a single story home!

Anyhow, I agree with the others -- it is not like you are looking at a mansion. Question is -- if one or the other of you outlive eachother -- would the the surviving spouse be happy and comfortable there?

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 1:51PM
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Another thought on size:

Unless it's TOO big, a larger house may actually be EASIER to clean. Because there might be storage space, so less clutter.

Bigger rooms, so easier to maneuver around furniture. You might not have to take all the dining chairs out of the room to be able to vacuum; you can just move them over.

Also, let's say that at age 72, you decide you need to live somewhere smaller--your new home will hold its value better--so it'll be more powerful for you.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 6:06PM
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When your kids move out, supposedly you will find you have a bit more discretionary money (since you're not buying new sneakers for them every 6 months--or feeding adolescents).

And you may have more time for you.

Put those together, and those seem like reasons to invest in a home that is more enjoyable.

You might have time and energy (and money) to throw a dinner party (or more of them)--especially if you can have elbow room around that pretty table.

You might have more time and energy (and money) for a hobby--and having a room you can use without having to clean it up before you make dinner will make it more enjoyable to do so (and more like, to boot).

Deanie1's point really resonated with me: As your kids add to their own families, having a bigger space makes it more likely that YOUR home will be where you gather for holidays.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 6:47PM
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My parents raised us in an 1800sq.ft home, but last year moved into an enormous 4200sf + 2000+sf finished basement home with 5 baths, movie theater, and game room. People asked "why?" and thought they were nuts. But this Christmas when all 4 adult child ren + spouses/significant others + 5 grandchildren were there, we all had room to spread out. Even after several days all in the same house, there was no back-biting. Before bed baths for children could take place at the same time as young adults getting ready to go out for the evening. Multiple hands could be working in the kitchen at the same time. People who needed quiet time could find space for it. The house worked exactly as my parents had hoped.

I say go for it.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 11:32PM
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I agree, laxsupermom. We kept our large home when the kids started out on their own. I had seen too many people downsize and then their kids got married, had kids, and could not afford the hotel bills to come home for the holidays. We have only one of our kids married and with 2 grandchildren, and it is a full house right now when they all come home for holidays and birthdays.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2010 at 6:32PM
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Aha! Now I know why my parents sold our family home with the big finished basement and moved into a condo where parking is scarce.... it might be because she said to her children, "I am done having holidays... now it's your turn..."

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 11:20PM
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You're right stir fryi -- my mom did the same thing. Sold the big ole family home and downsized to an 800 sq ft home. Now all the daughters and daughter in laws do the holidays because they have all the room. My poor mom finally gets a break from all the holiday cooking and cleaning!! I'm going to steal a page from her playbook when I retire. Buy a much smaller home and let one of my 4 kids host the holidays!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 2:14AM
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I vote for go for it..:) We bought a larger block,(5 acres) built a larger house and are thoroughly enjoying it..creek and all...:):):):):) We now have a home well designed for folk to come and stay, without getting under our feet.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 5:06AM
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Happyladi, what did you decide to do?? I also think you should go for it and I really don't think you need to explain yourself to anyone. It is a better neighborhood you certainly are young enough to keep up with it. Enough said, right?

We live in the perfect neighborhood for us and we don't want to leave it. There aren't many homes in our neighborhood; we have wanted to upgrade for about 5 years and don't want to build.

A house came up for sale because of an unfortunate event for the homeowner. It is only 6 years old, all brick, 3 car garage, a shed for my husband, and a great layout. I love everything about it besides that it is too big. The price was right--much less expensive that building even a small house. So, we are going for it.

We have decided to use the basement only for when the whole family is home and entertaining. I will have it set up for entertaining but . . . after the kids leave the nest . . . I don't think the DH and I will hang out there. I can't imagine vacuuming and dusting a space that we don't use a lot to be that hard.

The house has geothermal heat so the heating bill for the big house and the shed is less expensive that our house (no shed and smaller).

I am mostly at peace with our decision. We have been ready to upgrade and live in our dream house. But when I read threads like this my stomach gets a knot in it. I hope that I am not wrong about how much it will take to keep up after this house. It is maintenance free outside--all brick home, the deck is maintenance free, the shed is maintenance free, we just have to mow the lawn and tend to the garden. The inside is big but I am careful choosing how to decorate the house so that I don't have a lot of dusting or overload it with furniture.

We are painting the whole inside of the house now and re-doing the flooring. I can't wait to move in! I will find out if the poster who mentioned everything having its place will make cleaning easier (I hope so and tend to agree).

This house is 1000 square feet bigger than our current house.

Aside for the house being bigger than we need or even desired I think this house is going to be really perfect for us.

My robot vacuum will help. (:

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 3:04PM
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It's a hundred year old thread but I've gotta say- relegating everyone over 50 to the old folks home is a bit disturbing.
I am well over 50 (almost over 60) and just bought a home with stairs.
I did it intentionally because it is good for me.
I run up and down my stairs many, many times a day without issue and my legs have never been stronger.

Use it or lose it.
Limiting your physical activity is what causes the problems to begin with. The day may come (in another 30 years) when I have to scoot up and down those stairs on my butt, but my butt scooting muscles will be firm and healthy, LOL.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 7:00AM
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Lol cearb, it was an old thread. It just spoke to me. And I totally agree--I am a little shocked by the comments implying we should start thinking about our old people's home. Maybe they don't understand strong boot scooting muscles are important.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 9:41AM
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I don't think that anyone is implying that people over 50 go to old folks home but stairs are something to be considered.

My MIL lives on a second floor condo (because it is "safer"). She has always been healthy and spry. Then, in a matter of five years she was hit with breast cancer, hip replacement and heart bypass. She recovered from all but.... she only leaves her condo probably five or less times a week. Why? Those stairs, and especially carrying stuff up and down them, are now a real chore.

Things can change in an instant.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 9:06AM
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True... things CAN change in an instant.
But I see no sense in living my life as though those things have already happened.

I LOVE my stairs, even with my arthritis and chondromalacia, because they keep me moving, just as cearbhaill says.
And I am fine with the basement laundry room....

I will deal with trouble if and when it happens!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 5:15PM
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I agree with not trying to plan too much too early.
In my area one stories are difficult to find unless they are very small. I figure I will buy a two story, then add an elevator if I get tired of stairs in the future and don't want to move. The cost is less than moving.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 7:45PM
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We upgraded from a a 3/2 with 2600+ sq ft to one with 4/4.5 with 3 car garage, definitely newer...we bought because I wanted a better kitchen and different floor plan which we could not get w/o serious remodeling which would have raised the price point too much
we were also having an issue with a neighbor who kept calling Animal Control about our dog--who was not a problem...
There are reasons to do what you want to do that might not make sense to anyone else...it's not their business...
IF you can afford it and you really have examined your options and still want to -- then do it...

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 3:06PM
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We stayed in our large house when the kids left for college and careers. Now they come back to visit and can spend the night with their families with no problem. We love it at the holidays when all of them are here. The grandkids sleep on the floor, but we have beds for 7. In the meantime, our house is almost paid off. We could not buy a smaller house without incurring a big mortgage and probably for more than selling this nice house would bring. Two of our kids live in the big city an hour away, and an impromptu visit is always welcome and easily accommodated. The youngest lives across the country, so when he drops by, the others may come for the duration too. To us, that is priceless.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 6:12PM
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I posted on this thread four years ago. Still in same place, four years older and still loving the 5 acres and creek.

I hope the original poster is now happy and content what ever she ended up doing.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 2:20AM
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First time reading this thread - very interesting reading the various perspectives. I am in a similar position as many of the posters, early 50s, kids in college and moving due to neighborhood issues. I plan to continue with a house at least the same size that I have now. Love to entertain. Would also love a one-story but they are few and far between and many dollars more with our sq footage. Looking at my mom (84) and MIL (76), they both have stairs and although they both have the option of moving to ground level bedrooms in their homes they still use the upstairs bedrooms with no problem navigating the stairs yet. Looking at my grandmas the last year or two of their lives stairs might have been a problem.

As I look for my new home, I am am thinking that I will probably end up in a two story, hope to have a ground level bedroom available just in case - but if I am in love with the house I may buy even without the ground level bedroom.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 12:24PM
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We have a 3300 square foot 5 bedroom house and raised 3 kids here. As they went off to college and then out into the world, we had lots of extra room. But we live for the times they can come visit. Two are married and live over an hour away. The other is single and lives on the other coast. When they can come and stay, there is room enough for them to be comfortable, even when all of them and the 2 grandsons are here at the same time. They can drop in on a moment's notice and we have no problem accommodating them. Our climate is mild, but we do shut off the other bedrooms when they are not here. They can all decide to come for a weekend when the east coast son drops by too. These are great times for our entire family, and I know having a large home in a nice area has made all the difference.

Furthermore, the house is almost paid off, and buying a small place would cost us considerably more than this place, as nice as it is.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 6:09PM
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