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Old 01-04-2014, 06:31 PM   #126
#Thinman
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Re: Home ownership

finished footings for deck. got real good at it around the 7th hole. :/

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Old 01-04-2014, 07:28 PM   #127
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Re: Home ownership

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Old 01-05-2014, 12:34 AM   #128
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Re: Home ownership

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Interesting thread. I find I cannot find an unbiased opinion when it comes to hearing the truth behind investing in real estate.

A friend of mine was a farmer and his family sold off their farm for a tonne of money. He went and purchased a 3 bedroom home in a cookie-cutter neighborhood for 410k. How will he sell this place for any more than he bought it for? It's an up and coming neighborhood, that is growing quickly, but how is anyone ever going to buy a non-detached home with no backyard and no property for over 410k?
I paid 430 for my "house" in 2009 and it has less of a yard than people I know that live in condos/townhomes(brick wall 15x10 yard), but in California, you dont get much land unless you pay a lot for it or move well away from a city.

But we made a decision when we purchased it, we moved from a house that was 1600 sf with 4 kids, we needed space(inside space) and gave up a larger yard in our older house and as the kids get older, they dont really play in the yard, I was never good at keeping the yard up(we had a gardener to mow/weed). Paying extra $ each month(from the old house) isnt always fun, but each of the kids has their own room and I have a separate office inside the house(not a converted garage like some of the neighbors). If/when we decide to leave I am confident that it will be worth a reasonable value, it dropped after we bought it, but when you put down a good chunk and pay it over time, a 500k house doesnt have a bill of 500k on it, so even if its only "worth" 400k 20 years from now, you shouldnt owe that much on it anyway.
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Old 01-05-2014, 08:43 AM   #129
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Re: Home ownership

So I'm pretty worried after reading this thread. Last month I noticed I have some sort of leak and some water damage to my living room ceiling.

I have a two-story house and the living room is directly underneath an upstairs office. I have no idea where the leak is coming from. It seems like it's probably from the roof but I'm not even sure how the roof would leak through the floor of the other room and get to the spot it is. Anyone have recommendations for how to go about getting it fixed? The water spot is in an L shape, 3 foot by 1 foot, 4 inches wide the whole way.

Do I need to bring in a plumber? A roofer? A general handyman?
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Old 01-05-2014, 08:54 AM   #130
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Re: Home ownership

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So I'm pretty worried after reading this thread. Last month I noticed I have some sort of leak and some water damage to my living room ceiling.

I have a two-story house and the living room is directly underneath an upstairs office. I have no idea where the leak is coming from. It seems like it's probably from the roof but I'm not even sure how the roof would leak through the floor of the other room and get to the spot it is. Anyone have recommendations for how to go about getting it fixed? The water spot is in an L shape, 3 foot by 1 foot, 4 inches wide the whole way.

Do I need to bring in a plumber? A roofer? A general handyman?
Couple questions to narrow it down. It could easily be rain finding it's way through a wall since your upstairs ceiling probably has a vapor barrier which would redirect the water. Can you get into the attic and check for pooling? Is it in the middle of the room or near an outside wall? Does it drip, or is it just a spot? Only when it rains? How about only when water is going down a certain drain?
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Old 01-05-2014, 09:30 AM   #131
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Re: Home ownership

I can get in the attic, next time it rains I'll check for pooling. It is connected to an ouside wall. It is just a spot, but the paint is peeling off along the line where the water is coming through, and then it takes the 90 degree turn.

I'm not sure if it happened due to rain. I guess I noticed it had gotten huge around the time of some heavy rainstorms but I haven't noticed it dripping as much as there is just obvious water damage. I think it's pretty unlikely that it's caused by an upstairs drain since the only drain upstairs is rarely used and on the total opposite side of the house. My wife noticed a very small line forming last year and then this year it spread out. Sounds more like rain the more I think about it.


Last edited by WalterS; 01-05-2014 at 09:52 AM.
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Old 01-05-2014, 10:24 AM   #132
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Re: Home ownership

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I can get in the attic, next time it rains I'll check for pooling. It is connected to an ouside wall. It is just a spot, but the paint is peeling off along the line where the water is coming through, and then it takes the 90 degree turn.

I'm not sure if it happened due to rain. I guess I noticed it had gotten huge around the time of some heavy rainstorms but I haven't noticed it dripping as much as there is just obvious water damage. I think it's pretty unlikely that it's caused by an upstairs drain since the only drain upstairs is rarely used and on the total opposite side of the house. My wife noticed a very small line forming last year and then this year it spread out. Sounds more like rain the more I think about it.

Is there a window in the upstairs room above the spot?

If so, it sounds like wind driven rain seeping through a poorly sealed or unflashed window.

Do you have wood trim around your windows? Wood siding? Vinyl siding?
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Old 01-05-2014, 12:33 PM   #133
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The leak isn't necessarily coming from anywhere near where you are seeing water collecting on the ceiling. If you are going to repair the ceiling anyways once you fix the leak I would cut a square out now and see if you can tell what is going on.
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Old 01-05-2014, 02:27 PM   #134
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Re: Home ownership

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The leak isn't necessarily coming from anywhere near where you are seeing water collecting on the ceiling. If you are going to repair the ceiling anyways once you fix the leak I would cut a square out now and see if you can tell what is going on.
This. When you get in the attic during a rain, take a very bright flashlight and pay particular attention around vents, pipes, chimneys, etc. In addition, just because you don't see a leak during a light rain, doesn't mean you won't find one during a heavier rain with wind.
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Old 01-05-2014, 02:51 PM   #135
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Re: Home ownership

Walter, I don't think you need to wait until it rains again to investigate.

I'm pretty certain there is a good chance that you will be able to see signs of water stain marks where the leak is occuring in the attic, most likely at the juncture to the wall and roof from a hole or gap in the siding/shingles or a problem with some metal flashing — it could be bent or missing altogether. If the problem isn't at the juncture than I'm pretty sure you will be able to see a water stain path leading to the originating point in the attic, perhaps at a vent of pipe through the roof as previously suggested. The problem may be originating at a roof leak farther away or a problem with some flashing located further away.

I had a similar type of problem a few years ago that originated from some flashing at my chimney where the metal had buckled away from the brick and some goop was needed to fill the gap.

By all means, go up there with a flashlight and take a look around yourself, but if you don't have any experience with such matters, I would suggest that you have a trustworthy carpenter/handyman do the job. From what I see on the photo, I would be pretty surprised if the source of the problem couldn't be identified pretty quickly.

Good luck.
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Old 01-05-2014, 04:09 PM   #136
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What part of the country are you in? In my area (SE Louisiana) 99% of water damage to ceilings not related to hurricanes is from an overflowed A/C drip pan in the attic or window air conditioning unit on an above floor.
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Old 01-05-2014, 04:13 PM   #137
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I need to buy a washer and dryer. Which of these stores would you recommend or avoid?

HH Gregg
Lowes
Home Depot
Sears
Conns
Best Buy

Based on price/ease of delivery mainly.
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Old 01-05-2014, 06:18 PM   #138
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Re: Home ownership

Most if not all of those will deliver & carry stuff up the stairs for you if needed. I just do some normal price shopping, read reviews on stuff, and make sure I'm getting a deal. They all do price matching and there's almost always some kind of offer somewhere, or X% off coupons you can buy on eBay.

Some people have told me that local places are better but that hasn't been my experience. They'll price match with some arm twisting typically. There's always heavy upselling and timewasting because they never seem to have what I want in stock. Lowes and HD are extremely awesome about returns & I generally like Lowes. I've never bought appliances from BB and haven't been in a Sears in at least 5 years because **** them.

Shopping & pricing is the easy part though. The big concern for me is making sure their delivery crews carry in/install things the right way. I've seen everything from hot/cold water reversed on a washing machine install, to heavy appliances dragged across expensive hardwood floors. You have to babysit them and check everything, tell them to get a dolly if needed.
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Old 01-05-2014, 06:28 PM   #139
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Re: Home ownership

I purchased a Samsung fridge from Home Depot this year. Was easily the best deal around with a sale that was going on, plus we got 10% from some other deal I forget.

Anyway, the unit died 6 months later. Samsung sent out a tech a 3 occasions to repair and eventually called it dead and authorized a replacement.

According to them, the replacement would be shipped to Home Depot and then exchanged onsite by Home Depot.

This was news to Home Depot and they told Samsung and me both to eat a dick.

Samsung ended up sending out a third party to replace the unit.
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Old 01-05-2014, 07:00 PM   #140
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Re: Home ownership

Walter -

That could be anything from your AC line, to your hot water heater, to a cracked pipe, to your roof, to poor flashing somewhere. I can't see much with that photo but I assume that 90 degree angle is along the edge of the drywall pieces where the tape is probably. If so cut along that as you'd want to replace that little bit of tape later. They sell small 2x2 drywall panels cheap and by the look of it you don't need to remove much if any - IF you get the leak fixed quickly from above.

But first go up to the attic and scope things out, if you can't find or can't fix get a handyman or GC to take a look ASAP.

Sucks but I have never seen a leak fix itself. What I have seen is water neglect destroy gypsum subfloors, kitchen cabinets, and cause severe mold problems forcing a family to evacuate. In the last case the leak was repaired in ~4 hours by cleaning a gutter + taking a little siding down temporarily to re-flash a 3rd-story window. $600 fix (half of that was for working on a ladder), but they let it go so long it did all kinds of damage that ran into the thousands. Water actually pooled from the gutter straight into a window.
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Old 01-05-2014, 08:25 PM   #141
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Re: Home ownership

you know you guys can get gutter guards. They really come in handy and makes cleanup so much easier.
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Old 01-05-2014, 11:32 PM   #142
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Re: Home ownership

You and I know that but these people probably didn't. They kept it tidy but that's about all. They didn't know or care about upkeep, or maybe they were too house poor I don't know (this was back when first-time buyers could get a $400k mortgage). When I was there they had no idea where the water valve was or that the HVAC air filter was something that needed to be changed.

But point is, leaks suck, that's something to deal with right away.
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Old 01-05-2014, 11:59 PM   #143
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Re: Home ownership

Water damage is your absolute worst enemy. Walter, get that looked at immediately. It sounds like it has already been festering for a month or more and you don't want mold to start getting out of hand.
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Old 01-09-2014, 02:27 AM   #144
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Re: Home ownership

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finished footings for deck. got real good at it around the 7th hole. :/

oh yeah, finished this thing except for sealing/staining





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Old 01-09-2014, 08:03 AM   #145
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Re: Home ownership

Looks good, but I would have staggered the seam on the top lumber.

Also looks like you put the boards tight to each other. If so you are going to be in for a surprise when it rains.

Did you attach it to the house foundation or is it floating?
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Old 01-09-2014, 12:32 PM   #146
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Definitely stagger the seams and gap the boards. Two nails works perfectly for gapping. I prefer to attach the base but if you did the footings correctly it's probably not necessary.

Looks like a nice bike in the background. I would lock it up before it jumps the fence
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Old 01-09-2014, 12:46 PM   #147
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Re: Home ownership

boards are gapped. no surprises coming.

if the old man on the other side of that fence can lift it over, he's welcome to the bike. :-)
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Old 01-09-2014, 01:35 PM   #148
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Re: Home ownership

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I need to buy a washer and dryer. Which of these stores would you recommend or avoid?

HH Gregg
Lowes
Home Depot
Sears
Conns
Best Buy

Based on price/ease of delivery mainly.
FWIW I bought a W&D from Lowes a few years back and received delivery within, I believe, 48 hours. However long it took I know it was better than HD and I recall the selection being superior as well. I didn't look at either Sears or Best Buy, and the other places don't ring a bell.

On the downside, the guys who delivered apparently used attachment hoses and vents that were not up to code for the time, as indicated to me when I was getting my vents cleaned recently. But the machines worked fine and I've had no issues in the years since. I'd order from them again for household appliances.
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Old 01-09-2014, 02:34 PM   #149
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FWIW I bought a W&D from Lowes a few years back and received delivery within, I believe, 48 hours. However long it took I know it was better than HD and I recall the selection being superior as well. I didn't look at either Sears or Best Buy, and the other places don't ring a bell.

On the downside, the guys who delivered apparently used attachment hoses and vents that were not up to code for the time, as indicated to me when I was getting my vents cleaned recently. But the machines worked fine and I've had no issues in the years since. I'd order from them again for household appliances.
Thanks, im planning on getting braided stainleas steel hoses and a rigid metal vent pipe and doing the installation myself if I have to.
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Old 01-09-2014, 02:59 PM   #150
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Re: Home ownership

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Best advice ever: CLEAN YOUR DRYER VENT YEARLY.

You will be amazed how much lint collects in there. It's a huge fire hazard and dangerous.

Cleaning will also make your dryer run more efficiently overall and save on energy costs. I purchased this kit from Amazon and it worked great.

http://www.amazon.com/Gardus-RLE202-...=dryer+cleaner
When I first bought my house, which was something like 7 years old when I got it, the dryer just wouldn't do anything. I eventually went into the attic and found the dryer vent and the entire thing was completely filled to the density of a brick, with lint. I don't know if the lint trap was missing on the previous owners dryer (they did have 6 kids, so there was a ton of laundry being done), but it was insane. I had to cut it off, take a ski pole, and bash it until I got it all out. Amazed the place didn't catch on fire.
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