About the Building / Maintaining a Home category

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A good place to share your home owners experiences for advice on how to address them. These days you will also find discussion of landscaping, trees, gardening, etc.

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As building costs keep rising maintenance becomes a major factor for homeowners so staying ahead and doing thing right either as DIY or finding good honest contractors is vial. Helping others or seeking help truly contributes to all of us. Choosing the right materials also matters. Many of us have gained a lot from these boards. Glad they’ve survived!!

For those concerned about maintenance, much can be said for buying newer properties and avoiding the old. New is up to code and you should expect 20 years of little maintenance required.

In my experience the optimum house is 3 yrs old. Then most of the settling in items are taken care of. With older homes you can find quality workmanship but you often must correct short cut solutions from previous owners.


We’ve lived in our current home since 1974, raised our kids, watched as neighbor families raised theirs, moved on or passed away. In all the years we’ve remodeled every room at leas once, maybe more. Landscaping too has made made changes and more to come. So in 48 years a ton of changes and costs. But I did a lot myself also many contractors. 90+% were fine but some needed herding. Hopefully we are done but I hear rumblings about the kitchen so go ignored but. Stuff does wear out. Or total redesign might be worthwhile. Tick. Tick. Tick.

Tell me about contractors during our recent bathroom remodel I quickly learned contractors have absolutely no concept of timeliness nor following a schedule. You wouldn’t believe how much time was devoted to waiting around for some guy to show up and do his part or a city inspector to come out who gave no schedule only a day. Heck a day in my mind starts at 8:00 am and goes to 5:00 pm in most parts of the country. It’s kind of like waiting around for Xfinity all day.


Another thing to consider is how taxes are done where you live. The age of the house can be a significant tax savings in some states and even more drastic depending on where you live in the state. When we lived in PA, adjustments to assessment value for real estate taxes could not be done without an area wide re-assessment, which was pricy, or of course when you did a job on the house that required permitting, though that only triggered a modest increase. Older homes had taxes a fraction of new built, which bore the largest tax burden. I used to be a Realtor there, and saved one client $5K/year in real estate taxes by talking them into buying a 5 year old home rather than going new build. They would have saved another $3K/year had they opted for the IMO better school district next to the one they chose to buy in, but they wanted the schools they went to.

PA gets a bad rap in articles on tax friendly states because of the property taxes, as well as local municipality taxes for living/working in that town, but if you know how to get around that, it’s quite tax friendly, particularly for retirees. We are considering going back. No retirement income is taxed, though you also don’t get a state credit for retirement savings as you put it in.

It always amazed me how few Realtors knew how to save their clients money this way.



One major benefit in staying put is that, in our case, CA’s Prop 13 set our property taxes way, way back, minimal increases over the years, We could have taken it to a new home, but that would still have boosted us up from where we were, and since we’ve been in the same home all these years, our remodeling projects made the best of the situations… It will pass through to our DS unless we sell off before we leave our earthly bounds… Nope, not going anywhere! Friends, family have paid dearly for their changes…