Search found 741 matches

by dsmil
Thu Mar 18, 2021 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the BEST thing you spent money on?
Replies: 242
Views: 24109

Re: What is the BEST thing you spent money on?

A few things come to mind:
1) The car speakers that I bought with my cashier money in high school
2) A ticket to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band when I wasn't a huge fan (yet)
3) Equipment for a workout room in the basement
by dsmil
Tue Jan 26, 2021 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Whom should we approach for pre-approval?
Replies: 6
Views: 461

Re: Whom should we approach for pre-approval?

Yes, you'll want to be pre-approved when submitting an offer but the pre-approval has nothing to do with who you'll ultimately choose. I would just go with a company that won't run a hard inquiry and has a quick and easy process. When we found a house that we wanted to submit an offer on, we found a...
by dsmil
Thu Jan 07, 2021 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Analysis of water & sewer line insurance
Replies: 13
Views: 1117

Re: Analysis of water & sewer line insurance

Our water and sewer lines both needed replacement in the short 5 year period that we owned our townhouse, which was built in 1994. $7k later, I now pay the $10 per month on my current (older) home to cover this.
by dsmil
Wed Jan 06, 2021 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any multimillionaire's (more than 2mm) out there still mow their own lawn?
Replies: 341
Views: 25985

Re: Any multimillionaire's (more than 2mm) out there still mow their own lawn?

I will definitely not be mowing my own lawn once I have the means to spend money on services like that. There isn't a worse feeling for me than mowing the lawn on a nice day, knowing that I could be hitting golf balls instead.
by dsmil
Tue Jan 05, 2021 1:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health insurance premiums
Replies: 7
Views: 529

Re: Health insurance premiums

We have <100 employees and the family plan is $950 per month. It's a HDHP but we get reimbursed for most of the deductible.
by dsmil
Tue Dec 22, 2020 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: house affordability math
Replies: 18
Views: 1462

Re: house affordability math

I'm not a big fan of these house affordability calculations but I'd normally try to stay below 25% of gross income. I do think that using a ratio like this is at least more useful than the ones that look at income vs. mortgage amount because low or high interest rates completely change home affordab...
by dsmil
Tue Dec 08, 2020 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on gifts for the holidays?
Replies: 73
Views: 4342

Re: How much do you spend on gifts for the holidays?

We spend $1k. Probably $500 on our kids, $400 on other family members, and $100 on ourselves.
by dsmil
Sat Dec 05, 2020 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I switched to Xfinity Mobile
Replies: 23
Views: 2411

Re: I switched to Xfinity Mobile

Xfinity Mobile has been great for us, saving us a ton vs. what we paid with Verizon. We only use 2 gb per month. Even as existing customers, my wife and I each got $250 off our new phones via a prepaid debit card.
by dsmil
Thu Dec 03, 2020 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPhone - What Model Gives Most Bang For The Buck?
Replies: 27
Views: 2097

Re: iPhone - What Model Gives Most Bang For The Buck?

I just got the new iPhone SE and it seems like a great value. It's also about the same size as your iPhone 6, so it would be a good choice if you're not looking for a larger phone. The full retail is $400 but I got $250 off with my existing carrier, Xfinity Mobile. It looks like the phone is now fre...
by dsmil
Tue Nov 17, 2020 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Essential kitchen appliances?
Replies: 55
Views: 2973

Re: Essential kitchen appliances?

Cast iron pans. They are cheap, last forever, and the food tastes good. To be very simple, you can just put some oil on whatever you are cooking and stick it in the oven on 350 or so.
by dsmil
Mon Oct 26, 2020 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Golf clubs
Replies: 25
Views: 1783

Re: Golf clubs

I'd recommend going to a local club fitter (not a big box store) and getting some specs for length, lie, shaft. Then get a cheap, used set on ebay or global golf which matches the recommended shaft and length and bring them back to the fitter in case lies need to be adjusted. Let's say $100 for the ...
by dsmil
Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to listen to good music in a car without satalite radio or internet?
Replies: 31
Views: 1782

Re: How to listen to good music in a car without satalite radio or internet?

I use an old phone as an iPod. I used an actual ipod (from about 2007) until last year when I got a new car which didn't work with it.
by dsmil
Thu Oct 08, 2020 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Solar Panel Proposal
Replies: 46
Views: 3685

Re: Solar Panel Proposal

I agree with others that you definitely need to look into their payback estimate. They certainly want to make it seem like a short payback estimate so they get your business. I was quoted last year with energysage.com and the solar website was assuming that electricity costs would be going up 5.4% p...
by dsmil
Wed Oct 07, 2020 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I refinance?
Replies: 4
Views: 688

Re: Should I refinance?

Assuming good credit, I would assume you'd be seeing rates closer to 2.5-2.75%. Have you shopped around? I also don't know about the rationale that you need to shell out a bunch of cash to get a better rate. If your house appraises for $500k, then your LTV would decrease to 80% and you'd eliminate P...
by dsmil
Wed Oct 07, 2020 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Mortgage Refinance - What's the catch?
Replies: 12
Views: 1283

Re: Home Mortgage Refinance - What's the catch?

There's no catch (I bought in 2019 and have refinanced twice) but definitely shop around and get competing quotes. Better.com usually doesn't give the best rate up front but will then match competitors. The problem that some people run into with refinancing is that they don't recoup the costs becaus...
by dsmil
Wed Sep 30, 2020 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Roof leaks - roofing company unresponsive
Replies: 9
Views: 1419

Re: New Roof leaks - roofing company unresponsive

This happened to me a couple of years ago. I had the company come back out more than a handful of times. We had leaking issues plus things just looked awful. We eventually paid for a roof inspection which found other things that I couldn't see. Eventually, everything was fixed and hopefully it will ...
by dsmil
Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bad Finance to put 20% down on House
Replies: 21
Views: 3394

Re: Bad Finance to put 20% down on House

I don't mind putting less than 20% down and paying some PMI, especially if they can clearly afford the mortgage. At 2.75% plus PMI for some years, it's still a good deal historically and he might sleep better at night with the extra cash (or investments). I like this website to check PMI costs (http...
by dsmil
Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What can I expect from new golf clubs
Replies: 96
Views: 5704

Re: What can I expect from new golf clubs

I would start with lessons. You are a 26 handicap who doesn't have a distance problem so I think there should be a lot of room for improvement. A decent player can take clubs that don't fit exactly right and make them work decently well. If you don't want to be stuck with a handicap in the 20's fore...
by dsmil
Thu Sep 10, 2020 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10245
Views: 737718

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

How does that new Dec 1st refi 0.5% fee work? Say you normally would get a 2.5% offer would they just increase the rate to 3.0%? Assuming that it's passed on to the customer, I think we'd just see higher lender costs by .5% of the loan amount (1/2 pt). So on a $300k loan, I'd expect additional lend...
by dsmil
Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for wheat beer
Replies: 43
Views: 2951

Re: Recommendations for wheat beer

This isn't a style that I have often, but Sierra Nevada Kellerweis is a solid Hefeweizen. For wheat beers, I like Allagash White or Dogfish Head Namaste.
by dsmil
Tue Jul 28, 2020 7:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mosquitos! Mosquitos! Mosquitos!
Replies: 127
Views: 10516

Re: Mosquitos! Mosquitos! Mosquitos!

We had our yard sprayed last summer, but this summer I decided to buy the same chemicals myself. We have mosquitoes and a lot of ticks from a woodsy area behind our backyard. Now I can spend $50 for the year vs. $50 each month of spraying. https://www.domyown.com/talstar-professional-insecticide-p-9...
by dsmil
Mon Jul 20, 2020 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10245
Views: 737718

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Has anyone locked in with Better and then found a better deal and tried to get them to improve their offer? I heard of better while I had a refi in motion with my existing lender (3.0% for 20 years, virtually no cost). Better beat that by offering the same terms but with $1000 back and the amex cre...
by dsmil
Fri Jul 17, 2020 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar Panel Decision
Replies: 14
Views: 1267

Re: Solar Panel Decision

I would take Energy Sage's savings projections with a grain of salt. They were assuming something like 5.5% annual increases in electricity costs when I was pricing things out last year and I find that ridiculous. Instead I simply changed my electricity supplier to a wind powered one.
by dsmil
Tue Jul 07, 2020 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10245
Views: 737718

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Just a general note (regardless of lender) that I personally feel that the inputted value for estimated home value likely plays a major role in determining eligibility for an appraisal waiver. It is my theory that if the inputted estimate value is higher (or within a certain $ or %) of what the aut...
by dsmil
Tue Jul 07, 2020 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10245
Views: 737718

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Long time lurker of the forum. Currently I have a 30 year mortgage that I have had for about a year at 3.65% in Florida. I have been slowly shopping around and gotten several quotes from lenders. This one looks to be the best so far but wanted the opinions of the experts. Better offered me a far le...
by dsmil
Mon Jul 06, 2020 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10245
Views: 737718

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

I finally bailed on Better.com and locked at 2.875% with a $3k lender credit with Keystone Funding (30 year fixed, 20% equity). The appraisal process with Better.com was a disaster, and it was even more frustrating considering that the other lenders were waiving the appraisal completely, and taking ...
by dsmil
Mon Jul 06, 2020 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10245
Views: 737718

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Hi everyone - I think I know the answer but wanted thoughts from here . . . appraiser is coming on Friday. Taking photos of inside and outside of the house. Report will go to the lender and us. Should I clean up? LOL. Not sure how much difference it would make but do I want the house to appraise fo...
by dsmil
Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10245
Views: 737718

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

1. I am seeing lots of people getting $1000's of lender's credit but i have had no luck - is that because of the loan amount? Your first quote seems to be their rate that is closest to zero lender points/credits. Simply ask them for a quote at 2.625% and they should provide some lender credits. I u...
by dsmil
Wed Jun 24, 2020 7:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10245
Views: 737718

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

I'm reading this thread and thinking the refi DH and I are doing is not the best deal we could get. Currently, we have 15 years left on a 20 year mortgage at 3.9%. House is valued at $1million. My FICO is 800; DH's is 690, so they're using DH FICO. We are scheduled to close this week. (Hope it's no...
by dsmil
Tue Jun 23, 2020 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do people sell a house and buy one at the same time?
Replies: 46
Views: 5698

Re: How do people sell a house and buy one at the same time?

You can put offers on a house with a contingency. You'll just want your sale closing to be before the purchase closing so you can use the equity. Once your house sells, the contingency is dropped. Your purchase offer will look more attractive if you are already under contract to sell your home. If y...
by dsmil
Wed Jun 17, 2020 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10245
Views: 737718

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

I received $2k back on my last refinance. There was then an extra amount <$1k that they used for principal reduction. My guy at better.com also mentioned the $2k max. that I can get at closing.
by dsmil
Wed Jun 17, 2020 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10245
Views: 737718

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Just so I understand correctly. for example: 2.99% for 30 years. True no cost. No escrow. If I bring this to Better.com and they beat the offer by +$1000 plus Amex ($2500) Since it's a No cost Refi. Does that mean better will send me a check of $1000? then I get $2500 in statement credit to my AMEX...
by dsmil
Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10245
Views: 737718

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Is a credit score in the high 700’s generally enough to get the best rates, or does it need to be 800+, 850+? I see people here talking about getting 2.75% with credits on a 30 year, but Better is showing me 3.375% with no points/credits. It’d take about $3500 points to get 2.875%. This is for a re...
by dsmil
Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10245
Views: 737718

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Is a credit score in the high 700’s generally enough to get the best rates, or does it need to be 800+, 850+? I see people here talking about getting 2.75% with credits on a 30 year, but Better is showing me 3.375% with no points/credits. It’d take about $3500 points to get 2.875%. This is for a re...
by dsmil
Thu Jun 11, 2020 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10245
Views: 737718

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

I've already locked with better.com and I talked to my better.com "processing expert" yesterday. He said that I can still present competing offers that they will try to match or beat. Also, if the weekly Freddie Mac rate drops .25%, you can float down .125% at no cost. Your weekly Freddie...
by dsmil
Thu Jun 11, 2020 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10245
Views: 737718

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

I'm currently in underwriting with Better.com. They beat another Loan Estimate by $500, so I locked last Friday (June 5). 10-year treasury rate has declined from 0.905% to about 0.67% today, and I see better offers than the rate I locked on LenderFi.com and other places. Does anyone have experience...
by dsmil
Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10245
Views: 737718

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

I am just seeking out quotes today from various companies. I have received a couple of rates. No lock. So rates are not firm. Scenario: Location: MD, property value 790k credit 800 Original Loan 495k @ 3.5% fixed originated on 12/2012 (refi), 30 years. Current principal is 415k. Paying $2202/mo P+I...
by dsmil
Tue Jun 09, 2020 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10245
Views: 737718

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

I’d love to know how everyone is getting these crazy low 30 year, no cost mortgage rates. I shopped around a few different places, and the best I was able to get was 2.75% 15-year with $1700 closing cost, no escrow accounts required. The $1700 basically covers the transfer taxes and the title insur...
by dsmil
Thu Jun 04, 2020 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10245
Views: 737718

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Chase contacted me informing me that my 1 year old loan, a 30 year fixed rate at 4.25%, 820600 purchase 656000 original loan, may be eligible for a refinance. No closing (lender credit covers 3k closing), no points, I can go down to 3.49%, if I pay points, as low as 3.125 but that will cost ~7k. Ou...
by dsmil
Tue Jun 02, 2020 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10245
Views: 737718

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Better asked to upload documentation for credit check by other lenders (might have known from credit check), is that common and needed to move the application forward? Thanks. Young Fellow For me, they just wanted explanations for recent credit checks, but no documentation was needed. My credit che...
by dsmil
Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much is your cell phone bill?
Replies: 341
Views: 41799

Re: How much is your cell phone bill?

We have two lines and pay $28 or $34 per month (including fees) with Xfinity Mobile. We switch between the 1 gb and 3 gb plans depending on how much data we're using during the month.
by dsmil
Fri May 29, 2020 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Refinance
Replies: 7
Views: 600

Re: Mortgage Refinance

Yes, going from 4% to 3.125% is a good idea. You would be paying this mortgage for another 5 years so you could alternatively see if you can get a 25 year mortgage. I agree with you counting $3k of fees. The prepaids/escrows shouldn't count in that calculation. If your credit score is good, you shou...
by dsmil
Fri May 29, 2020 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10245
Views: 737718

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

I locked at 3% and a $2,600 lender credit with Keystone Funding on a 30 year loan. Only $400 for the 2.875% rate, but I like going with the lender credits and making it a no-cost refinance. I'm also around 80% LTV and they took my value estimate and got an appraisal waiver, so no PMI for me for the...
by dsmil
Thu May 28, 2020 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10245
Views: 737718

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

I locked at 3% and a $2,600 lender credit with Keystone Funding on a 30 year loan. Only $400 for the 2.875% rate, but I like going with the lender credits and making it a no-cost refinance. I'm also around 80% LTV and they took my value estimate and got an appraisal waiver, so no PMI for me for the...
by dsmil
Thu May 28, 2020 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10245
Views: 737718

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

I locked at 3% and a $2,600 lender credit with Keystone Funding on a 30 year loan. Only $400 for the 2.875% rate, but I like going with the lender credits and making it a no-cost refinance. I'm also around 80% LTV and they took my value estimate and got an appraisal waiver, so no PMI for me for the...
by dsmil
Tue May 26, 2020 7:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10245
Views: 737718

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

I locked at 3% and a $2,600 lender credit with Keystone Funding on a 30 year loan. Only $400 for the 2.875% rate, but I like going with the lender credits and making it a no-cost refinance. I'm also around 80% LTV and they took my value estimate and got an appraisal waiver, so no PMI for me for the...
by dsmil
Tue May 26, 2020 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10245
Views: 737718

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

I locked at 3% and a $2,600 lender credit with Keystone Funding on a 30 year loan. Only $400 for the 2.875% rate, but I like going with the lender credits and making it a no-cost refinance. I'm also around 80% LTV and they took my value estimate and got an appraisal waiver, so no PMI for me for the ...
by dsmil
Tue May 26, 2020 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10245
Views: 737718

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

I see a lot of people saying "no cost" but Better's 'no cost' option had like $3000 for appraisals, gov fees, etc. is this typical? We may move in 3-5 years (maybe not) so I don't want to go through the effort for almost break even. Currently about $215k@4% in Texas. Any thoughts on this?...
by dsmil
Tue May 12, 2020 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to consider home improvement expenses
Replies: 25
Views: 1390

Re: How to consider home improvement expenses

I still count major improvements as expenses, but I track them separately from my monthly budget. It get tracked along with bonuses, vacations, other major misc. items. I do update my net worth spreadsheet for the estimated increase in house value, so on a net worth basis, it offsets some of the cos...
by dsmil
Fri May 08, 2020 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PPP - Reduce Salary?
Replies: 12
Views: 1299

Re: PPP - Reduce Salary?

I don't think that you need to reduce your salary for 8 weeks in order to be in compliance with the program, but your qualifying (and forgivable) costs will be limited to that $1,923 per week. So I think you'll have to pay back that $6k eventually.