Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Little Brother Buys A House

My little brother Matt bought a house last Friday. Today in the first of many such purchases, he bought a shop vac. It's the house my dad grew up in and Matt is the third member of the third generation of the Pesotski family to live there. I lived ther for about a year after my grandfather (pictured above) died. My sister lived there for a few years and now Matt has lived there longer that he thought he would.

It's a pretty typical post-WW2 GI tract house. A 4 bedroom Cape Cod with a small yard. The yard may be small, but it grew some of the largest tomato plants (also above) ever seen. Like any house inhabited for 40 years by an older person and then by a series of young people, there is some deferred maintenence. What I would do with this house is improve both its liveability and curb appeal. It's a good house for a young family, ut would not be real appealing in its current condiditon. Matt has some work ahead of him. Here's what I would do: Do Today

  • Get the heating duct fixed
  • Clean the basement up
Its going to get cold soon, son! It's actually hilarious the run of events that resulted in the heater having an open duct to the basement, but this is a short space. Top Priorities The roof was done by a low-bid government contractor in 1983. It's toast. There is maybe one winter left in it, then things will get ugly. Do the right thing and do all four of these things together and soon. Get a nice color siding that matches the new roof. Of course you need to remove the sheds to do the siding. Also Important
  • Replace the floor, toilet and sink in the bathroom
  • Fix the leaky tub faucet
  • Have a plumber look at the rat's nest of pipes in the untility room and advise
You will save a TON of money and it will improve the whole situation to modernize this bathroom. Cosmetic Stuff
  • Remove the plastic stick-on tiles in the kitchen
  • Apply heavy, textured wallpaper to the living room and hall
  • Paint

These things seem daunting, but just do it. The textured wall paper will go up fairly easily. A fresh coat of paint on it and the kitchen will do wonders. It's cheaper than re-rocking the palce and WAY less disruptive.


  • New plantings

It's sale time at the nurseries. Get some new bushes and plantings in before winter. They will stay dorman and come in great in the spring. This, along with the new siding will do a lit to improve the curb appeal.

Future Projects

Home ownership is a lot of fun and you learn a lot. Enjoy!


Matt said...

i love that pic of grandpop. i have it up here too.

thanks for the post marking my entrance into a life of manageable but omnipresent debt. also, many thanks for your help during the closing process, as well as for what i hope you'll lend a hand with from the list above...

all in due time...

Gootman said...

Congrats on the house, if you need any help I can point and tell you to do things. I found making a list was really helpful in getting things done.

Now, get to work you slumlord. You've been living there about 6 years and you still haven't painted the living room.

Matt said...

this from the guy who wouldn't so much as cut the lawn when he lived there.

plus, i was reeennntttingggg. and poor.

i don't need to make a list, the delco guy already did it.

Unknown said...

So when are you getting started? You bought a shop vac three days ago and my guess is it's still in the box.

Get to work!