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Posts by taubel

Keep the Thomas set! I have three boys and they all went through MAJOR train obsessions! We also had multiple types of trains, including lego, and they played with all of them. Legos are hard sometimes for the younger kids because they fall apart easily. But I would still keep that one too!   We have done a major purge of our toys, and I have kept the wooden trains because I love them so much. My kids don't play with them anymore, their cousin has some on loan, but I...
We got our son a balance bike when he was 4 (didn't know about it until then). At first he didn't have much interest, but by 4.5, he was a pro. A month before he turned 5, he asked to try a regular pedal bike without training wheels. We set out for a morning of teaching and learning, but instead he got on the pedal bike and just pedaled away! It was pretty amazing!   He had a Kazam, which was expensive but great quality. Even his older brothers loved riding it! They...
We just bought a new house and need to buy a new furnace for it (planned). It's a natural gas forced hot air heating and cooling system.   The HVAC guy offered us two choices (both Trane furnaces).   One is $3200 with a $120 rebate from the utility company. It's a good furnace - 95% efficient, programmable thermostat, etc.   The other is a higher end model for $4300 with a $420 rebate from the utility company. Apparently this furnace can operate at different...
Well, we forked over the $325 for a structural engineer. He was not worried about the house. He thinks the second story floor joists may have been installed improperly (with the crown on the bottoms of some of the pieces). He doesn't think it will get worse than it is now. He described the floors as "inconvenient" but not a problem. So I guess we're going through with the purchase. The floors still bother me, but there are many good things about the house, like the...
The house is only 25 years old! (Our current house is more than 50 years old and the floors are nearly level.) The walls, ceilings, etc. all seem to be fine. The foundation looks great (poured concrete with virtually no cracks).    Since our inspector did not list the wavy floors as a major defect, my concerns are being dismissed. I am afraid if we push for the engineer, the sellers will back out of the deal. (They already will have to pay for mold remediation in the...
We are in the process of buying a larger home and had the inspection this morning. Minor defects were found, with the exception of one major defect - mold in the attic (but that's a whole other post)!   Anyway, the inspection was performed by a well respected licensed home inspector. The foundation and supports we can see from the basement appear to be in great shape. However, when I walk around the first floor of the house, the floors feel slightly "wavy," with some...
    Did you then pay back the money - or was it truly a gift?
We just signed a contract to buy a house and still own the house we currently live in. It will work out that we are buying the second house before we sell our current house, which is not even on the market yet.   In order to buy the other house without selling ours first, my parents have agreed to "lend" us between $40 and $50K. We will then pay them back once our current house sells.   Our lender is fine with all this. Today, he emailed me something called a...
My kids are 10, 8 and 5 and I involve them in many financial discussions. I have shown the oldest our credit card statement and our monthly budget. The older two know how much our house is worth, what heat costs, etc.    For the past year we have been giving them a small allowance (their age per month) and then letting them use their own money for any purchases they want to make. It's funny because they have been unwilling to spend ANY of their money! So now I'm...
Just curious what size space you all live in....   We live in a house which is somewhere between 1300 and 1400 square feet. We're in the process of bidding on house that is just under 2100 square feet, and I feel like it's HUGE, but I guess we'd grow into it quickly.   We are two adults and three kids ages 10, 8 and 5.
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