Sunday, April 1, 2007

House Values

For the fun of it, I decided to see what the home market is like in the area. We've only been in this house for a month, but I'd like to see if Spring has brought newer/higher prices with it. I found a comparable place two blocks east of us listed for $40,000 more than we paid for this one. It's being sold by the original owners, and since there are no pictures listed other than the outside picture, I can only assume it's a little dated inside and they're hoping to get people in to look at it instead of turning them "off" with the pictures. If my guess is accurate, that bodes well for me, as I plan on having my house in excellent condition when it comes time to sell in 4-5 years. Now we just have to hope that home values don't drop like a rock. The area we're in should help avoid that - we're just outside of Milwaukee County and people are leaving Milwaukee in droves thanks to the increase in crime over the past few years and the horribly high taxes. I wish we would have left years ago.

Basement Updates

In an earlier post I mentioned the old sump pump and cement laundry tub. We've had some wet weather over the past few days which means the sump pump should be seeing some action. Every time I hear it turn on, it reminds me of how old it is and what kind of damage we could get if it died. I used that as the incentive to replace it today. How old is it? No idea, but the rust makes me think it's been here a few years.

A run to Ace and Menards got me all the pieces I thought I would need. Actually, I went overboard as usual and got two different check valves, various clamps, etc to make sure I could do the job in one shot. I go to these stores so often that I'll just return the extra stuff. Luckily this plan worked, as I ended up using various parts from both places to get the pump installed. A check valve was added at the pump housing, and I added a PVC line from there to the old sump output line. Testing of it found no leaks, and everything appears to work as planned. Besides the piece of mind, the pump should need to work much less than the old pump now that the check valve is installed. The only "problem" is that the new pump sits lower in the sump and keeps the cement covers from sitting close around the pump like it used to. Now there's enough room for the cat to get in there and drown. Oh damn, would that make me sad...

I've also started putting together the new laundry tub. My only concern is connecting the new PVC to the old metal line. Actually, it's not the connecting of the pieces which worries me, it's breaking the old parts when I take it apart which has me worried. I'd like to just connect the parts together without having to remove the entire drain line, but we'll see how that goes. Before loosening the pieces, I'll give 'em a soak in penetrating oil to help them come apart. The new plastic pieces will also be put together with an extra layer of plumber's putty in the joints to help avoid leaks. For once, I'd like to have a leak-free setup on the first try!