Homeowner/House Thread: It's going to cost how much, now?

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  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    Qanamil wrote: »
    I finally got a mower and mowed the backyard last week and it's a weed fiesta back there. Real bad.

    My fiancee has lived with me for almost a year now but has only been in the back yard maybe 3 times. It was kind of a horror show out there with damage/leftovers from my ex-wife's dogs. I'm finally getting it straightened up and trying to rehab it into a useable space I'm not embarrassed by. Partly so we can use it, partly so we can hopefully sell the place in a year or so.

    Anyway, she's out there and looking around and she says, "I don't know why you paid someone to mow this. It's like 100% weeds."

    To which I said, "Yeah. That's why. They're hard to mow and if they don't get mowed regularly they explode..."

    So if you come up with some kind of affordable, broad-scale means of attacking weeds, let me know. Hosing down the entire back yard with roundup doesn't seem economical...

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  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    Qanamil wrote: »
    I finally got a mower and mowed the backyard last week and it's a weed fiesta back there. Real bad.

    My fiancee has lived with me for almost a year now but has only been in the back yard maybe 3 times. It was kind of a horror show out there with damage/leftovers from my ex-wife's dogs. I'm finally getting it straightened up and trying to rehab it into a useable space I'm not embarrassed by. Partly so we can use it, partly so we can hopefully sell the place in a year or so.

    Anyway, she's out there and looking around and she says, "I don't know why you paid someone to mow this. It's like 100% weeds."

    To which I said, "Yeah. That's why. They're hard to mow and if they don't get mowed regularly they explode..."

    So if you come up with some kind of affordable, broad-scale means of attacking weeds, let me know. Hosing down the entire back yard with roundup doesn't seem economical...

    Lol nope, dedicate a Sunday to getting out there and ripping those bastards out one by one.

    It'll fucking SUCK, but once you're done you just have to keep on top of them a little bit at a time, it's WAY easier.

    OneAngryPossumSkeithdjmitchella
  • OneAngryPossumOneAngryPossum Registered User regular
    edited March 31
    My war with weeds has escalated, for what it’s worth. I gave in and decided to pull every single thistle I could find up by the roots - the boiling method works but was time-consuming. It’s stopped the insane growth into the lawn, but now it’s creeping out into the more wooded/abandoned part of my yard and regrouping for future attacks.

    I pulled a few trash bags worth of plants out of the ground, it took a couple afternoons, and I’m expecting to be doing this for the rest of my life now, so, take all that into consideration. Yard also looks pretty rough from the resulting divots, but hopefully the grass will fill in. If (read: when) the spread continues into the yard again, I’m considering picking up a pump sprayer and some thistle-killing herbicide to see how that plays out.

    There was a brief period following the second afternoon of scanning my yard for thistles when closing my eyes meant I immediately saw the rosette pattern of leaves and main stalk of the plant, like when I played Tetris or DDR too long in the past. Patterns are patterns I guess.

    Edit: Wear gardening gloves if you decide to pull them out. I did not, and my fingertips are still sore.

    OneAngryPossum on
  • MugsleyMugsley Registered User regular
    I believe we also have the Schlage Connect deadbolt. Ours isn't connected to WiFi; we use it for the keypad access so the kids (or my mother) don't have to futz with keys.

    We love it!

    Admittedly, I saw the deadbolt offered by Simplisafe and I've started lusting after it. We already have a SS system so incorporating the deadbolt would be a great add.

  • Dark_SideDark_Side Registered User regular
    My bank sent me a wonderful $1000 bill to cover mortgage payments because apparently two years in a row now the account has run dry for covering taxes and insurance payments. I have the option of just letting the montly payment jump $100 instead, but I'm leaning towards just the lump sum. Anybody ever run into this kind of thing? I'm sort of confused how it happened two years in a row.

  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    Dark_Side wrote: »
    My bank sent me a wonderful $1000 bill to cover mortgage payments because apparently two years in a row now the account has run dry for covering taxes and insurance payments. I have the option of just letting the montly payment jump $100 instead, but I'm leaning towards just the lump sum. Anybody ever run into this kind of thing? I'm sort of confused how it happened two years in a row.

    Hrm, just out of curiosity, does your impounds/escrow account pay for anything else besides property taxes? The way I have mine set up is property taxes and my condo's insurance. Some even handle HOAs if you have one in your living situation. It's possible one of those may have gone up, or have any legislation passed in the last year that are upping property tax amounts somehow?

    Or the occam's razor is something is goosing up somewhere. I'd check your online statements for your impound account and see what's going on. I've dealt with it myself before, but it never was that amount, usually it was something like it was off by bout 50-100 bucks, not $1000.

  • AbsoluteZeroAbsoluteZero The new film by Quentin Koopantino Registered User regular
    [
    Dark_Side wrote: »
    My bank sent me a wonderful $1000 bill to cover mortgage payments because apparently two years in a row now the account has run dry for covering taxes and insurance payments. I have the option of just letting the montly payment jump $100 instead, but I'm leaning towards just the lump sum. Anybody ever run into this kind of thing? I'm sort of confused how it happened two years in a row.

    Happened to me once when my property taxes jumped a ridiculous amount. The bill was closer to $500 though. We opted to let our payments go up instead of coughing it all up at once.

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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    [
    Dark_Side wrote: »
    My bank sent me a wonderful $1000 bill to cover mortgage payments because apparently two years in a row now the account has run dry for covering taxes and insurance payments. I have the option of just letting the montly payment jump $100 instead, but I'm leaning towards just the lump sum. Anybody ever run into this kind of thing? I'm sort of confused how it happened two years in a row.

    Happened to me once when my property taxes jumped a ridiculous amount. The bill was closer to $500 though. We opted to let our payments go up instead of coughing it all up at once.

    We had a similar issue, since we bought new - it's difficult to get the tax rate dialed in for new construction, since there's no history. The standard is to assume 1% of the purchase price as the tax owed, but it doesn't always work.

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  • MugsleyMugsley Registered User regular
    We get it every year but it's typically less.

  • Jebus314Jebus314 Registered User regular
    Dark_Side wrote: »
    My bank sent me a wonderful $1000 bill to cover mortgage payments because apparently two years in a row now the account has run dry for covering taxes and insurance payments. I have the option of just letting the montly payment jump $100 instead, but I'm leaning towards just the lump sum. Anybody ever run into this kind of thing? I'm sort of confused how it happened two years in a row.

    I kept reading this as your bank sent you a thousand dollar bill. Like a dollar bill, only with the number 1000 on it. I was like, damn I didn’t know banks had thousand dollar notes. How do I get my bank to send me one, to help out with my mortgage payment?

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  • djmitchelladjmitchella Registered User regular
    For what it's worth, I beat back the dandelions in our lawn with a bunch of persistent pulling them up for one summer, and using the 'ecosense' Weed-B-Gon to keep them under control; the particular one I used is the one that's just rust in solution, so it's safe for pets / kids, and doesn't kill the rest of the plants. It doesn't kill dandelions as enthusiastically or quickly as roundup / killex / whatever, but it does slow them down enough that the lawn can win out with a bit of persistence.

    There's not _no_ dandelions left at this point, but there's few enough that I can pull a couple out every day or so and that's all it really needs.

    OneAngryPossum
  • That_GuyThat_Guy I don't wanna be that guy Registered User regular
    They used to print $1000 bills but they were discontinued in the 60s. The last thousand dollar bill sold at auction for around $20k.

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  • SoggybiscuitSoggybiscuit At the edge of spacetime lies a path with no end.Registered User regular
    Dark_Side wrote: »
    My bank sent me a wonderful $1000 bill to cover mortgage payments because apparently two years in a row now the account has run dry for covering taxes and insurance payments. I have the option of just letting the montly payment jump $100 instead, but I'm leaning towards just the lump sum. Anybody ever run into this kind of thing? I'm sort of confused how it happened two years in a row.


    Yes, this happened to my wife and I, though it wasn’t the lenders fault. The county screwed up the property split, decided we owed less in taxes than we really did, returned the check to our lender (who returned it to us) and got angry that they didn’t have enough taxes when they fixed the thing THEY messed up. Ended up costing us something like $1600.

    Personally, I think county auditors/assessors should be held financially responsible when they screw up. Get it right, or pay the piper. It’s not the owners job to asses the house, it’s your job.do it right or don’t keep running for re-election.

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  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    That_Guy wrote: »
    They used to print $1000 bills but they were discontinued in the 60s. The last thousand dollar bill sold at auction for around $20k.

    Iirc they also used to print even bigger bills, but they were just for transferring large amounts of cash between banks - they were legal tender, but not available to the public.

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  • CauldCauld Registered User regular
    That_Guy wrote: »
    They used to print $1000 bills but they were discontinued in the 60s. The last thousand dollar bill sold at auction for around $20k.

    Iirc they also used to print even bigger bills, but they were just for transferring large amounts of cash between banks - they were legal tender, but not available to the public.

    I believe the Swiss still have a 1000 Franc banknote. For reference that's equivalent to $1,030.

  • BlackDragon480BlackDragon480 Bluster Kerfuffle Master of Windy ImportRegistered User regular
    edited April 2
    That_Guy wrote: »
    They used to print $1000 bills but they were discontinued in the 60s. The last thousand dollar bill sold at auction for around $20k.

    Iirc they also used to print even bigger bills, but they were just for transferring large amounts of cash between banks - they were legal tender, but not available to the public.

    Yep, largest ever was $100,000 note from 1934 that had Woodrow Wilson on it and was only used in transactions between Federal Reserve banks.

    At my work I've seen a few McKinley $500 notes and a couple of Grover Cleveland $1000 notes roll through.

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  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    That_Guy wrote: »
    They used to print $1000 bills but they were discontinued in the 60s. The last thousand dollar bill sold at auction for around $20k.

    Iirc they also used to print even bigger bills, but they were just for transferring large amounts of cash between banks - they were legal tender, but not available to the public.

    Yep, largest ever was $100,000 note from 1934 that had Woodrow Wilson on it and was only used in transactions between Federal Reserve banks.

    At my work I've seen a few McKinkey $500 notes and a couple of Grover Cleveland $1000 notes roll through.

    Spendable at respectable Nevada locations and selected back-alleys everywhere!

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  • matt has a problemmatt has a problem Points to 'off' Points to 'on'Registered User regular
    The brown area is about 20x20, and had five years worth of brush and branches piled on it when I started. It was chest high to me, and I'm 6'4. I know it was five years worth, because I found five Christmas trees buried in the pile. Four ~1000 pound loads to the dump, and I was down to a level where what remained could be burned.

    Xx6v3uD.jpg?1

    Why am I doing this? My mom decided, since everybody's sheltering in place, she wanted to plant their vegetable garden again this year. The plot for which was under the pile of yard waste...

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  • StraygatsbyStraygatsby Registered User regular
    edited April 2
    I really wanted to plant a vegetable garden, but then we discovered we are a public park for a crew of about 12 deer who do not give any fucks and just hang out all day in our neighborhood eating anything that looks good.

    Maybe one day I'll landscape up some kind of greenhouse or fenced area, but I don't see it happening just yet.

    I think I can grow some herbs they don't like, though.

    Straygatsby on
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited April 2
    .

    Xx6v3uD.jpg?1

    That looks like a Far Cry screenshot of your paragliding into a bush fire.

    MichaelLC on
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  • SmokeStacksSmokeStacks The Myth, the Legend, the Bowman, the Shambler FuckerRegistered User regular
    A while back I decided to get the ball rolling on buying a house. Then Covid happened, and I got sidetracked by current events (I work in a Hospital).

    Anyway, I finally spoke with a realtor and a couple loan officers, and the general gist is that my income is in the right place, and my credit, "while improving", should still be acceptable for a home loan. Both mortgage lenders want me to actually apply so they can see what I might qualify for, and then I'd know what sort of downpayment ballpark I might be looking at afterward (and how long it would take me to put it together).

    I have a sneaking suspicion that I don't actually make enough money, but that lenders are so desperate right now that they'll take anybody. On the other hand, my friend bought a four bedroom house in a decent neighborhood on a cul de sac a couple of years ago and his mortgage payment (before insurance and property taxes, but still) was around $100 a month less than the shitty two bedroom apartment I was renting in a neighboring city.

    Speaking of my friend, I told him this info today while we were hanging out and he put on The Money Pit to help me get mentally prepared for eventual home ownership.

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  • MugsleyMugsley Registered User regular
    Both lenders want to run credit checks on you so they can give you concrete numbers and that's a good thing.

    Specifically for mortgages, a number of credit checks in a short period don't destroy your credit.

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  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    Yeah you might as well find out and get a pre-qualification process started just to see what range of things you can afford and what your potential payments might look like. This is the best time to sort of see where the rubber meets the road on whether you can really afford a house. Note that if you're buying for the first time, check your local municipality and see if they have any first time buyer programs. I know up here in washington there's several and if you pretty much take a class and go with specific lenders, some can offer you a first time homebuyer's credit and discounts on your rates.

    You might as well get the following info handy in advance of applying as they'll most likely start asking for it:

    -Last 2 Years of Tax Returns
    -Last 2-4 months of all of your bank statements
    -Latest 2-3 paystubs from your work
    -How much of a down payment you can realistically cobble together
    -If you're going to be getting a "gift" payment from someone else (like if your parents are going to chip you some money to help buy the house, document it in a letter somewhere)
    -Address history (at least the last 2 places you've lived for the past several years.

    That should make the process go smoother.

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  • That_GuyThat_Guy I don't wanna be that guy Registered User regular
    edited April 3
    Mugsley wrote: »
    Both lenders want to run credit checks on you so they can give you concrete numbers and that's a good thing.

    Specifically for mortgages, a number of credit checks in a short period don't destroy your credit.

    Exactly. It's perfectly normal and expected to have several hard credit pulls when buying a house. Lenders realize this and take it into account when you are shopping. You will notice a sizeable drop in your credit score right after buying a house with a mortgage. Over the proceeding few months your score will recover and end up higher than it did before your purchase. I think I lost about 30 points after all was said and done but gained 50 points over the next year.

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  • OneAngryPossumOneAngryPossum Registered User regular
    I’ve moved into the next stage of the weed war, which involves chemical weapons. Bought some thistle-specific herbicide and a pump sprayer, going to see how this works in a few limited locations tomorrow before applying more broadly.

    I’ve also started clearing out the tree-area behind our house to make a walking loop - mostly raking, but there are some fence post remnants I’m going to have to deal with soon. Any tips for removing the concrete base of chain link posts with a limited toolset? I’m not opposed to digging them out, but if I can make it easier, all the better.

  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    Yeah you might as well find out and get a pre-qualification process started just to see what range of things you can afford and what your potential payments might look like. This is the best time to sort of see where the rubber meets the road on whether you can really afford a house. Note that if you're buying for the first time, check your local municipality and see if they have any first time buyer programs. I know up here in washington there's several and if you pretty much take a class and go with specific lenders, some can offer you a first time homebuyer's credit and discounts on your rates.

    You might as well get the following info handy in advance of applying as they'll most likely start asking for it:

    -Last 2 Years of Tax Returns
    -Last 2-4 months of all of your bank statements
    -Latest 2-3 paystubs from your work
    -How much of a down payment you can realistically cobble together
    -If you're going to be getting a "gift" payment from someone else (like if your parents are going to chip you some money to help buy the house, document it in a letter somewhere)
    -Address history (at least the last 2 places you've lived for the past several years.

    That should make the process go smoother.

    One thing I also forgot to add that the pre-qual may not necessarily cover. Some banks like Wells Fargo will ask you early on if you plan to go with a House or Condo. This is important because they then will factor in the additional monthly cost of the HOAs and will adjust how much you qualify for, sometimes by a large margin. It was a huge difference for me. If you can actually get a downpayment to afford a real house versus a condo, you'll see you'll generally qualify for a larger mortgage amount as they know not to factor in the several additional hundreds of dollars per month you'd normally have to pay with an HOA.

  • Knight_Knight_ Dead Dead Dead Registered User regular
    hrm, so my mortgage guy just called me and said that they could probably get me a rate like 1.3% lower than my current (4.5%) without up front costs which would save almost 200 a month. It seems a little too good to be true, but I know the rates are lower now than they were 1.5 years ago so sort of makes sense. He said he's going to send some papers over, is there anything I should look out for?

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  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    Knight_ wrote: »
    hrm, so my mortgage guy just called me and said that they could probably get me a rate like 1.3% lower than my current (4.5%) without up front costs which would save almost 200 a month. It seems a little too good to be true, but I know the rates are lower now than they were 1.5 years ago so sort of makes sense. He said he's going to send some papers over, is there anything I should look out for?

    Anything adjustable?

    Make sure he's not converting a 30-year to a 15-year lease (unless you're planning on that and can afford the payments)?

    Are they rolling the closing costs into the loan? If so, you might end up owing a little more over time than you expected

    Also, you're almost definitely resetting the endpoint of your loan, so you'll be paying a little longer (but if you split the difference, and pay an extra $100 / month over your new rate, you'll make up that lost time really, really quickly).

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  • StarZapperStarZapper Vermont, Bizzaro world.Registered User regular
    Yeah I'm in the same boat right now, though I haven't been approached by any banks. But I'm trying to wait until I can get at least a 1% reduction from my 4.5% until i bite the bullet, some of the banks are pretty close but I figure with the way rates have been headed, just a little more time and I should be able to save quite a bit more.

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited April 4
    Knight_ wrote: »
    hrm, so my mortgage guy just called me and said that they could probably get me a rate like 1.3% lower than my current (4.5%) without up front costs which would save almost 200 a month. It seems a little too good to be true, but I know the rates are lower now than they were 1.5 years ago so sort of makes sense. He said he's going to send some papers over, is there anything I should look out for?

    You might be buying points on your mortgage. You basically drop a little extra money at closing to buy down the rate (some people call the term discount points). Something might have changed that adjusted your closing costs but allows you to buy points and keep it the same.

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  • Knight_Knight_ Dead Dead Dead Registered User regular
    edited April 4
    bowen wrote: »
    Knight_ wrote: »
    hrm, so my mortgage guy just called me and said that they could probably get me a rate like 1.3% lower than my current (4.5%) without up front costs which would save almost 200 a month. It seems a little too good to be true, but I know the rates are lower now than they were 1.5 years ago so sort of makes sense. He said he's going to send some papers over, is there anything I should look out for?

    You might be buying points on your mortgage. You basically drop a little extra money at closing to buy down the rate (some people call the term discount points). Something might have changed that adjusted your closing costs but allows you to buy points and keep it the same.

    i don't think it's points. it seems like the closing costs are being covered by lender credits, which as far as i understand is the inverse of buying points. i'll have to look into that i suppose. after all is said and done it does seem like even with the lender credit adding some points back on i'm still down 0.9% on the rate and my payment would be lower. not a huge fan of resetting the term, but i've only been on the loan for a year and a half so i guess that's not a huge deal. taking the money i saved and putting it back into the loan would probably end up saving me more time fairly quickly.

    that said, i'm still pretty cross with them because they hit my credit again without asking to do so which is frustrating because when i bought this house i got like 5 hard pulls and my credit has still been suffering for it, and I have been waiting to apply for a better credit card without jacking it up even more and then they go and do it yet again. ugh. i literally only asked for the very vaguest estimate on the phone but out comes the hard pull.

    Knight_ on
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  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited April 4
    Success! I have removed the god damn alarm sensor in the kitchen which was broken and had the world's loudest relay in it. If it could've just died that would be fine, but it didn't - instead it just triggered all the time for no reason, more at night. It has been this way since we moved in.

    But now it's dead! It won't be coming back.

    EDIT: Oh! The other success today - down pipe surgery. Multi-tool cut a slot into the angle where there was a drip when it rained that echoed up the pipe. Cut a slot of carpet tile and stuck it in with butyl tape. Now to wait till Monday to see if it worked before we can seal up the incision.

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  • MugsleyMugsley Registered User regular
    @Knight_ I recommend you freeze your credit at all 3 agencies. When you're ready to apply for a credit card, you can temp thaw it.

    Then no one can do hard pulls without you knowing about it

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  • SmokeStacksSmokeStacks The Myth, the Legend, the Bowman, the Shambler FuckerRegistered User regular
    Something that the realtor mentioned was to think about what I want in a home (some people want a big kitchen, or a spare room for a home office, or a fireplace, that sort of thing). I had a rough idea of different features in mind, but never really sat down and made a concrete list before now.

    Are there any features that you guys looked for in a home that later ended up not being as important as you thought they were, or issues that you thought would be a major problem but ended up not being that bad at all?

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  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    Something that the realtor mentioned was to think about what I want in a home (some people want a big kitchen, or a spare room for a home office, or a fireplace, that sort of thing). I had a rough idea of different features in mind, but never really sat down and made a concrete list before now.

    Are there any features that you guys looked for in a home that later ended up not being as important as you thought they were, or issues that you thought would be a major problem but ended up not being that bad at all?

    Since you mentioned fireplaces... Fireplaces are great but if you live in a state where code precludes wood-burning and you're looking for a newer home: gas fireplaces ain't shit. Don't even bother. My old house had a wood burning fireplace and I used it probably 20+ times a year. My current house has a gas fireplace and I'd be amazed if I've turned it on 20 times in the 12 years I've lived here.

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  • TomantaTomanta Registered User regular
    The fireplace is the second thing about my home I would change, with the first being that I'm in a flood plain.

    I live in Houston, why do I need a fireplace and why did so many houses I looked at have one? It's cold enough to light it maybe one day a year! That's not even worth getting it checked out to see if it's safe to light it!

    That said, we do like the mantle.

  • CorvusCorvus . VancouverRegistered User regular
    We got gas fireplaces in our house as another source of heat, gas is much cheaper to run then say, electric heat, and we don’t have any electric heat in our place. That may be different if you don’t live somewhere that produces a ton of natural gas.

    Now, if you live somewhere hot, I wouldn’t bother, if you just want the look you can get electric fireplaces you can run with just the flame effect turned on without the heat on. Or just loop the Christmas log on your tv.

    Woodsmoke is pretty bad for your health, though I do love the heat from an airtight wood stove.

    I’d say, maybe think about your family size and what’s the maximum number of bedrooms you’re likely to need. Moving is super stressful and expensive, but you don’t want to be one kid in and having to upgrade your house if you can avoid it.

    A couple of general house lay out things I think are kind of useless is having both a family room and a separate living room (aka the formal room no one uses) or more than one “eating room”. Like, a formal dining room and a breakfast area etc, it just seems like wasted floor space.

    :so_raven:
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Corvus wrote: »
    A couple of general house lay out things I think are kind of useless is having both a family room and a separate living room (aka the formal room no one uses) or more than one “eating room”. Like, a formal dining room and a breakfast area etc, it just seems like wasted floor space.

    It makes sense if you do a lot of hosting events - it's both useful and mentally protective to have "entertaining space" and "private family space".

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  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    I've got questions.

    What kind of reserve requirement are we seeing during corona virus? I saw someone mention 5k is that what others are seeing?

    A house we looked at has exposed insulation in an unfinished basement. I don't plan on finishing the basement anytime soon, but is there something I could do to make the insulation less of an eye sore. Would I just bite the bullet and throw up a drop ceiling? Drop ceilings are ugly but are functional.

  • ZavianZavian Senātus Populusque Rōmānus Registered User regular
    Finally got my bidet mailed to me. It says quick and easy install, so putting on my plumbers crack today to install. Hopefully I won’t flood my condo. Went for a $50 one off Amazon
    h9s2hcamqgaa.jpeg
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075QC6ZHQ/

    ElvenshaeShadowfireStabbity StyleMichaelLCchrishallett83Syngyne
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