Thread: sweat equity
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Old 05-19-2013, 09:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
slowly coming back around
usagi_tetsu's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Columbia/Jeff City, MO

sweat equity

Ah, the joys of home ownership. We bought the house we're now living in back in November of 2011, and the impetus for the big move from renters to home owners was that my mom who is barely into her 60's is already having a lot of health and mental issues. The only place we could find in the area with a decent mother-in-law space/suite/apartment was this house and renting was not an option. The house is a two-story model from the 1950's, with a full, finished basement (the mother-in-law suite, that has a full kitchen, bath, bedroom, laundry area, and living room), and 2-car garage, and thanks to the previous owners, a raft of problems and half-***ed fixes. That's the downside to owning vs. renting - if I'm in a rental and something breaks, than the landlord is fixing it or I'm not paying rent that month (or my lease is so bad that I need to break it, immediately).

Being as I am the only real wage earner in the house, we have had to fix up our domicile with a lot of sweat equity rather than putting out good money to have others do it for us.

Got a leak in the basement whenever it rains? Yep, skip right past the $5,000 basement wrap fix and purchase $200 worth of fill dirt and spend an afternoon and evening hauling it from the road to the side of the house to get a slope away from the house. Leak fixed.

Is the cold faucet in your bathroom tub/shower suddenly leaking and won't shut off? Skip the plumber and watch a bunch of YouTube videos, pull the offending faucet apart, clean it real good, put it back together, and the leak is gone.

Got a 60 foot maple no less than 30 feet from your back door and threatening to land on your house at any moment? That one we called the experts in and gladly paid their asking price for (it took a freaking crane to get that bad boy out, and yes, it was rotting from the inside out, so good thing we did have it done), but we're taking care of several other small trees on the property and grinding our own stumps with the rental of a stump grinder.

This frugality has kind of been forced onto us, but eventually the repairs will slow down and we'll start having the option of socking away more and more money into investments. Or the wife will find a job, and we'll start socking away a lot more a lot sooner. But the whole point of my little rant is this - there are plenty of things you can do for yourself if you don't mind getting sweaty or dirty, and either spend the money you would have spent paying someone else to do it on yourself or your retirement. So what if you have to go buy a $50 specialty tool for a job? Tools stay around and either get used again, or you turn around and sell them on Craig's List to recoup some of your original cost after you got use out of them.

Next up on my need to fix around the house list: bathroom sink stoppers.

What have you guys fixed around your own places and saved some money on?
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