Search found 1093 matches

by Kosmo
Fri Sep 23, 2016 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tenant responsible for appliances?
Replies: 20
Views: 1086

Re: Tenant responsible for appliances?

I see that the issue is cleared up, but I'll pose a spin off question: Is it not understood what is and is not a built-in appliance? "Resident recognizes that all appliances other than built-ins, such as refrigerator, stove, washer and dryer, are for their convenience only. All of these items c...
by Kosmo
Fri Sep 23, 2016 10:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fundamental Difference in Roth and Traditional 401k
Replies: 40
Views: 2145

Re: Fundamental Difference in Roth and Traditional 401k

When you contribute to the traditional 401k, the money is taken out before taxes are calculated and paid. With a Roth 401k, it's after. Effectively to get $X after taxes, you need to earn $X/(1-tax rate). Simple example: Gross income: $2000 Taxes: 25% 401k contribution: $1000 Traditional: Contributi...
by Kosmo
Tue Sep 20, 2016 5:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Dependent care FSA question
Replies: 4
Views: 337

Re: Dependent care FSA question

Right, so you can contribute and take the tax deduction for the full amount, but the plan will just not pay you back the full amount Yes, but why would you do that? Assuming 25% tax bracket: It makes no sense to pay a benefits admin $4400 to avoid paying the government $1100. That's a net loss to y...
by Kosmo
Tue Sep 20, 2016 10:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Dependent care FSA question
Replies: 4
Views: 337

Re: Dependent care FSA question

I think the answer is $600. My understanding (from my plan documents) is that what matters is if you have eligible expenses. The only month that you can get reimbursed for is expenses incurred in July. In all other months you're ineligible. You're permitted to contribute the full $5000 to the accoun...
by Kosmo
Mon Sep 19, 2016 7:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cities like New Orleans?
Replies: 112
Views: 4890

Re: Cities like New Orleans?

Caduceus wrote:Are there any other cities that have the same type of architecture, esp. in terms of the courtyard houses and the really beautiful balconies?

Savannah, GA.

I spent 4 years in Virginia (college), but for me the south is too slow, too hot, and too humid. I'll visit, but that's it.
by Kosmo
Sun Sep 18, 2016 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sawzall and Batt Operated tools questions?
Replies: 25
Views: 1059

Re: Sawzall and Batt Opertated tools questions?

btenny wrote:I think you need to buy a Pole mounted GAS chain saw

Bingo. You want a chain saw for this work. The pole mounted ones are small enough that you can detach it from the pole and use it with 1 hand.
by Kosmo
Thu Sep 15, 2016 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for Small or Midsize SUV/Crossover
Replies: 62
Views: 4646

Re: Recommendations for Small or Midsize SUV/Crossover

My wife has a Subaru Forester and I have a 2015 Honda Pilot ( not the new body style). We both love the cars. How much stuff do you need to carry with you? The Pilot is significantly larger than the Forester. Cargo volume is probably 3-4x. Forester gets ~25 mpg and the Pilot gets ~18. We are maybe 2...
by Kosmo
Thu Sep 15, 2016 8:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estimating true costs of first-time home ownership: huge range?
Replies: 9
Views: 951

Re: Estimating true costs of first-time home ownership: huge range?

As a resident of the Philly suburbs, I can shed some light on a few things. My property is a half acre with a 2100 sf house. Market value is ~$400k, but assessed value is ~$200k. It was not reassessed when I purchased it 3 years ago. Property taxes: There are 3 taxing authorities- county, municipali...
by Kosmo
Wed Sep 14, 2016 12:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: mortgage refi question
Replies: 6
Views: 597

Re: mortgage refi question

Unrelated to the question you asked, but you should check how the bi-weekly payments are applied. I used to pay bi-weekly, but stopped. The mortgage company just held the payment until I made the 2nd payment in a month, then applied it as a single monthly payment. The only advantage was that every ...
by Kosmo
Sun Sep 04, 2016 6:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wood Chipper -- Harbor Freight?
Replies: 40
Views: 2913

Re: Wood Chipper -- Harbor Freight?

You could trim the trees back instead of taking them down.

I'd call a landscaper or tree service for a job this big. I had a row of giant arbor vitae about 30 ft tall and 120 ft long that had to go. My landscaper had it done in a day.
by Kosmo
Wed Aug 31, 2016 1:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate Purchase Threshold
Replies: 9
Views: 940

Re: Real Estate Purchase Threshold

I've done it before and I would do it again.

But that's just a generic rule of thumb. What matters far more than the ratio of price to income are things like location, school district, property taxes, job security, earning potential, and dozens of others.
by Kosmo
Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Subaru owners - tin can sound, maybe heat shield?
Replies: 22
Views: 1421

Re: Subaru owners - tin can sound, maybe heat shield?

You have a 2010 Forester with only 26k miles on it?
by Kosmo
Sat Aug 27, 2016 7:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Upcoming Road Trip Restaurant Recommendations
Replies: 23
Views: 1739

Re: Upcoming Road Trip Restaurant Recommendations

Johns Roast Pork. Snyder Ave in south Philly.
by Kosmo
Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to mount winter tires?
Replies: 31
Views: 2160

Re: Where to mount winter tires?

Just about any mechanic should be able to do this. If you go to a shop that specializes in tires they can probably do it faster.
by Kosmo
Tue Aug 23, 2016 11:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you view debt?
Replies: 108
Views: 6524

Re: How do you view debt?

This is one of those really divisive topics. It's almost political in nature. There are anti-debt zealots out there who think debt is an absolute evil to be avoided at all costs. Those guys are wrong. Debt is a tool. It is a means to achieve an end. It may be one of several options in any given situ...
by Kosmo
Mon Aug 15, 2016 7:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HOA Ruling
Replies: 34
Views: 3788

Re: HOA Ruling

What does the most recent set of rules say? It doesn't matter what the rules were when you moved in. I'm on the board of a townhouse community where I own a rental. Past boards played fast and lose with the rules and gave themselves and friends lots of leeway. So there are a number of non-conformin...
by Kosmo
Sun Aug 14, 2016 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HOA Ruling
Replies: 34
Views: 3788

Re: HOA Ruling

What does the most recent set of rules say? It doesn't matter what the rules were when you moved in. I'm on the board of a townhouse community where I own a rental. Past boards played fast and lose with the rules and gave themselves and friends lots of leeway. So there are a number of non-conforming...
by Kosmo
Tue Aug 09, 2016 8:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to deal with situation .Need Career advice PLZ !-Experienced Professionals !!
Replies: 34
Views: 3449

Re: How to deal with situation .Need Career advice PLZ !-Experienced Professionals !!

My immediate management perpetuated lies about to me that people saw me sleeping at my desk .. i never sleep in the day or on a chair and I excel at what I do. They did same to other person and he could not take it at all and left immediately. Why would you even consider going back to work there? T...
by Kosmo
Mon Aug 08, 2016 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience Living in an Old House?
Replies: 42
Views: 3539

Re: Experience Living in an Old House?

Thanks, everyone. You've listed a handful of things that hadn't even crossed my mind. I pointed my wife to the thread and her takeaway was that we should immediately discount the idea of buying this house. My takeaway (which I somewhat already knew, but was greatly reinforced) was that we need to do...
by Kosmo
Sun Aug 07, 2016 7:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience Living in an Old House?
Replies: 42
Views: 3539

Experience Living in an Old House?

Does anyone live in a very old or historic house? Any advice to those thinking of purchasing one? My wife and I are considering making an offer on a house built in the 1840s that is on the historic register in our township. It's gotten a few small additions and face lifts over the years, but the fou...
by Kosmo
Thu Aug 04, 2016 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any advice---Toyota 4 runner vs. Honda Pilot--2016 cars
Replies: 75
Views: 5410

Re: Any advice---Toyota 4 runner vs. Honda Pilot--2016 cars

I have a 2015 Pilot. I think it's underpowered, but the 2016s squeeze out a bit more hp. I don't much care for the styling; the 2016 looks like a minivan with swinging doors. I get ~19ish mpg. But 75%+ of my driving is city. The rear seats in a 4 runner don't fold flat with the cargo compartment. Th...
by Kosmo
Thu Aug 04, 2016 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Florence, Italy Hotel?
Replies: 18
Views: 898

Re: Florence, Italy Hotel?

A few years ago we stayed in Hotel La Fortezza. It was about a 15-20 minute walk to the Duomo. Can't recall the rate, but it was cheaper than the closer hotels. We were rarely in the hotel, so I couldn't tell you any amenities it had.
by Kosmo
Wed Aug 03, 2016 10:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding a bump to the next tax bracket
Replies: 34
Views: 3220

Re: Avoiding a bump to the next tax bracket

Our combined salaries are pushing us close to entering the next tax bracket, Your combined salary is not the same as your taxable income. Figure out what your taxable income will be and then see if you're approaching the tax bracket threshold. If it's close, then decide if you want to make any chan...
by Kosmo
Wed Aug 03, 2016 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding a bump to the next tax bracket
Replies: 34
Views: 3220

Re: Avoiding a bump to the next tax bracket

Our combined salaries are pushing us close to entering the next tax bracket, Your combined salary is not the same as your taxable income. Figure out what your taxable income will be and then see if you're approaching the tax bracket threshold. If it's close, then decide if you want to make any chan...
by Kosmo
Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: mortgage refi question
Replies: 6
Views: 597

Re: mortgage refi question

would cost me 1.14 points and about $4k in closing costs. Monthly cost would be nearly the same. 1 minute analysis: Doesn't make sense. You're paying ~$6500 up front to shed 1 year off the term. If you're willing to spend that much at once, put it all towards the existing mortgage. Unrelated to the...
by Kosmo
Sun Jul 31, 2016 6:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: PA529 - College Saving Plan
Replies: 12
Views: 728

Re: PA529 - College Saving Plan

I live in PA and use the New York 529 plan for my 2 kids. PA's plan has gotten much better in recent years.
by Kosmo
Fri Jul 29, 2016 7:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need advice, dealer sold me wrong year golf cart
Replies: 35
Views: 2252

Re: Need advice, dealer sold me wrong year golf cart

Either he will somehow produce a 2012 or he will be forced to come get this cart from me. You're not at all forcing him to come get the cart. His options are drive out to you and pick up the cart and return your money, or do nothing. Unfortunately he has the upper hand because he has your money and...
by Kosmo
Thu Jul 28, 2016 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driving - Yielding/Right of Way at Uncontrolled 4 Way Intersection
Replies: 34
Views: 1424

Re: Driving - Yielding/Right of Way at Uncontrolled 4 Way Intersection

Here's a common driving scenario that has been a source of confusion :confused There doesn't seem to be universal agreement on the correct/legal way to drive through it. I'm interested in how you would drive through it. ... There is a 4 way intersection with no controls; no signs or signals. Is thi...
by Kosmo
Sat Jul 23, 2016 9:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC replacement,is that too risky to wait until this fall
Replies: 43
Views: 2917

Re: HVAC replacement,is that too risky to wait until this fall

How about fixing the leaks? They can replace the evaporator coils fairly easily. If the leak is in the condenser that's a different story. And it won't take 3 days to find a leak that drained the system almost entirely of refrigerant in a month. A hole that big is obvious. Look for a pool of oil.
by Kosmo
Fri Jul 22, 2016 6:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Renovate or replace 12yr old SUV?
Replies: 45
Views: 2460

Re: Renovate or replace 12yr old SUV?

Most of those items are routine maintenance. It should not come as a surprise you'd need to do these things. If "Front Main Window" = windshield, contact insurance as that may be covered without cost. I can't say anything about the upholstery, but if you only drive it on the weekends it wo...
by Kosmo
Thu Jul 21, 2016 1:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Beginner Question
Replies: 37
Views: 2537

Re: Beginner Question

1) My plan is to buy a total market index fund that is invested 80% stocks and 20% in bonds and re-balance once or twice a year depending on the returns. Is this a wise plan for a someone in my situation? Possibly too aggressive. Only you can decide that. I'd guess the majority of people on this bo...
by Kosmo
Thu Jul 21, 2016 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Adopt my Girlfriend???
Replies: 38
Views: 6715

Re: Adopt my Girlfriend???

Would you be allowed to adopt her if there clearly is no father/daughter type relationship? I think a judge would see right past your scheme. Earlier this year my wife was adopted by her mother's husband (her biological father passed away a while back). We had to state our case before a judge for th...
by Kosmo
Thu Jul 21, 2016 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Orlando Disney Parks
Replies: 41
Views: 3222

Re: Orlando Disney Parks

Is it a good idea to take one day break after each day of park? Take an afternoon break each day, then go back to the park in the evening. That is, if you need and/or desire a break. But be aware that a significant chunk of that break may be transportation time. Disney World is not really the place...
by Kosmo
Tue Jul 19, 2016 6:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Yet another new/used car post. Help me replace a car
Replies: 39
Views: 3224

Re: Yet another new/used car post. Help me replace a car

I was going to suggest a Subaru. You can get an Impreza with a manual transmission, but that might be too small for you. A base model Legacy lists for $22k.
by Kosmo
Mon Jul 18, 2016 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Orlando Disney Parks
Replies: 41
Views: 3222

Re: Orlando Disney Parks

It's not a bad plan. My wife plans our Disney trips. It's already booked for next March. We've only bought park tickets direct from the resort. Plan out what you're going to do on what day. You'll need park hopper tickets if you plan on going to multiple parks in a single day. To/from the hotel you'...
by Kosmo
Sat Jul 16, 2016 10:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Problem with Costco Citi Card Online
Replies: 5
Views: 970

Re: Problem with Costco Citi Card Online

I have no issues using Firefox. Sometimes after I log in I get a message that says my browser is incompatible, but it goes away after a refresh. I've had no problems downloading statements as PDFs.
by Kosmo
Sat Jul 16, 2016 10:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you find a tenant for rental house?
Replies: 37
Views: 2241

Re: How do you find a tenant for rental house?

I used a realtor. The only thing I had to do was final tenant selection. She took pictures, advertised, showed the house, took applications, screened them, ran credit reports, and whittled it down to a few final candidates and made a recommendation on which to pick. It was about 2 weeks from signing...
by Kosmo
Fri Jul 15, 2016 10:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Township wants me to pay business tax on my rental property income. Are they right?
Replies: 15
Views: 1909

Re: Township wants me to pay business tax on my rental property income. Are they right?

In my city you would be required to acquire a general business license and pay business taxes because you're in the residential rental business. This is exactly how my rental property is treated. The income taxes are something ridiculously small though. It's <1% of gross rent. I think I paid under ...
by Kosmo
Tue Jul 12, 2016 9:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How much did you earn in capital gains?
Replies: 7
Views: 790

Re: How much did you earn in capital gains?

The closest I can come to answering your question is saying how much of my 401k balance is contributions. It's not necessarily the cost basis because of employer matching and dividend reinvestment. But in retirement accounts cost basis doesn't matter. Contributions: 43% Employer match: 29% Gains and...
by Kosmo
Fri Jul 08, 2016 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home inspection items for repair
Replies: 32
Views: 1935

Re: Home inspection items for repair

Can't believe all the replies to run away. This is small potatoes. The mold could be a bit of work to root-cause and resolve, the rest is super easy. This was my thought also. Aside from installing a radon mitigation system (which might not even be necessary) these are relatively cheap and easy fix...
by Kosmo
Thu Jul 07, 2016 7:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best full featured online checking?
Replies: 40
Views: 3398

Re: Best full featured online checking?

I use Alliant Credit Union. They meet most, if not all, of those requirements and options. I don't use all the things you listed, so I can't say for certain.
by Kosmo
Thu Jul 07, 2016 7:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Employer contribution-yearly vs biweekly
Replies: 13
Views: 1039

Re: Employer contribution-yearly vs biweekly

The disadvantages to the employee are advantages to the company. They've certainly weighed these options and it's highly unlikely you're going to change anyone's mind. And since that system is already in place, it's additional cost for them to change it. You'd need to make an exceptional business ca...
by Kosmo
Fri Jul 01, 2016 8:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Not legal advice [Seeking advice about HOA ban on swimming pool use]
Replies: 62
Views: 5784

Re: Not legal advice

Don't know about other states, but in PA individual members of the board cannot be personally sued for their actions as members of the board. You do not understand how the legal system works. I accept your representation that there is a law that protects individual board members in PA, but that doe...
by Kosmo
Thu Jun 30, 2016 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Not legal advice [Seeking advice about HOA ban on swimming pool use]
Replies: 62
Views: 5784

Re: Not legal advice

You are first placing a lien on the property. The vast majority of people will pay after a letter from the attorney. If they don't, they are most likely having financial issues and may also not be paying the mortgage. Letting someone get to 20k may be putting all the other homeowners at risk. The l...
by Kosmo
Thu Jun 30, 2016 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Not legal advice [Seeking advice about HOA ban on swimming pool use]
Replies: 62
Views: 5784

Re: Not legal advice

If it doesn't, then take every one of their petty dictator asses to small claims court for the cost of a summer's worth of pool dues. Make each and every one drive down to the courthouse and explain what a nutjob control freak they are. Don't know about other states, but in PA individual members of...
by Kosmo
Wed Jun 29, 2016 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Not legal advice [Seeking advice about HOA ban on swimming pool use]
Replies: 62
Views: 5784

Re: Not legal advice

For the HOAs I'm familiar with (2 of them, both in PA, I am/have been on the board of both): 1) Yes, the wife can be banned. The owners of a home are treated as a single entity and can be jointly held responsible (or suffer the consequences) for the actions of one person. In other words, a unit of m...
by Kosmo
Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a house that doesn't get any bids. Having Cold Feet!
Replies: 13
Views: 1907

Re: Buying a house that doesn't get any bids. Having Cold Feet!

If there is an HOA make sure they are in good financial standing. The house may be sitting there because the HOA is severely underfunded and a large assessment is coming. You don't want to buy the house and then get hit with an unexpected bill for $20k. If there is an HOA (these are very state-depen...
by Kosmo
Tue Jun 28, 2016 7:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 15K Deposit after Attorney Review. Buying a house. Is this Normal???
Replies: 31
Views: 2715

Re: 15K Deposit after Attorney Review. Buying a house. Is this Normal???

Deposits are common. You have to put some skin in the game. It has nothing to do with motivation for them, it's protection in case you decide to walk away. $10-15k is reasonable. I wrote a $10k check that went along with the offer on my house. Incidentally that purchase price was also $300k.
by Kosmo
Tue Jun 28, 2016 6:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS says we owe over $2 million -- when to round amounts?
Replies: 20
Views: 5625

Re: IRS says we owe over $2 million -- when to round amounts?

I can't find anything about using fractions of cents: no doubt someone in the IRS is saying, "And people wonder why our tax code is 500,000 pages long. Now we have to explicitly write a regulation saying not to use fractional cents." :twisted: Here's the authoritative reference, which is ...
by Kosmo
Fri Jun 24, 2016 3:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Housing/mortgages the boglehead way
Replies: 20
Views: 1862

Re: Housing/mortgages the boglehead way

What's the reason for wanting to move? I've yet to see a reason. And I don't see any benefit. If it ain't broke...

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