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What are your must have's when buying a house?

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Post Options Post Options   Quote moonangel12 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Mar 2012 at 6:20pm
Originally posted by GoldenEmpress GoldenEmpress wrote:

Originally posted by minneapolismama minneapolismama wrote:

I like wood in the kitchen because all of that tile grout would make me crazy. we actually have wood in our downstairs bath and just tile in the upstairs, which I appreciate. I do sometimes wish we had done the whole downstairs in wood, but we did the family room in carpet because we knew the kids would be playing on the floor all the time. 

when we got carpet they told us to vacuum 3x/week.

Who on earth has time to vacuum 3 times a week???

Ummm... I usually do Embarrassed. I don't move furniture or anything, but hit the hot spots usually every other day or so. I guess dirty floors are my main irk with the house. If I see a speck of anything, I get the vacuum out. I get under the living room furniture once a week. It's also one of the few chores I don't mind so I do it so I can feel productive but still procrastinate on other not so fun things like laundry or dishes LOL.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Nuttygirl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Mar 2012 at 7:29pm
I sweep my vinyl faux wood flooring 2 or 3 times a day on a good day, once on a not good day (kitchen, dining room, living room, and hallway) so I don't see vacuuming 3 x a week in the trouble spots to be too difficult.  And I am a super minimalist housekeeper (in that I do the least amount possible to keep my home remaining reasonably presentable).
 
A lot of you guys would never be able to buy a house in the town I live in.  LOL Most homes here are only one floor.  Less than half of them have basements.  More than half were probably built before 1980.  All have relatively small yards although ours is a decent size I think.  Most homes (I would say over 70 percent but not sure) do not have air conditioners, but then we don't really need them either.  It gets around 90 in the summer but it is a dry heat and drops down to 60 or so at night so the house doesn't get super hot and swamp coolers are just fine.  It is also difficult to find homes with 4 or more bedrooms at least in an affordable price for the majority of the citizens here.  Garages are also a lot less common than many places in part because of the age of the homes (carports or sheds in the back were just more common awhile ago I think).  There is all sorts of weird zoning things, code violations (people decided to do it themselves and did an interesting job, virtually no green lawns unless they are fake turf, etc.  We just live in an interesting place.  I really love it though and love our house which is why my list for must haves is a lot more general and shorter than some of your's. 
Mom to DS1 1/06, DD1 3/08, DS2 10/10, and DD2 7/13 I need some kids to test a few pattern sizes on and also willing to trade for sewing jobs. PM me if interested.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote GoldenEmpress Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Mar 2012 at 11:00pm
Renee & Nuttygirl, you can come to my house and vacuum anytime you want.  I have no love of the vacuum.  I guess it is kinda satisfying to see all the dog hair whirling around in there, but I still hate it.  DH always vacuumed until DS came along.  That and one of our dogs is changing coats so it's hair city.  DH vacuumed earlier today, and it already looks like a rabbit was killed in our living room.

DH is the diehard AC person.  He's had it his whole life, and can't stand being hot.  It doesn't bother me so much being that I'd never had AC until I got married and moved out.  Yeah, we're picky on houses, and I pretty much figure that the next time we move we're going to be building again to get everything we want.
~Elizabeth

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sarah2106 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Mar 2012 at 11:28pm
We don't have an AC either. Sure it would be nice in the really hot months, but 2 months out of the year, we just can't justify it and we love our bill in the summer because we don't hit the extra surcharges since we don't have AC
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Post Options Post Options   Quote sunnymom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Mar 2012 at 5:03pm
this is our current list.  :)

property:
*at least 4 acres
*good source of clean water (not municipal water)
*no marshy/boggy areas! unless we're talking 10+ acres with at least 8 usable
*some woods, flat areas that could be cleared and planted/used
*no big electrical lines, train lines, or highways near property
*lowish taxes
*schools aren't really a big deal for us

House stuff:
*3-4 small bedrooms: kids will share rooms, one room will be for sewing and school
*1-1.5 baths
*well-laid-out kitchen that's open to the main living area
*pantry or room to expand to add pantry, even if it's in the basement.  We use buckets and jars to store stuff and the bulk bins don't fit well in standard cupboards.
*mudroom near the kitchen: could add this easily enough though if there is space for a back door adjacent to the kitchen
*ideally a ranch/single story with a walkout/hillside basement
*majority of windows on South side for greatest passive heating. 
*masonry heater/Russian furnace, or room to add one
*great insulation or ability to add more
*if the windows/roof are old, I would want to have room in the budget to replace them.  Ideally, i would love a well-insulated, well-installed standing seam metal roof.  :) 


Edited by sunnymom - 27 Mar 2012 at 5:06pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sarah2106 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Apr 2012 at 1:13am
Flat lot!!

I forgot about that one. When I was young we lived in a house that had a very flat lot and it was great. We could play basket ball in the driveway, volleyball in the back yard... When I was 12 we moved and our house had a really steep drive way and a pretty steep slope in the back - ug! No more basketball and the yard though not super tiny was just not very useable.

Where we live now it is a nice flat lot and though not huge it is all 100% useable space. We have a basketball in the front drive, room to ride bikes in the drive, soccer in the yard and a garden too.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dec1st Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Apr 2012 at 11:45am
I keep coming back to watch this post....  I'm not really sure it applies to me.  We are pretty settled now, it would take one heck of a house to get us out of this one....  Our house is NOT ideal, but it is pretty good.  For how much work we put into it, any new houses we look at all I can think is that we would have to start again.

I would like:
- four bedrooms (we have three and a basement suite)
- a big kitchen with lots of storage and counter space (ours is big, but not great storage and almost no counter space)
- at least 2 1/2 baths (have that, with four females in the house I can't see fewer being practical, sometimes they are STILL all full)
- reasonable sized flat yard with fence and space for my clothes line (ours is smallish, but check)
- not too many rooms (kitchen, eating area, living room and office would be nice, I don't need doubles like a formal dining room and an eating area or a living room and a family room)
- a footprint of less than 1000 square feet.
- a basement with full or close to full height ceiling.

I like older builds.  I can't really see myself buying a house that is newer than about 1970.  Our house is 1963 and that is newer than I thought I would like, but it still has a lot of original features like real wood cupboards stained to look like teak and lighting with copper and frosted glass.  We also managed to put back some vintage lighting that had be replaced with bad 1980's ones with plastic crystals and shiny fake brass.

I would LOVE an Arts and Crafts house, but I wouldn't trust the previous owners to have found and removed all the knob and tube wiring.  I don't that the back bone to do another gut job on a house.  We have had to replace all the plumbing and dig up the basement to replace the sewer line here.  I DO NOT want to have to do that again.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote GoldenEmpress Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Apr 2012 at 12:41pm
Originally posted by Dec1st Dec1st wrote:

I keep coming back to watch this post....  I'm not really sure it applies to me.  We are pretty settled now, it would take one heck of a house to get us out of this one....  Our house is NOT ideal, but it is pretty good.  For how much work we put into it, any new houses we look at all I can think is that we would have to start again.

I would like:
- four bedrooms (we have three and a basement suite)
- a big kitchen with lots of storage and counter space (ours is big, but not great storage and almost no counter space)
- at least 2 1/2 baths (have that, with four females in the house I can't see fewer being practical, sometimes they are STILL all full)
- reasonable sized flat yard with fence and space for my clothes line (ours is smallish, but check)
- not too many rooms (kitchen, eating area, living room and office would be nice, I don't need doubles like a formal dining room and an eating area or a living room and a family room)
- a footprint of less than 1000 square feet.
- a basement with full or close to full height ceiling.

I like older builds.  I can't really see myself buying a house that is newer than about 1970.  Our house is 1963 and that is newer than I thought I would like, but it still has a lot of original features like real wood cupboards stained to look like teak and lighting with copper and frosted glass.  We also managed to put back some vintage lighting that had be replaced with bad 1980's ones with plastic crystals and shiny fake brass.

I would LOVE an Arts and Crafts house, but I wouldn't trust the previous owners to have found and removed all the knob and tube wiring.  I don't that the back bone to do another gut job on a house.  We have had to replace all the plumbing and dig up the basement to replace the sewer line here.  I DO NOT want to have to do that again.

Erin, I think that Arts & Crafts is my all time favorite style of house.  They are just oozing with character.  Unfortunately in the area all the homes like that are in the area of town that I don't frequent when it's light out, much less live there.  That and DH just has no patience for older homes and their upkeep. Unhappy  So that's not in the cards for us anytime soon.
~Elizabeth

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dec1st Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 2012 at 6:06pm
Originally posted by GoldenEmpress GoldenEmpress wrote:


Erin, I think that Arts & Crafts is my all time favorite style of house.  They are just oozing with character.  Unfortunately in the area all the homes like that are in the area of town that I don't frequent when it's light out, much less live there.  That and DH just has no patience for older homes and their upkeep. Unhappy  So that's not in the cards for us anytime soon.


Here's the thing that makes me crazy - we have issues with our older home, but people I know in new builds have the same issues....  they just don't have any warning that they are coming.  If you are really lucky, in a new build you have about 10 years before it starts having major maintenance issue.  But once those ten years are over, there isn't a lot of difference between a new home and an older one.  Except that my house is framed with old growth timber that it is illegal to harvest anymore, and it came with hardwood floors and teak or mahogany trim.  The hand made wroght iron railing was included, not an add on.  And the trees were already full sized instead of twigs. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote GoldenEmpress Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2012 at 10:38am
Originally posted by Dec1st Dec1st wrote:

Originally posted by GoldenEmpress GoldenEmpress wrote:


Erin, I think that Arts & Crafts is my all time favorite style of house.  They are just oozing with character.  Unfortunately in the area all the homes like that are in the area of town that I don't frequent when it's light out, much less live there.  That and DH just has no patience for older homes and their upkeep. Unhappy  So that's not in the cards for us anytime soon.


Here's the thing that makes me crazy - we have issues with our older home, but people I know in new builds have the same issues....  they just don't have any warning that they are coming.  If you are really lucky, in a new build you have about 10 years before it starts having major maintenance issue.  But once those ten years are over, there isn't a lot of difference between a new home and an older one.  Except that my house is framed with old growth timber that it is illegal to harvest anymore, and it came with hardwood floors and teak or mahogany trim.  The hand made wroght iron railing was included, not an add on.  And the trees were already full sized instead of twigs. 

I hear ya on this one!  We built our house and it was only a little over a year later that things started breaking.  We usually have at least a couple major repairs a year, which IMO is absolutely ridiculous.  I originally thought that our builder was just awful, but I've since learned that a LOT of them are terrible.  My SIL built a house and they didn't live in it for a year before they were having major foundation issues. Shocked  On the other hand though, their builder treated them like dirt and robbed them blind before they ever closed on their house so they really should have seen the major defects coming.
~Elizabeth

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Post Options Post Options   Quote moonangel12 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2012 at 11:30am
We have a new build and have issues. The builder was supposed to come back and fix a couple of them, but never came Angry. He is/was a family friend that FIL worked with for years so we thought it would be less likely to happen... I guess we were wrong Ouch.

Some of the things with ours:

-Recessed light in the kitchen that doesn't work... need to try replacing it
-Leak in the master bath - figured out the problem, just need to fix it
-The back fill around the foundation majorly sunk taking the back stoop with it (it was so dry during our build the clay turned to super fine powder that wouldn't compact. No significant rain for months afterwards... once we did get it though it was ugly). He was supposed to come fix it, never showed so we just tore it out and built something bigger. We saved a whopping $300 with a small stoop, but then paid $1500 to build the original size deck in the plans. Can we say stupid tax? (and/or majorly screwed)
-B/c of the back fill issues the AC/heat pump unit started sliding down the hill behind the house. Took a couple weeks to get them back to fix it.
-Lots of seepage in the basement walls, even though he said we wouldn't have a moisture issue at all
-French doors and window both leak like crazy in the basement
-A couple windows are wonky - too tight of a fit I guess
-Not the builders fault, but totally sucky septic system. Had to install 600 FEET of line!! We have a HUGE front yard and no options for landscaping b/c it's a shallow system so we can't plant anything... at ALL. We knew when we built that we would get full sun from the front all afternoon and planned on planting a bunch of trees to provide shade which can't happen now Cry so we just bake day in and day out in the summer
-Linoleum in the kitchen bubbled up b/c it was a loose lay
-Didn't heat seal the seams of the linoleum so crud is getting into it and it's starting to pull up
-Almost had my washer and dryer backwards (washer on the right) which would have been a royal pain switching clothes. Thankfully I noticed it soon enough so they could fix it. Evidently there was no common sense used and when he told them to do a mirror image of the plans they didn't compensate for little things like that

Renee
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SAHM to JJC (ODS) ~ 8/06/07, MEC (ODD) ~ 5/06/09, LGC (YDD) ~ 4/14/11, DAC (YDS) ~ 12/31/12!!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote GoldenEmpress Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2012 at 12:01pm
Oh my goodness Renee!  What a nightmare!  And he was a family friend?  That just adds insult to injury.  Your issues sound worse than ours certainly.  Before we closed when our house was still under construction we walked through one evening and noticed that apparently the plumbers had cut a line in the ceiling of the first floor two short and therefore you could see the pipe in the corner.  I realize that probably doesn't make sense, but I don't know how to explain it better.  The part that irked me was that the drywallers never noticed, nor did the painters or the crew who came in to spray the ceiling.  Really???

A short list of our other issues:

-frozen pipes due to no insulation
-laundry room fittings leaking in wall causing major mold
-shingles coming up
-water heater crapped out
-AC MAJORLY short on freon
-covered over heating vents with carpet & vinyl
-holes and cuts in vinyl
-leaking toilet supply lines
-leaking kitchen faucet
-most of the paint on the trim is flaking off
-what's not flaking off is a totally different, wrong color
-major water leak from improperly caulked windows
-they had to come back out to seed our lawn 3 times
-major water softner install issues.  It kept leaking and the rocket scientist that they would send out to fix it kept forgetting to shot off the water before they would remove the softner.  How can you be a plumber and forget to turn off the Censored water?

I know I'm forgetting things too.  I just think it's ridiculous for how much you spend, all the problems that you have.  We built a home trying to avoid spending every weekend fixing broken house stuff.  Guess you live and learn.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mommyjessica Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2012 at 1:10pm
That's just unacceptable!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote moonangel12 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2012 at 1:17pm
Originally posted by GoldenEmpress GoldenEmpress wrote:


I know I'm forgetting things too.  I just think it's ridiculous for how much you spend, all the problems that you have.  We built a home trying to avoid spending every weekend fixing broken house stuff.  Guess you live and learn.

Craziness! It's sad the total lack of caring when it comes to stuff like that. Thankfully our house was relatively "cheap" - $117K for 3 BR, 2 BA 1200 sq ft with full unfinished basement and a nice rocked foundation that FIL did. Our total mortgage was for $104K I think? The land was given to us which helped the cost obviously.

Live and learn is right. I'm sure we would have had far more issues had I not lived 100 ft from the build site and kept a close eye on the whole process. We caught a few things before they became permanent thankfully (like the W/D mix up, then they almost didn't frame in for the hall closet which was an add on, stuff like that).

Renee
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bree Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2012 at 1:35pm
Crazy about all the issues w/ new houses you guys have!

Renee, in this house the w/d hook-up are backwards. Washer has to go on the right. It's SUCH a pain in my butt!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote GoldenEmpress Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2012 at 5:11pm
Originally posted by moonangel12 moonangel12 wrote:

Originally posted by GoldenEmpress GoldenEmpress wrote:


I know I'm forgetting things too.  I just think it's ridiculous for how much you spend, all the problems that you have.  We built a home trying to avoid spending every weekend fixing broken house stuff.  Guess you live and learn.

Craziness! It's sad the total lack of caring when it comes to stuff like that. Thankfully our house was relatively "cheap" - $117K for 3 BR, 2 BA 1200 sq ft with full unfinished basement and a nice rocked foundation that FIL did. Our total mortgage was for $104K I think? The land was given to us which helped the cost obviously.

Live and learn is right. I'm sure we would have had far more issues had I not lived 100 ft from the build site and kept a close eye on the whole process. We caught a few things before they became permanent thankfully (like the W/D mix up, then they almost didn't frame in for the hall closet which was an add on, stuff like that).

We only lived a few miles away, and it got to the point where just about every evening we would come over and see what they had screwed up.  I HATED having to babysit them.  You spent about what we did, but ours is a little bigger at just under 1600 sq ft but no basement.

I just don't understand.  Does no one anymore take pride in the work that they do?  My dad always said growing up that if you finish a project and you can't be completely proud of the work you did, you need to go back and do it correctly.  
~Elizabeth

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