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If you live up north help me with my house search.

We live way south and it's looking like my husband will be transferred to northern Indiana. We have no clue how to live in a colder climate, so please tell me what I should be looking for in a house. Our budget will be around $200,000.

Do we want wood burning or gas fireplaces? (Is fire wood expensive or hard to get up there?)

What kind of heating system do we want? Gas? Electric? I've been seeing something on house listings call "forced air" what's that?

Is it better to have a gas or electric water heater?

If there are any other tips or pointers you could give me about house shopping or north, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

Answer Question
 
Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 10:29 AM on May. 15, 2010 in Home & Garden

Answers (10)
  • Northwest, Central or Northeast IN?
    RugersMommy06

    Answer by RugersMommy06 at 11:22 AM on May. 15, 2010

  • I live in Michigan, which is similar enough because of the chilly weather.

    Do we want wood burning or gas fireplaces? (Is fire wood expensive or hard to get up there?) Firewood shouldn't be too expensive. A gas fireplace might be nicer because then you don't have as big of a mess as a wood-burning one.

    What kind of heating system do we want? Gas? Electric? I've been seeing something on house listings call "forced air" what's that? You will want gas heat. All heating methods are expensive, but electric will cost you more. I pay about $150-ish a month in the wintertime (was up to $200 at one point prior to insulating well) to heat a 2 bedroom house (approx 1000 sq ft). Forced air just means that the furnace (and sometimes your air conditioning) will run through vents. It's ok. http://www.hometips.com/how-it-works/forced-air-heating-systems.html
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:58 AM on May. 15, 2010

  • Anon 11:58 here again... con't...

    Is it better to have a gas or electric water heater? As far as I know, an electric water heater would cost you more than a gas one. But maybe try looking into one of those heat-on-demand water heaters. Look them up online.

    All of these questions are something that your real estate agent should be able to help you with. Good luck and have fun moving!
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:02 PM on May. 15, 2010

  • Both gas and electric are efficient.  It really all depends on which utility is more expensive in the area you're moving to.


    If there are any other tips or pointers you could give me about house shopping or north, it would be greatly appreciated.  Don't buy a house with a driveway that slopes down toward the house.  You have to shovel uphill.  Always reverse into your driveway in the winter because if you have a snowstorm at night you will never get the car out if you drive in.  And don't buy a house with a small entry way.  No room when everyone is coming in together and trying to take off boots and coats at the same time.

    beeky

    Answer by beeky at 3:12 PM on May. 15, 2010

  • OP: Why back into the driveway? I've never driven in snow. It rarely snows here. If it does it doesn't stick for more than 24 hours and they shut all the businesses and schools down. I don't understand why you can drive forward out of a snowy driveway but not backwards.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:05 PM on May. 15, 2010

  • I'm in Canada trust me on this lol.  If you reverse onto your driveway, you can plow right through the snow and turn onto your street with the minimum amount of stops and turns.  If you have to reverse out you will definitely gets stuck in the snow.

    beeky

    Answer by beeky at 8:04 PM on May. 15, 2010

  • the drivemay tip is a good one. never ever drive forward into your driveway if u r expecting a snow storm. most cars r front wheel drive so u can always drive forward much easier esp when in snow then when u r trying to go backwards. definately a great tip!!!
    as for the electric, u do want to check out what fuel source is cheapest in the area u r headed. if u can use a heat pump they may save u some money and they also can cool in the summer.
    as for a fire place, i would go with gas if u r able too or hv a choice. its much better for those who have allergies then the wood burning ones of any type and so nice when u dont have to haul all that wood and clean up.
    also make a point to save for replacing tires for all the vehicles that u drive. they r expensive but all weather do the job most of the time but they need to b replaced and u need to have them in good condition with optimum tread because of the snow issues.
    emily1234

    Answer by emily1234 at 9:30 PM on May. 15, 2010

  • emily here--u can probably take a driving in snow course at the local hs or community college when u get settled.its not as bad as everyone fears.its a skill that can b learned .with practice and some good tips from experienced drivers u will do fine.one of my favorites is drive into a skid especially when in snow or on ice. that is the ONLY way to get the front end of the car under control and drive out of a skid with the car under control.Practice in a parking lot when u can to improve yr skill behind the wheel-its worth the time.
    they have a new type of water heater that only heats the water as u need it.i dont know initial cost but it beats keeping a huge tank hot and ready to go. if u r going for a newer house u may have that option.Get a special blanket that covers the tank if u need that type.it saves alot of fuel.Gas keeps the water warmer but electric has a good recovery if u hv a big familly with large hot h2o nds
    emily1234

    Answer by emily1234 at 9:48 PM on May. 15, 2010

  • We are in Chicago. We have a wood burning fireplace, gas heat.
    rkoloms

    Answer by rkoloms at 10:01 PM on May. 15, 2010

  • emily here- one more thing-- make sure yr new home is well insulated and check out the roof. u need as high as possible ice shield that will protect your roof and home from when the snow melts and refreezes as ice which can cause problems. u can buy a roof rake to remove the snow from the roof before it has a chance to refreeze and then melt the next day in the sun and leak into the attic or down the inside walls. if the roof of the house is shaded in areas that is a good place to check for prior signs of leakage.they have products that protect a roof from this problem. have a home inspection prior to purchase and ask lots of questions about the roof. ask the home inspector or someone who is knowledgeable about that area of your home. its always better to know what u have to deal with then to b surprised later.
    living up north is definately more challenging then in the warmer weather of the south. save for a snow blower! GL
    emily1234

    Answer by emily1234 at 10:10 PM on May. 15, 2010

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