Search found 1028 matches

by Kosmo
Mon May 23, 2016 10:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Living without a checking account
Replies: 48
Views: 3413

Re: Living without a checking account

The 6 "out" transfer limit per month might render a savings account ineffective for regular monthly transactions. Get a checking account for convenience.
by Kosmo
Mon May 23, 2016 10:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I buy a house?
Replies: 43
Views: 2180

Re: Should I buy a house?

Something you didn't mention and hasn't been asked: do you want to live in your own house? Do you want to be responsible for maintenance, appliance/mechanical failures, landscaping, etc? Do you want to be tied to a single geographic area for job opportunities, social events, and recreational activit...
by Kosmo
Mon May 23, 2016 7:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Exclusivity and Real Estate Agents. Agree or Disagree?
Replies: 53
Views: 3007

Re: Exclusivity and Real Estate Agents. Agree or Disagree?

How is the agent giving up 2.5%? This would've gone to the buyer's agent if he had chosen to bring one. He chose not to, she get's an extra 0.5% than she otherwise would have. Broker still takes their cut. Sure, broker would've made more if buyer chose to be represented by an agent also working for...
by Kosmo
Sun May 22, 2016 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Exclusivity and Real Estate Agents. Agree or Disagree?
Replies: 53
Views: 3007

Re: Exclusivity and Real Estate Agents. Agree or Disagree?

Most buyers agents will want you to be exclusive with them. If you find someone you like then this shouldn't be an issue. I definitely agree that you do not want 1 agent representing the seller and buyer.
by Kosmo
Sun May 22, 2016 7:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: smart phone contact list, android, how to make private?
Replies: 12
Views: 1114

Re: smart phone contact list, android, how to make private?

Ditch the smart phone for a dumb phone if you don't want anything getting to your contacts.

In general on social media the "people you might know" is based on friends of friends, or people in the same town or who work at the same company.
by Kosmo
Fri May 20, 2016 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is $2000 reasonable for bathroom permits?
Replies: 22
Views: 2453

Re: Is $2000 reasonable for bathroom permits?

What are you doing that requires permits? If all the fixtures are staying in the same place you shouldn't need one. In my township the plumbing permit is $25 per $1000 of estimated cost. If you were doing structural alterations then a general building permit is also required. It had a complicated fo...
by Kosmo
Fri May 20, 2016 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card Due Date
Replies: 16
Views: 1496

Re: Credit Card Due Date

I don't think it makes much of a difference. No matter when the due date is you need to plan half a month's spending so you don't run out of money before the next paycheck. If the credit card is due just after you get paid, then a significant chunk of your paycheck will go straight to that and you'l...
by Kosmo
Thu May 19, 2016 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best credit card deal
Replies: 63
Views: 4825

Re: Best credit card deal

I'm curious to read the responses, because I'm interested in a new credit card also. But I did want to provide 1 comment: Which is crazy because I am as low risk as it gets (debt free, assets, 20% down, mortgage amount <2x annual income). You are actually a higher risk than you think because in the ...
by Kosmo
Thu May 19, 2016 11:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Recast a mortgage right at the begining
Replies: 25
Views: 1777

Re: Recast a mortgage right at the begining

The lender verbally said it would be no problem to inject money to the principal and request a recast even before the first mortgage payment. The lender is an employee of BofA, and it's BofA that is lending me the money... do i still need to get this in writing? Get everything in writing. The parti...
by Kosmo
Wed May 18, 2016 8:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: garden hose
Replies: 29
Views: 1767

Re: garden hose

I have 2 commercial grade hoses. Very thick and don't kink. I keep them on a heavy duty reel on a cart. For the warm months, it stays outside, and I can get to anywhere in my yard (220 ft of hose). In the winter I disconnect the cart from the hose bib and bring it in the garage. This year we had a c...
by Kosmo
Wed May 18, 2016 7:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Higher condo fees on higher floor units?
Replies: 25
Views: 1800

Re: Higher condo fees on higher floor units?

I presume this is legal where you live? I'm not familiar with condos, but I am with townhouses and planned single family house communities. Association dues must be equal for all owners for equal services. If a subset of owners has a specific service/maintenance/etc. requirement that does not apply ...
by Kosmo
Wed May 18, 2016 5:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A situation to consider leasing a car?
Replies: 16
Views: 1210

Re: A situation to consider leasing a car?

Will you have absolutely no use for the car when you move back in 3 years? If you will need it, buy it now. Drive it back. 3000 miles is nothing in the life of a car. If there will be no need for the car whatsoever when you return, then I'd consider leasing.
by Kosmo
Tue May 17, 2016 7:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you respond to linkedin recruiters? (Engineer)
Replies: 32
Views: 2698

Re: Do you respond to linkedin recruiters? (Engineer)

I was contacted a few times by various recruiters from the same company. I responded to one and a few days later we talked briefly on the phone and we set up a formal interview where they would call me with HR and the hiring manager. The interview date and time came and went, and then about an hour ...
by Kosmo
Tue May 17, 2016 6:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hail damage on roof; what to do with Insurance Providers' $9,950 check
Replies: 51
Views: 3749

Re: Hail damage on roof; what to do with Insurance Providers' $9,950 check

Take a vacation. $10k will get you a nice trip. You can use the down time to not think about roofs. If a roofer said it was OK, I'd trust him. He's not getting your business so he's certainly not up selling. The insurance adjuster only assesses if damage exists and whether it's covered by your polic...
by Kosmo
Mon May 16, 2016 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Will it hurt my desktop pc if I have it sleep when not in use for 5 minutes?
Replies: 33
Views: 2129

Re: Will it hurt my desktop pc if I have it sleep when not in use for 5 minutes?

I'd find it far more annoying that the computer goes to sleep so frequently. Sounds like lots of wasted time getting it woken up and useable. I have a laptop, no desktop. It only goes to sleep if I close it, but the display will turn off after 25 min on batter power (30 min on wall power). If I have...
by Kosmo
Mon May 16, 2016 7:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High Earner $150k/yr. Single VS Married with Kids Take Home Salary??? Help!
Replies: 40
Views: 4351

Re: High Earner $150k/yr. Single VS Married with Kids Take Home Salary??? Help!

... In this post I only wanted to simply compare how much taxes I'll pay as single VS married with 2 kids. No need for 401k or IRA or health insurance or flexible account, etc. I just wanted the difference in dollar amount based on NJ taxes and my salary. That's all. This is a great forum and throu...
by Kosmo
Sun May 15, 2016 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High Earner $150k/yr. Single VS Married with Kids Take Home Salary??? Help!
Replies: 40
Views: 4351

Re: High Earner $150k/yr. Single VS Married with Kids Take Home Salary??? Help!

Did you land this $150k job by having other people do your work for you? Everyone has given links and tips and various things that must be considered when figuring this out. You didn't give nearly enough information at the start to get the answer. Yet you keep asking for the answer that cannot be gi...
by Kosmo
Fri May 13, 2016 8:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you give your church for your membership?
Replies: 57
Views: 2236

Re: How much do you give your church for your membership?

A legitimate church provides religious-based services for free and requests donations. When we attended church regularly (~5 years ago), we gave a small monthly donation. We do not do either any more. We are still welcome at the church. Our kids were baptized there and we gave a donation each time.
by Kosmo
Tue May 10, 2016 10:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 30 minute commute?
Replies: 80
Views: 6875

Re: 30 minute commute?

30 min is not excessive. I have 12 miles to drive and that takes 20-45 min. 20 if I leave the house before 7:10 or after 8:30. Guess how often that happens. Find a good radio station.

I think expecting to live within 5 miles of work is unrealistic more often than not.
by Kosmo
Sat May 07, 2016 7:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best bank for Home owners association banking
Replies: 10
Views: 721

Re: Best bank for Home owners association banking

My HOA has a business checking account at Wells Fargo. No other bank accounts. There is a branch a mile up the road. The HOA where my rental property is (and I am on the board) uses Citadel credit union. Checking, savings, and CDs. Multiple local branches. You may have trouble doing online banking o...
by Kosmo
Sat May 07, 2016 8:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home office furniture
Replies: 20
Views: 1327

Re: Home office furniture

I have a secretary desk from Raymour and Flanigan. I love it. Real wood. When it's closed it conceals the mess of paperwork in there so my wife doesn't have to see it. Has a small filing drawer underneath. They have other matching office furniture.
by Kosmo
Fri May 06, 2016 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?
Replies: 152
Views: 13847

Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Right now I have $21. In a money clip, no bulky Costanza wallet for me. It's more often $0 than any other number. If I get cash from the ATM it's usually for a specific purpose and I get the amount I think I'll need plus maybe $20. At the end of that activity that requires cash, I'm back to nearly $...
by Kosmo
Thu May 05, 2016 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax situation on rental properties
Replies: 4
Views: 710

Re: Tax situation on rental properties

Until they were gifted to you, you did not own the properties and did not have any income from them. But your mother did and hopefully she was filing tax returns to the IRS. Not sure what would happen if she has not been filing them. The IRS may place a tax lien against the properties and you may be...
by Kosmo
Thu May 05, 2016 9:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Just Getting Started - 25 y/o Biz Owner
Replies: 5
Views: 676

Re: Just Getting Started - 25 y/o Biz Owner

Set up a Roth IRA. Your taxable income will fall close to the 10%/15% boundary. So you'll pay a little in tax now, but then no taxes later when you withdraw that money. It's almost guaranteed that your tax rate in the future will be higher, so pay the taxes now. That's assuming this money is for ret...
by Kosmo
Wed May 04, 2016 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a house, but sold as is?
Replies: 27
Views: 2554

Re: Buying a house, but sold as is?

Sorry Kosmo that is not how real estate sales really work in my experience. Many times real estate is sold "as is" both commercial and residential. Then the buyers get an inspection and finds issues. |The buyer wants to fix them. He finds a price for the fixes and asks for relief. The sel...
by Kosmo
Tue May 03, 2016 7:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a house, but sold as is?
Replies: 27
Views: 2554

Re: Buying a house, but sold as is?

> Inspection is for information only, not negotiating leverage. > Make sure you get an inspection so you're know what you're getting into. If you don't like it, make sure you can back out. These two statements are contradictory. Buyer does the inspection. He sees an expensive issue. He says to the ...
by Kosmo
Tue May 03, 2016 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a house, but sold as is?
Replies: 27
Views: 2554

Re: Buying a house, but sold as is?

"As is" sales are pretty common around here. They're basically saying what you see is what you get. Inspection is for information only, not negotiating leverage. Make sure you get an inspection so you're know what you're getting into. If you don't like it, make sure you can back out. And m...
by Kosmo
Mon May 02, 2016 7:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Much House
Replies: 64
Views: 6280

Re: How Much House

Bought first house in 2006 for ~4x salary. I was single at the time. I financed it 80/10/10. 3 years later I refinanced the first mortgage and shaved of almost 2% in the interest rate. Another 3 years and I combined the mortgages and got the rate down another 1%. That's now a rental property. By hap...
by Kosmo
Sun May 01, 2016 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Roof replacement and insurance coverage for hail damage
Replies: 30
Views: 1639

Re: Roof replacement and insurance coverage for hail damage

2 years ago we had a hail storm that did major damage to the area. We escaped somehow without issue. About 20 houses in my neighborhood got new roofs and/or siding. Some had severe car damage. I submitted an insurance claim and the company sent out an independent inspector. His report said no damage...
by Kosmo
Sat Apr 30, 2016 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: multiple rental property help
Replies: 4
Views: 619

Re: multiple rental property help

One issue I see is that in neither case did you buy a house for them.
by Kosmo
Tue Apr 26, 2016 7:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laminate Flooring Installers - finding local contractors
Replies: 14
Views: 906

Re: Laminate Flooring Installers - finding local contractors

About 3 years ago I got a quote that was about $2/sf. From the material supplier, a local/regional flooring company. I ended up doing it myself.
by Kosmo
Mon Apr 25, 2016 9:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best drill/driver for home use
Replies: 67
Views: 4446

Re: Best drill/driver for home use

Get a drill/driver combo. You're going to be using them at the same time and you don't want to have to be constantly changing from a drill bit to a driver bit. I have an 18V DeWalt NiCad set, about 8 yrs old. At the time I think it was about $120 more for lithium ion and I should have spent it. I ca...
by Kosmo
Mon Apr 25, 2016 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost to refinish hardwood floors and to install new floors
Replies: 16
Views: 1193

Re: Cost to refinish hardwood floors and to install new floors

I had oak hardwood installed in part of my first floor 3 years ago. ~440 sq ft for about $5500. So that's $12.50/sf for material and installation (I did the prep work myself). That's roughly in line with your quotes.
by Kosmo
Mon Apr 25, 2016 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PhD gift ideas
Replies: 17
Views: 972

Re: PhD gift ideas

What about some trinket of history from the specific time period he's studying? This may be cost prohibitive if he's an expert on, say, ancient Greece, but perhaps it won't be so expensive if it's the Civil War.
by Kosmo
Thu Apr 21, 2016 7:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Soapbox (car safety features)
Replies: 206
Views: 20674

Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Thanks for the articles. I am incorrect.
by Kosmo
Wed Apr 20, 2016 9:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Soapbox (car safety features)
Replies: 206
Views: 20674

Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

But, you are dead wrong in the second paragraph. Think about it. Your passenger is very motivated NOT to die! When you are talking with someone else in the car at the same time you have two sets of eyes on the road. Your passenger knows if you are in traffic or poor road conditions, and can be quie...
by Kosmo
Wed Apr 20, 2016 6:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Soapbox (car safety features)
Replies: 206
Views: 20674

Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Loads of studies show that ANY phone conversation is dangerous. "The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year. Nearly 330,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving. 1 out of every 4 car accidents ...
by Kosmo
Wed Apr 20, 2016 6:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Refinance rental?
Replies: 12
Views: 916

Re: Refinance rental?

You're nuts to give up 3.25% fixed for 30 years. Perhaps it's a good rate to keep for 30 years. We don't know. I have heard something weird lately that I had never heard of before -- negative interest rates! I had a mortgage many years before at 5% and I thought it wasn't going to get better -- unt...
by Kosmo
Mon Apr 18, 2016 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help on job opportunity in northern Delaware
Replies: 12
Views: 1318

Re: Help on job opportunity in northern Delaware

Have you included Dover and Philadelphia in your job searches? Both are within reasonable commute distance from what I consider northern Delaware.
by Kosmo
Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Did You File Your Income Taxes for 2015?
Replies: 101
Views: 4805

Re: How Did You File Your Income Taxes for 2015?

Freefilefillableforms. Efile. Although I didn't fill the forms out with a pen I consider this doing it by hand.

And I did make an error. So I'll be filing an amended return in a few days sent through the mail.
by Kosmo
Fri Apr 15, 2016 2:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Refinance rental?
Replies: 12
Views: 916

Re: Refinance rental?

You're nuts to give up 3.25% fixed for 30 years.
by Kosmo
Fri Apr 15, 2016 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: University of Virginia vs University of Miami
Replies: 148
Views: 10246

Re: University of Virginia vs University of Miami

UVA. Although, I went there, so I'm biased. I had a friend who double majored in mechanical engineering and music. He also played in a band. I can't speak for anything that went on the music department, but he always said that his professors would chide him about his decision to study music when his...
by Kosmo
Thu Apr 14, 2016 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on Buying a House with Illegal Basement?
Replies: 44
Views: 5070

Re: Advice on Buying a House with Illegal Basement?

psteinx wrote:not equal to

Thanks.

It's supposed to be an equal sign with a slash through it, but that's easier to type. The real deal is unicode character 2260. When I type the microsoft windows shortcut for it I get an upside down F: ╘
by Kosmo
Thu Apr 14, 2016 7:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Soapbox (car safety features)
Replies: 206
Views: 20674

Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

While I have not driven with most of these safety features, I don't like the directions things are headed. I find blind spot warning to be distracting, which is the exact opposite of its intent. I think the majority of these things will lead to more inattentive drivers because people will be relying...
by Kosmo
Wed Apr 13, 2016 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: home security and homeowners
Replies: 23
Views: 1753

Re: home security and homeowners

Security cameras are only useful if they are monitored AND there is a nearby police department or private security force with a great response time. If they are recorded the recording can be used to prosecute and convict. We had one sent off to prison as a result of a recorded B&E not long ago....
by Kosmo
Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: home security and homeowners
Replies: 23
Views: 1753

Re: home security and homeowners

Get good locks, practice good habits (like remembering to close windows and lock doors), and then not worry about things. Security cameras are only useful if they are monitored AND there is a nearby police department or private security force with a great response time. Either way they are still rea...
by Kosmo
Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on Buying a House with Illegal Basement?
Replies: 44
Views: 5070

Re: Advice on Buying a House with Illegal Basement?

There are asbestos floor tiles (I have two kids - under 3), wooden wall panels, no insulation below floor and on foundation walls, minimal electric (just light bulbs), and plumbing (washer/dryer/furnace/boiler/baseboard heat/no bathroom). "Finished" =\= habitable. In fact, this barely sou...
by Kosmo
Tue Apr 05, 2016 7:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling Rental Property ?s
Replies: 18
Views: 2246

Re: Selling Rental Property ?s

The five year window is effective starting the first month you rent it out going forward. If it was converted on 8/1/13, you have until 8/1/18 to sell without incurring capital gains taxes. I thought it was a 5 year look back from the selling date. You must have lived in it for 2 of those last 5 ye...
by Kosmo
Tue Apr 05, 2016 7:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: refinance potential rental to 15 or 30 year mortgage?
Replies: 6
Views: 600

Re: refinance potential rental to 15 or 30 year mortgage?

I'm far from an expert, but it seems you're thinking about this backwards. A good rule of thumb is expenses should be no more than 50% of rent. That's condo fees, taxes, maintenance, etc. It does not include paying the mortgage. Financing costs are variable based on loan term, interest rates, etc. a...

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