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About Wildcat

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    Queen of the Backyard Jungle

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  1. This is my fear for us selling our house. I'm wrestling with "fix it to new or leave". I'd rather "leave" so the new owners can choose what they want, but it might be to our benefit to fix and then list. I will be at the mercy of the realtor(s) we interview when the time comes, I guess. The paint is already neutral, but it's the flooring that I'm thinking about. The house will be move-in ready and super clean because I'm sort of OCD about having it as 'new' as possible -- we will have already vacated before we list, so any imperfections will be readily visible. I already have the upstairs all done --- fully repainted, all walls empty and nail holes filled, etc. It's just the darn flooring.... if I knew the new owners would want to keep the carpet in the bedrooms, I'd just have new stuff put in, but if * I * was the buyer, I would want wood to match the rest, and in that case, the whole wood floor would need a buffing, and possibly sanding/staining in one room where a large rug slightly discolored the floor. And this is a large house. Ugh. Ladies, thanks so much for the replies. It's helpful to see what others look for. I'm like most of you in that cosmetic stuff doesn't bother me and any house we buy will have a professional inspection done. Some things you all look for are interesting and I wouldn't have thought of, so I've made some notes. 🙂 I fear that I will be obsessing about my current house until it's time to get a realtor to give an opinion.
  2. I went from a Honda Odyssey to a Toyota Highlander. I, too, was concerned about missing the extra cargo space and a comfy third row. Three-and-a-half years later, I have zero regrets. Third seat--- not comfy for a 5'10" person, but fine for two 5'7" people for about an hour. I would not put three people in that third row, though, because of the lack of knee space--riders are most comfy with a slight angle in their legs, so a third person back there would negate that possibility. Also, third row riders should be agile enough to get back there. A 60 y/o who can bend well at the waist and knees does just fine. Long trips with four people and luggage are fine (third row down) --- we've done several trips where we drive one-way for 12 hours. We've not had an issue with lack of luggage space. Not even close, actually. Four adults with luggage and assorted stuff fill the back area and I can still use the pull cover thingy to hide what's in the back. Cargo space--- the *only* time I regretted it was when moving a child out of a dorm and I realized how much space we lost. Everything we wanted to bring fit in our car and the student's car, however, so ho harm, no foul. What eased my mind about getting the mid-SUV was that if we wanted to go on long trips with more than four people, we would just rent a mini-van. The same goes for if we needed a bunch of stuff from Lowe's/HD --- we would just rent their pick up or one from uHaul. We haven't needed to do either of those. My Highlander can comfortably carry eight huge bags of mulch or 16 bags of top soil at a time and we are close enough to those stores so we just make multiple trips when necessary. I spread a tarp out to protect the carpet, just like I did with the Odyssey, and just pile the stuff in. One thing we didn't realize when we got the Highlander ('16) was the difference in ride between that and the Odyssey ('09). The Highlander is much more comfy and quiet than the Odyssey and we never had any complaints about the Odyssey in those areas! One of my hesitations in changing vehicles was that whatever I got had to be as comfy as the Odyssey and the Highlander is even more so. The quieter ride is a bonus. We also like how it handles, and, again, we liked how the Odyssey handled. I am considering having a hitch installed and getting the cargo carrier that was mentioned above. We haven't needed it yet, but I do see the potential in having a hitch, whether for the cargo rack, bike rack, or pulling a trailer. There are several moves in our future (us and kids), and I just think it would come in handy to have that hitch. My Highlander has the tow package and I'm glad I got it so that I have the option of towing with it, if I decide to do so. Also, gas mileage is better in my Highlander than the Odyssey and I never had any complaints about that, either. We just got back from a trip and I averaged 28.something mpg (combination of interstate and small town roads with stoplights).
  3. Wildcat


    I despise wallpaper. As a child of the 70s and 80s, I grew up with it on nearly every wall. In the 90s, I hung it in my own house. Since I had helped my mother remove tons and tons of it over the years, I made sure to prime the walls well. It didn't work. When I took that paper down several years later, it peeled off in four layers: the design, the paper, the glue, and the top layer (and then some!) of wallboard with my primer. The walls were horrible with chunks coming off. It was the stuff of nightmares. I will never be convinced that the newfangled easy-to-remove paper will be any better years down the road when people are ready to peel it off. I will not buy a house with wallpaper in it if it's in more than a small powder room. Sadly, several homes I've recently seen online have it in all the rooms (from the 90s and 2000s) and they are asking top dollar, so it's not like they are acknowledging it might be a turn off. I don't even know how much it would cost to pay to have it removed so I just close the tabs and move on to the next house. I'm not going to get started on negotiations over wallpaper removal. Ugh. I can honestly say that reading this thread has brought up feelings I thought had been long buried!! Wallpaper is one of the "three never again" items for me. The other two are bell-bottom jeans and perms.
  4. Ugh. Choosing paint colors is awful. I'm so over it. I'd choose something that compliments both the color of the travertine and hardwood. Are you wanting one color throughout your house or different colors? And I don't like either dark green or gray! LOL. I also prefer warmer colors, but I also think certain colors do better in certain areas. For instance, the love affair with all things gray. Florida houses near the beach with gray walls, gray counters, and gray backsplashes just look odd. And depressing. + 1 on the colors look different in different rooms. I have one color in my current home and each room looks different depending on the time of day and even the season. I would suggest a color swatch on *each wall* in each room and view it on sunny days, cloudy days, at night with lights on, etc. Yes. I like your description in another post about which shade, too, especially for a home in the PNW. Something that isn't drab but isn't bright. I also don't like bright colors in houses. Maybe 'muted' is the word I'm looking for.
  5. I'm not talking about things an inspection would uncover, but other things. I'm thinking things like the condition of the carpet, age of appliances, paint color, grassless patches in the yard, etc. What things would either turn you off from making an offer or would make you offer less or ask for allowances? What would you let slide and just chalk up to "well, we are buying a used house, so we won't/can't ask for a discount/price decrease and just change it to our liking?" Do you/would you require that all nail holes be filled? Walls freshly painted even if it's a color you wouln't have chosen? Do you want the hardwood floors to be refinished or would you rather have an allowance so you can choose the color/gloss level? Do you want new carpet or an allowance so you can choose your own? Or, if everything is "good enough", like lived in, but not bad at all do you just let that stuff slide and now try to negotiate on those things? Anything at all. Assume the floorplan is ideal for you and you are just deciding on an offer. Also assume the house is vacant/staged so the owners have moved out, meaning "what you see is it"... no more updates, retouches were planned in order to sell. I've only ever bought two houses. The first we had no clue what we were doing and paid full asking price & repainted and carpeted once we were in there, and the second was new construction so this is all new to me. I'm just wondering what most people look for/how most people negotiate, and over what things?
  6. Hmm. It sounds like I might have to do the entire downstairs if I try that, as it's an open floorplan. Granted, this one area is in a 'room' the floor continues, so I'd have to be super careful not to overlap in the 'doorway'. Ugh. I think I'm smelling an expensive job coming my way. Blech. I've heard that, too, about an empty house = desperation to sell, but we need to be out before we list for my sanity. Most of my furniture wouldn't exactly encourage a home sale since it has all been lived on for years. The age of my furniture is obvious (hello 1990s dining room!), even though it's all in really good shape. If staging is highly encouraged by our realtor, we'll just have to hire someone who has the pieces in current styles. I'm thinking a flooring allowance is where we might end up. Honestly, if I were to buy this house again, I would want hardwood in the two bedrooms that are on the same level (they are carpeted now) and an allowance would allow that to be done and for the new owners to choose their color and make sure it all matches. It just really bothers my OCD that I might have to leave something "not perfect" when we list the house. That, and I'm so sad that something that was supposed to be fine for my floors essentially ruined them. Thanks so much. I think I'll let the floor breathe and allow the summer sun have a go at it and see if that helps at all. Otherwise, I might try the Quick Shine stuff on it if I think I can do it so that I don't have to do the entire downstairs. Or I'll just cry "uncle" and call someone to have the whole thing refinished. That's definitely not my first choice. While I'm an ardent DIYer, I'm just not wanting to take on the floor in the manner you described. It's a lot of floor in an open floorplan so I think it's an all-or-nothing deal if resurfacing/refinishing is needed..... I did, however, make note of your comments and might use them in our next place, if the need arises. That will be a much smaller place. 😉 And that, right there shows how little I know about this. I thought you meant was it a Swedish name on label of the can of the shiny coating. 😂 Ladies, again, thank you so much for your help and ideas. I have plenty of time to decide what to do and will see if letting the floors air out and the bright sun help at all. I really appreciate all of your responses.
  7. OP, definitely contact the last doctor your kids saw. It's entirely possible that they have the full vaccine record in their files. When my kids aged out of their ped's office and had to find a regular doctor, their vax records showed which vax they received at the ped's office as well as the ones they received at the previous ped's office. Those just stated "outside of clinic" to show they were done elsewhere. It's possible your old ped's office does something similar. I'm sorry you're going through this. I'm gobsmacked at the response of the new doctor's office.
  8. Thanks for the how-to and what to watch for. I'm thinking I might try it once all of the furniture is out of the worst room (we're selling most of it in a few months) and give it a shot. At this point, it might have to be refinished anyway, so what can it hurt to try? The product? I have no idea. The only thing I remember is there was a blue label on the can and that it most likely came from a flooring store because it was a family-owned store and she was the owner's daughter. Not helpful and I've been annoyed for years that I forgot within minutes of the lady telling me what it was. I'm not familiar enough with finishes to be able to tell poly from whatever. Ugh. I wonder if a flooring person would be able to tell just by looking at it? Hmm.... See, that's why I'm so confused. The floor that has been exposed is the same color it always was and still matched the rest of the downstairs, where the dark part is where the rug was, so the uncovered floor is the same color it always has been, but where the rug was is darker. I'm thinking it's a chemical reaction to that darned non-skid padding. Definitely not what I hoped to hear, and definitely not unexpected to hear. Thanks for the brutal honesty. 🤣 Yeah, that's what I feared. I really, really don't want to refinish. Blurgh! We'll be completely out so it would look odd, I think to have rooms with rugs in it. On the other hand, I will keep them, though, in case the realtor wants to stage, so that's actually a good thought. Do you think it might help lessen the appearance of the fading/darkening? The darned thing looks completely normal when freshly mopped and still wet. It's only after it's dry that you can see the discoloration. Thanks, ladies, for trying to help me with this!!
  9. I need suggestions for my hardwood floor. It's tired and needs a bit of help. I've looked at a few cleaner/polish things and it seems like it might make a difference as to light/dark finish, so let me start by saying my floor is a honey oak color and is real wood, not laminate. It is 15 years old and we have pets (so light scratches). I don't know if it's coated with polyurethane but when it was installed, the lady said it was NOT poly but "something better" and I have long since forgotten what it was. It does not have that super glossy shine, but a nice, low-key finish that does reflect light with a minimal shine, if that makes sense. My biggest problem is that I recently took up some area rugs (the 8'x10' kind) and there is a very obvious color variation where they were. I had those waffle type non-slip pads under them and I've since discovered that they are damaging to wood, even though I specifically bought ones that said "will not damage wood floors". The products I've found that might help are Scott's Liquid Gold Floor Polish and Quick Shine Floor Finish. It looks like the Scott's is what I might try first but I thought I would come here to see what opinions you all have on either of these. Specifically, how the shine/finish has held up over months of walking, and washing/mopping. I keep reading about a foggy build up, etc, for some people. I read a few reviews that mentioned trouble with using Bona afterward. I do use Bona to clean but can change that if it's an issue with either of these. I hope someone has a few thoughts to toss my way on what I can do! The floors look great despite being 15 years old, except for the 'stains' where those rugs were. Ugh. They aren't horrible, but very noticeable and since we are wanting to sell the house next spring, that would be a big turn off to walk in the front door and see matching left-and-right rug stain marks. So, help? Anyone?
  10. Yeah, the few things I've read where people have had to prove records were "from the old days" (read: pre-internet/personal computers), so those older returns seem to be more important to keep than the ones since the days of e-filing. Still, I like things to be complete, so I'm just keeping them all. I have had to prove or provide numbers/dates for so many things over the years that I've decided it's just way easier to keep it all in an organized manner than to have to deal with the alternative. Your Dad's house and basis--- that isn't a thing anymore, is it? As long as he has been there for a handful of years (5 I think?) basis isn't an issue unless he has gains of over $250 (I think for a single). Unless that is what you're up against, and yes, in that case, I'd keep meticulous records on that, as well. Your parents' returns might come in handy when closing their estates. I think those should all be kept for at least seven years, too. I plan to keep all of my parents' returns for that long, and possibly the final one forever. I wonder if the accounting/lawyer types among us are more likely to keep this stuff, seeing as how we have read/experienced needing these old files for various reasons? I read multiple financial blogs/forums and the stories people tell have convinced me to just keep it all. Photos.... yep. Multiple boxes to scan and tons of digital photos to go through and delete duplicates. That was supposed to by my "winter project". I don't know what happened, but winter has passed and my photos are untouched. I absolutely *dread* that task.
  11. Actually, the IRS losing things (data corruption, mislabeling, whatever) is the main reason why we, the taxpayers, are supposed to keep our returns as proof we filed. It is ultra rare, to be sure, but if they come back and say that they don't have a return for you from 25 years ago and now you have $xx,xxx in fines, that would be awful. Like I said, ultra rare, but I find it easier to just keep the darn things rather than rely on the gov to keep my info. In your case, I would definitely just keep the darn pile. I have my really old ones in a safe deposit box. We need one anyway, so for the extra $5 a year, I got the big one and am in no danger of filling it up soon. Some people just stuff them in a cardboard box in an attic (I'd still scan them if they weren't e-filed and are already digitized). Yes, immigration has its own wonderful list issues. Having to prove/re-create a life is no joke. I'd rather keep reams and reams of papers and be able to 'lay hands' on things almost immediately and not rely on scans/computer software/hardware. Also, some agencies require originals and not copies. I am drowning in papers because of this, but I sleep well knowing I have everything "they" could possibly want.
  12. Arrgh! My reply was eaten before I could hit submit. We are supposed to keep the actual returns (just the forms & schedules) for forever and ever. I'm sure a scanned copy would suffice (keep them in several places due to external hard drives dying, lost thumb drives, etc) My eventual plan is to scan, save to the computer, a thumb drive, a back up hard drive, AND burn to a disc.... I'll probably keep duplicates of each method, too. The supporting papers like property taxes paid, INT-1099s, charitable contribution proof, etc, can get tossed after the audit date has passed (which is three years AFTER the filing date, so if you extend and file in Oct, it's three years after that date). If they think you've underreported your income by 25%, they can go back seven years, so I keep my papers for seven years. You want to keep the W2s to be sure they match up with what the SS office has on file for you. Once you start collecting SS, you can shred those. Again, scanned should suffice. As for brokerage stuff, keep only the year-end statements if they show yearly totals. This comes in handy for cost-basis when selling. Scans of these would be fine, too. The forms we get when contributing to an IRA should also be kept forever. This also shows cost basis. Once the IRA is depleted, keep them for three years, or whatever the audit period is at that time in case the IRS questions deductible/non-deductible. Again, scanned should be fine. All of that said..... I am terrified to shred my papers. I've had an external hard drive die for no reason, burned DVDS won't play on all machines, and thumbdrives are very easy to lose/write over. Paper is paper. Knowing me, I'm liable to scan and save across multiple platforms AND keep the returns (and the schedules, forms). Oh, if your CPA is like the one we had for a few years, grab the staple remover and dissect the packages he/she gave you. I got rid of a lot of bulk doing that. My biggest chore is scanning 25 years of photos...... I'll worry about my papers once that is done. That's a heck of a lot of scanning I have to do. 😨 And to answer your question, yes, I find I have a psychological problem with getting rid of official papers!
  13. I'm somewhat late to the party, but I'll chime in anyway. I had a mark like that from a slightly ragged toenail on my other foot. My mark's origin was also a mystery until I hit it in the same spot with the other foot while in bed getting comfy the next night and then it was clear what happened. Most likely, I had cut it in my sleep the night before. Said toenail was a stealth baddy in that I didn't even know it was ragged until I realized it had cut my other foot. 😏 The placement of the cut/mark did tend to be reddish for a few days like yours as it healed. The bad toenail got an immediate tending to. I'm glad you saw the doctor and he set your mind at ease. 🙂
  14. Our dog (25lbs) has been on this for, oh, three or four years now and has shown no side effects so we will keep using it. If we see any signs of trouble, we will stop. The topical stuff literally burned her so this was a wonderful replacement. I would think that any med has the chance of side effects so unless your animal reacts to it, I would continue to use it. (I'm not an expert, nor do I work with animals... I'm just a pet owner)
  15. Sure, but it's a bit time consuming. You just have to call each place and ask to be removed from their mailing list. It may take several months as many companies place orders that far out, but it works. Some places you may need to google for a phone number, but most include them on their mailers. I did this because I'm tired of taking crap out of my mailbox and shredding it. I also will not be putting in a mail forwarding notice with the post office when we move since they sell those notices to marketing companies and are the cause of a lot of this garbage in the first place. I have called catalogues, charities, insurance mailers, ads for carpet stores, etc. The only place I can't get to stop sending me junk is the local 'newspaper' with their weekly thing that is dumped on my driveway. Whenever I got a piece of mail that I didn't want, I wrote the date on the envelope, then, when I called a place, I wrote a date for when I asked to me removed. I did this because I was curious as to when I called (time goes by so fast!). Also, I wanted dates in case I needed to call again and say "hey, I called back on yadda date and you still haven't removed me". In most cases (charities, insurance companies, etc), the mailers were stopped immediately. The only ones I can think of off hand that I received a second one is for catalogues, but I haven't received any after that. Some people seem surprised that I don't want their stuff but I just sweetly explain that I don't use XY or Z and that it's a shame for them to waste their money marketing to me. 🙂 Oh, some of these have been in my name and some have been in DH's name. A few were even for people who have never lived here (Perfect strangers. We built this house, so I know who has lived here!) I just use the term "we don't need" and they don't seem to care who is calling, so you shouldn't have an issue in that regard. I wish you luck. Edit: In your case, you could also say to the people that "that person doesn't live here". And, if memory serves, he has never lived at your new address, in which case "this person has never lived here" will also work. Just a thought in case you thought someone was stonewalling you or something. You don't need to mention a relationship between you and the addressee at all in any of the conversations.
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