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Old 10-24-2011, 05:39 PM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,506,246 times
Reputation: 29081

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrgoodwx View Post
We will focus on finding a low-maintenance house (1 story) and yard...and the low-maintenance yard may even be 5 acres.
Now yer talkin'. One story house and a yard tractor make it easy, comfortable and easily sustainable !
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Old 10-24-2011, 08:00 PM
 
8,204 posts, read 11,925,738 times
Reputation: 18020
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldengrain View Post
There are some H&Gtv shows that are 'Selling (city name)'. The New York and LA stagings seem to differ. THe ones in NY are all glass and plastic and stark white walled, sometimes with an add in of a primary color. Very sterile, in my opinion. The LA stagings are sometimes pleasing, with earth toned furnishings and a more natural feel to them, plants, etc.
My wife and I (and our house, of course) were the subject of a 1/2 hour episode of HGTV's Designed to Sell when they first started filming in the Washington, DC metro area. It was a fun experience.
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Old 10-24-2011, 08:01 PM
 
Location: California
4,556 posts, read 5,476,905 times
Reputation: 9623
If you have a Village to Village network near you, volunteers are available to help with your home projects and keep you in your own home. You only pay a monthly fee.

Starting a network in your area, if you don't have one, would be a good way to connect with like minded people.
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Old 10-25-2011, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Toronto, Ottawa Valley & Dunedin FL
1,409 posts, read 2,356,695 times
Reputation: 1159
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
What I'm seeing here on this thread is that a house is a money pit, but it is also a chosen lifestyle. Some of us put money into our homes, hoping for a return (moi) and some of us shell out the money because although we will never get it back, we would not want to live any other way than in our own house (moi, for now).
Our summer home (we call them cottages) is a bit of a money pit. We spent $25K on a new septic system 2 years ago, and before that a new roof, upgrading the well/pump, and upgrading the electricals. We will be doing some minor work in the kitchen and bathroom fairly soon. And just routine maintenance goes on and on--I was just up there to do the fall raking, just yard maintenance is signficant work.

We will never see that money--if we decide to sell this place down the line, it will be sold for the land, not the cottage--it's prime waterfront, up on a ridge, beautiful views, near a city, etc. So money we put into it now is for our own enjoyment, which I hope will continue into our 70's, if we're lucky.
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Old 10-25-2011, 03:16 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,945,286 times
Reputation: 6717
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrgoodwx View Post
...Okay...it's important for my wife and I to feel that we own our home. We will never live in a condo or apartment (did that 35 years ago). But...there is something in between those options and what we have, which is a high-maintenance house and yard.

We will focus on finding a low-maintenance house (1 story) and yard...and the low-maintenance yard may even be 5 acres.
In a lot of places - large lots are in rural or semi-rural areas. Where it may be difficult to find utilities like city water - sewers - cable - even pre-existing electrical hookups to where a house might be located. Also - various kinds of garbage pick-up may not exist. Taking care of your own utilities (think wells and septic tanks) isn't "low maintenance" in my book. Just more things to take care of.

I very much agree about a 1 story house being better for older people - just easier to live in/take care of. I am also big on the idea of building a new house if you plan to stay in it for at least 10 years. I've done 2 condo completions (of unfinished spaces) - and 2 office renovations. And building a house from scratch was a lot easier (plus I got exactly what I wanted). Robyn
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Old 10-25-2011, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Sequim, WA
786 posts, read 1,908,458 times
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Robyn55...those are valid points you make, and ones that we have considered. We are presently looking at large lots in two different subdivisions (one near Albuquerque, the other near Santa Fe). Both of them have water systems and cable. We would have to install and maintain septic systems, and both locations require self-delivery of trash to dumpsters or subdivision compactors. We're very willing to take care of those things.
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Old 10-25-2011, 03:30 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,945,286 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wwanderer View Post
Our summer home (we call them cottages) is a bit of a money pit. We spent $25K on a new septic system 2 years ago, and before that a new roof, upgrading the well/pump, and upgrading the electricals. We will be doing some minor work in the kitchen and bathroom fairly soon. And just routine maintenance goes on and on--I was just up there to do the fall raking, just yard maintenance is signficant work.

We will never see that money--if we decide to sell this place down the line, it will be sold for the land, not the cottage--it's prime waterfront, up on a ridge, beautiful views, near a city, etc. So money we put into it now is for our own enjoyment, which I hope will continue into our 70's, if we're lucky.
Just curious - when you put in the new septic system - did you have to upgrade it substantially? Where I live - the standards for septic systems have changed a lot over the last 25 years. So - if you have to put in a new one - you're dealing with building codes that are a lot more rigorous (and expensive).

Also - here in Florida - if you repair/remodel a house and the repair/remodel costs more than X% of the value of the house (think it's 25-50% - something like that) - everything you do has to meet current building codes - you can't simply repair things to the way they existed under old building codes. One good reason to avoid older "fixer-uppers". Another reason is that you'll have insurance problems with those older "fixer-uppers" (you won't be able to find private insurance and/or your premiums will be very high). Anyone planning to buy or build in Florida should look carefully at the small number of things that increase your chances of getting decent insurance at a reasonable price (like no gables in your roof line - the existence and nature of your roof tie-downs - etc.). We save at least 50% of standard homeowners' insurance premiums because we did a few simple inexpensive things when we built our house. Robyn
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Old 10-25-2011, 05:22 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,945,286 times
Reputation: 6717
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrgoodwx View Post
Robyn55...those are valid points you make, and ones that we have considered. We are presently looking at large lots in two different subdivisions (one near Albuquerque, the other near Santa Fe). Both of them have water systems and cable. We would have to install and maintain septic systems, and both locations require self-delivery of trash to dumpsters or subdivision compactors. We're very willing to take care of those things.
I don't have a clue how septic tanks work in those areas. Here in Florida - with a relatively high water table - and the not infrequent rain deluge - they are prone to all kinds of problems (not the least of which is polluting land and water bodies). Which is why new systems have to built as large "Indian mounds". About the only thing I know for sure is - regardless of where you live - you don't want your well near your septic field.

I can't imagine schlepping my garbage away. The only time I have ever done something like that was after Hurricane Andrew - for my friends who were in their houses (I couldn't live in my place and was in a hotel in Broward County - so I made food/ice/garbage runs to my friends in South Dade County). P.U. - especially in the summer heat (unless you have an old POS pick up truck - we had a newer pick up truck - and like I said - P.U.). I had some friends with kids in diapers at the time. But - at our age - we may have to deal with Depends instead of diapers sometime in the future.

Another thing to keep in mind is that with septic systems - depending on the system - it may be difficult or impossible to use a garbage disposal to grind up the food stuff that is most likely to stink in the garbage when it's hot in your garage (you don't want to leave the garbage outside unless you appreciate frequent visits to your garbage cans from your local wildlife). Guess you could put some of it in a compost pile - but I'm not sure what the point of a compost pile is in a desert area.

I guess I just like civilization. I'm sure many people are used to dealing with "personal" utilities. But there are probably other people who haven't - and who perhaps underestimate how they can be a PITA. Robyn
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Old 10-25-2011, 05:59 PM
 
Location: southwest TN
8,225 posts, read 14,945,860 times
Reputation: 14983
I've lived in apts and in duplexes. I have lived in sf homes. Right now we have a 3,000 sf home that is also a duplex. I detest having neighbors. I would NEVER EVER in a million years live in a HOA. So we bought our retirement home. 900 sf, 4 acres of mostly woods. Yard work? Yup, I'm having raised bed gardens built - for when I can no longer bend over. Grass? Maybe. But then maybe I'll get a goat, too. No HOA to tell me I can't have a pet goat and no darned someone else mowing the lawn. Part of moving expenses that we have already budgeted and saved for include the lawn tractor, adding solar panels and a new roof. So what if I can't have a garbage disposal - the compost pile will take care of most of that and we will hire garbage collection. There's enough in the budget to hire help when we want it, on our time, our schedule, to do it our way.

1 more year until he retires. I am so ready to spend my days puttering around the house IF I want to or watching him putter. Or maybe we'll take a drive somewhere.
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Old 10-25-2011, 06:25 PM
 
Location: Toronto, Ottawa Valley & Dunedin FL
1,409 posts, read 2,356,695 times
Reputation: 1159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robyn55 View Post
Just curious - when you put in the new septic system - did you have to upgrade it substantially? Where I live - the standards for septic systems have changed a lot over the last 25 years. So - if you have to put in a new one - you're dealing with building codes that are a lot more rigorous (and expensive).
Yes we did. Especially since we're right on a large river, and fall under one of the local river conservation authorities. Since we had a small footprint for installation, close to the river, the site being sedimentary rock, we had to install a modern filtered system that is ecologically sound and won't seep into the river. No weeping tiles at all. Luckily there are multiple systems of this type, but alas, expensive.
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