Author Topic: Considering downsizing house with a growing family, any success stories?  (Read 1610 times)

zarfus

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I'm pretty on-board with all of MMM's ideas, but thought it was crazy when he sold his house to downsize.

Well, after thinking about it more, even that has kind of changed in my mind.  We bought our "forever home" and really love it, but would consider moving to reduce our house-debt (yard maintenance, mortgage $, amount to clean, better walkability, etc). 

For those of you that have done it, I'm curious to hear about any of your regrets/wins.  The thought of buying/selling/moving still gives me side pains :\

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Considering downsizing house with a growing family, any success stories?
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2015, 11:31:17 AM »
Moved from a 3200 sf house from the 1970s that we had rehabbed to a 100-year-old 1900 sf house that somebody else had rehabbed, when our daughter was 6 months old. Having less work to do around the house means more time with the family. The walkable, "village" feeling neighborhood we're in now lets us take care of errands on foot with her, and we're within walking distance of four different nice playgrounds.

Benefits:
1. I can mow the lawn in 45 minutes with a reel mower.
2. High walk score.
3. We keep our house much cleaner, despite being parents now.
4. We have more than $100,000 more in investments, and we pay much lower taxes.
5. So much less snow shoveling than our circular-driveway, rear-entrance garage house had.

Cons:
1. I wish there were a garage.
2. Neighbors make noise. Not a big deal, though the people with the fireworks are pretty annoying in July.
3. Harder for visitors to park.
4. My house is a "twin" - there's another, separately deeded, house attached to mine. Current neighbors have owned since the 1960s and are great. I worry how it will be when they leave. But, a detached is a $20,000 premium, at least.

crispy

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Re: Considering downsizing house with a growing family, any success stories?
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2015, 12:47:27 PM »
We just did this in August and so far have no regrets.  We have two girls ages 7 and 9.  We from 2700sf with 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms to 1500 sf feet with 3 bedrooms two bathrooms.  The house we bought has a bonus room we are finishing out right now that will add another 300 or 400 sf.  We thought long and hard before making the move, but the house we lived in was very expensive to maintain and wasted a ton of space.  We really examined what we needed and waited until we found the right house with the right school zoning in the right price range.  It took two years to find the right property, but we are really happy with the move and we ditched over 100K in mortgage debt, HOA fees, higher property taxes, and  much higher maintenance costs.

We were worried about how our girls would respond, but they love the new house because the bedrooms are closer together (they hated being upstairs while we were downstairs) and they now have a huge yard to play in. They don't seem to miss the old house at all.

We knew we would be losing a lot of space, but we really examined what we needed and what we didn't.  Things that were musts for us was a big pantry, a laundry room (not a laundry closet), decent storage space, a garage, and at least three bedrooms and two bathrooms(with one being in the master bedroom).  Many older ranch homes don't have these features, but this house had them all.  Even though this house is smaller, it is very well designed and doesn't really waste any space.  It amazes that we were able to downsize so much, but we haven't actually felt the pinch.  It actually has felt really good to get rid of things we don't need and to simplify our lives.

I really worried that we would have a lot of regrets especially while we are in the process of "fixing up" the fixer upper, but we haven't so far.  I actually love that I am getting to be creative and use my DIY skills which is something I never did in the old house.