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Thread: Home project thread - finboy buys a house

  1. #1
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    Default Home project thread - finboy buys a house

    Iím finally creating a thread for my house 1 year later! I figure it is a very beyond related story with many familiar faces involved, so why not start a project thread on yet another money pit in my life.

    Backstory:
    Iíd been happily renting in crescent heights with Maxboost for the last 5 years, and despite being the best land lord we could have hoped for, we needed more space for a third dog. We started hunting with Jordan for a weird property description, house had to be as close as possible to an off leash dog park. After missing out on another house being sold by a guy I knew from the gmc syclone/typhoon forums in Cambrian, we happened upon 7 houses in west hillhurst that were inside a dog park.

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    30x182 lots, very 1980ís design, right down the hill from hounsfield heights and briar hill, but about 100k above our max budget. the realtor photos were terrible, we could not make sense of the floor plan and couldnít even get an accurate estimate of square footage. I convinced my wife to at least walk by the house and park, she tried finding things wrong with the area so she wouldnít become attached to a house we would lose (see - Cambrian house), but I kept it in my watched list. 45 days after it was put on market, the price dropped 50k, and Jordan got us a walk through. This is a clear case of why a bad realtor can ruin your sale prospects, the place was gorgeous inside, a 5 level split that was fully developed around 2200 square feet, with a recent kitchen reno. It also had all the expected requirements for a 1980ís yuppie coke den, wood burning fireplace, steam shower, jacuzzi, red light in the master bathroom, Iím surprised there wasnít a broken down 944 in the garage as part of the deal. This is also why you want a good realtor, and I canít say enough good things about jordan. With his negotiating skill, we got the house for only 7.5k above our budget, over 90k off original asking once inspections were done, etc.

    With that, we owned a home, and as soon as we moved in the projects started...

    This house has great potential, but there are a lot of things that could be updated to have more of a nostalgic approach to 80ís design, rather than ďoh....I forgot they did thatĒ 80ís design. Right after Jordan left on the possession date we started disassembly, painting all interior walls because it would be way easier now. We also discovered all the fun expenses associated with buying our first place, so refinishing the hardwood would have to wait (tbd if this is something we will regret). Along with painting, we had to rip all the poly-b out of the house, one neighbour had highlighted leaking in their house previously, and I wanted nothing to do with any more house floods.

    Poly-b removal also means holes in the wall, and ceiling....and many more places. Thankfully my in-laws have a background in building homes and came out to help coordinate the plumbers and work on some other projects. The in-laws also donít sit still for long, so we attacked 2 rooms to help speed up the plumbing.

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    The laundry room was the only non developed space, carpet (poorly laid) on concrete, and shoddy 2x4 shelving. A sledgehammer and sawzall made quick work, and with a little drywall and some cabinets donated by family friends, we managed to get it 90% done. Drywall was a pain in the ass, eventually we found a guy on kijiji to finish off the sanding and muddling. This room is likely going to get finished over Christmas this year, I need to learn how to do trim and backsplash still.

    The downstairs bathroom also needed a lot of material removed to get out the poly-b, so this room got town apart on day 2 of ownership. Itís a little unsettling ripping apart something you owe hundreds of thousands on, but might as well rip the bandaid off all at once. Gone is the grey tub, questionable 80ís tile, and most of the ceiling. I will highlight, this is a never utilized room unless we have guests, so it is currently acting as a storage room for building supplies until the in laws return and we can finish it off over winter.

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    Finally we had to deal with the remaining pipe removal in the kitchen, living room and master bathroom. We go lucky, most of our plumbing was vertical above the utility room, which meant we could isolate the work to key rooms. Hearing from our neighbours, that wasnít the norm in all these houses and they were chasing pipe back to front. Knowing we are going to Reno the master bathroom eventually, we did the drywall I. The water closet ourselves, and cut an access panel into the jacuzzi housing. The ceiling of the kitchen was another story, cuts were as minimal as possible but there were a lot of patches needed. We left this part to a pro for drywall it, I am not fucking up something that will be on full display of guests every time they come over. I will note that our cat loved the holes in the ceiling, and ruined our afternoons multiple times until we got it finished.

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  2. #2
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    With the first week of home ownership over, we drove out to Nelson to have Christmas with the in-laws, I got horribly sick and we rung in 2020 with a housewarming, and used the house to get legal-married before our planned Hawaii wedding in March of 2020. We had so much hope for this year.

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    Spring:2020

    The Coof threw us all a curve ball, wedding cancelled, full scale lock down, and not a lot to do. So why not do more to the house? First off was an ďeasyĒ job involving 4 ikea mirrors, various wall anchors, and a crushed finger. Up side is that you can now get a view of downtown calgary from many more angles.

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    We also had to start a plan of attack for the outside of the house. The previous owners were not yard people, there were attempts at gardening, but it looked like they gave up 5 years before we bought it. Having a yard was as important to my wife as having a garage was for me, so onward the project goes. It is at this point that I will highlight my wifeís family has some bizarre hatred of grass, this will come into play multiple times. The front yard was the first to tackle, mostly overgrown and just too much of everything.

    First was clearing out a bunch of lilacs, expanding a raised bed, and ripping up all the grass in the front yard. It was at this point that I realized how much challenge front-only access can be, this will also be a repeating theme. I also got to reassemble a greenhouse that I know was only designed to be put together once, and put in a small pond to see how it would work out before we throw any money into a proper one. Add 2 yards of bark mulch and a yard of dirt carried up in sacks and my back was starting to realize what was going to be needed for the back yard.

    The back yard, due to lot design, is basically an additional 50 feet behind what a standard 120 deep lot would be....and it is cut into the same his as 19th street....and it had no stairs. Remember how the old residents didnít like gardening? They let the wild grasses of the hill grow onto the top two tiers, and had a weird patch work of grass and weeds on the bottom tier.

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    Step one was grass removal, and let me tell you something about wild grass, it has 18Ē roots in some spots. Two weeks of pick axing and over 50 compost bags carried all the way to he front of the house, we officially had weed free dirt! My wife put in some plants, and the in-laws came for another visit, which meant building some stairs and visiting with the new pup. We also added a fireplace outside because backyard vibes.

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    Despite that back stretch being an off leash dog park, we wanted to have a bit more control over our dogs leaving, or other dogs visiting, so we got SpikerS to put up a fence for us.

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    So that is where we stand today, 1 year into ownership. Lots of work done, lots to still do, but I figure I will use this thread ongoing to update. One more giant money pit, but if this thing tracks inflation over the next 20 years it will still work out better than any of my cars.

    Future plans: short term finishing off the interior projects we started over winter, replace the electric range with gas, and a few other odds and ended. Medium to long term we plan to Reno the master bathroom, replace the dated tile throughout the house, replace the railings with something more modern, and eventually get the floors restrained darker.

    The garage is a bit more of an issue, 20% grade on the current driveway makes things interesting. Some of our neighbours have flat top patios on theirs, we could look at that and expand the ceiling to 10 foot (hellooooo 4 post hoist!) but that will be a few years out.
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    You could hunt deer from your back deck.

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    That's an impressive amount of work in a year. Good job, the back yard looks great.

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    Congrats! I know that location well...as well as Cambrian Heights. I grew up there. My parents still own their place in Cambrian.
    "if you disagree with my views are cannot adequately my criticism then ignore my posts." - Nusc

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    red light in the master bathroom
    You need to wifi this light.

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    Congrat and bonus rep for committing to old meme.

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    Great place and location sir.

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    ceiling cat

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    Congrats! We bought a house this year too and you're absolutely right that a bad realtor can lose a sale. We've been looking for a couple years now and this house popped up in my email notifications but the pics were so horrible that i immediately dismissed it, my wife found it in her junk email about a week later and asked if i got it and i said yeah but it wasnt a nice house even though it met everything on our list. We set up a viewing and and the house was nothing like the pics, normally on the realtor pics the rooms look larger than they are but he mustve used his phone because the rooms were way larger in person. We ended up buying the place.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mitsu3000gt View Post
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    and I did not have the only say in the matter (most people just want it done ASAP and don't care about quality).
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    If anything we made a better decision because we had a consensus and were all on the same page.

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    Such an awesome location and great looking place, love the yard

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocket1k78 View Post
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    Congrats! We bought a house this year too and you're absolutely right that a bad realtor can lose a sale. We've been looking for a couple years now and this house popped up in my email notifications but the pics were so horrible that i immediately dismissed it, my wife found it in her junk email about a week later and asked if i got it and i said yeah but it wasnt a nice house even though it met everything on our list. We set up a viewing and and the house was nothing like the pics, normally on the realtor pics the rooms look larger than they are but he mustve used his phone because the rooms were way larger in person. We ended up buying the place.
    This one had iPhone photos, and 3 of the 10 photos were duplicates
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    Interesting. In our search for a new to us home, we looked at the orange one with the yellow garage door. Could have been neighbors. It was a interesting house, but just saw too much work. Irony is that we are now likely doing a full gut on the house we bought.

    I really like the location.

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    Great location. We looked at that blue one a few years ago and loved that every room has a DT view. Ultimately decided against it but I think it's a great location.

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    Quote Originally Posted by benyl View Post
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    Interesting. In our search for a new to us home, we looked at the orange one with the yellow garage door. Could have been neighbors. It was a interesting house, but just saw too much work. Irony is that we are now likely doing a full gut on the house we bought.

    I really like the location.
    My buddy looked at it as well, sad tale that one. If you look on google street view you will see how many times the owners put it up for sale, they bought it off the architect who designed it, our place and the blue one on the corner. After buying it in 2009, they put $200k in renovations into it, but it is a weird layout with no yard at all. It just sold and the new neighbours moved in on Tuesday, I’ll leave the sale price off here but honest door will give you an idea of how much the previous owners lost on it.

    Quote Originally Posted by RX_EVOLV View Post
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    Great location. We looked at that blue one a few years ago and loved that every room has a DT view. Ultimately decided against it but I think it's a great location.
    Another buddy looked at that one but opted out because it is right on 19th street. It plays a great noise blocker so we don’t hear much unless we are in the yard.
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    Quote Originally Posted by finboy View Post
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    My buddy looked at it as well, sad tale that one. If you look on google street view you will see how many times the owners put it up for sale, they bought it off the architect who designed it, our place and the blue one on the corner. After buying it in 2009, they put $200k in renovations into it, but it is a weird layout with no yard at all. It just sold and the new neighbours moved in on Tuesday, I’ll leave the sale price off here but honest door will give you an idea of how much the previous owners lost on it.
    The issue with the house was that it was a mismash. I said to my wife that if it was $600K, I'd consider it. I think $750K that it sold for (on honestdoor) is too much.

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    Whats it like living with Sam? haha
    Machining, Fabricating, Welding etc.

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    The moans keep ya up?
    Quote Originally Posted by rage2 View Post
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    I almost shat myself after eating way too much at lunch with @killramos so ya, we can start the diaper thread now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by legendboy View Post
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    Whats it like living with Sam? haha
    He actually lived a block away for the first couple years so I got to see his 997tt quite a bit, that baller life tho’
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    All those holes in the ceiling. I hope you used the opportunity to put in Atmos height speakers.
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