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The Home Improvement Thread. Successes and Failures

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  • Swansong
    replied
    Yeah little by little I'm replacing all the boob lights in my house. I get them, they're generally inoffensive and do an adequate job of dispersing and diffusing light. But ... my god they're just everywhere.

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  • Deutsche Gopher Fan
    replied
    I got rid of my last boob light a bit ago. Some replaced with tbe hockey puck flush light.

    dont miss them

    Leave a comment:


  • dxmnkd316
    replied
    I replaced one of two remaining light fixtures in my basement living room yesterday. They're the old lights that look like boobs. Not sure why they still sell them but I guess they still sell the crystal-knobbed faucets so...



    We're dropping in Hue slim downlights.I did one a few months back, just haven't had a chance to finish off the Total Recall mastectomy.

    Well. This one I was smarter*. I put up plastic sheeting and remembered the proper order in which to land things and install. Anyways, the drywall cut was perfect the first time. But there were four ****ing wires landed in that previous small box. I upgraded to a steel 4x1.5 box and still barely got the new stuff in. Getting the proper sized nuts and getting everything together was a gigantic pain. Literally and figuratively.

    Of course the first screw I put into the joist (not easy through a 5" hole) ended up not working because the dumbass decided to just literally long enough to reach the original box. No slack or anything. Ditto with another cable coming from the other way. Thankfully I could use the other screw for the Hue box that needed to go up.

    by the end of the day, I'm cut up from all the wire ends and sore from having my hands above my head for a few hours. but damnit, it looks great. One more to go.

    *Still dust everywhere. But it was significantly better than last time. I couldn't use a hole saw because the small hole that already existed prevents you from getting the bit stabilized at the center. Everything I read said don't even try it. It only ends in crying and a call to a sheetrocker. Instead I bought what amounts to a big dremmel that cuts patterns into sheet rock. It works brilliantly except for the dust.

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  • TOP SHELF
    replied
    Having been an owner of a townhouse since 1997, here are my thoughts for anyone considering purchasing one:

    HOA fees/fee history and what they cover. Ours have gone up while covering less. Get a copy of the budget if possible.
    Get a copy of the HOA rules/regulations.
    Find out who the Management Company is.
    Insurance Costs (Home and Association) It is interesting that you brought this up as we just learned that our insurance will be limiting the amount of coverage provided for master deductible assessments to $2,000.
    Check for owner vs. rental occupancy of neighboring units.
    Look for an end unit. One less common wall.
    Look for South facing. Optimize natural light due to limited windows.
    Look for one-level if you are planning on staying in there for any length of time.
    Available storage space.

    Often cheaply built. Windows/insulation/interior finishes.

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  • Deutsche Gopher Fan
    replied
    Well my insurance guy today scared the crap out of me. Said townhomes and condos will soon be rising exponentially in costs to insure. Obv associations will vary with financials but he said many insurance companies are tired of the bs of associations and don’t even want to insure anymore.

    think condos are worse, but he gave me local examples of ones that went from 325 monthly fee in 2023 to now 1125 a month for 2024

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  • Kepler
    replied
    Originally posted by Deutsche Gopher Fan View Post
    These things all scare me, but as I age I don’t want to take on more work. Not having to cut grass or deal with snow while being able to garden a bit maybe is tempting. I hate the idea of sharing a wall, and I hate the idea of having to maintain a home all by myself.

    also, you can have a nightmare neighbor in a sfh also. I dunno. I’m seeing decent condos that I could pay cash for- the idea of only paying hoa, tax and insurance is tempting.
    I loved giving up the bullsh-t of full ownership. I had trepidation about noise but we've been through 3 sets of renters on one side, all of them young, and despite those "nightmare" scenarios, we've had no problems at all.

    You do have to do a ton of research too, though.

    Basically, if you get off on the whole Rugged Individualist trip, don't. If you hate the myriad idiocies associated with the Inconvenient Outside, do.

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  • Kepler
    replied
    Originally posted by dxmnkd316 View Post
    Hoas should be illegal
    Like everything else, they just need to be better regulated.

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  • Deutsche Gopher Fan
    replied
    These things all scare me, but as I age I don’t want to take on more work. Not having to cut grass or deal with snow while being able to garden a bit maybe is tempting. I hate the idea of sharing a wall, and I hate the idea of having to maintain a home all by myself.

    also, you can have a nightmare neighbor in a sfh also. I dunno. I’m seeing decent condos that I could pay cash for- the idea of only paying hoa, tax and insurance is tempting.

    Leave a comment:


  • dxmnkd316
    replied
    Hoas should be illegal

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  • Swansong
    replied
    I had a terrible HOA that was in a horrible financial situation due to years of mismanagement. The management company that was there the last 6-8 years was very good and doing yeoman's work to drag us out of near ruin, but it was still not a great situation. Constant assessments, and a fee hike a week before my closing when I sold it (which was a month after they explicitly told me there were no assessment or fee hikes for consideration).

    Add to that my neighbor's... "unattended death" and the aftermath of that, and I'm cured from ever wanting to share a wall with anyone, ever again.

    Leave a comment:


  • St. Clown
    replied
    Originally posted by Deutsche Gopher Fan View Post
    Does anyone have real good or bad experiences in townhomes or condos?

    getting a little bit cold feet on selling this spring as I think about where to go. I don’t want to maintain a 50+ year old house anymore, and I want to cut down expenses as my monthly payment has soared to 2700 with rising taxes and insurance. So this means I’m likely not spending over $400 on new place - which to me means condo or townhome.

    im terrified of getting a place and having nightmare neighbors I hear all the time.
    If you see a townhome you like, get details on the home owners’ association and walk around the whole property, not just the house you want or its building.

    When I moved into my old townhome back in 2005, the HOA fee was around $115, but it went up fast as the board started going overboard with its fixes. Example: Instead of fixing some settling concrete by sand jacking at the homes impacted, they tore out all of the sidewalks to every home and added concrete aprons to the tops of all driveways.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kepler
    replied
    Originally posted by Deutsche Gopher Fan View Post
    Does anyone have real good or bad experiences in townhomes or condos?

    getting a little bit cold feet on selling this spring as I think about where to go. I don’t want to maintain a 50+ year old house anymore, and I want to cut down expenses as my monthly payment has soared to 2700 with rising taxes and insurance. So this means I’m likely not spending over $400 on new place - which to me means condo or townhome.

    im terrified of getting a place and having nightmare neighbors I hear all the time.
    I love our townhouse. No problems at all.

    Leave a comment:


  • Deutsche Gopher Fan
    replied
    Does anyone have real good or bad experiences in townhomes or condos?

    getting a little bit cold feet on selling this spring as I think about where to go. I don’t want to maintain a 50+ year old house anymore, and I want to cut down expenses as my monthly payment has soared to 2700 with rising taxes and insurance. So this means I’m likely not spending over $400 on new place - which to me means condo or townhome.

    im terrified of getting a place and having nightmare neighbors I hear all the time.

    Leave a comment:


  • burd
    replied
    Originally posted by unofan View Post

    Here's my lesson learned from selling our first house a while back: whatever the buyer's inspector comes back with, don't try to fix it. Just be willing to drop the price some and leave it to the buyer to fix up (or not). The hassle of trying to get a contractor out prior to closing and getting the buyer to agree it was done correctly isn't worth it.
    True, and most sale agreements have right-to-cure terms clearly setting forth options such as you describe. Usually works for both parties.

    Leave a comment:


  • Deutsche Gopher Fan
    replied
    Originally posted by walrus View Post
    3 hrs, 850 bucks, I’m in the wrong business. What licenses does this guy have?
    Dunno but it’s the firm with the best rep in the area so my realtor says it’s not likely a buyer now pays to run their own in what might be a hectic spring.

    agree on not fixing anything a buyer would find. Heck if I’m the buyer I want money off so I have freedom to select who does the work- I’d be afraid seller would do it as cheaply as possible.
    But I’m redoing my master shower in feb and replacing one room of carpet so I’ll have that guy do a few of the things on the report.

    Leave a comment:

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