Search found 1034 matches

by hand
Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Remodel or move?
Replies: 8
Views: 696

Re: Remodel or move?

Make sure you include transaction costs in your calculation. Depending on locale, you're likely paying 6-8+% (6% realtor fees + 2% misc fees and taxes) not to mention moving and furnishing expenses. On a $1M house that is $60k-$80k of value destroyed if you move rather than upgrading your existing h...
by hand
Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Heavy Duty Boxes for Long Term Permanent Storage
Replies: 20
Views: 1625

Re: Heavy Duty Boxes for Long Term Permanent Storage

I'm a fan of the Akro-Mils attached lid storage and distribution totes. These are industrial material handling quality, standardized and stackable. Depending on size, the are relatively easy to pick up and carry through dorways / stairwells etc. Major downside is that they are not air/water tight an...
by hand
Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Delta priority boarding - first timer
Replies: 80
Views: 5741

Re: Delta priority boarding - first timer

You probably want to verify that your Airline Frequent flyer number is properly linked to both your credit card and your upcoming flight. When you check-in you should see your "priority" boarding category on the boarding pass. If you don't, call the airline. As stated above, credit card "priority" i...
by hand
Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Making a Direct Offer to Purchase a Home
Replies: 28
Views: 2379

Re: Making a Direct Offer to Purchase a Home

Perhaps ask the owners what they think is a fair price? This appears extremely accommodating, but forces them to negotiate a bit against themselves for fear of losing the deal. If their fair price is at or below your fair price, deal is done. In a rising market, having sellers anchored by their purc...
by hand
Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Real Estate agent fees for purchaser
Replies: 9
Views: 719

Re: Real Estate agent fees for purchaser

As with any other major service, get multiple bids before you decide on a vendor.
If you don't, you're likely to overpay.

Personally I would never agree to the proposed terms - finding an alternate agent (and likely one who provides a rebate) is just too easy in most cases...
by hand
Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Model 3 or Chevy Bolt?
Replies: 330
Views: 31787

Re: Tesla Model 3 or Chevy Bolt?

Of course I understand that automakers like to have different options to encourage upsells but the point I was trying to make is that in an EV heated seats aren't merely a touch of luxury like leather seats or heated side view mirrors-- they are an important strategy for preserving range. Because E...
by hand
Fri Jul 28, 2017 4:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: If you were under 30 and had $3000 to invest, what would you do?
Replies: 14
Views: 1178

Re: If you were under 30 and had $3000 to invest, what would you do?

If you have access to a 401k at work, are you maxing that out already? If no access to that, what about an IRA? I think most here would want to know if this is excess cash after already contributing as much as possible to tax advantaged retirement accounts. It's also important to have an emergency ...
by hand
Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a House in Foreclosure?
Replies: 13
Views: 1218

Re: Buying a House in Foreclosure?

Some foreclosures are in a pretty sorry state of repair. The previous owner obviously couldn't afford to fix anything, since they couldn't even pay the mortgage first. I've seen shows where all the fixtures were removed--toilets, toilet paper holder, faucets, hanging light fixtures, doorknobs, wire...
by hand
Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do you do when you run the numbers and don't like the answer that you get?
Replies: 29
Views: 3471

Re: What do you do when you run the numbers and don't like the answer that you get?

Recognize that failure of a $60k / year spending plan can take one of two forms: 1) Blind $60k / year withdrawal until you run out of money 2) Slow adjustment lower of your annual withdrawals as it becomes clear your risk of outliving your savings increases. Assuming you choose the latter approach, ...
by hand
Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Landlording....
Replies: 12
Views: 1581

Re: Landlording....

Be aware that there is a class of tenant that is adept at getting as much as possible out of you as possible and well versed in exploiting housing laws. "Doing you a favour by paying late" is a red flag in my mind that this may be a problem tenant who may be willing and able to fight lease...
by hand
Wed Jul 05, 2017 9:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Landlording....
Replies: 12
Views: 1581

Re: Landlording....

On a month to month lease, there's a middle ground between hoping your tenant leaves and evicting them.
Why not just notify them that you are not renewing as of a specific date?
by hand
Mon Jul 03, 2017 8:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Negotiating a House Using Seller's Agent (opinions wanted)
Replies: 101
Views: 5418

Re: Negotiating a House Using Seller's Agent (opinions wanted)

If my realtor forwarded my email to the seller's realtor without my express permission, my next stop would be a lawyer. Doubtlessly that realtor made you sign papers, and those papers said something about fiduciary responsibility. To you. While I love the sentiment, this I believe is the crux of th...
by hand
Wed Jun 28, 2017 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting a new cooktop, gas vs electric?
Replies: 72
Views: 3905

Re: Getting a new cooktop, gas vs electric?

Look at induction for performance of gas with the convenience of using existing electric infrastructure.
by hand
Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Realtor fee negotiations
Replies: 27
Views: 2434

Re: Realtor fee negotiations

I am not a realtor but in the development business. Most people who go the FSBO route do save commissions, but they sell for a lesser price than a full service realtor and thus actually ending up netting less. In my business of buying and selling real estate I've found a good realtor is invaluable....
by hand
Tue Jun 27, 2017 4:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Realtor fee negotiations
Replies: 27
Views: 2434

Re: Realtor fee negotiations

List as For Sale By Owner and effectively start the negotiations at no commission!

This approach has the added benefit of forcing you to take some level of ownership of the pricing and staging which will be valuable if you do hire a selling realtor.
by hand
Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help, realtors disagree. Take out bookshelves, hidden bed combo before listing?
Replies: 55
Views: 3846

Re: Help, realtors disagree. Take out bookshelves, hidden bed combo before listing?

Realtors are incented to make quick sales... as such they often recommend making a house overly generic to apply to the largest number of buyers even if this means destroying some amount of taste specific value. As a seller, you need to decide 1) how taste specific the feature is, 2) what the positi...
by hand
Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bay Area housing
Replies: 69
Views: 6016

Re: Bay Area housing

I live in the Bay Area in a 2 bedroom condo we own. I have been wanting to move into a house for years, but my SO keeps wanting to wait for the market to drop, and while we've waited, prices have only soared up and upZ we have a baby and my SO still has no desire to move. I feel like this waiting i...
by hand
Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ideal basement humidity %
Replies: 10
Views: 1253

Re: Ideal basement humidity %

See Chapter 2, Lesson 3 "Humidity" from the EPA: m "Indoor relative humidity (RH) should be kept below 60 percent -- ideally between 30 percent and 50 percent, if possible." I target for just under 50% for my finished basement. Note that basement humidity problems can typically b...
by hand
Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Negotiating a House Using Seller's Agent (opinions wanted)
Replies: 101
Views: 5418

Re: Negotiating a House Using Seller's Agent (opinions wanted)

Use the seller's agent against them... Speak with the seller's agent and offer to list your current property with them if you close the deal for the new house. Up your offer by $5k so the seller's agent has something positive to talk about. Watch and enjoy as the "seller's" agent convince...
by hand
Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Negotiating a House Using Seller's Agent (opinions wanted)
Replies: 101
Views: 5418

Re: Negotiating a House Using Seller's Agent (opinions wanted)

Even with a buyer's agent, I would not reveal any of my cards. I might even have them show me houses even cheaper than $355K, so they can tell the sellers you are looking at less expensive homes. This is a nice strategy to use with the seller's agent - have them show you the nicest houses at $355k ...
by hand
Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Negotiating a House Using Seller's Agent (opinions wanted)
Replies: 101
Views: 5418

Re: Negotiating a House Using Seller's Agent (opinions wanted)

Use the seller's agent against them... Speak with the seller's agent and offer to list your current property with them if you close the deal for the new house. Up your offer by $5k so the seller's agent has something positive to talk about. Watch and enjoy as the "seller's" agent convince ...
by hand
Thu Jun 15, 2017 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it worth moving for a better public high school?
Replies: 32
Views: 2365

Re: Is it worth moving for a better public high school?

I wouldn't move based on school rankings (and especially not on US News rankings), but would consider moving if current schools were demonstrably lacking some critical component required by my child(ren). With a ranking in the top 1% of ranked (public?) schools nationally, it seems likely your curre...
by hand
Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cooktop died, not repairable, need recommendations
Replies: 36
Views: 2114

Re: Cooktop died, not repairable, need recommendations

If I was installing an electric cooktop, I would strongly consider induction for the improved performance vs. resistance electric. I'd be surprised if there are more than a handful of models that meet your size and appearance criteria. For others interested in this topic who have gas as an option, I...
by hand
Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dehumidifier woes
Replies: 66
Views: 4986

Re: Dehumidifier woes

Out of curiosity, at what relative humidity do you folks try to keep the area served by the dehumidifier? I don't measure the RH from the unit as it is notoriously unreliable in that regard. I measure with a standalone hygrometer mounted elsewhere in the room. I find that I need to adjust the unit'...
by hand
Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dehumidifier woes
Replies: 66
Views: 4986

Re: Dehumidifier woes

I have a Santa Fe Compact 2 which I've been happy with for the last 2 years. Payback vs. "disposable" grade dehumidifiers is several years into the future, so difficult to provide conclusive judgement, but feels and operates like the level of quality I paid for, and I have no reason to dis...
by hand
Fri Jun 09, 2017 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Construction Buying Advice
Replies: 24
Views: 1801

Re: New Construction Buying Advice

- Reason for wanting to go with new construction vs old is simply because we are not big fans of most of the houses we see for sale that are older. Most of them have older floorplans that we do not like. The ones we liked often cost as much, or more, than the new one we're looking it. I realize a n...
by hand
Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should equals take SS at FRA or Early to preserve portfolio?
Replies: 30
Views: 2799

Re: Should equals take SS at FRA or Early to preserve portfolio?

I think you need to more precisely define preferred outcome to determine best approach. For small nest-egg folks, minimizing risk of outliving portfolio is likely paramount. For large nest-egg folks, getting the largest possible pay-out from Social Security is likely the priority. Not an expert, but...
by hand
Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used Exercise Equipment
Replies: 22
Views: 1621

Re: Used Exercise Equipment

Is this an accounting question or a pricing question related to a purchase / sale? Used exercise equipment, especially after the New Years resolution time of year is passed and during the household moving time of year is often sold for pennies on the dollar. Owners recognize that they have a big pie...
by hand
Wed Jun 07, 2017 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Insurance Strategy Review - Soup to Nuts
Replies: 13
Views: 1431

Re: Insurance Strategy Review - Soup to Nuts

4. Based in Term4Sale, it looks like I could get slightly cheaper term for myself. Looks like the savings would be between $350-750 /yr depending on my health class. Do folks shop around for term like this? My policy was sold to me by my former FA (who also first sold me the WL policy). And are the...
by hand
Thu Jun 01, 2017 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Do You Pay for an Oil Change?
Replies: 129
Views: 8464

Re: What Do You Pay for an Oil Change?

I have an interesting story regarding this topic. When I purchased my last car, a 2013 Honda Accord, there was an offer for bulk oil changes for 2 years. If you purchased it and, as the salesman said, get your oil changed every 3-4 months, it's a great deal for the 2 years the offer is in effect. S...
by hand
Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Drowning in debt
Replies: 52
Views: 5185

Re: Drowning in debt

Your intuition is telling you that you are overleveraged / have poor cash flow. This is almost certainly true, however impossible for us to judge without view to your income, retirement savings and monthly expenses including debt service. I'd recommend the following: 1) Pause your consumption - effe...
by hand
Tue May 30, 2017 8:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: biz renter skipped out - what are options
Replies: 10
Views: 2127

Re: biz renter skipped out - what are options

Fire the management agent.
by hand
Wed May 24, 2017 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bradford White Electric Water heater?
Replies: 30
Views: 1804

Re: Bradford White Electric Water heater?

How difficult is it for average layperson to change anode in hot water heater? If you have an impact wrench it is a 10 minute job. You just cut off water and power to heater, drain about 10 gallons of water, unscrew the old and insert the new one. Make sure you have enough clearance above your heat...
by hand
Wed May 17, 2017 3:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Future Jobs
Replies: 4
Views: 771

Re: Future Jobs

First, the good news - there isn't a finite number of jobs. As repeatable work gets automated and work is shifted globally to the most efficient location and finds the best alignment between work and skills, the people who used to do that work are generally freed up to add value in new ways. While i...
by hand
Wed May 17, 2017 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford a 800K house?
Replies: 52
Views: 5407

Re: Can we afford a 800K house?

My spouse and I moved to USA two years back and live in a HCOL area. We end up making around 580-680K (based on our company stock) in total per year. You should probably differentiate between cash income and restricted stock "income." People generally conflate income and cash flow as this...
by hand
Mon May 15, 2017 5:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Setting a periodic transfer / Dealing with a fiscal beggar
Replies: 26
Views: 2829

Re: Setting a periodic transfer / Dealing with a fiscal beggar

Can you make the money transfer problem smaller by directly paying (ACH transfer) some recurring expenses like rent?
This also gives you some level of control that funds are being used as intended.
by hand
Fri May 12, 2017 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying Major Appliances Online
Replies: 20
Views: 2134

Re: Buying Major Appliances Online

I had good luck fitting out a kitchen plus a high end dehumidifier from online sources. Biggest bangs for the buck were 1) being able to compare a vast number of retailers and find closeout deals / good sales, 2) being able to meet very specific requirements with low volume solutions that weren't ca...
by hand
Wed May 10, 2017 10:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Young professional planning for early semi-retirement
Replies: 34
Views: 4294

Re: Young professional planning for early semi-retirement

Clearly there's a math aspect of this issue - a 50 year retirement with $X of annual expenses requires a $Y nest egg which requires $Z of annual savings while working. Given the unknowns in terms of income during working years and investment returns and inflation during the next 75 years, best plan ...
by hand
Mon May 01, 2017 8:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying first home with old hvac
Replies: 92
Views: 4836

Re: Buying first home with old hvac

There are at least two separate issues here: 1) Is the agreed price still fair - what was assumed in the offer & what was assumed in the offer the seller accepted 2) Can the OP afford the major (~$5k) expense for a new A/C in the months after you buy the house. Issue #1 (fairness of agreed price...
by hand
Thu Apr 27, 2017 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When does it make sense to stop paying to repair your old vehicle?
Replies: 56
Views: 4378

Re: When does it make sense to stop paying to repair your old vehicle?

Evaluating repair costs against the financial worth of the vehicle makes no sense at all. A $2700 repair on a "$2,000" vehicle that allows you to drive it for another 5 years is worth it. A $2,700 repair on a $30,000 vehicle that will fail in one month is not worth it. You should be lookin...
by hand
Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)
Replies: 56
Views: 5606

Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Your two levers are price and marketing strategy / materials. First and foremost, I would check (and have a trusted third party double-check and give you honest feedback) the marketing strategy, MLS listing & online photos. If you are not listed on the MLS, Zillow & Tulia with great pictures...
by hand
Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fiberglass batt in basement ceiling
Replies: 20
Views: 1630

Re: Fiberglass batt in basement ceiling

A couple of thoughts: 1) Fiberglass batt does not prevent airflow 2) Assuming you have sufficient conditioning (heat/cooling) in the basement, fiberglass in the basement ceiling probably won't hurt the habitability of either the basement or first floor, but probably won't help much either - I wouldn...
by hand
Mon Apr 24, 2017 3:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Major appliances - when would you buy/upgrade?
Replies: 20
Views: 1075

Re: Major appliances - when would you buy/upgrade?

This thread prompts a question: Are there any home appliance companies that make sturdy, built-to-last products without a ton of programming or bells and whistles? I'd seriously pay good money for something that was durable, mechanically sound, and simple to use. We only use a fraction of the featu...
by hand
Mon Apr 24, 2017 2:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why is Real-Estate so Bad?
Replies: 113
Views: 10034

Re: Why is Real-Estate so Bad?

2. Liquidity: Stocks/ Mutual Funds are very liquid. Real Estate is very illiquid . Except for during Superstorm Sandy or Katrina or Andrew etc. I jest of course, but to reinforce a point made unthread that owning specific real estate is incredibly undiversified. In many cases the lack of diversific...
by hand
Mon Apr 24, 2017 2:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best Place to Park Over $1m in Cash
Replies: 28
Views: 2895

Re: Best Place to Park Over $1m in Cash

Parking "large" amounts of cash is not an uncommon problem and many institutions have ways to handle similar to the Fidelity solution above. To me, FDIC or similar insurance would be critical for a short term " safe" deposit. Bankrate had a dated article that covered some of the ...
by hand
Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Recast vs. Investing vs. ??
Replies: 14
Views: 1224

Re: Mortgage Recast vs. Investing vs. ??

If you're considering keeping the $100k in assets separate, you should probably also be considering whether the debt should also be kept separate and specify how the debt is split between you and your spouse.
by hand
Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Accidental landlord turning to for sale by owner
Replies: 40
Views: 4675

Re: Accidental landlord turning to for sale by owner

Just curious. Don't think we should base our sale price on this but will we have to pay any gains on our sale? We purchased for 315k and hope to sell for around 220k or so. Our principal is at 155K. So we would be leaving with money from the closing. We have not lived there in 4 years. I can't imag...
by hand
Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Accidental landlord turning to for sale by owner
Replies: 40
Views: 4675

Re: Accidental landlord turning to for sale by owner

I didn't use the MLS - Zillow and Trulia were all it took for me in a medium market skewed towards younger buyers. My bet is that the type of buyers willing to evaluate a property with tenants in place are likely pretty savvy about finding properties and are doing their own research on the free site...
by hand
Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: employer executive savings plan and 180k cash - prioritizing help
Replies: 14
Views: 1519

Re: employer executive savings plan and 180k cash - prioritizing help

It seems to me that a 35 year old with presumably years of working and hopefully salary increases in the future isn't an ideal candidate for deferred savings with some level of employer, employment, inflation and tax risks attached. Not in any way an expert in this area, but my gut says defer the mi...
by hand
Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Accidental landlord turning to for sale by owner
Replies: 40
Views: 4675

Re: Accidental landlord turning to for sale by owner

Recognize that dynamics are likely different for a rental than they are for a permanent residence: 1) There is a carrying cost for every day of vacancy before the sale 2) Property is likely in worse condition at move out, and there may be a decent amount of deferred maintenance Conceptually there ar...