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My House Feels Like a Money Pit........
Old 04-24-2009, 09:37 AM   #1
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My House Feels Like a Money Pit........

DW and I started our "home freshening" project in 2003. Improvements since 2003:

New hardware on all doors and cabinets
New light fixtures (all)
Painted all rooms except master bedroom.
New patio door
New reverse osmosis water system
Redid three bathrooms (new drywall, paint, fixtures, flooring, trim, etc)
New air conditioner and furnace
New hot water heater and softener
A LOT of landscaping
New concrete walk and patio
New siding, roof, gutters,and soffit fascia
New flooring (kitchen, foyer, bathrooms)
New carpeting in family room
New faucets
Built-in storage area in basement

Now I am doing my basement. I think we need windows and the rest of the carpeting done in the next couple years.

I told DW she can forget about a different house because I am NOT moving.........
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:42 AM   #2
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The only house I had that was not a money pit was brand new and was basically care free for several years .
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Old 04-24-2009, 10:23 AM   #3
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I hear ya loud and clear. My 1700 sqft house was built in 1977 or thereabouts. LH and I bought it for $63K in 1984 when mortgage interest rates were 14.5%. A buyer's market, indeed. Plus the owners were desperate to sell as it had sat on the market for over a year and the hubby was commuting 50 miles RT in the wonderful winter weather.
Best of all - we could afford the payments on 1 income if need be.
It needed a lot of love - unpaved driveway, badly done basic landscaping, weed overtaken lawn, rotting outdoor deck. Then it needed a new septic and leach field, 2 garage door openers, hardwood floors replaced a horrible colored and worn out carpeting, new kitchen and appliances. Then a new roof, a few new windows, yadda yadda yadda.

It was an ugly duckling that was transformed into a swan.

I'm here to stay until my legs can't do the steps anymore. That will be quite a while...
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Old 04-24-2009, 10:26 AM   #4
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Hmmmm - today is start of 2009 Jazz Fest in New Orleans - but she nixed that trip and other family backed out of Baja.

Soo - in spite of renewing Passports last year - we're NOT going to a resort and relaxing with those silly mixed drinks with paper umbrellas -

Going instead to Ace later to buy processed Missouri cow poop for the gardening landscape projects dreamed up over the winter. Front porch needs restaining. Grass/weeds in the walk/driveway need killing. Corner of the basement is begging for so remodeling. Etc.

We're gonna cut back like the rest of America - tighening up by spending the big bucks at ACE, Lowes and Home Depot.

Riiiiight.

heh heh heh - me - I'd rather let the house go to the dogs and do a 'let them eat cake thingy at a resort/cruise somewhere.' However discretion being the better part of valor. It's all her fault - not me being cheap/ er cheaper.
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Old 04-24-2009, 10:31 AM   #5
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We bought an abused house with good bones at the pit of a housing bear market. So I guess as the market improves we've been plowing our "excess" equity back into home maintenance. And we've added a few improvements.

We've also been refinancing the mortgage as we go, so those savings have been getting dumped back into the place.

But I think the biggest source of home investment has been sweat equity...
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Old 04-24-2009, 10:45 AM   #6
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Hmmmm - today is start of 2009 Jazz Fest in New Orleans - but she nixed that trip and other family backed out of Baja.

Soo - in spite of renewing Passports last year - we're NOT going to a resort and relaxing with those silly mixed drinks with paper umbrellas -
Time to pick up a gently used travel trailer or small RV, uncle. Lake of the Ozarks can't be that far, nor are the Rockies...
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Old 04-24-2009, 10:50 AM   #7
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Time to pick up a gently used travel trailer or small RV, uncle. Lake of the Ozarks can't be that far, nor are the Rockies...
What brewer said.
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Old 04-24-2009, 11:40 AM   #8
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Yep, our home starts to feel like a money pit too... If it was just me, I'd ditch the sucker and move to a brand new, low-maintenance condo, but what do I know? DW likes having a house, though she doesn't want to have anything to do with the upkeep...

In the past few years we replaced the roof and the heat pump. We had to repair the water heater and dig up the sewer line. Now the garage door opener needs to be replaced and the retaining wall behind the house is on its last leg. The carpet in the family room also needs to be updated. And down the road, we really need to gut the master bathroom and bring it into the 21st century. Ah, the joy of home ownership...

I've put a lot of sweat equity in our house in the first few years, but there are some things I'd rather leave to the pros (plumbing, major electrics, roof, structural work). And in the past 2 years I've put a lot of man-hours in MIL's house so I don't have a lot of time to work on my own house anymore.

Talking about that, time to go power wash MIL's driveway... Perfect day for playing with water. Sunny and 87F...
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Old 04-24-2009, 12:39 PM   #9
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Bought this building in 1995. New roof immediately. Put a wall out front to make the front yard less steep. Moved my flower garden in and bought more plants most years. Stripped out ugly carpet and redid hardwood floors in first floor apartment where we were going to live. Put in basic bathroom in basement and then gutted owner's apartment bath and redid. A few years later did our kitchen. Removed a couple of problem white spuce trees. Repaved driveway. Replaced third floor wood fire escape with steel. Put in fancy steel fencing. All the apartments have new refrigerators, two have new stoves. All but one have new carpet. All have been repainted, some more than once. Repainted exterior trim and rebuilt one chimney.

Appreciation will bring us about even up when we sell. Too nice owner's apartment. Some things, like the $10,000 fence, bring nothing on resale. But it has been a money maker (with three tenant apartments) as well as a depreciation write off over the years.
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Old 04-24-2009, 02:36 PM   #10
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Lived here since '78, built 1947? (too lazy to look it up).

Replaced: roof, siding, most windows and doors, several water heaters/refrigerators/sump pumps/washing machines/stove/toilets/sinks/shower/outgoing plumbing/wiring/boiler/rugs

Added: dishwasher/electric garage door/water softener/paneling

Remodeled: bathroom/kitchen

I'm moving to a one bedroom apartment after the cat dies.
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Old 04-24-2009, 02:44 PM   #11
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DW and I started our "home freshening" project in 2003. Improvements since 2003:

New hardware on all doors and cabinets
New light fixtures (all)
Painted all rooms except master bedroom.
New patio door
New reverse osmosis water system
Redid three bathrooms (new drywall, paint, fixtures, flooring, trim, etc)
New air conditioner and furnace
New hot water heater and softener
A LOT of landscaping
New concrete walk and patio
New siding, roof, gutters,and soffit fascia
New flooring (kitchen, foyer, bathrooms)
New carpeting in family room
New faucets
Built-in storage area in basement

Now I am doing my basement. I think we need windows and the rest of the carpeting done in the next couple years.

I told DW she can forget about a different house because I am NOT moving.........
Good heavens!! Your house IS a money pit! That's a lot of home improvement projects for just 6 years. Bet after all those projects your house is beautiful, though.

Here are the upgrades/maintenance needed by my house, bought in 2002:
completely new HVAC system, inside and out, even the ducts (and repairs to the old one prior to that)
new hot water heater
plumber to fix two broken faucets
upgraded fuse box to circuit breakers
wallpaper removal and paint in dressing room, new switchplates in there
painted shutters outside, painted doors and woodwork inside
much exterior hurricane damage repair (replacing shredded doors, removing trees, wind damaged gas lamp, other wind damage etc etc etc)

I think that is all. It was in pretty good shape when I bought it. Before I put it on the market I need to do some more painting and have all the carpet replaced.
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Old 04-24-2009, 03:48 PM   #12
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$260 - replaced fan motor on 17 year old 2 1/2 ton A/C. Going to 88-90 today.

Whoopee! Here come the warm weather!



heh heh heh - that one wasn't planed. Let's see - 260 in a little under an hour - and he had to run back to the shop for the part. The motor may be Chinese(or not, I didn't look) but the installation is all American. I'm proud to help fight the recession - er sort of.

Now for that slightly used(American made) RV Brewer mentioned.
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Old 04-24-2009, 03:59 PM   #13
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See what happens when I try and stay inside in A/C - instead of going outside and sweating in the yard and garden like my neighbors.

AND they are doing it afer work on Friday - unlike somebody I know who is ER'd.

heh heh heh -
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Old 04-24-2009, 04:03 PM   #14
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$260 - replaced fan motor on 17 year old 2 1/2 ton A/C.
That's not bad, UncleMick!! I just spent $98.50 for my A/C guy to do the annual spring A/C checkup that he wants to do every year. I never took him up on it before. He didn't find any problems. He blew out the drain, checked the freon (I had plenty), told me to have my handyman replace my attic ventilation fan which is apparently broken, and told me to change the filter which I had planned to do anyway. Oh, and relieved me of $98.50.

Kind of steep. At least I know it will work when it gets hot around here.
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Old 04-24-2009, 04:58 PM   #15
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I hear ya loud and clear. My 1700 sqft house was built in 1977 or thereabouts. LH and I bought it for $63K in 1984 when mortgage interest rates were 14.5%. A buyer's market, indeed. Plus the owners were desperate to sell as it had sat on the market for over a year and the hubby was commuting 50 miles RT in the wonderful winter weather.
Best of all - we could afford the payments on 1 income if need be.
It needed a lot of love - unpaved driveway, badly done basic landscaping, weed overtaken lawn, rotting outdoor deck. Then it needed a new septic and leach field, 2 garage door openers, hardwood floors to replace a horrible colored and worn out carpeting, new kitchen and appliances. Then a new roof, a few new windows, yadda yadda yadda.
Update - I forgot about remodeling the 2 bathroooms. And recarpeting the 3 bedrooms. And building a 20' x 20' building ( one of those storage shed that turned into a small barn plans) out back. And the new front door and entryway steps redone.
I'm sure I'll think of more that was done.

It was an ugly duckling that was transformed into a swan.

I'm here to stay until my legs can't do the steps anymore. That will be quite a while...
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Old 04-24-2009, 05:17 PM   #16
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$260 - replaced fan motor on 17 year old 2 1/2 ton A/C.
Ouch! That's the cheapest way to keep the house cool for now, so maybe it will work out. If something else goes, you should probably think about getting a new unit. The tax breaks are good (30% credit) and the new ones use a lot less energy. You'd probably have payback period of less than 10 years in your neck of the woods, and it would be reliable.

Of course, that's the long view, sometimes I can't afford to take that long view. As we scrape the bottom of the barrel to pay the first installment of the 2009 estimated taxes and try to avoid selling off equities that have gone down in price--if our AC died today we'd probably just wear shorts and crank up the box fan.
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Old 04-24-2009, 06:14 PM   #17
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Of course, that's the long view, sometimes I can't afford to take that long view. As we scrape the bottom of the barrel to pay the first installment of the 2009 estimated taxes and try to avoid selling off equities that have gone down in price--if our AC died today we'd probably just wear shorts and crank up the box fan.
One August when I was pouring every penny into paying off my house and my A/C broke, I did that. I dressed accordingly, showered in cold water whenever I felt uncomfortable, turned on the ceiling fans, consumed a lot of ice water and an occasional popsickle, lolled about a lot, and didn't cook. It really wasn't that bad, even in New Orleans.

Of course, I'd RATHER have A/C. But I love knowing that I can manage just fine without it.
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Old 04-24-2009, 06:22 PM   #18
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A bunch of interesting posts. And the unkindest cut of all is after all of the home improvement projects, when you finally have to put the old homestead on the market some snarky potential buyer will look at what you did and mutter " What were they thinking."
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Old 04-24-2009, 07:02 PM   #19
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A bunch of interesting posts. And the unkindest cut of all is after all of the home improvement projects, when you finally have to put the old homestead on the market some snarky potential buyer will look at what you did and mutter " What were they thinking."
When they replaced the 2 prong outlets with 3 prong outlets and didn't bother actually grounding them?
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Old 04-24-2009, 07:18 PM   #20
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When they replaced the 2 prong outlets with 3 prong outlets and didn't bother actually grounding them?
When I look at a unit I take along a little device to diagnose incorrect wiring, The agents look at me like I am nuts; but really is there any profession with more incompetents in it than residential realtors?

It may be that for selling stuff they are well adapted, and after all that is their job. But it is really hard to get useful information out of most of them.

Ha
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