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Old 11-04-2013, 09:20 PM   #1
cokeboy99
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Home ownership

Maybe I missed a thread similar to this, but that's ok. I have been in my home for 10 years now, and there are some things I wasn't prepared for or aware of as a homeowner. I am not scared to admit them if it helps someone else, and please share any stories you have about things you didn't know when owning a home for the first time, whether they be small or large, costly or not.

I will start with not knowing about changing the furnace filter until the a/c stopped working and I had to spend $300 on a new blower motor. Also, I knew nothing of cleaning my gutters, until one became clogged, held water, froze, and had the weight pull it down. Replacing the gutters was another $1000. I'm sure I'll think of other things but those are the 2 that stand out the most at the moment.

ITT we talk about home ownership, and things that aren't always obvious but need to be done to save on maintenance and repairs.
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:40 PM   #2
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Re: Home ownership

Lol, that sounds like me. I too ignored the furnace filter and didn't bother to clean the gutters. Did you neglect your landscaping and let the weeds grow to an embarrassing extent too? Here's one: If you're planning to go away for an extended period of time, check to make sure the sump pump is working. Also it's probably a good idea to have a dehumidifier running in the basement, especially during the summer.

Home ownership can suck for people who tend to neglect or put off maintenance tasks. If you're thinking about it and have those tendencies, I urge you to think again. Or you could look at it as a self-improvement opportunity I guess. So glad I finally sold the house.
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:46 PM   #3
cokeboy99
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Re: Home ownership

I do keep up with the mowing and other lawn care. I also have a dehumidifier. No sump pump however, so that isn't a concern. I keep up on everything now that I'm aware, which makes things easier. Of course, all of the little things add up in costs, and having to get a new dryer this past summer added to those costs.
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:57 PM   #4
JackInDaCrak
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Water damage is your worst enemy above and beyond all other threats. Any leaking pipes need to be fixed yesterday. Be sure to winterize your irrigation and remove hoses from hose bibs in like September so you don't forget and end up with exploded fixtures.
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:00 PM   #5
Saklad
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Re: Home ownership

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So glad I finally sold the house.
You'd rather rent than own because of maintenance costs and duties?
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:16 PM   #6
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Re: Home ownership

Owning a home is a only a good idea if you are planning to live there for a long time. You are looking at 5.5% just to sell it, plus a bunch of other fees and then you pay capital gains. With dismal population growth it is unlikely you are going to see any capital gains that exceed the stock market with perhaps the exception of cities that you can't afford to buy in anyways (all these people not having any children want to live in NYC or SF). Most people tend to need to change locations either for their profession or to run away from the misery of life. So in general, unless you have mastered the Quiet Desperation aspect of life, avoid home ownership.
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:19 PM   #7
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Re: Home ownership

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Owning a home is a only a good idea if you are planning to live there for a long time. You are looking at 5.5% just to sell it, plus a bunch of other fees and then you pay capital gains. With dismal population growth it is unlikely you are going to see any capital gains that exceed the stock market anyways with perhaps the exception of cities that you can't afford to buy in anyways (all these people not having any children want to live in NYC or SF). Most people tend to need to change locations either for their profession or to run away from the misery of life. So in general, unless you have mastered the Quiet Desperation part of life, avoided home ownership.
Homeowners and renters alike should all prob ignore this.
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:20 PM   #8
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Re: Home ownership

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Water damage is your worst enemy above and beyond all other threats.
this x100. Be realistic when assessing flood risk. Dealing with flooding sucks giant hairy elephant balls.
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:21 PM   #9
dessin d'enfant
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Re: Home ownership

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You'd rather rent than own because of maintenance costs and duties?
Those can be very good reasons to rent.
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:29 PM   #10
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Re: Home ownership

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You'd rather rent than own because of maintenance costs and duties?
Owning a house in a subdivision where the neighbors took pride in their neatly manicured lawns and flower gardens was a particularly bad fit for me, since I couldn't care less about that stuff. As I mentioned, I tend to put off, or be unaware off, or spectacularly inept at handling the type of maintenance tasks that home ownership provides on a consistent basis. So yes, I'd rather rent. A house in the country where there aren't any neighbors nearby to concern themselves with the state of my lawn might be doable too I guess, although I'd still have the maintenance tasks (personal improvement opportunities! But really it just comes down to knowing who to call to fix stuff when it breaks, and (note to self) not constantly putting it off instead of making the call right away.)
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:35 PM   #11
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Re: Home ownership

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Those can be very good reasons to rent.
And also, if you're renting and want to move, you can just move once the lease is up. Selling a house can be a PITA. And let's just say, depending on how you time the market, possibly not the greatest investment of all time.
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:23 PM   #12
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Re: Home ownership

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then you pay capital gains
If you pay capital gains tax, you've made quite a bit.
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:42 PM   #13
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Re: Home ownership

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Originally Posted by MapleStreet View Post
Owning a home is a only a good idea if you are planning to live there for a long time. You are looking at 5.5% just to sell it, plus a bunch of other fees and then you pay capital gains. With dismal population growth it is unlikely you are going to see any capital gains that exceed the stock market with perhaps the exception of cities that you can't afford to buy in anyways (all these people not having any children want to live in NYC or SF). Most people tend to need to change locations either for their profession or to run away from the misery of life. So in general, unless you have mastered the Quiet Desperation aspect of life, avoid home ownership.
I stopped reading at "MapleStreet".
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:43 PM   #14
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Re: Home ownership

I believe cap gains are waived up to $500k in gains, so that's not gong to affect many folks. Adding to the water damage conversation, power outages tend to occur during thunderstorms (at least here in the Midwest) when you need sump pump most. Get a battery backup.

Pay attention to your homeowners insurance. For a few bucks a year I added sump pump failure (before I got the backup) and got several grand to help with mediation when we flooded (yeah, the power went out). Make sure your insurance covers all your valuables -- you'll need riders for collectibles, artwork, musical instruments.

If you can get flood insurance, consider it. Most flooded homes are not on flood plains or near rivers, creeks etc.

Maintenance is a killer on most homes -- know how old the roof is, how old the furnace and AC are, how often you need to paint and whether siding is in need of repair.

If you're married or expect to be soon, keep in mind that everything you thought was fine (curtains, blinds, wallpaper, interior paint, flooring, bathroom fixtures, kitchen counters, appliances) are all likely to be unacceptable and need replacement. Set aside $20 grand or so to get the process started.
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Old 11-05-2013, 02:18 AM   #15
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Re: Home ownership

So far I've really loved owning my house. I should bump my old thread and show some of the things I've bought
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Old 11-05-2013, 03:06 AM   #16
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Re: Home ownership

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I believe cap gains are waived up to $500k in gains, so that's not gong to affect many folks.
250k for a single person, 500k for a couple.

Re flood insurance: Things are getting really crazy regarding this now, at least in Southeastern CT and Rhode Island. Rates are skyrocketing beyond anything people expected and flood maps are now off-the-wall crazy with who is required to have it.
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Old 11-05-2013, 10:00 AM   #17
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Re: Home ownership

One thing I found out recently (thankfully without a major problem) is if you have rubber hoses on the water supply to your washing machine they need to be replaced every 3 to 5 years. I've been told to replace them with metal hoses as they will last longer and tend to spring small leaks rather than completely failing and flooding your house.

Definitely get annual maintenance on your furnace, especially if you have a high efficiency oil burning furnace. It will run quieter, plus if you don't get it serviced at the proper schedule it will burn a lot more oil.

If you have an irrigation system and live in a climate that gets cold make sure you blow the lines out every fall.
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Old 11-05-2013, 10:20 AM   #18
jjshabado
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Re: Home ownership

You can get washing machine lines that automatically cut off if they spring a leak. Definitely worth it, especially if you have a non-basement washer. They're also good for things like dishwashers, fridge water dispensers, etc.
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Old 11-05-2013, 10:37 AM   #19
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Re: Home ownership

Other things people forget that can cause huge damage

Discconect your sump hose before snowfall hits if it leads outdoors in a cold climate as well disconnect any outdoor hoses before winter hits

Water is your worst enemy as even if clean it will destroy anything it touches

You can buy rainwater eave guards that keep the leaves out

Also service your humidifier every year
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Old 11-05-2013, 10:40 AM   #20
Jbrochu
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Re: Home ownership

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You can get washing machine lines that automatically cut off if they spring a leak. Definitely worth it, especially if you have a non-basement washer. They're also good for things like dishwashers, fridge water dispensers, etc.
Thanks I'll check them out.
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Old 11-05-2013, 11:26 AM   #21
youtalkfunny
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Re: Home ownership

I love renting! I don't worry about any of this stuff! I can move around like a vagrant!

I think buying was a great idea for my parents, who bought their house post-WWII and watched it appreciate noticeably every single year for about 50 straight years, but I don't think that's ever going to happen again. Even though the recent bubble knocked the values down by one-third or so, I think they're STILL overpriced.
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Old 11-05-2013, 12:34 PM   #22
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Re: Home ownership

Love owning a house so far.

Not too much maintenance and don't pay that much more than renting.

I judge people harshly by how they keep their lawn now that I have one.

Also got some of those leak frogs for detecting water which saved me once
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:24 PM   #23
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Re: Home ownership

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Even though the recent bubble knocked the values down by one-third or so, I think they're STILL overpriced.
Based on what?
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:39 PM   #24
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What are some good things to do before winter
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:58 PM   #25
JackInDaCrak
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Based on what?
Based on what he wants vs what he can afford presumably.
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