What do you pay for house-cleaning services?

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tim1999
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What do you pay for house-cleaning services?

Post by tim1999 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:39 pm

I am considering hiring a cleaning/"maid" service to clean the inside of my house. I hate to clean. I do it half-as*ed. And a friend whom I trust to give me frank observations on my life has noted that my house cleanliness standards aren't in tune with my socioeconomic status. I hate having to scramble to do a vigorous, fast cleaning when I find out that someone is visiting in 2 hours. I'd like the place to be somewhat presentable at all times, through someone else's effort. It's a luxury I think I can afford to take on.

Ideally, I'd like to have a service come in here every 2 weeks. Clean the kitchen, bathroom, vaccum carpets, mop hardwood floors, wipe down appliances and electronics, dust the furniture, etc. My house does seem like Dust City, USA sometimes. Maybe clean the windows once a month. I don't need them to change linens, deal with laundry, do dishes, etc. I have a small 1,100 square foot home in an average-cost area.

I called a couple of local service providers to inquire about cost. None would tell me even so much as a price range, even after I told them how big the house was, without an appointment and formal "estimate." I don't have time to take off work and wait around for estimators during the day just to find out it's way beyond what I'm looking to spend. I have no idea what this type of service costs. One relative pays a "one woman show" with questionable immigration status $60 a week to clean a large house, which takes her about 4 hours, and my relative does not trust her enough to not be there while the cleaner is working. That's my only basis for comparison.

For those who use such services, what do you pay and how large is your home? And how much do you trust them not to pilfer your belongings if you aren't there when they work? I assume you have to give them a key? Not sure I'm cool with that either. Thanks.

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abuss368
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Post by abuss368 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:41 pm

$0.00

I would rather use the funds to invest in my index funds.

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Post by funnymoney » Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:43 pm

On the West Coast, it's usually $25 per hour or more.

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Post by Atilla » Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:53 pm

For $6 the boy vacuums, cleans the wood floors and cleans the tile in the bathroom.

Wife dusts and we share the rest.

1,400 square feet.

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C319
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Post by C319 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:56 pm

$140 per visit to clean a 4,000 sf home (and 800 sf guest house) in 4 to 5 hours with two people. They have their own key. After 10 years with us, we trust them to be there when we're not.

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Post by livesoft » Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:20 pm

$60 for two people to clean a 3000 sq ft with 4 bedrooms & 4 bathrooms. We are generally not home and leave the door unlocked. We have nothing of value to pilfer. We have 2 fireproof boxes for documents like passports, marriage license, birth certificates, but we leave the keys right on top of the boxes. Same maids for more than 10 years.
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crow
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Post by crow » Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:32 pm

$60.00 a week to clean 2300 sq. ft. house, 4 BR 2 1/2 Bath, including mop floors (entire house is wood floor or tile), vacum rugs, dust, change bed linens (2 rooms), clean kitchen and wipe down appliances and inside microwave. About once a month, she wipes down the windows/glass doors. Well worth the 60.00 Just as a note, I don't like using a cleaning service because you never know who will be in your house. It's not usually the same person each week. I prefer to find an individual by referral and trust that person to have a key.

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Post by Sriracha » Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:38 pm

Because of a very serious illness in the family which left practically zero time for this stuff, I relied on a reference from a good acquaintance to hire a two person team to clean once every two weeks the approximately 1500 square foot place in a suburb of a US city with a population of 1M that we owned at the time.

They pretty much did what you are looking for. I never asked them to do windows and they never bothered with asking or doing them with the exception of the ones in the kitchen, which tend to get dirty if you cook at all.

The two person team took about an hour and forty five minutes to two hours to do the job. We paid $115 per visit.

I never gave them a key. We had multiple locks on the door and made a point of only leaving the key to one of them accessable. I'd often wait for them to arrive and leave the one key telling them to lock the bottom lock when they leave. Most times I made it back a half hour or so before they could possibly be done, just to be sure they knew I was watching. I hate to say it but I even left a few temptations out on the first few visits just to see what would happen.

I ended up feeling small. Nothing ever went missing. They' were very honest. They broke a nice seashell by accident once and they felt so badly about it that it made me feel terrible.

Anyway, be sure to check that their employers have insurance (assuming that they have employers). Not a bad idea to see what your policy says about potential liability and coverage for these folks either.

Sorry if any of this is unreadable or cryptic. I'm not used to using the phone for this length of a message.
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ClaireTN
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Post by ClaireTN » Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:24 pm

We have a "green" cleaning service that comes for three hours every other week. $35 an hour. This is on the high side in our area, but I like knowing that they pay their cleaners a living wage, take care of all of the payroll taxes, insurance, etc., and use environmentally friendly products.

Our house is about 1600 sq. ft., and they get it amazingly clean in three hours.

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Post by bdpb » Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:49 pm

We have a whole house cleaning every two weeks. On the in between weeks
we get the bathrooms only cleaned for a nominal charge. It's great to
never really have a dirty toilet or tub in the house.

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Post by epilnk » Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:36 pm

crow wrote:$60.00 a week to clean 2300 sq. ft. house, 4 BR 2 1/2 Bath, including mop floors (entire house is wood floor or tile), vacum rugs, dust, change bed linens (2 rooms), clean kitchen and wipe down appliances and inside microwave. About once a month, she wipes down the windows/glass doors. Well worth the 60.00 Just as a note, I don't like using a cleaning service because you never know who will be in your house. It's not usually the same person each week. I prefer to find an individual by referral and trust that person to have a key.

We pay $80 wk/for a similar job, slightly smaller house. We hired one individual on recommendation, and she has 4 to 5 regular employees - all family, I think. Sometimes all 5 or 6 show up and are done in an hour, sometimes just 2 and it takes longer. The woman we hired is American but some of her relatives speak little english and we haven't asked about their status. They have a key.

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C319
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Post by C319 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:51 pm

C319 wrote:$140 per visit to clean a 4,000 sf home (and 800 sf guest house) in 4 to 5 hours with two people. They have their own key. After 10 years with us, we trust them to be there when we're not.

I forgot to mention this includes the usual cleaning duties, plus washing & folding laundry, washing windows from inside & outside, changing bedding and washing dishes. They do other stuff as needed, like polishing the stainless steel kitchen appliances, granite countertop sealing and light cooking if I'm at home when they're there. Overall I think the expense is well worth it.

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Post by wacodiver » Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:58 pm

$80/wk for our woman to come and clean our 3,300 sf 4br/3.5ba house but one room is a guest room that she doesn't normally touch. We basically have her just do floors, bathrooms, and kitchen. No laundry or linens. Normally takes her 3-4 hours. This is Texas so I expect prices are lower than on the coasts. She has her own key.

She doesn't do windows or ceiling fans or the really fussy stuff on a weekly basis. I usually wait until we are going to be on a multi week vacation to give her those tasks so that she has something to do on the second week when the house is still clean so she isnt out work for the week just because we are on vacation

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Post by exigent » Fri Feb 11, 2011 12:18 am

$125 every other week for a 3300 sq ft, 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom with 4 kids making a mess all day, every day. Basically floors, bathrooms, and kitchens, along with a good bit of dusting (desks, shelves, etc). No laundry or linens. This is a one woman show, but we trust her to be here when we're not. I wouldn't trust a service like Merry Maids, or whatever, because you never know who they'll send out.

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Post by yobria » Fri Feb 11, 2011 12:26 am

wacodiver wrote:$80/wk for our woman to come and clean our 3,300 sf 4br/3.5ba house but one room is a guest room that she doesn't normally touch. We basically have her just do floors, bathrooms, and kitchen. No laundry or linens. Normally takes her 3-4 hours. This is Texas so I expect prices are lower than on the coasts.


Actually there's so much cheap (read: undocumented) labor in the SF Bay area my friends who have their homes cleaned pay in the $10-$15/hour range. I'm always shocked when I hear how cheap it is, but I've heard that from a few people in different cities...

Nick

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Post by Wannaretireearly » Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:14 am

C319 wrote:$140 per visit to clean a 4,000 sf home (and 800 sf guest house) in 4 to 5 hours with two people. They have their own key. After 10 years with us, we trust them to be there when we're not.


Gotta love Texas, cheap houses and cheap cleaning!

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Lon
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Post by Lon » Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:40 am

My wife and I are NEATNICKS and pay $90 every four weeks for two people to do 2 bedroom, two bath, 1,850 sq. ft. home. Dusting, vacuuming, polishing,sinks, tub, showers, floors. California

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semperlux
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Post by semperlux » Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:21 am

My relatives pay $90 every visit for 2 people to clean for 3 hours. 3500sq ft 2 story house. Started out great, everything clean and spotless. Over one year's time, work got sloppier and sloppier. Or sometimes they "forget" to clean certain areas. They broke a window rod and 2 picture frames from rubbing too hard. Eventually, my relatives stopped using them and just clean the house themselves. Headache resolved.

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Post by stan1 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:59 am

Just be prepared some things will break. No matter how professional, most people don't care for other people's things the way they care for their own. In our case it was shutters and blinds that got beat up. The cleaning crew dusted them aggressively, which caused the linkage mechanisms to become stressed and fail prematurely. That's my perspective; the cleaning crew would say they were cheaply made and broke easily. In fact, the blinds and shutters were NOT cheap to purchase but were more fragile than I would have preferred.

I wouldn't stop using a service because of breakage, its just a hidden cost. Even the best crews will occasionally break something (as you would if you were doing the job yourself).

I would also work with a small business so you don't have to worry about being on the hook for FICA. Pay with checks (not cash) so you have records. Odds are you won't get caught unless you are running for political office, but then again ....

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Post by snyder66 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 7:20 am

$0.00

I would rather use the funds to invest in my index funds

Why does this always happens when some asks for advice that someone else finds no value in? The OP didn't ask if you would rather invest money in index funds. By the way, We pay $50 every other week. And, With 3 young children, there is great value in this service to us.[/b]

tim1999
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Post by tim1999 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 8:10 am

Thanks for the replies, everyone, this is the information I was looking for. It looks like this service will likely be in the price range of what I am willing to spend. I just made appointments with some of the local branches of the franchised maid companies to come out here tomorrow and give me estimates.

Their websites say that the customers' house keys are kept in some kind of secure location, are released to the cleaners on the day of service, and are collected at the end of the day. It is a little comforting, but I guess nothing is stopping them from visiting the local hardware store during their daily rounds and making a copy. Then again, anything I own of real value other than my car is either kept in a good safe or an off-site location. I doubt they are going to walk off with my 5-year old sofa.

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Post by wacodiver » Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:44 am

Cherokee8215 wrote:Thanks for the replies, everyone, this is the information I was looking for. It looks like this service will likely be in the price range of what I am willing to spend. I just made appointments with some of the local branches of the franchised maid companies to come out here tomorrow and give me estimates.

Their websites say that the customers' house keys are kept in some kind of secure location, are released to the cleaners on the day of service, and are collected at the end of the day. It is a little comforting, but I guess nothing is stopping them from visiting the local hardware store during their daily rounds and making a copy. Then again, anything I own of real value other than my car is either kept in a good safe or an off-site location. I doubt they are going to walk off with my 5-year old sofa.


Frankly that is why I'd rather have a single person with whom I can develop a long-term relationship rather than a service that sends out people at random. We found our cleaning lady word of mouth as she had worked for a colleague of my wife's for years. She's been with us for 3 years and we trust her. We don't have lots of valuables but do have things like cameras, computers, bikes, lots of tools. So someone could wipe us out but they'd need a truck to do it. We don't have diamonds or Rolexes laying around.

I'd be curious how many of you use a professional service as opposed to just a cleaning lady. We interviewed several services and they were much more expensive and I got the impression that the staff got paid less due to the big cut the business was getting. This being Texas, our cleaning lady is Mexican. I have no idea whether she is documented or not. Or whether she pays her taxes. I just leave her a check every week. Same as I do for the guys who mow the lawn in the summer.

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Post by natureexplorer » Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:52 am

$16.24/hr

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Post by NateW » Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:56 am

"For those who use such services, what do you pay and how large is your home? And how much do you trust them not to pilfer your belongings if you aren't there when they work? I assume you have to give them a key? Not sure I'm cool with that either"

My wife went with Merry Maids service and they do just about what you listed, every two weeks. We pay $108 every two weeks. House size is about 1750 square feet, and in Northern Virginia, where prices for everything are high.

We have never had a problem with anything, or even suspected anything missing. We gave them a key and they clean on weekdays while qwe are at work.

--Nate

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Post by midwest85 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:17 am

$95 for 2 maids to clean the house in 2.5 hours. 4 BR 3 Bath. They do the carpets, kitchen bathroom etc. They come every other week.

Many years back, I read a book about millionaires. One of the things they all did was outsourced work that was not in their area of specialization so they could make more money in their area of specialization which invariably was at a higher rate. So if one can make 3 digit rate per hour, it makes sense to outsource low skilled chores so one can profit from the cost differential. Just like borrowing money at low yield to invest at a higher yield. Carry trade.

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$40

Post by heyyou » Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:29 am

We pay $40 every other week to one person for about 3 hours of work on our thousand square feet of living area.

This is in a small town of about 10,000 people in rural Arizona. The cleaner was recommended by friends. Half of her current work is from our recommendations. If she has a problem somewhere, we will hear about it. A good housecleaner will stay busy in retirement towns.

If we did not hire a cleaner, I would have to spend much more of my own retirement time doing my half of the same work, with my wife as the inspector! Hiring that out seems like a very good investment to me.

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Post by wacodiver » Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:47 am

The two decisions/purchases that have done more to improve the quality of life of my family than any others are: (1) moving back into the city from the remote suburbs to a location where everything in our lives is 5 minutes or less away (jobs, schools, gyms, groceries) and (2) hiring a cleaning lady.

My wife and I both work full time and we have 3 young girls a cat and a dog. We also have a pretty big house. The clutter and mess just builds up during the week to where a complete sweeping and vacuuming and tidying up is necessary. If we did not have a cleaning lady who comes during the day on Friday we'd have to spend our Saturday mornings cleaning house which would get on both my and my wife's nerves as we have different tolerance levels for clutter and dirt. Hiring a cleaning lady means our weekends are truly free and it eliminates a major potential source for friction in our marriage. I consider that money well spent. We get more value for it than any other thing we spend our money on. The rest of it is just "stuff" that we can do with or without as the case may be.

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Post by chaz » Fri Feb 11, 2011 12:43 pm

abuss368 wrote:$0.00

I would rather use the funds to invest in my index funds.


+1
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HomerJ
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Post by HomerJ » Fri Feb 11, 2011 12:49 pm

$80 every two weeks...

Best money I ever spent... I haven't cleaned a toilet in years, and more importantly, my wife is happy (and not yelling at me on weekends to clean the toilets)

Oh, and ask your friends and neighbors who they use... Much safer to find someone who's been cleaning your neighbor's house for 3 years with no problems.
Last edited by HomerJ on Fri Feb 11, 2011 12:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by sschullo » Fri Feb 11, 2011 12:49 pm

$160 per month they come twice. I think its a good investment. I don't have any data, but I suspect that a house cleaned regularly and throughly will be healther and have fewer repairs. For example in our last house, we lived in it for 27 years and had the enterior painted once. It was cleaned regularly for most of those years.
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Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:07 pm

In true Boglehead fashion - zero.

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C319
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Post by C319 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:04 pm

GRT2BOUTDOORS wrote:In true Boglehead fashion - zero.

Okay friends, will someone please explain what being a Boglehead has to do with hiring, or not hiring someone to clean your house? If the expense fits within the scope of one's financial world then I don't see what difference it makes. I figure 4 or 5 hours of housecleaning costs me an hour of wages and frees me up to focus on other things, so I have someone else do it. Same goes for yard maintenance. The impact of the expense on meeting my savings goals is nil, and I value coming home to a clean house more than say, a nicer car.

In the end these are services many folks value and can reasonably afford without jeopardizing their other financial goals. Personally I'd rather spend the time tinkering on a car engine, reading a book for self-improvement, or taking my daughter to the park. Not to sound like a smartass, but I just don't get some of you. I think frugality has to be a relative concept, otherwise no "real Bogleheads" would drive a car or have more than one pair of shoes. Please educate me if I am missing something.

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Post by gkaplan » Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:19 pm

I consider myself a Boglehead (I max out my TSP and my Roth IRA, so my take-home pay is about one-third of my gross pay.); however, including my commute, my workday is about fifteen hours. I'm too tired during the week to do housework, and I don't want to deal with housework on the weekends, other than to do laundry and cook meals. Hiring a housecleaner is worth the expense to me.
Gordon

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Post by epilnk » Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:52 am

C319 wrote:
GRT2BOUTDOORS wrote:In true Boglehead fashion - zero.

Okay friends, will someone please explain what being a Boglehead has to do with hiring, or not hiring someone to clean your house? If the expense fits within the scope of one's financial world then I don't see what difference it makes. I figure 4 or 5 hours of housecleaning costs me an hour of wages and frees me up to focus on other things, so I have someone else do it. Same goes for yard maintenance. The impact of the expense on meeting my savings goals is nil, and I value coming home to a clean house more than say, a nicer car.

In the end these are services many folks value and can reasonably afford without jeopardizing their other financial goals. Personally I'd rather spend the time tinkering on a car engine, reading a book for self-improvement, or taking my daughter to the park. Not to sound like a smartass, but I just don't get some of you. I think frugality has to be a relative concept, otherwise no "real Bogleheads" would drive a car or have more than one pair of shoes. Please educate me if I am missing something.

No, I don't think you're missing anything - it gets a little Silas Marner around here sometimes. There's a contingent of tightwads who seem to believe that only those who hoard every discretionary cent are eligible for the title of boglehead. If so, that's a club I wouldn't want to join. I direct our finances toward achieving our financial and life goals, not maximizing the size of the bank account.

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Post by epilnk » Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:03 am

wacodiver wrote:Frankly that is why I'd rather have a single person with whom I can develop a long-term relationship rather than a service that sends out people at random. We found our cleaning lady word of mouth as she had worked for a colleague of my wife's for years. She's been with us for 3 years and we trust her. We don't have lots of valuables but do have things like cameras, computers, bikes, lots of tools. So someone could wipe us out but they'd need a truck to do it. We don't have diamonds or Rolexes laying around.

I'd be curious how many of you use a professional service as opposed to just a cleaning lady. We interviewed several services and they were much more expensive and I got the impression that the staff got paid less due to the big cut the business was getting. This being Texas, our cleaning lady is Mexican. I have no idea whether she is documented or not. Or whether she pays her taxes. I just leave her a check every week. Same as I do for the guys who mow the lawn in the summer.

We hire a local woman. She wouldn't stay in business if her clients didn't trust her; the town is not that big. The women who work for/with her have varying competency in english but I don't know where they are from or what their status is. After reading Barbara Ehrenreich's "Nickle and Dimed", in which she did a stint with a Merry Maids type service, I don't think I could hire a company like that without wondering how the workers were treated and paid. While I don't know how these ladies split the cash I at least know it all stays with them, and nobody loses her job due to a sick child or other urgent responsibility.

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Post by Triple digit golfer » Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:15 am

Funny this topic is brought up, I was just asking a couple relatives about this because in the back of my mind I was considering it.

We're in the Chicago suburbs. My grandma said they charge $55 per visit and they use her cleaning supplies in a 1,500 square foot condo. My aunt said she pays $60 per visit for her 3,200 square foot house, and they bring their own cleaning supplies.

So in conclusion, based on the little that I know, I'd say that you should probably be able to do it for < $60 every two weeks.

If you hate cleaning and it's something that irritates the sh*t out of you, I say go for it and enjoy the stress-free no cleaning lifestyle.

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Post by Triple digit golfer » Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:20 am

midwest85 wrote:$95 for 2 maids to clean the house in 2.5 hours. 4 BR 3 Bath. They do the carpets, kitchen bathroom etc. They come every other week.

Many years back, I read a book about millionaires. One of the things they all did was outsourced work that was not in their area of specialization so they could make more money in their area of specialization which invariably was at a higher rate. So if one can make 3 digit rate per hour, it makes sense to outsource low skilled chores so one can profit from the cost differential. Just like borrowing money at low yield to invest at a higher yield. Carry trade.


The highlighted part doesn't make sense. If the $100 per hour person would be sitting around earning $0 per hour while he pays someone $10 per hour to clean, he's still spending $10 per hour.

Let's say I make $34 per hour. Why should I drive myself to work? I could hire a driver for $15/hour. Why should I cook my own food? Clean my own house? Do the dishes? Wash myself. Feed myself. I could hire people and pay them less than I earn to do all of those things, and instead work 130 hours a week!

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Post by peter71 » Sat Feb 12, 2011 9:50 am

Doesn't a true Boglehead need a cleaning service to clear up time for watching their passive investments and posting on here? :D

I don't have one myself, but I'm kind of impressed by how reasonable even the green/fair wage company prices are . . . I guess it's not that it's that much less expensive than child care per hour as that there's far fewer hours involved.

All best,
Pete

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Post by rustymutt » Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:19 am

livesoft wrote:$60 for two people to clean a 3000 sq ft with 4 bedrooms & 4 bathrooms. We are generally not home and leave the door unlocked. We have nothing of value to pilfer. We have 2 fireproof boxes for documents like passports, marriage license, birth certificates, but we leave the keys right on top of the boxes. Same maids for more than 10 years.


You leave the door unlocked? This should make the crooks online light up with delight.
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Post by ThatGuy » Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:40 am

Since the wife does the majority of cleaning... more than I can afford!
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exigent
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Post by exigent » Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:41 am

rustymutt wrote:You leave the door unlocked? This should make the crooks online light up with delight.


On behalf of all the "crooks online," I've been madly scouring phone books from across the country, but still haven't found an entry (and corresponding address) for "livesoft." Oh well. Guess I'll have to get a job instead.

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touchdowntodd
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Post by touchdowntodd » Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:05 am

i offered to my wife to pay someone to come in and she was outraged...

i love that woman! ;0)

thats $50 more a month into my Roth!
tryin to do this right... thanks guys

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Maids

Post by Gordon » Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:50 pm

For my wife's birthday some years ago I gave her maid service every other week.

The house is 2600 square feet and the service costs $50 a visit. The older lady has been in business for 40 years or so and has two younger healpers . they come promptly and finish in about an hour and a half. We usually go out to breakfast when they come, they have keys to the house.

I have learened how to recognize a good maid. They will use very little water, move quickly and clean and dust everything including pictire frames, ceiling fans, mirrors, kitch and bathroon faucets. They prefer a hig hpowered vacume and lots of rags and paper towels. We supply the cleaning materials and have preferences as to the brand.

Triple digit golfer
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Post by Triple digit golfer » Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:01 pm

For those of you who have a cleaning service, do you do like my grandma does and clean the house before they come over so you don't have to be embarrassed about a dirty house?

Die Hard
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Post by Die Hard » Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:09 pm

I'd rather pay to have a home cooked meal when I get home from work. I can vacuum, dust, clean the tub and toilets and wash clothes in no time. I don't let it pile up and that's what keeps me sane.

I don't like to eat out. My oldest used to work at a restaurant. You wouldn't believe the stories :shock:
The best way to teach your children about money is to not have any.............

stan1
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Post by stan1 » Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:18 pm

Triple digit golfer wrote:For those of you who have a cleaning service, do you do like my grandma does and clean the house before they come over so you don't have to be embarrassed about a dirty house?


I think many people do this. We always used to think it was funny when my mom did it while we were growing up. She didn't want to pay the cleaning ladies for straightening and picking up stuff; she wanted them dusting, doing floors, bathrooms, and the kitchen. It does make sense.

exigent
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Post by exigent » Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:19 pm

Triple digit golfer wrote:For those of you who have a cleaning service, do you do like my grandma does and clean the house before they come over so you don't have to be embarrassed about a dirty house?


We pick things up and put stuff away before she comes, but we don't pre-clean. To me, that's like washing your dishes before you put them in the dishwasher. Some people do it, but I don't understand why.

Note that we don't pay our cleaning lady to pick up after us, we pay her to actually clean (sweep, vacuum, mop, and so forth). Thus, we're not doing any of her work for her. If anything, an impending visit provides us with valuable motivation to straighten up around the house.

marylandcrab
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Post by marylandcrab » Sun Jun 26, 2011 5:54 am

I have a 5500 sq ft house and pay 180/wk. She comes every Friday. I never liked the name services, they'd do a good job the first time and get progressively worse.

The service I use now is moms who started this business. They do a great job, change sheets, do the dishes, and I have all hardwood floors in almost the entire house with a dog and 3 cats and too many bathrooms to mention. She has the code to the garage door and even comes when we're gone on vacation or out of town.

She'll take on a different project when she sees one.

I hate cleaning, but want a clean house and with really bad allergies it helps to have everything dusted and swept weekly.

I'm never embarrassed to have anyone stop over unexpected now, and we do pick up before she comes. It forces us to be more organized and not let things pile up.

bwalling
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Post by bwalling » Sun Jun 26, 2011 7:27 am

$50/month for every other week cleaning. House is ~2500 square feet. Yeah, we could do it ourselves and save money, but it makes my wife much happier to have someone else do it.

saurabhec
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Post by saurabhec » Sun Jun 26, 2011 10:00 am

I live in NJ near Manhattan and we pay $50 every 2 weeks to get our 1300 sq ft apartment cleaned. It takes the cleaning lady about 2.5 hours to finish up the job. Our nanny is there when the cleaning lady comes so we have not had to give her the key, although before our baby was born we used to leave the key with the doorman (we live in an apartment building).

As far as safety, there is definitely a risk being introduced into your life if the cleaner comes when you are not there, or needs to be given the keys. The risk is not usually from the cleaners themselves, who will tend to be hard working, honest folk, but the real risk would be from their acquaintances. Maybe they have a drug addict son for example. If I lived in a suburb I would still take on the risk for the convenience, but it is undeniably a risk. You can mitigate it by having a long term relationship and getting to know more about your cleaners family and personal situation if you are able to.

As far as immigration status, I assume that most such folks are here illegally, and frankly I don't care as long as I pay them a reasonable wage. I try to hire folks who are in business for themselves or with family so that I know that they get to keep most of what I pay them. My cleaner is a polish woman who speaks almost no English, and it is quite possible she is here illegally. My nanny is Pakistani and I know she is here illegally, although she does seem to be trying to get a green card through the asylum process, probably by lying, like most asylum cases are (it is often economic immigration masquerading as political or personal or religious discrimination). These people are here, they are hard working and honest, and I have no qualms about hiring them. Obviously this means I can never get elected to any political office in the land.

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