I finally found a Home Improvement forum that gets some traffic and is friendly! Hi!

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Felena_McKlaine, Aug 30, 2014.

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  1. Aug 30, 2014 #1

    Felena_McKlaine

    Felena_McKlaine

    Felena_McKlaine

    Junior Member

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    Hello, I am Felena, and obviously I am new here.

    I already posted a question but I saw this section, plan to come here regularly and figured I might as well introduce myself.

    I'm 25 and from Minnesota. I live in a 100+ year old American Foursquare that I think has held up pretty well, although it does need a LOT of work. I hope to get help from the people here as I try to undo some of the damage and just try to make it a nicer place to live. I think most of the biggest projects are going to involve fixing things that the people who've lived here in the past 10-20 years before me did to it. For instance, the living/dining room, foyer, staircase, and upstairs hall walls are all SHARP. I mean, someone put drywall up over the plaster and then painted it somehow to make the walls all prickly. They are so sharp in some places I have actually bled from tripping into them on more than one occasion. I've seen prickly textures on ceilings before, but not this. Why would someone do this?

    There are lots of things like that, although most aren't dangerous. Like, the place has pretty new windows right? Nice double paned windows, installed about 10 years ago I think. Well, something didn't work out with that because half of them are perma-fogged in between the panes and a bunch of them just don't sit quite right. I don't know who installed them but geez...
    The list goes on, but you all can here more about that as I get to things and am ready to fix them.

    I don't own the house and I don't rent it either. The owner passed away and the person in charge the estate is a family friend. They've been trying to sell this place for about 7 years, off and on.
    Almost 6 years ago I returned to the town I grew up in, after 1.5 years of youthful adventuring in California. I was having trouble finding a place to live with my pets (a dog and a cat at the time, somehow I have ended up with another cat). My town is lacking in pet-friendly landlords, even if you can offer a deposit that would cover the cost of most the floors (at the time I had over $3,000 set aside for a pet deposit)! I found places that would accept pets, but they either wanted a higher rent, or was in a bad neighborhood, or just not suitable for me.

    The executor of this estate was having trouble paying the costs associated with the house. He had to sell it- the late owner had unpaid medical bills. He was expected to pay the taxes, upkeep, etc, out of their own pocket. Well, he tried "renting" it to some people before with similar terms to what I agreed to: Pay the taxes, insurance, make repairs as necessary, and generally keep the place up. These other people let the place go to heck, and most expenses still went unpaid.

    The executor knew me when I was a kid and offered to let me stay here until the place sold. I didn't figure I'd be here long, I assumed it would sell within a few months. It was a roof while I looked for a new place.

    That was almost 6 years ago. I have BATTLED this place many times, and learned most of its quirks. From time to time I get frustrated with it until I start looking and see what else is around. I've thought about buying a house, but my credit isn't very good (student loan debt). During the 1st year, only 1 person came to see the place. Eventually they lowered the price of the house to $20,000. I started pestering the executor for a Contract for Deed. He said that wasn't an option. Well, he's been trying to sell it all this time. Most of the realtors here have given up on it. If they had just sold it to me it would probably be paid off by now.

    The most frustrating things are the limitations on what and how I can fix things. I already mentioned in my first thread, the kitchen floor is probably asbestos. That was fine until a pipe started spraying everywhere while I was out recently. The tiles started to lift and curl. This scared me, as they could break, and the black stuff underneath likely also contains asbestos. I got some quotes, and saved up to put a laminate floor over it. True story. When I told the executor my plans, they freaked out! Something about it altering the value of the house. Wouldn't that INCREASE the value of the house? Wouldn't it be better to see a nice new floor in the kitchen rather than old, faded, tiles that are now very damaged to boot? Possibly dangerous? So I said, half-sarcastically(although it was my 1st thought when I was trying to figure out what to do), "What am I supposed to do, tape over it?" And they said, "That would be preferable!"

    SERIOUSLY?

    There are more stories like that, but for now I'll spare you.

    I hope I can find a way to buy this place. I'm attached to it, and nobody knows its faults better than I do. Good neighbors. Lots of potential.
    Lately I've been trying to save more. I hope a big down payment will budge him. Staying on top of my credit,too. Maybe soon I can get a mortgage. Who knows. Maybe just pipe dreams, but I'm trying anyway.

    Some people have told me I should get rid of my pets, that they've become too big a strain. I am someone who feels that once you take in a pet, it's your responsibility for the rest of their lives. Of course I was 18 when I got the first two and had no stability whatsoever- I'm not sure I fully understood the concept. And sometimes things happen and people really just can't help it. But so far, I still have a roof over my head, don't I? If it came down to it, I am prepared to move to a place out of town or farther to make it work. I've spent a lot of time getting them trained just-so. They were pretty awesome to start out, too...I can't give that up!

    I talk A LOT. Sorry about that. People tell me I always tell the "WHOLE story". Sometimes they mean it in a good way. Recently I have considered going back to school to become a History teacher. I already got my AA so I'm almost halfway there, credit wise.

    I also like to play musical instruments (violin, cello, string bass, guitar, piano, drums). My dad started teaching me music when I was 4. Unfortunately he sold all the instruments while I was in California without telling me. What a shock when I came home! I'm rebuilding my collection; I have a decent violin, and a cheap electric guitar. I also picked up a piano for free but it's in storage until I can verify that my floor can support it.

    I also love learning languages and about the cultures associated with them. It's really interesting how thinking in another language actually can re-shape the way you think about certain concepts. I'm pretty good with Spanish and I've also been dabbling in Japanese and Italian.

    I used to write and draw a lot, but that was mostly a back and forth thing me and my friend did in high school, making stories and comics together. We've taken different roads since then, and live too far apart to see each other much. It's sad, but if we had both gone the same way one or both of us would've been unhappy.

    I go through reading spurts. Fiction, Non-fiction, doesn't matter. I'll read a book a day sometimes. Sometimes only 1 or 2 a year. Though I am always on research tangents online, about whatever I am interested in at the moment, which is always changing.

    Well I guess that's all. Yes, I mean it. I am sorry. I know this was obscenely long. But I do appreciate you reading what I had to say. In the future I will try to keep my posts much shorter. This is most of the history I feel like sharing on here anyway, and I will do my best not to duplicate it in future posts or questions!

    I look forward to getting help here! And who knows, I've a lot of varied experiences, maybe I can offer some help too.

    Sincerely,
    Felena
     
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  2. Aug 30, 2014 #2

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

    Contractor retired

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    Welcome to the site. You have an interesting story. We will have trouble helping you as we mostly want people to fix thing properly and increase the value. Clearly that would not be the best for your situation. It's hard to think that people can't purchase a house with a $20000 price tag. The lumber alone is worth more than that.
     
  3. Aug 30, 2014 #3

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

    Well-Known Member Sponsor

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    My take is that he was mad at you for growing up and leaving him so he 'undid' everything from age 4 on up.
    What's your take?
     
  4. Aug 30, 2014 #4

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

    Fixer Upper Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Again welcome. Many of us were where you are right now. You have your head on straight and I can see things will work out. Money had a way of being fluid and slips away. I know. Take 20,000 and divide by 6 years then divide by 52. That's the amount if you would have hung on to you would now have the house clear. Sometimes a second job is all it takes for a bank to view your income in a new light. I don't want to give financial advice here even though I just did. Save your money don't make costly repairs till you own it. The realtor is actually helping you there.

    Looking forward to your posts.


    Sent from my iPhone using Home Repair
     
  5. Aug 30, 2014 #5

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

    Administrator Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    :welcome: to House Repair Talk!
     
  6. Sep 5, 2014 #6

    cherryrosh

    cherryrosh

    cherryrosh

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    Hello Felena! Welcome to the forum.
    Yes, you are right, this is a nice forum with good yet helpful members.
     
  7. Sep 12, 2014 #7

    x UHOH x

    x UHOH x

    x UHOH x

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    Hi! Your post thread cracks me up - and sounds a lot like what I'd have said when I was your age! Or now. :) What kinds of pets do you have? Despite moving all the time (active duty military) and having full time jobs, I have a really tough time living without animals. I applaud you for your perspective on your philosophy on committment to them, and your perceptiveness at the costs of them. We have FIVE (dogs and cats), and it's worth it, even if painful now and again.

    I agree with "bud16" above - wait to make any costly repairs until the fate of the house is really decided, and you have a better bargaining position. Be warned about the kitchen floor debate fiasco! I've rented houses where we were just about FORCED to make costly repairs, and besides slightly better quality of life, we never saw any compensation or support from the landlord. It was very sad, because that house had SO much potential.

    Anyway - keep your chin up!
     
  8. Sep 12, 2014 #8

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    I bet no one complains that you are in a hurry to say anything.:banana:
    And welcome to the site at least your first post anyway.
     
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  9. Sep 16, 2014 #9

    x UHOH x

    x UHOH x

    x UHOH x

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    :D I know. And thanks.
     
  10. Oct 9, 2014 #10

    odorf

    odorf

    odorf

    Junior Member frodo

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    welcome to the site.
     
  11. Oct 9, 2014 #11

    Speedbump

    Speedbump

    Speedbump

    Water well etc.

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    One thing I picked up on right away that you didn't mention in your post is that your are a pretty darned good Writer!
     
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