Search found 1254 matches

by Kosmo
Sat Jul 22, 2017 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Commuters (that drive), what do you listen to?
Replies: 53
Views: 2016

Re: Commuters (that drive), what do you listen to?

Terrestrial radio. Rock and roll stations with good morning shows.
by Kosmo
Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why does State Farm have poor reviews?
Replies: 41
Views: 3470

Re: Why does State Farm have poor reviews?

I've had State Farm for the last few years and in the past. They were great for auto claims. Fast and direct pay to the local shops I've used. They were beyond horrible for a rental property claim. Everyone I spoke with on the phone seemed clueless. The estimating contractor they sent was unfamiliar...
by Kosmo
Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: APR on Mortgage from 3.55% to 3.48% Good Deal?
Replies: 6
Views: 406

Re: APR on Mortgage from 3.55% to 3.48% Good Deal?

Hi jadedfalcons, I have not inquired about fees yet. My interest rate will stay the same, its the APR that is different. Why would you pay for a refinance if the interest rate is the same? The APR considers all fees in total which you've already paid when you got the existing mortgage. You can't lo...
by Kosmo
Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?
Replies: 117
Views: 6631

Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Rupert wrote:I really enjoyed business travel when I was young and childless. When you have a family, it's a burden.

This.
by Kosmo
Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Appraisal
Replies: 10
Views: 683

Re: Refinance Appraisal

Ok maybe I should play it cool until the closing. It's not like they can drop the ball on me at the closing and say my appraisal came in way low right? It has to be within 10%? of GFE? Certain transaction costs have to be within +10% of the GFE. The cost of the appraisal is one of these items. The ...
by Kosmo
Sat Jul 08, 2017 6:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a house in FEMA flood zone X
Replies: 30
Views: 1703

Re: Buying a house in FEMA flood zone X

omega wrote:Is it worth taking the risk? Am I unnecessary concerned?

What flood zone do you currently live in? Zone X unshaded is the 2nd lowest defined risk zone. That certainly doesn't signify increased risk to me. I personally wouldn't bat an eye at buying a house in Zone X unshaded or shaded.
by Kosmo
Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Save or Pay Down Mortgage?
Replies: 6
Views: 1039

Re: Save or Pay Down Mortgage?

Thanks, everyone. A few months before you start shopping for your new home, draw enough (or get a new one if you need a bigger one) to cover your down payment and closing costs on the new house. This hadn't occurred to me. Unless I can get the credit line extended to ~85% total LTV I won't be able t...
by Kosmo
Mon Jul 03, 2017 6:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: People who receive employer 401k contributions, how is it accounted on paystubs?
Replies: 28
Views: 2121

Re: People who receive employer 401k contributions, how is it accounted on paystubs?

Employer matching contributions do not appear on my paystubs. My wife's paystubs have separate line items in a 2nd column that show matching contribution and safe harbor contribution. Both companies put this info on W-2s.
by Kosmo
Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Time in the market is more important, But seriously ?
Replies: 60
Views: 7318

Re: Time in the market is more important, But seriously ?

How do you know it's a peak? What if that 5-10% drop doesn't come for another 5 years?

When it comes to predicting the future, nobody knows nothin.
by Kosmo
Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting a new cooktop, gas vs electric?
Replies: 72
Views: 3643

Re: Getting a new cooktop, gas vs electric?

41fan wrote:We'll remove the existing countertop, cooktop, and sink ourselves and also plumb the new sink and faucet ourselves.

If you can do this you can probably run a gas line yourself. It'll be far cheaper than a plumber.
by Kosmo
Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Practices for Managing Paper Receipts
Replies: 28
Views: 2181

Re: Best Practices for Managing Paper Receipts

I have file folders for tax and HSA related receipts. Everything else goes into an envelope. I keep the envelope for about 3 months in case I need to make any returns. After 3 months it gets thrown away. So I have 3 envelopes in rotation, but they just sit in a desk drawer 99% of the time. It's rare...
by Kosmo
Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Save or Pay Down Mortgage?
Replies: 6
Views: 1039

Save or Pay Down Mortgage?

In 1 or 2 years we are looking to move. (We want to minimize interruption with kids school schedule, so we're looking at next summer or the one after.) The purchase of a new house is dependent on the sale of our current house. What is the best use of money going towards the new house: save it up or ...
by Kosmo
Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used cars in high demand
Replies: 16
Views: 2048

Re: Used cars in high demand

I can't tell if this is a serious post or not.

Hint: that's a marketing ploy to get you to buy a new car.
by Kosmo
Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Garage Parking Aid
Replies: 28
Views: 2166

Re: Garage Parking Aid

I put a 2 ft length of 2x3 on the ground at the front tire. Stop when you feel it. My wife generally enters the garage at a sportier speed than most drivers so the wood shifts around. I have a chalk outline so I know where to replace it to. If you will be parking different cars in that spot then dif...
by Kosmo
Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lg refrigerator vs Samsung refrigerator.
Replies: 19
Views: 1717

Re: Lg refrigerator vs Samsung refrigerator.

I have 2 Kenmore Elite fridges that were manufactured by LG. No problems since I bought them about 5 years ago.
by Kosmo
Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Scratched Bumper with Police on the Scene
Replies: 26
Views: 2492

Re: Scratched Bumper with Police on the Scene

I had a similar thing happen in the fall. I tried to go through the insurance of the woman who hit me and got nowhere. Every time I called I had to go through the same story and provide claim numbers and dates and times that I had called so they could review recorded conversations and notes. This we...
by Kosmo
Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How many of you have rentals (i.e. you're a landlord)? Are they worth it?
Replies: 74
Views: 5389

Re: How many of you have rentals (i.e. you're a landlord)? Are they worth it?

We rent out the townhouse we used to live in. Not worth it and we're looking to get out.
by Kosmo
Tue Jun 06, 2017 5:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trip to Ireland/Amex/Visa/Do I need a card with no foreign tx fee?
Replies: 22
Views: 1279

Re: Trip to Ireland/Amex/Visa/Do I need a card with no foreign tx fee?

We did a driving / B&B tour of Ireland about 6 years ago. We tried to stay in the countryside and out of cities as much as possible. We mainly used cash and not credit cards, but I don't recall having any issues using American Express.
by Kosmo
Wed May 31, 2017 9:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reasonable HVAC Quote?
Replies: 34
Views: 3096

Re: Reasonable HVAC Quote?

I has a similar system installed 2 years ago for about the same price. The quote seems reasonable to me.
by Kosmo
Wed May 31, 2017 8:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nephews play football - don't want to encourage this
Replies: 45
Views: 3172

Re: Nephews play football - don't want to encourage this

Encourage them to play rugby. Far fewer injuries.
by Kosmo
Wed May 31, 2017 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Condo Assoc seeking thoughts
Replies: 24
Views: 2329

Re: Condo Assoc seeking thoughts

Why is an HOA responsible for the roofs on stand alone houses? The individual owners should be responsible. In the 2 HOAs that I've lived in, if a surplus was generated such that the reserve fund was accumulating thousands of dollars yearly, the directors would be voted out instantaneously. This is...
by Kosmo
Wed May 31, 2017 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pennsylvania Vehicle Registration Renewal - 2 year option
Replies: 17
Views: 1087

Re: Pennsylvania Vehicle Registration Renewal - 2 year option

My renewal paperwork arrived in the mail just the other day. I'll be doing 2 years. It's 1 less thing to remember to do next year.
by Kosmo
Tue May 30, 2017 7:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Condo Assoc seeking thoughts
Replies: 24
Views: 2329

Re: Condo Assoc seeking thoughts

Why is an HOA responsible for the roofs on stand alone houses? The individual owners should be responsible.

In the 2 HOAs that I've lived in, if a surplus was generated such that the reserve fund was accumulating thousands of dollars yearly, the directors would be voted out instantaneously.
by Kosmo
Sat May 27, 2017 5:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Septic Pumping - Did I get ripped off?
Replies: 45
Views: 4066

Re: Septic Pumping - Did I get ripped off?

I paid $285 for a 1250 gallon tank last month. I'm in a western suburb of Philadelphia.
by Kosmo
Tue May 23, 2017 9:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bradford White Electric Water heater?
Replies: 30
Views: 1679

Re: Bradford White Electric Water heater?

I had my water heater replaced a few years ago by my buddy who's a plumber. He installs exclusively Bradford White. I've had no issues with it (natural gas, 40 gal).
by Kosmo
Tue May 23, 2017 8:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: i am my own "guy," but not sure I should advertise that
Replies: 107
Views: 13919

Re: i am my own "guy," but not sure I should advertise that

Just keep away from giving advice. No harm in explaining how/why you do things, but don't tell other people what to do. No "I recommend..." unless it's "I recommend you learn more about this on your own". If they are legitimately interested in learning, then provide some help. As...
by Kosmo
Sat May 20, 2017 7:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to sell a house?
Replies: 22
Views: 2123

Re: How to sell a house?

It's very important to price the house appropriately for the work that needs to be done. I live I one of the top school districts in PA. There is a house for sale I my neighborhood in the same situation where elderly folks moved out. Their kids over priced it by about 30%. Everything inside the hous...
by Kosmo
Sat May 06, 2017 6:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vexing electrical problem in the house
Replies: 54
Views: 3816

Re: Vexing electrical problem in the house

I had a similar thing happen. This 1 circuit would cut out at random. Turned out that the main bus bar for that circuit was damaged and pitted and not making a solid connection with the breaker. My guess is there was a power surge at some point in the past before I bought the house that caused it. P...
by Kosmo
Fri May 05, 2017 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Window Replacement Question
Replies: 20
Views: 2104

Re: Window Replacement Question

Most people are replying regarding nice 100+ year old windows. And I agree, those are way better than what's out there now. But for a ~40 yr old house, replacement vinyl windows will be sufficient. Unless you live in a high end neighborhood where you'd be the only one without fancy windows. I had my...
by Kosmo
Thu May 04, 2017 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying first home with old hvac
Replies: 92
Views: 4577

Re: Buying first home with old hvac

I stepped away for a few days and it's interesting to come back and read the continuance of the conversation. It seems that I'm in the minority, although it's slim, that believes that something like the age of an HVAC system is not a negotiating point. It is an easily determinable fact to get the ag...
by Kosmo
Tue May 02, 2017 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying first home with old hvac
Replies: 92
Views: 4577

Re: Buying first home with old hvac

That would be an inspection, and the average homeowner most certainly does not know how a given manfacturer has encoded dates in serial numbers or behind what cover something with a date might be, nor even what a typical heating system life expectancy is. Unless you buy sight unseen, you make a vis...
by Kosmo
Tue May 02, 2017 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is 401k loan really a bad idea?
Replies: 57
Views: 3683

Re: Is 401k loan really a bad idea?

I'm very aware of what ERISA is, thanks though. It doesn't change facts however. The fact is, if OP taxes a $50k loan from his $500k 401k, spends it, then pays that loan back with income he earns later, with no growth in that time, his 401k will have $450k of pre-tax money and associated gains and ...
by Kosmo
Tue May 02, 2017 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying first home with old hvac
Replies: 92
Views: 4577

Re: Buying first home with old hvac

I think the seller would be nuts to negotiate on this. You'd be asking them to lower the price due to a functional air conditioner. What's next, is the roof keeping out too much rain? No. They'd be asking for a lower price based on an older than anticipated HVAC system. The same often gets done for...
by Kosmo
Mon May 01, 2017 10:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying first home with old hvac
Replies: 92
Views: 4577

Re: Buying first home with old hvac

I think the seller would be nuts to negotiate on this. You'd be asking them to lower the price due to a functional air conditioner. What's next, is the roof keeping out too much rain? Unless the unit was in a completely inaccessible location and you could not have possibly seen it prior to an inspec...
by Kosmo
Mon May 01, 2017 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Side gig, 1099 strategy
Replies: 15
Views: 1379

Re: Side gig, 1099 strategy

With the caveat that I have 0 experience I this area... unless your spouse is directly involved in earning this money, 1 and 2 sound not legal.
by Kosmo
Fri Apr 28, 2017 5:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Warranty
Replies: 12
Views: 1153

Re: Home Warranty

I had one that was auto renew. So I had to actively call and cancel. Do that just to be on the safe side.
by Kosmo
Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Negative points" on mortgage
Replies: 47
Views: 3051

Re: "Negative points" on mortgage

We'd need to know the closing costs, balance financed, rate and time for each mortgage option to make a guess. jimb Sorry, but I don't see why. The purchase price, down payment, closing costs, balanced financed, and tenor of the mortgage are identical in all three cases. I believe the only trade of...
by Kosmo
Sun Apr 16, 2017 8:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is spending 15K to furnish home too much?
Replies: 39
Views: 4825

Re: Is spending 15K to furnish home too much?

Starting from nothing and furnishing an entire house for $15k is a steal. Assuming you're buying new and it's not from IKEA.
by Kosmo
Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: paying off bills in 1 shot with HSA or pay with CC
Replies: 6
Views: 651

Re: paying off bills in 1 shot with HSA or pay with CC

guitarguy wrote:Either way, charge the expenses to a rewards credit card. Then decide to reimburse yourself from your HSA account, or not.

This. You get the rewards and another month or so to make that decision.

I reimburse myself from the HSA for most expenses. Certainly I'd do it for $3k.
by Kosmo
Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pennsylvania Local Earned Income Tax - Question
Replies: 8
Views: 712

Re: Pennsylvania Local Earned Income Tax - Question

I guess that's sort of the problem I'm having. If I treat the Philly city wage tax as Philly EIT and follow the prorating instructions: - I end up paying way more to Philly than 0.039 x income earned while living in Philly - I end up getting a refund from my county that's basically double the amoun...
by Kosmo
Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pennsylvania Local Earned Income Tax - Question
Replies: 8
Views: 712

Re: Pennsylvania Local Earned Income Tax - Question

It's prorated for the amount you earned while living in each location.

Side comment: be careful if you work in a location that has a non- resident EIT. You have to pay the higher of the location you live or work.
by Kosmo
Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Top tape measures
Replies: 30
Views: 2080

Re: Top tape measures

Stanley FATMAX is the best ever. It doesn't bend at long distances. It's perfect. I have a 16' and 25'. Most of the time, I typically only need the 16' for inside framing projects. Home Depot and Lowes have them. Another vote here. I bought the 2 sizes together as a set. My advice- make sure you ha...
by Kosmo
Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Packing cubes for travel
Replies: 60
Views: 4539

Re: Packing cubes for travel

How is any better than just packing the clothes into the suitcase? [...] Where's the benefit? Do you have a dresser in your bedroom? Probably one with multiple drawers, and maybe some or all of those drawers have, in turn, divided sections? Pretty handy, isn't it? You wouldn't dream of replacing th...
by Kosmo
Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HDHP's - Does your employer offer them?
Replies: 47
Views: 1985

Re: HDHP's - Does your employer offer them?

My company introduced a HDHP about 5 years ago and pushed it really hard. They had info sessions, pamphlets, mass emails, and the like. It is a large company. I think 100k+ employees in the US. It's worked out well for us, although recently we switched to a slightly better HDHP through my wife's com...
by Kosmo
Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Packing cubes for travel
Replies: 60
Views: 4539

Re: Packing cubes for travel

Never heard of these so I had to look them up. How is any better than just packing the clothes into the suitcase? Seems like it's an extra step to pack the clothes into the little container and the put that into the suitcase. Now to get dressed you have to open up each individual container to get a ...
by Kosmo
Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: W2 income tax withheld is different then pay stub compilation
Replies: 9
Views: 862

Re: W2 income tax withheld is different then pay stub compilation

As far as the pay check dates are concerned, her Dec 2016 paycheck was given her on 1-3-2017. Would I use her 12-2015 check issued on or about 1-3-2016 instead of her actual pay of Dec 2016? Correct. What was paid in 2016 matters, not what was earned in 2016 but paid in 2017. Essentially the date o...
by Kosmo
Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Weird house buying experience
Replies: 123
Views: 7222

Re: Weird house buying experience

You claim you were negotiating a discount off the list price, they claim you were negotiating a total package price. It's possible to look at it two different ways without either of you being wrong or dishonest. How would you feel if they claimed you were cheating them by claiming that you were tal...
by Kosmo
Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Furnishing Apartment for Work - Tax Implications
Replies: 17
Views: 1575

Re: Furnishing Apartment for Work - Tax Implications

If the company bought the furniture (and retained ownership) for this apartment (even though what they bought was what you indicated that you preferred), wouldn't that eliminate any taxable cosniderations on the employee? Yes, if the company retained ownership of the furniture. I have no experience...
by Kosmo
Thu Mar 30, 2017 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do I need an electrician? If so how much would it cost?
Replies: 32
Views: 2498

Re: Do I need an electrician? If so how much would it cost?

Personally, this is a task I'd do myself. Others have already mentioned the code requirements. Can you do that yourself? If not, then hiring an electrician is the route to go. I have no idea about the cost. If you're willing to try it yourself, all the supplies needed are readily available at any ha...

Go to advanced search