Search found 763 matches

by Kosmo
Sat Jul 25, 2015 7:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Window Replacement - Recommendations (Southwest)?
Replies: 11
Views: 671

Re: Home Window Replacement - Recommendations (Southwest)?

We just had our windows replaced about 2 weeks ago. Went with a local company (had 4 come give quotes). 24 windows cost just under $11k. We also had them replace the front door, rear slider, and all the shutters. I can't say what type of financing you can get, but I'd be surprised if you could get 0...
by Kosmo
Wed Jul 22, 2015 5:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Place to live for a young family?
Replies: 36
Views: 3196

Re: Best Place to live for a young family?

This is far too personal of a question to make heads or tails of the answers. It entirely hinges on what you value more. Do you care about job opportunities? Proximity to family? Climate? Proximity to large cities, countryside, mountains, beach, etc.? What about cultural activities like museums or t...
by Kosmo
Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When did you start investing in the Market?
Replies: 60
Views: 3293

Re: When did you start investing in the Market?

August 2005, so almost exactly 10 years ago. That was when I stated my first real job after college.

I remember I had to borrow money from my dad because my rent was due before I got my first paycheck. But I had that 401k contribution set up.
by Kosmo
Sat Jul 18, 2015 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What can you deduct for undermarket rental?
Replies: 23
Views: 1590

Re: What can you deduct for undermarket rental?

I do not know the answer, but you should try biggerpockets.com. Someone over there will know.
by Kosmo
Sat Jul 18, 2015 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with bill received for prior homeowner
Replies: 41
Views: 3683

Re: What to do with bill received for prior homeowner

Flobes wrote:Federal law makes it illegal to open or trash correspondance addressed to someone else.
Not necessarily true. See my post above which links to the federal law and quotes an appellate court judgement.
by Kosmo
Fri Jul 17, 2015 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which professional to contact? [Front yard maintenance]
Replies: 12
Views: 1035

Re: Which professional to contact? [Front yard maintenance]

hmm, yes, there is clay in the soil.... So, what are my options then? Add similar clay mixed soil on top? Topsoil is still the best bet. But if there is a lot of clay in the soil, you may just get a level-looking wet and squishy spot (or a mud puddle if the grass doesn't grow). But you haven't solv...
by Kosmo
Fri Jul 17, 2015 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with bill received for prior homeowner
Replies: 41
Views: 3683

Re: What to do with bill received for prior homeowner

We occasionally get mail for the previous owners of the house, and I just rip it up and trash it. I used to write a note and send it back, but that didn't seem to have the intended effect, as this still occurs. I did some quick "research" into the legality of what you can/cannot do with su...
by Kosmo
Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gift Card Exchange Web Sites
Replies: 15
Views: 1200

Re: Gift Card Exchange Web Sites

I've used abcgiftcards.com maybe a dozen times or so. The only issue I've had was with a card to a clothing store. The card had the proper value on it, but was locked and the company couldn't unlock it, so it was unusable. I had to jump through a few hoops like emailing photos of the actual card to ...
by Kosmo
Wed Jul 15, 2015 7:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which professional to contact? [Front yard maintenance]
Replies: 12
Views: 1035

Re: Which professional to contact? [Front yard maintenance]

It's probably a deeper depression than you think. A cubic foot of dirt doesn't go very far, so you'll need to get more bags of top soil than you expect. Any clay in the soil? If so you might just be making a mud patch.
by Kosmo
Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renegotiating Contract, selling our house
Replies: 18
Views: 1493

Re: Renegotiating Contract, selling our house

It appears you didn't babysit the agent enough and you signed a contract that you can't really get out of. I don't really think you have negotiating power. Ask her if you bring in a buyer will she accept the 3% for seller's agent and the 3% for buyers agent is waived. That'll save you the money. But...
by Kosmo
Tue Jul 14, 2015 6:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Increase retirement savings vs pay off mortgage
Replies: 5
Views: 823

Re: Increase retirement savings vs pay off mortgage

I would do anything and everything else before pre-paying the mortgage on a rental property. (I do not pre-pay mine.) Especially one with such a low interest rate. Remember that interest is always deductible against rent. Contributions; - I max out the 403b contributions Keep this up. - I save $1-2K...
by Kosmo
Sun Jul 12, 2015 8:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wiring home network cable type?
Replies: 30
Views: 1919

Re: Wiring home network cable type?

Why not go wireless?
by Kosmo
Sun Jul 05, 2015 8:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 22 years old want to do rental properties
Replies: 35
Views: 3689

Re: 22 years old want to do rental properties

4) I have been using youtube to learn just about everything. But for plumbing, electrical, structural issues, isn't a state-specific license required? For example, if someone gets hurt by how you inproperly fixed a toilet, in trouble? A contractor's license doesn't absolve you of any consequences t...
by Kosmo
Thu Jul 02, 2015 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Holes in concrete driveway
Replies: 5
Views: 1067

Re: Holes in concrete driveway

Option 1. I'd be more concerned about cracks than small holes.
by Kosmo
Wed Jul 01, 2015 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budget and Housing Question
Replies: 10
Views: 1382

Re: Budget and Housing Question

Are these averaged out numbers over some period of time? Some seem oddly specific: Vehicle gas: $77.00 Electric/heat: $177.00 Gifts: $26.00 Entertainment: $64.00 Misc: $66.00 Your home improvements (which I take to include routine maintenance) and water/sewer expenses look low. Do you really not buy...
by Kosmo
Fri Jun 26, 2015 6:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you think this is a smart budget ?
Replies: 17
Views: 2832

Re: Do you think this is a smart budget ?

I don't see anything that looks unreasonable. I would add categories for clothes, medical expenses, general home maintenance, auto maintenance, and adult allowances. If you can reasonable expect (not necessarily predict) something will happen, like changing your oil, put in an item in the budget. As...
by Kosmo
Thu Jun 18, 2015 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New to Golf
Replies: 45
Views: 4941

Re: New to Golf

Buy used irons and a new putter. Get some lessons. Keep hitting balls. I started about 6 years ago and I'm still learning. I have a driver but no woods, and I rarely use the driver. In fact for about 2 years I played every round with only a 5 iron, pitching wedge, and putter. It's way more important...
by Kosmo
Thu Jun 18, 2015 6:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: anyone put in a prehung entry door & sidelight?
Replies: 10
Views: 1192

Re: anyone put in a prehung entry door & sidelight?

Everything FreddieG said is the reason the carpenter is doing mine. What he can do in a couple of hours would take me a day+. Sorry I am confused, are you taking the old door out yourself or is that included in the 1400? $1400 is removal of old door and installation of the new one. The point is you'...
by Kosmo
Thu Jun 18, 2015 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I open up floor of very old home to search for old coins?
Replies: 35
Views: 5091

Re: Should I open up floor of very old home to search for old coins?

Might it be easier to go in through the ceiling below? Is it lath and plaster or drywall? I wouldn't want to rip up 100+ year old hardwood floor. Even if you could get up the boards without breaking them you'll never be able to match the nails when you replace them. But I might consider a hole or 2 ...
by Kosmo
Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: anyone put in a prehung entry door & sidelight?
Replies: 10
Views: 1192

Re: anyone put in a prehung entry door & sidelight?

You're going to hang a door and you're more worried about the paint job? Make sure you have a lot of shims on hand to get it plumb. Try not to damage any of the framing or drywall when you take out the old door. That's not terribly hard to repair, but it is time consuming. The painting is the easy p...
by Kosmo
Wed Jun 17, 2015 7:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do your children cost per month?
Replies: 83
Views: 6961

Re: How much do your children cost per month?

We spend $2200 for two kids for daycare alone. (HCOL) OP, Would you post an example of your monthly grocery list or bill. I am floored that you can get away with spending $202/month. For our family of 4 we spend that much a week. I would not say that we are extravagant in our food choices either bu...
by Kosmo
Mon Jun 15, 2015 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Comfortable shoes for work
Replies: 43
Views: 4168

Re: Comfortable shoes for work

You do not specify whether you are male or female; regardless, Clarks shoe s--for both men and women. The shoes are more conservative than stylish, but once in a while you can find a gem. More importantly, the shoes are comfortable. The higher cost of comfortable shoes is so worth it. This. I have ...
by Kosmo
Sun Jun 14, 2015 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to introduce legos to my almost 5 year old boy?
Replies: 15
Views: 1196

Re: How to introduce legos to my almost 5 year old boy?

Just dump a bunch in front of him. He'll figure it out. Once he gets the hang of how to build with them, start building according to the instructions.
by Kosmo
Thu Jun 11, 2015 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unsure of the process of paying off mortgage early (all at once)
Replies: 30
Views: 3533

Re: Unsure of the process of paying off mortgage early (all at once)

The most unnerving part was thinking about carrying cash from my credit union to the Wells Fargo branch 2 miles away -- but when the credit union heard what the money was for, they just cut a cashiers check at no charge. You mean you didn't get burlap sacks filled with cash with $ written on the si...
by Kosmo
Thu Jun 11, 2015 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Company to Bundle Auto & Home Insurance
Replies: 19
Views: 2056

Re: Best Company to Bundle Auto & Home Insurance

Why don't you ask the broker for a quote on auto and home with whatever companies he now represents? Or just stay with the existing company.

FWIW, I use Grange insurance. Just last week I switched a landlord's policy over to them from State Farm.
by Kosmo
Tue Jun 09, 2015 7:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fellow condo owner stopped paying HOA fees. What happens next?
Replies: 19
Views: 3883

Re: Fellow condo owner stopped paying HOA fees. What happens next?

How do you have $9k in legal fees trying to collect $8k? I'm on an HOA board in PA and that sounds absurd. We are sending a house to sheriff sale in July and the filing fee (which is recoverable at the sale) is $3k. That's the most expensive legal bill I've seen in my 5 years on this board. The othe...
by Kosmo
Sat Jun 06, 2015 6:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New CC expiration date but same card number - do I have to update auto pays?
Replies: 11
Views: 1404

Re: New CC expiration date but same card number - do I have to update auto pays?

I was just issued a card with a chip last month. Same number. All my autopays worked without issue.
by Kosmo
Sat Jun 06, 2015 7:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you do to relax just after returning from work
Replies: 59
Views: 6434

Re: What do you do to relax just after returning from work

Between working 10+ hours a day, playing with the kids and the dog, preparing meals, and various home maintenance/improvement projects...I relax on Sunday night for about an hour by watching Game of Thrones and then going to bed early. This is accompanied by nightly feelings of vague guilt because I...
by Kosmo
Mon Jun 01, 2015 7:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are you middle class?
Replies: 21
Views: 2694

Re: Are you middle class?

I don't know if county is the best geographic metric. Maybe it works much better as you get further from major cities. My county spans a very broad economic range. There are some very industrial towns. I think that skews the numbers downward. I came in as solidly above middle class, but that doesn't...
by Kosmo
Mon Jun 01, 2015 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Carpeting stairs
Replies: 18
Views: 1829

Re: Carpeting stairs

My wife did ask the salesperson why, and her response was along the lines of "that's just how we do it." To me this is the most infuriating non-answer to any question. I wouldn't be surprised if you got this from the guy at Home Depot who just knows how to order the carpets. But it's comp...
by Kosmo
Sun May 31, 2015 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Canadian money
Replies: 34
Views: 3060

Re: Canadian money

Points previously made aside, if you absolutely need the cash before you enter Canada, go to a local bank near the border. They should have plenty of Canadian currency. Similarly, a Canadian bank just on the other side of the border will exchange your American dollars.
by Kosmo
Sun May 31, 2015 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen and Living/Family Room Flooring
Replies: 18
Views: 1820

Re: Kitchen and Living/Family Room Flooring

Does the luxury vinyl fit in this type of house (i.e., is neutral when reselling and is not tacky/considered cheap to guests)? What's actually installed in other houses of that type in your area? I wouldn't put vinyl in any main floor living area in any middle to upscale house. "Luxury" v...
by Kosmo
Sat May 30, 2015 7:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen and Living/Family Room Flooring
Replies: 18
Views: 1820

Re: Kitchen and Living/Family Room Flooring

Assuming most buyers do not think Vinyl Wood is undesirable I'd say this is where you've wandered off the path. I would consider vinyl flooring for a utility room, laundry room, kids playroom, or basement. I would not use it in any main level living area. For the layout you show, I'd go with hardwo...
by Kosmo
Fri May 29, 2015 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to learn tennis for adult
Replies: 29
Views: 1954

Re: Best way to learn tennis for adult

Learn by doing, not by watching videos or reading. Any tennis clubs in the area? Or park and rec leagues? Or you can just go to the high school and see if the courts are available to public use. Go talk to the people you saw playing.
by Kosmo
Fri May 29, 2015 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Behavioral finance and restaurants
Replies: 72
Views: 6742

Re: Behavioral finance and restaurants

I'll answer slightly differently: 25 miles. That's the distance from my house to center city Philadelphia. That could take 30 minutes or an hour and 30 minutes. The majority of the dining out we do is within a 10 mile radius of my house. There is sufficient variety and quality here that I'd need a v...
by Kosmo
Thu May 28, 2015 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: American Express sneakery
Replies: 37
Views: 5032

Re: American Express sneakery

If you do not pay the current balance in full by the due date, interest will start accruing on the total outstanding balance. My understanding is that the statement balance (not current balance) is due by the due date. The current balance might be higher if charges are posted after the statement da...
by Kosmo
Thu May 28, 2015 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: American Express sneakery
Replies: 37
Views: 5032

Re: American Express sneakery

It makes sense that current balance is the most important number to show for most people. One pay interest on that current balance if not pay in full by due date. There is no interest on (outstanding balance - current balance) (new charge during that period). Not true. If you do not pay the current...
by Kosmo
Thu May 28, 2015 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I shorten my last name?
Replies: 70
Views: 6694

Re: Should I shorten my last name?

.. there are exceptions, of course. Having (for most of us) a nearly impossible name to pronouce does not seem to have hurt Mike Krzyzewski :D I don't get your point. What's so hard about saying Kur-za-zoo-skee? :) Except it's pronounced: shə-SHEV-ski I thought it would be Kriz-EV-skee or Kriz-EW-s...
by Kosmo
Wed May 27, 2015 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: American Express sneakery
Replies: 37
Views: 5032

Re: American Express sneakery

What they call "current balance" is the balance from your last bill, less any payments you may have made already. What they call "outstanding balance" is the total amount you are still in debt to them for. It seems the OP is confused on the difference between Current Balance and...
by Kosmo
Mon May 25, 2015 9:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do-it-yourself handy person: How did you learn?
Replies: 41
Views: 4936

Re: Do-it-yourself handy person: How did you learn?

I learned some very basic stuff from my dad and a little bit more from my uncle. But mostly I learned by trial and error and reading about things. I do mainly around the house tasks (carpentry, drywall, electrical, flooring, etc.), but as for mechanical and electronic tinkering...things generally go...
by Kosmo
Mon May 25, 2015 6:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Outside a/c fan isn't running (10 yr old system)
Replies: 24
Views: 985

Re: Outside a/c fan isn't running (10 yr old system)

My first guess would be to check the start capacitor. Those are relatively cheap to replace.

If you have to/want to replace the unit, you can get better performance if you replace the air handler with a variable speed fan.
by Kosmo
Mon May 25, 2015 5:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When is it safe to share financial details with gf, future wife
Replies: 53
Views: 5422

Re: When is it safe to share financial details with gf, future wife

When you are considering shared financial responsibility. Splitting expenses, saving for a house, etc. And when you share, don't hide things. No secret bank accounts or credit cards or loans.
by Kosmo
Sat May 23, 2015 5:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best choice for cash for newborn
Replies: 6
Views: 629

Re: Best choice for cash for newborn

529. That's what I do with monetary gifts to my kids.
by Kosmo
Fri May 22, 2015 10:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Acceptance of 'prize' when employer pays for function?
Replies: 8
Views: 1567

Re: Acceptance of 'prize' when employer pays for function?

My company has government contracts. We have to take yearly training on gift acceptances and similar topics. I would not be allowed to keep any of the items you mentioned, they would belong to my company. I would be allowed to keep things of "minimal value" like pens, note pads, coffee mug...
by Kosmo
Fri May 22, 2015 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Loans and credit lines with interest from 0% to 1%?
Replies: 5
Views: 803

Re: Loans and credit lines with interest from 0% to 1%?

I get junk mail from Chase Slate all the time about 0% balance transfers and 0% interest for 15-18 months. I wonder if it would work to a debit card so the "balance transfer" lands in your checking account. They usually also give checks that are written against your credit account. Write ...
by Kosmo
Thu May 21, 2015 7:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where should we go on vacation this summer?
Replies: 6
Views: 558

Re: Where should we go on vacation this summer?

This is one of the most open-ended questions I've seen here. Where do you live? Are you willing to fly? How many people are in your family? Kids? What do you consider a reasonable amount to spend on a vacation? How long do you want to go for? I personally hate the beach and wouldn't recommend any. O...
by Kosmo
Thu May 21, 2015 6:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about Mortgage "hacks" in payment
Replies: 4
Views: 866

Re: Question about Mortgage "hacks" in payment

The first method I read is paying bi-monthly as opposed to monthly. I believe it works out to be cheaper in the long term, because the interest is accumulated on a daily basis. Of course, going by that logic, weekly or daily payments (for the same monthly amount) would be better. Mortgage interest ...
by Kosmo
Thu May 21, 2015 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The exact math behind using 401k loan to pay down debt
Replies: 14
Views: 1591

Re: The exact math behind using 401k loan to pay down debt

Let's say the loan interest is $1000. When withdrawn in retirement, with a 25% tax rate, you'll pay $250 in taxes and get $750 to spend. But if your tax rate during the repayment phase is 33%, you'll need to earn $1493 to pay that $1000 in interest. So are the additional taxes paid the $250 or the ...
by Kosmo
Thu May 21, 2015 8:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The exact math behind using 401k loan to pay down debt
Replies: 14
Views: 1591

Re: The exact math behind using 401k loan to pay down debt

You probably have to go back to the original thread for a longer explanation of why it's the tax rate in retirement. But it makes sense, because extra taxes are only paid on the small amount of loan interest (i.e. extra funds you have to put in your 401k to repay the loan), which is why it's L * T....
by Kosmo
Thu May 21, 2015 7:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The exact math behind using 401k loan to pay down debt
Replies: 14
Views: 1591

Re: The exact math behind using 401k loan to pay down debt

Then compare two values. Rtax - Rtsp * (1 - T) L * T Why use your retirement marginal tax rate in L*T? You have to pay taxes in retirement on the final distribution of that amount anyways at a rate of T. But the additional taxes you have to pay now during the repayment of the loan are at your curre...

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