Buying A House: C or D?

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Who here owns their own home? Did you buy something that was already in good shape, or did you fix it up? Do you have tenants? Etc.

Fritz Wollner (Fritz), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 14:46 (fourteen years ago) link

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

I'll let you know in a few weeks when we've finally exchanged.

Please Snap StressTwig (kate), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 14:47 (fourteen years ago) link

Scary as hell, isn't it?
And I'm just going to open houses at this point.

Fritz Wollner (Fritz), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 14:47 (fourteen years ago) link

In short:
Yup: 8 yrs ago: 250%

mark grout (mark grout), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 14:48 (fourteen years ago) link

I managed to buy my own house last year. It's only 25 years old, but it needed more doing to it than we thought.

Panther Pink (Pinkpanther), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 14:48 (fourteen years ago) link

I'm really luck I've got work for a really good IFA so it's been far less stressful than it would have been otherwise.

Please Snap StressTwig (kate), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 14:49 (fourteen years ago) link

Being able to afford one on your own, classic.
Having to be a couple to afford one, ooooh, it’ll get messy!

not-goodwin (not-goodwin), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 14:49 (fourteen years ago) link

The true stress of buying a house is having it all fall through. The house buying process that is, not the actual house itself.

Panther Pink (Pinkpanther), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 14:52 (fourteen years ago) link

On one hand, I kind of wish that I was buying one as half a couple - could afford more, could have someone else running around chasing after estate agents and the like.

But on the other hand, I'd have to let an icky BOY live in my house then.

Please Snap StressTwig (kate), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 14:52 (fourteen years ago) link

The most fun was being scheduled to go the title office on 9/11... when for some odd reason they weren't open.

M. White (Miguelito), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 14:54 (fourteen years ago) link

I can't imagine buying a home on my own. You're brave.
In short:
Yup: 8 yrs ago: 250%

does this mean your home has increased in value by 250% in 8 yrs?

Fritz Wollner (Fritz), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 14:56 (fourteen years ago) link

also, who here is a landlord? if I can get a basement tenant to pay a chunk of my mortgage every month, why not? or is it too much work?

Fritz Wollner (Fritz), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 14:58 (fourteen years ago) link

note: i hate hard work.

Fritz Wollner (Fritz), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 15:00 (fourteen years ago) link

http://www.futurelicensing.com/images/tick.gif

xpost.

mark grout (mark grout), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 15:00 (fourteen years ago) link

wow, congrats! that's encouraging. are you going to cash in now or hold onto it?

Fritz Wollner (Fritz), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 15:02 (fourteen years ago) link

(and risk "losing" your "profits")

Chewshabadoo (Chewshabadoo), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 15:19 (fourteen years ago) link

May 2003: bought house
August 2004: drip through bathroom ceiling begins, complain to upstairs neighbours
September 2004: drip continues, as do complaints
October 2004: drip gets worse, ceiling starts to bulge, BOOM!
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v384/lucyald/door.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v384/lucyald/ceiling.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v384/lucyald/bath.jpg
Next few months: drip recommences, damp patches discovered &c.
29 August 2005: Insurance company finally get around to start work on the fixing, remove bathroom leaving toilet pan that needs to be flushed with a bucket of water and nothing else.
29 November 2005: Bathroom still bare with exception of aforementioned pan. Surveyor coming for the *third* time on Thursday, after which work can commence, I am told. Still hoping for new bathroom by Christmas.

Mädchen (Madchen), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 15:28 (fourteen years ago) link

Obviously, not everyone has it as bad as me :)

Mädchen (Madchen), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 15:29 (fourteen years ago) link

xpost No, we have to hold really. Unless we relocate to somewhere cheaper. We couldn't afford the house we have now, if we were buying it now.

mark grout (mark grout), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 15:31 (fourteen years ago) link

also, who here is a landlord? if I can get a basement tenant to pay a chunk of my mortgage every month, why not? or is it too much work?

I think it's a pain in the ass. I rent out a house I bought last year as a fixer-upper, to people I'm friends with, and it's a pain just making arrangements to do any little amount of work that needs to be done without intruding. So, put that into your basement .. someone always being around would suck, and if you need to pull out the tennant's bed to make sure water isn't leaking from a pipe, you can't just walk in and do it. Seems like too much work to me, but other people may be willing to put up with it for the extra money.

D.I.Y. U.N.K.L.E. (dave225.3), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 15:45 (fourteen years ago) link

Argh, Madchen - maybe I should get that damp fixed before I move in. :-/

Please Snap StressTwig (kate), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 15:47 (fourteen years ago) link

Mädchen, that's horrible! A colleague had a similar problem. :-(

Nathalie (stevie nixed), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 16:00 (fourteen years ago) link

we just moved in a month ago, if we had cut it any closer to my due date I think it would have been a bad idea. We closed on the house in late september and took a month to have some stuff done to it, but it was all cosmetic--the house was in great shape and we just figured that it would be easier to paint/refinish floors before we moved in. I think even if you buy a house in good shape, there's still going to be plenty of things that you want to do with it, so budget time and money for that.

I've never been a landlord but dave's advice seems to make a lot of sense. What area of the country are you in? are real estate prices outrageous there?

teeny (teeny), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 16:12 (fourteen years ago) link

oh and don't forget that your wife won't be able to lift anything, pay for movers or start sucking up to your friends now.

teeny (teeny), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 16:19 (fourteen years ago) link

Oh, that's rotten, Madchen.

We're still waiting to exchange too. Time is running out - once mortgage offer expires in four weeks it's all over as we can't get an extension (Pam will no longer be a full-time employee on additional maternity leave, she'll be unemployed).

This has been going on for five months. I've completely lost any enthusiasm I had for the move because every time I glance at the property section of the local freesheet or open an estate agent email, I see something better which needs less work. Each time we've decided we've had enough (early August when the estate agent couldn't find us a buyer; early October when the delays up the chain seemed neverending), we've been encouraged to stick with it by some new piece of progress. This time we're only half-heartedly looking elsewhere because it's not very likely we'll find a chain-free place that we love and that we can complete on in four weeks.

Meanwhile, we eat off the two or three plates that haven't been bubble-wrapped and listen to the handful of CDs that evaded the pack, surrounded by 90-odd boxes.

So, "D" then.

Michael Jones (MichaelJ), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 16:20 (fourteen years ago) link

The house buying process that is, not the actual house itself.

the actual house collapsing sounds like it would be far worse.

We've been looking for the past few months but the market here is quickly spiraling out of our range. stupid yuppies.

Miss Misery xox (MissMiseryTX), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 16:22 (fourteen years ago) link

I'm on my fourth house now, and I've nearly always had lodgers for a while to help pay the rent. I find it great, partly because I don't advertise or anything, I only take in people I already know I will get along with, and I don't mind a bit of extra housework in exchange for extra cash and/or dogminding. Right now my cousin and her husband are living with us and they're spot on, ideal lodgers.

See, lodgers are different from tenants - or they should be, anyway - because they don't get an equal share, so you don't have to give them an equal amount. They are renting a room in your house, not renting half the house. That's how it works for me anyway.

accentmonkey (accentmonkey), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 16:24 (fourteen years ago) link

I'd like to buy but even though I'm infected with icky GIRL GERMS we still can't afford to buy anything in stupid London. We're planning to start a savings account for a deposit though so maybe in a few years things will be different.

Colonel Poo (Colonel Poo), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 16:25 (fourteen years ago) link

See, part of the reason that I'm buying MINE OWN house is because I started out being a tenant (or so I thought) and then got switched to being a lodger without anyone telling me. Grrrr.

::thinks about beautiful flat of mine own::

::calms down::

Please Snap StressTwig (kate), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 16:28 (fourteen years ago) link

The thing that really made me want to buy my own house was moving hurriedly out of a flat that was being let by a MAD WOMAN into a house that didn't appear to have any hot water. I went from screaming at the landlady's agent to not touch me and to never look at me again, straight over to the new rented house. When I decided to have a nice hot shower, I got into the shower and the water was cold. I cried and cried and vowed that I would never live in rented accommodation again.
Okay, it's not Gone With the Wind, but it's my story.

accentmonkey (accentmonkey), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 16:32 (fourteen years ago) link

I've had lodgers too, for a couple months at a time. It wasn't all bad, but then they left a washcloth in the laundry basin and it clogged the drain an overflowed and water got all over.. And even though it was an honest mistake, it's not one I would have made, so it bugged me. And also they always felt the need to talk when I came home from work. Maybe I just can't stand people.

D.I.Y. U.N.K.L.E. (dave225.3), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 16:54 (fourteen years ago) link

The concept of "lodgers" is less common here, but we have talked about taking in a Japanese student, maybe as part of an organized "Homestay" program where you're expected to feed them and be vaguely helpful. Maybe just by putting up some signs at one of the Japanese groceries. But will a lodger be able to handle living under the same roof as a screaming infant in 9 mos time? And will we really want a stranger around as we lose our minds? I'm thinking not so much.

Fritz Wollner (Fritz), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 17:07 (fourteen years ago) link

Maybe I should abscond with my deposit and buy a horse instead.

Control your ponies, children! (kate), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 17:14 (fourteen years ago) link

If the homestay programs where I work are anything to go by, you don't know who/what you're going to get, people turn up with all kinds of weird foibles - and if you're cooking for them that's food issues to deal with too. You don't always get to meet them before agreeing to host them - if it's an organised program and they are coming over from Japan - to see if you get on, unlike with traditional tenants or lodgers. Having TWO unpredictable new arrivals at once (baby and student) seems kind of daunting?

Archel (Archel), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 17:16 (fourteen years ago) link

I miss just being able to call a super to fix shit, but I do like the whole ownership and "this is my wall that I can put holes into" feeling. My house's value has increased $10K in the last five years, and I haven't done shit to it.

Pleasant Plains /// (Pleasant Plains ///), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 18:59 (fourteen years ago) link

We have had some work done, but even barring that, due to the low purchase cost when we bought in late 2001, we've made about a 50% 'profit'. SF real estate is insane.

M. White (Miguelito), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 19:03 (fourteen years ago) link

Oh my god, I'm so grown up. I just got a quote for building and contents insurance! Eep!

Control your ponies, children! (kate), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 19:17 (fourteen years ago) link

Oh, classic, possibly because we didn't have to do much (just cosmetic stuff to hide the horrible old-woman-ness of the original decor) and ours has almost doubled in value over the last four years. I realise we are very lucky in this respect (having seen Madchen's bathroom firsthand).

Also classic because our outgoings are less than they would be if we were renting, and we get to live on our own and do what we want and IT'S OURS! As Pleasant Plains said, it's the I do like the whole ownership and "this is my wall that I can put holes into" feeling feeling that makes it worthwhile.

ailsa (ailsa), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 20:02 (fourteen years ago) link

I want one, all to myself. A garage where I can put all the nailguns and tools I've inherited and my grandmother's old ceramics kiln, a bathroom I could convert into a real darkroom and a decent kitchen. I could almost afford to rent a small house by myself now, but that just gives me space without the ability to make changes.

Buying new appliances for a house seems like the most fun part of the process. Ooooh stainless steel cooktop. Ooooooh subzero wine fridge.

Erick Dampier is better than Shaq (miloaukerman), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 20:10 (fourteen years ago) link

Yeah sure, if you have a nice fat budget. But I remember it as being one of the hassliest bits of buying the house. We had hardly any money left over after buying our first house and it was really tiny so we didn't even bother buying a washing machine and just went to the laundry once a week.
Which actually turned out to be a great idea, because it meant we never had washing hanging around the place.

accentmonkey (accentmonkey), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 20:53 (fourteen years ago) link

Haha, yeah that goes without saying. I've gone on too many trips with people we're building houses for while they pick out all their fancy new stainless appliances. It's fun by proxy.

Erick Dampier is better than Shaq (miloaukerman), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 21:04 (fourteen years ago) link

these are a couple of before and after pics of my house i bought in brooklyn a year ago. we have a tenant. we found him on craigslist and totally lucked out. whenever i go out of town i tell him to hang out in the main house and try on all my clothes. there is still a lot of work to do on the house but i figure that will be ongoing. i think that the value has gone up a lot already without us even doing work.

living room/dining room before
http://www.astro.columbia.edu/~feb/pics/livingrm2.jpg
after
http://www.astro.columbia.edu/~feb/newpics/house_livroom2.JPG
http://www.astro.columbia.edu/~feb/newpics/house_livroom3.JPG

kitchen before
http://www.astro.columbia.edu/~feb/pics/kitch2.jpg

after
http://www.astro.columbia.edu/~feb/newpics/house_kitchen.JPG


master bedroom before
http://www.astro.columbia.edu/~feb/pics/master2.jpg

after (with my old roommate using the computer)
http://www.astro.columbia.edu/~feb/newpics/house_bedroom1.JPG

Mendoza Lineman (Carey), Wednesday, 30 November 2005 01:39 (fourteen years ago) link

oh that linked pic should be of the living room looking the other way
http://www.astro.columbia.edu/~feb/newpics/house_livroom3.JPG

and here is the bathroom, the before pic is too big but it used to be all pink and black.

http://www.astro.columbia.edu/~feb/newpics/house_bathroom1.JPG

Mendoza Lineman (Carey), Wednesday, 30 November 2005 01:43 (fourteen years ago) link

Good job of brightening up the place. It looks great.

My wife and I have owned our house since early 87. We love the place. Single family, 90 plus yrs old, awesome mountain views and we'll be here a while yet. Of course there's always something in need of work, but you gotta live somewhere.

jim wentworth (wench), Wednesday, 30 November 2005 02:14 (fourteen years ago) link

Your house looks great, C!

Mary (Mary), Wednesday, 30 November 2005 05:49 (fourteen years ago) link

Someone I vaguely know in Virginia bought a Sears kit house from a hundred years ago. It still has the instructions in it. I think that's the coolest thing.

accentmonkey (accentmonkey), Wednesday, 30 November 2005 07:29 (fourteen years ago) link

this makes me want my own house so badly... but alas, i have a lot of growing up to do first.

tres letraj (tehresa), Wednesday, 30 November 2005 07:57 (fourteen years ago) link

growingsaving

jim p. irrelevant (electricsound), Wednesday, 30 November 2005 08:01 (fourteen years ago) link

yes, among other things.

tres letraj (tehresa), Wednesday, 30 November 2005 08:10 (fourteen years ago) link

just closed on my house on halloween. we are only the second owners and it was built in 1941. just minor cosmetics needed to be done, i will post pictures of before and after.

this is the second house we've owned, we sold our condo and made $75000.

bingo (Chris V), Wednesday, 30 November 2005 11:17 (fourteen years ago) link

steam radiators are so terrible. i have never lived anywhere where they were mostly quiet. we just completely stopped leaving them on at night because you wouldn't be able to sleep otherwise. and now i am so used to sleeping in the cold. ugh, get them out if you can.

Yerac, Wednesday, 6 May 2020 13:16 (three weeks ago) link

Oh my god I love love love radiators, u guys are crazy

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Wednesday, 6 May 2020 13:27 (three weeks ago) link

Mine make 0 noise tbf

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Wednesday, 6 May 2020 13:28 (three weeks ago) link

Our steam radiators mostly just stopped working, so we had like 2 or 3 radiators heating an old 1100sf house (with no insulation, lol). Our gas bills would swing from less than $50/mo over the summer to like $1500/mo in the dead of winter. I should have just shoveled $1 bills into the boiler.

He Ain't Heavy D, He's My Brother (PBKR), Wednesday, 6 May 2020 13:40 (three weeks ago) link

maybe we just couldn't find the right people, but no one ever seemed to know how to service/fix our steam radiators.

Yerac, Wednesday, 6 May 2020 13:45 (three weeks ago) link

after a night with steam radiators, as a friend memorably put it once, you're pulling statues out of your nose

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Wednesday, 6 May 2020 13:46 (three weeks ago) link

You Yankees.

Get you a gas floor furnace and install these bad boys.

https://i.imgur.com/23UBELP.jpg

At least once every two years, my grandfather would remove the grate for cleaning and my grandmother would come through the hallway and fall right in.

pplains, Wednesday, 6 May 2020 13:47 (three weeks ago) link

ohhh, i lived in a house in virginia that had that. it worked well.

Yerac, Wednesday, 6 May 2020 13:48 (three weeks ago) link

we have radiant floor heating in our current place. i think it sucks. we never turn it on. i have a hot water bottle and a lot of quilts.

Yerac, Wednesday, 6 May 2020 13:49 (three weeks ago) link

We went with mini split AC in our (small) bungalow. Love it, and I wouldn't want to switch heat from radiators to forced air. Forced air can be noisy, dry air, just much prefer the quality of heat from radiators (I know steam radiators can have noise issues of their own vs. hot water). And the mini split can provide heat if it's a cold day and you don't want to fire up the furnace/boiler.

by the light of the burning Citroën, Wednesday, 6 May 2020 13:52 (three weeks ago) link

if you're doing a full hvac project yes, get rid of the radiators, but steam can be made quieter and more efficient. the problem is that almost nobody knows how to work on steam systems these days.

call all destroyer, Wednesday, 6 May 2020 14:02 (three weeks ago) link

i finally found a company that specialized in them and it made a big difference

call all destroyer, Wednesday, 6 May 2020 14:02 (three weeks ago) link

Our 100+ year old radiators are also beautiful. At least after spouse stripped ugly industrial gray paint from them, down to the original cool bronzeish finish.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Wednesday, 6 May 2020 14:24 (three weeks ago) link

otm, and nice to sit on on a cold day.

Also, modern furnaces seem to have a lifespan of 10 years, +/-. Our 1926 boiler, original to the house, is still going strong.

by the light of the burning Citroën, Wednesday, 6 May 2020 14:27 (three weeks ago) link

My apt has nightmarishly loud steam radiators and also we don’t control the heat. I grew up with forced air so I know the dryness it causes, but you put in a humidifier and deal. On balance Id take forced air, especially given the room size and layout in this house. Radiators create a lot of furniture placement issues.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Wednesday, 6 May 2020 14:29 (three weeks ago) link

I’m also not crazy about the way those mini split A/Cs look, although still nicer than window/wall units.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Wednesday, 6 May 2020 14:30 (three weeks ago) link

i have water radiators and they’re great. they run off a combi-boiler that fits in a cabinet above the kitchen counter.

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Wednesday, 6 May 2020 14:36 (three weeks ago) link

xp Yeah, the head units are v. ugly, though I'm overlooking it because they are worlds better than the old window unit we had, and super quiet.

by the light of the burning Citroën, Wednesday, 6 May 2020 14:38 (three weeks ago) link

i like those mini acs. i didn't know what they were called. I always wondered why they weren't used in the US more.

Yerac, Wednesday, 6 May 2020 14:40 (three weeks ago) link

To combat dry air you can get a whole-house humidifier put in - it was a relatively inexpensive addition last time I bought a furnace.

Rodent of usual size (Ye Mad Puffin), Wednesday, 6 May 2020 15:20 (three weeks ago) link

I have definitely been in houses that have near-silent radiators, and if you have the space for them they can look very elegant, and you can also put cool-looking covers on them. The house that we made an offer on doesn't have cool-looking radiators, it has the kind that are sort of recessed into the wall/window sill. I guess we could keep them and just put stuff in front of them, but I assume that would affect both the heat circulation and could damage whatever we put in front of the radiator.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Wednesday, 6 May 2020 15:25 (three weeks ago) link

Oh sorry, they are hot water not steam.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Wednesday, 6 May 2020 15:26 (three weeks ago) link

Hmm, if the HVAC would be cooling only I'm wondering if maybe the mini-split is a better option after all. We could probably find a placement that isn't too intrusive.

Course I have to buy the house first, owner may not accept.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Wednesday, 6 May 2020 15:29 (three weeks ago) link

my apt in ny has crazy steampunk looking radiators that someone before me put in. they are flat, bronzey and have the gauges, levers and pointy exhaust thing at the top displayed.

Yerac, Wednesday, 6 May 2020 15:30 (three weeks ago) link

innocent question: do you not think that property values in the NY area are likely to go down post-Pandemic?

I'm in a suburb about 30 miles outside of NYC and have been wondering if it might lift property values. I can see a scenario where fear of living in high density combined with more flexible work-at-home policies increase demand in places like this, where you have the suburban space with relatively easy access to the city. Most of my new neighbors over the last few years have been from Brooklyn, Queens, & the Bronx, and I wouldn't be surprised if this encourages that sort of move.

On the other hand unemployment, possibly reduced commercial tax base leading to higher residential tax or reduced services, etc could depress demand and balance it all out. Assuming the neighborhood stays nice I plan to be here for at least another 20 years so not overly concerned one way or the other, but curious.

(Very happy with my cast iron hot water baseboard heaters, gas boiler looks to be 50-70 years old and still running strong.)

early rejecter, Wednesday, 6 May 2020 15:44 (three weeks ago) link

you can put stuff in front of recessed radiators, it's not a big deal unless they're like spitting water in which case you have bigger problems.

call all destroyer, Wednesday, 6 May 2020 15:45 (three weeks ago) link

innocent question: do you not think that property values in the NY area are likely to go down post-Pandemic?

I'm in a suburb about 30 miles outside of NYC and have been wondering if it might lift property values. I can see a scenario where fear of living in high density combined with more flexible work-at-home policies increase demand in places like this, where you have the suburban space with relatively easy access to the city. Most of my new neighbors over the last few years have been from Brooklyn, Queens, & the Bronx, and I wouldn't be surprised if this encourages that sort of move.

On the other hand unemployment, possibly reduced commercial tax base leading to higher residential tax or reduced services, etc could depress demand and balance it all out. Assuming the neighborhood stays nice I plan to be here for at least another 20 years so not overly concerned one way or the other, but curious.

(Very happy with my cast iron hot water baseboard heaters, gas boiler looks to be 50-70 years old and still running strong.)

― early rejecter, Wednesday, May 6, 2020 10:44 AM (three minutes ago) bookmarkflaglink

I mean, we are exactly that NYTimes cliche of the family "accelerating their move to the suburbs" -- we were already planning to do it within 1-3 years and now we are just trying to do it now. We have been having the exact same debates -- does flight to the suburbs increase property values or does economic mayhem lower them (or do the two balance each other out).

Ultimately the only answer to this is "if we find a house we like and can afford, we will buy it, and if not, we will wait and see." That's the only factor in our control. Right now inventory is ridiculously low, like 1/4 of normal according to a broker I spoke to. The reason why is clear -- anyone who is living in their house can't show it, and also may not be able to buy/move themselves. The houses we've seen have been empty. In a month or two, there is likely to be a "flood of listings" according to brokers I've spoken to. There may also be a flood of buyers at the same time. Pent up demand for selling and buying alone will cause this even with no further factors. It's impossible to predict whether the supply or demand side is stronger at that point.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Wednesday, 6 May 2020 15:51 (three weeks ago) link

i love steam radiators. you all are nuts. for anyone w/ asthma or allergies, the clean heat they put out is wonderful. i felt like i was gonna die the one year we lived in a forced air house before we bought our current one w/ radiators. if there are enough old homes in your area, you'll find somebody who knows how they work. and yea a boiler needs replacing once in a lifetime. fwiw i was told by our that they work best without covers and without furniture in front of them.

i sometimes wish we had ducts so we could have central AC in the summer; window units are clunky and inefficient, and if you have multiple bedrooms you'll have multiple units running at times. but we run the AC units only at night for maybe a few weeks each summer; the heat is on from late october through early may.

marcos, Wednesday, 6 May 2020 18:00 (three weeks ago) link

landscaping, depending on what kind of work you need to do, is a really good dyi activity ime -- there isn't an enormous learning curve for many things unless you have serious ambitions, otherwise it's just outdoor work. physical at times but not hard to learn. i'd say don't hire anybody unless you want to do some really professional work w/ quick results, or you want a bunch of things planted and don't generally know at all what you are doing. when we moved in, we got a few quotes from landscapers to remove a garden pond (we had toddlers at the time and wanted to let them roam freely without worry) and some mulching and it was fucking absurd what they asked for. instead, i had my brother-in-law come over and help me drain the pond on a saturday, and the mulching i just did myself w/ a wheelbarrow. and anyone can pull weeds.

we did pay to have a few trees planted but that's about it, and for that we went through the city's tree planting program.

marcos, Wednesday, 6 May 2020 18:15 (three weeks ago) link

Hmm that's a good point too -- it might actually not take a huge amount of work to just rip out the random shrubs in the middle of the yard and level some uneven spots to make it usable, maybe resod, that seems like plausible DIY work. And I know a landscaper who would give me advice.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Wednesday, 6 May 2020 19:40 (three weeks ago) link

man alive, you in Queens? Or looking to move to LI?

He Ain't Heavy D, He's My Brother (PBKR), Thursday, 7 May 2020 00:13 (three weeks ago) link

looking to move to westchester

I will say, I now believe that RE brokers actually earn their fee. I could not have handled this myself.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Thursday, 7 May 2020 05:06 (three weeks ago) link

We are/were close to a deal but now caught up in trying to figure out whether an egress door violates code and needs to be redone, and if so, whether it's worth lowering the offer vs walking away.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Thursday, 7 May 2020 21:02 (three weeks ago) link

Like we might have to break the dining room wall and put in a sliding door and a new deck. Could actually be quite nice but would want to lower our offer.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Thursday, 7 May 2020 21:03 (three weeks ago) link

oh yeah we totally had an illegally finished basement when we bought and then after one of our neighbors got fined for having it as well i started getting worried about getting fined and not being able to sell until it was either brought up to code or returned to the original state.

Yerac, Thursday, 7 May 2020 21:05 (three weeks ago) link

this town is notorious for being a stickler for code. It's not visible from the outside because (1) it's in back and (2) the door is still there, it's just blocked inside by a dishwasher. But i assume that in the process of getting permits for the other work we'd do (which this town requires for literally fucking anything) that issue could be discovered as well.

I would consider doing the work as long as the seller will lower the price, it doesn't seem crazy and we wanted to redo the deck or rip it out and put a patio anyway, so it's just a matter of adding a sliding door and changing the deck location. And actually maybe moving a recessed radiator, which seems a little more complicated, unless we want to put the deck door on the side of the house and have it wrap around or something. :?

Meanwhile, a great house is on the market in a town we like slightly less nearby so we are going to check it out just in case.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Thursday, 7 May 2020 21:12 (three weeks ago) link

Still in limbo about that house, but the good news is the code issue is more minor than we thought, just need to close up the kitchen door with wall or window. So we may actually move forward soon.

Meanwhile, we had made an offer on another house which wound up with multiple offers as I expected (pristine, reasonably priced house in great location and school district with no inventory on market). We may have actually made the high offer but were asked to waive the mortgage contingency and refused. That seemed insane to do, but someone else was either insane or had a ton of cash lying around.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Monday, 11 May 2020 19:15 (two weeks ago) link

There's really no downside to waiting for the right spot. Home values are on a downward trajectory, and many more people will sell if the economy continues to crash imo.

reggae mike love (polyphonic), Monday, 11 May 2020 20:27 (two weeks ago) link

NYC metro area can tend to behave a little differently than everywhere else (although the burbs were on a downward slide pre-COVID because of the Trump tax changes and boomer retirement). I think this is definitely pushing a lot of families like mine out the door faster--people that maybe would have eventually found their way to the suburbs and are like "fuck it, do it now." Would also kind of like to at least be in contract by school start, assuming there is going to be school ever again.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Monday, 11 May 2020 21:18 (two weeks ago) link

Lost bid # 3 yesterday. This evening I made an offer on a preforeclosure that wasn’t on the market. Needs some work but could be much worse and the location and yard are great.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Wednesday, 20 May 2020 03:23 (one week ago) link

And that one failed too. Decided to rent a house. Signed a lease today. Market is insane.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Saturday, 23 May 2020 02:36 (one week ago) link

And that one failed too. Decided to rent a house. Signed a lease today. Market is insane.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Saturday, 23 May 2020 02:36 (one week ago) link

Sorry to hear that. I'm surprised--everything I read about the Toronto market (which I sort of keep track of out of deference to my broker friend) says it headed straight down.

clemenza, Saturday, 23 May 2020 02:58 (one week ago) link

There’s a panicked flight from nyc to the suburbs. Market in the city is def down. I have to think it can’t stay like this for too long and it should die down once we are past the window of people trying to get their kids into school (or possibly earlier).

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Saturday, 23 May 2020 03:08 (one week ago) link

Compounded by low inventory as a lot of people aren’t listing/showing right now.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Saturday, 23 May 2020 03:08 (one week ago) link

The rental market in my area is batshit, seriously thinking about trying to park a tiny house in my mom's driveway.

Donald Trump Also Sucks, Of Course (milo z), Saturday, 23 May 2020 04:10 (one week ago) link

I was against renting because the market for that is even more insane than buying, but something sort of fell into our lap.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Saturday, 23 May 2020 05:40 (one week ago) link

right opportunity will come along later

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Saturday, 23 May 2020 17:34 (one week ago) link

a realtor tried to get us to see a not-yet-listed house a few weeks ago and I nixed it because the lot is listed at 4000sf, i.e. doesn't have much yard

I just got a message from them saying "My husband and I had this whole thing about whether you could or couldn't fit a swingset back here and I think that you can!" lol, if you have to argue about it

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 29 May 2020 16:57 (yesterday) link


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