Tag Archives: coastal living

How to Successfully Downsize into a Smaller Space

Whether you’re moving into a tiny home, retirement facility or even a van – making the decision to downsize can be extremely liberating; however, it can also be both physically and emotionally exhausting. While the idea of keeping the belongings you need and getting rid of the ones you don’t sounds simple, that usually isn’t the case. In an effort to simplify this process we’ve reached out to the experts in tiny living, from Philadelphia to Portland, to compile some helpful tips and tricks to make your transition from more to less that much easier.

Identify your “why”

Living the Van Life

My approach to our potential homeowners is first to determine what their intended use of their Tiny house is, whether it’s an investment rental, full-time part-time living situation, vacation home? or? How many individuals, children, hobbies, pets, ladders stairs, size, budget, Tiny house placement? On off-grid? You get the picture. A lot of times folks are enamored by the thought of going tiny but really haven’t thought through what that would mean for them as an individual, it’s not a one size fits all. The process gets pretty in-depth for someone that’s serious and I walk them through this process to be sure that there are no surprises once their Tiny arrives. – Tiny Mountain Houses

Differentiate bet

Hit the road and enjoy life in the slow lane

ween needs and wants

When downsizing into a van, storage is going to be a huge obstacle. You will quickly realize you have way too many things. Before converting a van, I’d recommend laying out everything that you plan to fit in your van in one room to see how much you actually have. You will want to make sure all of your items have a “home” within your van, which may require you to measure many of your items. – Outbound Living

Downsizing may seem overwhelming, but it should be liberating. Most people accumulate “stuff” over the years that they don’t use or need and it just piles up and becomes a burden. Once you decide on your ideal tiny home, floating home, or a houseboat, visualize the minimum you’ll need in each room. If you haven’t used something in the past 3 months, you most likely won’t need it and it should go — sell it on Craigslist or at a yard sale, give it away, or as a last resort, put it in storage. When you’re done, you’ll feel like a weight has been lifted and you’ll be amazed at how little you actually need to be happy, healthy and comfortable! – USA Waterviews

When you’re moving into a small space like a tiny house, an RV or a campervan, you’ll really have to go through your stuff with a fine-toothed comb. Only take what you will truly love and use every day, and either donate the rest or get a small storage unit. Severing your psychological connection to your stuff might be painful, but as soon as you get rid of your unused things, you won’t even notice. Trust me, I’ve done it! Use packing cubes to organize your clothes, and bins for things like kitchen items, camping gear and toiletries. Only keep as many dishes, forks and cups you will use on a daily basis – for example, we only own two of each. And have fun with it! When you downsize, you’ll be happier and clutter-free! – The Wayward Home

Organize and optimize

Check first the storage capacity of your new home. Moving into a tiny house generally means smaller spaces. Furniture that worked in your large home may be either too l

You can fit it all in if you downsize properly

arge for space or not fit at all. We recommend measuring the height, width, and depth of all the furniture you’re not sure about. Write down all the measurements. This will save you a lot of time and List down all the things that you cannot live without and things that are ok to leave behind. – Tiny House Citizens

When creating storage in a Tiny Home, it’s a good idea to display “pretty items” (such as dishware) on open shelving, and storing “ugly items” (such as a crockpot) out of sight in a closet or cabinet. Build your cabinets to be very high or very low, to allow for a clear eyeline throughout your home. Every inch counts! Doing this throughout your home will make the space seem larger. – Tiny House Giant Journey

Kitchen items that collapse are especially beneficial when moving into a small space. You can now purchase specially developed pots, pans, cups and even bowls that collapse when not required. This means you can drastically de-clutter your kitchen. – Vanlife Adventure Team

We were living in a NYC apartment when we decided to downsize for van life and full time travel. At first it can be hard to get rid of physical things, but once the travel begins you realise how little you really need and how happy you can be with less! Storage is key for keeping our tiny space tidy, we use a lot of TouRig bunker bags to keep the van organised. They hold everything from our socks, camp chairs, computers, to the dogs toys and treats. – TouRig

Utilize dual-purpose items

If you’re planning on downsizing into a vehicle like a van or another small space, we highly suggest thinking about how to have more than one use for the amenity you’re including. You’ll want to prioritize not only what you bring along, but how you configure your new home to maximize spatial utility. For example, if you can have a bed that also converts into a couch you can make dynamic use of the space and not have to have a separate lounge area from your sleeping area, which will open up more opportunities for storage, other living amenities, or open space! – Beartooth Vanworks

We always say we think in cubic inches instead of square feet.  When planning spaces it is important to consider the entire volume including the height and use the tall walls and ceiling as one would the floor space.  In preparing for your new living style we also suggest measuring the items you are taking with you.  Measure the stack of folded clothes, blenders, Instapot, etc. so you know exactly how much space they need and you can design storage specifically around them. – Teacup Tiny Home

Don’t be afraid to let things go

Moving from a 1400 square foot house full of antiques and heirlooms to just over 350 sq feet meant we had to get rid of everything. I decided to start with my most treasured piece, a solid pine kitchen table that all my kids grew up around, did their school work on, ate our meals at,  carved their names into! I listed it privately and it was scooped up by a friend. Letting go of that piece really allowed me to move on in this journey. Our goal was to live tiny and this was part of the process. We’ve lived tiny for almost two years and have no regrets. There is not one piece of furniture that I miss or wish that I had kept. I know that everything I let go of is being loved and enjoyed by others. – Great Canadian Tiny House

The “one in – one out” rule

One in – one out! Whenever you purchase something new or bring anything into your smaller space, you have to get rid of 1 belonging in exchange. On top of that, make sure you’re doing regular purges! Assessing your belongings every few months is always a good idea. If you haven’t used something within a month or so, donate it! – Go-Van Team

Moving into a smaller space with a partner, kids, or pets

Communication really is key – living with a partner is tough as is, and living tiny sometimes means taking “me time” outdoors. Know how to ask for space and always be growing. Plan ahead for your pets or kids by choosing stairs over a ladder. Plan ahead in your layout for storage, dedicated space, or bathrooms (like our hidden cat bathroom for Oliver). – Tiffany the Tiny Home

Our top tip for moving into a smaller space is to make sure that everything serves multiple purposes. When we moved into our van, downsizing our wardrobe from a large closet to a single dresser drawer each was challenging. We decided to invest in clothes that could work for multiple situations, such as walking around a new city and going for a hike, and that is made out of higher quality materials and can be worn multiple times, limiting how many items we actually needed. – Adventures of A+K

Maybe a houseboat is more your style

12 things you need on board a boat to live comfortably 

  1. Easy-to-inflate dinghy
  2. AC/Heat Thermo pumps
  3. Marine binoculars
  4. Folding deck chair
  5. Boat vacuum cleaner
  6. Inflatable floating dock
  7. Galvanic isolator
  8. Replacement Outdrives
  9. Inflatable life jackets
  10. Bow and stern thrusters
  11. Propane 
  12. First aid kit

All About Houseboats is the website for Houseboaters by Houseboaters its new ebook “How to Live on a Houseboat the step by step guide to making a dream a reality” is now available. – All About Houseboats

 Originally Published on Redfin

Best Beach View Real Estate Investments for 2020

When you decide to invest in a waterfront vacation property, there are plenty of factors to take into account. But don’t worry – beachfront properties never go out of style, as everyone likes being near the ocean. Even if it turns out that you don’t like staying there, you’ll still be able to get a return on your investment through renting. With that in mind; we’ll take a look at the best places for such real estate investments in 2020.

Myrtle Beach, SC

While considering the best place for real estate investments in 2020, you’ll obviously have quite a lot on your mind. For example, if you want to have a valuable waterfront property that’s near an urban center, moving somewhere in Baltimore area may be what you want. On the other hand, if you want a true vacation home; have a look at this gem on the Atlantic coast – Myrtle Beach in South Carolina.

This place provides you with ample natural beauty, as well as a wide variety of different activities. Regardless of whether you want to go swimming with dolphins, do some deep-sea fishing, build sandcastles, or just relax on the beach; having a home here will do just fine. And if you choose greenery over sand – there are quite a few nice golf courses around. Plus, for those looking to invest in rental properties – there are great oceanfront homes here that will quickly net you sizable returns.

Panama City Beach, FL

Even if you’re not looking to buy waterfront real estate solely for rental profits, you will still want to consider places that are great vacation spots. After all, at the end of the day, the places where a lot of people go are the places that you will probably enjoy the most while on a vacation of your own.

With that in mind, we’re going to show you this huge stretch of pearl-white beaches – Panama City Beach, found in Northwest Florida. This is actually one of the most visited vacation spots by people from the Midwest and the South. And once you visit this place, you’ll realize that it’s one of the greatest areas for real estate investments in 2020, especially when it comes to waterfront properties. This area lends itself to both classic, historic appeal and an abundance of nature. If you’re looking for the quintessential American family coastal experience – buy a home here!

Gulf Shores, AL

Sure, there are plenty of reasons why Florida beach property is a good investment, there are also areas that are less obvious; like Gulf Shores on the Alabama/Florida state line! You’ll find that this place offers all the amenities vacation-goers need in order to be completely satisfied; in addition, it’s one of the best areas for real estate investments in 2020, at least among vacation home real estate. 

Many great day-trip destinations are situated within a couple of miles from this area, some of which offer unique family activities. Apart from that, there are numerous food festivals, concerts, and other interesting events that attract people to Gulf Shores; basically, it’s an all-year-round destination. And if you’re looking to invest in a rental property, that means one crucial thing – demand for bookings will stay high throughout the whole year. That’s something not a lot of shoreline properties can boast. The average home price is around $400k here, so take a look at all of the options.

Galveston Island, Texas

If you’re thinking of buying a home on Galveston Island, one thing is certain: you’d do well to learn the local lingo. There are IBC residents, or “islanders by choice”, and those Born On the Island – BOI. However, don’t worry – this is an extremely welcoming community, and while the locals have a lot of pride, they’re very pleasant to tourists and newcomers alike. 

While there are a few hotels in the area, most of the island is dominated by vacation rentals. And the local home prices are not so steep; meaning that this is a good investment regardless of whether you want to purchase a rental or a vacation home for yourself. 

Kauai, HI

Obviously, the merits of a vacation home in Hawaii aren’t such a huge mystery. This isn’t just a premier vacation spot for Americans; people from all over the globe flock here to experience the natural beauty of the Hawaiian Islands, along with the plentiful sightseeing opportunities and myriad fun activities. 

Indeed, the Aloha State is pretty much a dream come true for someone looking for a vacation home. But not many places on this island are quite affordable in terms of real estate; which is where Kauai shines. Especially if you intend on renting out your vacation home, you’ll find that the cap rates here are a little less than 5.5%. And sure, there are a few regulations to take into account; but you’re certain to attain a piece of real estate you’ll enjoy, and others will be happy to rent out if you want them to. 

Conclusion

As you can see, if you look hard enough; there are quite a few great opportunities for real estate investments in 2020, especially when it comes to waterfront areas. However, we advise you to take all the necessary precautions before investing some of your hard-earned money. Remember – regardless of how small the house is, you’ll find that real estate represents quite a sizable investment for any personal budget; something you don’t want to do on a whim. Do all the needed research to make an informed decision!

Florida’s Sinking Coast – Part 2

Mounting recognition of global warming and its likely effect on the Florida coast has mobilized many people in the state to take action. Though some continue to doubt the existence, much less the severity, of climate change, many Floridians are actively engaged in efforts to mitigate the damage that global warming is expected to inflict on their coast.

The election of Donald Trump as next President introduces a new set of variables, however – and a heightened level of risk – to the situation. Trump has long been a skeptic of human contributions to global warming, and his stance does not appear to have softened at all since being elected. To head his transition team for the Environmental Protection Agency, Trump  Myron Ebell – a prominent climate contrarian – who is expected to help Trump deliver on his campaign vow to repeal the Obama administration’s climate change policies. Climate scientists fear that the Trump administration’s cavalier attitude towards climate change – and of the causal role played by humans – will significantly hasten the consequences of global warming, including the flooding of United States coastal regions.

Regardless of what ends up happening to Florida’s coastal regions, many predict that the publicity surrounding sea-level rise may very well cause property values in those areas to take a plunge.

Even now, Florida’s housing market is already starting to feel the impact of sea-level rise. Compared with a 2.6 percent increase nationally, home sales in high-risk flood zones in Miami-Dade County dropped about 7.6 percent this past year. In the past few years, areas most prone to flooding have had significantly slower sales than other parts of the county. This correlation is in keeping with a nationwide trend: throughout the country, median home prices in areas at high risk of flooding are 4.4 percent below what they were 10 years ago. This is due, in large part, to the astronomical cost of flood insurance. As flood insurance premiums rise, property values fall.

In addition to the increased publicity about the likely repercussions of sea-level rise in coastal Florida, people are also discouraged from purchasing homes in those regions due to the state’s lax disclosure laws. In some states, such as California, Pennsylvania, and Washington, state and local real estate agents are required by law to provide thorough and accurate disclosure of a property’s past history of flooding, as well as its risk for future flooding. In Florida, however, laws requiring real estate agents to notify purchasers about a property’s likelihood of experiencing natural hazards only apply to a limited stretch of the state’s coast. On top of that, there are no penalties for a real estate agent’s failure to comply. Potential buyers are given no guarantee, and no sense of assurance, that their new property won’t soon be underwater.

Localities across coastal Florida worry that if property values continue to fall, they won’t be able to fund the upgrades needed to protect their towns against rising sea-level. This is because much of their revenue is generated through property and sales taxes, and thus relies on having a large population of homeowners to tax. As concerns about coastal flooding continue to grow, and demand for coastal property continues to decline, these towns will fail to attract new homeowners and their current residents will relocate, causing their populations to shrink. Without sufficient tax revenue, they won’t be able to afford the projects necessary to combat the rising seas, and will thus be forced to flee to higher grounds.

Some owners will decide to unload their coastal property before rising seas render it unlivable or unsellable, and while its value is still relatively high. Others will stay put, and continue to enjoy the wonders of coastal Florida living. Whether dubious of the precipitously rising sea and the dangers it portends, or simply willing to take the risk and live with the consequences, they will keep on living the Florida waterfront dream, one day at a time.