Search found 904 matches

by hand
Mon Nov 21, 2016 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any recommendations on washers and dryers?
Replies: 24
Views: 1167

Re: Any recommendations on washers and dryers?

If you don't mind the hassle / risk of buying used, or just prefer the lower upfront cost, I suspect used basic models from a private party with a good back-story (moving, replaced for fancy new matching etc.) replaced when they die (with all the hassle that entails) are the lowest total cost. After...
by hand
Fri Nov 11, 2016 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home shopping, Potential roof leaking despite new roof
Replies: 22
Views: 1320

Re: Home shopping, Potential roof leaking despite new roof

At a low enough price the house is likely a good deal so I would push hard since you have nothing to lose. You can also start shopping for a different house in case this one does not work out. This is also a great way to let your realtor know that they've failed in their attempt to get you to accep...
by hand
Fri Nov 11, 2016 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home shopping, Potential roof leaking despite new roof
Replies: 22
Views: 1320

Re: Home shopping, Potential roof leaking despite new roof

All real estate agents work for the seller (the seller pays both agents in typical transactions). People work for the person who forks over the money. You may want to do a little research on this question. http://www.streetdirectory.com/travel_guide/32307/home_improvement/who_does_your_real_estate_...
by hand
Fri Nov 11, 2016 9:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Underwater mortgage on rental: Should I refinance, recast, or do nothing
Replies: 11
Views: 1403

Re: Underwater mortgage on rental: Should I refinance, recast, or do nothing

Good luck with the rent to own; if it works, it can be a great way to simultaneously solve buyer and seller challenges. My understanding is in line with Meg's note above - most rent to own situations fail. While this can be a boon to the owner who has collected extra "rent" until the deal ...
by hand
Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: John Hancock discontinues LTC insurance sales
Replies: 45
Views: 4137

Re: John Hancock discontinues LTC insurance sales

Again, my decision not to buy Long Term Care insurance is vindicated. It tells you something when big players like Met Life and John Hancock exit the business. I'm not sure I understand this sentiment... I'd think the holy grail of insurance purchases would be making an insurance bet against an ins...
by hand
Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for recommendations on aerobic exercise equip.
Replies: 55
Views: 2331

Re: Looking for recommendations on aerobic exercise equip.

Take a look at Concept 2's offerings... The rowers are top of the line, and as someone with hip / knee issues, I've really enjoyed the SkiErg which gets you aerobic exercise without requiring high impact on your legs. SkiErg motion is unique and the workouts can be unexpectedly intense, so I'd sugge...
by hand
Wed Nov 09, 2016 2:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Backdoor Roth questions
Replies: 5
Views: 373

Re: Backdoor Roth questions

I've heard that "if you anticipate being in a higher tax bracket during retirement then stick with the traditional IRA." I think you have this backwards - if you expect to be in a higher tax bracket during retirement, paying taxes now on a Roth contribution at the lower rate is likely to ...
by hand
Wed Nov 09, 2016 2:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: India to Replace Largest Bank Notes
Replies: 20
Views: 2379

Re: India to Replace Largest Bank Notes

Has something like this happened with US Currency? As far as I know, as long as I can remember Old US bills have continued to be negotiable for the full face value, even if that particular bill style has been replaced by another. I know that something like 100 or so years ago (maybe more) the US cu...
by hand
Tue Nov 08, 2016 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Remodeling vs Moving
Replies: 15
Views: 1219

Re: Remodeling vs Moving

Have you priced out alternatives? As a first step, I'd suggest estimating the sale price of your current property, less transaction fees (~7%), plus the $250k you'd likely pay for a remodel, and see if there's anything on the market that comes close to meeting your needs.
by hand
Thu Nov 03, 2016 5:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's the easiest/cheapest way to get a second phone number?
Replies: 34
Views: 1790

Re: What's the easiest/cheapest way to get a second phone number?

Here's the deal. My wife and I recently relocated and didn't bother to set up a landline at our new home because we basically only use cell phones and internet. However my wife is a physician and would like to be able to return phone calls to patients from home without them being able to see her pe...
by hand
Tue Nov 01, 2016 8:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I am about to buy my first home, anything I should look out for?
Replies: 40
Views: 3361

Re: I am about to buy my first home, anything I should look out for?

We had the inspection and it being an older house it did turn up a bunch of stuff. We are not going to ask for petty stuff like strike plates needing fixing, some flashing is missing and other small things like a loose faucet and a loose closet hinge, but we want to ask for stuff like the attic ins...
by hand
Mon Oct 31, 2016 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying 50% of parents' house in a divorce
Replies: 19
Views: 2684

Re: Buying 50% of parents' house in a divorce

My parents are in their 60s and own their house which I grew up in. It is fully paid off and is worth ~$450k. This is their primary asset - in addition they have some modest savings (~50-75k) but no other investments, retirement accounts, or valuable cars/jewelry. Father is retired on social securi...
by hand
Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hard money loan on as part of a residential real estate deal
Replies: 18
Views: 1158

Re: Hard money loan on as part of a residential real estate deal

15% interest offered to hard money lenders is a neon sign that smart money lenders (banks etc.) see a significant risk of default in this deal. If I had several million dollars I was willing to invest across scores of these types of deals to spread the risk, I might consider this (even though the ba...
by hand
Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dream house sold yesterday :(
Replies: 41
Views: 6822

Re: Dream house sold yesterday :(

It doesn't sound like your agent has your best interests at heart. I can't understand why your agent wouldn't have you get your financials / paperwork in order before you started looking so you were prepared to offer immediately if a deal came up. Steering you away from offering on a property withou...
by hand
Fri Oct 21, 2016 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Choosing a mortgage lender
Replies: 24
Views: 1436

Re: Choosing a mortgage lender

A lot of the big companies have started to become one stop shops. The Brokerage I work for also has a mortgage arm and a closing company. I've never used either one. I give anyone asking a list of 5 good loan officers that I have had good luck with.They're of course free to use anyone they want. Th...
by hand
Fri Oct 21, 2016 11:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Finishing a Basement
Replies: 13
Views: 1437

Re: Finishing a Basement

This is a question that is near & dear to my heart as I'm headed down a very similar path, though with the added complexities of starting with a poorly finished / unusable basement & water issues, but the benefit of slightly more advanced DIY skills. My recommendation is to spend some time r...
by hand
Fri Oct 21, 2016 8:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Choosing a mortgage lender
Replies: 24
Views: 1436

Re: Choosing a mortgage lender

Agree completely with batpot above who stressed the importance of a lender who will close on time for a purchase. Often this is a local lender who may charge a slight premium for improved service levels. While your realtor is likely right to steer you towards a high quality lender who won't put clos...
by hand
Tue Oct 18, 2016 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Work advice - managing an underfunded program
Replies: 28
Views: 1527

Re: Work advice - managing an underfunded program

Consider that there may be a difference between "telling" your manager and formally documenting the issue... While there is a bit of an art to formally documenting in a non-confrontational manner, it can be done. A diligent manager of mowing could be reasonably be expected to track number ...
by hand
Mon Oct 17, 2016 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How should I buy my first house?
Replies: 17
Views: 1426

Re: How should I buy my first house?

May I ask why you want to go straight from living with your parents your whole life to being the owner of residential real estate? Seems like an unusual choice at your stage in life given the totality of the circumstances. Few reasons.. I'm looking to get married soon and also looking to move a bit...
by hand
Mon Oct 17, 2016 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How should I buy my first house?
Replies: 17
Views: 1426

Re: How should I buy my first house?

It sure seems like renting a place for a while until you get married, then buying with your spouses input would make sense... This would save you substantial transaction fees to buy / sell / buy again when you find that 1) your spouse doesn't like the home you purchased, or 2) you become more sophi...
by hand
Mon Oct 17, 2016 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How should I buy my first house?
Replies: 17
Views: 1426

Re: How should I buy my first house?

It sure seems like renting a place for a while until you get married, then buying with your spouses input would make sense... This would save you substantial transaction fees to buy / sell / buy again when you find that 1) your spouse doesn't like the home you purchased, or 2) you become more sophis...
by hand
Fri Oct 07, 2016 7:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Real estate deal fell through, repurchase VG fund or pay down mortgage?
Replies: 7
Views: 505

Re: Real estate deal fell through, repurchase VG fund or pay down mortgage?

How long ago did you sell the stocks? If less than 30 days, can you use the wash sale rules to your advantage and repurchase to undo the tax hit?
by hand
Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The 3 D's: Debt, Dave, Depression (mild)
Replies: 45
Views: 4261

Re: The 3 D's: Debt, Dave, Depression (mild)

Thanks everybody - sounds like I'm not too out of line. Its just hard that I have this knee jerk reaction to drain everything I have and pay off debt. I have 3 months emergency fund that I really don't want to touch, and $500/mo that I could allocate into a school fund, or even towards paying back ...
by hand
Wed Oct 05, 2016 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Odd question regarding vehicle negotiations
Replies: 17
Views: 1638

Re: Odd question regarding vehicle negotiations

smackboy1 wrote:Then in OP's case there is bro' law, which is entirely a different thing...



Great point, and great line!
Given OP AussieDad may not reside in the US, we should probably also give at least a head-nod to a third option - local jurisdiction law which may be different...
by hand
Wed Oct 05, 2016 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which one to do first, a Refinance or Remodel?
Replies: 10
Views: 758

Re: Which one to do first, a Refinance or Remodel?

Renovating will always be an option if you have the cash, but there is no promise that a refinance at today's rates (or at any rates) will be available in the future. Refinance first.

If you do refinance, then remodel, if rates have dropped further, you can always refinance again!
by hand
Wed Oct 05, 2016 8:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Odd question regarding vehicle negotiations
Replies: 17
Views: 1638

Re: Odd question regarding vehicle negotiations

An offer for a car can reasonably be understood to be for a certain amount of money at a set point in time. It is unreasonable to expect your offer to be good forever, especially after your friend declined by counteroffering. I would not hesitate to tell your friend that life has moved on and offer ...
by hand
Wed Oct 05, 2016 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Deciding not to refi... Have I missed something?
Replies: 20
Views: 1676

Re: Deciding not to refi... Have I missed something?

Have you considered a home equity loan or line of credit instead of a mortgage? These are typically available at low / no fee which can dramatically improve the payback math. As an alternate, there should be "no fee" mortgages where you pay a higher rate than market in exchange for someone...
by hand
Tue Oct 04, 2016 8:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: help starting fresh from years of financial disaster
Replies: 24
Views: 2854

Re: help starting fresh from years of financial disaster

If you have creditors calling, consider negotiating a settlement and paying off those debts at a discount. At your current pay rate, probably cheaper to hire someone to do it for you, but beware there are lots of scammers who prey on the indebted. Regarding student loans, I agree with others to &quo...
by hand
Tue Oct 04, 2016 8:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I stop making IRA contributions
Replies: 14
Views: 1513

Re: Should I stop making IRA contributions

Isn't the pay-out from a deferred comp plan essentially a lumpier minimum required distribution (deferred comp is paid out over X years rather than the remainder of your life?) If so, wouldn't a deferred comp plan make the distribution "problem" and taxes worse during the payout period? I'...
by hand
Thu Sep 29, 2016 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Boglehead path" derailed
Replies: 35
Views: 8061

Re: "Boglehead path" derailed

I really don't know how to cut costs other than to downgrade to a studio apartment in a not as good neighborhood which I'm reluctant to do because it would involve a host of tradeoffs, such as my husband's commute time. It's strange that in this neighborhood the cost difference between a studio and...
by hand
Tue Sep 27, 2016 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Comcast incorrectly told us there was an internet line - now what? - solved
Replies: 47
Views: 3175

Re: Comcast incorrectly told us there was an internet line - now what?

I'd be hopping mad too, but recognize that Comcast "told" you that internet was available and in all likelihood they didn't "commit" in any legal way that internet was or would be available. Certainty try the squeaky wheel approach, but I would suggest adding a spoonful of sugar ...
by hand
Wed Sep 21, 2016 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help! How get our lost baggage back in Munich
Replies: 9
Views: 902

Re: Help! How get our lost baggage back in Munich

The airline or your credit card may have some sort of benefit for lost luggage...

Perhaps a couple hundred dollars of new clothes will allow you to get on with your vacation (and look more like a local).

Good luck!
by hand
Tue Sep 20, 2016 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prepay Mortgage: Does the length of time you live in the home matter?
Replies: 29
Views: 2820

Re: Prepay Mortgage: Does the length of time you live in the home matter?

The math here is relatively straightforward - Expected Value (~average outcome) of borrowing at 3.25% and investing over 30 years is positive with reasonable assumption of long term returns >3% nominal. Individual outcomes obviously vary, and there is a cash flow penalty to borrowing with the associ...
by hand
Thu Sep 15, 2016 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Figuring out a price to offer on a house...
Replies: 39
Views: 3285

Re: Figuring out a price to offer on a house...

Should the property I am looking at be in the neighborhood of $460-480 like the others or should it be higher or lower? If I went strictly by price per sq ft by what has been sold, the home I am looking at it way off in price. My realtor suggested starting off at $475. I'm thinking $450 would be mo...
by hand
Thu Sep 15, 2016 8:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Figuring out a price to offer on a house...
Replies: 39
Views: 3285

Re: Figuring out a price to offer on a house...

The realtor explained that since this was the first home bought in the development, the price on the deed says $450 but when it was all said and done, it was actually $490, that's what I was told today when we saw the house. Price purchased is somewhat irrelevant. Just means how much of a bath one ...
by hand
Tue Sep 13, 2016 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Flashlight to keep in home for emergency
Replies: 56
Views: 4075

Re: Best Flashlight to keep in home for emergency

1) Older 2D cell Maglights with moderate brightness LED replacement bulbs which I expect to last days / weeks with medium usage Which conversion kit did you buy for this? I have a few old four-cell ones... Thanks! I chose the "Dorcy 41-1643 30 Lumen 3 Volt LED Replacement Bulb" for about ...
by hand
Tue Sep 13, 2016 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I refi?
Replies: 7
Views: 520

Re: Do I refi?

Refinance is a no-brainer if you can eliminate PMI & lower the rate. You're even better off if you can do so with little or no fee. In my neck of the woods, I've been seeing 30 year mortgagees at 3.25% with no fees for top tier scenarios from online lenders. Only risk is that your house doesn't ...
by hand
Mon Sep 12, 2016 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Flashlight to keep in home for emergency
Replies: 56
Views: 4075

Re: Best Flashlight to keep in home for emergency

You'll probably need to be more specific in your requirements description if you really want to get to the absolute best for your needs: 1) What type of emergency - power outage? flood? tornado? 2) What duration of emergency - minutes, hours, days? 3) What is light used for - indoors, outdoors, intr...
by hand
Fri Sep 09, 2016 10:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement advice
Replies: 5
Views: 721

Re: Retirement advice

Looks like you probably have enough to retire now, especially if taxes go down in retirement and the mortgage is eventually paid off.

Consider having your wife wait on Social Security until max age to increase likelihood she has enough money for rest of life.
by hand
Wed Sep 07, 2016 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Re-finance
Replies: 3
Views: 432

Re: Re-finance

There are no fee refinances available where you accept a higher in exchange for no fees.

Also consider a 3/1, 5/1 or 7/1 ARM if you are sure you're only going to be in the house for a short amount of time.
by hand
Fri Aug 26, 2016 6:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me find a new mortgage lender.
Replies: 9
Views: 1058

Re: Help me find a new mortgage lender.

I understand the reluctance to pay closing costs, since they do not feel like they are paying off the mortgage. But from the lender's perspective the costs are there. When they offer lower closing costs what they are really ding is taking the payment in the form of a higher interest rate. You may f...
by hand
Thu Aug 25, 2016 2:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda maintenance schedule?
Replies: 49
Views: 3471

Re: Honda maintenance schedule?

[quote="CFM300] The upcoming MM service codes were "B-1", which does NOT include a transmission fluid change. However, the dealer recommended that I have the transmission fluid changed. He said it was part of "their" 30,000 mile service. My inclination is to NOT have the tra...
by hand
Wed Aug 24, 2016 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda maintenance schedule?
Replies: 49
Views: 3471

Re: Honda maintenance schedule?

Ask dealer to check software versions and update if free.
Also ask if any outstanding recall items that can be addressed for free.
by hand
Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Homeowners insurance recommendations - MA
Replies: 27
Views: 1596

Re: Homeowners insurance recommendations - MA

Regional companies are riskier than national companies because they concentrate geographical risk. When the next 100-year hurricane hits Massachusetts, the reinsurance and CAT bonds may not be enough to cover the damage. A regional insurer would be more likely to exhaust its reserves than a nationa...
by hand
Tue Aug 23, 2016 7:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Re-finance? (Finish minor upgrades before?)
Replies: 9
Views: 797

Re: Re-finance?

Your current rate with is terrible in the current mortgage market. Chase has proactively offered you a bad rate in hopes that you are too lazy / dumb to comparison shop and refinance into a market rate. Recommend you check some more competitive lenders before signing with Chase. Mortgage rates vary ...
by hand
Fri Aug 19, 2016 7:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Christine Benz: "401(k) Loans: Mythbusters Edition"
Replies: 16
Views: 2317

Re: Christine Benz: "401(k) Loans: Mythbusters Edition"

Lots and lots of negatives to 401(k) loans, especially for those unable to manage debt, and those unable to plan ahead, and those unable to work within the fine print of a 401(k) loan. That being said, like many dangerous tools, there are legitimate and positive uses. For people who have overcontrib...
by hand
Thu Aug 18, 2016 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Security Deposit on Rental Home Question [How long to wait for its return]
Replies: 9
Views: 534

Re: Security Deposit on Rental Home Question [How long to wait for its return]

Your specific state should have a law regarding time to account for / return security deposit.
by hand
Wed Aug 17, 2016 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High Net Worth Life Insurance Questions
Replies: 42
Views: 2978

Re: High Net Worth Life Insurance Questions

Apologies if this question is wildly off base, but as one unfamiliar with high net worth issues, are you sure you need life insurance? Personally, I look forward to the day I have enough saved that I can do away with life insurance without fear my family will go hungry / homeless / uneducated / lowe...
by hand
Wed Aug 17, 2016 8:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has your workplace transitioned to "open/collaborative space?"
Replies: 85
Views: 8139

Re: Has your workplace transitioned to "open/collaborative space?"

It's just another sign that the U.S. lifestyle is on the fast track to third world conditions. Not sure this is fair - I see it more as 1) reaction to the changing ratio between cost of labor and cost of real estate, 2) Increased reliance on partial work from home arrangement - why have an expensiv...

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