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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

Non-legal legal advice aka "should I pursue this..."

None of this is legal advice. Got it. I'm trying to determine whether legal advice is even worth pursuing. Our house was damaged by a water leakage incident which the homeowner's insurance agreed to fully cover to the tune of about 60K. We were not living in the house at the time, which was actually up for sale. More excitement below the fold! [more inside]
posted by thebordella on Oct 17, 2014 - 6 answers

Foundation replacement or repair: do it or sell & move on?

This is a 'tap the judgment power of the hivemind' question. About a year ago I bought an old house (1920s) in a 'gentrifying' neighborhood in Saskatoon. On July 1st I discovered that the basement rug and drywall were soaked: I had the basement finish ripped out down to the studs and discovered several large cracks in the foundation. I need to repair this if I want to stay, but I can't decide if it's worth it, or if I should just move. Based on what's within, what do you think? [more inside]
posted by jrochest on Oct 16, 2014 - 14 answers

How do we get on top/stay on top of being clean and organized?

OK...really I want to be somewhat clean and somewhat organized. Can anyone point to a method of organizing and cleaning a household in addition to a methodical way of purging things? My goal is to get to a point of being able to maintain a certain level of organization/cleanliness. It is to the point where I am embarrassed to have anyone over. [more inside]
posted by retrofitted on Oct 12, 2014 - 19 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

Rainwater flooding our garage

How do you suggest I approach fixing this drainage issue at the side of our garage? [more inside]
posted by davcoo on Sep 30, 2014 - 7 answers

How does door work?

I have to replace a screen/storm door, and when I measured it, it was 80" x 33 1/3". That's... not a normal size, is it? How do you buy a new screen/storm door when the size is so wonky? They seem to come in 32" and 34" widths, what should I do? [more inside]
posted by juniperesque on Sep 30, 2014 - 6 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

Remedy for carpenter ants in the home

I've been watching build up of moop from ants dining on my carport for a few years now. What can I do to remove these critters as they've seemed impervious to my attempt to remove them so far. [more inside]
posted by diode on Sep 14, 2014 - 8 answers

Should I cash out my golden ticket?

My home is worth at least 2x my mortgage. Should I sell or hold on? [more inside]
posted by momochan on Sep 13, 2014 - 20 answers

Anyone ever dealt with getting cracked brick house walls fixed?

My brick house has a number of cracks in its walls. We got the house inspected when we bought it, and the inspector said the cracks were worth taking care of, but weren't really serious. The cracks were repaired in the past, some of them repeatedly. Pics are here: [more inside]
posted by Slinga on Sep 10, 2014 - 7 answers

Weird faucet odor, vinegar edition

Our house's faucets occasionally smell like vinegar. What's causing that? [more inside]
posted by pepper bird on Sep 9, 2014 - 7 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

Help deciding best network options ofr garage/office

I am converting my garage into an office and want to design the most logical way to route my data? [more inside]
posted by silsurf on Sep 2, 2014 - 3 answers

How should I cheaply improve this terrible front yard?

Moving into a rental house and the lawn is bare and weedy. I don't want to sink a lot of money in it, but I do want it to look better. [more inside]
posted by ohsnapdragon on Sep 1, 2014 - 24 answers

Need someone to help refinance home in the San Francisco area

I'm separated and my wife has the house and has to pay all expenses on the house including loan payments. I went through getting the loan adjusted once, which helped for a while, but now she's behind again. She isn't doing anything herself and hasn't asked for help, but my kids live there too, when they are not with me, But I'm having trouble getting motivated to help out this time. So I'm looking for someone who can deal with the banks to get a refinance. [more inside]
posted by eye of newt on Aug 30, 2014 - 14 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

I want out of this house! How soon can I move?

I have to move soon, and I've found a place that's available starting this Saturday. My question is this: how much time should I budget for packing/moving? I have a small amount of furniture as well as the usual clothes and other belongings. I've packed about half of my stuff, and will pack the rest on Friday and Saturday, with the intention of moving on Sunday. Is this feasible? [more inside]
posted by cabbagesnkings on Aug 21, 2014 - 19 answers

Like Storage Wars, but without the camera crew

I want to get rid of a houseful of stuff, but I don't have the time or energy to sell it on Craigslist or hold a garage sale. Are there services that will pick up & sell things for me? Location: Seattle. [more inside]
posted by cdefgfeadgagfe on Aug 17, 2014 - 7 answers

Possibly moving to Denver for a new job. HELP.

My husband is interviewing in Denver this week and seems to have a good shot at getting the job. We currently live in Meridian, Idaho (just outside of Boise) and have lived here practically our entire lives. I've never lived out of state, though my husband has. Help this security-needing, plan-making, organizational freak make sense of a big-for-me move! [more inside]
posted by gracious floor on Aug 13, 2014 - 20 answers

How much does it cost to build a house?

We just moved to northern Bergen County, NJ, and notice that a lot of the older homes in our neighborhood are being sold, torn down, and brand new houses are being built on the property. How much does that sort of thing cost? [more inside]
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Aug 10, 2014 - 11 answers

Recommendations for motorized retractable awning for house in SoCal?

We're thinking of putting an awning over the back of our house, and are interested in retractable ones, preferrably motorized if they're not too expensive and are reliable. Do you have recommendations for/against any particular brand, and do you have any other tips? [more inside]
posted by StrawberryPie on Aug 10, 2014 - 0 answers

House tours (not the Newport, RI variety): specific to American hosts?

Do people outside of the US commonly go through the ritual of giving new guests "the tour" of their homes (i.e. a walkthrough, or at least peek at, every single room of the house/apartment, beyond what is necessary--not talking about overnight guests or housesitters, or showing folks the bathroom and where to put the coats)? [more inside]
posted by blue suede stockings on Aug 9, 2014 - 13 answers

What features would your dream house have?

We will be building a new house to live in, what features could we add to make this the best house ever? [more inside]
posted by any portmanteau in a storm on Aug 9, 2014 - 111 answers

Have you worked with houseplans.com?

We need to build a house on a budget but with limited DIY abilities, and have therefore been looking at houseplans.com (this one in particular). Have you ever worked with houseplans.com or a similar service where you buy prepared house plans? Would love any advice, caveats, or other details about the process.
posted by librarina on Aug 2, 2014 - 11 answers

Financial Assistance for Adding New Siding With Insulation.

I posted a question last year about safely scraping peeling lead paint from my house and repainting. Pros estimate $25-30K (yikes!). One reply suggested that "It may...be cheaper to just get rid of the old wood siding and just install some new one. If you do that, you might want to look into adding insulation; there could be programs that would provide some financial assistance." Does anyone have a suggestion as to how to find such a program? FWIW I'm in Westchester county in NY state.
posted by Quisp Lover on Jul 28, 2014 - 6 answers

House Design Software

What software should we use to design our (small) house? We will have an architect draw the final plans, but want to create quick 3D models for visualization. [more inside]
posted by sibilatorix on Jul 23, 2014 - 6 answers

The house I am renting has an alarm system, how do I make it work?

My SO and I are renting a house. Since moving in we have noticed that the house has an alarm system. However, the control panel does not turn on and none of the buttons do anything. We've spoken to our landlord (who lived in the house for 4+ years) and he said that he never used to alarm and doesn't know how it works. Nothing on the alarm system says which company managed the alarm (ADT, etc..). Who can I call to get to setup the alarm (but not install a new alarm system, since I am only renting)?
posted by Spurious on Jul 11, 2014 - 10 answers

Wrapping exterior house trim

Has anyone had any experiences with wrapping exterior wood trim and window frames instead of painting? [more inside]
posted by dilettante on Jul 4, 2014 - 4 answers

Help me translate these Chinese breaker box labels.

Mrs. Penguin and I just bought a house, but we discovered today that the circuit breaker box is labeled in a mixture of English and Chinese. We will eventually just turn them off one at a time to figure out which is which, but in the meantime can y'all translate them for me? [more inside]
posted by Elementary Penguin on Jun 28, 2014 - 3 answers

Help me find this half-remembered house design.

OK, hive mind. Hoping you can help me out here. A while back, say, probably six or seven months ago, I saw a blog post... somewhere... about a cool house design in Europe. I think the design firm was Dutch or Belgian. The blog I saw it on may have been Design Sponge or Building a Wolf, but searching those sites yields no results. Here's what I remember: [more inside]
posted by starvingartist on Jun 26, 2014 - 4 answers

accommodation in Oregon

We will be visiting Oregon and will be staying for 1 week in Eugene (18-24th July). We're looking for short term accommodation, preferably rent a house. Can you recommend any places or sites where these things are listed? [more inside]
posted by dhruva on Jun 16, 2014 - 3 answers

How to clean house like the professionals.

Between bad timing and desperation I hired a professional housekeeper to clean before family arrived for the holidays last year. She left the place looking better than when I first moved in. How can I do this on my own? [more inside]
posted by adapt on Jun 15, 2014 - 30 answers

Skyrocketing Zillow Estimate For My House

Holy crap. My house value has been creeping up since the bust, which was to be expected. But I just checked Zillow, and they've boosted its estimated value by 23% in the past 30 days (I'm in Westchester County, not far from White Plains). [more inside]
posted by Quisp Lover on Jun 12, 2014 - 22 answers

My house needs new awnings. What would look good as a replacement?

My house has front and back awnings, and they are torn, unravelling, and covered in lichen. I would like to get new ones, but I don't know what would look good color-wise. I also don't know whether I'd prefer metal or cloth. I do know that the back one should probably be metal, since the current one has a big rip where the cloth sagged when it was covered in snow, and then the door opened and ripped it. I am not the most color-coordinated. Should I go with a red/tan pattern similar to the house, or something that would stand out more?
posted by Slinga on Jun 10, 2014 - 8 answers

White House Staff Members During Bush/Cheney Administration

Who is the White House Staff Member on the right in this photo? [more inside]
posted by ezekieldas on Jun 9, 2014 - 3 answers

Can my parents make me a mortgage loan?

Trying to buy a house. Have money for a down payment, but I'm self-employed and was turned down for a traditional loan. My parents are willing to lend me the money I'd need for the balance, and have me pay them back with interest, รก la a mortgage loan. Is this doable? [more inside]
posted by toomuchkatherine on Jun 5, 2014 - 12 answers

Can a baby fit in my new house

My wife and I have been looking for a bit fit a new house. We have found something great that meets every criteria, Except one. Upstairs there is one master bedroom and a study area that could not be used for anything else, Plus a robe and a bathroom. Downstairs there are 2 other bedrooms and a good living area etc. My question is, how do u make it work with a new baby? Is it possible to have the baby in tha main br for a few months, Then move the baby downstairs with an intercom, Or is that just stupidity? Is there another way to think about it? Appreciate any advice from those that have faced something similar, As the house is auctioned in 2 weeks.
posted by edtut on May 17, 2014 - 22 answers

Do I need all this coax for Fios?

Yay--we bought a house! The house has what seems like miles and miles of coaxial cable in every room. I'm trying to figure out if we actually need it or not. [more inside]
posted by DiscourseMarker on May 16, 2014 - 9 answers

Big Moth-- IN THE HOUSE!

I've got a BIG MOTH in my house. It flew in via a space between my screen and window in my kitchen. It flew into my house somewhere--I can't find him now. ANY Ideas on luring it back through the hole? [more inside]
posted by calgirl on May 15, 2014 - 13 answers

How big a deal is it to live near a fire station?

Based on your experience, do you think we are going to regret buying a home near a fire station? [more inside]
posted by handful of rain on May 12, 2014 - 40 answers

"Survive for long on the streets and you're a warrior." Name that tune?

In my early clubbing days, at the start of the 1990s, I used to hear a ravey/housey/techno song with a repeated refrain (possibly a vocal sample lifted from elsewhere) that sounded like "Survive for long on the streets and you're a warrior." As I recall, this line was spoken rapidly and aggressively, with what sounded like a British accent... and the vocal may have been sped up (as a lot of vocal loops were in dance tracks around that time). [more inside]
posted by Artifice_Eternity on May 12, 2014 - 2 answers

Please help me find the perfect doormat.

I need a new doormat to go inside my front door. Recommendations? [more inside]
posted by The corpse in the library on May 8, 2014 - 6 answers

What do I need to tell my contractor about networking my house?

Piggybacking on/not hijacking betelguese's question, which is over my head, what do I need to tell my contractor about networking the house we are currently building? Please explain it like I am a 5-year old/your mother. [more inside]
posted by sarajane on Apr 28, 2014 - 6 answers

Networking a House

How I should network my house? I understand the basics of running cables, punch-down blocks, patch panels, jacks, network switches, etc. What I don't understand is how to put all of these together in a way that gives me what I want. Details inside. [more inside]
posted by Betelgeuse on Apr 28, 2014 - 12 answers

How to not get scammed when renting a house?

We're moving in a month or so and beginning to look at rental houses in Seattle. I'm a bit rusty, but what is the general procedure for establishing the person you're speaking with is the actual home owner and everything is on the up-and-up? [more inside]
posted by lattiboy on Apr 27, 2014 - 7 answers

I want to rebuild my grandparents' house... in miniature

I have a deeply nostalgic love for my grandparents' former home, a generic but beloved split level they lived in from the 1950s to mid 2000s. As an artist and crafter with an obsessive love for details, I have long noodled with the idea of making an incredibly accurate recreation of the house in miniature... but I struggle with where to start. Architectural models, dollhouses? What is the best route forward? [more inside]
posted by allisonrae on Apr 26, 2014 - 9 answers

What do I do about this hole in my yard?

I discovered a hole, roughly 10 inches across, in my yard (at a house I just moved into). It's basically a pipe going far far down, and had a stone top resting over the hole, loosely covering it. It reminds me of the Baby Jessica well, which makes me want to get rid of it, fill it in, cover it up. But I don't know what it is. Who might I call to figure out what it is, what it's for, if I can just remove the whole thing, or if it's necessary to keep it as-is?
posted by davebug on Apr 25, 2014 - 28 answers

How often does the freight train pass by this house I wanna buy?

How often does the freight train pass by this house I wanna buy? is it annoying? I wanna buy a house near here and I am curious how often the trains pass by, if it will be annoying or not. Can anyone find a schedule of the trains that pass by so I can go stand there while it passes by and see how annoying it is? Does anyone have history or advice on living near train tracks?
posted by lijiaxiaoniu on Apr 20, 2014 - 26 answers

Home design/decorating blogs that AREN'T minimalist

My sweetie and I are doing some big redesign stuff in our house, and I am trying to find design/furniture/decorating inspiration. I am looking specifically for blog that go beyond the minimalist look. [more inside]
posted by Ideal Impulse on Apr 18, 2014 - 20 answers

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