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The Perils of Selling in a Rising Market: Pamela’s Experience

Category: Retirement Real Estate

June 28, 2022 — Back in 2018 Pamela shared her ideas on looking for an amenity-lite active community. That article, When Amenity Rich Is Not the Answer, was clearly relevant to many of our Members and sparked 60 Member Comments (which were turned into another article: “When Amenity Lite Is the Answer“). Recently we heard back from Pamela on a related topic. She recounted her experience in selling her home in 2020, along with its aftermath and sellers remorse. We are grateful for her sharing her story; it is always fascinating to hear about actual experiences in the retirement world. We wish her and anyone else in this tough market who has faced challenges well. Note: This article makes an excellent counterpoint and addition to last week’s “Time to Sell Your Home and Rent” post.

Here is her story (with minor edits):

Pamela: I am still dealing with the absolute worst mistake of my life – selling my home that I owned for 28 years and lived in since it was new.  Since you’re always looking for new topics to write about, I wanted to update you on my situation, hopefully generating some helpful insights and advice from your great subscribers. 

Even though I loved my paid-off house in an upscale community in the suburbs of Central Florida, I wanted to sell it for years because I had a pool that I never used and a big yard that was a lot of work.  They both regularly stressed me out.  I searched for years for new construction communities in a small beach town in SW Florida because it was close enough but far enough from where I grew up.  Because I’m single in my early 60’s with no kids, I thought it would be nice to be closer to some of my childhood friends so I can see them occasionally, and hopefully meet new friends in this area.  Neither have come to fruition.  

After searching this town and other areas of Florida for years without success to try and find a community without a ridiculous amount of amenities, I finally decided to sell my house in 2020 and move here before finding my next home. I thought it would be easier to find something if I was here, and I figured that I’d rent for probably six to nine months maximum and then I’d be living in my new home.  In the past, they alway said to rent before you buy. Unfortunately, this has been a total disaster for me.

As it turns out, the timing couldn’t have been worse!  I closed on my home in Q4 of 2020, and for the first six weeks after arriving in this new town, I was frantically trying to find a short-term rental.  It was a very stressful situation because I found rentals in general were few and far between since it’s considered “in season” that time of year.  It was like having a full-time job just trying to find a short-term place to live, and this prevented me from being able to initially search for my new home.  

My original plan was that I’d trade in my home with a beautiful pool/waterfall/spa and large, private yard for a new construction home with all the new code regulations and modern updates for not that much more money. In Q1 of 2021, I was finally able to start looking around to determine where I wanted to purchase my new home.  However, that’s when the housing market started to go completely insane – prices were skyrocketing and have continued to increase dramatically ever since!  It’s been overwhelming.  I was able to find only one new home community in this area that I liked, although it does have some lite amenities.  The problem is the builder was constantly increasing the prices but not releasing the lots for purchase.  The base price of the model that I wanted was $306,990 the day after I arrived in this town, and it’s $545,990 today!  This is just the base price of the model that I wanted and doesn’t include the lot or upgraded options, which have gone through the roof, too.  What would have been under a $400k house will probably be at least $650k total today for just under a 1800 SF house.  It’s ridiculous and not worth it.  

Unfortunately, my property taxes will now be significantly higher because of how much the values have increased since I sold my house.  Property taxes in Florida are also based on when you purchase the home, and there’s a cap of 3% every year. My taxes were low compared to most of my previous neighbors because I bought my house in the early 1990’s.  I can port my approximately $90k Save Our Homes credit, but I have to be living in my new home by 12/31/22 in order to do so.  This deadline is rapidly approaching, and I’ll lose my 28 years of credit if that doesn’t happen, which will be yet another tragedy of selling my house.  

While recently the market has been calming down a little due to rising mortgage rates, inventory is still at historic lows and prices still unbelievably high.  I’m also  worried that prices will decrease after I buy, putting me in an even more terrible position, or that I’ll buy a house that I really don’t love.  It’s also been extremely frustrating and difficult trying to find where I want to purchase my new home.  I always compare every single thing to the gorgeous and highly-sought after community and area that I lived in, and everything else looks run-down and dingy to me.  

The house wasn’t the only problem

Yet another costly mistake is that I didn’t move the majority of my stuff.  I basically have very little left of my life, and I had expensive furniture and things.  What I didn’t know at that time is that inflation would start to soar, and I’ll have to repurchase everything at a much higher cost, so my expenses will be drastically higher than they would have been.  I purchased a lot of my high-end furniture and things early on when I bought my house, but everything still looked brand new because I keep care of things.     
The challenges of renting

Renting has been beyond challenging, and I’ve been forced to rent for much longer than I ever could have anticipated.  I’ve always had an exceptionally strong aversion to renting.  I only rented for a short time when I first started living on my own because I was determined way back then that I was going to be a homeowner.  Renting for me has been like torture and what I assume prison feels like.  I don’t have any control of my environment, I hate not having a garage, there’s a shared laundry outside that has caused significant stress for many reasons, there’s no privacy, I feel like I live with the person below me because she is super loud, and I almost can’t take another day of not being my normally organized self, as well as countless other reasons.  The worst part is that I’m living in a building of several apartments that’s owned by a private landlord, and I’ve been suffering from second-hand smoke, even though the landlord assured me before I moved in that it’s a non-smoking building.  It’s been a terrible situation for someone like me who is and has always been very health-conscious, and I’ve found it’s impossible to try and talk to the landlord about it because he’s a large part of the problem.

To make matters much worse, if that’s even possible, I found out that I hate this area for a very, very, very long list of reasons.  In fact, there’s nothing that I like about it, and it’s not at all what I expected.  I know there are people who like it, but I can only guess that they’re sun worshipers who love the beautiful beaches here.  I like the beach, but I never go because I’ve had skin cancer.  I’m miserable living here and don’t plan on staying, but I now have to figure out where I belong and where to go.  Most people my age move for the weather or to be closer to their kids and grandkids.  None of that applies to me.      

I’m a personal finance geek, and normally make wise financial decisions, but moving has been nothing less than an enormous blunder in so many ways. It’s been life shattering in numerous ways, and my world has been turned upside down.  It’s caused me a lot of emotional distress, stress, anxiety and several health problems that I never had before.  It’s been very hard to move on with my life because I’m afraid of making another colossal mistake. 

I’m still surprised just how much this has affected me, especially since I wanted to move for many years.  I thought my grief would decrease over time, but it hasn’t.  I especially loved my home and the location/area where I lived.  I’m worried it will be too hard for me to go back to even that area because it might cause me even more heartache considering I gave up almost everything or things were taken from me, and I’m essentially starting over at the wrong time of my life.  I’m a prime example that life isn’t always greener on the other side.     

I apologize that this is so depressing and long. I just thought that you might have readers who have dealt with some of these situations before and can give me words of wisdom on how to cope and move forward with my life.  I hope someday I’ll look back and be happy that I made the decision to move, but at this point I only feel incredible remorse and regret.  The entire situation has been devastating because I worked hard my entire adult life in order to retire happy at a younger age so that I could enjoy life, but I had to go screw it all up.  Thanks again.  

Comments? Does anyone have any suggestions for Pamela. Obviously this has been very hard for her,and surely for many others in the same situation? Please post your suggestions in the Comments section below.

For further reading:

Crazy Markets: Time to Start Thinking About Selling Your Home and Renting?

Posted by Admin on June 27th, 2022


  1. Hi Pamela;
    I am curious where you are now.
    This is what I think that I would do:
    First, Think of one thing each morning to be grateful for. Then try to be mindful of it all day long. This will help lift your depression. I have been there as well.
    Second, travel to places that you think you might like to move to. This will give you something to help you reach your goal, and give you something else to concentrate on taking your mind off of your troubles. Meet and talk to new people. Kind and friendly people attract similar people. This will also get you away from the living situation you are unhappy about. I think that there are some communities that have stay and play offers.
    Third, try forget about the loss of money. Most of us have made financial mistakes, but it helps to move past them and try to forget, and move forward, learning from them. Several people have gone bankrupt and yet still become wealthy again.
    I hope that you can post about some positive changes soon. Only you can improve your situation! You GO GIRL!!!!

    by Caps — June 27, 2022

  2. Pamela, I read your predicament, but I didn’t notice you mentioning having a realtor. If not, maybe you could start there and really develop a relationship, so they are aware of what you want and need.

    If you haven’t already, I would make a list of wants and needs and present that to your realtor so they can see what you desire. Sometimes they have insight into what is ready to be developed and you could be one of the first to buy into one of these places.

    Not sure if you have thought of buying a stand alone building lot and putting a manufactured home on it. The manufactured home industry has factories you can tour and you can sit down with a person and discuss all your needs and upgrades you would like. They bring the home usually in several pieces and put it all together on your lot. You will need to have a water supply and sewer line ready for them to hook up to. I am guessing they have electricians, plumbers and carpenters who do the final work setting it up. Depending on your area, you would either put the house on a concrete slab or a basement concrete foundation. I have observed two houses in particular being put together and it is an amazing feat and the houses are beautiful.

    As far as furniture, have you thought of used furniture? I am sure there are lots of estate sales in Florida and you could buy some very fine and in great shape furniture for every room. In my area we have a place that is an indoor flea market and they have revolving inventory all the time and will deliver. I think it would be fun to find furniture that someone lovingly took care of and you could enjoy it too.

    Years ago, our realtor knew of property for sale. It was previously a farm, then it was a summer get away place in the 1940’s. I think a fire took down the main house and they went out of business. The rest of the buildings, swimming pool and tennis court were just left to deteriorate. We bought the first lot from the owner. He had to sell the 4 lots on the roadside to generate enough money to build a road to the rest of the lots in the back. The guy was so great and worked with us. We paid him about 3/4 of the asking price of the land and then once we got payment for our building loan, we paid him the rest. It is now 47 years later, and we still live here. We were a very young married couple when we built the house!

    by Louise — June 28, 2022

  3. Pamela, As I read your story it reminded me of exactly how frustrated I would be in your situation. My advice, first and foremost, is to Quit beating yourself up!! I too have a problem with “not making the Perfect Decision”. However absolutely no one could have predicted the chaos in the market over these Covid years…not even the perfect you. Be proud of the fact that you were able to accomplish all you did in your life to become financially independent. As for moving forward, I would first consider thinking about looking someplace where you have a Best Friend. Someone who loves you as you are and will help with and support your decisions. Secondly, perhaps it’s time to scale back on the size or grandeur of what type of home you really need. As we age do we really need all that square footage? Just more to take care of and keep clean in my experience. Who needs that? Get something that allows you time to experience the years you have left doing the things you love. I liked the comment above about considering used furniture. For me it’s a fun treasure hunt! You know the saying about someone’s trash is someone’s treasure. Finally, don’t think you are going it alone. Many of us have a similar dilemma. I wish we were friends because I would love to help you with your challenge. In my experience everything happens for some hidden reason which we won’t understand until the situation is happily resolved. Best of luck to you.

    by Laura K — June 28, 2022

  4. Pamela – I totally get it. I bought a house in 2005 and put a lot of money in it, making it a showplace. It was near my old hometown and I had moved there for a new job. Then I was out of the country for 4 years during the great recession and wasn’t really following what was going on – all I knew was that the value of my house had dropped by about a third. When the market started to climb again, I decided to sell because who knew what would happen next, right? So – I sold at a loss, ended up renting for 2 years, then moving into a rental property I had, after spending a fortune making it livable after the tenants had destroyed it. I had only intended to stay here for two years but then Covid hit, and I’ve been here now for five years and can’t wait to leave. I desperately want to move back to the area where my former home was but prices are so high I’m not sure if I can. I really empathize with how you feel.

    by JoannC — June 28, 2022

  5. Time to start thinking about it differently. You “downsized” before you needed to. You don’t have the housing commitment so are free to do what and where you please. Your life is an adventure and the path before you untread. And so on. Do you know about Upside HOM? It has amenities but might be worth checking out. Good luck to you.

    by Kitty — June 29, 2022

  6. Pamela.. as a real estate agent and luxury home owner (with pool and huge yard in the NE), I can sympathize. My husband and I sold our beloved 5 BR home and 50% of the furniture in 2016 and moved to a one year rental while he worked PT. He became ill and died that year. Suddenly single. I did NOT want to live in the rental and moved back to a small building condo in the town we had come from. The building did not seem to be run well and maintenance issues were mishandled….then COVIID hit. I could not move. I took a trip to SW Florida with a girlfriend and we rented a place for 6 months and found a great community. Happy to share that with you. Email me at
    Here’s the good news… I finally sold that former condo and purchased a new condo in a 4 story building in the same community we vacationed in. Love the weather, the people, the social activities and that I am 45 mins. from beautiful beaches. Pool, tennis, clubs, golf ( I don’t play.. yet). Great walking inside and lots of friendly faces. Yes, I lost money… but I had a roof over my head at all times.

    by Colleen Gallagher — June 29, 2022

  7. Your situation hit home for me. Although my mistake was moving away to Arizona and leaving my family back in Boston. Huge mistake. I had always assumed they would come visit me and we would go visit them. But then Covid came along and now I have not seen them in 3 years. I too have looked into moving back east but the prices are insane. I am afraid to sell my place here in Arizona because I don’t want to rent either. Renting back east is really expensive. Most places are over $3000 a month. And for that you don’t get much. Who could have ever imagined that our retirement would be so fraught with problems. As someone else said, do not beat your self up. You could not have foreseen a housing crisis. That is what it is after all. There are so many Air BnBs now that it has had an impact on housing for long term living. Especially in vacation locations like Florida and Arizona. I wish us both well and that we can somehow figure out what to do and where we can live happily. All the best to you.

    by Roberta — June 29, 2022

  8. I echo the advice and consolation offered by other commenters.

    My post is to thank you for so generously sharing your difficult experience with us. Writing it all down and baring it to the world couldn’t have been easy.

    Your cautionary tale will likely save some grief to readers who are considering the oft touted advice: “Unhappy where you are? Ready to ‘rightsize’ in a different community where you’ll make lots of new friends and be living the good life? Sell your home, bank the profits, put your furniture in storage, rent where you think you’d like to live so you can see if you’ll really like the new town. Then use those profits to purchase your perfect house in that town and live happily ever after.”

    Easy as pie until it’s not.

    My heart goes out to you, Pamela. I hope you quickly find a situation that suits you and your finances.

    p.s. Regarding furniture, small appliances, yard and household goods, and so forth: when the need arises, you might want to think like a twenty-something. “Buy nothing” groups are everywhere now. Good quality second-hand items can be found at thrift stores, Facebook marketplace, Craigslist, etc., for a fraction of what they cost new.

    by JCarol — June 29, 2022

  9. Hi Pamela: I SO relate to your dilemma. I too am in my 60’s and trying to find a new place to land. No kids or family and I don’t feel like I belong anywhere. I’ve been looking in several states, visiting 55+ communities, trying to find a fit.

    I don’t like my living situation now (shared laundry, shared garage, kids outside) and dream of having a place with my own garage and laundry. Pre-covid, there were many communities with new homes I probably could have afforded but I wasn’t ready yet. Now, its nuts. I looked in Florida and it was a feeding frenzy. No way I’d buy there in the midst of all of that.

    But, as someone else mentioned, I keep looking and it takes my mind off of where I am now, and keeps my hope up. I’m travelling to 2 new states next month to look. I, like you, have the means to do it, so I am. Hopefully I’ll find something and be able to pull the trigger. It’s scary doing this alone. I get it.

    by Sandra FIELDS — June 29, 2022

  10. Pamela, thank you for being so bold. I sympathize with you and others who are in a similar situation. My heart goes out to you. I could offer advice like the others but I will not do that because I am not you. I could say get over it and get on with your life but I will not. Yes we ALL make mistakes in life. That is a part of life. Yes we envision a life that is perfect
    but life is not perfect. We live in a imperfect world. I’m sure everything is going to be ok. Life has a way of redeeming what we think is unredeemable. I know you are disheartened and think that it’s impossible to have a life as before. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. I encourage you to not let this temporary set back define the rest of your life. You have gone through many difficult times before. You will get through this one ok. I prayed for and will so continually.

    by Al Lowry — June 29, 2022

  11. Hi, Pamela,, I hear you. we left NY for Jacksonville and rented there for a year. We decided to move halfway down the state and are in a great area, not as crowded as sw FL. and not as expensive. There is a lot of building going on here, as everywhere else in FL, but it’s very manageable so far. Traffic is not an issue as it in around Nsples/Estero area. Email me if you like . I’d be happy to help if poss. And I had a wonderful realtor helping us find a home who became a good. friend. Best to you..

    by Linda O'Brien — June 29, 2022

  12. Pamela- Although your situation turned out to be problematic, I don’t think you necessarily made a mistake. That’s because you did your homework and due diligence when you sold your previous home and made appropriate plans to go to a place you had old friends and that seemed to be right for you. The timing, which you had no control over, simply turned out not to be right. That’s essentially something you had no control over. So, as someone here mentioned, don’t beat yourself up at all. You’re basically just a victim of chance. I doubt if that makes you feel much better at the moment, but we’ve all been sometimes affected with what I call “mean luck.” It gets better. Try to visualize realistically what you see as a possible future ideal situation for you. Keep focused on that (eyes on the prize) and it should help you get through the difficult times that will still tend to continue for a bit. And I hope you don’t mind if I suggest to you what I’ve done when I’m in a place where I feel I’ve been victimized by bad luck and a current reality. I check in with a therapist who can help me see things better and with a different perspective. Finally, in today’s world, you’re really quite young and have many years to get back on track and follow your dream to reality. All best wishes!

    by Clyde — June 29, 2022

  13. Thanks everyone for your responses.  Words cannot describe how grateful I am to each of you for your helpful suggestions, empathy and compassion.  I really appreciate John posting my story because your feedback has been so touching and comforting.  I only wish that I can find a community where wonderful people like you live.  

    Caps:  I live in SW Florida now until I can find where I belong.  I was surprised to find that people here aren’t that friendly. I feel like I’m always the first to say hi or smile at someone when I pass them, and most of the time they don’t acknowledge me.  Someone posted on Nextdoor recently asking if anyone has been here for over three years and made any friends yet.  The consensus was a sad and astounding no!  I agree with you that I need to be grateful for something every day.  I receive Oprah’s newsletters, and I know she’s big on that. :)BTW – your suggestion to get away from my living situation does help for sure.  I’m gone the majority of the time, but I often feel like I’m wasting so much time doing things that I normally wouldn’t do just so I can get away from there.  

    Louise:  Even though my heart is really in new construction and it’s all I’ve ever purchased, my concern is I don’t have the time now due to my tax deadline.  When I first moved here, I didn’t involve a realtor with new construction, but I intend to when I determine where I want to live.  I didn’t use one when I purchased the home that I just sold, and I was able to negotiate a nice deal.  However, builders these days don’t seem to give a discount for not using one, and I believe there are definitely advantages to having one even with new construction.  If I wasn’t on top of things, the builder’s rep at the community that I thought I was going to buy in here tried to scam me when we were discussing options so I decided then that it certainly can’t hurt to have someone in my corner that does this for a living every day.  I’ve heard there are some nice manufactured homes, but it’s hard enough obtaining home insurance in Florida with a block single-family home.  Fraud here is also making insurance even worse these days than it already was.  People are getting cancelled every day if their roof is over ten years old or their premiums are being increased astronomically because of how much things have increased.  

    Laura K:  It’s funny that you mentioned looking where a best friend lives. I actually considered moving to where my closest friend of over 30 years lives, and I even called a builder there last year when she found a community that she thought I might like.  I’d be so happy living near her so we can do things instead of talking for hours every week on the phone.  Her husband works in a different state now and is rarely home so it would be perfect.  The problem is she lives in a state where it not only gets super hot but also extremely cold, and I wouldn’t be able to survive the winters.  She also has moved so many times for her job that I’d be worried that I’d move there and then she’d leave.  I keep hoping that she’ll move back to Florida because I’d definitely move where she is, but I’m afraid that might be a while, if ever.  I wish you and I lived near each other because you seem like you’d be a true and great friend. 🙂

    JoannC:  I’m so sorry that you also had such a terrible experience with your housing situation.  I guess we all have crystal balls that are cloudy, but hopefully we’ll both look back and see a blessing in disguise.  I feel your pain about the price increases.  Two weeks ago I received a marketing card from a realtor who lives in the community where I sold my house.  It says that 43 homes have been sold there YTD and the average price per SF is 25% higher over the same period last year when 56 homes were sold (sigh).  I wish you the best of luck with whatever you decide to do.             

    Kitty:  I’ve never heard of Upside HOM, but it appears it’s apartment living, and I really hate feeling like I live with my neighbors.  I wouldn’t even buy a condo or townhome for this reason.  I know this sounds weird, but I feel incomplete without owning a home.  I like that commitment, although maybe I’ll change that mindset as I get older.  I’ve learned from what is happening in my life now to never say never.  My goal was to buy another single-family home around 1600 square feet like I had, but without the headache of a pool and big yard.  The problem is builders want to build much larger homes now since land is so expensive here, and it’s more profitable for them.  I’ve had to cross so many new home communities off my list just because the homes are so much bigger than I need or want.  

    Colleen Gallagher:  I’m so very sorry for the sudden loss of your husband.  I’m glad that things have worked out for you in SW Florida and that you’re happy here.  I appreciate you being willing to share that info so I’ll definitely email you.  In the meantime, I’m curious – doesn’t the noise bother you in a condo considering you previously lived in a big house?  My house wasn’t that big, but I find the noise of apartment living annoying.

    Roberta:  Moving three hours away was hard enough on me so I can’t imagine moving to another state.  It’s amazing that Covid has caused so many problems for so many people.  While I know all too well how awful a feeling it is to be in a place that you don’t want to be, I hope my misfortune will make you and others think twice before you sell in this market and instead wait until you’ve secured your next home.  The good news is that CNBC had many segments this morning about the housing market and how things are changing because of rapidly rising mortgage rates so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that prices will ease and we’ll both be able to find something soon.  Good luck to you.

    JCarol:  Thank you so much for your kind words. I hope my story will prevent others from going through what I’ve been through.  If I had my life to live over, I would and could have kept my house and come here for a few months to see if I liked it.  I would have found out in a short time that I don’t, and I would have gone back home.  I guess we all think that we want something different than what we have. I’ve never bought used furniture or anything.  I know that your and others’ suggestion that I do so is something that I need to seriously consider once I find my new home, especially considering the quality of stuff that I gave to three charities.  I’ll never forget when the people from Habitat for Humanity came to my house.  They were totally shocked at the quality and like-new things that I donated.  I wish I was lucky enough to find second-hand stuff like what I gave away because I’d buy them in a heartbeat.    

    Sandra Fields:  I thought that I was the only person that feels I don’t belong anywhere.  It seems all my friends are so busy with their spouses/significant others, kids and grandkids that they don’t have time for anything else.  I admire you for keeping your options open and exploring various states that you may want to live in.  I don’t like cold weather so I don’t have any options in that regard.  Good luck on your adventure and let us know how things work out for you.    

    Al Lowry:  Thank you so much for saying that – I almost didn’t send my story to John because I didn’t want to sound like a Debbie Downer, but I’m glad I did now.  Everyone’s support and words of wisdom and encouragement has truly been amazing.      

    Linda O’Brien:  I actually thought about moving near Jacksonville a few years ago when my closest friend lived there.  I didn’t want to really live in JAX per se but considered St. Augustine or Ponte Vedra, which would be close to her because she and her husband lived on the south side.  I’m glad I didn’t because she ended up moving.  It sounds like you didn’t like it.  You have me curious about the area that you live in so thank you for the offer and I’ll email you.  

    Clyde:  I often say to friends that I have bad luck, but I actually like your term “mean luck” much better. :)I feel like I’ve aged 30 years since I moved.  I never had any gray hair before moving here and now I see some strands of it although they’re hard to see.  I’m proof that it’s true what they say about Presidents – that stress truly does cause gray hair.  Obama before and after is an amazing difference.    

    by Pamela — June 30, 2022

  14. Pamela, you mention you are currently living in SW Florida. We retired in Fort Myers, FL 10 years ago and live in a wonderful 55+ community called Pelican Preserve. There is approx. 2500 homes, duplexes and condos. At any given time there is 25 or so places for resale. There is single, divorced and widowed people in this community and wonderful groups that are solo that get together for dinner, events, etc. We have a wide variety of amenities available to all. We looked at a lot of communities and when we drove through the front gate we knew we were home.

    by Toni Olsen — July 1, 2022

  15. Pamela, for the last 15 years I have worked with couples searching for golf community homes in the Southeast. My experience compels me to offer you a little “tough love.” As you know, the recession of 2009 caused many to lose savings they had targeted for their retirement homes. They readjusted their priorities and preferences and were able to relocate successfully, and happily, to their new locations. They did not get absolutely everything they wanted but they got everything they needed and some of what they wanted. In reading through your responses to the gracious, sympathetic and helpful advice in this forum, I can’t help but note that perfect is the enemy of good in your case. You could live near your “best friend” in a place you can afford, but winters would “kill” you. A more affordable condo is out because neighbors creat noise. (I own a condo and the occsional barks from the neighbor’s dog is tolerable, and they don’t play heavy metal on the stereo.) i won’t belabor

    by Larry — July 1, 2022

  16. Sorry, meant to continue “I won’t belabor the point except to say that as Toni Olsen indicates above, there are plenty of places to purchase in well regarded areas and communities if you reduce your list of requirements to a realistic number. My former clients with a large number of “must haves” are still searching for their dream situation — more than 10 years later.

    by Larry — July 1, 2022

  17. Pamela, I know it is too late now, but when you lived in your house with the pool and big yard did you ever consider burying the pool and having a landscaper come in and discuss what to do with your big yard to reduce the workload? It is possible they could have put in lots of bark mulch and bushes that don’t need a lot of care. A gabezo type structure, a garden arch with roses growing over it, shrubs take up space and if you enjoy gardening some above ground planters for tomatoes, peppers (I have galvanized cattle troughs meant to water livestock for my tomatoes and peppers). Some kind of sidewalks could have been put in with park benches and some garden sculptures. I am not a landscaper but possibly they could have come up with some nice ideas. I have known many people who had to have an inground pool and once they had it, their kids couldn’t be bothered to use it and it became too much expense and work, so they buried it. Yes, you might have reduced the appeal of your house when you went to sell it but if your intention was to stay, it would have been beneficial to you. A concrete slab could have been poured over where the pool was to make a patio. Just some ideas to consider rather than selling a house.

    by Louise — July 2, 2022

  18. Do realtors know which communities have vibrant singles groups? John had an article about this. Maybe it’s time to try the east coast and start fresh. Former neighbors found an island community south of Vero Beach and prefer that to SW Florida. I bet Larry could help you there or suggest someone. As for furnishings, after inheriting my parents’ expensive possessions and being burdened with guilt for not wanting them, we donated everything, turned around and downsized the crap out of our own stuff, then purchased a only few fresh new items. It was exhilarating! You’re still young, and like the joke about Mr. Right vs Mr. Right Now, I bet a good realtor could help find something that checks all the important boxes, with wants and needs probably changing in the following years anyway. My mother always said “it’s only money, you still have your health,” and it served her well throughout her life. We’re all rooting for you.

    by Daryl — July 2, 2022

  19. Thanks, Daryl, for mentioning our Blog articles that discuss communities for singles that others will find helpful.
    Below are a couple of links, and the comments at the end of the articles are also great. A list of more articles that are related to these are found under For Further Reading which is also at the bottom of each blog article.

    Best Places for Singles to Retire

    Singles and Retirement

    by Jane at Topretirements — July 2, 2022

  20. I want to thank everyone for the kind additional responses since my last reply and to thank everyone again who previously responded. I really appreciate all of your amazing comments and insight. All of you have been so helpful.

    Colleen Gallagher and Linda O’Brien:
    I emailed you both today. Thanks again for the offer to contact you.

    Toni Olsen:
    Pelican Preserve looks like a really beautiful community, although I’d prefer less amenities. I love that they were apparently still building new construction in 2020. I randomly looked up three homes there, and all are pending now. 🙁
    Hopefully the housing market will start to slow down for people like me who need to buy a home soon.

    Thanks for your honesty and the tough love. 🙂
    I see what you mean about readjusting priorities and preferences, and it’s true that I do tend to be a perfectionist. I’ve definitely compromised when it comes to amenities. There was a time I didn’t want any, but I realized that I’ll need to accept at least some if I want new or newer construction. I just don’t want so many that I’m paying for things that I’ll never use. My home was in a gated golf community, but golf was a separate membership. We didn’t have tennis or a movie theatre, etc, like Toni Olsen has, but we had other things and my dues were plenty high. I just don’t want to have to change my priorities to the point that I’ll live to regret my purchase. I’d love to live near my very dear friend, and I’d seriously consider doing that even though I’d hate the cold winters, but the biggest issue is she has moved more than anyone I know so no telling how long she’ll be there. I’d also rather spend more money for a single-family home vs. a condo or townhome because I know me well enough to know that I don’t want to feel like I live with my neighbors. At least I know that the situation I’m currently dealing with won’t be forever because I don’t own it. I do appreciate and take your words of wisdom very seriously because there’s no way that I want to be like your former clients who are still searching more than 10 years later.

    Your suggestions about my pool and yard are fantastic ones. I assume the people you know who buried their pool don’t live in Florida and/or they did this a very long time ago. When I looked into filling my pool with dirt and pouring a concrete slab over it, pool contractors told me that they can’t even get a permit to do something like that anymore because doing so has caused sinkholes and major other problems in the past. I don’t recall all of the exact specifics of what they said, but they made it clear that it’s a disaster waiting to happen in our sandy soil. As to my yard, I actually had many of the things you mentioned, like a garden arch, bench and clay pots everywhere. People often said that my backyard looked like a park. I also got rid of my grass many years before I sold my house and replaced it with mulch. The problem is I had big trees all over and we get tons of rain in Florida so the mulch easily became weeds if I didn’t stay on top of it, which is hard to do here. You can pull weeds, and they’re back almost in the blink of an eye. One of my hobbies for decades was gardening, but I ended up eventually creating a monster. I planted beautiful roses, flowering shrubs and plants everywhere to attract birds and butterflies, and many of those grow like weeds here and are invasive. It was a never-ending battle to trim them. If I had my life to live over, I should have had a landscaper come in and pull all of that up and redo my entire yard with Florida-friendly bushes that don’t need a lot of care like you mentioned. It wouldn’t have been cheap to do that, but it would have saved me a fortune and been like pennies compared to what I’m dealing with now.

    I love your idea about communities that have vibrant singles groups, but I wonder if many exist besides The Villages. It’s not like my house was packed full of furnishings and things because I don’t like clutter, but it was very nicely decorated. I heard a news segment the other day that said that people are going to be sitting in empty houses for a while because of all the shortages and delays, but I’ll just be happy to find my new home, even if I have to sleep on the floor for a long time. 🙂

    Jane at Topretirements:
    Thanks so much for posting these links so I can go back and refresh my memory or read them if I haven’t already.

    by Pamela — July 5, 2022

  21. Pamela – we, too, are in a state of flux. Eight years ago husband retired, we moved thousands of miles to a new state based on all the personal criteria we felt was paramount at the time, and here we are. We have a beautiful home in a nice neighborhood in an affordable-to-us economy, but no family or friends nearby. The last six years were consumed with me caregiving my mom 1200 miles away. Because I’ve been gone so much, I’ve not been able to establish myself here, develop any friends or community connection, and all the criteria for moving here that was initially so important is no longer relevant. We are in the same conundrum as you are. As you and I share the same first name, I was of course attracted to read your story, and quickly aware we share many of the same quandaries – I don’t want to call it regret because life changes in ways we cannot see or imagine and I can’t regret something I couldn’t know about, but it is certainly a quandary. What I do regret, though, is being 1K miles away from any of our families, especially as we are getting older. We are looking to be within a short day drive of family members (who are all scattered within a region), and not 1K+ miles like we are now. We don’t want our families to go through what I experienced traveling long distances to care for my mom. But now housing prices are out of our reach to buy at our preferred destination and houses for sale here have dropped off a cliff. Reading your story gave me a feeling of sameness beyond sharing our first name. I have hope and confidence that both of us Pamelas are poised to seize our opportunities when presented because we are actively looking for opportunity, and will recognize it when we see it. By the way, I am in the West. Forward, always forward. Pam

    by Pamela E — July 7, 2022

  22. Pamela E – Thank you so much for your kind response. I’m so sorry for everything that you’ve been going through and hope things will get better for you soon. The good news is that I’m starting to see a few signs of hope in the housing market based on many news segments I’ve heard and articles I’ve received recently, especially in the last week or so. I really commend you for your attitude and words of wisdom about regret. I definitely need to work on having your frame of mind about this situation. One of my friends has told me several times that regret is a wasted emotion, and she doesn’t feel regret about things. I wish you all the best. Take care.

    by Pamela — July 9, 2022

  23. Pamela, Thank you for your kind words, also. My troubles and family duties are not over yet so there is only so much I can manage, especially something as major as moving somewhere. But there is a future beyond these things that demand my attention and I look forward to that time. I just don’t know what that will look like.
    You take care, too.

    by Pamela E — July 10, 2022

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