My Old House

Issues and Events involving our Home in Independence, Missouri
My Old House on Winner Road

353 Tax Abatement Program: FINALLY, we’re done

Filed under: General — Admin @ 2:43 pm

Well, as of last week, we signed the concluding paperwork for the 353 Tax Abatement Program in our area. As we were getting ready to leave, the head of the program for the City advised us to call our mortgage lender. She said we should be able to tell them that we just finished up on a Tax Abatement program and that we’d like them to:

a) NOT pay this year’s real estate property tax bill (which I’m sure they were about to do; it’s time).
b) REFUND us that money.

I THOUGHT I was going to have a rough time explaining it to them. But after giving my initial speech to Bank of Kansas City Mortgage, and then sitting on-hold for 5-10 minutes, they came back and basically said “no problem”.

We still will be responsible for paying property tax on the LAND, but my understanding is that that’s maybe $100 per year. Not a big deal.

Note also that we get a totally-separate PERSONAL property tax bill from the City and the County each December. That’s for our cars. That’s unaffected by this. (I know some places in the US do not HAVE such an annual tax.)

So, we’re breathing a sigh of relief that we can now relax and not be on a time-table of spending and work. The City will still come out and inspect us once every 5 years for the next 25 years, to make sure we’re not “letting the place go”. That’s a bit of a bugger, but understandable. However, they NEVER said this up-front, before we signed up for this program, I might point out.

With our mortgage payment savings now (due to the tax abatement), well, we’re just going to keep paying the same house payment we’ve been making, so that extra money will go to principal. Hopefully, that will result in an extra 1.5 – 2 payments per year.

My wife’s now talking about remodeling our first floor bathroom next. It’s dated and the sink and tub faucets are annoyingly hard to manipulate and tend to drip. Plus, the cabinets aren’t very efficient storage. And the toilet needs replacement. So perhaps we’ll be able to plug a few bucks into that next year.

Thanks for stopping by!

-= Dave =-


353 program… almost finished

Filed under: General — Admin @ 4:22 pm

So, a little over a week ago, we had the “final inspection” of the 353 tax abatement program.

I was not happy.

There are a few things the City of Independence does NOT tell you about the 353 program.

1) OK, so you’ve got this list of improvements you have to make, but if anything ELSE deteriorates to the point where they see it on the final inspection (especially any peeling paint), then you’ll have 30 days to fix that up.

So, in other words, a 100-plus year old house needs to be in almost PERFECT condition to pass their inspection.

2) Things that they MISSED on their inspection four years ago… are FAIR GAME to now be REQUIRED for you to have 30 …


Last big project of our 353 Tax Abatement –> Concrete Walk replaced!

Filed under: Landscaping and Property — Admin @ 3:30 pm

Last week, we had our concrete sidewalk, which leads from our back door all the way around the south side of the house to our front door, totally replaced.

While the old concrete was in OK shape, the 353 inspector had said we needed to get the cracks within that sidewalk fixed. And of course, when you have a fair number of cracks, total replacement becomes less time-consuming and expensive than repairing one crack at a time.

Still, this project ended up costing us a pretty penny.

Getting an Estimate

I started calling concrete contractors on Angie’s List in late May / early June. Only TWO came out to measure and give us an estimate. One other said they’d call me …


Insulation Work

Filed under: Attic,Basement,General,Heating and Cooling,Systems — Admin @ 9:04 am

On Monday and Tuesday (05/06 – 05/07/13), we finally got around to addressing our “Top 2 To-Do’s” that resulted from our Home Energy Audit from a few years back.
#1 — Sealing the Rim Joists in the Basement

This is the area where the house meets the foundation. In our case, this is where the wood walls of the house met the stone foundation of the basement. This border was found previously to be a large source of air leakage.
#2 — Insulating the Attic

We had a choice here: Did we want to use the attic as livable space someday? Or did we want to keep it as storage and treat it as “outside” …


Removed two old redbud trees yesterday

Filed under: Landscaping and Property — Admin @ 5:10 pm

See related photos:

Yesterday, I hired a local company, “Uncle Stumpy’s” Tree Service (nice name, huh!), to remove two old / dying / dead redbud trees that lined the north side of our driveway. One of the trees truly was 100% dead. The other had major branches that were dead, and less and less foliage was appearing each year. So, since we had to remove the one (it leaned over the driveway and therefore, endangered our cars and the garage), we figured we might was well have the other removed.

Now, I had hired “Uncle Stumpy’s” about 7 years ago, when we first moved into this house. The original landscaping in front of the house’s porch was …

Next Page »

Powered by WordPress