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The Home Ownership Thread

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

  1. ChrisGold

    ChrisGold Senior member

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    I agree with this. For some people the forced "saving" becomes their only large asset, as long as they are not pulling money out as they accumulate equity. I think the mistake that many people made (make) is that when rates are falling they are on and off the re-fi merry go round, constantly re-setting their mortgage to 30 years. Most upwardly mobile people are better served by:

    1. Buying only the house you can afford at the time without projecting future income
    2. When you have an increase in income, re-fi to 15 years instead of another 30
    3. Resist the urge to move up to bigger and better... make your house your home and continue to personalize and improve it, as long as you aren't too pressed for space

    I switched to a 15, make additional principal payments and now it's timed to be done by the time all my kids are finished with college, or before. (Plus my total interest paid is reduced by over $200K)
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2016
    3 people like this.
  2. Piobaire

    Piobaire Senior member

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    Yeah, I think the whole using your home equity as an ATM is a bad idea. If your debt burden viability is predicated on either increased future earnings or rapidly appreciating real estate prices you're setting yourself (and your family) up for grief. We'll have our house paid for in 10.4 years if we keep up the current schedule and having such a large asset for retirement is very comforting. It's funny how people don't get the financial mechanics/benefits of an auto lease but then seem to view their mortgage as something that will be there until they die and never build up substantial equity in their home.
     
  3. ChrisGold

    ChrisGold Senior member

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    ^ Exactly. I'm at virtually the same pace. I don't factor it in my retirement savings, but I assume that its sale will cover the cost of any retirement home/condo I would buy.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. ellsbebc

    ellsbebc Senior member

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    Feb 2, 2012
    Definitely location and lease contract dependent. Think it would be an enhancement, albeit insignificant, to the calculation. I am unable to sublease in my contract and termination fees can be around $2,500. The user could always use $0 in the calculation.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2016
  5. brokencycle

    brokencycle Senior member

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    Fixed a leaking dishwasher yesterday. The root cause was gross: mildew/mold/junk had built up in the steam exterior steam vent of the dishwasher, forcing water to condense in it and leak inside the door.

    I think it was @Ataturk who suggested ways to prevent mildew/mold growth in the past: something like occasionally run a cycle with high temp and vinegar or something. Turk, if it was you, what did you recommend?
     
  6. Ataturk

    Ataturk Senior member

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    It was a washing machine, and it was hot water and bleach. Hot water dissolves mineral deposits that cooler water might not. The mineral deposits let the mildew get a footing. Bleach, of course, kills it.

    Not sure if you can put bleach in a dishwasher. A google search says not to do it if you have a stainless steel tub, since bleach can corrode stainless steel. That might be the case for many stainless steels, but not all, as they use stainless steel in washing machines, too, and it holds up just fine there. The dishwasher isn't exactly an easy place for stainless (look at what it does to cheaper silverware) so I imagine the steel they use can take it. But, honestly, I don't know, so do it at your own risk.

    Personally I've never had mold issues in the dishwasher, but then we always use the high-heat settings, rinse aid, etc.

    Try raising the temperature on your water heater.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2016
  7. brokencycle

    brokencycle Senior member

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    Yeah, we haven't had any issues until late. I'm a bit hesitant to use bleach for the risk of damaging the gaskets.

    Ultimately the build up was mostly in the steam vent (and then the inside of the door where the water pooled). It is all cleared out and disinfected now. The dishwasher has a plastic tub, is cheap, and is 12 years old. It will likely get replaced in the next year or so. I can't stand how loud it is.
     
  8. MrG

    MrG Senior member

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    The Medicine Spring
    I've noticed something in the new house and would be interested in some input from you guys.

    Our house has a vaulted entryway with a stairway beside it, and the ceiling in the living room is vaulted. There are also large windows in the stairway that start about 1/4 of the way from the floor (at the landing for the stairs) to near the ceiling. There are two windows on top of each other, separated by probably 3-4" of drywall. There are also large windows in the living room, both toward the floor level and in the vaulted ceiling, these separated by a few feet.

    The house is 20 years old and was vacant for a few months before we bought it, but it was maintained, including, as far as I know, climate control. It's on slab.

    Now, the question:

    In these areas with large walls, I can see the outline of the framing all over the place. It's especially noticeable in artificial light from above. The lines are mostly horizontal and are evenly spaced, and they look like they're happening at the drywall joints. When I look at the pictures from the listing, I can see some evidence of it in the living room, but there aren't enough good pictures from elsewhere to know. It's hard to know if they were already there and I'm just noticing, or if they're new, but I will say that they've definitely changed in some places, as I'm seeing what looks like creases in some drywall joints (I wouldn't call them cracks).

    The horizontal bulging also seems to be more prevalent at the top/bottom of the windows on the landing, which concerns me, but it may just be because the height is about the same as a piece of drywall.

    I've also noticed a few nail pops in the areas where this is happening, but they don't seem to be pervasive.

    At first I was thinking foundation issues, but I can't find any evidence for that elsewhere. No sticky/jacked doors or windows, no diagonal cracks leading up from door/window frames, no magically-opening closing doors/cabinets, no cracked tiles or out-of-place hardwood, etc. It's hard to see a lot of the foundation because the Hardie siding comes down low and the landscaping obscures some of it, but I did some poking around and couldn't find any cracks. The only crack I can find outside is on one of the garage doors on the edge of the lentel, and it's a fine vertical crack that doesn't stair-step e masonry. It's also hard to imagine a 20-year-old house would settle the week I moved in, and I spent a lot of time with the inspector poring over things because I'm paranoid about foundation problems. He had no concerns, though he's admittedly not an engineer.

    If it's not the foundation, what could be the problem? It's an eyesore, but I don't want to bother spot-fixing the aesthetic problems if they're just going to come back.

    Any ideas?
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2016
  9. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

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    G, my house is sound and that has happened to me to some extent. After some time and plenty of settling on the part of the lumber used to construct the house, the drywall seems can show. This is also, in no small part, due to the fact that it's typical to use nails instead of screws to apply the drywall and also the installers rarely build up the coatings to a proper level.

    I've spent quite a good amount of time fixing that and the worst place for it was in my stairwell. The walls were also showing plenty of unevenness.

    The fix, for me, was to remove all of the popped nails and replace them with screws, then apply joint compound to all of the joints along the wall, drawing them out to about 12" or more on either side of the joint. I haven't had any re-appear and some of my work is now about 2-3 years old, and some of it a few months old (or weeks old) which is also still looking good.

    I also screwed the drywall in a few areas just to add some integrity to the connection between the drywall and studs.

    I had a few cracks where the original installed omitted the use of joint tape, and so I had to tape those joints.

    FWIW the difference between good joint compound and bad is very little, in terms of price, so buy the good stuff which makes life slightly easier.

    It's alot of work, almost all of the expense is labor....so I use my own labor....which is free to me.
     
  10. Piobaire

    Piobaire Senior member

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    Can't flat paint help that issue too? Not fix it, of course, but make it harder to see?
     
    1 person likes this.
  11. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

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    Flat paint makes it harder to see, but its less durable in everyday use, so if you end up painting the whole house (walls and ceiling) you'll notice scuffs show up easier and are harder to remove...not an issue with the ceiling alone.
     
  12. Numbernine

    Numbernine Senior member

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    Benjamin Moore Bath and Spa is really tough and pretty flat . It is not cheap
     
  13. otc

    otc Senior member

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    That Benjamin Moore matte paint with ceramic is pretty flat (falls between flat and eggshell on the chart) and I felt like it held up quite well to some scrubbing in my backsplashless kitchen.

    Applied like a dream too...
     
  14. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

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    Those are good ideas! I used Natura in eggshell, pretty happy with it. Did not want to deal with paint smell.
     
  15. suited

    suited Senior member

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    After the 55 inch TV in our family room broke, we replaced it with a 50 inch. Our family room is not especially large, we sit 8-9 feet from the TV. I'm skeptical of these charts that recommend a screen size based on viewing distance. They remind of the "you're supposed to spend x months salary on an engagement ring." While I'm sure there is reasoning behind the chart, it basically says anyone not living in a dorm room or studio apartment needs a 60+ inch TV. I had to fight the consumer in me and reason with myself. 80% of what I watch in the family room is news (most of the video I watch at home is on an iPad). Based on the prices below (same model) I felt the 50 inch was the best deal. WWSFD?

    50 inch: $959
    55 inch: $1,399
    65 inch: $1,800
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  16. Mr. Moo

    Mr. Moo Senior member

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    Bay Area, CA
    My dudes:

    Wife and I are shopping for shades. She had a meeting with Smith and Noble today and liked what she saw.

    Are there other companies out there that do custom shades that you have used and liked? We have a number of sliders, french doors, custom-sized windows, bay windows, etc.

    Thanks!
     
  17. Ataturk

    Ataturk Senior member

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    The charts, IIRC, are usually for the biggest TV you want at the given distance, based on the viewing angles.

    Personally I don't think most of the "features" available on higher end models are worth anything. I'd rather have a bigger TV so I can actually see the picture.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2016
  18. Piobaire

    Piobaire Senior member

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    I think part of it used to be the viewer would observe pixels if the TV was too close relative to size. Now you can buy 90" fuckers that you can stand right in front of and not see the pixellation. Buy the 65".
     
  19. lefty

    lefty Senior member

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    ^^^ there are probably no end of custom drapery people in the bay area, but be prepared for sticker shock. For our LR we needed 50 yds and fabrics we liked was in the 150/yd range. Plus 4K for the work.

    For three windows.

    We did use The Shade Store for cheaper velvet in our bedroom, but they couldn't get the length right and remade them four times. They finally asked, "if we give you all your money back will you go away?" Sure.

    lefty
     

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