turp101 t1_jdw20c7 wrote

And so many auto manufacturers as well. Cars are a loss leader for several as they make money from their credit services.

Heck - Airline frequent flyer programs serve the same purpose for large airlines as the programs have higher valuations and profits than the actual flying portion of the business.


turp101 t1_jdw1q80 wrote

This is a fundamental flaw in the current version of our economy/capitalism. The infinite growth mantra that has readily been preached for over 40 years is just not logistically feasible. Eventually there are constrained resources of some type, even if it is just the lack of agility of a large bloated company unable to pivot to meet the new latest and greatest whatchamacallit coming from the competition.


turp101 t1_jch0fi6 wrote

Wahl has gone that route too, just FYI.

5 years ago they weren't like that and I used them for a bunch of my properties; then after COVID it was like they became Gillece "lite" - I couldn't get a $90 seasonal tuneup without a quote for at least $3,000 in services that where needed. Even for 3 year old systems they had installed. Similar garbage with gas leaks too. Pipes that had plugs in for 10+ years that I had been around dozens of times were all of a sudden leaking.

Moral: Don't leave your tech alone while they are "doing work" - you may end up paying more for it than you expect.


turp101 t1_jaec1pn wrote

Reply to comment by kniki217 in Viewing homes in the area by Ar30la

A lot of it depends on where your house is compared to the path of water. I have been in lots of 40s-50s houses with wet basements. Probably more than 75% of the ones I go in have some moisture. Drainage tile was still kind of new then, and lots of it has failed. It wasn't until you got into the 60s and 70s that homes seem to have gotten a lot dryer in general. The post-war era was really just the beginning of standards in the building industry so there is a lot of variance.


turp101 t1_jaebisx wrote

Reply to comment by Ar30la in Viewing homes in the area by Ar30la

Fairly appropriate.

If you look to have a perimeter drain put in, I have used the companies below previously and you can take my comments however you want. Always talk to at least 3 companies around here, 5 is better. I have fixed water issues from things as simple as running all downspouts to the low-grade end of the house to $20k repairs. You would be amazed at the # of options you can get.

>Bakers: Good work, not horrible pricing
>Keystone: The most expensive you will find
>Basement Guys: Decent price, decent work
>Advanced: Decent price, decent work
>Premiere: Good pricing, questionable work


turp101 t1_jaeapq4 wrote

Reply to comment by pburgh2517 in Viewing homes in the area by Ar30la

Are you on a hillside or valley - if so, then you might be alone.

I see them when on top of hills since water is draining away. However it is rare for me to find a place in flood plains or on a hillside that doesn't have some minor penetration at least.


turp101 t1_jaea3dr wrote

Reply to comment by kittywampos in Viewing homes in the area by Ar30la

>planning on making this space livable

I have to go with Jeff at HomeRenovision DIY YoutTube channel on this - you shouldn't plan to make any basement before the 1960s livable as they just were not designed for it - mainly for moisture, height, and fire escapes.


turp101 t1_jae9sp9 wrote

Reply to comment by kittywampos in Viewing homes in the area by Ar30la

Additionally - it looks like some of the moisture could be coming from around the footer area. (Hard to tell sources versus destinations for the water.) One of my places in Carnegie has a high water table due to a spring on the hill behind it. I needed an interior french drain to keep the underground flow from coming up around the slab whenever it rained.


Also, hard to tell, but it looks like there is a gap between the water and the wall. So the water may not be coming through the wall. I don't see any moisture on that raised footer. Assuming the hot water tank or other plumbing isn't leaking - I would definitely look at a "bath tub effect" as the cause. (No clue the technical term, this is just what I always called it.)


turp101 t1_j1pxdit wrote

I remember a Dave and Dave episode about the belts roughly 10 years ago. They did the green and red and yellow and blue and at the end quipped that we may have noticed one missing (the orange) and that they didn't have enough days to travel that far.

Best of luck to you on your journey into the great unknown!

If you honk going through South Fayette I will try to wave! :-D


turp101 t1_j0umz6e wrote


Take Redfin or one of the other tools. Switch to sold homes for the last year filter. Draw a circle around an area you are interested plus several blocks surrounded. You can see the flow of property values then. This gives you a good idea of if you are a decent area or not.

You will want to see the overall theme of house prices to start. So is it a $100k area, $250k area, or $400k area. If you are seeing prices peak at $100 or $125k with lots of sub-50k sales, and you look at the pictures and there isn't a huge difference, you are probably looking at a rental area, downtrodden area that lost the jobs 4 decades ago, or a crime filled area.

If you are seeing prices consistently in one of the higher brackets, with very few lower price homes, you are probably looking at an established or mostly gentrified community and the benefits that come with that.

If you see an area that has a strong mix, you are probably looking at an area that is gentrifying - especially if the higher price homes appear to be flips or rehabbed and the lower priced ones look to be grandma's house. The ratio of upper priced homes to lower priced homes will tell you how far along in gentrification the place is. Less than 25% of the homes being rehabbed - you are looking at a speculation play that may be on the boarder of a good area. 25-75% and you have an established area on the upswing. North of 75% and you pretty much have completed or are nearing completion of gentrification.

You can take this information and overlay school quality, crime rates, and public transit to get a strong feeling for how a community is.

Personally I like the old camp or mill towns in A/A+ school districts that have development around them. Places like Trafford or Cuddy. You can get a an older home with good bones for under $200k in an area without much crime and an excellent place to raise a family near highways. You won't have much public transit usually, but with work from home that isn't a show stopper.


turp101 t1_j0ul9f9 wrote

> houses right next to regent square were like 40k and i looked up the crime stats for wilksonburg and

The bus line is a man-made divide. Stay west towards Regent Sq and you should be okay. Go east of it and it is total speculation/slumlord/vacant and boarded houses territory. There are a few pockets of decent, Marlboro isn't horrible. The Blackridge area isn't too bad either near the Penn Hills line.

It is the same thing dividing Point Breeze from Homewood.


turp101 t1_j0ifabj wrote

Big money buys in very specific areas. Generally speaking, if you look around the fringes they won't be there.

So they may buy Aspinwall but not Blawnox, or may buy Ingram but not Crafton.

Additionally they have a buy box which is usually 3-4 bedrooms and 1-2 baths and having rehabs less than the purchase price. You just need to move outside their buy box to not compete with them. On the flip side, if you want to do business with them, knowing their buy box will save you lots of effort.

Source: Do it for a living


turp101 t1_iydk3bp wrote

Pipes generally won't freeze until it is in the low 20s at the highest. Whenever I have had pipes burst it has been below 10 for at least 24 hours (3 times for those counting).

There are no nights below 20 in the 10 day forecast and all days are above freezing.

I would set it as low as you are comfortable with (45-55) but set the fan to always run - this will help with air settling in an area potentially being colder.

I usually set vacant homes at 58-62 when they are vacant. (Contractor that is a landlord and occasional fix and flip guy - I always have at least 1 vacant house.)