The Guide to First Time Homeowning

 

Welcome to your first home purchase!  Congratulations!  Wow, it must feel so great to finally have a place of your own.  I’m sure you have lots of plans for the place.  Fixing it up, adding your style… man, it’s going to be so great.

All those people who warned you about homeownership?  They’ve gotta be wrong, right?  I mean, that’s because they purchased poorly.  They didn’t do their due diligence.  If they had a decent home inspector, they wouldn’t have had so many surprises.  Right?

WRONG!  So, very, very wrong.  Ah, First Home Owner, you are going to learn so many things about owning your own home.  Here are some fun things you’re going to learn:

1.Every fix has its consequence.

Wow.  Why phrase it that way?  That seems a bit overly dramatic, right?  I promise you, it isn’t.  Whatever you touch in that house/condo/co-op/whatever is going to have an impact on something else.  Does your garbage disposal need to be replaced?  Great.  Go in there to install the new one and you will discover a myriad of things: the cabinets are rotting from the old leaky one, the plumbing is non-standard now and you can’t find pipes that will actually accommodate your new equipment, underneath the counter there’s water damage and the sink won’t likely be well supported for too much longer, the contractor who built the house didn’t count on the size of your arms and there’s no way to reach behind the plumbing…

2. Opening a wall is something you must resist with all your power.

Trust me on this one.  There are bad things in your walls.  There are things you will not want to see because #1.  There are things you will not want to see because they’re dead (sorry).  It’s just not fun.  Try not to do it, even if you’re a big do-it-yourselfer.  Even if your place is a completely new build.  It’s just not a great idea.

3. Whatever your estimate is on any fix or project, it’ll probably end up costing 20% more.

This isn’t because you’re bad at estimating.  It’s because of #1 and #2.  Also, as a new homeowner, you’re going to discover that you don’t have things like your own drain snake or a pipe wrench.  Any project will cost you more than you expect.  If it doesn’t, put that money away into a fund for your later projects that definitely will.

4. Surprises are not fun.

You may think you like surprises.  You don’t.  Trust me on this one.

5. The movie “The Money Pit” and others are going to be referenced any time you talk about your roof, your basement, your foundation, or any other major renovation.

Sorry.  Learn to love it.  People think it’s funny.

6. Other new homeowners are a golden opportunity for support and ideas.  

They’re in the same boat as you.  Unlike people who have owned for a long, long time (hi, many of Rico’s members!) and don’t always remember what it is like, they are going through the same sort of stuff.  They wanted to renovate and came upon a surprise.  They just wanted to fix a leak and then opened the wall…  There will be stories.  It’s a little bit like war.  Your brothers/sisters in arms are going to be there for you in ways you never thought you’d want (“OMG! You have the best rooter! He just does clogs and doesn’t mess with your plumbing?!? And he’s cheap!”) and will be a good support when you need it.

7. Homeownership is a huge responsibility filled with stuff you never really had to think about before. 

This isn’t a bad thing at all; in many ways, it’s really nice to have that kind of control.  It’s a lot of independence and a lot of control over minute details.  You might even find yourself fixating over the type of baseboard molding you have.  It’s fun to think about the little things and to know that it is all yours.

8. People will have opinions on everything you do with your place.

If you didn’t know it already, your friends, neighbors, and family members will all have an opinion and many will volunteer it the moment you start talking about your new place.  Resist the urge to tell all of them off.  They’re excited for you.  Eventually, though, be prepared to tell your loved ones that while you know they mean well, it’s your house.  By then, it won’t be too difficult.

9. There’s a lot of pressure to maintain.

Yep.  I am going to go there.  There’s a lot of pressure to maintain a certain status on the property, whether it is HOA or not, people don’t love too much change.  There’ll be pressure not to change too much of the front of the property.  But there’s also the pressure to maintain the property from yourself.  It’s kinda new.  Renting has benefits; a lot of the problems aren’t your responsibility.  With home-owning, you start to feel internal pressure about maintaining the property, paying the mortgage, getting the best insurance rates, adding things to your policy…  There’s a lot of pressure that develops because you’re basically an adult now.  It’s not just about maintaining the property. it’s about maintaining your sanity.  We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to maintain calm, even while the house is falling apart, the roof is leaking, the foundation is cracked, and termites have eaten your carpet (true story).  In the eyes of most of the world, you’re now an adult.  It’s a bit scary.

10. YouTube tutorials and “Dummy’s Guide To…” books are your friend.

We all laugh at these people on YT with their various fixes and tutorials for basic things.  But guess what?  Most of us haven’t built a house.  Most of us haven’t wired a house.  Most of us haven’t worked plumbing.  Most of us haven’t had to re-caulk our showers.  It seems self-explanatory until you’re elbow-deep in it and those simple instructions aren’t working out so well.  The YT videos are great places to start for basic homeowning needs and there are fantastic books that help guide you on what’s an easy fix and what might need to be outsourced to a professional.  Some of them will even introduce you to the tools you might need, where to find them, and how to not feel weird when you start trying to do your own home maintenance and the people at the hardware store treat you like an idiot.  These are treasures.  You won’t need them as much in 10 years, but for now, they’re gold because they teach you how things should, ideally, be.  This way, you can also see when they’re not.  That, my friends, is also golden.

In any case, congratulations on your first house.  Know that I’m right there with you, making mistakes, opening walls (why did I ever do that?!?), and learning all about my county building codes.

It’s going to be fun.

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  1. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    And anybody Who has advise for new home owners Who has never owned a home Themslves can “shut Their yaps.”

    • #1
  2. TheRightNurse Member
    TheRightNurse
    @TheRightNurse

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    And anybody Who has advise for new home owners Who has never owned a home Themslves can “shut Their yaps.”

    HA!  There’s a whole lot of truth to that.  I was really good at eyeing problems at my folks’ house.  They really, really hated it.  But…I found a lot of problems for them before they became critical.  Yay?

    Either way, unless you’ve been there, it’s really hard to understand how important the difference between vinyl and LVP (that’s luxury vinyl planks, to the uninitiated) is to the look and feel of the house, not to mention the function.  People just don’t always know.  And that’s okay.

    • #2
  3. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    My house is fairly new and I spend about 2% of the value per year on upkeep.   That is not improvements, just maintenance and I do as much as I can myself. 

    • #3
  4. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    Double the money. Triple the time. After 32 years of home ownership, we call it “the Yenny factor”. 

    Watch The Money Pit. It’s a documentary. 

    • #4
  5. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    I pay my house off in three years tops. If I am lucky, two.  It’s the third one I have bought. It will be the first I own in full.

    • #5
  6. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    11.  Never use an inspector recommended by the realtor.

    • #6
  7. JustmeinAZ Member
    JustmeinAZ
    @JustmeinAZ

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):

    My house is fairly new and I spend about 2% of the value per year on upkeep. That is not improvements, just maintenance and I do as much as I can myself.

    Duct cleaning. Eeeek! Almost need a second mortgage.

    We’re going on 18 years with the original HVAC. Just waiting for it to crash. Probably when it’s 105 outside.

    • #7
  8. JustmeinAZ Member
    JustmeinAZ
    @JustmeinAZ

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    I pay my house off in three years tops. If I am lucky, two. It’s the third one I have bought. It will be the first I own in full.

    It feels really good. Trust me. 

    • #8
  9. Clavius Thatcher
    Clavius
    @Clavius

    And if you plan to build, watch Mr Blandings Builds His Dream house.

    • #9
  10. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    I paid off my Phoenix place in a little under 9 years, in part thanks to some estate funds from my father and stepmother.  The original seller-carry contract was for just 5 years at 7.5%, by which time I was expected to have secured bank financing.  But who would have guessed that idiots would elect Obama, TWICE?  Fortunately the sellers were willing to carry it another 4 years so I could pay it off, once I paid down a lot of the balance with the estate funds.

    That was actually my second owned place, but the first was just a mobile home in a park, with never-ending space rent.  However even that was a useful stepping-stone to future ownership.  You can sell a mobile home that you own; you can’t sell an apartment or house that you rent.  At least not legally.

    Just 2 1/2 years after the final payoff, I did a quick cash sale to get my current place, I have another seller-carry note for 6 years at 2.5%.  But after ~12 years of just 1000 sqft with all the stuff I’ve collected over the years – computer stuff, audio stuff… – now that I have 4500 sqft I could do 6 years standing on my head!

    With only disability income, I have to move slowly on improvements, and even on some repairs.  But now with two bathrooms, one of them needing a repair isn’t necessarily a crisis as long as the other is still usable.  If the A/C goes out, it might not be great fun but where I am now it wouldn’t be a disaster like in Phoenix.

    A lot of this place seems almost planned for me.  Besides just having a lot of space, I have south-facing windows for the first time in many years, so I can have Sirius/XM satellite radio at home, if I want to.  (I found a highly-rated Polk Audio home audio XM tuner setup, new in box, for just $6 plus shipping at shopgoodwill.com!)  I have my own parking for at least TEN vehicles.  (Both of my owned places in Phoenix only had 2 assigned parking spaces.)  And I have my own fenced yard area, plus more that isn’t fenced, and the fenced area is a safe place for the kittys to snooze.

    And I’ve been able to do some things that never would have made sense before, especially with such limited space.  I have a dedicated 240-volt/20-amp circuit for my main rackmount computer setup, including a backup power protection unit (UPS); and a dedicated 120-volt/30-amp circuit for my main A/V area, also with a big UPS.

    My current mortgage payment is about the same as I was paying in Phoenix for HOA and storage, even after the mortgage was done.  But in about 5 years now, these payments stop.  And that’s going to be great!

    • #10
  11. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member
    9thDistrictNeighbor
    @9thDistrictNeighbor

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    11. Never use an inspector recommended by the realtor.

    Inspectors often are totally clueless; however, if you are a first-time buyer you probably won’t have a good plumber, electrician, roofer, HVAC , etc.  Any actual professional home service person will do a far better job than an inspector. We had an inspector who tried to tell buyers of our house that our electrical outlets were installed upside down.

    From experience: 

    1. Drop ceilings are hiding something…guaranteed.  So is fresh paint.
    2. There is a reason your basement floor is painted brown.  That’s the color of sewage flooding from the 80-year-0ld common sewer out in the street.  Good luck with the first thunderstorm.
    3. The sump pump will fail with the first thunderstorm.  They only last a few years.  Hardware store battery backups will also fail.
    4. If the furnace looks weird, you will have to replace it within six months.
    • #11
  12. Clavius Thatcher
    Clavius
    @Clavius

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    11. Never use an inspector recommended by the realtor.

    No kidding. Insist on a home warranty but don’t count on it for much.

    We had $2,500 in fixing leaking propane pipes.  That was 15 years ago, so YMMV.

    • #12
  13. TheRightNurse Member
    TheRightNurse
    @TheRightNurse

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):

    My house is fairly new and I spend about 2% of the value per year on upkeep. That is not improvements, just maintenance and I do as much as I can myself.

    Duct cleaning. Eeeek! Almost need a second mortgage.

    We’re going on 18 years with the original HVAC. Just waiting for it to crash. Probably when it’s 105 outside.

    Plan for it!  I installed the original HVAC and ducting.  Heat was radiant and AC was non-existent.  One of the best decisions I ever made.  I have an air scrubber and UV air purifier and if my unit can’t clear it…well, put on your Hazmat suit and get ready for the apocalypse.

    • #13
  14. GLDIII Temporarily Essential Reagan
    GLDIII Temporarily Essential
    @GLDIII

    My first house was the fixer upper, and after four years of what felt like perpetually cleaning up some prior owners malfeasance, I decide I could do better. We bought property and planned on contracting a builder. Unfortunately by the middle 80’s we were in such a boom building period (literally thanks to Reagan) we could not get the attention of any builder… They were off to the races making money hand over fist on big boxes, not the custom plans we had purchased. 

    So off the Crown books, (anyone remember them?) bought a book on modern carpentry, and 20 months with absolutely no days off, except for Thanksgiving and Christmas, we had occupancy. Note that does not mean the house was finished. Nope far from it. It required another three years (however it was part time now) to do all of the finishing. WE only contracted out a few items, the masonry work, drywall muddying, the rough in for the county mandatory permit pulling subs; HVAC, (which I designed), the plumbing, the electrical panel, water wells, and septic system.  Well I think I did it right, I have had almost no go back repairs after 38 years.

    Just had it reroofed this spring (my wife would not let me do it, “you are too damn old to do 55 squares”) I did not argue to much this time. 

    So RN dear I feel felt your pain.

    Oh, and never scrimp on tools. I alway found them worth the time savings, still have most of them from the 80’s, and continue to use them on other projects and for other folks.

    • #14
  15. TheRightNurse Member
    TheRightNurse
    @TheRightNurse

    GLDIII Temporarily Essential (View Comment):

    Just had it reroofed this spring (my wife would not let me do it, “you are too damn old to do 55 squares”) I did not argue to much this time. 

    So RN dear I feel felt your pain.

    Oh, and never scrimp on tools. I alway found them worth the time savings, still have most of them from the 80’s, and continue to use them on other projects and for other folks.

    This is a glorious thing.  Custom-built is, of course, the best.  But most of us can’t build from scratch (especially now with lumber prices!) and do what we can with the bones that are there.

    You’re right about tools.  My Makita sawsall has been the best(and most fun!) purchase I’ve made.  I love my tools and I’m glad that I have them.  It’s made me quite handy with the neighbors and quite capable of telling them when they’re getting ripped off.

    • #15
  16. TheRightNurse Member
    TheRightNurse
    @TheRightNurse

    kedavis (View Comment):
    Just 2 1/2 years after the final payoff, I did a quick cash sale to get my current place, I have another seller-carry note for 6 years at 2.5%. 

    LORDY.

    You are lucky!  Most sellers won’t carry anymore.  There’s no sense of charity for the new homeowners; at least, not in CA.

    • #16
  17. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    TheRightNurse (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    Just 2 1/2 years after the final payoff, I did a quick cash sale to get my current place, I have another seller-carry note for 6 years at 2.5%.

    LORDY.

    You are lucky! Most sellers won’t carry anymore. There’s no sense of charity for the new homeowners; at least, not in CA.

    Maybe they want to cash out before the bubble bursts?  Or if they’re staying in the People’s Republic of California, they might need every penny to put towards the overinflated price on their next place.

    The people I bought from were planning to do some kind of income-generating business on this place, I never bothered to find out what.  But they were going to have their son helping them with most of it, the father is older – about 79, I think, although he has a younger wife from Korea or something – and not up to doing a lot of it himself.  So when the son’s main job was transferred to Japan (maybe some corporate thing, or possibly military, I never asked) they needed to get out of it and back to their previous lives.

    They were actually offering lease/purchase terms too, and there are often people who think they have an idea that will be a great business that might have tied up the place for a while before their plan failed and the owner took it back…

    That’s why I knew that I had to move quickly and make a solid purchase.  My Phoenix place wasn’t very valuable, but it was paid off and in an area with increasing values due to new schools and a nearby freeway bypass project…  So I’d been getting “Do you want to sell?” letters and phone calls for a while.  I called one of them back, who was willing to do everything quickly and in cash, cover all the closing costs, plus handle moving all my stuff to the new place.  (Which wound up taking a LOT of labor for them, since I had a LOT of stuff, and it filled THREE of the biggest U-Haul trucks, 26 ft each.  It’s at least theoretically possible that they wound up overall losing money on me…)

    It all took about 2 weeks, mostly involving paperwork and getting stuff packed and loaded into the trucks, and then I was here, having driven one of the trucks myself.  (I didn’t have my own car or any other way to get here.)

    I’m sure the main reason the seller was willing to carry a contract is that I put over 60% down in cash.  Any kind of lease/option deal they probably would have gotten from someone else (most people wouldn’t want a 4500 sq ft home even for the bargain price I got) would have been a trickle over years likely ending in a possibly-expensive-and-certainly-time-consuming foreclosure.

    • #17
  18. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    TheRightNurse:

     

    3. Whatever your estimate is on any fix or project, it’ll probably end up costing 20% more.

    I estimate construction costs for a living.  It’s probably more like 50% more.

    • #18
  19. JustmeinAZ Member
    JustmeinAZ
    @JustmeinAZ

    TheRightNurse (View Comment):

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):

    My house is fairly new and I spend about 2% of the value per year on upkeep. That is not improvements, just maintenance and I do as much as I can myself.

    Duct cleaning. Eeeek! Almost need a second mortgage.

    We’re going on 18 years with the original HVAC. Just waiting for it to crash. Probably when it’s 105 outside.

    Plan for it! I installed the original HVAC and ducting. Heat was radiant and AC was non-existent. One of the best decisions I ever made. I have an air scrubber and UV air purifier and if my unit can’t clear it…well, put on your Hazmat suit and get ready for the apocalypse.

    Oh, I’ve planned for it alright – the money is just sitting there waiting. But Mr AZ and I have a slight difference of opinion – he wants to wait until it crashes. I want to do it now.

    • #19
  20. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    TheRightNurse (View Comment):

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):

    My house is fairly new and I spend about 2% of the value per year on upkeep. That is not improvements, just maintenance and I do as much as I can myself.

    Duct cleaning. Eeeek! Almost need a second mortgage.

    We’re going on 18 years with the original HVAC. Just waiting for it to crash. Probably when it’s 105 outside.

    Plan for it! I installed the original HVAC and ducting. Heat was radiant and AC was non-existent. One of the best decisions I ever made. I have an air scrubber and UV air purifier and if my unit can’t clear it…well, put on your Hazmat suit and get ready for the apocalypse.

    Oh, I’ve planned for it alright – the money is just sitting there waiting. But Mr AZ and I have a slight difference of opinion – he wants to wait until it crashes. I want to do it now.

    If nothing else you might want to buy the hardware now, even if you don’t install it for a while.  If the Biden Economy really kicks in, it may quickly become unaffordable.

    • #20
  21. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    kedavis (View Comment):

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    TheRightNurse (View Comment):

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):

    My house is fairly new and I spend about 2% of the value per year on upkeep. That is not improvements, just maintenance and I do as much as I can myself.

    Duct cleaning. Eeeek! Almost need a second mortgage.

    We’re going on 18 years with the original HVAC. Just waiting for it to crash. Probably when it’s 105 outside.

    Plan for it! I installed the original HVAC and ducting. Heat was radiant and AC was non-existent. One of the best decisions I ever made. I have an air scrubber and UV air purifier and if my unit can’t clear it…well, put on your Hazmat suit and get ready for the apocalypse.

    Oh, I’ve planned for it alright – the money is just sitting there waiting. But Mr AZ and I have a slight difference of opinion – he wants to wait until it crashes. I want to do it now.

    If nothing else you might want to buy the hardware now, even if you don’t install it for a while. If the Biden Economy really kicks in, it may quickly become unaffordable.

    If you do buy something like that ahead, watch out for upcoming code changes.  I replaced a furnace a couple of years ago, due to a flood, and bought a type that would have been a code violation the very next week.  If that kind of change happens between purchase and installation, I suspect you’d have trouble getting it installed and inspected.

    • #21
  22. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    TheRightNurse (View Comment):

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):

    My house is fairly new and I spend about 2% of the value per year on upkeep. That is not improvements, just maintenance and I do as much as I can myself.

    Duct cleaning. Eeeek! Almost need a second mortgage.

    We’re going on 18 years with the original HVAC. Just waiting for it to crash. Probably when it’s 105 outside.

    Plan for it! I installed the original HVAC and ducting. Heat was radiant and AC was non-existent. One of the best decisions I ever made. I have an air scrubber and UV air purifier and if my unit can’t clear it…well, put on your Hazmat suit and get ready for the apocalypse.

    Oh, I’ve planned for it alright – the money is just sitting there waiting. But Mr AZ and I have a slight difference of opinion – he wants to wait until it crashes. I want to do it now.

    If nothing else you might want to buy the hardware now, even if you don’t install it for a while. If the Biden Economy really kicks in, it may quickly become unaffordable.

    If you do buy something like that ahead, watch out for upcoming code changes. I replaced a furnace a couple of years ago, due to a flood, and bought a type that would have been a code violation the very next week. If that kind of change happens between purchase and installation, I suspect you’d have trouble getting it installed and inspected.

    That might vary by state, but everywhere I’ve lived, if something was legal when you bought it, it’s legal to install later.  Just be sure to keep the paperwork, but you should do that anyway.

    • #22
  23. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    TheRightNurse (View Comment):

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):

    My house is fairly new and I spend about 2% of the value per year on upkeep. That is not improvements, just maintenance and I do as much as I can myself.

    Duct cleaning. Eeeek! Almost need a second mortgage.

    We’re going on 18 years with the original HVAC. Just waiting for it to crash. Probably when it’s 105 outside.

    Plan for it! I installed the original HVAC and ducting. Heat was radiant and AC was non-existent. One of the best decisions I ever made. I have an air scrubber and UV air purifier and if my unit can’t clear it…well, put on your Hazmat suit and get ready for the apocalypse.

    Oh, I’ve planned for it alright – the money is just sitting there waiting. But Mr AZ and I have a slight difference of opinion – he wants to wait until it crashes. I want to do it now.

    If nothing else you might want to buy the hardware now, even if you don’t install it for a while. If the Biden Economy really kicks in, it may quickly become unaffordable.

    If you do buy something like that ahead, watch out for upcoming code changes. I replaced a furnace a couple of years ago, due to a flood, and bought a type that would have been a code violation the very next week. If that kind of change happens between purchase and installation, I suspect you’d have trouble getting it installed and inspected.

    That might vary by state, but everywhere I’ve lived, if something was legal when you bought it, it’s legal to install later. Just be sure to keep the paperwork, but you should do that anyway.

    That may well be the case.  I have no knowledge on that end of it.

    • #23
  24. Tex929rr Coolidge
    Tex929rr
    @Tex929rr

    The biggest realization for me from home ownership was that something that seemed so solid and unyielding as a child was just another thing that wears down and needs constant maintenance and repair.  Once you get over that childhood belief the frequent repairs become tolerable.

    We have only owned two homes.  Our first, a brand new tract home, taught us just how much stuff you need to buy to make the home livable. Window coverings, garage door openers, water softener, etc.  Maybe higher end home come with that stuff, but ours sure didn’t.  Then we bought our second home, a 50+ year old ranch house.  We love this home and plan on staying until we can’t remain any longer for health reasons.  I know way more about plumbing than I ever wanted to.   And the joys of having a well and all the attendant work.  I still wouldn’t trade it for anything. 

    We have added a few buildings; one of them is a steel building with a workshop and apartment.  If we were starting over we’d live in a huge steel building.  The inside of the apartment is indistinguishable from stick construction (except for the suspended ceilings) and it’s much easier to work on, and very efficient in energy usage.

    • #24
  25. Bethany Mandel Editor
    Bethany Mandel
    @bethanymandel

    I read this right after our furnace/HVAC motor died because a mouse died inside of it 

     

    :(

    • #25
  26. Clavius Thatcher
    Clavius
    @Clavius

    Tex929rr (View Comment):
    And the joys of having a well and all the attendant work.

    A well, yes, adventures.

    https://obsballona.net/wordpress/2020/12/28/adventures-with-water-equipment/

     

    • #26
  27. navyjag Lincoln
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    TheRightNurse:

     

    3. Whatever your estimate is on any fix or project, it’ll probably end up costing 20% more.

    I estimate construction costs for a living. It’s probably more like 50% more.

    Randy is right RN.  Was going to make the same comment.  In SF probably even higher.  And the good contractors are so busy lucky if I can get my guy to finish a 4 year project one day a month. I hope the rising home values make it worthwhile.  But Biden and memory of the 79-80 inflation which cratered housing sales for years keep coming back. 

    • #27
  28. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Tex929rr (View Comment):

    The biggest realization for me from home ownership was that something that seemed so solid and unyielding as a child was just another thing that wears down and needs constant maintenance and repair. Once you get over that childhood belief the frequent repairs become tolerable.

    We have only owned two homes. Our first, a brand new tract home, taught us just how much stuff you need to buy to make the home livable. Window coverings, garage door openers, water softener, etc. Maybe higher end home come with that stuff, but ours sure didn’t. Then we bought our second home, a 50+ year old ranch house. We love this home and plan on staying until we can’t remain any longer for health reasons. I know way more about plumbing than I ever wanted to. And the joys of having a well and all the attendant work. I still wouldn’t trade it for anything.

    We have added a few buildings; one of them is a steel building with a workshop and apartment. If we were starting over we’d live in a huge steel building. The inside of the apartment is indistinguishable from stick construction (except for the suspended ceilings) and it’s much easier to work on, and very efficient in energy usage.

    Some first time homeowners may even need to be reminded before they get to #1 (every fix has its consequence) that the need to fix is now your responsibility. No more landlord to call whenever there’s a problem.

    We live in a subdivision of new build houses with a number of young families in their first houses. Since the houses are new build, there aren’t a lot of repairs, but us old geezers have helped the new homeowners with even realizing that they need to check that the lawn sprinklers are working property properly, that the HVAC filters need to be examined and changed, what possible issues might be causing the unusually high water or electric bill they just got, why the lawn is more weeds than grass, etc.

    Whatever the problem is, the problem and its solution is now your responsibility, you lucky new homeowner.

    [Edited to fix “property” to “properly”]

    • #28
  29. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Clavius (View Comment):

    Tex929rr (View Comment):
    And the joys of having a well and all the attendant work.

    A well, yes, adventures.

    https://obsballona.net/wordpress/2020/12/28/adventures-with-water-equipment/

     

    When we moved to Texas almost 3 years ago a requirement for our new house was to be on city water (and sewer). We have never had a well, but I had known enough people with wells that I knew I was not prepared to deal with one. Subsequent conversations with my new friends who do rely on wells for their water have confirmed that we made the right decision. 

    • #29
  30. John Hanson Thatcher
    John Hanson
    @JohnHanson

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):

    My house is fairly new and I spend about 2% of the value per year on upkeep. That is not improvements, just maintenance and I do as much as I can myself.

    Duct cleaning. Eeeek! Almost need a second mortgage.

    We’re going on 18 years with the original HVAC. Just waiting for it to crash. Probably when it’s 105 outside.

    Your lucky, our AC part of the system lasted 10 years before it rotted out and got replaced for about $4500.  Fortunately, the HV part of the HVAC was still in good shape.    Then there is the water heater, it lasted 9 years before one morning there was water all over the finished basement, worked great right up to when it didn’t.  That one was only $2500.   All in all, though, I still think it’s better than renting.  Just for fun, though our house we lease to a tenant,  needed a new boiler, new water heater, and new roof all in the same year.  Yea team.  

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