Monday, March 7, 2016

Mortgage Monday: Four Categories

I might have to call these guys!
While there is nothing wrong with our home there is always a list running in my head about different projects that we will be undertaking in the near future. Mind you, not everything falls into the project category but the list is definitely growing. Simply put, when looking around the house, there are generally four categories that everything falls into:

  • Fine as it is
  • Repairs /adjustments (possible replacements) needed
  • There has got to be a better alternative
  • Something is missing
The basic structure, kitchen, landscaping, and many other things fall into the first category. There really is nothing wrong with any of them. Nothing came up during the inspections and nothing has manifested since then. We like the layout of the house and so far it has been working for us. In fact, many of these aspects, especially the kitchen, are better than we were hoping to find when we first started our search so there aren’t any projects to speak of for these and many other things.

The second category comprises many of the things that most homeowners opt to replace, upgrade, or eliminate all together soon after buying their home which includes paint / wall coverings, flooring, kitchen and bathroom hardware, and other things that are more about personal taste than functionality. Not everything is optional as we also need to increase insulation in some areas, reseal the basement, clean up some minor electrical, cap the chimneys, repoint some of the masonry, and replace the retaining wall along the driveway. Of course, there are also things that we chose to replace as the current systems, appliances, etc. still work but are past their prime. For us this includes the washer/dryer, refrigerator, garage doors and openers, and AC unit. They all still work but it might be best to replace them now and avoid the immediacy of having to replace them quickly when they stop working.

The third category is something that we have been thinking about a lot lately, especially during the really cold nights, and we are considering overhauling the whole heating system for the house. Right now the boiler that supplies the baseboard heat his rather loud and, given how much we are spending on oil, not very efficient. Note that the same boiler is on year round as it also provides our hot water.

Basically, we are already looking at replacing the 10+ year old and undersized AC unit so we might as well get everything done at the same time and put a full HVAC system in. This would also allow us to pull out all the baseboard heating which are son is a little too fascinated with and which limits the wall space in our home. Of course, if we pull all of them out we might as well replace flooring and redo the walls at the same time as we don’t want to have to patch everything and then work on it later. Lastly, we are not going to keep the boiler just to supply the hot water so we will have to install a new instant hot water system while we are at it. As you can see, this third category tends to trickle down.

Finally, the fourth category is really about the things that we want but don’t need. A front porch would be nice to have (and a walk way across the front of the house) as would converting the fireplace to gas. We would also like to finish off one of the rooms and possibly the basement at some point in the future. However, we have plenty of space now so I don’t really see that happening any time soon. Again, this category is basically the splurge column. None of these things are needed but they would be nice to have an undoubtedly enjoyed.

That is the basic rundown that we have been going through recently as we continue to adjust to our new life in our new home. Some are items that we should check off our list this spring or summer while other projects can be held off for future years as we have the time, patience, and finances to tackle each of them. Again, we are already starting with a great home but this is the natural progression of things… every home owner goes through the same thing even those that build their ‘perfect’ dream home. And, sadly, I know that these lists will never disappear they will simply morph over the years to include other items and projects.