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Old 01-18-2010, 06:32 PM   #21
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Does Love it or List it play on a TV network near you? In Canada it is on W.

Big Coat Productions

The premise is that they take people in exactly your situation, and get a designer and a realtor to work for them, with their "get it ready to list" budget. Many of the families decide to stay put!
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Old 01-18-2010, 06:32 PM   #22
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I think that is a problem in a lot of locations......many smaller homes are finished with the cheapest of materials and are not luxurious enough to suit me.

I find that there is a price above which the homes are ridiculously large...
We have looked at lots of homes in different states and have found the same thing. Quality = bigger house. People wanted big homes, so builders focused their efforts on those. Small homes were presumed to be for people of small means, so were built as cheaply as possible.

I would not be surprised if the aging population drives some changes in the building industry. Just as we see newer homes with 2 master bedrooms on the first floor because people no longer want to climb stairs, we may soon see builders offering smaller homes that are finished to a higher standard. Let's hope so, anyway.

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Old 01-18-2010, 08:57 PM   #23
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Ten years in a house so I could retire in ten? Three more years so I could live in a a house that is more comfortable?

Life is a series of trade offs. No one here can tell you what will work for you. Some here hate their jobs and one more year is torture. Some here love their jobs and can't seem to leave (sound familiar Rich) once more each of us are different. Coming from one that moved about 25 times in our 43 years of marriage, we tried to balance present pleasures with future desires. We are now retired, and live in our 'dream home'. It sucks up about 35% of our budget. Some on here consider that crazy, but it is works for us. You are going to have to find the button that works for you all.
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Old 01-18-2010, 09:19 PM   #24
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Having said that, I know what it's like when you're thinking of moving, and suddenly all the things you don't like about your current location bug you more and more. Once we decided to move out of the Bay Area, the crowds and traffic drove us crazy.
Very good point. That happened to me when I decided that I didn't want to live where I lived anymore. Suddenly the worst characteristics became far worse.

I walked down to the basement to do laundry my whole life. Suddenly I hated going down to the basement to pull stuff out of the machines. Now, semi-homeless, I don't even have a washer and dryer at the family farm which will be my summer base for a while and the closest laundromat is 25 miles away. Oops!
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Old 01-18-2010, 10:00 PM   #25
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Very good point. That happened to me when I decided that I didn't want to live where I lived anymore. Suddenly the worst characteristics became far worse.

I walked down to the basement to do laundry my whole life. Suddenly I hated going down to the basement to pull stuff out of the machines. Now, semi-homeless, I don't even have a washer and dryer at the family farm which will be my summer base for a while and the closest laundromat is 25 miles away. Oops!
I think we should take up a collection and buy you a washer/dryer! Martha, it's time to move up to the good life.... we could at least get you one of those old style wringer washers and a clothesline.
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:53 AM   #26
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Those are of course still available:
http://www.lehmans.com/store/Natural...32901100?Args=

Now, why anyone would want one is another issue....
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Old 01-19-2010, 11:37 AM   #27
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Slightly used but not abused, for a little less $.

No it is not DW's

WRINGER WASHER MAY-TAG - $35 (BEAVER,PA 15009)

A vintage unit but it works great just need the room it was a extra used to wash drapes and larger items it has a square tub bring a truck make it a new home



Sorry about the diversion. Please resume.
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Old 01-19-2010, 02:07 PM   #28
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I would not be surprised if the aging population drives some changes in the building industry. Just as we see newer homes with 2 master bedrooms on the first floor because people no longer want to climb stairs, we may soon see builders offering smaller homes that are finished to a higher standard. Let's hope so, anyway.

Amethyst

That change is already in place in Florida . There are lots of smaller (1700 sq,ft ) homes with all the bells and whistles .
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Old 01-19-2010, 03:57 PM   #29
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DH and I have been working on our small house over the years. It was built in the 70's, reasonably solid but generic construction. An older guy I met said our neighborhood was where the bus drivers used to live when he was in high school. It's a nice little neighborhood but if you want a nice house you have to upgrade for yourself. There's quite a range in terms of how much people have done with them.

The house is just over 1200sq ft, 2br/1ba plus an office, which feels the right size for two of us and the occasional overnight guests. But it's smaller than a lot of people are used to - my MIL visited for the first time recently and although she was too polite to say so, her overall impression seemed to be "wow, this is a small house!"
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:56 PM   #30
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I can understand not wanting to live in a house you do not like, and 10 years is far enough out in the planning horizon that the difference between 10 and 13 years is hard to be sure about. We briefly considered upgrading when a large, highly upgraded house in our hood came on the market cheap, but decided to stay put because we like our house. But if this had not been our move-up place from a condo (our first owned home), I imagine we might have made a different choice.
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Old 01-20-2010, 02:12 PM   #31
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DH and I have been working on our small house over the years. It was built in the 70's, reasonably solid but generic construction. An older guy I met said our neighborhood was where the bus drivers used to live when he was in high school. It's a nice little neighborhood but if you want a nice house you have to upgrade for yourself. There's quite a range in terms of how much people have done with them.

The house is just over 1200sq ft, 2br/1ba plus an office, which feels the right size for two of us and the occasional overnight guests. But it's smaller than a lot of people are used to - my MIL visited for the first time recently and although she was too polite to say so, her overall impression seemed to be "wow, this is a small house!"
Given that the median size of single, detached homes in the U.S. is 1769 square feet, a 1200 square foot house sounds like a perfect size for just two people especially since you say that it feels like the right size.

And really, your MIL isn't living there so the size of your house really shouldn't matter to her, as long as she knows you are happy with it.
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Old 01-20-2010, 02:28 PM   #32
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Given that the median size of single, detached homes in the U.S. is 1769 square feet, a 1200 square foot house sounds like a perfect size for just two people especially since you say that it feels like the right size.

And really, your MIL isn't living there so the size of your house really shouldn't matter to her, as long as she knows you are happy with it.
I second these comments. We've been living in a 2 bed 2 BR 1,200' apartment this last 2 years and it has been ample. The 2nd Bedroom is normally "the office" where the PC, scanner and printer reside, but when we have occaisional guests to stay the futon expands nicely and it reverts to a bedroom.
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Old 01-20-2010, 08:31 PM   #33
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And really, your MIL isn't living there so the size of your house really shouldn't matter to her, as long as she knows you are happy with it.
Oh yes, I don't mean to imply that she was being critical, more just surprised. She was wondering where all our "stuff" is, too, but she wrote that off as "well, it's because you haven't been married that long" - only 14 years

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I second these comments. We've been living in a 2 bed 2 BR 1,200' apartment this last 2 years and it has been ample. The 2nd Bedroom is normally "the office" where the PC, scanner and printer reside, but when we have occaisional guests to stay the futon expands nicely and it reverts to a bedroom.
I think it's perfect - enough room for someone to stay, but not too long unless you all really like each other
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Old 01-21-2010, 09:34 AM   #34
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I think it's perfect - enough room for someone to stay, but not too long unless you all really like each other

I remember an episode of A Prairie Home Companion advertising lawn chairs that were "as comfortable as the pughs in a Lutheran church." With these chairs you can be sure your guests won't stay long
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Old 01-21-2010, 02:44 PM   #35
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At least we're figuring the 4,000 square foot houses are a little too large for just the two of us...
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Old 02-01-2010, 12:21 PM   #36
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We're putting an offer in today on that first house we saw. We really like it. We loved it the first time we set foot into it, and seeing other houses has just confirmed to us how well this house fits us.

We've been feverishly trying to get the current house ready for market. It is coming together, but boy is it a lot of work. And the expense of new flooring, carpet, and professionally painted interior isn't inconsiderable, either.

If this house purchase offer falls through, I'm sure we'll step back and take our time with the whole process. That's the problem with really liking one particular house -- we weren't necessarily ready to begin the process of moving, so we caught ourselves by surprise.

In an isolated financial perspective, this is not the ideal move to make. But, you choose your battles and go from there -- make sure your spending patterns support your core values. We personally place a huge value on house comfort and "nesting", so it makes sense for us to spend money on a great home. We'll continue to be cheapskates in other areas.

One funny thing is that we're kind of reversing our field on having a mortgage versus having savings. We paid off our current house's mortgage as soon as we possibly could. This time around we're planning on putting less money down on the new house than we have equity in the current one. Effectively, borrowing to invest. With interest rates low, we're willing to take a chance that over 15-30 years the equities markets will outperform our sub-5% mortgage.
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Old 02-01-2010, 12:57 PM   #37
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When we sold our house we avoided the whole new flooring, carpet, new interior paint, etc. mainly because we didn't want to take the time and we were skeptical about whether the expense was worth it. External upgrades had been done a few years earlier. I guess our house had been "gently used" as we had no kids. The house interior really didn't show its 20 year age (well, except for fixtures, etc). I don't know that it hurt us any as we pretty much got what we asked for which was what a similar comp down the street sold for even though I think that comp had some upgrades.

One of the three realtors we interviewed strongly urged "updating" the house, but the other two thought it should sell fine as is and it did.

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Old 02-01-2010, 02:12 PM   #38
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When we sold our house we avoided the whole new flooring, carpet, new interior paint, etc. mainly because we didn't want to take the time and we were skeptical about whether the expense was worth it. External upgrades had been done a few years earlier. I guess our house had been "gently used" as we had no kids. The house interior really didn't show its 20 year age (well, except for fixtures, etc). I don't know that it hurt us any as we pretty much got what we asked for which was what a similar comp down the street sold for even though I think that comp had some upgrades.
One of the three realtors we interviewed strongly urged "updating" the house, but the other two thought it should sell fine as is and it did.
Audrey
I share your opinion. You wouldn't happen to also be an engineer, would you?

However if there's one thing I've learned from HGTV, it's that the vast majority of homebuyers can't look at a home's structure and imagine the possibilities. They certainly won't be impressed by our foresight in choosing long-lived components or our stellar maintenance records. They have to see specific furniture layouts (staging), respond to sensual cues (interesting landscaping, simmering potpourri, baking bread & cookies, soft jazz, a fountain gurgling away in the atrium, lush carpeting), have plenty of supervision advice from "their" experts like realtors, home inspectors, & decorators... and generally be railroaded marketed into making a decision.

Financial incentives like "carpet funding" or "painting allowance" are even met with skepticism. We think we're empowering the buyer to do it their way. They're thinking "Gee, if they can't even carpet & paint the place, then how bad must it really be?!?"

The problem is that it's difficult to separate the effect of random luck from thoughtful preparation. Either you maximize the opportunity for random luck to occur by spending up front to attract more customers, or the seller has to hope that one of the first prospective homebuyers to walk through the door is a fellow engineer with enough cash to make the deal go through.
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Old 02-01-2010, 03:16 PM   #39
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You would think that it is better to reduce the sale price and leave the money to the buyer to put in the new carpet or improvement of her choice. But it may not work out like that.

When my brother sold his house, he was advised by his realtor to do a few things to his house that cost somewhere between $5K and $10K, if I remember correctly. The rational? His realtor said that your typical home buyer had no such cash to pay for such upgrade after he moved in, but if it brought up the price of the house, then it would be buried in the financed mortgage and more palatable to the buyer. And his realtor knew what the buyers were looking for at that point, so gave advice to my brother on what to do.

I don't flip houses, and have sold only 1 and bought only 3 in my life, so do not have a lot of experience in real estate. The story was plausible to me, however. Joe and Jane Blows do not think the same as people here in this forum.
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Old 02-01-2010, 03:27 PM   #40
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Stucco houses are easy to maintain . Just have them power washed regularly and they are good to go .
Not in a wet climate. The 'good old guys' who really knew how to apply stucco did a great job but most have passed away. The building envelope failures that I have heard about are often stucco, or stucco looking applications.

Give me cementitious lap siding over tar paper or one of the better building wraps, on plywood underlayment, any day.
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