Search found 586 matches

by NoVa Lurker
Tue Apr 26, 2016 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best system for hanging pictures on plaster walls
Replies: 14
Views: 762

Re: Best system for hanging pictures on plaster walls

I use a small drill, slightly smaller than the nail for a hanger; drill a hole angled downwards; hammer anchor in gently. Usually works fine. I'll second this method. We do the same for hanging light stuff (mostly unframed canvas prints) on the plaster walls in the "old part" of our house...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Apr 19, 2016 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: mortgage pre payment, why?
Replies: 101
Views: 10257

Re: mortgage pre payment, why?

Just as annuities are appropriate for some people and thought to be about the worst possible investment by others, there are reasons to not pay off a mortgage and general formulas do not apply to everyone. +1. There are lots of threads on Bogleheads like this one, which amount to OP saying, "I...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Apr 11, 2016 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Question: Renting out and renting
Replies: 7
Views: 473

Re: Tax Question: Renting out and renting

Short answer - probably, nothing will happen to your taxes except they will get more complicated! The longer answer would require a lot more information. But basically, it looks like your annual expenses related to the condo (which can include the interest on the mortgage, HOA, property taxes, depre...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you pay for yardwork?
Replies: 61
Views: 5421

Re: Do you pay for yardwork?

I do the weekly work myself. I like to mow. We have a little over 1/4 acre plot, but our house has a big footprint, we have a semi-circular driveway, lots of mulched, planted areas, etc., so the grass areas are not that big. We pay once a year, usually around $600, for some combination of tree-trimm...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Mar 30, 2016 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Europe Trip in August
Replies: 99
Views: 5355

Re: Europe Trip in August

Don't cancel if you're otherwise looking forward to it! Went to Italy, France and Switzerland in October 2001, after my friend found very cheap airfare. I remember how worried our families were, still shaken by 9/11. We had an amazing trip, and most of the touristy places were not that crowded. I am...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Mar 30, 2016 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to decide how much to spend on a house?
Replies: 22
Views: 3019

Re: How to decide how much to spend on a house?

If I were you and had the money in non-retirement accounts, and were otherwise in good shape financially, I would probably spend the money to improve the commute, if the rest of your family is on board with moving. But you should understand that you are losing liquidity and probably taking on more r...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Competing Offers when Selling Home
Replies: 20
Views: 1291

Re: Competing Offers when Selling Home

Just put our vacation home on the market today; crossing our fingers that there will be interest. OP - Your problem is a good one to have!! My vote would be along the lines of what bigred77 suggested. It is hard for me to imagine any legitimate, prospective buyer who will take the trouble to bid and...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Mar 08, 2016 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: We paid off our mortgage ...what to do with the extra money each month?
Replies: 28
Views: 3888

Re: We paid off our mortgage ...what to do with the extra money each month?

"Whatever you do with the extra cash, TELL NO ONE about the paid-off mortgage," is the best advice in this thread. It also might be the hardest to follow.
by NoVa Lurker
Fri Feb 19, 2016 8:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best Way to Save for New Larger House
Replies: 3
Views: 514

Re: Best Way to Save for New Larger House

I agree with your approach of paying down your mortgage. Even factoring in the tax benefit on mortgage interest, you're getting a no-risk return over 2.5% on amounts you pay off. Right now, any investment that beats that is going to come with risk, and you don't want to take much risk with funds tha...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Feb 11, 2016 2:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The 10 Year Treasury is at 1.60
Replies: 25
Views: 2580

Re: The 10 Year Treasury is at 1.60

10 year treasury is down something close to 20% since Fed Funds rate was bumped up. What is the end result, at least right now, of the fed funds bump if all other interest rates are falling? It seems like it only hurt Borrowers borrowing off that rate and conversely helped commercial banks. If all ...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Feb 11, 2016 2:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The 10 Year Treasury is at 1.60
Replies: 25
Views: 2580

Re: The 10 Year Treasury is at 1.60

patrick013 wrote:The rates can't go lower to "help" the economy
that's for sure.


Why not?
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Feb 11, 2016 8:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Boglehead mentality re todays oil price
Replies: 22
Views: 2198

Re: Boglehead mentality re todays oil price

If you think the price of oil is bound to go back up, you may want to read the following before putting your money behind that bet: http://www.bp.com/content/dam/bp/pdf/speeches/2015/new-economics-of-oil-spencer-dale.pdf This is the Chief Economist of BP, making a solid argument that low oil & g...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Feb 08, 2016 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Adult Coloring Books
Replies: 16
Views: 2046

Re: Adult Coloring Books

I have no experience with adult coloring books, but I can see the appeal. When I offer my four-year-old son a bunch of options of what to do together (read, play soccer, build something with legos, etc.), I have been surprised to realize recently that I always hope he picks coloring. It's very relax...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sibling's destination wedding?
Replies: 110
Views: 6680

Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

As long as your spouse is okay with spending the money, I would go, bring your whole family, and just look for some ways to limit the cost. This is your sibling, and it really is a once-in-a-lifetime thing.
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anybody budget for daycare like it is college?
Replies: 54
Views: 3548

Re: Anybody budget for daycare like it is college?

I don't have kids, but my wife and I have one on the way so we will be facing this issue head on. My main question as we address this is "what do the people who can't afford college-tuition-level daycare expenses do for their kids?" Just because I can afford it doesn't mean every problem ...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Dec 28, 2015 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A week in Lake Como, Italy
Replies: 10
Views: 1218

Re: A week in Lake Como, Italy

Jealous. Was in the Lake Como area for just a few days, 15 years ago. Still have very fond memories of those days. I imagine any advice I would give is outdated. Have an amazing time!
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Dec 14, 2015 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dealing with rental house we don't want anymore but is profitable
Replies: 22
Views: 2854

Re: Dealing with rental house we don't want anymore but is profitable

"I mostly want to not have the house because we don't want the maintenance liability hanging over us anymore when we are not there in person to make sure we're getting a fair shake." Think that probably answers the question. Yep, life is short, and a rental property is not a completely pa...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Dec 14, 2015 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any Biglaw attorneys on the board?
Replies: 53
Views: 8456

Re: Any Biglaw attorneys on the board?

My current schedule is much more docile - typically in office by 8, leave between 5:30-6:30; work a few evenings at home after kids / wife go to bed. Sometimes a bit of work on weekend, but generally nothing that ruins the weekend. Wow, it looks like you've got things figured out and should stay in...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Dec 09, 2015 9:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay-off Car Loan or Pay-down Mortgage?
Replies: 16
Views: 1529

Re: Pay-off Car Loan or Pay-down Mortgage?

I don't necessarily disagree with any of the advice above, but 2.9% on the home loan is not that bad. Your time has value too, and I wouldn't devote a ton of effort to trying to get that 2.9% down to (for example) 2.625%, when you only have 7 years left on it (and maybe less, if you prepay a bit). I...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Dec 02, 2015 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What am I missing ? ... Smart Phones $100 vs. $600
Replies: 65
Views: 6231

Re: What am I missing ? ... Smart Phones $100 vs. $600

Let's say the price difference is $480, and you only have the phone for 2 years. That's $20/month. (That's not exactly Boglehead-ish thinking, but it's very common thinking, and there's some logic to it.) Many people can easily afford the luxury phone but find it tougher to justify/"afford"...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Oct 15, 2015 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bicycle commuting
Replies: 91
Views: 6681

Re: Bicycle commuting

But whether I'm a pedestrian or driver I hate cyclists... :) The safety rule-of-thumb I always go by is that if you're on a motorcycle, you should drive as if the cars can't see you. If you're on a bicycle, you should drive as if the cars can see you... and are actively trying to kill you. :P This ...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Oct 15, 2015 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 50% pay increase to move from family, 5 years from retirment
Replies: 27
Views: 2614

Re: 50% pay increase to move from family, 5 years from retirment

Echoing the other responses - will you have your weekends free? If so, a 3-hour drive is not a bad distance. My wife and I have young boys, and my parents are 2.5 hours away. It's a good distance for a bunch of reasons. They have their own lives, and they honestly don't have the stamina to spend hou...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Sep 30, 2015 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car seat for 2+ year old
Replies: 16
Views: 1147

Re: Car seat for 2+ year old

In our two cars right now, we have three Britax Roundabouts and one Britax Frontier. They are all great. The Frontier feels like more of a "big kids" car seat, but even for our 4-year-old, we actually like the Roundabout better, because he can rest his head to the side more easily, and sle...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Sep 28, 2015 7:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hiring plumber before house purchase
Replies: 11
Views: 749

Re: Hiring plumber before house purchase

Absolutely a case of nerves. This is a first home purchase, so of course I'm expecting the house to crack in half the minute they hand over the keys. Thanks for calling it like it is :beer When we bought our first home, the basement flooded the morning we moved in. (It was - and is - a nice, finish...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I simply want to beat inflation with my cash savings
Replies: 34
Views: 4600

Re: I simply want to beat inflation with my cash savings

Carpentermaass84, maybe you need a new approach. We always recommend investors hold an emergency fund. This is for money that may be needed immediately, or in a week, or a month, or even longer if employment suddenly disappears. Depending on a few factors such as job security and spouse working, th...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I leave Federal Job for a Private Sector Job?
Replies: 40
Views: 3814

Re: Should I leave Federal Job for a Private Sector Job?

So, please excuse this rather blunt question; but, what specifically in your background qualifies you for this job and a 65% increase in pay? I don't doubt your competence; I'm more concerned about why they want you. And, to a more important matter, how long do you think that your competitive advan...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Sep 15, 2015 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bids on Home Project
Replies: 6
Views: 481

Re: Bids on Home Project

Certainly, if you got a better impression from the $3400 bid and want to work with them, it is fair to explain that you want to use them, but you got another bid for $2700, and ask can they lower the price a bit?
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Sep 15, 2015 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay mortgage up front for a year?
Replies: 23
Views: 2255

Re: Pay mortgage up front for a year?

Let's say I have a $1,000 / month mortgage at 4%. I have $12,000 in the bank for the mortgage payments earning 1% interest. Is there an option to pay 12 months of mortgage payments all at once and would it be worthwhile? I have pre-paid my mortgage a few months ahead of time when I was traveling by...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Sep 02, 2015 2:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can the market go up forever?
Replies: 80
Views: 6454

Re: Can the market go up forever?

If M2 money supply grows at a real rate of 2% per year, in about 4000 years there will be more dollars than there are atoms on planet Earth. Get the picture? I am not much for predictions of the future, but physical money will likely be phased out in much less than 4000 years. I don't see how M2 co...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Home Equity When Estimating Savings for Retirement
Replies: 47
Views: 3155

Re: Home Equity When Estimating Savings for Retirement

Right, we don't count home equity at all. We might downsize a bit in retirement, especially because we currently live in a relatively high-priced metro area, but we don't want to depend on that. However, we do assume that our mortgage will be fully repaid. As a result, our projected expenses in reti...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Large short term market swings - why?
Replies: 10
Views: 849

Re: Large short term market swings - why?

You may enjoy this somewhat old academic paper -- Why Does the Stock Market Fluctuate?, by Robert Barsky and Brad Delong -- which I believe still holds up well: http://delong.typepad.com/fluctuate.pdf Basically, the idea is that stock prices are derived from the present value of dividends that will ...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax deduction on co-owned property?
Replies: 4
Views: 308

Re: Tax deduction on co-owned property?

Answer to your actual question (with the caveat that I am not a tax expert, but we did co-own a property for 7 years): it depends on who pays what. For example, if you are splitting everything 50-50 on the second unit (including property taxes and interest), then you would split the deductions 50-50...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Aug 20, 2015 8:12 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: (Seriously) What exactly is meant by the phrase "interest rates," plural?
Replies: 9
Views: 890

Re: (Seriously) What exactly is meant by the phrase "interest rates," plural?

Well, I can tell you what I always thought it meant. I could be misunderstanding it, though. I have always taken this to mean that, when the Fed takes action, the effect is to raise/lower interest rates for many different types of instruments and trades. So the phrase "interest rates" make...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Aug 17, 2015 12:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash in the house
Replies: 80
Views: 7305

Re: Cash in the house

I always have ~$1k on my person. Especially when travelling. Just hope you're not stopped by the police. They'll confiscate it under "forfeiture" laws. Any more then about $300 is considered to be suspicious and they can and will take it. Baloney. This is quite untrue in the US as regards...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Aug 11, 2015 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS withholding
Replies: 22
Views: 1786

Re: SS withholding

I don't see how SS withholding is particularly advantageous, vs. quarterly estimated payments. Quarterly estimated tax "filings" are not required; you just pay. To be clear, you can use a worksheet to estimate what you owe, but you don't actually file the worksheet. In this respect, our st...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Aug 10, 2015 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I buy a car?, baby on the way.
Replies: 28
Views: 2251

Re: Should I buy a car?, baby on the way.

As others have said, it depends on where you live and how good the public transit is. And, in any case, you can certainly wait and buy a car later. We live in Northern Virginia. We have a metro stop a 10-minute walk from our home and two bus stops closer than that. I bike or metro to work in DC (hav...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Aug 05, 2015 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have you ever encountered hostility because people think you're "rich"?
Replies: 71
Views: 6075

Re: Have you ever encountered hostility because people think you're "rich"?

If you have anything remotely like comfortable retirement savings tell no one. Especially gossipy friends and family. Truer words were never spoken. Yes, this is absolutely an actionable topic, and the action is: do not say anything that gives friends and family a sense of your assets and liabiliti...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Aug 05, 2015 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recently Became Landlord
Replies: 24
Views: 1882

Re: Recently Became Landlord

Advice above is good. Other stuff depends a lot on what you mean by landlord. What's the property? How many units and what kind of rentals? Do you have/need a property manager? Are you doing this full-time? How dependent are you on the cash flow? What's the rest of your financial situation? For exam...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Crab Grass
Replies: 33
Views: 3145

Re: Crab Grass

Also, here is an example of a simple aerator: http://www.amazon.com/Yard-Butler-ID-6C-Coring-Aerator/dp/B00EOMCJD6/ref=sr_1_2?s=lawn-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1438693682&sr=1-2&keywords=aerator It takes some effort to use this, especially in the fall, but it makes a big difference for the y...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Crab Grass
Replies: 33
Views: 3145

Re: Crab Grass

Lots of good advice in this thread, but Boglegrapher matches exactly what I would do. If you don't want to rent equipment, you can do the following (in the place of step 1 in Boglegrapher's post): 1. If you haven't already, buy and use a simple aerator at the end of August. 2. Around the beginning o...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve
Replies: 72
Views: 9539

Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

did you have money issues with your spouse and how did you resolve and how quickly. Yes, we talk about money issues after the kids go to sleep. We have never had anything we could not resolve relatively quickly. We are lucky that we have similar views in general. The only exception was after we got...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rent or Sell House with ~$300K capital gain?
Replies: 14
Views: 1420

Re: Rent or Sell House with ~$300K capital gain?

Unless you want to move back into the house I'd probably sell. Being a LL is anything but passive income even if you use a PM. It's not just the tenant issues but on-going maintenance and capital repairs. Right now I probably have the best tenants I've ever had. My husband and I have three full-tim...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Disney World Orlando Advice
Replies: 36
Views: 3846

Re: Disney World Orlando Advice

Get familiar with DISboards.com and easywdw.com. Those are great resources and, if you spend enough time, all of your questions will be answered. Even then, I am not sure it is possible to have a fun, reasonably-priced trip to Disney World between Xmas and New Year's - the crowds may just be too ove...
by NoVa Lurker
Fri Jun 05, 2015 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: One million dollar home
Replies: 37
Views: 6058

Re: One million dollar home

Five years ago, we essentially did A ($700k old home plus about $200k in expected work), even though we could have done C ($1.1m or so new-build McMansion). We should have done C. Financially, we've spent much less than expected in doing the remodeling that we knew was necessary, but that has been o...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Jun 04, 2015 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Divorcing over finances.
Replies: 70
Views: 6991

Re: Divorcing over finances.

We are doing all of the divorce paperwork through a paralegal in CA. She wants 35K and nothing else. She will be literally cashing that check today. We did not have kids. She has agreed not to take any of my increased 401K balance or pension, and nothing else. I haven't seen anybody else mention th...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quit high paying job to be stay at home parent?
Replies: 44
Views: 5569

Re: Quit high paying job to be stay at home parent?

OP - What you suggest seems possible, but it doesn't seem like the best approach, for a few reasons. If you are planning to have your first child in three years, and you are unhappy in your job now, that means either three more years of working in an unhappy job, or it's three years to find and esta...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Jun 03, 2015 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Going to Disney during "Jersey" Week
Replies: 6
Views: 1180

Re: Going to Disney during "Jersey" Week

The weather will probably be great. Jersey week is still better than a lot of other times, but it will feel crowded to you. The parks are just a lot busier than they used to be, the resorts are actually more full in November than June (due to discounts and promotions), the new "Fastpass Plus&qu...
by NoVa Lurker
Fri May 29, 2015 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Kid Toys
Replies: 32
Views: 3281

Re: Best Kid Toys

I have a son who turned 4 in April. For his birthday party, one of his friends gave him this Bat Cave: http://www.toysrus.com/buy/favorite-characters/fisher-price-imaginext-batcave-x7677-21655226 It is an understatement to say it has been a huge hit with our son. This is not the kind of toy we norma...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue May 26, 2015 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen Remodeling and Microwave Food
Replies: 30
Views: 2208

Re: Kitchen Remodeling and Microwave Food

We did a full kitchen remodel last year. We lost our stovetop, oven, and built-in microwave for 4 weeks (they had estimated 5 weeks, and the work ended up taking almost 6 weeks, but they put in the appliances before the kitchen was completely done, so we could start using them again). OP, eight week...

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