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August 10, 2014


You're making the right decision. Why take on the hassle of owning another
house that will likely have things going wrong over time. When you need to leave you can build or buy something that meets your needs.

The solution is not to move away from your beloved home, but to figure out how to bring the next-generation onto your home, so that they can live and care for you until the second of you passes and then they can secede to ownership. In other words, you trade room and board for care in your declining years and for upkeep of the property, and then they take old ownership after you're gone.

Brian, there are two things you are not giving sufficient weight to in your reasoning: 1) The value of your house may decline as gas prices go ever upward and not many people will want to live so far out of town. 2) The BIG ONE is overdue and you might find yourself stranded and too far from medical care when it comes. There are lots of affordable small houses in my great neighborhood right now. They are not "fixer-uppers." Like this one: http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1695-Cottage-St-SE-Salem-OR-97302/53048115_zpid/

Jim, we've thought of those things you brought up. (1) certainly is possible. We have an electric car (a Volt) so most of our trips to Salem in that vehicle are 100% on electricity, which is much cheaper than gasoline per mile driven.

Regarding (2), the argument cuts both ways. Medical care is going to be very difficult to get by anyone after the Big One. We have several physicians in our neighborhood. Not as good as a hospital or clinic, but better than nothing.

Plus, no one knows how the social structure will hold up after a huge earthquake. Country folks are pretty self-sufficient. Many people have generators, food supplies, heavy equipment, and such. But resources would first arrive in cities, I have to admit.

The listing you sent along is impressive. Nice looking kitchen remodel. Yard looks small, for a dog. It's one of the better looking "old" houses I've seen in my online looking.

We have lived on our 15 acres just over the hill from you for 24 years. Liz & I will remain here, just like all of our past neighbors did, until our final days.
I have another loony liberal, nut of a friend in Astoria that has 20 acres that constantly refers to his place as an "investment".
What a sad way to view ones home.
We live here, work here, grow our huge garden here, play with our grandkids here; this is what home is!
Where is home for you, Brian?
I'm O.K with the fact that you are a city slicker living in the countryside.
We like diversity too!!
Where is home Brian?
I know where our home is and I will never turn my back on it.

Next time you talk to Rich Ford, (I'm assuming you will wimp out and move to the city)please thank him for his mega support for Pentacle Theatre. We really appreciate him there!!!

Hey, Harry, I grew up in a very rural area, foothills of the Sierras in central California. From 7 to 17 I roamed the hills, swam and inner-tubed in Kaweah River cold snowmelt, and otherwise did the Country Kid thing.

So I don't think of myself as a city slicker. We've lived out here on our five (which turned into ten) acres for 24 years, now doing the Country Geezer thing. Thus I've spent 34 of my 65 years living in a rural home, which is a majority! I am a Country Slicker!

I enjoyed your post. My wife and I are in a similar circumstance. I have to admit, although your blog didn't really help our decision making, oddly I feel a lot better about not knowing what we want to do.

Thank you all, for the many comments, on this topic of: "Should I/we stay, Or should I/we go," about the merits of downsizing, home improvement/repairs, maximizing real estate values or investments, in regards to aging and 'retirement. Whatever the discussion may be about these issues, I would like to suggest a word substitution for: "home, house, farm, and property", when thinking about, or discussing those issues. The word is shelter. Shelter is a basic human need that underlines most human activities, from the new-born to the geo-political nation state. Too often we may be confusing a life-style's accoutrements with what our really necessities are in shelter. I live in South-East Portland Orygun, and after necessities, what really has more importance for me, is one of the best public library in the country. Don't forget what feeds your mind is what makes us healthy.

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