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Old 08-07-2014, 12:52 PM   #21
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Sounds you're "pot committed" ... stay the course. If $$ is an issue then rent the guest house for a couple/few years. Perhaps a divorced friend/family needs a place to hang their hat. Throwing in the towel (selling) is not an option in my book.
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Old 08-07-2014, 01:26 PM   #22
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Newer is not necessarily better. An old house whose quirks you know and have managed may be a much better crafted structure than a more recent shoddily built house. And then there's the neighbour issue.
Here's something I can't figure out, with respect to the way some things age. Back around 1983-84, my stepfather built a deck onto the house I'm currently living in. About a year later, Granddad built a deck on the back of their house. So, both of these decks are pushing 30 years old now. My stepdad did a much better job, building it a lot beefier, whereas Granddad cut corners. But, both decks are still holding up. I haven't done any maintenance to mine since 2004, the first year I was back in the house. I can't remember the last time we ever did anything with Grandmom's deck, such as water sealing, cleaning, etc.

But then, I know other people who have had decks start falling apart in just 10-15 years. I'm guessing then, that all outdoor lumber is not created equally these days?
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Old 08-07-2014, 01:35 PM   #23
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. . . break through the slab to replace rotten cast iron drain pipes, after breaking out the slab found a 20' diameter void under the slab from a previous water leak.
I have no idea why architects or builders would think it was a good idea to put things that are sure to corrode underneath a slab. Cast iron drain pipes are usually fairly durable, but when they use galvanized water pipes and put them someplace inaccessible, it's just crazy. We lloked ata house once that had the HVAC ductwork poured into the slab--pull off the register and look inside to see about an inch of standing water (condensation from the AC, probably). That can't be healthy.

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We have a detached granny flat in our backyard that we rent out. We have constructed fences so that we have a private backyard NOT shared with the tenants. They have a private outdoor space not shared with us. This works well for us. They access the unit from the side of our house - but we've structured things so that they have their own gated path (not through our portion of the yard) to get to the casita.
That sounds like a great approach. "Good fences make good neighbors."
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:44 PM   #24
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Here's something I can't figure out, with respect to the way some things age. Back around 1983-84, my stepfather built a deck onto the house I'm currently living in. About a year later, Granddad built a deck on the back of their house. So, both of these decks are pushing 30 years old now. My stepdad did a much better job, building it a lot beefier, whereas Granddad cut corners. But, both decks are still holding up. I haven't done any maintenance to mine since 2004, the first year I was back in the house. I can't remember the last time we ever did anything with Grandmom's deck, such as water sealing, cleaning, etc.

But then, I know other people who have had decks start falling apart in just 10-15 years. I'm guessing then, that all outdoor lumber is not created equally these days?
There are different types of lumber (redwood, cedar, and treated), and different qualities of each. A DIYer in the early 80's may have used treated lumber on the entire deck, including the decking (surface).

We recently replaced the original deck on our 1973 home. Well, it had an original redwood deck, with an add on. Wood from both were in poor shape. New deck is cedar, but I do think wood doesn't appear to be as high quality as I remember from the past. We stained the deck anyway, tho, because we like the color in addition to hoping we extend the life of the deck. We didn't want composite decking, despite the expected long life, because I like to go barefoot and we have dogs, and we've heard composite materials can get hot.
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:52 PM   #25
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Not having the construction will help. We made a similar mistake. The home had a basement wall that was caving in. The former owner had built a false wall to cover up the damage. They had made up an elaborate story as why the inspector couldn't get near that area.

We went after her, by the time we did she had moved out of state and had no assets to go after. So enjoy the best you can and know your not alone.

Kinda bad.... but what about the inspector?
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Old 08-08-2014, 07:12 AM   #26
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Sounds you're "pot committed" ... stay the course. If $$ is an issue then rent the guest house for a couple/few years. Perhaps a divorced friend/family needs a place to hang their hat. Throwing in the towel (selling) is not an option in my book.

Yea, I'm going to have to see this through. Just wondering, how long do you stay in a house before it makes any sense to sell (if ever)?
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Old 08-08-2014, 08:48 AM   #27
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Depends on how much you put into it to begin with (e.g. closing costs), where the market takes house values, and a good deal on the house itself. An inspector might find a home to be in perfect condition, and two years later, soil conditions change and the foundation develops a crack, etc.

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Yea, I'm going to have to see this through. Just wondering, how long do you stay in a house before it makes any sense to sell (if ever)?
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Old 08-08-2014, 08:53 AM   #28
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I have no idea why architects or builders would think it was a good idea to put things that are sure to corrode underneath a slab. Cast iron drain pipes are usually fairly durable, but when they use galvanized water pipes and put them someplace inaccessible, it's just crazy.
Sometimes depends on local codes. The Chicago area has been extremely slow in adopting anything plastic based for plumbing. (It is happening, but slowly.) Copper is and always has been expensive, so you see a lot of galvanized supply. This stuff usually will not last longer than 40 years for hot water supply, and typically needs repair earlier. And you are right, it is extremely messy to repair.

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Here's something I can't figure out, with respect to the way some things age. Back around 1983-84, my stepfather built a deck onto the house I'm currently living in. About a year later, Granddad built a deck on the back of their house. So, both of these decks are pushing 30 years old now.
Besides the other things listed, it could also be a question of weather exposure. High sun exposure, or on the contrary durable shade (creating mold and moss problems) can make a difference.
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Old 08-08-2014, 08:53 AM   #29
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It took me 2 years to make a profit on my house. Bought in 2011, sold in 2013. I replaced the roof, added a chain link fence, new garage door, paint and lots of cleaning and little attention to detail like kitchen door hardware, fixtures and updated door knobs etc. I did a lot of "free landscaping" so between that and the paint and little things I think that is where I saw the most "sweat equity" and the roof and fence along with the updated curb appeal helped me market the home properly which then allowed me to sell it faster. Location helped, I was within walking distance to 2 elementarys, one public, one private.
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Old 08-08-2014, 01:36 PM   #30
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Just wondering, how long do you stay in a house before it makes any sense to sell (if ever)?
I carried 4 upside down places for 12 years (with a business partner). Not fun. We dumped them at the first opportunity (right side up) with tons of deferred maintenance.

In the case of the one I lived in .... I rented it out until it turned right side up (only 6 years for that one).

We were young and full of energy (and BROKE) .... so it was easy. Lots of "lessons learned".
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