Author Topic: Downsizing house... big time (to me)  (Read 4806 times)

ahawkchick

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Downsizing house... big time (to me)
« on: November 27, 2016, 09:08:46 PM »
I have a family of 4, hubby and I and two boys 10 and 7.  We've lived in the same house for the past 10 years and it's always been more than we need.  Since discovering MMM 2 years ago we have been on the search for the right house that would appeal to our mustachian ways but also afford us some luxuries (since we're a little weak) .  We do enjoy our current house...  high ceilings, finished basement perfect for entertaining (which we actually do), we remodeled the kitchen ourselves, huge everything.  It's about 3500 square feet.

We have been targeting a very specific area as potential to move to.  Not many houses come on the market and the ones that do are raised ranches and we are dead set on a traditional ranch.  Well, the perfect house finally came on the market.  It's in the middle of everything we need.  Walking distance to school for the boys, walking to some shopping, easy bike ride to grocery AND it's almost on a half acre of land.  I love to garden and grow fruits and vegetables so this is a total bonus.  The high school is literally in the back of the house so it will be awesome when the kids are in high school and even now we'll have access to all the amenities (track, football field, etc.).  The house itself is 1500 sq feet, 3 bedrooms and two baths.  The previous owners were the people that took care of everything about the house so it's in great condition.  It has a gigantic deck on the back so entertaining will still be easy for us.  We will be redoing the original 1960's kitchen and knocking down some walls to update it to an open floor plan and accommodate my desire for luxury in the kitchen. 

The cost is about 100K less than the value of our current house.  Then also, the yearly expenses are easily half of our current (property taxes, insurance, utilities)  We are looking to be debt free within 2 years after making this move.  I'm excited, hopeful, scared and a little sad about making this move.  My 10 year old doesn't want to move and that makes me sad.  He says, "Why do we have to move, I like our house..."  I explain that we want to live on less for the environment, not have debt, and have more freedom and time to pursue other things outside of full time corporate careers.  I think he only sort of understands this.  He is not changing schools due to the move, thankfully!  But his middle school will be different than a few of his close friends.

We close after the new year and will be putting our house on the market in early spring.  We told our relatives and I think they think we are nuts, but they were not outwardly critical yet.  ANYWAY, this is going to be a bit of an emotional roller coaster for me even though I have been mentally preparing for it for some time.  This move accelerates our path to FIRE significantly, but it's scary to change.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading!

stashgrower

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Re: Downsizing house... big time (to me)
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2016, 09:22:55 PM »
WOW, good find. It sounds so perfect and in line with your goals :)

bigalsmith101

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Re: Downsizing house... big time (to me)
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2016, 09:53:43 PM »
Hell yes. That is awesome. Wifey and I are on the hunt for "the perfect house" in our current neighborhood as well. Best of luck with the move and the new house!!

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Downsizing house... big time (to me)
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2016, 07:37:37 AM »
It took my son - then 10 about 14 months to come around to the new house and stop asking me every single day "why did we have to move".
It was a six block move and didn't involve a change in school.  Ten year olds have a lot of inertia.
Best of luck.  It is so nice to have less surface to clean.

MasterStache

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Re: Downsizing house... big time (to me)
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2016, 09:31:50 AM »
Downsizing was the best decision we made. It wasn't an easy decision (well it was for me). But we only went from roughly 1900sqft to 1400sqft. House cost 100K less. Best part is no more in ground pool. That was a huge financial drain.

Good luck to you.

ahawkchick

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Re: Downsizing house... big time (to me)
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2016, 06:17:57 PM »
I'm glad to hear others have been through this.  I think my 10 year old will also ask every day for 14 months.  I am really excited about less to clean!

MasterStache

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Re: Downsizing house... big time (to me)
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2016, 07:49:42 AM »
I'm glad to hear others have been through this.  I think my 10 year old will also ask every day for 14 months.  I am really excited about less to clean!

Yes, my two kids have reminded us how much they miss the pool among other things. And my youngest has claimed she would like to live in a nice big beautiful house. I find it as an opportunity to discuss why we live where we do and how it helps us "afford" more important things. I think (hope) they are "getting it."

RedwoodDreams

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Re: Downsizing house... big time (to me)
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2016, 11:50:08 AM »
I'm glad to hear others have been through this.  I think my 10 year old will also ask every day for 14 months.  I am really excited about less to clean!

Yes, my two kids have reminded us how much they miss the pool among other things. And my youngest has claimed she would like to live in a nice big beautiful house. I find it as an opportunity to discuss why we live where we do and how it helps us "afford" more important things. I think (hope) they are "getting it."

I think they "get it" by osmosis, by experiencing a modest living standard modeled by parents who are happy, have time for them, and who aren't stressed about money all the time. At least that's my hope for my son as well. :-)   Certainly growing up in a modest household has meant that for me as an adult and I'm so grateful for it.

Cassie

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Re: Downsizing house... big time (to me)
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2016, 12:06:49 PM »
We downsized from 2000 to 1400 sq ft house and I got rid of my cleaners. So much easier to keep it clean.  I can't imagine having to clean a  house as big as yours.  We ended up selling a lot of furniture because we no longer had a family room and formal living room, etc. Kids are long grown but we moved a few times with kids and they adjust.

DailyGrindFree

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Re: Downsizing house... big time (to me)
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2016, 04:31:31 PM »
Awesome. We are planning on listing our house this spring also.
Our house is 3650 sqft. After the oldest left for college it is only 3 of us. It is a huge financial drain. Here is the dilemma though. Younger one is a sophomore in high school and we need to be in the same school district for the next two years. In addition to that, we would like to FIRE or semi-FIRE no more than 4 years. The plan is to move some place else or travel.
So, do we buy a smaller house and sell in less than 4 years or rent for a few years? Rental properties are not cheap where we would like to be. But houses and property taxes are not either due to the school district. Plus, house values do not increase much either. I am leaning towards renting not worrying about maintenance and focusing on quality of life.

PhoenixHeat

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Re: Downsizing house... big time (to me)
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2016, 09:08:38 PM »
WOW, good find. It sounds so perfect and in line with your goals :)

I completely agree - congrats!

ubermom4

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Re: Downsizing house... big time (to me)
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2016, 07:18:57 AM »
Congrats!! Smaller houses create so much less stress. Your son will follow your lead -- show him only enthusiasm and optimism. He will come around. Great job analyzing your life, how to make it simpler and executing. Excellent!!

crispy

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Re: Downsizing house... big time (to me)
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2016, 10:25:30 AM »
We did this last year with our then 7 and 9 year olds and have no regrets. My girls adapted well even when living in a construction zone for a few months. It will be great!

AMandM

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Re: Downsizing house... big time (to me)
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2016, 04:15:28 PM »
Sounds like a fantastic opportunity!  Congratulations!

We also moved against the wishes of our then-11yo son.  It took him over a year to adjust, and he still misses the old house (which had been his home all his life until the move).  Here's my advice, even though you didn't ask for it ;-)

Recognize his grief.  It *is* a huge loss for him, and a leap into the unknown, for benefits that he can't see as clearly as you can and that accrue more directly to you than to him. Acknowledging this isn't the same as agreeing with him, it's just respecting his feelings.  Be cheerful about the move, but don't predict to him that he will be happier in the new house.  (For one thing, he has the power to be, or at least to act and believe he is, miserable in the new place no matter what--our son did for a while!)  Let that happen by itself, and when it does don't say "I told you so."

onemorebike

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Re: Downsizing house... big time (to me)
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2016, 05:30:43 AM »
Congratulations 🎊!  Looks like you are really dialing in your mustache and living your dream at the same time. We recently downsized from 1800 to 1200 with young children and haven't looked back. Similar to you we are more walkable/bikeable,  near the school,  seeing a reduction in utilities,  and enjoying having to take care of fewer things.  I will say there are a couple of times where the noise of children in a small space has driven me to the brink (double digit negative Temps coming tomorrow here in mn) and I can't find a place to hide -  making me lust for 3500 sqft - but I'm finding less expensive solutions than a Mcmansion. ;)

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budgetjones

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Re: Downsizing house... big time (to me)
« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2016, 05:49:35 AM »
That is so exciting and such a great share. We will be in the position to downsize soon as our children are grown now. I am thinking about your 10 yo and how he might like to be involved in making your new house more "his". Can he be involved in some decisions about the new house. How he arranges or decorates his room. Your project in the kitchen, I remember letting my kids choose our refrigerator (after giving them some parameters $ and color) and they were proud to show everyone with a " I chose the fridge.."  Painting the front door his color (?) . I don't know, but some ownership, you get the idea. Best of luck.

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Downsizing house... big time (to me)
« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2016, 06:06:10 AM »
That is so exciting and such a great share. We will be in the position to downsize soon as our children are grown now. I am thinking about your 10 yo and how he might like to be involved in making your new house more "his". Can he be involved in some decisions about the new house. How he arranges or decorates his room. Your project in the kitchen, I remember letting my kids choose our refrigerator (after giving them some parameters $ and color) and they were proud to show everyone with a " I chose the fridge.."  Painting the front door his color (?) . I don't know, but some ownership, you get the idea. Best of luck.

Yes this. My parents moved when I was about 8 after promising that we'd done our final move, it was further away from some of my friends. I dealt with it a lot better when I got to chose my room and the colour.