Newbie Here! New Small Home Buyer.

janwalshsDecember 17, 2009

I just registered after reading the posts for awhile. I'm glad I found this forum.

I just recently bought a small home myself. A little background first. I was divorced last year. The ex-wife got the old home and I rented for a year. I had owned 4 homes with her. The last 3 were all 2 story houses with finished basements and over 2,000 s.f.

My new home is a 760 s.f ranch, 2/1 with no basement. Quite a change from my last houses! I've pretty much got it filled up already but that's OK. My days of collecting stuff are over.

It's just enough house for me. The yard is average sized, about 9,000 s.f. but that's ok as I don't like doing yard work anyway. It's in a solid blue-collar neighborhood in Shawnee Ks., part of the Kansas City metro area. I wanted to stay in Johnson County and you get much less house for the money here than you would in other areas of KC.

It's taking some getting used to but I see the advantages of a small house. Housework takes very little time and hopefully, my utility bills will be low this winter. As I get older, I think I will appreciate the lower maintenance of a small home.

From what I've read here. it sounds like I have one of the smaller homes on this forum. It seems funny when someone here mentions their small home and it's like 1,500 s.f. That's twice the size of my house!

My living room is rectangular shaped and not very big but enough for a couch, love seat, end tables and TV stand with TV. My kitchen is fairly big and is the best part of the house. It's updated and bright, clean and shiny. The bathroom was also updated but is very small. Definitely a bathroom where you get your business done and get out!

The 2 bedrooms are small but master is big enough for a queen sized bed and end tables and dresser. I use the other bedroom for a combo library and exercise room. The house is just big enough for a 51 year old man. I don't plan on having any extendend stay guests. I'v got no place to put them!

All in all, it's a good home and I think I will enjoy it here. Just want to say I enjoy reading this forum and to say hello to everyone.

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Hello and Welcome janwalshs . Just getting ready to dash out the door and saw your post. Sounds like you will enjoy it here. We love pictures. More later. Chris

    Bookmark   December 17, 2009 at 4:40PM
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welcome janswalsh! and glad you decided to post. 760sqft is small but for one person it's a good size I think. our house is not quite 1000sqft but that's the whole floor space including bathroom, laundry etc, and we dont have a basement or attic. our extra storage space is whatever we can fit in a little garden shed or the garage/workshop. one thing about living in a small house is you use the space wisely and no little nook or area gets wasted, to me a 2000sqft house is like a mansion :) and the utilities and cleaning must be a killer. I hope we get to see some pics of your new place too!
Carm in oz

    Bookmark   December 17, 2009 at 8:48PM
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OK Back from town.

Or house is 1300 SQ FT and there are two of us and three cats and two dogs. We are at a comfortable size for us. I do arts that need to be done in their own room because I am working with glass and it is not safe for the animals otherwise.

We have a two bedroom and a small den I use for my sewing room and company when they come for over night.Two bathroom. Then the usual living room kitchen laundry room. Nothing fancy and we are mostly an open floor plan.

We have had as small as 800 and as large as 1850. 1300 really works for us. It keeps me in line from wanting to bring in more stuff with out shedding something first.

Again welcome and post away.


    Bookmark   December 17, 2009 at 9:24PM
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Hi janwalshs, welcome to the forum. I have somewhere around 875 - 900 sq ft (not quite sure). I also live in a blue collar neighborhood with small yards and houses. I started out as a 3/1, but recently converted yo a 2/1 with a mini remodel. I think the size of my house is fine, but the layout is awful.
Good luck on your new start in life and again welcome to the forum.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2009 at 11:15PM
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Thanks to all for the greetings.

The biggest house I lived in previously was 3200 s.f. with a magnificent finished basement. My new house is quite a change from that. My only regret was not finding a house with basement. I'm in tornado alley and they can sure come in handy when bad weather comes. Also the extra storage space would be nice.

I do have some attic space that can be made into storage if I floor it. A future project perhaps. Yes I will post pictures sometime. I always like to see pictures of other peoples homes also.

Just wanted to pop back in and say thanks to all for responding. I'll check back later.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2009 at 4:10PM
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Welcome janwalshs. Our house is probably one of the larger here at 1800 but it still feels like a small home in a lot of ways. It was originally 1400 until we enclosed the garage. Our master bedroom is a nice size but the other two are tiny. Our bathroom is tiny, and like you said, small enough not to want to spend much time there. The upside to a small bathroom is that a small electric heater warms the whole room fast during a shower without having to heat the whole house.

We have been considering moving to a smaller house or at least a resized house. With the kids gone, we just don't need the big den AND a little living room. The living room alone would be fine for us now although it felt really cramped when both girls were home and had company.

We should have moved a few years ago when the market was better and our health was better. We both dread the thought of starting over now.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2009 at 4:11PM
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Welcome to the best little forum on GW! We're a friendly little community over here. Our current house is almost 1600 sq ft for 3 people, and it's the largest we've had. We're close to starting a new place in SC (I'm in FL now), and it will be a lot smaller, since we're now empty-nesters. We look forward to seeing some pictures!


    Bookmark   December 18, 2009 at 4:33PM
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Hi Janwalshs! I will be downsizing also when our house here sells. You can check the house I would love to buy on the 'Going Small' post...if you are interested.
I also like to see pictures..


    Bookmark   December 19, 2009 at 8:02PM
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i was in kansas city for a vacation one time and i loved it..esp that market where you can go and go from shop to shop ..ethinic shops..and get stuff from all over the world..don't know what it is called.

i think you are 51 it is unlikely you'll be planning on a huge family for the future..tee it sounds like a great place for you.

also at this age and after your divorce a lot of things will be changing in your life..things you used to love to do you may not want to do any more..but you also may be taking up new hobbies and interests..

remember to remove anything that really annoys you from your past..or is just no longer of interest to you..that will bring in room for new interests and changes in your life.

i think you did a great thing by making the spare room a library and exercise room..i have 3 bedrooms here for just 2 of us..and the one spare bedroom does have a bed and a sewing area for me, but also had 2 large library shelves full of books and a spare tv with directv on that if someone wants to get away and watch a movie or t v in a quiet place or work on a sewing craft or something..that is a quiet room where they can go..or if we are both watching t v and want to tape something on another channel.

we have turned the 3rd bedroom into a gym room..we have a total gym, a weider 3 station weightlifting machine, a weight bench with free weights, a stepper, an ab station, and a recumbant bicycle..we also have a mirrored t v in here so that things like exercise tapes can be watched or you can exercise watching your favorite wall has discarded base and wall cabients on it..the t v sets on that..and those cabinets are used to store spare things that we don't have room for in a pantry or closet.

the closets to those two rooms are walk ins..and one (guest room/sewing one) holds cleaning supplies and extra crafting and gift wrapping stuff..and the gym closet holds tools, cannister vacuum, camping stuff, etc...mostly tooly type stuff.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2009 at 10:43AM
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Welcome janwalsch!

Small home 1100sq/ft here with basement but no upper attic. Small yard but way too much snow shoveling since it is a corner lot. Dreaming of going condo or city cottage.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2009 at 4:03PM
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Well, I've been in 770 sq' for a year and a half, big front room, and big kitchen, one small bedrm, another I use as my office, and a decent sized bathroom. The surprise? Another 900 sq' of unfinished (and only half heated) ex-ecommercial space out the door off the kitchen... talk about storage! It also has its own front door and a backyd (which I don't really use), but I do sometimes feel the lack of options when arranging stuff in the 'house' part of it all (too many doorways, windows, etc.). But it works and you can get creative with paint to define different spaces.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2009 at 6:18PM
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Hi Larke, Welcome to you too. Sounds like you have the right attitude about living in a small house. I think it is half the fun to make things work when you have to and be creative with your furniture. Storage is great!! As much as I have tried to clear things out to live smaller I still have over flow and have an 8 by 12 short, as in I can not stand up in it except between the rafters, storage loft in the garage. I do not have it crammed full and do keep purging from it as I figure out what we will not be needing at this house.

We all enjoy pictures.

Again Welcome.


    Bookmark   December 26, 2009 at 7:18PM
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It is great so many new posters are here. Welcome to all.

My house is 1100, without a basement. Built a cabin in the back for storage and that is just what it will remain to be.

I really feel our smaller houses allow us to nest easily. Or, speaking for me it does. And after 4 years I am still getting rid of stuff, but also bringing in things that work better. Probably time to stop this little habit.

Now that the holidays are over it is curious how our use of little spaces remain. Two extra big guys (sons) visiting sure can fill up the house. Have one bathroom and when visitors are here it would be great to just have another small one. For the short term, not really worth the investment and everyone seems to just get used to "one".

Enjoyed your description of home and settling in. Glad you are here. You'll find us more than friendly, perhaps nosey when it comes to what you have done to a smaller home for making it yours.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2009 at 5:28AM
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Welcome larke. Your home sounds nice, and that extra storage would be wonderful! With a big kitchen and living area, you can live large in a small house.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2009 at 10:49AM
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Hello, almost neighbor... I'm in OP in a 1100 sq ft, 50+ year old rancher... also blue-collar/starter home area. Had over 4000 sf in Leawood (in another life). This size is perfect! Big houses lack warmth and coziness... I know, having had several! They have rooms that often go unused, and people spend and purchase, adding 'stuff' simply to fill up space and closets. Just think of all the gadgets needed to fill drawers and cabinets is those huge designer kitchens! Small forces one to consider needs, not wants. A good lesson for all of us in weighing value($$$) and values!

    Bookmark   December 28, 2009 at 10:59AM
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Welcome larke, wow 900sqft is some serious storage space!

kitty, I imagine that would be what living in a large house is like, you would have so much space to fill that you just buy furniture etc to fill the empty spaces, I cant even imagine what that is like. My house is about 45 years old now. I love its oldness and I cant quite explain that well, I cant quite put my finger on it but even just looking at how certain things were done back then I find so interesting almost like living in a time capsule. I really hope I get to see some pics of your house I would love to see it.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2009 at 2:20PM
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