Nitty Gritty

This is our category dedicated to the hard topics of occupancy – the realities of having a home. Nitty gritties might involve moving, dealing with appliances, handling passive aggressive landlord notes, or choosing a utility company.

Comparing buying vs. renting? Your state's "breakeven horizon" might be key

Comparing buying vs. renting? Your state’s “breakeven horizon” might be key

These days most of us aren’t in a position to buy a home in our state. It’s all that avocado toast, I tell ya! But if you ARE in a position to consider it, there’s this metric called the breakeven horizon that will help you decide if it’s financially better to buy than to rent.

And it varies widely from state to state…

House fire preparation: 7 things to do to safeguard your stuff in case of a house fire

7 things to do to safeguard your stuff in case of a house fire

In October 2017, my garage caught on fire. It’s all been a truly awful experience, and there’s been a steep learning curve for us.

Here are a few house fire preparation things that you can do right now to make sure that, if you face a catastrophic loss, you end up with the best of a bad situation…

Emergency preparedness list

Your just-in-case emergency supplies list (without getting too post-apocalyptic about it)

The world is pretty rough for some of us with natural disasters, flooding, hurricanes, and the incoming zombie apocalypse. Strike that last one. It’s worrisome in certain areas (and we know that even U.S. citizens don’t always get the help they need in their own country), and it never hurts to be prepared. But you don’t have to get all paranoid survivalist about it. Just a few extra supplies on hand can give you a little peace of mind.

I scoured the CDC website to see what they recommend for emergency supplies to have on hand. Here are the most important…

I was robbed at home and it changed me forever

I was robbed while I was at home and it changed me forever

I was sleeping, but some rustling noises woke me up and I unconsciously reacted to them by jumping out of bed and running into the living room, where the noises were coming from. Them BAM! There he was — a hugely tall guy one foot away from me, in the middle of tearing through my living room.

I was being robbed.

The straight poop: Why you should think about using squat toilets

There are advocates, both, for and against squatting as a main method of using the bathroom. But it’s interesting to note that squatters outnumber sitters across the world!

Where do you stand (or sit, or squat) on the great toilet debate?

Toto Washlet: My Japanese butt-washing robot toiletseat

A Toto Washlet is essentially an electrical toilet seat that washes your butt with a little wand. It connects to a power supply (via a three-prong outlet) and your water supply (via a small hose), and then you press buttons to make it do its thing. Here’s what it’s like…