Search found 278 matches

by momvesting
Sat Apr 17, 2021 11:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Property Appraisal Question - obscure situation
Replies: 13
Views: 1423

Re: Property Appraisal Question - obscure situation

Call your local commercial firm, like Marcus & Millichap, or whoever is prominent in your market, and ask them for the contact info for a good appraiser. I worked in your industry about ten years ago and saw so many lenders who tried using comps and applying the sales price per unit or per renta...
by momvesting
Sat Apr 17, 2021 11:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to get the best sleep?
Replies: 27
Views: 1890

Re: How to get the best sleep?

We bought lined bamboo Roman shades and have blackout curtains on top of them. Having true darkness, no moonlight, distant airplane lights, neighborhood lights, or anything makes a big difference. I didn’t realize how disruptive those could be until we did this. That and a soft fan breeze and I am o...
by momvesting
Sat Apr 17, 2021 11:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Biglaw moving in-house, portfolio check-in and housing budget
Replies: 13
Views: 1018

Re: Biglaw moving in-house, portfolio check-in and housing budget

I think you need to look at areas and see what is available and what the pricing is. Housing seems to be priced in tiers where in some cases a small price jump is meaningless and in other prices a small jump puts you in a much nicer home. For example, in many locations, $1 mil is a significant line....
by momvesting
Sat Apr 17, 2021 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Accessing College Financial Aid for Higher Income Households
Replies: 18
Views: 939

Re: Accessing College Financial Aid for Higher Income Households

I personally know of one high earner who does sort of an "every other year" approach: As an officer in his company, he earns a nice salary, but also gets a BIG bonus based on company performance. He will take one year's bonus in January, but the next bonus in December, so every other year ...
by momvesting
Sat Apr 17, 2021 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who can truly afford to buy a house in this market?
Replies: 26
Views: 1748

Re: Who can truly afford to buy a house in this market?

There are also a large pool of buyers who cannot afford the sticker price of buying a home in this crazy market, but have significant home equity. My family definitely falls in this category. We have over $300k in equity right now, and about half of that has "appeared" just in the last yea...
by momvesting
Fri Apr 16, 2021 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling house in 2 yrs: what should I spruce up?
Replies: 14
Views: 1663

Re: Selling house in 2 yrs: what should I spruce up?

Every house is different, but one thing that I think helped when I sold our old house was I went and bought a gallon of white paint and gradually worked through the house painting baseboards, trim, linen and pantry shelves, etc. I don't think it actually added to the price, but the new white definit...
by momvesting
Tue Apr 13, 2021 9:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Proof of Funds when House Hunting
Replies: 28
Views: 2715

Re: Proof of Funds when House Hunting

I had this come up not too long ago and didn't want to tip my hand, so I used my 529 balance as the "proof" even though it was completely irrelevant to the purchase. It just happened to have a balance high enough to meet the threshold and low enough that I probably wouldn't get bilked for ...
by momvesting
Tue Apr 13, 2021 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First child entering college in the fall... need some advice
Replies: 175
Views: 10617

Re: First child entering college in the fall... need some advice

So, just got some great news, our oldest child has been accepted into two top US universities and will be choosing between them for her undergraduate education. (These are both private universities; we did explore our state university and we determined that for her field of study, the private schoo...
by momvesting
Tue Apr 13, 2021 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First child entering college in the fall... need some advice
Replies: 175
Views: 10617

Re: First child entering college in the fall... need some advice

First, go look at the sticker for tuition, nothing else. There are many variations of the books, travel costs, room/board, and other estimates given. A lot of those estimates can be held down dramatically if you choose to do the work. For example, my daughter's school estimates $1200 for books. My k...
by momvesting
Mon Apr 12, 2021 11:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's your definition of "Family Money"?
Replies: 47
Views: 5502

Re: What's your definition of "Family Money"?

I think it is kind of a vague term and people will have different interpretations. To me it means that something (trust, annuity, etc.) has been set up so that it could support you throughout your adult life if you chose not to be employed. You could still choose to work and add to your income, but ...
by momvesting
Mon Apr 12, 2021 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Emergency (oh my God fund)
Replies: 45
Views: 4645

Re: Emergency (oh my God fund)

We base ours as follows: 10K - Major home issue - also insurance deductible for homeowners 10K - Healthcare out of pocket limit 13K - Car replacement 4.5K - Misc This also covers > 12 months of all expenses. This is pretty close to what I do, basically I prepay known larger expenses into savings or...
by momvesting
Mon Apr 12, 2021 5:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Now may be a good time to renew your passport
Replies: 17
Views: 3898

Re: Now may be a good time to renew your passport

Yep, sent my daughter’s in on 3/18 and just got it today. Less than a four week turnaround, and ours was all done without anything expedited as our trip isn’t until October.
by momvesting
Mon Apr 12, 2021 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: AGI and mod AGI cut off points
Replies: 6
Views: 555

Re: AGI and mod AGI cut off points

I think that there are a lot of other ones, it just depends on whether they apply to you. Some I can think of are AOTC, Traditional IRA deductions, and long term cap gains.
by momvesting
Sun Apr 11, 2021 6:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seeking advice - College selection - Premed
Replies: 51
Views: 2998

Re: Seeking advice - College selection - Premed

@gips: Yes being waitlisted at the CWU and Northeastern is a flag. Given her GPA and SAT scores (original post edited to include both) I think her application might not have stood out because of her essay. She did not seek out much help with her application. Did pretty much the whole application pr...
by momvesting
Sat Apr 10, 2021 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Theory: The Only Four Situations Justifying Debt
Replies: 103
Views: 7040

Re: Theory: The Only Four Situations Justifying Debt

It reads a bit like it was written by someone who has never struggled. I know one time in my life that debt was necessary was immediately after graduating from college. I bought a washer and dryer set with 0% interest because I could no longer do cheap laundry in the campus apartments and commercial...
by momvesting
Fri Apr 09, 2021 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Great Swing Set Dilemma
Replies: 56
Views: 4578

Re: The Great Swing Set Dilemma

Do you have a Rainbow dealer in your area? https://www.rainbowplay.com/ Ours lasted through 3 kids. I gave it away on Craigslist and was still in decent enough shape. Needed a few new parts. Prices are not for the faint of heart. Yep, this is what we did too. If your kids play outside these are wor...
by momvesting
Thu Apr 08, 2021 9:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your View Of the Fidelity 2% Cash Back Visa Credit Card
Replies: 62
Views: 5342

Re: What's Your View Of the Fidelity 2% Cash Back Visa Credit Card

I consolidated my financial life to Fidelity but then waited to get a targeted offer for the credit card. $150 bonus after $1500 in spending. It isn't a crazy high bonus but I was going to get the card anyway. One caveat that is a little frustrating: my husband is the primary. I am not joint, but an...
by momvesting
Thu Apr 08, 2021 4:46 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help deciding ratio of college vs. retirement savings
Replies: 25
Views: 1835

Re: Help deciding ratio of college vs. retirement savings

If you are getting the max state tax deduction, I would stop there, but even at that, you can both win. I would change one (or both) of the IRAs to traditional, continue to max it out, and have that as a potential source of college funding as well. Then use the resulting raise to add to the other re...
by momvesting
Thu Apr 08, 2021 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax bill split between spouses
Replies: 81
Views: 4279

Re: Tax bill split between spouses

I would use the IRS withholding calculator, each of you do the calculation as if you were single or MFS. Withhold the exact amount needed. Then, since filing MFJ would create a refund, use that refund to do something fun together, like a weekend getaway (or a fancy dinner, not sure how much money we...
by momvesting
Thu Apr 08, 2021 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High demand - sell my 2004 Suburban?
Replies: 7
Views: 703

Re: High demand - sell my 2004 Suburban?

I sold my 2007 Pilot just a few months ago. When we originally looked at selling it two years ago, Carmax offered $1,800. This time they offered $3,000. But I would definitely not have gotten rid of it just because they would give me $3k. It has been the plan all along to sell it once my child went ...
by momvesting
Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much $$ to get kitchen cabinets painted?
Replies: 42
Views: 4127

Re: How much $$ to get kitchen cabinets painted?

So, not trying to hijack your thread OP, but I’ve been considering a ‘cheap’ kitchen remodel. I have builder grade cabinets that are in so-so shape. Can you get anything repainted? Or does condition matter? Can they rip off the existing granite and replace it too? I don't know from a pro perspectiv...
by momvesting
Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyways to improve financial aid?
Replies: 70
Views: 3688

Re: Anyways to improve financial aid?

I'm just suspicious of this site. Are these merit awards guaranteed in some way or are they just an estimate, like when you see ACT and SAT prep companies who say that every one point bump in score =$6k-$10k merit. Although that is true in an overall statistical sense, it doesn't mean that an elite ...
by momvesting
Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pool Walking Shoe?
Replies: 8
Views: 758

Re: Pool Walking Shoe?

We have always bought the Lands End water shoes, but we don’t use them for pool walking but for things like visiting tide pools, so perhaps it isn’t what you need.
by momvesting
Tue Apr 06, 2021 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyways to improve financial aid?
Replies: 70
Views: 3688

Re: Anyways to improve financial aid?

Does your state give you a tax credit for contributing to a 529? If you have $10k-$15k to contribute and your kid is a freshman, you have a few years to do that if there is a tax credit. You can do the IRA path if you want, I just choose not to because I get a tax credit for the 529 and I want to us...
by momvesting
Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyways to improve financial aid?
Replies: 70
Views: 3688

Re: Anyways to improve financial aid?

Honestly, it is a bit early to think about FAFSA, especially with all the changes. Our income is a bit less than yours, around $100k, and we ended up falling into this little hole where the need-based aid is nonexistent at public schools and pretty good at a lot of privates. So almost all schools, r...
by momvesting
Mon Apr 05, 2021 8:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can someone become bankrupt from gift contracts?
Replies: 17
Views: 1957

Re: Can someone become bankrupt from gift contracts?

There is a Ray Donovan episode about this. Don’t default on a large gift, a “fixer” may pay you a visit.
by momvesting
Mon Apr 05, 2021 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying pantry items in bulk
Replies: 22
Views: 1923

Re: Buying pantry items in bulk

I find Amazon pantry items to be much more expensive than I pay at a regular grocery store. First, analyze what pantry items your family will actually use. Definitely don't bulk buy anything you don't currently use. I have the best luck at our Kroger affiliate and their case lot sale. We buy canned ...
by momvesting
Mon Apr 05, 2021 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 choices for unborn grand kids
Replies: 3
Views: 463

Re: 529 choices for unborn grand kids

Is there any possibility that one of your kids will be attending a pricey, private university and you will be eligible for financial aid? I have seen private schools give aid to incomes as high as $250k. If that is even a remote possibility, I would look for other possibilities for that money. For e...
by momvesting
Sun Apr 04, 2021 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using term life to hedge a spouse's pension?
Replies: 10
Views: 886

Using term life to hedge a spouse's pension?

We are still several years away, but I'm starting to run some retirement scenarios for my husband and I. His pension has various options including partial lump sums and 100%, 50%, or 0% payments to surviving spouse. Because a significant amount of our retirement income will come from this pension, I...
by momvesting
Sat Apr 03, 2021 3:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage recasting: Can it save money ?
Replies: 11
Views: 1138

Re: Mortgage recasting: Can it save money ?

First of all, not all loans can be recast. We have a VA loan and I asked about that and they said that they do not recast, you have to refinance if you want that. Second, watch for fees. Unless the fee is VERY minimal, I would not do it unless I had to. If both of those hurdles are cleared and you w...
by momvesting
Fri Apr 02, 2021 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: big box stores for fruit trees?
Replies: 10
Views: 1022

Re: big box stores for fruit trees?

You can do this, but you need to do a bit of research first, especially if you are looking at pears. I have often seen trees at those big box stores that are cheap and easy to produce but are not appropriate for the area. Most states have a state university agricultural department that is an excelle...
by momvesting
Fri Apr 02, 2021 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Asking for more Merit aid? College decision day 5/1
Replies: 39
Views: 2365

Re: Asking for more Merit aid? College decision day 5/1

The student needs to make the request. In my experience, the colleges don't want to hear from helicopter parents, their customer is the student. The student gets the bills; if I, the parent, want to be on the billing account, I'm only on it for payment purposes. I can't see the breakdown, just the ...
by momvesting
Thu Apr 01, 2021 11:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Sellers Dilemma re Agent
Replies: 24
Views: 2165

Re: Home Sellers Dilemma re Agent

We recently made contact with a buying agent on a Facebook post whose clients are having a difficult time landing a home in our neighborhood due to the competitive market. You may have been had...to a certain extent. In our area there are more real estate agents than homes for sale. Several times o...
by momvesting
Tue Mar 30, 2021 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which State is counted for In State tuition?
Replies: 55
Views: 2872

Re: Which State is counted for In State tuition?

She needs to do something like this: https://www.admissions.iastate.edu/scholarships/freshman/xu (choose "US citizen living abroad" from the drop down menu). Klangfool also mentioned how Texas does it where a small merit award earns you in state tuition. Many state schools give in state tu...
by momvesting
Mon Mar 29, 2021 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Improve somewhat good credit score?
Replies: 6
Views: 495

Re: Improve somewhat good credit score?

I think it is AMEX that has a score simulator, you may want to play with it because sometimes the results are unexpected. For example, we took out a small loan to buy our Subaru. When we did, our score actually went up. Then when we paid off the Subaru loan early, our score went down slightly. Some ...
by momvesting
Mon Mar 29, 2021 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tankless Water Heater - Struggling to Justify
Replies: 71
Views: 5908

Re: Tankless Water Heater - Struggling to Justify

We came to the same conclusion you did. We had an older 40 gallon when we moved in, but the master bath has an oversized tub and the 40 gallon would run out before you could entirely fill the tub. Also, like you, our gas bill runs $15-20 in the summer and almost half of that is service fees, so we j...
by momvesting
Mon Mar 29, 2021 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we purchase a house without using a RE agent?
Replies: 32
Views: 1674

Re: Should we purchase a house without using a RE agent?

I did just that when I bought our house, but I have a background in commercial real estate. I was also buying in a hot market and trying to nail down houses that were not yet listed. The house we ended up buying was about to list though, so a listing agreement had been signed and there was an agent ...
by momvesting
Sat Mar 27, 2021 9:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home equity loan or cash out refinance!
Replies: 10
Views: 499

Re: Home equity loan or cash out refinance!

If it was me and the $300k income is secure, I'd invest some of the $200k that is sitting at 1%. I'd draw it down to about $60k, since you say that is your annual expense number, then build it back up again.
by momvesting
Sat Mar 27, 2021 2:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major
Replies: 121
Views: 8234

Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

I know this isn't the question you asked, and from your posts, I cannot tell if your kid is a senior who already put in applications or if he is younger, but if he is younger I highly recommend that you try to enroll him in one of the precollege courses at one of these top schools. We did that with ...
by momvesting
Fri Mar 26, 2021 6:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major
Replies: 121
Views: 8234

Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

My daughter applied at CMU and is a STEM major, but not CS or engineering. At all the presentations and when the admissions people came to campus and so on, they were very clear that you are not guaranteed anything and most likely will not be allowed to transfer to these majors since they are so tou...
by momvesting
Thu Mar 25, 2021 10:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Convince me - for or against bigger home
Replies: 106
Views: 7840

Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Does your area allow accessory dwellings? The prayer room would be ideal for that as it does not need plumbing (I assume) and separating it could make it a more peaceful and serene space. Then you could have a master bedroom, a guest bedroom, and a kid bedroom.
by momvesting
Thu Mar 25, 2021 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flooring Trim - Paint Color
Replies: 7
Views: 604

Re: Flooring Trim - Paint Color

The installation will probably scuff and scrape the baseboards, so you may just use this as an opportunity to repaint the baseboards when you are painting the quarter round. This way you will get a 100% color match for sure.
by momvesting
Wed Mar 24, 2021 5:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need a TV - What Brand
Replies: 37
Views: 2271

Re: Need a TV - What Brand

About ten years ago I stumbled on a killer deal on an open box Toshiba at Best Buy. I'm like you, the pictures all look pretty similar to me, but last weekend for the NCAA tournament, we connected a different Roku to it and I was telling my husband how clear the picture looked. So much so that it st...
by momvesting
Wed Mar 24, 2021 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The house of your dreams at what cost?
Replies: 10
Views: 1276

Re: The house of your dreams at what cost?

Sounds like the house is $230k, which is very reasonable for a dream home. I say put down exactly 20%, not a penny more. Not only will you avoid PMI, you will get a more favorable interest rate and your base P&I payment will be less because you financed less. You will be locking in your "fo...
by momvesting
Tue Mar 23, 2021 5:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can a gift be made on behalf of a deceased spouse?
Replies: 32
Views: 1547

Re: Can a gift be made on behalf of a deceased spouse?

I'm no IRS auditor but I would think that cash or an item (car, house, etc.) would be a gift but a family event would not be. I mean, then you go down a slippery slope with who pays for what at family reunions, who invited who, who wanted this venue, who chose the band, and so on.
by momvesting
Tue Mar 23, 2021 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can a gift be made on behalf of a deceased spouse?
Replies: 32
Views: 1547

Re: Can a gift be made on behalf of a deceased spouse?

What about gifting him some and directly paying some of the wedding expenses so the money never goes through his hands?
by momvesting
Sat Mar 20, 2021 3:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House buying negotiations
Replies: 122
Views: 9767

Re: House buying negotiations

Just got a sold update on Redfin for another house nearby. Sold at 95K discount from asking price although price was 1.6 m for that one. A few have asked but I don’t see any response. Please compare the house you are bidding on to the one that sold for $1.6M. Is the $1.6M house bigger? Better finis...
by momvesting
Fri Mar 19, 2021 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace water heater just because it's old?
Replies: 94
Views: 9666

Re: Replace water heater just because it's old?

I'm in the "yes" camp, but with one caveat. Right now you can start researching, looking at features and prices, looking for sales and rebates, and getting exactly what you want at the best price. We did that about two years ago because our state offered a $500 rebate for an ultra low Nox ...
by momvesting
Wed Mar 17, 2021 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 50 gallon water heater questions
Replies: 70
Views: 4281

Re: 50 gallon water heater questions

Under the circumstances, I would probably have it inspected when the house is inspected, then I'd keep it for about two years unless there is a problem with it. Then, because flooding would be such a catastrophe, I'd start looking around for a deal or a utility rebate to replace it proactively. When...
by momvesting
Thu Mar 11, 2021 2:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Loan Depot Refinance- $10,000 gone poof!!!
Replies: 25
Views: 6054

Re: Loan Depot Refinance- $10,000 gone poof!!!

Also check with your bank. I had a similar situation many years ago and got no where until I talked to my own bank. They did something to claw back the money, creating a NSF payment to the lender and, wouldn’t you know, when the funds are no longer there the mortgage company miraculously finds where...