gearing up

Size Matters // Should We Downsize Our Home When We Retire?

happy monday, friends! for those returning from fincon, we hope you had an amazing time, and got home safely! we’ve loved seeing all the pics from fincon, and hope to go next year, when it’s in the west.

today’s post is continuing the conversation we began in our post should you move to retire? // why we moved to a small town. that post was more about the small town lifestyle, and today’s post is more about the physical structure we live in. quick recap: we used to live in a big, expensive city, but moved a few years ago to a small mountain town, where we could buy a house for significantly less than our city condo cost. our current locale is still a high cost of living area, but it’s vastly cheaper than the city we moved from — not to mention that small town life is just generally not conducive to spending a lot. there’s less ability and opportunity to go out to eat, and many fewer places to shop. the culture is different here, too, in ways that are good for spending: people are far more likely to suggest a hike or picnic than a night out. plus car insurance is a lot less, although utilities are a bit more, so those balance out.

but now that we’re here in our mountain town, the question we have on our minds in a big way is: should we downsize our home in a few years when we quit our jobs?

some backstory: when we moved to the mountains in 2011, we didn’t yet have such an aggressive early retirement plan in place. we knew we wanted to retire “early,” but we hadn’t yet defined what that meant. so we bought our house thinking that we’d be working full-time from it for a while, since we both telecommute for work. back in the city, we had a two-bedroom condo, and our second bedroom served as the office we both shared, as well as our guest room. on a good day, when we didn’t have guests around, we’d still find ourselves on conference calls at the same time, and have to do this dance where we’d silently wave and scowl at each other, each one of us trying to get the other to take their call elsewhere. it was frustrating. and not something we wanted to repeat in our “forever home.” and that’s not even talking about what a bad day was like, when we had guests, and both got displaced from our office.

so our wishlist for our mountain house was: three bedrooms plus at least one bonus space like a loft or finished attic, so that we could have our bedroom, a dedicated guest room, one bedroom for one of our offices, and then the bonus space for the other’s office. this, we felt, would increase our harmony, because we’d no longer share an office, and would no longer get displaced by guests. in the end, we found a house that we love, which checked all the boxes: three bedrooms plus loft plus small finished attic for a second office, so we actually ended up with two dedicated guest rooms. and though the house has more space than we need, it’s fairly modest as far as today’s homes go, clocking in at 1800 square feet. it’s not a fancy house, but it’s definitely nicer than our dirtbag aspirations would suggest it should be.

fast forward almost four years, and we still love our house. we love having separate offices, and we love that when we have guests — which is fairly often, since we live in a popular mountain destination — we don’t feel like we’re all on top of each other. but there are some things we also don’t love: the upkeep that comes with a house this size, and knowing that we could take money out of the house if we downsized, and be that much closer to retirement. plus, we know that we just don’t need this much space. so, in the time-honored tradition of decision-makers everywhere, we’ve made a pro/con list to help us think through whether we should truly think of this house as our forever home, or plan to downsize when we retire, or possibly sooner.

pros to downsizing

free up money — we think we could potentially free up as much as $100,000 by downsizing in our market, if we had the patience to find the right house to move into. that’s a big deal.

reduce our footprint — we would need less electricity, gas and firewood to keep a small house operating, which appeals to our sense of environmental responsibility (and frugality!).

less work — in a smaller home, the interior maintenance and cleaning would be less time-consuming, although we’d likely still have to tackle just as many pine needles outside.

cons to downsizing

less desirable rental — we plan to rent out our house when we travel to offset our costs, and a 3-bed 2-bath house will be a lot more appealing to renters or vacationers than a smaller home. and of course we could collect more money renting out a larger home!

less ideal for guests — right now we have a nice set-up for when we have guests. our room is upstairs and the guest rooms are downstairs, so everyone gets privacy.

property tax could increase — where we live, property taxes are based on purchase price, and because we bought near the bottom of the market in 2011, the price we’d pay for a small house now would likely be more than we paid for our big house back in 2011, and our taxes would go up.

small common areas — we have been quoted as saying that we’d be willing to sleep in a closet if we could just have room for a big, loungy couch and a table big enough to host a big dinner party. but houses just aren’t designed this way. every small home that we’ve seen has had a correspondingly small living room and dining area, as though people in small homes have no desire to entertain. and the bedrooms in those homes are “normal size,” not scaled down. why is this?? if we could find a small home with tiny bedrooms and full-size common areas, we’d jump on it in a heartbeat. (and no, we’re not into the idea of building a house to suit us, because we don’t want to waste new materials building a new house when there are plenty of existing homes.)

right now the pro/con list has three pros and four cons, so is leaning toward don’t downsize. but we’re not planning to make this decision anytime soon, and some of the factors may take on relatively greater weight. or maybe, once we buy our future small travel trailer, we can think of that as an extra guest room, skewing the scale in favor of downsizing. stay tuned to find out!

do you plan to move in retirement, either to move to a new location, or to downsize? have you already found your forever home? or does your life plan involve long-term renting, giving you lots more flexibility? any factors we should add to our pro/con list?

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60 replies »

  1. There’s no right answer to this issue unfortunately, but I’m amazed at how many of us in this community have been pondering this of late. (I posted about it too a while back).

    You would think that with the combined intellect of all of us PF gurus (?) we’d be able to solve it, but perhaps it’s unsolvable!

    I think my wife threatened to divorce me if we lived in an RV, and we can’t renovate our next house any smaller as she’d never forgive me. Oh well, at least our house will be smaller than the average home!

  2. It sounds like you thoroughly enjoy your current home and make use of its extra space but want to downsize due to economic efficiency. Based on that, I’d say stick with your current place as long as you are fine with your current FI date. I think there’s a point where preferred lifestyle outweighs optimization.

    • We definitely like the house, and the only downsides are financial and maintenance related. Downsizing would only speed our FI date up a little bit, so we wouldn’t do it for purely money reasons. And as you say, we have a nice lifestyle here!

  3. As long as the cons outweigh the pros, I would stay. When we bought our first house, we didn’t realize we were buying our forever home – but now we’d both really like it to be. It’s more than enough house for two people, and the jury is still out on kids. What’s funny, though, it that when we were househunting, everyone told us we were crazy to buy a three-bedroom when most houses in the suburbs have 4 or 5. I’m so glad we stuck to our guns. What we might lack in square feet we make up in yard – we have nearly half an acre, which is huge for the ‘burbs.

    • Wow — a half acre! We have a third. And I definitely dream of more land, but then I think about how much raking that would require to keep the pine needles from posing a fire risk — maybe that’s more than we can handle. :-) And good for you guys for sticking to your guns and going with the three-bedroom house! You have to do what’s right for you!

  4. I think a lot of this depends on your lifestyle. For my wife and I, there’s no way that either of us want to be landlords in the future (though we did consider this possibility in Sedona). We are renting my old home out now until we officially retire (we did this to try our hand at renting), and even though it has been relatively painless, it’s also because we managed to get some of the best renters that we could ever imagine. We both know our luck will run out, and we’ll be forced to babysit our renters sooner rather than later. And after retirement, we don’t want that stress or frustration.

    But vacation rentals, which is what I believe you’re talking about, are different. You’ll still need to take care of maintenance, probably have a neighbor or someone willing to help if things go wrong while you’re away, clean, replace, fix, etc. But, vacation rentals definitely do bring in a good amount of income – there’s no getting around that.

    It sounds like you guys have already made up your mind about which way that you want to go. But just for fun, I’ll give my opinion since you asked. :)

    If your goal is to generate income by renting a place out while you’re gone and you’re willing to undertake that whole process, then I think it definitely makes sense to keep the house. Maybe try it for a year to make sure that the rental market is what you think it is. If it works, then great, you get to keep your home for a fraction of the cost due to your vacation rental income.

    If the rental idea was just a way to rationalize or “excuse” keeping such a big house post retirement, then you might find that you’ll end up selling the house in the end anyway, and probably not too far into the future. Selling when you retire would probably save some stress and aggregation along the way, and you’ll get to invest the proceeds from the sale a lot sooner by getting rid of the house earlier on.

    I THINK you’re gonna keep the house and enjoy the additional income, but that’s just a guess.

    You already know our plans. We’re selling everything and moving into an Airstream. We don’t want anything that ties us to an area of the country while we travel. We want to be able to spend 6 months in Maine if we want without having to worry about getting back to AZ to take care of something. Complete location independence. This is just our lifestyle of choice.

    However all this plays out, we know it’ll be loads of fun. :)

    • We don’t actually know what we want to do, and tend to be in a different place on the question every day. Of course inertia makes it easy to stay, and we don’t feel like we have to make the decision on any particular timeline, so we’re for sure staying put for now.

      The rental stuff will for sure be a headache that we will have to tackle. We declined being landlords once before for the same reasons you guys have, so it’s not with any eagerness that we’re approaching that. It will just let us do some things we want to do, so…. trade-offs. Fortunately, in this resort-y area, there are tons of property managers who can make it a little easier for us to manage from afar!

  5. We have this discussion quite a bit, but for us it is definitely downsize. The caveat is that we are already in a monster house (pun intended) and while it is set up okay, it’s still WAY more sq ft than we need. We do still want a bigger house than most people on the FI/ER community would consider.

    One reason we want a “bigger” place is that we anticipate still hosting most holiday functions, as well as in-laws and other family throughout the year. We still don’t want a formal dining room set up as such, but our dining table expands to accommodate everyone, and still fits our daily needs without eating up much space in the kitchen.

    I’d say it’s all personal choice, and your choice is right for you, and ours will be right for us. We still browse Zillow a lot just keeping an eye out on what’s out there, and what to expect when we do move. It’s fun!

    • You guys have kids, which feels like a very different calculation! I can definitely see wanting to maintain room for lots of guests and big gatherings if you want to be the holiday hub for decades to come! I hope you find a house that’s ideal for you all in FIRE (or stay put, if that’s what works!). :-)

  6. So I know I do not have much to offer on the matter (since I’ve never owned a home), but perspective wise I have a few tidbits that could be taken, or not with no offense. :) As far as pros go, downsizing may lead you to the new place that starts the next chapter of your FI and dirtbag aspirations. A cozy place to rest your heads, host your grand Thanksgiving get togethers, and then be well on your way with all of your adventuring plans! The less work aspect would be incredibly appealing as well, since most time will be spent outside of the home. I could imagine this would shrink down the to-do list immensely. For the con side – there are many renters out there, and since you are in a desirable town I would think this wouldn’t be a huge hinderance. Think for young couples like my fiance & I who do not need much space – we looked for a small house to rent because we are always on the go! Or, someone who is single living in a later stage of life, that may only need one other roommate. Lot’s of scenarios that may not need the 3 bedroom rental. The small common areas would be the most difficult challenge, considering it sounds as if your home is always open arms to friends & family visiting. For our experience (downsizing from 3 bedroom rental home to 2 bedroom apartment), the adjustment in size does not phase family & friends whatsoever because the aspect of being together is what matters most to all of us. :) Many aspects on the matter, but I know as always with your careful thought process the right decision will be made!

    • Thanks, Alyssa! Something in our hearts wants us to downsize, for many of the reasons you said (though I love the idea of starting a new chapter with a new space at FIRE time!), but we’re trying to make the decision rationally, which is not always easy! :-) Plus, moving is such a PAIN. There is definitely a pull to stay put as well. We’ll see what we end up deciding…

  7. Timing is everything when it comes to Real Estate. In my opinion, there’s another downturn on the horizon, might take a couple of years and I don’t think it’ll be near as bad as the last downturn. If you love the place and can get good rental income from it, it may be best to hang on to it. Then again, if you’re interests have changed and this is no longer the perfect abode, watch the market and optimize that financial gain by selling at the top. Good luck making the decision.

    • Thanks, Ingrid! We’re less worried about timing the market since we’d be moving within the same neighborhood, and so everything would be relative (plus the price per square foot is much higher on smaller homes here, so the usual calculus doesn’t even apply). So far we still love the house, but we’ll see if that changes and we truly crave something smaller! The rental income prospects are feeling too good to pass up, though. :-)

  8. I agree with Steve. The big house is great if you’re actually wanting to rent. That sounds horrifying to me, but I love that idea of an income stream (just not gutsy enough to do it). Otherwise, you’ll hardly be there anyway!

    • Renting is a little horrifying to me, too. :-) That’s a whole other topic. I talked about celiac last week, and one of my biggest anxieties is actually people bringing wheat into the house. :-S Suffice to say, renting is not something we take lightly, and we’ll only do it when we’ll be gone long enough to justify it, and when we can do a super thorough deep clean when we return! (And yes, we’re freaked out about people trashing our house, too!)

  9. I think downsizing would be a great idea since you wouldn’t need two offices anymore. Less to maintain and clean, and free up some cash to invest instead of sit stagnant in home equity. It’s personal preference obviously, but I’d want a smaller house.

  10. When we bought her house, it was the plan to stay here till the kids left. after that, we would move to the city centre to have better and faster access to stores, food,…

    Now that we live her and are on the journey to FI, our view is majorly still the same.

    I am happy to see that you not only make it a financial equation. As you like to have people over, having enough spare rooms might be a must have.
    Next to that, I remember from other blog posts that you see yourselves working after FIRE. Would you need an office space at that time? Maybe for the occasional paperwork that you need to do for your volunteer work.
    How about relations with neighbours? Would that change if you move?

    • Great questions! Part of why we need separate offices now is that we both spend so much time on conference calls, but that likely wouldn’t be true of post-FIRE work. That would mostly be writing, which we could do with our laptops at the dining table, on the couch, etc. Of course, we would still like one small office area for crafts, paperwork, and the like, but that can be in a guest room in the future. The neighbors question — we’d just be trading one set for another. Right now we like but aren’t good friends with any of our neighbors, so that wouldn’t impact our decision. Thanks for the good food for thought!

  11. We aren’t in our forever home right now because retirement will include the requirement of moving out of Wisconsin (or anywhere that it can be -20 degrees for more than a week straight). We don’t have a large home, but there is enough room for our growing family so we are content with where we are.

    I am a bit jealous of your place in the mountains though!

    • I don’t blame you for wanting to leave that weather! We’ve actually found the big factor to be sunshine — Wisconsin winters can be so gloomy, but here in the mountains, it’s almost always sunny. We’ve found that we can handle cold weather so long as the sun is shining. :-) Plus, the sun does mean that it warms up almost every day, so even if it’s below zero overnight, it’s rarely below 40 during the daytime. That works for us! :-)

  12. I would definitely wait until you’ve quit your jobs and then see if you feel that you have too much space. You might find that having the space to be alone is even more important when you’re no longer working! Or you could list one of your bedrooms on airbnb when you no longer need the offices, if you keep your house. I would be careful with downsizing to free up equity though because you still have to pay the transaction costs and may have to do some minor work in order to sell, so that could cost 6-10%.

    I personally estimate it at 10%, so for example, doing a more expensive commute would be cheaper than moving closer to work, unless I will stick with this job for 19 years. I personally love my place more the longer I live here – we have a two bedroom condo in a walkable city neighborhood. It works great for the two of us and is insanely cheap housing for our area at this point, as I’m on track to spend $15,500 on housing this year. In a HCOL city. Sure, I also have a decent amount tied up in equity to get us that price, but if we were to buy the same place today, the purchase price is so much higher that instead of having that appreciation tied up in equity, it would be a 33% higher additional starting mortgage balance, a 56% higher mortgage payment, and about 3x as much mortgage interest paid per year. So that equity is definitely buying us something!

    I also personally love moving :) And we’ve been doing so many little things to help ourselves love this place even more too.

    • The closing costs are definitely part of our consideration. We didn’t restate it in this post, but we will be mortgage-free by the time we retire, so a move would be an all-cash transaction, which would cut down on closing costs. But there are still plenty of fees baked in that we can’t escape, even without banks involved! And you make an especially good point, that we should see how we live after we retire, and what we crave at that point. Thanks!

      • My boyfriend moved in back in December and we agreed to take some time to see if the size/space of my two bedroom condo would work for the two of us. We were willing to sell/buy furniture to make it feel more right for the two of us if that’s what it took. For the first few months, I thought we might need a third bedroom, but now I’m starting to believe the two bedroom will be just fine! (He has his office in a corner of the living room, mine is in the second bedroom, and we kept both of our TVs, so he can play video games and I can watch the TV if I want.)

  13. Our home size is good right now, but with a roommate and a renovation, we feel a little cramped. With our next home purchase (unless its in a similar super low cost market), we will probably buy a house that is “unnecessarily” large, but will meet a lot of our wants. We love hosting, I want an office, and we would like for our kids to have a large room if they have to share.

    • We don’t have kids, which makes our decision about 1000 times easier! As Mr. SSC mentioned, with kids you not only have to think about their needs now, but whether you’ll host family gatherings in the future and serve as the hub for holidays. That’s a lot more than we need to worry about, and would for sure make an impact on how much house you need!

  14. To chime in on one very specific part of this – since I have little to no experience making this kind of decision! – I will say that as dedicated Air-BnB-ers, The Boyfriend and I are always on the lookout for wonderful small spaces to rent, especially in country settings! We often find ourselves vacationing just the two of us, and one of our absolute favourite places we’ve stayed was a tiny home in Maine right near the beach. Just wanted to reassure you that even in renting out your place to vacationers, you’ll probably have an audience with a smaller place too!

  15. I don’t own a home so I can’t really contribute, but it’s great you’re taking the matter to heart. Downsizing can definitely make costs more manageable for early retirement, and less upkeep means more time to dedicate to the things you want to do!

  16. Hi, I recently found your blog, so no history yet…but wanted to share with you a few thoughts. I am recently retired, and moving is definitely a conversation we are having! It helped us to really articulate what we want our house to be. Some possibilities are: an community center? A job? (Some people love to renovate) A storage facility? A museum? (Collections on display) a base camp? A personal retreat? So, for us it was community center and storage (boys & their toys). This has helped us define what is critical in our “right-sized” house….a big eat-in kitchen and must have a garage, fewer bedrooms! We also recognize it will not be a forever home…more like a 10-15 year home for this next stage of our lives. (So not worried about stairs, yet…we are older than you, knee replacement surgery is being talked). We just started looking, no rush as smaller homes with big kitchens are rare. We will find something that meets our needs, eventually. Also, for your requirements, look into Frank Llyod Wright inspired designs….small bedrooms and all about common space. My husband grew up in a house like that…very mid century design.

    • We find the same thing — hard to find small homes with big common areas. Love the FLW tip, though real estate in our area is not that sophisticated. ;-) And we’re thinking about knees, too! Our house had bedrooms and a bath downstairs for that very reason! Thanks for commenting! :-)

  17. I don’t think I’d downsize, if only because your setup sounds ideal without being mammoth. I, too, like to have separate office space (since I work from home) and a dedicated guest room. We tend to get a lot of guests, too, and I love to have them here. Perhaps instead of downsizing, you could implement energy-efficient home improvements? My biggest concern would be heating/cooling the house, as you mention. A friend of ours recently installed solar panels, and she doesn’t pay anything for her electric anymore. That’s an extreme example, but perhaps there are areas for improvement that will yield cheaper bills in the long run (better windows, more efficient heating system, etc.).

    • A great point, and something we’ll definitely do if we stay! We have big trees that give us only shade, so solar is out, but we’d definitely do some better insulation, seal up our windows and doors better, and upgrade our furnace to a more efficient model. But that’s not stuff we’re willing to spend on if we’re not staying. We’ll see… Thanks for the great thoughts!

  18. Love the discussion! I “think” that we’ve found our forever home… or at least our home for the next 15-20 years… which will hopefully mean well in to retirement for us… but we will see I guess… It is definitely more than 2 people would need, especially once we do some renovations to finish up the basement, but we are sometimes 3 and want to keep dedicated space available for that 3rd member of the household… and could potentially grow to 4 sometime in the future… and, as it sounds like you do, we love to entertain and host. So we have pretty much decided that this is it. We love the location, and will work to make the changes required to make it the most efficient and perfect house for us. I wish you luck in your decision making!

  19. Another great post, y’all! This is something we’re in the thick of right now. We are moving to another state and have been seeking homes that were less expensive than our current one. We weren’t trying to downsize our size, but more so to downsize our cost. Fortunately we found a good house that checked most of our boxes and even allowed us to reduce our house cost by over 30%, while still staying the same size.

    And even when selecting homes, we were keeping an eye on costs among the “low cost” finalists”. All were well below our current home cost but the one we picked checked the most of our boxes and it was $45,000 less then the others. That’s almost $200,000 when compounded at 5% for 30 years or over $700,000 when compounded at 10%!! That was enough to sway me alone. I’ll admit that it even surprised me how that one buying decision (saving $45,000 initially) could have such a profound impact down the road to our future bank account in 30 years. I’m continually amazed by compound interest.

    Also, we totally get your dilemma of entertaining and a dining room table. We have a fairly big dining room table and have dinner guests almost weekly, so it can indeed be a challenge to find a good entertaining space. Keep you spirits high. You guys are doing a great job of discussing and evaluating what you really want and in the end I know you’ll be pleased, regardless if you stay or go.

    • Thanks! Yeah, we saw your post on your home choice, and it seems like such a smart decision to choose the cheaper one for yourselves. We can definitely afford to stay put, so for us, it’s more the question of space, and whether we need it all. We’re definitely not minimalists, but we think a lot about how many resources we’re using. And the thought that we could free up cash is quite compelling. Thanks for reading!

  20. We have planned to downsize our 1800 sq ft home and move into a 1300 sq ft. condo. Unfortunately, we were not able to sell the home last year and took it off the market. The good news is we have an interested buyer now and the condominium is still available.

    Downsizing for us will accomplish many things – no more yard work, no projects since it is completely remodeled, and lower utility/taxes/insurance. We will spend more time deciding where to camp or travel to, then what we should do as the next project in our home. I am looking forward to that!

    • Your plan sounds great! Good luck selling your house! All that stuff definitely sounds appealing… especially no yard work. We are in the midst of pine needle season, and as soon as we rake them up, a ton more fall down. It’s a never ending battle that we wouldn’t miss. :-) But alas, we like not sharing walls…

  21. We definitely would like to downsize in the future for the exact reasons you wrote about. The current house we live in is much too big for just us, but it’s great if we were to ever host overnight company or needed to have space for noise purposes. This house isn’t our “forever home,” but I too worry that moving into a smaller home would take away from hosting abilities (which I love) as well. We’re open to moving to another location which gives us a lot of choices in that regard, so that might make things easier when it comes to finding that “forever home” when the time comes. Who knows? Maybe we’ll just build our next house and make sure it’s “big” in the right rooms and smaller in others to accommodate our wants. ;) Good luck in your decision – I’m sure whatever you choose will be right for you!

    • It’s a tough decision, right? If we ever see a small house with a big common area, we’ll definitely jump on it! Or maybe we’ll just get a small house and build a tiny house or two for guests in the back yard? Haha — clearly we do not have it figured out! :-)

  22. Reading over the comments and the post itself, I think the most important part is having flexibility regardless of renting, downsizing, etc.

    Our early vision was to use our Chicago home entirely as a rental instead of the 2/3 rental it currently is. However, Mrs. Even Steven really wants to move to FL asap, so I potentially see a the entire Chicago property rented, the FL rented, and owning/renting a small house. I want to get a feel for the area and specific financial situation as we get closer to that FI Day in the sky.

    • Couldn’t agree with you more — flexibility is everything. We also have a rental property, and who knows — maybe we’d end up living there? Or move somewhere different altogether? Or decide that we want to stay put at all costs. Or decide, once we no longer travel a ton for work, that small town life is actually too dull for us, and we want to be back in the city. The best plan seems to be keeping our options option… but we’ll keep paying off the mortgage just in case. :-)

  23. We own four properties and have moved to our smallest rental so we can (a) maximise what we earn from the larger rentals that command a higher rent and (b) live in a less cluttered environment. We went from a 3 bed, 2 toilet house of 130sqm (approx 1290sqft) to 2 bed, 1 bathroom 80sqm (860sqft). That’s for 2 adults, a preschooler and a soon to be newborn. But I hasten to add the decision to downsize only came after we travelled the world for 15 months and lived in some very small spaces. After that we knew we could totally downsize (and also that travel was a higher priority for our money). If we had just moved from big house to small house I think we would have struggled.

    • I love your story. Thanks for sharing this. We’ve wondered about whether travel would prepare us to downsize, too. For now, we feel like we really like having separate offices and room to spread out, because work and all the travel that goes with it are just so stressful. But after we quit and travel a bit, including in an itsy bitsy travel trailer, maybe we’ll feel like a smaller house is just right. :-) Thanks for sharing your perspective!

  24. We found our “forever”home in Central Oregon in 2010. We had been vacationing there every summer for years, my sister and brother both live/d there and we were very familiar with the climate, recreational opportunities. The original intent was to have it as a second home until retirement, however my company ended up doing an acquisition in 2012 that all allowed me to move there full time. Due to my spouse having a business in the town we lived in I have commuted on weekends for the last 5 years. We are liquidating the business in the next 8 months and he will retire over here. What an adventure life has provided.

    • How awesome! I’m so stoked for you guys! What a cool thing that everything has lined up so well to let you move to your forever home ahead of schedule. We had some similar things line up that let us be full-time in Tahoe way sooner than we expected, and we feel lucky every day for it. :-)

  25. What an interesting discussion. My husband, two year-old daughter, and I live in a 540sqft one bedroom apartment.  While our daughter is young, we want to minimize cleaning, maintenance, and home improvement so that we can maximize time spent building couch forts, playing in the park, and generally hanging out together. We are actually likely to “up-size” when we reach FI as we will have more time to enjoy a bigger home and to tend to it (plus our daughter will surely want her own room eventually!).  We are lucky that the grandparents still host all of the holidays!

    The blog 600 square feet and a baby has given us a lot of inspiration for small space living, if anyone is looking for ideas!