The Home Ownership Thread

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by Douglas, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. RedLantern

    RedLantern Senior member

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    Just closed on our refi on Friday. Bought our house a year ago with 5% down and after a year of appreciation and some improvements we were able to appraise high enough to get out from under the PMI (266/mo!) and go from 4.5% to 4.25% - so saving about 310/mo. Could have gotten a slightly lower rate but opted for more lender credit towards closing costs so we didn't have to pay anything out of pocket. As an added bonus we wont have to make another mortgage payment until December.:slayer:

    Net effect of all of this is that our PITI is less than what we were paying in rent for our apartment a year ago (and we were getting a sweet deal on the apartment).

    ALSO, the downstairs of our house is a 1400sf 2br apartment with separate entrance that we rent out to my brother and best friend (below market rate) which covers about half of our mortgage.

    Finally getting our floors refinished - probably the week before Thanksgiving. It's going to be a major pain in the ass though - have to pack up and move out for a week. Find someplace that we can stay with the dog for a week, find someplace to put our stuff for one week . . .

    Hopefully will be replacing whole house plumbing (have 55yr old galvanized) and do a light bathroom refresh in the spring, replace rest of windows in the summer, and maybe kitchen reno in Q1 2016!
     
  2. texas_jack

    texas_jack Senior member

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    Awesome. We bought at the same time but haven't done any improvements yet. I'm hoping we can do the same thing because yeah, throwing $300 a month away is making me mad. How much did you spend on improvements if I can ask?
     
  3. RedLantern

    RedLantern Senior member

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    It's hard to keep track of and appreciate everything we've gotten done in the first year.

    Since we closed Oct. 1, 2013:

    New roof (part of purchase agreement)
    Fence 3 sides of property (part purchase agreement)
    Build huge raised vegetable garden out front
    Install new windows in front of house + one downstairs bedroom window that my brother broke
    Install kitchen downstairs (was roughed in before)
    Purchase washer/dryer for downstairs
    Install new heat-pump hot water heater
    rip out old flooring upstairs to get at original oak
    demo false wall that had been covering upstairs fireplace
    Install recessed lighting and ceiling fans in living room and bedroom
    plumb wire and install upstairs laundry room
    purchase new washer/dryer for upstairs laundry
    purchase new (awesome) fridge for upstairs (old fridge relegated to useful garage beer/overstock fridge)
    dining table/china cabinet
    paint living a dining rooms
    custom window treatments for living/dining room (big 10ft windows)

    all while replenishing our savings/emergency fund after buying our house!
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2014
  4. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    Great stuff, RL. There's something exceptionally satisfying about improving your home.
     
  5. RedLantern

    RedLantern Senior member

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    Hard to say exactly as I did a lot of the work myself, but off the top of my head:

    6-8k for downstairs ktichen (bought used maple cabinets from an architectural salvage place, got a good deal on appliances from Home Depot)
    1200 for plumbing the upstairs laundry, another 1200 for new washer and dryer (another sweet home depot sale)
    2.2 for electrical work and fixtures for lighting and ceiling fans in living/bedroom (ceiling fans were about 350 each cause we got cool ones)
    Probably have like 1K into that huge raised bed out front - I remember the lumber was about 500 bucks and the dirt was 440 delivered.

    The new basement window was 700 installed, the front windows we just paid half of the installation costs (350) for as the windows were sitting the the garage when we bough the house.
     
  6. RedLantern

    RedLantern Senior member

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    Thanks! It still seems like there's so much to do, but it's gratifying to look back on what we have gotten done. I'm a big stability person and knowing that we can stay in this house forever if we want to and not really be missing much is a great feeling.

    Just feeling really good about my financial/life position lately considering that only 4 years ago I was a newly graduated and unemployed law graduate living in my mother's house and bussing tables part time.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2014
  7. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    Well done. Goes to show it can be done.
     
  8. Ataturk

    Ataturk Senior member

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    A lot of progress. Makes me feel lazy.

    At the moment I'm playing in the kitchen. Slowly replacing the old white appliances with stainless. Snagged a fancy new cooktop at Lowes that was a display model for 1/3 the sticker price.

    Double wall ovens are so ridiculously expensive that I'm contemplating a stainless "upgrade" for the existing oven. You can get the stainless doors for a total of $280. The white control panel would look fine the way the kitchen is now but the handles are white plastic and there's no stainless replacements available. So I could either go with black handles (in which case I'd have to replace the frame and control panel with black (another $150) or do some kind of stainless paint over the old handles, which I imagine wouldn't come out well.

    Or maybe I could find some 30" stainless handles from something else and drill and tap some holes...? I can't see that working out too well either.

    Alternatively for about $2k, at the minimum, I could get a new one. But what a pain it would be to install it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2014
  9. jbarwick

    jbarwick Senior member

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    I overseeded my yard a couple weeks back. No irrigation system but I drag a sprinkler and water the areas in the morning and the evening unless like today, I get mother natures help. I am pleased that it is coming up as I didn't check the pH or add any starter fertilizer though I will throw some on in a few weeks before the winter comes full force. A couple of the more bare areas will need multiple seedings but I have time.

    Other housing things involve my wife wanting to move furniture around and hang pictures all over. The bench I usually sit on to tie my shoes in the morning vanished from its normal spot and ended up in "her" room. She has broken me down enough to where it is easier to change my habits than inconvenience her.
     
  10. archetypal_yuppie

    archetypal_yuppie Senior member

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    haa
     
  11. Skatenc123

    Skatenc123 Senior member

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    I literally let out a laugh at this.
     
  12. archetypal_yuppie

    archetypal_yuppie Senior member

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    I don't think people like it because it's what they're accustomed to due to incandescents; I think they like it because it looks better.

    "Golden Hour" is the hour before sunset - arguably best time for taking pictures in terms of light characteristics.

    Lighting by fire (fireplaces and candles) has been around a bit longer than incandescents. Like 30 years plus.
     
  13. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

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    I like whiter light during the day and warmer light at night.

    Not exactly comfortable to relax at night in a room with bright white overhead lights.
     
  14. nootje

    nootje Senior member

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    Working late at night ruined many a great minds eyes back in the day.. just saying.

    No incandescents in this household anymore. Cant say I miss them either, the possibilities of led are what makes them great.

    Currently the bookcase along one wall of the living room is blue, the milk white glass ball next to the reading chair is red and the lights above the dinner table a lightish green, and some assorted colors. If either of us need to work we change the dinner table lights to pure white, and during dinner to a candle light color. I'm still experimenting with colors in the hallway lights.
     
  15. jbarwick

    jbarwick Senior member

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    Had a tree branch fall onto our fence and break a point off of one of the aluminum pickets. Seems like these are easy replacements. My wife made it sound like it was a bigger deal than this...
     

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