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Packratona!
11-3-15, 3:43pm
We are interested in replacing our flooring; the carpet is 25 years old and is frayed, ripped and stained. However we have a floor, can still walk on it and it is not a dirt floor. Our kitchen also could use some remodeling. Our cabinets, countertops, tile flooring and doors are water damaged (after hiring and paying 3 different plumbers who were well recommended and had no ideas as to what was wrong, I figured out it was the new kitchen faucet). The sink is rusting out underneath so the rust chunks have to be constantly cleaned out from the cupboard underneath. So I guess maybe that could be replaced also. However the kitchen is functional, we can cook, wash dishes, keep food cold, microwave, bake, etc. etc. in it, all in amazing air-conditioned luxury. Neither of us are fix-it kind of people. So we hesitate (greatly) trying to do things ourselves. What do you recommend we do? We have some money (about $20,000) we could use to fix it up. However we (mostly me) are having difficulty convincing ourselves to delve into all this or spend the money. My husband said he is willing to try to learn, though I know he really does not enjoy this kind of thing. I am just thinking of other things we could do with the money. And I am kind of wary of the whole process. Any ideas?

pinkytoe
11-3-15, 8:17pm
A few years back, we decided to pay someone to update our ancient bathroom. It cost $10,000 and everyday, I think it was some of the best money we ever spent. I think if it is where you intend to live for the long haul, you could do some nice upgrades for less than $20K. If you are highly attuned to your physical surroundings like I am (some people could care less), then I think you should get some estimates at the least.

SteveinMN
11-3-15, 11:01pm
Neither of us are fix-it kind of people. So we hesitate (greatly) trying to do things ourselves. What do you recommend we do? We have some money (about $20,000) we could use to fix it up. However we (mostly me) are having difficulty convincing ourselves to delve into all this or spend the money. My husband said he is willing to try to learn, though I know he really does not enjoy this kind of thing. I am just thinking of other things we could do with the money. And I am kind of wary of the whole process. Any ideas?
I think you should strongly consider hiring out the work -- certainly the heavy stuff. Remodeling on that scale can be stressful and it will take longer if you (or DH) are doing it yourself and you lack experience. In addition, some work (electrical, gas) can be quite dangerous to mess up. Finally, depending on how much remodeling you're doing and your timeline for being in the house, obvious DIY repairs could hurt you at sale time.

Think outside the box. Maybe something can be repaired rather than replaced outright. Maybe you or DH are comfortable removing cabinets or old flooring; that will save you money by not paying the tradesperson to do it (but discuss this when you get quotes from them). Some projects are fairly easy even for the mostly-thumbs type (like installing a replacement kitchen faucet).

For your cabinets, think about how widespread the damage is. Could you sand down the water-damaged cabinets? Stain or paint them yourselves? Have them refaced (veneer applied to the cabinet boxes and new drawers and drawer fronts built)? Is it possible to match the cabinets and replace only the most severely damaged ones?

Pull up a corner of the carpet and see what's underneath. Hardwood floor? Maybe it makes sense to ditch the carpet and screen or even refinish the wood. Plywood or strandboard? There are treatments (epoxy-like finishes and paints and stains) which might work for you at minimal material expense and some of your own labor.

Shop around. There are stores that sell overstocks, closeouts, or even used cabinets, countertops, and sinks. Maybe start shopping now and stage some items if you find a good deal (just be aware that sometimes there are surprises when remodeling).

You really need to scope the work before you can figure out what it will cost (and it always will cost more than you think). Maybe spend an evening strolling around a big-box home-improvement store to see what's out there. Or look at some remodeling sites for ideas about approaches or even products.

But I really would think twice about disabling a kitchen or making rooms inaccessible while someone who's not terribly interested stands the learning curve.

nswef
11-3-15, 11:17pm
I agree with Steve.Every project takes at least twice as long as you think it will and that's if you have the right tools and skills. The frustration and expense of having to call someone to fix it after you've attempted it and failed is worse than deciding to let someone else do it. Cosmetic things can make a difference fairly inexpensively. Good luck.

Miss Cellane
11-4-15, 8:17am
Agree with Steve and nswef. Let's face it, at some point this work has to get done. The ripped carpet is a trip and fall hazard. The water-damaged kitchen is going to need to be fixed before you sell the house. People see water damage these days and think, "Ohmygod, there's water damage and that means mold and mold will kill my children getmeoutofherenow!" at the worst, and at the least, they will mentally lower the amount they are willing to pay with every damaged or worn-out thing they see.

Also, if you wait too long to act on some of these things, they will become worse, and you will have to act in a short time frame. That means you won't have time for much research or price shopping, or interviewing contractors, etc. You might end up making decisions that you will later regret, because of the time pressure.

But since none of the work seems urgent, I'd take some time and do research. Start looking at what flooring alternatives are available and what they cost and what is involved in doing the work yourself. Home Depot offers classes in how to do a lot of DIY--check them out. Check out what similar homes in your area have--if you put in new carpet but every other home in your area--the ones you'd be competitive with if you sell--is putting in hardwood, you've just lowered the potential pool of buyers for your home. I'm not saying don't do carpet if that's what you want, but do know what the effect will be on selling your house--which is one of the larger investments you will make.

Have a plan. Replace the carpet next year, and save up money and redo the kitchen in 2, 3, 5 years. The kitchen, even if you get someone to do most of the work, is going to take a lot more research than flooring, as there are so many more elements involved.

If your DH is really considering DIY, start small. Walk through the house and list every single thing that needs fixing. Loose door knobs, a door that never closes all the way, a loose floor tile in the bathroom, squeaky hinges, everything. Have him start with those--if he messes up, a good handyman should be able to fix things, and your DH will learn if he is good at DIY or not. And the little things around your house will get fixed!

Check out Apartment Therapy, http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/renovation-diary-archive-186532. They have a whole series on real people doing renovations. There's a lot of DIY, but many of the posters do have professionals come in for at least some of the project. But these will give you some idea of what's involved. And the kitchens that have been redone are probably more elaborate than what you would want, too.

Let me share a story. My uncle has a lovely house that always seems fresh and updated. What he does is budget 1.5 times the amount of a mortgage payment every year for home improvements. This is in addition to his fund for fixing the house--replacing a broken water heater, re-roofing, etc. So every year, some room gets a "make-over." For two years, all he did was paint--the upstairs one year, the downstairs the next. The money he saved from that (he did the painting himself, with help from his nephews and nieces--that's where I learned how to paint) got combined with the money from year 3, and he finished off the basement to create a playroom for the kids, a separate laundry room, and a very organized storage room. With a small, major project each year, the house is always in good condition. He is currently saving up for a kitchen re-do, as the kitchen is from the 1950s and in need of some work.

Having a plan and taking some time will also allow you to find good craftspeople to do the work, and take take advantage of sales and the like. You could also explore other ways of getting the work done--bartering some service in return for installing the countertops or doing electric work.

lessisbest
11-4-15, 9:45am
Some of us are good at home projects, some people aren't. Do you have the time and money? Are you good at finishing what you start? Do you have any kind of skills in this area? Do you have good tools (I have my own tool box, including my own power tools)? Do you have people who can mentor you (it's good to know an "expert")? Are you willing to go to the library and find a book/video on the subject and learn how it's done? Can you create a logical plan of attack? You really don't want to be doing the dishes in the bathtub for 2-years after you start a kitchen renovation.....

Hubby and I have done lots of major renovations (ripped off shingles and shingled the roof - back when you used a shingling hatchet, not a gun, gutted rooms down to the studs, installed complicated crown molding, complete kitchen renovations - several times, resided the exterior, built a 3-car garage.....), but as the others have pointed out, it doesn't come easy or cheap. You also have to pick your battles. We don't do sheetrock. Not because we can't, but a professional crew can do it in a fraction of the time and do a better job than weekend fixer-uppers.

I've personally ripped out more carpet than I wish to ever think about. I hate carpet, so I love ripping it out - and I'm good at it. Most recently in 2010 - I removed three rooms of it. It's simple work, especially if you have the right tools. We have replaced all the flooring in our last three homes ourselves, except the wood flooring, and we refinished one room of wood flooring and then hired a crew to do the rest of them. Once again, a professional crew worked out best.

Hubby has designed all our kitchens, he's been a professional in the business for 40-years, and we've installed all of them. Did the same thing for our daughter and her husband in 2010.

I'd suggest you start slow with a simple project. If you do need to have professionals come in, you can usually save yourself some money by doing the demolition part of it.

Ultralight
11-4-15, 9:46am
I would say: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

If things look shabby but are still clean and functional, why not leave them be and keep the cash?

lessisbest
11-4-15, 9:48am
I would say: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

If things look shabby but are still clean and functional, why not leave them be and keep the cash?

You must not be a home owner. Only a fool would let their biggest investment look like crap!

Ultralight
11-4-15, 9:53am
You must not be a home owner. Only a fool would let their biggest investment look like crap!

What do you mean by investment?

catherine
11-4-15, 10:12am
What do you mean by investment?

Your home is an investment. You have equity in it and it can rise and fall in value. If you don't take care of it, it will lose value.

Until two years ago I had a kitchen that was "functional" but very shabby--burned formica countertops, drawers with broken glides, outdated, painted over cabinets with the paint peeling off. We didn't have the money to upgrade the 40 year old kitchen.

Well, what we learned when we had to sell my MILs place, which took forever and cost us thousands upon thousands, is that her frugality, which was well-placed everywhere, was misplaced in the way she approached her home. Her cabinets were not 1970s like ours--they were 1950s. Plumbing was antiquated. Carpets were worn. The furnace was not working efficiently. The whole place looked old. And all of the above were reasons that we had extreme difficulty selling it and wound up taking a bath on it.

After that lesson, I decided to at least do the MINIMUM on my kitchen. It cost $11,000 to facelift the cabinets (we didn't replace them, we had them refaced--and had some customization, like a new pantry and spice pull-out put in, and we reconfigured the drawer space to make it more efficient). We replaced our cooktop/oven with a new stove that matched our microwave and dishwasher and refrigerator (good-bye Harvest Gold!). I had a carpenter come in and put in recessed lights and new lighting fixtures (a pretty cheap way to really make a difference!) and he and I also designed a kitchen banquette which we made from stock cabinetry from Home Depot. I had the same carpenter put in cheap subway tiles for a backsplash.

OMG, it raised our quality of life so much, and it gave me peace of mind that if we do decide to sell, we'll be able to ask for $15k more. That's an investment.

As far as the OP goes, there is a continuum of skills needed for household renovations. DH and I have always given the DIY approach a shot. We've found that we can paint. We can lay floating floors--as for your floors, Packratonal, I would agree with taking up the carpet, check out what's under there. If it's hard wood, spruce it up. If it's plywood or crappy tile, if I can lay floating floor, you can, too. It's not that hard for the beginner DIYer. But I would hire someone to replace the baseboard--we've never gotten the hang of mitering.

Miss Cellane, I LOVE your uncle's formula. If I had done that over the years, I'd have one showcase of a home by now. We're ALMOST happy with the way everything is at this point, but it would be so much fun to look forward to spending that 1.5 mortgage payments on upgrades every year.

So, I agree with everyone else: Don't take on too much, but do take on what you feel totally comfortable with and pretty sure you would get done in a reasonable amount of time, and consider the professional labor an investment.

Ultralight
11-4-15, 10:38am
Your home is an investment. You have equity in it and it can rise and fall in value. If you don't take care of it, it will lose value.

Until two years ago I had a kitchen that was "functional" but very shabby--burned formica countertops, drawers with broken glides, outdated, painted over cabinets with the paint peeling off. We didn't have the money to upgrade the 40 year old kitchen.

Well, what we learned when we had to sell my MILs place, which took forever and cost us thousands upon thousands, is that her frugality, which was well-placed everywhere, was misplaced in the way she approached her home. Her cabinets were not 1970s like ours--they were 1950s. Plumbing was antiquated. Carpets were worn. The furnace was not working efficiently. The whole place looked old. And all of the above were reasons that we had extreme difficulty selling it and wound up taking a bath on it.

After that lesson, I decided to at least do the MINIMUM on my kitchen. It cost $11,000 to facelift the cabinets (we didn't replace them, we had them refaced--and had some customization, like a new pantry and spice pull-out put in, and we reconfigured the drawer space to make it more efficient). We replaced our cooktop/oven with a new stove that matched our microwave and dishwasher and refrigerator (good-bye Harvest Gold!). I had a carpenter come in and put in recessed lights and new lighting fixtures (a pretty cheap way to really make a difference!) and he and I also designed a kitchen banquette which we made from stock cabinetry from Home Depot. I had the same carpenter put in cheap subway tiles for a backsplash.

OMG, it raised our QoL so much, and it gave me peace of mind that if we do decide to sell, we'll be able to ask for $15k more. That's an investment.

As far as the OP goes, there is a continuum of skills needed for household renovations. DH and I have always given the DIY approach a shot. We've found that we can paint. We can lay floating floors--as for your floors, Packratonal, I would agree with taking up the carpet, check out what's under there. If it's hard wood, spruce it up. If it's plywood or crappy tile, if I can lay floating floor, you can, too. It's not that hard for the beginner DIYer. But I would hire someone to replace the baseboard--we've never gotten the hang of mitering.

Miss Cellane, I LOVE your uncle's formula. If I had done that over the years, I'd have one showcase of a home by now. We're ALMOST happy with the way everything is at this point, but it would be so much fun to look forward to spending that 1.5 mortgage payments on upgrades every year.

So, I agree with everyone else: Don't take on too much, but do take on what you feel totally comfortable with and pretty sure you would get done in a reasonable amount of time, and consider the professional labor an investment.

So you invested $11,000 for a $4,000 return? That is not bad. But suppose you don't sell your house. Was it really an investment? What about the time that took? The mental labor you went through to decide this or that? What about the inconveniences?

Now, if doing all this house stuff works for you and makes you happy, then go for it.

Here is my cartoonish version of home ownership.

Buy a house when you are around 30 years old with a 30 year loan. Spend those 30 years working to pay the loan, do the repairs, do the upgrades, mow the lawn, pay the utilities, and so forth. The whole while you're really just sleeping there and watching TV there on what little down time you have. Oh, and pay lots of taxes on it.

Then when you are senior citizen and you pay off the house you still have to do the repairs, the chores, and pay the taxes.

Or you can sell this "investment," downsize your life, and move into a small apartment and live out your last years this way.

But if you are not well, then you sell the house and go into a nursing home or hospice.

I know I am a weirdo, but it does not sound that great to me. And it does not seem like an investment that yields much return.

I also think of it as a sunk costs phenomenon. "Well, I put this much into it... another $20,000 to add a second garage will increase the resale value!"

And on and on...

I know there are ways to game the system, but I know so few people who actually do this things that it seems tricky and difficult.

Tammy
11-4-15, 10:49am
A home is a necessary place to live. But to think of it as an investment is not the best mindset. It's got the least liquidity of almost any investment available. Index funds will usually outperform real estate.

So it's not bad to own your house, if you can fix it yourself and you need that much space. But it's also ok to rent for your whole life and put your money somewhere else for your investments.

To think of housing as investment is the wrong approach. We should think of it as the cost of housing ourselves. Which is what it really is.

pinkytoe
11-4-15, 11:05am
If you don't take care of it, it will lose value.
Unfortunately, there are variables there. Our house is cute as a button and well-maintained but we are told by several realtors now that it is a scraper due to its location, smaller size and large lot. Makes me sad that our beautiful bathroom redo will be dismantled for parts:(

TxZen
11-4-15, 11:10am
We redid our old kitchen and floors with the help of a general contractor. The kitchen was not that big. We bought stock cabinets, after having someone measure out and help us lay out the kitchen and stained them ourselves. We bought a returned farmer's sink for 75% off. It just happened to match nicely. We bought leftover slabs of granite. Flooring- we went with bamboo and had it professionally installed and sealed. Add some nice paint on the walls, which we did ourselves, it costs us around $17Kfor everything. We didn't move plumbing or electrical, so that helped. We replaced the frig, dishwasher and stove, buying a complete package, again that was returned because the buyer did not like it. HUGE discount..no dings, no scratches, no issues. We bought simple white tile for the back splash. It did take some creativity and patiently waiting to find something that worked on discount. It was a necessary to do these things because the house was over 60 years old and had electrical/plumbing, roof and the one bathroom replaced before we bought it. It was a good investment for us and we made money on the house when we sold only 2 short years later. I thought it was cute and had a comfy feeling to it and the style fit the house. It looked updated but not over the top.

iris lilies
11-4-15, 11:58am
Our friends whose house was a professional setting would close the business one month a year and carry out a major renovation. They ran a Bed and Breakfast Inn and their house always had to look posh.

i agree that home ownership is not for everyone. Renting for a lifetime can make economic sense, especially for minimalists.

The weight given to house-as-investment by the average American is overblown.

JaneV2.0
11-4-15, 12:32pm
I own a house primarily because I don't want to live with somebody else's arbitrary rules, and I like having my own property (Get off my lawn!) I've saved some money to rehab the place before I sell (which I expect to be an ordeal--the rehabbing, anyway--since I've never acquired the skills to do it myself). Houses in this neighborhood go from $400,000 up, so I expect to make a reasonable amount on the deal, then downsize for cash.

I've been dithering about this move for years, while a sibling has moved three times, making money each time. I refer to this sibling as "the Rommel of moving."

Ultralight
11-4-15, 12:40pm
I own a house primarily because I don't want to live with somebody else's arbitrary rules, and I like having my own property (Get off my lawn!)

This is compelling.

Tammy
11-4-15, 1:04pm
The only thing that attracts me to owning again someday is my allergies. Cats -dogs -birds -cigarette smoke -strong air freshener odors. All these things exacerbate my asthma and we've moved on short notice one time cause I couldn't be in my own home cause a heavy smoker moved in above us and we discovered that our air was shared. Since it was a smoking apartment there was nothing we could do. The landlord was gracious and let us out of our lease without penalty.

I'm now in a nonsmoking apartment but twice in 18 months have had to spend a few weeks on getting this landlord to stop a neighbor from smoking. I could smell it all over my home and I learned that apparently second hand smoke permeates everything it touches.

However this place is dog friendly so it's not ideal.

I wish someone would recognize the market that wants allergy free rental living. No pets, no smoking, no carpets, no damp areas, no air fresheners. If I ever win the lottery that's what I'll do with my money and my time - build that type of apartment.

iris lilies
11-4-15, 1:05pm
This is compelling.

Well sure, that's the best reason to own a house, so that you can do whatcha wanna do. Economics is NOT always the best reason to own, but it is considered forced savings for a large percentage of the American populace.

There are times when I've had so many pets that only a slumlord would rent to me, and then only if I lied about how many I had. Currently, we are under the legal limit, yay for us!

i want to paint the walls pink. I want to tear up the lawn and plant lilies. You can't do this when you rent, usually anyway.

But if one leads a minimalist life and does not require a lot of "stuff" or activities centered on the home, renting a small place makes sense.

rodeosweetheart
11-4-15, 2:26pm
We buy houses solely for our dogs, I think, and for the yard. We buy foreclosure or cheap and when we sell, we probably break even--we don't make anything, but we can have our dogs and we can plant whatever we want, hang our laundry outside, and live in peace, as long as we want, in a place.

Works for us.

Gardenarian
11-4-15, 2:55pm
Hi Packratona,

Steve made a lot of good points.

We moved recently and, while our new-to-us house was in good shape (gorgeous oak floors! Great windows! All new paint!), there were of course issues that needed to be dealt with.

The most important and trickiest part of remodeling is finding those electricians, plumbers, and carpenters that do good work in a timely manner and don't charge an arm and a leg. Some good places to get recommendations: your local hardware store, neighbors, Yelp (in some areas), and, if your town has one, a locals' facebook page.

Mistakes will be made, but once you have a good team, the hardest part is over.

I would write down all the things that are bothering you about your house, as well as your options for action. For example, with the carpet, having it repaired and cleaned might be a whole lot cheaper than new flooring. Other things, like plumbing leaks, need to be fixed - not really any options there.

We put off doing repairs and upgrades in our previous house, and I regret it - not because we would have got a better price when we sold it, but because I spent so long living with things that irritated me on daily basis. (We probably could have sold for more, but not enough to pay for the improvements.)

Anyhow, now that we've had all the essentials done on our new house (leaky basement fixed, new water heater, broken electrical outlets and fixtures repaired, new appliances) we are focusing on the "quality of life" features. Landscaping (90% diy), organization, window treatments, cosmetic stuff, curb appeal.

It's vital to me to have a home that feels great - more than just shelter - a place that feels beautiful to me and makes me happy just to be there.

Having things that are falling apart and unattractive can just sap the joy right out of you.

TxZen
11-4-15, 3:17pm
We buy houses solely for our dogs, I think, and for the yard. We buy foreclosure or cheap and when we sell, we probably break even--we don't make anything, but we can have our dogs and we can plant whatever we want, hang our laundry outside, and live in peace, as long as we want, in a place.

Works for us.

This sounds lovely!!!

iris lilies
11-4-15, 5:34pm
And when you identify the craftsmen who are good, don't be a dick in your expectations. This is the time of year when many women feel the need to remodel their kitchens for Thanksgiving. People, just because you have been talking about it for two years doesn't mean the real work is done. Chances are the good Craftsmen are already signed up for 3-4 months of work.

SteveinMN
11-4-15, 7:47pm
I would write down all the things that are bothering you about your house, as well as your options for action. For example, with the carpet, having it repaired and cleaned might be a whole lot cheaper than new flooring. Other things, like plumbing leaks, need to be fixed - not really any options there.
Valuable point. In fact, it may pay (figuratively) to spend some money on cosmetic patchwork (like repairing the carpet or putting a throw rug or runner over it) and let that part of the update slide while you spend time and money now on the stuff that only gets more expensive (like water leaks and mold). Later on you can decide to refinish hardwood under the carpet or to install new flooring. But you've avoided the floor safety issue and worked around the cosmetics for a while.

Packratona!
11-5-15, 9:43pm
So you invested $11,000 for a $4,000 return? That is not bad. But suppose you don't sell your house. Was it really an investment? What about the time that took? The mental labor you went through to decide this or that? What about the inconveniences?

Now, if doing all this house stuff works for you and makes you happy, then go for it.

Here is my cartoonish version of home ownership.

Buy a house when you are around 30 years old with a 30 year loan. Spend those 30 years working to pay the loan, do the repairs, do the upgrades, mow the lawn, pay the utilities, and so forth. The whole while you're really just sleeping there and watching TV there on what little down time you have. Oh, and pay lots of taxes on it.

Then when you are senior citizen and you pay off the house you still have to do the repairs, the chores, and pay the taxes.

Or you can sell this "investment," downsize your life, and move into a small apartment and live out your last years this way.

But if you are not well, then you sell the house and go into a nursing home or hospice.

I know I am a weirdo, but it does not sound that great to me. And it does not seem like an investment that yields much return.

I also think of it as a sunk costs phenomenon. "Well, I put this much into it... another $20,000 to add a second garage will increase the resale value!"

And on and on...

I know there are ways to game the system, but I know so few people who actually do this things that it seems tricky and difficult.

I must admit, you think like me Angler.

Packratona!
11-5-15, 9:44pm
A home is a necessary place to live. But to think of it as an investment is not the best mindset. It's got the least liquidity of almost any investment available. Index funds will usually outperform real estate.

So it's not bad to own your house, if you can fix it yourself and you need that much space. But it's also ok to rent for your whole life and put your money somewhere else for your investments.

To think of housing as investment is the wrong approach. We should think of it as the cost of housing ourselves. Which is what it really is.

Exactly. Well put.

Ultralight
11-5-15, 9:45pm
I must admit, you think like me Angler.

How has thinking this way worked out for you? I want to know my future! haha

Packratona!
11-5-15, 9:56pm
Thanks TONS for all the advice, input, etc. everyone!!! At this point as of 8:51 pm we have officially made up our mind to actually remodel. So now to try to decide exactly what to do and how to get it done...a lot of decisions to make so I am sure I will write more questions for all of you as we get more ejicated ha ha! Ready to research how to rip out old carpet....

Packratona!
11-5-15, 9:59pm
How has thinking this way worked out for you? I want to know my future! haha

Well I don't think like you in ALL things thankfully so can't predict your future for you...

Ultralight
11-5-15, 10:54pm
Well I don't think like you in ALL things thankfully so can't predict your future for you...

This made me LOL!

Good luck on your remodel! You all have some chutzpah! :)

ApatheticNoMore
11-5-15, 11:05pm
We buy foreclosure or cheap and when we sell, we probably break even--we don't make anything, but we can have our dogs and we can plant whatever we want, hang our laundry outside, and live in peace, as long as we want, in a place.

yes but it's not like this can't be done with a rental. Ok finding a place that will take dogs might be harder, so that one may pose some difficulties. But I've had apartments with clothes lines outside. The planting what you want, I've seen people do it, but yea you do have to get the landlord to agree and have a personal yard area - not for an apartment that just has general grounds - and I've seen them agree to many things, painting, wall paper, supplying your own large appliances if you prefer etc.. Not all of them but assuming it never happens in rentals is not very accurate either. Now if you want to knock down the walls or something THEN a rental is probably not for you.

I don't know that I'd remodel if I owned, necessary repairs like the roof, yes I'd do it, but remodeling for purely aesthetic reasons seems kind of silly and not simple to me really, about like buying the latest fashion when the closet is full of nice clothes.

Sure I felt I should buy at 30, then I looked at housing prices, and then I looked at my income. The thing about renting instead of buying is I feel like you have to save more if you rent, to make up for the difference for not owning a home, which can be very difficult financially, of course homeownership can be even more difficult financially and more risky financially as well (that whopping mortgage payment that is way more than rent is due even if you lose your job afterall ...). But with rentals there might be rent increases.

JaneV2.0
11-5-15, 11:43pm
Portland and Seattle renters are being hit with outrageous rent increases in the midst of this latest hot housing market. And prices to buy are through the roof. For someone on a fixed income--or even someone who doesn't get regular raises (most employees, I'd wager)--finding a place to live, or hanging on to the one you have has become a nightmare.

Packratona!
11-6-15, 4:11pm
This made me LOL!

Good luck on your remodel! You all have some chutzpah! :)

Good, I am known for making people laugh even though it is completely unintentional and accidental. Mostly them watching me make a fool of myself. Like you said, lots of chutzpah. Have a nice weekend.