You’ve decided that it’s time to downsize and to do it in Vermont, so now you’re searching for a builder who specializes in high performance / zero energy home construction. Well, two out of three “ain’t bad” as they say. Some prefer to use the word “rightsize” rather than “downsize,” but we don’t get hung up on which one sounds best. Both mean pretty much the same thing. So let’s go for a perfect batting average and find a builder you can believe in and trust that, when it comes to high performance construction technology, he knows his stuff. After searching far and wide, you have finally found a custom home builder who’s been in business for more than forty years, and whose rather rudimentary website boasts that his price will beat anybody’s. Today you are meeting with him for the first time at his office, where his hallway is cluttered with old designs and photos of homes his company has built since 1970.
Not so long ago, when fuel oil and gasoline prices were hitting an all- time high, people struggled to pay for their heating bill and gas for their vehicles. Not everyone can install a high-efficiency furnace or buy a new car that gets 40 miles per gallon, but the latest crisis has caused individuals to take a closer look at how they spend their energy dollars, now, and how to control such spending in the future.
So you’ve decided to start downsizing your home, and you want to live in Vermont, so now you’re searching for a builder who specializes in high-performance/zero energy home construction. You look online, you search everywhere … and you finally connect with someone who is “certified” in the field, and who promises to do the work for less. You visit the fellow’s office. Displayed on the wall are a few certificates, all of them bearing a gold embossed stamp.
Thomas Hardy published Far from the Madding Crowd in 1874. My uncle saw the movie by that name, with Julie Christie, in 1967, and it’s been remade a few times since. Why?
This article assumes that you are a senior and you are trying to discern the most prudent approach to downsizing:
Okay, when you hear the words “net zero,” what comes to mind:
__My favorite basketball player missed the buzzer-beater
__ My investments just tanked
__ My credit card is maxed out.
__It’s a new credit card offer
__It’s how my favorite NBA player shoots, sometimes
__I think it might relate to new home construction techniques
The other day my uncle and I time-traveled ahead to the year 2056. Since he never had a DeLorean, we used his 1974 red Simca that he had stored away in my grandpa’s barn for just this purpose. It only took a half hour to get it up to 88 MPH, but then it happened. We had arrived in White River Jct., VT, in 2056, where, strangely enough, all the cars were smaller than Simcas, about the size of a Charles Barkley basketball shoe.
So you’ve decided to downsize your home, and now you’re considering your options. Living under someone else’s thumb (retirement community / assisted living) does not appeal to you. But living in a little farmhouse in Vermont sounds wonderful. After all, it’s beautiful there in any season, you’ll own a small piece of history, and the last crime that occurred anywhere near the home you’re reading about in that brochure. The crime happened when Farmer John’s bull broke down the fence 40 years ago to visit Farmer Fred’s happy heifer next door, as a result of which Fred never talked to John again. Peace, serenity, safety, charm, picturesque – these are all yours for the buying. And your quick visit during the summer confirmed it all. You fell in love with the place and are considering buying it as a way of downsizing. Why, there’s even a little barn where you can store some things you haven’t been able to part with yet (and about 1,237 mice waiting to help you). [https://www.caregiver.org/downsizing-home-checklist-caregivers]
For some seniors, downsizing your home is an optional choice. For others, it is done by necessity. If both spouses are still living and maintaining the house (and property) where they raised their children, associated upkeep can be tiresome - even overwhelming. Home maintenance that these seniors handled themselves may now need to be hired-out, at significant expense. At this point, the 'downsizing' conversation typically begins. Moving forward, the development of a plan can be key to success.
My grandparents have downsized…twice! The first time was when they moved to Florida from New Hampshire about 20 years ago. Then they downsized again a couple years ago when they moved back to New Hampshire to share a home they built with my aunt and uncle. [http://prudentliving.com/homes/homes-case-study-2/]. Since they are so experienced with downsizing strategies for seniors, we asked Grandma how they downsized and still remained good friends.