Time for a change...

lavender_lassJanuary 23, 2014

So, big shock! We may be leaving our farm. I know, I'm surprised, too....but with my husband's illness, it's a lot to take care of by myself. And, even though he's improving, he's not ready to tackle major farm projects...and may not be for some time.

We've talked to my mom (who also lives in the small farm town by us) and she's on board with moving to a larger home/smaller land and maybe sharing the space. This will be so much fun! My mom and I are super close (I sound like a teenager LOL) and she and my husband get along great. She's very laid back and together we have a perfect garden (she weeds, I water).

Anyway, this would be a year or so from now...but I'm kind of excited. We'd keep the horses (they're too spoiled for anyone else to want them!) and look for 5-10 acres closer to town. Kind of excited...but it's a big change of plans. No more remodeling the farmhouse, but we might end up with a much nicer (less work) place, with a garage or shop and maybe a garden shed! And no more 30 minute drive home, either.

I'll keep you posted, but (fingers crossed) I'm hoping we can find a wonderful place and have more fun, with less stress! Just wanted to share with my pals, who I know will understand how exciting a 'new' (to us) house and garden will be. And of course, I'm planning to move ALL my favorite plants and small lilacs, apple tree starts, etc. Should be an adventure :)

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Lavender- change can be good. Im always a fan of less maintenance work. A newer house that fits your families needs while allowing you to have more time together sounds wonderful. Glad you're keeping the horses!

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 2:47AM
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Lavender - that sounds like a very good and exciting plan! We are in a similar situation as we are trying to determine whether to make our home easier to maintain as we age or move to a smaller area with less maintenance. It is a hard decision, but being close to your mom and in a home more suited for your needs seems like a win-win decision. Good luck. Am also glad you're keeping the horses. My daughter has around 25!!

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 11:46AM
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I loved the plans you had drawn up for your current place but I bet you can do something great anywhere you end up. The building you live in is not nearly as important as the people you share it with and the people you welcome inside.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 10:53PM
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You seem like the kind of gal who can turn any change of plans into an adventure. Think of the fun you will have looking for the perfect place for the three of you and the animals! You may find the cutest place, a new and beautiful place, an older place filled with interesting character and odd finds, it could be almost anything. You will make it into a positive experience, because that is what you do!

Every time my DH gets sent on a business trip to the US headquarters of his company, I get on Realtor.com and go house hunting. I did the same thing when he was out of work and was interviewing with out-of -state companies. I really got to know the area and the real estate market in each town, from afar. That's how I cope with uncertainty. I figure out what the options are and start looking for something to like and look forward to.

Once you find that silver lining, you are able to move on and be positive about changes that you had not originally been hoping for. You are going to do fine!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 3:45AM
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I understand completely. If you are like me, you are constantly thinking of what will fit your needs better, and when your needs, or your dh, or mil in my case, constantly change, it's difficult to land on something that will work for now and in the future. I still don't know what we will do but can't wait to see what you come up with.

Your mom sounds great too. Do you work in town? If you go to town a lot, that would be a good thing.

You know we are ready to downsize too, but smaller than you. I am tired of taking care of an acre. We're only 7 miles from town now, so probably can't get much closer without actually moving into the city and dh doesn't want to do that.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 3:58PM
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LL, have you seen this blog? The writer reminds me of you.

Lavender Cottage

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 11:30PM
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Lavender, I down-sized 5 years after I became a widow. Life became so much easier, esp. being closer to family. Combining with your mom sounds wonderful. I know this has been a really rough road for you and DH so the move sounds like a wise choice. By the way, to this city girl 5 to 10 acres still seems huge.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 3:50AM
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Thanks everyone! :)

Texasgal- I'm so sorry for your loss. We're hoping it will be a little less upkeep, but it's still nice to have some space! I keep forgetting how much land we don't really use right now, so I think it will be fine.

Marti- Cute blog! I don't want to move into the city either (too crowded LOL) but I would like to be a little closer.

Nancy- I have found a house (I doubt it will be available by the time we're ready to move) but it's older and needs some work...but it's the right size and the outside is perfect! We'll see if it sells right away....so many houses are just sitting. And it's only January. By spring/summer there should be tons of homes available.

Jdez- You're right, that is what's important! I would love to find an older home (but not too old) maybe 70s that most people run from due to the decor. Cosmetic changes I can do! Structural are a challenge I don't want to take on.

Krayers- I am telling my husband that! 25 (LOL) he gives me a bad time about six!. Actually, he loves the horses, but he likes to tease me...he missed them so much when he was gone I had to email him pictures :)

Nashville- I know you and many others here are facing a similar situation. It seems a lot of people are trying to either downsize or move family members in with them. I hope we're all able to find a wonderful solution!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 12:04PM
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It's much easier to find the solution if everyone is approaching the decision excitedly. Sounds like everyone on your side is open to this new chapter. Good luck on this new chapter. Keep us informed.

By the way hope the dw/flooring issue has been resolved to your satisfaction.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 8:39AM
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Still working on it....but we're supposed to have two insurance contractors coming out next week, for the Installer and Lowe's. I'll post more when we see what happens....

As for the move, I'm really looking forward to having a garage! So many tools that our just piled up in my laundry area, right now. We usually store them over at the old house, but with the snow it's easier to keep them here. What a mess! I would so love to have a tool bench :)

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 12:42PM
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Here's the kind of home I'm looking for, but maybe with a few more acres...although this has a lovely yard! The house is not really my style, but it has so much potential. Notice the fireplace in the kitchen? This will probably be long gone, by the time we're ready to move, but I do like it. The horse set up is wonderful....:)

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to home

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 9:23PM
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A house like that has soooo much potential! I'd love to get in there and work some magic on it. If it's not around something else will be. Is your husband feeling well enough for a fixer upper?

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 4:41AM
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I think by summer he will be...and my mom and I are the painters in the family. We paint, sew, do minor fixes....and my brother is going to school to learn electrical and can do some plumbing!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 12:02PM
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At almost 3500 square feet, it certainly isn't small. When I think of you, I think of cottage though, and that house is not very cottagey looking. It has a hot tub for your husband though!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 6:43PM
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I doubt this house will be available...but I love that kitchen! Paint the fireplace to look like lighter stone, big windows, move the sink to the other side of DW....and take out that last upper cabinet (towards slider) and add a plate rack! So much potential...just not ready to move until probably end of summer. Why feed horses, when they can eat all this grass for free! :)

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 7:18PM
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That looks like a well kept house, but I can't see you in it. Is that square footage including the basement? I don't know much, well anything, about basements, but I thought they didn't count in the square footage even if they were finished, and that a room in a basement couldn't be called a bedroom unless it had a full access/egress window.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 8:06PM
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Marti, whether you can count basement square footage or not is something of a regional thing. I don't see anything in these pictures beyond the ceiling that would lead me to call this a "finished" basement. It has a cinder block wall behind the woodstove! Oh, there is a finished wall with an outlet, and maybe that is a basement bathroom. I saw no picture of the bedroom with new carpet, though. Vinyl sheet flooring on a cement floor does not cut it as a finished floor in a basement for me.

This is a house frozen in time. That can be good because it means you won't have to undo someone else's bad remodeling. Instead, you get to do it all yourself. I could imagine buying this house because I see good bones, and saying I could live with the dated finishes. I know me, though. I would be in there with a sledgehammer knocking that floating hearthstone off the kitchen fireplace the second time I barked my shins on it. I love the size of that laundry room, though!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 11:27PM
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Whoops! My alternate identity showed up (LOL). I had to change log-in ID one time (GW problems) and now it's popping up unexpectedly!

Anyway...when you have horses, you look for property first. Probably the same as having kids and considering schools and yard first :)

That is not a finished basement, but the realtors in our area take a lot of liberties IMHO...you have to be very careful with initial descriptions. That being said, I helped my mom with one of these 70s homes and they have the advantage of (usually) having all the main living areas on one floor....and larger living areas. The bathrooms, bedrooms and closets are usually small, but that's not as important.

If we're going to live with my mom, we need a lot of space. Everyone needs their own areas and room to have additional family over, when needed. My brother and his kids love to visit my mom, so we need a large kitchen area. Not so much the work space as the seating area. Same in the living room.

A tiny kitchen and small dining room wouldn't work as well...plus, the kitchen has a fireplace! Shin-buster or not...it has a fireplace :) I think you all know how much I would like to have that!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 2:12PM
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Think ahead also, to the years when your mother (I don't know how old she is now) may need a lot of help with daily living, bathing etc. when perhaps stair can't be managed and are a danger, bathrooms aren't easily used, walking is a problem, stuff like that.
This may be so far in the future for you that you will be in another different house by then -- or it seems you may be considering such things with your DH's rehab now.

It killed me that my house is so elderly-unfriendly that I couldn't care for my mother here after her strokes. Her own condo was perfect, but it was 145 miles away!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 3:35PM
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Raee- Exactly! I found out a smaller bathroom is fine, as long as there's room for handicap accessibility. As nice as it would be to have a large master bath...I don't really use two sinks or lots of counter space. I would love to have a claw foot tub, but maybe a small bump out down the road, would be a possibility....

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 4:15PM
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Hi, Lavender. I just dropped by and and am so glad to discover your new adventure. It sounds like a lovely plan, and I envy your relationship with your mother.

Single-story homes are already starting to be seen as luxury construction, so how nice that you'll be shopping around while the oldies are still so nicely affordable. I remember when a quality California Craftsman bungalow in bungalow neighborhoods could be picked up for almost nothing. People didn't want those ugly old things. :)

We don't use our 2 sinks either. And since you have horses instead of children, you wouldn't have to worry about one ending up wedged head-down in a corner behind a clawfoot tub. (Guess how I know that does happen. :)

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 4:35PM
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Rosie- LOL! That was probably a scary moment with the tub, but looking back, it sounds pretty funny. Although the horses would probably do that, given the opportunity! :)

It should be an adventure...but I think it will be nice to get a home that doesn't need QUITE as much work as the old farmhouse. But, I do have some wonderful ideas, after all the planning. It would be fun to find a big kitchen with a fireplace...we'll just have to see what's available, when we're ready to move!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 9:34PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Great plan! Interesting as I was watching Mark Nepo last night on TV and he talked about how our current life is very much like a cocoon that is familiar and we love, but that we need to shed our cocoon as it no longer serves us so we can spread our wings and move on to what life has in store for us next.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 9:32AM
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Annie- Thank you...great point! It is sometimes easier to live with everything 'as is' but also fun to try something new. A lot more work, but also a lot more possibilities :)

I drove by the house yesterday...and it didn't seem to be as cheerful as I was hoping. But, saw another house that really looked good! We aren't planning to do anything right away, but it's fun to look...

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 5:12PM
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Lass, glad to see I bumped in to you. It's been a long time. I remember so well the days we all were making house remodel plans. Now I'm about to reach building permit stage, and a cost estimate, to see if we can get all the things I want for the money available. That's why I came to the forum today.

So I'm pleased to read that you have made a choice for a pathway forward which holds some happy promises. You have a long life ahead of you. Live long and prosper.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 6:18PM
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ML- So good to see you! I'm glad you're so close to getting your remodeling plans started. How exciting :)

My mom and I went to a garden seminar (4 classes, all day long, so much fun!) and decided we will need a pond, when we move. I'm so used to having the creek (and it brings in SO many beneficial bugs) that I really want water, when we move. A big pond (with waterfall on one end and deeper pond with fish on the other) seems like a perfect solution.

So, not sure about house yet....but know we need room for horses, kitties and a pond! Good thing we have our priorities in order....LOL

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 2:08PM
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Lass, a clawfoot tub is nice, but make sure you have a separate handicap accessible or even wheelchair accessible shower. That means a lot of space is required for the bathroom.

I lost most of my photos when my external harddrive self destructed....big bummer, believe me. So I would have to really search to find some of those pictures to post again. I love my clawfoot acrylic tub, but can see it being replaced by a huge shower one of these days. Thankfully there is a lot of room available...but for now I'm enjoying the look I really love.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 4:03PM
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LL...I just happened to come to this site and see that you might be moving.
I just love this house....and you were so good in sharing options when I was building it. I just had emergency back surgery and am house-bound at the present time...so I urge you be sure it is handicapped accessible! Measure those doors, 36", one shower that is walk-in, no steps...you might be able to do them now, but in a heartbeat, you may not be able! Plan ahead.

Although it is just me living in this 1628 sf house, it would be ample for your mother to use the "other side"....the two bedrooms and bath are rarely used now....ample room in DR and bar area to feed all of my family. It sounds like you are wanting a big house...but do you "really" need that much room?
How often do you have a large family gathering at your house? If your family is like my family, we are all together on the major holidays.

I am glad your DH is progressing...it has been a long haul for him and if your mom is in good health, she can be of help also....but if her health might fail, would being caregiver to two people, plus a big house be too much for you?

I know how attached you are to your horses....but they are big pets! My brother and wife dearly loved their horses, but finally came to realize that they were just too much for them to handle, and sold them. It was so hard on them, but sometimes reality just steps in.

Take care and glad to hear from you.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 12:26PM
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Phoggie- Thank you for your thoughtful post! I'm so sorry about your surgery, but very glad that your home is so perfect for your recovery.

I do need a bigger house..mainly because we work from home. We have phone calls coming in and have to make sure there is no noise from the rest of the house. That means a separate wing or level, just for the business.

Then, my mom hosts all the family events, so we need to make sure she can continue to do that. My husband and I want a little private space for ourselves and he really wants a separate family room. That would give my mom the living room, for her friends to visit, etc.

When I say a big house, I mean over 2,000 sq.ft...and many people do not count their basements as living area. That means many smaller homes have the potential to live much larger, with that extra space. I saw a cute home that was 1,300 up and 1,300 down...and was almost big enough.

I agree with you about the stairs, but for some reason it's almost impossible to find homes without them. My focus is now on making sure each level is accessible and has a bath, so if we have to add accessibility later (stair seat, etc.) it would not have to be used all that often.

As for the horses...they are my pets (LOL) and they are expensive to feed, but they also keep me from even thinking about suburbia. I know I would hate it (been there, done that) and if we didn't have at least 2 acres, it would be too small. Once you've lived without close neighbors it's awfully hard to go back...and I'm hoping to start a garden/landscape business at some point in the future. So, I could use the land...and the horses, if you know what I mean. It's not always easy to find organic fertilizer :)

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 4:43PM
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