Search found 161 matches

by rogermexico
Tue Jan 12, 2016 1:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: tax question about rental property
Replies: 12
Views: 1770

Re: tax question about rental property

Particularly since they were done during a vacancy and followed by period of personal use, these would be improvements and not repairs. These expenses should be depreciated as improvements with a placed-in-service date of whenever you start advertising it again for rent. You need to figure out which...
by rogermexico
Wed Sep 23, 2015 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home is no longer occupied. Should we tell homeowners insurance company?
Replies: 32
Views: 3401

Re: Home is no longer occupied. Should we tell homeowners insurance company?

Builder's risk policies are designed for such periods in which building is unoccupied and repairs are being made to get it ready to sell. They usually come in 3 or 6 mo increments and are not terribly expensive ... mine were maybe 2x higher than comparable occupied policy. You might get ready to swi...
by rogermexico
Wed Jul 08, 2015 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental Property Software
Replies: 10
Views: 1749

Re: Rental Property Software

If you have basic familiarity with Excel, I'd recommend using it since it has the flexibility to adjust to your exact situation. I enter all expenses, associate with property in question and categorize them based on the categories on your Schedule E. I have separate spreadsheets for 1) rent roll and...
by rogermexico
Tue May 12, 2015 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we purchase home without permits?
Replies: 70
Views: 6768

Re: Should we purchase home without permits?

It's not uncommon in my urban area for licensed trades-persons to not bother with permits. Also I wouldn't rely on public records but would rather rely on my own inspector. Our city inspectors are pretty lax and just take a quick look, so it's not like they're going to notice other discrepancies bet...
by rogermexico
Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Updated opinions about Ally Bank?
Replies: 79
Views: 16328

Re: Updated opinions about Ally Bank?

I also love the online check deposits although I usually use my computer and scanner rather than smartphone. Since I deposit a lot of rent checks it's much faster to run the stack through scanner (Canon P-150) and get front/back of all of them. Then the redesigned Ally deposit interface is really fa...
by rogermexico
Thu Feb 19, 2015 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling older home with old knob and tube wiring
Replies: 39
Views: 25930

Re: Selling older home with old knob and tube wiring

If you only have K&T in ceiling fixtures that’s no big deal but if a single K&T circuit is supplying the power to your dishwasher/ garbage disposal/ microwave that’s a big problem. So reasonable first step is to map out your circuits… two people with cell phones and a plug-in circuit tester ...
by rogermexico
Sun Nov 16, 2014 11:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Landlord wants us to sign an entirely new contract!
Replies: 51
Views: 11345

Re: Landlord wants us to sign an entirely new contract!

If you haven't moved in yet and insist on the more advantageous terms, the landlord could find a way to keep that from happening (such as sorry the place isn't habitable or old tenant didn't move out, etc). You'd have a lot more leverage in any such negotiation if you were already in the unit. So if...
by rogermexico
Sun Nov 16, 2014 11:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HDHP vs Traditional Insurance Question
Replies: 5
Views: 1063

Re: HDHP vs Traditional Insurance Question

Many employers (including yours and mine) are pushing the HDHPs with attractive rates and large HSA contributions. I decide based on comparison of most likely outcome but also worst case scenario. My calculations from this year show the most likely outcome (with average annual health care expense ) ...
by rogermexico
Fri Sep 12, 2014 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Electronic rent payments
Replies: 15
Views: 2092

Re: Electronic rent payments

I'd second Popmoney, which is free for both sides of the transaction from many banks (e.g. Ally). The interface is often built-in to your bank's website (added security). I think you can set up recurring transactions as well Lots of major banks offer it. Paypal Verified would be another free option,...
by rogermexico
Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: relo property and "illegal" partially finished basement
Replies: 23
Views: 1992

Re: relo property and "illegal" partially finished basement

Real estate assessors are typically fixated on finished sq. footage, so your real estate tax will often increase linear with assessed sq. ft. So an unpermitted basement job can be a financial advantage for you (especially since basement space doesn't drive up the market value as dramatically). Code ...
by rogermexico
Thu Aug 07, 2014 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teaching kids about finances
Replies: 2
Views: 553

Re: Teaching kids about finances

I have an account for them in which they are required to deposit some of their weekly allowance. It's not an actual account but rather just an Excel spreadsheet (backed up by the full faith and credit of the Bank of Dad). I've artificially boosted the interest rate (to 8%) in order to emphasize the ...
by rogermexico
Tue Apr 22, 2014 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: sued by landlord
Replies: 34
Views: 4869

Re: sued by landlord

Landlord probably has their renovation crew lined up and doesn't want someone overstaying past Apr 30 which could cause delays. Since the wheels of justice move slowly (waiting for court dates, etc), landlord has to start the process early in such a situation. He/she probably has a big expensive bui...
by rogermexico
Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2014 tax appraisal value
Replies: 12
Views: 642

Re: 2014 tax appraisal value

Also know that you need to compare your home with recent listing and sales (market), and not really obsess over the assessed values of your neighbors. If your neighbor with a home identical to yours is assessed below market value (and your's is not), that's typically not going to help you get your a...
by rogermexico
Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home improvement plans not filed with town?
Replies: 21
Views: 1453

Re: Home improvement plans not filed with town?

Your property tax total is directly correlated with city assessors square footage (which can differ from what a realtor would put as sq. ft). So from a financial standpoint prior owner may be doing you a favor. Have your home inspector look very closely at the basement (to guard against code violati...
by rogermexico
Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renal Property Math - Make Sense?
Replies: 21
Views: 2804

Re: Renal Property Math - Make Sense?

A key question is whether you are highly likely to move back to the same house after 2 years. If moving back there is uncertain then I'd advise you to sell it. A bet on price appreciation is not one that you'll always win, and realtors don't usually have an objective view of this. I assume that the ...
by rogermexico
Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Looking for new account suggestions for rental income
Replies: 5
Views: 471

Re: Looking for new account suggestions for rental income

Separate account at wherever your other accounts are is probably most convenient (for ease of transporting money back and forth which may be required). Also depends somewhat on whether rent checks are coming directly to you (and then you pay PM) or if they are collected by PM (who then pays you). I ...
by rogermexico
Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Updated opinions about Ally Bank?
Replies: 79
Views: 16328

Re: Updated opinions about Ally Bank?

I'm pretty happy with Ally and have online savings and interest checking accounts. Best part is online check deposit. I deposit a fair number of checks and their deposit system is now very fast. I use my computer scanner rather than smartphone as it allows me to quickly scan multiple checks front an...
by rogermexico
Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advise please: Tree fell on our car at DH workplace
Replies: 22
Views: 2513

Re: Advise please: Tree fell on our car at DH workplace

I had same problem with a neighbor's tree and my understanding of the law is similar to gtaylors. It's an act of god and not covered by their property insurance unless part of tree was obviously dead and neglected. I'd take some pictures of the tree. I disagree to some degree with advice that your f...
by rogermexico
Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Low Income, High Net Worth - Stories Of
Replies: 76
Views: 15159

Re: Low Income, High Net Worth - Stories Of

As for "high net worth" I think it's more useful to think in terms of how many years of your average living expenses that you have saved up. I have about 12.5 years of expenses covered by my net worth. I'm at 3 kids, 5 figure income, early 40s so think I'm in pretty good shape. Our savings...
by rogermexico
Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seller getting Real Estate Appraisal
Replies: 9
Views: 1295

Re: Seller getting Real Estate Appraisal

>>> While I like the idea, one concern is keeping its valuation kept completely private until I choose to whom and when to release it. How would I ensure this? An appraisal that you personally buy is not going to be public record so that's not really a concern. You'r .. >>I'm sure the market is impr...
by rogermexico
Fri Jan 10, 2014 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will a mortgage lender accept another's recent appraisal?
Replies: 8
Views: 1534

Re: Will a mortgage lender accept another's recent appraisal

Likely no. There is some appraisal risk to refinancing, in that if the values don't come back high enough, you could get hit with PMI or other inferior conditions that force you to reconsider the refi and waste the upfront money. I usually ask ahead of time what the ramifications would be if apprais...
by rogermexico
Fri Dec 13, 2013 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question on Rental vs REIT
Replies: 2
Views: 339

Re: Question on Rental vs REIT

I own some REITs among my stock lazy portfolio and multifamily rentals. I see them as totally separate asset classes (one is a stock, the other is small business income). I haven't seen much correlation in the returns between the two types. One is much more diversified but I have no control over it ...
by rogermexico
Fri Dec 13, 2013 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental Advice
Replies: 22
Views: 1647

Re: Rental Advice

As for first year deductions these are related basically start-up expenses for getting into landlording. Can't remember the details but allows expensing of tools, office equipment, etc.. stuff that otherwise might have to be depreciated. Probably not as useful if you're using a property manager and ...
by rogermexico
Thu Dec 12, 2013 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental Advice
Replies: 22
Views: 1647

Re: Rental Advice

Q#1: Personally I'd just bump up the existing emergency fund. I don't bother with a separate fund (for my 10 rental units). q#2: Extra principle payments are not deductible. In fact only the interest portion of your total mortgage payment is Sch E deductible (principle portion is not). There are rep...
by rogermexico
Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seeking help on HVAC/insulation investment choices
Replies: 6
Views: 1042

Re: Seeking help on HVAC/insulation investment choices

Ductwork in the attic is generally a bad idea.. it gets tremendously hot up there. Is there any way to do it with soffits and maybe suspend air handler/furnace overhead somewhere? If you were going with #3 I'd try to get them out of the attic.
by rogermexico
Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inherited House w/ Mortgage. Rental Property?
Replies: 66
Views: 7465

Re: Inherited House w/ Mortgage. Rental Property?

Evaluating a rental property: 1) Add up total operating expenses (prop tax + insurance + repairs estimate + any utilities + management fees) If self-managed include a little salary for your time and troubles in this calculation. I’d guess-timate 18k/ yr total for your case. 2) Take monthly rent * va...
by rogermexico
Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best careers for people about to enter college?
Replies: 69
Views: 6491

Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Planet money just did a podcast related to this with some new survey data on salary as a function of a person's undergrad degree. If I recall correctly, highest salaries for undergrad only degree were practically all engineering degrees. You can find the full report on the georgetown website (which ...
by rogermexico
Wed Sep 25, 2013 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tenant that moved out won't pay back rent
Replies: 34
Views: 3214

Re: Tennant that moved out won't pay back rent

Since you are out of state, in this case hiring a lawyer makes more sense than usual. If you fly out especially for your court date but make a mistake on the filing papers, judge could dismiss that case and force you to file again or delay the case (costing you another trip). Also judge has discreti...
by rogermexico
Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Father left my Mother Suddenly, Need advice
Replies: 64
Views: 11695

Re: Father left my Mother Suddenly, Need advice

It would probably be very useful to have as complete a picture as possible of their current assets as possible. I would think that your legal consultation would be more productive if you are prepared in this way. So Mom should call Vanguard and get account details, login access, etc. Also some sleut...
by rogermexico
Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 - starting from scratch
Replies: 29
Views: 2518

Re: 529 - starting from scratch

According to WSJ online the list of states that allow state tax deduction for plans from another state is Arizona, Kansas, Maine, Pennsylvania and Missouri. Also there are the 16 states with no state tax deduction (sometimes due to lack of state income tax). So residents of those 21 states can go sh...
by rogermexico
Tue Jun 04, 2013 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: lowered prices if paid for in cash
Replies: 38
Views: 3416

Re: lowered prices if paid for in cash

There are clearly valid non-tax evasion reasons for a contractor preferring cash.. incl avoidance of the 3% fees and also no possibility of the customer later disputing a credit card charge (saying job wasn't done to satisfaction or whatever). Personally I receive a lot of cash payments (rent from u...
by rogermexico
Wed May 22, 2013 3:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Property tax increase protest - other forms of evidence?
Replies: 21
Views: 1969

Re: Property tax increase protest - other forms of evidence?

One way to get a recent appraisal that might make financial sense would be to refinance your house (if your current rate is not the best). During that process, you're already forced to buy an appraisal, but can recoup costs in lower interest.
by rogermexico
Wed May 22, 2013 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Property tax increase protest - other forms of evidence?
Replies: 21
Views: 1969

Re: Property tax increase protest - other forms of evidence?

I've done about 4 appeals in front of local assessment board. Recent appraisal (or sale) of subject property are very strong evidence... they usually give me those values without further argument. Usually more likely to be given token reduction (or fail) on DIY appraisal of the type you suggest. If ...
by rogermexico
Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bad idea to put in contingencies when buying a house?
Replies: 21
Views: 2777

Re: Bad idea to put in contingencies when buying a house?

Wouldn't the absence of a heating system fall under the normal inspection contingency? If so, I don't think you'd need to include a special contingency, which might be interpreted as a red flag that you as an unreasonable person. There are very few lenders that would allow purchase without a heating...
by rogermexico
Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Regrets on The Triple Play [TV, internet, phone]
Replies: 44
Views: 6203

Re: Any Regrets on The Triple Play

I've switched to voice-over-IP with a free google voice (GV) number and an Obitalk device and am very happy. I bought the Obitalk 100 for $38, plugged one end into the Internet router and other end out to one of my phone jacks. Now all the other existing land-line phones ring in the same way they al...
by rogermexico
Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate Rental return calculations. Advice please.
Replies: 31
Views: 2694

Re: Real Estate Rental return calculations. Advice please.

If you don't know the rental market well, check craigslist .. find nearby properties of comparable quality (based on pictures, etc.) and see what the listed rents are. You can even e-mail those landlords and ask specific questions about that rental marekt. You can also call the same people back in a...
by rogermexico
Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate Rental return calculations. Advice please.
Replies: 31
Views: 2694

Re: Real Estate Rental return calculations. Advice please.

Also this is partly a job so I'd factor out the value of any labor you will contribute from your ROI (because it's natural to compare this ROI to index funds which isn't really valid). For me it's usually several hundred hours up front bringing building up to my standards, and then maybe 10 hrs per ...
by rogermexico
Fri Mar 29, 2013 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Deductions on Rental Property
Replies: 11
Views: 1052

Re: Tax Deductions on Rental Property

There are also some special expense rules for your first year in business. I'd recommend buying "every landlord's deduction guide"/ NOLO press or check it out at local library. Pretty thorough.
by rogermexico
Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: recommend a online background/credit check service
Replies: 9
Views: 1305

Re: recommend a online background/credit check service

For rental property you can get set up to run credit checks (with Transunion only) through AOA/mrlandlord.com service. A one time inspection is required to verify that you're running a rental property business... lots of paperwork and a visit to your "office" where they ensure that you hav...
by rogermexico
Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Our cable bill is over $200 !!!
Replies: 89
Views: 12048

Re: Our cable bill is over $200 !!!

If you don't mind lacking 911 and don't mind google listening in on your calls, google voice number + Obitalk device are a good option. With the Obitalk ($38 one time, no monthly fee), you can plug into internet connection and run phone jack out to your existing landline network (just disconnect pho...
by rogermexico
Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: rental depreciation question
Replies: 12
Views: 2763

Re: rental depreciation question

Ttax does know about the bonus depreciation, at least this was done correctly for some of my 2011 improvements. From the total improvement amount, you can certainly segment out the items that depreciate over shorter time intervals (e.g. appliances). I also recommend the Fishman/ Every landlord's tax...
by rogermexico
Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Security Systems
Replies: 16
Views: 1049

Re: Security Systems

I use alarms only for unoccupied properties under rehab and not for my home but ... Good hardware is available for purchase without the monitoring contracts that can be moved around at will. Get a system with an external horn. Auto-dialers are also available (to make calls out to various contact num...
by rogermexico
Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Determining FMV for Rental
Replies: 6
Views: 545

Re: Determining FMV for Rental

Cost basis is the amount you paid (including settlement and closing costs, etc.). See IRS Pub 527 page 10. You do have to split this value between the land (non-depreciable) and the buildings/improvements
I'd recommend Every landlords' deduction Guide/ Fishman for further info.
by rogermexico
Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: RANT - 2013 Florida Home Insurance Rate Increase
Replies: 40
Views: 7793

Re: RANT - 2013 Florida Home Insurance Rate Increase

Regarding ACV (actual cash value) policies, they are offered by Shelter Insurance but my properties are in MO not FL. I would check with a local Shelter agent and probably an independent agent. These are not really encouraged by any agents, but if you explain what you want and make clear you underst...
by rogermexico
Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: RANT - 2013 Florida Home Insurance Rate Increase
Replies: 40
Views: 7793

Re: RANT - 2013 Florida Home Insurance Rate Increase

Policies of the type you suggest (generally called actual cash value/ACV) are available in some markets (as opposed to replacement cost), but they are higher risk and don’t really work like you suggest. Upon purchase you agree to a property valuation, which in all cases will be the maximum you’ll ev...
by rogermexico
Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Assessed Value of Real Estate
Replies: 14
Views: 1413

Re: Assessed Value of Real Estate

The split between the land value and the building (improvements) value does matter for some situations. For example, if your building were a rental property, you would typically only be able to depreciate the building value and not the land value (and to some degree the split you use on your Sch E w...
by rogermexico
Mon Dec 17, 2012 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling rental and market value
Replies: 3
Views: 615

Re: Selling rental and market value

Expenses on a rental property before being placed in service would go into the tax basis. This is certainly how it's done for vacant property, and nothing I can find in Pub 527 suggests it would be any different if you happened to be living there. Before placed in service, you can't ask whether an i...
by rogermexico
Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I hire a tax advisor?
Replies: 24
Views: 2520

Re: Should I hire a tax advisor?

I'd recommend Every Landlords Deductions guide/Fishman (NOLO Press). Then you can structure your record-keeping system to essentially match what you'll need to put on the Sch. E. A real estate knowledgeable CPA will know a few tricks, but sometimes they seem to rely on somewhat questionable interpre...
by rogermexico
Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how to save on healthcare expenses
Replies: 7
Views: 1081

Re: how to save on healthcare expenses

1. Without FSA/HSA you can only deduct medical expenses if they exceed 10% of income and if you itemize, whereas FSA/HAS always come out pre-tax (as already answered) 2. I stopped using FSA because of the accounting annoyances.. making sure everything was spent at year-end and also possibility of un...
by rogermexico
Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Housing Round-Robin (while minimizing taxes)
Replies: 4
Views: 445

Re: Housing Round-Robin (while minimizing taxes)

It's pretty clear from the rents and mortgage amounts listed that owners of houses A and B would show losses on Schedule E, so you wouldn't be paying taxes on rents. Only if (Rent - prop tax - insurance - mortgage - repairs) were positive would anyone be paying taxes. That said, I think owners of A ...