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Moving to a bigger home after the dc are grown


klmama
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An older lady and I were discussing our homes.  I said that we'd considered moving, but that it seemed silly to move to a bigger place after the kids were grown.  She countered that we would want to have space for our kids and their families to stay with us.  She said that if there isn't enough space for all of them to sleep or it isn't an easy place to bring small children, the kids won't visit as often.  I know that's been true for us with visiting my family. On the other hand, I hate to move out of my dc's  childhood home into a larger place, just so they'll visit, when it won't feel like home to them, KWIM?  What do you think?

 

 

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A lot depends on the layout.  If a new house is smaller, yet the common rooms are open concept, then that goes farther than a bigger house with a bunch of separate rooms.

 

Does the current house have 2 spare bedrooms for guests?  Would a new house have more than 2 spare rooms for guests?  They don't have to sit empty: they could be rooms that you use, but can be converted into guest rooms--a computer room with a full sized daybed or futon in it, for example.

 

ETA:  For a smaller family, 1 spare room would be fine.  But if you have a large family and expect to host lots of them, then 2 spare rooms would be better.  

Edited by Garga
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My parents moved from a 2 bedroom apartment to a 3 bedroom condo after my brother and I have graduated. My mom needed an elderly friendly layout and my childhood home’s floor plan is not as convenient/safe for my mom after the onset of rheumatoid arthritis.

 

ETA:

My brother (only sibling) lives very near my parents new home. We use my parents spare room when we visited and just slept on mattresses on the floor which is what my kids are used to.

Edited by Arcadia
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My parents recently(as in less than 2 years ago) moved out of my childhood home into a single level house.  The square footage is about the same (or maybe a little smaller) than childhood home but because it's on one floor and laid out well, it feels like it has more space.  

 

And not once since they have moved has it not felt like home going there.  My sister actually bought my childhood home from my parents and to be honest it no longer feels like "home" to me, but my parents new home does.  I was kinda of surprised by that but I guess "home" for me is really about being with my family and not the physical building.

Edited by cjzimmer1
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We wrestled with this a year ago.  Our kids were 12, 14, and 18 (but staying at home) and we needed more room, but for just a few years until the kiddos launch.  DH and I LOVED our home, and it would have been PERFECT for he and I when the kids are grown, but we just couldn't make the space work for now.  We moved into a bigger home last year, and I can see us staying here forever mainly so we can have room for the kids and their families later on.  We are fortunate because the master is on the main floor and we wouldn't have to use the upstairs bedrooms and family room unless we had guests.

 

(But also...I HATE moving.  I never, ever want to move again.  Like...EVER.  So I am determined to find all the reasons why this bigger hosue is a good thing to hold on to!)

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Honestly I think it is best not to make any kind of assumptions about kid visiting arrangements. We always stayed in a hotel visiting both sets of my grandparents. We almost never stay over more than 1 night with either sets of our parentts, especially as our kids have gotten older. It is nice to have some extra space but I wouldn’t spend a fortune to set up a sleeping arrangement than may happen seldom to never.

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The fact is, we have always planned to move to a bigger home since before we bought our current one.

 

And much of our furniture is dated and/or worn but not antique, plus the kitchen needs work.

So even if we stay in our present house, it's going to change a lot.

I think moving to a bigger place that is more comfortable and bringing along a few things that we really like would be a great move for us.  We are cramped with our stuff and hobbies, and I would like a bigger, more functional space.  I would like to entertain others more, and have room for grandchildren and nieces and nephews.  And I've always imagined myself in a big, rambling house.  So it's still a goal, and if we did move, I think our DD will approve and enjoy it.

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I would not want to buy, heat, clean, and keep empty an extra 2-3 bedrooms in a house just for when people might come visit.

 

On the other hand, I wouldn't necessarily move out of a large house if I owned it after the kids moved out - DH's grandparents owned a house that they'd converted into a up/down duplex (but accessible from the inside too, so functional as a one-family household) to pay off the mortgage when the kids were little.  Once their kids moved out, the house was paid for, and they no longer needed to rent the upstairs, they kept the house - there was almost always someone living in the upstairs, at least in the summer (they had a fair number of kids and grandkids).  DH and I lived there for a summer when we were quite broke and had a newborn, and DH lived there with his twin sister while in college.

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I would not want to buy, heat, clean, and keep empty an extra 2-3 bedrooms in a house just for when people might come visit.

 

 

 

See, I wouldn't have them be empty.

 

I'd have an upstairs master suite and a downstairs one, and use the upstairs one as long as possible but be glad to know that a downstairs one is an option if stairs become an issue for us, as they do for so many older folks.  In the meantime, though, the downstairs one might be a library with a lovely fireplace.  One that we could easily put doors over the shelves, and use some for dresser space if it needed to be a bedroom.  One with a nice sofa or futon in front of the fire place that would open out into a bed if guests visited or we wanted to move down stairs.  It would not look like a guest room at all, and it would get a lot of use.

 

If I had more bedrooms upstairs, I guarantee you that I would use those, too.  One small one or part of one would be an office with computers and records, I suppose.  But if we had sleepover company we would bring the laptops downstairs to the library, and stash the printers and fax and records compactly in a lateral file cabinet with a tablecloth on it, and an armoire, so they would be more or less out of sight.  I am sure I could think of a clever but convertible use for one or two more.  I might have one permanent guest room, but that would be the limit; however, I would always be ready to host more people than that if I could choose a big rambling house.

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ah, I just don't have enough stuff to fill a house with extra rooms!  I guess I could buy stuff to fill them, though.  A library sounds cool -but then again DH and I pretty much spend all day together, so it would just be the new living room and then the living room wouldn't have anyone in it.

What I mostly lack is working surfaces.

I like to read, to play board games, to make cards, to knit, to weave, to cook, and to hike.  Sometimes I write, too.

 

I like to be cozy in front of a fire.

 

I like to make things, and fix things.

 

I need room to do this, and room for the supplies.  

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I still hope to move to a larger house in a few more years. (Well, I want to NOW, but it isn't possible for a few more years.)  My oldest three will likely be graduated, and I'll have another teen and tween if not two teens.  Our house has been too small for us for the past 7 years, at least!

 

I don't think I'd move *just* to have a bigger place for family to visit, but it's a consideration.  My kids really don't seem to be attached to the whole childhood home concept, probably because ours IS such a pain, lol.  Or maybe I've prepared them with years of talk about having moving out of the development that won't let us have chickens.  I do want to stay local, which does matter to them.

 

I'm not opposed to make shift sleeping arrangements and having grandkids "camping out" all over the living room floor, but exponents are crazy, lol.  I have 5 kids.  My mom and stepdad have 5 kids, all together.  Last year, we did Thanksgiving with our parents, 4 of us siblings, and our 10 kids.  One sibling couldn't make it with her husband and three kids.  We had TWO houses on the property we rented, with a total of 5 bedrooms.  There were people everywhere, *STUFF* everywhere, and we were very fortunate to have lots of land for all the kids to run around and burn energy.  It was wonderful, but that 5th sibling would have made it extra tight.

 

I'm not running out to get two houses or a mansion but, if we hope to be able to host all our kids and they average more than a kid or two themselves, our tiny 3 bedroom house on a rocky lot isn't going to cut it.

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So a perspective unrelated to family:

 

Many years ago I ran into my favorite teacher. While we chatted I asked if she still lived on ------ (name of street across from high school). Her response "oh no! We found that a townhouse was much too small for two retired people." Then she went on to name a neighborhood with very large single family homes.

 

I thought it was funny, but I guess they both had projects separate from each other and wanted space in the home to pursue them. Additionally, she's the type of person I'd be surprised setting up her life to revolve around grandkids. She's definitely involved. Her younger grandkids attend the high school her DS attended (a year ahead of me). She goes to every football game to watch grandson in the band.

 

So the message I get from that is set up your retirement home how you feel comfortable, not based on expectation that grandkids and others will visit often. Having such expectation can become a disappointment. In my foo, my grandparents laid guilt trips on having space and wanting us to see them. That made us hate visiting.

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Well, we always plan to have a spare bedroom because I want my children to always know that they can come back home and even live, if they need to.  And that goes for someday grandchildren.  But, it won't be a big home.  It'll probably be more of a downtown condo, where we can ride public transportation and get to lots of places easily.  However, I'm counting on at least one of our children to live in the same area and have a bigger home for people to gather and stay for holidays, if necessary.  :) 

 

It's not what I had envisioned years ago, but this is what will work for us, and should be fine.

 

 

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We moved in the spring of last year, when the boys were 17 and 20. It was a slight, but relatively minor, downsize. I did worry a bit that they'd never view this house as home, but . . .  doesn't seem to be a problem. I think it could  be with some kids, but ours are practical boys and don't seem to feel sentimental about houses (although they're fairly sentimental about things like family traditions).

 

I've always said that until we're in assisted living, a nursing home or dead we'll always have enough space for them to land if needed, and unsaid but included in that was having enough space to land and feel reasonably comfortable. But would we ever buy a larger house for the main/sole reason of being able to accommodate potential future DILs and grandkids? No, I don't think so. It's projecting too far into the future. It's assuming way too much. Too many "maybes" to uproot lives on and spend a lot of money on.

Edited by Pawz4me
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I knew someone whose parents moved into a larger home after the kids were launched, just for the purpose of having room for them to visit with their families.  The adult children were annoyed, as the family could have used more space while the kids were living there.  

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Every person I have heard this from really enjoys home projects and decorating. They like to go shopping for furniture and curtains, and look at paint samples, etc.

 

I think it's nice when it works out for people who enjoy having guest rooms.

 

But I think there are other ways to have things manage, including planning trips together or staying in a hotel and having cousins stay with the grandparents, or cousins sleep together in one hotel room, etc.

 

I don't think it's required for every relative to sleep and use a bathroom in the same place.

 

And then we also will have a natural mix of people staying "home" and working puzzles or watching a movie, and others going on outings of some kind to have more personal time with sibling/s or age group of cousins or things like that.

 

I would say I grew up with a model where cousins are together (especially close in age) but parents didn't necessarily spend gobs of time with huge groups of BILs and SILs.

Edited by Lecka
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We are contemplating a move but external factors are motivating us because of our current home's physical location within our village. We want a new neighbor....it's a building making us unhappy not a person BTW. The house we are in was our only choice at the time we bought it and while it isn't the smallest house we have lived in it does receive an award for smallest kitchen. I used to enjoy cooking. ;) I will be honest and say the current house would be difficult for me with littles around but fictional grandchildren aren't motivating me!

 

Our graduated dc's also have every intention of calling our house home for the next few years and we have discovered that 4 adults living in a house is a bit different than the adult\child mix we are used to. Both dh and I want spots for our hobbies of our own. More counter space in the kitchen would make me happy. We are waiting for a house to come on the market better suited to our needs.

Edited by mumto2
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Honestly I think it is best not to make any kind of assumptions about kid visiting arrangements. We always stayed in a hotel visiting both sets of my grandparents. We almost never stay over more than 1 night with either sets of our parentts, especially as our kids have gotten older. It is nice to have some extra space but I wouldn’t spend a fortune to set up a sleeping arrangement than may happen seldom to never.

 

 

I agree. As you get older, do you WANT to be cleaning and maintaining a larger house just in case the kids come visit? That is what motels are for...

 

Plus the larger the house, the more stuff the kids will expect to store there.

 

Although in this day and age, having room for a young adult or young family to move back home after a job loss is looking more and more practical :-(

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I don't think I'd move to a huge house for my adult kids, but having an extra bedroom would be handy for all sorts of guests.

 

I'd say an average sized house would be fine. Just don't move to a tiny house because I can see that would be an issue. 

 

People can sleep on air mattresses and all.

 

We have family members with larger houses than needed, (I think they were hoping that out of town kids would visit more) but it really makes no difference in how often we visit. We've visited the same amount when they were living in a 2 bedroom condo as when they're living in a 5 bedroom house. 

 

If people want to visit, they will make it happen. 

 

I'd be more likely to pay for hotel rooms to help my kids visit if space was an issue than to simply pay for a much bigger house.

 

 

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My mother lives close enough that we don't need to stay over, although we have after hurricanes with power outages (we used to lose a lot quicker than surrounding areas).  Her house is about 1500 square feet and has three bedrooms, and what used to be a very large living room that dd now lives in.   It worked fine and would definitely work if we were staying for a weekend.

 

In-laws live in senior housing, I think their house is technically a double-wide.  They have two bedrooms, we stay in the smaller bedroom when we visit (they are too far away for same day), with dh occasionally sleeping on the couch.  Works fine for a few days or even a week.

 

Our house is tiny (750 square feet), all one level, we can afford the mortgage, has three "bedrooms" although one is tiny and has no closet.  We plan to stay for a variety of reasons.  Dh is 62, would like to retire someday and we can afford this mortgage on what I can make if need be.  It's all one level so no concerns about stairs.  We will always have at least one "extra" room that could be used for visitors but we also have a while before the younger kids move out.  Older dd stays with her younger sister if she stays over.  If she moved back in permanently, we would do some rearranging.

 

We have multiple hotels within 5 miles, AND we've had family stay and camp in our yard.   If the kids eventually have families too large to visit comfortably, those are both reasonable options IMO.

 

That said, I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to have a library.

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As someone who stays with my parents when we go see them, and who visits them at least every 6 weeks - if we had to stay in a hotel each time we would probably only be able to 3 or 4 times a year.  In fact, I have been there every other weekend this past 2 months helping my mom finish closing my grandmother's estate. I love that visiting my parents and siblings basically costs me a tank of gas. Over Thanksgiving the children and I went for the whole week and DH came after work on Wednesday night.  That would have cost us over $1000 for a hotel.  

 

A good friend from high school recently told me her parents just finished their basement so there was more room for her and her siblings to stay comfortably when they were all there.  She loves it!

 

I don't think I would move just to have room for visitors, but if I was thinking of moving as my children were getting older that would be a consideration. However, as PPs have stated, layout makes a bigger difference than square footage.  

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I am hoping to move to a much smaller house when the dc are grown -- maybe even before they're all grown.  Dh wants to move to a one-story house because my RA is going to get worse and believes that the steps will be too difficult for me.  And he's probably right.

 

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It depends on how often I think I might need the extra space. If my kids are only visiting maybe two or three times a year it might make sense for me to foot the bill for a hotel if they feel that it's too cramped in the house.  Buying a house larger than I normally would means more money for the house, additional upkeep, additional costs for heating and cooling, and additional taxes.  

 

We're weirdos though. We're looking at a ranch style house that has three bathrooms and we talked about turning one bathroom into a walk in closet (off the living room!) instead of having three bathrooms to clean/maintain. 

 

Also, my grandkids are funny. When they visit with their parents we have room for everyone to sleep on beds, futon, or something. All the kids choose to sleep on the floor in their parents' bedroom instead.  So our history is that beds aren't that important. 

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My parents moved to a condo yet still expected my siblings and me with kids to visit there. At times that was nine kids with no where to go outside or to a play room. My dad got more and more sensitive to noise as he got older and it was just not enjoyable at all.

 

We had to move for a job and had a period of a week between houses that we had to pay for a hotel because it was too close quarters to stay with my dad that long. That made me sad. We were in crisis and I had no place to go. That sounds silly but it made me want to have some place for my kids to land in crisis.

 

I always thought we would want to downsize as we don't really enjoy home and yard maintenance. But I really want someplace for my kids to come. Some families are comfortable with everyone piled on top of each other but some are not. I would love to be able to offer my daughters in law a separate bedroom on another level with a bathroom to themselves :)

 

I also think it is hard for kids to launch nowadays and if someone wants to lives with us for a time while getting on their feet, paying off loans or medical bills or whatnot, I want that to be comfortable.

 

Now, I would never keep a big house if I really didn't want it or couldn't afford it. But we won't have much to offer our adult children. I would love to at least always offer a place to stay.

Edited by teachermom2834
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Part of my response is based on having 3 kids, one of whom is extremely unlikely to become a parent.  I'm not expecting a lot of grandkids, so I think we'll be able to make things work.  I'm one of 3 kids, one sister is unmarried, there are 5 grandkids total.  With everyone it is:  my mom and step-dad, 3 adult kids, 2 spouses, 5 grandkids.  So -- 12 total.  Adding in my adult cousin, aunt, and uncle, and that is 15.  So ----- for major holidays when we are all together, it is 15 people total. 

 

That's about what I envision for us, too.

 

But if 10 years from now it becomes obvious that what I currently picture as "15 at the most" becomes 25 or 30, then I will feel pretty differently. 

 

We also would like to live in the same area as at least one of our adult kids, it's something we have talked about.  So we also picture living near one adult child, and so we could split visitors between two places. 

 

Really my husband is hoping our adult kids will stay nearby, too, but I don't know how likely that is. 

 

I've been picturing it as ---- well, not everyone has luxury quarters.  But if it was to the point that people just didn't fit, that would be different to me. 

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My dh & I vacillate tremendously on this topic. 

Our dd, husband & then-1yo daughter would have liked THREE guest bedrooms when they visited. ;-)

 

And yes, my in-laws graciously hosted all 12 of us (grand/kids) once a year in their House-of-50-years.

 

BUT . . . my dh & I just finished a year-long project of emptying & selling this house.

We really, really wish they had downsized (or even had a plan?!?) before they were incapacitated.

 

ETA = Unexpected solutions may arise.  For example (at our family gathering 3 hrs away from here), my dd's family now stays with her 2nd cousin . . . who is single & now owns a 3 BD starter home.  It was a perfect solution . . . which we never could have anticipated 2 years ago. 

Edited by Beth S
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I doubt one of my kids will ever have children and for the other, who wants a medical field career, I expect she'll be in her 30s by the time there are kids. We're definitely downsizing. I'm stressed out by the amount of space we have as it is and don't like owning a bunch of stuff. I can't imagine having two more bedrooms without full-time occupants.

 

But I'm weird and only have this house now because my children insisted that I be "normal". It sucks and I'm counting down the days until they're both moved out and I can get the boxcar, gypsy wagon, lighthouse or yurt that I would prefer.

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If I had a really big place, i think it would be easier to clean and maintain because there would be places for everything.  Not like now, where I have to dig for stuff all the time.

 

Also, I picture having a two story house and using the whole thing while we were relatively fit, but then kind of shutting down the use of the upstairs once we were less fit.  So the amount of cleaning would vary with our capacity.  

 

I love the PP's idea of always having a refuge available to family.  It's so hard to get a toe hold in real estate now, and launching is challenging.  I want my kids and nieces and nephews who need it to know that they have a backstop and are welcome at my place.

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I knew someone whose parents moved into a larger home after the kids were launched, just for the purpose of having room for them to visit with their families.  The adult children were annoyed, as the family could have used more space while the kids were living there.  

 

This seems unfair. Sometimes the family isn't in the position to move till the kids are out. It just has rotten timing. I'm probably going to be in the situation. I would LOVE to move, and could really use more space but it probably won't happen terribly soon, and Oldest is 16. (Though not likely to move out as soon as she turns 18.)

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This seems unfair. Sometimes the family isn't in the position to move till the kids are out. It just has rotten timing. I'm probably going to be in the situation. I would LOVE to move, and could really use more space but it probably won't happen terribly soon, and Oldest is 16. (Though not likely to move out as soon as she turns 18.)

Yeah, entitled much?

We would NEVER have considered moving to a bigger place before DD was finished with college expenses, because they are nutsy variable and you have to be ready Right Now when they come up.

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This seems unfair. Sometimes the family isn't in the position to move till the kids are out. It just has rotten timing. I'm probably going to be in the situation. I would LOVE to move, and could really use more space but it probably won't happen terribly soon, and Oldest is 16. (Though not likely to move out as soon as she turns 18.)

 

Yes, I can see this.  I don't know all the circumstances around the move, just that it bothered the adult kids. For all I know the family just communicated badly. The kids were not entitled brats, so something must have been off in some way.

 

In my life timing has always seemed off, so I may well be in a position of having a larger/better house when my kids are up and out too!  

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Adult kids can be transient, so it's difficult to make permanent decisions based on what might or might not happen. When we moved about 1,000 miles, we wanted enough room for all of our adult kids to have some space when they came home.  After we moved, four of them decided to move nearby, so we really didn't need the space.  After awhile, two of them ended up moving further away again to pursue job opportunities.  Now we need the extra space again for when they come home with their families.  Revolving door.

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I'm really hoping to keep our largish house as long as possible.  One of my many reasons is that my oldest son and his wife and kids are heading to a foreign country to work in a hospital there.  They are going under a missions agency and the plan is that they will return home either every two years for 6 months or every four years for 1 year.  They will need somewhere to either live or more likely, at least a place to park themselves temporarily when in transition during these times as well as a place to store personal items when they are overseas. We've had lots of experience with that as my in-laws and sister-in-law are missionaries and we know the importance of that place to call "home" when they get off the plane.  

 

And that's just my oldest!  Who knows what will happen with the rest?

 

Our house is a single-story ranch so if one of us can't do the steps any more at some point in the future,  the only adjustment we would have to make is to move the laundry room upstairs which is totally doable.  

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I don't know.  I think the bigger factor for me would be the amount of upkeep.  Even now I wish we lived in a smaller home sometimes because trying to keep stuff clean is a real pain.

 

I just don't feel like "normal" cleaning will ever seem difficult after years and years of trying to keep up with a family of 7 in a tiny house!  It's kind of my dream to keep a pristine home once they're grown up so I can show them it was all their fault.  :lol:

 

(I'm only half joking!)

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We won't be upscaling - we feel really fortunate that we were able to afford some repairs at the same moment that housing values bubbled back up a little, thus we were able to refinance. This small, one story brick ranch on half an acre will be paid off in less than fifteen years, and is a good option for aging in place (if possible). We have got to get serious about providing for ourselves - we've been 100% focused on minor children's needs, necessarily, but our adult children will not have significant financial help from us, nor be the center of our financial plans for the next quarter century.

 

Any other support we can give, from letting commuter students and apprentices live and eat here for free, to providing free babysitting for grandkids, we will absolutely do. We will be the grandparents who go to all recitals and little league games. Ds and future DDIL plan to live in our city, to be near both families. Looking forward to that, so much!

 

As far as non-local adult children and their families visiting: We'll have one spare bedroom, the finished garage could hold a lot of beds and even serve as an apartment in a pinch, and there's a nice little hotel in the neighborhood. It's also an older community that can handle visiting RVs parked in driveway or yard.

 

I'm pretty grateful to be fixed up this well.

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An older lady and I were discussing our homes. I said that we'd considered moving, but that it seemed silly to move to a bigger place after the kids were grown. She countered that we would want to have space for our kids and their families to stay with us. She said that if there isn't enough space for all of them to sleep or it isn't an easy place to bring small children, the kids won't visit as often. I know that's been true for us with visiting my family. On the other hand, I hate to move out of my dc's childhood home into a larger place, just so they'll visit, when it won't feel like home to them, KWIM? What do you think?

How about turning one of your kids’ bedrooms into a bunk room for the grandchildren?

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If either of my parents had their homes set up for us to visit (my mom has pet's among other issues, my dad's place is small) we'd visit a lot more often. 

 

Our long term plan is to buy property and build us a small house, about 600-700 sq. feet with 2 bedrooms 1.5 baths.  Then we'll build a guest house with 2 bunk/ bedrooms, small living space/loft and a bathroom for when the kids visit.  That way they have their own space and will feel more comfortable. 

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Ya know, it's just ... awkward cramming a bunch of people into a space that isn't big enough.

 

People say it's part of the fun, but I can tell you for sure that it's not fun for me or mine anymore.  The fun stopped when serious snoring started to be common.  The fun stopped when serious back pain from sleeping on the floor, and subsequent days of crankiness, started to pop up among the older of the rellies.  The fun stopped when bathroom availability became an increasing Issue.

 

DH's parents have a tiny house with a guest room upstairs in a finished attic.  It is always miserable there.  It's ALWAYS way way way too hot and dry, year round.  It's bad enough downstairs where they are, poor chilly things, but upstairs it is an oven, always, even though in the winter we close the heater vent.  The streetlights shine in through the window.  (We put a blanket up, but that means no air).  The bed is a double and the mattress broke down decades ago.  Staying at a nearby motel is unacceptable, according to DH, who says, no, we just can't do that.  And I get it.  It would be taken badly, and these are nice people whose feelings I wouldn't hurt for the world.  We are always trying to juggle bathroom use.  Dh's back always hurts.  They watch TV extremely loudly all the time, and they expect meals to be eaten at a Particular Specific Time no matter what else is going on, and we don't even fit around the table.  I love them, and this is fine, but I want to do better toward making people comfortable in my home.

 

I want to have guests have a better time than that.  It's not that I want to dedicate lots of space to an everlasting Victorian string of houseguests, but rather that I want to have my environment be inviting.  I want people to feel comfortable, cozy, and pampered, and to have fun.  I don't mind going to some lengths to provide that.  I can't do it very well right now, except at our cabin, but a girl can dream.  Someday I would still like our main house to be a big rambling one.  Or possibly to build a tiny cottage in our deep back yard (we have a 60 x 150 foot lot, kind of deep for a city lot), to welcome people to but use for a studio or library or retreat otherwise.  I figure if I come up with a tiny house or a big rambling house, preferably with a basement studio or in law quarters, I will have the next generation filling it up on a rotating basis for years to come.  I feel like I should do this.  I would like it, and also I CAN, so why wouldn't I help others out?

Edited by Carol in Cal.
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We have been talking about this recently, as we are contemplating moving back to Ohio after 13 years in the D.C. area.  While we have a very large house here (and next to no yard), I have never ever wanted to be retired here for good.  Way too stressful and too much traffic!

 

So assuming we do move, we've been talking about what kind of house to get.  Although our oldest 2 are in college, we still have 8 left at home (ages 16-3), so we will have kids in the house for a long time more.  We really can't downsize permanently at this point!  I definitely want to have enough room so that kids can come home again to stay.  My parents have a lovely house for that, and I love that I can go there with all the kids and not feel like it's a burden on them.  My in-laws are borderline hoarders, and we absolutely can't stay there, and we also can't afford many nights at a hotel (2 rooms at least!), so we rarely visit.  If we go, we stay for one night.  

 

Our oldest will be in the Air Force when he graduates, so we are not expecting him to be anywhere near us necessarily.  We also want room for a future daughter-in-law and kids to come stay for however long if he gets deployed.  In fact, we're not really expecting any of our kids to live near us, although of course we hoe some end up staying near.  So probably people will need to come visit, and I want places for them to stay!  

 

I also hope for a main floor master, so that we could have bedrooms upstairs that we could use when needed, or close off when not needed.  Here in D.C we have 2 separate heating/AC units, so we could do that and not use the upstairs one. 

 

But dh doesn't really want to build, and that's how we could really end up with a workable house for the long term.  So who knows what we'll do?  

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I'm just realizing where this comes from for me.

My grandmother was a fabulous hostess.  Very genuine, and generous, and not stuffy at all even when things were fancy.  She really had a gift.

 

And she only had a 3 bedroom house, but the living room, dining room, and kitchen were all really big, and there was a full basement with cement floors (suitable for roller skating!) (and with racks of gorgeous old clothes to play dress up with) (and with a ping pong table), and one of the guest bedrooms was fixed up kind of like a family room, with a TV and enough room to set up a card table and play games.  And there was always an expansive feel when she had folks over.  We would have appetizers in the living room, and champagne, and a nice fire, and then there would be a lull.  Kids would run downstairs to play ping pong or skate or make up stories.  Then the Main Course would be brought to the dining room, but first, shrimp cocktail in those oldfashioned champagne glass looking stemmed bowls.  Then the fairly significant main course.  Then another break.  Some folks would clean.  Some would go for a walk.  Some would watch TV or rev up the fire.  Then DESSSERT!  and coffee.  Then liquoers (no idea how to spell that, sorry) in tiny thimble glasses.  Then back to the living room, maybe some dancing.  People would sing, or play the piano, or our recorders, or just converse.

 

It was all so nice, and uncrowded, and comfy.  My house is too small for that, but I guess it's my ideal in many respects.

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As I was reading more of this thread I realized that I might as well downsize because if my kids have as many kids as I did, I could end up with 36 grandchildren!  Me + dh + 6 kids each with a spouse and 6 kids would equal 50 people.  Um, 50 people cannot sleep in this house.  Nope.  And I'm not buying a house big enough to sleep 50.  Double nope.

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As I was reading more of this thread I realized that I might as well downsize because if my kids have as many kids as I did, I could end up with 36 grandchildren! Me + dh + 6 kids each with a spouse and 6 kids would equal 50 people. Um, 50 people cannot sleep in this house. Nope. And I'm not buying a house big enough to sleep 50. Double nope.

Being able to host one or two children plus their spouses and kids at one time might be nice though :)

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