Re: 50+ and Affordable
From: Marganne (margannemacnexus.org)
Date: Mon, 2 Jul 2007 14:19:21 -0700 (PDT)
At 12:10 PM -0700 7/1/07, freedomctr wrote:
1/2 Million!!!!?? I Would like to spend under $125,000, preferably much under. I can afford more, but why should I?

Absolutely, Mary. Why should I? For anyone who hasn't gone over to the Small House Society web site yet ... well ... there's plenty of information there about expenses, zoning, and adapting to a lifestyle that's more simple and has less impact environmentally. I provided the list of just a few of the small home manufacturers I've come across, but there are many, many more listed on the Small House Society web site.

I live in the Midwest and spend $400/month for a very nice 2-BR townhouse. I would like a larger area for gardening since I'm involved in Master Gardeners.

That's what I miss most since I moved into a studio apartment in a condo/homeowners association. Wish I'd thought about the lack of gardening space more before I moved. The idea of eventually living in cohousing where there is plenty of space for gardening and a group of people also interested in that activity keeps me going.

Just got back from Vermont and really feel Vermont generates the atmosphere I'd enjoy - not too sure about the winters. Housing seems to be a lot higher in Vermont, tho, and I don't know anything at all about availability and quality of health care. Hopefully, I'll always stay healthy, but ya' gotta be realistic.

I've been 'scoping out' many of the web sites aimed at helping you choose a place to live that fulfills your particular priorities. I'm not convinced any of them is correct, but I've discovered many new places by filling out the forms. I'm happy to report that there are many places that combine rural with availability to medical care and transportation.

Because of zoning restrictions, you would almost have to live out in the boonies to build such a place.

No, that's not totally true. A few of us have made posts on this list providing examples. It's also possible that professionals in many related building industries haven't opened their minds entirely to how not to be held back by zoning restrictions.

Since I'd rather have neighbors to go along with my affordable house, I'm looking for a place where smaller homes can co-exist with McMansions or whatever.

Many older neighborhoods have homes that are relatively smaller -- 2 to 3 bedrooms with one bath. People tend to purchase one or two of these side-to-side, demolish the homes and build a McMansion. So I suspect your urban vision exists in many cities, unless the trend for McMansions has made the price of surround real estate skyrocket.

Until I started listening to some of the rest of you, I was pretty much firming up on the conclusion that my dream isn't possible and that I would have to buy a house that is way bigger than I need and, especially, bigger than I want to clean. Your various ideas are energiing.

It's a dream reachable by some people in some areas of the country. But many people still are uncomfortable with lifestyle changes required to embrace the 'Simple Living' or small house living concept. It's taken me a long time to wrap my brain around some of the things I've read and be convinced that my 'dream' doesn't need to be shelved yet.

I've looked at real estate prices all over the U.S. By far, the midwest prices are lower. It might be difficult for someone used to having a 2-bedroom townhouse for $400 a month to embrace paying more for land located in the east or west. But, if you come from places like California (that's me), almost anything is less expensive! :-)

Currently I live in a 460-to 488- square foot (my brain has a hard time holding on to exact numbers) studio apartment in the middle of a lush, mature landscape near downtown Sacramento. I pay $675 a month plus utilities and it's considered a steal for this area.

I hesitate to make the jump to almost anywhere else outside of California where prices are more reasonable. Like you, I don't know if I could realistically handle a Vermont winter or a sweltering humid East Coast or Midwest summer.

Cheers!
Marganne

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