Sunday, January 8, 2012

Frugal Challenge - Day 3 Downsizing Your Home

Less house space = less stuff!
This little place is 107 sq. feet! People actually are living in these around the country.
Read more about the frugal challenge HERE.

Today's Daily Goal:
Given your own unique situation and based off of what you have read today…determine your own goal. How would downsizing your home assist you in living frugally?

We bought our home in 1995 during a price dip in the market. We were able to secure Cal Vet financing since my husband had military service background. It was a low enough interest rate that we could afford the payments. Mind you, this was a LARGE home, 4 bedrooms and a full bath downstairs and a master bedroom suite upstairs. It was actually known as "Brighton Place" back then. An elderly care home in a residential neighborhood. Our 4 children were between the ages of 10 and 20 and all wanted a room of their own. We had rented in this area for 13 years and watched the housing market carefully. This home is only 12 blocks from the beach. I KNOW, I was pinching myself daily because I just could not believe we could really be living here! (Can't believe I don't have a good picture of it to show you. Guess I'll be taking some of those REALLY soon!)

As my husbands income went up and our kids were getting to "moving out" age, we changed our mortgage from a 30 year loan to a 15 year load which just doubled the monthly payment. Our intention is to have the house paid off by the time my husband retires. There would be no WAY he could retire and make a house payment.

Today's goal makes me think about home downsizing. Yes, we thought about that. But here, the homes jumped in prices so even if we bought a much smaller home, it would cost more than this one! We have downsized the items we keep IN the house, making the rooms into guest rooms minimally furnished. AND now that I've had 3 of my 4 kids come home and live for a while, I'm actually glad we DIDN'T downsize. (One family moved in because they lost their home to foreclosure) And my husband and I have thought that if we really needed to some day, we could probably even either rent rooms or close off the upper story and rent it out. We're also hoping that home prices will rise and as we pay down, the home's value will go up and if need be, we could THEN sell the house and make enough to live on through our final years. We also use the backyard for fruit and vegetable gardening which saves us quite a bit on our grocery bill.
Little Girl's Guest Room
My PLANS for our last Guest Room.

Our Beach Guest Room

Do we have other "home" ideas. Of course! We have a motorhome that is a very simple one bedroom, about 270 sq. ft. place. It is in great condition and fits hubby and I perfectly, at least for a couple of weeks at a time! I can't imagine living permanently in it, but we could if we had to. Forced frugality FOR SURE! 

For now, I think we will just keep doing what we are doing. Our rooms downstairs are filled with necessities only and by the end of this year, I'm hoping we can say that about the rest of the house as well. 

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