Friday, June 7, 2024

decisions decisions

We're at that age where we're thinking about what we want to do when Brian retires. Do we stay here, or do we move? There are many pros and cons. We have a ranch house with a basement. We basically live on just the main level, which is 1120 SF. The basement ~ which has a big family room ~ is wasted space. We're never down there except for when there's a tornado warning.The unfinished part of the basement houses our washer and dryer, an upright freezer, extra pantry storage, Sterilite boxes full of out-of-season clothes because we have tiny bedroom closets, and lots of "stuff". I'm still in good shape and my knees are fine, but it's getting to be a little scary going up and down the stairs, carrying a laundry basket full of laundry. How are the stairs going to be for either of us in ten years? Or 20?

We are also surrounded by houses full of children (why do they all have trampolines in their backyards?!), which means it can get quite noisy here at times. Another thing I don't like: having well water. When there's problems with the well, it not only costs a small fortune to fix, but it's never a simple fix. It usually takes several days, lots of frustrating phone calls, and then we're without water. Sometimes the water stinks, and it leaves slight rust-colored stains in the tub and shower. If the electricity goes out, we have no water because the well is generated by electricity.

Our house is now 36 years old. We'll need a new roof again in a year or two, we need new siding, new exterior doors and all new trim, both bathrooms need updating and so does our kitchen. There's other little things that need doing, but these are the main (expensive!) things. we stay here and pour our money into this house, or do we sell as is and move into a newer place?

Last weekend, we dipped our toes in the water to start exploring options. We looked a model homes in an over-55 community not far from here. I think we looked at nine models and I took so many pictures, I now can't keep track of which ones belong to which model. They all started to look the same and I got overwhelmed. Turned out, I only truly liked two of the models. All the homes in this community are one level. Most are two bedroom, two full bath and have a two car garage. Here's a couple of photos of one of my favorite models. I think this was the one with 2112 SF. I loved this open floor plan with the huge living room going into the kitchen with the big eating area surrounded by windows. There's also a covered porch off the living room.

Looking into the kitchen...

The covered back porch...

Some other things we liked: there's a lodge you can use for large gatherings. They also have a small fitness facility with treadmills and weights.

Walking trails go throughout the community.

The biggest negative of this community is the montly expense. It's a bit on the high side. You own the house, but not the land. Therefore, there's a monthly land lease (not a HOA). The monthly expense includes property taxes, lawn mowing (you are in charge of your own trees, bushes and/or flowers), snow removal, garbage and water. Of course, there were some things I didn't like about the houses. Most of the bedrooms are carpeted (I hate carpet!) and the vinyl decking and railing material is super cheap. Definitely not quality Trex decking and railings, which we had put in at this house five years ago.

Our next door neighbor sold his house a few weeks ago and is retiring to Wisconsin. We were told there are "two families" moving in. 😧 We don't know if that means a generational family with grandparents, or two separate families. We will be finding out in a week!

In the meantime...I look around my home that I've lived in 34 years and think, "do I really want to leave"? 

There are no easy answers. Moving is hard ~ and extremely stressful.

At least we're not in the position where we have to move. 

In other home news, the dreaded mulberries have already started falling. They're early this year. And it's all the unripe berries. In all the past years, we've only had a few unripe berries fall. Don't know what is different this year except maybe all the rain we've had. We're already dealing with mushy berries all over the walkway to the patio and on the patio itself. Worse yet, they're also falling on the roof and into the gutters. Oh! And speaking of the roof, we had storm damage a few weeks ago where the soffits blew out of the j-channel and water got in. Some of that water also leaked into the guest room and left light water stains on the ceiling. We're in the middle of working with our insurance company and roofing contractors. The fun and excitement never ends when you're a home owner!

Of course, once the berries ripen, the problem will get much worse. The berries rot and attract flies, plus they stain the patio.

We can at least talk to this newer neighbor about the tree. The woman that previously lived in this house (some of you might remember) was very nasty. This newer neighbor is nice, friendly, and cooperative. He understands our frustration with the tree and was going to cut it down last fall (he works with people who can help him do this) but had a freak accident at work where he broke his jaw, so was out of commission for awhile. In the meantime, we had a tree trimmer come out and look at the tree and he can at least trim it back to where we won't get so many berries falling on our property.

It looks to be a beautiful weekend here. A friend is coming for a visit tomorrow and Sunday I'm going back to the over-55 community with another friend because she wants to look at these homes, too. I hope your weekend is filled with something to look forward to and time to relax.

PS ~ if you leave a comment as "unknown" and it comes through to my email as a "no reply comment blogger", then I can't answer any questions you may send me! Someone on my last post said she wanted to follow me on Instagram but didn't know how. I couldn't privately reply to her. So if she sees this: Go into Instagram, search for melaniescomfyhouse, and click on follow.