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Bowser
05-02-2007, 10:13 AM
Couple of random questions about the art of owning and maintaining a house....

1) Has anybody heard of these subsonic devices used to keep spiders away, and are they worth a purchase? Specifically, I'm trying to keep Brown Recluses out of my basement. The seem to like it down there.

2) How does consolidating debt work? Is equity in your house required to attain such loans, or is it a loan that does not deal with the equity in your house?

Thanks in advance for the help.

chagrin
05-02-2007, 10:16 AM
Don't forget this:

http://mud.mm-a4.yimg.com/image/2965546549

Bowser
05-02-2007, 10:19 AM
Don't forget this:

http://mud.mm-a4.yimg.com/image/2965546549

I see you have seen my house.

Demonpenz
05-02-2007, 10:27 AM
spiders tend to lurk around funyon crumbs and spilled old millwalkiee i would clean that up first

Bowser
05-02-2007, 10:29 AM
spiders tend to lurk around funyon crumbs and spilled old millwalkiee i would clean that up first

Allright. Who let Phobia in my house?

Phobia
05-02-2007, 10:33 AM
Allright. Who let Phobia in my house?
I didn't tell him a thing.

stlchiefs
05-02-2007, 10:38 AM
As far as insects and spiders an easy option that seems to catch a lot of them is to place glue boards or sticky pads along the base boards and corners of rooms, especially in the basement. Just be careful if you have dogs or small children :)

Saulbadguy
05-02-2007, 10:44 AM
It may be worth it to keep the termites away, too.

mikeyis4dcats.
05-02-2007, 10:59 AM
our northern relatives always take home Hedge Apples when they visit. apparently they are known to keep away spiders...

kepp
05-02-2007, 11:02 AM
1) At one point or another, I have seen sonic devices advertised for every creature known to man. From what I've heard - and this is NOT from personal experience - they don't work. If you have spiders you can, a) take away their food source and, b) take away their habitat. Research the types of spiders you've seen to accomplish this.

2) We are just now about to close on our first ever refinance. We were going to keep extra $$ out to pay off the remainder of our CC debt, but didn't have to because our tax refund was just enough to wipe it out :) . From what I understand, it does take equity in your home to be able to refinance and consolidate you non-mortgage debt into that loan. Typically - from what we heard while shopping for refi deals - lenders will let you cash out at up to 90% of the equity in your home. So if your home is worth $200K and you still owe $150K on it, you can refi that $150K and cash out 90% of the remaining $50K, or $45K. I think I have this right, but someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

cdcox
05-02-2007, 11:08 AM
If you own a home, you can probably find someone to loan you a big chunk of money for loan consolidation. Even if you don't think you have much equity, some lenders will streeeetttccchh the appraised value of your house to create equity. Some will go 120% of home value. However, you'll end up with a higher interest rate the more cash you try to squeeze out of your house. You'll have to talk to several lenders to know exactly what you can expect. Watch them like a hawk. Many lenders will mislead you during the process. Recent market conditions could have changed the amount of risk lenders are willing to accept.

Another option is a loan not tied to your house. If you have good credit, some lenders will give you a 24 to 84 month installment loan at a reasonable interest rate for the purposes of debt consolidation.

Brock
05-02-2007, 11:10 AM
The browns are there because there is food there. you probably have silverfish or some other insect they like to eat in abundance. Exterminator time.

Phobia
05-02-2007, 11:11 AM
If you really want to get rid of the spiders, you need a fat-headed construction guru to come out and finish the basement. I don't know where you'd find one of those though. They're worth their weight in gold. That's a lot of gold, too.

ChiTown
05-02-2007, 11:12 AM
The browns are there because there is food there. you probably have silverfish or some other insect they like to eat in abundance. Exterminator time.

I just did that. We had silverfish coming in through the attic. Fricken brown spiders were everywhere.....

Iowanian
05-02-2007, 11:14 AM
We have a couple of the sonic noise makers....the intended targets are mice.....and I haven't had any since we plugged them in....the Bats still come into the attic though. In fairness, I threw a fit and made the shitbags accross the road get rid of the 50 bags of garbage alongside their rental....which is now clean and renovated.

I recommend a dehumidifier in the basement, half a dozen hedge balls on aluminum foil placed in the fall, and go to the hardware store and buy some spider spray.

I also treat my yard for bugs-insects-spiders and spray around the outside of the foundation.

Mr. Plow
05-02-2007, 11:24 AM
If you really want to get rid of the spiders, you need a fat-headed construction guru to come out and finish the basement. I don't know where you'd find one of those though. They're worth their weight in gold. That's a lot of gold, too.


Don't believe him. I've tried to get said fat-headed construction guru to come down to my place to finish my basement, but he says paying in beer and peanuts is not acceptable. Plus I don't pay mileage.

Amnorix
05-02-2007, 11:26 AM
There are two types of loans -- those secured by specific assets (a secured loan), and those that are not (an unsecured loan).

A secured loan is a car loan or your mortgage. An unsecured loan are the balances on your credit card bills, and the $100 you gave your brother-in-law that you know will never be repaid.

Generally, secured loans will have better terms (most importantly, the interest rate) than unsecured loans. Hence mortgages at 7% and credit cards at 15+%.

Generally, lenders will lend up to a certain percentage of the value of your home. Usually, the rule of thumb is 80% to avoid paying additional insurance due to the small equity cushion in the house (PMI). PMI can be several hundred bucks a month, so I would STRONGLY RESIST taking out a loan for more than 80% of the appraised value, regardless of whether the bank will give it to you or not.

In a ReFi, you can replace your existing mortgage iwth a new one, and take out, in the form of cash, equity in the house. This gives you cash in your pocket, but reduces the amount of the house YOU own, compared to what the bank owns. Also, unless the interest rates are dramatically lower, your monthly payment will increase.

Also note that if you go from being 8 years into a 30 year fixed, and ReFi into a new 30 year fixed, you're gong to pay off your loan in 30 years, instead of just 22. Worse, because of the standard amortization, more of your monthly payment now is for interest, rather than principal, until you're once again 8 or so years into the new loan.

Complex stuff. Hopefully this is helpful.

Frosty
05-02-2007, 11:39 AM
Also note that if you go from being 8 years into a 30 year fixed, and ReFi into a new 30 year fixed, you're gong to pay off your loan in 30 years, instead of just 22. Worse, because of the standard amortization, more of your monthly payment now is for interest, rather than principal, until you're once again 8 or so years into the new loan.

I think a lot of people who refi miss that little tidbit. It means that if you refi to pay off CCs or buy toys, you are paying a ton more for them over the long run and putting your house at risk.

Brando
05-02-2007, 11:53 AM
I do refi's and Home Equity Line's Of Credit(HELOCS) for a living. If you would like to talk about your situation send me a PM. I'll keep it confidential and I won't attempt to sell you on anything.

tooge
05-02-2007, 12:24 PM
If you are young and want to be debt free when you retire, then the ONLY reason you should refinance is to lower your interest rate, and that is only if it is gonna save you a few hundred bucks a month, AND, you put that saved money into some sort of other debt that carries a higher interest rate, ie., credit card debt. Otherwise, no matter what they tell you, the "no cost" refi will cost you at a minimum a few thousand bucks that is hidden neatly in your closing paperwork where you wont see it. Best advise, save your money for purchases, and pay off high interest debt first. ALso, have an exterminator come out quarterly to spray and you wont have the spiders.

Amnorix
05-02-2007, 12:35 PM
I think a lot of people who refi miss that little tidbit. It means that if you refi to pay off CCs or buy toys, you are paying a ton more for them over the long run and putting your house at risk.


Well, it depends, but basically it's a mathematical issue, and a peace of mind issue as well.

As long as you don't get right back into CC trouble, it can be a good thing, depending on circumstances.

If you do it to clear your CCs and rack 'em up again, then you're a fool. The ReFi craze is powered by people who don't really know WTF they're doing.

Amnorix
05-02-2007, 12:36 PM
I do refi's and Home Equity Line's Of Credit(HELOCS) for a living. If you would like to talk about your situation send me a PM. I'll keep it confidential and I won't attempt to sell you on anything.


HELOCs can be the right answer for many. It can be done as a secured credit card, and therefore with a lower rate of interest. The downside is that it's your house at risk now, and homesteaders and other exemptions (if available in your state) won't save your ass from getting foreclosed on.

Amnorix
05-02-2007, 12:43 PM
If you are young and want to be debt free when you retire, then the ONLY reason you should refinance is to lower your interest rate, and that is only if it is gonna save you a few hundred bucks a month, AND, you put that saved money into some sort of other debt that carries a higher interest rate, ie., credit card debt. Otherwise, no matter what they tell you, the "no cost" refi will cost you at a minimum a few thousand bucks that is hidden neatly in your closing paperwork where you wont see it. Best advise, save your money for purchases, and pay off high interest debt first.

It's a nice rule of thumb, but it's too simple.

For example, if you're 5 years into a 30 and get a promotion and think your career is going up, and never plan to move, refi into a 15 might be good, even if it's more on a monthly, cuz you'll pay down principal faster.

Basically, your advice is a good general comment, but circumstances are different for everyone.

Frosty
05-02-2007, 01:02 PM
As long as you don't get right back into CC trouble, it can be a good thing, depending on circumstances.

If you do it to clear your CCs and rack 'em up again, then you're a fool. The ReFi craze is powered by people who don't really know WTF they're doing.

That was what I was trying to get at. I have read that most people who refinance to pay off CC debt just turn around and build that debt back up. Now they are buried in bad debt and have a higher mortgage payment. Obviously there are times that refinances make sense, but trying to borrow your way out of debt is always a bad idea. Time and discipline are the only things that will get you out of that mess.

Amnorix
05-02-2007, 01:13 PM
That was what I was trying to get at. I have read that most people who refinance to pay off CC debt just turn around and build that debt back up. Now they are buried in bad debt and have a higher mortgage payment. Obviously there are times that refinances make sense, but trying to borrow your way out of debt is always a bad idea. Time and discipline are the only things that will get you out of that mess.

And, as you say, that's the key right there. Paying off credit card debt doesn't change fundamentally bad spending patterns. Really, if it's a known issue, then refi to pay off the CC debt, cut up your credit cards, go with debit cards, and force yourself not to be an idiot.

Rain Man
05-02-2007, 03:21 PM
I bet you could buy a vole or a shrew for your basement.

ClevelandBronco
05-02-2007, 03:51 PM
PMI can be several hundred bucks a month, so I would STRONGLY RESIST taking out a loan for more than 80% of the appraised value, regardless of whether the bank will give it to you or not.

This has always been true until this year when the tax rules changed. PMI is now deductible, and since it's easier to qualify for a first mortgage, and the interest rates on a first are lower than rates on a second, there are now times when it'll cost less to have a 90/10 first mortgage with PMI rather than an 80/20 first without PMI plus a 10% second or home equity line. Have your mortgage guy run the numbers both ways.

2bikemike
05-02-2007, 04:21 PM
And, as you say, that's the key right there. Paying off credit card debt doesn't change fundamentally bad spending patterns. Really, if it's a known issue, then refi to pay off the CC debt, cut up your credit cards, go with debit cards, and force yourself not to be an idiot.

Good advice,
Heres a good example. I refinanced my house several times. We have completely remodled and updated the house and yard. We recently took out a large portion of equity so we could buy some investment property. I feel these were wise uses of our equity.

My neighbor on the other hand has refinanced a few times. He now owns 2 harleys, 2 Sea Doo's, 3 quads, a Motorhome and a trailer plus a huge mortgage. He worked all the time and was recently fired for sleeping at work.

Brock
05-02-2007, 04:33 PM
I bet you could buy a vole or a shrew for your basement.

Jeez. ROFL

Bowser
05-04-2007, 09:16 AM
Thanks for the replies. I bid on a vole off of E-Bay, and it should be here in a week or so. The guy had good reviews, so I have high hopes of this working.

One more questiion I forgot to ask -

I have a pretty nice sump pump system from a reputable local company. I am interested in getting a battery backup for the thing, but said company wants to charge 1,000 bucks to install a battery backup for me. Are there any do-it-yourself alternatives to look into, instead of me shelling out a grand for a backup?

Phobia
05-04-2007, 10:08 AM
No, there's nothing else you can do, man. Just pay up. I'll do it for $975 though.

I plan to put in a UPS or something like that.

I looked into those specialty sump pump batteries and it looks unecissarily complicated. Installing a UPS should cost whatever it costs to plug into the wall.

tiptap
05-04-2007, 10:19 AM
Crawling arthropods (spiders, insects, silverfish and such) all hate walking in diatomaceous earth. The little pieces of glass cut their external skeleton spilling out their inards. It makes me happy to think upon such things. Clean, use sticky catch paper on vertical surfaces and diatomaceous earth on horizontal surfaces.