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How many homes have you had?

13 years ago

Hey everyone,

I was just curious of how many homes each of you have owned during your lifetime?

I only ask because we just bought our first house, and I am absolutely in love. It's fairly small by some people's standards (1424 agsf, and a finished room in the basement), but I can picture us being there forever and changing the house to fit our needs over the years. My parents still live in their first house, and so do my in-laws.

However, I know things change. I work in real estate and I see people relocating or "rightsizing" all the time.

So I was just curious how many places people here have called home.

As a sidenote, DH and I also lived in 2 apartments. The first never felt like home (just a place to live) and the second was nice... but still didn't have that "home" feeling. What do you think creates that feeling? Because I have only been in this house for 2 and a half weeks now... and it definitely feels like "home". I am shocked at how comfortable I have become.

Comments (38)

  • 13 years ago

    We have owned 11 homes. We were the contractors on all except 2. Our first home we bought, we were very young, 21 & 24. The tenth home we bought to live in while we built our last home. Except for the last 2 homes, we both worked full time jobs while we were building. When I unpacked my belongings in each house, it feels like home. We intend to stay in this house until we are at the point we cant mantain the 2 acres it is on.

  • 13 years ago

    Interesting question! I was actually surprised that I've lived in as few houses/apartment in my adult life as I have, because it sure seems like I've lived in more places than these. (I'm not counting any homes I lived in prior to adulthood.)

    My first home was a little house that my first husband and I rented in the Philippines. (He was stationed there in the Air Force.) After that assignment we moved to Oklahoma and had 2 rental houses there before buying a house. Then there was a move to Dallas and 3 more apartments, a house in a suburb, then a different house in a suburb, and finally the house I'm in now. With a different husband. ;-)

    That gives me a grand total of 10 places I've called home from age 19 to now. I have to say that all of the places I've lived - with the exception of the large, custom home in one of the Dallas suburbs - felt like home to me. I loved them all and decorated them in such a way as to make them mine. I did know upon setting foot in the house I'm in now (built in 1940, smaller home with lots of vintage charm) that it felt like home. It just seemed to radiate happiness - and after we bought the house and met the family who lived in the house from the 40s to the 70s, I knew with certainty that it was a very happy place that was filled with love and laughter throughout the years.

    Enjoy your new home! :-)

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  • 13 years ago

    I've lived in 19 different residences(!) -- ten of them since graduating from college. But only the last four have been homes that I (or DH and I) have owned. I bought my first house when I was 29 and single. That was in 1996 and I thought I was going to DIE when I signed for a $58,000 mortgage. Had I remained single, I probably would have stayed there a very long time -- it was adorable and just right for me. If my income increased substantially I probably would have moved to a "better" historic neighborhood, but I loved my little Tudor bungalow and had it decorated just right.

    Then in 2002 DH came along and ruined the whole thing (just kidding, DH). We stuck with the historic thing and bought a house about twice the size in a "better" old neighborhood. That one was four floors, though, so we knew it wouldn't be a forever house. That was in the midst of real estate craziness and we felt we would make money on it and climb the ladder into one of the better neighborhoods. We then decided to be urban pioneers in an adjacent city and got a fabulous Spanish bungalow. We could age in place there (everything important on one floor) and we loved it. But after two years, that neighborhood was going nowhere fast, so we decided to move on.

    We wanted to move out of town, so historic 1920s wasn't really to be had. We saw lots of nondescript ranchers and split levels and split foyers and I just couldn't picture us in them. Then we happened across our current house and I knew it was the one. All posts and beams and glass on a wooded lot -- nothing at all like the 1920s city homes. It was a big change. We simplified our furnishings -- our stuff, really -- and I cansay we're the better for it. We've been here 3-1/2 years now and I simply adore it. I love coming home to it. It wouldn't be considered by most to be "cozy", but it gives one no option but to relax and enjoy. Just what we needed. We think we'll be here for a very long time.

  • 13 years ago

    The OP asks: "I was just curious of how many homes each of you have owned during your lifetime? "

    My answer is 2.

    I have lived in many more...

  • 13 years ago

    We have actually only owned 2. Being prior military, though, I've lived in 19!

  • 13 years ago

    We lived in a horrible apartment for the first two years we were married. Then we bought a tiny little house, where we lived for 5 years. It was fine when it was just the two of us, but once DD was born and began accumulating stuff, it was just too small. We moved to a larger house where we lived until it was destroyed in a total loss fire in 2008. We rebuilt using the same footprint with a few interior changes and some upgrades. We've been in the new house for almost 18 months. We're hoping to stay here until DH is ready for retirement, then we will see where the kids are and we'll decide where to go and what to do.

    Totally Confused

  • 13 years ago

    Too many! 7. I'm done moving . Next move is to the cemetery.
    Of all the houses we've had I like this one the best.

  • 13 years ago

    We've owned only two. Our first house was purchased as newlyweds back in 1976. It was an adorable Cape Cod, and would have been our "forever home" if it had enough land to allow us to add on. It was on about 1/3 of an acre and didn't have enough space in the right places to add on. We stayed there for 7 years and had 2 children there.

    We soon felt we were outgrowing the house and moved across town to the home we're in now. Our family grew by one while living here, which made us all the more glad we made that move! This house has 2500 square feet (not including the finished basement w/bath...a quirky thing in MA. It doesn't count as living space). We've added on and have made improvements along the way. We have over an acre of land in a nice setting and are very happy here as (almost) empty nesters.

  • 13 years ago

    I always come out on the low end with these questions!

    Total in my entire life is 5.

    Adult life is 3, one townhome, 2 houses.

    When did they feel like home? The townhome felt like a glorified college apartment for the 2 years I lived there. Both houses felt like home instantly after walking through the front door with a realtor - I just knew. Didn't even need to see the whole house. I'm an old house person. Give me plaster walls and hardwood floors and I can make it home.

  • 13 years ago

    Since marrying 37 years ago we've purchased 3 homes, the first when I was 23. We still own 2 of the homes.

    Jodi- who hates to move

  • 13 years ago

    3 owned, several rentals. First home for 20 years with first husband. Divorced and home sold. Rented for 4 years. Remarried and purchased home #2. Lived there 10 years, went to college during that time. After graduation sold and moved to new area for job. DH moved with me and we purchased a home near my new job. That was 10 years ago and we still live in that home.

  • 13 years ago

    I've owned only the one we are in now. Have lived in more, some owned by parents or in-laws.

    jakabedy, I covet your house! That is exactly what I would want and there is a neighborhood near us with MCM homes by Charles Goodman. Maybe someday if we ever decide to leave this one.

  • 13 years ago

    My husband bought our first home while we were dating and he was just 23. Everyone thought he was crazy at the time. The house was $33,000. We had our first two children there but moved to a better neighborhood where we had another child and stayed for 23 years, and that home was $58,000. Bought our last home 8 years ago near the beach when we decided to move my mom in with us after my dad and brother passed away (I can tell you it was more than 10 x the cost of the second.Boy have times changed). All 3 homes were gut renovations that we did ourselves and as my husband says "we don't buy a home unless someone dies in it". One day I would love the experience of buying a home where all I have to do is unpack (and maybe just paint). We have 2 rental apts. but can't count those since I never lived in them. I have to say my second home was my favorite. Not because it was nicer but because it held the most happy memories so far. I can't complain about all the hard work we put into each home because it allowed us to live easier without the burden of mortgages.

  • 13 years ago

    We've owned 4. Hopefully, this is our last. I hate the stress of moving and closing.

  • 13 years ago

    Have only owned one. Been living in it for the past 29 years.

  • 13 years ago

    We've lived in 14 and owned 6. Built 1 of those, and totally remodeled 2 of them.

  • 13 years ago

    We are on home ownership #3. I thought #2 was the forever house but fate and work had other plans:-)

  • 13 years ago

    Wow this question made me count and it is crazy that DH have only been together 10 years and we have purchased 5 houses! Thats nuts!

    We sold 2 and still have 3 of them, our main home, a townhouse which is a rental now and we purchased a Triplex rental apartment couple years ago.

    I am so glad you are having that homey feeling with your new place - that is exactly how I feel now in this home...I have zero plans of moving!

  • 13 years ago

    Interesting thread. I've lived in six houses as a child (military) rented one and finally ended up in the first real home of my own. My husband and I inherited a 100 acre farm about 30 miles from town. It was a lot of work (had a lot of debt) and no one else wanted it...but we love it!

    We actually live in a nice double wide manufactured home, but I have great plans to remodel the old farmhouse. My husband's grandparents lived there and it's a wonderful old house, although pretty small, with the original part from 1904 and the addition added in the 1950s.

    Reasons not to tear it down and start over...beautiful antique rose brick fireplace in the living room (built by my husband's uncle) the addition was built by his great uncle and Bing Crosby once ate dinner there. Of course, Bing Crosby once ate dinner in many homes in Spokane/eastern Washington area, but it still seems pretty cool, to me :)

  • 13 years ago

    I take that back. Together with my sister, dh & I bought a new home for my mom when she was in her early 80s. It wasn't an investment as much as an opportunity to allow her to continue living independently which she did for an additional nine years.

  • 13 years ago

    Jakabedy, I love your historic home. Don't you wish you could have picked it up and moved it somewhere else? I feel that way about the Tudor where I grew up in that town. (btw, I sent you an email last week but never heard back from you. My parents have a 1950s clover shape game table and chairs - more formal than retro - they want to sell. I took pictures today if you're interested.)

    We lived in a townhouse apartment for the first two years we were married, then bought our first home. Remodeled, remodeled, added on. Three children and 21 years later, we built our dream home. I'm staying put. That's two main residences, but we've also owned a penthouse in Destin, FL and a house just west of Vail, CO during the 21 years in our first home. So that's four.

  • 13 years ago

    First home at age 19, next at age 25, built the next 3 years later, moved 2 years after that, moved again in 2 years and stayed for 25 years, bought a second home to downsize to and then sold both of those and moved across the country. So that makes 7. And I insist that I will never pay more for a car than I paid for my first house! But the last car came close and is now 12 years old, so it may be hard to hold to that rule :)

  • 13 years ago

    Congratulations to us, we are about to pay one off! In that sense, it is the first one we will own. Before this one, we have owed - not a typo - between us, four.

    I'm still looking for home.

  • 13 years ago

    I think all of my homes have been "home" to me since being an adult. Even the rentals I made my own, but the thrill of it really being mine I do remember well :). Congrats!

    So my first home (owned) was a 748 sq ft condo in Alaska. I made it cute as a button and I really did love it. Then I met dh and we sold our condos and purchased a townhouse together....the top floor was 648 sq ft (master suite) and I thought it was huge 2100 sq ft total lol). But then late in life a baby came along and man did that place shrink heh heh. We gut remodeled it, buying another to live in during the process wo now we are at 3 right? We still own the gut remodel and I love that house. I really made it my own after three years (not diy just slow) of remodeling it. Dh uses it more than we do now but we still visit. I love that place.

    So ds and I had to move for his health (dh commutes) and we purchased a rambling box of a Victorian. It's obnoxiously large and we love it. Extra rooms for entertaining is so great, as well as a big sewing room and laundry....I will even have a mud room (always wanted one lol) when we restore the kitchen. I feel like the Alaska place is "mine" but here I feel more like it is mr James home and we are taking care of it with much love for him. (he built it 120 years ago). As I redo rooms the place feels much more like us, but it still gives me a different sense of home than my tiny little condo or sweet townhouse did. Hard to explain that one....perhaps it's an old house thing, but while I love the home and expect to spend twenty years plus in it, it will always be mr James house first, ours second. But in a good that makes any goofy sense heh heh

  • 13 years ago

    This is a great thread!

    We rented the first couple of years we were married, then bought our first home. Lived there several years and moved to a more rural area but only lived in that house 3 years. Found that we loved where we are (the actual city), but not the area our house was in. Searched for land and finally built. Have no plans to move from this house and it's one level, very low maintenance, so hopefully will work for later years.

    Jakebdy, I LOVE that first house and would probably move if we could find something like that - in the country! LOL Houses like that are always in the city and usually not much yard (yours looks to be good size). We have never lived in city limits in our almost 29 years married.

    I grew up in one home and my dad still lives in that house 50+ years later . . .


  • 13 years ago

    In my married life, 2 rentals and we've owned 10 houses, one of those is our present condo. Last week, we closed on a Florida condo which we are renovating and will live in around March 1. We spend half our time in Florida so it made sense to buy there after leasing for a few years.

    I have assorted memories of all those homes, some I've loved more than others.

  • 13 years ago

    I just cracked myself up - we used to own a lot, a LOT of rental houses. Mostly singles (many shotguns - houses, not guns), some duplexes and one with four units. At the peak, we owned almost 250. Then we started and finished selling before the housing market went south. We still have three or four, and are about to give those away. Tired of paying taxes/insurance and the land will never be worth anything.

    So I change my answer to almost 254. ;D hehehe

    Tina, both of my grandparents lived in their homes since before I was born. All have been gone now for 6 to 16 years. I do miss those homes and the one I grew up and married in:

    (Did not know Photobucket had changed again..Looks easier to use though.)

  • 13 years ago

    I've owned two homes. My husband and I bought our first home at age 31, after being married 2 years. We owned it for 10 years, loved it, massively improved it, and then decided we needed a better school system for DD. We've been here 2 years. We will likely be here another 3 or 4, till she goes to college, and then -hopefully- build our "forever" home.

    We've done major, extensive renovations -mostly DIY- to both houses and a 40-foot sailboat we've owned & lived in, and we're getting pretty tired of that. I'll be really happy to get someplace completed and then actually LIVE there and enjoy it!

  • 13 years ago

    We married in 1971 and lived in apts until my DH got a " real " job in 1979. Before that he was a grad. student. We actually paid off that house so we owned it. In 2002 my Dad passed and my DH picked out our current home, an 1890 Victorian in a registered Historic District, and we moved in with my Mom. We completely remodeled this home and will stay here forever. We own it too now so we have had 2 homes. Our 40th wedding anniversary is just around the corner and I have no desire to move, downsize, upgrade or change. We have the perfect location and even though it is 4000 sq ft we use it all. c

  • 13 years ago

    Owned 5, lived in 30 or so....
    Went from being a Navy brat to an Army wife....
    Lived everywhere, but got to Texas as fast as I could :^).
    Became suddenly single, bought a house and lived there until I let DH "catch" me :^) Sold my house and we live in his house! Hopefully the next move will be in a box!

  • 13 years ago

    That we've owned? We lived in our first home for 13 years...and we've lived in this one for 13 years. I'm hoping this is our "forever" home...

    We rented an apartment the first year we were married.

    jakabedy--that looks like an awesome MCM home!

  • 13 years ago

    Dh & I have had 16 residences; 5 apts. and 11 houses. So far. He plans on one more house, but I predict at least two and maybe an apt. in between. My parents had seven residences after I came along, including a couple of temporary rentals while building.

    I always envied people who lived in one home "forever." Dh's parents bought their second home nearly 50 years ago and my FIL still lives there with some other family members.
    Maybe by the time I'm 60 we'll live someplace where I won't have to care about resale value.

  • 13 years ago

    We are on our third home. Our first home was a little 50's flat roof bungalow of about 1800 sq feet. We had a broken dishwasher, a patched roof, and wooden siding that we couldn't afford to repaint. I did love the purple laminate counters and handpainted herbs on the door, even if the dishwasher never worked! We fit 6 people (3 of them kids) in that house. I vowed never to have a flat roof or wooden siding after that.

    Then we moved to another house that was a little larger, much newer and in a nicer neighborhood. It was a single story and had a really neat brick wall in the kitchen. That was in Houston. The weather was atrociously humid and hot, and not good for kids with eczema.

    Then we moved to Tennessee. We had 3 days to find a house, or try and fit everyone into an apartment (including the 2 kitties). We found a new build in a great location with a .75 acre flat lot. So, we snatched it up. We have been here 10 years now. We have renovated all 4.5 bathrooms, then added onto the house creating a mudroom, covered porch, bigger kitchen and a laundry room. We plan on staying! (Plus I couldn't bear to leave my shrubbery behind.)

  • 13 years ago

    The first home I bought was a 2 level loft condo in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago; I was single, 28 (OMG that was 20 years ago! Doesn't seem possible.) Although I loved it and the area I was really nervous about buying a home by myself and being responsible for ~ $120K purchase. In fact... I was so nervous I got sick on my way to the closing! I was taking the "el" to the Loop and had to get off and find a garbage can. I'm sure they all thought I was a complete mope because I was so subdued at the closing.

    Now my DH and I live in the first house we bought together in the suburbs, which we plan to keep as our forever home.

    We LOVE our neighbors, schools, location, everything. We have been able to finish the basement and 2 years ago did a fairly large addition, gutting the kitchen and all the bathrooms and building a new detached garage. So we have made the home really "us" and it has grown with us as our family has grown. I feel really grateful for our home and our neighborhood.

    I love all the pictures everyone has posted. jakabedy -- that Tudor bungalow is wonderful and I can see why you loved it! That would be hard to leave. Do you ever drive by it? I sometimes drive by my old condo building and of course the kids roll their eyes when I get all nostalgic.

    And to the OP: congrats on your new home! I hope it brings you many years of joy.

  • 13 years ago

    We are in our second owned house and working on making it our home. We waffle back and forth on whether this is a forever house or a house until we are empty nesters or we may head to NC when dh retires.
    Our first house felt like home for me once we painted the interior. Dh loved it within the first steps inside.
    We sold it and were moving to an older home on a quieter spot with larger property, until the deal fell through. We had 2 weeks to find something or get a rental. Since our older son was going to kindergarten the following year, we decided to buy something we were not in love with, but had potential. We are at the 4 year mark and its potential is about to be realized when we break ground on the reno/extension on 11/29.
    I miss our first house and wonder if it was a huge mistake to have moved. Once this house gets done our way, I sure hope I feel more connected to it because it is costing way more than was estimated (by a family member/contractor) at almost double the expense. The hassle of dealing with the town for permits and a variance is enough to make one scream, many times.
    I am excited for our plans for it and will have a nice (modest) house, done our way, in a very good neighborhood when all is done. I'd like our sons to feel like they are home and not living in a place that is perpetually in limbo. I will finally be able to unpack our decorative items, hang pictures and put our colors on the walls. Since everything seems tied into something else, there was very little we could do before the big reno that would not get undone or ruined by the process. I am very ready to feather out nest ;) Not living with all the materials in boxes stored around the house & garage will be a big relief on its own.

  • 13 years ago

    We're in the first house that we've owned (well, the first house DH has owned---and officially the first house I've owned in another week or two!) I lived in a gazillion apartments in my 20s, though, so I've had lots of "homes" over the years (nine, I think?). But this is the longest I've ever lived in one place (a whopping three years!) except for childhood homes (and even those topped out at seven years!)

    I actually think 1400ish square feet is the perfect size for a potential forever home---you can grow into it, but it's not so much space that you have to downsize. Ours is a wee bit small at 1250 square feet, so it may feel tight if we have children---but our neighbors have 1500 square feet with one extra bedroom and an extra half bath, and it makes all the difference in the world. (That said, it is pretty common for families to be raised in small houses where we live because housing costs are so high here, so our house is not out of the running for a forever house---the family who lived here in the 1920s raised six children here, so it's gotta be possible!) If we stay forever, though, we'll probably rebuild our detached garage with a little office/guest suite on top (which would solve several problems---old garage with not much life left in it, no logical way to expand the floor plan of the house itself, and horrid view from our bedroom, so if we move the garage a few feet we can plant trees there!)

    DH's parents are still in their first house after 40 years, though it's been almost unrecognizably renovated; mine are in house #6 (plus a few apartments early on) after 35. Jobs (and stability or lack thereof) largely account for the different approaches, but still interesting to see!

  • 13 years ago

    Owned? With my husband, 4 houses; By myself, 1 house. Lived in 14 places total, from what I recall. Chicago burbs, then other IL places, then Chicago again, then Milwaukee area, and now Phoenix

  • 13 years ago

    We've owned 4...3 on the same street, lol.
    First one was a brand new 2 bedroom mobile home, 2nd was a modular ranch, sub-divided that land & built a split-level and 3 years ago we bought our current (and hopefully!) last home.