Money Pit of a house

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RobLyons
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Re: Money Pit of a house

Post by RobLyons »

CtScrtDsse wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 2:30 pm About a year ago, my spouse in I bought a house in which we thought we wanted to raise our family in. We just got out of student loan debt last year, and put a down payment on our $501,000 house last July built in 2003. 14 months later it has been the ultimate money pit. We've already had to put $17,000 out of pocket into it but now there are some additional major plumbing issues (another conservatives estimate of $13,000-$15,000). Some of it seems like "bad luck" other parts seem like very poor construction. Homeowners insurance is covering very little (flooded kitchen). I'm 8 mo. pregnant and exhausted. We've putting every dollar when earn into this house. We had an initial inspection and it showed none of these initials issues. I'm probably partially just ranting, exhausted, and overwhelmed, but has anyone had any other experiences or recommendations? I'm just at my ends.


1) Broken /Replaced Water Heater Fall 2020 $75 *
2) Broken/Replaced Garbage Disposal Fall 2020 $75 *
3) Broken/Replaced Refrigerator Ice Dispenser Fall 2020 $75 *
4) Fixed Drain in upstairs bathroom Winter 2020 $200
5) Fixed Faulty electrical work in Basement/Garage/outside
*lost entire freezer full of breast milk Winter 2021 $500
6) Fixed Outdoor columns Spring 2021 $12,700
7) Lightning strike---broken electronics Spring 2021 $1,100
8) Woodpecker damage/pest spray Spring 2021 $600
9) Leaking sump pump line in backyard
• Two different tubing sizes used, replace ? $500
• Sump pump drain in neighbors yard, retrench ? $1,500
• Resod backyard ? $1,000
10) Dishwasher leak
• Two different tubing sizes used, replaced $20
• Fans and dehumidifiers prevent mold $1,200
• Replace cabinets, possible floor ? 2,000
11) Pike Leak beneath House
• Diagnosis by Reliable Leak Detection $500
• Reroute pipe ? $8,000-$10,000


Total: $17,065 ?13,000-$15,000


Welcome to home ownership! It sounds like you're just frustrated, but don't give up! Life throws a lot at us, especially early in life. Home ownership is great but it comes with a lot of extra unplanned expenses. From your list you have had 2 big expenses and sounds like 1 more to tackle. Fix it, after obtaining 3 quotes, and rest assured this won't ever have to be fixed again. To break down your list...

# 1 - 5 very inexpensive fixes
# 6 is a big expense
# 7 - bad luck
# 8 - 10 normal house expenses
# 11 - Another big expense, but necessary


I can't think of a better alternative here. Sell and try to cover up the problem? Or disclose it and move on to another home that may need more work? Or luck out and find a home that's in better shape but you have to deal with moving with a newborn? Your house isn't the "ultimate money pit". Imagine needing a new heating system, finding black mold, needing a new roof, structural beams rotted out by termites, needing new electrical system, etc.

At 40, I've owned my house now for 9 years. Every year I've had major expenses to the tune of about $10k / year. Some necessary, some vanity.

1) Black mold inside our roof that inspector didn't identify (replaced roof down to beams)
2) new heating system (old one was rusted out)
3) new siding (better than hiring a painter or risking falling off a ladder every few years IMO)
4) removed 9 trees due to rotting/dying, new shed (old one not salvageable).
5) Repaired and replaced almost every major appliance (all crapped out)
6) converted from oil to natural gas after leak in oil tank
7) completely renovated back yard
8) New paver walkway I did myself
9) Professionally poured driveways (2), patio and walkway
10) Half French drainage system (basement constantly flooding)

I know I'm missing a lot here but these are the bigger expenses. All > $2k. And we are not wealthy, we are a middle income family. But we stayed here because of several factors: location, great home layout, affordable price point, nice neighbors, and along with location comes less traffic, decent schools, kids friends, sports etc.

If you can check several boxes from the above list as to why you want to remain in the home, pay for the next big expense and stay.

Deep breath. You guys got this!
"Great parenting sets the foundation for a better world"
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Sandtrap
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Re: Money Pit of a house

Post by Sandtrap »

CtScrtDsse wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 2:30 pm About a year ago, my spouse in I bought a house in which we thought we wanted to raise our family in. We just got out of student loan debt last year, and put a down payment on our $501,000 house last July built in 2003. 14 months later it has been the ultimate money pit. We've already had to put $17,000 out of pocket into it but now there are some additional major plumbing issues (another conservatives estimate of $13,000-$15,000). Some of it seems like "bad luck" other parts seem like very poor construction. Homeowners insurance is covering very little (flooded kitchen). I'm 8 mo. pregnant and exhausted. We've putting every dollar when earn into this house. We had an initial inspection and it showed none of these initials issues. I'm probably partially just ranting, exhausted, and overwhelmed, but has anyone had any other experiences or recommendations? I'm just at my ends.


1) Broken /Replaced Water Heater Fall 2020 $75 *
2) Broken/Replaced Garbage Disposal Fall 2020 $75 *
3) Broken/Replaced Refrigerator Ice Dispenser Fall 2020 $75 *
4) Fixed Drain in upstairs bathroom Winter 2020 $200
5) Fixed Faulty electrical work in Basement/Garage/outside
*lost entire freezer full of breast milk Winter 2021 $500
6) Fixed Outdoor columns Spring 2021 $12,700
7) Lightning strike---broken electronics Spring 2021 $1,100
8) Woodpecker damage/pest spray Spring 2021 $600
9) Leaking sump pump line in backyard
• Two different tubing sizes used, replace ? $500
• Sump pump drain in neighbors yard, retrench ? $1,500
• Resod backyard ? $1,000
10) Dishwasher leak
• Two different tubing sizes used, replaced $20
• Fans and dehumidifiers prevent mold $1,200
• Replace cabinets, possible floor ? 2,000
11) Pike Leak beneath House
• Diagnosis by Reliable Leak Detection $500
• Reroute pipe ? $8,000-$10,000


Total: $17,065 ?13,000-$15,000
Notes:
1. Some/many of these repairs would have happened on any home you might have bought short of a new one.
2. Realize that as you are upgrading and repairing, that those things are taken care of and won't give problems again. So, your list of potentials is getting shorter.
2b. Everything you do in the house is an opportunity to upgrade and remodel and improve the house for the long run.
3. Much like buying a used car, it takes time to iron out the "kinks" in a new (used) home. But, it will indeed pass and you will have a lovely home.
4. It is easy to be overwhelmed but. . .like a passing storm, even if a slow one. . they do indeed end or at least slow down greatly. . . then end.

Example/Story
Here's a real life more extreme example similar to the comedy movie with actor Tom Hanks, "The Money Pit".

We bought a home at a bank auction. It had been abandoned in the 2008 economic crash and empty for 6 years. In that time, this formerly 1 million dollar home sustained massive water damage, rat damage, etc. The bank had done some "remediation and mold work" by tearing out most of the drywall and flooring inside the 3 floors of the house. Weeds 5-6 feet high grew around the house. It smelled horribly of rats and was flea infested. All of the fixtures and appliances were gone or vandalized.

It took 2 years to strip this house and rebuild everything in it, including water, electric, etc. And, also completely redo the stucco exterior with synthetic and base, etc. Now, the home is worth many times what we paid for it, and have invested in it, and once again, looks like a million dollar estate home.

Hang in there. It will end and things will be great.
Make some herb tea on a lay afternoon or evening and watch the movie, "The Money Pit".
And, remember, everything takes "2 weeks to fix".

j :D
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Watty
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Re: Money Pit of a house

Post by Watty »

CtScrtDsse wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 2:30 pm ....built in 2003
....
Some of it seems like "bad luck" other parts seem like very poor construction.
At least in part you may be right.

Not that it helps but during the housing bubble that peaked in about 2006 some of the housing construction quality was very bad because they were building houses as fast as they could and they were often using unqualified construction workers.

If the housing boom was in full swing in your area in 2003 that could account for some of the problem you are having.

If you are in a subdivision of houses that were build at about the same time then it would be good to talk with your neighbors to find out what problems they are having so you can be prepared for similar problem and maybe address them before they become big problems.
dbr
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Re: Money Pit of a house

Post by dbr »

I think those columns are bad luck at getting poor construction you shouldn't have to experience and the same if there are electrical problems anywhere in a less than twenty year old house. It isn't clear what happened with that pipe repair, but it seems that should not have happened either. You have everyone's sympathy.
bloom2708
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Re: Money Pit of a house

Post by bloom2708 »

Home ownership and a large mortgage....the Dream House!!!

I feel for you. Houses (even newer ones) can be very expensive.

It is a lifestyle choice that not everyone is willing/able to put up with.
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jumppilot
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Re: Money Pit of a house

Post by jumppilot »

CtScrtDsse wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 2:30 pm About a year ago, my spouse in I bought a house in which we thought we wanted to raise our family in. We just got out of student loan debt last year, and put a down payment on our $501,000 house last July built in 2003. 14 months later it has been the ultimate money pit.


Total: $17,065 ?13,000-$15,000

Are you by chance a first time home buyer? I ask only because a lot of the expenses you list are normal when it comes to home ownership.

The good news is once you fix everything it shouldn’t give you problems for a long time. As you said, you want to raise a family in this house so you’re in it for the long haul. Fix everything right and you’ll rest easy knowing that particular item is taken care of.

We found a roof leak after we moved in and had to get a new roof. Good news is we won’t have to worry about it again for another 20 years or so. It’ll be the same with you once you finish out the “shakedown cruise” of the house.
Mitchell777
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Re: Money Pit of a house

Post by Mitchell777 »

I feel your pain having experienced most of these costs. I had an electrician and plumber here last week. The costs that bother me most are those I never saw coming, at least not close together. I lost six mature trees (Maples, Oaks, Ash), all about 80 years old. Cost nearly $20K total to remove including stumps. One 80 yo Oak planted several yards from my house and several yards from the neighbors house, requiring a crane for removal. It took a year to find someone who could do the job and cost $7200. I can say it's not just me. Every neighbor has lost 1 or 2, 60 to 80 yo trees. They planted most of them right by the sidewalk and street, which was not good for the tree but did help with taking them down. Now there is a sinkhole in the neighborhood. Another one I did not consider.
tibbitts
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Re: Money Pit of a house

Post by tibbitts »

At least you are having those expenses on a $500k house. My house is maybe $160k-ish with a bit of a recent run-up, and the expenses are mostly the same as for a $500k house, meaning a much higher percentage of the value of the house going to repairs. Certainly the hassle of finding people to do work at reasonable prices is exactly the same, and that's a big part of the issue. I know Bogleheads do almost all work on a house themselves, but I'm not doing high-altitude (for me standing more than about 5ft off the ground) work myself, includes nothing on the roof. I'm getting quotes now for electrical work that involves removing the meter and I'm not doing that either. And some tasks I might get better at and produce more professional looking results with practice, but I would never do them enough times to make acquiring those skills through trial and error worthwhile.
supalong52
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Re: Money Pit of a house

Post by supalong52 »

Your expenses seem pretty normal. I think you just get used to it over time. We've been in our 19 year old house for 2 1/2 years and I think we've put $50k into it. Not really repairs, but just updating and some preventative work -- that includes furnishings too. We do need to do some roofing repairs soon before our solar panels go up. Together we might be looking at another $20-25k.

We like to be proactive so it's easier spending this money to prevent problems, than to be reactive and spend even more to fix them.
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CtScrtDsse
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Re: Money Pit of a house

Post by CtScrtDsse »

Thank you for everyone's advice/stories.

We are new homeowners. My formatting didn't turn out well, but we've already spent $17,000 on home repairs and will spend a projected $13,000-$15,000 more urgent repairs needed. We have a main pipe leak (loosing about 500 gallons of water a day) and need to have the line re-routed which will require some major work in the yard and house. The house looks very nice on the outside, but we are finding that the builders took a lot of shortcuts that were completely unexpected (we had anticipated a new water heater and roof eventually, but not these kinds of repairs). It's just very disheartening to be spending $30,000-$35,000 on completely unexpected repairs when we were just getting ready to open up a 529 for our kids and save for retirement; we got a late start; I'm 36, spouse is 40 :(

Most of the major expenses were urgent (fixing the columns that supported the roof and now this water main line) and not DIY projects. It's also disheartening that these are repairs, and not upgrades to the house that don't add any real value.

The $75 water heater was from a home warranty.
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CtScrtDsse
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Re: Money Pit of a house

Post by CtScrtDsse »

runner3081 wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 2:46 pm Those are mostly all normal costs of home ownership. Consider yourself lucky at <$20k.

Did you get a home inspection, by chance?
Yes, we got a home inspection. It showed no major issues.
dbr
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Re: Money Pit of a house

Post by dbr »

CtScrtDsse wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 12:10 pm Thank you for everyone's advice/stories.

We are new homeowners. My formatting didn't turn out well, but we've already spent $17,000 on home repairs and will spend a projected $13,000-$15,000 more urgent repairs needed. We have a main pipe leak (loosing about 500 gallons of water a day) and need to have the line re-routed which will require some major work in the yard and house. The house looks very nice on the outside, but we are finding that the builders took a lot of shortcuts that were completely unexpected (we had anticipated a new water heater and roof eventually, but not these kinds of repairs). It's just very disheartening to be spending $30,000-$35,000 on completely unexpected repairs when we were just getting ready to open up a 529 for our kids and save for retirement; we got a late start; I'm 36, spouse is 40 :(

Most of the major expenses were urgent (fixing the columns that supported the roof and now this water main line) and not DIY projects. It's also disheartening that these are repairs, and not upgrades to the house that don't add any real value.

The $75 water heater was from a home warranty.
I agree with you that having pre-existing failures like that in a just purchased house is disheartening, especially as it speaks to poor quality original construction. I was 35 when we bought our first house, but the needs of the house (many) were evident and not surprises. We moved into the house with a toddler and a birth right then. It would have been really hard to cope with this sort of thing and bring home a new baby.
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whodidntante
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Re: Money Pit of a house

Post by whodidntante »

It's always something when you own a house. Something to do, something to coordinate, something that requires your attention and money.

My homeownership pattern is nearly ideal to maximize the financial benefits of ownership, and I'm still not super happy about it. For every person bragging about the fistfuls of dollars they made, there is a story about unexpected costs or property in the wrong location or wrong characteristics to enjoy useful appreciation. And there is every chance the person bragging didn't account for all the costs of homeownership like the lifestyle inflation that will surely come with buying a 2,800 sq ft three car garage McMansion, or the opportunity cost of a paid-off house.

Probably the main benefit of ownership is increased stability. While my house can become uninhabitable, undesirable, or be seized by the government, no landlord can tell me I have 30 days to get out or that my lease will not be renewed. Some people also get emotionally attached to their land and collection of mostly unnecessary stuff and call it a "home." I guess I have. Awareness of a bias is not sufficient to avoid it.
fundseeker
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Re: Money Pit of a house

Post by fundseeker »

OP, Sorry to hear about so many expensive issues. At this point, if there is no way to recover some of the expenses from the seller (failure to disclose issues), or others, you just have to keep repair costs down. The best way is to always get two or three estimates for repairs. Our water line broke last year and one quote was $4000, and the other quote was under $1000. Unbelievable! So be patient and get several quotes for all work. Better yet, maybe your spouse or you can learn to do some repairs yourself. Hang in there!

Re the seller, I’d be trying to figure out how I could prove they got quotes for some of those repairs prior to selling.
av111
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Re: Money Pit of a house

Post by av111 »

CtScrtDsse wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 12:10 pm We have a main pipe leak (loosing about 500 gallons of water a day) and need to have the line re-routed which will require some major work in the yard and house.
Has the home insurance declined to cover this leak?
AV111
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CtScrtDsse
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Re: Money Pit of a house

Post by CtScrtDsse »

av111 wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 1:47 pm
CtScrtDsse wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 12:10 pm We have a main pipe leak (loosing about 500 gallons of water a day) and need to have the line re-routed which will require some major work in the yard and house.
Has the home insurance declined to cover this leak?
We've already submitted 2 insurance claims this year---one for the columns (insurance didn't pay) and the other for the flooded kitchen d/t faulty dishwasher line (insurance should pay). We've been told that we really shouldn't submit any other claims b/c we will likely be dropped, and they won't pay anyways since there's no damage *yet* to the house and the pipe is outside the house----fortunately the sump pump is working extra hard and keeping the water out of the basement.
davebo
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Re: Money Pit of a house

Post by davebo »

I have a house built in the 1950's and have spent probably an average of $6K/year to do repairs that are either necessary or will be necessary soon (I like to be a little early vs. a little late).

Besides the outdoor column expense and the pipe leak under the house, those seem pretty normal. Of course, those 2 are the most expensive so I'm sure they hurt the most.
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JAZZISCOOL
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Re: Money Pit of a house

Post by JAZZISCOOL »

vitaflo wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 3:38 pm My experience with homes it that when it rains it pours. We moved into our new construction house in 2011 and since then have had to replace the water heater and garage door spring and....that's it. Total cost over a decade of about $1,200. I feel incredibly lucky but I also know that eventually things will start to go, and when they do, they will most likely happen all at once.
OP - Sorry for the frustration you are experiencing; owning a home can be stressful for sure. I hope house-related issues settle down for you.

I've also had a number of issues with my house over time (e.g. new hot water heater, new roof, leak in basement from A/C coil, several large sprinkler system repairs, garage door spring then opener, appliance replacement, etc.) but have been lucky that they don't all occur the same year (so far.) The new roof was an insurance claim but you still have to pay the deductible.
Marseille07
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Re: Money Pit of a house

Post by Marseille07 »

The maint cost is said to be around 1% of the property value. In this case, it appears higher; it's possible you have a lemon.

You can sell and move to a property with HOA - while you'd pay monthly, they take care of some maintenance issues. Obviously there's no free lunch, maintenance cost occurs somewhere and someone has to foot the bill.
MoonOrb
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Re: Money Pit of a house

Post by MoonOrb »

I don't think it's bad luck as much as it's just the clustering of a bunch of things to repair--repairing and replacing things is a natural consequence of home ownership and it needs to be budgeted for. Some years you spend a lot ($50k this year for us) but most years you don't spend much at all. In my experience maintenance and repair issues don't distribute them neatly into one bill every 3 months. So when you have a season where you have all kinds of bills and issues to take care of it seems like a lot, but when everything is hunky dory you tend not to think "no home maintenance expenses for the last eight months, this is great!".

But your experience doesn't sound unusual to me--just not a lot of fun.

Signed,
Someone who has spent $10,500 on two different plumbing issues this week.
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cockersx3
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Re: Money Pit of a house

Post by cockersx3 »

My house is about the same age as yours. Most of this is normal for a ~20 year old house, and I've done most of those over the last few years. I wouldn't characterize it as a money pit yet. Thankfully you purchased the home warranty when you got the house (assuming that's why the hot water heater replacement was only $75).

If you plan to stay in the home long term, you need to start planning to replace other systems in the house if they are original. For example - how old is you HVAC system? Or your roof? Or the appliances? If any of those are original, start budgeting now to replace them as they are likely to start failing. By way of comparison - I have replaced my HVAC system and all of the appliances over the course of the last few years. Roof was replaced about 10 years ago, so hoping that can hold out.

Another thing to think about is any remodeling work you may need. After 20 years, there are design features that may not have been a thing back then that you'd want now (ie kitchens, bathrooms, etc). You may want to start budgeting / planning for that now, although this isn't as urgent as the must-have items listed above.

On the "leak under the house" bit - has this caused damage to the house? If so, your homeowners' insurance should cover this. They won't cover repairing the pipe leak though, so yeah - that's on you unfortunately.
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Re: Money Pit of a house

Post by LadyGeek »

MoonOrb wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 3:36 pm Signed,
Someone who has spent $10,500 on two different plumbing issues this week.
I'll match that with $10k on a new heater / air conditioner (HVAC) a few months ago. My 30 year-old house air conditioner suddenly decided to stop cooling. The house was getting warmer with the AC on. Not good.

(Add an annual service contract to the list...) There was no refrigerant in the system. We had already recharged the AC a few years ago. You don't do this twice because there's a leak somewhere that needs to be fixed. This is a small HVAC company and I know them well. The same company also delivers my heating oil.

The tech said that the leak is likely in the coils on top of the heater - where the heat exchange takes place. It's 30-years old and you'll never find the leak. You can't get the refrigerant for it anymore (banned for environmental reasons) and you can't get the parts. So, I needed to replace the AC.

Adding insult to injury, the AC coils are mounted directly over the heater. The replacement unit is slightly taller than what I have now. The heater / AC is in a confined area with no room to grow. I was short by about 6" of available room. So... being 6" short in available height cost me $10k because the heater also needed to be replaced with a unit that fit the new space.

To keep me going until the replacements arrived, they offered to charge my AC with the environmentally friendly equivalent MO-99. It was a gamble how long the charge would last. $500 later, I had a charged system. The AC failed a month later on the hottest day of the year. Fortunately, the equipment arrived later that week. I had no AC for 3 days, because that's how long it took to replace everything.

The total bill matches MoonOrb - $10,500. I now have all new equipment.
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JAZZISCOOL
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Re: Money Pit of a house

Post by JAZZISCOOL »

^LadyGeek,

Sorry about your A/C system issues. I will likely be in a similar situation soon-ish with my A/C-furnace system. My A/C coil froze and leaked all over the basement ~2 years ago and one company wanted to sell me an entire system at that time. I rejected that and just had them charge it with the older coolant. They told me I couldn't use the newer coolant in the current A/C system (EPA reasons). I am budgeting on a replacement in the next year or so and have a short list of contractors to call. The furnace seems to be doing ok other than a new igniter about 8-10 years ago. Hopefully it will last through the winter.
Walkure
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Re: Money Pit of a house

Post by Walkure »

Agree with the others that your costs seem in line with what is to be expected in a "new to you" house. Do you live in an area with harsh winters? And is the house on a slab, crawl space, or basement? Plumbing issues and the cost to fix/renovate can be very different creatures depending on those factors.
quantAndHold
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Re: Money Pit of a house

Post by quantAndHold »

A lot of newer homes are poorly constructed. Also, the life span of a lot of the things inside a newer home, like the hot water heater and dishwasher, is about 15 years, and here you are. It’s a shame you didn’t get a better inspection so you could have negotiated a better deal and planned for all of this, but that’s water under the bridge at this point.

The bottom line is that home expenses are lumpy. You kind of have to just go with it for now, and assume it will be better soon.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
Zdex
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Re: Money Pit of a house

Post by Zdex »

CtScrtDsse wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 12:10 pmbut we've already spent $17,000 on home repairs and will spend a projected $13,000-$15,000 more urgent repairs needed. ... The house looks very nice on the outside, but we are finding that the builders took a lot of shortcuts that were completely unexpected (we had anticipated a new water heater and roof eventually, but not these kinds of repairs). It's just very disheartening to be spending $30,000-$35,000 on completely unexpected repairs ....
Take some comfort: not a money pit. And not necessarily the inspector's fault, they almost never will find broken pipes or leaks in/under your foundation, or leading out to your street/watermain/sewer hookups. Once these repairs are done, you have a decent chance of these issues being fixed for decades, especially with modern materials, which nearly always are superior to stuff used in the past.

Take solace you didn't find asbestos, lead paint, black mold, foundation cracks, termite damage, or polybutylene or galvanized pipes in your home (guaranteed to catastrophically fail in multiple locations), any one of which could quadruple your current repair expense. On the home purchase bell curve, your are well left of normal and expected initial expenses.

Consider the math. Ten years ago we were renting in a HCOL; monthly on a two-bed/two-bath was ~$2750 or ~$33k a year (not including utilities). On a lark we looked up going rates at the same unit today: $4,500 or $54k a year. I'll take your $35k in initial repairs over meteoric, never-ending rental rates.
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CtScrtDsse
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Re: Money Pit of a house

Post by CtScrtDsse »

Walkure wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 5:25 pm Agree with the others that your costs seem in line with what is to be expected in a "new to you" house. Do you live in an area with harsh winters? And is the house on a slab, crawl space, or basement? Plumbing issues and the cost to fix/renovate can be very different creatures depending on those factors.
Thanks for the advice. We live in the mid west, where a couple months are pretty cold and brutal. The house has a basement, 90% of it is finished.
Tooth
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Re: Money Pit of a house

Post by Tooth »

So this is the reason to suspect the old adage, "you're throwing your money away renting" is not a fact based statement.
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Voltaire2.0
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Re: Money Pit of a house

Post by Voltaire2.0 »

An 18-year old house is at an awkward age: old enough to be developing real problems but young enough that the prior owner(s) may have felt it was as good as new. I avoid buying houses in that age range.

It doesn't help you now, but in the buying process you would have been well served to pay up for the most comprehensive inspection possible and shadow the inspector through his/her work. If you're an inexperienced homeowner, you may have learned the hard way.

All that said, the slug of problems you encountered seems a bit much. Possibly bad luck (which will even out) or possibly the prior owners knew about them and lit out before they had to deal with it.
dbr
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Re: Money Pit of a house

Post by dbr »

I think the heart of the problem is that the overall construction quality is not good, whether there is a current problem or not. I am not sure how one evaluates that as a general property of a house. It might be something one has to be experienced in and expert about to fend off problems.

My house is an old house with all that one knows that implies. It is also a house built in a neighborhood at a time when people did not cut corners or do shoddy work. The place was built by a man who constructed it to live in himself. Taken all in all the consequences of being an old house are enough that I am glad we have not had to deal with shoddy construction.
kidshrink
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Re: Money Pit of a house

Post by kidshrink »

Don’t forget to include the value of your time spent calling contractors, getting quotes, downtime of repairs, lost sleep, stress and tears.

I sympathize. I’m in a similar situation, but am renting. Even then, it has been incredibly. Annoying.

The front yard has the dirt dug up for a week, waiting for the plumber to replace everything after he repaired something with the backflow that caused the water bills to triple. Cost landlord $1400+

I decided that if/when I buy: want a 10 year or newer home and rent it for 3-6 months before I buy. The latter isn’t likely in this market, but I am in no rush to buy.

With renting, I can always walk away.
mistermojorizin
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Re: Money Pit of a house

Post by mistermojorizin »

I try to mention stuff like this to friends in real life, but it seems like they are all happy being homeowners. I think it's just a headache and that's with a house I bought that was 5yrs old. Can't even imagine how bad it is with an older home.
Horologium
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Re: Money Pit of a house

Post by Horologium »

CtScrtDsse wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 2:30 pm We had an initial inspection and it showed none of these initials issues. I'm probably partially just ranting, exhausted, and overwhelmed, but has anyone had any other experiences or recommendations? I'm just at my ends.
Sorry to hear this.

It won't do you any good now, but I always tell people to be very careful choosing a home inspector. First and foremost, never use the inspector recommended by the realtor; IMO, that is a built-in conflict of interest. If the inspector flags issues and delays or kills a transaction, the realtor won't send them new business. So, they have a strong incentive to close their eyes and say everything looks great.

In addition, I don't know about other states, but in my state pretty much any idiot can declare themselves a home inspector. I don't think they need to pass a test or demonstrate any proficiency.

Lastly, if I was putting a lot of money into a house, I wouldn't use a home inspector. Instead, I would engage an engineer that does inspections.
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willthrill81
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Re: Money Pit of a house

Post by willthrill81 »

So far, repairs have cost you about 3% of the home's value. That's not too far off from the rule of thumb of 1% per year for relatively new homes (and I'd say that 1.5% - 2% is more typical for much older homes).

You possibly did get a bit of lemon, but after you finish all of these repairs, there's a good chance that you won't spend nearly as much for many years.

If the home was inspected and the inspector missed important items, the inspector might be liable.
“Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men.” J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
hameshatumkochaha
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Re: Money Pit of a house

Post by hameshatumkochaha »

1. Congrats on being 8 mo pregnant
2. Sorry to hear that this has cost you $. Significant portion of it is certainly normal.
3. Hopefully you have no more major expenses. Sorry, I don't have more words of comfort for you. You will be in my prayers.
Take care of yourself.
hirlaw
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Re: Money Pit of a house

Post by hirlaw »

When buying a home, it is prudent to budget in an estimated amount for home maintenance, repair and appliance replacement.

For example, we retired a couple of years ago and we budgeted $8,000 for our estimate of average annual home maintenance repair and replacement. The first year, we were very close, about $7,500. This year we will exceed the estimate due to some floor replacements, some HVAC replacement, painting and balcony repair.

Even if something is "covered" by insurance, remember your deductible (ours is over $5,000). Filing a claim for a small amount over the deducible may not be a good idea.
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firebirdparts
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Re: Money Pit of a house

Post by firebirdparts »

gonefishing01 wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 7:42 pm Sounds like typical 15-20 year old house problems to me. You got off easy if this is everything that’s wrong with it. I know it doesn’t mean much if you aren’t planning to sell, but hopefully the value has appreciated like crazy lately to help compensate. :D
Gonna need a roof and an air conditioner at that age. Yikes.

I fix everything myself, so I certainly feel for people who don’t. It would be so much more stressful for me to wait around on people when the plumbing is leaking.
A fool and your money are soon partners
Freetime76
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Re: Money Pit of a house

Post by Freetime76 »

OP: I feel your stress and maybe aggravation. It gets better, and everything you fix is something you better understand about your home.

My observation is that there are 3 ways to handle home maintenance:
1. Hire out for everything.
- Eventually, you’ll need a plumber, electrician, handyman, concrete or paving company, carpenter, landscaper, and know a good place for roofing, windows/doors etc.

2. DIY to save money
...pay for things that are beyond your skill level, otherwise, learn: watch a YouTube video for instructions ...bust out a caulk gun, paint brush, power washer, clean gutters, snake a shower drain instead of repeatedly pouring Liquid Plumber through 25 years of hair, cut the lawn, tape a leaky washer hose, change a light fixture, spray for bees and put out ant granules. You’ll spend continuously at low levels on small stuff, and keep an eye on things.

3. Do nothing. Assume it’s fine. The worst plan, because things are “okay” for a good, long while, and then suddenly whammo! A small piece of caulk that peeled at the corner of a window now is rotted out way down in the bedroom wall to the first floor.

As others said, not all builders are exceptional. We worked in our area where beautiful stone facades were cracking diagonally across the front (newer homes, whole corners of houses were “settling”. All homes have problems, and if you have no problems at the moment, then celebrate your blessings and save for a future one.
- Appliances do tend to go out in waves (if all bought in sets), and newer ones don’t last as long as older.
- More expensive items are windows, roof, hvac, septic and - please not us - foundation work.
- The trade off is: fast-I-need-it-now is $$$$$. Structural is $$$$$. Taking care of things yourself, while still small items - or putting a handyman on retainer (basically :) ) can really help you save $, if you want to roll that way.
- Also, there is a spectrum of home maintenance and repair items - black water in the basement or no running water = must fix ASAP problems. Bathroom #3 has a slow drain and we want to upgrade the garage to GFCI outlets are less urgent. Sod is a choice, not a necessity. Experience puts things in perspective, as you decide how you want to do things! :happy

For us, we try to keep up on tasks, and many times it’s a prioritized list for the year. Like you, we plan to stay a long time, so any effort we put into our home is worth it. We understand what our home is much better, too. Often, we are happier with our own work, but it takes time and energy. Alternately, if we are pressed, we write a check to get it done fast.

Good luck and best wishes to you!
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