To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Have a question about your personal investments? No matter how simple or complex, you can ask it here.
Topic Author
PecuniaryPeccary
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 3:45 am

To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by PecuniaryPeccary »

Dear Bogleheads,

I'm facing a momentous decision about how to finance a house. And although I've researched several other threads on this subject, I am still unsure what would be best in my situation. So am hoping I can beg for your help in making this huge financial decision!

My current financial assets:

TAX-ADVANTAGED RETIREMENT
• 401(a): $67,264
• 457(b): $46,806
• 403(b): $40,112
• Roth IRA: $41,122

TAXABLE
• VG Taxable: $80,962

(Note: all assets above are invested 100% in Total Global Market or their equivalents.)

I'm totally debt-free. (No student loans, no credit card debt, no car debt, nor any other kind of debt.)


After being a student for most of my life, I finally got my first adult-paying job 7 years ago, at the age of 43. I'm now 50. So, I'm very late to the game of saving for retirement. That said, I'm managing to save/invest between 55% and 60% of my salary. (My gross pre-tax salary is $54,000 annually. I manage to save about $31,000 of that.)

(I should note, I have no pension coming, nor will I get any Social Security — my retirement plan from my employee consists of the 401(a) above, which replaces both pension and Social Security. So all I'll have to live on in retirement is whatever I can accumulate in my tax-advantaged accounts! Yikes.)

Several years ago I acquired roughly $100,000 (from a divorce settlement), which I put in my VG taxable account. Knowing that the money would do better in tax-advantaged retirement accounts, this is what I've been doing: I've dialed in my voluntary contributions to my 457(b) and 403(b) so high that almost every last cent of my monthly salary is routed into them. So my net monthly income is close to zero — and because these are pre-tax contributions, this means that my tax liability is almost zero as well.

But of course, I need income on which to live. So every month I sell just enough of my VG Taxable to pay my bills. This generates some monthly capital gains — but again, because my tax liability is so low, I pay no tax on the capital gains.

Essentially I'm drawing down my Taxable every month in order to contribute as much as I possibly can to Tax-Advantaged (i.e., converting one to the other).


--> Here's my question for you fine folks: I've just gotten tenure at my job (university professor), and so the time has come to think about buying a house! I've sat down and run the numbers through several different Rent vs. Buy calculators, and it seems to make sense to buy rather than continue renting. But how to finance a house? Do I....

(1) Use what I have left in Taxable (currently $80,962) to buy a house outright? (I live in a depressed Midwestern town, so that amount will just about cover the full cost.) If I go this route my house will be paid in full from the start — but with nothing left in Taxable to live off of, I'll have to dial back my contributions to my 457(b) and 403(b) substantially, in order to live off part of my salary, with the resulting immediate increase in my tax bill.

..... or.....

(2) Put only 20% down on the house (drawn from my taxable), and get a standard 80% 15- or 30-year mortgage. This will leave me some $65,000 in Taxable, which I can continue to 'convert' into Tax-Advantaged as I've been doing, and paying no annual income tax, until it's all been converted and I have to revert to living off part of my salary. But of course, I'll have the mortage to pay off.


I don't know how to begin weighing these two options. Any insight or suggestions would be most gratefully received!
Last edited by PecuniaryPeccary on Sun Nov 22, 2020 9:27 am, edited 3 times in total.
mhalley
Posts: 8505
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:02 am

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by mhalley »

I think a mortgage is the way to go. They are at multi year lows. If it turns out you don't like having a mortgage, you can always pay it off. Go with 15 if you can afford it so it will be paid off by retirement. But neither one is a mistake.
Topic Author
PecuniaryPeccary
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 3:45 am

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by PecuniaryPeccary »

mhalley wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:13 pm I think a mortgage is the way to go. They are at multi year lows. If it turns out you don't like having a mortgage, you can always pay it off. Go with 15 if you can afford it so it will be paid off by retirement. But neither one is a mistake.
Thanks mhalley!

Do you recommend this route because the rate on mortgages is lower than the historic average rate of return on the stock market? I'm having trouble knowing which factors to include in the decision.
rgs92
Posts: 2805
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:00 pm

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by rgs92 »

Yep, with 15 year mortgages around 2.25%, I would get one of these unless you had a great deal of money. In your case, I think a mortgage makes sense since your financial assets are limited.
MishkaWorries
Posts: 189
Joined: Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:39 pm

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by MishkaWorries »

I too would favor a mortgage but not for market return concerns. Since you are using your savings to live off of, at least 3-5 years of you savings should be in CDs or other very safe investments. Those type of investments will be lucky to return 1-2% in the next few years.

You need an emergency fund. If you use all your savings to buy a house, what would you do it the HVAC goes out? Or you need a new roof, etc. You should be OK with tenure but who knows what the future holds for higher education.

And you may be better off paying a low mortgage rate and savings on taxes. You'll have to run the numbers on that.
We plan. G-d laughs.
retired@50
Posts: 3617
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2019 2:36 pm
Location: Living in the U.S.A.

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by retired@50 »

PecuniaryPeccary wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:02 pm ...
(1) Use what I have left in Taxable (currently $80,962) to buy a house outright? (I live in a depressed Midwestern town, so that amount will just about cover the full cost.) If I go this route my house will be paid in full from the start — but with nothing left in Taxable to live off of, I'll have to dial back my contributions to my 457(b) and 403(b) substantially, in order to live off my salary, with the resulting immediate increase in my tax bill.

..... or.....

(2) Put only 20% down on the house (drawn from my taxable), and get a standard 80% 15- or 30-year mortgage. This will leave me some $65,000 in Taxable, which I can continue to 'convert' into Tax-Advantaged as I've been doing, and paying no annual income tax, until it's all been converted and I have to revert to living off my salary. But of course, I'll have the mortage to pay off.


I don't know how to begin weighing these two options. Any insight or suggestions would be most gratefully received!
Based on the location (depressed Midwestern town), I'd go for option 2.

It could be considered a hedge against the potential of falling real estate values.

Here's a worst case scenario for you... Not that I think it's likely but...
What if enrollment drops off at school and/or another one of the town's large employers closes up shop. People start to leave. Property values start to decline. Maybe the unthinkable happens and the college has to close down because enrollment has fallen so far. Now, you could completely own a house in this town, or you could own 20% of a house in this town. If you can't sell it, and can't work, you're stuck. If this doomsday scenario comes true, you could walk away from the mortgage and only lose 20%.

Regards,
This is one person's opinion. Nothing more.
mhalley
Posts: 8505
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:02 am

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by mhalley »

Multiple factors in the decision tree. Higher expected returns is one. Maintaining an adequate emergency fund another. Leverage of the mortgage with inflation making future payments less yet another. There are a myriad of others that go into the decision.
https://www.moneyunder30.com/finance-a- ... r-pay-cash
retiredjg
Posts: 42212
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:56 pm

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by retiredjg »

I don't think either decision would be wrong.

Sometimes it is a good idea to consider doing something in the middle. Like putting 40% or 50% down on the house and getting a short mortgage but keeping some of the money available.

Seems like you probably have a pension coming. And maybe SS? Is it likely to cover most of your living expenses? If yes, you may not need to bust your rear end putting more into tax-deferral.
Topic Author
PecuniaryPeccary
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 3:45 am

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by PecuniaryPeccary »

MishkaWorries wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:44 pm I too would favor a mortgage but not for market return concerns. Since you are using your savings to live off of, at least 3-5 years of you savings should be in CDs or other very safe investments. Those type of investments will be lucky to return 1-2% in the next few years.

You need an emergency fund. If you use all your savings to buy a house, what would you do it the HVAC goes out? Or you need a new roof, etc. You should be OK with tenure but who knows what the future holds for higher education.

And you may be better off paying a low mortgage rate and savings on taxes. You'll have to run the numbers on that.
I see! That's helpful, thank you.
Topic Author
PecuniaryPeccary
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 3:45 am

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by PecuniaryPeccary »

retired@50 wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:48 pmBased on the location (depressed Midwestern town), I'd go for option 2.

It could be considered a hedge against the potential of falling real estate values.

Here's a worst case scenario for you... Not that I think it's likely but...
What if enrollment drops off at school and/or another one of the town's large employers closes up shop. People start to leave. Property values start to decline. Maybe the unthinkable happens and the college has to close down because enrollment has fallen so far. Now, you could completely own a house in this town, or you could own 20% of a house in this town. If you can't sell it, and can't work, you're stuck. If this doomsday scenario comes true, you could walk away from the mortgage and only lose 20%.

Regards,
Ooof, right, I see! That makes a good deal of sense. And, sadly, is not outside the realm of possibility. Thank you.
Topic Author
PecuniaryPeccary
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 3:45 am

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by PecuniaryPeccary »

mhalley wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:57 pm Multiple factors in the decision tree. Higher expected returns is one. Maintaining an adequate emergency fund another. Leverage of the mortgage with inflation making future payments less yet another. There are a myriad of others that go into the decision.
https://www.moneyunder30.com/finance-a- ... r-pay-cash
Oh, I hadn't thought about the differential role of inflation..... Hmmm.....
Topic Author
PecuniaryPeccary
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 3:45 am

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by PecuniaryPeccary »

retiredjg wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 4:04 pm I don't think either decision would be wrong.

Sometimes it is a good idea to consider doing something in the middle. Like putting 40% or 50% down on the house and getting a short mortgage but keeping some of the money available.

Seems like you probably have a pension coming. And maybe SS? Is it likely to cover most of your living expenses? If yes, you may not need to bust your rear end putting more into tax-deferral.
Thanks retiredjg. I wish I had both pension and Social Security coming, but, sadly, will have neither. My retirement plan from my employee consists of the 401(a), which replaces both pension and Social Security. So all I'll have is whatever I can accumulate in my tax-advantaged accounts.
hayesfj
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2009 9:39 am

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by hayesfj »

Congratulations on achieving Tenure and on your aggressive savings goals. This is not the question you asked, but it may be something to take into consideration. Is buying a house consistent with your long term financial security, or would you be better of continuing to rent? What needs to be true for you to be financially secure at 65/70?
User avatar
JoeRetire
Posts: 5970
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:44 pm

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by JoeRetire »

PecuniaryPeccary wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:02 pm My current financial assets:

TAX-ADVANTAGED RETIREMENT
• 401(a): $67,264
• 457(b): $46,806
• 403(b): $40,112
• IRA: $41,122

TAXABLE
• VG Taxable: $80,962
No emergency fund at all?
--> Here's my question for you fine folks: I've just gotten tenure at my job (university professor), and so the time has come to think about buying a house!
Can you afford one?
(2) Put only 20% down on the house (drawn from my taxable), and get a standard 80% 15- or 30-year mortgage.
Do this, assuming you can afford a house at all. Go for the 30 year mortgage. Keep as much of your assets as liquid as you can. Houses need to be furnished and maintained.
It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | And I feel fine.
User avatar
Watty
Posts: 20890
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by Watty »

:sharebeer
PecuniaryPeccary wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:02 pm If I go this route my house will be paid in full from the start — but with nothing left in Taxable to live off of......
There are lots of opinions that people have and I am normally in the "pay it off" cheerleading camp. You really need a good emergency fund and when you move into the house you will need things like basic furniture to start will and you will likely also have expenses like buying a refrigerator, washing machine, dryer, lawn mower, drapes, etc and even if things go well you will likely have some remodeling expenses like painting. You may also have a few surprises that go with home ownership.

Paying cash isn't a good option if you want to buy the house right now and that would leave you with no other liquide money. If you will be buying it 3+ months in the future you could cut back on your retirement savings for a few months to build up your cash reserves so that paying cash would be a better choice.

Before you decide what to do you really need to research what loan options you will have. The problem is that a lot of lenders will not sell mortgages for small loans since many of their administrative costs are the same for a $65K loan or a $650K loan. Small mortgages are often charged a higher interest rate too. There will also be a lot of costs that you will need to pay for things like appraisals that will be large in relation to your loan size. It may be easier to get a small loan with a local credit union that is familiar with the area than would be with a large national lender.

Just for brainstorming there may be an an alternative though.

I have not done it but people have posted that it is possible to buy a house using a home equity loan(or line of credit) on that house instead of a conventional mortgage. That may have lot lower closing costs but the interest rate may be higher and variable. If you got a small home equity loan that might still be a good deal though when you crunch the numbers if you will pay it off quickly. For example you might be able to get a $20K(or whatever makes sense) home equity loan and pay the rest in cash. That would leave you with a $20K emergency fund and if you are able to pay the home equity loan off in two years then might not have to pay a lot of interest.
PecuniaryPeccary wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:02 pm So my net monthly income is close to zero — and because these are pre-tax contributions, this means that my tax liability is almost zero as well.
Somewhere in your plans it would be good to also fund Roth accounts so that you will have tax free withdrawals when you retire. Paying zero in taxes now is great but you also need to keep in mind what your future tax liability will be. Even if you have to pay a bit more taxes funding a Roth account instead up to the top of the 10% tax bracket would be worth considering.
User avatar
1789
Posts: 1782
Joined: Fri Aug 16, 2019 3:31 pm

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by 1789 »

You need CASH. Don't put all your CASH for this house. You will regret so much if you do so. You need this money to compound like crazy. A house will not give you that.
"My conscience wants vegetarianism to win over the world. And my subconscious is yearning for a piece of juicy meat. But what do i want?" (Andrei Tarkovsky)
Affable at 50
Posts: 62
Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2019 2:34 am

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by Affable at 50 »

PecuniaryPeccary wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:02 pm Dear Bogleheads,

I'm facing a momentous decision about how to finance a house. And although I've researched several other threads on this subject, I am still unsure what would be best in my situation. So am hoping I can beg for your help in making this huge financial decision!

My current financial assets:

TAX-ADVANTAGED RETIREMENT
• 401(a): $67,264
• 457(b): $46,806
• 403(b): $40,112
• IRA: $41,122

TAXABLE
• VG Taxable: $80,962

(Note: all assets above are invested 100% in Total Global Market or their equivalents.)


After being a student for most of my life, I finally got my first adult-paying job 7 years ago, at the age of 43. I'm now 50.
(I have no pension coming — the 401(a) above is what I have from my employer. I also will get no Social Security.)

Several years ago I acquired roughly $100,000 (from a divorce settlement), which I put in my VG taxable account. Knowing that the money would do better in tax-advantaged retirement accounts, this is what I've been doing: I've dialed in my voluntary contributions to my 457(b) and 403(b) so high that almost every last cent of my monthly salary is routed into them. So my net monthly income is close to zero — and because these are pre-tax contributions, this means that my tax liability is almost zero as well.

But of course, I need income on which to live. So every month I sell just enough of my VG Taxable to pay my bills. This generates some monthly capital gains — but again, because my tax liability is so low, I pay no tax on the capital gains.

Essentially I'm drawing down my Taxable every month in order to contribute as much as I possibly can to Tax-Advantaged (i.e., converting one to the other).


--> Here's my question for you fine folks: I've just gotten tenure at my job (university professor), and so the time has come to think about buying a house! Do I....

(1) Use what I have left in Taxable (currently $80,962) to buy a house outright? (I live in a depressed Midwestern town, so that amount will just about cover the full cost.) If I go this route my house will be paid in full from the start — but with nothing left in Taxable to live off of, I'll have to dial back my contributions to my 457(b) and 403(b) substantially, in order to live off my salary, with the resulting immediate increase in my tax bill.

..... or.....

(2) Put only 20% down on the house (drawn from my taxable), and get a standard 80% 15- or 30-year mortgage. This will leave me some $65,000 in Taxable, which I can continue to 'convert' into Tax-Advantaged as I've been doing, and paying no annual income tax, until it's all been converted and I have to revert to living off my salary. But of course, I'll have the mortage to pay off.


I don't know how to begin weighing these two options. Any insight or suggestions would be most gratefully received!
I am not sure you’re asking the right questions. I’m would base the decision on what scenario (rent vs buy) helps you to free up more cash to live on and save for retirement at the same time. Is there a scenario that allows you to save for retirement and leave your taxable account intact? Owning a home can be expensive and there are no guarantees the house will increase in value. Have you calculated how long your taxable account will last at the current draw down rate? If you use a large portion of the current balance to finance a home purchase how long will the remaining funds last? Plus you’re operating without an emergency fund, which makes you especially susceptible to and potential sustained drop in the global stock market.

With the tenure will your income grow and improve your options?

After being a student for much of your adult life, do you have any student loans or credit card debt?
Topic Author
PecuniaryPeccary
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 3:45 am

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by PecuniaryPeccary »

hayesfj wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 8:11 pm Congratulations on achieving Tenure and on your aggressive savings goals. This is not the question you asked, but it may be something to take into consideration. Is buying a house consistent with your long term financial security, or would you be better of continuing to rent? What needs to be true for you to be financially secure at 65/70?
Ah, yes, I forgot to address that in my OP.... I ran the numbers through various Rent vs. Buy calculators, and it seems that it does make financial sense for me to buy. Thank you for asking.
Topic Author
PecuniaryPeccary
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 3:45 am

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by PecuniaryPeccary »

JoeRetire wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 8:23 pm
PecuniaryPeccary wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:02 pm My current financial assets:

TAX-ADVANTAGED RETIREMENT
• 401(a): $67,264
• 457(b): $46,806
• 403(b): $40,112
• IRA: $41,122

TAXABLE
• VG Taxable: $80,962
No emergency fund at all?
--> Here's my question for you fine folks: I've just gotten tenure at my job (university professor), and so the time has come to think about buying a house!
Can you afford one?
(2) Put only 20% down on the house (drawn from my taxable), and get a standard 80% 15- or 30-year mortgage.
Do this, assuming you can afford a house at all. Go for the 30 year mortgage. Keep as much of your assets as liquid as you can. Houses need to be furnished and maintained.
Hi JoeRetire,
Heh, no, no emergency fund! I guess I should convert some part of my current Taxable into cash as an emergency fund...

Various Rent vs. Buy calculators seem to indicate I'd be better off buying a house. My mortgage payments (including property taxes) would be substantially lower than what I pay to rent. Of course there will be all types of additional costs associated with buying, I know (property upkeep, repairs, and time lost too). But it still looks cheaper for me to buy rather than rent.
bberris
Posts: 1567
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:44 am

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by bberris »

If I could, I would avoid a mortgage. The hassle factor alone would sway me.
The other point: whatever you invest in, there will be a tax at some point. By putting cash in the house, you get the rent-equivalent tax-free.
Outer Marker
Posts: 1219
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2009 8:01 am

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by Outer Marker »

rgs92 wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:40 pm Yep, with 15 year mortgages around 2.25%, I would get one of these unless you had a great deal of money. In your case, I think a mortgage makes sense since your financial assets are limited.
+1. 20% down on a 15 year is the way to go. The Stable Value Fund in my 401K is paying 2.2% At these historically low mtge rates, you don't even have to beat the mortgage return with the stock market; you should outpace the rate even with super-safe income over the term, let alone the prospect of much higher equity returns. With a steady income from a tenured professorship, you'll pay off the house in a reasonable amount of time. If you change your mind, you can always pay it off later.
Topic Author
PecuniaryPeccary
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 3:45 am

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by PecuniaryPeccary »

Watty wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 9:29 pm :sharebeer
PecuniaryPeccary wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:02 pm If I go this route my house will be paid in full from the start — but with nothing left in Taxable to live off of......
There are lots of opinions that people have and I am normally in the "pay it off" cheerleading camp. You really need a good emergency fund and when you move into the house you will need things like basic furniture to start will and you will likely also have expenses like buying a refrigerator, washing machine, dryer, lawn mower, drapes, etc and even if things go well you will likely have some remodeling expenses like painting. You may also have a few surprises that go with home ownership.

Paying cash isn't a good option if you want to buy the house right now and that would leave you with no other liquide money. If you will be buying it 3+ months in the future you could cut back on your retirement savings for a few months to build up your cash reserves so that paying cash would be a better choice.

Before you decide what to do you really need to research what loan options you will have. The problem is that a lot of lenders will not sell mortgages for small loans since many of their administrative costs are the same for a $65K loan or a $650K loan. Small mortgages are often charged a higher interest rate too. There will also be a lot of costs that you will need to pay for things like appraisals that will be large in relation to your loan size. It may be easier to get a small loan with a local credit union that is familiar with the area than would be with a large national lender.

Just for brainstorming there may be an an alternative though.

I have not done it but people have posted that it is possible to buy a house using a home equity loan(or line of credit) on that house instead of a conventional mortgage. That may have lot lower closing costs but the interest rate may be higher and variable. If you got a small home equity loan that might still be a good deal though when you crunch the numbers if you will pay it off quickly. For example you might be able to get a $20K(or whatever makes sense) home equity loan and pay the rest in cash. That would leave you with a $20K emergency fund and if you are able to pay the home equity loan off in two years then might not have to pay a lot of interest.
PecuniaryPeccary wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:02 pm So my net monthly income is close to zero — and because these are pre-tax contributions, this means that my tax liability is almost zero as well.
Somewhere in your plans it would be good to also fund Roth accounts so that you will have tax free withdrawals when you retire. Paying zero in taxes now is great but you also need to keep in mind what your future tax liability will be. Even if you have to pay a bit more taxes funding a Roth account instead up to the top of the 10% tax bracket would be worth considering.
Watty, thanks for the detailed thoughts! I didn't know that smaller mortgages were often subject to higher interest rates, for example. Thanks for the tips regarding local credit union vs. large national lender, home equity loan, etc. And I'll look into the Roth.
Topic Author
PecuniaryPeccary
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 3:45 am

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by PecuniaryPeccary »

Affable at 50 wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 2:52 am I am not sure you’re asking the right questions. I’m would base the decision on what scenario (rent vs buy) helps you to free up more cash to live on and save for retirement at the same time. Is there a scenario that allows you to save for retirement and leave your taxable account intact? Owning a home can be expensive and there are no guarantees the house will increase in value. Have you calculated how long your taxable account will last at the current draw down rate? If you use a large portion of the current balance to finance a home purchase how long will the remaining funds last? Plus you’re operating without an emergency fund, which makes you especially susceptible to and potential sustained drop in the global stock market.

With the tenure will your income grow and improve your options?

After being a student for much of your adult life, do you have any student loans or credit card debt?
Hi Affable at 50 (I just turned 50, so hope I can stay affable myself!),

Ah, I totally forgot to mention that in my OP: I have absolutely no debt of any kind (no student loans, no credit card debt, no car doubt, or anything else.) Thank you for asking.

Tenure will give me a slight salary bump (from my current $54,000 to about $59,000), but not much, sadly.

Running numbers through various Rent vs. Buy calculators seems to show that I'd be better off buying, even after trying to factor in all the additional (and often only guessable) expenses of owning, such as repairs, possible increases in property taxes, insurance, etc.
User avatar
JoeRetire
Posts: 5970
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:44 pm

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by JoeRetire »

PecuniaryPeccary wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 9:37 am Heh, no, no emergency fund! I guess I should convert some part of my current Taxable into cash as an emergency fund...
Was it an intentional decision not to have any emergency fund at all? Or did it recently get depleted?

IMHO, after ensuring any 401k match, that's the fist thing that needs to be funded. I'm interested if you have a different thought.
It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | And I feel fine.
Topic Author
PecuniaryPeccary
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 3:45 am

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by PecuniaryPeccary »

Outer Marker wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 9:44 am
rgs92 wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:40 pm Yep, with 15 year mortgages around 2.25%, I would get one of these unless you had a great deal of money. In your case, I think a mortgage makes sense since your financial assets are limited.
+1. 20% down on a 15 year is the way to go. The Stable Value Fund in my 401K is paying 2.2% At these historically low mtge rates, you don't even have to beat the mortgage return with the stock market; you should outpace the rate even with super-safe income over the term, let alone the prospect of much higher equity returns. With a steady income from a tenured professorship, you'll pay off the house in a reasonable amount of time. If you change your mind, you can always pay it off later.
Outer Marker, thanks. That sure helps put things in perspective.

I'm curious, in my case, would you (and others) strongly recommend a 15-year mortgage over a 30-year instead?
I'm 50 years old now. Expect I'll probably retire in 18 years or so, around age 68.
Topic Author
PecuniaryPeccary
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 3:45 am

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by PecuniaryPeccary »

JoeRetire wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 10:18 am
PecuniaryPeccary wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 9:37 am Heh, no, no emergency fund! I guess I should convert some part of my current Taxable into cash as an emergency fund...
Was it an intentional decision not to have any emergency fund at all? Or did it recently get depleted?

IMHO, after ensuring any 401k match, that's the fist thing that needs to be funded. I'm interested if you have a different thought.
Not an intentional decision... Just an unwitting decision. I never gave much thought to having an emergency fund (if that means, keeping some money in cash or money market rather than in equities).

My salary is $54,000 annually. I save some $31,000 of that on average, so am living currently on about $23,000 per year. How much cash/money market would you recommend keeping on hand for emergencies?
Outer Marker
Posts: 1219
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2009 8:01 am

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by Outer Marker »

PecuniaryPeccary wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 10:24 am I'm curious, in my case, would you (and others) strongly recommend a 15-year mortgage over a 30-year instead?
I'm 50 years old now. Expect I'll probably retire in 18 years or so, around age 68.
That's the main reason. You don't want to carry a mortgage into retirement.

In addition: -lower interest rate
- less total interest
- pyschic benefit of seeing the loan more rapidly paid off
- not taking debt with you to the grave
User avatar
JoeRetire
Posts: 5970
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:44 pm

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by JoeRetire »

PecuniaryPeccary wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 10:28 am
JoeRetire wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 10:18 am
PecuniaryPeccary wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 9:37 am Heh, no, no emergency fund! I guess I should convert some part of my current Taxable into cash as an emergency fund...
Was it an intentional decision not to have any emergency fund at all? Or did it recently get depleted?

IMHO, after ensuring any 401k match, that's the fist thing that needs to be funded. I'm interested if you have a different thought.
Not an intentional decision... Just an unwitting decision. I never gave much thought to having an emergency fund (if that means, keeping some money in cash or money market rather than in equities).

My salary is $54,000 annually. I save some $31,000 of that on average, so am living currently on about $23,000 per year. How much cash/money market would you recommend keeping on hand for emergencies?
If you were in my family, I'd be recommending that you have at least 1 year of expenses in your emergency fund.
It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | And I feel fine.
tesuzuki2002
Posts: 1147
Joined: Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:40 pm

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by tesuzuki2002 »

I think this really comes down to how you want to handle this. Do you want to have a house payment? It sounds like you could cover it and buy outright and then have no house payment.

But with financing as cheap as it is... 2-3% is incredibly low...

You are in that low income spot where you can cancel out capital gains buy contributing pre-tax to your retirement accounts. The Super Saver Tax credit area... It's not much but any bit from the government can help.

I would go the mortgage route and an aggressive payoff plan taking money from the VG Taxable account so you keep your taxes low on Capital gains.. You would do this by directing your W-2 income into pre-tax accounts. You should be able to pay no taxes on the VG Taxable if you spread this out over 7-10 years...
User avatar
galving
Posts: 197
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 12:47 pm
Location: US Gulf Coast

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by galving »

mhalley wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:13 pm I think a mortgage is the way to go. They are at multi year lows. If it turns out you don't like having a mortgage, you can always pay it off. Go with 15 if you can afford it so it will be paid off by retirement. But neither one is a mistake.
Agreed.
An extremely attractive mortgage rate would allow you to maintain cash flow and prioritize retirement savings.
User avatar
grabiner
Advisory Board
Posts: 28207
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:58 pm
Location: Columbia, MD

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by grabiner »

Outer Marker wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 10:28 am
PecuniaryPeccary wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 10:24 am I'm curious, in my case, would you (and others) strongly recommend a 15-year mortgage over a 30-year instead?
I'm 50 years old now. Expect I'll probably retire in 18 years or so, around age 68.
That's the main reason. You don't want to carry a mortgage into retirement.
However, you don't need to carry a mortgage into retirement just because the term extends into retirement; you can always choose to pay it off when you retire. (And you can choose not to pay it off if that happens to be a good strategy; you might find when you retire that you have a 3% mortgage and your bond fund is yielding 4%.)
In addition: -lower interest rate
This is the most important reason for a shorter term; the bank charges a higher rate on a 30-year loan because it takes the risk of the above scenario.
less total interest
But this is an illusion. You care how much money you have, not how much you pay as interest. If you take out a smaller loan, or make extra payments on the loan, you pay less interest, but you also can't get the investment returns on the money you used for the extra payments. This may be a good or bad deal.
Wiki David Grabiner
ivgrivchuck
Posts: 278
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2020 6:20 pm

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by ivgrivchuck »

PecuniaryPeccary wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:02 pm I don't know how to begin weighing these two options. Any insight or suggestions would be most gratefully received!
I'd go for a 15-year mortgage if you can get it at a reasonable price. This will benefit you in two ways:
1) the spread between the expected stock market return and mortgage interest
2) You can keep putting your income into your retirement savings which gives tax benefits

And as others have pointed out, you need an emergency fund, 6-12 months worth of expenses.
44% VTI | 36% VXUS | 10% I-bonds | 10% EE-bonds
placeholder
Posts: 4091
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:43 pm

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by placeholder »

What's wrong with a mortgage in retirement as it's just another expense to budget and a fixed one at that.
Marseille07
Posts: 270
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2020 1:41 pm

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by Marseille07 »

placeholder wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 7:57 pm What's wrong with a mortgage in retirement as it's just another expense to budget and a fixed one at that.
It's just one fewer thing to worry about. Also, budgeting for a mortgage can significantly increase the amount you need for retirement. For example, instead of 1M & 40K/year w/o a mortgage, you might be looking at 1.5M & 60K/year with a 20K/year mortgage to budget 40K of living expenses. That's 50% more to prepare for and nothing to scoff at.
placeholder
Posts: 4091
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:43 pm

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by placeholder »

Marseille07 wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 10:46 pm
placeholder wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 7:57 pm What's wrong with a mortgage in retirement as it's just another expense to budget and a fixed one at that.
It's just one fewer thing to worry about. Also, budgeting for a mortgage can significantly increase the amount you need for retirement. For example, instead of 1M & 40K/year w/o a mortgage, you might be looking at 1.5M & 60K/year with a 20K/year mortgage to budget 40K of living expenses. That's 50% more to prepare for and nothing to scoff at.
That dowsn't make a lot of sense because one thing less is such a small reduction in complexity (and one that be set up on auto-pay) plus not having a mortgage means you severely reduced your portfolio while a mortgage spreads your spending over years besides providing a hedge against inflation.
Marseille07
Posts: 270
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2020 1:41 pm

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by Marseille07 »

placeholder wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:58 am
Marseille07 wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 10:46 pm
placeholder wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 7:57 pm What's wrong with a mortgage in retirement as it's just another expense to budget and a fixed one at that.
It's just one fewer thing to worry about. Also, budgeting for a mortgage can significantly increase the amount you need for retirement. For example, instead of 1M & 40K/year w/o a mortgage, you might be looking at 1.5M & 60K/year with a 20K/year mortgage to budget 40K of living expenses. That's 50% more to prepare for and nothing to scoff at.
That dowsn't make a lot of sense because one thing less is such a small reduction in complexity (and one that be set up on auto-pay) plus not having a mortgage means you severely reduced your portfolio while a mortgage spreads your spending over years besides providing a hedge against inflation.
"severely reduced your portfolio" is exactly the situation I talked about (1M doing 40K/year withdrawal vs 1.5M doing 60K/year minus 20K in a mortgage). If you can do the latter, that's totally fine.
placeholder
Posts: 4091
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:43 pm

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by placeholder »

Marseille07 wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 1:02 am
"severely reduced your portfolio" is exactly the situation I talked about (1M doing 40K/year withdrawal vs 1.5M doing 60K/year minus 20K in a mortgage). If you can do the latter, that's totally fine.
But it's probably worse than that because you passed up portfolio growth to forgo a nice low cost mortgage and having to do it as lump rather than spread out things over many years.
Marseille07
Posts: 270
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2020 1:41 pm

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by Marseille07 »

placeholder wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 1:05 am
Marseille07 wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 1:02 am
"severely reduced your portfolio" is exactly the situation I talked about (1M doing 40K/year withdrawal vs 1.5M doing 60K/year minus 20K in a mortgage). If you can do the latter, that's totally fine.
But it's probably worse than that because you passed up portfolio growth to forgo a nice low cost mortgage and having to do it as lump rather than spread out things over many years.
It depends on which side you look at. Amassing extra 500K (1M to 1.5M) ain't easy either. But yes, if you can get there then carrying a mortgage would give you a tailwind generating the same 40K/year of living expenses because once the mortgage is gone, you have more equity to work with. I agree on that.
User avatar
Watty
Posts: 20890
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by Watty »

Investing the money and getting a higher return is harder than it sounds because you have a sequence of returns risk. If you get unlucky have have a few bad years of investing returns early in retirement then you may have a very hard time recovering.

Here is a very simplistic example of that which I have posted before.
If you do not pay it off then you will have more sequence of returns risk. For example in rough numbers if you just kept a $100K mortgage and also put $100K into a separate investing account which you also pay a $500 a month mortgage out of then;

a) If you get unlucky and get a modest 10% decline in the portfolio the first year then it would be down to $90K
b) You would also need to pay the $500 a month mortgage($6,000) so your portfolio would be down to $84K
c) To pay off the mortgage at the end of the second year you would need about $96.5K so you would need to gain back $12.5K and another $6,000 for the next years mortgage payments which combined is $18.5K. That would take a 22% return on the remaining $84K to get back to the point where you could pay off the mortgage.

In the past portfolios have declined in roughly one of four or five years depending on the asset allocation. (20 to 25 percent of the time)

https://personal.vanguard.com/us/insigh ... llocations

The sequence of returns risk can also go the other way and you could get lucky and have the first couple of years get good returns that would put you on the path for large gains over the years. There will sometimes be very optimistic projections on just how much better not paying off the mortgage could be but one limiting factor that needs to be considered is that few people actually keep a 30 year mortgage for the full 30 years. It is difficult to put a number on it but many people who own a home will sell it in less than 10 years.
User avatar
JoeRetire
Posts: 5970
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:44 pm

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by JoeRetire »

placeholder wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 7:57 pm What's wrong with a mortgage in retirement as it's just another expense to budget and a fixed one at that.
Absolutely nothing wrong with an affordable mortgage.
It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | And I feel fine.
Topic Author
PecuniaryPeccary
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 3:45 am

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by PecuniaryPeccary »

Outer Marker wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 10:28 am
PecuniaryPeccary wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 10:24 am I'm curious, in my case, would you (and others) strongly recommend a 15-year mortgage over a 30-year instead?
I'm 50 years old now. Expect I'll probably retire in 18 years or so, around age 68.
That's the main reason. You don't want to carry a mortgage into retirement.

In addition: -lower interest rate
- less total interest
- pyschic benefit of seeing the loan more rapidly paid off
- not taking debt with you to the grave
You know, let me ask you about the last point (not taking debt with me to the grave). I have no wife (am divorced), no kids, and no parents. Does this mean that I might actually want to take debt with me to the grave?
Topic Author
PecuniaryPeccary
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 3:45 am

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by PecuniaryPeccary »

tesuzuki2002 wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 11:04 am I think this really comes down to how you want to handle this. Do you want to have a house payment? It sounds like you could cover it and buy outright and then have no house payment.

But with financing as cheap as it is... 2-3% is incredibly low...

You are in that low income spot where you can cancel out capital gains buy contributing pre-tax to your retirement accounts. The Super Saver Tax credit area... It's not much but any bit from the government can help.

I would go the mortgage route and an aggressive payoff plan taking money from the VG Taxable account so you keep your taxes low on Capital gains.. You would do this by directing your W-2 income into pre-tax accounts. You should be able to pay no taxes on the VG Taxable if you spread this out over 7-10 years...
So true tesuzuki2002: The Saver's Tax Credit reduces my total annual tax bill to zero.

To tell the truth, I don't envision ever having to pay tax on capital gains. My salary is $54,000 annually, but most of that goes into pre-tax retirement accounts, so my actual income is well under the $40,000 income threshold above which one pays 15% tax on capital gains.

Thanks for posting!
Topic Author
PecuniaryPeccary
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 3:45 am

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by PecuniaryPeccary »

ivgrivchuck wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 3:09 pm
PecuniaryPeccary wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:02 pm I don't know how to begin weighing these two options. Any insight or suggestions would be most gratefully received!
I'd go for a 15-year mortgage if you can get it at a reasonable price. This will benefit you in two ways:
1) the spread between the expected stock market return and mortgage interest
2) You can keep putting your income into your retirement savings which gives tax benefits

And as others have pointed out, you need an emergency fund, 6-12 months worth of expenses.
Thanks ivgrivchuck. Going the mortgage route seems to be the consensus, for the reasons you mention.
Topic Author
PecuniaryPeccary
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 3:45 am

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by PecuniaryPeccary »

Watty wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 1:27 am Investing the money and getting a higher return is harder than it sounds because you have a sequence of returns risk. If you get unlucky have have a few bad years of investing returns early in retirement then you may have a very hard time recovering.

Here is a very simplistic example of that which I have posted before.
If you do not pay it off then you will have more sequence of returns risk. For example in rough numbers if you just kept a $100K mortgage and also put $100K into a separate investing account which you also pay a $500 a month mortgage out of then;

a) If you get unlucky and get a modest 10% decline in the portfolio the first year then it would be down to $90K
b) You would also need to pay the $500 a month mortgage($6,000) so your portfolio would be down to $84K
c) To pay off the mortgage at the end of the second year you would need about $96.5K so you would need to gain back $12.5K and another $6,000 for the next years mortgage payments which combined is $18.5K. That would take a 22% return on the remaining $84K to get back to the point where you could pay off the mortgage.

In the past portfolios have declined in roughly one of four or five years depending on the asset allocation. (20 to 25 percent of the time)

https://personal.vanguard.com/us/insigh ... llocations

The sequence of returns risk can also go the other way and you could get lucky and have the first couple of years get good returns that would put you on the path for large gains over the years. There will sometimes be very optimistic projections on just how much better not paying off the mortgage could be but one limiting factor that needs to be considered is that few people actually keep a 30 year mortgage for the full 30 years. It is difficult to put a number on it but many people who own a home will sell it in less than 10 years.
hmmmm, I haven't looked into Sequence of Returns risk yet. Will need to educate myself on this. So much to learn!
lakpr
Posts: 6200
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:59 am

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by lakpr »

PecuniaryPeccary wrote: Tue Nov 24, 2020 9:07 am To tell the truth, I don't envision ever having to pay tax on capital gains. My salary is $54,000 annually, but most of that goes into pre-tax retirement accounts, so my actual income is well under the $40,000 income threshold above which one pays 15% tax on capital gains.

Thanks for posting!
FYI, the $40k income you see in the tax tables is TAXABLE income. With a 12,400 standard deduction, the AGI needed is $52,400. You need therefore only $1,600 to fall into the 0% LTCG rate, however doing only that, of course, does not leave any room for actual gains.

But I would also say this. The 0% LTCG rate and the 12% tax bracket effectively compete in the same space. The top of 12% tax bracket for single filing status is $40,125 -- only $125 more than the threshold for 0% LTCG rate. Thus, to the extent you are choosing one, you are pushing out the other.

I would therefore lean on the side of making Roth contributions to your retirement plans. It is very likely you have at least $1600 in annual health care premiums that are pre-tax, and thus push you into 12% bracket anyway. That argues for making all Roth 401k / Roth 403b contributions; at least until the end of year 2025, after which the 12% bracket disappears and becomes 15% bracket as the law currently stands.
neverpanic
Posts: 472
Joined: Sun May 10, 2020 12:26 am

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by neverpanic »

PecuniaryPeccary wrote: Tue Nov 24, 2020 8:45 am
Outer Marker wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 10:28 am
PecuniaryPeccary wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 10:24 am I'm curious, in my case, would you (and others) strongly recommend a 15-year mortgage over a 30-year instead?
I'm 50 years old now. Expect I'll probably retire in 18 years or so, around age 68.
That's the main reason. You don't want to carry a mortgage into retirement.

In addition: -lower interest rate
- less total interest
- pyschic benefit of seeing the loan more rapidly paid off
- not taking debt with you to the grave
You know, let me ask you about the last point (not taking debt with me to the grave). I have no wife (am divorced), no kids, and no parents. Does this mean that I might actually want to take debt with me to the grave?
Last man standing. You can do whatever you want! But I trust you will be a smart, conservative, good citizen. I hope you will live a long life, but in your case, it hardly matters if the mortgage outlasts you.
I am not a financial professional or guru. I'm a schmuck who got lucky 10 times. Such is the life of the trader.
getthatmarshmallow
Posts: 676
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:43 am

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by getthatmarshmallow »

Congratulations on earning tenure!

If it were me, I'd take out the mortgage just for the extra peace of mind resulting from the extra liquidity. IME the first three years of home ownership is expensive (we joked we were tithing to Home Depot) even if one doesn't go for an expensive remodel, and it's nice to have cash on hand for when the HVAC goes, or the roof leaks, or....
Topic Author
PecuniaryPeccary
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 3:45 am

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by PecuniaryPeccary »

neverpanic wrote: Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:15 am
PecuniaryPeccary wrote: Tue Nov 24, 2020 8:45 am
Outer Marker wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 10:28 am
PecuniaryPeccary wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 10:24 am I'm curious, in my case, would you (and others) strongly recommend a 15-year mortgage over a 30-year instead?
I'm 50 years old now. Expect I'll probably retire in 18 years or so, around age 68.
That's the main reason. You don't want to carry a mortgage into retirement.

In addition: -lower interest rate
- less total interest
- pyschic benefit of seeing the loan more rapidly paid off
- not taking debt with you to the grave
You know, let me ask you about the last point (not taking debt with me to the grave). I have no wife (am divorced), no kids, and no parents. Does this mean that I might actually want to take debt with me to the grave?
Last man standing. You can do whatever you want! But I trust you will be a smart, conservative, good citizen. I hope you will live a long life, but in your case, it hardly matters if the mortgage outlasts you.
Hah hah, "last man standing", perfectly apt line! :D
Topic Author
PecuniaryPeccary
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 3:45 am

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by PecuniaryPeccary »

getthatmarshmallow wrote: Tue Nov 24, 2020 1:23 pm Congratulations on earning tenure!

If it were me, I'd take out the mortgage just for the extra peace of mind resulting from the extra liquidity. IME the first three years of home ownership is expensive (we joked we were tithing to Home Depot) even if one doesn't go for an expensive remodel, and it's nice to have cash on hand for when the HVAC goes, or the roof leaks, or....
Thanks getthatmarshmallow!
"Tithing to Home Depot", hee hee. :D
Topic Author
PecuniaryPeccary
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 3:45 am

Re: To take out mortgage or buy house outright?

Post by PecuniaryPeccary »

You know, you folks have led me to realize that I have doubts about the soundness of what I've been doing: dialing up my pre-tax contributions to 403(b) and 457(b) to max, leaving me with essentially zero post-tax income (and thus zero annual tax bill), and then selling from my Vanguard Taxable (and paying zero LTCG) to make ends meet every month. I.e., slowly converting my Vanguard Taxable into tax-advantaged retirements accounts... Is this actually wise?

I don't know. But since it's not the question posed in the subject line, I should probably make a new post on that topic..... I'll do so now.
Post Reply