Search found 1065 matches

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: 22
Views: 813

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: 2216

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: 26
Views: 1572

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: 6395

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: 2998

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: 33
Views: 2179

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: 2998

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: 891

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: 1964

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: 1809

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: 741

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: 1780

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: 28
Views: 2070

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: 983

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: 5581

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: 5581

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: 5581

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: 5581

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: 1857

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: 2633

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: 5474

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: 1779

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...
by Kosmo
Thu Jun 23, 2016 8:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Bank Account for Rental?
Replies: 10
Views: 929

Re: New Bank Account for Rental?

I got a separate checking account and separate credit card. Both exclusively used for rental expenses.
by Kosmo
Tue Jun 21, 2016 7:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone else have problems with appliances from Home Depot?
Replies: 29
Views: 1960

Re: Anyone else have problems with appliances from Home Depot?

First problem arose with refrigerator. I have a 36" opening and refrigerator was supposed to be 35.75" wide. I told delivery guy that the fit would be tight, but that it should fit and he may want to measure. The refrigerator bulges on the sides and delivery guy tried to force into the op...
by Kosmo
Fri Jun 17, 2016 3:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Real Estate Vs Stock Market
Replies: 22
Views: 2005

Re: Real Estate Vs Stock Market

Does someone have anecdotal experience of something "breaking in the middle of the night." This seems super rare, and anything short of a main water line breaking can wait until morning. On Monday the deck at my rental property partially collapsed at 8:30pm. I was there with a jack and cr...
by Kosmo
Thu Jun 16, 2016 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I want to be Handyman for my tasks
Replies: 85
Views: 4682

Re: I want to be Handyman for my tasks

I love tools, and even I think your list is overkill. Start with some simple hand tools: hammer, screwdrivers, utility knife, adjustable wrench, pliers, tape measure. When you can't get the job done with those, figure out the right tool and buy it. Just got the mail and the Father's Day Lowes ad was...
by Kosmo
Thu Jun 16, 2016 8:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinancing - should I add wife to title/deed?
Replies: 23
Views: 2179

Re: Refinancing - should I add wife to title/deed?

Will the lender let you have her name on the title but not on the mortgage? Mine wouldn't. It gives her a claim to the property, but no obligation to pay for it.
by Kosmo
Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best state to get married in?
Replies: 11
Views: 782

Re: Best state to get married in?

It doesn't matter what state you get married in, provided you follow that state's laws for marriage requirements. In the event of a separation, it matters what state you live in. My cousin lives in NYC and got married in Italy. One of my good friends lives in PA and got married in the Bahamas. Anoth...
by Kosmo
Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Window replacement - any advice? Lessons learned?
Replies: 30
Views: 2273

Re: Window replacement - any advice? Lessons learned?

I replaced my windows last summer with Okna windows. I had 4 local installers out for quotes and didn't even contact Andersen or Pella. In addition to windows (22 I think) I also did a sliding glass door, front door, storm door, and shutters. All through the same company, all installed at the same t...
by Kosmo
Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: DIY project or need landscaper help
Replies: 13
Views: 1084

Re: DIY project or need landscaper help

By doing so, you also have recourse if they damage underground utilities. By that I refer not only to electric, telephone and gas lines, but also that sprinkler stem you installed. As far as I know, and definitely in PA, the homeowner is responsible for marking underground utilities not the contrac...
by Kosmo
Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nuts & Bolts - hardware question
Replies: 40
Views: 2548

Re: Nuts & Bolts - hardware question

It's most likely a specialty bolt with a defined lag and threaded length and is in metric. It doesn't really matter though. Bring the bolt to a hardware store and find the closest match. If you can't get the exact right length use extra washers to fill the gap or cut it down to the right length (thi...
by Kosmo
Mon Jun 06, 2016 8:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: DIY project or need landscaper help
Replies: 13
Views: 1084

Re: DIY project or need landscaper help

If you only have to go down 18", you can rent a trencher and do it yourself. My local Home Depot says it's $64 for 4 hours or $92 per day. I doubt you'd need more than a few hours to trench 30 ft. You can most likely get away with using schedule 40 conduit which is in the neighborhood of $6 per...
by Kosmo
Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What TYPE of books do you like to read?
Replies: 48
Views: 2150

Re: What TYPE of books do you like to read?

TXJuice wrote:Check out Jeff Shaara

I've always bypassed him because his books are fiction. But I do have Killer Angels laying around somewhere...
by Kosmo
Fri Jun 03, 2016 4:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What TYPE of books do you like to read?
Replies: 48
Views: 2150

Re: What TYPE of books do you like to read?

I read mostly history books. Primarily military history, mostly American. If anyone had a recommendation for a book on the War of 1812, I'd appreciate it.

Every so often I'll read a fiction book. I've read most of Stephen King's books. And I'm a sucker for Dan Brown style books.
by Kosmo
Fri Jun 03, 2016 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How would you calculate my savings rate?
Replies: 9
Views: 697

Re: How would you calculate my savings rate?

My calculation is 39.29% of gross income ... Also, if you have any 401k employer match, you can add that to your savings, but also add it to the denominator for total income. So, if your employer contributed $3,000 to your 401k, your savings rate would be 41.09%. This is how I'd do it. And it inclu...
by Kosmo
Wed Jun 01, 2016 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "starter" vs "regular" home
Replies: 47
Views: 3534

Re: "starter" vs "regular" home

Part of the benefit of a "starter" home is the learning experience. If it's the first home you're buying (as implied by the name), there can be a huge learning curve on running a house. As the owner you're now responsible for everything. Routine cleaning and maintenance, support costs like...
by Kosmo
Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling Rental, Accept Offer Before Hits Market?
Replies: 16
Views: 1449

Re: Selling Rental, Accept Offer Before Hits Market?

This guy is offering $6k over "list" price. Why would you turn that down? At the very least see how serious he is. Unless this place is something out of this world people won't be beating down your door to offer more. Something tells me it's not... My home has everything updated, except th...
by Kosmo
Mon May 23, 2016 10:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Living without a checking account
Replies: 48
Views: 3783

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: 2392

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: 58
Views: 3728

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: 58
Views: 3728

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: 1252

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: 2619

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: 1649

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: 5590

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: 1966

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: 1945

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: 1954

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: 1302

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.

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