Houses and Home Ownership


On my final loan document, because of how it was laid out, I wasn’t sure if I had to pay an additional $700 on top of what I was already expecting I’d have to pay, or if that $700 was already included in my total monthly amount.

Turns out, after two frantic phone calls, and a couple hours of almost nausea-inducing anxiety later, the $700 is already included, but because of how the document was formatted, it appeared like it was a separate additional charge.


As I understood it, this is your “starter” house, right? Will you be in the house long enough to reap the benefit and/or will the installation cost be recoupable in a higher sale price (it may or may not be, depending on the market and other aspects of the house)?


Kate, dunno where you got that understanding. We intend to be here for a good, long while. We never intended to do the “own a house for 5 years then upgrade” thing. The concept of a starter house is actually kind of repugnantly consumerist… but whatever works I guess.

As for the posts about “other” fuels… wood is more expensive, oil is more expensive, pure electric is more expensive, and natural gas is unavailable. So, no, we can’t “just” burn something cheaper, actually. And have you SEEN the going rate for babies? We could heat with propane for 10-20 years for the price of ONE of those things.


It’s not really consumerist at all, I see it more as economically conscious. Not everyone wants to buy a 4 bedroom house on the off chance they have kids. If you decide to have kids in 5-10 years then maybe it’s time to move to a larger house.


@Nuri, I may be remembering incorrectly, but I was going off of a conversation we had when you bought the house about the number of kids you were (at the time) planning to have and that you would eventually want a bigger place. That was it. I wasn’t suggesting you should move or advocating for the practice of starter homes.


Got a final move out date for the sellers, May 7th. Holycrap!


I think that may have been one of the things we were thinking at the time. Honestly, my recollection of the first half to two-thirds of last year is mostly a haze of stress and numbers, so conversations are long gone.

We’re thinking about building an addition now instead of selling and moving. Probably have to knock out the back deck to do it, though. It’s a ways off, though, and a lot can change in a few years.

I predict at least 10 years in the place, so that’s my ideal payoff window. I’m angling for a net-zero house, which I’m willing to bet could fetch a substantially higher price in the market. But I’d also like to reap that benefit while I’m there.

The geothermal thing is a really neat technology, and if I were more handy with things like wiring 30 amp circuits and HVAC, I’d consider getting the stuff and installing it myself. That’d cut the price in half. But that’s a big step, and I don’t want to fuck it up.

We’ll see what the ASHP can bring to the table.


I had a friend who heated through winter in RI with wood pellets & said it was cheap, but that’s as much as I know, and basic google search doesn’t verify. Anyway, geothermal and passive energy = COOL


Cheap compared to other options maybe. I can get pellets for ~$215 per ton, which is roughly the equivalent of a cord of firewood. If I’m gonna go that far, I’ll suck it up and use trees that I already have.

I swear, as soon as I have this fucking chainsaw running again, I’ma cut SO MUCH WOOD.


Another viewing, and another house I’m a little surprised that people even bother to put on the market. Smelled of moisture all through the dirt floor basement and animal urine upstairs. Lots of repairs needed.

Big ol bottle of nope.


Two of the houses we looked at when we foolishly wanted to buy a house were DEFINITELY meth labs.


Oh, yeah we’re thinking more along the lines of adding a room or two if needed… but honestly, I have seen what happens when you have a big house with plenty of space as kids age, and I’d rather have things be a little tight for them so they GTFO when it’s time instead of hanging around at home all day playing video games and not paying rent. Motivation.


We are looking for multifamily homes, and it is astounding how neglectful the owners/landlords are with these properties. Such homes are financial investments, so it would be logical to manage it as such - better upkeep maintains the home values, keeps rents up, and is more likely to retain quality renters for the long-term. More importantly, people are living in those spaces! Keep them safe and free of mold. Keep them clean and insist that your renters keep them relatively clean. So many of these places are sitting on the market because the owner wants the amount the home would be worth had the owner maintained it or at least fixed it up (and friggin’ cleaned it - if buyers cannot even go into certain rooms due to urine/smoke/mold/etc. smells, then you are just wasting their time and yours) before showing.


Every multifamily home I viewed in the Mid-Hudson valley was just as you describe. The one exception was the one I almost bought, but it was illegally modified to be multi-family, and my first order of business would have been removing the illegal downstairs apartment.

They were basically all shitholes.


I don’t even mind fixing up a house (within reason), but when repairs are 20K or more and the price of the home is set as if the home was in excellent condition, the owners simply won’t come down enough to make the price of the home + the price of repairs = the value of the home.


Another beautiful home crossed off the list because of oil heating with no possability of natural gas.



I’ll keep you in the loop with what I learn regarding ASHP’s. They can conceivably be paid off in 6 - 8 years when replacing oil or propane.

But I feel you on the natural gas front.


We would be interested in geothermal for our eventual single family home. The multifamily is an income property, in which we would probably only live for 5 - 7 years before buying a single family and keeping the multifamily for ongoing income. For a rental, as much as I would prefer not to burn fossil fuels, the return for the installation of such a system would be minimal. Oil heating (which I really hate) is so costly and inefficient that it turns off a lot of renters, but renters won’t be willing to accept significantly higher rents for the benefit of geothermal heating in our market.


I keep my heating costs down by having a tiny 1000 sqft house. :slight_smile:

And natural gas…

But I actually want to switch to an electric system of some kind. I’d like to install solar and a Tesla power wall. But as we have hot water baseboard heat, I’ve discovered that electric furnaces for such a system are not a thing.


One of the houses we looked at in Beacon was a legit old manor house. Aside from a livery and servant’s quarters, it had coal-fired heating.

A coal fired boiler.


The crazy thing is that this was clearly upgraded in the late 20s, because it was a newer coal-fired boiler. One that had a distinct characteristic…

The whole property was going for ~$400k. The old lady who lived alone in it had sealed off most of the main house and lived in part of one of the wings.