Search found 35 matches

by SeaToTheBay
Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money
Replies: 34
Views: 2550

Re: Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money

When I worked in budgeting for a megacorp, my boss started an official contest to see which office floor could use the fewest paper towels in the bathroom, and the winning floor would get a pizza party. Aside from the pizza likely costing more than whatever paper towels were saved, I shuddered at th...
by SeaToTheBay
Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2 Comma Club and Other Goals Reached!
Replies: 8
Views: 1738

2 Comma Club and Other Goals Reached!

Considered and reconsidered whether to post or not, but I figured I won't reach a milestone quite like this maybe ever again, and maybe I can share some things that have helped. Wife and I hit the 2 comma club last Friday, and yesterday hit the half-million mark for $ (no real estate). Yes, RE is ne...
by SeaToTheBay
Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bay Area Real Estate
Replies: 154
Views: 14081

Re: Bay Area Real Estate

Also, while the climate *is* pretty nice in SoCal, I'm don't think it's so compelling in the Bay Area. You don't get a long, warm beach season like you do in SoCal or various more easterly parts of the US, nor close proximity to skiing. To me (and again, I'm no expert, and haven't been to San Jose ...
by SeaToTheBay
Thu Oct 05, 2017 6:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bay Area Real Estate
Replies: 154
Views: 14081

Re: Bay Area Real Estate

+1. I've been reading BH for years and have seen many Bay Area real estate posts over the years. In them, you will find sound and sage advice from many well-meaning BHers recommending you to NOT buy a home here. And yet, considering the appreciation over the last few years, I would think that almos...
by SeaToTheBay
Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bay Area Real Estate
Replies: 154
Views: 14081

Re: Bay Area Real Estate

It's important to note that tech today is not tech in 2001 with the dot-com bubble. I'm not saying there aren't outrageously valued startups based on dubious ideas, but the largest employers are not going anywhere. They may have layoffs here and there, and some older companies may stagnate, but the ...
by SeaToTheBay
Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My Smartest Financial Moves
Replies: 62
Views: 5920

Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

1. Saving every dime of bday/Christmas money since I was 5 (this one thanks to my parents... I was "paying myself first" before 1st grade!!) 2. Opening a mutual fund at age 10 (again, thanks to my parents, although I picked the fund :happy ) 3. Contributing $200-300/mo into a Roth since age 16 (AGAI...
by SeaToTheBay
Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My boneheaded financial mistakes
Replies: 77
Views: 9543

Re: My boneheaded financial mistakes

I'm 33. Have generally been pretty good, but did make some pretty dumb mistakes along the way. 1. Had to sell - on margin - a pharma stock that I had been up 60% on when it crashed. Also rode another nat gas MLP nearly into bankruptcy (got out just before, but took a big loss). Ironically, I re-boug...
by SeaToTheBay
Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much does my commute cost me?
Replies: 15
Views: 1858

Re: How much does my commute cost me?

We have this same debate in the Bay Area with my wife's work offering a shuttle. Shorter commute (30mi round trip) but a more expensive, less-efficient car (2013 Mercedes C350). People have the right idea here with the misc. costs - estimate the cost of consumables like oil, tires, brakes, etc. and ...
by SeaToTheBay
Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When calculating net worth, how do you value your house?
Replies: 167
Views: 8684

Re: When calculating net worth, how do you value your house?

I average Zillow and Redfin (both actually seem fairly accurate given the comps here), then subtract the principal owed on our mortgage.
by SeaToTheBay
Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying Down Debt with Bonus?
Replies: 16
Views: 1595

Re: Paying Down Debt with Bonus?

I would ensure you have an emergency fund in case things don't work out, and then use whatever is left to pay down the loan. I graduated MBA with $110k in debt - paid off my 8% federal "subsidized" loan with my signing bonus and relocation bonus as soon as I started work, then spent the next four ye...
by SeaToTheBay
Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental car in Spain
Replies: 14
Views: 649

Re: Rental car in Spain

Should be fine. In Portugal a couple of months ago I got the smallest car I could find. Helps gas mileage, maneuvering tight streets, and parking, and not much less comfortable.
by SeaToTheBay
Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What % of income to buy a car is not excessive?
Replies: 48
Views: 3718

Re: What % of income to buy a car is not excessive?

Runner, I understand your sentiment and it is very prudent to be within that limit. But... The median new car (26K) costs about 50% of the median annual household income(52K). Even with the 3 mo ( 25% of annual) income the median household can not afford a median car or even any new car. ( I am not...
by SeaToTheBay
Thu Aug 10, 2017 6:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Struggling with Justifying an Expensive Car Purchase
Replies: 120
Views: 6403

Re: Struggling with Justifying an Expensive Car Purchase

$70,000 for a car is absurd. How much do you spend on toothbrushes? I would be happy to sell you one for $100. As long as you do not expect it to get your teeth any cleaner. Again with the "absurd" comment. He admits $70k on a car is a luxury. We get that a $7k car will get from Point A to Point B ...
by SeaToTheBay
Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Struggling with Justifying an Expensive Car Purchase
Replies: 120
Views: 6403

Re: Struggling with Justifying an Expensive Car Purchase

My main concern with the cheaper option is that I'll get tired of it and feel like I got something I didn't love solely because it was cheaper. The thing is, if this happens, you can still sell the cheaper car at a relatively smaller depreciation loss and upgrade to the newer, nicer car (which by t...
by SeaToTheBay
Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Struggling with Justifying an Expensive Car Purchase
Replies: 120
Views: 6403

Re: Struggling with Justifying an Expensive Car Purchase

Cars come off lease at 3, 4 and 5 years. Get one used. $35,000 is a huge amount of money to pay for a car. $70,000 is absurd. While nobody really needs a $70k car, it is not "absurd" and not our place to judge one's purchasing decisions. Some might think a $700k vacation home, a $7k vacation, or a ...
by SeaToTheBay
Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Struggling with Justifying an Expensive Car Purchase
Replies: 120
Views: 6403

Re: Struggling with Justifying an Expensive Car Purchase

I'm a huge car guy, but I'm a little confused why you have only two options, one of which is twice the cost of the other (which itself is already not cheap). Can you tell us what the cars in question are? Can you buy the $70k "want" car a year or two used for a price that's in between the two? There...
by SeaToTheBay
Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Townhome or condo?
Replies: 29
Views: 2316

Re: Townhome or condo?

My understanding is that the HOA should not increase a lot. My reasoning : 1. No Swimming pool/ Gym in the community. 2. No elevators 3. No huge park. There is a municipal park planned close to the neighborhood . 4. All they will maintain is the common areas What will the reason for the increase in...
by SeaToTheBay
Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How far off are Zillow's estimates?
Replies: 82
Views: 7930

Re: How far off are Zillow's estimates?

I also find Redfin to be more realistic and stable. We have two properties and Redfin is a bit lower than Zillow on both, but I think closer to what we could actually get if we sold. And changes are more gradual vs. the up and down bigger fluctuations of Zillow. In my personal NW analysis, I just av...
by SeaToTheBay
Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another bay area housing thread..
Replies: 143
Views: 13352

Re: Another bay area housing thread..

I've mentioned this in another thread, but we bought in Milpitas. Halfway decent commute to many tech jobs (wife is 45-50min to Mountain View, I'm 20min to downtown SJ), good schools, low crime. Can get a decent SFH for $1M or a very nice new townhouse, and the BART station will be up and running in...
by SeaToTheBay
Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Looking for a house around San Jose, CA
Replies: 36
Views: 3565

Re: Looking for a house around San Jose, CA

Look in Milpitas - that's where we bought a new townhouse last fall. $600-800k will get you either an older SFH or a newer 2bd condo/townhouse, or even a 3-bd if you stretch a little. Good schools and pretty safe neighborhood, not to mention the new BART station coming in December. Milpitas is infam...
by SeaToTheBay
Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you count vehicle equity in net worth?
Replies: 203
Views: 10654

Re: Do you count vehicle equity in net worth?

I am a unique case. I am a die-hard car nut, and try to buy used cars at or near the bottom of their depreciation curve. However, I am disciplined as car nuts go, and am only on my 4th car after driving for 17 years. Since I buy cars that depreciate very little (out of the 3 cars I have ever sold, t...
by SeaToTheBay
Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Benefits of real estate agent for buying new construction?
Replies: 25
Views: 1455

Re: Benefits of real estate agent for buying new construction?

In my area, a builder only pays the real estate agent if (s)he accompanies the buyer on the very first visit. So, if you show up at a new construction site for the first time without an agent, the builder is under no obligation to pay the agent who shows up subsequent to the first visit. I had the ...
by SeaToTheBay
Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 100k milestone
Replies: 49
Views: 6120

Re: 100k milestone

I hit it at 25, but then briefly fell back below at 29 when I went to grad school full time. Since then it has taken off. :happy
by SeaToTheBay
Fri Jul 07, 2017 6:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seeking advice on 1.2m (now 900K) house purchase
Replies: 188
Views: 12576

Re: Seeking advice on 1.2m house purchase

<<Probably couldn't even outside of the Bay Area.>> 2) Disagree with that statement. Let's leave this as you have not explored this option. Believe me, having lived here for the past few years and recruiting for a tech-related job for both myself and my wife, I have explored this option. I actually...
by SeaToTheBay
Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seeking advice on 1.2m (now 900K) house purchase
Replies: 188
Views: 12576

Re: Seeking advice on 1.2m house purchase

Or, they should talk to folks outside of Bay Area. At the same job and same level, they do not get paid substantially more to live and work in this VHCOL area. So, why would a rational person do this? They do not have to move out of California. Just outside of LA and Bay Area. KlangFool If you work...
by SeaToTheBay
Wed Jul 05, 2017 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seeking advice on 1.2m (now 900K) house purchase
Replies: 188
Views: 12576

Re: Seeking advice on 1.2m house purchase

Let me first just say "no" like all the others. My second point is you say there is "no livable property within 60 minutes commute to my workplace that are below $1m". Where exactly do you work? I also live in the Bay Area and feel this is not true. We bought a 3bd/3ba 1,750 sq ft townhouse last fal...
by SeaToTheBay
Fri Jun 30, 2017 4:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car Finance 1.49% a Good Rate?
Replies: 40
Views: 3288

Re: Car Finance 1.49% a Good Rate?

There's a difference between stretching your loan out over 4, 5 or 6 years because you need to do that to make the payments and stretching it out because you got a really good interest rate and would rather invest the money because your investment return has a higher expected value than the loan ra...
by SeaToTheBay
Fri Jun 30, 2017 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car Finance 1.49% a Good Rate?
Replies: 40
Views: 3288

Re: Car Finance 1.49% a Good Rate?

I will give you that on a older Honda. But not eveyone drives a Honda. Also, per my mechanic and friends who drive newer Hondas they have problems over 3 years. One example on the 2013 Honda the front wheel bearing go out. That is $600 per side. This is also common problem on all 2013 and newer Hon...
by SeaToTheBay
Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car Finance 1.49% a Good Rate?
Replies: 40
Views: 3288

Re: Car Finance 1.49% a Good Rate?

If you are buying that kind of expensive car then you must make really good money. If that is the case why would someone purchase car on a 72 month loan. If you can afford the car buy it with a 3 year loan. Most cars start to break down after 3-5 yrs. So having a payment and fixing a broken car get...
by SeaToTheBay
Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Car Should I Buy My Daughter as a Graduation Present
Replies: 150
Views: 10377

Re: What Car Should I Buy My Daughter as a Graduation Present

Might be worth it to consider a current-generation Civic. Not as spacious cargo-wise as a fit, but more substantial with lower noise and better power. Excellent reviews. You can also get some VWs for dirt cheap these days, and I've heard deals on Chevy Volts (plug-in hybrid) are quite good right now.
by SeaToTheBay
Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Liability on Selling Former Residence (Now Rental)
Replies: 14
Views: 1039

Re: Tax Liability on Selling Former Residence (Now Rental)

Thank you to all who respond! It looks like I will owe a lot of tax, and it will be complicated. Words to live by, haha! Really appreciate all of the responses, thanks again.
by SeaToTheBay
Tue Jun 27, 2017 7:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Liability on Selling Former Residence (Now Rental)
Replies: 14
Views: 1039

Tax Liability on Selling Former Residence (Now Rental)

I have a question on what I would pay in taxes upon selling an RE property, related to another thread that has been floating around. In 2006, my parents and I bought a 2-bedroom condo 50/50 (listed as such in the mortgage docs). From 2006-2011 I lived in one bedroom and rented the other bedroom to a...
by SeaToTheBay
Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Regret early retirement/downsizing
Replies: 230
Views: 41011

Re: Regret early retirement/downsizing

I understand. But I know some people think that reading is addictive as well, but it is NOTHING compared to video games (in my opinion). There are hundreds of games that, once you pick up, you just cannot put down. I remember when I was around 15 I played video games for 36 hours straight when my p...
by SeaToTheBay
Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Share your net worth progression
Replies: 574
Views: 150856

Re: Share your net worth progression

2006: 47k. Graduated college, bought condo 50/50 with parents (bad timing, good location - still have it and renting out). Had saved all money from birthdays, Christmas, etc. since I was 5, mutual fund since 10, usually $300/mo from HS/college side jobs into a Roth IRA. My parents set me up well wit...
by SeaToTheBay
Thu Jun 08, 2017 6:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I'm considering buying a house in the $800k range.. can I?
Replies: 67
Views: 7006

Re: I'm considering buying a house in the $800k range.. can I?

I would do it, and I feel confident saying that because I parallel a lot of your demographics. I lived in the Seattle area until 2011, bought a condo (50/50 with my parents) in the Capitol Hill area in 2006, moved to the Bay Area in 2013 (spend 2011-13 in the Midwest for grad school, where I met my ...