Search found 2121 matches

by jharkin
Sat Apr 20, 2019 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a house without a realtor
Replies: 13
Views: 695

Re: Buying a house without a realtor

There is another realtor I could use but they are in another city (~45 min away) Doesn't your Realtor have another colleague in their office they can refer you to for handling the bid?? I live in a small town of 15,000 people and the realtor I am working with has something like 20 other agents just...
by jharkin
Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?
Replies: 72
Views: 2420

Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

I would get bids and have them both done at the same time. If you want it cut up for firewood, they can do that too. Not sure why you would want pine for firewood, though. I hate to spend the money since there are other projects I need to spend on (including roof/gutts), but this is the first time ...
by jharkin
Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How far would you commute?
Replies: 70
Views: 2410

Re: How far would you commute?

I decided to finally leave my last job when they decided to move the office from Rt128 to the Boston Seaport and eliminate telecommuting. I had been doing 40 min each way with WFH flexibility but would face 90min+ with mandatory commute. Ended up finding a new gig 15min from home and have never been...
by jharkin
Fri Apr 19, 2019 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: RSUs and ESPP after 2-Week Notice
Replies: 21
Views: 1167

Re: RSUs and ESPP after 2-Week Notice

Or is there a reason you want to give 3 weeks notice? Probably s/he wants some time off in between jobs. When I changed, I gave notice almost a month before the new job start date so I could work in a 2 week vacation. Its good to have that decompression time to clear your head so you are fresh in t...
by jharkin
Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What percentage will I keep when I sell my home?
Replies: 20
Views: 1345

Re: What percentage will I keep when I sell my home?

Is there a way to know if you are in a "sellers market," other than by what the realtor says? (I am currently helping a relative sell a home in another state.). Thanks. gasdoc Spend a lot of time looking at the data in Zillow and Trulia. You can filter for pending/contingent/sold in the last 6 mont...
by jharkin
Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What percentage will I keep when I sell my home?
Replies: 20
Views: 1345

Re: What percentage will I keep when I sell my home?

When you said "buyers pay all closing costs" you probably meant buyers paidall buyer side closing costs (no seller concessions). There are always sell side closing costs. Where I live sellers typically pay these closing costs: * Realtors commission (4-5% here) * State transfer tax (0.45%) * Various ...
by jharkin
Fri Apr 19, 2019 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The reality of borrowing from your 401k for home mortgage
Replies: 48
Views: 2886

Re: The reality of borrowing from your 401k for home mortgage

You can go more than 5% down from a 401k, 50% of 401k value up to 50K total. Assuming our worst case salary of $380k/$150K = ~2.5X salary.. so I am very comfortable with this. Keep in mind that when I do purchase a home, both of us would be employed and know the absolute value. Well you said 5%. If...
by jharkin
Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: RSUs and ESPP after 2-Week Notice
Replies: 21
Views: 1167

Re: RSUs and ESPP after 2-Week Notice

Wait. You might be fine as long as you are still “on the books” but you might not, and there is no way to find out for sure. When I changed jobs I gave noice ON Rsu day ;) Re the boxes... that depends on the employer/industry. I have never seen the security escort in tech, but I read on here it’s c...
by jharkin
Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dealership vs independent mechanics
Replies: 23
Views: 1511

Re: Dealership vs independent mechanics

I’m with the consensus - dealers only for warranty work. Regular maintenance (fluids filter brakes) I DIY. I have a couple trusted indies for anything else.

The “anything else” is rare since I buy smart and typically own only Toyota’s and Honda’s.
by jharkin
Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: RSUs and ESPP after 2-Week Notice
Replies: 21
Views: 1167

Re: RSUs and ESPP after 2-Week Notice

Wait. You might be fine as long as you are still “on the books” but you might not, and there is no way to find out for sure. When I changed jobs I gave noice ON Rsu day ;) Re the boxes... that depends on the employer/industry. I have never seen the security escort in tech, but I read on here it’s co...
by jharkin
Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The reality of borrowing from your 401k for home mortgage
Replies: 48
Views: 2886

Re: The reality of borrowing from your 401k for home mortgage

If the 401k will only allow you to go 5% down on a house worth 4x salary this is high risk. You will be spread painfully thin and have little reserve if the house needs work or one of you gets laid off. And 400k in the Boston suburbs is either: - a fixer - very small - or outisde 495 Don’t live outs...
by jharkin
Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Washing Machine that uses a LOT of Water
Replies: 45
Views: 2927

Re: Washing Machine that uses a LOT of Water

Buy an old washing machine. I've posted about this here before, but we have two W/D sets that are each about 25 years old. One set is in use on the main floor in our newly finished laundry room. The other set is in the basement in the on-deck circle. They both work like absolute champs. Between all...
by jharkin
Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: In Laws Retirement Nest Egg
Replies: 151
Views: 12676

Re: In Laws Retirement Nest Egg

Here is my concern: I was surprised that they decided to retire at 62 with what I consider to be barely enough to scrape by. You have a very different definition of "scrape by" than 90% of American households. The average retiree basically has social security and home equity to live on. Maybe some ...
by jharkin
Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job
Replies: 63
Views: 7679

Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Loser? Hardly. Your net worth is higher than 80% of your peers. When I was your age my networth was barely 50-60k (and that was being creative and counting the value of the car), AND I was still carrying 30~40k of high interest student loans. Life happens... I am SO sorry about you Dad, and let me t...
by jharkin
Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your hobby and how did it come to be your hobby?
Replies: 88
Views: 6271

Re: What is your hobby and how did it come to be your hobby?

I have a bunch of hobbies... none of them anywhere mainstream and there the kind of things you either havea passion for or zero interste I find. Most involved hobby is large radio control model aircraft (airplanes and helicopters) . Not drones, not flying camera - but airplanes as in the kind built ...
by jharkin
Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend a reversible glue for sticking plastic to metal
Replies: 11
Views: 589

Re: Recommend a reversible glue for sticking plastic to metal

clear silicone caulk Lexel any caulk that stays flexible, generally used outdoors or around water areas, should be fine. Not going to say it will be easy-peasy to remove but they will not harden completely. Silicone may yellow a tad over time. Probaly stay away from any caulk with latex, as the lat...
by jharkin
Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford this house ?
Replies: 20
Views: 1976

Re: Can we afford this house ?

Agreed with the members above - not even close. I wont count the side income, salary works out to 85k per year take home on the numbers you provided, so I assume its 100-120k gross. On those numbers you should be looking at 300k or less house. Maybe 350 tops. And that's assuming waiting until you ca...
by jharkin
Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boston area - nice towns for families
Replies: 79
Views: 4440

Re: Boston area - nice towns for families

I would look within a 1 mile radius of work (walkable), and exclude everything outside that ring. Might consider within 5 miles if there was a substantial cost savings. That's a pretty tough standard in the Boston area. In many parts, it's completely impossible. I find this impossible to believe, t...
by jharkin
Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boston area - nice towns for families
Replies: 79
Views: 4440

Re: Boston area - nice towns for families

One key take-away from this thread is that there are many decent towns for families in the Boston area. Some complain about Massachusetts being a high tax state but the taxes are nowhere near as high as certain New York or California towns and with MA, you get what you pay for: decent schools and p...
by jharkin
Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ingenious Way To Find Reasonably Priced Painter
Replies: 57
Views: 5965

Re: Ingenious Way To Find Reasonably Priced Painter

Or see if you're ready to buy what they're selling for 40% off right now (April 12-15). I'm not familiar with their sales, so is this a recurrent even or a good sale for them? [I searched a couple of deal sites and looks like they regularly hod these types of events around April and October for a f...
by jharkin
Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ingenious Way To Find Reasonably Priced Painter
Replies: 57
Views: 5965

Re: Ingenious Way To Find Reasonably Priced Painter

Yes, I have asked neighbors for recommendations and either the bids were too high or the bids were higher than what my neighbors paid for the exact same tract house, despite me having done most of the prep work. My first thought was, if you have done most of the prep work why not just finish the jo...
by jharkin
Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boston area - nice towns for families
Replies: 79
Views: 4440

Re: Boston area - nice towns for families

Natick is typically where people go if they can't afford the inner suburbs. South Natick is the nicest, and the priciest. I lived in East Natick. The house I grew up in now sells for $665k according to zillow. It now has 5 beds/3 baths (it started with 2 beds/1 bath). It backs up to a woodland/pond...
by jharkin
Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boston area - nice towns for families
Replies: 79
Views: 4440

Re: Boston area - nice towns for families

I live in one of the H towns (not the one the marathon start in). I commute to Natick currently (15-20min), I used to commute to Needham (30-40). If your work timing is flexible, Natick, Sherborn, Holliston, Sudbury, etc commute to Newton can be under 30 minutes - HOWEVER - that means commuting befo...
by jharkin
Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a house next year. Wife wants a big house. Thoughts?
Replies: 104
Views: 8432

Re: Buying a house next year. Wife wants a big house. Thoughts?

ancient Victorians. I also get a chuckle that a Victorian is "ancient" My house was a century old already when the average Queen Anne / Second Empire/ Tudor Revival house was built. I do have to say I love how much of the market wont buy anything not new. Leaves a lot of deals on older homes for me...
by jharkin
Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seller's Agent - Tiered Commission structure?
Replies: 15
Views: 1069

Re: Seller's Agent - Tiered Commission structure?

We just signed with a listing agent. 5% on the sell side and we get a couple grand credit if we use the same agent as a buyers rep. Depending on the market the commission can be negotiable. Also the standard level varies by market. Where i live 5% is typical. Other states still try to get the old 6%...
by jharkin
Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Much Do You Pay For Haircut?
Replies: 115
Views: 6182

Re: How Much Do You Pay For Haircut?

$16+ tip every 4-6 weeks. My company contracts with a local barber who comes on site 2 days a week and does haircuts in the campus wellness center. I can book a quick appointment between meetings and not have to use precious weekend time. Nice thing about working in tech - so long as you are not in ...
by jharkin
Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is $650 for a Roof Inspection Too Much?
Replies: 37
Views: 2636

Re: Is $650 for a Roof Inspection Too Much?

I've never paid for a roof inspection either. I live 26 miles, 385 yards west of Copley Square. Cheers! Hopkinton is such a lovely town :) +1 (or +2 +3) 19 miles and change west of Copley (as the crow flies) here. though slightly south of the marathon route.... As far as "famous roofing company" we...
by jharkin
Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying New Home
Replies: 14
Views: 910

Re: Buying New Home

No guarantee that adding a 5th bedroom will make your house more marketable. In most areas there is a sweet spot of house size that aligns to the average family size. i.e. if most working families have 2 kids, 4 bedrooms is usually the ideal (parents, 2 kids, and one spare/guest room). Houses smalle...
by jharkin
Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Notice to vacate/late rent
Replies: 59
Views: 5699

Re: Eviction notice

Read your lease and your state rental laws. Where I live what they are doing would be essentially illegal. It takes months and court proceedings to initiate an eviction and being a couple days late is not grounds. I believe the threshold is months ....
by jharkin
Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Infertility treatments/insurance/job situation
Replies: 29
Views: 1890

Re: Infertility treatments/insurance/job situation

If you are considering a job change for better coverage and are not locked into Jersey, you might also consider moving out of state. Massachusetts law requires fertility coverage even including 3 rounds of IVF. Been there done that. A couple IUI attempts failed and we went the full 3 rounds of IVF. ...
by jharkin
Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which lenders give mortgage pre-approval good for >4 months?
Replies: 23
Views: 1312

Re: Which lenders give mortgage pre-approval good for >4 months?

Well, we don't really have an option NOT to use a buyer's agent without the seller's agent getting the full 6% commission (of course, anything can be negotiated, but I don't think this is a great option in our area). We've also done a lot of the leg-work, we've seen 57 open houses in the past year,...
by jharkin
Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which lenders give mortgage pre-approval good for >4 months?
Replies: 23
Views: 1312

Re: Which lenders give mortgage pre-approval good for >4 months?

The second question is, why would you need preapproval for more than 4 months? People who string the home buying process out to six months or more are not really ready to buy for one reason or another. Anyway, if your preapproval is about to expire, you just get preapproved again. If a lender is ta...
by jharkin
Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Finding buyer's agent if we might buy our current rental
Replies: 8
Views: 496

Re: Finding buyer's agent if we might buy our current rental

If you sign with a Buyer's Agent, make sure your current rental is listed under Exclusions. Don't say "we'll buy it without you", simply ask that it be put under Exclusions. If there is a discussion, note that you'd rather be closer to work and rather have a better home, but this is your fallback. ...
by jharkin
Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today
Replies: 50
Views: 4917

Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

The thing about DIY is to start on small, simple projects and work your way up. Especially if you didn't grow up in a family of DIYers or contractors. One of the easiest thing for newbies to start with is interior painting. From that I moved on to light electrical, and some simple woodworking. Plumb...
by jharkin
Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Household budget, savings, retirement, and Home Equity question
Replies: 23
Views: 2172

Re: Household budget, savings, retirement, and Home Equity question

#1 First thing - Refinance that mortgage into a 30 year fixed. You can get 3.99% right now with no points... you are probably not doing much better on the 15 and that monthly payment is killing you. Later on as income grows you can always pay more than the minimum on the 30 and pay it off early, but...
by jharkin
Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Only need 5% down to avoid PMI. Should we put less than 20% down and put balance toward renovations?
Replies: 34
Views: 2557

Re: Only need 5% down to avoid PMI. Should we put less than 20% down and put balance toward renovations?

One word: 2007 People thought nothing of mortgaging to hte max possible because "housing always goes up". Then it didn't. The market in my town feels similar this year to what it did back then - bidding wars, etc. This house is only 1.3x salary. You should be able to put 20% down, finance it on a 15...
by jharkin
Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At a crossroad - Expensive House or Private School Tuition?
Replies: 68
Views: 4133

Re: At a crossroad - Expensive House or Private School Tuition?

I would buy in the good school district. You can afford it. Also dont get hung up on the HGTV propaganda that any house that's not brand new will automatically be a maintenance headache. I live in a 200 year old house and I have less problems than people I know who live in houses < 20 years old. I s...
by jharkin
Mon Apr 01, 2019 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Finish backyard before selling?
Replies: 25
Views: 1991

Re: Finish backyard before selling?

+1 just do the cosmetic and potential inspection deal breaker stuff. We are testing the market now and I see lots of houses where its obvious the sellers just spent $$$ on kitchen renovations and all new paint and my in my head I am calculating what its going to cost me to change it because its not ...
by jharkin
Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anybody else get a huge tax increase due to SALT deduction changes?
Replies: 101
Views: 6883

Re: Anybody else get a huge tax increase due to SALT deduction changes?

I stopped itemizing due to SALT, but ended up paying quite a bit less overall due to the new brackets and larger CTC.
by jharkin
Thu Mar 28, 2019 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Half of American retirees have no savings
Replies: 49
Views: 1985

Re: The Retirement Crisis

Many here would consider my MiL to be in a 'retirement crisis' because she lives almost exclusively on her $1k SS monthly benefit. She owns her home outright, has a family member who lives with her pay the insurance and utilities on it, and pays no property tax due to her an age exclusion in her st...
by jharkin
Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Half of American retirees have no savings
Replies: 49
Views: 1985

Re: The Retirement Crisis

So those households went from just barely over poverty level while working to right at poverty level in retirement. If that's our standard for "doing ok" then this country is even worse off than I thought :oops: jharkin, I do not know what do you think our country's status is. But, DC Foodbank is s...
by jharkin
Wed Mar 27, 2019 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bogleheads Guide to Business Benefits: Pro-Employee 401(k)
Replies: 11
Views: 635

Re: Bogleheads Guide to Business Benefits: Pro-Employee 401(k)

7) No artificial limits on employee deferrals - let them put in the full 19k
8) Allow employee after tax contributions up to the full 56k limit
9) Allow in service rollover of those after tax dollars to Roth IRA or at least in plan conversion (to do Mega backdoor with #8)
by jharkin
Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sorry, Another Can/Should Buy Home Purchase
Replies: 12
Views: 772

Re: Sorry, Another Can/Should Buy Home Purchase

On the numbers its looks fine to me. I'd take a 30 year fixed for the flexibility and pay it down like a 15 year if you have the cashflow after maxing out all retirement options. Somebody asked you if its too much house. Financially Id say no, but then again I live in an area where 400k will only bu...
by jharkin
Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stretching? (Home purchase)
Replies: 20
Views: 2803

Re: Stretching? (Home purchase)

If you want to buy and burden your solvency near a housing market top good luck w/that. Again 1829 main st., Marshfield, Ma, 1 livable ranch, 5 acres! Marshfield hills, Ma. was 141k 5yrs back. Zillow it. 1.3M for a duplex, in ny? Good luck! The RE could go to 250k., BELIEVE IT. Good luck Funny. As ...
by jharkin
Mon Mar 25, 2019 6:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block updates? do you wait to file?
Replies: 14
Views: 1018

Re: H&R Block updates? do you wait to file?

I dont have the program in front of me at the moment (not at home)... but I recall the update wizard tells you when various forms are final. I wait only until all the forms I need for my situation are final. This year I filed the first half of March.
by jharkin
Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where do you find high paying jobs?
Replies: 72
Views: 5345

Re: Where do you find high paying jobs?

And this site is not representative of anything average or normal. But there are many doctors, engineers, and business owners posting the larger numbers. Also some of that is regional, people living in high cost of living areas, where all make more than national averages, does not always mean net i...
by jharkin
Sun Mar 24, 2019 6:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is a million really the benchmark for retirement
Replies: 153
Views: 23108

Re: Is a million really the benchmark for retirement

It bothers me when financial planners say that people are retiring on social security alone. Ok, I can see it: a paid-up house, no car, food stamps, no medigap...hmmm...my sister and brother in law have tried this with the paid up house. Utilities and maintenance come to $30,000 per year!!! And now...
by jharkin
Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to increase house size with a growing family?
Replies: 43
Views: 2569

Re: When to increase house size with a growing family?

I'm confused why everyone thinks you can't afford this. You're basically paying cash for this new house right? You have $200K in equity and $140 in cash/taxable so that covers your high end estimate. Sometimes the Bogleheads conservatism borders on maniacal. +1,000,000,000,000 A lot of members of t...
by jharkin
Fri Mar 22, 2019 8:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The $4,026,858.95 Car or a Worry-Free Retirement?
Replies: 245
Views: 11462

Re: The $4,000,000.00 Car or a worry-free retirement?

[ On the one hand, the BMW saved my life. I was informed that BMW (along with Volvo and Mercedes) use ultra high strength steel to reinforce their passenger compartments. Some lower end cars also use this material but use a lower proportion of it or use lower grade steel altogether which has multip...
by jharkin
Fri Mar 22, 2019 7:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The $4,026,858.95 Car or a Worry-Free Retirement?
Replies: 245
Views: 11462

Re: The $4,026,858.95 Car or a Worry-Free Retirement?

While I 100% agree with the theme of the post, adequate vs luxury, I disagree with the numbers. The cost of the BMW is too high IMO, but that’s debatable, but the cost to own is way out of wack. The cost to own would be pretty even overall. Higher gas and insurance on the BMW, but higher maintenanc...