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Old 02-08-2012, 10:41 AM
 
7,088 posts, read 7,016,199 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robyn55 View Post
Ever try oven roasted brussels sprouts with butter and some toasted nuts (like pine or walnuts)? Smells great. And if you don't like the smell of fish (doesn't bother me) - try oven roasting fish in foil packets. No smell at all. Robyn
Any one of these food items by themselves smells fine. It's when DH cooks them together that I have to air out the house for days!!
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Old 02-09-2012, 03:35 PM
 
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If you are smart , you pay off your mortgage. If you rent you always have a payment. House=no payment, rent=payment
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Old 02-09-2012, 03:59 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
21,551 posts, read 44,124,869 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowbill View Post
If you are smart , you pay off your mortgage. If you rent you always have a payment. House=no payment, rent=payment
But, then, there is maintenance, property taxes and insurance. Which, where I live, can easily cost $1200-$1400/mo. So, it's a trade-off. Totally agree, however, no mortgage is the way to go if you plan to stay in your own house. Still have the maintenance headaches, however. But the privacy is probably worth it.
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Old 02-09-2012, 04:13 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,722 posts, read 49,538,109 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariadne22 View Post
But, then, there is maintenance, property taxes and insurance. Which, where I live, can easily cost $1200-$1400/mo. So, it's a trade-off. Totally agree, however, no mortgage is the way to go if you plan to stay in your own house. Still have the maintenance headaches, however. But the privacy is probably worth it.
It depends a great deal on location.

Our last home cost around $2,000/mo in taxes, insurance and maintenance.

Our current home runs closer to $80/mo.
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Old 02-10-2012, 02:34 AM
 
4,135 posts, read 9,434,912 times
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Ranch house under 1000 sq. feet (if you count the porches),bought over 40 years ago. Paid off long ago. Reasonable taxes and utilities. On acreage, backed up to farm fields. Closest neighbor over 150 feet away. Could we do it cheaper elsewhere? Yep. Do we want to? Nope. As long as we can get from here to shopping and activities, we will stay. When we can't, then we will worry about it.
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Old 02-10-2012, 01:21 PM
 
Location: Earth Wanderer, longing for the stars.
12,408 posts, read 16,507,338 times
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We lived in 1200 sq ft with a shed in the back and were very cramped. I guess it depends on lifestyle. We both read a lot and collect many books. He paints and does a lot of work on his computers. He has an Apple for work and a Window based for other things. We have over 2000 c/d's. He has a very impressive collection of dvd's. I have clothing. We lived in New Jersey, meaning we had two wardrobes, for both hot and cold weather.

I kept the place neat tidy and comfortable when I lived there alone, but for my lifestyle and my husband's only one person could live in such a small place and still keep it presentable for entertaining.

Of course we found it possible to live there together, but it was mostly a base from which to work, stay alive, and save money for our real life.
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Old 02-11-2012, 06:22 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,249,290 times
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Well, here's my update on our little mountain house. I have been up here a week now, and haven't accomplished as much as I hoped. I did get part of what was on the "to do" list accomplished: I found a highly recommended "handyman" and will line things up for him to put in our new garbage disposal and I found a roof person who will clean our shake roof and replace shingles. I haven't successfully located anyone to put in a woodstove, mainly b/c I am not finding the brand/type of stove I wanted from any of the dealers here. My cost for propane alone for the last 6 winters while my son was living in the house has ranged from $1200- $1500 a season. This house had a very inefficient wood stove in it when we bought it, and we removed it 17 years ago. So now I have to locate the stove I want (Jotul) and find a team to open the flu up and install the new stove.

I have been able to assess (to some extent) how much the added insulation and re-worked walls has helped with energy efficiency. We had floor to ceiling windows wh/ had long ago lost their "insulating" capabilities, so I had 5 torn out and replaced with walls and heavy duty insulation. I am amazed how much warmer the house is staying, but I have more windows to replace (with smaller, energy efficient double hung windows) downstairs. There were six floor to ceiling windows down there . . . 2 have been replaced with walls. Now, I need to find 4 windows and a carpenter to replace those. I keep checking with Habitat for Humanity's re-cycling store, as my goal is to find salvaged windows to use. If you have renovation to do, please check out their facilities, should you have one near you. I am astonished at what is available, as this is a resort area and full of folks with new or fairly new homes, and money to renovate simply b/c of style issues. I have found products in excellent condition from Anderson, Peachtree, Jeldwen, etc. Sometimes, they are new items (discontinued!). What a savings! I like doing this as it not only saves me money, it recycles materials.

I am still planning on power washing the lower deck myself this Spring. Not sure if I will tackle staining that deck on my own. I am working on a design for deck benches with storage, inspired by the small house referenced on this thread! Very excited about that. I am working on lining up a guy to install new latticework (the fibreglass stuff) in an area where we had to rip out old latticework.

I am lucky that I can work from anywhere and spend time here while hubby is holding down the fort at our primary residence. This morning, I woke up to snow, and falling temps. I can feel the air coming in around the french doors that we had installed in the Spring (by Lowes). The guys who put them in did a terrible job, and we had requested a company rep to come look at them last year. That has taken this long to schedule (long customer service story). The company rep came this week and it only took him a few moments to examine the installation and agree that it was substandard for many reasons. Thankfully, Lowes will be reinstalling the doors, but this will be a big hassle and may have to wait for March or April as no way we can have that wall open for the 6 hours or so it will take (according to the rep) with these 20 d. temps.

I relay my story to illustrate how painful it can be to maintain (and upgrade) a second home, even when a person lives less than 3 hours away and has essentially "grown up" in the area. I cannot imagine how convoluted the process would be if I didn't have the contacts I do in the area.

And I didn't mention . . . our HOA fees have gone up yet again - another thing folks need to consider in re: to retirement property.

However, I gotta tell ya, even tho I can feel some cold air coming in thru/ the windows and those french doors this morning - I am sitting here looking out across a beautiful scene as snow flurries dance slowly through gently swaying trees.

The coffee tastes great, the music is sublime, and right now, it feels like all is pretty much right in my world.
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Old 02-11-2012, 07:24 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,014,482 times
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Anifani

All your hard work will pay off. I commend you for being so resourceful in your renovations. You may be able to find a retiree who will do the carpentry for a more reasonable price. Before you know it your place will be done, to either live in yourself, or sell. Good luck on the whole process
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Old 02-11-2012, 07:46 AM
 
Location: Kenmore, WA
7,492 posts, read 6,488,703 times
Reputation: 10932
We looked at the possibility, but as far as we can tell from our discussions with those that have gone that route, the outcomes are disappointing at best. With all the complaints we've heard about onerous HOA boards, covenants, and poor upkeep, we've decided to just dramatically downsize -- if we can ever find a small home in an attractive area that doesn't have trashy yards, decorated with an over abundance of old vehicles parked around them, and old appliances.
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Old 02-11-2012, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Lexington, SC
4,281 posts, read 10,758,719 times
Reputation: 3717
Quote:
Originally Posted by LookinForMayberry View Post
We looked at the possibility, but as far as we can tell from our discussions with those that have gone that route, the outcomes are disappointing at best. With all the complaints we've heard about onerous HOA boards, covenants, and poor upkeep, we've decided to just dramatically downsize -- if we can ever find a small home in an attractive area that doesn't have trashy yards, decorated with an over abundance of old vehicles parked around them, and old appliances.

Please do not lump HOA's together.

I have lived under 6 HOA's including my present one of 120 standalone patio homes with no expensive amenities. All outside maintenace (landscaping and home) done by the HOA and dues are $600.00 per year.

I, and everyone I know that live here, are as happy as pigs in mud.

HOA's are not a lifeestyle for all but one of its main advantages is it can prevent trashy yards, derilict vehicles, etc.

I might suggest you limit your search to HOA's consisting of standalone homes. They are much less troublesome, aggravating, and more private then shared buildings Apartment style shared buildings can easliy become a horror show. Most HOA horror stories you hear do emanate from high rise building with absentee ownership and filled with old people that are not even sure what day it is and start drinking at noon......LOL

Hope you find what you want.
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