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Old 08-27-2013, 07:48 AM
 
Location: East Millcreek
2,400 posts, read 5,227,329 times
Reputation: 2691

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I'm headed out on a househunting trip in a couple weeks after browsing the local real estate interwebs for months. There are a few local housing idiosyncrasies that I've noticed and am curious about. Maybe you guys can shed some light. Thanks!

Stoves or range tops without hoods:
I can't count the number of houses I've seen with rangetops with no hood, or maybe just a tiny little ceiling fan. Often a rangetop will be in the middle of the kitchen (!!) on an island. This would be impossible for any serious cook, the room would be filled with grease fumes and garlic smoke. Here it wouldn't be allowed by local code. I'd never consider buying into such a setup. So what's it mean? That these folks just cook by microwave or boiling water?

Second kitchen & mother-in-law apts: This setup seems to be close to the norm, it seems more unusual to find a house without this setup. Here it's virtually unknown. How do people use this space and how did the practice come about? My NY friends all speculate that it's about sister wives and the huge LDS families. Regardless, how many people actually use that second kitchen or rent the M-I-L apartment? Or is it just a nice feature that few people actually use but everybody has because everybody else does too? I'm amazed how many cheaper houses have this relatively expensive feature. And then, at the higher end of the market (say >$450k and up), it isn't seen.

Bright colors: I've been amazed by the number of houses on the market with incredibly bright, garish colors. This flies in the face of all real estate advice advice about neutral colors, nothing to turn off potential buyers. These are colors simply not seen anyplace I've ever seen out here. I'm looking for a move-in-ready place. I don't want to paint a purple room, rip out lime green bathroom tiles or remove a wall of mirrors within 10 minutes of closing. Is this stuff popular enough that people think they can ignore it?

Popularity of DIY: The overwhelming majority of houses seem to have had major, recent upgrades and renovations (new kitchens, baths, etc etc). Around here the typical upgrades that I constantly see would cost in the range of $100k. And these are seen in $375k houses, an enormous investment as a fraction of the home value. By coincidence I've also seen a lot of garage shops. Are lots of these renovations done by DIY owners? How commonplace is that? Also, some DIY is excellent quality but it can also be substandard. It can be hard to know. Is it common for people to just make improvements themselves without getting the permits and inspections? [truth be told, in my town it's done all the time. Our house is about 60 years old and I've been able to identify 5 major remodel/addition projects. Yet only 2 of them were legally permitted by the town! I talked to the town about it and their friendly advice is to ignore it to avoid creating problems for myself.]
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
21,881 posts, read 22,015,792 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kletter1mann View Post
I'm headed out on a househunting trip in a couple weeks after browsing the local real estate interwebs for months. There are a few local housing idiosyncrasies that I've noticed and am curious about. Maybe you guys can shed some light. Thanks!
This is a serious question, kletter1mann. Why do you want to move to Utah?
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:55 AM
 
Location: East Millcreek
2,400 posts, read 5,227,329 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katzpur View Post
This is a serious question, kletter1mann. Why do you want to move to Utah?
What difference does that make? There are various reasons that I have no reason to into on this board. But to summarize, there are some things I love about UT, others that are simply annoying (such as the goofy, LDS-driven alcohol laws and widespread bizarre sociopolitical mindset) - and still others that I just don't understand. And that's just like anyplace else, including where I live now.

But back to the point of the post. I'd never buy a place with a free range with no hood or purple rooms, but apparently people do. Everything has a reason. So I'm curious about this stuff. Especially the DIY stuff and second kitchen, which are more substantive. I'm indifferent to the second kitchen but if it helps resale and I understood the market perception then I might tend that way.

So, sorry bud, some New Yorkers are on their way. Hope we don't upset your apple cart. [But not likely, I suspect we travel in different circles.]
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:57 AM
 
Location: Utah
5,002 posts, read 14,441,577 times
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I have a microhood above my stove. Can you tell if any of the pictures you've seen have a microhood rather than just a microwave?

People don't always go the permit route when remodeling. Too much red tape and after involving the local government, you're sure to get a property tax increase for your improvments.

As far as MIL apts, my guess those are in older construction homes for the most part. But then again, that wasn't a feature I was searching for when I bought my home 15 years ago. Some people want to buy that set-up to move-in their aging parents. In today's economy, I'm guessing (yes again) that multi generational families are living together to save money so perhaps that is a desirable feature.
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,817 posts, read 55,828,607 times
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I think the MIL part is cultural. LDS families are close and would never think of sending an aging parent to a nursing home if they didn't absolutely HAVE to. Many older houses had this feature. And a built-in baby-sitter comes in handy with large numbers of kids around.
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:18 AM
 
Location: East Millcreek
2,400 posts, read 5,227,329 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eggalegga View Post
I have a microhood above my stove. Can you tell if any of the pictures you've seen have a microhood rather than just a microwave?
Thanks for info. Yeah, I've seen microhoods, microwaves with vents to the outside (what is what I have now) and doubtless microwaves with just a filter. I've seen those everywhere else too. What I've never seen before is a rangetop on an island, in the middle of the kitchen, with nothing above it (or at most a small fan like you'd see above a shower stall). Yet I've seen this setup repeatedly on the MLS listings. It's in a minority, to be sure, but it's far from rare. I can't make sense of it.
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Utah
5,002 posts, read 14,441,577 times
Reputation: 4980
Quote:
Originally Posted by kletter1mann View Post
Thanks for info. Yeah, I've seen microhoods, microwaves with vents to the outside (what is what I have now) and doubtless microwaves with just a filter. I've seen those everywhere else too. What I've never seen before is a rangetop on an island, in the middle of the kitchen, with nothing above it (or at most a small fan like you'd see above a shower stall). Yet I've seen this setup repeatedly on the MLS listings. It's in a minority, to be sure, but it's far from rare. I can't make sense of it.
If it's a cooktop in an island, perhaps it has a downdraft vent that disappears into the island when not in use.
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:48 AM
 
Location: East Millcreek
2,400 posts, read 5,227,329 times
Reputation: 2691
Quote:
Originally Posted by eggalegga View Post
If it's a cooktop in an island, perhaps it has a downdraft vent that disappears into the island when not in use.
Maybe..... I forgot about those, though I asociate them with high end gas ranges..... But I'd swear I saw a few that were just electric range tops plopped on an island. I'll look more closely.
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Old 08-27-2013, 12:22 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
21,881 posts, read 22,015,792 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kletter1mann View Post
What difference does that make? There are various reasons that I have no reason to into on this board. But to summarize, there are some things I love about UT, others that are simply annoying (such as the goofy, LDS-driven alcohol laws and widespread bizarre sociopolitical mindset) - and still others that I just don't understand. And that's just like anyplace else, including where I live now.
It doesn't really make all that much difference. Just based on your posts on the forum so far, I would think you'd probably be happier elsewhere. I mean of all the places you could conceivably move, I would think that Utah would be so far down on your list as to not even be worthy of mention.

Quote:
So, sorry bud, some New Yorkers are on their way. Hope we don't upset your apple cart. [But not likely, I suspect we travel in different circles.]
The saracasm really wasn't necessary, but I hope it made you feel better. You may think I have something against New Yorkers coming here, but I don't at all. New York City is actually one of my three favorite places on the planet, and I have found New Yorkers to be exceptionally helpful when I'm visiting there (which is as often as possible).
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Old 08-27-2013, 12:50 PM
 
Location: East Millcreek
2,400 posts, read 5,227,329 times
Reputation: 2691
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katzpur View Post
It doesn't really make all that much difference. Just based on your posts on the forum so far, I would think you'd probably be happier elsewhere. I mean of all the places you could conceivably move, I would think that Utah would be so far down on your list as to not even be worthy of mention.
You might reflect on your rather pointed and unhelpful response before commenting on my sarcasm.

But to the point: I already know about lots of the good Utah stuff. Doubtless I'll discover more. But I'm also interested in what's not good or what will be troublesome so I can evaluate whether it's worth it or not. I'm not big on just accepting "how it is" at face value. It's also important for me to explore the reasons behind why things are as they are. This helps me evaluate how much of the goofy stuff I can avoid and how much I can't. That's why I'd never consider St George or Heber, for example. It's part of my due diligence. I'm not concerned about being politically correct. In the process some feathers may get ruffled.
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