gratuitous homeownership items

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alloykat
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gratuitous homeownership items

Postby alloykat » Sun Mar 12, 2017 11:54 am

Homeowners: Is there anything that you thought would be an asset when you bought your home and later found it to be gratuitous? For example, my husband wanted a pool. After 8 years, I find it to be a waste given the amount of $$ in water charges to maintain the water level, the fact that he uses it minimally, and all the maintenance charges. Does anyone have a view (ocean, city lights, etc) that got old after awhile? What about the utility of a guest bedroom, large backyard, etc?

livesoft
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby livesoft » Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:02 pm

I had to think for a minute. Our house is fully wired with an alarm on all doors and windows and who knows what else. We've never used it. We even forgot the code and the backup lead-acid battery is long dead.
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Dottie57
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby Dottie57 » Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:17 pm

livesoft wrote:I had to think for a minute. Our house is fully wired with an alarm on all doors and windows and who knows what else. We've never used it. We even forgot the code and the backup lead-acid battery is long dead.



I have a very modest house. No room for gratuitous items except small appliances whoch I don't use much ( ice cream maker, blender). I literally don't have space ( < 1000 sq feet)

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby TomatoTomahto » Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:22 pm

Steam shower. Used it twice. Have to ask a plumber to disconnect it, before it leaks.
We don't have a pool. 2 neighbors do; one with small kids uses it all the time, the other, with older kids, doesn't.

curmudgeon
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby curmudgeon » Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:31 pm

My view is definitely not gratuitous, even after 15 years of living here. I was thinking about that just this morning.

I didn't expect to use the alarm system, and I haven't. Ditto the intercom system.

The built-in vac system hasn't been useful to us, but I know others feel differently.

The two fireplaces get used very rarely. One of them actually messes up the floor plan of the room it is in; it has negative value to me.

The little deck off the master bedroom never gets used as a deck, but it allows for the big slider and associated view and breezes.

The separate dining room does get used, but not to the point of giving a lot of value.

The separate pantry and laundry room are highly valued.

The 9' ceilings are valued for the sense of space and proportion in the larger rooms.

Ninnie
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby Ninnie » Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:39 pm

Central vac. Was here when we bought the house but we don't like or use it.

henry
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby henry » Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:54 pm

Bought my current home in 2005. It was built in 1999.

Jetted whirlpool tub. Have used it only a few times in 12 years. It's a bit noisy and I'm just not a bath person. Have considered removing it and making my stall shower larger.

Central vacuum. Never use it.

Woodburning fireplace in living room. Never used. It looks nice though and does add a lot to the living room decor.

Gas fireplace in family room. Have used it few times but don't find it adds much heat to the family room. It does look nice though and is surrounding by some built in shelves that are useful.

Formal dining room. I don't entertain a lot so this room is pretty much never used.

Formal living room. See above for formal dining room. It's in a part of the house that doesn't get a lot of sun in the afternoon and thus a nice room to take a nap in though. Some of newer homes I've been in don't have formal living or dining rooms and I can see why.

Skylights. I don't have these in my house but did in a previous home. The light is nice but it developed a leak once that had to be repaired and in the end, I don't think it was worth the trouble.

Finished basement. I like having this but I don't use it as much as I might have thought, mostly because it's colder there than the rest of the house and I'm one of those people that's always complaining it's too cold when everyone else feels the temperature is fine. It's heated and a walkout and there are a lot of windows but the rest of the house is just warmer and brighter in comparison. Use it mostly in the summer on really hot days and as a workout room.

Nate79
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Location: Portland, OR

Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby Nate79 » Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:56 pm

More space than we really need. Surely could have bought a smaller house and it would have been fine.

FedGuy
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby FedGuy » Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:57 pm

I recently moved into a new place that has granite countertops. They weren't on my list of "must haves" or even "nice to haves," but the home was otherwise great for me.

The countertops have been nothing but trouble. There were some stains in them when I moved in, and I got a few more stains in them from doing things like putting a glass on the counter that turned out to be a little wet. I had to have someone come last week to clean and re-seal the granite for several hundred dollars. I've avoided using the counters since then, to the point of keeping my soap dispenser and sponge holder in my sink.

HGTV tells me that granite is a desirable building material, but I'm finding it so hard to maintain that I've been giving fairly serious thought to having them removed and replaced with a more functional, lower-maintenance material. I don't know why anyone would voluntarily install granite in their home.

Rrolack
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby Rrolack » Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:01 pm

I used to live on the 40th floor of a Manhattan high rise, which faced to the west. It had great city views and beautiful afternoon light. We saw a lot of great sunsets from there.

While the initial "wow" factor of the view eventually wore off, it definitely didn't get old, and we never stopped enjoying it.

rob65
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby rob65 » Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:17 pm

The 3/4 acre lot was great when the kids were little. Now that they are grown, it's a lot of expense/work for very little use. If I could do it over, I would have bought a house on a much smaller lot closer to a park or neighborhood playground.

Actually, if I could do it over again, I'm not so sure that I wouldn't have just kept renting, but I know that's a minority viewpoint.

Mudpuppy
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby Mudpuppy » Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:24 pm

alloykat wrote:Homeowners: Is there anything that you thought would be an asset when you bought your home and later found it to be gratuitous? For example, my husband wanted a pool. After 8 years, I find it to be a waste given the amount of $$ in water charges to maintain the water level, the fact that he uses it minimally, and all the maintenance charges. Does anyone have a view (ocean, city lights, etc) that got old after awhile? What about the utility of a guest bedroom, large backyard, etc?

I thought a double-oven was a must-have item, but I really only use it during the holidays or cookie baking. Now that I've been on a health kick for over a year, there's very little cookie baking going on other than at the holidays for guests.

The back corner of the yard for the veggie patch has also gone unused lately, but that's more a consequence of the California drought and increasing time demands at work.

livesoft
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby livesoft » Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:30 pm

This thread has given me ideas for when we sell our home. The little sales blurb could read "No gratuitous features in this efficient home."

Our living room is a combined music room plus gym. Our formal dining room is nice place to dump clothes fresh out of the dryer, so it just an extension of the adjacent laundry room plus acts as a huge walk-in closet.
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tim1999
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby tim1999 » Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:57 pm

I purposely bought a house on a smaller than average lot with the thinking that it would be easy to maintain and would free up my time for leisure activities. While that has remained true, after a few years I am tired of being so close to my neighbors and would rather not have to see or hear them. After a privacy hedge died, any window in the back of my house looks directly into the windows in the back of the neighbor's house. It would take a decade or more to re-grow that hedge. One neighbor is a bit of a slob and his "yard trash" drifts over into my yard. The other one owns a big jacked up pickup truck with some souped up loud exhaust system, and he insists on flooring the gas pedal any and every time he leaves the house. My next house will be on a big wooded lot.

My house has a central vacuum system that my wife thought would be a great feature, but we've never actually used it. We also replaced the deck with a bigger and sturdier one, including a power-retractable awning, but we never use it.

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KlingKlang
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby KlingKlang » Sun Mar 12, 2017 2:08 pm

Half finished our basement and put in a 750 gallon hot tub, haven't used it in 15 years. I guess that it could be used as an emergency water supply. Also had to rip up parts of the finished basement walls and ceilings for plumbing and electrical repairs. Couldn't add A/V and computer cables where I wanted although modern WiFi takes care of that problem.

Haven't used our gas fireplace in about 10 years.

Never use the back deck or the back yard for anything except doing the maintenance on them.

littlebird
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby littlebird » Sun Mar 12, 2017 2:09 pm

alloykat wrote:Homeowners: Is there anything that you thought would be an asset when you bought your home and later found it to be gratuitous? For example, my husband wanted a pool. After 8 years, I find it to be a waste given the amount of $$ in water charges to maintain the water level, the fact that he uses it minimally, and all the maintenance charges. Does anyone have a view (ocean, city lights, etc) that got old after awhile? What about the utility of a guest bedroom, large backyard, etc?


A view never gets old; the light is different at every point in the day and it's always beautiful. I also like my huge yard for the distance it gives me from my (currently very nice, but who knows . . ) neighbors. It takes almost no maintenance here in the desert, so no down side.

The things I dislike(d) about my house are mostly "upgrades" that other people like, e.g., glass shower doors, plantation shutters, mostly-glass front doors, side doors to the garage, {edited to add: glass-top stove, over stove microwave} and not intrinsic to the house itself, which is bigger than I need, but ---- I bought it for the view, and have no regrets.
Last edited by littlebird on Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Vanguard Fan 1367
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby Vanguard Fan 1367 » Sun Mar 12, 2017 2:17 pm

We have an expensive front loading washing machine. The wife isn't super happy with the thing.

We also have video cameras in several places outside the house and we aren't using them.

Occasionally we get hurricanes and other power outages but I don't think I would buy a whole house generator, but since it came with the house we keep it working.

blueberry
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby blueberry » Sun Mar 12, 2017 2:21 pm

hot tub, needs maintenance and makes me overheated and I'd rather just sit on a lawn chair outside looking at the stars.

tim1999
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby tim1999 » Sun Mar 12, 2017 2:22 pm

littlebird wrote: glass shower doors


Whomever had the ornate glass shower doors installed on my master bathroom tub prior to my ownership probably thought highly of them. I ripped them out and trashed them the first weekend I had the house. Such a pain in the rear end to clean the gunk out of the frames of those stupid things. What's wrong with just a curtain?

skjoldur
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby skjoldur » Sun Mar 12, 2017 2:27 pm

This thread is surprisingly engaging.

We moved into a house that had been recently remodeled with, among other things, a fancy kitchen with a high end stove/oven. Previously I thought that was extravagant but now I understand how great it is.

Our house is just a little too small for us. Or actually it's perfect for us, but we want more space so that guests could stay more comfortably.

But mostly we want better outdoor space with a view. It's encouraging to hear all of the comments hear about how that doesn't really get old.

I would also like to be close to running/biking/hiking trails - so near a park or waterfront or something like that.

gmc4h232
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby gmc4h232 » Sun Mar 12, 2017 2:31 pm

I think about this every time I see the solar panels on the roof of my neighbor's house that are perfectly shaded by my 50' maple tree...

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby TomatoTomahto » Sun Mar 12, 2017 2:31 pm

tim1999 wrote:
littlebird wrote: glass shower doors


Whomever had the ornate glass shower doors installed on my master bathroom tub prior to my ownership probably thought highly of them. I ripped them out and trashed them the first weekend I had the house. Such a pain in the rear end to clean the gunk out of the frames of those stupid things. What's wrong with just a curtain?

I like our glass doors, because it is nice and warm and steamy inside, and bracing outside the shower in the winter. I haven't timed myself on cleaning them with a squeegee after a shower, but I doubt that it takes more than 15 seconds.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby TomatoTomahto » Sun Mar 12, 2017 2:35 pm

skjoldur wrote:. . .But mostly we want better outdoor space with a view. It's encouraging to hear all of the comments hear about how that doesn't really get old.

We have a nice view of our own, but even though our neighbor is a lawyer, he can't charge us for the borrowed view of his pond that we see out our bedroom window.

Vanguard Fan 1367
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby Vanguard Fan 1367 » Sun Mar 12, 2017 2:47 pm

skjoldur wrote:This thread is surprisingly engaging.

We moved into a house that had been recently remodeled with, among other things, a fancy kitchen with a high end stove/oven. Previously I thought that was extravagant but now I understand how great it is.

Our house is just a little too small for us. Or actually it's perfect for us, but we want more space so that guests could stay more comfortably.

But mostly we want better outdoor space with a view. It's encouraging to hear all of the comments hear about how that doesn't really get old.

I would also like to be close to running/biking/hiking trails - so near a park or waterfront or something like that.


I didn't know if I could find a house that my wife liked better than our 90 year old house that needed what all 90 year old houses need, TLC. I was tired of worrying about all that. But we did find a much newer house on a beautiful lake and beautiful landscaping and the views are fabulous. We may have "overpaid" a bit but it was worth it for the beauty.

Radjob4me
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby Radjob4me » Sun Mar 12, 2017 3:03 pm

Pools - oh man - pools. We have built not one, but two pools. At two different houses but in the same town. The pool guys love us! This was before my more frugal and money saving days. However, like most of the time - when our kids we small, it was great. Now, our kids barely use it. We have a few neighbors that like to come take a dip, but they are the ones benefiting from our gratuitous purchase.

Now we did get a hot tub (freestanding) as well with the second pool - that we love and use all the time, especially in out long northeast winters.

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cheese_breath
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby cheese_breath » Sun Mar 12, 2017 3:05 pm

The fireplace in our family room apparently is one. We haven't used it in the 36 years we've lived here because DW doesn't want to get it dirty. :(
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Sandtrap
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby Sandtrap » Sun Mar 12, 2017 3:11 pm

Ditto on gas fireplace. Big one. I can hear the money burning to turn it on. Just for looks. Never use it.
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Lynette
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby Lynette » Sun Mar 12, 2017 3:20 pm

Not needed - two bedrooms, one bathroom, basement and a living room. I've got a small house with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. I need one bedroom and one bathroom. Recently I thought of selling my house and had it checked for plumbing and electrical issues. The shower did not work in one bathroom - cost $500 to replace, hot water did not work in other bathroom that I never use - $200. The basement has gone through two major sagas of water damage so I have tiles in it and don't use it for much. I also had my handyman replace many of the tiles in the drop ceiling etc. etc. The basement now has an internal drain and I've had no problems for 10 years but reckon that cost me $40,000 to fix water issues. Superfluous - long concrete driveway that always cracks - guess I need it!

I have a house and not a condo or apartment as I'm not willing to share any walls with anyone - lost of bad experiences.

yellowgirl
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby yellowgirl » Sun Mar 12, 2017 3:24 pm

You won't regret a house with view and privacy. Anything else can be fixed.

ralph124cf
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby ralph124cf » Sun Mar 12, 2017 3:28 pm

FedGuy wrote:I recently moved into a new place that has granite countertops. They weren't on my list of "must haves" or even "nice to haves," but the home was otherwise great for me.

The countertops have been nothing but trouble. There were some stains in them when I moved in, and I got a few more stains in them from doing things like putting a glass on the counter that turned out to be a little wet. I had to have someone come last week to clean and re-seal the granite for several hundred dollars. I've avoided using the counters since then, to the point of keeping my soap dispenser and sponge holder in my sink.

HGTV tells me that granite is a desirable building material, but I'm finding it so hard to maintain that I've been giving fairly serious thought to having them removed and replaced with a more functional, lower-maintenance material. I don't know why anyone would voluntarily install granite in their home.


I have black-ish granite countertops, and I have never done anything to them other than occasional wipe downs in the twelve years since I moved in. No stains that I can see (perhaps because it is black). Is there any chance that your countertops are actually a different type of stone?

Ralph

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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby Vanguard Fan 1367 » Sun Mar 12, 2017 3:35 pm

ralph124cf wrote:
FedGuy wrote:I recently moved into a new place that has granite countertops. They weren't on my list of "must haves" or even "nice to haves," but the home was otherwise great for me.

The countertops have been nothing but trouble. There were some stains in them when I moved in, and I got a few more stains in them from doing things like putting a glass on the counter that turned out to be a little wet. I had to have someone come last week to clean and re-seal the granite for several hundred dollars. I've avoided using the counters since then, to the point of keeping my soap dispenser and sponge holder in my sink.

HGTV tells me that granite is a desirable building material, but I'm finding it so hard to maintain that I've been giving fairly serious thought to having them removed and replaced with a more functional, lower-maintenance material. I don't know why anyone would voluntarily install granite in their home.


I have black-ish granite countertops, and I have never done anything to them other than occasional wipe downs in the twelve years since I moved in. No stains that I can see (perhaps because it is black). Is there any chance that your countertops are actually a different type of stone?

Ralph


The wife and I agree with you. We also have black-ish granite countertops and find them super easy to care for with that "occasional wipe down".

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pennstater2005
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby pennstater2005 » Sun Mar 12, 2017 3:37 pm

Nothing gratuitous here. I do have an electric LED fireplace in the newly finished basement but it gets used. The kids love it, well that and the new 55" tv :happy
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby Doom&Gloom » Sun Mar 12, 2017 3:39 pm

Jacuzzi bathtub. Rarely used. Would prefer "plain" tub due to having to rinse/clean the innards.

Built-in bookshelves/TV cabinet. Was built prior to wide-screens, so difficult to accommodate modern AV equipment; bookshelves too short for vinyl albums, too narrow for AV equipment, etc.

Fireplace. After living here for 20+ years without ever lighting a fire, we had the chimney knocked off when the metal roof went on. DW painted the fireplace, elevated hearth, etc to make it an attractive "display" area which can be changed as our whims change.

I absolutely would not downsize the yard regardless of how much work it is due to the buffer zone it creates from the neighbors. Same for the full-size front porch which might appear gratuitous to some.

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unclescrooge
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby unclescrooge » Sun Mar 12, 2017 3:48 pm

alloykat wrote:Homeowners: Is there anything that you thought would be an asset when you bought your home and later found it to be gratuitous? For example, my husband wanted a pool. After 8 years, I find it to be a waste given the amount of $$ in water charges to maintain the water level, the fact that he uses it minimally, and all the maintenance charges. Does anyone have a view (ocean, city lights, etc) that got old after awhile? What about the utility of a guest bedroom, large backyard, etc?


I heard/read that a pool uses less water than grass covering the same surface area. If your pool is using excessive water, is it possible you might have a small leak?

Rupert
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby Rupert » Sun Mar 12, 2017 5:43 pm

Vanguard Fan 1367 wrote:
ralph124cf wrote:
FedGuy wrote:I recently moved into a new place that has granite countertops. They weren't on my list of "must haves" or even "nice to haves," but the home was otherwise great for me.

The countertops have been nothing but trouble. There were some stains in them when I moved in, and I got a few more stains in them from doing things like putting a glass on the counter that turned out to be a little wet. I had to have someone come last week to clean and re-seal the granite for several hundred dollars. I've avoided using the counters since then, to the point of keeping my soap dispenser and sponge holder in my sink.

HGTV tells me that granite is a desirable building material, but I'm finding it so hard to maintain that I've been giving fairly serious thought to having them removed and replaced with a more functional, lower-maintenance material. I don't know why anyone would voluntarily install granite in their home.


I have black-ish granite countertops, and I have never done anything to them other than occasional wipe downs in the twelve years since I moved in. No stains that I can see (perhaps because it is black). Is there any chance that your countertops are actually a different type of stone?

Ralph


The wife and I agree with you. We also have black-ish granite countertops and find them super easy to care for with that "occasional wipe down".


Some granites do need to be sealed periodically, which takes about 10 minutes each time you do it. It's a wipe-on/wipe-off process. I suspect the previous poster with the bad granite experience didn't seal as instructed. Granite, in general, is almost completely maintenance free.

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Wildebeest
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby Wildebeest » Sun Mar 12, 2017 6:14 pm

We have 3 fire places one of which is a two way ( opens up to the family room and to the library ). Because of this we had multiple fire place experts over to see how we light a fire without the house turning in a smoke pit and the fire alarms going off. We ended up with vacuum fan on top of the chimney which we can turn up to the max and makes it sound like a truck engine is running in the house but the fires we have are amazing. Little smoke and we have a fire most nights when the temperature is below 60 degree.

We have never used the zero clearance fire place in the master bedroom. We have lit a fire in the basement fire place ( beautiful stone) may be thrice and on 2 occasions the fire alarm went off.

We did get a certified letter from our home owners insurance to let us know they were going to increase our home owners insurance because we did not notify we have a woodburning stove. We responded that we do not have one and were unwilling to pay the extra money since they were plain wrong. The insurance company had checked out our house on Google earth and determined that this third chimney the never used master bedroom fire place must be the wood burning stove.

Our home owner's insurance subsequently canceled our policy.

We have so many gratuitous home ownership items, it is silly. At least we do not have a pool.
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Koogie
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby Koogie » Sun Mar 12, 2017 6:24 pm

rob65 wrote:The 3/4 acre lot was great when the kids were little. Now that they are grown, it's a lot of expense/work for very little use. If I could do it over, I would have bought a house on a much smaller lot closer to a park or neighborhood playground.
Actually, if I could do it over again, I'm not so sure that I wouldn't have just kept renting, but I know that's a minority viewpoint.


That makes us a minority of 2 then. I despise home ownership. My DW and I have been together 19 years as of today (yes, I remembered.. :wink: ) and we have rented two houses and owned three. I hated all three including the current one and would happily move back to the last one we rented (a great little bungalow a few hundred feet from Lake Ontario). However, happy wife.. etc...

As to gratuitous. We had a second full bathroom, with bathtub, installed in this house we currently own when we moved in nearly two years ago. The bathtub has been used once. Once. I assume that that will be it until we sell in a few years :oops: .

Still, I guess if money is spent on anything, bathroom and kitchens garner the return.

stoptothink
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby stoptothink » Sun Mar 12, 2017 6:34 pm

Vanguard Fan 1367 wrote:
ralph124cf wrote:
FedGuy wrote:I recently moved into a new place that has granite countertops. They weren't on my list of "must haves" or even "nice to haves," but the home was otherwise great for me.

The countertops have been nothing but trouble. There were some stains in them when I moved in, and I got a few more stains in them from doing things like putting a glass on the counter that turned out to be a little wet. I had to have someone come last week to clean and re-seal the granite for several hundred dollars. I've avoided using the counters since then, to the point of keeping my soap dispenser and sponge holder in my sink.

HGTV tells me that granite is a desirable building material, but I'm finding it so hard to maintain that I've been giving fairly serious thought to having them removed and replaced with a more functional, lower-maintenance material. I don't know why anyone would voluntarily install granite in their home.


I have black-ish granite countertops, and I have never done anything to them other than occasional wipe downs in the twelve years since I moved in. No stains that I can see (perhaps because it is black). Is there any chance that your countertops are actually a different type of stone?

Ralph


The wife and I agree with you. We also have black-ish granite countertops and find them super easy to care for with that "occasional wipe down".


I'll 3rd this. What kind of maintenance is needed, and what would be a lower maintenance material; concrete? We've never done a thing to our black granite and it shows no wear whatsoever.

Sounds odd, because our home is <1500 sq. ft for 4 people, but our master/en suite/walk-in closet is way too big. I guess not gratuitous, but half of it is totally unused space. We'd actually prefer that our huge en suite did not include a bathtub, it has never been used.

GerryL
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby GerryL » Sun Mar 12, 2017 6:47 pm

When I moved into my house 26 years ago, I thought the deck was too big for the little back yard. I had it shortened and had the railing removed. (It was only a foot off the ground!) Over the years I had trouble keeping it up. Had boards replaced. Painted it. Didn't know what I was doing and it was ugly and getting worse.

Finally I decided to have it pulled out and replaced with a fake-wood (Trex?) deck of the same size. Supposed to be almost maintenance-free. Ha! I think the boards were installed too close together and water pooled. That and the shade promoted mildew and I had to keep scrubbing it. I finally resolved this and other backyard problems by having the whole yard ripped out and 3/4 of it hardscaped with man-made stone tiles. Also a couple of raised beds.

I LOVE it. Maintenance is much lower than a deck of any material and more fun. I've used my giant patio more in 6 years than I used that deck in the first 20 years in the house.

BTW I don't find an alarm system to be gratuitous because I use it every day. I had one installed soon after moving in and had it upgraded when I replaced my windows.

Rupert
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby Rupert » Sun Mar 12, 2017 6:52 pm

A giant bathtub in the master bath was a complete waste of space for us. We stored the toilet brush in there. Just had it ripped out last week to make room for a new tiled shower. For what it's worth, my contractor said removal of the bathtub from the master bath and addition of a larger shower is the number one renovation he's doing these days.

livesoft
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby livesoft » Sun Mar 12, 2017 6:55 pm

Why not use the tub as a dirty clothes hamper?
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Rupert
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby Rupert » Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:01 pm

livesoft wrote:Why not use the tub as a dirty clothes hamper?


I admit that the dirty clothes hamper did sometimes find itself in the giant, useless bathtub alongside the toilet brush.

livesoft
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby livesoft » Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:09 pm

Our dog gets washed in the tub, too,
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FrugalInvestor
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby FrugalInvestor » Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:24 pm

We purchased our last (existing) home about 3 years ago. We've lived in enough homes over the years that we're fairly in touch with our needs, wants and desires - and we don't like to waste money. So we covered most of those things when we purchased to the extent that can be done in a home that's already built.

The one thing I can think of that we would leave out if we had the choice are the (4) extra shower heads in the master shower. I tried them a couple of times and didn't find much if any benefit, especially considering the extra water used. Oh, and we had the hot tub ripped out right after we moved in. That's two things.
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tdhg566
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby tdhg566 » Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:26 pm

When we built this house in 2010, I was careful to wire the family room for surround sound. Meticulous placement of wired electrical boxes, ready for speakers to be added later. Then along came Sonos and I discarded all my wired sound components and just put Sonos in each room.

On the flip side, we are on water and I never tire of the view or the sounds. We also built in a gated community and I am increasingly thankful for that each day. It's not a security gate, but we have virtually no casual car traffic in our subdivision
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tdhg566
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby tdhg566 » Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:32 pm

Sandtrap wrote:Ditto on gas fireplace. Big one. I can hear the money burning to turn it on. Just for looks. Never use it.


We turn the main/central furnace off, turn the gas fireplace on, and the family room remains quite warm even on the coldest evenings (here in Houston). Zero difference in my gas bill. Only two of us so it doesn't matter how cold the other rooms get.
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badger42
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby badger42 » Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:35 pm

It's a cheap item, but for us the picnic table in the back yard turned out to be useless. Too many bugs to eat meals there, too many birds dropping what birds drop to do work.

The yard was nice as a privacy barrier, but otherwise not used much except for the occasional game of frisbee.

Overall, we are much happier renting again, with a park nearby that's somebody else's problem to maintain. I do miss the grill though (can't have one due to fire codes)

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alpenglow
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby alpenglow » Sun Mar 12, 2017 8:01 pm

I'm really enjoying this thread. Sometimes I like to think about the changes I'd make to my house or the features I'd want in new construction. It seems like BH philosophy applies to homes too - simpler is usually better. We are the second owners of our current house.

Gratuitous (a favorite word of mine) features include:
1) Jetted tub in master bath. Hate it.
2) Formal dining and living rooms
3) Gas fireplace with hideous tile surround
4) Pointless high ceilings in parts of the home that just make me cold, including a 2 story foyer
5) Skylight in EIK (currently leaking)

Features I like:
1) Large, private lot with a nice woodland view. The shifting light throughout the day and seasons is beautiful.
2) I actually use the central vac, though I wouldn't pay for it in a new house
3) Large mud room, especially with kids
4) 2 Car garage

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alpenglow
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby alpenglow » Sun Mar 12, 2017 8:08 pm

Nate79 wrote:More space than we really need. Surely could have bought a smaller house and it would have been fine.


Our house is much too large. We looked for a smaller house but most needed a lot of work. Our current house represented the best value we could find. When the kids are grown we'll be downsizing.

mrsytf
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Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Postby mrsytf » Sun Mar 12, 2017 8:17 pm

Formal dining and living room. I still hold on to the illusion that one day I will host a dinner party in which the dining room will be of use. Hasn't happened yet, but hope springs eternal....


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