My wife and I are buying a house and our possession date is on December 4. My brother is my lawyer who will close the deal on the house. We're driving up from Regina to Saskatoon this weekend. This is our first house. He sometimes thinks he's given clear instructions when he hasn't and he'll end up blaming us for not reading his mind. My brother said I need to bring my cheque book, but he wasn't willing to answer why he needs the cheques. My wife and I are assuming that they're for both processing fees and for the down payment. If they are for a down payment too, should my wife and I move our money from our non-chequing accounts to our chequing accounts? Or will my brother only need void cheques, so that he can then obtain from funds directly from all my accounts at a later date (my tax free savings account and my chequing account, my wife's separate accounts)? Will it also be fine to have two cheques for the down payment (one from my wife and one from I)?
Looking for a practical gift for my boyfriend for the holidays. We bought a 1954 house and we (he) really enjoy fixing it up. What tools, items, etc. make home renovation projects easier and/or more fun? [more inside]
We were getting close to making an offer on a home — but the house was a lifestyle upgrade, not a necessity. This month we found out a kid is on the way (whoo!), and we're trying to decide if the house is still doable, or if we should save our pennies for the little person-to-be? [more inside]
Partner and I would like to use an oil-based primer on our moldings and baseboards, then use a no-VOC eco-friendly paint (Colorhouse; MSDS) for the topcoat. I've successfully used run-of-the-mill latex over oil primer before. But does anyone have experience with using no-VOC paint over oil primer? [more inside]
Two sides of my house are clad in painted cedar shakes, and for some reason, two sides are clad in an aluminum clapboard (all the same color). We're due for a paint job in the next year or two and I'm considering having the house stripped down, re-insulated (blown in cellulose from the outside) and then re-clad. What to re-clad with? [more inside]
We own a lot in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. Its value has tripled since we bought it; at this point we could sell it for $100k if we wanted to. We don't want to sell it. We want to build a 500 square foot house on it. We already paid for the permits, saved up the money, and now it's looking like we might fall $10k-$20k short on the total cost to build. Neither of us is employed. Given our extended explanation, how do we make this happen? [more inside]
Would outdoor laundry and not having the whole house be under central AC be deal breakers for most home buyers? [more inside]
We are trying to avoid foreclosure on a house that we love, but has significant issues that we may not be able to afford to fix. Namely, moisture damage/mold. Are there risks in asking the mortgage company to help? [more inside]
My family has decided we're relocating to Austin. We need help finding a trustworthy real estate agent to help us buy a home there, since we currently live in a different part of the country. [more inside]
I live in a mid-size apartment (1,313 sq ft). The current layout of the apartment consists of a large square-shaped living/dining area, and doors along one wall leading to the bedrooms. I'm thinking of adding a full height shelf in order to create a corridor leading to the bedrooms, in order to add more separation between the two areas. But this will cut down on the spaciousness and openness of my living area. Is it worth it? Are there any architectural/design concepts that I can look at to help me decide? [more inside]
Now that Mr. St. Hubbins and I own our own home, a whole-house humidifier (the kind that hook up to your furnace) sounds like the greatest thing since ice cream delivery. But I can't seem to find anything online except slightly spammy sites that shill for particular brands. Anyone have or know anything about them? [more inside]
Is it common to include "easter eggs" when staging for open houses? [more inside]
I own a house that's affectionately known as a teardown but it is in a pretty good location and the land underneath, while small, is zoned for more profitable buildings. It is also located in one of the most strenuous real estate markets in the country. A real estate investor came by and made an offer to buy it for a price that's too low for me to buy elsewhere around me. How can (or should) I negotiate this? [more inside]
Our house has 2 separate antique sprinkler controllers: one in the back yard shed, one in the garage (as far apart as you can get!). I'd like to replace them with a web-enabled controller. Is there any distributed controller that will work with two sets of valves whose cables do not come together to a single point? [more inside]
I've been loving the noise the young kids have been making over the past five years. Kindly share with me your regularly-updated Spotify playlists of cutting-edge Millennial electro, house, trap, PBR&B, indietronica, chillwave, nu-disco, and other such things. [more inside]
When my mom passed about 6 1/2 years ago, the only thing left was the house we grew up in. She died right before the crash when the value was lowest, and while there was no rush, it took about three years before I tried to do anything with it. [more inside]
It looks very likely that my spouse and I will be moving to Portland (the first Portland). We are both really excited about the move but don't know where to live. Help us choose a good neighborhood (and maybe a buyer's agent)! [more inside]
What regular maintenance / preparation for the winter is required for a gas fired boiler (forced air)? Is there a need to call a professional?
I currently have a mortgage and for the last two years since I split with my partner have paid it on my own perfectly well. It is time for us to remove my ex from the mortgage but cant seem to due to a bit of negative equity. Can anyone suggest what to do next? [more inside]
I live in an expensive housing market. All the older homes in my area are being knocked down and huge new houses are being built on the lots. These homes stay on the market for extensive periods of time (over a year) without any drop in purchase price. How can builders afford to do this? [more inside]
I just arrived in Kathmandu and am looking for a cheap room at a safe, cozy-ish guest house. [more inside]
I assumed it was Southern California but a lot of places that used to have them, don't any longer. I assume due to the rising value of the real estate. So where are the most bungalow houses per capital in terms of areas or cities?
After talking about it for a few years, my husband and I are ready to start the process of renovating and adding a second floor to our house. The next step, we're reasonably sure, is hiring an architect--but I've been dragging my feet because I want to walk into those first meetings with a good idea of what I'm hoping to learn from the conversation, rather than just being wow-ed by their sales pitch. The hitch is: I have no idea of what smart questions might be, since I have only the vaguest idea of how this process works. I'm hoping AskMe can fill in the details of "what does an architect do?" and "what do you wish you had asked your architect before hiring them?" [more inside]
This house was once a very nondescript ranch until it received this facade. I'm asking especially about the style of the "fence": The fence is purely cosmetic, as it is about 3 feet from the house and serves no purpose other than to look cool. I've seen this style that uses these horizontal lines, accent lighting, dark natural woods, oversized windows, and is very clean and geometric, though it is very rare where I live. House in question here.
There was a fire in my building 2 weeks ago and everything is so smelly, the smelliest, the most smelly. [more inside]
What are the most awesome historic homes that can be toured? I am most immediately interested in the North East US, but am glad to hear about ones all over the country and even out of the country, because, well, I seem to be trying to make it everywhere.... [more inside]
We just bought a new house. Yay! It needs a LOT of work. Boo. How do we make it through the next year with our sanity intact? [more inside]
First time home buyer. Totally confused and stressed out! I was pre-approved for a loan that includes a CalHFA down payment assistance loan. (I'm in California, natch, Alameda County). We went into contract last week and now my mortgage broker is asking me to collect a bunch of paperwork and she told me I need to do an educational class for my CalHFA loan. So I start researching these loans a little more closely, and I think I'm over the income limit. Now... What? [more inside]
I don't know much about buying foreclosed homes and don't quite trust the top search results about it. So, I was hoping you could tell me: 1) How do I get started on looking at foreclosed homes that are available to buy? 2) Are home inspections usually good enough to catch major problems in foreclosed homes? 3) What else do you need to do to do this right? [more inside]
We're redesigning the porch to our front door and I'd love to get some ideas online, but I don't know how to describe the angular style of our front door. Here is a photo. Thanks for any help!
You know those houses with the seasonal nylon, decorative house flags? The ones with the puppies smelling flowers, or the spring tulip, or Santa in the winter and stacks of books with leaves in the fall that wave in the breeze outside of people's houses? I need some help finding some house flags... [more inside]
Am looking for recommendations of a house or other no-shared-walls place to stay, in Paris and/or surrounding area. It's key that we rent something like a house because my 1-year old screams loudly at night and we don't want to disturb neighbours (has happened in the past, in a hotel). More below! [more inside]
I'm considering relocating to Seattle from the Midwest for a new job but am very concerned about affordable housing. Looking for a house or apartment rental within an hour's distance via public transit, if possible. Would like to spend between $1,000 and $1,500 if possible. Can go a bit higher. Would like a lot of space -- ideally, 1000 square feet. This would be for my wife, myself and our dog. Any advice about where I should be looking would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
In keeping with the recent question about buying a house in a competitive market... Those of you who have written letters to get a seller to pick you when you aren't the highest bidder - what did you write? Tips, suggestions, don'ts, samples all welcome.
We're house-hunting in the craziest market ever - SF Bay Area. Will you help me think this out? [more inside]
I'm fixing up a condo that I'm going to rent from my parents in 2 weeks. The kitchen floor is sheet vinyl on a concrete slab. I think my father said it's a floating floor. It's really worn out with large gouges and it's peeling up on the edges in some places. My father and I are planning to tear out the sheet vinyl and replace the floor with nice new vinyl planks. [more inside]
I've recently re-discovered the joys of my old DJ mix albums. But they are old! I am old! What is new? [more inside]
Hi, MeFi. So I put an offer on a house, and it was accepted. But after getting the results of the inspection, I'm having second thoughts. Details below. [more inside]
I will be moving to a new city for a new job soon, along with my husband and 1-year-old. We're trying to work out which features of a house/flat we would really benefit from and which we don't need so much. [more inside]
Are you a big scaredy cat? Do you live in a house with lots of vulnerabilities anyways, and manage to sleep at night? How did you do it? Please hope me. [more inside]
I'm ready to dip a toe into the madness of the Seattle housing market. I'm looking for a 3br anything (condo or house) in North Seattle. I've been stalking Zillow, it looks maybe kinda sorta possible to find something we could afford. I have no idea what to do next. [more inside]
How can I get hidden and entrenched cigarette smoke out of a room? [more inside]
I'm thinking seriously about putting my home on the market (north of Boston). Which questions should I ask potential realtors? [more inside]
I've owned my home for ~28 years. My ex-husband and I never hired a home inspector (We had little common sense at the time). I just brought a company to my home for an estimate on a flooded basement, and apparently the state of our house is far worse than I imagined. I'd like to know what else is wrong with our house; is a home inspector the answer? [more inside]
I'm going to be in Vancouver for about 7-8 months, and I'm hoping to get recommendations for a short stay for the first month. I've checked out airbnb as well as some serviced apartments for the first few weeks but would love to hear any recommendations as those I've found are pretty pricey! [more inside]
I'll be redoing the porch at Casa RPM. Somewhere I saw pre-made column wraps that are designed with an interior drainage pipe that hooks up to the roof gutters, so that you don't need to have an external downspout running along side the column. Does anyone know where I could find something like that?
I live in a 130-year-old house modernized with air conditioning that works reasonably well keeping the house a decent temperature through the summer. However, my kid's room gets warmer than any other room in the house. [more inside]
Y'all's advice on how I could pimp my cover letter actually did get me a ton of interviews and a new job-- hooray, and thank you! So now I'm moving, and I want to buy a house. What do I look for? [more inside]
Here's my situation: female, late 40s, employed homeowner. Moving in with my boyfriend, also a homeowner. What to do with my house for best financial stability/payoff in the future? [more inside]
I have a bunch of (mostly small) jobs that I need done around the house, and I'm trying to figure out how many different tradies I need to hire to do them: installing a bathroom vanity; replacing about ten tiles in the shower; installing a new pendant light; servicing the ducted gas heating; installing underfloor insulation (although I'm considering DIYing this); and removing half a staircase. Do I need to hire a different person for each task, or can they be batched somehow? (I assume the tiles and vanity can be done by the same person at least). [more inside]