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Re: Do you consider mortgage payments as savings?

I wouldn't really consider it as savings.

However when (and if) renting out, I would want the mortgage interest, property tax and insurance to be covered first under the rent. Anything over that amount is paying for my equity in the house.
by slbnoob
Mon Mar 02, 2015 1:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you consider mortgage payments as savings?
Replies: 207
Views: 7918

Re: Trying to avoid extra $100/mo. to keep min balance on es

I was in a similar situation 2-3 months ago and I was into my loan about 6 months only. It had angered me to the extent that I started looking for refinancing, if it made sense. Then in January, TNX fell down a lot and I market timed to catch almost the trough of TNX and locked in a rate to refinanc...
by slbnoob
Mon Mar 02, 2015 1:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trying to avoid extra $100/mo. to keep min balance on escrow
Replies: 13
Views: 665

Re: Consumer Cellular increases Minutes, Texts, & Data

The changes are rather marginal so that they won't let me move a tier down and hence save money. However, they do provide me some cushion by increasing the data limit. Welcome change nonetheless.
They're also having a '30 minutes free international till March' thing going on currently.
by slbnoob
Mon Mar 02, 2015 1:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Consumer Cellular increases Minutes, Texts, & Data
Replies: 14
Views: 701

Lawn & gardening tips for noob

I'm in the Houston area. Spring is upon us (almost). I would like to do a few things to make my front yard look as nice as others on the block. But I'd like to do it myself since I don't mind doing it as long as it gets done right. Few things I need to take care of are: 1) Pull out a dead shrub and ...
by slbnoob
Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawn & gardening tips for noob
Replies: 2
Views: 242

Re: Thoughts on Chase for everyday banking

If you need a big ATM network, get into a credit union. Likely they will issue cards which can be used anywhere with 'AllPoint'. Even the ATM in Walgreens by Chase is no fee for my credit union issued card. The only time I thought of going with a big bank was when I was considering getting a safe de...
by slbnoob
Mon Feb 23, 2015 1:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on Chase for everyday banking
Replies: 28
Views: 1887

Re: Tesla S

Has anyone here bought a used Tesla, or even a Leaf for that matter?
by slbnoob
Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla S
Replies: 610
Views: 73507

Re: Has anyone restored windows?

If the windows are in decent shape it would be a real shame to lose those very old windows from an old house. The comments about sealing and insulating around the weight pockets are right on target. Good storm windows will help as well. You'll be dealing with lead paint, but you already know that i...
by slbnoob
Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has anyone restored windows?
Replies: 25
Views: 1810

Re: Overfilled Oil in Car - Cause of Oil Leak?

I had a similar issue recently. I got oil changed on my car and noticed a puddle of oil on my garage floor after a few days. I took it in and the oil change place said that there was some oil in the skid plate and they cleaned it. I went home but still noticed a puddle building up under my car on th...
by slbnoob
Sat Feb 14, 2015 4:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Overfilled Oil in Car - Cause of Oil Leak?
Replies: 29
Views: 1555

Re: Mortgage dilemma

+1 to the first response. You really have to work this out yourself. Since you haven't been able to decide for a couple of years, I am guessing you didn't work out the numbers specific to your situation. There is no general good answer. Some people like the freedom of no/less debt, others would not ...
by slbnoob
Sun Feb 08, 2015 6:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage dilemma
Replies: 17
Views: 2273

Re: My co. is switching HSA providers; Is HSA Bank best?

My megacorp uses Chase and they notified that Chase has been bought by HSA Bank. I hope that they have negotiated so that I don't have to pay fees I was not paying with Chase.
by slbnoob
Sun Feb 08, 2015 6:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: My co. is switching HSA providers; Is HSA Bank best?
Replies: 16
Views: 1149

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

I bought in May 2014. I would re-emphaisze the following: 1. Do your research on mortgage rates. Start online, approach local CU's and a loan originator/broker. If this search is spread over a few days, keep in mind rates will change. I used to look at movements of the 10 yr treasury bond rates (sym...
by slbnoob
Thu Feb 05, 2015 12:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Buying the Boglehead Way (1st Time Buyer)
Replies: 46
Views: 5085

Re: Milestone >$100k in my retirement investment portfolio

Congratulations. I should be in a similar situation with respect to retirement accounts in a similar time frame. Although, I don't expect my house equity to increase so much. I am just refinancing my recently bought house. A favorable appraisal gave me the opportunity to pay it down to 20% to get ri...
by slbnoob
Wed Feb 04, 2015 1:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Milestone >$100k in my retirement investment portfolio
Replies: 30
Views: 3109

Re: Best investment for $500

MJNA
full disclaimer: I wouldn't do it myself.
by slbnoob
Wed Feb 04, 2015 1:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best investment for $500
Replies: 31
Views: 2178

Re: time to replace my router?

For routine networking requirements, routers are a commodity. I have a $15 Rosewill router I bought from Newegg. I flashed it with DD-WRT and it has been rock solid. There is simply no need to spend more if all you need is to connect your devices to the network. These days though, it might be worth ...
by slbnoob
Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: time to replace my router?
Replies: 45
Views: 3391

Re: Comcast Wi-Fi Issues

I for one have used this facility when I moved to my house and was still waiting for Comcast to show up and 'install' their service. I am thankful to this good samaritan neighbor of mine :)
by slbnoob
Tue Feb 03, 2015 3:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Comcast Wi-Fi Issues
Replies: 16
Views: 1012

Re: Call risk--worth it?

Not an answer to your question but it is interesting since I read about this bond's rating improvement this morning in the Katy Rancher of course :)
by slbnoob
Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Call risk--worth it?
Replies: 9
Views: 936

Re: HELP! Mortgage company is denying my PMI termination req

It seems better to pay down now than risk complications (LTV 78%, 24 months, appraisal etc.) later. I am going to do that to my own situation described in viewtopic.php?f=2&t=156275 to lower my LTV from 85% to 80%.
by slbnoob
Fri Jan 30, 2015 5:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HELP! Mortgage company is denying my PMI termination request
Replies: 28
Views: 3400

Re: Refinance motrgage

Thanks. I've been impatiently refreshing this page for confirmation :D However in the meantime, I decided to go ahead with it. No PMI yields direct savings. No escrow frees up cash on a monthly basis. However I will keep that 'escrow' amount in a HY savings account. I'd much rather pay taxes and ins...
by slbnoob
Fri Jan 30, 2015 5:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance motrgage
Replies: 12
Views: 1319

Re: HELP! Mortgage company is denying my PMI termination req

Don't want to deviate from the thread but will the bank also waive escrow if LTV<80%?
by slbnoob
Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HELP! Mortgage company is denying my PMI termination request
Replies: 28
Views: 3400

Re: Refinance motrgage

My situation has changed slightly since the last time I asked for some refinance/mortgage advice. This is because the appraisal came above what I expected (in sharp contrast with my original financing when I bought the house, 7 months ago). With the current appraisal, my LTV is above 85%. Scenario 1...
by slbnoob
Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance motrgage
Replies: 12
Views: 1319

Dividend tax question

I have a rather basic tax question for dividends I wanted to get an opinion on. For dividends in my taxable account, I should find out the qualified percentage and divide into qualified and ordinary dividend, right? Also for dividend paid out by stocks in my ESPP, I am guessing I should report that ...
by slbnoob
Thu Jan 29, 2015 3:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dividend tax question
Replies: 2
Views: 441

Re: HELP! Mortgage company is denying my PMI termination req

From my limited understanding of these issues and your OP, I think you are in the right here. However I do feel the 24 month thing could be an issue. You may try to push this issue a little more (writing?). But definitely I see no reason why they could deny 3 months from now when you'll be past the ...
by slbnoob
Thu Jan 29, 2015 1:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HELP! Mortgage company is denying my PMI termination request
Replies: 28
Views: 3400

Re: Iceland

I respectfully disagree with the opinion that Blue Lagoon is comparable to any of the innumerable public pools in Iceland such as Laugardalslaug. Every city has a geothermal pool. Once you go inside they look truly un-remarkable if you didn't know they had geothermal water. They are simply neighborh...
by slbnoob
Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Iceland
Replies: 16
Views: 1619

Re: Iceland

Went there last September and can't wait to go back again. It is a very beautiful country. We drove around the Ring Road for 7-8 days and visited all the major attractions. Didn't go to the highlands or West Fjords. Sound advice here and elsewhere on this forum. It wasn't too cold but was getting to...
by slbnoob
Tue Jan 27, 2015 5:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Iceland
Replies: 16
Views: 1619

Re: Android or iPhone? Which do you like, and why?

More than 2 years ago, I got myself an S3 and wife a 4S. At that time, it peeved me to no end that I had to push multiple buttons on the iPhone to access some settings which were simply a flick away on my Android. Ofcourse I wouldn't get it why anyone would want a smaller screen. Also, Android allow...
by slbnoob
Sun Jan 25, 2015 8:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Android or iPhone? Which do you like, and why?
Replies: 40
Views: 1908

Re: How to climb up in a megacorp

Roughly speaking, the chances of becoming a CEO at any given time is on the order of 1 among 100,000, whereas that of top management could be 50-100 times better than that. I am practically only targeting the latter. Ours being a rather tech oriented company, I have not yet seen a single MBA only cr...
by slbnoob
Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to climb up in a megacorp
Replies: 37
Views: 5114

How to climb up in a megacorp

It's a very generic question but I was hoping to read some opinions from the wisdom on this board. I'm 30 with a Ph.D. in engineering, working for an O&G megacorp for a little over 2 years now. Assuming I still have my job for the foreseeable future, how can I play my cards right to climb up the...
by slbnoob
Fri Jan 23, 2015 3:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to climb up in a megacorp
Replies: 37
Views: 5114

Re: Refinance motrgage

With those numbers, you should shop around and refinance to 15 year. There may not be any benefit in commingling spousal assets. During refinance, you'd have to show enough income and credit worthiness. If both apply, both incomes can be combined however the best credit score of you two would be cho...
by slbnoob
Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance motrgage
Replies: 12
Views: 1319

Re: Suspend 403b contributions to cancel mortgage insurance?

Thanks for the replies. You all inspired me to check out refinancing. It looks like I can get a 3.7% fixed 15 year conventional mortgage without PMI with a total of about $2,000 in closing costs. This seems like a complete no-brainer as I can shorten the term, save interest, ditch PMI, and not touc...
by slbnoob
Thu Jan 22, 2015 1:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Suspend 403b contributions to cancel mortgage insurance?
Replies: 12
Views: 1124

Re: Refinance motrgage

Remember there's also the option of 25 years mortgage if you're already a few years into your original 30 years mortgage and don't want to stretch out the term again (and pay more interest).
by slbnoob
Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance motrgage
Replies: 12
Views: 1319

Re: Already having second thoughts about HSA Bank

Chase HSA has been bought by HSA Bank. I hope that transition goes smoothly.
by slbnoob
Fri Jan 16, 2015 12:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Already having second thoughts about HSA Bank
Replies: 20
Views: 2572

Chase HSA bought by HSA Bank

I received a letter today from Chase HSA saying that they've been bought by HSA Bank. The transition will occur in the next few weeks. Perhaps this is good news as far as the investment options are concerned (Vanguard funds). Chase HSA investment options suck.
by slbnoob
Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Chase HSA bought by HSA Bank
Replies: 1
Views: 365

Re: Another refinance question

I have been looking for a while on zillow and even banks recommended on here. The lowest I've seen is with Texas Trust Loans and close to what my broker is suggesting. In my case since the LTV is relatively high, I'm not getting the best rates. However it works for me to reduce anyway I can. I'm inc...
by slbnoob
Wed Jan 14, 2015 5:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another refinance question
Replies: 6
Views: 612

Re: Another refinance question

Thanks.

Today my broker offers 3.75 with 3300 as credit. With TNX down 4% today, I guess I will have to market time and pull the trigger today.
by slbnoob
Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another refinance question
Replies: 6
Views: 612

Another refinance question

Middle of last year, I closed on a 260K mortgage at 4.25%. I paid $1300 to get this interest rate since I thought hey, I'm buying this for the long term and interest rates have nowhere to go but up, right? Fast forwrd a few months and interest rates have gone lower. My mortgage broker is offering me...
by slbnoob
Tue Jan 13, 2015 6:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another refinance question
Replies: 6
Views: 612

Re: Looking for low cost cell phone plans...

OP: I did a fair amount of research on inexpensive GSM plans in the past year. If you're willing to use GSM phones, and have good T-mobile coverage where you live, I can't recommend http://ultra.me/ more. $20 per month (the $19 plan + $1 fee), and you get unlimited voice/text. And 100MB of 4G LTE i...
by slbnoob
Mon Jan 12, 2015 11:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Looking for low cost cell phone plans...
Replies: 47
Views: 4084

Re: Looking for low cost cell phone plans...

I got Consumer Cellular as it came cheapest for relatively low usage and another phone for only $5 more. Other MVNOs I considered didn't have this option to share with another phone. For 2 of us, this was the cheapest.
by slbnoob
Sun Jan 11, 2015 5:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Looking for low cost cell phone plans...
Replies: 47
Views: 4084

Re: Help me invest my HSA

I have the same HSA investment choices. I don't plan to keep a lot of HSA money invested but I will contribute to the max to save tax. However for whatever little I will invest, I was looking at MDIIX (Int'l Index, ER 0.6). When comparing with VGTSX, it doesn't seem to overlap very well assuming I w...
by slbnoob
Tue Jan 06, 2015 11:58 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help me invest my HSA
Replies: 12
Views: 1185

Re: Can I fund Vanguard purchases with my Target REDcard?

SInce most people are confused: the REDcard in the OP is different from the redcard debit/credit cards which pay 5% for purchase. This is reloadable prepaid. on OP, I think this is another great idea for MS, if it can be done :) please let us know how it goes. In principle, you can buy/sell (for fre...
by slbnoob
Mon Jan 05, 2015 4:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I fund Vanguard purchases with my Target REDcard?
Replies: 40
Views: 4087

Re: Airlines: Could 2015 be another great year?

I will comment on an attitude I've seen far too often on this forum. People take the trouble to post something even though they claim that they don't know and don't care about a certain topic. Ironic isn't it? From what I see, the OP didn't explicitly solicit advices for building positions in airlin...
by slbnoob
Sat Jan 03, 2015 10:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Airlines: Could 2015 be another great year?
Replies: 16
Views: 2486

Re: What price are you planning to pay for your next car?

Tesla Model 3 or any established EV really in the 35K range.
by slbnoob
Sun Dec 28, 2014 1:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What price are you planning to pay for your next car?
Replies: 91
Views: 7029

Re: [Article] Turn 1K to 1B using 1 stock a day

That would be a good exercise too: start with $1B and invest in the worst stock of the day in S&P500 :)

And the only thing remotely actionable (if at all) is that you're better off trying your luck buying lottery than attempting the above.
by slbnoob
Fri Dec 26, 2014 4:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Article] Turn 1K to 1B using 1 stock a day
Replies: 2
Views: 860

[Article] Turn 1K to 1B using 1 stock a day

This article describes what can happen if you call the correct stock in the S&P500 every day in 2014: an investment of $1,000 can turn to $179 billion.
qz.com
People who indulge in day trading may take some heart from it :)
by slbnoob
Fri Dec 26, 2014 2:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Article] Turn 1K to 1B using 1 stock a day
Replies: 2
Views: 860

Re: VTI went up, but VTSMX went down

TheTimeLord wrote:
InvestorNewb wrote:Please post the full names of the funds instead of only the tickers.


Your post is ironic given your signature.

Also, given numerous previous posts.
by slbnoob
Sat Dec 20, 2014 10:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: VTI went up, but VTSMX went down
Replies: 19
Views: 2595

Re: No Foreign Fee Credit Card - Exchange Rate

You might also consider availability of a Chip+Pin feature to use it in Europe (if you're going there). I've used the PenFed Visa Signature Rewards and found the exchange rate to be very good. Note that the reward category didn't perform the intended way in foreign countries because the merchants ar...
by slbnoob
Tue Dec 16, 2014 8:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: No Foreign Fee Credit Card - Exchange Rate
Replies: 15
Views: 1273

Re: Auto and Home Insurance Quotes

Does anyone know what happens to the dividends if one cancels their homeowners policy with Amica mid-year? Also, I understand that dividends are paid at renewal. However I can always cancel my policy after renewal, right, pocketing the dividend for the past year?
by slbnoob
Mon Dec 15, 2014 4:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto and Home Insurance Quotes
Replies: 14
Views: 1265

Re: Energy sector

Nope, this isn't round tripping. Baker Hughes was created in 1987 as the merger of two other firms, each of which had been independent for over a hundred years. The merger puts Halliburton in the number 1 slot, displacing Schlumberger. Most of the oil companies are pretty unhappy about this; there ...
by slbnoob
Mon Dec 15, 2014 4:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Energy sector
Replies: 56
Views: 4763

Re: Robinhood has Zero-Commissions - are you buying stock?

I just got an account recently. They have stocks and ETFs, no mutual funds that I looked for. I confirmed with them that they currently do not support retirement accounts (Roth IRA). With that, I possibly do not have much use for this account, but would still keep it for the future when they support...
by slbnoob
Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:48 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Robinhood has Zero-Commissions - are you buying stock?
Replies: 35
Views: 8036

Re: Estimated year-end distributions for Vanguard funds and

I'd suggest you edit the post to include the last '4' in the link. Otherwise people clicking on the link wouldn't get to the intended page. In the meantime, copy/paste.
by slbnoob
Tue Dec 09, 2014 10:31 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Estimated year-end distributions for Vanguard funds and ETFs
Replies: 4
Views: 695
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