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Forever Home

September 22nd, 2020 at 10:58 pm

A few years ago, when I was looking for condos there were several things that I knew I wanted and were really must haves. I wanted this to be my forever home, where I could safely age in place for as long as possible.

A top floor, one level, unit (I didn’t want to hear people above me walking around)

An elevator building

A dedicated parking space

A full sized, side by side, washer and dryer in the unit

Central air and heat (owner controlled)

At least a half bath for guests to use (in addition to a master bathroom)

Something newer with lots of light

Open concept living, dining and kitchen area

Decent storage

Well maintained common areas and some green space

A balcony for some outdoor space

A short distance from my brother

It seems like a long list, but I did manage to find something with all those must haves. I knew at some point as I age too many flights of stairs would be a problem, so I really needed a building with an elevator since I wanted to be on the top floor. I originally wanted just a one bedroom, I didn’t want anything too big but could not find a one-bedroom place that had a guest bath, so I wound up with a two bed/two full bath. It's about 1200 square feet. Now, I am glad to have that extra bedroom for when my sister and BIL come to visit.

The only thing it didn’t have was a walk-in shower. Both bathrooms have full tub/shower combinations in them. I knew that eventually I would re-do the master bathroom and have the tub removed and replaced with a walk-in shower with the appropriate grab bars needed for when I am older. I will also have the tile flooring and toilets replaced in both bathrooms. The floor tile is cracking in a few places and I have replaced parts on both toilets so while I have my contractor here, I will just replace them. I plan to use LVT (luxury vinyl tile) on the floors. I am so over tile and grout. The LVT is really beautiful, durable, and easy to clean. I have the money saved for the work, but I’m going to wait a while until I feel more comfortable having workers coming in and out (COVID). It isn’t an urgent project.

Before I moved in, I had the whole place painted and had all the carpeting removed and had hardwood floors installed. The kitchen was in great shape and didn’t need any work. The previous owner had re-done it with all new stainless appliances, new cabinets and counters and a new sink and faucet.

My color palette preference is light grays, creams, beige, light blue, with teal and a few pale-yellow accents here and there for pops of color. My hardwood floors are a dark brown. I like calm, peaceful soothing colors. My friends and family say that my place feels very comfortable and cozy! I feel so happy here and I am very fortunate to have found my forever home.

My brother is in the process of having a small addition built on his house. He went back and forth between moving to something else or staying in his current house and modifying it to make it work better for their needs in retirement. He is having the laundry room moved to the main floor from the basement, adding an additional full bathroom and enlarging a bedroom and closet. This made more sense for them then moving.

Are you planning to age in place and stay in your current home? Remodel? Downsize? Relocate totally to a new state? It’s such a big decision.

6 Responses to “Forever Home”

  1. Petunia 100 Says:

    Your forever home sounds perfect. If I ever do buy another piece of real estate, I want a single level 2/2 patio home or condo. For now though, the 5th wheel is home.

  2. GoodLiving Says:

    I'm a long way off from finding a forever home. For now, we want to stay put, we're in a three level row house that looks out across a beautiful creek with wonderful wildlife in the midwest. We are thinking at least 10 years out where assuming no changes, we'll start focusing on retirement. There's talk of some kind of travel vehicle (converted minivan perhaps?) and upon retirement a different travel vehicle $$$$$$. The travel would allow us to investigate where we might want to settle in retirement. This also depends on what my son does with his life. If grandchildren appear, I would love to be closer especially in retirement. Definitely downsize eventually...we're such space hogs studio, many books, camping and biking equipment.

  3. CB in the City Says:

    You were smart! I tried to find my forever home, but I had to settle for lots of stairs -- no elevator. Unfortunately elevators are rare around here unless you want to pay more than I could pay. So, yeah, eventually I'll be moving on.

  4. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    Sounds amazing. I am not in my forever home. This is good for 3 years. I hope to get into something larger with the kids then downsize bewteen 2034-2040. When we downsize I would prefer SFH ranch one level. I like having a yard and garage. Our place we could totally make work if we need to. I don't know. I might sell it in 3 years and literally move on the other side of the freeway and get 3000+ sq ft and newer construction. Ours just has a really good location. 5 minutes away and we could have gotten nearly double the size.

  5. Dido Says:

    Congrats on finding your forever home!

    I'm not in mine. This is my one and only home purchase, made 15 years ago, and I intend to live here for another 10 years--time to pay off the mortgage and then increase my savings before retirement.

    I'm not cut out to be a homeowner. My mother never even let me change a light bulb and as a result, doing ANYTHING around the house is scary (though I do change most of my own light bulbs, excepting the one on the staircase landing that is out of my reach even standing on a stepladder--fortunately it's only had to be replaced once so far.)

    I definitely want to live in community for my forever home. I'm currently beginning to explore retirement communities, although I'd really like to find a multigenerational cohousing community of some sort. But I also don't want to move away from this area. I moved a lot as a young adult and made an explicit decision at age 40 to stay here, where I'd found some community. That was 20 years ago and I still plan to stay.

  6. Fern Says:

    Great post...and great questions.

    I've been in my first home here for 25 years. I'm amazed at how much time has gone by. I was always scared about the outdoor maintenance, and how I would handle that as I got older, but I think at this point it's likely I'll stay put. I've made so many improvements that I truly enjoy, and I think it would be heart-wrenching to leave now. I just hope I don't regret that.

    It's easy enough to have someone mow your lawn for you, but here there is constant work just pruning back invasive hedges and keeping things in place so they don't overtake your lawn/yard. There are still a few more big trees I'd feel better taking down preemptively so they don't come down in a storm.

    But I do love my home. It's small, by most standards (1650 sf) but I love the privacy and wildlife that come through here (bobcat, fox, coyote, deer, turkeys, you name it), I love my greenhouse window I put in a few years ago, and my paver driveway which makes it look like a courtyard, plus the beautiful stone that now covers my garage, the new railing on the stairs, and so on and so on.

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