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Old 10-25-2008, 07:40 PM   #1
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Has anyone considered downsizing in these tough times?

Read this story on CNN, it appears many people are downsizing these days. I noticed that some have sold there homes and bought campers to live in. We are considering downsizing ourselves!

Tough economic times are driving some families to take drastic measures, downsizing their lives and moving into smaller homes and apartments (in some cases extremely small, as we see in this CNN.com story about 100-square-foot homes).

Do you live in tight quarters? How do you make it work? What creative choices have you made because of space constraints? Take us on a video or photo tour of your tiny abode, and show off your less-is-more approach with the iReport community. Be sure to tell us where you live and what made you choose a small space over a big one.
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Old 10-25-2008, 07:50 PM   #2
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We have no debt, a income, no job, no such number, no such phone. 256 sq ft.
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Old 10-25-2008, 07:57 PM   #3
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Here is the link I was trying to post : Do you live in a small space?: News & Videos about Do you live in a small space? - iReport.com
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Old 10-25-2008, 08:21 PM   #4
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We live in the Airstream approximately 5 months a year and couldn't be happier. My wife and I find the Airstream just the right size.
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Old 10-25-2008, 10:47 PM   #5
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We spend about half the year in our '65 Caravel. It seems to be larger than most, though. Ours has three bathrooms. No kidding.

One off the bedroom, one off the living room, and one just off the kitchen.

Seriously, we do have two places. One is a little home in a nice little town in the Sacramento Delta, the other is a condo in southern Orange County, near Lynn's 99 year old father. When we no longer have the responsibility in Orange county, we will downsize. Sell the Orange County condo and base ourselves in our northern home. The winters are cool there, so will tow south for the winter months. The summers can get warm in the delta, so will continue to travel the Northwest during that time.

We have stayed up to four months in a row in the Caravel, so a couple of months in the winter, and two months in the summer (which we allready are doing), should be no problem.

Don't think we would try fulltiming, even with a larger unit, as we enjoy the time we spend in our quiet little Delta town of Walnut Grove. I also enjoy my shop at the Walnut Grove home where I can work on lots of stuff, including our '47 Chevy Street Rod and the 1937 Buick Lynn bought from a local farmer. The old "car in the barn" story.

Want to get somewhere between where we are now, and Mike Leary's 256 sq ft.
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Old 10-25-2008, 10:54 PM   #6
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Actually I am going the other way. It will be almost three years full time and I will be buying a house in the next 4-5 months.
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Old 10-25-2008, 11:34 PM   #7
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We don't need to downsize. We paid our home off early, and saved and paid cash for everthing else. We have no credit card debt. We don't borrow! We find it better to live within our means. We've considered building a new home in about 2 years, that is, if we can pay cash!

We contributed nothing to this economic mess but now we'll be required to help bail out the ones that did!
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Old 10-26-2008, 12:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Thompson View Post
We don't need to downsize. We paid our home off early, and saved and paid cash for everthing else. We have no credit card debt. We don't borrow! We find it better to live within our means.
Right on, way to go. What a concept!

We have been debt free since, uh.......it's been so long that I don't remember, maybe, 1980?
Selling the condo in Orange County will relieve us of the high property tax, insurance, monthly association payment, etc. Between all of that, and income from investing the proceeds from the sale, we are looking at significant money. The condo fees alone are over $500 per month. It's a nice condo, overlooking a golf course (pretty, but we don't play golf), with lots of amenities (that we don't use or need), in a great location, but just not the way we want to live.

This sort of downsizing will not only insure that we can continue our life as we know it, but give us a hedge against the inflation and rising taxes which are sure to come during the balance of our years.
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Old 10-26-2008, 07:58 AM   #9
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We are thinking about putting the Airstream on Tammy's father's property. The plan is to put a building close to the Airstream for storage and also a shop where she can still sew curtains. We will run electric and water out there, but still not sure what to do about the sewer. Also will still use the satellite for tv, and internet would be wireless.

We don't use credit cards and both vehicles and the Airstream are paid for, so I think this would enable us to save a considerable ammount of money. We have talked about it for quite some time, but just didn't have the nerve to do it. We still are not sure, but very strongly considering it. I can say that all the "stuff" just doesn't appeal to us like it used to!!
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Old 10-26-2008, 09:27 AM   #10
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Downsize because of the economy? Not really. We've always wanted a shorter rig, but when we start using the AS for lengthier periods in the coming years, I suspect a shorter rig wouldn't fit the needs. Maybe it's time to upsize and become a two-Airstream household.

Truth be told, we seem to have lived through the last economic downturn in the early 90s and didn't pay much attention to it, and so far, apart from gas prices and the nasty fingerpointing tenor of political ads, we haven't seen much effect of the current economic mess.


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Old 10-26-2008, 09:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Threads View Post
We are thinking about putting the Airstream on Tammy's father's property... so I think this would enable us to save a considerable amount of money. We have talked about it for quite some time, but just didn't have the nerve to do it. We still are not sure, but very strongly considering it. I can say that all the "stuff" just doesn't appeal to us like it used to!!
John,

You are thinking along the right lines. Kelly and I planning to do something similar when our kids are grown (another 7 to 10 years). We have been readjusting our lifestyle so that when the time comes, we will be able to buy a large piece of land and build a nice small efficient living space on it. A well planned small space (like an Airstream) can be just as comfortable and functional as a big house.

In one of the "I-reports", the writer mentioned this book Everything I want to do is illegal. It looks to be a great read on the trials and tribulations of trying to fashion a simpler life in this complex world from a perspective other than the "green" political left.
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Old 10-26-2008, 09:32 AM   #12
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Thumbs up Home base

I have a modest home base in Salt Springs Florida located on Lake Kerr. It's a closed 55+ community with about 150 homes on leased land. My total cost is well under $800 per month. I can leave for extended periods of time and not worry about my home base. The community includes a clubhouse, heated pool, marina, RV, boat, and trailer storage. All this is located in the Ocala National Forest giving a old Florida life style. Google "Salt Springs Village" for more information. There is currently a nice selection of new and resale homes available.
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Old 10-26-2008, 11:33 AM   #13
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Credit cards? We use two. They are both no fee, cash back cards which we pay off on line as soon as the statement cuts. Lynn goes on line about once a week and checks the charges to make sure they are not bogus.

We use these cards everywhere we can. Don't have to carry much cash, don't have to write checks, and the cash back is great. Usually about $400 per year for the two cards. May not seem like a lot of money, but in any economy, 400 bucks is 400 bucks. One card gives us 3% discount on gas at
Costco.

Also creates a great record of "where did the money go?"

Where else can you get free money?
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Old 10-26-2008, 02:30 PM   #14
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Don't want to and don't need to. BUT, I can see why people would. Even with a paid-off mortgage, there's still those nagging property taxes and insurance that keep increasing. Plus, the more one needs to earn for their chosen lifestyle, the more they're taxed out the wazoo. Less is more.
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