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Old 02-17-2013, 02:35 PM   #21
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Re: Taking DR/too frugal living too far....not updating home....

We've been putting 500-1k into our house/land yearly. we see it as an investment. we have a 70s home that's been through an explosion/fire in the early 80s. We almost are finished with all the little things and than we will need to tackle the bigger things like siding (we haven't had any on some of the house for the last 10 years). but in the last 6 years we really haven't had the 1k invest into our home, but we still invest something. We had to redo the bathroom the subfloor was rotten and their was mold throughout that was 10k (we refinanced the house to do it). When we repainted a bedroom we took off the trim work and replaced it with oak all except the very expensive closet door (contractor said 1k for just that 6 panel bi-fold door). This year we are finishing a room of the basement $500. But like I said we've had to let the bigger projects be put on hold.

my parents have the $ to update, but can't figure out a new configuration of their house. She needs to put in 2 new stair cases. But an addition won't fix her leaky basement. So should she demo the house and basement and rebuild 150k (where to live while this is being done would be an issue) or put on the addition 90k just to add in a less steep stair case. As it is the house is 1900s and they have redone a couple of rooms including the bathroom and done electrical work to bring it up to code.

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Old 02-17-2013, 02:38 PM   #22
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Re: Taking DR/too frugal living too far....not updating home....

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One room at a time is a great way to do it without being totally overwhelmed. Being a homeowner is a constant moneypit...always stuff to do or to be done...
But if they were dealing with asbestos ... They could not do one room at a time. You have to vacate the building and have special contractors remove it. You have to leave the home for several days. In some areas it may not be easy to find a contractor who is licensed to remove asbestos.

My grandparents were living in a house with asbestos in the 1990's. (They didn't own it. It was a company home provided to my grandfather so he could be close to work.) They had to clear out the house. Basically move everything into storage and told it would take 2 weeks. The repairs were done and then they had to wait till a cleaning crew went through. Then all the ACvents were replaced after the cleaning was done. The asbestos company was from out of state. It was not a simple thing at all. My grandfather's company paid for them to have a hotel so he just took his vacation and left town for most of it. It took about 4 weeks for all the work to be done and them to be cleared to move in. I remember my grandma was really mad because they changed all the carpets to an ugly blue and painted all the walls a cheap flat white. She had to repaint.

Anyway, I could see a couple being overwhelmed by the process. I don't know if how it is done has changed (as far as having to remove everything you own so it doesn't get asbestos dust on it) but it was not an easy thing for my grandparents who where in thier 50's at the time to have to move out and then move back in. If they had owned the house, I imagine it would have been harder as they would have had to pay for the movers, hotels away, 100% of the renovations at once, etc.

(The rule of thumb is that asbestos is not a good thing but normally doesn't cause problems if you leave it alone. Once you start to try to renovate is when it gets in the air and cause problems. )
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:09 PM   #23
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Re: Taking DR/too frugal living too far....not updating home....

I've never seen the show but I don't understand why things have to be constantly updated. There's "maintenance" and then there's renovation. I know plenty of people who maintain their homes very well, but never splurge on a renovation because they don't see it as a necessity and for them it really isn't.

Our kitchen cabinets and counter tops are the original ones from the 70s. They've been really well maintained over the years, not at all dingy, just old but still very functional. I see no reason to replace them just because they don't look modern. Even if we had the money, updating our kitchen would not be a priority to me. Nor do I see the advantage of stainless steel appliances and fancy flat top ranges (I've used them at other people's houses). I do wish we had a gas stove, but there's no gas line here and hauling gas would be too expensive. Now the linoleum on the floor is somewhat torn up and will need to be replaced as soon as we have the cash to do so, right now it's just patched.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that if homes aren't maintained (painted, carpets replaced, things fixed when they break) that's one thing, but not being updated to some standard for the sake of resale value especially when one doesn't plan to resell is a different matter entirely.
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:40 PM   #24
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Re: Taking DR/too frugal living too far....not updating home....

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I've never seen the show but I don't understand why things have to be constantly updated. There's "maintenance" and then there's renovation. I know plenty of people who maintain their homes very well, but never splurge on a renovation because they don't see it as a necessity and for them it really isn't.

Our kitchen cabinets and counter tops are the original ones from the 70s. They've been really well maintained over the years, not at all dingy, just old but still very functional. I see no reason to replace them just because they don't look modern. Even if we had the money, updating our kitchen would not be a priority to me. Nor do I see the advantage of stainless steel appliances and fancy flat top ranges (I've used them at other people's houses). I do wish we had a gas stove, but there's no gas line here and hauling gas would be too expensive. Now the linoleum on the floor is somewhat torn up and will need to be replaced as soon as we have the cash to do so, right now it's just patched.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that if homes aren't maintained (painted, carpets replaced, things fixed when they break) that's one thing, but not being updated to some standard for the sake of resale value especially when one doesn't plan to resell is a different matter entirely.
This. There is a difference between maintenance and updating. It kills me when I watch that show or house hunters and people act as if having a dated kitchen makes it totally unusable. Our house was built in 1987. I didn't dig the kitchen but it had good bones and it functioned just fine. We did replace the dishwasher early on as the old one crapped out on us within a few months of buying the house. We did remodel the kitchen in July and I love it. I am so happy with it. But that had to come after necessary repairs and maintenance. We had to put a new roof on, paint the house, and do deck repairs. The kitchen remodel was pretty much cosmetic.

I don't think Dave Ramsey would support never doing cosmetic upgrades to your house but you shouldn't go into debt to do it. We saved for 6 years in order to do the kitchen remodel.
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:36 PM   #25
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Re: Taking DR/too frugal living too far....not updating home....

This is what my husband fears, that I will take the thrfity too far and we won't enjoy the now... I just want to get the debt paid off, not even the mortgage... Yes, I know we'd be saving a lot in interest over the years if we did, but I figure if that's the only 'debt' we have I"m okay spending money here and there and enjoying ourselves.

We try to do little projects as we go along, but we do have an older home that was not well maintained before us (was a rental)... I worry everything will give out at once, like the roof freaks me out, I know it'll need to be replaced in the next 5 or so years, and we don't have the savings for that, and because we bought when the market was high our loan is already higher than the market value, so no HELOC...

Anyway... sorry for the weird side rant... I guess I just agree that it can be taken too far, as in the case of the couple on that show.
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:08 PM   #26
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Re: Taking DR/too frugal living too far....not updating home....

OMG....House Hunters....those people are seriously hoity toity with their "requirements."
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:00 PM   #27
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Ok, just for reference...because I actually saw the episode, lol. They had a house for more than 25 years. They had done nothing, and I mean nothing to it for the last 20. The husband wanted to sell for those 20, the wife wanted to fix it up and stay. It was not well maintained. Both kids grown and gone and the house packed to the gills with random boxes and junk. Not extreme enough for the ho arder show, but bad. Holes in the walls, floor coming up, etc. It was worth under 500k but it cost 650k to meet their (mostly her) requirements with a new house. They had saved $120k to redo the whole house.

The first plan included the whole house. Then as they ripped up the main floor, they discovered asbestos. In everything. Level 3 removal whole house, thousands of dollars to fix and yes all had to be done at once while they stayed elsewhere. Then the other usual not expected reno expenses, etc and all that money gave the end result of only a renovated kitchen, living, and home office (main floor). No new bedrooms, bathroom, or basement.

So yes, I agree with OP that they should have put money into maintaining the house to a livable condition instead of saving for 20years and doing nothing. Yes, the asbestos would have cost a lot either way but they could have planned for that so the end result would not be as disappointing and they would have had livable conditions outside the main floor.

But yes her expectations were too high for what two emptynesters needed anyway. And I still think she would not have sold under any conditions, she wanted to fix that house. Why she waited so long, who knows.
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:48 PM   #28
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Re: Taking DR/too frugal living too far....not updating home....

Yes....it was seriously the most shocking episode I've seen, normally it's more awkward stuff vs the entire house being so bad. Yes...they didn't know about the asbestos until the reno.....

It's very hard being a homeowner and knowing what is the right thing to do. Funnily enough I think the more "modern" and up to date you go....could be worse in the long run. I suppose classic would do best. Just when I think of people in the 70's who went for the uber cool stuff, shag carpet, avocado appliances....well those are the stuff that most buyers shy away from now.


I'd say as a current(unsuccessful) buyer in the market right now....it's about the overall. So if the entire house needs work then you walk away. If it's just a few things then you can deal with it.


I totally agree that the house hunters makes DH and I cringe when every single buyers wants stainless steel and granite(our home isn't)......but depends on the market and their budget. High budget etc or a market with lots of homes for sale they can be more picky.

The market we are looking at to live has BARELY any inventory....to the point we search for new ones everyday or await of realtors email from mls. One new one today....first in about 10 days. So we don't have as much choice. We will deal with an older kitchen to get the right schools, house layout, big enough bedrooms so one can fit two kids comfortably. I don't like this newish style house with enormous bedrooms(like one master was the size of my entire first floor, seriously so big) but then smaller living area's? I don't need a huge bedroom the size of 3 normal bedrooms?


ltlmrs - I don't think it's a problem if you plan to stay in your home. But when you buy a home you have to consider it's resale. We are not sure if we will stay past 5 yrs in new location....so resale is very important. We look at homes and think....hmm, this sat on the market for 6 months? why....oh because of xyz. Saw a fab home but right next to a busy street the other day.....that is a resale problem too. Ditto with your kitchen......if you plan to live there for a long time then no problem. If not then don't be surprised if some buyers have a problem with it and you have to reduce the house in order to sell it. Depends on how your area is though and what is normal for your market.
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:31 PM   #29
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Re: Taking DR/too frugal living too far....not updating home....

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The market we are looking at to live has BARELY any inventory....to the point we search for new ones everyday or await of realtors email from mls. One new one today....first in about 10 days. So we don't have as much choice. We will deal with an older kitchen to get the right schools, house layout, big enough bedrooms so one can fit two kids comfortably. I don't like this newish style house with enormous bedrooms(like one master was the size of my entire first floor, seriously so big) but then smaller living area's? I don't need a huge bedroom the size of 3 normal bedrooms?
This was us almost 2 years ago. We wound up moving ~5 streets away from our outgrown townhome to a single family home. We are happy here despite all the bonehead stuff the prior owners did. We had to dump a lot of money into replacing the 40yo furnace within months of buying, but were able to negotiate that with closing costs covered. I like older homes. Older homes have issues sometimes. But I love my home and with every DIY (or contractor hired) I am making it more "mine". Good luck in your search.

It looks like this episode is on again 3/6. I must set the DVR, you have piqued my curiosity.
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Old 02-22-2013, 03:26 PM   #30
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Re: Taking DR/too frugal living too far....not updating home....

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This was us almost 2 years ago. We wound up moving ~5 streets away from our outgrown townhome to a single family home. We are happy here despite all the bonehead stuff the prior owners did. We had to dump a lot of money into replacing the 40yo furnace within months of buying, but were able to negotiate that with closing costs covered. I like older homes. Older homes have issues sometimes. But I love my home and with every DIY (or contractor hired) I am making it more "mine". Good luck in your search.

It looks like this episode is on again 3/6. I must set the DVR, you have piqued my curiosity.

oh, might watch it again myself!!!

Yes, it's funny what owners do allright. We just put in a bid on a house built around 92 I think? But owners have done good maintenance like radon mitigation, septic update, even some stuff with raising the outdoor steps due to settlement. Some new windows. Kitchen is still a bit funky.....but I can live with that as 90% of the house is great apart from that. I think we will get this one, just waiting on the written acceptance, got the verbal
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