When my wife and I were looking for this house, we had three criteria: I liked
it, she liked it, and we could afford it. We looked at a lot of houses. It was
easy to get two out of three. This was the first one that scored 3 of 3.
The one rule that I didn't mention was that she wanted a new house. We didn't
even look at older homes. That wasn't my decision, but I didn't have the time
to look at many more than I did (new job, long move and all). I really wasn't
into a fixer-upper or a new roof, either.
The "could we afford it" part was easy. We had long decided to look well
below what we could comfortably "afford"; we were looking to pay the mortgage
off in ~5 years (not our first rodeo). Bottom line: if it wasn't in our price
range we didn't waste the RE agent's time[*] or ours.
[*] Never tell an agent what your real financial situation is. We set her
sights lower, knowing that their MO is to up-sell. ;-) We came in at the
upper end of our target, but well below what I had in mind for the walk-away
Sure. The price-feature curve certainly isn't linear and varies significantly
by location and market conditions. We bought this house two years ago, which
was pretty good timing. The market was obviously on the down-slide but there
was still a reasonable inventory of spec homes. Builders were quite
motivated, at least those who hadn't rented. I'd likely have looked higher if
I didn't have a short end in sight (retirement) and wasn't somewhat concerned
about the job lasting. It's not like we need more space (two people,
2600ft^2, 3BR, 3-1/2 bath). My cave is the only real shortcoming.
<2 words: flash floods>
That sounds like a good reason. I've never seen rain like I saw in
Orlanda, FL when I visited one spring. Had to pull off the road it was
raining so hard and even that was just guesswork. I figure the windshield
wipers couldn't have kept up even if the wiping speed was increased 100X.
It was like walking under a waterfall.
You're not moving to Florida, then. (Might be a good thing for those
of us already here as well as for you. My mom used to have a bumper
sticker "leaving Florida? take a friend".) Basements are rare in
Florida, and pretty much non-existent in residential building.
High expense when it's not needed to get below the frost line. In
north Florida, the frost line is about 1/4" below the surface. In
south Florida, it's at the top of the grass. Plus the water table is
almost never 8' down, so a basement has to have a floor and the walls
and floor have to be not only watertight but keep out 2 to 4 psi.
Basically you have a houseboat.
If you don't like repairing something in a crawl space, try repairing
it when it's embedded in a slab.
But I agree, an 8" crawl space is beyond stupid. They don't have to be
like that. I can sit up in mine in the most cramped corner. At the
access door, I can sit up and have space between my head and the
joists. Eventually I plan to seal it with 6 mil poly and put down
boards to slide on -- cleaner and keep the humidity out.
So the problem is not a crawl space per se, but a crawl space that's
That depends how it is built. In a slab, wires can run in "ducts" or
"conduits" - no strapping required - to replace just drag the new wire
in with the old in a conduit, or remove the duct cover in the floor -
but MOST utilities in on-slab are run overhead.. MOST on-slabs are
also only single storey construction (bungalow) so all the utilities
are in the attic - and very often also the furnace and central air.
Forced air heat requires significant pre-planning if you want floor
mounted registers, but in-floor radiant heat is very common in on-slab
On Wed, 3 Nov 2010 04:14:40 -0700 (PDT), Eric in North TX
Tie a string to it to retrieve it if it gets stuck. I use an RC truck
to pull cable over suspended ceilings quite often. If it gets hung up,
I yank on the fish-cord to get it unstuck, then let it go again.
Oh yes there is going there. 6 mos ago the last place I rehabbed was just
that. Fortunately dry. Took wireless house phone with me for sure. If I had
a Fred Sanford "Big One" under there it would have been a CSI desert
recovery and ID by the time I was found.
Watch this excerpt from Modern Family, Season 1, Episode 16.
If you can find the entire episode someplace, the "RC spy car as
crawlspace inspection device?" question will be answered for you.
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