Search found 1267 matches

by Kosmo
Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Uplifted Driveway = No Home Owners Policy ?!
Replies: 56
Views: 2694

Re: Uplifted Driveway = No Home Owners Policy ?!

Entire driveway is 800 sq-ft. about 1/3 has a major uplifted portion half way through it. Another 1/3 has inch-wide cracks. Front 1/3 is broken at the street. So maybe I could get by with a partial fix, but it would look odd. Assuming removal and replacement of all 800 sq-ft that's around $5K at $5...
by Kosmo
Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Project - Front door, porch and walkway
Replies: 11
Views: 1034

Re: Home Project - Front door, porch and walkway

For the door try a window and siding company. I had my front door, storm door, and slider replaced a few years ago when I had my windows replaced. Best bet for the walkway is a masonry company. Do you want it just repaired and regrouted or fully replaced? Might be hard to find someone willing to rep...
by Kosmo
Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing Old Shower handles
Replies: 21
Views: 1910

Re: Replacing Old Shower handles

A similar thing happened to me a few years ago. I couldn't get the handles off and neither could my plumber. The minerals in the water can basically fuse the handle to the valve. He ended up replacing the valve and had to cut an access hole. I made a panel to cover it up instead of repairing the dry...
by Kosmo
Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How old were you when you got your first credit card?
Replies: 46
Views: 1891

Re: How old were you when you got your first credit card?

When I was 20 in college. We were at a football game and it was freezing. If you signed up for a school branded credit card you got a long sleeved shirt. So me and about 4 or 5 friends signed up. That card had since morphed into a Chase Freedom card.
by Kosmo
Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much sooner could you retire with NO property taxes?
Replies: 116
Views: 7155

Re: How much sooner could you retire with NO property taxes?

Property taxes are hyper local. It really depends on who the taxing authorities are and what services are covered. Here's an example: the township immediately east of me has a police department and sponsors trash and recycling pickup, neither of which my township does. Their millage rate is nearly d...
by Kosmo
Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Exhaust Fan for the bathroom
Replies: 59
Views: 4300

Re: Exhaust Fan for the bathroom

I installed one a few months back that I bought at Costco. I don't offhand recall the maker. It has a humidity sensing mode, so it'll kick on if humidity is above 60%. The only catch is it'll toggle on and off for multiple cycles if the humidity remains near 60%. It also has a full on mode. Relative...
by Kosmo
Wed Aug 23, 2017 5:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lowes vs Home Depot
Replies: 48
Views: 4955

Re: Lowes vs Home Depot

Around me the Home Depot has a much better selection of hardware, plumbing and electrical supplies, and lumber. I usually go there for what I need. It's also in a mote convenient location. The only time I'll definitely go to Lowe's is for paint. Their Sherwin Williams line is significantly cheaper t...
by Kosmo
Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What kind of hotel do you get on business travel?
Replies: 44
Views: 3353

Re: What kind of hotel do you get on business travel?

lazydavid wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:33 am
Typically it's Courtyard Marriott, Hilton Garden, Hampton class of hotels.
This. Although for most of the places I have to travel to that is the top end of hotels.
by Kosmo
Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Healthequity HSA
Replies: 11
Views: 1110

Re: Healthequity HSA

I have 2 HSA accounts with Health Equity (1 is in my wife's name). Both of our employers have agreements with them for direct deposit off contributions. The fee to access Vanguard funds is 0.4% per year. Even when adding that to the fund expenses it's still less than the ERs of the active funds they...
by Kosmo
Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Feeling guilty about travel expenses
Replies: 25
Views: 3146

Re: Feeling guilty about travel expenses

It's your money, spend it as you see fit. You shouldn't feel guilty spending money to do something you enjoy. Let's put some context around this statement. I would agree with this comment IF: 1) you are maxing out your 401K and HSA. 2) you have zero credit card and car debt. 3) you have thought abo...
by Kosmo
Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Feeling guilty about travel expenses
Replies: 25
Views: 3146

Re: Feeling guilty about travel expenses

It's your money, spend it as you see fit. You shouldn't feel guilty spending money to do something you enjoy.
by Kosmo
Sun Jul 30, 2017 6:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Escrow surplus - toward escrow or principal?
Replies: 13
Views: 1072

Re: Escrow surplus - toward escrow or principal?

Option C is to use the money for something else.
mortfree wrote:Don't escrow at all

DYI
When I inquired about this with my lender they required a 1 time fee of something like $600 for monitoring that I actually did pay my taxes. I thought it wasn't worth it.
by Kosmo
Thu Jul 27, 2017 7:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it too late to write off basement finish from 4 yrs ago?
Replies: 8
Views: 1483

Re: Is it too late to write off basement finish from 4 yrs ago?

Since the work was done before the rental was put in service it is part of your basis.
by Kosmo
Sat Jul 22, 2017 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Commuters (that drive), what do you listen to?
Replies: 60
Views: 3135

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: State Farm vs Penn National- auto, renters, umbrella?
Replies: 58
Views: 5678

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: 459

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: 7482

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: 754

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: 1888

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: 1100

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: 2311

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: 7780

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: 4278

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: 2435

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: 1100

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: 2212

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: 2383

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: 2785

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: 2658

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: 5977

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: 1382

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: 3388

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: 3487

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: 2519

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: 1349

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: 2519

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: 50
Views: 4998

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: 1878

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: 14517

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: 2304

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: 4118

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: 2253

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: 5208

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: 5208

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: 3999

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: 5208

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: 5208

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: 1481

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: 1249

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.