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About to enter closing on my first house. Excited.


mav

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For years I have rented a cheap apartment because I have always been so tight with money.  Since I am not married and do not have any kids, I have never needed a house.  Anyway, to make a long story short, I had some cash sitting in my bank account doing absolutely nothing except losing money.  I can't add any more to my 401-K due to government restrictions, so I figured now would be a good time to purchase a house considering interest rates are so cheap.

 

For over a year I have looked at thousands of houses hoping to find something I liked.  After a year of frustration I finally found something that met all the parameters I had set (all brick, county - but not in the boonies, acreage - but not a farm, and privacy).  The brick house sits on a little more than 3 acres of wooded land (cannot see the house from the main road nor see the neighbors - what can I say, I'm not very sociable), it has a long gated driveway, and while it is in the county, it is only 5 miles away from shopping.

 

This is the front of the house.  Please forgive the pics, they were taken with my cell (I don't own a camera).

 

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This is the view from the front porch.  :)

 

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I am excited about it, but I don't look forward to cleaning it as it is a little big for a single person.  I have the contract, home inspection, approval from the bank (you guys would hate it if you knew who I went it), and now I am waiting for closing some time this month.

 

Question.  Does anyone have a recommendation on a riding lawn mower and a weed eater?  Last year, I bought what I thought was a nice Craftsman gas weed eater, but it is a p.o.s.

 

 

 

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That's a really nice place. Enjoy your new home!  I cut grass with a John Deere 300X  and I have a Stihl weedeater.  Both do a great job and they will last for years. 

Edited by Randall53
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Very nice house. Kinda reminds me of my dads.

 

I second the John Deere( not the home depot or lowes ones) get you a 300-320x. And though dad has a Stihl weedeater as well, I prefer my Ryobi quick start. Had it over 7 years and never fails.

 

Motion detectors, A dog, and fence would add to the security.

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Congrats.  I am also a John Deere guy and prefer Stihl small engine tools (weedeater and chainsaw). Always have been and probably always will be into those two brands (and Kubota).  I have an X534, but it depends what you want to do with it.  If you just want to mow and don't have a lot of slope, a zero turn is good.  If you want to pull things and have a little more stability on slopes, a garden tractor would be good.

 

My other suggestion since you have a little land and may make use of a bucket is a subcompact tractor.  My dad has a Kubota 2660 (26HP Diesel) with a bucket. You can put a finish mower on and do a lot with it.  He bushogs and has a small box blade.  It's a pretty handy little tractor and about the same size as my tractor.  John Deere makes one as well.  

 

Enjoy the house, it's nice to have some room.

Edited by Hozzie
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That's a beautiful place you picked there. Your criteria is exactly what I want someday but it will be some time before I can afford it.

 

It looks like you have enough land to be able to set up your own pistol range which would be awesome. 

 

I also agree that a security system is a must.

 

We're in the process of finding a house but the market in Florida is crazy right now. We just had to offer $12K more than asking price on a house we like. We should find out today if we got it.

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Question.  Does anyone have a recommendation on a riding lawn mower and a weed eater?  Last year, I bought what I thought was a nice Craftsman gas weed eater, but it is a p.o.s.

 

Weedeater, get whatever is in the price range you want to spend.  People can say brand abc is better than xyz, but as with any small engine equipment you will either have a lot of trouble out of it or no trouble out of it, there's usually no middle ground.  I bought an $89 troybilt few weeks ago, came with an edger, bought a hedge clipper and chainsaw attachment and have been burning up the use on it.  All of those attachments and the weedeater cost less than a lot of people spend on a weedeater itself.

 

As for the mower, same deal.  Most brands use cross-platform parts so you want the one that does the job you need it to and not pay too much attention to the sticker on the front that says brand abc.  We got a Cub Cadet RZT 50" (after returning a Husqvarna 48" tractor) and that thing took my mow time on 1.5 acres from 2.5 hours down to 1.1 hours.  Only reason we got the cub mower was because it was a new, 2012 model marked down lower than any other 50" I'd seen.

 

 

*also to add in, on the security system we found a local place to install a fully automated system; digital dead bolts (we can even lock/unlock from our cellphones), garage door sensors/openers/closers from the phone as well enough sensors and whatnot to cover the premises for a bit over $2000, and that included us paying for 3 years of monitoring up front so we got zero bills until 2016.  If you talk to someone local, offer to pay up front for long monitoring service and they will cut you a deal on the rest cause they make most of their money on the monitoring itself.

Edited by Sam1
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Congrats on the house, if you think closing is bad, you aint seen nothing yet.

Just wait for the first night in the new house, you lay there thinking,

DAMN I HAVE TO WORK EVERY DAY TO MAKE THE PAYMENT EVERY MONTH!!!

If you can afford, send an extra 100 dollars in a separate check,

the extra will come off the bottom of the loan, knocks the loan time down

and the interest you pay back down.

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Looks super nice! A house is a lot of work, but worth it.

My cheapo craftsman weedeater has been fine. The throttle trigger is flakey, but it works fine otherwise. The craftsman riding mower that came with the house has been fine too. How much do you have to mow? If its more than an acre, I'd invest in a nice zero turn.
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 If its more than an acre, I'd invest in a nice zero turn.

 

I was wondering about that.  I have a very nice self-propelled mower that I will be keeping, since it will be easier to use on the back of the property (has a lot of landscaping).  The lower end of the property isn't too large, and I could actually do it with my push mower.  However, there is plenty of grass that runs along side the driveway going up the hill, which is a no go for the push mower.  I didn't know whether a zero turn or a tractor would be the preferred mower for a hill.

 

Here is a pic of the driveway heading up to the house.

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It is just too steep for the push mower.

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dude that is way to big for a push mower!

 

Also, the guy at the mower shop I went to said that the zero turns with the steering wheel work much better for people that cut on hills because it has 4 wheel steering.  May want to just stop by a local place and tell them what you got, they can give you better advice than us

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Do not use a sit on zero turn if there is much of a hill at all.  It is unstable and can be hard to control (plenty of experience doing that and it isn't fun).  Another option is a walk behind zero turn with a velke.  You can mow on pretty steep hills with those pretty comfortably and they are by far the quickest mowing machines.  I would look for a used Exmark if I went that route.  

 

I think with your amount of land, including that you said you will have a lot of landscaping, and if you only want one machine, I would highly consider a garden/subcompact tractor.  You will need a cart to pull around just for picking up the yard as well as potentially helping around with landscaping.  My parents have 5 acres, 4 of which is mostly wooded and my dad uses his small Kubota to move dirt, bushog the underbrush in the woods, and scrape the driveway.  He has a zero turn to mow with.  If you don't think you will ever need/want to do more with a tractor OR if you want to consider two machines, then a small tractor and a walk behind zero turn would be a good option.  You can find some good deals on Craigslist although this is a bad time of year for it.

 

My JD X534 is a 27HP Garden tractor with All-Wheel steer.  I can cut down to a 10-12" circle  It works great, but takes some getting use to as anything.  I bought it as a hybrid between a zero turn and garden tractor so I could do more with it.  I got it off craigslist for $3700 which was a great deal.  Had 280hrs and looked like new.  Deals are out there, you just have to look.

 

None of the machines I recommend are cheap, but properly maintained, they will last and will retain a higher value should you decide to trade up later.  Anything you buy from home depot or lowes is worth nothing as soon as you leave IMO, but it may do everything you want it to.

Edited by Hozzie
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I use a push mower for trim work around the landscaping and cut the bulk with the riding mower. It also helps keep me from blowing clippings into the flower beds. I already had the push mower and the rider came with the house so that's what I use. If I didn't have those, a zero turn would be high on the list.

I think a lawn tractor would work fine on the slope, just be careful about it.

My father-in-law mows 2 of his 5 acres with a high(er) end Deere law tractor, but its not a zero turn. It takes him forever going around the trees and bushes and he's killed the transmission once already with all the stop/go stuff.

Keep in mind that most all the lower end lawn tractors (Deere included) are built in the Murray factory in Greenville TN. Edited by peejman
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Congrats on a nice looking house.  You don't save money on cheap tools.  After replacing mowers and weed eaters a few times, I'm using 4 cycle Honda or Troy-bilt edgers and mowers.  Exmark holds up well for a riding mower.

Edited by tnhawk
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Mav, that's a beautiful place. Especially for a first time home buyer.

 

You can hear all the advice in the world, but I think I can sum it up with this. You'll get one something. Next year

or two you'll find something that works better. I'm sure zero turns are great, but I worry about maintenance, first.

In other words pay someone for a while and see what they use. :D

Do they still make Dixie Choppers? My brother has had one for maybe ten years until he got a bigger model.

They aren't cheap, though.

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