Search found 2372 matches

by unclescrooge
Tue Sep 25, 2018 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Offer 3.5% to entice buyers agent
Replies: 9
Views: 790

Re: Offer 3.5% to entice buyers agent

I’m looking at selling our house because of a job opportunity in another city. Thinking about using an MLS listing service to save in the selling agent fee. My understanding is that it is standard to offer 2-3% to the buyer’s agent. I’ve also read that buying agents will sometimes skip over listing...
by unclescrooge
Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tail Risk Protection
Replies: 22
Views: 1862

Re: Help Understanding Mark Spitznagel And Tail-risk Hedging?

It's mentioned in the article.

You buy deep out of the money puts for pennies. If the market crashes you make dollars on your pennies. But since the market goes up 2/3rds of the time, 2/3rds of the time you lose money.
by unclescrooge
Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: To rent out our house or not
Replies: 25
Views: 1283

Re: To rent out our house or not

There is a strong chance we will be moving to another city. We’ve owned our home (a duplex) for 5 years. We’ve put a lot of money into it and I’m interested renting it out because I believe the value will go up a great deal over the next 5-10 years. We pay $2850 a month for our mortgage, insurance ...
by unclescrooge
Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changing careers (changing gears) - Can I?
Replies: 10
Views: 956

Re: Changing careers (changing gears) - Can I?

Portfolio: $1.6M (Not including 529 Plans) Net Worth: $2.5M Note: Wife (48) is a teacher with state pension and family healthcare. $50K/year Me (44) small business owner, salary fluctuates...averages. $50K/year :shock: That's amazing networth on $100k income. Your passive income generates about wha...
by unclescrooge
Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changing careers (changing gears) - Can I?
Replies: 10
Views: 956

Re: Changing careers (changing gears) - Can I?

Portfolio: $1.6M (Not including 529 Plans) Net Worth: $2.5M Note: Wife (48) is a teacher with state pension and family healthcare. $50K/year Me (44) small business owner, salary fluctuates...averages. $50K/year :shock: That's amazing networth on $100k income. Your passive income generates about wha...
by unclescrooge
Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dark stain wood floors
Replies: 18
Views: 1302

Re: Dark stain wood floors

My buddy and I got flooring installed about the same time. He went dark maple and I went gray wire brushed oak. While his looks great, he had to run the roomba every single day. They go barefoot in the house and have responsible teenage girls. I have a dog and 2 kids under 4. The common spaces are a...
by unclescrooge
Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best paint finish for garage?
Replies: 12
Views: 1200

Re: Best paint finish for garage?

I agree with eggshell. I recommend using exterior paint inside the garage. I've always had finished garages, but the builders use interior paint and it doesn't last in the harsher environment of an area that isn't heated or air conditioned. For a space that doesn't get much ventilation, if any, and...
by unclescrooge
Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best paint finish for garage?
Replies: 12
Views: 1200

Re: Best paint finish for garage?

I agree with eggshell. I recommend using exterior paint inside the garage. I've always had finished garages, but the builders use interior paint and it doesn't last in the harsher environment of an area that isn't heated or air conditioned. For a space that doesn't get much ventilation, if any, and...
by unclescrooge
Sun Sep 23, 2018 4:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to Get Rid of My Unauthorized “Two Year Contract” With Verizon
Replies: 18
Views: 2083

Re: How to Get Rid of My Unauthorized “Two Year Contract” With Verizon

Cancel the contract. If they say you owe them for the remaining 22 months, then take them to small claims court. Unless the value of the contract is over $10k, you should be able to resolve the matter quite cheaply.
by unclescrooge
Sun Sep 23, 2018 4:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best paint finish for garage?
Replies: 12
Views: 1200

Re: Best paint finish for garage?

I agree with eggshell. I recommend using exterior paint inside the garage. I've always had finished garages, but the builders use interior paint and it doesn't last in the harsher environment of an area that isn't heated or air conditioned. For a space that doesn't get much ventilation, if any, and...
by unclescrooge
Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best paint finish for garage?
Replies: 12
Views: 1200

Best paint finish for garage?

I'm remodeling my garage as the final phase of a major home remodel in SoCal.

It requires structural work and is a major project :(

What paint finish should we use?

My contractor suggests flat paint...says semi gloss shows too much dirt.

Is there any validity to these claims?
by unclescrooge
Sat Sep 22, 2018 5:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Time periods for personal investment
Replies: 25
Views: 1645

Re: Time periods for personal investment

2 questions— 1. Fill in the blank: I will invest in stock if I do not need to begin withdrawing a meaningful amount from that investment for ________ years. 2. Is your answer to #1 independent of the market’s valuation at the time of the investment? If not, why? Emergency funds are always in cash. ...
by unclescrooge
Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buckingham Strategic Wealth #12 on Barron's
Replies: 13
Views: 1572

Re: Buckingham Strategic Wealth #12 on Barron's

I'm not sure AUM is the best way to rank an advisory firm. I think I'd rather see a ranking done by lowest average fee per client. Or highest percentage of clients reaching their goals. Why would clients care if your firm is in one state or twelve? That article, list, and table are so non-client ce...
by unclescrooge
Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Humidity in basement
Replies: 38
Views: 3337

Re: Humidity in basement

Thanks everyone for all the replies. I got a quote from a contractor. The crawlspace is 800 sq ft, and the are of the common wall with the finished area is 130 sq ft. The quote for air seal, insulation, vapor barrier, rodent proofing, cleaning out 60 years of trash, installing an automatic attic fan...
by unclescrooge
Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hubby soon to be laid off
Replies: 74
Views: 7538

Re: Hubby soon to be laid off

runner540 wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:36 pm
jehovasfitness wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:32 pm
Would have to agree, 3600/yr for homeowner's insurance sounds crazy high
It's about 0.5% of the value. Is that high?
Yes.
by unclescrooge
Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we temporarily reduce our retirement contributions in order to pay off our $400k mortgage in 7 years?
Replies: 83
Views: 7169

Re: Should we temporarily reduce our retirement contributions in order to pay off our $400k mortgage in 7 years?

OP, You would have to be crazy to believe that paying 20% to 30% tax in order to save 4.75% interest is a good idea. It is a very simple math. 20% to 30% is bigger than 4.75%. KlangFool Not that simple. The 20% to 30% is not tax savings. You're just deferring it until later when you're forced to wi...
by unclescrooge
Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?
Replies: 93
Views: 4545

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

How many kids? What ages? I've got ~5200 square feet finished (including the basement; about 3800 square feet above grade), but have five kids and two big dogs. It sometimes feel ridiculously oversized (particularly if I happen to be home alone) but when everyone is doing something in different par...
by unclescrooge
Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs
Replies: 56
Views: 3487

Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

These seem really expensive.

I would get 3 more quotes.

Also, if you're putting recessed lights in the basement, make sure you do proper sound proofing.
by unclescrooge
Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we temporarily reduce our retirement contributions in order to pay off our $400k mortgage in 7 years?
Replies: 83
Views: 7169

Re: Should we temporarily reduce our retirement contributions in order to pay off our $400k mortgage in 7 years?

OP, You would have to be crazy to believe that paying 20% to 30% tax in order to save 4.75% interest is a good idea. It is a very simple math. 20% to 30% is bigger than 4.75%. KlangFool Not that simple. The 20% to 30% is not tax savings. You're just deferring it until later when you're forced to wi...
by unclescrooge
Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone hire an interior designer?
Replies: 34
Views: 2974

Re: Anyone hire an interior designer?

I guess the big challenge, IMO, would be the kids. At least in our house the kids toys take up so much room, furniture is limited (no glass coffee table), and marks on the walls and floors it might be worth saving up till the kids get a bit older. Totally makes sense. We have one room that is desig...
by unclescrooge
Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone hire an interior designer?
Replies: 34
Views: 2974

Re: Anyone hire an interior designer?

I used modsy.com with excellent results. I think I paid $79. You take pictures of your room with dimensions, and they turn it into a 3D model. They send you a couple of alternative designs based on your design preference. The furniture and art work all link to online stores and you can purchase them...
by unclescrooge
Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to determine best China index ETF? Is the cheapest ER most important or more liquidity?
Replies: 3
Views: 300

Re: How to determine best China index ETF? Is the cheapest ER most important or more liquidity?

I chose a fund that excludes state owned entities.

The China hustle is real, but probably priced in. With the MSCI index slated to keep including a higher percentage of A shares, money is going to keep flowing into the sector.
by unclescrooge
Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Equity in house / Do you use it?
Replies: 56
Views: 3325

Re: Equity in house / Do you use it?

After I received a threatening letter from an attorney regarding a dog bite that allegedly occurred on my property, I immediately took out a HELOC. When attorney's are working on a contingency basis, you want to make sure there are as many liens on a property as possible so it looks like you're lev...
by unclescrooge
Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:58 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Equity in house / Do you use it?
Replies: 56
Views: 3325

Re: Equity in house / Do you use it?

After I received a threatening letter from an attorney regarding a dog bite that allegedly occurred on my property, I immediately took out a HELOC. When attorney's are working on a contingency basis, you want to make sure there are as many liens on a property as possible so it looks like you're lev...
by unclescrooge
Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas leak detector?
Replies: 21
Views: 1111

Re: Gas leak detector?

I bought 2 natural gas detectors for the fireplace room and the laundry room.

Both rooms have the potential for gas leaks. I bought them off amazon - i think they were $35-45 each.
And I have no idea if they actually work.
by unclescrooge
Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:13 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Equity in house / Do you use it?
Replies: 56
Views: 3325

Re: Equity in house / Do you use it?

After I received a threatening letter from an attorney regarding a dog bite that allegedly occurred on my property, I immediately took out a HELOC. When attorney's are working on a contingency basis, you want to make sure there are as many liens on a property as possible so it looks like you're leve...
by unclescrooge
Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....
Replies: 58
Views: 5438

Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

I was trying to help my cousin roll over a CD IRA from Wells Fargo about 4 years ago. I have some IRA CDs in credit unions. Are you saying that getting these money back to Vanguard would be a problem? Victoria Only if they are at Wells Fargo. Apparently, they provided the wrong form twice. Then the...
by unclescrooge
Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Humidity in basement
Replies: 38
Views: 3337

Re: Humidity in basement

I don't know if the AC is oversized. It usually runs for 30 minutes or so. Is there a good for this if it is? If the AC is cooling but not dropping the humidity to 50%, it almost surely is oversized IMHO. There is no fix for it (short of replacing the system, which would be crazy IMHO). It'll proba...
by unclescrooge
Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial situation/Health checkup - Stocks vs. Real Estate?
Replies: 14
Views: 1122

Re: Financial situation/Health checkup - Stocks vs. Real Estate?

Aapl stock is interesting - I went out and got an Android phone last year. In fact, I used three devices at various price points. Net net - I'm going back to my iPhone after a year - and holding on to Apple stock. You probably got a low end phone, or are so used to the interface that you couldn't g...
by unclescrooge
Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....
Replies: 58
Views: 5438

Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

I was trying to help my cousin roll over a CD IRA from Wells Fargo about 4 years ago.

After several tries, he just gave up.

The money is still sitting there :oops:
by unclescrooge
Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Embarking on a large-scale home update
Replies: 26
Views: 1312

Re: Embarking on a large-scale home update

I can only comment with experience on 2 things: 1. Keep a bathtub. It seems like you’re mainly concerned about older guests, but most little kids only want to take baths. Your kids are out of the house already and you plan to live there for a long time, so perhaps grandkids will be in the picture w...
by unclescrooge
Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to stay the course when you “think” you can outsmart the market
Replies: 36
Views: 2207

Re: How to stay the course when you “think” you can outsmart the market

I truly believe indexing is the best way to invest but sometimes “ideas” get the best of me. For example with the hurricane approaching I thought it would be a smart move to buy Generac, already down 5%. I was curious how often other boggleheads trade short term and how the smart ones have the disc...
by unclescrooge
Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:02 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Barron's US market analysis
Replies: 6
Views: 420

Re: Barron's US market analysis

I thought this was a good article that led with facts and statistics as related to the bull market, and might be worth a scan. Would be interested in counter arguments to their position that 2020 or thereabouts will have many factors that put the US market in a flat or bear market. The part where t...
by unclescrooge
Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is home alarm monitoring worth it?
Replies: 56
Views: 3797

Re: Is home alarm monitoring worth it?

Someone just broke into a house on my street last night.

They were an elderly Asian couple. The break in occurred at 8 pm. They had an alarm but it took the police 15 mins to get there during which time they ransacked the house.
by unclescrooge
Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Humidity in basement
Replies: 38
Views: 3337

Re: Humidity in basement

We live in the Midwest and running a dehumidifier year round solved ALL of our basement problems. It’s probably worth trying it out for a while to see what you think. If installing a vapor barrier gets to the root of the problem, I would rather go that route. I'm in SoCal which isn't supposed to ha...
by unclescrooge
Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Humidity in basement
Replies: 38
Views: 3337

Re: Humidity in basement

Be aware, however, that running a 70 pint dehumidifier adds about $1 to $1.50 per day to your electric bill. In the summer when the a/c is regularly in use is also the peak usage for the dehumidifier, so *ouch*, opening the electric bill from June through Sept is really exciting. It can be even mor...
by unclescrooge
Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial situation/Health checkup - Stocks vs. Real Estate?
Replies: 14
Views: 1122

Re: Financial situation/Health checkup - Stocks vs. Real Estate?

Thanks. I guess I'll keep looking passively for a new place. Once I find it, sell. I have enough for the down payment, so funds can go into kids education savings. In order for your rental income to count towards your income, you need to show 2 years worth of tax returns. Move into a rental now, re...
by unclescrooge
Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar Install w/ SolarCity
Replies: 36
Views: 2447

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Wow, that's seems really expensive, in terms of pay back time. :shock:

Also, aren't the batteries rated for 10 years of use?
by unclescrooge
Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: total bond return vs muni bond
Replies: 6
Views: 733

Re: total bond return vs muni bond

I have always been under the impression that muni bond returns would be less than that of total bonds given its favorable tax treatment. I own MUNI bond ETF (MUB) in my taxable account. I was looking up the difference in return today on Morningstar. I am surprised to find that MUB actually had bett...
by unclescrooge
Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is home alarm monitoring worth it?
Replies: 56
Views: 3797

Re: Is home alarm monitoring worth it?

5. Dog- maybe the one true deterrent. However you need one that is genuinely unfriendly, at least to strangers. Trouble is most people get dogs mostly as pets, not personal protection. AND everyone with an unleashed dog assures me that they are friendly, so apparently virtually all dogs are useless...
by unclescrooge
Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is home alarm monitoring worth it?
Replies: 56
Views: 3797

Re: Is home alarm monitoring worth it?

5. Dog- maybe the one true deterrent. However you need one that is genuinely unfriendly, at least to strangers. Trouble is most people get dogs mostly as pets, not personal protection. AND everyone with an unleashed dog assures me that they are friendly, so apparently virtually all dogs are useless...
by unclescrooge
Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Use 401k loan to pay off student loan debt?
Replies: 8
Views: 786

Re: Use 401k loan to pay off student loan debt?

Thanks for the comments so far! I don't kick off enough dividends from taxable to make a meaningful dent, I usually add around $2K a month to taxable investments. Our retirement accounts are all three-fund but my taxable is where I gamble a bit This exchange would actually free up some additional c...
by unclescrooge
Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Humidity in basement
Replies: 38
Views: 3337

Re: Humidity in basement

If you have any exposed dirt in the crawl space it should be completely covered and sealed by covering with vinyl 6-12 mil thick plastic sheeting. Tape all seams in the plastic and bring edges up onto crawl space walls and tape and seal sheeting to the walls. Also insulate and seal wall and any ope...
by unclescrooge
Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Humidity in basement
Replies: 38
Views: 3337

Re: Humidity in basement

OP, ... First, measurement. You're measuring relative humidity (RH). The basement is cooler than upstairs, so the RH will be higher for the same amount of water in the air. Try calculating the dew point for the up and downstairs to get a measure of the water in the air that's comparable at differen...
by unclescrooge
Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Humidity in basement
Replies: 38
Views: 3337

Re: Humidity in basement

I am a bit confused about your basement situation. Are you turning off the AC and only running it when you are using the space? Yes and no. Nest automatically has an Eco feature that shuts it off if several hours go by without detecting any motion. Also, it's on a slope, so partially underground. B...
by unclescrooge
Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Humidity in basement
Replies: 38
Views: 3337

Re: Humidity in basement

OP, I have a few thoughts. First, measurement. You're measuring relative humidity (RH). The basement is cooler than upstairs, so the RH will be higher for the same amount of water in the air. Try calculating the dew point for the up and downstairs to get a measure of the water in the air that's com...
by unclescrooge
Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Humidity in basement
Replies: 38
Views: 3337

Re: Humidity in basement

Be aware, however, that running a 70 pint dehumidifier adds about $1 to $1.50 per day to your electric bill. In the summer when the a/c is regularly in use is also the peak usage for the dehumidifier, so *ouch*, opening the electric bill from June through Sept is really exciting. I can live with th...
by unclescrooge
Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Humidity in basement
Replies: 38
Views: 3337

Re: Humidity in basement

Since you have AC, you may be able to take advantage of some features built into the new breed of smart thermostats. Your thermostat will not turn if the temperature is not above the set limit, however a Nest thermostat has a mode to maintain humidity levels. It will cycle the AC on even if the tem...
by unclescrooge
Sat Sep 15, 2018 12:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Humidity in basement
Replies: 38
Views: 3337

Re: Humidity in basement

Do you not want to run a dehumidifier? My top two floors each have their own A/C but I didn't have A/C installed in the walk-out basement because it is never hot down there. There are two ducts cut into the vents, and I can open the vents if I want to cool the basement, but rarely do. Part of the b...
by unclescrooge
Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Humidity in basement
Replies: 38
Views: 3337

Humidity in basement

I recently remodeled a split level home in Los Angeles. The lower level is a walk out finished basement, about 750 sq ft. The floor is tile, directly on the slab. It has its own separate 1.5 ton HVAC system. Since it's semi-subterranian, the temperature rarely goes above 78, even when it's 115 degre...