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Where should I live?

I work remotely (technically could work from anywhere, though it's easiest to be based in the U.S.) and I live in the Bay Area right now. Because I only make around $65,000, this isn't a very affordable place for me to live anymore. I'd like to move into a bigger apartment, and ideally would like to buy a house, so I'm considering moving somewhere else. More inside! [more inside]
posted by pinochiette on Dec 28, 2014 - 14 answers

Flu shots by mail?

Is there a way one can purchase individual flu shots by mail for personal use in the US - and if not, why? Flu shots don't seem to require a prescription, and it would seem like it would be much easier to just get it by mail and do it myself than have to wait in line at a flu clinic. (I've had to use injectable medication in the past, so self-administering a shot doesn't bother me, and the nasal mist seems especially easily administered.)
posted by I EAT TAPAS on Dec 26, 2014 - 10 answers

How do I treat a toilet that won't be used for months?

Toilet not being used for months. How do I keep it from getting gross? [more inside]
posted by Thrillhouse on Dec 25, 2014 - 18 answers

How do heat settings work on dryers?

How can a dryer with 2 thermostats have three heat ranges, especially since only one is on the blower element? [more inside]
posted by jonclegg on Dec 19, 2014 - 5 answers

Not just Bob Dylan's Christmas album

I'm going home for the holidays for the first time in five years. Help me assemble the perfect soundtrack for my trip. [more inside]
posted by easy, lucky, free on Dec 19, 2014 - 18 answers

Insane frustration setting up multi-AirPort home wifi network - help?

I'm trying to use a couple of AirPort Expresses to extend my home wifi network but am having great difficulties. Please help? [more inside]
posted by Perplexity on Dec 8, 2014 - 8 answers

Home sunk a little - who do I talk to for advice

Bought a home in rainy Washington 5 months ago, 70 yrs old, we knew there was some settling in one bedroom at the corner of house, of 4 inches, and the inspector cited settling from a cracked foundation (which was patched with a little patchy concrete) and possibly settling from water pooling from clogged downspouts, but said the settling should be over now. But we now doubt that... [more inside]
posted by uni verse on Dec 7, 2014 - 4 answers

How do we check to see if this offer on our house is legitimate?

My parents just inherited my grandmother's house, a burden they are not happy with. At first they were worried they would have to keep the house for the time being and hire a realtor to get it sold - they are not in a place to take on the cost of a second house, even if it is just temporary. Now suddenly out of the blue, a relative of my grandmother calls and offers the services of her step-son, someone who pays cash for houses and fixes them up. I'm a little suspicious and want to check that this isn't a scam. [more inside]
posted by Hey Dean Yeager! on Dec 4, 2014 - 15 answers

Oil-burning Tankless Hot Water Heater Temperature-recovery Problems.

We have an issue with the hot water supply from a 2004 Peerless oil furnace/boiler with tankless hot water. The shower starts at full temp, but quickly goes tepid (too cool for a comfortable bath/shower, but not ice-cold) and returns to full heat after 5-10 minutes. This is most apparent during the first two showers of the day or bath in the evening - subsequent showers or baths don't seem to have the problem to the same extent. This makes troubleshooting difficult, as we can't tell until an hour or so after running all that hot water to see if the problem returns. It's most pronounced in winter, during the summer the issue seems to go away. (Details inside) [more inside]
posted by Slap*Happy on Dec 3, 2014 - 5 answers

A great sod debate (in my head)

I have a backyard that has been troubled ever since we moved in. It was clear at that time that lawn of some sort was not doing very well. We tried adding new good soil and starting grass from seed that supposedly was the right kind for our area and the fact that the back gets little direct sunlight. [more inside]
posted by silsurf on Dec 2, 2014 - 14 answers

Book recommendation for a first time home buyer in Canada

Can anyone suggest a good book for a first time home buyer in Canada? My wife and I are hoping to purchase our first home in the coming months and we're a bit intimidated at the process. I've seen similar questions before, but the books seemed to be directed at people located in America and I don't know if those would be as applicable or not.
posted by Proginoskes on Nov 25, 2014 - 3 answers

Remote doorbel camera gate opener

Looking for a intercom and remote gate opener with control via the internet on a iPhone / iPad. [more inside]
posted by Mac-Expert on Nov 18, 2014 - 4 answers

Brinks Home Security - Stop beeping!

Just bought a house with a older Brinks Home security system. Well the previous owners had a Land-line and had the house monitored. When they moved out they disconnected the line and now the alarm is showing "CP Trouble" and beeping once every 45 seconds or so. We dont have a land-line nor plan on getting one. We also do not plan on having the alarm monitored but we like the door chime and being able to set the alarm. Even while set the CP problem is still there and beeps. I called Brinks and they said the only way to fix this was to disconnect the whole alarm system or get it monitored. I dont want to disconnect the alarm and I dont want it monitored. Does anyone know if there is a way to bypass this to stop the beeping?
posted by flipmiester99 on Nov 18, 2014 - 5 answers

Help me make my big house seem ... smaller?

Our old farmhouse was remodeled in the 50s and as a result, the living room is seriously something like 35 x 20 in some spots, while others are 'only' 15 feet wide. We moved here from a house that could fit IN our current living room. It's freaking me out. I'd really like to make the house, our living room especially, seem more cozy. What are some ideas or hacks to make this happen? I see lots of tips on how to make rooms seem bigger, but not so many to make the walls feel like they're closing in on you.
posted by checkitnice on Nov 9, 2014 - 27 answers

Should I take this job and move home?

Should I take this job offer and move home because that's where I want to end up, or spend another year at my current company doing my dream job? Complication: I'm female, 30, single, and want to get married and have a family in my home state. [more inside]
posted by curtains on Nov 6, 2014 - 23 answers

Portable, packable gift of home

My partner and I have moved around a lot over the last few years. We're in one spot together, for now, but will likely have a few more bumps of not feeling settled for the next couple of years, as we'll likely be doing more cross-country and overseas moves. What gift ideas can you share, so we can take "home" with us wherever, whenever, we land? [more inside]
posted by stillmoving on Nov 5, 2014 - 24 answers

Please help me DIY this vague wall art quote idea!

I have a big white wall next to my stairs. I want to decorate the wall with a 10-sentence quote, like going up alongside the stairs. I am only moderately artsy but not totally hopeless. I'm trying to figure out the best way to do this myself. [more inside]
posted by ootandaboot on Nov 3, 2014 - 5 answers

Help me cook for Chinese children!

After a great deal of deliberation, a thorough reading of Fosterhood, and an inconceivable amount of bureaucratic obstacle weaving, we are currently parenting two foster children. They're Chinese. We aren't. They need to eat more soups, more vegetables. I need help figuring out how to make things they'll like. [more inside]
posted by amandabee on Nov 2, 2014 - 27 answers

There's no place like home... We just need a loan!

The issue isn't us as borrowers... It's the house. The house is part of a coop/co-housing setting. We'd be buying the house, but the land it sits on would remain owned by the co-op. Mortgage? [more inside]
posted by jrobin276 on Nov 2, 2014 - 2 answers

Houses that are open for all the world to see

I never was fond of houses with picture windows, or too many windows at all, but then I fell in love with this home... [more inside]
posted by Cybria on Oct 28, 2014 - 26 answers

How to Calc Capital Gains on Home Sale /down payment was partially gift?

I have some help coming my way towards down payment. Let's say... for simplicity sake ...that I am receiving $100k as gift towards down. I know the gift amount won't count as "cost" when calculating capital gain at time of sale in the future. But if I receive the "gift" in chunks of $14k from various individuals under the annual gift exclusion clause, could any of those chunked amounts be included in my cost to reduce my capital gain? Thanks. I hope this is a simple yes/no question. [more inside]
posted by phreckles on Oct 25, 2014 - 10 answers

DIY: Old ceiling light, no ground -- what's the worst that can happen?

I replaced a ceiling light in a 1950's-wired apartment. There are insulated black and neutral wires, but no ground connection (fixture has ground wire but just connected it to mounting bar). If wired backwards, what happens when I flip the switch? When I touch the fixture while power and/or switch are on? [more inside]
posted by ArgyleGargoyle on Oct 21, 2014 - 10 answers

So much space, so many possibilities...

Help me figure out a wonderful, fun thing to do with our unfinished attic space. Difficulty level: renters with grad student incomes. [more inside]
posted by Bluestocking_Puppet on Oct 20, 2014 - 5 answers

Looking for a kick-ass northern NJ home inspector.

So has anyone in northern NJ (Essex/Passaic/Bergen counties or thereabouts) recently used a super-detailed, easy to work with home inspection company they'd recommend? Any and all info welcome. Thanks, hive!
posted by mintcake! on Oct 18, 2014 - 3 answers

Another Real Estate Question: Buy & Rent a Condo From Afar?

If I wanted to buy a house or condo in a distant state as an investment, and I had an opportunity to buy a place outright, with tenants and leases already in place, should I? How about outright but sans tenants? More info within. [more inside]
posted by toomuchkatherine on Oct 17, 2014 - 15 answers

House has ADT security/monitoring - alternatives?

Moved recently. The house ADT system already installed. Don't like ADT - what are my options? [more inside]
posted by filmgeek on Oct 16, 2014 - 5 answers

New apartment seems mold-prone

I moved during the summer and have noticed that my new place seems to attract mold at a higher rate than other places I've lived. I'm wondering if these things should be a cause for concern, or if these are just normal things given the specific situations. [more inside]
posted by offrecord on Oct 16, 2014 - 13 answers

Used pipes + new shower = nasty water. How to fix?

Landlord installed a new shower in my rented home. Did all plumbing himself, used second-hand (salvaged?) copper pipes and metal fittings. Now the shower water is gritty, burns my eyes, and has clogged 2 shower heads with disgusting debris (photo inside). What is causing this? [more inside]
posted by falldownpaul on Oct 10, 2014 - 32 answers

Come on Baby, Light my Fire -- but where?!

What is the best location for a wood stove in a one-story ranch house? The options are: an insert for the fireplace in the living room, a free-standing wood stove in the unfinished basement or no woodstove at all. [more inside]
posted by RingerChopChop on Oct 3, 2014 - 11 answers

Tips for first fall/winter in new home

It's getting to be fall and winter's not far behind. This is our first fall/winter in our first home. What are the practical/DIY/gardening-y things we need to do to be ready for the change in seasons? [more inside]
posted by Admiral Haddock on Oct 2, 2014 - 23 answers

Cozy my living room!

Autumn is on its way and I'm looking for ways to make my living room as cozy, homey, warm, snuggly and relaxing as possible... while still keeping it tidy and stylish and without too much clutter. [more inside]
posted by ladybird on Sep 30, 2014 - 19 answers

Help me design a new bathroom.

What software should I use to lay out a floor plan and fixtures for a bathroom renovation? I've tried a couple of online alternatives, but they don't meet my needs. Requirements within. [more inside]
posted by Right On Red on Sep 24, 2014 - 4 answers

temporary motor home housing during remodel

Does anybody have experience living in a RV (motorhome, trailer, etc) during a home remodel? My brother is planning some construction next month and thought that living in some temporary housing in the driveway may be a viable alternative to a hotel stay for a month or so. I would love some direction on how to look for this type of rental. Bonus points if you know somebody in Seattle that provides this type of service. thank you!
posted by jimmereeno on Sep 22, 2014 - 13 answers

Securing my home network against my 7 year old.

My son recently turned 7, how do I filter my home network (and my phone) to keep him away from hardcore porn and such for a few more years? [more inside]
posted by signal on Sep 21, 2014 - 14 answers

Moving-In Nerves

So my boyfriend and I are moving in together next month. Needless to say, the pitfalls and potential problems make me nervous (neither of us have lived with a long-term partner; he's 31, I'm 26F, been together almost 2 years). What I need now are reminders of why this is a good idea: tips, anecdotes, rituals. What makes living with your partner a positive and special thing? I'm looking for what TO do, rather than what NOT to do.
posted by brynna on Sep 20, 2014 - 24 answers

Designing our (little) kitchen

After months of drawing and re-drawing, we have draft floor plans! Now we need more eyes on the kitchen layout. Looking especially for specific suggestions. [more inside]
posted by sibilatorix on Sep 18, 2014 - 20 answers

Income or Skills for Disabled Student?

In March, I had a stroke the week before Winter Quarter finals and it resulted in right hemi weakness. I have made lots of good progress in recovery and continue going to physical therapy, but after a summer of my savings being eaten by medical bills, I am trying to figure out ways to make some money. My circumstances make that difficult. Details within. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 17, 2014 - 10 answers

Furniture/Home Decor Shops in Sweden

My husband and I are traveling to Sweden soon. We both love Scandinavian design and would like to visit some furniture/home decor shops while in Sweden. What are some good, not too expensive furniture shops to visit in Stockholm and Sundsvall? We're interested in both local chains (Ikea not included) and boutique shops. Is it possible to buy furniture there and have the shop ship them to the US for you? Are the shipping costs generally reasonable? Thanks!
posted by wcmf on Sep 10, 2014 - 9 answers

What are your ideas for a budget-friendly Spa night, at home?

I am in need of some pampering. So is my SO! We are just a little stressed from being busy, but we always set aside a few nights a week for just relaxing. What at-home spa activities do you like to do to help you relax? We have tried giving each other massages, clay masks, and baths. I want to know what you do, or want to do! Snowflake details inside. [more inside]
posted by bbqturtle on Sep 10, 2014 - 11 answers

Help me find a house inspector in Phoenix

Anyone have recommendations on a house inspector/inspection company in Phoenix? Currently the house we are buying has had a "relocation property inspection" done by a relocation company (seller is moving away and his company is relocating him along with providing this report). I think we probably need to get a full inspection done, but would like some referrals if anyone has any. Or anyone have any opinions on if another inspection should be necessary? My relator says his inspection guy is $375 and said that in this situation, it maybe worth it to just save the $375 but it was up to me. Thanks!
posted by gregjunior on Sep 8, 2014 - 5 answers

Responding to an assessor questionnaire

It's been a few months since I bought my house, and I've received a questionnaire from the local assessor asking for details about the property. I plan to answer all the questions truthfully to the best of my knowledge and ability. Beyond that, do you have any advice on responding? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 5, 2014 - 6 answers

Strategies for doing the work

A few years ago I decided to pick up making electronic music again after about a 10 year hiatus. Now I'm looking for strategies to keep myself doing the work. [more inside]
posted by mike_bling on Sep 5, 2014 - 3 answers

Designing like a grownup!

I would love some advice on how to approach researching for making our new home super awesome! I'm a design newbie but would love to learn more. Long-winded question below! [more inside]
posted by brilliantine on Sep 5, 2014 - 12 answers

Bzzzzzzzzzzzzz

I need to replace a bunch of two-prong outlets with three-prong outlets and I have a few questions. [more inside]
posted by griphus on Aug 29, 2014 - 20 answers

Shower leaking- who you gonna call?

We live in a house that was built in 1927. One of our bathrooms has a tub with a shower head. If we don't close the shower curtain properly, water somehow gets through the floor into the foyer below. [more inside]
posted by Anne Neville on Aug 27, 2014 - 15 answers

Who should pay for retiling the bathroom?

My tiles have fallen off in the bathroom, and it looks like the whole lot will need replacing. Who should pay for this? [more inside]
posted by Cannon Fodder on Aug 26, 2014 - 22 answers

How to furnish an entire apartment in the Algarve this week?

Mr. TEA and I have just become responsible for furnishing a two-bedroom apartment in the Algarve. The apartment is in good condition but entirely empty. We would be furnishing it for family use and possibly for rental. My go-to furnishings store at home (the US), Ikea, is hours away, although I'm wondering if it would be worth the trip just for dishes, pots, pans, and glasses. I speak very little Portuguese, although Mr. TEA is more fluent.
posted by TEA on Aug 25, 2014 - 6 answers

Save me from suburbia!

So, our neighborhood has never been the awesomest in terms of violent crime and drug stuff (in Toronto, btw), and some sudden recent changes are about to make it even less awesome. We have little kids. We bought this house ten years ago as a "starter home we'll sell in two years" and just... never left. Now we'd like to leave. But where do we go? [more inside]
posted by lizifer on Aug 23, 2014 - 16 answers

Moving in?

Boyfriend of 1.5 years and I considering joining homes. Some extenuating circumstances... [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 20, 2014 - 17 answers

Help Me Decorate - Dining Room Rug Edition

I love this rug but it's either too small or too big. Help me find something similar? [more inside]
posted by the artless dodger on Aug 10, 2014 - 1 answer

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