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Moving House at 70 years of age!!

(46 Posts)
Swansong Tue 17-Jan-12 15:25:52

I have looked at a property semi-rural with the most beautiful garden but the snag its a detatched small bungalow, and i would really have to downize and get rid of my dining suite and other furniture.
There are just 2 bedrooms and we have 3 at present
also no utility room (can live without )
Only 1 bathroom and we have an ensuite with step in shower so wouls be a big miss!!
However property location is beautiful and much nicer garden than ours its huge.
What advice would you give me to move or not to move that really is the question!!!

Ariadne Tue 17-Jan-12 16:18:42

We're in the process of moving quite a way away, though not downsizing. I would miss the en- suite so much, so it's on the must have list; DH insists on at least a single garage and so on.

Are you OK to manage the garden - and will you be?

It sounds lovely though, and if your heart is set on it then go for it, but don't ignore the practicalities of getting older.

And oh, it's such hard work to declutter, but in a funny way I'm enjoying it. it's amazing what you find!

Gally Tue 17-Jan-12 16:21:52

Swansong We spend a lot of time trying to decide whether to move nearer to our children or not and if so - where to. I have come to the conclusion that if you are happy where you are and you can't make up your mind whether to go or not, then stay put until you feel it's the right time to go! We have a big garden, but have sold part of it to make life easier; it's still big and my dream would be (in the absence of an employed gardener - dream on!) to downsize even more - even to a courtyard garden. Remember, it will become more difficult to cope with as the years pass. Is this property still in your local area? If you move far away, as we would, it would be difficult to fit in straight away with the locals without any children to break the ice at the school gate as happened the last time we moved. So many ifs and buts - good luck in making your decision confused

harrigran Tue 17-Jan-12 17:35:54

I don't think I could downsize, as you get older it is very useful to have two bathrooms or at least a cloakroom as well. I would opt for indoor space over the garden, they can be quite hard work.

bikergran Tue 17-Jan-12 20:38:06

Swansong would it be possible to maybe extend if you needed to!

Swansong Tue 17-Jan-12 20:46:16

Thank you so much for your comment I am starting to think twice about the idea of this move as there is only one bathroom & toilet. And yes hubby would have garage but we have double up and over electric doors all that would have to go for a small single one.
I appreciate your comments and the time to reply to me

Swansong Tue 17-Jan-12 20:52:04

Thank You so much for your comments and I have really taken them in!!
Yes we do live near 2 Children and this move was to be locally (although for the last few years longed to move just outside of Bournemouth) but quite frankly as we have got older a bit daunting to make the move.
Think we will stay put garden is fine but property that i viewed was just picturesque but you dont live in the garden do you
I really appreciated your comments and they really are similar to my thoughts

Swansong Tue 17-Jan-12 20:55:53

Hi Bikergran

Thats the problem it would cost too much for extensions as both of the properties are more or less the same price ours £40.000 more but what with legal fees etc....
Thank you for your reply

Swansong Tue 17-Jan-12 21:04:22

Hi harrigran

Thank you for your comment

Thats what my husband says he really doesnt want to have to share bathroom as we are used to our own
Our garden is copeable so will have to rethink!!

Granny23 Tue 17-Jan-12 21:18:55

I always intended to move to an island or at least somewhere near the sea when I retired. DH had other ideas and now the DDs have both moved nearby so we are very 'hands on' GPs. Our house is fine, all on the flat, but the garden is now too big for us and so noisy, with crows and dog walkers at the back and main road traffic in front. The DDs love this house where they were brought up (and where we still store their junk in the enormous loft). The prospect of moving is daunting, probably unaffordable, so I have reached a compromise with myself, such that I will happily stay here as long as all holidays are taken in cottages or lodges by the sea, where I can 'pretend' to live for a week or so and daydream about until the next time.

Instead of sitting in my noisy unkempt garden, I can either go and sit in my DDs' quiet and tidy ones or visit any of the 'perfect' gardens nearby which are open to the public. I tell myself, 'You know it makes sense!'

Learnergrandma Tue 17-Jan-12 21:43:12

We are trying to move at the moment, after over 25 years in the same house, to return to our roots hundreds of miles away. Our DCs have scattered a bit too as they've grown up, so it means that we cannot downsize - quite the contrary - we have to find somewhere big enough for them all to come and stay with their own families, all at the same time, or the family will disintegrate, and what will have been the point of it all? Lots of people must find themselves in this situation. I am so envious of grans who have their DCs close enough to be able to meet GCs from school and so on.....but many more must be just like us.
We are also in a quandary though about whether to go for rural peace or a bit of town life. We have havered for about two years now, one minute deciding on an acre or so surrounded by sheep, keeping a few chooks and growing our own veg and so on, the next thinking how wonderful it would be to be able to step out of the door and walk to shops and restaurants and theatres - not to mention GPs, dentists, opticians, chiropodists, funeral directors.....sad

Swansong Tue 17-Jan-12 22:09:57

Hi Granny 23

Thank you for your comment yes we are hands on as both son & daughter live nearby.
This bungalow I viewed had cold water swimming pool estate agent said present owners swim in it nearly every day - my husband said are you kidding it would kill me off

Swansong Tue 17-Jan-12 22:20:22

Hi Learnergrandma

Thank you so much for your comments it has been nice to share thoughts with everyone.
I think it is a good idea to buy a property where everyone can stay with you.
Rural is nice but think if you cant drive for some reason. I was without my car last year when I slipped on ice and broke my ankle.
Where we live now is convenient for shops GP and can walk to station which I like using a lot with my senior railcard.
Perhaps you could stay with your family that would be nice and its quality time for you both

glammanana Tue 17-Jan-12 23:26:51

Hi Swansong I am a believer that if you have to think about the property you have viewed then it is not for you,I have always found that when DH and I have viewed a new property we know if it for us as soon as we walk through the front door,house's have that feeling about them don't they ? even though we now live in an apartment as soon as I walked in I knew it was for us.Also as we get older I would find it difficult to cope with a large garden,we have a small garden area to the front and a communial garden at the rear,in the summer the front is a lovely display of easily maintained pot plants which give a rainbow of colours all summer.(PS.don't give up your en-suite) thanks

Greatnan Wed 18-Jan-12 02:25:38

Yes, I agree with Glammanana - I have always known when I found the right home for me as soon as I saw it, sometimes before I even got inside.
I had a garden and an above-ground pool in the house I sold to help my daughter,but I couldn't afford anything similar because of the fall in the value of the pound . However, I am very happy in my small (24 sq. metres) flat because I would not have been able to look after a garden and pool with my many trips away from home. I am not a natural gardener and it seems there is always something that needs doing in a garden.

I made a list of my 'must haves', 'would be nice' and 'definitely nots' and I kept on looking at flats and studios until I found one that had everything I wanted - wonderful views, a full-length bath to wallow in, a balcony, not on ground floor, double bed for visitors, in easy reach (one hour) of airport , in good walking country, small supermarket close enough to walk if my car was ever off the road, privacy, no crowds, little traffic, pretty chalet-type block (I hate those multi-storey concrete monstrosities in some ski resorts). I found a few that had nearly everything, and I was tempted, but I kept on looking until I found Residence des Neiges - House of the Snows. The second line of my address is a mountain pass.

I think that if you have any doubts at all, you should try to envisage your daily life in the new house. Would the lack of a second bathroom make for argument? And would you be able to cope with the garden in ten or twenty years time. Are you thinking with your head or your heart - I found something that suited both!

Mamie Wed 18-Jan-12 08:03:51

We think about this a lot - should we (eventually) downsize in France, should we move back to the UK, should that be near our daughter, where houses are expensive and it feels very crowded or should we go elsewhere? For the moment we love our large(ish) house and garden and the absolute peace and quiet of the countryside, but we can see that it wouldn't work for one minute if we couldn't drive. Our French neighbours are wonderful and everyone in the village looks after everyone else, but I would hate to have to depend on their kindness for a long time. I know we are lucky to have so much choice, but sometimes it is difficult to know what to do and when. Fortunately we don't have to worry about "blocking" houses here as there are lots of houses going spare of different sizes and states of repair.

Ariadne Wed 18-Jan-12 09:13:23

We thought and thought about our move; we bought this house 20 odd years ago when DH took early retirement from the army. For commuting, shops, hospitals etc. it has been excellent, but I long for the sea, and to be nearer to DD, who lives by the sea. She and I are excited by the very idea of just bumping into one another in town! And we'd be more conveniently situated for DSs - no more M25 trips for them.

Having been through the whole cancer trauma, I am very aware of the need to be fairly near a hospital (the daily trip for radiotherapy can be exhausting)

However, we realised that we wanted a house of the same size as this - 4 bedrooms, because all the others will come and stay with us, and because we like the space. The smaller the garden, the better!

JessM Wed 18-Jan-12 10:06:04

Hi Swansong - swimming pool! My SIL has a rather large outdoor pool and the really regret buying a house with a pool. It gets used for the teenagers and his friends a few days a year and costs an absolute bomb to heat and maintain.
I can see that it is difficult for people to make these decisions. One couple I know retired to remote place and then found themselves stranded when they could no longer drive themselves. My MIL moved to a bungalow about 5 years ago when she eventually admitted defeat in 2 stories (steep 1960s semi stairs)
In retrospect it would have been way better for her to move to a sheltered apartment but there was nothing like that within the area she lives. And she still wanted her own home. But she can no longer manage in it and is living a peripatetic existence - weeks with my SIL and weekends in her bungalow. High maintenance and only feasible cos she has a gang of dedicated kids.
Nobody likes to think "what happens if I can't do this or that anymore", but on the other hand stuff happens, even if it is only temporary medical things.

Annobel Wed 18-Jan-12 10:26:37

I downsized eleven years ago and in some ways I miss the space - and the conservatory - in the old house. But I don't miss the mortgage, the higher council tax, the large garden. But in those years since retirement my health and fitness have taken an unexpected tumble and I can't help thinking, 'what next?' This two-up, two-down former miner's house is an ideal size but would have been better if all on one level. I had the garden landscaped to be minimum maintenance. hmm. I can see trees that need pruning and a hedge that needs cutting and that's only from where I'm sitting. I guess when I was 60 I didn't think about being 70+. Don't get me wrong - I love my little house and the community I live in, with a bus stop and shops within minutes, but I think more about the future than I did eleven years ago!

Learnergrandma Wed 18-Jan-12 11:22:33

This is such an interesting thread - thanks to Swansong for bringing it up. Very timely for me. We have just had a call from our EA to say we have a second viewing from some people who really do seem to want to put in an offer on our family home so are going back from here early to make the house look as nice as poss - will be driving with our fingers and everything else crossed so watch out on the roads. We had planned to put it on the market as soon as DH retired but within weeks of that I had my heart attack (no prizes) and while life was on hold the market collapsed. But all this time we have thought of little else but where we should move to, swaying between rural retreat and the delights of town. Cannot, as I said earlier, actually downsize but obviously have to prioritise what is important: to me, enough bedrooms and I would seriously love big big rooms having struggled for so long with suburban cubbyholes; en suite for sure, cannot face prowling around in the dark of the night in my wincyette nightee looking for a loo; enough kitchen storage space to finally let me not only buy decent cooking stuff but have it readily available for use, not stacked under five other heavy boxes under the stairs.
But the most important factor really is, as they say, location. We had actually made the big decision - town - not just town, but the town, and, unless we lose it. the house. Then last week a cottage I have been quietly hankering after dropped its asking price to within hoping range, we went to view, and, yes, all in the melting pot again. Half an acre of secluded garden with a stream, dormant veg patch, completely private but passable lane, within ten minutes of our favourite beaches and pine forests.
But Annobel is of course right - we should be looking ahead. What happens in a few years? When we can no longer drive? No energy to dig up the spuds? Can't get across the dunes? Have we left too late? confused

harrigran Wed 18-Jan-12 15:51:55

Many things to take into consideration Learnergrandma that is why we decided to stay put and extend. I am one hundred yards from a bus stop and half a mile from a good supermarket. I have lived here for forty years and so have most of my neighbours so we have people we can rely on to hold a key and keep an eye on the house.

Learnergrandma Wed 18-Jan-12 17:22:34

All important considerations, harrigran, sounds like you have it sussed smile

Swansong Wed 18-Jan-12 19:52:13

Thank you all !!!-For your kind messages and after careful consideration we will stay where we are. Its too much downsizing for comfort and as lots of you kindly pointed out would we be able to keep up garden in 10 years time and the answer is no we would have to pay for a gardener.
We actually live in a private road with only 2 other properties so its quiet enough I suppose I dream the dream of a pretty chocolate box home but I need some sort of space (incidentally I decided to buy this bungalow in 15 minutes 10 years ago) so I am not usually undecided.
You all helped me to make up my mind I am pleased I asked!!!

Annobel Wed 18-Jan-12 20:02:57

Swansong , that's what GN is all about, I think. Among us we have hundreds of years of experience and are more than happy to share it. Sometimes it's sifting through it all that's the hard bit. I am so pleased that our collective 'wisdom' has helped you to come to a decision. Hope to run into you on lots of other threads too.

jeni Wed 18-Jan-12 20:34:19

annobel more like thousands I think grin