What appliances should a landlord provide

What appliances should a landlord provide? Every landlord has a different opinion. I tend to be fairly generous. I’ll explain what I provide and why.

First, let me give you a hint: Often you have to spend money to make money, and a fully-stocked house can easily net you $20 additional in rent every month. Assuming a 10-year service life, that means you can afford to spend $700, and $700 buys a lot of used appliances. Also, if a tenant stays an extra year and your house isn’t vacant for a month while you’re getting a new tenant, that’s worth a few hundred dollars alone. Here are some tips on saving money on appliances if you need them.

Second: This isn’t what a landlord is required to provide. It’s what I recommend they provide based on my own experience.

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How to eat out less

I read this week that most households earning $75K a year eat out too much to save any money.

It kind of makes sense–many jobs are salaried rather than hourly, which means they may very well work more than 40 hours a week and not have time to do everything that needs to be done around the house, especially if both people work.

The key is to get the convenience back at a lower cost.

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Speed-painting figures for train layouts in five easy steps

Painting figures for train layouts is a task that few toy train hobbyists relish, but we can borrow techniques from other hobbies to solve that problem. The model railroading and toy train hobbies have solved a lot of problems for hobbyists in other fields, and I don’t think we borrow from those other hobbies as much as we could.

One problem the miniature wargaming hobby has solved is painting large quantities of figures rapidly while getting acceptable results.

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Losing my lunch

The worst Mondays have to be the day after a long weekend, or, as I’m fond of putting it, when Monday happens on Tuesday.

This particular Monday-on-a-Tuesday didn’t start well. I staggered in to work at 6 AM, and my boss said, well, let’s just say he didn’t say I looked well.

At 11 AM, lunchtime finally came. My lunchtime routine for years now has been to bring a frozen meal from home and microwave it. Everyone knows it. But not today, I didn’t. I went looking for my lunch, and couldn’t find it. “What are you doing?” my boss asked. “And why do you have your coat?”

“I lost my lunch,” I told my boss. That phrase has some history in my parts. Read more

What happened to the Crunden-Martin Manufacturing Co.

What happened to the Crunden-Martin Manufacturing Co.

Crunden-Martin was a manufacturer of wooden and metal household goods in downtown St. Louis for nearly 100 years, but sadly, the old complex has been sitting mostly or entirely empty since late 1990. Since there’s very little information online about the company, I thought I’d research it.

The imposing complex stands about a block south of the Poplar Street Bridge in downtown St. Louis, between I-55/I-44 and the Mississippi River. The painted signs on the building are still easy to see from the interstate.

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I need a hair dryer, some nail polish, and two clothespins

I need a hair dryer, some nail polish, and two clothespins

At least it looked like a clean break.

I commonly run errands mid-evening because strapping my two kids into seat belts is a good way to keep them from tripping over their own shadows and hurting themselves. So we did that one night, and when we got home, my wife logged onto Facebook, where a picture of my sister’s USB flash drive greeted her. It was in pieces.

“Have her call me,” I said.

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Advice on scraping by

Here’s a good, timely Google search query: scraping by advice.

I looked, and I’ve never written anything that matched that query well. I know a lot of people are hurting right now. I’ve been in some tight spots and I’ve gotten out of some, so let’s talk about what I would do, on a really practical level, if I ran into another tight spot next week.

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Glue for plastic models and buildings

I saw a question for the millionth time on a forum about what glues to use on plastic models and buildings. So I’ll cover the topic here, where it won’t get purged after 8 months.

Ask the question at a hobby shop, and the answer comes down roughly 50/50 whether to use some type of super glue (cyanoacrylate, often abbreviated CyA or CA), or some type of MEK-based plastic weld, such as Tenax 7R. Every once in a while, someone pipes up about the tube cement I used as a kid. You don’t want to use that stuff. If you’ve ever tried, you know why–it’s messy, dries slowly, and the bond isn’t as strong as it could be. Read on and I’ll give you the advantages and disadvantages of both alternatives, plus some secrets.

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