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Old 12-01-2007, 02:21 PM   #21
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(We do have a bare bones basement 3/4 bath, cement floor, exposed plumbing and all. We had to put it in when we redid our bathroom. It never gets used.)
Sounds familar! We live in a modest home with 1.5 baths. We had the main bath totally gutted and redone recently (31 years old!) and had to install a shower in the basement in the laundry area so we'd be able to shower while the bath was being done.

I had planned on removing the laundry area shower as soon as the bath remodeling was complete, but now find it convenient and am leaving it there. We have an entrance to the basement from the garage and it's really handy to finish an outdoor project and head straight downstairs to shower where I don't have to be so tidy about where I throw dirty clothes, etc.
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Old 12-01-2007, 02:35 PM   #22
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Spouse just had a buyer (family of 4 kids are little ) close on a 6,000 sq ft house yesterday and this morning I helped them move a couple of pieces of furniture. House is unbelievable and if I ever spend that kind of money I will have hit the lottery. I said something to the wife and she said its nice but the kitchen countertops are tile not granite. It must have granite. Then she went on to say she thought they made a bad decision. I about fell over.

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Old 12-01-2007, 02:41 PM   #23
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On our initial assignment to the DC area I wanted to be in Alexandria versus driving 65 miles a day to Dale City. So our first home there was a very small Cape Cod 2 BR (I added another make-shift one for the boys upstairs in the attic) 1 bath. 2 Teens and 1 sub Teen then I adopted another sub Teen. DW worked and so did I - she left for work at 4 am, me at about 5-6 am and 2 kids heading for HS about 7 am, 2 sub-teens at about 8 am - two boys and two girls. We made it work for 2 years -- while saving and looking for something a bit larger. Bought a 1800 SF 5 BR 2 full and one 3/4 bath home after selling the first one. Kids were happy, to say the least. Would I like to do that again, probably not, but then money was really tight then.
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Old 12-01-2007, 03:11 PM   #24
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I said something to the wife and she said its nice but the kitchen countertops are tile not granite. It must have granite. Then she went on to say she thought they made a bad decision. I about fell over.
Has escrow disbursed yet? Better cash that commission check fast...
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Old 12-01-2007, 03:50 PM   #25
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Has escrow disbursed yet? Better cash that commission check fast...
All funds Disbursed. Cashed last night
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Old 12-01-2007, 03:52 PM   #26
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I've lived in six places since leaving home and getting married.

By far my favorite was a 2-bed, 1-bath condo on the Berkeley/N Oakland border. It was walking distance to a dozen restaurants, half dozen movie theaters, three book stores, bakeries, the library. Downtown Berkeley was a mile or two north, downtown Oakland was a mile or two south, the parks and open space preserves in the east bay hills were a couple miles east, and it was a short walk to Bart to go to San Francisco. There were many weeks when the only time I got in the car was to go to the grocery store. It didn't have central heat or air-conditioning but because the weather was mild in both summer and winter it didn't need either. It was in a four-plex that was originally built around 1900 and had a lot of "character." It shared a small yard that was landscaped in such a way that it required little maintenance but if you had the urge you could have a garden. All the units were owner occupied and everyone took an interest in maintaining it and we never had any problems with noise, etc. It was a great place for both work and play.

The next place was a 2-story+basement colonial mcmansion in the suburbs on the east coast, i.e. the "american dream." It was a great house, a great neighborhood and a great community but the life-style just wasn't comparable to Berkeley.

But during that time kids appeared and a lot of things changed (not that I'm complaining). With two teen-agers we would now have a tough time going back to a 2-bedroom, 1-bath condo but someday they'll be off to college and then . . .

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Old 12-01-2007, 05:08 PM   #27
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My 85 year old home (1250 sq ft) has one bathroom with the original cast iron tub, swan neck handbasin, and black and white hexagon tiled floor. The character of the bathroom was one reason I was attracted to the house. I upgraded the faucets and put in a new toilet. The basement remains unfinished. I did plan a basement reno some years ago but deferred it as I was considering a move, which never happened.

The house was built as a wedding present for the builder's daughter. She and her husband raised five children and kept a live in maid. I figure if one bathroom was enough for eight people, I should be able to manage!
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Old 12-01-2007, 07:30 PM   #28
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[quote=DangerMouse;583553]I watch HGTV a lot and is surprises me that no matter what price bracket houses are selling for the expectation seems to be granite benchtops are the standard.

quote]

Sorry to be so fashion conscious but I must tell you all that granite is totally OUT and almost tacky. The new durable, nontoxic, and sustainable countertop is lightweight cast concrete. Comes in a variety of colors! Also, recycled glass too.
If you don't care about "sustainability" then formica laminate is the economical and surprisingly fashion forward choice.
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Old 12-01-2007, 07:38 PM   #29
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If you don't care about "sustainability" then formica laminate is the economical and surprisingly fashion forward choice.
Hot d*mn! My old kitchen is in fashion again! I always knew that 1960's Formica countertop would come back into fashion. Yippee!

And to think, I was gonna rip it out in the spring and put in some fancy new-fangled thing! I guess I'll go dump the money from the 'remodeling' jar, into the 'vacation' jar tonight.
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Old 12-02-2007, 05:35 AM   #30
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My old (1920s) house had an un-renovated pantry that still sported a linoleum countertop, the kind with metal edging. Can't get much more environmentally-friendly than that.

I thought cement/concrete was a 'green' no-no.

In my dream reno here, I'd like to have a combination of wood and marble (recycled from an existing table) for countertops. Maybe a small tile or Formica section around the sink. I like the idea of different surfaces for different tasks, but that's not the current aesthetic fashion.

Martha, take a look at some of the posts here:
How Many Miles from Babylon, esp. this one:
Unlike Coin
(I linked here also on Voltaire's thread about 'trends'.)

"Unlike Coin" is an interesting treatment of the 'coinage' used by two different value systems: one cash-based and one intrinsic-value-based. Your beaded purses have a lot of intrinsic value to you and your friends. Someone looking only at a cash value (either of your time, or of a monetarily-cheap Chinese-made beaded purse) can't quite grasp it. To use a phrase from George Costanza, "the worlds can't collide"!

The cheap Chinese purse is the only one that 'makes sense' to them, where it may make no sense to you. And vice versa. Similarly, they can't see the value of your clearing snow on your own, whether by hand/shovel or by machine.

I think the solution is to turn off the HGTV and steer clear of people who have some interest in having you live your life THEIR way, instead of YOUR way! The value lies in being able to express your own creativity and in not being beholden to external forces.
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Old 12-02-2007, 10:44 AM   #31
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And I always thought it a bit odd to hire out yard work and then go pay a gym to get the same workout, but without accomplishment.

Different strokes I guess.
What I can not understand is people who will give control of their hard earned money to someone else ? I was at a party last night with educated people .Several of the couples had lost a good percentage of their retirement savings thru unscrupulous brokers .They then turned around and gave their savings again to someone else to handle because they knew nothing about investments . I asked them why they did not learn about investments .They all said "It was too hard to learn ". I just want to shake these people silly .
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Old 12-02-2007, 10:52 AM   #32
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i'm a little confused here. i'm not sure if this thread is about purses, laminates, toilets or snowblowers. so i'm just adding a quote i think i've posted before:

"nothing is precious save what is yourself in others and others in yourself"~~pierre teilhard de chardin
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Old 12-03-2007, 04:58 PM   #33
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i'm a little confused here. i'm not sure if this thread is about purses, laminates, toilets or snowblowers.
But I thought this thread was about cast concrete and unscrupulous brokers!
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Old 12-08-2007, 06:54 PM   #34
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Tonight I watched House Hunters .The buyers were a young couple looking for their first house in Tampa ,FL..They were looking at million dollar houses and talking about changing the kitchen cabinets and maybe the bathrooms were too small . What is wrong with this picture ?
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Old 12-08-2007, 07:49 PM   #35
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Tonight I watched House Hunters .The buyers were a young couple looking for their first house in Tampa ,FL..They were looking at million dollar houses and talking about changing the kitchen cabinets and maybe the bathrooms were too small . What is wrong with this picture ?
What was their income? Maybe they can easily afford it.
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Old 12-08-2007, 08:16 PM   #36
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Tonight I watched House Hunters .The buyers were a young couple looking for their first house in Tampa ,FL..They were looking at million dollar houses and talking about changing the kitchen cabinets and maybe the bathrooms were too small . What is wrong with this picture ?
Didn't happen to catch their name, did you?

We could do a lot better than $1mm, and the kitchen cabinets are new...
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Old 12-08-2007, 10:54 PM   #37
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What is wrong with this picture ?
Nothing-- people like that make great subjects for TV...
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Old 12-09-2007, 01:50 AM   #38
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The comment about the purses sounds more rude than I think he meant it to be. I truly think that efficiency is very important to him: Why go to stores, look at furniture, pick out paint, etc, when you can have a decorator do it? Isn't that what the big bucks are for? And he does rather enjoy his work. But he has no hobbies other than exercise. So, he hires someone to shovel his walks while he goes to the gym and spins and lifts weights.
Thanks for starting this topic, Martha, I've enjoyed thinking about this topic over the past week.

I do yard work manually and my husband thinks I'm nuts. I'll sweep instead of using a leaf blower. I'll use loppers instead of a hedge trimmer. And when I spend a couple hours in the garden working like this, I don't bother to go to the gym that day! I did 1 hour of raking the lawn today and my abs/core muscles are definitely exercised. And when I go to the gym, I focus on 'functional fitness' -- exercises which improve my ability to do the activities I enjoy, such as hiking and cycling.

Your beaded purses sound lovely. I appreciate hand-made gifts from friends and relatives and I make sure to tell them that. When I finally retire, I want to spend time making jams. It is something I enjoy and right now I chafe at having to buy them at the grocery store.... but making them just doesn't hit high enough on my priority list when I'm working 55-60 hours per week and my free time is so constrained.

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i'm a little confused here. i'm not sure if this thread is about purses, laminates, toilets or snowblowers.
Yes, it is about beaded purses, snowblowers, brooms and loppers vs. leaf blowers, homemade jams, and much more! It is a quintessential "Other topics" post!

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Old 12-09-2007, 08:25 AM   #39
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We are in the middle of a winter storm that is supposed to last the weekend. Yesterday afternoon the grocery stores were packed. I ran into a former co-worker. I told him that I was dreading having to run our monster snow blower to clean up after the storm was done. He said hire someone.

Different lifestyles. I'm not dreading it that much.

When my old coworker asked what I was doing to keep busy I mentioned that I have been working on a winter project, beading some purses that I am making for my women friends and relatives. He told me that it sure would be more efficient to work, bill $250 an hour, and buy some nice presents.

Different lifestyles. I imagine he or his wife wouldn't much like my beaded purses, but my friends will.

While working on my beading project, I have been watching some HGTV and have seen several times a show where a real estate agent goes in and tells people what there house is worth and what they could do to make it sell. Apparently, granite countertops are a necessity no matter what the price point. And one bathroom is simply not acceptable. Same with the show, Househunters. No matter if you are starting out, and even if you are single, three bedrooms and two baths are the minimum requirement.
Well lets see. This guy sounds like a few I've met at work. Can I sense a little envy here working? I think so. Pay no attention since we need these people to fund our SS, etc. Even a little pep talk may help .

Don't even get me started on the house stuff. My house is 1280 sq ft built in 1952, two bedroom with one single bath. The original owner raised 3 children in this house. When I get the house fever looking at the 4000 sq ft homes (yes envy gets me sometimes), I remind myself of this little fact. Guess we are DINKS with envy!

PS there was a "monster" house build here on the H&G Channel that is still empty one year later. The show made out that this young couple was going to marry and move right in! Don't know the total story however these TV shows are not very practical for most folks I know.....I'll stick to the Yankee workshop.
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Old 12-09-2007, 08:57 AM   #40
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Sounds like your "pay someone to do it" judges life solely in terms of dollars earned per hour ...

I'm glad you have other friends than them.


My thats a harsh judgment. Perhaps the guy just doesn't like snow removal. Or maybe Martha just sounded particularly sincere when she said she was dreading going home and doing it.
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