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by Cash
Tue May 19, 2015 6:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to deposit a large check long distance?
Replies: 20
Views: 1569

Re: How to deposit a large check long distance?

I recently signed the back of a large check, added "For Deposit Only", and mailed it to Alliant. It credited within a few days (subject to the usual holds).
by Cash
Tue May 19, 2015 6:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: another rent vs buy situation
Replies: 7
Views: 744

Re: another rent vs buy situation

Seems like it depends on the likelihood of your staying in the house you purchase. If it's more likely than not that you will move in a couple of years, or if it is entirely uncertain whether you will move, then rent. If it is likely that you will stay in the house longer than 4-5 years, then buy.
by Cash
Sun May 17, 2015 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keep underground storm cellar (in Florida)?
Replies: 26
Views: 1111

Re: Keep underground storm cellar (in Florida)?

What did the current owners say when you asked them about it? Current owner has had it only a few years; he bought the house so his son could live there while in college. Given the number of beer cans inside, looks like the son used it for parties. What did your agent say about it? How many homes h...
by Cash
Sun May 17, 2015 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keep underground storm cellar (in Florida)?
Replies: 26
Views: 1111

Re: Keep underground storm cellar (in Florida)?

Doesn't seem too practical to me. If I was going to use it as a storm shelter that cover would be hard to open (say your wife had to do it by herself), likely to get sucked away and a hazard if debris landed on it you could be stuck. I'd plan on being in there alone; dark and stormy night, tornado ...
by Cash
Sun May 17, 2015 7:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keep underground storm cellar (in Florida)?
Replies: 26
Views: 1111

Re: Keep underground storm cellar (in Florida)?

The house was originally built in 1948, but there have been additions since then. The electricity leads me to believe that the shelter wasn't original to the house. What would be the difference between a storm shelter and a fall-out shelter?
by Cash
Sun May 17, 2015 7:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keep underground storm cellar (in Florida)?
Replies: 26
Views: 1111

Keep underground storm cellar (in Florida)?

We are under contract for a house in central Florida. To our surprise, it has a storm cellar, which seems to be pretty rare in Florida. You can see the top of it (with the fake grass) in this image toward the right. http://i1187.photobucket.com/albums/z385/tengorazon/O5356456_24_0_zpsuii7wgqu.jpg Wh...
by Cash
Sun May 17, 2015 6:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Flood Insurance for Florida Condo High Rise?
Replies: 11
Views: 1073

Re: Flood Insurance for Florida Condo High Rise?

I wouldn't bother. I currently live in a high-rise condo building and don't have it, and it wasn't recommended. Why is your board recommending it?
by Cash
Sun May 17, 2015 6:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which online banks accept incoming wires (and are generally good).
Replies: 13
Views: 857

Re: Which online banks accept incoming wires (and are generally good).

Alliant Credit Union does all of that. I have sent and received wires on numerous occasions. Incoming wire transfers are free (outgoing is $25). http://www.alliantcreditunion.org/services/accountservices/wiretransfers/ For sending, it says you have to fax, but I always e-mail an address they gave me...
by Cash
Thu May 14, 2015 5:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling home - unexpected competition
Replies: 26
Views: 3711

Re: Selling home - unexpected competition

I'd wait and see how the other house does. Unfortunately, it might tell you whether those upgrades were worth it. This is the problem with living in a subdivision where there are multiple houses with the same floor plans. Most of the real estate value is driven by square footage and location, not up...
by Cash
Tue May 12, 2015 5:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Florida Homeowners Insurance
Replies: 19
Views: 1573

Re: Florida Homeowners Insurance

I used to have a policy with Florida Family. The only reason I switched is that they wouldn't insure me for hurricanes, so I had to have a separate Citizen's policy for about 10 years. Then that got even more exorbitantly expensive, but I was luckily able to find a company that would insure for bot...
by Cash
Sun May 10, 2015 7:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House Purchase Dilemma: Get it this summer or wait till winter (and keep renting)?
Replies: 5
Views: 829

Re: House Purchase Dilemma: Get it this summer or wait till winter (and keep renting)?

I guess the premise of your post is that there are better deals in the winter? Maybe, but inventory will probably also be much lower, so less to pick from. If you see a house you want, try to negotiate a good deal and buy it regardless of the season.
by Cash
Sun May 10, 2015 7:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Somebody hit our parked car today!!
Replies: 21
Views: 3493

Re: Somebody hit our parked car today!!

I can't believe the person who hit your parked car left their information. They should get a medal. Same thing happened to me, I found the side of my car bashed in - it had been parked on the street in front of the house. The miserable wretch who did it left nothing. Cost me $1000 out of pocket bec...
by Cash
Sun May 10, 2015 7:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which of these 6 mortgages seem good?
Replies: 40
Views: 3719

Re: Which of these 6 mortgages seem good?

Alto Astral wrote:The site asks for "Interest Rate" on the amortization calculator. I guess this is the Rate as opposed to the APR?


Yes.
by Cash
Sun May 10, 2015 6:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Florida Homeowners Insurance
Replies: 19
Views: 1573

Re: Florida Homeowners Insurance

Yes, I should add that this is a 1948 house. Sigh. Lol although isn't that ipso facto proof that it's built well? I hope I have similar luck to Rob5TCP when I renew next year.
by Cash
Sat May 09, 2015 9:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Florida Homeowners Insurance
Replies: 19
Views: 1573

Re: Florida Homeowners Insurance

We are also not near the coasts. I've read good things about Citizens, but my understanding is that it is difficult to get a policy with them if you are eligible for another policy. Is that right?
by Cash
Sat May 09, 2015 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Florida Homeowners Insurance
Replies: 19
Views: 1573

Florida Homeowners Insurance

We are buying our first house in Florida, and I am astonished by the cost of homeowners insurance. The cheapest quote we've received is about .6% of the purchase price of our home with a $2500 deductible. And evidently most of the national companies pulled out of Florida around 2004, so I have no ex...
by Cash
Sat May 09, 2015 6:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling house; what to fix, what to leave?
Replies: 26
Views: 2173

Re: Selling house; what to fix, what to leave?

As someone currently in the market for a house, I would advise against the kitchen updates. I've seen countless houses where I've thought, "This probably would be priced correctly if they hadn't 'updated' the kitchen immediately before sale with stuff that I don't like and will replace."
by Cash
Fri May 08, 2015 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which of these 6 mortgages seem good?
Replies: 40
Views: 3719

Re: Which of these 6 mortgages seem good?

Okay, ran some numbers and I could save a lot of interest and accumulate equity if I picked a 15 year term. Here are my numbers for 30 vs 15 year at the end of 5 years: Equity: $97k vs $150k. Difference = $53k Interest Payments: $60k vs $40k = $20k It's not that simple. You also have to consider ho...
by Cash
Thu May 07, 2015 5:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which of these 6 mortgages seem good?
Replies: 40
Views: 3719

Re: Which of these 6 mortgages seem good?

Get a pre-approval with one lender; it doesn't matter which one. I saw online that pre-approval is good for 60 days or so. Do you need to re-verify after that period? Are those still multiple hard-pulls on your credit report? Also, do you typically request multiple letters for each property that yo...
by Cash
Thu May 07, 2015 5:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any circumstances when a home seller gives a buyer a check
Replies: 16
Views: 1706

Re: Any circumstances when a home seller gives a buyer a check

We are currently on the other side of the transaction. After the inspection turned up some issues to be addressed, we asked the seller to contribute toward the closing costs, and he agreed. I preferred that to a reduction in the asking price because the latter wouldn't have much of an impact on the ...
by Cash
Thu May 07, 2015 5:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How are packages delivered to curbside mailboxes?
Replies: 31
Views: 2146

Re: How are packages delivered to curbside mailboxes?

Growing up, someone was usually home to receive packages. In the 14 years since I moved out, I have always lived in buildings with staff who accepted packages or with a locked mail area that only residents and deliverymen could access. Now we are about to close on a house, and the thought of my pack...
by Cash
Thu Apr 30, 2015 7:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anyone have an asset allocation not based on percentages?
Replies: 26
Views: 2394

Re: Anyone have an asset allocation not based on percentages

I like the idea and floated something similar a while back, except my floor was staggered:

http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtop ... 0&t=125004
by Cash
Sat Apr 18, 2015 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Township replacing parking meters with kiosks. Is this bad?
Replies: 9
Views: 503

Re: Township replacing parking meters with kiosks. Is this

As someone who never has change, I was elated when my city did the same thing. You can even pay by app now, which would solve your convenience problem. Parkmobile seems to have cornered the parking meter app market, and it works very well.
by Cash
Sat Apr 18, 2015 7:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 10% Down 30-Year Jumbo Mortgages?
Replies: 10
Views: 1839

Re: 10% Down 30-Year Jumbo Mortgages?

Prime - .25%
by Cash
Sat Apr 18, 2015 7:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage rate lock in for a year
Replies: 4
Views: 939

Re: Mortgage rate lock in for a year

Until we decided not to build, we had a 1-year construction-to-perm jumbo loan with TD Bank at 3.875% (30 year fixed), which I think is still their quoted rate. Perhaps you should check them out. I think the origination fee was around $3k.
by Cash
Thu Apr 16, 2015 6:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 10% Down 30-Year Jumbo Mortgages?
Replies: 10
Views: 1839

Re: 10% Down 3-Year Jumbo Mortgages?

I think you mean 30 year, not 3 year (in your title). I've seen 90% jumbo loans advertised. I'm going through a refi right now (or, rather, trying), and going with an 80-10 split to get to 90% overall. The second loan will be a variable rate HELOC, however. This also allows me to avoid PMI since th...
by Cash
Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen upgrade - granite selection help
Replies: 52
Views: 4489

Re: Kitchen upgrade - granite selection help

+1 for quartz. If you're upgrading, might as well upgrade to the latest trend, especially if resale is an issue. We are currently undertaking a housing search, and when we see granite, we think, "This is a kitchen that will need updating within the next few years."
by Cash
Thu Apr 09, 2015 5:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Poll: What is the credit limit of your credit card?
Replies: 56
Views: 3624

Re: Poll: What is the credit limit of your credit card?

I've kept mine intentionally low to minimize potential fraud damage, but credit bureaus don't see it that way. You wouldn't be on the hook for that anyway. Just discover it before your payment is due. This is why I never use debit cards, which shift the risk to the consumer (i.e., you're out of mon...
by Cash
Thu Apr 09, 2015 5:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I worry about being taken to collections?
Replies: 20
Views: 2293

Re: Should I worry about being taken to collections?

archbish99 wrote:Indeed. A better approach might have been to let them charge the card, then dispute the charge with evidence you attempted to give notice.


Agreed. Plus, charges can go through on a card even after it's "canceled."
by Cash
Sun Apr 05, 2015 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Landscape designers
Replies: 2
Views: 549

Re: Landscape designers

We recently engaged a landscape architect for new construction (yards plus courtyard with pool). Here is what was included: 1. Hardscape Plan: This is an overall study of the property to integrate the architecture of the house with the existing conditions of the site, as well as any ideas the Client...
by Cash
Sun Mar 29, 2015 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a house, not new, what to look for/wish you had
Replies: 33
Views: 2485

Re: Buying a house, not new, what to look for/wish you had

@Cash, your link is completely consistent with the "3 ways out of the neighborhood" point. Our area is filled with pocket parks, schools, and well-located fire stations. So one can have all those things with cul-de-sacs. I walked the dog this morning and we went to 6 different parks along...
by Cash
Sun Mar 29, 2015 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a house, not new, what to look for/wish you had
Replies: 33
Views: 2485

Re: Buying a house, not new, what to look for/wish you had

Contra to the cul-de-sac lovers, I would choose an older, close-in neighborhood with nice parks, a diverse housing stock, and no cul-de-sacs or gated communities. Makes getting to places (and responding to emergencies ) much faster and more efficient. And such neighborhoods just look better, IMO. Of...
by Cash
Fri Mar 27, 2015 5:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 15 vs 30 yr mortgage
Replies: 83
Views: 7646

Re: 15 vs 30 yr mortgage

The downside/floor doesn't seem to be that low (someone earlier mentioned even in the last 15 year period, returns were 4%?) but the upside of your investments is high if the market returns a cool 8-10 percent. Right, over 15-30 years, it hopefully will not be very difficult to earn more than 4.x% ...
by Cash
Tue Mar 24, 2015 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 15 vs 30 yr mortgage
Replies: 83
Views: 7646

Re: 15 vs 30 yr mortgage

As I typed points 6 and 7, I saw the light. The total price paid for the house is irrelevant. What's relevant is I now own the real asset along with savings account with 74k. Or in other words, to achieve the 74k benefit, I had to pay a higher price on the home. Ok, now that I know what I'm decidin...
by Cash
Tue Mar 24, 2015 7:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 15 vs 30 yr mortgage
Replies: 83
Views: 7646

Re: 15 vs 30 yr mortgage

Cash, You are missing one more step. Remember the 30 yr is costing 85k more in interest at end of 15 years. So you have a net loss of 10k ( 85k--75k). I guess I'm not seeing the practical effect of that if the end result is a paid off mortgage under both scenarios. Doesn't the mortgage balance at t...
by Cash
Tue Mar 24, 2015 5:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 15 vs 30 yr mortgage
Replies: 83
Views: 7646

Re: 15 vs 30 yr mortgage

Assuming a $401,295 loan, your calculations are right. 15 yr loan total interest = $97,534; 30 yr loan interest at the end of 15 yrs = $181,942; 8% RoI on the "monthly additional cash flow due to lower mortgage payment" of $941.16 is $327,849. In the 20% down scenario: your house value is...
by Cash
Thu Mar 12, 2015 6:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Capital One seemed happy to lose me as a customer?
Replies: 24
Views: 4147

Re: Capital One seemed happy to lose me as a customer?

I have obtained and closed several cards over the past few years. I can't remember the last time I got a hard sell. On the other hand, I close most of them by sending a secure message these days. Again, no hard sell. But yeah, why would they beg someone who always pays the balance in full to stick a...
by Cash
Thu Mar 12, 2015 5:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone ever use a closet design company?
Replies: 22
Views: 1643

Re: Anyone ever use a closet design company?

We've used California Closets, Closets by Design, and the Container Store's Elfa system. California Closets is our favorite from a design and "they've thought a lot about small touches that make closets better" standpoint (for instance, the CA Closets valet bar has a hook at the end, which...
by Cash
Sun Feb 22, 2015 7:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Luxury Car
Replies: 86
Views: 7263

Re: Luxury Car

Coupe: Porsche 911, BMW M6, MB SL63 AMG

Sedan: Tesla S, Porsche Panamera, BMW M6 gran coupe, Audi RS7
by Cash
Sat Feb 21, 2015 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Going to Austin, TX in March. What should we be doing?
Replies: 24
Views: 1527

Re: Going to Austin, TX in March. What should we be doing?

I was just there last weekend. My main focus was BBQ. In addition to Franklin's, I'd recommend La Barbecue. Much shorter wait (1-2 hours) than Franklin's (about 5 hours last Saturday). I would recommend trying Franklin's right before closing (2 p.m.). You will not be guaranteed anything, but there w...
by Cash
Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Graduating law student portfolio and loan questions
Replies: 32
Views: 2808

Re: Graduating law student portfolio and loan questions

The main thing you give up by refinancing your loans is the potential for loan forgiveness. While your current salary is too high for you to take advantage of IBR/PAYE, there is a chance you could decide to switch to the public sector after a few years in biglaw. If this is a realistic scenario, it...
by Cash
Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Buying the Boglehead Way (1st Time Buyer)
Replies: 46
Views: 5509

Re: Home Buying the Boglehead Way (1st Time Buyer)

7. Picking a real estate agent isn't as big of a deal these days because all the properties available are listed on line with specs and pictures. Your agent is really only there to let you in the houses and process the contract paperwork. When selling your home they are much more integral to the pr...
by Cash
Thu Feb 12, 2015 6:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Buying the Boglehead Way (1st Time Buyer)
Replies: 46
Views: 5509

Re: Home Buying the Boglehead Way (1st Time Buyer)

7. Picking a real estate agent isn't as big of a deal these days because all the properties available are listed on line with specs and pictures. Your agent is really only there to let you in the houses and process the contract paperwork. When selling your home they are much more integral to the pr...
by Cash
Sat Feb 07, 2015 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: WCI: Pay off mortgage early with equities "side account"
Replies: 4
Views: 849

Re: WCI: Pay off mortgage early with equities "side account"

Were you investing in the EM fund with the specific intention of using the money in that fund to pay off your mortgage? I find this intriguing bc it's pretty much the opposite of the conventional analysis that you should place such funds in tax-exempt bonds that match the duration of the mortgage. F...
by Cash
Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: WCI: Pay off mortgage early with equities "side account"
Replies: 4
Views: 849

WCI: Pay off mortgage early with equities "side account"

Interesting post from White Coat Investor. He plans to pay off his mortgage early by investing in high-risk equities in a side account for the next 5 years. http://whitecoatinvestor.com/a-scheme-to-pay-off-my-mortgage-early/ At first, I found the idea intriguing. But then I thought 1) why have a sep...
by Cash
Mon Feb 02, 2015 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First Time Dog Owners -- Any Regrets?
Replies: 83
Views: 6527

Re: First Time Dog Owners -- Any Regrets?

This is a great site for dog food reviews: http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/ Up until last year, we used Taste of the Wild's duck formula. Pricy, but high quality. But we had to switch to Hill's prescription diet food because of bowel issues our dog was having. Like toto238, I'm for whatever makes ever...
by Cash
Mon Feb 02, 2015 7:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: tipping by iPad
Replies: 40
Views: 3175

Re: tipping by iPad

I always use the custom tip amount on those things bc the suggested ones are invariably too high. Same for cabs. If you don't want to wait for me to enter my tip amount, adjust your defaults.
by Cash
Mon Feb 02, 2015 7:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First Time Dog Owners -- Any Regrets?
Replies: 83
Views: 6527

Re: First Time Dog Owners -- Any Regrets?

I agree with those who warn not to underestimate the potential money pit a dog can become. We love our dog, and therein lies the problem. Because we have grown so attached to her, and because we have good incomes, there's almost no amount of money that we wouldn't pay to make her better. Recently, s...
by Cash
Mon Feb 02, 2015 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying off $1 million house in 10 years
Replies: 22
Views: 3239

Re: Paying off $1 million house in 10 years

I would take a 15-year mortgage instead of a 30-year. Then, in a 33% tax bracket, it's probably not worth paying the mortgage off any faster; investments in Long-Term Tax-Exempt Admiral Shares earn more than mortgage payments, with a similar duration. I made the same decision a year ago. I bought a...
by Cash
Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying off $1 million house in 10 years
Replies: 22
Views: 3239

Re: Paying off $1 million house in 10 years

Interesting responses thus far! To answer some questions: Are you likely to need to relocate for your job? That's always a possibility (we just relocated, in fact), but are operating under the assumption that we will stay in our current location indefinitely. If you are unlucky and have unforeseen e...

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