Search found 994 matches

by hand
Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)
Replies: 51
Views: 3460

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: 1318

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: 805

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: 111
Views: 7904

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 diversi...
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: 2467

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: 1102

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: 29
Views: 2656

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: 29
Views: 2656

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: 6
Views: 669

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: 29
Views: 2656

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...
by hand
Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: million dollar condo?
Replies: 32
Views: 3342

Re: million dollar condo?

1) Maxing your 401(k) and Roth and trying to save a lot in taxable are all well and good, but are you on track to the retirement you want? Honetsly I'm not sure You've come to the right place! In the big picture, you'll undoubtedly be fine whether you move up to the condo or not... A paid off house...
by hand
Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: million dollar condo?
Replies: 32
Views: 3342

Re: million dollar condo?

My monthly take home pay is anywhere from 20k to 35k depending on my monthly bonus. Expenses include a student loan at 79k at 2.7% and a quarterly tax payment of around 27k to 33k. As a new BH I've really been trying to save and cut down on spending. My current mortgage PITI is 3.9k. With the new c...
by hand
Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Home - Design Center Options - making smart choices
Replies: 30
Views: 2265

Re: New Home - Design Center Options - making smart choices

P.S. Look long and hard at your lot premium and make sure you understand if your lot will continue to be "premium." Occasionally tract builders are known to sell premium view lots of woodland / farmland and then after the sale is complete and premium pocketed, develop the woodland / farmla...
by hand
Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Home - Design Center Options - making smart choices
Replies: 30
Views: 2265

Re: New Home - Design Center Options - making smart choices

1. Upgrading tiles from Level 1 to Level 2 in existing areas, other areas will have carpet. 2. Upgrading Bathroom countertops from laminate to corian. 3. Upgrading staircase from Carpet to Oak. 4. Prewiring home for music/speakers in select rooms(Kitchen, Masterbath, Media room). 5. Prewiring for c...
by hand
Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Working without an office - Strategy
Replies: 29
Views: 1719

Re: Working without an office - Strategy

Clearly this is a problem, but make it someone else's problem. Approach 1 - play within the rules: Start your day as early as possible in the office to guarantee yourself a prime seat and see and be seen. Stay in the office as long as is tolerable / required and head out. Schedule community work or ...
by hand
Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Choosing to put less than 20% down...why is this wrong?
Replies: 51
Views: 4912

Re: Choosing to put less than 20% down...why is this wrong?

It isn't wrong and I chose to do the same thing. PMI is neither costly nor difficult to get rid of if you are in the top tier and I have better uses for my cash. Rates are very low and PMI adds a pittance. Why wouldn't you borrow more if you have the willingness and ability to take on slightly more...
by hand
Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Choosing to put less than 20% down...why is this wrong?
Replies: 51
Views: 4912

Re: Choosing to put less than 20% down...why is this wrong?

It isn't wrong and I chose to do the same thing. PMI is neither costly nor difficult to get rid of if you are in the top tier and I have better uses for my cash. Rates are very low and PMI adds a pittance. Why wouldn't you borrow more if you have the willingness and ability to take on slightly more...
by hand
Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ordering a Weber grill this week
Replies: 149
Views: 10485

Re: Ordering a Weber grill this week

A couple of quick thoughts... Per Weber, grill cover does not help with longevity - grills are designed to live happily outside uncovered. Consider upgrading your grill grates for enhanced heat retention, distribution (improved cooking) & longevity and your flavorizer bars for enhanced longevity...
by hand
Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wife wants to get into real-estate
Replies: 29
Views: 4743

Re: Wife wants to get into real-estate

For tax relaxation, good move. Financially bad move. Drop can be enormous. A Realtor if an agent only, earns less but yeah sure you can gamble with the property. You'd know the insight of a market so basically it would help you in investing. I'd like to test the last statement... I'd think a good r...
by hand
Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home renovation advice - General and Atlanta specific
Replies: 18
Views: 1006

Re: Home renovation advice - General and Atlanta specific

What would you do if you owned this property? What would you do if you were "just" a renter? It sounds like you're living in a bit of limbo where you are both a renter and feel like you have some sort of ownership stake & responsibility. Living in this grey area is distorting your deci...
by hand
Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How best to handle disrespectful employee?
Replies: 40
Views: 3525

Re: How best to handle disrespectful employee?

Is this employee disrespectful to you or just choosing to respect what you are telling him with money rather than what you are telling him with words? To me these are two different problems. If the issue is one of respecting the money more than the words KlangFool and others have good advice above -...
by hand
Thu Mar 30, 2017 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is the secret to getting wealthy...
Replies: 48
Views: 4409

Re: Is the secret to getting wealthy...

Because I don't network with millionaires, I don't develop multiple income streams, I don't focus on developing a need that I can sell to 5000 people for $200 reach, I don't use my lunch break to study financial papers, I don't create a mindset where I envision being a millionaire, I don't meditate...
by hand
Thu Mar 30, 2017 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do I need an electrician? If so how much would it cost?
Replies: 32
Views: 2248

Re: Do I need an electrician? If so how much would it cost?

If you don't hire an electrician, cost could be shocking.
by hand
Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House buying- How to think about property taxes?
Replies: 39
Views: 3214

Re: House buying- How to think about property taxes?

Past performance is no guarantee of future taxes... Rather than looking at current taxes, your decision should be based on expected (likely) taxes during your period of ownership and the value you're getting for those taxes. Unfortunately future taxes (and benefits) are mostly unknowable, but some l...
by hand
Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Energy Audit recommended actions: 28.4 year payback period??
Replies: 30
Views: 2215

Re: Home Energy Audit recommended actions: 28.4 year payback period??

To answer a few questions... Rim Joist insulation in the unconditioned basement is on the list...for $300. I can easily do that myself, however. For $300, I'm assuming the plan is to use fiberglass insulation? If so, it is worth looking at Building Science recommendations which caution against fibe...
by hand
Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chores for elementary school age kids?
Replies: 18
Views: 1328

Re: Chores for elementary school age kids?

As a side note, there are grain based fertilizers that are not only safer for people / but arguably better for your lawn & soil.
by hand
Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wife wants to get into real-estate
Replies: 29
Views: 4743

Re: Wife wants to get into real-estate

For tax relaxation, good move. Financially bad move. Drop can be enormous. A Realtor if an agent only, earns less but yeah sure you can gamble with the property. You'd know the insight of a market so basically it would help you in investing. I'd like to test the last statement... I'd think a good r...
by hand
Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Physician-Resident looking for Portfolio Advice
Replies: 34
Views: 2558

Re: Physician-Resident looking for Portfolio Advice

First, try to never roll a 401k into an IRA - either keep it around or roll it into a new employer 401k. This is to make it possible to do backdoor Roth contributions later. This is an important point - probably worth reading about Backdoor Roth and "Mega-Backdoor Roth" to understand the ...
by hand
Thu Mar 30, 2017 7:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Physician-Resident looking for Portfolio Advice
Replies: 34
Views: 2558

Re: Physician-Resident looking for Portfolio Advice

Do you have a Roth 401(k) option available to either of you? If you are projecting the $400k income to continue for a sustained period of time, you may be better off paying taxes now (Roth) at your lower tax rate than in the future (traditional 401(k)) when you'll presumably be in a higher tax brack...
by hand
Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do I need an electrician? If so how much would it cost?
Replies: 32
Views: 2248

Re: Do I need an electrician? If so how much would it cost?

You probably do need an electrician to get the functionality you desire safely. Not an expert, but my layman's read is that you need a separate circuit for bathroom appliances: 1) Should be GFCI protected 2) Likely needs to be 20 Amp and dedicated vs. what is almost certainly your existing shared 15...
by hand
Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: anyone factor in future inheritance?
Replies: 78
Views: 4773

Re: anyone factor in future inheritance?

From a planning perspective, it doesn't make much sense to me to ignore a potentially material inheritance. At the same time, it seems foolhardy to depend on something you don't own and can't control. I factor an assumed inheritance into my numbers, but assign a high enough risk factor so that the p...
by hand
Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Laddering Employer Group Term Life Policy with Individual Policy
Replies: 14
Views: 635

Re: Laddering Employer Group Term Life Policy with Individual Policy

Not a completely unreasonable plan, but be sure you understand the implicit assumptions you're making and the risks inherent. Specifically, you appear to be assuming you'll be covered by employer group insurance the entire time you need to be insured. Major risks related to this are: 1) You lose you...
by hand
Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Energy Audit recommended actions: 28.4 year payback period??
Replies: 30
Views: 2215

Re: Home Energy Audit recommended actions: 28.4 year payback period??

A couple of thoughts: 1) Simple payback probably isn't the right financial metric over decades - money has value over time! 2) As noted above, energy efficiency work is sometimes about more than just the money - it is possible you'll realize improvements in thermal and noise comfort in addition to t...
by hand
Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: thoughts on in-ceiling speakers?
Replies: 48
Views: 2955

Re: thoughts on in-ceiling speakers?

The difference in the cost of the jacks themselves is almost negligible, so I would assume most of the additional cost is for the cable itself, as well as additional labor (terminating Cat6 is a colossal pain in the ass due to the incredibly short untwist specs). I'm sorry, but I just can't stop la...
by hand
Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with my father's windfall
Replies: 25
Views: 2602

Re: Help with my father's windfall

Sorry for your loss. Please recognize that best practice with a windfall, especially when dealing with loss is to do nothing for a substantial period of time (multiple months). That being said, your plan of paying off outstanding debts seems reasonable, especially if your Father isn't financially so...
by hand
Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do I share internet with my neighbor?
Replies: 17
Views: 1443

Re: How do I share internet with my neighbor?

At one point, there was a popular solution using a Pringles can as a directional wifi antenna.

For the specific use case described here, I'd think a directional antenna (DIY or otherwise) would be a better match than (or perhaps a compliment to) a generic omnidirectional wifi extender.
by hand
Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Vandalism During Cross-Country Drive
Replies: 41
Views: 3386

Re: Car Vandalism During Cross-Country Drive

Park next to nicer cars with more better stuff?
by hand
Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What building year I should seek when shopping for a house?
Replies: 33
Views: 2503

Re: What building year I should seek when shopping for a house?

I think this is a great question, though clearly not top priority or useful way of conducting a search for many. To some extent, desired build year(s) are a matter of picking your poison and preferences. On one hand newer houses are generally required to meet more stringent safety code standards, ha...
by hand
Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Vandalism During Cross-Country Drive
Replies: 41
Views: 3386

Re: Car Vandalism During Cross-Country Drive

Good suggestions up thread for reducing attractiveness / opportunity for break-in. To the extent that this is a financial question, recommend reviewing your insurance, and dropping deductible(s) to minimum for the period of your drive. Cost to do so is likely minimal, and will mitigate costs related...
by hand
Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a second home in Florida- mortgage or purchase
Replies: 15
Views: 1302

Re: Buying a second home in Florida- mortgage or purchase

Have you considered the tax and legal implications of whether your Fla home is your second or primary home?
I believe Florida has some generous laws shielding assets tied up in a primary home. No idea what the other tax and legal considerations are, but likely worth some focused thought.
by hand
Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TSP Loan for First Time Homebuyer
Replies: 32
Views: 1022

Re: TSP Loan for First Time Homebuyer

What happens if you can't / don't repay the TSP loan?

Biggest downside here other than time out of market (assuming you can afford to borrow from your retirement accounts in the first place) is that you run into a job / health hiccup and your financial problems impact your retirement savings.
by hand
Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any downside in buying a brand new house ?
Replies: 71
Views: 4955

Re: Any downside in buying a brand new house ?

In my experience, both buying and selling, I have only seen very thorough and complete inspections... always spot on and almost to the point of nitpicking. These have been inspections by the buyer and recommended by the buyer's realtor. Why would the buyer's realtor not recommend the best inspector...
by hand
Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Partial mortgage payoff, consolidation
Replies: 8
Views: 691

Re: Partial mortgage payoff, consolidation

Partial payment of existing mortgage is almost certainly a good thing. You give up receiving 1% interest, but stop paying 4% interest. Excluding tax implications (likely minimal), you realize a net 3% annual return on whatever you prepay with virtually no risk. A couple items to consider when determ...
by hand
Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any downside in buying a brand new house ?
Replies: 71
Views: 4955

Re: Any downside in buying a brand new house ?

One thing to remember is that building codes are "minimum" standards. Many times it is beneficial to build to a higher level but not cost effective, for example upgrading to a higher capacity electrical panel, additional electrical outlets, better insulation,etc. Worth noting is that the ...
by hand
Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: gratuitous homeownership items
Replies: 218
Views: 18512

Re: gratuitous homeownership items

It appears the big loser in this thread is the giant, jetted bathtub. Swimming pools are a close second. Are you listening home builders? Not sure production home builders care even if they are listening... A jetted tub is a relatively cheap upgrade that presumably sells well. Whether it is actuall...
by hand
Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flooring for Basement
Replies: 36
Views: 2298

Re: Flooring for Basement

I went with wood look porcelain tile for an occasionally flooded basement.
Not cheap, but and I haven't had a chance to live with it through a flood cycle, but I have high hopes.
by hand
Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sizing a ductless min-split for basement
Replies: 58
Views: 3007

Re: Sizing a ductless min-split for basement

I'd still say its impossible to estimate over the 'net....are the walls insulated or not, to what R-value. Are the rims and sill sealed, insulated? Is the slab insulated, or not, R-value? The first two are more important than the last one. Unfinished and walls will be 2" of R5 so total R10 and...
by hand
Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting a feel for cost to build a home
Replies: 11
Views: 1214

Re: Getting a feel for cost to build a home

2 OTOH great values can be found on an older home where the former owner spent far above the market rate to build it. Of course, once accepting the higher costs of building "your own home", there's nothing like it. Something like the "new car smell". Putting the bathroom exactly...
by hand
Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do Boglehead DIY or Pay a Professional?
Replies: 95
Views: 7493

Re: Do Boglehead DIY or Pay a Professional?

Overall I prefer to pay a professional these days, but the big obstacle is finding the right pro. This is an important point; the post title implies a false dichotomy. Options are often: 1) DIY the project / repair 2) DIY hiring and project management. Finding someone to do a quality job at a reaso...
by hand
Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace gas water heater with electric?
Replies: 40
Views: 2941

Re: Replace gas water heater with electric?

2. The recovery rate of a gas water heater (same size tank) is much quicker than electric This is a big deal for some use cases... Two people in a house with regular usage patterns, probably not a deal breaker. Frequently have numerous house guests who all want morning showers? You'll likely notice...

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