downsizing and starting to freak out.

faithsstuffMay 17, 2014

My family of four lives in an 1800 sq ft house in Atlanta. Not huge by any means but too large for us, we've never really enjoyed it. We're under contract for a cute little 1920 condo in a fabulous location. it's 750 sq ft. I know it's the right thing for us, I'm 90% sure we can make it work. It meets all of our quality of life requirements and moves us toward our family dreams. As a bonus, we can afford the mortgage and my husband can get his PhD.

Very few people who know us are supportive. As our due diligence ended today I had quite a hard time listening to myself and remembering why we love this place.

Anyone else been there, done that? Anyone else survived past the craziness that other folks throw at you?

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As long as you know you're doing the right thing for you and your husband....don't listen to the naysayers. :) Life is too short.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 5:36PM
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you need to do what works for your family. if you and dh are in agreement and have worked out the finance part of it, go for it. sacrifices are made for the education that will later ease things for all of you.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 7:21PM
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Trust me...most people, who feel the need to comment on your life are just bored with their own. Those who really care may ask a few questions to make certain you've thought it through...but then should be supportive of your decision :)

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 2:32PM
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You have clearly made an economically sound decision. It's normal to second guess our choices when others seem to disagree.

Not sure why anyone would disagree with affording a mortgage and having your husband realize his ambition by getting his PhD.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 7:22PM
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Thanks for the responses. The realtor let us go hang out in the property again and it helped ease my nerves. Closing is in a few weeks and our current house goes on the market.

It turns out I'm making a couple people nervous with the way we're (as a family) prioritizing and making place in our lives for what we really want. Not something I'd ever considered.

I am so so glad we found a way to live in our favorite area and frees my husband up to follow his long term goal. I guess this is what it's all about.

thanks all

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 7:57PM
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And it will be a wonderful adventure for you with memories made you all will treasure the rest of your lives. Sounds like a perfect idea to me.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 8:16PM
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It sounds to me like you've found a good solution for your family's goals. No one should (although they will) take issue with that. Some folks get uncomfortable when they see someone shifting off the path of least resistance. IMHO, it means they can't see themselves doing it, and they stop the analysis there.

I think it will be an adventure for your family. Have fun with it.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 8:32AM
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Have you read "The Sweetest Thing" by Cathy Woodman? It's all about a woman, who decides to move to the country with her children, after a messy divorce. Her friends and family all think she's nuts and tell her so (repeatedly) but at the end, some admit they wish they'd had the nerve to do something similar. Her mom especially, ends up being very proud of her decision.

I know your situation is different (happily married and supportive of husband) but the unsolicited advice, opinons and predictions of doom may be similar :)

Seriously, have fun and do what's best for you and your family! If other people don't understand, choose to accept that their "path to enlightenment" might be a little different from you own...and move on with your choices (LOL) It's wonderful that you are doing what makes you all happy!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 4:01PM
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"It turns out I'm making a couple people nervous with the way we're (as a family) prioritizing and making place in our lives for what we really want."

that is so weird to me! let's see - living within one's means and getting a good education vs - not?

make the sacrifices now and you'll reap the benefits of your 'labor' later on.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 11:56PM
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I think you are wise to find a condo that suits your needs and is affordable, and that lets your DH go back to school.

However, I do think that 750 sq. ft. is a bit snug for 4 people. It's doable, certainly. A lot depends on the layout of the space. And how much storage is built in.

My theory is that the smaller the space, the more it needs to be tailored to the needs of the people living in it. Think of RVs and how they manage to use every single last inch of space to add storage--over the windows, under the floor, behind and under the bed.

I wouldn't be surprised if you find that you don't seem to have space to store everything you want and need in the new house. I would not rush out and buy new storage furniture or shelving, though. I'd wait a few months. Spend that time decluttering and thinking about what needs to be stored where. It's always best to store things close to where they are used.

After you've been there a while, you'll realize things like, for example, you need an extra shelf or two in the bathroom, you don't have enough counter space in the kitchen, the kids' toys are all over the living room all the time. And the living room looks messy all the time because of things that you need, but that have to be out because there's no storage space for them--throws, remotes, magazines, books, knitting, iPads, chargers, etc. But you do have enough closet space for clothes, and all your holiday decorations fit in your basement storage unit.

It's easy enough to find a small wall-mounted shelf or a small bookcase for the bathroom. The kitchen might need a small, movable island, or even just a microwave cart. The living room might need the most expensive solution. You might need to get an end table with drawers. Set up a charging station somewhere. And perhaps consider putting in a wall of built-in shelving. Yes, it is not cheap. But you could add a lot of storage without taking up much floor space, and solve the problem of the living room always looking messy because now you have a place to stash all the stuff.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I think you are doing a great thing for your family. But do expect some hiccups along the way and a lack of support from some of the nay-sayers. But by the same token, none of the problems you will face will be unfixable. They'll take some time and creativity to solve, but you will be able to solve them.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 1:50PM
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There is a movement in our country by some people to go to small houses. No, not small. TINY. So you can tell them you're ahead of the times and riding the wave. Also check out

Everything's gotten so big these days. Refrigerators, houses, cars. I have an old house and have had a hard time finding a refrigerator with decent cf to fit into my alcove in my kitchen. In checking websites for newish homes for myself, it's hard to find them that aren't huge (with tiny yards), when what I want is average size with a large yard for gardening. I live alone; I don't need 2500 sf with a front door that looks like the archway into a castle.

You don't say how long you'll be living there. If it's just for H to get a PhD, then it won't be that long. In which case I wonder why you don't just rent?

750 sf is tiny. I lived in a 900 sf condo once, and I felt claustrophic after a while. A lot depends on the layout. Still, a lot of families in this and other countries live in small places and do fine. It all depends on attitude. And the recognition that you guys don't buy anything without a practical purpose! You will become an expert at creating storage space. A small ottoman whose top comes off for storage, no coffee tables allowed (instead I use a sofa one way with loveseat going the other to form an L shape, with an end table with drawer in the corner of the L), roman shades in windows instead of drapes that take valuable inches from the room, pocket and bifold doors, beds with enough space underneath for storage, etc.

It's not forever. It will be a challenge, and I mean that in a good way.

My biggest concern is ability to sell it, when the time comes. Not too many people are looking for 750 sf houses, or is the location that desirable that it won't be a problem? Anyway, good luck! Being practical and going small is a GOOD thing. When your money frees up, you'll be glad you made this change. If you want to move to a bigger house in the future, you can. It's not forever.

Here is a link that might be useful: TinyHouseBlog

This post was edited by bpollen on Fri, May 30, 14 at 2:23

    Bookmark   May 30, 2014 at 2:17AM
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I would make sure that your husband can have a quiet room, where he can focus on his PhD study. Other than that, congratulations on moving closer to your dreams!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 12:32PM
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closing is next week! I can't wait to get in there and throw some paint around.

Ive been purging our current house, what a nightmare.I am humiliated by the amount of garbage bags that have gone to thrift and free cycle.

Someone asked why we decided not to rent. We can't find rent for what our mortgage will be. We love Grant Park, it's walkable, a very short bus ride to 5 points and my husband can easily bike to GSU.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2014 at 8:28PM
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Stick to your convictions. Sometimes people feel uncomfortable with a friends choices, and they try to influence the friend with what they feel comfortable with. If you think small will work, then consider yourself futuristic. I do think your house will sell when it's time - younger couples now days aren't going for the large size houses that have become the norm in the 'burbs.
We currently live in our 970 sqft cabin (that I always said I'd never move to full time because it was too little). But when I sat back and started to look at the actual rooms I used in our house, I realized it was more than big enough.
It really doesn't matter what size house you have, it seems we buy things we don't need to fill it up. So a small house will force you to have fewer un-needed items around! :-)

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 9:43PM
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The actual downsizing and getting rid of stuff can be painful, eye-opening and I've been told, liberating. (i've not gotten to
the liberated part yet), but have been downsizing for a year now and life is simpler, and I had WAY too much s__t !
We have storage unit for camping, suitcases, Christmas, etc.
A murphy bed is really helpful. Many configurations out there, Even double bunk beds!
I'm a real fan of Pocket doors. SO much room saved.
Remember, your best friend is large trash bags, and a goodwill box!!!
You learn alot about yourself in the process....

    Bookmark   September 8, 2014 at 11:50AM
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We're all so used to "average" that when people do things out of the norm, it's a bit of a surprise, and people will question it.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2014 at 7:55AM
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Most of the REAL "Tiny Houses" are on wheels, because building codes do not permit such tiny homes to be built. Oh yeah, they get upset.

So, a smaller home is not really a "Tiny House".

I'm all for the smaller home. I applaud your choice to go small.

Note, I had one pocket door installed, and it is okay, but now I realize the better option was a surface mounted BARN DOOR setup. Take a look at that, because it needs no special wall cavity. In fact, you can do it yourself with either exposed hardware, or hardware hidden in a track, surface mounted on the wall above and beside an existing doorway.

And if you have a great old door you like but which would not fit in an existing door opening, mount it as a barn door.

Hinged doors will work where neither pocket nor barn doors will, but I personally love the barn door look with exposed industrial strength hardware.

MrsPete, my friends always think I'm a bit strange with my choices, but I like different ideas. Same old thing is totally boring.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2014 at 5:29PM
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