AN UNEXPECTED MIDLIFE RELOCATION

Sometimes our plans are turned upside down and we're surprised by how well things work out.

INTRO

Today I have the next guest in my MIDLIFE SYMPHONY series where I've asked others to share what they're doing to make the second half of life the best half of life. Amanda (from A Home By The Seais sharing today about a house move that turned into an unexpected lifestyle change that's brought her into a new and lovely season of life.


TIME FOR A CHANGE

The wind in your hair, the smell of salt water in one’s nostrils, and the laid back lifestyle. That’s what most of us think when we dream of living at the beach. Last year, my husband and I started a new journey, a sea-change, building a home, close to the sea. After 35 years of city living, we moved to the seaside, but that wasn’t the original plan at all.

DOWNSIZING

In preparing for retired life, we wanted to sell our existing house and down-size but remain in our local area. Maintenance on a large family home, yard and swimming pool had become too much for us as we neared retirement age. We were after something simpler and less time-consuming. We wanted to prepare for older age and not move again.

We went looking for a minimalist, low-maintenance property in the inner city, where we had lived for so many years. One that was close to family, friends and all kinds of services and facilities. We would need this as we became older, we thought.

We began attending ‘open homes,’ in our chosen areas every weekend. We attended loads of them. There was always a downside to something about each one we viewed.

THE TOWNHOUSE

Then our luck changed. We thought we had found the perfect home – it wasn’t new but it ticked all the boxes for us, and the remaining adult children, who would be with us for only a few more years.

Sometimes, the universe intervenes.

The contract on this perfect town-home, wasn’t really perfect at all. It fell through due to complex body corporate issues and that unsettled us. We searched and searched to find another townhouse. It wasn’t there. Or, if it was, someone else got there first and outbid us.

We started asking ourselves whether this was really meant to be. We had by then been looking for two years with no result. Time was ticking by. Our house had sold and we were renting a modern townhouse close to wonderful facilities. A real hipster area. Surprisingly, everyone, including the adult kids hated it. It was too small, none of our furniture fitted, it was noisy and felt cramped.

A CHANGE OF PLAN

We considered whether a better option might be to build the style of home we wanted.

By chance, we decided to look at some blocks of land in a new development. It was further away than we wanted, outside the city and the children refused to come on board. Add to that, my husband vetoed it, as he refused to buy a block of land, off the plan. He “wouldn’t buy anything he couldn’t put his feet on,’ he said.

As luck would have it, we discovered a block, already registered to build, with a beautiful northerly aspect. We purchased it and started designing our new home, one with a small yard and all modifications suitable for our older age so that we would never have to move house again. We added nogging in the shower, made the showers large and wheelchair accessible, widened doorways and streamlined kitchen and laundry areas.

Lake Newport

THE PERFECT HOUSE FOR TWO

The adult kids moved out and rented their own places, as there was no way that they were going to live away from the trappings of work, friends and the inner city lifestyle. That was okay with us if it was just my husband and me. We planned to have our own workspace areas instead of spare bedrooms.

After a 20 week building period, we became owners of a new home within walking distance of the water. We moved in and thoroughly enjoy our new life. We have made so many new friends and are finding a very comfortable niche in our new community. It has been fun exploring new options for all the things we took for granted in the city.

Happily downsizing and relocating in Midlife

Thus, we don’t miss the city lifestyle at all. Giving up work due to Covid, has given me a good test run up to retirement itself, which I am keen to pursue, living by the sea.

The Universe was right, after all.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Have you had a move that turned out to be different to your original plan? Did you downsize in Midlife or keep a bigger home for when the adult kids come to visit?



Meet Amanda
I am Australian, yet Scandinavian culture, literature and traditions are close to my heart. I’m an avid reader, enjoy photography, writing and a variety of crafts, particularly traditional art forms.
I have always liked community; it's in my blood. Blogging, for me, is about conversation and community as much as it is about content, information sharing and documenting pearls of wisdom that might enrich another person's life.
After blogging for some years at ‘Something to Ponder About,’ I commenced a new blog at 'A Home by the Sea,' after our recent Sea change.

Blog: Something to Ponder About - Forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com
Seachange Blog: Home by the Sea - Seachange.home.blog
Fabric Designs: www.spoonflower.com/profiles/forestwooddesigns
Instagram: forestwood.designs
Facebook: www.facebook.com/RosemalingForestwood/



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Sometimes our plans are turned upside down and we're surprised by how well things work out.
Sometimes our plans are turned upside down and we're surprised by how well things work out.

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27 comments

  1. Hi, Amanda - I greatly enjoyed learning more about you here. Thank you for sharing with all of us!

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    1. I love it when I meet new Midlife bloggers Donna - there are soooo many of us out there and I'd love to meet them all!

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    2. Hey Donna! So nice that our paths cross again. Like minds attract, especially in the blogging world. Thanks for your lovely comment.

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  2. We have moved many cities. Not all the houses we got to live in were what we actually wanted. We always had to make adjustments here or there. Both of us like small houses. Easier to manage. Enjoyed reading your experiences.

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    1. Hi Pradeep - small houses are so much cosier aren't they (and less upkeep!) Our house is bigger than we need, but allows for the kids and grandgirls to stay when they visit. Once that stage passes I'll be going much smaller.

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    2. Smaller properties ARE easier to manage, Pradeep. I loved the inner city even though the townhouse wasn't right for us. I could have adapted easier than my husband. But we are both so happy in our new home and area.Everything is pretty much perfect!

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  3. Nice to meet you Amanda. Congratulations for not settling until you found the perfect fit for the two of you. By the sea is a great place to BE!

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    1. Hi Suzanne - her house sounds pretty perfect to me - and the added bonus was that the kids decided to move out - nothing like a fresh empty nest with everything exactly how you like it (AND by the sea) x

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    2. Thank you Suzanne. We would have settled for something closer to our former home if the wish to retire by the sea was not so strong. I am glad too that we persisted. Two years was a long time but it did allow us to explore many possibilities and in the meantime, prepare the house for sale. And lucky we sold last year, prior to the pandemic!
      @Leanne - Covid has seen one adult child return with another to come back in a month or so. Lucky I have those spare bedrooms!

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  4. We downsized in our hometown, thinking we would spend winters at the beach, in our beach cottage. That's gone to the wayside as I struggled with living in two locations. So we are upsizing the land-locked beach cottage to a beach house on the water, and then will sell the downsized house (only 3 years in), and be living by the sea all year long. Well, the Gulf of Mexico is half mile away, we're on the inter-coastal water. I'm looking forward to finding my niche in a new community!

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    1. Pat I hope you're going to share all of that house buying and selling on the blog and lots about your new house and community - I love reading little snippets of bloggers' real lives.

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    2. It is very interesting to read of your experience Pat WD, as we also explored the possibility of having two small flats, one at the beach and one in the inner city. We decided that it was quite an expensive option and we didn't want to be travelling along a busy highway at short notice to get back to the kids - or older family members. That is why our mid distance house at the beach is way better. I wish you the best in your sales. Be kind to yourself, selling takes a toll on us when we are older. And I am sure you will find the perfect niche just waiting for you to discover it.

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  5. I had a beloved uncle who always said 'everything happens for a reason.' And I think he was right. Maybe it was time for your adult children to launch themselves into their own places, and time for your spare bedrooms to become offices where you can enjoy your favorite activities. My husband and I married in 2008 and each brought a child into the marriage. We each had another child who was already on their own. We bought a 4 bedroom house. Now, 12 years later, the hubs and I are rambling around in this big old house by ourselves. But when the kids come home to visit, we still appreciate the room. Someday I would like to retire by the sea. Your new home and new chapter sound delightful.

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    1. Hi Leslie - you sound like us in a house that's bigger than we need, but perfect for when the family comes to stay (and I want to make that as attractive as possible for them for the years ahead). When we're older and the visits stop, then a small place by the water sounds perfect to me. I wish we had all those lake houses that the US seems to have in abundance - they look gorgeous.

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    2. Thanks ever so much for your sweet comment, @Onceuponatime - Leslie. We did have an empty nest for around six months until the pandemic sent one adult child scurrying back to the new home to save money on rent. It was all good though. They needed to move out and experience all those life lessons which involve being on their own for a while even if it is the boomerang generation, I guess. I also take your point about rambling around in an empty house. I didn't want to have a huge house to keep clean with just two adults, but as we have designed this one well, that problem seems to be obviated. I do hope that you get to live by the sea. It is so invigorating and the sunrises/sunsets are amazing!

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  6. @Leanne - Thanks ever so much for the opportunity to write a guest post. It was so much fun writing this up and made me re-evaluate my decision, of course to find that it turned out better than expected and my dreams became realized. I do hope in time you also have an opportunity for a life by the sea!

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    1. Hi Amanda - we're very blessed to live in a place that's near a river or two, an estuary, and several beaches. I think downsizing to a view might be the way to go when the time comes - there's a nice canal development that I have my eye on for the future. And it's been lovely to have you here - I hope you enjoy meeting the other bloggers and that you'll link up with us on Wednesdays #MLSTL party x

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  7. It has been lovely. I will do that.

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  8. Nice to meet you, Amanda! Thanks for introducing us, Leanne. Hubby and I are looking to downsize too. It's good to read the story of someone who has gone through the process. We just don't want the upkeep of our house any longer.

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    1. I know what you mean about upkeeping a big place Laurie - our house is bigger than we need, but so good when the kids and grandgirls come to stay. My husband also uses the large office space for his counselling clients.....so for now we're staying put - but the downsizing dream simmers quietly in the back of my mind - one day it'll happen.

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  9. Sometimes the universe just delivers, doesn't it? If I retired by the sea, I'd be living my dream!

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    1. I think it's lovely when what we think is a mess turns out to be exactly what we need Sam - hindsight is a wonderful gift.

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  10. Great to meet you Amanda! I will retire to the sea one day. For now I will just have to be happy with it being our holiday destination.

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    1. I think we all have seachange dreams dancing in our heads Leanne (or lake house ones if I lived in the US!) It's nice when you see it work out for someone because it makes it more real.

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  11. I have read your Something to Ponder blog for a while now Amanda so it's great to see you here at Leanne's blog. A great seachange by the sounds of things and although it wasn't what you originally intended it seems to have worked out well! All the best for your retirement.

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    1. I love the interconnections of blogging Deb - and it's great that you've encountered Amanda already - I'm hoping she starts linking up with us on Wednesdays for #MLSTL because she'd be a great addition.

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  12. Thank you for linking up your blog post 20.7.2020. I will be back with my comments this Monday 27.7.2020 when I have more concentration capacity following my major surgery last week. I appreciate your comments always. Denyse.

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