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Re: Cleaning out large basement - cost to rent a dumpster?

Call the company that picks up your trash. If they don't rent them, keep calling trash companies until you find one that does. I don't expect you'll need to make more than 2 calls. When I did some renovations I rented a 20 yard dumpster for 10 days. I think it was $375. Not to hijack the thread, but...
by Kosmo
Sat Apr 18, 2015 7:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cleaning out large basement - cost to rent a dumpster?
Replies: 29
Views: 1957

Re: Poll: Effective average Adjusted Livesoft tax rate?

~$173k ALI, 8.99% taxes.

This actually shed a lot of light on the amount of non-(federally) taxable income I have. I never added it up this way before.
by Kosmo
Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: Effective average Adjusted Livesoft tax rate?
Replies: 62
Views: 3959

Re: How much should a small tile floor (3' X 5') cost? $2000

I thought of trying to take the plywood out in one piece, but wouldn't the plywood be nailed to the floor joists all across? So, if I cut it out at the edges, wouldn't it still be nailed in places in the middle of the floor? Prybar/crowbar. Although if you can get a good grip on the plywood, you ca...
by Kosmo
Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much should a small tile floor (3' X 5') cost? $2000?
Replies: 34
Views: 2016

Re: How much should a small tile floor (3' X 5') cost? $2000

Do it yourself. Make sure you remove all the baseboard trim first, try not to break them so you can use them again. Pry up the tiles rather than breaking them. Only do the tiles at the wall, then cut the plywood floor out. Get a friend and lift up the tile and plywood as one piece to get it out (it ...
by Kosmo
Wed Apr 15, 2015 1:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much should a small tile floor (3' X 5') cost? $2000?
Replies: 34
Views: 2016

Re: Which mortgage is better to pay off?

What is your time frame for buying this other property? Will you be able to pay off one of those mortgages in that time? If not, it won't matter because you'll still have 2 mortgages while shopping for a 3rd. I'd suggest not pre-paying either one and just saving that money. At worst you have a lot o...
by Kosmo
Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:16 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which mortgage is better to pay off?
Replies: 18
Views: 1480

Re: Principal variations on a fixed rate HELOC?

A HELOC is not a fully amortized loan. The interest you pay each month is based on how much interest has accrued since the last payment. The actual payment date matters, not the due date. Interest is accrued on a daily basis.

As a general rule, understand what you're signing up for before you sign.
by Kosmo
Sun Apr 05, 2015 10:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Principal variations on a fixed rate HELOC?
Replies: 6
Views: 376

Re: Rental property purely for tax-saving reasons

You should buy a rental property because you want to own a rental property and be a landlord, not because you might be able to save on taxes. Saving on taxes is questionable anyways. Your friend most likely will only be able to offset rental income with rental expenses, so it won't reduce his taxes ...
by Kosmo
Sat Apr 04, 2015 6:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental property purely for tax-saving reasons
Replies: 15
Views: 1418

Re: Buying a house to save on taxes?

I don't know your situation for renting...are you responsible for yard and building maintenance? Do you want to take on those responsibilities (either doing them yourself or paying someone else)? Moving from a rental house to an owned house is less of a jump than from an apartment to a house in term...
by Kosmo
Sat Mar 28, 2015 7:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a house to save on taxes?
Replies: 18
Views: 1854

Re: Recurring utility bills - How do you pay?

Depends which bills... Water and trash companies only accept cash or checks. Electricity/gas is direct debit, but I manually have to set up the payment each month. Cell phones and internet are autopaid on a credit card. I've had very good experiences with Verizon's customer service. Not so much with...
by Kosmo
Sat Mar 28, 2015 6:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recurring utility bills - How do you pay?
Replies: 43
Views: 3075

Re: Apply For HELOC as Emergency Funds???

Do you think "a year or more in emergency funds" isn't enough? If it's not, then save more. Don't plan to borrow. It's a completely different story than if you have a renovation or a specific use of the funds planned.
by Kosmo
Sat Mar 28, 2015 6:38 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Apply For HELOC as Emergency Funds???
Replies: 23
Views: 1861

Re: Landlord/Tenant Credit Checks

The lease said that only 1 person was living there so my relative asked the Property Manager if his girlfriend would be permitted to move in. The property manager added her to the lease as a tenant without a credit check. Did you allow this? The property management company cannot just change the le...
by Kosmo
Sat Mar 28, 2015 6:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Landlord/Tenant Credit Checks
Replies: 18
Views: 995

Re: Investment Property - Why doesn't this make sense?

His property insurance will double, as he must insure as non-owner occupied rental. If his mortgage holder finds out, the can call the mortgage immediately due since he did not take the mortgage as a business rental. When you convert from homeowners insurance to landlord insurance, the mortgage com...
by Kosmo
Fri Mar 27, 2015 2:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investment Property - Why doesn't this make sense?
Replies: 18
Views: 1928

Re: Costco/AmEx relationship ending. New Costco MasterCard?

The other night the cashier at my Costco said they are switching to Visa. She didn't know any more beyond that, but she expected a similar agreement in terms of exclusivity and rewards.
by Kosmo
Thu Mar 26, 2015 3:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Costco/AmEx relationship ending. New Costco MasterCard?
Replies: 85
Views: 113316

Re: Saving for Down Payment

How much of that 200k is for the down payment? If it's all, just leave it. Since you plan on using it soon, I'd say it's worth the simplicity of not dealing with buying/selling shares and additional tax considerations. You won't earn as much but you'll save time and effort. If the down payment will ...
by Kosmo
Wed Mar 25, 2015 6:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Saving for Down Payment
Replies: 2
Views: 359

Re: Painting Cabinets and Trim

I cannot fathom paying that much money for that work. I did that work in my house, including cutting all new baseboard trim. It's probably less than $3000 in materials. Biggest factor is the time to do it.
by Kosmo
Wed Mar 25, 2015 6:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Painting Cabinets and Trim
Replies: 27
Views: 2114

Re: Excess Cash - Play Monopoly or Repay Debt?

I'd pay off the 6k car loan first, then buy another rental. But definitely bump up your rental reserves first. An alternative would be to take a nice long trip. I recommend Italy. Aside: I'd love to have a real estate "empire" like you have. We've got 1 rental now, but maybe when my kids a...
by Kosmo
Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Excess Cash - Play Monopoly or Repay Debt?
Replies: 67
Views: 5285

Re: Does it make sense to pay off this mortgage?

I would not pay off the mortgage any faster than necessary. Contribute enough to the 401k's to keep your income in the 15% tax bracket (adjust contributions as necessary due to raises, unless you get a significant change in income). After that I'd make it priority to fill up the Roth IRAs. This esse...
by Kosmo
Mon Mar 23, 2015 10:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does it make sense to pay off this mortgage?
Replies: 24
Views: 2179

Re: Buying a house that had a Dog

Get the carpets professionally cleaned. That should get out the dander and remove any stains.

I'd be far more concerned about the damage caused by people instead of pets.
by Kosmo
Sat Mar 21, 2015 10:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a house that had a Dog
Replies: 18
Views: 2585

Re: New vs used cars

But the model above indicated keeping the used card for the same period of time. No it didn't. $23,615.28 / 10 = $2,361.53 $16,701.12 / 7 = $2,385.87 I think more of an issue is that the time scale used in the OP is life of the car, not life of the car with you as the owner. If you buy a new car in...
by Kosmo
Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New vs used cars
Replies: 39
Views: 2709

Re: Lowest income at which able to Max 401k and IRA

sum reg expenses 3790 net 4600 unaccounted 810 Having 17% of your net income going towards unaccounted for spending probably means that you're actually leaking more money than you think in unnecessary spending. I think there's a lot of room for spending reductions so you don't feel stretched to the...
by Kosmo
Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:49 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lowest income at which able to Max 401k and IRA
Replies: 31
Views: 2667

Re: Negotiate daycare rate?

Our current discount was offered to us (due to one of our child's caretakers being a teacher), I didn't have to haggle at all. That's a huge conflict of interest. Is the teacher still working there? Our daycare rates are non-negotiable. They are based on the fixed costs of teacher:student ratio, wh...
by Kosmo
Wed Mar 18, 2015 9:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Negotiate daycare rate?
Replies: 24
Views: 2210

Re: Another Mortgage vs Investing Q

I'd sit on it for a little bit. You're already aggressively paying down the principal. Keep doing that and re-think the matter when the balance is below that ~$40k mark. At this point you could lump sum pay it off or allocate the money elsewhere. Seeing as you're at the tail end of the mortgage, thi...
by Kosmo
Tue Mar 17, 2015 11:36 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Another Mortgage vs Investing Q
Replies: 15
Views: 1496

Re: 60 Minutes, Dead or Alive

Seeing the title of the thread and who posted it...I thought it was about you!
by Kosmo
Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:16 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 60 Minutes, Dead or Alive
Replies: 15
Views: 3406

Re: One Level or Two Level House

How soon would you be looking to move into this house? And how soon do you think negotiating stairs could be an issue? You don't want to live in a house for years 1-20 with the possibility that in years 20+ it will be more functional. But if that 20 becomes a 5, that's a whole different story. Eithe...
by Kosmo
Tue Mar 17, 2015 8:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: One Level or Two Level House
Replies: 68
Views: 5816

Re: Is a larger home downpayment worth it?

Why are the rates different if you put down an additional down payment above the 20% "minimum"? I've never heard of that. I could see that rates increase if you go below the 20% down. Where are you getting a risk free 4.75% return for 30 years? I want in on that. I personally would only pu...
by Kosmo
Tue Mar 17, 2015 7:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is a larger home downpayment worth it?
Replies: 18
Views: 2404

Re: Silly Question About Tax Refund

Wow, thanks for all the info. I honestly hadn't even thought about being paid interest. And I was actually confused when the check arrived in the mail for a different amount than I submitted. There was no explanation or any other paperwork in the envelope, but there was a small not in the check that...
by Kosmo
Sun Mar 15, 2015 6:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Silly Question About Tax Refund
Replies: 12
Views: 1732

Re: The BIG question Regarding Home Loan

Now that you know how, might I ask why? That's an extremely low interest rate guaranteed for 30 years. I'm not saying is a bad idea, but is it the best use of your money? I have a slightly higher rate on a larger mortgage and I'm not paying it down any faster than I have to.
by Kosmo
Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The BIG question Regarding Home Loan
Replies: 14
Views: 2419

Re: How to Really Drive Across the U.S. Hitting Major Landma

dolphinsaremammals wrote:The USS Constitution? That's the best and only thing to see in Massachusetts? Hello?

Is it that you object to a ship being called a landmark?
by Kosmo
Fri Mar 13, 2015 5:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to Really Drive Across the U.S. Hitting Major Landmarks
Replies: 21
Views: 2184

Re: HELOC loan

Check the house title and your state's laws as to who's on the title and who can borrow against the property. I believe that if you are on the title, you are automatically a co-borrower on any loans against the property (and you must sign all the loan documents). In PA, if you are married, both peop...
by Kosmo
Fri Mar 13, 2015 2:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HELOC loan
Replies: 8
Views: 973

Silly Question About Tax Refund

In December I filed an amended 2011 tax return on behalf of my wife (we were not married in 2011) and she received the refund check today. It had interest added to it for the 3 year "loan" we gave the treasury dept. So the question: Will she receive a 1099 next year for this interest payme...
by Kosmo
Thu Mar 12, 2015 5:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Silly Question About Tax Refund
Replies: 12
Views: 1732

Re: $600 night guard for teeth grinding, really?

Go to a sporting goods store and get a mouth piece for $1. Or you could get the expensive one for like $30.
by Kosmo
Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $600 night guard for teeth grinding, really?
Replies: 92
Views: 6091

Re: Rental properties

black jack wrote:I have a rental property - our previous house.

Me too. I'd buy another if I had the money and didn't have any better use for it.
by Kosmo
Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental properties
Replies: 25
Views: 2959

Re: Projects when moving into a new (to us) home

Map your electrical circuits and make sure the breaker panel is labeled correctly. Easier to do without furniture. Make sure all the water shut off valves function.
by Kosmo
Wed Mar 11, 2015 3:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Projects when moving into a new (to us) home
Replies: 20
Views: 1594

Re: Where to retire in New England?

I'm not retired, but my parents are and they live in Fairfield County, CT. They are friendly. You'll find friendly people anywhere, but I think Vermonters are the friendliest.

What do you enjoy doing? Do you prefer mountains, shore, lakes, big cities, suburbs, small towns, farmland, or forests?
by Kosmo
Wed Mar 11, 2015 1:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to retire in New England?
Replies: 101
Views: 7812

Re: Choosing between learning a language/learning martial ar

My initial thought (before even reading the OP) was that learning another language would be far more useful and long-lasting skill. Of the people I know that speak a foreign language and/or know martial arts, the language gets used far more often. People have made a pretty good case for martial arts...
by Kosmo
Sun Mar 08, 2015 5:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Choosing between learning a language/learning martial art
Replies: 20
Views: 1032

Re: How Many Credit Cards Do You Actually Use?

3. Costco American Express for most things. But my wife and I each have a visa for places that don't take AmEx. Have another AmEx and 2 visas sitting in the drawer.
by Kosmo
Sat Mar 07, 2015 6:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Many Credit Cards Do You Actually Use?
Replies: 67
Views: 5010

Re: How long did you stay in your starter home?

7 years.

I bought the place before I even met my wife. We moved into a larger place just before offspring #2 came along. Been here 2 years. 1st house is now a rental.
by Kosmo
Sat Mar 07, 2015 5:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long did you stay in your starter home?
Replies: 87
Views: 4853

Re: Real Estate - 2nd property

1. the 1st property is considered my primary residence. Not true. If you do not live there, it is not your primary residence. Wherever you currently live is your primary residence whether you own or rent the place. We did something similar, we bought a new house with the intent of keeping our exist...
by Kosmo
Tue Mar 03, 2015 2:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Real Estate - 2nd property
Replies: 10
Views: 1151

Re: Replacing exterior door ease?

Unless you are a very skilled woodworker/carpenter, use a pre-hung door. If you don't get the hinges exactly in line the door will not close properly.
by Kosmo
Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Replacing exterior door ease?
Replies: 10
Views: 724

Re: HSA: spend or invest?

The right mathematical answer does depend on if you can max out other tax advantaged accounts. If you can max out HSA, 401k, IRA, and whatever else you're eligible for, then pay expenses out of pocket and leave all the money in those accounts. If you cannot max them all out, then use the HSA to pay ...
by Kosmo
Sat Feb 28, 2015 7:18 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA: spend or invest?
Replies: 31
Views: 3417

Re: Beer sales in PA supermarkets? Is this allowed now?

There was a change to the laws about selling beer, but wine and spirits are still controlled by the state. My Acme now has a beer section. I now have a reason to accompany my wife to the store.

All of the northeast States have odd alcohol laws. You can thank the Puritans and Quakers.
by Kosmo
Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Beer sales in PA supermarkets? Is this allowed now?
Replies: 10
Views: 770

Re: why do some people like Fidelity?

This is almost like asking why some people like Ford and some like Chevy. Things may be different, but there isn't always an iron clad case that one is better than the other.
by Kosmo
Sat Feb 21, 2015 7:05 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: why do some people like Fidelity?
Replies: 67
Views: 7079

Re: Keep buying regardless of price movement?

Prague wrote:Therefore, I ask about energy sector as I am clueless about it.

Then why are you investing in it? And more to the point, why are you trying to time that sector?
by Kosmo
Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Keep buying regardless of price movement?
Replies: 17
Views: 2134

Re: Recommend a general U.S. history book

I have three thoughts. 1) A single book that covers all of US history is likely to be boring. All the meat and gristle will be hidden from view, and you'll just see the skeleton. I would read some books that dive into a particular period, written by knowledge good writers. Authors such as Stephen A...
by Kosmo
Wed Feb 18, 2015 1:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend a general U.S. history book
Replies: 22
Views: 1185

Re: Roth IRA Contribution limit question

jebmke wrote:Remember, the first word in IRA is Individual.

Ha! I was about to write the same thing!
by Kosmo
Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth IRA Contribution limit question
Replies: 5
Views: 355

Re: Roth IRA Contribution limit question

sksbog wrote:Does that mean a couple can each contribute to $5,500 and thus total 11K can be contributed?

This. If contributions are permitted, they apply to each individual.
by Kosmo
Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth IRA Contribution limit question
Replies: 5
Views: 355

Re: How often and how much should I raise the rent?

I can't say what's "standard", but I do believe rent increases are expected. Property taxes generally increase every year, so the rent should at least increase at the same rate. And that doesn't even factor in inflation for repairs or other services. I don't think your 4% per year is unrea...
by Kosmo
Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How often and how much should I raise the rent?
Replies: 25
Views: 1724

Re: Not clearing snow from driveway

If you drive over it and compact the snow...and it snows again, you have a nice thick layer of ice on the driveway that will take significantly longer to clear off. I'm about to go shovel my driveway right now...
by Kosmo
Tue Feb 17, 2015 6:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Not clearing snow from driveway
Replies: 81
Views: 6082

Re: Traveling by car - estimating costs

A 1,000 mile road trip is no different than any other 1,000 miles put on the car. In fact, it's probably "easy" highway miles instead of "hard" city miles. The only exception might be budgeting for increased gas expenses in a short period of time.
by Kosmo
Mon Feb 16, 2015 4:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling by car - estimating costs
Replies: 28
Views: 1634

Re: Tenants won't let us show the rental: what do we do?

... California Civil Code 1954 ... That is useful info, though it does not apply to me (or the OP). The PA Landlord and Tenant Act of 1951 has no similar clauses. I used a "standard" lease with no modifications from the real estate agent who marketed the property. I presume the wording of...
by Kosmo
Mon Feb 16, 2015 4:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tenants won't let us show the rental: what do we do?
Replies: 60
Views: 7270
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