So, you like the idea of owning a big old f’ing house?

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The Smidlap Estate in Full Bloom with Freddy and Bubsy

welcome, Smidlapper, to the mostly lower case (e.e. cummings) version of my babble.

you might want to consider cost of ownership regarding repairs on the old beast before they arise.  i think i mentioned mrs. smidlap bought this monster house before we met and we generally love and appreciate living here and doing what we like with it.  hell, we might even retire and keep it as a rental property, who knows?  i just wanted to touch on the home maintenance bucket of your regular split of your income.  i know you have your buckets set up, right?  these are those expenditures that regularly occur and you know they’re coming.  they never don’t come (like my grammar?).  we have ours set as vacation/gift/repair, emergency fund, Roth IRA’s, tax, FS overtime, and MB art income.

i mention this because we’re right in the middle of what could be a shocker for some. we have an 1860’s house in buffalo. it’s big and stone and generally awesome. well, it turns out we had an appox. 70 year old asbestos roof and it finally came time to replace and it is happening this week. well there are some funky rules around this type of work but i understand it boils down something like this. the owners are allowed to remove those roofing tiles themselves (death trap for unskilled on a high pitch, 40 foot peak on slippery old tiles), or have the roof repaired with no big permit. the problem with our place is these brittle old shingles easily break and are tough to repair. there was already an old layer of wooden shingle underneath so another layer over the asbestos was no option. well, let’s just say with the abatement the cost of a new roof in our case around thirty thousand american dollars! doh! if any readers want my takeaway, here it is. 1. know what is up there when you decide to buy the place so you can prepare and get the cash in place for crap of this magnitude. 2. if you already own an old house like this, adjust home repair budget accordingly, even if it hurts. 3. don’t blow all your hard earned repair fund every year on cosmetic wants, as you never know when a big ticket item like this eats up several years of that fund and you already spent it on granite countertops.

Free activity of the week

making a phone call.  you see, i never have owned a cell phone and can barely operate one due to my aversion and contempt for the antisocial devices.  i got tired of paying verizon for land line service as normal people still make the occasional call.  i ditched them in favor of a google voice account.  you do need an internet connection and i had to buy an OBI device for about 40 bucks.  but now with this set-up i pay zero bucks a month for unlimited calling in the united states of ‘murica.  it might even include canada.

Quote of the Week

“no good can come of this.” — i said this to a group of friends who wanted to save a recording of a bachelor party in the 90’s.  they took the advice and we destroyed the evidence.

What we did right and wrong

in the “right” column, mrs. smidlap started listing on eBay last week and even sold something.  i kinda huck finned her into that one but now we have 16 listings of stuff we don’t use or need.  i consider that a win/win as even if the stuff brought in zero dollars it’s still decreasing the crap and clutter in our house and taking up some spare time when that spare time could be spent on the other side of the ledger out in the world wasting dollars.  i also came to an agreement to see my drum set to Tequila Mick in New Orleans.  The stipulation is that he’s flying here and renting a car and i’ll help him drive it back to NOLA.  in other words, what could go wrong?

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also in the “right” column, we ate a bunch of these.

in the “wrong” column, we didn’t need those giant 12 ounce pours of free bourbon at the tropical isle bar.  sometimes free is your enemy.  mark it down!

as always, feel free to comment on this substandard content.  blast away, i can take it.

4 Replies to “So, you like the idea of owning a big old f’ing house?”

  1. ouch, Asbestos is a killer. That stuff is still everywhere and most people do not even realize it. I use to old a older that I completely remolded an it was a extreme hassle that you never really know what you are getting into until you are in the thick of it. I am full time RVing now and loving the lack of responsibility and ease of living.

    1. glad you’re free in the RV. i’m not so worried about the asbestos in those shingles or in common old siding materials as it’s encapsulated and you would have to pound on it or grind on it to release those fibers. i just point out the cautionary cost of the regulations if you buy a place that has it. that being said, it’s worth it for us to have the large space for a big art studio for mrs. smidlap and space for a dog with a yard is nice. it’s a trade off, like most things!

      thanks for reading.

  2. I love that you shun the cell phone and went with Google Voice. It is such an antisocial device when used the wrong way. Also, that’s great you’re releasing clutter from life. Our things can come to own us instead of us owning them and you’re taking back that control. Well done!

    1. thanks, kate. i spend that 100 bucks others spend on data on wine but that’s a personal choice. mrs. me has really taken to selling our crap which is a minor miracle. hey, i was reading a couple of your running articles and i thought i remembered reading jeff galloway in the 80’s in runner’s world. it looks like you’re near tidewater so i thought i would mention we used to have some great workouts in seashore state park back in the day. i ran xc at ODU in the 80’s. good luck with the training and racing!

      p.s. looks like some of your comment sections aren’t working right. i was gonna leave this note in one of them.

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