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My house is much too big for one person and the maintenance is difficult for me, but I am so undecided if I want to sell it and, if I did, where would I go? So many folks advise to wait a year. Well, I'm 5 months into this journey and feel that I need to start looking at the possibilities. Given that my Jim's death was sudden and unexpected, I had NEVER considered anything other than staying here till we were both gone.

I'm 63 which is relatively young, but old enough to not feel that I have the energy or interest to start a whole new life. Maybe things will change as this grief process unfolds, but it is hard for me to want to think about all the changes required to sell this house and then move elsewhere. On the other hand, I just cannot bear the thought of living out the rest of my life here in the old 6 bedroom house with the original 1968 furnace. My hubby was very good at doing a bit of maintenance here and there; he knew when and who to call in to fix things before they broke it seems. My cash flow is not as good as ours was before our nest egg became an "estate" that had to be divided.

I'm wondering what others are thinking. What are the pitfallls? Did anyone have some success with staying? Or with moving?

Thanks so much to all of you out there who share so much of yourselves here. Hugs!

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My wife Lisa and I bought a house with her parents to help them out, so we own half the house each. We have been in the house for 4 years, last year both my wife and I decided to build a house to be a family again, the builders are amazing and tried to get the house down sooner so that Lisa could be in it. She let me design the interior to my liking as she already knew that she either wouldn't be in it or if she was it wouldn't have been for long.

I was able to let her know that the Slab was going to be poured, the Slab went down on the 22nd Jan 2019 and she passed on the 24th Jan 2019. Even though she has passed the builders are working hard to get the house built for my 3 kids and me, as I don't see eye to eye with her parents, the only thing getting us all through is the shared grief, my mum is over so that is helping with the weirdness of me living with Lisa's parents.

I have the attached photo I took of Lisa on one of our date days, I got this made up for her remembrance service, it is 1.3m high by 1m wide, this is going up in the new house in the hall way so every time I come home she be there to welcome me.

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First, I want to say how sorry I am for your loss. I looked at the picture and it's easy to see how beautiful your wife was. I think that's a beautiful idea to have your picture in the hall way. Of course, as time goes on there are many decisions you will make and undo. Your loss is so new. I do agree generally with the suggestion that a person wait a year before making any major decisions. However, there are some decisions that just cant wait. My husband and I built our dream house and enjoyed many wonderful years there together. When he passed we were empty nesters. Friends and family wondered what I was going to do with the house. My answer was simple. I am going to stay in the home that we built together. I have pictures of he and I and our family scattered throughout the house. They give me comfort and solace. I hope that when your house is complete and you and your children move in that you too will find comfort and solace. Take care.

When Bob died 51/2 years ago, i was undecided about whether I should sell the house. We had built this house 20 years before, it is a large house in a beautiful city. I made 3 lists, one was sell the house, two was buy a condo and the third was rent an apartment. About a month later I looked at the pro and con on each list. I decided to keep the house and I am glad I did. I have many happy memories here. The last month I had 4 things that I needed to hire workmen to fix, but I got through it. I am very comfortable here. My sons live a short drive away. We all have to make decisions and it can be difficult. I found the best thing for me is to not rush into making changes. Peace to all.

 

Hi,

Staying in the home is something I think most all of us think about.  First, the advice most often given is to not make any major decisions until after at least a year has transpired.  I've talked with many who moved.  They just could not bare to live in the house with so many memories. Others were in such financial straits that they could not afford the home.  Talking with folks later, some regretted it saying that they should have waited, while others say that it was the best thing they could have done.  Nothing is written in stone.  We all have to examine the pluses and minuses and in the end make our own decisions. 

6 years ago, I was faced with that decision.  Susan went to sleep one Sunday night and did not wake up Monday morning.  The ravages of 40 years+ of diabetes caused her to have what is called a "Silent Heart Attack."

We were each brought up in small towns in Upstate NY and by the time we met we had both lived in various large towns and we each had developed a desire to live at a slower pace in a small town.  I was in the navy when we met and married and we were based at large naval facilities.  Eventually I retired from the navy and we came to Denver where we worked as a team.  First with the La Quinta hotel chain as General Managers running our own hotel in the center of Denver, and then later with Public Storage as facility managers.  Susan ran the office, and I took care of the outside and storage units.  Because our job came with a 2br 1 ba apartment we could afford to have a home separate from our apartment.  We drew a circle representing a drive of about an hour had a half, around Denver starting with I-25.  We immediately erased the eastern half.  No trees, no mountains.  We found a couple of acres at 10,000 feet elevation inside south Park County, near the town of Como (pop 16).  We bought the land in '92 and built in '93.  From then on we used the home for a weekend getaway and vacation home.  When we started talking about retiring from Public Storage, Susan came to me one day and said.."Dear, we need to talk." I was shaken.  Every male learns at a very early age two things from their mothers.  One, is "That look" that translates to "Choose your next words carefully." The second is the fear that some crisis is about to over take us and shatter the peace.  After assuring myself that I'd done nothing wrong, and fearing that one of the boys had done something, I said , in the correct tone of voice"  "Yes, Dear."  She said the house was too small.  She designed the addition to the home and a year later when we retired in September of 2012, we started building.  We retired in September. In October we celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary.  On Thanksgiving Day, we flew her out on Flight-for-Life.  On December 17 2012, she passed in her sleep.

My sons thought that I was going to sell the home.  My youngest even called me one day to say that he would not be coming up to visit me here any longer as it was just too painful for him.  He expected to see Susan walking down the hallway when he was there.  I was at first worried that with the loss of Susan's retirement that I would not be able to keep the home.  A year after her death, I was able to refinance the home and freed up a chunk of money that put me in the black each month.   I did not drag Susan up here to live because of my desire to live in a quiet rural area.  Nor did she drag me up here to live here.  We both wanted to escape the large city environment.  Because we'd not lived here for years and years, and the new addition that doubled the home's size, I made the conscious decision to live here permanently.  That's why I stayed in our home.  My son, over the years has become able to visit, and now that he is married, he and his wife love the peace and quiet of our getaway.

That's why I did not move.  I've several acres of land, and most of my neighbors are 4 legged critters, and very few two legged critters. After turning off the highway and three miles later our roads are all packed dirt/gravel for the rest of the 37 minute drive up into the "hills.
Unless the problem is insurmountable, I would advise waiting at least a year before making such a major decision.

Hugs,
Frank 

I'm one of those who moved, though I waited two years to do it because I still had to work, and my house needed major remodeling just to get it in shape to sell.  I was 58 when Steve died, and my plan was to work two years and then retire, move to the area where my sister lives, and start over. As it turned out, I was able to work from home for two additional years until burnout forced me to quit.  

I'm not sorry I moved, and I never wish I'd stayed put.  I felt stagnant where I used to live.  I had friends, but most of them were married and as you all know, friendships change when you're widowed.  And there was NO cultural life up there without going into New York City, which is a hassle and expensive.  And then there were NJ property taxes... And that's on top of the fact that I simply could not bear to be on the second floor of my house, because even with paint and new flooring, and if I'd ever bought a new bed, that was where my husband had his stroke, and where he had his man-cave where he'd go to brood when he was depressed, and so on.

I moved here, lucked into some nice friends, but now I feel anxious because one friend decided to ghost me for no reason, and two more are considering moving away -- one out near the beaches, which is about 3 hours away, and one back to her hometown in the northern midwest.  It IS hard to make new friends when you are over 60, and having had a relatively easy time of it at first, I'm loath to have to do it yet again.  I guess life is all about change, and living in an area with two major universities, there's no lack of things to do within a 20 minute drive.

I know what you are talking about when it comes to NJ taxes. I'm in Hunterdon and fortunately was able to put the land into farm assessment. However, you still have to pay a crazy amount just for the house. Janet and I were able to talk about what I should do and the one thing she said was "Don't sell the house". There is a small family cemetery on the property, Janet, my parents and our 22yo nephew (who was diagnosis with PC a week after Janet) are there. I'll be joining them at some point.

In the meantime another nephew, his wife and two children moved in. I don't charge them anything but they do help out quite a bit around the place which makes things easier.

All works out for the good since bagels and Italian food are close by.

My NJ house now is taxed at $8200/year, which is low for Bergen County, but it was assessed before I did all the remodeling.  When they do another revaluation, the current owner is going to get clobbered.  Here, my taxes are about $3400/year, which is actually high for my area but I am considered to be "city of Durham" (NC) so I pay city as well as county taxes.  We do have a 2% tax on groceries, which is regressive, and a 7% sales tax on everything else.  And we pay a property tax on automobiles, which for my 4-year-old car is about $180/year.  

The bagel drought is real.  They have things they call bagels here, but they aren't my idea of bagels.  On the other hand, we have delicious biscuits, and if you make me choose between biscuit and bagel, I'll take biscuit every time.  :-)  There is a reasonably decent red sauce Italian place very close to my house run by two brothers from NY, and an excellent one in Raleigh run by a family from Brooklyn.

What we do not have here is a "New York Style Deli."  Of course those places are few and far between up north now too.  Rumor has it that Publix has Gabila knishes, but I have yet to find them so that may be an urban legend.  We have decent pastrami at what passes for a deli/sandwich shop in Carrboro, but the rye bread here is suspect.

I did get to see "Book of Mormon" here without having to pay a scalper.  We sat in the last row of the balcony for 30 bucks and were home in 20 minutes.  Parking was $7.00.

But I'm not advocating anyone else from NJ move here.  There are enough Jersey drivers here already.  LOL

Still living in the house after seven-and-a-half years--and even paid off the mortgage. Sometimes it's a hassle, but I have plenty more space for what I'm paying in local property taxes.

I'm turning 62 in a few weeks and have decided to consider moving once I retire in a few years. 

In the first days after Giorgio passed i began hated the house i live now...it seems to me that it's the house of the ghosts....my parents and now him...me and my cat only alive ! Now after a year i am more appreciate of the house and the memory of good days we lived here...i'm still no ready for his photo on the table...not yet!!! Ciao roxi

We downsized in 2013 from 3000 sf to 1700sf and built a new house., I am now 74 and quite capable of taking care of myself. DH passed away in 2015.  I'm still in the house, have great neighbors (many widows), HOA takes care of the lawns and shrubs, so that part is good.  

However, a 5 year old house should NOT require a complete dormer rebuild and part of the roof replaced to the tune of $9K.  I don't have enough fingers to count the number of times I've had repairmen here, and frankly I've had about enough.

My house is paid for, as is my new car.  I don't pay real estate taxes due to the level of VA disability, neither do I pay personal property taxes for the same reason. So financially all is good.

Even after 3 years I'm debating if I should stay in the house or find a nice apartment.  There is a beautiful new place in Fayetteville, AR that is independent living, I can swing the cost of living there, but not sure it's the right thing to do.  Even though I'd love to have the money out of this house and be able to stop with the repair costs, but  since I can't make a decision, here I sit.

DH and I were married 51 years and frequently I hear this little voice telling me what to do.  The last time was when the stone mason who did the restoration of the dormer stone, was giving me his prices.  I just knew DH was telling me "don't poor boy this, you know how you are".

At least the dormer and roof of 5 year old house doesn't leak anymore.

My husband Gord passed away on Sept 22/18 and I put an offer on a condo this month and will be putting our house up for sale in April.  This was our original plan together for early 2019 and he made me promise to keep moving forward with it.  I’m glad I am but at the same time devasted I’ll be in a new place without him and overwhelmed at doing it alone.  My kids will help but I’m the one that has to make the decisions on what to keep and all of the paperwork associated with it. I have my kids blessing to keep our plans and the encouragement of my friends and brothers.  I’ve been doing the yard maintenance and snow shovelling on my own for the last few years so I won’t miss that.  All of my memories will go with me and we always said once we’d made the decision to move that was it and leave the sentiment behind so we don’t get stuck in it. Easier to say together than now alone.  

 I know it wasn't an easy decision but I applaud you for keeping your promise and proceeding with your plans. The love of my life passed away April 29,2018. Every year for the past several years we would make a to do list for the new year. When he passed away I questioned if I should carry out the promises we had made. I decided to proceed as we had planned. I had never been on a cruise. Even though he wasn't interested in going when I found out a group of ladies I knew casually had booked a cruise he urged me to go for it. Before he passed away I had already started buying "tropical" apparel. He got a kick out of watching me flouncing around in a sundress. Unfortunately he passed away and  due to unforeseen circumstances the trip was cancelled. But our darling daughter came to the rescue. Her travel agent friend booked a cruise for the two of us to the Bahamas and Cuba. Our two sons were delighted and encouraged me to go. I did and it gave me the respite that I needed. Another item on our to do list was a headstone for his mother's grave. He had picked out the style he wanted and had even started putting away money for the purchase. I know he was looking down from heaven and smiling when I put flowers on the headstone that he had picked for his mom. It was comforting to me and to his mother's last remaining sister. There were other plans we had made as we talked about the years we thought we had ahead of us …..would we move in with the kids (No) or into the Independent living facility we had already checked out, would we move to Florida where our oldest son resides or stay in the Midwest....as much as possible I intend to keep the plans that we made together. However, should circumstances dictate I take a different course of action I know in my heart he would be saying do what is best for me. I feel your loved one would say the same....do what is going to be best for you and bring you peace and joy. I wish you well.

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