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Rent current home out, buy a new home or rent a new home?
Added on : Wednesday November 19th 2014 11:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: awebs
Views: 135 Replies: 3 I found a few threads on this, but none of them seemed to be in as complicated a situation as we are in so I'm starting a new one. (Sorry if it seems redundant.)

In 2006, we bought a very small condo for 356k (we owe about 320K on it now). Last month, a comparable unit in our complex sold for 253K so that is probably close to what our unit is worth. In other words, we are still very under water.Since we bought the home, we have had a child and are planning to have another soon so we are outgrowing the amount of space we have.The best solution we can come up with is to rent our place out and try to buy a new place. The mortgage is one of those crazy housing bubble specials so right now, the payment is very low due to the low interest rate. Our first mortgage is $635, the second is $110, $282 for HOA and about $210 for property taxes for a total of $1237. We think we can get somewhere between $1400 and $1550 per month in rent for it. So we would make a bit of profit.

We have no child care costs since we work opposing schedules. We are working on paying off all of our non-mortgage debt (when we are done, we will have no car loans and no credit card debt), and we will then move on to saving up a down payment for a new place. We are willing to move into a rental ourselves and rent our place out in order to establish rental history, if we need to.

The kind of house we are looking for in today's market is about 400K.

This is a common enough situation, now on to the complexities:

1-My father in law is a coborrower on the loan. We have always had enough income to pay the loan and we have good credit, but we were very young and didn't have a long enough employment history to qualify by ourselves back in 2006. He has never paid anything toward the loan. Short sale has never seemed like an option because we don't want to hurt my husband's parents. I wasn't sure if this situation would affect our ability to qualify for a mortgage on another home.

2- Our combined income is $91,000 per year. Part of that is from tips which my husband's employer does withhold taxes from and report to the IRS. I assume this would be okay since it's all documented, but wasn't sure since this is the only time I've ever heard of someone actually paying taxes on tips? If you don't count the tips, our income falls to $83,000. I've crunched the numbers and either way, I don't think a bank would say we could afford 2 mortgages without counting our rental income, unless I calculated incorrectly.

3- Since our current loan is whacky and could go up or down with the interest rate, would this count against us?

4- We don't qualify for any HARP goodies. Our loan is not backed by Fannie or Freddie and the mortgage servicer has rejected our request for modification since we can afford to pay and have never missed a payment.

I know lenders are strict now about rental income not counting. Is there any hope for us?

How much should we plan to save for a down payment?

How long would we have to rent our place out in order to convince them to count the rental income?

How much cash reserve (other than the down payment) would we have to have?

I'm not sure how long it will take for us to qualify or if the interest rates or home prices will still even be affordable by then...

Are there any other options we should consider?

We also thought about just renting a bigger place for ourselves, but the rental market in our area is really hot so rent would be higher than the mortgage payment would be which just kind of hurts...

Thanks in advance for your help!
New User Question Deals
g: 0 Posted By: sdora
Views: 109 Replies: 3 Hello, I have been in contact with my refinance officer and was pretty close to applying for a cash-out refinancing on my mortgage, but at the same time a leak broke out in my ceiling. My insurance will cover the leak and have been in contact with a roofer to replace my flat top roof. My question is should I continue withthe refinancing application and have my house appraised with a hole in my kitchen ceiling? I will most likely be signing a contract for my roof in the next few days, however they will not be able to start up for another 3 weeks (I guess with the weather they are very very busy!). I can not get my kitchen walls replaced until my roof is completed, therefore will have to wait over a month or two to have everything completed. My main reason to rush is also because I had a hard check applied on my credit and afraid if I wait over a month they will have to do another one with a lower score. I am at 746 and at the border of one of the top tiers. I'm afraid if I go below 740 I may not be able to take out as much cash. If anyone has any advice, it would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much in advance.
How does this scam/ripoff work?
Added on : Tuesday November 18th 2014 11:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: nasheedb
Views: 31 Replies: 0 I received the following letter in the mail. I typed it out, word for word. All the grammar mistakes you see below, are present in the letter.
Scam letter said: Dear Home Owner:

I am writing because I am looking for someone who is interested in selling on their own (without a real estate agent) for a full price offer, might consider keeping your current loan in place for a while. During that time, we will cover 100% of all mortgage payments, property taxes and insurance as well as all maintenance and repairs on the property. (Don't worry, we are not conern about any late payments if there are any. We have the know how to work that out!)

We will then put the loan in our name, or sell, say in 3-4 years, at which time we'll retire the mortgage loan and repay any equity.

If this is something you'd like to discuss, please call us at your convenience at 877-xxx-xxxx (24/7)

Someone is always available to take your call.
[Early morning - During the day - Late at night}

Please call us at your first opportunity.

We Buy Home Full Price - All Cash or Terms Quick Close - Foreclosure OK - Tax Liens OK - No house too dirty, broken or ugly. We buy "as is" and ability to Close fast without any stress. No closing cost come out of your money. We pay everything! Our name says it all blah blah blah company.

Call today 877-xxx-xxxx (24 hours a day)

$$$Thanks a Million$$$, for taking the time to look over this letter

You'd have to be the biggest moron on the face of this planet to respond to a letter like this. However, it got my curiosity, what exactly are they trying to do? How are they scamming people? Are they taking over people's houses and renting them out? Are they buying houses for cash and making low-ball offers?
How to plan financially if you won't live until retirement?
Added on : Monday November 17th 2014 08:00:17 AM
g: 1 Posted By: sailwind
Views: 165 Replies: 4 I'm a 40yr old male that has just been diagnosed with end stage kidney failure. The best case scenario is if I get kidney transplants I can live for another 30 years, worst case I go on dialysis and survive for 10-15 years. Either way, it looks like I won't make it to retirement age of 70 and take distribution of my retirement savings as originally planned.

My priority now is to make sure my wife and my daughter are financially covered if I'm not around to provide for them. A key question I'm trying to decide is whether to continue to put money into my company's 401k now that I won't be using it in retirement. Is 401k still a good place to hoard as much money as possible so my wife can roll it over to her own IRA and make withdraws as necessary? Or is it better to keep things around as cash so it's readily available to her?

Some info:
- I don't qualify for any life insurance except the 1x salary at work
- We own a home with a small mortgage that she can easily pay for the next 27 years.
- The home have significant equity (60%) that she can draw on as needed.
- After 10 years, our combined retirement should be valued at 13x her current salary
- We're high income earners in higher tax bracket, so maxing 401k yearly helps with tax deductions.

What do you guys think? Is it worthwhile to continue contributing to retirement account? Is that still a better place to park money for her?

Boy I feel like Walter White in Breaking Bad. Any suggestions welcome!

Personal Finance Deals
Grade me
Added on : Saturday November 15th 2014 04:00:10 PM
g: 0 Posted By: rattletrap
Views: 90 Replies: 1 I put this on bogleheads and thought I would put it here as well...

Looking for anyone interested to go Suze Orman on me and give me a grade on how we are doing. I also welcome any advice! For the first time in our lives, we have the problem of having extra money that we need to decide what to do with.

We are both mid 30's
1 child - 1.5yr old
Debt: 87K mortgage (Home value 190K)
Savings: 97K (sitting in an account making about 1%)
me - 100K in a 403b
wife - 35K in TRS (Teacher Retirement System) making about 5%
I currently put 700/mo into my 403b. Wife started staying home when we had our first child, so nothing currently going into hers. Although I may try to look into option of putting into it... not sure how that works.

So, net worth is around 300K. We managed to save the 97K by putting away my wife's entire check for 3 years straight. Now that she's staying home, that money train is over. She may go back to work one day, but for now we both value her staying home with our child. We haven't invested it to this point b/c we weren't sure how everything would shake down with my wife no longer working and adding a child to the mix. After 1.5 years, I think we're doing okay. Right now after all bills are paid, we save about $500/mo. I'm thinking we need to earmark 35K of savings as Emergency fund and then invest the rest (very interested in ideas for this).
I've thought about putting it in CD's allocated into amounts like- $1k, $2k, $4k, $8k, $16k, $32k (advice I read to someone else on FW). That way if I need it, I could just break the ones for the amount I need. Of course, I've never bought a CD, so no idea where to find the best ones. Other than this option, the best idea I have is to go with something like the American Fund or S&P 500. But, I'm just not sure what to do...

The two things I'd like to get set up in addition to an investing plan are a fund for future car replacement and possibly a 529.
Personal Finance Deals
When should I consider buying an investment property?
Added on : Thursday November 13th 2014 11:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Vikings14
Views: 2 Replies: 0 I am single, late 20s, and make $59,000. Career has progressed very nicely thus far and I consider the industry I am in tobe very stable. I own a condo. 3.5% interest rate and have $63,000 left on my mortgage. My place is a nice, big, clean,1​bedroom condo in a good location. Its ideal for me right now and I will notbe moving until its necessary (ie wife/kids). My monthly mortgage, taxes, and HOA is $800 a month,but I pay $1000 (extra towards principal).

Recently came into $25,000 without doing anything to earn it. I already had about $35,000 in assets prior to that (not including 401k or equity in my home), Minimal debt of any kind.

I do have a vision, I want to purchase a property with a commercialbusiness and 2-4 apartments on a main road in this specific town. It will cost up to $250,000 to do this.

Do you think I readybased on the info provided above?
New User Question Deals
First time home buyer, buying duplex, seeking opinions
Added on : Wednesday November 12th 2014 02:00:04 PM
g: 0 Posted By: mrbigballer
Views: 130 Replies: 1 I browse on a regular basis, though I don't post much. I have gained much wisdom from FWF, so now looking for some more insight.

Looking to make my first real estate purchase. I have had quite an interest in the real estate world for years now, and I read a ton about it on blogs, etc. Personally I think we are back in a bubble, and prices are going to come down within the next 5 years.

Wife doesn't want to sit in an apartment, so I am looking to buy a duplex, live in one side, rent out the other. Then in a few years, when home prices come down, buy a SFH and just rent out both sides of the duplex.

About me:
34, infant child, married. Stable job. Live in metro city in CA.
Managed a duplex for a family member for 8 years...so been a landlord, have the experience.
Monthly net income: $7,564
Monthly expenses (not including rent): $1500 (tracked over 9 months and averaged out)
Monthly rent: $870
Total savings: $93K
Total debt: $0
Estimated down payment: 20%
Credit Scores: High 700s, low 800s
Estimated monthly rental revenue: $900
Estimated mortgage pmt + property taxes: $1250-1500

So I am looking to buy a duplex in the range of $275K-$300K, putting 20% down, renting out one side, live in the other. I plan to be there for 3 years, and then hopefully the market has dropped a good amount and then will buy a house. We are pretty good at saving money. Currently we can save about $5K per month, and should be able to save even more with this purchase from the way I ran the numbers (current rent: $870. Mortgage payment $1500 - Rental revenue: $900 = $600 monthly housing cost which is $270 less than current situation.

Please give any feedback, insight, advice, opinions, thoughts. TIA

Discussion Deals
Estate Plan for a father of two
Added on : Tuesday November 11th 2014 04:00:30 PM
g: 0 Posted By: kgkg
Views: 73 Replies: 0 Dear all,

I think that using the word "estate" may be wrong because definitely I am not going to hit the estate tax. I am 37, married, live in NY state, have a 2 and half year old and another one on the way. I have a term life insurance with my wife as the sole beneficiary. The term life insurance can completely cover the mortgage of my home and two kids' 22-year education costs in public schools. All my bank accounts are co-owned by my wife with the right of survivorship. I will also finish the advanced directive and durable power of attorney for health care. The sole beneficiary of my IRA and 403b is my wife.

My question is what else I should do? Should I get a will and a trust? Thank you all very much!
Question Deals
g: 0 Posted By: ajk23
Views: 72 Replies: 0 From my research (I am in PA), If we do a conventional 30 yr loan with 20% down, I am reading we can get a max 5-6% back at closing as seller's assist. My wife confirmed this with our mortgage broker. However I am also reading that this cannot come out of our down payment, which would mean we can't possibly get that much back. (I do realize I am going to have to contact my broker again to explain this to me, but in the meantime I figured I would ask you find folks)

Here is my scenario - offering 344,900 on a house + 4% towards closing costs. Using everyhome.com as a guide, our costs break down as:

Sale Price = $344,900
Down Payment20.00% = $68,980
All other taxes, fees, etc = $10,764
Seller Assist (4%) = $13,796

Is this allowed? Our broker says we can get approx 5-6% back but even 4% eats in to our down payment, right? Or am I understanding this incorrectly?

Thanks for any help you can give!
Personal Finance Deals
Graduated, found a job. Now what?. Advise with handling money please.
Added on : Sunday November 09th 2014 10:00:04 AM
g: 0 Posted By: partyallnight
Views: 102 Replies: 6 Finished my PhD earlier this year. Graduated, got a job that took me from a Professor's monthly stipend to some thing like $130k per annum.

My life style never changed. I am still going to live with room mates atleast for a while, in the same college town. Food habits improved a bit. Still driving the old beater car, sharing fuel costs with room mates for grocery purchases. No girl friend or wife, none in the near future at least.

For the first time, my bank account has actually started to grow. I am saving literally around 50% of my pay check. Maybe in the future after room mates graduate and move out, I might not look for new ones and my rent amounts might increase, but still. I like seeing numbers in my bank account I have never seen before.

I have been browsing FW forums for a while. Haven't really seen any suggestions on what to do with money. Everyone says you should try and save etc etc, but nobody says where the savings goes.

The bank where I store my money has a savings account that offers 0.05 % or something like that. Might as well just keep the money in my mattress, right?

I am asking because I want your suggestions on whether I should open a new bank account, whether I should do something else (no credit card balances or student loans, so I don't owe any one at the moment. Not planning on taking out any car loans / house mortgages for now either). Where do you guys keep your excess money? I don't know much about stocks, and I understand Boggleheads is a good place to learn. But I don't want to start having fun with stocks till I build what I see everyone call a "nest egg".. but where exactly does this "nest egg" get stored? (I am closing to having 5 months worth of living expenses in my bank, the way I am living right now).

Any suggestions? Keep it in my checking account till I get enough to invest in some thing big? Go for one of those online savings with 1% returns? It seems like everyone is putting their money to work, and I am just missing something. What am I miss?
Investing Deals
security deposit issue
Added on : Saturday November 08th 2014 10:00:13 AM
g: 0 Posted By: bergerac
Views: 75 Replies: 3 Long time lurker who has recently ran into a renter issue in Pennsylvania, I have been renting my apartment for about ten years and upon the initial lease paid out the security deposit a few years later the property was seized by the bank he had the mortgage through and was eventually resold. The new owner is claiming that original owner ran off with the security deposit after the bank seized it so they aren't under an obligation to return the deposit. Any help or direction towards the best course of action is greatly appreciated
Deposits Deals
Claiming parents as dependents on tax return?
Added on : Saturday November 01st 2014 11:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: sliqx
Views: 44 Replies: 0 I know it's not typical for us to claim our parents as dependents, as most parents have saved up for retirement, on pension, working, etc. but I was considering claiming them for this 2013. My parents currently have no source of income and are currently collecting social security. Mortgage is paid off, so they basically have been living month to month and paying off bills. Coming from an Asian background, it's somewhat expected that we financially take care of our parents as they get older. Since I've started work this year after completing grad school, I have pretty much contributed over 50% of the income, including food, electricity, cable, etc. I'll gross 70k this year. My question is, I know I meet all the requirements, but do you guys think it is advisable for me to claim them on my taxes? Would it affect their benefits at all? (My parents are currently collecting food stamps (~$170/month) and mother is on medicaid). And would I inherit any of their credit card debt? They have tons of credit card debt, and I don't want to claim them if the collectors start going after me for money. Thanks!
Question Deals
Pay Off Mortgage?
Added on : Friday October 31st 2014 03:00:24 AM
g: 0 Posted By: steve1954
Views: 53 Replies: 3 My wife and I owe $77k on a house that is probably worth $380k. We have a 15 year mortgage (remortgaged from 30 year , 2 years ago at 3.875%) that has 13 years left ($684 per month). My wife works as a contract trainer and earns about $110K. I earn $60K and also have a pension that brings in about $65k. No kids, no outstanding credit, 2 new cars paid for and 200k cash reserve
I suggested that we pay extra $1500 each , each quarter - $12k, year off the mortgage to pay it off early - she says that it doesn't make any sense because we get tax credit and the mortgage is low rate.
What is the most financially prudent option, given our circumstances>


Personal Finance Deals
Bank trying to increase the rate of a fixed rate mortgage after closing
Added on : Thursday October 30th 2014 10:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: juniortt
Views: 95 Replies: 0 Bit of a long story so I'll cut to the details I feel are critical:
- Closed on a construction loan ~6 weeks ago at a rate of 4.00% (two separate documents in the pile of papers we signed showed the rate and both indicated 4.00%)
- Received certified mail from the bank ~5 weeks after closing with an addendum stating the rate would be 4.49% instead. There was a sticky note saying the document "needs to be signed."
- Got a call from the settlement company today that they received the same document from the bank and were being asked to have us come in to sign. Instead of a sticky note, they got a cover letter indicating penalties would be assessed and our credit would be damaged if we did not sign and return promptly.

My call to the loan officer who I dealt with during the application has not yet been returned. My reason for reaching out is to hear the bank'sside of the story. Regardless of their story, my intent is to verbally refer them to the signed contract indicating 4.00%, but that shouldn't be breakingnews to them.So am Ileft to wait for penalties and credit hitsto come at me before I can take further action? Is there anything else I should be doing at this point?

Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: roxygirlie1021
Views: 94 Replies: 0 My mortgage was just purchased by American Financial Resources. We knew this was coming (the being sold part) as our original lender told us they sell 95% of their mortgages. I've never heard of AFS before, so was just looking for feedback on them. Not super concerned, as I just plan to set up automatic payments, but wanted to check anyway.
General Economics Deals
g: -2 Posted By: DTASFAB
Views: 139 Replies: 4 This texting conversation took place within the past hour. Names have been changed to protect the guilty (since there are obviously no players in this who are innocent). Background info is that my close friend Vinny is engaged to Caroline and they are scheduled to be married in the next six months. They're looking at apartments, but I'm not sure if they're planning on renting or buying. In either case, I'm concerned that my checking/savings accounts could mistakenly show up in their background checks when applying for a rental and/or mortgage. Both my checking and savings accounts are titled exactly "DTASFAB ITF VINNY." I kept the entire discussion in the texting format to avoid too many follow-up questions. Everything I know at this point is part of the exchange that's copied below.

QUESTIONS: What's the worst thing that can happen (legally speaking) to him if he goes back to the bank tomorrow and actually attempts to withdraw my money? I realize most of you will say my friend could steal my money, but I don't even care about that. I'm just pissed at the bank right now.

Did the teller actually violate any laws and/or banking regulation? Is there a way to profit from it already? Would there be a way to profit from it that first would require some action on my part, his part, or both?

Most importantly, if we both do nothing from this point, is there any chance this could negatively affect Vinny's tax burden and/or apartment search?

TL;DR - just read the thread title

Vinny: Can you close the joint TD bank account we have?

DTASFAB: It's not a joint account, why?

Vinny: They told me we have an account together with 400 dollars in it. I assume the money is yours.

DTASFAB: Who told you?

Vinny: TD bank, I was depositing a check into a joint account and they asked me which one. I said there is only one I know of..... and she said there are two accounts with my name on it, one with Caroline and one with you with 400 dollars in it. Did you forget about it?

DTASFAB: I will go over there tomorrow and chew them a new a$$h0le. They have no legal right to discuss that account with you. It is in trust for you only. You get the money only if I die. Otherwise your name is not on the account. That teller broke the law by telling you how much is in there.

Vinny: It was either opened in 2012 or that was the last activity

DTASFAB: The last activity on the account was a couple weeks ago. The last activity on it that had anything to do with you was the same day I opened it in Oct. 2012 and made you the benficiary.

Vinny: Okay, I didn't know anything about it obviously, just make sure my SS number isn't on it for tax purposes, and thank you.

DTASFAB: You think I'd forget about a bank account that had real money in it? lol Your SSN and birthdate are on it for beneficiary purposes only so they can identify and authenticate you as the legitimate beneficiary when I die...... They still broke the law and I'm going to rip them 100 new a$$h0le$ tomorrow

Vinny: Awesome, kick their a$$, I never really thought you would forget, but it caught me off guard. Bank branch where this happened was at XXX XXXXXXXX XXXXXXXX, teller's name was Caroline. Bank is open for 25 more minutes if you want to call and talk to her or the manager.

DTASFAB: hard name for you to remember? lol You'd better pray it doesn't become a name you'd prefer to forget

Vinny: Lol never

DTASFAB: I'm not going over there today. I know they're open. I have to figure out if there is a way to profit from this before I confront them.

Vinny: Sounds good, be careful, your life is now worth $400 to me... you are worth more to me dead than alive

DTASFAB: The checking account with $1000 in it is also ITF for you, that's 1400, enough for a vasectomy even if you have no health insurance. You should kill me and use the money to get snipped. I'd take that tradeoff.

Vinny: Thanks man, I'll take that money and use it for fertility pills. You better cut me out real quick. They didn't tell me about any other account.

DTASFAB: Yeah probably because you said "joint savings."

Vinny: Any chance I can withdraw it all now and use it for the wedding? It will be a great gift. I didn't try to withdraw anything. Imagine if they let me access to it lol

DTASFAB: You should try tomorrow and see what happens. See this is why I don't react quickly and throw temper tantrums. I want to give them every possible opportunity to #&%@ themselves so we can profit in some way.

Vinny: I will try tomorrow for sure.

DTASFAB: I'll keep you updated.
Tax Deals
g: 0 Posted By: LordB
Views: 2 Replies: 0 This is in Massachustts and town to my knowledge does not have any additional legal requirements. The complex is ~8 units with a few duplex style places and 1 large master house that has been split up into 4 or so units.

The landlord says that he needs to refurbish 2/3 of the apartments in order to get a new bank loan after the property being tied up in probate for many years and having tax issues he needs to refinance from an ~8% loan down to the current rates now that it is out of probate (presumably a cashout mortgage that would allow him to pay off the tax issues as well).

The thing is the "refurbished" apartments he is talking about aren't all that refurbished. He hasn't done any more work on them than what I would consider the absolute minimum amount of work you would do to rent out an apartment. He is honestly borderline slumlord. His "refurbished apartment doesn't even have a proper rug replacement and the kitchen cabinets are in crappy shape.

The apartments are the exact same size though they have some minor layout differences which have both pros and cons (I would say the new place is a more in the cons side than the pros side).

He wants me to sign a new lease when I move to the new apartment with similar terms as the old one though he is willing to put terms in it to allow me to break the lease with 30 days notice as long as it isn't winter.

Anyways does his claim to need 2/3 of units be refurbished sound like a legit bank requirement? Can anyone think of anything shady that he might be pulling? Mostly worried about things that would affect me, but also curious about what other games he might be pulling (aka scamming others). I might be able to get more terms out of him if I truly have the upper hand here. For whatever reason he really seems desperate for me to move... Perhaps he is telling the truth about the bank requirement, but honestly it all just seems weird.

Margin Loan for Real Estate from Interactive Brokers
Added on : Wednesday October 22nd 2014 04:00:15 PM
g: 0 Posted By: corwinamber
Views: 71 Replies: 2 There've been a few threads in the past talking about taking out a Margin Loan from Interactive Brokers (with their crazy-low interest rates for large portfolios) to purchase real-estate, either as a bridge loan or, presumably, longer term as long if the rates stay low enough. So currently a $1.5M margin loan from IB would be at about a rate of 1%. That's certainly enticing compared to a traditional mortgage (not to mention the lack of fees, paperwork BS, etc.) I'm well aware that there's a much higher risk if securities go south but I'd probably put something like $2.5M in assets into the account so it would take a pretty nasty downturn to be a problem. (Part of the reason to do this, rather than just liquidating the securities and paying cash, is to avoid some capital gains I have on a couple of those securities. It was a good call to buy AAPL and TSLA last year )

But I'm wondering if anybody out there has done something similar, particularly with IB, and can reassure me that I'm not missing something here.

Previous threads that touch on the topic can be found here: http://www.fullofdeals.com/forums/finance/1359910/ andhttp://www.fullofdeals.com/forums/finance/1337838/

New User Question Deals
Recent experiences with PenFed refi?
Added on : Wednesday October 22nd 2014 03:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: PMonkeyDishwasher
Views: 37 Replies: 2 I know PenFed's 5/5 ARM is fairly popular around here, and I'm interested in refinancing my current mortgage with a 5/5 from PenFed. A lot of reviews online seem to indicate that PenFed's service is pretty horrendous (not returning calls, misplacing applications and documents, etc.). Has anyone had a recent (past 6-12 months) experience with a PenFed refinance? If so, what issues did you have?
Personal Finance Deals
offered a limp sum pension buyout
Added on : Tuesday October 21st 2014 05:00:07 PM
g: 2 Posted By: warrensmailbox
Views: 101 Replies: 2 I've been offered a limp sum pension buyout from my former employer of 30 years.. It's near a quarter million. I'm 60 and on SSDI for 10 years, the wife is 57. She is on SSDI as well. (5 years now)Together we get about $3000 in SSDI monthly payments and a personally paid for un-taxable insurance disability income payment of $900 per month. We also get $400 income per month as rental income.Total monthly income is about $4300. I've found I get more than double an average American gets from SS (which is about $1,100 PM). So I'm highly compensated as for as SSDI payments.We still owe on our home $350 a month -insurance & a new 40 year loan to boot. (it's complicated due to no heath insurance for 6 years and we lost our primary home which was mortgaged to cover medical expenses (no one would sell us a plan) and finally had to file chapter 7, we moved into our 90% finished vacation home (they let use keep it) had to give up my Ram, RV and primary home. We have medicare coverage now thank God.We have a few new medical bills, car payments and credit cards (from meds) we owe as well. Total amount in debt is only about $77,000 that we can pay off with a portion of our lump sum in cash plus thousands extra left over to bank. The other slightly larger portion to be rolled over into an IRA (no taxes to pay) which I wouldn't draw on only until I'm 65 than take small monthly payments.Our health is fair to poor actually more leaning toward poor. Our monthly income (we'll lose the $900 insurance payments if I took the buyout or annuity) without these debt obligations my monthly living expense would be $1731.00. Food, utilities, clothing, insurance, deductibles/co-pays and such all fractured it. We don't pay any type of taxes, property or state/feds income. Of course we'll take a 20% tax hit on the cash out, but we may get some back.Total income would be $3350.00. Amount free with no obligations would be $1,600.00 per month and will be split to saving per month and most importantly our home will be ours again.If I took the annuity option 2 instead I would get $1,450 a month right NOW for life, BUT per terms of my personal disability insurance contract once I do that the $900 monthly payments stop as well. So basically I'll only get $500 extra income but the whole $1,400 will now be taxable income. 17K a year taxable.I'm leaning to the boat load of money. I feel we can do without the pension payments and lets face it we may not live long enough to enjoy it, plus my only child could be left something other than bills.What do you think?Thanks
New User Question Deals
g: 0 Posted By: lmbebo
Views: 13 Replies: 0 My wife and I moving to a new city, about 800k, with low cost of living and no state income tax.

My income will be 300k, wife with no income at all (both still hoping she finds a job).

Emergency fund savings of about 65k, retirement in the range of 80k. 14k saved for another surrogate attempt.

Debt, about 67k (no interest, but quick repay) to my in-laws for a gestational surrogate attempt, now with an amazing 1 yr old daughter.
car debt. 13k(@355/mnth - wife's car) and 25k(@585/mnth - my car) on 2 different cars (0.9 and 1.9% interest).
About 60k left my edu loans (1 loan of like 35k at 1.5%, the rest at 3.5% - consolidated before things got real bad).
Credit score is 780+. No credit card debt.

Loan repayment everything amounts to $3110/month. Should be free of surrogate and car loans by early 2017.

Things are complicated by trying to also save for another transfer with our GC (cheaper than 1st attempt, but still another 50-60k we will need saved). Pushing it quicker because I don't want to be over 40 with a new born and don't want to have a huge age disparity between our children. I am 37 and wife is 33.

To cut to the chase, I'd like to continue to rent. Pay off some debt and build up a downpayment. My wife wants to take advantage of the mortgage rates and start building equity in a home. She's tired of giving other people our money with nothing to show for it.

We could probably be able to swing 20k for housing associated costs.

House in question is a 3 bed/2 bath in a new development area on the side of town we want to be in. It doesn't feed into the 2 high schools I'd want my child attending. House is a new build, reduced from 279k to 255k. She sees it as a starter home that we would eventually move out of in the future. I grew up living in a single house that my parents still own (35 yrs and counting). She has moved through 3-4 homes as a child and sees that a starter home is a pathway to our eventual home we'd like.

Am I making a mountain over a mole hill by sticking to my guns about continuing to rent and get ourselves financially secure?

edit: Of the houses we saw, I'd be happier being in this 400k home with 4 bed/3 bath in an established neighborhood. Something I feel will last us longer than 5 yrs...

g: 0 Posted By: remick
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Taxes on Rental Property Sale
Added on : Wednesday October 15th 2014 09:00:09 PM
g: 0 Posted By: as140674
Views: 61 Replies: 0 We used to live in a single family home that was converted to a rental property few years ago. We reported all rental income and all related expenses including mortgage interest etc on Schedule E together with our tax return every year. We never included or claimed depreciation on the property.

We recently sold the property for a small capital gain amount. We are confused about the following:

1. We are in the 15% marginal tax bracket and we were told that we will not be taxed on for the gain (a zero capital gain liability). Is this correct?

2. Are going to be taxed on the depreciation recapture even though we did not take advantage and didn't claim depreciation in our prior tax returns? Should we amend prior years tax returns or claim depreciation for the last year of ownership?

3 What is the tax rate on the depreciation recapture? Which IRS form we use to report the sale when we file next year return?

Your help is greatly appreciated!
Real Estate Deals
Which Mortgage Length Do You Prefer: 15 or 30?
Added on : Tuesday October 14th 2014 07:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: elptrainerny
Views: 38 Replies: 2 Currently have a 15 yr 2.75% w/ 13 yrs left. Got it for the low rate and wanted to be paid off & done sooner. However, been thinking about taking existing balance and doing a re-fi (no cash out) to a 30yr 3.75%. Like the safety of being able to make smaller payments if economy gets bad while having no prepayment penalty (so can make previous payment if want). I just think about the extra 1% in interest and the refi-costs and wonder if it's worth the safety trade-off. Hence my question to others:

Did you do a 15 yr or 30 yr mortgage for your house and what was your frame of thought.
Question Deals
g: 0 Posted By: gr8f8
Views: 21 Replies: 0 Looking for a fee CFP with RSU and california real estate experience,
age 50, in california, looking to have basic(50-70Kper year) option for retirement(no pension,non gov. married only 1 income) by 54

Thought of three threads but will pose the three questions here, this is a one time situation in my life which has to be addressed by end of year

1)Tax related- RSUs vested and company took 54% to pay gov. (tagged to my income say 500K), by time that company let me sell My short term capital gains was actually a loss of 200K which I'm told I can only offset against other capital gains and not my income. Thus I have a 200K loss and I don't play in the stock market since 2007, and was told I'd be in AMT this year so home interest deduction and donations and persinal are out
I've got 4 rentals, 1 owned outright and 3 with mortgages(>50% equity, loans 4.25-4.5%).They make 30K a year which is covered by their depreciation, except if I'm in AMT. Which I've been told this year I am. Thinking of selling one with all about same value same area etc and would have gain of 170K. Then if one with mortgage pay off other two mortgages. This would recoup most of the loss this year(I usually have no capital gains.I believe the biggest increases in real estate are over for now until interest rates go back to normal but if we are in Japan situation, that can be a long time.

2)Been looking for an entry point with IRA that has been cash since 2007(say 200K), some thoughts since markets have gone down some,
I'm diversified into real estate already so thinking equities for 3-6 years
Have looked for a point to start to invest
Like dollar cost averaging since if his is the long slide(think Japan) I didn't buy at top and get more on way down, If it goes back up then at least got some at discount. If it goes flat not loosing anything
For time duration=D of reentering
Look at last 4 corrections take maximum duration=D
Frequency? No clue but for right now I'll say 10, so 20K per investment
a) Look at the best world wide dividend stocks which are available take top ten and buy 20K per Dmonths
b) do dividend ETF for us and then 1 for emerging markets, if dollar is strong(will take today as start) like now buy emerging if weaker buy US every Dmonths
Planning to convert to ROTH after retirement in 3-6 years if early retirement at lower tax base.

3) Have say 300K cash Owe ~250K on house at 4% since home deduction blown this year and probably next year(AMT) thinking of paying off as then I would be 1 step closer to retirement options in next 3-6 years.
I don't see any other investments, On the shows I listen to they always talk about getting 6-8% like it is guaranteed, at least this 4% is.

It's weird that my accountant told me that even though I have a short term capital loss of 200K I may owe a lot of taxes because of AMT this year. My with holding was based on my regular deductions

Any thoughts?
Discussion Deals
Should I take a new job in California?
Added on : Friday October 10th 2014 12:00:05 PM
g: 1 Posted By: me94
Views: 90 Replies: 5 My husband and I are both professionals living in the south. We make a decent living but both work long hours and have a large amount of student loan debt. I recently received a very competitiveoffer from a company in Orange County, California and am trying to see if there's anything I'm missing before we decide to make a move. Right now I work for a small family business and honestly I am the person holding the place together. The company in California is one my current company has done joint projects with in the past, and they want me to come and run their entire west coast operation. This company and my current company are in the same industry but operate in different states, so they do not compete (and to my knowledge, I don't have any "trade secrets" or clients that I would be taking).Still, if I move I will likely burn several bridges in my field and it would be difficult to work in the south or southeast for several years (it's a small field and everyone knows everyone else).

Financial situation:
Me - currently working. Salary: 90k, annual bonus usually around 25-40k.
Husband -currently working. Salary: 70k, annual bonus usually around 10-20k.
2children (3 yrs and 1 yr).
Assets: 2 cars, 2008Honda Accord, 2008 Honda Civic. Will probably replace the civic with a bigger car next year.
IRA: about $75k. No retirement plan at our current jobs.
Savings: about $60k in a CD ladder or savings.

Debt: Student loans, around $380k total. The rate is something like 7.4% (combined), and it's set by the government so we can't refi. Monthly payments are around $4000. No other debt.

Current expenses: Rent: $1050/month for a nice house in the country. This is very expensive for our area, but it's a nice house and we have not been able to qualify for a mortgage due to our DTI ratio. We pay $2400/month for a nanny (including employment taxes), as the only day cares here are religious and we are not members of any local churches. Utilities+phone is around $150 a month, and insurance is around 300.

The offer I have for the new job is $450,000 plus performance bonuses, and I may be able to negotiate that higher. I know the cost of living out west is higher, and taxes are higher (by my calculation, its around 4% higher), but I believe that even taking that into consideration making the move is a net financial positive. (More than that, the new company has several women in management and at the board level, and I feel there would be more room for promotion. I am the first and only woman working at my level at my current job, there are no women in senior management and no women partners.) I have some family in the LA area who have told me to budget around $4-5000 a month for rent on a nice four bedroom house.

My husband would have to quit his job and try and find something out west - that's a big unknown but honestly with the bump in salary, I figure he can take his time looking for new employment. A big factor for me is that the schools here are atrocious (something I can confirm, as I hire high school graduates for unskilled office jobs and they're barely literate). If we stayed here we'd absolutely have to pay for 18 years of private school for the kids. I have been told the Irvine school district has excellent schools. I am leaning towards finishing the year at my current job and moving after the baby is born in the spring but I thought I'd post this for FWF to see if there is anything I'm missing.
New User Question Deals
Down Payment "source" for underwriter vs. actual source
Added on : Tuesday October 07th 2014 05:00:10 PM
g: 0 Posted By: master3don
Views: 131 Replies: 9 Hello,

I wanted to get the FW forums to weigh in on this argument I have with my wife about buying our first time homebuyer.

Current situation:
$100K in HH annual income
Total Cash Savings (In Bank): $50,000
Total Retirement accounts: ~$100,000
Additional cash in hand (Emergency Cash): $15,000

We have a P/S agreement signed for $350,000 closing on 12/5 (Seller choice, not ours) and need to put 20% down + closing cost.

I estimate we need $80,000 Cash and will have enough by closing cost.

Question for FW'ers: Can I get a mortgage approved by an underwriter by telling them I will withdraw $30,000 from our retirement account, but actually pay from a different source at the time of closing?
Do I really have to show that I got the money from my 401k/IRA?

Is it misleading? I can put down less than 20% now, but I don't want a PMI when I can get the cash within the 2 months.

PS: My wife thinks that if we tell them I'm pulling $30K from the 401k, they will want proof this happened - please help me prove her wrong.
Question Deals
g: 0 Posted By: mortgageornot
Views: 112 Replies: 2 Sorry if this has been covered before, I did a quick search, but if so please just link to relevant post.

I'm trying to rent out a condo in a major city. A group of young twenty-somethings are interested, 2 girls and a guy. I collected a $40 application fee from each and used Rentprep.com to screen them. They all have limited rental and credit history...the guy has lived at home his whole life. One of the girls is currently living with her sister for free.

Anyway, they all passed Rentprep's background screening (whatever that includes), but one of the girls didn't meet the minimum credit requirement (I left Rentprep's default of 3 stars, 600-860 FICO, 1 bankruptcy, 0 judgements).
This same girl entered the company she worked for and supervisor on her application, but didn't include her income, occupation, or employer's phone number or the number of her previous landlord (granted she only lived there 4 months)

So anyway, since she didn't meet my minimum tenant screening requirements I cannot extend the 3 of them an offer to rent.

Couple questions:
1) Do I send a rejection notice to just the 1 girl, or to all 3? (I already have an Adverse Action letter drafted with "Incomplete Information" and "Poor and/or absent credit history" checked with address and phone info to the credit reporting company (Rentprep, which is Fidelis Screening Solutions)
2) Is it ok to provide each of them a copy of their own background and credit screenings?
Question Deals
Mortgage Rate Lock without buying
Added on : Sunday October 05th 2014 08:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Jumbosaver
Views: 53 Replies: 0 I have no intention of buying a house in the next year or two but the current interest rates are at a comfortable place. I'd be interested in locking in the today's rate for a 30 year fixed mortgage for a house that I (hopefully, eventually) buy 2-3 years down the line.

Is there any such instrument available on the market today? I'm thinking it would work like a call option - pay a price upfront and have a set expiration date. I investigated the existing mortgage "rate lock" mechanisms but they're mostly meant for short term periods - for people pre-qualifying and intending to close in 30-180 days.

FYI - I'm willing to risk the interest rate falling and taking that gamble so save the comments about interest rate speculation
Real Estate Deals
bankruptcy/new home mortgage
Added on : Sunday October 05th 2014 09:00:25 AM
g: 0 Posted By: bloketion
Views: 19 Replies: 0 had auto accident and due to judgement from bill(s) am in process of chapter 7 bc of judgement lien placed on current home..am looking to purchase another home that is currently handicapped/wheelchair accessible or would require minimal costs to renovate to accomplish that; my current home is 100 yrs old and renovation cost are hightrying to get insurance to invest reno costs into purchase of another home, but if they don't fully pay for the home will have to finance the balancesubstantial $ down, prob 80%, but how unrealistic is it of me to be able to fund mortgage company to finance the remainder

Discussion Deals
Penfed mortgage fees
Added on : Saturday October 04th 2014 07:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: jonjones
Views: 64 Replies: 0 Penfed charges a 1% loan origination fee on home mortgages. Is this a way for them to charge 1% of the loan amount without calling it a point? I have not seen a loan origination fee from other lenders.

Question Deals
Unauthorized hard credit inquiry - what should I do?
Added on : Saturday October 04th 2014 06:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: s2ogal
Views: 45 Replies: 0 On my capital one credit card I get automatic alerts when there is a pull on my credit report.

I just received an alert of a hard credit pull from this companyhttps://commonbond.co/ which appears to be a student loan company.

I have three credit cards. No mortgage ever, no car loans ever, and paid off my student debt about two years ago. I have not applied for a loan in years.

I went through the form on the companies site and in order to apply for a loan someone would need my address, date of birth, and social. I have no idea how this information could have gotten out.

I tried calling the company but they are closed till Monday.

My questions are:

1. Is this almost 100% identity theft? Anything else it could be?

2. What should I do now?

Very troubled about this. Happy for any advice. Thanks,
Homeowner's Insurance issues...
Added on : Friday October 03rd 2014 06:00:13 AM
g: 0 Posted By: skwiggey
Views: 73 Replies: 4 Couple of questions for homeowners. Have you had your insurance company force you to carry more insurance than you "need" or want? Mortgage balance is less than $130k, house is worth $160k tops, insurance company says cost to rebuild is almost $250k, so they won't insure for less. I don't think it'd cost that much, but I'm not a builder. This increases my premium (over $3k now) and makes my deductible higher since it's a percentage of the policy limits. Also, now they are requesting an "animal exclusion" form to be signed. I'm trying to get more details on this, but I have an 18lb mini-Schnauzer. Seems a little extreme to me.
Location - SE Lousiana
House is just under 1700 sq ft
Other insurance companies are not really an option. I've tried but no one else wants to write a policy on a raised house over 4ftoff the ground. I'm at around 10ft.

Personal Finance Deals
Interest Charged on HELOC during Right of Rescission Period
Added on : Thursday October 02nd 2014 08:00:40 AM
g: 0 Posted By: darrellmak
Views: 200 Replies: 5 Acredit union whereI took out a HELOC started charging me interest five days before funds were even disbursed. I took out the HELOC to refinance my first mortgage. We signed the papers on 4/25/14, then waited the 3-day Right of Rescission period. The credit union issued a check to pay off the mortgage on 4/30. I thought interest should have begun on 4/30, but the credit union insists it startson 4/25.

Is this right, or should I pursue them further?

Personal Finance Deals
Any grants or financial aid for someone with a mortgage?
Added on : Thursday October 02nd 2014 08:00:36 AM
g: -1 Posted By: mxmaniac
Views: 394 Replies: 28 I've tried many times searching for a way to afford college, but it has never been an option, because I have a mortgage payment to pay, and I'm a Caucasian male with no kids.

Through my searching, I found many options if I were to have been a minority, a woman, single parent, or a couch surfer with almost zero overhead that could actually get by on the couple hundred bucks of financial aid. But never an option for anyone who owns a house to be able to actually afford to pay the mortgage payment and go to school.

Right now my situation is pretty dire. I had a bad injury which is preventing me from working jobs that require prolonged time on the feet (like my former career). Have no education or qualifications for anything else (but would like to). Unemployment ran out, so right now I have a flat 0 income, with an average size mortgage payment. Just wondering if maybe I missed something that's out there. Is there any sort of financial aid or grants for a guy like me (non minority, male, no kids, and zero income), which can allow me to go to school, and still pay my mortgage so I don't loose my house over having to change careers?
Question Deals
Buying a house - "Subject To"
Added on : Thursday October 02nd 2014 08:00:27 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Sintax
Views: 285 Replies: 3 I want to buy a condo from a co-worker. He has trouble selling the property the owner occupancy rate is low and buyers are having trouble getting financing. One the options I am looking into is to buying using "Subject To." The condo will be an investment property and the current rate of the mortgage is fairly low (4.125%). He also has a second note which will be paid off at the time of sale.

Does anyone have experience buying using Subject To?

Quick link on how subject to works:http://www.creonline.com/how-to-buy-a-house-subject-to.html
Real Estate Deals
Has anybody ever had a incident of mortgage fraud?
Added on : Monday September 29th 2014 03:00:13 AM
g: -1 Posted By: 1abcdranger
Views: 98 Replies: 1 I am asking this question for prevention purposes. Is there away I can ask the irs not to release my financial information to any banks that request it?
Question Deals
Starting a real estate business with partners - Need Advice
Added on : Wednesday September 24th 2014 05:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: RailroadTrack
Views: 71 Replies: 5 I need some advice. I plan on going into business with two friends/co-workers, guys I trust. We plan on saving 20% to 25% for an $800K property with some buffer cash for any issues that arise, so $80K each. Once we buy a property, we plan on re-investing the profits in order to con This isn't going to be an overnight thing. We plan to save this over a three year period and purchase a property at that point. We want to establish an account where we can only withdraw funds if all three sign, and plan to have a business charter drafted by an attorney that covers situations like this so we don't end up having issues as business partners. I have some general questions, what do we need to get started? Do we need to start an LLC? What type of business account do we need to establish? We're obviously in the early stages of this and want to get over the hurdle of generating capital to get this started.

If it matters, we each have decent paying jobs. $80K-85K / year, none of us have kids, we're all late 20's, credit scores over 740, some debt (cars), two of us have mortgages, one in Hawaii and one in Virginia, both are being rented out and are near military installations.

I'm all ears, good and bad. What do you guys think and how do we get this started?
Discussion Deals
Considerations For Buying A Primary Home In Cash - No Mortgage
Added on : Wednesday September 24th 2014 06:00:18 AM
g: 0 Posted By: robronson
Views: 109 Replies: 4 I've never owned a home, though I consider it as a possibility in the next few years. I'm a life long renter in my 30s and have always chosen to live in modest cost of living areas. My rent over the last 10 years since I left college has been no more than $1000 per month in any place I've lived, and typically in the $600/month range. I have no interest in living in a place like NYC, LA, SF, Seattle, and that's pertinent to this post because if I did want to live there, then this strategy would be impossible.

I've built a nice nest egg in the $300k range and am shooting for early retirement, roughly in the $700k to $1M range in late 30s, early 40s. Currently able to net and save around $100k per year after taxes/living expenses and if I can keep that up, I'm well on track.

One of the major reasons for me avoiding home ownership is the mortgage process in general. While it may seem like a routine thing for most, I have a stronger-than-most protection of my privacy, and the process of getting a mortgage, for me, in my mental state, falls somewhere in the middle between root canal and prison rape. No need to go into details of my psychological fears of showing a stranger my finances, employment, and credit history, because it's how I feel and strangers commenting on this post won't fix me.

Thus, if I want to own a home, I would almost certainly do so with "cash" (certified check or whatever). Most of the areas I want to live have really nice homes in the $150k to $200k range. Given I am netting $100k per year (after living expenses, to my savings account), I can save enough money for a house in 2 to 3 years.

If I can get the liquid cash to buy a home in 2 to 3 years of work, should I do it? Any downsides? The alternative isn't getting a mortgage because I won't get a mortgage. Discussions about opportunity cost for lack of tax credits from mortgage interest aren't applicable to my situation. My alternative is continuing to rent.
Personal Finance Deals
Penfed Real Estate Rewards - any opinions?
Added on : Saturday September 20th 2014 12:00:11 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Miniwallet
Views: 37 Replies: 0 Does anyone have experience using Penfed as a realtor in order to get help with closing costs/waived origination fees? Wondering if this is a good option or if it could get complicated.


Up to $10k towards closing costs for the ARMs
Waived origination fees for the fixed rate mortgages
Question Deals
g: 0 Posted By: wackyrabbit
Views: 43 Replies: 0 I have a second mortgage on my house that secures a business loan. I am in the process of refinancing and requested that the second loan be subordinated and kept the same on the new first mortgage.

My business banker has done shady stuff in the past and right now we are stuck with her until we can switch banks. He wont approve subordination unless we jump through some hoops most are normal but is letting him see the settlement statement on this new 1st mortgage normal procedure? I don't want him to leverage this information against us and hurt the refinance/hurt the busiess loan or try calling something in when he has no power to (it is an sba loan)..
Question Deals
Seeking info. on owner financing/flipping a mortgage note.
Added on : Wednesday September 17th 2014 09:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: shawnmid
Views: 15 Replies: 0 I have been contemplating doing this for some time as I met a gentleman, in my business, some years ago who did this and was fairly successful with it. He was based here in Missouri and his model was pretty simple. Buy cheap homes (around 5k), invest little to no money in them, owner finance them at 20-40k @ 10-12% over 30 years, and he would sell the note off after six months at a %10 discount. I'd really like to find someone who has exercised this same model or might have any information that would help me to make an educated decision. Any help would be greatly appreciated. At this point, I am aware of the paperwork involved, what I am completely unaware of are the returns that these notes can garner. I know very little about the note trading business. Thank you for taking the time to read over this.

Real Estate Deals
Woodbridge financial
Added on : Tuesday September 16th 2014 02:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: blackie7955
Views: 41 Replies: 0 Any one ever deal with these people in the past. They have some interesting alternative investments (first position mortgages-1 year term) and would love to know if anyone here has any experience with them. Thanks in advance for any help.
Spouse wants hobby account how to do it?
Added on : Monday September 15th 2014 01:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: MoneyOCD
Views: 881 Replies: 46 Changed "allowance" to "hobby account" to eliminate wrongperceptions.

Ok, basically situation is in the name - spouse mentioned monthly deposits in separate account.
Reason is to be able to save for bigger personal purchases - hobby related.

We are both employed, maxing 401ks, IRAsand HSAs. Also sizable chunk goes into savings for cars/house maintenance, travel and charity/gifts.
We have child in college that cost us about $1500/month + medical and car insurance, have mortgage. Also doing contributions to ESPP with designation to allocate that money after stock sale to the extra mortgage payment. All that left is usedfor living expenses which are charged to CashBack CC and paid in full every month. I manage all the bills, spouse have access to all accounts, quicken and receives monthly report about all consolidated ins, outs, investments- no secrets there.

How to do it into separate checking account and do not jeopardize CashBack?
DoI create myself similar account too? if yes, same amount?
What expenses to include mad/hobby money? Anything that I am not thinking about?

Thanks in advance
Personal Finance Deals
Purchasing house with Girlfriend..HELP!
Added on : Monday September 15th 2014 10:00:20 AM
Views: 391 Replies: 26 We have always rented, but decided to start looking into home prices and think it may make more sense than renting. Renting an apartment would be around $2500-$2800 vs a mortgage in the $1800-$2200 range. The big thing is figuring out how to handle the downpayment, finding the best place for rates, and how being married vs not would benefit this situation if it matters at all. My income was significantly low this year, but I have a good amount of money in savings so not sure if I can play some approach to avoid a big down payment. Thanks
Personal Finance Deals
Spouse wants allowance how to do it?
Added on : Monday September 15th 2014 10:00:19 AM
g: 0 Posted By: MoneyOCD
Views: 183 Replies: 7 Ok, basically situation is in the name - spouse mentioned monthly allowance in separate account.
Reason is to be able to save for bigger personal purchases - hobby related.

We are both employed, maxing 401ks, IRAsand HSAs. Also sizable chunk goes into savings for cars/house maintenance, travel and charity/gifts.
We have child in college that cost us about $1500/month + medical and car insurance, have mortgage. Also doing contributions to ESPP with designation to allocate that money after stock sale to the extra mortgage payment. All that left is usedfor living expenses which are charged to CashBack CC and paid in full every month. I manage all the bills, spouse have access to all accounts, quicken and receives monthly report about all consolidated ins, outs, investments- no secrets there.

How to do allowances into separate checking account and do not jeopardize CashBack?
DoI give myself allowance too? if yes, same amount?
What expenses to include in allowances beside mad/hobby money? Haircuts/salons? Clothing?Anything that I am not thinking about?

Thanks in advance
Personal Finance Deals
Need help with current housing situation
Added on : Monday September 15th 2014 08:00:14 AM
g: 0 Posted By: averageJoeonFW
Views: 121 Replies: 0 Hello all,First of all, I want to thank everyone here for making FW (especially the Finance forum) such a great place for me to check every other hour or so.I have somewhat of a complicated housing issues that I need your advice on, Ill try to keep it as short as possible, but please let me know if you need more details in any parts.

I currently have 2 houses with mortgage on (both under my name:

House 1: bought in early 2011, FHA loan, 3.75% interest rate, 3.5% down, currently has $135K left. Current market value of around $210K-
House 2: bought late 2012, Conventional loan, 3.85% interest rate, 5% down, currently has about $175K, second mortgage (home equity) of $26K, current market value of around $255K

My wife and live in house 2, my parents + brothers family + sister lives in house 1.I pay the mortgage for house 2, brother pays mortgage for house 1. The family moved down to my area from a high cost living area to open up their own business, so I helped them with a place to stay. On this house 1, I put about $5K for down (money from my mom). Our plan was to take advantage of the housing market back then, the price was so good, plus the interest rate was low, thats why I bought the house under my name as my brother still had his house back then so he couldnt afford the second house.Now, his house was sold 2 years ago, business is up and running for about 2.5 years, but his credit is now under 600 because of all the current credit cards with balance (he did have 2 late payments also last year). His credit was 800+ range back in 2011.

We are trying to do whats the best way to have the house transfer over to my brothers name?

I know FHA allows other people to assume the loan, providing that the income/credit allow him (already check with Wellsfargo, the mortgage provider), however, with his current credit and about $30K credit card debt, I am sure he wont get approved. His income is about $2,500/month pretax. Business income is about $100-$120K per year (restaurant business in the past 2 years).My wild thought would be taking another equity loan against house 1, pay off his credit card to free up his credit again, then by the time its going back up to an acceptable level by the bank (as well as his income), then have it transferred over to his name. The reason I bring this up is because were planning on to move, so well be ending up selling our house (house 2) and hope to get my name off house 1 as well so I dont want to do anything else related to my credit unless I have to.

Another additional note: my mom and dad work at the same business, they do receive a small income also so for the purpose of income qualification, if needed, we can include them as well ($1100/month each, basic credit, 1-2 credit cards with about 2 years history).
Personal Finance Deals
NASA FCU - Adveristing 0% down / No PMI mortgages
Added on : Thursday September 11th 2014 04:00:17 PM
g: 1 Posted By: Logan71
Views: 123 Replies: 6 I heard this on the radio on the way home, and then checked out their website a short while ago.

Their blurb...

NASA FCU can help. Our $0 DOWN fixed-rate mortgage doesnt require Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). This is unique because conventional lenders will require PMI when your down payment is less than 20% of the home purchase. So, now you can concentrate on the things you need for your new home instead of a down payment.

I would think there's some legitimacy to NASA FCU, in the same vein as Navy FCU or PenFed, but I dont know - I'm only posting this 'claim' as it sounds attractive, at least on the surface, for someone trying to refi out of PMI. As they say, the devil is in the details...

Discussion Deals
Navy FCU - Adveristing 0% down / No PMI mortgages
Added on : Thursday September 11th 2014 03:00:19 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Logan71
Views: 1 Replies: 0 I heard this on the radio on the way home, and then checked out their website a short while ago.

Their blurb...

NASA FCU can help. Our $0 DOWN fixed-rate mortgage doesnt require Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). This is unique because conventional lenders will require PMI when your down payment is less than 20% of the home purchase. So, now you can concentrate on the things you need for your new home instead of a down payment.

I would think there's some legitimacy to NASA FCU, in the same vein as Navy FCU or PenFed, but I dont know - I'm only posting this 'claim' as it sounds attractive, at least on the surface, for someone trying to refi out of PMI. Ask they say, the devil is in the details...

NJ neighbourhoods / considerations of moving to suburbs
Added on : Thursday September 11th 2014 06:00:18 AM
g: 0 Posted By: newnorley
Views: 80 Replies: 5 Yo FWF'ers can you recommend some NJ suburbs for commuting to Manhattan from. I'm looking to rent a 2 or 3 bedroom place and want to get the most bang for my buck. Posting this here because I find a lot of people on here have a similar attitude to me and I've no idea on NJ or where to start looking and you guys can help me not ripped off. I'm presuming there are a fair few people on here commuting from NJ - NYC.

Don't want to spend more than $2k per month on rent (could spend more but my motivation of moving to suburbs is to save money)
Want to commute by train and spend no more than 45 mins on train
Want to be able to walk to train station 15 min walk ok
Don't care about school zone
Quieter neighboorhood preferred
If possible in my price range I would love to be near an area with a 'downtown' and / or park accessible on foot ( I detest driving in NJ)
Old house OK
Don't care about how cool an area is
I'm not sure if these areas exist but in England I used to live in a fairly middle class / lower middle class area but there was a decent sense of community and people took pride in where they live i.e. didn't shit on their own doorstep / would love something similar

What other financial considerations do I need to think of moving to NJ burbs ? When I move to burbs I'm going to sell where I live now and start renting so I will not have the mortgage tax credit when filing in 2016 (current HHI $200k) but I spend $500 a month on condo fees and $8k a year on real estate taxes so I'm thinking they will cancel each other out.

Train will cost a couple of hundred a month i suppose.

Selling my condo I'm going to get stung by broker fees

Personal Finance Deals
New American Funding?
Added on : Friday September 05th 2014 06:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: raringvt
Views: 46 Replies: 1 I was listening to a "consumer advocate" radio show yesterday called Mortgage Makeover with Ken Michaels. He was recommending a company called New American Funding to everyone that called in asking for refi advice. I'm not currently in a situation where I'm considering a refi, but I have some family members who are and I'm wondering if anyone here has ever heard of them or used them or if I was listening to an infomercial posing as an objective "consumer advocate." FWIW, the show was on ESPN radio after Clark Howard's show.

I Google'd the company, and they have 5 star reviews on Zillow with > 1,300 reviews.
General Economics Deals
Any halfway decent home warranties for old HVAC?
Added on : Thursday September 04th 2014 04:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: nic3456
Views: 69 Replies: 2 I know Home Warrantys get a bad rap (and well deserved in most cases) - but I'm thinking about signing up for one again after receiving a letter from my mortgage servicer. The main thing I'm interested in is coverage for the Heating/AC units. I have 2 compressors (both replaced in 2001) and 2 furnaces (one replaced in 2001 - the other is original to house from 1987!!). The furnace from 1987 is still working fine, but I can't imagine its going to last much longer as its over 28 years old. Any experiences with particular companies that performed at least decently in regards to HVAC? 1 key is I will need a plan that covers preexisting stuff just to reduce hassle. We have maintained it as needed (only been in the house for 2 years), but want to avoid as many possible "outs" for the insurance when the furnace bites the dust down the road.

NOTE: I should probably go ahead and replace the equipment to get something more efficient, but my HVAC only costs me about $1,500/year so I don't think I would see enough savings right now to justify the expense.
Question Deals
Car Loan or HELOC?
Added on : Wednesday September 03rd 2014 07:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: nic3456
Views: 97 Replies: 1 Going to have a cash flow crunch for the next 4-5 months and considering my options. I would prefer to get a HELOC to use as needed however I live in Texas and am capped at 80% LTV. I can get what I need as my mortgage is only at about 70% LTV. Problem is it looks like all the good HELOC deals are no more (at least in TX). The best seems to be Penfed, but I would have to pay $300-$500 for an appraisal and am not certain how long I will be in this house (so I could have to pay closing costs if I move). Their rate is 3.75% and is tax deductible. I was considering just getting a car loan (currently paid off). I can get a loan for ~2.5-3%%, but its not tax deductible. I'm torn on which option to take - I like the flexibility of the HELOC, but seems like the car loan will more than likely be cheaper. Thoughts?
Personal Finance Deals
Nonmarriage and children
Added on : Wednesday September 03rd 2014 04:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: nasheedb
Views: 43 Replies: 0 I read this article yesterday:http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/09/02/statutory-r... which started a thought process in my head. Granted the guy in the article was an idiot for 1. not reporting the rape and 2. ignoring the court request for paternity testing, child support hearing, etc. He basically told his side of the story to the press, but not to the judge.

Then I started reading some of the comments on reddit (http://www.reddit.com/r/news/comments/2f9ej9/statutory_rape_vict... including this one:
reddit said: Wound up in this sort of situation. Worked hard to provide for and spend as much time with the child as possible during the first three years of their life. The mother filed for support from the state. The first thing the state did was unleash child-support services on me to levy multiple years of back-support.
Walked into their offices with bank records and details I felt supported my active involvement in the childs life during that time. The state would not accept this, calling these contributions 'gifts' that would not be counted towards the amount owed.

reddit said: Same thing happened to my wife. She ended up moving out and paid for the med bills, mortgage, utilities etc for another year. Ex took her to court for Child support. She said the same thing. They said those are gifts. You still owe. The child support system is supremely *******up.

Many people on FWF, myself included are not married, nor do they want to be married. Many are happily living together without being married (I'll refer to this as nonmarriage) and some are raising children together. Unfortunately, reality is, that relationships sometimes do end up going sour. Couples break up and go their separate ways. In my state, Texas, courts can allow for retroactive child support. Here is what I found on one of the legal resource websites:
[L=http://www.lanwt.org/txaccess/backchildsupport.asp said: Another]http://www.lanwt.org/txaccess/backchildsupport.asp]Another[/L] scenario would occur if you are not married. In that case your child support obligation could begin at the time of the child's birth. You could also be ordered to help pay prenatal and postnatal expenses for the mother that were not covered by insurance.

Here is a sample scenario. Let's say a man and a woman are in a nonmarriage (living together but not married legally). They decide to have a child together and everything is fine for 10 years. When the child is 10 years old, the parents split up. What is there to prevent the woman from trying to claim child support going back to birth? What if she claims that the contributions made by the father during the first 10 years of the child's life were "gifts"? Granted, the average FWF reader probably has much better access to legal resources than the average redditor, so they're less likely to be screwed over, but the question remains how do you prevent yourself from getting screwed? If you were married, the courts would never allow for child support going back to birth, only to the time of separation.

I am very curious about real life situations FWF readers have encountered. My gf and I would like to have children in the next 2-5 years. How can I protect myself if we have children, but the relationship goes sour?
tax benefits of issuing 1099-C as an individual
Added on : Sunday August 31st 2014 04:00:09 PM
g: 0 Posted By: kgotze
Views: 37 Replies: 1 long story short:
I ownan open judgement against someone who may be essentiallyuncollectable... rather than trying to put a lot of effort into collections, I was wondering if it was possible to claim some tax benefit by writing off the debt and issuing a 1099-c (as was all the rage in the mortgage forgiveness actions in the last 5 years or so).

I can find a ton of information on what to do if you receive a notice, but not so much guidance on providing one.

anyone have any experience or pointers?

Question Deals
Tips for reducing family tax bill
Added on : Saturday August 30th 2014 07:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: jcaretail1
Views: 48 Replies: 1 Hello,

I am married with no children. Last year I was fortunate to be in the top tax bracket for earned income. I anticipate to be in this bracket again this year. My wife works but will likely quit soon as we expect a child.

I own my own home with a mortgage as a primary residence.

I contribute max to my employers 401k. My wife does not have a 401k (but again, will be likely done working soon). My wife earns under 100k a year.

1. Am I right that the only feasible tax credit I may be eligible for is solar investment in my home? (and at 30% of cost, it isnt a money saver unless its something the home needs).

2. I have some cash saved for investment, what are some tax smart investments that I can make? I invest in Munis and am considering MLPs. Is there anything else I should be looking at? I am open to almost any asset class.

3. What are other ideas of strategies that we can employ on earnings or investments to reduce our tax bill this year?

Thank you in advance.

Chase mortgage pre qualification
Added on : Friday August 29th 2014 01:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: deeder
Views: 85 Replies: 2 Received pre qualification letter from Chase for a home. Credit score showed 817 out of 818 on equifax but it showed two negatives where one was clearly untrue and the other was only partially true. Said high balances on credit lines when its all paid in full monthly and I use very little and it said there an account with too short a history and I have been using my latest account and paying it back in full all the time with significant balance. Account is probably roughly a year old perhaps, not sure of the exact date offhand but I pay it each and every month and had large paybacks on multiple accounts including this one.

Guess after the account is opened longer I will get the full 818? Not that it matters. It isn't like I didn't already know my credit score was immaculate.

Discussion Deals
Family Financial Trouble - In Law Home Foreclosure
Added on : Friday August 29th 2014 09:00:13 AM
g: -2 Posted By: altidagain
Views: 173 Replies: 8 Good afternoon. Yes, this is an alternate ID. Yes, I am a senior member and have been around for over 10 years and continue to read the forums daily. I love the members here and the valuable advice shared. That being said, I would like some objective opinions of my current family situation. It is always difficult to think clearly and rationally when you and your family are involved. I apologize if any details are sketchy as this is a fluid situation and I'm hearing most of it second and third hand.

Summary: Sister/Brother In-laws are in default, which will place a lien on my father in-laws property. They are requesting financial assistance from my family.

My in laws own ~60 acres in the rural Midwest. They live on this property. They have carved off deeds of land to their children who have a interest in living and building on the land. One sibling "A" was deeded some property and now owns 7 acres. At some point in the last 15 years "A" borrowed against the property to build a construct a house on the said 7 acres. The father who owns the rest of the land cosigned (gasp) for this loan. The loan for "A's" property is now in default and they have until Tuesday to pay in full. The loan has a balance of approximately $65k on a property value of approximately $70k. It is the family's understanding that the rest of the acreage and property is at risk with a lien since the father cosigned for the loan. In addition the way the property is designed, my father in law doesn't want the "disturbance" of having other people using his access road and living on what was his property.

Of course my wife came to me to help. My first reaction was no, no, and no again. I don't want to get involved. We have already contributed significantly to "A" before to prevent this from happening about a year ago. We helped our one time. I think my wife is in agreement, except due to the impact of her father and his property being involved. I know we *shouldn't* help. However, if I were to consider helping I would only do it to help her father and protect my immediate family's assets. That being said here are the options I'm wrestling with:

Do nothing - we helped you once, why are we to believe this will be last time you need help. (my favorite)

Would consider bidding a diminished price at an auction

Provide $20k to her father to place as a down payment on a $45k loan thathe would finance on "A's" property(less capital invested, but you may as well consider that a gift as I don't own anything) - I considered asking him to update the his will to reflect this loan
Obtain a mortgage for the property, and offer the bank something south of $65k (protects her dad and stops foreclosure - and something to show for our investment)

I'm not sure if the bank would except anything less, could I really obtain a loan remotely over a holiday weekend in enough time to stop the foreclosure?
I would want to kick "A" out, which doesn't make the family situation much easier but it does help her dad
My wife would rather ask for a monthly rent payment from "A"- my concern is that this will happen again, if "A" won't pay the bank they certainly are going to expect a long leash with us - then you start over with the emotional dilemma of eviction

In both scenarios I'm not sure her family would be supportive if immediate eviction or eviction over missed payments. Thus why I don't want to get involved as I can't control the situation.
Additionally I worry about the liability factor, there are ponds on the property and I don't believe the house was built to code. Hunting also takes place on the property. Heaven forbid, but I'm worried if something goes wrong on the land or in the housethat my immediate family would be held liable.

What am I missing or not considering?

I appreciate the help in advance. I will do my best to answer/track down any questions that I can. Fun Friday...

Personal Finance Deals
prepaying mortgage
Added on : Wednesday August 27th 2014 08:01:02 PM
g: 0 Posted By: RagingBull
Views: 23 Replies: 0 I was thinking every month for my mortage I apply more payments towards the principal. If I do so would that reduce the interest portion of the mortgage the following month or is that amount preset for life of loan? I have mortgage with wells fargo
Real Estate Deals
Strategy to invest extra cash after essentials are done?
Added on : Wednesday August 27th 2014 01:00:44 PM
g: 0 Posted By: sailwind
Views: 77 Replies: 1 Thanks to the board suggestions, I've got most of my financial planning done: 1 year of rainy day fund, 401k maxed yearly, some iBonds, no loans except for mortgage. Now I have some extra funds sitting in a savings account earning a paltry 0.70%.

What's a good strategy for investing these extra liquid funds? Retirement choices is easy in comparison, since the long horizon make vanguard index funds a straightforward selection. For these shorter term investments, other than laddering CDs what else do you guys do?

Question Deals
g: 0 Posted By: calwatch
Views: 84 Replies: 0 Two years ago, when I was 27, I took all my savings and bought a $425,000 house in Toronto with the goal of being mortgage-free in four years. With two years to go, the goal is in sight.Im going to own my own three-bedroom bungalow in Scarborough by my 31st birthday.But the cost has been high financially and personally. I lived in the basement and rent out the rest. To save further, I dont own a cellphone or have cable TV or a car. On top of a full-time job, I work part-time evenings and weekends. And Ive been committed to this frugal lifestyle for some time; while at Ryerson University studying business management, I lived with my parents. While my friends were out driving cars, buying fast food, drinking and partying, I worked three part-time jobs, purchased used textbooks, brown-bagged my lunch, and cycled to school.


Well, that and trolling your story to every media outlet in Canada, and much of the States as well.
Discussion Deals
investment property
Added on : Monday August 25th 2014 11:00:14 AM
g: 0 Posted By: somebodyriffic
Views: 16 Replies: 0 Hello,

I'm a 24 year old male and bought a condo through a a condo through a county purchase program. I paid $93,500 for it 2 years ago, and Put around 32,000 down on it. I did a 15 year loan with a 3.5% rate and my mortgage is currently around 600 a month. I have a roommate that pays $700 a month. I currently owe $55K on it. I am starting to look into buying another property, the only problem is I don't have the downpayment (I've read that most places like to see at least 20% put down. I'm thinking about doing a home equity loan to borrow enough to get to the down payment on a place (I'd probably buy in the low $200K range, maybe 250 tops). My salary is only $44,000 a year but I make about 56 with my over time (some garunteed, but not actually garunteed on paper for a loan). Any input onto the process and what I should be looking at doing exactly?

New User Question Deals
Do you NEED a branch?
Added on : Friday August 22nd 2014 04:00:58 PM
g: 0 Posted By: timgodsil
Views: 143 Replies: 10 I bank online, rarely visit branches, use my card to get cash at Free ATMs. If I have cash to deposit, I have a checking account with a CU that has "shared branching" which allows me to deposit/withdraw at over 5,000 credit union branches.

But the bank I bank with now (US Bank), does not have a branch for over 50 miles from me, and where I plan on moving to soon, 250 miles.

Credit cards can be applied for online, but things like auto loans and mortgages, does one need a physical branch to go to?
Discussion Deals
Partner paying rent in house you own
Added on : Tuesday August 19th 2014 06:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: LucJoe
Views: 229 Replies: 8 Hi guys, posting due to concerns brought up in this thread:Taxes for receiving "gifts" from friends living with me

My GF currently chips in a fixed amount to split rent with me. I never thought there were any tax implications from this, we're both on the lease but the landlord wants one check so she just pays me. Should be fine.

I am buying a house very soon. She will not be on the mortgage at all and I will be paying a large down payment by myself. The house is a very nice upgrade over our previous rental, about twice the size, etc. But my monthly cost is going to remain about the same, so I was planning to ask her to continue to chip in the same fixed amount as before. Do I need to write up a renter's agreement and count this as income?
Personal Finance Deals
g: -1 Posted By: pj737
Views: 197 Replies: 13 The point of this ridiculously long-winded analysis is to determine the true cost to OPERATE (not own) an average-priced vehicle with average depreciation (per mile driven) and average fuel efficiency. Long story short, I did this analysis to convince my best friend to not buy a home in the suburbs... he is looking to buy a home that's about 30 miles from his place of employment. His wife also commutes into town for work. He owns a 2011 Toyota Tacoma and she drives a 2010 Lexus ES - they own them F&C. Between both cars, they average about 20 mpg. I'm trying to convince him to buy in town or close to town to cut his commute to <5 miles. However, the home that's 30 miles away is about $200K less for essentially the exact same size home in town (safety/crime is similar in both areas); the home in town is older but is in move in condition. He can afford the $200K price difference based on his earnings. Their daughter also attends private school in town so there is no benefit from a school district perspective. The commute time if they lived in town is <10 minutes each way. The suburbs is 75 minutes in each direction and that's with no stalled vehicles or accidents.

Most of the blogs I've read online (and I've forwarded to him) that argue the insane cost of commuting take into consideration the operating cost AND ownership costs into one figure. In addition to depreciation due to mileage put on the car, fuel, maintenance, etc, they would also factor in things like financing, depreciation due to vehicle age, parking, registration, motor vehicle taxes, etc and then come to a general cost per mile of ownership based on X miles driven (typically it's 15,000 miles). Those numbers vary but generally come in at about 61 cents/mile. Obviously, that number is seriously flawed if you only want to know what it costs to operate that vehicle and drive it X miles. I believe it's impractical for most people to not own a car; knowing what it costs to own it is one thing... but understanding what it costs to pull it out of the driveway and drive it X miles is critical when making decisions about investing in a home many miles away from ones' place of employment.

For sake of argument this applies to those that MUST own a car simply because they don't want to rely on bicycles, mopeds, motorcycles or any form of public transportation to commute. This applies to those that are looking at the true financial costs of commuting longer distances to work/entertainment/etc as a trade off to having lower cost housing in the suburbs/"commuter" neighborhoods.

The first consideration is depreciation... and not the kind of depreciation due to your car getting old but rather depreciation due to miles being put on the car itself. First, we need to determine the cost of an "average" car... and that comes to $31,800 as of last year. I specifically searched on KBB the resale value of cars including Toyota, Ford, Honda, Lexus, Kia and GM that were close to the $31,800 in value as new in 2013. The zipcode entered into the KBB site is in Los Angeles. For sake of ascertaining an accurate depreciation per mile we will use the "baseline" mileage at 3,000/miles per year (i.e. this is the minimum mileage I'm assuming anyone that owns a car will drive and all costs incurred per mile in this analysis are over the 3,000 mile baseline). I used 2011 model year cars for examples on each one; this would mean the car was on the road for roughly 4 years on average. I used 12 different models from 6 different makes all priced (today) at around $32K new. I inputted 3K, 8K, 10K, 12K, 14K, 16K, 18K, 20K, 22K and 24K miles and recorded the difference in value for each. Drivers that put only 3 - 8K miles year only depreciated by 8.1 cents per mile over 3,000 miles. I found that the mileage depreciation between 8,000-12,000 miles averaged about 10.6 cents/mile but when we jumped from 12,000 miles to 16,000 miles the extra 4,000 miles a year cost the owner 11.8 cents/mile hit on value ($472 depreciation). Between 15,000 and 18,000 it jumped up to 12.7 cents/mile average. Over 18,000 miles/year the cost per mile plateaued and was fairly linear in the mid 12-cent/mile range through 24,000 miles. A very conservative average between all the cars and all mileage ranges came in at about 11.4 cents so we will use this figure as the true depreciation per mile driven for all cars that have at least 3,000 miles a year being put on them. Note that older economy cars will realize depreciation rates as low as 7 cents/mile... However the same can be said on the upside where newer luxury cars will see an average 15-22 cent/mile depreciation (I tried to input some luxury cars as well that were priced at $50-$60K). I think 11.4 cents mile is on the low side but let's stick with that for the purpose of this analysis. COST OF DEPRECIATION PER MILE DRIVEN FOR CARS THAT TRAVEL MORE THAN 3,000 MILES ANNUALLY - 11.4 cents

Fuel - yes, I know you can buy a Prius that gets significantly better mpg than an average vehicle but there are many vehicles that get more than 20-30% lower mpg than the average car. I owned a Prius and only averaged 37 mpg which is no where near the EPA estimate of 50. So one needs to consider the TRUE mpg to ascertain the cost per mile in fuel consumption The average car gets 24.9 mpg and this is based on EPA estimates; in reality people will be putting well over a gallon of gas in to travel 24.9 miles. In fact, sitting in slow-moving bumper-to-bumper traffic kills EPA estimates by a good margin. But to stay conservative, we'll use that figure 24.9 figure. 24.9 mpg translates to 15.1 cents per mile at $3.77/gallon (national average). I pay over $4.35 for fuel where I live but again, averages trump real world for the sake of argument. COST OF FUEL PER MILE - 15.1 cents

Average maintenance cost for a vehicle is roughly 5.3 cents/mile. There are countless studies that break this data down and this is simply an average. It varies from as low as 4.1 cents to as high as 6.8 cents with the most common coming in at about 5.2-5.5 cents. This includes tire replacement, wiper replacement, oil changes, filter changes, wear and tear/maintenance of vehicle components, etc. COST OF MAINTENANCE PER MILE - 5.3 cents

Insurance costs are slightly lower for those that commute less. There are insurance companies that base their rates on miles driven and others that give discounts for those that put a relatively low number of miles on their cars. I had to check with my Allstate provider to see if there would be a difference and it was small... an increase of about $85/year if I doubled my mileage from my current 6,500 to 13,000 (I felt a little ripped off when I was told this). Based on that information, I would assume it's safe to say that one could save at least $85/year on premiums if they cut their commute by 6,500 miles. This translates to 1.3 cents/mile in hard costs. COST OF INSURANCE FOR MILES DRIVEN - 1.3 cents

Driving infractions/tickets/etc... Now this one is a tough one. Obviously the more you drive the more likely you are to be pulled over and be ticketed. While some people have never received a ticket in their lives others get tickets every year. According to national law enforcement statistics, of the 195 million licensed drivers on the road in the US, 41 million of them are getting ticketed every year on average. That's roughly a 1 in 5 chance of getting a ticket every year. The average cost of a ticket is $155. Insurance rates increase an average of $320/year based on one speeding ticket going 15 miles over the speed limit. So if there is a 1 in 5 chance you'll get a speeding ticket in a year and that cost will run you $475 that translates to an "average" of $95/year on speeding infraction costs. If the average driver traverses 13,476/miles of roadway in a year that translates to 0.7 cents mile for infractions and this means getting a ticket only once every 5 years... which I could imagine is pretty low and conservative. COST PER MILE FOR TICKETS FOR DRIVING INFRACTIONS - 0.7 cents

Accidents - here is another tough one. Personal costs of injury and property damage are extremely hard to average as they can vary by a huge margin. Especially because some people can go decades without a single incident. The car industry purports that the average driver only gets into a "significant" car accident every 17.9 years or roughly 3.5 times in a lifetime. The average cost of these accidents is $23,450 of which only a small portion (assuming you're insured) comes from the driver's pocket. Assuming deductible costs, time lost, personal injury, repairs/rental not covered by insurance, etc, we'll very conservatively peg this cost at $1,000/per "significant" accident as a direct cost to the driver.That's $3,500 over a lifetime. Over 843,600 miles (what the average person drives over a lifetime), that comes to 0.4 cents/mile. Again this is a very low figure and does not take into account countless minor fender benders which can easily cost several hundreds up to a couple thousand to repair especially if you didn't want to report this to insurance in fear your rates will go up. COST PER MILE FOR ACCIDENTS - 0.4 cents

Toll roads - Depending on where you live and work, toll roads can easily add 5-10 cents/mile on to your commute... possibly much more. However, this isn't applicable everywhere (we have no toll roads in my state) so I am leaving this one out of the equation. If you live in an area that requires you to traverse toll roads you'll have to include this in your calculations.

Total cost to OPERATE a vehicle PER MILE (over 3,000 miles/year) not including toll roads - 34.2 cents per mile.

The point of getting this average is so people can better calculate their finances should they decide to live in a commuter city/neighborhood or suburb vs living in or near the urban core. One could point out that you could save much more if you don't buy a car at all. That's very true. The 34.2 cents/mile operating cost is only about half the cost of total ownership and operations but this is the cost of the mileage applied to a car you already own and need. Note that if you own a newer luxury model that gets not-so-stellar fuel efficiency, the 34.2 cents/mile can easily exceed 50 cents/mile on operating costs only. To be fair, I did an analysis on an older (12 years old) more fuel efficient economy car (35 mpg) with an original purchase price of $20,000 and the cost to operate dropped to a low of 21 cents/mile. But this is an extreme example on the low end and not realistic for most. I think most people that can afford to buy a home will own cars that are at least "average" priced and aged.

Now that I know what it costs to take the average car one mile on the road, I wanted to see just how this impacts housing prices and rents. To be fair, the overwhelming amount of people that live in town also commute shorter distances to entertainment venues, restaurants, places of interest, etc etc. So if there are 241 work days in a year it's fair to add another 52 days of commuting into town per year (that's one extra drive into town PER WEEK, which is very conservative, in my opinion). That means 293 days of commuting into town for the average person (driving into town an average of 5.6 times/week). If that average person lives 30 miles from town, that's 293 days x 30 miles x 2 trips = 17,580 miles. If one lived in town, and had a 5 mile commute, this comes to 293 days x 5 miles x 2 trips = 2,930 miles. So while the person living 30 miles from work is commuting 12,050 MORE miles every year (work commute only) than the person that lives 5 miles from work, they are also driving an additional 2,600 miles year because of their proximity to places they need to drive to that are outside of their place of employment. So for every individual mile one lives further from work (2 mile round trip commute) it translates into $200.41/year in direct costs for ONE car (293 days x 1 mile x 2 trips x 34.2 cents = $200.41/year). If it's two cars commuting (which is more common in households these days), you are looking at double that or $400.82/year.

$1,000 in mortgage costs @ 4.5% amortized over 30 years is $4.21/mo or $50.52/year. So for every one mile you live further from work/play, this translates into $3,966 in additional home purchase price you can afford or $16.70 in additional rent you could afford. If you have two cars making the same commute, double that to $7,934 in home value or $33.40 in rent for every single mile you live further from work. Many people in my place of employment chose to live ~30 miles or more away where housing is cheaper. If the difference from my 5-mile commute is 25 miles traveled (50 miles/day), it comes to $99,150 in mortgage and $835/mo in rent. and you'll have to double that to $198,300 in additional mortgage they could afford and $1,670/mo in additional rent they could afford if they had a two-car household. This does not even consider that of your mortgage payment roughly 1/3 of the payment goes back to your pocket in principal payments (i.e. forced savings) and the other 2/3 of the mortgage payment is (at least for now) 100% tax deductible. Arguably, if you look at the bottom line (forced savings + tax deduction benefit assuming a conservative 30% state and fed combined tax rate), each mile you live further from work translates to roughly $7,100 in additional mortgage payments one could afford for each and every car attached to that home that makes that work commute. All while your mortgage is fixed and your car's operating costs continue to increase over the years. Assuming the above assumptions are accurate, living 10 miles closer to your job can allow you to afford $71K more in a house purchase and that's just with one car. Double that for a two-car commuting family and quadruple it to $284K for the same family living 20 miles from work.

These numbers are absolutely staggering to me and I can't help but think my math and/or assumptions are off somewhere. But it definitely enforces my argument that my friend should buy in town. For those that managed to make it through all this, please chime in and offer any corrections to my reasoning. Yes, I understand there are many assumptions made here but again, the purpose of this post is to get an average figure most people can relate to. I think very few people actually consider the real cost of driving and they end up making mistakes by either buying or renting far distances from their place of employment and other desired activities because they assume they are saving money by doing so. This analysis only takes into account the direct financial costs of driving longer distances... it doesn't take into account the plethora of other considerations (which I find vastly more important) like compromised health and well-being, increased stress, quality time away from family/friends/gym/activities/alone time/relaxing/sleep, etc etc. Sitting in traffic for hours on end every day is a huge quality of life issue for me personally, money aside. If the 30 mile commute was FREE, I would still pay the $200K difference.
Discussion Deals
3 Active tradelines needed for Jumbo Mortgage with Chase?
Added on : Monday August 18th 2014 12:00:09 PM
g: 0 Posted By: deeder
Views: 57 Replies: 2 I had perfect credit score and put 300,000 a year for income, and 800000 in assets and owned a home and a 500,000 down payment.

I only got approved for a 625,000 FNMA mortgage apparently with a mortgage representative they chose out of state when I did an online inquiry but when I emailed back he said he could do a jumbo mortgage for me as long as I had 3 active trendlines. Does that mean another account with Chase? Will call him back to see what he means.

I wish they chose a local broker. I should have gone to the branch instead as the broker was not even in state and wouldn't be familiar with NY State laws.

Question Deals
Chase cheapest on NY jumbo mortgages?
Added on : Sunday August 17th 2014 02:00:12 PM
g: 0 Posted By: deeder
Views: 69 Replies: 0 If I do stay in the USA the home I want is 2 million. Was looking around for jumbo mortgages and thought some deals were cheaper like Investors Savings Bank but then noticed Chase had 4.0 with .88 points and a 4.07% APY and no other fees listed. It also gives 1% mortgage Cash Back with a checking account so that should be 15000 less over 30 years.

Am I correct to assume that Chase is the better bank to use for closing a mortgage? Know of an attorney who was happy with Chase for his mortgage awhile back while I know of others happy with Wells Fargo but Wells seems to have a higher rate.

So much competition on jumbos with large rate and fee variations.

Discussion Deals
way to undo a hard credit pull?
Added on : Sunday August 17th 2014 11:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: morfys
Views: 123 Replies: 4 Hi,

My wife opened up a Gap credit card today. The problem is that we will likely buy a house in the next few months, and will take out a mortgage.

So we had the following questions:

1. How likely did Gap do a hard credit pull?
2. What impact will the pull have on our credit score used by lenders? We had a 780 score before.
3. Is there anyway to undo a hard credit pull?
4. What impact will a lowered credit score have on our fixed mortgage rate? I heard there was a threshold at 760 to get the best rates?

Thank you very much for any information.
Question Deals
Homeowners insurance overpayment - best approach to resolve
Added on : Saturday August 16th 2014 12:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Nomoboro
Views: 52 Replies: 0 About three weeks ago we discovered that our escrow company has been paying our homeowners insurance from our escrow account (marked as Hazard Insurance on statement). Since we purchased the home in 2007, we've been paying homeowner's each month via automatic withdrawal from our checking account.

We've requested:

7 years worth of bank statements showing this checkingaccount had withdrawals- per MetLife to verify we made payments all this time.
7 years worth of escrow statements (we had some, others were either shredded or are in storage). ~~This was more difficult as our original mortgage was with Bank of New York in 2007. Sold to Countrywide in 2008, which turned to Bank of America in 2008.
7 years worth of MetLife statements - to show the withdrawal amounts were consistent with our homeowner premiums (we also had car insurance with and a separate withdrawal monthly).

We've contact MetLife and they were less than helpful. We called them first, yet we have not received any of the statements. We called the banks and escrow company a week after MetLife and we've received all their documentation.

We received the last statements today, and after a cursory glance, it appears the overpayment occurred for about 2.5 years. I haven't been able to verify why the change happened - it doesn't look to coordinate with any changed in mortgage (ie. being sold etc.). From my recollection, it also doesn't appear to coincide to our remortgage, but I have to get that paperwork out of the attic.

My thought was to call MetLife again, armed with all the facts and give them one chance to be cooperative. If that doesn't work, I was either going to lawyer up, contact State Attorney General, state insurance commission and anyone else I think of that might be beneficial.

I thinkwhat irks me the most is that suddenly at the end of 2013, MetLife stopped the second payment. So it appears the realized there was overpayment going on, yet no attempt was make to rectify the situation.

I recall receiving a letter saying it was going to combine our monthly withdrawal into one payment - I looked into my files and cannot locate that letter. We moved in January 2014, so things were a little hectic leading up to it.

In the meantime, we have bought a new home (still own the first home and have it rented). We were unhappy with MetLife and when we bought our new home in January 2014, we switched insurance companies. Sadly we are paying less for our two cars, new $2 million umbrella policy, new home and old home with Allstate, than we paid for two cars and our original home.

I'm seeking advice on what our approach should be moving forward. We did pay an additional $3/month for a payment that should not have been received. We also spent $150 getting copies of statements to verify when this started happening. At the very least I want the couple thousand dollars and change back.

Is there anything else we should ask for? I'm still pretty pissed at MetLife from an accident we had where the other driver admitted fault, was cited by the state police and their insurance company's adjuster stated I needed a new door - Met Life's adjuster said I didn't - so I didn't get a new door. That door still doesn't shut correctly. But I digress.....

Any thoughts greatly appreciated.
Question Deals
Mortgage got sold to NationStar, but have no account number yet
Added on : Saturday August 16th 2014 08:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: cpaynter
Views: 79 Replies: 3 I've been with Freedom Mortgage for a couple of years now, no problem. On July 30, I got a letter from Freedom, informing me that my mortgage had been sold to NationStar effective August 1, and that Freedom would no longer be accepting payments, and that I should expect communication from NationStar. I waited, but nothing ever came. I tried registering on NationStar's site, which seems to have an accomodation for such cases; you can register with your old mortgage account number. Tried that, no dice. Number not recognized. I called NationStar customer service, and they informed me that they were backed up, and hadn't assigned me an account number yet, and that I should wait for something to come in the mail. It's now August 16, and I still haven't seen anything. Technically, my mortgage payment is now one day overdue.

I could send payment to NationStar without an account number attached, but this strikes me as a bad idea. It could get cashed and applied to someone else's account, or to no one's account, and I could have a devil of a time getting my money back or applied to my mortgage.

OTOH, I'm concerned that *not* paying will put me in deadbeat status with NationStar. From what I gather of NationStar, they're sort of a bottom-of-the-barrel lender; lots of subprime accounts and questionable business practices. I'm reading stories that they're the kind of lender that will throw someone into foreclosure and screw them over, with no fault on the part of the mortgagee.

I've been assured that no late charges would be assessed and no negative items will be reported to CRA's within 60 days of the transfer. That's nice in theory, and I'm sure if they did charge me or report me, I could eventually prevail in court, but at what cost in $, time, and lost credit, if only temporary?

So, any advice on what to do?

Question Deals
g: 0 Posted By: bighitter
Views: 38 Replies: 0 According to this recent article atBloomberg "An employee who completes $1.6 million of loans in a month would earn a base commission of $11,200, up from $10,800

This compensation to residential loan officers for filling out an application and soliciting Realtors to steer their buyers to Wells Fargo for home loans seems excessive to me. I'm not singling out Wells Fargo for criticism -- I would imagine all the banks are offering similar compensation to their residential loan staff.

Based upon this quote from the article about incentives from other Wells Fargo employees, probably not a good idea to rely on any bank employee's recommendation about good loan programs without shopping around independently on your own behalf.
"Thats putting more emphasis on loan officers who draw referrals from local real estate agents, home builders and even employees within their organization. The banks plan increases the incentive for referrals from other Wells Fargo employees."
Discussion Deals
How much $$$ to feel rich in Nj/NYC (2% problems)
Added on : Thursday August 07th 2014 02:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: newnorley
Views: 12 Replies: 0 Following on from the, 'why do people blow money' thread.

How much do you need to earn to feel rich in Northern NJ / NYC? Me and the missus are going to earn $200k this year and I still feel like we're scraping by! I take lunch to work, rarely buy coffee etc. Don't have much debt, mortgage, car and student loan payments work out at $3600 per month, also max one 401k and one roth. I feel like I should be able to buy a latte from starbucks most days or spend $300 on a fancy dinner once a month. But we still feel like we're just making ends meet. I'm not use to an extravagant life but I always imagined once I hit this earning level I would have a lot more play money.
General Economics Deals
You'll Be Rich in the Military - in Ways You Don't Think
Added on : Wednesday August 06th 2014 11:00:09 PM
g: 0 Posted By: rachelmark7922
Views: 79 Replies: 0 I hear "You'll never be rich being in the military" all the time, from lower enlisted to command level officers. The military perpetuates the mentality that we don't make that much money. I'd like to argue that we do make a lot, and that the military is an incredible steppingstone to the middle class.

When I got shipped off to boot camp, I was making about $400 every two weeks. I always thought to myself how much more I had made in the civilian world. But I wasn't taking into account what didn't show up in my paycheck. Here are 10 big financial benefits of serving in the military:

Training. Depending on your service and military occupational specialty, you'll get up to two years of training before reaching your first duty station. Much of this training translates straight into college credits -- and it looks great on a rsum.
Retirement. The military is one of the last employers in America to offer retirement plans. After serving a mere 20 years, service members can choose to separate with 50 percent of their base pay every month for the rest of their lives. If they're eligible, they can stay up to 30 years to receive 75 percent of their base pay, and high-grade officers can retire with 40 years to receive 100 percent.
Health care. While serving on active duty, service members and their families (spouse and children) will have free health care through Tricare so they are in the peak physical and medical condition they need for their jobs.
Dental. Dental is free for service members, because good oral hygiene is necessary to maintain a deployable status.
Commissary. The commissary is pretty much just an enormous grocery store, with better-than-WalMart (WMT) prices (most of the time). They also have enormous "lot sales" every so often where they have blowout prices of stuff you actually want.
Basic Allowance for Housing. When you're a low enlisted rank, they'll stick you in the barracks (or dorms in the Air Force). The barracks, as terrible as they may seem at the time, save you so much money it's incredible. Typically, they're in the same parking lot as your workplace, so the commute is eliminated. Utilities are included, too. And you don't need to write a check for rent and worry that you won't have enough money, because the basic allowance for housing is granted to all military members. The allowance also gives you the ability to rent a house off-base or to use base housing.
Tuition assistance. Depending on your branch of service, you could be eligible for up to $4,500 per year toward college classes. By taking full advantage of this, you could have an associates's degree in one enlistment and a bachelor's in two. And don't forget that you could earn college credit for your training through the College-Level Examination Program or Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support.
The GI Bill. Typically used after separation, the GI Bill allows you to go to college at no extra cost to you. During the first year of your service, you will pay $100 per month toward the GI Bill. After that, you owe nothing. Service members can choose among two versions (the Montgomery GI Bill and the Post 9/11 GI Bill), and there is a way to get a few extra free credit hours if you switch between them in a specific way. It's also transferable to your spouse or children, although you need to serve at least four extra years after the election has been made.
Thrift Savings Plan. If a pension plan wasn't enough, military members have access to the retirement savings plan, with a traditional and Roth option. It bases allocations on stock indexes and has extremely low operating costs -- read: very, very low expense ratios.
Veterans Affairs loans. VA loans resemble Federal Housing Administration loans -- with a few awesome advantages. These include no down payment and no mortgage insurance requirement. They also usually let you have access to the best current rates available. And you maintain this benefit for life. Married to another service member? Then you each get your own VA loan to use.
Other benefits include military discounts (thank you business owners!), networking (you'll meet hundreds, if not thousands of people during your tour), experience (management and occupational), VA benefits and free simple income tax filings.

I'm not advocating that you join the military for financial reasons, but I am trying to highlight some of the financial perks that you wouldn't see in your paycheck.
Discussion Deals
Credit Inquires and credit score
Added on : Sunday August 03rd 2014 04:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: weic6928
Views: 123 Replies: 2 Over the past 18 months I've refinanced my home loan, started a business, and also looked into a new mortgage loan (but didn't go through). As a result, I have alot of credit inquiries on my credit report.

Credit Karma now allows you to see the details of your credit inquiries, and I've noticed that the inquiries are not coming off until they are 2 years old. I had thought it would be one year? Can anyone offer any thoughts on this? This is what Credit Karma says about my inquiries:
"Applying for a new line of credit typically initiates a hard inquiry on your credit report. These inquiries typically remain on your report for two years."

We are going to start looking into buying a new home soon, and to limit the impact of multiple inquiries on top of what I already have, is it true that if I apply for loans within a certain period (2 weeks?), that the impact on my score will be essentially just one inquiry? How many can I apply for in a 2 week period for this to apply? Is this pretty rock solid true? Only double checking because I had thought it was understood hard inquiries "expire" after a year and now I'm finding that doesn't seem to be the case.
Credit Deals
g: 0 Posted By: alamo11
Views: 0 Replies: 0 I know it's Fox but..

This is how unethical servicers make money!

One of the country's largest overseers of troubled home loans, Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc., is quietly trying to sell a $100 million insurance agency that doesn't appear to exist.Harwood Service Co. has no website, no independent offices and only a single registered agent. The switchboard operators at Nationstar's headquarters in Lewisville, Texas, haven't heard of Harwood. Call-center employees of Assurant Inc., the insurance carrier whose policies Harwood sells, say the company is just a name used to refer Nationstar business.Only one thing justifies Harwood's nine-figure price tag: The ethereal company has long collected commissions on high-priced insurance that Nationstar compels otherwise-uninsured homeowners to buy. If homeowners can't pay for this "force-placed" coverage, Nationstar forecloses on their homes and sends the bill to mortgage bond investors.New rules by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, investigations by state regulators and class-action settlements now prohibit servicers from collecting commissions on such insurance policies, and the country's biggest brand-name banks have renounced the practice.But some large subprime-mortgage servicers appear to be trying to skirt those rules. They are selling or have sold the nearly nonexistent insurance agencies or have already made profitable business arrangements to try to comply with the new rules.The multimillion-dollar deals illustrate how regulators are still wrestling with messy banking practices more than six years after the housing market's collapse. They also mean that newly sold insurance subsidiaries have an incentive to compel struggling homeowners to buy costly policies, to justify the high sales prices commanded when the insurance agencies were sold.Harwood collected more than $40 million last year on more than $200 million worth of insurance billed to homeowners, according to two people familiar with Nationstar's confidential sales pitch for the business but who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it.Force-placed insurance is a type of backup property insurance meant to protect mortgage investors' stake in uninsured properties. Standard mortgages require borrowers to maintain homeowners insurance and authorize the loan's servicer to buy coverage when borrowers don't. If the borrowers don't pay for the new insurance, servicers foreclose on their properties and stick the bill to mortgage investors.Nationstar's first attempt to sell its affiliated insurance agency fell through early this month after The Associated Press raised questions about the deal, prompting New York's Department of Financial Services to take a look. Nationstar is still seeking to sell the insurance agency, said one person who is familiar with its efforts and requested anonymity to discuss its business affairs without authorization to do so publicly.Nationstar declined to discuss details of Harwood's business.In court, however, Nationstar has opted not to fight to defend its arrangements. Earlier this month, Nationstar and Assurant Inc. reached a deal to settle a class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida that alleged Harwood existed solely to "funnel profits" to Nationstar at borrowers' expense.It's unclear how or whether the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the industry's principal U.S. regulatory agency in Washington, will respond to such sales. In a statement, it expressed concern about the deals. But it said it could not stop servicers from selling their insurance agencies, even as it said it would work with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac if the companies were circumventing the new rules.The nation's third-largest servicing company, Walter Investment Management Corp., disclosed in its Securities and Exchange Commission filings that rules banning commissions will cost it roughly $20 million a year and said it was "actively looking at alternatives" to giving up the cash. A spokeswoman, Whitney Finch, declined to explain further but said the company would comply with all rules and regulations.Another company, Carrington Mortgage Services LLC of Santa Ana, California, didn't sell its insurance agency. It just agreed to let someone else collect the profits.In an Irish bond prospectus filed last year, Carrington's parent company disclosed that a buyer had paid it $21.25 million in late 2012. If Carrington doesn't send back at least that amount to the agency's buyer in commissions, it will have to give back some of the money it received.Carrington executives denied that its obligation to deliver $21.25 million of commissions would in any way affect homeowners or mortgage investors, and noted that it is not subject to the finance agency rules because it services loans owned by private investors. In its Irish prospectus, however, Carrington warned that some regulators believe the commissions "may constitute an improper 'kickback'," and added: "Should any regulator decide to take action, we may be forced to pay restitution."

Credit Card Bonuses: The Last AOR
Added on : Friday August 01st 2014 07:00:13 AM
g: 0 Posted By: alamo11
Views: 97 Replies: 1 Okay: So now that my friend closed on his new home and did his refi (see my previous thread for that whole fiasco) it's time to do the last AOR before he quits paying on his old house (I'll make a thread about how to REALLY piss off a banks loss mit department). It's been YEARS since I did an AOR so I need FWFs advise on what cards to get. His wallet consists of just a few cards. I also have permission to AOR is wife so I can double up on everything.

HHI 150k
800+ Credit
22 Mortgage related inquiries and zero on others
3 Mortgage related inquires and zero on others for his wife.

Current Cards:
Costco AMEX
Old Discovery with 1/2% CashBack or something crazy like that
BOA Travel Card
A few store cards

He's planning to do some travel early next year to South America. I plan to use some of the earnings here to book some of the required travel for that. That being said cash and gift cards are also welcomed.

The Plan:
Since short term credit is going to be trashed anyways I can do as I please on this AOR. I have an easy way to do 50k+ in spending on the cards so min spending requirements are absolutely not an issue.
So far I have only chosen a few cards I plan to do. I plan to do this Monday morning so that gives me some time to plan.

Future Cards:
1.CP { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }A:link { }iti Aadvantage 75k offer http://www.aa.com/i18n/disclaimers/BP-ACExec-75K.jspP { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }A:link { }iti Advantage 75k Offer. My understanding is you can do one citi app every seven? days so I plan to do one card and come back in a week and do another.
2. Cap 1 Venture cards. C1 limits one app per 30 days so if I do both the venture and both the Spark cash cards back to back I can get them through. I've tested this with other C1 products and it worked (on my credit)
3. Barclays Arrival+ Card
4. Chase Sapphire Preferred
5-20 ???

Thank you in advanced!
AOR Deals
Help Dividing Home Equity between 3 People
Added on : Tuesday July 29th 2014 02:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: TacoSmith
Views: 123 Replies: 10 Hello FWFers. I need help finding a formula to divide up the profit from selling a house between myself, my wife, and her sister. I would love your assistance in finding a fair way to divide up whatever profit we make from selling the house.

My wife and sister bought a house together in June 2009 for $109,000 via an FHA loan. I'm still trying to find the down payment amount. They didn't keep good records.
My wife (then fiance) and I refinanced the house in our names in July 2013 (one month prior to our marriage) for $104,600 (30 year fixed) with a new lender. Her sister moved out the following month (job loss months earlier, couldn't afford her share of the rent). The cursory appraisal was $120,000.
My wife and I have been the only ones paying rent from July 2013 until now
We've spent $1000 in repairs during that time to get the house presentable to sell.
We've listed the house at $130,000 based upon comparables from our realtor.

I have no clue how much we'll have after selling since it hasn't sold yet, but I'd like to get some kind of formula in place to divy up the profit fairly. My father-in-law is trying to suggest a 50/50 split, but that fails to take into account the 12 months that I've been paying on the mortgage and the repairs we've done to get the house in sell-able condition.. Can anyone help me out in this regard?

I will do my best to provide any additional information that I can locate. I've tried doing Google searches, but they only seem to deal with divorces and selling estates that were inherited. Thank you for your time.
Question Deals
g: 0 Posted By: jaytrader
Views: 226 Replies: 3 http://money.cnn.com/2014/07/29/pf/debt-collections/index.html?i...
cnn money said: An estimated 1 in 3 adults with a credit history -- or 77 million people -- are so far behind on some of their debt payments that their account has been put "in collections."

That's a key finding from a new Urban Institute study.

It examined non-mortgage debt, including credit card bills, car loans, medical bills, child support payments and even parking tickets.
The debt in collections ranged from as little as $25 to a whopping $125,000. But the average amount owed was $5,200.
Among the states,Nevadahad the highest percentage of residents with debt in collections -- 47% - as well as the highest average amount owed - $7,198. That was helped in part by the Las Vegas metro area, where 49% of residents had debt in collections.
The study, conducted with Encore Capital Group, is based on a random sample of 7 million people's TransUnion credit files in 2013.

Damn, we got issues, son! Basically, according to the article*, every other person that lives in Vegas has a collections account or accounts. That is mind-boggling. I bet that doesn't include the money they owe to loan sharks, either.

*sample of 7 million TU files.
Discussion Deals
Request for long term financial guidance for my retiring mother
Added on : Monday July 28th 2014 02:00:10 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Dell4600
Views: 46 Replies: 0 Hi guys, yet another post where one of us bares all (or bares enough to ask the question) and asks for financial guidance and advice.
My mother called me this weekend to lay out her current situation, asked if I was 'good at investing' and could help her. Well given that my portfolio is down about $14,000 in the last five days I can definitively say I'm not good at investing, but as a long term member of this board I know quite a few people that are

Her current situation:
Age 67. Divorced 40+ years ago, never remarried.
Her mother recently died (which is what is driving her to reconsider her current financial situation), leaving her a small inheritance. On the order of $50,000 already received, with another $100,000 to $200,000 still being sorted out.
She bought a smaller 2 bedroom condo in Chandler, AZ about 13 years ago (before the bubble), paid about $60k for it. In the time since then it doubled in value, then dropped again like everyone else's. She recently paid it off with the initial proceeds of her inheritance. She hasn't kept it current and modern and it sounds like it needs a little work, but we didn't get into details. In her mind it would sell for $35,000 to $40,000, but according to Zillow and Trulia it's worth right at $90,000.
Still working at the same job she's been working at forever (dozen years or more), recent pay raise to about $15 / hour. Raises haven't been plentiful nor numerous, and she said that over the past ten years she's been averaging between $24,000 and $28,000 per year income. I include this information to help with the Social Security calculations.

Needless to say, she's risk averse, and doesn't have the means to replace her inheritance if it vanishes. One of her concerns is that she leave me something when she eventually passes (insurance policy), but I am doing ok for myself and would rather she live a fuller life.

I asked her about the possibility of having a studious college age young woman share her condo (ie, roommate situation, not sure that's the right term when you rent to a college age kid), but she is very much against that idea.


Some of my math:
Condo breakdown : PITI - PI = ~$400 / month. Taxes = ~$40 / month. Condo fees : $170 / month. Since the condo just got paid off the $400 / month is no longer, but I mention it for baselining historical expenses vs income.

Her monthly take home has been somewhere in the $2,000 / month range, which defines her monthly outlay. She was paying all her bills from that, has no debt, but no real savings either. Thus I estimate her monthly was roughly $1900 / month including the condo $400 / month, meaning she could continue her current standard of living on roughly $1500 / month, not indexed for inflation.

Given that her mother just died, if her mother was 87'ish, I would estimate her savings would need to last her 20 years (plus or minus).

She's of the age to go onto Social Security without the 'retire early' penalties. I used the quick SS estimator to ballpark her monthly SS benefits at approximately $1150 / month. Thus she needs another $350 / month to maintain her current lifestyle, but honestly she's been living it pretty spartan and I'd like to see her have a little more to enhance her life (ie, she may not run the air conditioner in order to save money, even in the Arizona summer.)

Options include :
- The Vanguard investment fund mentioned in the last post (someone in NYC asking what to do with $250,000), so her $150,000 +/- at 4% would yield $6,000 / year ($500 / month) in passive income pretty much forever without touching the principle. Is sufficient, actually, but doesn't index for inflation so she may run thin later on in life when groceries / gas / whatever gets more expensive.
- Reverse mortgage. Requesting ideas and discussion on this one, as I'm not familiar with it from a practical perspective beyond the commercials on TV.
- I considered buying her condo from her at a price somewhere between what she thinks what it is worth and current market value, let her live in it forever (she intends on leaving it to me in her will, but if it is still in her name when she gets to means tested assistance (medicade, etc) the will likely take it from her and she won't have anything to leave behind for me, one of her concerns.) If I buy it from her now, that money can go into her investment fund (returning 4% or whatever) to increase her standard of living for the long run, and when it is finally time for her to pass I will still own it, 10-20 years from now, as it was mine, not hers for the government to liquidate before they provide her with means tested assistance. I don't know how all that works (arms length transaction is the phrase that comes to mind, but if I buy it for fair market value we weren't trying to hide it or anything.) If I have the means to buy it from her (without ripping her off), please compare and contrast this vs Reverse mortgage.
- Annuities - I've heard the phrase used plenty of times but generally in a news piece about an elderly person getting scammed. Requesting some real guidance and experience here to keep that from happening to her.

Finally, she could keep working a few more years, but does that really buy her anything. In other words, if she postpones retiring / going on SS for another two years, will her SS benefits be more each month, or would she get the same as if she retired today (thus she can decide whether she wants to stop going to work today and between her SS and investment income still have enough to live on.) ARG!!! According to this (http://www.ssa.gov/retire2/whileworking.htm ) she could have started receiving full benefits a year ago (when she turned 66) regardless of her income from work. Double ARG!! - she can apply for it retroactively, but they only back-pay 6 months worth. ARG!!! - Any advice here?

Actually given that I know that, I'm going to get her to start the paperwork on her SS, get her back pay and she can augment her monthly income by that $1150 / month (she will feel rich!). I figure she will work another year or two (or as long as they let her keep coming, she's a trooper!) But what about after that...

In light of all that, please help me point her in the right direction.

Thanks much,
Pay off student loans or fund 401K?
Added on : Sunday July 27th 2014 08:00:08 AM
g: 2 Posted By: dyslexiateechur
Views: 135 Replies: 8 Hi all. Hubby and I have just paid off a mortgage and we can't agree on what to do next with our spare funds.

I already fund my 401K to the full match that my company offers (3% full and then a smaller match up to 5%), but I started paying into it late so it's less than what it should be for someone my age (32) IMO.

On the other hand, I have student loan debt that I pay slightly above the monthly payment on--and I have a long way to go to pay it off. No private loans, just federal. Interest rate is around 4% I believe (I'd have to look it up to give the exact).

Hubby wants to aggressively pay down the student loans, but I'm thinking that (for tax purposes at least), it would be better to start putting more money into the 401K, even if it's not yielding a lot at the moment.

Which one (if either) would you pick?
Investing Deals
5/5 vs 15/15 vs 30
Added on : Friday July 25th 2014 10:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: pucelle
Views: 258 Replies: 4 So I'm a first time home buyer and decided to buy new construction townhouse in a planned new planned community where I had been looking at apartments. As such, I got a pre-approval from a broker I had met and was waiting until I got a closing date/finishing date from the builder before I went any further. I'm currently going through underwriting with said broker (which I found out is a Wells Fargo affiliate) and just got word the townhouse will be completed next month with a close date of the beginning of September. So I figure now is the time to start looking around at rates and I was originally looking at the 30 year fixed even though I know that I hope to be the house for 3 years and ideally 5-7 before moving to a different state or out of the country. Given that, it doesn't really make sense to me to get a 30 year fixed and when I was looking around I saw the 15/15 from PenFed and the discussion on this site regarding it. 5/5 ARMs seem to also be popular with the increase caps at 2%.

Since for me this is totally not a planned thing and more of a impulse due to timing (last group of townhomes in developement, end unit in the perfect location for me) I haven't been able to do the usual research I normally do for financial things and have decided to outsource some of the legwork. When I looked at the ARMs before, I had only known about the 3/5/7& 1 arms which never really appealed to me but the 5/5 seem like a better deal. The new 15/15 from PenFed also looks interesting but I'm guessing I will need to run numbers to see what makes sense. Which brings me to the next question; Obviously, when comparing mortgages and rates you need to plug in the numbers and look the whole picture but I'm a little confused at what whole picture I should be looking at. What's the breakeven point that people keep talking about? The only definition I am aware of for the breakeven point comes from the investment world and I wouldn't think it would make sense here; or does that only apply to refinancing? What type of things should I be considering when looking at the numbers?

Purchase Price: $282k
Down Payment: 10%
Monthly After Tax Income: $6k
Time in home: 3-7 years
Monthly Expenses: $2,065 (non-discretionary;e.g. car, utilities, student loans, etc)

I know that I could have gotten an existing townhouse in the neighborhood cheaper for the most part but the market is tight where I am so most people are paying above listing price and none of the places I looked at were worth the listing price. My credit is only average so I know that I don't qualify for the best rates. Chase quoted me 4.75% on a 30 year fixed with a mean CS of 670.
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: cyberfire
Views: 98 Replies: 2 I did some searching on older threads and didn't see much in the way of topics around renting, mainly around ownership, so I'm hoping some members with recent experience can lend some insight here...

I wouldn't normally look at mobile / manufactured homes in my market as a rental property, but a situation just came up with someone we know that is currently renting one, and the owner is selling it, which made me wonder about this. Here are some of the specifics:

It's been converted to real property, the land and unit are both owned, which qualifies for traditional mortgage lending (in theory anyways)
Located in a desirable area of town, centrally located
Was built in 1984, in immaculate shape, dated interior
Asking price is 70K - majority of the cost is from the land
Current tenants are paying about $550 / mo
If they ever decided to leave, new tenant rent would go up to $650-700

With 20% down, after all expenses it would still cash flow, although not by much, around $150 / mo.

Getting $1,800 / yr return on $14K would be 12.8% - doesn't seem terrible, but is that the best way to look at this?

Has anyone else bought and rented out mobile or manufactured homes? What was your experience like? Was it worth it?

Real Estate Deals
Paying mortgage with cash
Added on : Tuesday July 22nd 2014 12:00:10 PM
g: 0 Posted By: sam008
Views: 160 Replies: 7 Folks

Is it okay paying one's mortgage with cash i.e. walking up to the bank and giving them actual cash? Would that raise any red flags?

The source of the cash is a relative who has a cellphone business purely based on cash (don't me how because I don't know). He's been helping us temporarily on home payments in return for an arrangement to help him in another country. Previously, we simply deposited the cash into a bank account and made a payment from there but I'm afraid the frequent cash deposits of $3000 a month would raise red flags

Question Deals
Mortgage Broker / Lender Fees
Added on : Tuesday July 22nd 2014 10:00:17 AM
g: 0 Posted By: krystle920too
Views: 148 Replies: 0 We are in the process of shopping around for a mortgage broker / lender to use for a home purchase in the next couple of months. We have not found a home yet, but we just wanted to have someone lined up in case we find a house and need to put in an offer quickly. We are in the LA metropolitan area (Burbank/Studio City specifically). I just wanted to ask what we should be looking for in order to get the best possible pricing on our mortgage. I know people have mentioned online lenders in the forums, but we would prefer someone we can meet in person as it would be a first home purchase.

This is what we found so far. One mortgage broker said their fee on the no-point option is paid by the lender and typically 1.75% of the loan amount. Appraisal is $525. Credit check is $30. Underwriting/Admin is $695-895. What should we be asking for?Another mortgage lender who apparently is also a broker said they just charged a flat fee of $1295.

Thoughts? It would be relatively straightforward 30-year fixed with a 50% down payment.
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: crazytexan
Views: 2 Replies: 0 Back story: I bought a 2014 Camaro for 18k in late April and got it financed. I am paying 1.29% APY (thank you FWF). Now my fiancee needs a new car but she has no credit. So basically I need to buy it for her and she can make the payments. After her trade in and all is said and done we are looking at another auto loan of about 9k-12k.

My details: FICO is 695, Experian 745, not sure about the other two but last I checked Equifax 780 and TU 740
Income is 38k a year
I'm 22 years old with no kids
No mortgage, I rent.
Current budget allows for $855 a month in disposable income. That is after factoring in all expenses and savings.
Current car payment is $349 a month
Credit utilization on revolving accounts is 5%

I'm not so worried about qualifying for the loan. What I am worried about is that I have made a decent amount of money from AoRs because my company reimburses me for flight expenses. Basically I turn every point I get into cash. I am averaging almost $1000/mo and have done a total of two AORs, one February 5th and the other May 7th, and would like to do one in August. Will adding this other installment loan screw up my potential for getting new cards? If not, should I apply for the auto loan before or after the AoR. Another route I was thinking of taking is to just do the AoR and apply for some 0% interest cards, and just charge the entire amount of the new car to said cards. Thoughts?

Let me know if I left out any vital info and I will post it asap.
Private lenders who work /w a previous DIL on credit?
Added on : Wednesday July 16th 2014 09:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Dulanic
Views: 10 Replies: 0 Does anyone know of any lenders that are somewhat DIL friendly lenders that aren't government backed/funded? I know /w a deed in lieu the general rule is 2 years /w 20% down. However, I do know private lenders can do as they please and have "heard" some will work with DIL/short sale situations based on circumstances.

Last year my wife's company moved her and we had to move across country or she would have to find a new job and we stay at our home. We were underwater ~20% as our area took an excessive beating for our type of home (town-home). We attempted to short sale and the mortgage company balked at a buyers offer over $3K in closing costs which cost us the sale and we had to go /w a DIL instead. Not a huge issue, except that it extended the time before the closing of the DIL a good 6 months past what would have been our short sale closing date. Their loss, it will prob sell for 20-25K below the offer we got.

Anyways, now we are moved and looking at getting a home. My credit is 780ish, my wife's is still 700+ even after the DIL. Are there any private lenders that don't bound to follow the FHA guidelines for short sales/DIL and are known to work with DIL people? We still have all the paperwork from her work showing we had to move and that was the reason for our forclosure. We have the funds to put down as a downpayment. I've been told Credit Unions have that flexibility, but I know PenFed won't budge on those guidelines as I asked.

I could get a mortgage myself, but we want just a little more than we can get under just my income alone.
Compare mortgage offers
Added on : Tuesday July 15th 2014 04:00:13 PM
g: 0 Posted By: steveb10
Views: 47 Replies: 0 I am in the process of buying a home. I have pre-qualified with aimloans and in the process of being pre-approved. I also looked into a local broker and received a fee worksheet. It looks as if aimloans is cheaper by about $1k, but I just want to make sure I am not missing anything. If you see something, please let me know.

Location: Alabama
Purchase price of home: $160k
Loan Amount: $112k
Interest rate: 4.25%
Conventional 30 yr

Lender Fee: $1,995
Lender Rebate: ($2,291)
Appraisal: $395
Flood Cert: $5.50
Credit Report: $16.75
Tax Service: $61
Owner's Title Ins: $500
Lender's Title Ins: $725
Recording Fees: $76
Tax Stamps: $216

Total: $1699.25

Local Broker:
Fees: $1,010
Appraisal: $450
Flood Cert: $14
Closing Protection Letter: $25
Title Examination: $125
Closing Fee: $300
Owner's Title Ins: $250
Lender's Title Ins: $25
Recording Fees: $85
Tax Stamps: $281

Total: $2565

Does anyone know why the Lender's Title Insurance is so much lower with the local broker? Is this something he would jack up at closing without me knowing? I am still learning about mortgages, so any comments or help would be much appreciated. Thank you!
Real Estate Deals
Current Financial Situation: Need Advice
Added on : Monday July 14th 2014 11:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: nickygrahn
Views: 38 Replies: 0 Hello fellow forum members. This is my second topic since I've been registered here and the previous input was very helpful for me, so much so that I'm seeking advice again. This may get lengthy but I want to describe to the best of my ability what my current situation is financially. What I'm looking for is some inputs, though I know they'll be varied, on what I should do for future security. So here it is and again, I greatly appreciated the previous input. Your guys' knowledge with money is fantastic and I'm sure you have changed lives.

My Debts:
Home mortgage FHA @ 3.5% which is on the second year and already have paid off 10K in principle out of the 145K loan. This was a 30 year loan and the minimum payments is $1050 a month. This payment includes home insurance, taxes and mortgage insurance
Personal loan, which is used as my business loan, has $11,800 left @ 9%. Used to be about 19k but I sold some useless things and paid it down. Minimum payment is $450 a month.
Auto insurance is $1050 total every 6 months for wife and I.
Other misc. monthly bills which include cell phone, internet, home utilities and food average out to be around $500.

My business nets about $1,500 a month currently but I only need to pay our mortgage and my business loan. However, after doing that I have absolutely nothing left. Obviously, making $1,500 a month is not a lot and that's some of the reason I'm posting (more on this later**). The way I'm looking at things is I'm subtracting my current net of $1500 from the mortgage and personal loan, leaving literally $50 which I'm actually okay with since my wife is making $40k a year and we don't have other debts. The thing is, my money is mine and hers is hers. That's how we've agreed to do things and it actually works very well. I used to make more money when I had a job as well as my business but I left due to my inability to work under a boss.

Being self employed is something I like very much and I refuse to get a job. I've left a half dozen jobs in the past year, not even kidding, one of them being a top 100 company to work for according to Fortune Magazine. So with that said, I have the ability of expanding my current business due to someone retiring. I would need to take out an additional $20,000 for the expanding of my businesses to make another $800 net a month. I talked to a couple of bankers and they said a 5 year loan @ 8% interest would be around $650 a month of I included the current loan I have of $11,800. This would leave me with an extra $600 a month.

Is my vision wrong looking at things this way? Taking out money from a bank without having a savings or any other investments other than some business equipment frightens me. I could grind out what I'm doing currently, but this opportunity doesn't come very often. I know I could force myself to pay a loan faster to avoid paying excess interest since I've done that in the past. Judging from what you see on my post, do you have any feedback? Getting tired so I'll end the post here. Thanks for reading and chiming in!

Insurance Deals
Considering a mortgage...is now the right time to buy a home?
Added on : Sunday July 13th 2014 06:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: t1m0thy
Views: 1504 Replies: 50 My wife and I are considering purchasing our first home. Our financial situation is below.

We would be using Navy Federal's 100% financing program (i.e. zero down) which would give us a resulting 5.25% interest rate with a 1% origination fee and 1.75% funding fee for a 30-year jumbo loan. We are also required to pay into an escrow account as part of the mortgage to cover taxes and other property fees. We live in the San Francisco Bay Area and are looking at houses in the $550k to $650k range. Because we do not have nearly enough for a down payment we are using Navy Federal's zero-down program and accepting a higher interest rate as a result. Estimated all-in monthly payment for a $650k mortgage is $4,200.

We currently live in a relatively inexpensive one bedroom, one bathroom apartment but given that 1) we have a baby on the way, 2) Fed actions seem to indicate a rise in mortgage rates soon and 3) the San Francisco Bay Area housing market seems to be going nowhere but up we are strongly considering becoming homeowners now.

I would love to hear your feedback!

Current Situation

Yearly gross income of $150,000 ($85,000 + $65,000)

The $85,000 salary will jump to $90,000 in March 2015
The $65,000 salary will stay the same


Monthly rent = $1,100; we are locked into a lease through July 2015 though are landlord has made it abundantly clear (in writing) that we can break our lease without consequenceo
Credit card debt = $12,500

All at 0% through March 2015
$277 minimum monthly payment

Student loan debt = $34,700

$2,250 at 5%, the remainder at 2.5%
$330 minimum monthly payment
We are making the minimum payment on $18,700 of the student loans since the remainder will be forgiven after 10 years of government service

No car payment


I work for the local government so our health insurance is really cheap
11% of the $85,000 salary goes to a pension

Personal Finance Deals
Going after a mortgage broker
Added on : Saturday July 12th 2014 03:00:11 PM
g: 0 Posted By: alamo11
Views: 49 Replies: 0 I'm coming to the FWF community for help with a situation involving a close friend. This person is very deserving and has done a lot of good for others in the community myself included. Recently he purchased a short sale. His DTI wasn't good enough for a 15 year so the broker his mortgage guy put him in a 30 year at a high rate (4.875%) but with no closing costs so he could refinance after he bought the place.

Anyhow he closed and came to me asking for help.Naturally I hopped on Bankrate and found a broker who just happened to be not too far from where I used to live. After a few emails I talked him into doing 2.75% with a .75% rebate on a 15 year with a 1% broker fee. Total closing costs about $3,400. Pretty incredible so he paid for the appraisal and had that done. Three weeks later broker saids the lender denied the loan because of seasoning. Not to worry he found someone with the same rate just a much smaller rebate (about $100). Still an awesome deal so we said fine.

Another three weeks or so of stalling later broker sends an updated GFE with points, higher broker compensation, and a bunch of fees tacked on. I tell him "No Way" and he saids he will get it taken care of. Another two weeks of stalling we decide we've had enough and drive down to his office. Office looks like it was setup overnight; guy looks shocked we showed up and sends us to his secretary. She announces "Maybe we will close next week." "Your cash at close is about $9,000". We flip our shit and leave.

Now: Clearly what happen is a bait-and-switch. During this time I have a number of GFEs and emails saying "ignore the GFE. It's wrong" and now I found out he doesn't have an NMLS license. In fact no one we saw or dealt with has a licence. Just some guy who doesn't even sit in his office. How do I go about reporting this goon and his unlicensed tactics? Friend suffered real damages in increased interest charges and almost had his credit trashed when they said not to worry about paying the mortgage. This is in FL.

Since then I'm working with a direct lender and got a similar deal as he was supposed to get just about $800 more in costs. How do I go about getting this guy arrested or in serious trouble? I wanted to put the fear of god into this guy but my friend restrained me from beating the living shit out of him.
Discussion Deals
Considering becoming a homeowner, is now the right time?
Added on : Friday July 11th 2014 08:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: t1m0thy
Views: 22 Replies: 1 My wife and I are considering purchasing our first home. Our financial situation is below.

We would be using Navy Federal's 100% financing program (i.e. zero down) which would give us a resulting 5.25% interest rate with a 1% origination fee and 1.75% funding fee for a 30-year jumbo loan. We are also required to pay into an escrow account as part of the mortgage to cover taxes and other property fees. We live in the San Francisco Bay Area and are looking at houses in the $550k to $650k range. Because we do not have nearly enough for a down payment we are using Navy Federal's zero-down program and accepting a higher interest rate as a result. Estimated all-in monthly payment for a $650k mortgage is $4,200.

We currently live in a relatively inexpensive one bedroom, one bathroom apartment but given that 1) we have a baby on the way, 2) Fed actions seem to indicate a rise in mortgage rates soon and 3) the San Francisco Bay Area housing market seems to be going nowhere but up we are strongly considering becoming homeowners now.

I would love to hear your feedback!

Current Situation

Yearly gross income of $150,000 ($85,000 + $65,000)

The $85,000 salary will jump to $90,000 in March 2015
The $65,000 salary will stay the same


Monthly rent = $1,100; we are locked into a lease through July 2015 though are landlord has made it abundantly clear (in writing) that we can break our lease without consequenceo
Credit card debt = $12,500

All at 0% through March 2015
$277 minimum monthly payment

Student loan debt = $34,700

$2,250 at 5%, the remainder at 2.5%
$330 minimum monthly payment
We are making the minimum payment on $18,700 of the student loans since the remainder will be forgiven after 10 years of government service

No car payment


I work for the local government so our health insurance is really cheap
11% of the $85,000 salary goes to a pension

Personal Finance Deals
Debt to Income Ratio for Mortgages
Added on : Friday July 11th 2014 06:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: bluebag
Views: 19 Replies: 0 I'm currently trying to get my first mortgage. I looked over how DTI ratios work on the internet. From my understanding, it's the minimum monthly obligation. The only obligations I have are credit cards. All cards have $25 minimum payment. Shouldn't the lender use those to calculate my DTI ratio?
Personal Finance Deals
Penfed preapproval for first mortgage
Added on : Thursday July 10th 2014 08:00:04 PM
g: 0 Posted By: bluebag
Views: 43 Replies: 0 I'm buying my first house. I'm working with two lenders at the moment. Penfed is one of them. I'm trying to get them to preapprove me for a 30 year fixed (jumbo) or the 15/15 ARM (jumbo). The rep I'm working with said she can't do that because the 15/15 is a promotional product and they're currently not offering the 30 year fixed jumbo (although it's listed on the website).

I was not a Penfed member and I took a hard pull on my CR only because their website listed BOTH 15/15 jumbo ARM and 30 year jumbo fixed as products that they're offering. I'm pissed and in the meanwhile the other lender has come back with 4.5% on a 30 year jumbo fixed.
Real Estate Deals
g: 1 Posted By: LearningFast
Views: 121 Replies: 4 Hi all, I am a new member who is still very much learning how to manage money and credit, but have learned a ton reading these forums in the past couple of years when I had literally no credit file.
Below I tried to condense the very helpful things Ive learned here into a little HOW TO which I think contains all the things I wish I knew a while ago and learned here, albeit fragmented. Of course, all these will differ between people so feel free to add.
The two general rules of the money life that Ive learned.
1. Small discounts really can add up, if done right.
2. If your credit file had mass, it would be worth its weight in gold. Good credit allows you to get low interest car and mortgage loans, which (because of how compounding interest works) can save you even tens of thousands of dollars.
Ok, so how do you get ahead? Lets assume you have no credit at all and make a very low income (say $20,000/year). Right now:
- Get a credit card. Definitely #1 on your list. You should get a credit card with rewards if at all possible. Student cards (if you are one) will usually have top notch rewards and can be approved for people with no limit (Discover It for students, Sallie Mae Mastercard, Chase Dividend for students, BoA Cash Rewards for Students are some good ones). If you have a bank youve had a relationship with for a while, tap them for a card I got my first CC like that, and it has great rewards. Pick a no annual fee card, preferentially from a prime lender, as this account should be with you for life. If you cant get a credit card from anywhere, get a secured card first, and then after 6 months get a real credit card.
-Begin tracking your credit. Sign up for creditkarma.com, creditsesame.com and quizzle.com. These sites allow you to track your credit report in real time from the three US credit reporting agencies, and give you credit scores. These scores are not the true scores used by lenders (they use a different algorithm) but the trend can be useful as a rough estimation in how youre doing. -=7pt Begin tracking all your expenses using a service like mint.com
- Move all your primary banking to a rewards checking account from a credit union (places like Lake Michigan Credit Union, Inova Credit Union, Great Lakes credit union are good ones). Rewards checking accounts have no fees and offer much higher interest than any savings account, and usually will reimburse ATM fees and sometimes give free checks. It doesnt matter if you dont live near the credit union, because internet.
-Open a Roth IRA account, where you can put after-tax money which you will then take out tax free at retirement (or as a one time thing when you buy a house). This a fantastic deal for people in their 20s with low income (and a low tax rate).

For the next 6 months:
-Pay your credit card bill BEFORE the statement cuts each month. That way not only will you not carry a large balance (its good to leave a few dollars there) but if you have a low limit having even $200 there can make it look like a huge utilization and hurt your credit.
- Use your rewards credit card to pay for everything. CashBack/points add up if you use them all the time. If your rent is under $1,500, use SERVE with Isis to load money using your credit card (and get points) and then use the Billpay feature to pay rent and any other utilities you cant pay with a CC.

6-12 months
- ask for a credit line increase on your credit card (depending on the issuer, this might be a hard credit pull)
-get another CC or two. Strongly consider applying for an easy to get AMEX like BlueSky Everyday. All AMEX cards are pretty good. The golden feature about them is that AMEX backdates all cards to the moment you joined AMEX, so all FUTURE AMEX cards will show up as being opened at the same time. This will help your credit score in the future. This is also a good time to try get a workhorse card: a card which gives universal high CashBack/miles. These are the Fidelity Amex (underwritten by BoA), which offers 2% CashBack on everything, the Capital One Venture (essentially 2%, but has an annual fee). If you get denied, call recon (see below).

1.5-2 years:
- If youve been doing everything right you should have a credit score in the 700+ range and be eligible for some pretty nice rewards cards by now. Which ones you get depends on your spending pattern. For example, I applied for the US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature because I eat out a lot. Now Visa Sig cards are difficult for you, because by definition they need to have a credit line of over $5000. I was in fact offered an inferior product instead, but told I can PC later (not uncommon for US Bank). Called once a month, and after two months I had the Cash+.

2 years+
-By now you should be eligible for pretty much any CC you want, although some might be hard for you to get. The holy grail of high end credit cards for people with super good credit are the ones from the Pentagon Federal Credit Union. There you can get 5% CashBack on gas, ~4% CashBack on airline tickets. Hard to get but not impossible at this stage. Just make sure you have no inquiries on quizzle and very low balances on all other cards when you apply.

Beyond: Cant comment, this is where I am

Note: many (if not most) credit card rejections can actually be overturned if you pick up the phone and call the reconsideration line for that lender to talk to an underwriter. Dont be afraid to ask What can you do for me? If youve been a customer for that bank for a while, let them know etc.
Discussion Deals
g: 0 Posted By: CanisMajor
Views: 97 Replies: 0 The threads mentioning this have been archived as far as I can tell, I also posted this in the deal discussion forum Class Action thread. Just got this email today:

A federal court appointed us Settlement Administrator of what is known as the ING Rate Renewal Settlement Program. We previously mailed you a letter notifying you that you will be sent a check from this class action settlement. The minimum payment will be $25 per loan, and the average paymentis expected to beapproximately $175 per loan. You should read that letter in its entirety. This email simply serves as a courtesy reminder of your legal rights and options. Your legal rights will be affected by this Settlement, whether or not you take any action in response to it.

If you either (1) got an Orange Mortgage or Easy Orange Mortgage from ING during the period from October 1, 2005 through May 31, 2009, or (2) had an Orange Mortgage from ING before October 1, 2005 and did a Rate Renewal of your Orange Mortgage some time from October 1, 2005, through May 31, 2009, you can:

1. Do Nothing The borrowers on your ING loan will get a check for at least $25. You give up all claims against ING relating to Rate Renewal.
2. Exclude Yourself You will get no payment. This is the only option that allows you to be part of any other lawsuit against ING that involves the legal claims in this case.
3. Object or Go to a Hearing Write to the Court about why you dont like the Settlement or ask to speak in Court about the fairness of the Settlement.

To find out how much you will be paid if you do not exclude yourself from the Settlement, visit: https://www.ingraterenewalsettlement.com/ . You can log on using the 9-digit Notice # (located at the top of this email) and the last four digits of your social security number to find out the estimated amount of your expected payment, review your detailed notice and obtain other information about this lawsuit, the Settlement, and your rights.=12ptYou can also see the address to which your Settlement check will be sent.

Important Note: prior to 7/8/14, the website was not displaying the proper address for all users. The issue has now been corrected, and we encourage you to verify the address that now appears on the website. You can also call 1-855-770-6954 or write to

ING Rate Renewal Settlement Administrator
PO Box 85006
Richmond, Virginia 23286-9303

Settlement Administrator
ING Rate Renewal Settlement Program

Discussion Deals
Small Pension Buyout
Added on : Tuesday July 08th 2014 08:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: mythosaz
Views: 30 Replies: 0 OK folks, I'd like to borrow upon your wisdom for a moment.

I've looked at a couple of calculators, and they seem to confirm what IthinkI'm seeing, but I'd like a second opinion.

When I left a long-term job last year, I was surprised to find I had earned a small pension. For purposes of this discussion, lets call it $325/mo, eligible in 2035. It has a lump sum option today in the 13-14k range, which seems to jive what what calculators tell me. It has no survivor benefits, so it's good for me alone, from 65 until death. I don't have any unusual medical conditions.

I'm in a position now where I need a new (to me) car, and a used crown vic doesn't quite meet with my needs. I drove my last 20k 2007 vehicle into the ground with almost 200,000 miles on it, and I'm weighing my options.

I try to look at things like this: If I had $13k cash now, would I use it toward/for/as-part-of a new (to me) car, or would I buy a 13k annuity with a 325/mo payout at 65? I know that it's worth much more should I survive to 70, but would I buy said annuity today versus dealing with more pressing issues.

Some minor background, as it might help determine the real value of the pension to me and my family. Because of numerous troubles in the last, well, decade, my wife and I have little cash or retirement savings, but we're both employed in good jobs, and we've got three properties. [A rented condo owned lock stock and barrel, a rented home about half way through the mortgage breaking even, and a primary residence in year 10.] After losing my long-term job, I've been contracting, so it hasn't always been easy to keep cash between gigs.

The wife and I plan to keep using bonuses and excess salary (is there such a thing) to keep paying down the rental house, and then attacking our real mortgage. I know that isn't strictly the best plan, but I enjoy the feel of ownership. Owning a house is more valuable to me than playing a game with mortgage interest or keeping it liquid to invest. This is the primary reason I'm conflicted about a small pension. Iownthat, so to speak.

I don't want to turn this too much into a car discussion. I'd just like to know the pros and cons of what to do with 14k today versus having a $325 pension.
Investing Deals
Shopping for mortgage need help !
Added on : Tuesday July 08th 2014 05:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: itsmeprinceus
Views: 45 Replies: 0 Hi guys,
I am in the market shopping for mortgage. I am building a home with Taylor Morrison and they are pushing me towards getting a loan with them. I started doing my own research and found out that rates outside are much lower. This particular lender (https://pfloans.provident.com/?)is offering really low rates compared to any other banks outside just want to get some insight into what kind of things I should be looking for.

Any help appreciated !
Deal Deals
Lots of turnover at work- impact on career choices?
Added on : Sunday July 06th 2014 04:00:10 PM
g: 0 Posted By: SodiumChlorida
Views: 152 Replies: 2 Got hired in in 2011 out of college. Steady progression, including a promotion a year ago. Money is enough to pay my mortgage andbills,but nothing special (46k). Work for a large financial services company. My particular department hasbeen very stable, up until recently. Our dept headgot terminated and mydirect supervisor left shortly after that. We are left with one supervisor (my formerboss). He is on the verge of retirement (likely after a new management team isbrought in). Considering the workers in my dept, I think there willbe opportunities for me to get promoted again.

With what will likely amount to all new management, do you think I wouldbebetter off jumping ship to getbetter pay? Or stay put.and hopefully move upwards with the turnover? I have 3 years of experience at this point, and I think if I move to a new company, it would have tobe a lateral move. Although Iwould definitely get abump in pay which would be nice.

What do you think thebest move is for me career wise?
Discussion Deals
college student, house with dad after graduation
Added on : Thursday July 03rd 2014 11:00:04 AM
g: 0 Posted By: mccyjcb
Views: 134 Replies: 6 I'm a 21 year old college student going in to the field of finance and I have two years left. My dad has been looking to buy a house for the last year but since he is 53 and a blue collar worker, he didn't want to buy too expensive of a house. He has recently learned that his whole plant may be shutting down in the next 2-4 years and so he is going to lose his $45k job. After that, he says he is just going to become a trucker. That ruined his plans of buying a house. He came to me with a plan: wait til I get out of college and find a job (hopefully at least $45k a year), and then get a VA loan using his veteran status. So I won't need any down payment and we won't have to pay mortgage insurance and we get the better mortgage rate versus a conventional loan. We will live together obviously, but I will be in a house of my choosing at the age of 23 or 24, we will both be paying $800-$900 a month towards the mortgage. My name will go on the loan that way if he dies, I take over the loan which is fine by me. When I graduate, I will have about $16k in student debt. I already have a 730 FICO score. I do have a part time job and I am saving money for when I move out. My dad wants me to live a better life than him so there is no reason to think he would be trying to screw me over in any way, we are very close. This obviously depends on how long he keeps his job so we can secure a loan, and how long it takes me to find a job. I also have a friend who I know would move in with me so there's an extra $300 a month for the mortgage.

Two years left of college, me and my dad want to buy a house after I graduate and find a job using his veteran status for a VA loan. I get no down payment, no mortgage insurance, a better interest rate and a house of my choosing at the age of 23 or 24. I don't see any downsides to this. Help me point out flaws that way I can go over them with him.
Question Deals
Chase $250 Bonus Coupon For Premier Plus Checking Exp 10/15/14
Added on : Wednesday July 02nd 2014 07:00:04 PM
g: 0 Posted By: MoneysMyLife
Views: 115 Replies: 0 Here's a rare $250 bonus coupon from Chase Bank, but its for their Premier Plus Checking account which has higher requirements.

Exp 10/15/2014

$250 coupon link

*Service Fee: Chase Premier Plus CheckingSM has no Monthly Service Fee when you do one of the following each statement period: Option #1: Keep an average daily balance of $15,000 or more in any combination of qualifying Chase checking, savings and other balances OR, Option #2: Have automatic payments to your qualifying linked Chase mortgage from your Chase account. Payments set up through Online Bill Pay do not qualify. Mortgages must be in good standing and be first mortgages with servicing retained by Chase. Otherwise a $25 Monthly Service Fee will apply. We will notify you of changes to your account terms or fees. For more information, please see a banker or visit chase.com/checking.

Bonus/Account Information: Offer not available to existing Chase checking customers, those with fiduciary accounts, or those whose accounts have been closed within 90 days or closed with a negative balance. Offer valid through 10/15/2014. To receive the bonus: 1) Open a new Chase Premier Plus Checking SM account, which is subject to approval; 2) Deposit $100 or more within 10 business days of account opening. AND 3) Have your direct deposit made to this account within 60 days of account opening. Your direct deposit needs to be an electronic deposit of your paycheck, pension or government benefits (such as Social Security) from your employer or the government. After you have completed all the above requirements, we'll deposit the bonus in your new account within 10 business days. The Annual Percentage Yield (APY) effective as of 6/17/14, is 0.01% for all balances in all states. Interest rates are variable and may change. Fees may reduce earnings on the account. The bonus cannot be used as the opening deposit. You can only receive one checking account-related bonus per calendar year. Bonus is considered interest and will be reported on IRS Form 1099-INT.
Credit Deals
Bank of America -- messed up servicing transfer, now in default
Added on : Tuesday July 01st 2014 07:00:03 PM
g: 1 Posted By: ppsninja
Views: 96 Replies: 4 - Mortgage with Bank of America for 10 years.
- 1 year they switched the servicing of the mortgage to Green Tree. Had automatic mortgage payment withdrawal, no problems
- May 2014 receive notice that mortgage servicing would switch back to Bank of America. NO other information provided.
- June 18, receive letter that if we want to automatic mortgage withdrawal from bank account, call BoA number. Call number, and get kicked to "relationship manager (debt collection)", indicating that mortgage is past due and in default!
First question they ask "do you want a loan modification"?
- Turns out that in the transferring the servicing of the mortgage back, Bank of America completely screwed up, and didnt continue the automatic withdrawals AND also didnt notify us that we needed to make manual June 1st payments.
- June 18: Immediately went to local BoA, and hand deposited two checks -- June 1st payment, and also July 1st payment (and then would deal with getting the interest and penalties sorted out).
- NOW IN Bank of America Hell:
- June 21st -- they couldnt find the payments. We had to mail them copy of the deposit statement + cancelled check to prove that we actually had paid!
- June 22nd -- Get letter on Escrow -- indicating that we also now owe $1600 on the escrow account" -- they couldnt tell whether greentree had paid 2013 year taxes, so they added the amount to the escrow account, and hence we fall negative on it", and so we need to now pay $1600 to keep the escrow proper! Trying to sort this screw up - -and they indicate they need to now contact the county office to validate that GreenTree had indeed paid the taxes for last year.
- June 23rd -- they found the payments sitting in their system, but couldnt apply it to mortgage for some reason. "Relationship manager - debt collector" -- not capable of doing it!
- June 25th -- finally found a customer rep that wouldnt pass me to "relationship manager" -- sees the payments but can't apply
-- Finally got them to put a note so that I dont get called daily by the "relationship manager - debt collector"
- June 26-July 2 -- spent many hours --- still cant apply the payments to the mortgage

Spent probably over 15 hours on this, highly stressed, impact to credit record(?).

Who to really talk to in BoA -- since any customer rep really dont know who to talk to? They dont even know who to escalate the issue and that the "payment office" can 't seem to apply the payments to the mortgage!

Next: What can I extract out of BoA for my many hours I have spent on this, the stress, the hassle? Have they broken any laws?

Question Deals
One of payee account blocked in my Evolve
Added on : Monday June 30th 2014 09:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: jolapo
Views: 52 Replies: 0 I have been using Evolve to pay my mortgage. A couple of thousands each month. Due to Evolve's daily limit, I have to send more than one payments, and occasionally use DH's evolve account to send one extra. I'm not abusing it and have never tried to abuse it.

But today I got an email saying "due to the volume processed and/or use of multiple profiles to pay into this single account", I will not able to make payments to my mortgage account any more.

This really surprised me. I want to call the customer service to figure it out, but wonder if it's worth the effort. I'm now hesitate to use DH's account for the mortgage payment because I'm afraid they will block it too.


Personal Finance Deals
Taking over mom's house and adding accessory unit?
Added on : Wednesday June 25th 2014 11:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: nicki11012
Views: 49 Replies: 0 My mother lives in a beautiful large house that sits on 1 acre of land. She is 55 y/o (a hairstylist) and her hair salon is on the side of the house. There is a 2 car garage out in the back that is connected to the house by a porch. The garage has an attic on top - the whole structure is ~ 900 sq feet. My mom loves her house, but was thinking about moving to a condo because it's way too much space and maintenance for one person. She hasn't sold because her hair salon is on the side of the house - if she sells the house, the self-owned business is gone too.

My husband and I (30 yrs old) moved in about 2 years ago. We were only going to stay for a few months, but we've had ample space and have been doing well there. We started thinking... hmm, maybe we could take over this house (we both love it) and we could transform the garage into that condo my mom wanted. We would be in a nice house and she would be able to maintain her business. We could share a lot of expenses. I am an only child, so I could help my mom as she gets older and she'll be there to help babysit as we start having children... sounds great!

The house is probably worth $550k and my mom owes about $100k. Her mortgage is only $1200 per month right now. If we were to build the accessory unit it would cost about $100k to build. If we were to do this, we need to figure out who would pay for it - to refinance the house, we'd have to put our names on the deed (she doesn't make enough to refinance alone). My husband and I couldn't afford to buy it from her for the full price - if we were to buy our own house, our budget would be about $400k. Do we rent from her? What happens when the house needs a new roof, etc?

Also, because my mom owns her own business, she doesn't have the best retirement package. The most complicated aspect of all of this is that the equity in the home will probably be needed at some point in time for retirement. We would just buy the home outright if we could afford it, but we can't. If we take out the $ to do the accessory unit from the equity and then rent from her, she may need $ from the home later, which would affect the monthly cost of the home in the future.

We have this wonderful home that we all love and the mortgage is crazy low - I would love to have my mom around to help with dogs, kids, etc... We could share so many expenses and my mom could keep her business, but it just seems insanely complicated to work everything out.

Does anyone have thoughts/advice??
New User Question Deals
Best Way to Take Advantage of BT Offer?
Added on : Tuesday June 24th 2014 06:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: jimmyrules712
Views: 126 Replies: 1 This should start an interesting thread.

I have a BT offer on my old AARP card (the gift that keeps on giving?). 0% APR for 1 year with a 2% fee with a $250 cap. I have a $21k credit line, so if I take it all out that comes out to a 1.12% fee. I normally ignore BT offers, but $21k at 1.12% for 1 year is hard to pass up. I'm looking for any good ideas on how to best take advantage of this, while still having access to the money to pay off the BT in 1 year. I already know how to turn the BT into cash in my checking account, just not sure what I want to do with it from there. I have a 4% mortgage and 1.99% auto loan, other then that no debt so I can't really use this to pay off higher interest debt.

1 year CDs are only paying about 1.10% so that's out.
Stock market is too risky, I don't want to be stuck with the bill if there's a crash
Bonds may be an option, but also has risk

What else?
Investing Deals
Death of Spouse, whats next?
Added on : Sunday June 22nd 2014 07:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: whyhello
Views: 101 Replies: 1 Hello all-

A friend of mine has passed away, and now there have been a few questions arisen.
They were married. Man and woman. Man has passed away. Any insight information will be appreciated.
There is no will. There is no power of attorney.

Under both names, husband death, widow does not work. (Contacting mortgage company to see if there was any insurance to cover the rest of the loan.)

Credit Cards? (Widow may be just an authorized user.)
Under both names, husband death. Widow liable?

Husband business?
Under husband only, husband death. Assets go to widow?

Medical Bills?
Under husband only, husband death. Widow liable?

Husbands assets - such as car, jewelry, etc?
All goes to widow?

What about for the kids of the dead spouse?

Are there any benefits in this matter?

Social Security benefits?

Kind Regards. Thanks
Discussion Deals
g: 1 Posted By: robronson
Views: 118 Replies: 4 From my understanding of federal student loan debt that is discharged after 20/25 years (depending on your plan), you become liable for income taxes on the amount forgiven. While I don't expect this to remain once people's student loans start getting discharged in 10 to 15 years under these relatively new plans, because people won't be able to pay income taxes on a phantom $300k of student loan debt (after 25 years of compounded unpaid interest on a $50k to $100k principal) and will get their elected officials to change the law.

However, we can't prepare for that, and reading a thread on FWF tonight got me to learn about avoiding income taxes on discharged debt through "insolvency tests". I did some googling and read this IRS information here:


To summarize, it looks like the IRS will perform this insolvency test to determine whether you have to pay income taxes on those $300k of forgiven student loans in 20 years. Simply put, the test looks to see how much debt you had forgiven compared to your assets, and whatever the difference between the two numbers (liabilities minus assets) determines how much of the forgiven debt you need to pay taxes on.

Unfortunately, and VERY UNFAIRLY, the IRS counts retirement assets as assets. Which is ridiculous because $100k in a 401k isn't worth $100k. It's worth maybe $80k after you pay taxes on it. And if you had to withdraw it early, with a penalty, it's worth maybe $50k to $60k depending on your marginal tax break. Thus, the purpose of this thread is to strategize ways to make the insolvency test work in your favor because as written, it's very much against you.

Much like Medicaid fraud, I mean Medicaid asset protection, you probably don't want to start doing these things in the year your debt will be forgiven. So while the earliest any of us might possibly be forgiven for debt is still probably 10+ years out (since this plan didn't start until the early 2000s), it's worth thinking about in advance.

Here's some random ideas that may work:

1) Buy a house. As expensive as the bank will lend you money for, with as little down payment as possible, leading up to the debt forgiveness. It appears that the liability of the house counts in the liabilities column. So if you buy a $200k house with $40k down, then you now have $160k in Liabilities and $40k in assets for a net Liability of $120k.

2) Start converting 401k into Roth IRA in the years leading up to the loan forgiveness. Pay the taxes owed on the conversion out of the 401k money if necessary. Pay a penalty if necessary. You will get hosed for every $1 you have in your 401k or Traditional IRA because they will count every 60 cents to 80 cents in actual value (after you distribute the money and pay taxes/penalties) as $1. Since $1 of a Roth IRA is worth significantly more than $1 of a Traditional IRA or 401k, but the asset test counts the dollars the same, it may be worth converting even if it pushes you into a higher marginal tax bracket.

3) AOR BT Time, if those still exist in 10+ years. That's debt. If the cash vanishes, maybe because you went to Vegas, then the cash isn't an asset. But the BT is definitely a liability.

4) Borrow money from friends/relatives. Make it official. Notarized contracts. These are all liabilities.

5) Prepay for things you can prepay that won't count as assets. Prepay your child's education or daycare. Etc.

6) Combine strategies. Don't just have a notarized piece of paper that says you borrowed $300k from your best friend a week before the loan discharged. No one will believe that. But if you have a $100k left on a mortgage, $5k owed to your cousin, $20k on credit cards BTs, convert all of your 401k to Roth IRA over a few years, then the total strategy looks legit on a whole.

Curious to hear people's ideas on these. I don't feel bad for discussing them because (a) the concept that the IRS will tax you on income you didn't get and (b) the concept that they'll count your 401k assets as $1 for $1 are so totally biased against you that anything and everything is fair game, as long as it's legal. Ethics no longer applies.

I'm writing this for student loan debt forgiveness but feel free to use this to discuss any current 2014 debt forgiveness/insolvency testing issues.
Discussion Deals
How much of net worth should go into primary house
Added on : Friday June 20th 2014 01:00:05 PM
g: -1 Posted By: David415
Views: 169 Replies: 2 Hi Guys,

Just wanted to see what people's opinions are on this topic. Some background first. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area where house prices are expensive. My wife and I make combined 250k/yr. Me and my wife are in our mid-late thirties.

Here's my general situation:

200k cash savings
825k stocks
580k retirement accounts
250k investment condo with a 250k mortgage (I exactly breakeven on this condo each year. so don't really need to figure this in really)
890k primary house with a 500k mortgage
No other debts
Assume no inheritance money in future

I'm thinking of upgrading to a bigger house and renting out my current one. I believe I can rent out my current house and it will cover all expenses such as mortgage, insurance, taxes. Here is where I would like to see what you guys would do. The house I'd like to move into is 1.5M. If I got a house like that I would be happy staying there forever, but a big chunk of our monthly income would go towards mortgage. We could do it but probably would have very little to invest in other things. Or I can buy a slightly smaller house at around 1.3M or just stay in my current house a little longer like 3 years and then buy when I've saved a little more.

To me I think a house is a relatively safe investment over the long term. Since I plan to live here for a long time I don't see it as much risk at all and it might be good to just get the house you want early and enjoy it for a very long time.

What do you think?
New User Question Deals
Specific mortgage request, Loan officers please review
Added on : Friday June 20th 2014 04:00:13 AM
g: 0 Posted By: SoCalJohn
Views: 31 Replies: 0 Much to my dismay, my wife has decided that she wants a bigger house with a bigger yard. I currently own 2 houses in the same city, I will have to cashout both houses to come up with the downpayment for the new house and possibly sell one or both after acquiring the new mortgage.

I am just about done with a cashout refi on a condo owned free and clear, 70% ltv investment property 4.875% no costs no fees 30 year fixed $500k value
Primary residence $1.3M value owe $500k on first mortgage with Heloc of 170k with third federal

Issue is that we have a short sale from 3+ years ago, it did not effect the cashout conventional with our 700+ fico scores, but I have been shut down by morgan stanley and bank of america for jumbo cashout with short sale.

Can any of you mortgage guru's steer me to a lender that will cashout a jumbo loan with a short sale?

I have found financing on the 2M purchase, 40% down stated income 1 year arm at 4% for a .25 discount point cost. Only requirement is 60 months PITI reserves, which we will have after cashing out both properties with 60% of 401k counted.

Thanks for any help

Properties are all located in Southern California, Primary is SFR
Personal Finance Deals
80LTV vs 90LTV/PMI effective interest rate comparison
Added on : Thursday June 19th 2014 09:00:13 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Bend3r
Views: 147 Replies: 1 Advance apologies for another mortgage related thread and the long number-heavy post (some forum members don't like numbers)... but hopefully it's also useful to others as well. I have liquid assets available and am trying to pick which LTV to go for in the loan.

Looking into first purchase and comparing costs between an 80LTV and a 90LTV 30-yr fixed loan, I would like a sanity-check if possible on comparing the "effective rate" I pay on the "extra" 30-yr loan of 10% of the property value. By effective rate, i'm referring to what the equivalent 10LTV loan would be if The 90LTV loan was instead two loans: an 80LTV loan with the other terms and a 10LTV loan at a higher rate.

The two example loans I'm comparing are both from Box, both 30yr fixed, and both at an interest rate where the "lender fees" portion is lowest before being applied to principle. They charge 1 point for decreasing interest rate by 0.125, but if their "lender costs" goes below $0, they only pay out about 0.66 points per rate increment. My reasoning here is the points "break-even" point is 12 years for the 0.66 point increments but only 5 years for the 1 point increments.

Prop. Value: 190000
RATE P+I Payment PMI APR Loan 1 - 80LTV
($152000) 4.125% $736.67 $0 4.172% Loan 2 - 90LTV
($171000) 4.125% $828.75 $55.58
(around 0.4%) 4.362%
My rough calculations/Conclusions
Scenario 1: I hold the property for 30 years - This is the "easiest" comparison. I believe in this case I can just compare the "APR" rates. Loan 2 is 0.19% higher than Loan 1, but that 0.19% is spread over 90LTV, so for the last 10% of the loan the "effective rate" would be 4.172%+9*0.19% = 5.882%
Am I overlooking something obvious and making an error in this calculation?
5.882% seems acceptable to me for a fixed 30 yr loan when I expect the Fed Funds rate/inflation to raise to at least 2-4% in the next 5 years or so. I think it's reasonable to easily obtain a 2-4% real return on long-term investments.

Other Scenarios/Problems with oversimplification
1. PMI looks like it's not deductible in some/all situations.
2. The PMI is somewhat like Points (and for Points there's a curve based on actual duration the loan's held for) -- but instead of all being paid at Day 0, it's all paid during the first ~9.5 years of the mortgage while LTV is over 78 or 80%. This means the "effective rate" charged for the extra 10% loan value is higher if I don't hold the mortgage for all 30 years. I could probably generate an excel sheet to compute the effective rate with varying terms. On the other hand, if the property value increases, you can possibly get the PMI could drop off earlier than expected, driving down the overall costs...
Personal Finance Deals
Sell rental to help pay off mortgage of primary residence?
Added on : Wednesday June 18th 2014 09:00:13 AM
g: 0 Posted By: jpfern15
Views: 131 Replies: 5 I searched and found a lot of info about rentals, but I want to make sure I get the specifics of my question answered clearly.

My wife and I bought a house in 2009 and lived there until November of 2012. We then bought a new house in December 2012 and moved into that one. Since then we've been renting out the one we bought in 2009. Here are the numbers:

Rental Property:
Property Value: $360k
Mortgage: 135k (30yr fixed)
Monthly Payment: $880
Rent: $1,600
Monthly Net gain: $720

Primary Residence:
Property Value: $600k
Mortgage: $340k (30yr fixed)
Monthly Payment: $2,050

I'm enjoying the $720/month income from the rental, but I'm thinking that if I can sell it for around $360k (my mom is a broker and provided me with this info), that's $225,000 in profit. I could take this and refi my primary residence and lower my loan value to $115k.The key is that the savings in my monthlymortgage payment would be greater thanmy rental incomeand we couldrealistically pay off our house in 5 years leaving us with no house payment. However, conventional wisdom shows that property assets consistently appreciate in the long run, which is why I'm asking you guys if it's better to keep property when there is a compelling reason to sell.

My goal is to own 5 houses by the time I retire in 25 years. What I'm wondering is if it would be better for me to pay off my primary residence and have my only liabilities be against investment properties, or should I keep the rental and continue investing while still owing money on my primary residence? Note that we make about $200k/yr (including rental income) and have no other debt of any kind outside of these two mortgages.


Personal Finance Deals
Where to file a complaint about a mortgage closing?
Added on : Wednesday June 18th 2014 07:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Lurker1999
Views: 175 Replies: 2 I incurred some additional out of pocket costs due to a delay in my house closing because of delays in underwriting my mortgage. I was notified the day before the closing that the underwriters had finally started to look at my file and requested additional documents which I then provided that same day. Despite this, the closing had to be delayed. The bank has refused to compensate me for the costs which I paid out of my pocket to the seller to allow the deal to move forward. The bank had someone follow-up with me and will get back to me later this week. I anticipate they'll tell me they're not going to reimburse me. I am planning on filing a complaint with my state's attorney general's office consumer protection division which handles banking complaints. I will also file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Are there any other avenues that I should explore? The bank I was dealing with is an out-of-state credit union so I am not sure the local media would be interested.

The credit union use a separate company for their underwriting process and closings. Should I also file complaints against them separately? Should it be done simultaneously or after the credit union complaint?
Personal Finance Deals
House Fire (structure coverage denied)
Added on : Wednesday June 18th 2014 07:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Truck78
Views: 1 Replies: 0 Ok. So I am learning a lesson the hard way (review your policy often)....anyways.

Recently I had a house fire that began by a family member of mine in my home that I was no longer living in. This family member lives "bare minimum" and was using the home most days of the week and taking care of the property. I don't think the family member makes a difference anyways as you read the reason for denial. The fire was ruled accidental. The house has an equity line of credit on it but the insurance did NOT reflect the bank as a lien holder.

Fast forward six weeks after the fire....I get an email from the senior adjuster APPROVING my entire claim. Mind you, I was upfront about me NOT living in the home at the time of the fire. In fact I had moved out to a different part of town about a year prior (the home was thus for sale) which was explained to the insurance company. Anyways....the very next day after the approval email I get an email saying the claim has been sent to the "legal team" and thus they are still investigating. After another several weeks I finally get the denial call (with a followup email and letter).

The personal property (appliances, that we still there) was approved. A check was issued for that (not cashed yet). The structural damage was denied stating the reason "Insured was no longer residing at insured location".

I have spoken with two "insurance only" attorneys here and both stated the case is weak since I indeed did not live at the premises. I understand that but I stated that to the insurance company right away. I am looking at this as a "Hey even you guys can't interpret your own policy correctly".

Anyway....My point is since they initially approved my claim then later denied it without anything new coming to light do I have a case if a jury heard it? Any other advice?

Important take away:

1. I was the named insured but not living at the insured premises
2. Have a mortgage but bank was NOT on the insurance (don't know how that happened)
3. Claim entirely approved (structure and personal property) then later structure damage denied but personal property approved
4. I believe the insurance company had this claim as a total loss (but they never confirmed that)

I am pessimistic about the outcome.... so here I am asking for your thoughts....or insults ( i.e. "you're an idiot" )

g: 0 Posted By: slovell
Views: 150 Replies: 5 Around 4-5 years ago, we were going to do a cash out refi with Oxford Lending. The day that we were supposed to attend the closing, an employee from Oxford called to tell us that our loan would not be going through. He said that underwriting had taken a second look & decided not to approve our appraisal after all because there hadn't been a comparable house sold in our area in the last 3 months (we live in a very rural area). We were shocked, but this guy had been inefficient from the start. We dropped the plan to refi. Fast forward to now & we were offered a rate reduction from Chase (our original mortgage co.) We decided to go ahead with the process due to it being no cost. We were shocked when their underwriting called & told us that we had a $1000 bill with the local title company that was scheduled to close the previous loan. They recommend that I call them. When I contacted them, they stated that it was due to such things as abstracting fees, attorney opinions etc. I was shocked & couldn't believe they hadn't contacted us earlier or why Oxford Lending had even had those things done if they weren't going to proceed with the loan. My question is, are we legally responsible for these fees? If not, is there anyway to make Oxford pay them?
New User Question Deals
Purchasing a house from a family member
Added on : Monday June 16th 2014 10:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: akamekon
Views: 260 Replies: 6 My grandparent's are planning on selling their second home and would consider selling to me. What would be the best way of making this transaction with my grandparents receiving a lump sum payment (or similar) equal to the value of the home?The house is worth ~$310,000.00 on the open market now.

Would it be possible to get a home equity loan with a high enough LTV? What tax considerations should I look for?

The plan would be for them to sell it to me, and I would either be living in the home while renting the other bedrooms, or I would be renting the entire home.

While I do have more than enough income to pay for a home mortgage, it would be extremely difficult to qualify for a regular mortgage on another home because it is 75% freelance income and I do not receive enough in a "regular paycheck" for a bank's liking.
Personal Finance Deals
Is Buying A Condo Ever a Good Idea? When?
Added on : Sunday June 15th 2014 06:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: robronson
Views: 16 Replies: 0 We know that in general, buying a condo is a terrible idea. a few highlight bullet points:

1) HOA restrictions. Keep you from doing what you want. It's like having a second government. Or mother.
2) HOA Special Assessments. HOA gets to decide when you need to drop an extra $20k on Project X.
3) HOA Lawsuits. HOA gets sued for doing something stupid. You foot the bill for the amount that exceeds their insurance.
4) Restrictions on renting. By the HOA.
5) Inability to sell, if too many units are not owner-occupied because no bank will issue a mortgage to the person who wants to buy your unit.
6) HOA requiring you to buy something you may not want. Like a community pool. Or monthly cable TV.

I don't mean for this to be a Condo-bashing thread. I'm citing the common issues that I've read on FWF against condo ownership. I started this thread to explore the possibility that in limited circumstances, buying a condo may be a good thing. In nearly all cases, buying a timeshare is a terrible idea. But I'm sure there's limited circumstances an FWFer could exploit the deal.

Tell me, FWF, when does buying a condo make sense?
Refinancing from 15 year loan to 30 year loan?
Added on : Friday June 13th 2014 12:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: RagingBull
Views: 33 Replies: 0 Question regarding mortgage. I am not sure if it is still good idea for me to refinance. Right now I am paying 4.5% for 15 year loan
If i am qualified and able to get a 30 year loan for 3.5% with no points, and I continue to pay the same amount that I am paying now
should I refinance or not? My balance now is about $310,000, I borrowed $400,000 a few years ago
Personal Finance Deals
Refinance for mom
Added on : Wednesday June 11th 2014 03:00:13 PM
g: 0 Posted By: corpse101
Views: 143 Replies: 1 Been around for a while here on FW, but mostly stuck on the deal side of things and never ventured to the finance side of things, but I figured this may be a good place to get a few ideas.

My situation is this, my mom is paying her current mortgage and thinking about doing a refi, but she is as clueless as I am about where to get best rates (read: avoid getting screwed). She currently owes about 106k on the house with a current fixed rate of 5.5%. She works for the county and has been hit with quite the bit of furloughs so she is looking for a lower payment, though I am trying to save her money overall by combining a lower interest rate with the same or slightly lower payment.

Are there good places to seek the refi over others? I was wondering is there a good place(s) and I have been reading and googling as I am very green when it comes to mortgages/refis so any info will be helpful to get me started.

Thanks all
g: 0 Posted By: BenH
Views: 190 Replies: 2 Situation:
I have an interesting situation where another unit owner may have family members interested in moving to the area. Because of various (some obvious) reasons, they would prefer to live as close as possible, ideally in our building. At this point, there has only been a query from neighbor of "are you still looking to sell soon?" with the explanation above. At this point, I have not talked to her family members or have any idea of their real interest.

I'm wanting to sell my city Condo to move out to a SFH in the burbs. We've been wanting to do it for a year or two now, but haven't really gotten around to looking in earnest. We can probably be in here for another year before things start getting cramped. Realistically, we could probably stay 2-3 more years here if required - but after that I think we need to start looking at an area with schools above the 30% mark.

The unit is one of 8 in the building and the last unit sold (across the hall, identical to mine, though maybe not as in good condition) for about 70% of the value I paid for my unit in 2006. Part of the reason it sold so cheap was that it was a foreclosure. Currently, all the units in the building are sold and about half are owner occupied - the rest are rented. One other unit sold at foreclosure about a year or two previously. Other units went up for sale, but the owners decided to keep them as rentals since likely they didn't get their asking price within the short time frame they were trying to sell (all were moving out of state).
Additionally, rent in this area is pretty high and I can probably rent my unit for my costs, but I don't believe I would clear more than say $3-4k a year. I am not really interested in the hassle of being a land lord or the possible extra expenses that may wipe out my yearly take as well as the complications of two mortgages on properties this high.

All being said, it would be extremely convenient for us to have a willing buyer with an extra incentive to have *our* place (or at least one in the building). Likely they would have an elastic schedule, as I believe this will be a second home, which may make things easier for us.
Of course, I'm not willing to just give them an awesome price just because I'm being approached in this manner. But, it does give me some incentive.

I know I'm not going to recoup the total investment in the condo. But, the first thing I am trying to figure out is what is the real value of the property? I obviously think it is worth more than what the foreclosure sold for.
Zillow's Zestimate of my place is about 10% higher than the foreclosure sold for, however it alsoshows the value of the recently sold foreclosed unit for 15% less than what it actually foreclosed for.
I've seen some other indicators that the value maybe 20-25% higher than what the foreclosure sold for, so I have no idea what to trust.

I'm also under the impression that I could take an offer slightly below market value because no realtors are involved (at least I don't think they will need to be). Is that a smart way to think? I realize I can always sell at any time without a realtor, but in this case all the work and challenges of that are taken care of.

In short, I'm interested to make an attractive price and sell since it gives me the incentive to move right now without a lot of the hassle. But, I don't want to take significantly less than market value (whatever that means).

A further possible complication is that there are 4 units in the building which are currently being rented. I wouldn't be surprised if they attempt to make contact with the other units owner's to gauge their interest in selling instead of continuing to rent. My only advantage here is that the other units have leases for renters right now but if these people are flexible they might not mind waiting say 6 months to get another unit at a substantial savings. OTOH, some of these units have been rented for 2-3 years and I have the feeling those owners are looking to hold on to the units as long as possible to try and recoup their initial costs - or - some of them were purchased at a lower price than mine (with a better rate) that makes them more attractive for rental opportunities.

Any advice on how to approach this is appreciated. It may be a few weeks before I know how serious the potential buyers are - but I'd like to be prepared when that time comes.
Personal Finance Deals
Help Deciding between Mortgage Options
Added on : Tuesday June 10th 2014 06:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: JayPC
Views: 118 Replies: 0 Hi FWers,

Here's my situation. I have been shopping around for mortgage loan for a new construction condo:

Loan 1: 10% down. Bank is ready to finance 90% at 3% interest rate with 0.5% PMI. It will be a 7/1 ARM with 30 years amortization. Around 3500 closing fees (not including taxes and home owners insurance which will be same across all loans).

Loan 2: 10% Down. Broker quoted for 80/10/10 piggybank loan with first mortgage at 3.25% (30 years) and second mortgage for 5.25%. Around 4000 closing cost.

Please help me in deciding which loan will be better. I am planning to stay in this house for about 7-10 years.Any suggestions?
Question Deals
Mortgage: limitations on a gift amount?
Added on : Tuesday June 10th 2014 05:00:12 PM
g: 0 Posted By: FeelingGood
Views: 107 Replies: 0 I am selling my coop in NYC. A perspective buyer came up with $79K, that is 20% down payment (a minimum my Boardwould consider) The problem is that the perspective buyer has received a cash gift from her mother - $50K. As you see, most of thecash she needs to closecoming as"a gift". I know that banks do not like that our days. Butthe perspective buyerhas a good credit score (722 points) and a decent income. Would such a buyer get a mortgage?Shesubmitted pre-approval letter forasking price amount.
Thank you!
Question Deals
best rates for apartment commercial multifamily property loans
Added on : Tuesday June 10th 2014 02:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: exp0nential
Views: 171 Replies: 0 Looking to purchase a mixed use 4plex. Anyone know banks/credit unions/mortgage companies that have good rates? I called a Tower and Hanscom and they both don't lend for mixed use properties.
Question Deals
Los Angeles 2nd House Buying Help
Added on : Monday June 09th 2014 01:00:09 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Jollymommy
Views: 137 Replies: 0 Hi!

We own a house that we rent out worth $800,000 in LA. Mortgage is $444,000 + second mortgage $40,000 (will be done in 7 years and we pay extra every month). Our renters cover the mortgage + a surplus of $1,000 per month.

We make $250,000 a year, but after business expenses, taxes show $190,000. We have no other debt and credit scores in mid 700s.

We have $250,000 for savings towards a house.

We are renting a different house for $4000 a month.

We want to buy a new house, but the area we live in now and love is insanely expensive.


1. Any idea how much house we would qualify for??
2. Does owning the other house make it harder to buy the second house?
3. Would you recommend selling the other house??

A basic house here is $1.5 million.

Thank you!
New User Question Deals
g: 0 Posted By: JayPC
Views: 112 Replies: 0 Hey guys,

I came across thisNo Points No Closing Cost mortgage mortgage program from Sharon CU. Any fellow FWers, please share your experience with them?

=14pxThe No Point No Closing Cost Mortgage=14pxremoves the need to pay the standard closing costs associated with a mortgage closing, whether it is a purchase or refinance.A $5.00 primary share account is required for membership for each borrower. Membership in Sharon Credit Union encompasses people living or employed in Norfolk, Suffolk, Middlesex, Plymouth, Barnstable, or Bristol Counties. It further encompasses people working for companies that participate in our payroll deduction plan within a 30-mile radius of the main office of Sharon Credit Union.
Personal Finance Deals
Any good alternatives to Penfed for 5/5 ARM
Added on : Wednesday June 04th 2014 08:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: gcooley
Views: 167 Replies: 1 Hey guys - appreciate all the mortgage threads. Learning a ton. I like the structure of the Penfed 5/5 ARM. Looking to see if there are any other national banks / credit unions offering 5/5 at more competitive rates?

I saw Navy Federal had better 5/5 rates, but does not look like I have any chance of becoming a member there. Struggling to find some good alternatives.

Real Estate Deals
Couple of Mortgage Questions
Added on : Wednesday June 04th 2014 07:00:14 AM
g: 0 Posted By: gyagya
Views: 112 Replies: 1 Hi guys n gals:

A couple questions where I need some of your advice:

1. I have a mortgage on my primary residence; Mortgage Amount = ~ 416k. Property Value is 1.1 Million. I'm thinking of buying a bigger houseand amin two minds on whether I should sell my existing house or not. Many factors will contribute to that decision. Here's the question for you all - May I get a HELOC on my existing house(80% LTV would allow a Heloc of about $400k) and use these funds towards my new home? I understand the variable-interest of HELOC - and I'm ok with that risk. Are there any other gotchas here that I should consider?

2. IRS says that interest deduction for a up to $1 million in mortgage is allowed (if I understand the tax-language correctly). If I were to keep my 1st and 2nd home - my total mortgage amount on both would be more than $1 million. When I looked at the 1098 Mortgage interest form though from my current lender - nowhere does it mention the principal; Only the interest and points. So how does IRS get to know how much total principal I have on my mortgages. How would I be able to do taxes legitimately, absent this information?

Thanks for any and all advice!


Real Estate Deals
Refinance Options
Added on : Tuesday June 03rd 2014 11:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: bgwozdz
Views: 128 Replies: 5 Primary residence, intend to pay loan off(within 15 years)and keep house as rental income in the future. Plan on moving out 5-10 years from now.
Cash reserves is not an issue and no other outstanding debt accept a $6K student loan at 1.625%.

Current mortgage info:
30-year fixed -4.875%
$134K remaining after 50 payments
70-75% LTV (Conservative Estimate)
Adding $250 to the principal for the last 10 payments (sporadically added $100 in previous payments)

Refinance offer through original Lender
15-year Fixed 3.25% / 3.428% APR ($249 point cost)
If paying closing costs upfront, estimated terms at close.
$129,500K loan balance, $8,800 closing costs. Including escrows.
If rolling closing costs into loan.
$138,500k loan balance

Closing costs of course jump out to me right away. Not excited about paying $8,800 up front, or adding an additional $9,250 to the loan balance.


Do the Closing costs seem resonable?If needed I can break it down by line items.
Should I roll in the closing costs? My thought is that I can just take that $8,800 and fund my retirement accounts.
Penfed 5/5? I just started investigating that option today, currently at 3% with the no closing costs offer. Wouldmy situation benefit going that route since I am intending to keep the home and pay off the loan? Can someone educate me on how it would be the best option for my situation.

Thanks and I understand there is similar topics as I did utilize the search feature. However, after doing some homework I still am left wondering about my scenario and I also seem to be going up against the clock as I understand rates are climbing and a favorable job report at the end of the weekis expected to push these rates higher.

Question Deals
Best Way to Spend Credit Card $ For Bonus Fulfillment?
Added on : Saturday May 31st 2014 06:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: justignoredem
Views: 98 Replies: 2 Hey FWF.

I'm about to run into a situation where I need to fulfill a $5k spent amount on a CC in order to get the initial bonus. I highly doubt in the next 2 months I can get to that amount. What are the best recommended ways to spend it?

Ways off the top of my head:
1. Is there anyway to pay for my mortgage with the $ from my credit card?
2. Is there a way to simply take the $ out as cash without paying the APR? Is it like other purchases and the APR doesn't apply until after the statement comes? Sorry if these are stupid questions, I've never gotten a cash advance from a credit card in my life.
3. Pre-paid gift cards. I'm guessing thats how most people here are doing it. $500 Visa Gift Cards? If so, what are the details here? Do you buy them and then cash them out for cash the next day (if possible?) Or do you simply spend them on your normal purchases for a while? What are the fee's associated with these?

Any help is appreciated, I have quite a few credit card offers I'm going to need to fulfill soon!
Credit Deals
g: 1 Posted By: roger2724
Views: 326 Replies: 24 Newly constructed condos/townhouses in my state are required to have a certain percentage of "affordable housing". The only requirement for this particular property was that you need to make under $49,000 to be eligible and be able to get a mortgage. They run a lottery for these properties as there is huge demand, and I just so happened to win. I am 27, went to college and have a reasonably good job making $45,000 a year, which I expect to increase a bit.

Since I won, I ambeing given the opportunity to purchase a nice 1bedroom condo for $90,000 which is a great deal as other units (which are also 1 bedroomsbut a little biggerand have a balcony)in the same complex are selling for 3x that number. So obviously I willbuy it. There are no restrictions once Ibuy the condo other then that it must be my residence. If I meet a girl she can move in, no impact as my income increases, etc. My monthly payment is going tobe around $850 including taxes and HOA.

The only "catch" is that it will alwaysbe "moderate income housing", so there will notbe much appreciation in the value of the home. It was originallybuilt in the mid 90s and has been sold twice since then. It seems to appreciateabout $1500 in value per year, on average. I do want to get married, have some kids andbuy a regular 3 or 4bedroom house once that happens at some point down the line.

How should I handle this as far as a down payment, paying extra on the mortgage, etc? What do you think the optimal play is here?
Personal Finance Deals
may not be as simple as it seems ?
Added on : Friday May 30th 2014 11:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: vistaluck
Views: 146 Replies: 5 so long story short. some 1 owe me about $30,000 cash 1 year ago but he doesn't have cash to return it back to me so he is trying to give me some electrical equipments to cover the debts. The initial plan was to make at least double of that $30,000 but I only got $5000 as interest. The equipment worth $1800 a piece market value. However, he changed his mind again since these equipiments can sell so he don't want to give all to me at once. If its all at once, it would be 16.7 pieces of equipments so I guess its 16 pieces + $1200 cash or something.

So now, he just wants to give me discounts as pay back. He sold it to me at $1600/piece but $200 is paying the debts to me. I still have to pay him $1400/piece cash to buy. So lets say I buy 10 pieces, he is paying off $2000 debts to me. so it will take a while to pay off. Each month, I may just take 10 pieces.

My question is which method is actually a better deal. Have him give me all 16 pieces + $1200 or the slower method and may look more like a better deal because the price per piece is only $1600.

I know I made a mistake anyways. However, this guy already gave me a lot of deals before and I already made some money from him. Therefore, I can really go flip on him and get him pissed off.

Through this, I learned its never a good idea to loan money to any of your friends even the ones who made you money before because you never know when they may scam you and get a portion of your hard earn money back.

I still think this is a huge loss for me. You know how I calculate it. So if you got $30,000. You can pay this to principle of your mortgage, you will instantly save another $30,000. And when you pull out equity loan from your house, you can pull out another 75% of that $30,000 you just put in so thats $22,500 so you just put in $30,000 in and make $52,500. Plus you shorten your loan time a few years by putting in that $30,000. So this $30,000 probably has just make you $82,500 total.
Personal Finance Deals
Strategy on buying 2 homes
Added on : Thursday May 29th 2014 02:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: dxulab
Views: 253 Replies: 10 Currently I'm renting an apartment. I have $250k cash. Initially I wanted to buy a new construction with all of the cash. But I just saw a 2010 home for sale for ~$200k. I'm thinking to buy this home with $200k cash and rent it out. Use the remaining $50k cash as 20% down payment for the new construction, get a 30-yr loan, and hope that the rental income will pay for the mortgage of the second home, which will be my primary residence.

Zillow calculator tells me the monthly mortgage payment (including tax/insurance/HOA) is ~$1300 and I think the 1st home will generate similar amount of rent, so ideally they will break even. My job is relatively stable with ~$3600 monthly income. I want to pay off the 1st home because I want to avoid 2 mortgages and keep things simpler. What do you guys think of this plan? Any potential risks? What are the tax implications? Any suggestions and comments are highly appreciated.

Real Estate Deals
Using HELOC for mortgage acceleration.
Added on : Wednesday May 28th 2014 09:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: lovelovingdeals
Views: 121 Replies: 4 Hi,
This topic has been covered in the past, but I could not find any active threads on it. I wanted to make sure I am interpreting/applying the principles of using HELOC to accelerate mortgage payments correctly for my case.

1. I have a 25 years remaining and 98 K balance on a 6% fixed mortgage for an investment property. The property should be appraised at 170K, so I will have an equity of 70K.
2. If I get a 4% HELOC on 56K (80% of 70K) and use it to reduce the premium on the mortgage to 42K. If I leave my mortgage payment unchanged, I should be able to payoff the mortgage in 10 years from now instead of 25.
3. My normal checking+emergency fund account has a balance of 35-45K, and I can move it to the HELOC account to minimize the interest I am paying on HELOC.

Would the seasoned finance gurus here recommend this as a sane strategy. Or am I missing something here. What type of Heloc programs would be best for this strategy.
Personal Finance Deals
Best place to get a conventional renovation mortgage
Added on : Wednesday May 28th 2014 03:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: lazyace
Views: 0 Replies: 0 I am considering buying a condo that need a complete rehab, or at the very least new baths and kitchen. This is an estate sale and the building is not FHA approved. What is a good place for a conventional renovation loan? I know Wells Fargo is offering them, but are they an OK lender? From what I have read, there are many potential problems that could arise in the process, so a decent level of customer service is essential.

I am also an immigrant and a first time buyer i.e. no experience with home ownership, lenders, or contractors. This kind of project seems too ambitious, but I have been looking for a long time and pretty much everything about this condo is perfect other than the fact that it needs work. Any and all advice will be greatly appreciated.
Potentially idea - sell condo to friend
Added on : Thursday May 22nd 2014 09:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: jplee3
Views: 18 Replies: 1 Hey guys,

I've seen a couple threads on this before but just wanted to get some advice for my situation. Of course, there's always the cardinal rule of not dealing with friends/family when it comes down to matters of money, so that's still in the back of my mind.

Here's the situation:my wife and I currently live in a place co-owned by my parents and I (it's paid off and it's equity). We started recently looking for a new place with the intention of renting out the current place if we were to find something. We have a sizable amount of money for at least a 20% down-payment for the range in which we're looking.

In another discussion, one of our friends (not super close but not just a common Facebook friend LOL) recently started looking for a home to purchase. I'm assuming they're looking in the same area as a preference but I don't really know what their criteria is. All I know is that he knows we've been looking for a place and asked if we'd ever be renting our place out (I think with the intention that he might suggest or offer renting from us). Again, I don't know for sure his criteria but that's their situation.
We're also in the same circle of friends and I'm pretty certain we have the same Realtor (who is also a real estate lawyer). At least, she was the Realtor who helped my parents and I with the current place I'm in now.

My dadrecently suggested that, instead of renting the place, that we sell it and do a 1031-exchange into another property. The fact that we have an additional down-payment would help a lot too so we could afford a bigger place and not have to get killed by the mortgage (we're in Southern California). It just occurred to me that one option might be to sell direct to my friend (thereby avoiding Realtor fees). At this point, I haven't mentioned *anything* to anyone except for my dad.
At this point, I think I'd want to throw the offer out there to my friend but amhaving second thoughts because it seems like it could get awkward, especially with the fact that our Realtor may be the same person. I'm just trying to plan ahead and see whose toes I might be stepping on, if any. And if there's a wise way to approach this situation and bring it up to my friend.

Any thoughts?

Personal Finance Deals
U.S. mortgage collectors gag homeowners in loan deals
Added on : Thursday May 22nd 2014 06:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: turboporsche
Views: 56 Replies: 1 Well folk's, we can't go back in time and correct the stupidity of what Wall Street and Banks have done to the US economy (and the World economy). What they are now doing is stopping homeowners for being able to complain or voice their personal experience in going through HELL. This country is getting ready for the second wave of the mortgage meltdown situation. That is a vast majority of folk's that took out home equity lines (seconds). These types of loans are most often negative amortization loans, meaning a minimum payment is collected for a measured amount of time, then it becomes fully amortized. This adjustment period is about to begin shortly. Most homeowners are NOT ready for this adjustment. The economy is anemic... and folk's are doing their best. What this article represents is the worst in banking and servicing, as people going through difficult situations need to be empowered with information. The banks or their loan "servicers" are attempting to take this power away...


Discussion Deals
PenFed No Closing Costs Mortgage Promotion ... one gotcha?
Added on : Wednesday May 21st 2014 04:00:09 PM
g: 0 Posted By: jrstinkfish
Views: 75 Replies: 0 We applied for a home loan through PenFed and were approved. We asked about the promotion for 5/5 ARMs where PenFed will pay closing costs. The rep told me that both seller AND buyer HAVE to use their preferred title and settlement company for the promotion to apply (in my case, Epic Real Estate Solutions). My agent had never heard of such thing (or heard of the company), and predicted the sellers would balk at having to use a company they didn't choose. We submitted the offer anyway with the requirement, and as expected, they agreed with everything except having to use PenFed's preferred company. The seller agent had the same reservations as my agent -- both obviously want to sell the home for what we're offering, but apparently this is so out of left field that it's making our (very good, imo) offer go sour.

To the people who have successfully used this promotion to cover their closing costs in the past, were you also required to have both parties use PenFed's preferred company? We can afford closing costs, but between paying $1000 or whatever PenFed does not pay, vs paying $7000, seems like a better deal for us
Discussion Deals
g: 0 Posted By: sniperruff
Views: 25 Replies: 2 Looking to purchase my first home. I understand thefundamentals of home financingas I've read up the basics of mortgages over the past few weeks.

Background: I have a job in finance with decent pay but the whole industry is unstable and everyone is "fired at will" - there is no heads up, or guaranteed severance. I don't think I will be permanently unemployed if I lose my job but there could be employment gaps. Therefore, I am looking for some protection for the worst case scenario.

The house I'm planning to purchase will be about $500k. The house is in an area in NYC with good rental activity, and I project to generate at least $3,000 a month in rental income (2 units, before expenses). Therefore I should only have to pay for water and other smaller expenses. This is a new building that qualifies for property taxes abatement for about 10 years (I think) so taxes will be minimal.

I've saved up enough for 20% down, closing costs (~$30,000), and about 22 months of mortgage payments for 30-year fixed @ 4% (or 16 months for 15-year fixed @ 3.25%). Monthly payments (assume 20% down, so $400,000 mortgage) are as follows:

30-year fixed @ 4% = $1,900/month ($287,500 total interest paid over life of loan)
15-year fixed @ 3.25% = $2,800/month ($105,000 total interest paid over life of loan)

A 15-year fixed mortgage certainly saves me a lot of interest expenses, but I also don't want to be wiped out should I become unemployed for an extended period of time. My friend suggested me to go with a 30-year fixed, then prepaid whenever possible to lower my interest payment. Assume the best case scenario if I prepaid $900 monthly, then this happens:

30-year fixed @ 4% = $1,900/month + $900 prepaid ($151,000 total interest paid over life of loan)

In a nut shell, I would pay about $50,000 for an "insurance" that could let me fall back onto a 30-year mortgage with $1,900 monthly payment, which my projected rental income should cover along with other house-related expenses.

Here are a few questions:
- Is such an insurance worth it? I know it's obviously subjective, but a $50,000 insurance sounds like a lot.
- What about refinancing as a form of insurance? What if I go ahead with a 15-year fixed and then refinance (although interest rates would most likely have gone up) should I need to?
- Is this commonly done? Any potential hurdles?
- I read that the approximate cost of refinancing is 2-6% of the total mortgage. Assuming I fall onto hard times in 5 years (by then I'll have $286,000 principal left on the mortgage), does that mean it'd cost about $15,000 to refinance (assuming 5% refinance cost)? Any other associated costs?

Sorry for the long write up and thanks for any tips

TL;DR: is refinancing a cost-effective way to lower monthly mortgage payments?
Personal Finance Deals
Penfed 5/5 or BoA 10ARM Mortgage - please help me decide
Added on : Tuesday May 20th 2014 03:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: 1X2Y3Z
Views: 60 Replies: 0 Hi:
I am taking a loan of around 640K after 20% down payment and here are the two options I am considering. I intend to stay in this home no more than 10 years and hence I am considering these two options

Penfed -- Current rate on the 5/5 ARM is 3%. 2% max every reset, with 5% lifetime max. Will help with closing costs upto 10K but I need to use their title services which as per the GFE cost at around $8000 -- $5000 for title services and lenders title insurance and $3800 for owners title insurance. I read elsewhere in these forums that they don't treat them as simultaneous insurance policy which other title services companies quote at $4600. Also, I believe the first 5 year reset is a minimum 4% because what I am getting now is promotional rate of 3%.

BoA - Current rate on the 10/1 ARM is 3.25%. 5% max on first reset, 2% max subsequent resets, with 5% lifetime max. Will provide lenders credit of around $2000 and I can use my own title service which is around $4600. One additional cost compared to Penfed is $800 origination fee.

I must mention that dealing with Penfed is extremely difficult, very poor response whereas BoA rep is very accessible and very eager to help and expedite.

Any views, recommendations and/or things I should be considering as I make a decision? Please help me make a decision.

Thanks in advance...

New User Question Deals
another to rent or sell?
Added on : Tuesday May 20th 2014 02:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: releasefoobar
Views: 10 Replies: 0 We are moving and are considering renting vs. selling our current home. We toyed with the idea of a rental property but figured we should buy a cheaper house in the neighborhood, fix it up a bit, then rent it. There are pretty beat houses in the neighborhood going for 50-90k, we purchased this house 5 years ago in fairly decent shape for 130k. We are also concerned with the current housing stock in the area used for comparable. There are very few houses that have been fixed up then sold, but the ones that have sold fast.

The dilemma that we have with our current house is that we did upgrades over the past few years with the intent of selling not renting. We refinished the hardwood flooring throughout, have mid-grade kitchen cabinets with granite countertops, refinished the bathtub, etc. We are not sure that it is worth the potential risk of damage to the property if/when we choose to sell it but we don't want to eat money by selling if renting might work out a little better. Here are the numbers

Average rental in this neighborhood 1200-1450/mo
Price we think we could get for ours 1300-1400/mo
Final sale price we think we would end up getting 140-145k (minus closing costs and seller subsidy)Purchased the home for 130k
Still Owe 113k
mortgage + insurance + taxes 1048

1048 mortgage + ins + taxes
130 10% vacancy
130 10% maintenance
40 water
1348 rent - is this the proper way of calculating the rent price?
Real Estate Deals
changing my home buying decision
Added on : Tuesday May 20th 2014 11:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: samandy
Views: 287 Replies: 6 After the inspection revealed, lots of updates needed, I am getting inclined to not buying home. Seller won't honor any repairs due to "Seller's market"
Below is my analysis, please share your thoughts! Thanks
Buying /Selling Cost involved Almost 10% .Includes closing cost, selling commissions and upgrades before selling Money locked towards down payment 20% down payment could be huge chunk of your savings Job Mobility You cant move frequently if you loose job. Esp in my case I am a consultant Travel For long overseas travel you cant avoid mortgage and utilities ,in rental you may Right time to buy Market seems overheated Space Your own home may give you more space esp. if you are living in an apartment Satisfaction Owning home can give you lot of satisfaction Commute My commute time will definitely increase keeping in mind the price range I am looking Cost of living Even after down payment my cost increases Maintenance time Increases if I buy home Time spent in buying and selling home It may take lot of time and energy Investment Home sounds great investment but may not always be true Rate Lock Great mortgage rates still available

Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: pillsdoughboy1
Views: 45 Replies: 0 I never really got into the MS spend game but I got this email from WF that makes me wonder if I should.
email said: You're invited to apply for the Wells Fargo Home Rebate Card.2 Designed exclusively for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage customers, this card may help you reduce the principal balance on your qualifying mortgage.

Earn a 5% rebate that may be used toward your qualified Wells Fargo Home Mortgage principal balance for every dollar spent on gas, grocery, and Drugstore net purchases (purchases minus returns/credits) for the first 6 months.1

Your new card also includes these benefits:

No limit on the rebates you can earn.
Home Rebate card customers earn rebates that are automatically applied as cash rewards to their qualified Wells Fargo Mortgage principal in $25 increments. Rebates earned are displayed and redeemed as cash rewards.2

Anyone use this card before?
Realistically what type of return are you MS's seeing nowadays?

Credit Deals
Seeking Career Advice
Added on : Tuesday May 20th 2014 05:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: budryan
Views: 557 Replies: 3 Gender: Male
Age: 34
Location: Bay Area, CA
Occupation: Operations Coordinator
Education: BS in CS, PMP certification
2013 Compensation: 80k + 10k bonus + stocks
Future Salary Projection: 2-3% yearly increase

Ive been stuck in a rut with my career and would like some career advice. I have a CS degree but dont really use it in my current profession. I work in a large pharmaceutical company that has treated me pretty well. I actually dont have any programming experience outside of school and that was a good 10+ years ago. Also I dont know if I can program as a full-time profession. The problem besides being challenged in my role is if I get laid off I will have a hard time finding another job because this role is very specialized.

Its been hard for me to move up in my current company without an additional degree. I have been considering going back to school for my MBA, but that is a long road and honestly I dont know what I want to do even when I get out. In addition would it make more sense for me to go for my masters in Biology to combine it with my CS degree? Also going back to school is a big finical commitment, although my employer will reimburse 5K a year, it is still going to be a lot of money and time invested.

There is the option of leaving the company and maybe trying to work in tech, but I would have to start from the bottom and its a gamble to me because I have a mortgage and I am not that young. I wished I posted on FW a lot sooner especially seeing the recent Career Thoughts and Compensation postings. Any career advice/ideas?
Question Deals
Soliciting advice regarding housing situation
Added on : Monday May 19th 2014 10:00:14 AM
g: 1 Posted By: investingstuff1971
Views: 134 Replies: 2 Hi,

I am trying to help a good friend get her life together and one of the first things to figure out is what to do about her living situation. I will try to describe the situation as succinctly as possible. In 2005 her then mother-in-law borrowed the money to have a house built for her son and my friend. As near as I can deduce from the public records, the total amount of money borrowed was $91,000, split between a first mortgage and a HELOC (presumably to get around mortgage insurance). Later in 2005, she quit claimed the property to her son and my friend so, as I understand it, there are currently three names on the title, the mother-in-law, her son and my friend. In 2006 she took out a second mortgage against the property in the amount of $23,000. My friend is almost sure that only the mother-in-law's name is on any of the promisary notes. In 2009 or 2010, my friend and her husband divorced. I don't know that details of that proceeding beyond the fact that there were no lawyers involved and I would imagine that there weren't many assets to distribute.

In any case, my friend got custody of the three children and the house. She has for the last four years dutifully made the mortgage payment (which are $800/month) on her mother-in-law's note. I am trying to figure out what the payoff is for everything, but the house is almost definitely under water by at least 10 or $15k. There is a lot of tension (much of which is unrelated to the house) between my friend and her ex-husband's family and I think that it would be really healthy for her to simplify their relationship by leaving the property. My friend is open to the idea; the house has a lot of sad memories for her and she would almost certainly be able to find something nicer to rent for less money. (we live in a pretty economically depressed area) I really don't want to give her bad advice though which is why I'm soliting the fatwallet forums for their thoughts. Were she to leave the property I don't know exactly what here mother-in-law would do, but I would imagine that she would try to do a short sale. What if the house went in to foreclosure though? If that were to happen, how would that affect my friend who is one of three names on the title but not party to any of the notes against the property? I'm trying to encourage her to talk about the situation with her mother-in-law so that she can extricate herself from the situation in the manner that does the least harm to the both of them. Frankly here mother-in-law has treated my friend very, very badly, but she was nice enough to help them buy the house and neither of us want her to suffer a foreclosure if it can be helped.

Anyway, I know that this was all a bit rambling, but I'd love to hear any thoughts that anyone might have.
Personal Finance Deals
should I buy or lease the 2014 leaf
Added on : Monday May 19th 2014 10:00:13 AM
g: 0 Posted By: sunnsm
Views: 68 Replies: 1 my car is almost in its last stages..

Leaf interested me since it low cost to drive and maintain. I drive 50 miles a day to work and back ...assuming 50 weeks, that would be 12.5 k miles

getting a deal of 28K pre tax on 2014 leaf SV. my fed tax liability is 7500..however i do get another 3k for child credit and mortgage interest in IL.
So I will loose about 3K on fed tax refund since I max out due to the EV credit.
lease is about 5K down including taxes for 250 a month on the SV ...
Personal Finance Deals
Seven year Fannie Mae ban?
Added on : Sunday May 18th 2014 04:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: alamo11
Views: 0 Replies: 0 Okay: I was on the phone with the servicer of one of my mortgages (Nationstar) since Safeguard came by today and my tenants had to tell them off and the rep on the phone was reading aloud some of the notes on the file. Outside from comments about my arrogance she said "Fannie Mae LO 7 years". I later asked what she meant and she said I'm banned from Fannie Mae.. Can anyone tell me why? I'm *trying* to clean up my credit after my whole default mess. Is there something I need to know about?
Fidelity Account Frozen / Restricted
Added on : Saturday May 17th 2014 06:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Keysersoze617
Views: 143 Replies: 6 I've had a brokerage account with Fidelity for 8 years under a corporation that I own and just recently (within the last 2 weeks) opened up a personal account and transferred all the equities and cash to that account. Today I tried to activate my debit card tied to my Fidelity brokerage / cash account and the operator stated that Fidelity canceled the card. I thought that was strange so I contacted Fidelity to investigate the matter. After speaking with a customer rep, she informed me that Fidelity did indeed cancel the debit card, and not only that, basically froze my account. As of now, I am unable to buy or sell stocks / securities or write checks from the account. She did say that Fidelity will liquidate my securities, my kid's 529 College Plan and cut me a cashiers check and send me on my way.

She also informed me that a letter was sent out Friday notifying me that they are discontinuing service to my account. The letter states that they were recently notified by a industry reporting service of a public record involving me and my activities, and in light of this report they find it necessary to discontinue service to my account.

I have no idea what this could possibly be. The only thing that I can think of was that I recently sold a business and with those funds paid off 2 mortgages, some of which I wired out of my fidelity account. I also bought some precious metals and withdrew some cash ( under 10k) for a vacation i'm going on. I have moved a decent amount of cash around in the last 2 weeks. Would that set off some type of red flag?

​ I went and downloaded my credit report to see if something was on there and found a 10k tax lien, so I'm not sure if that set something off. Regardless of that I have a 800 credit score.

Has anyone experienced this with Fidelity or any other brokerage firm?
Investing Deals
Good equity in primary home, underwater in secondary home
Added on : Thursday May 15th 2014 11:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: al6879
Views: 78 Replies: 1 I have a primary home with equity and a rental that is underwater. I am wondering if there are any moves I can make to improve my situation. I'm wondering about options like get the primary home appraised to cancel PMI, get a home equity loan on the primary to pay down the rental so I can cancel PMI on that one or sell it, or some other completely unrelated option.Details below, values come from Zillow.

I do not actually want to keep this rental. I used to live in the house but had to move. I am upside down because I bought it in 2005. The tenants are interested in buying and I may be able to do that once I get some equity in it. Asked the bank about a short sale, but was denied.


value: $128,000
balance: $145,838
remaining years on mortgage: 17
payment: $1,543
PMI payment: $95
PMI cancellation date: 2020
interest: 5.375%
rental price: $1000


value: $319,000
balance: $234,300
remaining years on mortgage: 28
payment: $1,870
PMI payment: $225
PMI cancellation date: ??
interest: 4.375%

Real Estate Deals
Which mortgage rate to pick based on lender cost vs credits
Added on : Tuesday May 13th 2014 06:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: mortgageornot
Views: 30 Replies: 1 Sorry if there is another thread that details this decision, if so please link.

Purchasing a $470k property
with 20% down ($94k)
So $376k loan amount

Lender has offered the following rates and lender fee or credit for a 15-year fixed mortgage:
3.125%, we pay $1,000 in lender fees
3.25%, we receive a $300 credit towards other closing costs
3.375%, we receive a $2500 credit towards other closing costs

at 3.125% the total interest of the life of the loan is $95,465
at 3.25% the total interest over the life of the loan is $99,566 ($4,101 more than at 3.125%, but including the $1,300 net difference in lender costs it's $2,801.02)
at 3.375% the total interest over the life of the loan is $103,689 (or $8,223 more than at 3.125%, but including the $3,500 net difference in lender costs it's $4,723)

Plan on staying in this home for 10 years or more hopefully...
What's the best rate to go with?
Personal Finance Deals
Need Advice - Feels cheated in buying first home
Added on : Tuesday May 13th 2014 05:00:09 AM
g: -1 Posted By: missMicky
Views: 346 Replies: 19 Hello folks, Need help, long time reader first time posting !!
We closed on single family house in good neighborhood in MA. We closed on house on April 10th and on the day of closing through walkthrough we found lot of problems

1. The sellers mentioned in MLS that property had wall to wall carpet but when we did walkthrough there was no carpet at one of the corner of masterbedroom and walk-in closet wither, there were subfloor and we could see nails through the floor. It was really dangerous with 6 year daughter with us.

2. The house is 3 bedrooms but the previous owners had made bedroom in the garage and we asked they to remove and convert back to garage. But in the P&S our attorney did not made it clearly that we wanted to have garage back done by licensed contractor and need all the invoices. We did make lot of request in our emails but our attorney failed to add it in P&S and now the wall which is converted doesnt fit under proper code.
The previous homeowners had lot of police activity since the guy had citations and he did not had licensed police came once we moved in 2 weeks back. I feel very bad to see the police at my home without any of my fault.

3. Also when the house was listed on MLS it had over the ground pool, when we saw the house on open house we asked the listing agent about it. We asked her does the swimming pool comes with the property she verbally said YES but after inspection (we did inspect the pool) before P&S they said the Pool encroaches the other property by 20 FT so we have to remove the pool otherwise it will affect the mortgage, and we said OK to remove the pool. At the end of the closing they removed the pool but did not clean up the sand and concrete blocks(14 of them)We thought when they say take out pool means they will take everything out. I know we were the fools and others made us fools.

From the day one we got the house we feel cheated, cheated by seller, listing agent and our attorney too.
We feel bad about our decision, we were on budget and we wanted a house in a good neighborhood so being a first time homebuyer we did lots and lots of mistake which we regret it.
Its too late now we know that.

But my question to my fellow fatwallet friends is do we have any case here against the seller/listing agent or attorney for misinterpretation ??
Does it worth to fight?? we put all our hardearned money to make it home ..we feel cheated all the time.
Do you know any attorney services which works for free or little money right now?? But first should we have a case here ???

Please people help me. Thanks for reading big post.
Personal Finance Deals
Mortgage Bridge Loans
Added on : Tuesday May 13th 2014 04:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: raymondanthony
Views: 97 Replies: 2 So there is a local talk radio I listen to and every week they have a guy on name Jordan Goodman. He is always pushing these Mortgage Bridge loans. Basically you loan small companies money thru a broker and get 6% a year back.They are supposed to be super safe. Here is the info I received:

Ray--So glad to help you out here! Since we cant speak during the day, I will give you a bit more background on the mortgage bridge loans. If you would like to discuss it further I would be glad to speak to you from home if you want to call me at 914-347-2463.
The Mortgage Bridge loans that I mentioned are super-safe and yield 6% and you get your money back in 9 to 12 months. Meanwhile they pay out a monthly income which you can take or reinvest. There is no maximum amount you can invest and you can invest as many times as youd like. The minimum investment is $25,000. All of the money you invest earns 6% interest since there are no commissions or fees subtracted from your capital. The sponsor of this investment earns a small spread on top of the 6% which is how they cover their expenses and earn a profit.
There are several reasons why the mortgage bridge loans are so safe:
1.The company putting these deals together does extensive financial underwriting of the commercial real estate borrower to make absolutely sure they are in great financial position to be able to repay the loan interest and principal as agreed. In many cases, they have dealt with the same borrowers for many years and have a long track record with them.
2.You as the lender are placed in first position on the mortgage note so you have priority over any other creditors and are fully secured.
3.The commercial property is appraised conservatively by an independent appraiser.
4.The maximum the borrower is allowed to borrow is 30%- 55% of the propertys value (example 50% loan-to-value ratio (LTV)) so there is plenty of equity to fall back on in the super- unlikely case that the property had to be foreclosed on. If the loan exceeds the 12 month mark, your interest rate will double in the 13th - 15th month to 12%.
5.The company putting the deal together guarantees in writing that it will make all payments of interest and principal to you, the lender, in case the underlying borrower does not make any interest or principal payments when due. There is also a reserve fund already set aside with millions of dollars to make those payments even though it has never been used.
6.The mortgage bridge loan does not trade,and therefore your principal is always safe and you get your principal back in 9-12 months. In contrast, you may earn a 6% yield from a stock, bond or mutual fund, but that security can drop in value far more than 6% quickly, wiping out the net impact of the yield you receive. Your stock, bond or mutual fund may never recover so your principal is not secure.
If you have an IRA or Roth IRA or SEP IRA or any other tax qualified plan you can roll it over to a self directed IRA at Provident Trust which is set up to handle mortgage bridge loans and use the money to invest in the Mortgage Bridge program.
The people I trust to send my listeners to are Ted Leutz and Lynette Robbins, Founders at The Knowles System, LLC, a complete financial strategy company. They are both in their 60s and have been doing this for many years. Ive sent my listeners to Ted and Lynette over the past several years and have had only wonderful feedback for their safe programs and strategies. Their phone number is 888-518-3113 X 2. Commercial Properties are limited to availability so I suggest you call The Knowles Team ASAP for more information and availability.
Knowles Systems, LLC may also ask you to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) which assures you that any data you give them will be held in complete confidence and privacy, and it also assures them that if they put in huge amount of time, effort and expertise to come up with a plan that you like, that you will implement it through them.

Does anyone have any input on this?
General Economics Deals
Looking for a whole bunch of advice on saving towards a home
Added on : Thursday May 08th 2014 06:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: SyZpuzzler
Views: 84 Replies: 3 Hello,

Here is my entire backstory since I feel it is at least partially necessary to understand the situation:

29 years 5 months, currently working at Allstate making 39k a year in CA. UCLA degree in stats. Didn't finish until I was 26, long story. Current financial situation is:

Renting for $600 a month
12k student loans to one company, 17k to another. Total 29k, anywhere from 2.1% to 5.8%. $130 min payment for first, $210 for second
8.5k lien to Toyota for my 11 Yaris with 55k miles, should last a good while. 1.9% interest. $190 min payment
3.3k balance on a 4.8k limit with something absurd like 15% interest. $72 minimum payment
Car insurance + phone = $180 a month
Gas = roughly $75 a month
Food = varies

Other than that, I don't have many expenses. I go out with my girlfriend of 11 months, sometimes we eat out, or go into San Francisco (I'm currently in Pleasanton), go shopping, buy jigsaw puzzles, etc

Doing the math on the salary, after taxes and health insurance I pocket around $1200 every 2 weeks = $31.2k net a year

My plan, up through last week, was to pay off that 40k debt ASAP and then save for a house, with the aim of only ever purchasing one house in an area I really wanted. At that point I would be married, still single, whatever

At work we had a financial planner come, and he looked over everything and told me I was wrong.

Being good at math and logical thinking, he explained it to me this way:

Instead of paying off your 40k debt asap, you can make minimum payments and open up a savings account with the sole purpose of putting away money each paycheck for real estate. This money is not a 'savings account', it's just named that. This is not my money. I can't go take out 6k in a year when my car dies and I need it. This is another debt, and we can think of it as 'Jeff's future home purchase'.

This is where a part local to me comes in: Livermore, CA supposedly has a buyer program where you only need 3% down. 300k average condo prices, that's 9k. 200 a paycheck for 2 years is about 10k. I would then purchase a condo, mortgage the rest, and continue to do that while paying my minimum debt payments for a few years while the value hopefully goes up. Being that Livermore is a good, growing town in the Bay Area, the odds of this are strong. I would then sell, take the extra money and use it as a down payment on a bigger property, and continue this until I eventually have an actual 2k square foot, 3-4 bedroom house.

He said 'this is how you get wealthy and provide for your family. You can't not take any risks or else you won't own anything until you're 40'

My questions are this:

Supposedly, you can't get a mortgage for more than 34-40% of your total income after debts. The mortgage on that property would be something like $1800, which means I would need a salary of $60k. I can see a few raises within a few years which would put me between $45 and $50, but not $60.

Also, if this program is cancelled or changes, I can't afford it and interest on my other debts are accruing

I always thought you wanted 20% down to avoid PMI, but he says you don't. You need to get in a property you own immediately and start building equity.

My credit is fairly good, I don't know the actual # but I'm pretty sure I will be at least 730, which I understand is the cutoff for the best loans.

If I were to open a savings account for this reason, where should I go and why?

Is this guy right? I just don't see how I'm supposed to be able to afford an $1800 + mortgage, $500 + in other debts, and other expenses when my current monthly take home is ~ $2,500. And even if I got to a point where that was say $3,000, and my debts + mortage would be $2,300, I COULD live off $700, easily. But a bank wouldn't give me a loan because my debt to income isn't high enough

He's worked at this company for 20 years, he's well-trusted, Allstate is a big company and wouldn't have somebody giving this kind of advice if it weren't true or beneficial

I just don't see how it can work


Investing Deals
Need Advice on HELOC or to avoid mortgage insurance
Added on : Thursday May 08th 2014 09:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: JayPC
Views: 40 Replies: 1 I am planning to purchase our first house (been renting for all these years). The value of the house will be around 450K and I am planning to put 10% (45K) down. I requested for a pre-qualification from one of the banks and they told me I need to pay Mortgage Insurance since my downpayment is less than 20%. Are there any ways to avoid paying this Mortgage Insurance?

Some one told me that you can open an Home Equity line of Credit along with your mortgage and use that to pay 10% additional to make it 20 to avoid MI. Is it possible since I don't own that home and have no equity in the house? Need help here...
Personal Finance Deals
Waiving mortgage contingency and inspection
Added on : Wednesday May 07th 2014 12:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: jroff1
Views: 150 Replies: 10 Wife and I recently placed a bid on a house in our neighborhood. It's a very hot neighborhood in the Boston area, and there is clearly more demand than supply, so most places are selling within a day or two, usually above asking price. We bid on a place where we were told there were 5 bidders. We bid significantly over asking. Found out yesterday that we had the highest bid, but the seller opted to go with another bidder because they had waived the mortgage contingency and had waived their right to negotiate after the inspection for any issues less than $20,000.

Curious to get the FWF crowd's perspective on these tactics in a hot RE market. With regards to the mortgage - I have pre-approval from a mortgage broker for significantly more than what we bid. (Also planning to put down at least 20%). Am I being overly cautious to keep the mortgage contingency in future offers? My understanding is that there are three types of risk in waiving the mortgage contingency:

1. If we for some reason can't get a loan, we lose our deposit which is a sizeable amount of money.
2. If the appraisal comes in below the offer price, we may be stuck making up the difference.
3. If we can't get a good rate, we are stuck paying a higher interest rate

All of these reasons (especially the first) make me wary of waiving the mortgage contingency. I also am wary of waiving the inspection contingency, as most of the houses in our neighborhood are over 100 years old, so there are lots of potentially hidden issues.

At the same time, don't want to always be non-competitive with an offer.

Any ideas on how to be competitive while also protecting myself?
Roth IRA rollover for temporary cash flow need
Added on : Wednesday May 07th 2014 05:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: dukerau
Views: 39 Replies: 0 I'm under contract on a new house and trying to do some fancy financial footwork to (1) get 20% down to avoid PMI and (2) minimize cost. I have a decent amount of equity in my current house, and enough cash to put 15% put down, but I won't be selling the current house until after closing on the new one. So here is my plan to get 20% down, while hopefully satisfying mortgage rules about source of funds with minimal cost to me. Just to reiterate, this is to solve a cash flow issue - once the current house sells, I'll be fine. I've never used these methods before, so I'm looking for any advice on pitfalls I might face.

1. Initiate a Roth IRA rollover and have the check issued to me.
2. Close on new home using some of the Roth IRA money as down payment.
3. Use a balance transfer (convenience check) offer from a credit card to get enough cash to replenish the Roth IRA (<= 2% fee, <= 2% interest).
4. Complete rollover (within 60-day window) to new IRA custodian using the BT money (or can I just put it back in the account it came from?)
5. Pay the low BT interest rate until the current house sells, at which point I will have enough cash to pay off the BT balance.

It seems like this approach is much cheaper than PMI or a second mortgage set up (80/15/5). And since I'm not taking out the unsecured credit (BT) until after closing, I don't think I run afoul of source of funds rules for mortgage lenders. I've never done something like this before so I wanted to see if I'm missing anything.

Personal Finance Deals
Mortgage rate shopping - multiple pre-approval letters recommended?
Added on : Saturday May 03rd 2014 03:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: pocketwallet
Views: 236 Replies: 4 My wife and I are looking to buy a home this year and since it'll be our first place I am trying to learn the fatwallet way!

We have not found a house yet but want to map out the best steps. The housing market is very much a seller's market where we live and we need your wisdom.

1. Should I get pre-approval letters from several potential lenders while I search a house? (I went to one local credit union and about 5 days later, at a large bank and got pre-approval letters from both -- I think both pulled credit reports. Should I go to more?)
2. When and how do I shop for best mortgage rates? (After we found a house and put in an offer?)

Thank you!

Real Estate Deals
Mortgage rate shopping
Added on : Saturday May 03rd 2014 02:00:10 PM
g: 0 Posted By: pocketwallet
Views: 85 Replies: 2 My wife and I are looking to buy a home this year and since it'll be our first place I am trying to learn the fatwallet way!

We have not found a house yet but want to map out the best steps. The housing market is very much a seller's market where we live and we need your wisdom.

1. Should I get pre-approval letters from several potential lenders while I search a house? (I went to one local credit union and about 5 days later, at a large bank and got pre-approval letters from both -- I think both pulled credit reports. Should I go to more?)
2. When and how do I shop for best mortgage rates? (After we found a house and put in an offer?)

Thank you!

Real Estate Deals
g: 0 Posted By: gifpaste
Views: 28 Replies: 0 Obviously an in-person broker is nice to have for some people to go in and sit down and talk face to face, but for FWF members who only care about maximizing savings... Is it possible for them to beat/compete with internet lenders on rates like Roundpoint, Sebonic, or Aimloan (I've heard mixed reviews on aimloan..)

I used a broker for my first home purchase many years ago, then through FWF I read about Penfed's high praise and great rates. I've been watching Penfed/Roundpoint/Sebonic the last few weeks and Sebonic/Roundpoint appear to always be lower

Waiting to hear back from Roundpoint but with Sebonic you lock in the rate posted on their website. I didnt have to pay any application fee and already got my pre-approval letter.
Question Deals
Mortgage servicer fails to pay property taxes
Added on : Thursday May 01st 2014 02:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: okwiater
Views: 80 Replies: 1 My mortgage servicer maintains an escrow account for property taxes and homeowners insurance. I received a copy of my 2012 property tax bill in July of 2013 from the county, and called them on July 27 to ensure they had received and would pay it. They said they would. Fast forward to April of 2014. I received a notice from the county on April 10 informing me that due to an unpaid tax bill they would move to place a tax lien on the property by May 1, and the lien would be auctioned on May 15. I called the lender that same day and informed them of the notice. They requested that I fax the bill to them, which I did that same day. On April 21, I checked with the county and determined that the bill had not yet been paid. So I called the servicer again and they informed me that they were actively engaging with my county's tax office and that the bill would be paid within "a few days." On April 28, I checked with the county again and determined that the bill had still not been paid. So I called the servicer yet again and they promised the issue would be escalated and the bill would absolutely be paid by April 30. Much to my surprise, I received an e-mail from them confirming that the bill had been paid and the funds deducted from escrow. Today, I checked with the county again and the bill is still unpaid. Also, since it is a new month, additional interest as well as a tax lien fee has been added to the account. My guess is the lender put the payment in the regular mail, and now the amount they sent won't be sufficient to cover the outstanding balance.

What should I do here? Obviously I'm not going to let the tax lien be auctioned and will resolve any outstanding balance before the 15th from my own pocket; however, I'm pissed about the lender's negligence having racked up $400 in interest and fees. The ideal scenario would be for the lender to reimburse the interest and fees, as well as to get the escrow removed from my mortgage. Do I have any leverage (under RESPA or any other consumer protection laws) to force the issue? Or are these things generally written in such a way that even their failure to pay the bills from my escrowed funds is somehow not a breach of contract or statute?

Note: I have made every one of my mortgage payments on time since the inception of the mortgage.
Real Estate Deals
Owner Financing and Mortgage Servicer
Added on : Wednesday April 30th 2014 09:00:18 AM
g: 0 Posted By: NetComrade
Views: 56 Replies: 0 Good Day.

I am considering buying a property and asking owners for owner financing to speed up possession of the property.
The property requires some up-front investment, hence, I'd rather not rent it until financing.

Question #1, what is the most favorable to the buyer type of owner financing while still protecting the seller? (e.g. no lease purchase agreement).

Question #2: is there an inexpensive service company anyone can recommend?

Any other things to consider?

Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: remick
Views: 115 Replies: 0 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AR0T8DI

4.4 out of 5 stars (147 customer reviews)

All the advantages of a tiny house at a fraction of the cost!

Imagine what you could do with your time if you didn't have to spend $16,000 a year on rent or a mortgage. Old single-wide mobile homes can often be found for free (and installed for a couple of thousand dollars) in rural areas, so trailersteading is akin to dumpster-diving. A trailer allows you to live without debt, to keep your ecological footprint to a minimum with energy bills at or below the national average, and even to blend right in with traditional-house dwellers after a few years.

Trailersteading profiles nine mobile-home dwellers who have used trailers as a stepping stone toward achieving their dreams. Some have spent the cash they saved by renovating their trailer on extra insulation, pitched roofs, classy interiors, and even basements, while the found money has allowed others to go off the grid. Many also took advantage of a low-cost housing option to pursue their passions, becoming full-time homemakers or homesteaders.

In addition to the case studies, the book presents easy methods of minimizing the negative sides of trailer life and accentuating the positive. For example, did you know a single-wide is easy to retrofit for passive solar heating? That a simple plant-covered trellis can break up the blockiness of the trailer's external appearance? Learn which parts of installing and upgrading your trailer are easy for a DIYer and which parts should be left to the experts, along with how to cheaply heat and cool a mobile home.

124 photos and diagrams.
Books & Magazines Deals
Pledged Asset Loan, Margin financing, mortgage
Added on : Sunday April 27th 2014 12:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: ronb1
Views: 28 Replies: 0 I've seen some older threads on some of these issues but figured it was worth checking out what people's latest thinking might be for some of this.

Basic scenario is I'm considering either a major home renovation (i.e. teardown and rebuild) or a new purchase. For the sake of simplicity, let's just say that either scenario will cost me $1million.

I'm considering some alternatives to traditional mortgage for a few reasons:

1) Ihave a short sale on my credit history, which makes current mortgages harder to acquire and the rates higher.
2)I've got several million in securities that I can leverage if it makes sense.
3) Many of those securities would be subject to significant capital gains if I were to sell them, so I'd rather leverage the money instead of pay cash and take the tax hit.

Given these parameters, I'm considering a couple of options - Either a Pledged Asset Loan from Schwab, or else just borrowing on margin against my securities. Pledged Asset Loan (PAL) from schwab has a reasonably attractive rate for a $1M loan - 2.4% - but if I'm looking at just borrowing on margin against my securities at interactivebrokers.com (assuming I transfer assets over there) it would be at an even more enticing rate of 1.15% (https://www.interactivebrokers.com/en/index.php?f=interest&p=sch...

I'm aware that major market downturn could force a margin call but unless it's incredibly drastic I can probably cover it. PAL rates are tied to LIBOR so they could go up over time but it's reasonable to assume that I could refinance to a more traditional loan if I needed to, particularly once my credit score improves in another year or two.

Anybody have thoughts about which of the two scenarios make more sense? Or if I'm totally smokin' crack about doing this sort of stuff?

New User Question Deals
Am I over insured with auto's?
Added on : Saturday April 26th 2014 11:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: dmandrsn
Views: 125 Replies: 3 I have Geico. No umbrella due to 2 seasonal condo rentals uninsured for contents. Net worth 1 mill.
Principal residence no mortgage
vehicles: 2011 Silverdo.
2001 Lexus LS 430
Hubby retired, wife in sales

Bodily Injury 1 mill/1 mil
Prop Damage Liability. 250
PIP. No deduct
uninsured motorist stacked 1 mil/1mil
comprehensive. 50$ lexus, 500$ Silverado
collision 1k deduct
rental reimburse 30/900

six mo premium is 1013.

Ant not advice you can give would be highly appreciated.

Personal Finance Deals
Buying property from relative and rent back
Added on : Tuesday April 22nd 2014 02:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: masterwood
Views: 263 Replies: 2 I have kind of a unique situation. My fiance parents ran into financial troubles three years ago and had to put their house up for short sale. The sale was to a close friend with the intention is that in a few years they will re-purchase the property at the same price sold. Now the time has come to re-purchase the property however the parents are still having financial issue and is asking me if I would like to purchase the house. The parents will continue living there and pay the actual mortgage for the house and all other expenses. The intention is that in two years they will have enough money to purchase another property close by and I will than occupy the house. The cost to me is the downpayment to purchase the property.

The value of the house is way more than what the market value is and because real estate prices has risen so much in my area, this may be my only opportunity for me to ever own a house this nice at a price that I can afford. I know that this could get messy dealing with family, but a opportunity like this may never come again. The ideal situation is that in two years the parents are back on their feet and move out, but if in the event that doesn't happen it could be a problem for me.

Just wanted to get others thoughts on this.
New User Question Deals
Family farm dispute
Added on : Friday April 18th 2014 04:00:03 PM
g: 0 Posted By: skagen
Views: 49 Replies: 1 My wife's father and grandfather had a falling out some time ago. Her father had helped save the family farm by contributing a good amount of money starting back in 1986. There was a lot of animosity that arose when there was discussion about paying him back around 1997. Basically, the borrower (grandpa) wanted to pay $50,000 as payment in full, and the lender (wife's father) wanted $100,000. As is common with many family arrangements (or so I hear) there wasn't a great deal of documentation. Things went rather sour, and basically all relations ended.

Fast forward to 2014, and grandfather is in his mid 90s, and there appears to be some wish to reconcile at least this difference.

Here are the details.

During the period of 1986 through probably no later than 1992, there were somewhere between $36k (reasonably substantiated) and $50k in payments fromwife's father to grandpa("it could have been as high as this").
In 1997, an offer was made from grandpa to wife's father in the amount of the $50k. Wife's father, wanting $100k, disagreed. Things clearly got heated and relations broke off. No money changed hands.

I've generally been seen as a fairly objective and logical person, and so I was asked to put together my thoughts on what would be fair. I told my wife that the folks on fatwallet would likely have a lot of good insight, so please don't let me down.

While I don't know the exact payments and when they occurred (I have just $36k-$50k basically, starting from 1986 and going for a few years), I gave them a spreadsheet to work with and my opinions on the interest rate that would be reasonable. There was already some recognition by the executor of grandpa's trust that interest would be paid as he had initially stated "4.7% seems like a fair interest rate" with respect to the 1997 payout offer.

My suggestion was this -
Use annual mortgage rate averages from 1986-1997 against the principal. 1997 was when the payout was not accepted, and I think it changes the way I'd think interest should be calculated.
Post 1997, even though other asset classes would have outperformed, use inflation. While CPI may or may not be a great gauge of inflation to some, it's a gauge and it'd be a way of trying to pay him today the same amount that would have been paid in 1997.

The funny thing is that if they had just split the difference at the time, it'd have been about right based on my calculations.

Any input? I would really like to help find a fair solution for wife's family.
Question Deals
Realtor Rebates and Tax Implications
Added on : Friday April 18th 2014 11:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: JSnuka
Views: 0 Replies: 0 Here's my situation:

I'm buying a new construction house for ~600k. My real estate agent is my fiancee's father and works as an independent contractor through a national real estate company. He's offerred to split his portion of the commision with us. As part of the deal, the seller is paying all closing costs (up to 6%). My interest rate is already locked and mortgage amount approved. I tried to get the rebate applied to my closing, but my lender told me that normally, any real estate agent contribution/rebate would go towards closing costs -- but in my case, the seller is already paying closing costs. Also, he told me that it is illegal for the agent's rebate (enticement?) to be applied towards the down payment. He claims that there is no way to apply the rebate prior to closing and that it would have to be done afterwards and that the real estate agent will have to pay taxes on the full commission first.

1) How is the best way to structure the commission rebate/refund so that neither the real estate agent nor the buyer show that amount as earned income (and so neither has to get hit with paying taxes on it)?

2) Does it have to be done prior to/during closing?

3)Does it have to be disclosed on the HUD and/or does the actual money transfer have to take place at closing?

4) Is it any different taxwise if the agent writes me a check after closing for the full amount of the rebate and then claims the rebate as a business expense once he files his taxes?

I know rebates are typically not a taxable event, but with all the conflicting information out there, I want to make sure we do this the best way.


Rental Losing $105 a Month Should I Sell?
Added on : Friday April 18th 2014 07:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: anandtechuser
Views: 1071 Replies: 29 Renting a Condo in Irvine for $2045 a month Rental's Total Monthly cost is $2150, bought for 425k now worth about 525k

Monthly Expenses
$200 HOA
$368 Property Tax
$32 Insurance HO-6
$1520 Mortgage
$30 Gardener
Total $2150 vs $2045 Rental Income

*This does not include any repairs, prob cost of repairs is $100 a year.

Should I sell or keep?

Real Estate Deals
Rental Losing $90 a Month Should I Sell?
Added on : Thursday April 17th 2014 09:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: anandtechuser
Views: 56 Replies: 1 Renting a Condo in Irvine for $2030 a month Rental's Total Monthly cost is $2120, bought for 425k now worth about 525k

Monthly Expenses
$200 HOA
$368 Property Tax
$32 Insurance HO-6
$1520 Mortgage
Total $2120 vs $2030 Rental Income

*This does not include any repairs, prob cost of repairs is $100 a year.

Should I sell or keep?

Real Estate Deals
Real Estate Financial Advice Needed
Added on : Wednesday April 16th 2014 06:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Komrade
Views: 175 Replies: 0 Three is a property next to my vacation property for sale that has a current income of $1000/mo.
There is a store and garage that have a potential income of $1000 in rent (trailer park)... although the potential of the garage is less clear to me (it's not easily visible from the road).
So even w/o the garage the yield of the property would be ~9% ((1000+500(store)x12)/200K.. We think it has potential (it's along the river, and used to be a campground, plus the wife would actually run the store)
I own my vacation property and it's worth 250K
I rent my primary residence.
I own a piece of land next to my primary residence that is worth 125K or so (planned to built primary residence on it)
The owners want about 200K for the property.
My credit currently is not that great (40k in CC debt, 20K in car loans, 10K in RV (going away), credit cards are all 0%.. creditkarma estimates my rating around 700
My bank account has 10K, and I have another 15K in stocks.
My discretionary income is 4K/mo.
If we buy the property, my discretionary income goes up to 6k/mo (move out of rental).
The credit card debt is some vacation built related (thought I'd built for cash, but ended up using 0% credit cards towards the end.. so it is temporary)

Do I
a) put a 10% down payment from funds I have (I have some other hard assets for real emergencies, but I do not favor this option).. would I even be able to buy it with 10% down these days?
b) take out a loan from 401K (not sure if they'd let me for a property like this, also not too much there, but enough to fill the gap for a 20% down payment)
c) mortgage my vacation property (15 year lower rate?)
d) get a home equity line (should pay it off as soon as I sell the land, due to credit risk)?
e) sell my current property

I personally think (e) is my best option, but I am not sure it could be sold as quickly as I need.
100K from it could be used as down payment, wipe out my CC dept, and leave some money to invest into the property (wife would run the store the first year or two)

What would you do to minimize bank fees and interest rates?

Also, the property is not on the market. How do I find a good property inspector (w/o necessarily using bank's)

Real Estate Deals
Best Strategy to pay future wife's student loan debt
Added on : Wednesday April 16th 2014 03:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: sullim4
Views: 63 Replies: 1 Basic situation:

Age 29
2013 AGI: $165k (software engineer)
Only debt is a 15 yr fixed mortgage @ 2.875%, 231k remaining balance, 14 yrs left
$40k in company stock, dividends are roughly 3% per year
$65k in liquid savings
$162k in 401(k) (78% or so is Roth)

Age 27
2013 AGI: $58k (civil engineer)
Student Loan Debt: $6k private loan @ 6.5%; $22k consolidated sub Stafford @ 6.1%; $26kconsolidatedunsub Stafford @ 6.1%; $12k Perkins @ 2.8%; $3k Perkins @ 2.5%; $7k parent PLUS loan that dad is responsible for, but she's paying on @ 5%. She is on IBR right now.
$10k in liquid savings
No other debt
$10k in 401(k) (0% is Roth)

We are getting married at the end of May. We will be combining finances at that time; due to mutual religious beliefs we currently live separately. Her parents didn't help her out at all with her education and so she's saddled with a ton of student loan debt. I want to figure out the best way to pay down this debt and I have a few ideas that I'm throwing around, and would like advice on what the best strategy might be. When we marry, obviously the student loan deduction goes out the window (she's currently taking the full $2500 per year). We plan on lopping $10k off of the loans via her liquid savings once we get married.

Option 1:
Live off my salary, and use her salary to exclusively pay off the loans in order of highest to lowestinterest rate. This would amount to payments around $3200 per month, and by my calculations, would pay off the loans in a little over 2 years. The con to this one is that I'd like to max out her 401(k), her company match is 15% of all contribution... andfollowing thisoptionwould take a big chunk out of what we could put towards loans.

Option 2:
Combination of selling stock and taking money out of savings, pay off loans now, and simply pay my savings back over a 2-3 year period. This puts our liquid cash fairly low and I'd rather hold onto the money, but that is hard to justify given the paltry interest rates I'm earning and what the loans cost to hold.

Option 3:
Take out a loan against my 401(k) to pay off her loans, and then pay it back with interest, probably throwing more than the minimum at it. I think the market is headed down this year, so I might be sheltering my money against a correction by doing this. I feel secure in my job, so I don't think it is likely that I will need to pay the balance immediately in the case of a layoff.

Option 4:
Jump on some 0% APR bandwagons, balance transfer the student loans over to the cards, pay off remaining balances with stock/savings, and pay cards off by the time the 0% expires. The con here seems to be BT fees, though the Chase Slate seems like an appealing option here.

Any other thoughts?
Personal Finance Deals
g: 1 Posted By: remick
Views: 171 Replies: 0 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0081KRP8Q

4.5 out of 5 stars (31 customer reviews)

Former mortgage brokers James L. Paris and Robert G. Yetman, Jr. detail exactly how credit scores are calculated and how a consumer can quickly raise their score. Check out our YouTube video which gives an overview of what is in the book -

The book is based on years of working with individual clients with credit situations as difficult as recent bankruptcies, foreclosures, and even IRS tax liens. Includes letters that can be used to dispute inaccurate information from a credit bureau report. Step by step information on what you need to do if you are currently attempting to get approved for a credit card, auto loan, or mortgage. Includes sources of no qualifying credit accounts that can be used to rebuild credit.

Why You Are Dead Broke! Make Money Your Best Friend and Get Out of Debt FOREVER!

4.5 out of 5 stars (6 customer reviews)

Getting into debt is the seems like the easiest thing to do today. Jeremy Jacobson's book is about preventing and getting out of debt forever. In this book you will learn and find out:
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-Which money disorder you have and how to fix it
-The intelligent way to spend
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Clear. Concise. Straight forward. Why You Are Dead Broke is a must read for anyone with financial pressures and looking to brighten their financial future.

Find Money Every Day

4.7 out of 5 stars (17 customer reviews)

Can you really find money every day? Yes! There are three ways.
1. Increase your income.
2. Decrease your expenses.
3. Manifest it.
Oh, good. Youre still here. Sometimes, I say, manifest it to people and their reaction is to roll their eyes, cover their ears, and sing la, la, la. (Actually, no one has sang la, la, la yet.)
The first time I tried to manifest it I found money every day for 46 days in a row even though I only used the techniques for 30 days. Usually, I found dimes, quarters, ones, and twenties. However, on day 34, I found $213.34.
You can learn how to do this. In fact, if you your mind to these ideas, youll start finding money immediately.
Here is something interesting. I can read minds (maybe). When I mentioned manifesting money, did you think, Yeah, yeah, yeah, if I dont spend a dollar, its like making a dollar? Thats true but it isnt manifesting. As youll see when you read my story, it is possible to make money appear. It is not magic.
In this book, you learn some obvious things that you should know, some not very obvious things that you probably dont know, and some things that just arent obvious so you probably dont know them. Whew, thats a mouthful!
You are a sensible, reasonable person. You know money doesnt grow on trees. Its just made out of trees. You also know that money doesnt just appear out of nowhere. Or, does it? Let me tell you my story.
Totally Free Deals
g: 0 Posted By: pixelharmony
Views: 149 Replies: 0 Parents bought a condo in Chicago (Cook County) so my brother could get instate tuition. I've been living here paying 50% of the mortgage for about 7 years. Now that my brother is out they want to give me the property.

Value is assessed at $300k and we have $110K principle left.

I spoke to my bank and I feel like they're selling me on a quitclaim deed with refinancing, but I wanted to know if there was a smarter way to do this? In the end I just want ownership and tax benefits.

Any recommendations on what programs I can leverage? I did research but could never find a definitive answer around how to leverage lifetime gift exemptions, gift tax (14k/yr) allowance, etc.

Also long term I want to setup a living trust to place my assets and properties, should I get this process started now and transfer the house under the trust?

Question Deals
g: 0 Posted By: jackstone
Views: 92 Replies: 0 I am not certain if I will get red for this question but to me it is a rather difficult one to assess. Would appreciate your help on this and am happy to provide additional relevant info.

Getting a severance package from my current job (for a lump sum) and already have another one lined up, so not worried about job security for the present. A nice problem to have admittedly.

Quick disclosure, I already have 3 rental properties but they each have loans on them. The business model is working and I have no major issues with property management.

Ultimate question - use severance package to pay off student loans in full and still have some severance package cash lying around, or use an FW strategy to maximize long term net worth and earning power to offset student loan cashflow by purchasing rental property in full?

The question the wife and I are debating: We have about 56K in student loans combined between us, with an average interest rate of about 4.75% - a few are above 6% so I could see some arguments to pay at least those ones off. The monthly cost for our student loans is about $750 which I agree is ridiculously large. I could use this severance to vanquish the loans and eliminate the albatross of student debt once and for all. I would still then have close to enough cash lying around to possibly pursue a rental property downpayment and have a 4th mortgaged property, or could just throw it into a global stock index fund.

But all else equal, I am rather confident that I could locate a property that if purchased with cash, would offset the student loan cash flow completely, because the rental properties I already have (with loans on them) rent for higher than that monthly loan outflow, even after adjusting for property management fees, maintenance, etc; of course I have to pay mortgage expenses on the current 3 properties, so this would only work if I could find a property that I could FULLY pay - understand that some FWs might tell me to triple down and get three more mortgage properties instead of a single cash one. I will seriously consider taking money out of the cash paid for house after the rent and monthly expense situation is steady (let's say a year in) and then use it to buy another house with cash. The depreciation offset will also help in a big way until the student loans are due to be paid off - currently a mix of expiry, with most ending in 2019. Obviously once the student loans are paid off my cashflow situation dramatically improves - so 5 years out or so except for 1 of the loans (about 1/3 of the outstanding debt but at 3.5%) expiring in 2029.

Other considerations:

We always max out our Roth IRAs - may start to become inelgibile for Roth within the next year or two.
I have maxed out my 401k for two straight years and should be able to for the forseeable future. Wife's story a bit different but hope to at least come close to maxing by 2015.
Have another partnership that owns one triplex in a different geographic area, that has been a bit more challenging than the 3 rental properties I currently have - point is I have somewhat high exposure to real estate, though spread across 3 geographies.
Have a (what I will call) middle sized liquid stock portfolio, as well as auto monthly DRIP with 4 companies.
We will be moving, and there are often start up costs associated with that, but my new job's compensation should cover the difference in cost of living.
We have an infant daughter, and we will definitely need to start planning for school soon!

Thank you very much!
Personal Finance Deals
Combined ARM and Fixed
Added on : Saturday April 12th 2014 08:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: JDdoc
Views: 118 Replies: 0 Looking for some help / feedback / direction on whether a combination of a 30 year fixed, ARM mortgage is available from lenders.

If the loan amounts are relevant I'm looking at approximately 2.75M purchase price with 20-30% down.

My reason for asking might be relevant to many. I could probably pay off about 1M in the 3-5 year period so about 1M in the ARM would be nice to take advantage of about 2% rates for that. Even with rates coming up through 2016, I should be able to save about 50-100k by putting the 1M in an ARM

On the other hand, for the remainder (about 800-1.2M), keeping that in a fixed rate would give security in case the LIBOR comes up and the ARM rates become closer to the historic rates.

Does anyone know if any lenders out there would offer this kind of piggybacking?

Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: guy4167
Views: 135 Replies: 4 If you were to buy it, how much would you put down? Thinking of blowing the whole load and taking a 15 year mortgage out for $70,000ish. My monthly payment would be around $1100, including mortgage, taxes and HOA.

A little background: college educated, in my 20s, making about $45,000 a year, own a car (outright, should be good for a few more years), and I expect my salary to grow significantly as my career progresses. No significant debts. The condo is allowed to be rented (I plan on holding and renting once I am done with it) and rent for the unit could support the whole $1100 mortgage payment at the present time.

Good idea? What should I be looking out for?
Question Deals
Should I care about TransUnion? Too few accounts?
Added on : Friday April 11th 2014 06:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: doublePie
Views: 91 Replies: 0 Last year, my husband and I refinanced our home from a 30 fixed 6.25% FHA to 15 fixed 3.25% conventional. The monthly payment only increased about $50 and $23 of that is PMI will drop off in August (I've confirmed). At that time, both of us had a credit score with each of the big three within 20 points either way of 800.

A year later, my husband applied for a Sallie Mae Mastercard and the score they used to issue it was 732 from TransUnion.


Number of accounts with delinquency
Proportion of loan balances to loan amounts too high
Too few accounts currently paid as agreed
Proportion of balances to credit limits too high on revolving accts

Gross income was $71,000 last year, which has been steadily rising for the past 7 years. Net take home is $4050 (after 401K, health insurance, HSA, United Way).
The mortgage was $103,000 on a $123,000 property.
Card 1: CreditFirst (Firestone): We have it for the discounts and promotions. Paid off every month with the exception of one month in 2011 when we forgot about it and it went 30 days over. D'OH.
Card 2: Brand new Sallie Mae card with a $12,500 limit.
Card 3: Very vanilla VISA through our credit union. $13,500. Paid off every month, no exceptions. Averages about $1500/month. It is used for pretty much everything -- gas, groceries, cellphone bill, internet, home improvement stuff, restaurants. According to TransUnion, it had a high water mark of just over $7000 at one point in 2011, but even then I believe it was paid off the same month from savings.
New car loan of $16,300. The first payment is due at the end of this month. $4000 down payment. 2.6% for 60 months (2013 model didn't qualify for promotional rates)
Mortgage is $872 total with principle, escrow, and interest. If you haven't gathered from the fact that it's a $123K house... we have no HOA fees.

(EDIT: I should add that my own credit union VISA runs about $800 per month, just to give a fairer idea of the total household picture. That's the only thing i have in just my name).

I have no significant income and that will not change for several years. I'm just home with the babies right now.

Our proportion of loan balances to loan amounts will fall off as soon as our brand new loans have shrunk with time and payment and the one delinquent payment we've ever made just is what it is. So is the answer to actually open up another credit card or two, pay on the loans as scheduled, and work to get the number back up OR is it to just not worry about TransUnion since we're not using credit for anything in the near future anyway and 732 isn't really bad?

Meanwhile, my score from Equifax was 832 (husband's was 794) and I haven't had any income not reported on a 1099-MISC in about three years.

And since I've typed all of this out anyway, any general advice on handing our current cash flow and debt? We have an emergency fund but haven't set up college savings for the kids yet, in part because once I go back to work, we will have an entire extra income of about $35,000 net to put towards education and retirement.

Investing Deals
Free Dave Ramsey Complete Guide To Money eBook
Added on : Friday April 11th 2014 05:00:09 PM
g: 0 Posted By: MrsGuin
Views: 165 Replies: 0 http://books.noisetrade.com/ramsey/complete-guide-to-money
How to budget, save, dump debt, and invest. Youll also learn all about insurance, mortgage options, marketing, bargain hunting and the most important element of allgiving
Books & Magazines Deals
Should I refinance my loan from 30Yr FHA @ 4.5% to a 5/5 ARM @ 2.75%?
Added on : Thursday April 10th 2014 05:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: goofydragon1
Views: 78 Replies: 1 I am not sure if this question was every addressed in the forum. I would like to communities POV on refinancing my mortgage. Here are the facts:

Loan Type: 30Yr FHA
Interest Rate: 4.5%
Original Loan Amt: $282500
Current Amt: $265489
PMI: $257.19 (Until ~ 6/2021)
P&I: 1432.12
Current Mortgage (includes: P+I, Home Insurance, PMI, County Tax, and Shortage): $2082.01

Refinancing options with Belvoir Federal Credit Union are below. Closing charges are $3089.30 and $3140.39 in reserves totaling 6229.69 that I will finance back into the loan.

New Loan Options
Loan Type: 5/5 Yr ARM,
Points: 0
Initial Interest Rate: 2.75%
Periodic Cap: 2%
Lifetime Cap: 5%
APR: 2.894%
Fully Index Rate: 2.87%
Requested Loan Amt: $273000
Current Amt: $265489
PMI: $0
P&I: $1114.50
Proposed Mortgage (P+I, Home Insurance, Tax): 1524.60

We plan to move with five years which this loan will make it a now brainier, however, if loans goes up like analyst may suggest we'll probably state in the home much longer. History shows that ARMs have always been lower that 15 and 30 Year fixed rates. The fact I do do know is that our LTV is under 80% but in my current FHA the LTV is 93%. BelvoirFCU also have a a 30 Yr fixed rate @ 4.25% (4.412% APR) w/ 0 points.

Personal Finance Deals
IRA or Roth IRA? And other questions.
Added on : Thursday April 10th 2014 04:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: fleetwoodmac
Views: 75 Replies: 0 Hello

I am 45 years old, expecting a child 6 months down the road. I know that the rule of thumb is;

Max out 401k contribution for 2014. That's 17.5K.
Max out IRA contribution for 2013. $5,500. Deadline for 2013 IRA contribution is April 15, 2014.
Max out IRA contribution for 2014. $5,500

So, here is my situation

Income 110K (100K day time job+ 10K side business potential to grow unlimited, I will explain later)
401K balance 80K (never maxed till this year but this year I am maxing it to 17.5K) 100% invested in VSISX thru company 401k plan
Checking balance 100K earning 0.2%
I never had IRA but for 2013 I will invest 3,640 for my IRA (That is what tax software told me) and 5,500 for wife's IRA.
I will invest same amounts to IRA in 2014 as well
Considering additional 401K thru business but not done yet. I think I am limited to 25% of the business income up to difference between 17.5K-50.5K

I am renting so no mortgage

So I need to buy a house right now. Where I live you can get something decent for $250K which I am planning to pay all cash. Here are 2 reasons for paying cash;
1) Company keeps laying off people, need to feel safe with no mortgage payments.
2) Mom is willing to give me 150K to help me out buying the house, so I add 100K and buy the house for 250K.

About the side business
With not too much effort, I can raise business income to 50K/year. The interesting thing about it is; if there is no mortgage or rent then I would lose the potential tax deduction. For 2013, my rent was 1000/month and I deducted 500/month as expense from business income. (I am using half of the house for business)

So I am confused here on what to do.

1) Should I pay all cash for the house?
2) I am very happy with VSISX but should i diversify? More money will come so I guess I need to diversify.
3) IRA or Roth IRA? Baby is on the way, which one is better for him/her?
4) Is it better to put my wife as partner in the business?

Tax Deals
Closing cost fees on a house, are these bogus or "normal"?
Added on : Wednesday April 09th 2014 03:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: spydermonkey
Views: 110 Replies: 2 The mortgage broker I am working with sent me a "worksheet" for the closing cost on a $250k house that Im interested in.

Below is a list of fees on the worksheet. Do any of these seems bogus or is this "normal" and I just need to suck it up as being part of owning a house?

Processing Fee - $500
Underwriting Fee - $550
Appraisal Fee - $400
Closing/Escrow Fee - $750
Lender's Title Insurance - $937.31
Owner's Title Insurance - $282.89
Mortgage Recording Charge - $330$3,750 totalThis doesn't include the others things that I expect like down payment, insurance reserves, tax reserves, etc.
Real Estate Deals
Tips on seasonally living abroad with your family?
Added on : Tuesday April 08th 2014 05:00:31 AM
g: 0 Posted By: jpfern15
Views: 111 Replies: 0 I've been employed at my current job for about 2 1/2 years now. I telecommute full time and basically work out of my home 99.9% of the time. I travel to HQ 3-5 times a year but other than that I have no physical dependencies to my job. The wife and I are wrapping up our degrees in May. We have a 3 year old daughter and plan on having our second (and final) child next year.

Keeping all this in mind, we've thought about spending a few months living somewhere else for a change. Perhaps spending the summer in Australia or Germany or wherever. Our only requirement is a solid internet connection and I'm good. Here are the challenges we've thought out for actually pulling this off:

1. Paying a mortgage on our home in the USandrent for a house/apartment and transportation abroad would be a financial strain. We would need to find a way to rent out our fully furnished home for a few months without being available to assist with any issues. Has anybody done this?
2. We could use help with the kid(s). What are our options for a nanny or maid service if we are on a tourist visa? Specifically for Australia, Germany, France and/or Switzerland.
3. Are there any recommended services to find a place to rent for a few months abroad? We would prefer something comfortable in a decent urban area and it must be furnished.

Any tips or help would be appreciated.
Personal Finance Deals
Moving to Europe for 4 years, what to do with house
Added on : Monday April 07th 2014 08:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: lostjake
Views: 115 Replies: 7 My family and I will be moving to Europe for 4 years (temporary work assignment). We currently own (no mortgage) a $265k house in northern Wisconsin. Taxes are around $4100 a year and insurance is another $1000. I would like to move back to the area after the assignment, and I believe the house is worth quite a bit more than what I paid for it, and I like it in general. I don't think I can demand $1000 a month in rent in this area, as most places go for around $500 a month. My brother in law was/is thinking about selling his house and would move in and pay to cover the taxes/insurance (around $500 a mo), and "fix everything that breaks", besides the fridge because its a sub-zero. I think he would take better care of the home than some stranger. I don't like just heating the house when I'm gone because over 4 years it would probably be around a 30k carrying cost. Any other ideas out there on how I could make this assignment as least painful as possible house wise? BTW we're moving to the Netherlands.

Personal Finance Deals
Sell or Rent My House?
Added on : Monday April 07th 2014 07:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: sourbobster
Views: 202 Replies: 6 House is worth about 725k, mortgage left on it is about 400k at 3.35% interest. House was purchased for 550k. Would likely rent for $3750 per month. I'm moving about 100 miles away due to new job and will rent for now and later maybe buy a new house.
Personal Finance Deals
Timing of applications for credit cards / auto loan
Added on : Sunday April 06th 2014 10:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: DrBison
Views: 133 Replies: 0 Hi,

I'd appreciate some informed advice. I've been urging my girlfriend for years to get a credit card and she hasn't followed through. She's relied heavily on her Visa debit card and hasn't grasped the importance of the differences between credit and debit cards. There was a period where she had a Macy's card that was also a credit card (as far as I know), but that was a source of a lot of confusion and in any case the card expired. She hasn't used much credit. She has been and still is paying a student loan and at some point she had a Care Credit account (don't know the status). I think that's about it.

I'm insisting that she get a proper credit card now. I think she should get at least 2 cards now while her finances are pretty good and she should be able to get them. The plan will be to pay in full every month. There's a possibility that she'll need an auto loan for a used car in the near future. And her finances need to get oriented around being able to get a mortgage in the next few years.

If she applies for 2-3 credit cards, what timing makes sense? Does applying for 2-3 cards on the same day have any particular advantages / disadvantages? How about same week? Month? Should she get one and wait a few months to apply for another? How would these applications affect applying for an auto loan?

I've described her credit utilization. I don't know what her credit score is. She doesn't have any defaults. No medical debt. At the moment she has good income.

If people want to recommend specific cards too, that's fine. I'll recommend to her to get something pretty straightforward. First and foremost I'll recommend that she get a Visa card. I'm thinking maybe the second card should be another kind.
Question Deals
Mortgage - Circular Private Lending from Oneself
Added on : Tuesday April 01st 2014 08:00:07 PM
g: -1 Posted By: Rowgue
Views: 71 Replies: 0 After reading through many dutch sandwich schemes, I was thinking ways to maximize mortgage interest deduction to reduce the taxable income.

Not sure, if this is possible, but if it is, I would ask the people here of their views, pros and cons on this. If this arrangement is possible do people already do this, if not why have they not done this?

The arrangement is like this:
1.Have some or lot of equity in your primary residence
2. Borrow your own money from a creatively structured way at a high interest say 7.5% or 10%
3.The new lender files the lien with the county on your property
4.Pay or say you pay interest/principle or what ever per contract monthly (a private transaction)
5.Claim more more mortgage interest deduction, points etc when itemizing reducing taxable income

For Step 2: You can do one of the following
-Set up and fund a company that does private loans and you will be the 1st customer
-Make your trusted relative (with less income) as the lender who collects the PI - I really mean trusted relative like mom or dad
-OR any other creative way you can suggest- please do suggest

-On the company route-as its a relatively small company the expenses and cost of doing business might negate the profits from the interest collection in a given year which might reduce/negate taxes
-On the relative route-the lender who has low income might not get taxed at all (for the interest income) or might get taxed at a lower rate. Even if they get taxed at a lower rate fix your interest rate such that the net tax savings from your taxes and the lenders taxes are in positive territory.

Did I make it clear to understand?

Is this technically possible? Leave alone ethics etc...


Discussion Deals
Advice needed: Financing a new home before selling the existing
Added on : Tuesday April 01st 2014 04:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: clouser
Views: 108 Replies: 0 I am looking for some guidance on how to purchase a new (used) home before selling our existing property. We have significant equity in our home, but with the market conditions, I expect we will need to forgo a selling contingency on the existing home to get an offer accepted on the new home. The new location is a much hotter market, and properties are selling within 24-48 hrs of listing. Our area is a good market also, but I could see it taking a couple months.

Does it make sense to apply for a large HELOC against the existing home, and use that as a down payment on the new home? Would us having an existing first and now second mortgage on the first home effect our ability to apply for a new mortgage? If we apply for the new mortgage first, would it effect our ability to get a large HELOC/HEL? Any other ideas how to best handle this?

Some numbers (all approx)

Combined income: Approx $225,000
Value of existing home: $500,000
Remaining loan on existing home: $200,000
Equity in existing home: $300,000
Existing mortgage+escrow payment is $2,800 a month (we had refi'd down to a 10 year mortgage with plans to have it paid off quickly, we had not been intending to move at the time)
New home price: $400,000 - $450,000 range

We have no dept at all other than our home. Cars are paid off, we have credit cards but carry no balances.

Personal Finance Deals
Is it better to apply for mortgage by one person or husband&wife?
Added on : Monday March 31st 2014 04:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: fleetwoodmac
Views: 157 Replies: 0 Here is the situation

My credit score is 720, it dropped last week due to closing 2 credit cards. Also I put in all my info to lending tree which later I learned that there will be 20-30 credit pulls in my report by tomorrow.

So my score probablywill come down more
My income is 100K but I thought may be I can coapply to the mortgage with my wife whose score is 740 but income is 20K

So what do you think?

Real Estate Deals
Anybody used lending tree for mortgage?
Added on : Monday March 31st 2014 10:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: fleetwoodmac
Views: 118 Replies: 3 I gave my info to lending tree and suddenly I got 20 emails offering mortgage

I am in the market for 30 yr fixed so how do I find the cheapest cost for me? Ho do you play this?

Obviously I don't want 20 hard pulls in my credit report. Also some brokers asking for some money for locking in the rate.
Real Estate Deals
g: 0 Posted By: fleetwoodmac
Views: 122 Replies: 3 I am buying a house and the mortgage broker told me not to file the papers during mortgage process and wait until I close on mortgage

I was gonna do that but I am planning to deposit $5,500 for me and my wife in seperate IRAs for 2013 and the deadline is April 15

I am filing an extension so does this date change for me or it is the same?
Tax Deals
Anyone shopped for title insurance before?
Added on : Sunday March 30th 2014 08:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: fleetwoodmac
Views: 92 Replies: 2 So my real estate agent tells me I need to pay 1% of the purchase price to title company for title insurance
I said can't I shop around for title insurance?

And of course she does not know what I am talking about, and I searched the internet and found 2 companies only


According to the WSJ article below it says

=15pxEnTitle has an "A Prime" rating from Demotech, which rates insurer financial stability. That is Demotech's second-highest rating, and the same rating many rival title insurers have.

OneTitle, which also markets to real-estate lawyers and other industry professionals, has a rating of "Substantial" from Demotech. The rating, while lower than EnTitle's, is acceptable to most mortgage lenders, according to Demotech.

Redfin, a real-estate agency based in Seattle that has pioneered the use of technology in real-estate sales, started a title-insurance agency, Title Forward, in early 2013. It is based in Philadelphia and sells policies in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Georgia and the District of Columbia.


I am in TX and it was gonna cost me 1% which is like 3,710 but I called Entitle direct and they sent me an email in half an hour for $3,100

I did not call One Title yet

So at this point, what is the catch here what are the potential drawbacks?
Question Deals
Need Advice on Wife walking away
Added on : Sunday March 30th 2014 02:00:04 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Mrtelevisionguy
Views: 7 Replies: 0 Welp my wife has finally cracked up. Walking away from the kids and I. Midlife crisis or some crap. Missed her drinking days....
Sticking me with a big mortgage and debt.

My question is the following.
I CAN swing the mortgage and debt BARELY. If I pay minimums I might have 300 at the end of the month. I do get OT sometimes and that does help but it isnt always there.
2nd job might be an option sometimes, but I work weird hours and then there is the kids.
Luckily I can work from home at this point.

Do I
A. sell the house and pay off debt and then be forced to split any leftover funds.
B. see what happens and pay what I can and stay here. Maybe even default on some.

I live in a good area with nice house. Can sell it I think without an issue. I can also borrow against my 401K which I really dont want to. I just started it a few years ago and only have enough to borrow against for half my debt.

I like where I am and I can find something I am sure for less money that is smaller. I also have a ton of crap that I can liqudate here and use that money to pay off debt too.

Any ideas? yes my grammer sucks. Not my speciality
Personal Finance Deals
Tax treatment
Added on : Saturday March 29th 2014 07:00:14 PM
g: 0 Posted By: VAIndigo
Views: 188 Replies: 0 Backgound:
Bought house in July 2005 for 440k - primary 20% down payment
Market took a hit and went way south - to around 280k
May 2012 bought another house(7 miles away from first house) for 300k and moved into it
Rented first house in 2012 Aug - cashflow negative by 250 every month without considering maintenance. Market value as of that time is around 305k but county value was 280k
Market value as of today for the first house is 340 - 350k. Remaining mortgage is 310k

Old house facts:
Not sure of the real estate future in this area as the recovery in this neighborhood is sub-par compared to other areas in the region
Metro train coming within 5 miles in next 5 - 7 years which could be good and give good uplift to values
Avg to below average rental area as of today
Paying 4.75% rate

If I sell this house today - how will the tax treatment be -- can i deduct losses?
What if i sell and buy a rental in better location (with additional funding) would it make good business sense?
From pure financials point of view - does it make sense to sell at this point?

Have other rentals too but this is my biggest dud

Tax Deals
To Buy or not to buy a house?
Added on : Saturday March 29th 2014 11:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: rodge
Views: 156 Replies: 0 I'm a long time lurker when it comes to FWF, but am hoping that I can lean on the wisdom of you all to give us some thoughts on the decision making.

My wife (34) and I (38) are currently planning/debating to buy a house in summer 2014 to give our kids the benefit of a better school district. We are somewhat confident but also scared about that decision.
We live in MD and currently live in a town-home we purchased in 2006 for $390,000 which is worth about $330K now with about $257K left in Mortgage. Loan is at 3%, 15 yr Fixed. Have 2 girls 6 & 2. Planning to rent this property for about $2200/mo and pay the difference for the 15 yr loan. (I could convert it to a 30 yr loan, but want to build some equity as long as we can do it)

Household Income:
I work as a contractor in the Federal Govt while my wife works in the Energy Industry as a Financial Analyst. I bill about $97/hr through my Incorporated company, my wife makes 100K as an employee. I have been averaging about $90+ an hour for 5 years now with three diff clients. If I ever loose my current gig or need to find a job quickly, I'd be able to get a 100-115K job quickly instead of waiting for a high paying job like I usually do.

Wife & I take home: $14,000/mo after taxes
Expenses: Mortgage & Escrow: $2,550/mo
All Other Family Expenses: $3,500
(Groceries, Gas, Kids classes, clothing etc)

FICO score: 787 & 798.

Savings (Cash): $85,000
Savings (Stock, Bonds): $128,000
401(K): $212,000 Combined ($60 K Wife's)
No Student or Auto Loans or Credit Card Debt

Assets which I won't use for buying house:
Condo in Asia: $100K (Gift to dad from me; might inherit it someday)
Cash Fixed Deposits abroad for parents maintenance: $100,000

The New Home Budget: $700K (upto 800K if required)

Question: If we pay 20% down which is what we'd like to do ideally to avoid PMI's, we will be down to about 30K left for emergencies after accommodating for closing costs, moving expenses, prepping existing house for renting.

Is there any way to avoid paying PMI and pay only 10-15% in down payment? We are targeting to be in a new house by July giving us some more time to build more cushion (emergency fund).

While we'd like to postpone by one more year, possible mortgage rate increases worries me. Or I read about banks giving Jumbo loans on 15% down payment and waiving the PMI if the collateral is an Investment or Money Market account.

Or Should we even buy a house this year? Or wait for another year? (We'd like to move to a school district which has better GT, Honors, AP, AAP courses down the line)
Thanks in advance for taking the time to read my post and offer some insight.
Question Deals
Have the previous inpection, should I do it again?
Added on : Friday March 28th 2014 02:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: fleetwoodmac
Views: 0 Replies: 0 The house that I signed the papers for, has regular inspection (not termites or foundation just regular) done 2 months ago when the previous buyer could not get the mortgage, so I am buying now

But I need termite inspection and foundation inspection and I just don't wanna pay another 400 dollars for the inspection that is already been done

The seller's agent was nice enough to provide that to us and so I can see everything I need to see in these 20 -30 pages

what do you think?
g: 1 Posted By: BRIANW001
Views: 91 Replies: 2 Please dont flame I have searched forums and I have searched the internet and only found one posting on negative income due to NOLs

Hello Fatwallet group,I am seeking advice or insight on how to improve my chances for a First Time Home Purchase. Previously I was turned down to use large NOLs from a previous LLC. The LLC is now closed but my CPA says I must take the NOL write downs. NOL are due to run out in 2014 taxes which would be in mid 2015.I was previous denied a loan with 30% down FICO 800+ and 170k in annual dual income. Bank said I was a solid candidate but when the underwriters received the paper work theyjust kept stringing me along. My CPA said after talking with lender that bank does not want to make the loan. CPA said instead of denying you they will just keep asking for more paper work. I only applied to one bank and it was heartbreaking. With interest rates low this may be my last chance to purchase a home with a good fixed rate in an area I want my kids to grow up in.My Mortgage specifics.
Northern California Home estimated 650K loan 350k Down(yes this is the going rate for a home in this area)

Offering 30% - 35% down (seems like the banks dont care about this number as long as it is above 20%)
Fico 800+
Wife and my income 180K a year

Wife employed outside of family business (no gaps in work history)

I am employed by our family business for over 15 years (no gaps in work history)

Last year withdrew from all LLC membership. I am ona salary work with no ties to business doing the same work.
LLC are owned by siblings who live in another state
Income has been stable over past 3 years

Since all NOLs (Net Operating Losses) are now passive what are my chances of getting a loan?
I have found that the loan officers do not speak to the underwriters as a security measure.

Does this mean my chances are determined by which underwrite I am assigned? My CPA says it is amazing how little underwriters know about actual finance and that NOLs actually provide refunds going forward on taxes.

Is there a way I can structure my information better, or talk to someone else at the bank I am trying to get the mortgage from?

I talked with mortgage bankers that say they talk to their underwriters is this a red flag? I heard this is not how the system works.

If anyone hashad asimilarexperiencesplease share them with me. It seems that theMortgageBankersstill so not knowexactly what the underwriters want,also some of themortgagebankers seem like they don'twant to spend time on mymortgagewhen they have easiermortgagesto originate. I hope now thatrefinancinghave droppedsignificantlythat they are more willing to work with more complexmortgages.

Thanks so much for any constructive advice.
Tax Deals
Applying for a mortgage and looking for a job?
Added on : Thursday March 27th 2014 05:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: fleetwoodmac
Views: 110 Replies: 2 I am in the middle of buying a house so more than likely my offer will be accepted tomorrow
In the meantime, though I am currently working I am looking for a new job. My mortgage process should start tomorrow or the day after. Say it takes 20 days to close, so what day should be the earliest to start my new job to avoid confliction with mortgage process?
Real Estate Deals
Inheritance coming - What should I do with it? - Next Steps
Added on : Thursday March 27th 2014 10:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: dd564
Views: 652 Replies: 11 New here and seeking some opinions.

I am married. I am 41, wife is 36.
We have three kids, ages 10, 6, and 4.
We have a combined income of about $120-130k which has been pretty much the same (due to job changes on my behalf (loss of job, working contract, down time, etc).

We have two houses. One we live in. Value about $450-500k. The other house is our old house which we rent out. Value about $250-300k.
We owe about $315-320 on our primary residence, and about $165k on the rental.

Mortgage payments are both 30 year.
Primary 3.5% payment of about $1460
Rental / investment house 5.5%(?) payment of 1190.
We have two vehicles both of which we bought brand new. One is a 2005 minivan. Paid off. The other is a sedan bought in 2011. Making payments of $350 a month. 1% interest.

Rental Income
Income on the rental is $1850 per month on a 2 year lease.

We have about 90k in IRA's. 20k of that in a ROTH IRA.
We have another 100k in investment accounts.
We have another 25k in an emergency cash fund.

Both her an I both contribute to a 401k at company match levels. (6% for me. I think 4% for her)

Our monthly payments are mortgages, taxes, insurance, etc.
We eat out once or twice a year for an actual dinner out.
Otherwise a few $5 meals when traveling going through a drive thru.

We just stated saving $800 a month to go into investments monthly now that our cash reserve is where it is.

I've been notified that I'm likely to receive a sum of money through an inheritance. (Say maybe $50k).
What would be your next steps?

Pay down the rental property at 5.5%
Invest more in investments and pay off the mortgages slowly. (Tax deductions and the lower rate seem traditionally low).


Mortgages are $1450 on the one we have
Personal Finance Deals
Next Steps
Added on : Thursday March 27th 2014 05:00:17 AM
g: 0 Posted By: dd564
Views: 72 Replies: 0 New here and seeking some opinions.

I am married. I am 41, wife is 36.
We have three kids, ages 10, 6, and 4.
We have a combined income of about $120-130k which has been pretty much the same (due to job changes on my behalf (loss of job, working contract, down time, etc).

We have two houses. One we live in. Value about $450-500k. The other house is our old house which we rent out. Value about $250-300k.
We owe about $315-320 on our primary residence, and about $165k on the rental.

Mortgage payments are both 30 year.
Primary 3.5% payment of about $1460
Rental / investment house 5.5%(?) payment of 1190.
We have two vehicles both of which we bought brand new. One is a 2005 minivan. Paid off. The other is a sedan bought in 2011. Making payments of $350 a month. 1% interest.

Rental Income
Income on the rental is $1850 per month on a 2 year lease.

We have about 90k in IRA's. 20k of that in a ROTH IRA.
We have another 100k in investment accounts.
We have another 25k in an emergency cash fund.

Both her an I both contribute to a 401k at company match levels. (6% for me. I think 4% for her)

Our monthly payments are mortgages, taxes, insurance, etc.
We eat out once or twice a year for an actual dinner out.
Otherwise a few $5 meals when traveling going through a drive thru.

We just stated saving $800 a month to go into investments monthly now that our cash reserve is where it is.

I've been notified that I'm likely to receive a sum of money through an inheritance. (Say maybe $50k).
What would be your next steps?

Pay down the rental property at 5.5%
Invest more in investments and pay off the mortgages slowly. (Tax deductions and the lower rate seem traditionally low).


Mortgages are $1450 on the one we have
Personal Finance Deals
15 year fixed or 30 year fixed
Added on : Wednesday March 26th 2014 04:00:13 PM
g: 0 Posted By: samandy
Views: 191 Replies: 2 For a home price of about 400-425K, which fixed mortgage will you prefer, assuming you can afford down payment for both 15 year or 30 years.Interest rate difference is about .8.
My calculation says for 15 year you will pay probably 25-30% more per month but for the duration of the loan you will pay 200K more in interest rates.
What are your thoughts? Am I missing something.

Welcome your input!
Real Estate Deals
Do we live frugally or excessively or normally?
Added on : Tuesday March 25th 2014 01:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: couponqueenabk
Views: 271 Replies: 16 Spouse and I are both 30, no kids. I make $80k-$88k/year depending on bonus awarded and my husband makes $70k. We each defer 8% into our respective 401ks. Two car loans totaling $750/month and mortgage payment (which includes escrow amts) totals $1,400/month. Student loan repayments = $1000/month (minimum payment is $350, but we are trying to get it paid off ASAP). No other debt. Credit cards are paid off in full each month. I FEEL we don't spend extravagantly - we take one vacation per year and go out to each 2-3 times per month. I feel like we collectivelymake a decent salary; but find it hard to keep up. I'm just curious if this spending seem excessive or frugal relative to others?
Personal Finance Deals
Removing PMI - Wells Fargo is Evil :(
Added on : Monday March 24th 2014 04:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: SaguratuS2
Views: 119 Replies: 2 Hey everyone,
I've run into my second major issue dealing with Wells Fargo on my mortgage (the first time, they 'lost' $10k worth of principal payments, which took nearly half a year to fix). I went to remove my PMI from my loan, and WF said I still had $20k to go. My loan-to-value is just below 80% at 151k, with the original appraisal being 189,000. I refinanced back in early 2012, and I discovered that they put the refi amount as the appraisal ($164,000). I've been fighting them for months on this issue, and I've gotten absolutely nowhere.

They said I could order another appraisal, but they won't consider it unless I've done something to the house to increase its value. Right now, I'd estimate it would appraise around $214,000 given the market, but I haven't made any notable improvements.

Am I SOL, or is there anything I can do?
Personal Finance Deals
Sell Real estate or Keep Student Loans.
Added on : Monday March 24th 2014 06:00:17 AM
g: 0 Posted By: branttucker
Views: 65 Replies: 1 =14pxI have $80,000 in school debt. I'm paying ~$1,000/month for 10 years. I have a condo (paid off; $120,000) that is bringing in $850/month. I also have a mortgage on condo I'm currently living in. I pay $650/month for 30 years. I just started a business and I hope to break even by the end of the year.
=14pxShould I sell the condo that I have renters in and pay off my school debt or keep it?
=14pxThanks, Rookie.
Personal Finance Deals
Independent broker doesn't want to reimburse cash
Added on : Monday March 24th 2014 03:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: fleetwoodmac
Views: 0 Replies: 0 He is my agent as a buyer and we just closed on a house. He says it is illegal to reimburse as cash and instead he wants to pay the first 2-3 mortgage payments

Does anyone know why it is illegal?

And also, if I received cash from him, would it be taxable?
Refinance with negative points - How does this impact income tax?
Added on : Sunday March 23rd 2014 04:00:03 PM
g: 1 Posted By: NorthStar2020
Views: 87 Replies: 1 I refinanced in 2013 for a mortgage loan with negative points. Since I'm doing my taxes with TurboTax, it only mentions scenarios where points were paid by owner. When a point is paid in refinance, the owner amortizes it over the life of the loan.
How does it work out when the home owner receives points ? We are talking here about 3K of negative points.
Real Estate Deals
USDA Rural Development Dept DEMAND FOR PAYMENT
Added on : Thursday March 20th 2014 02:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: mesquite
Views: 8 Replies: 1 So I received a letter this week from the USDA Guaranteed Loan Branch demanding payment of $82,000 to reimburse them for paying off my defaulted mortgage.

This is a pretty scary deal as it appears that I've been fooled and gotten myself into a situation that is going to cost me some money....almost my entire savings and I'm 69. I have $101,000 with Ed Jones, Inc.

Some questions I have would be how to handle this. Will they offer a reduced amount or do they stick with the first number? If I let it go I'm told the Treasury Dept will garnish my social security check. But I've read several times that they will stop at 15% of your check.

I've read enough to know that this bunch will get their money....but if anyone has any advice I would certainly appreciate hearing it.
Real Estate Deals
g: 2 Posted By: Al3xK
Views: 211 Replies: 5 5% rebate towards your mortgage with no limit for the first 6 months on gas/grocery/drug store. Some aggressive churning and I might be able to pay off my house
Deal Deals
Credit pull question for (possible) app-o-rama
Added on : Monday March 17th 2014 12:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: BenH
Views: 59 Replies: 0 So - I'm not really planning on doing an App-o-rama...I really just need to get the new Citi AAdvantage card because of losing access with AmEx plat.

I honestly don't even want to apply for the Citi card because I don't want the credit pull as I might take a new mortgage out near the end of the year.

However, I'm willing to take the risk because I have a very good credit score and should have the savings/income that should match the mortgage I need.

In the past when I have done app-o-rama's I have never done the supposed trick of applying on the same-day/time/whatever so that multiple credit inquiries show as one.

So, I'm just wondering - if I have to get one pull for the Citi card anyway - can I take advantage of this method to get other cards?

My assumption (possibly wrong) is that this trick works only if the card issuer is the same? So it might only work if I am going for two Citi Cards?

What is the trick/limitations with this method?

Question Deals
g: 0 Posted By: st4rdust
Views: 212 Replies: 0 Newegg has Intuit TurboTax Deluxe Federal & State 2013for $49.99 - $15 coupon code "EMCYTZT58795" = $34.99. Shipping is free. The coupon does not apply to the downloadable version of this software. 3/5 eggs based on 17 customer reviews.

Coaches you through every step
Uncovers over 350 deductions
Covers mortgage interest
Customized to your situation
Free Federal E-File included

Tax Software Deals

TurboTax Coupons
Financial Checkup - Full Disclosure
Added on : Sunday March 16th 2014 08:00:14 AM
g: 0 Posted By: barsotti0
Views: 174 Replies: 2 I'm looking for some constructive criticism or feedback regarding my current savings/retirement state. I've been on FW for years, and continue to improve our situation but can always use another point of view.

32 years old, married (spouse is 29) with 3 month old baby
HHI = $110k
Spouse stays at home
Live in California East Bay

Home value - $425k (purchased in 2012)
2008 Nissan Altima - $11k
2012 GMC Yukon - $33k
401k - $85k
401k - $5k (spouse)
Savings - $85k
TOTAL - $644k

Mortgage - $238k at 2.75% (7/1 variable)
HELOC - $0k balance ($100K CL at 5.25%)
Car Loan - $24K loan at 1.99%
401K loan - $21k at 3.25% (used to purchase condo in 2012)
TOTAL - $283K

NET WORTH - $361k

Monthly Cash Flow:
Net income - $4,975 after 401k/benefits/taxes/fsa
10% into401k - $820 a month, with 5.5% additional employer match
Bonus net income - $700 a month after 401k/taxes
50% into 401k - $583 a month, with 5.5% additional employer match
TOTAL - $5,675

Monthly Expenses:
Mortgage - $985.9
HOA - $240
RE Taxes - $267
Ins - $54
Car Loan - $375
401k Loan - $176
Life Ins - $85
Auto Ins - $140
Utilities - $134
Cable/internet - $140
Cell phones - $130
Grocery - $600
Gas - $350
Eat out (work) - $150
Eat out - $250
Dog - $40
Hair cut/dry cleaning - $45
TOTAL $4,162

My general question, given current net worth and monthly cash flow, are we currently putting sufficient money towards retirement. Also, we are debating the purchase of a new home (would sell current condo that is a 2/2) to accommodate another kid. Price range is somewhere around $600k.

Thanks in advance
Personal Finance Deals
Just turned 18, living on my own. Any financial advice?
Added on : Saturday March 15th 2014 12:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: tayumi
Views: 15 Replies: 0 Sorry this is so long but please read the whole thing because everything is just really complicated

My situation right now is that I'm a high school senior, I work part-time (getting $300 a month), my mother owned the house where I live in (I say "owned" because she passed away a few days ago. The house will automatically go to my older brother, who has no use for it as he lives in a different state, so he plans on signing it over to me). It's a duplex, so right now there's a renter on the other side paying $600 a month, while I'm paying $690 a month for mortgage, $30 for water, and.. well honestly I don't know how much electric is. That, and I can probably live off about $40 a month for food, plus or minus some.

My mom owed a lot of money to people, so whenever any of her bank accounts went over about $400 they'd garnish her money. I had to have a bank account when I started my job, and being only 17 then, it had to go under her name, or she had to cosign it or something. I think in November, actually, they took about $230 from my account. Will this happen again? My card from them says her name and I've yet to talk to my bank account about this (actually it's a credit union but it's basically the same thing. I should be talking to them I guess but they're closed on weekends).

That being said, her credit rating was pretty low - about 580. So obviously the mortgage interest rate, which still has 25 years to go, is very high. It's a $70,000 house where I have to pay almost $700 a month for 30 years. I don't know the exact rate, but it's a lot that could be cut in half with a good credit score. The thing is, I have NO credit, and at this point I don't think I can afford getting credit because that would involve buying stuff, and I can't afford to pay back for the stuff that I buy, if that makes any sense.

Also, I'm guessing I'm going to owe her car too, and honestly I don't know anything about car ownership other than expensive, complicated, paperwork. I don't even have a driver's license, all I have is a permit.

Since I only get $900 a month of income, would I be eligible for foodstamps? How would I go about getting that?

Even though I'm a high school Senior and I AM college-bound, I'm taking a gap year to get everything settled down, then after that, well.. I don't know what to do with my pets, but then I'm going off to college and probably renting out the other side of the duplex, so I'd get $1200 a month from there ($1100 if I decide to be nice). Does this overall seem like a good idea?

That's about all the issues I can think of. I'd greatly appreciate any advice and suggestions!
New User Question Deals
Third Federal 10 Year Mortgage - Any Personal Experience?
Added on : Friday March 14th 2014 02:00:04 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Tinker2Evers2Chance
Views: 35 Replies: 0 Have an offer for a 2.89% mortgage for up to 10 year term. $295 flat closing cost. Small print says may require escrow. And I get a free $100 Home Depot gift card (which does not factor at all into the decision)


Very few threads on Third Federal here and am out of the mortgage shopping loop. Are there better deals out there or is this the best I'm going to do now?

Current mortgage $110k
House about $300k
9 years left - will keep term the same
Excellent credit score
Personal Finance Deals
Help Me Refi
Added on : Friday March 14th 2014 02:00:04 PM
g: 0 Posted By: FutureBillionaire
Views: 176 Replies: 2 A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away:

I signed up for a terrible mortgage during the housing bubble. I have a 1st and 2nd mortgage that was sold to me as an 80/20 loan. I wholeheartedly acknowledge that I was a bumbling fool when I purchased my house.

Fast forward a few years, and Bank of America has sold my first mortgage to Specialized Loan Servicing. They still have my second mortgage.

My question is, what is the best way of refinancing these loans? My credit scores were between 660 and 680 when I bought my house. Now, I'm in the 760-780 range. The rate on my second mortgage is much higher. Although my awareness of credit has improved, I'm still a noob when it comes to the housing market. Any advice or help is much appreciated. I bank with two credit unions, a few online banks, and a couple of national banks. I think I have established relationships that should help me get a good product somewhere.
Personal Finance Deals
Legal trouble with Chase bank
Added on : Friday March 14th 2014 10:00:08 AM
g: 1 Posted By: acesfullof8s
Views: 172 Replies: 6 Hopefully you guys can help me with this, or point me in the right direction.

I have been a customer with Chase for 7 years, and they hold the second mortgage on my house. In January I deposited a check from a Canadian company. I went in a week later to withdraw some of the funds and was told I needed to speak to a manager. The manager told me they needed to speak to the maker of the check to verify it, which seemed odd to me. They said no one would answer the phone and it was up to me to get them contact information; which I did not have.

A few days later I received a letter from them saying they were closing my account due to 'unusual activity' and that I would receive a check for any remaining funds within 10 days.

On February 11th, I noted my account was zeroed out and there was a line item for a check disbursement of the full amount. I assumed I would be receiving a check any day now. But I did not.

Today I called them and they said that they would release the funds when they could speak to someone at the company, in fact, at first they said I needed to bring in a representative of the company in with two forms of ID to a local branch. Which seemed absolutely ludicrous to me. I told them that I had no contact information, and would not be able to provide it, that it had been two months and either that check had cleared or bounced in the interim. If it had cleared, give me the money, if it had bounced, then return the check to me. They told me that they would do neither and would hold on to both until I provided this information.

This can't be legal can it? What are my options?
Question Deals
Savings/Retirement checkup
Added on : Friday March 14th 2014 07:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: gr99gt
Views: 115 Replies: 0 I'm looking for some constructive criticism or feedback regarding my current savings/retirement state. I've been on FW for years, but did create a new ID for this post. My apologies, but my existing username makes it pretty easy to identify me once I post the info in this thread.

31 years old, married with 2 kids.
HHI = $155k
Mortgage of ~270k at 3.625% (30 year fixed) with home value about $375k.
Wife has student loans totaling about $30k. $10k at 1.625%, and 20k at3.5%. Both fixed.
I own my car outright, hers is a lease ~500/month.
No other debts.

Current state:
My 401k = ~120k
Roth IRA recently started = ~3k. Contributing$200/month.
529's for kids = $10k. Contributing $200/month
Cash savings = $15k

I put 10% into 401k, plus get additional 4% from employer match.
I amalso vested in apension plan at my work.
Wife is a teacher, so will get pension from state.

I guess my general question, given current balances combined with pensions,how does 10+4% into 401k and 200/month into the Roth look? We're currently putting the rest of our extra monthly income (about $1k/month) into a savings account to go towards an addition on our home. Debating if we shoulddirect more or less money into the additionfund in the near term.

Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: bighitter
Views: 12 Replies: 0 The background: A friend of a co-worker needs a short term (12 month) $100,000 second trust deed loan that he is willing to secure with his primary residence in California. His home, which he has owned for several years, is conservatively worth $1.3 million. His existing first mortgage balance is $525,000. He has been told that he has insufficient income to meet bank's new lending requirements under the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regulations (described: here) that requires the lender to verify the consumer's ability to repay the loan.

If we, as a private party, were willing to make the loan (at a rate of 7%), is there any exemption that could get around the onerous lender penalties described in the Consumer Financial Protection act? I've been looking online but so far can't find an exemption that would make the loan safe from a private party lender's perspective. We are familiar with the borrower and the property. We wouldn't hesitate to make the loan except for the penalties described in the linked article.

Any information would be appreciated.
Real Estate Deals
g: 0 Posted By: miniaustinliu
Views: 70 Replies: 0 Hi everyone!

I just applied for a re-fi on our house at this rate with my broker... they have the lowest rates anywhere that I have shopped on the shorter end of the loan spectrum. We personally just did a cash out and is using the cash on another investment property. Credit needs to be good or else there is a .15% bump on top. He is in the Southern California region but can do nationwide loans for clients.

Penfed's loan is STILL higher than this and only approves 80% LTV, whereas you can only put 10% down with MS.


You cannot sign up ONLINE for this - reach out to a local broker or inquire with me for mine.

You do NOT need a brokerage account with Morgan Stanley either - and require NO bringing in of investment assets. This is a completely different arm of their firm that does LOANS only.

This was my breakdown of costs:

MS Processing fee: $815
Appraisal: $600
Escrow: $475
Title: $300
Notary: $150
Recording: $150
Wire: $15
Courier: $30

I didn't write a check for the costs - I rolled it all into the equity of my condo.
Personal Finance Deals
When do money orders become suspicious?
Added on : Tuesday March 11th 2014 12:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: nasheedb
Views: 1 Replies: 0 I am trying to meet some minimum spending requirements in order to receive some sign-on bonuses from a recent AOR. I can purchase money orders relatively easily. So far, I've deposited a $500 money order into a checking account held at Bank #1, deposited a $1000 money order into a checking account held at Bank #2 and paid my mortgage using money orders at Bank #1. I'm about to receive a credit card statement for nearly $10,000. Can I purchase money orders, walk into a branch and just pay my statement balance using said money orders or will this trip all kinds of alerts? Credit card would be an entirely different bank, call it Bank #3. Has anyone attempted anything like this?
new to heloc. suggestions needed
Added on : Sunday March 09th 2014 06:00:04 PM
g: 0 Posted By: megaawells
Views: 2 Replies: 0 Hello i just found this great site !

Here is my current situation as im looking for suggestions.

I make about 72 k base with some overtime. Married 5 kids.

Current mortgage is 195k with the house appraising for 300k.

We are looking to add a pool and complete our backyard.

I have been looking at helocs as my wife makes commission on her side job and could throw large sums 3 to 4 k at a time at the loan.

We would also like to make some renovations in the kitchen but are not in a hurry to do such.

What should i be looking at in terms of finding the right heloc for me.

All credit cards paid off and only debt is wife school loans mortgage and two vehicles in my name soley.

We have a credit union througj her work which shows prime plus an interest % of 5 which i beleive would make the rate 8.25.

Where else should i look?

I beleive at 80 ltv i could take out 45000 but i would not like to use that in full.

Discussion Deals
Blowing the whistle on your employer for fun and profit
Added on : Friday March 07th 2014 11:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: tuphat
Views: 70 Replies: 0 from Politico --

Keith Edwards, a former JPMorgan Chase employee, will be paid nearly $63.9 million for tipping off federal investigators about problems with how the bank was writing government-insured home loans, according to a court filingtoday.

The case led to a $614 million settlement between JPMorgan and federal prosecutors.

Evidence showed JPMorgan knew some loans it wrote that were insured by the Federal Housing Administration and the Department of Veterans' Affairs did not meet agency guidelines. The bank also admitted to ignoring internal reviews that flagged issues with the mortgages.

The payment to Edwards is a share of the settlement amounts due to the government agencies. Edwards receives roughly $56.4 million of the $564.6 million due to FHA, and gets another $7.4 million from the $49.4 million due to the VA loan program, according to the filing.

Edwards had originally sued the bank for defrauding taxpayers, and the Justice Department joined his case.
Personal Finance Deals
$51k in bank, 24 years young... time to buy my own pad?
Added on : Thursday March 06th 2014 04:00:10 PM
g: 0 Posted By: tol835
Views: 209 Replies: 6 I have been racking my brain about the idea of buying my own place... please read on if you are also pondering this or have something to contribute!

I live in Chester County in Pennsylvania. I have 51k in savings, 7k in other fairly liquid assets (Also it is stuff I could part with) not including my car, and 12.5k in my 401k (current total contribution is 10%). My monthly take home is $3,106. I am currently paying $600 a month for a small room in a nice 2,000 sq. ft. three story townhouse worth about $260,000 with 2 other roommates that I tolerate but don't enjoy living with all that much. The one guy owns the place. EVERYTHING is included for the $600 and I am NOT in any type of contract. The house is 2 miles from the office which is the biggest benefit of living here. I have no other financial obligations besides my car and renter's insurance.I have a 2 year specialized technology degree and have been working full time in my career for 4 years at the same company.

I have looked at a few houses, and am considering purchasing a townhouse for around 160k, putting 20% down making the loan $128,000. In addition to annual property taxes of around 2-3k, I would likely have a monthly HOA fee of $125-$215.

I am very independent and like being in control and living with 2 roommates is starting to get very taxing on me. If I get lonely at my own place (Im not sure if this would happen or not) I could always rent out a room and also pay the mortgage off faster. Also, living with only one other person in the house who I can choose myself shouldnt be too bad if I vet and choose the right person.

Having said all that the obviously other choice is to rent a one (maybe two) bedroom studio apartment for around $800-$1,000 a month plus utilities so maybe $1,200ish. Thats double what Im paying now but would likely still be within 5-7 miles of where I work. The other big downside to this choice would be that I would be in a contract, so purchasing a house wouldnt be as easy when the time came. However, I would try to get a lease with an out provided I give the landlord a 3 month or so heads up.

Thoughts from the older and wiser would be much appreciated!
Real Estate Deals
Should i get a cheap mortgage for my credit?
Added on : Thursday March 06th 2014 03:00:11 PM
g: -1 Posted By: rperez4
Views: 103 Replies: 2 I've always rented and recently i find myself with some extra income and i was thinking about buying a cheap apartment, a plot of land or a house(around 20-30k) just to get a small mortgage going for my credit. I'am usually around 760-780 on my fico so maybe i can make the push into 800 with a well paid mortgage. Any ideas or suggestions?
Real Estate Deals
Paying off the house
Added on : Thursday March 06th 2014 07:00:13 AM
g: 0 Posted By: dmhudson
Views: 82 Replies: 5 All,

This is my first post on Fat Wallet and I'm wanting to get some advice regarding mortgage pay-off

-Closed on home last July
-Want to pay off the house and be debt-free
-Timeline is approximately 4 years from start to finish for pay-off

I have 2 options:

Option A.
-Funnel every spare penny towards our mortgage month-month

Option B.
-Funnel every spare penny into investments accounts month-month
-Once investment account eclipses total mortgage value, write a check to pay off the house
-This will ideally return a better rate than my current 4.375% mortgage
-More risk

Personal Finance Deals
Strategic advice/plan for additional rental property purchase
Added on : Monday March 03rd 2014 12:00:11 PM
g: 0 Posted By: skrobo
Views: 75 Replies: 0 Hi FWF, Im looking for some advice on how to align my finances for a purchase of a 2nd vacation rental property. Ive had a lot of success with a vacation rental I purchased 2 years ago, and I would like to add another property to my portfolio, but Im not sure what the best strategy should be.

My current situation:Illinois primary residence condo:
$188k @ 4.75% Market price at about 190k. (paid $260k at the peak of the market)

Florida vacation rental condo $85k left @ 3%. Current value about $170k. Rented in season pays for itself and then some. Strong renter market with confirmed bookings multiple years out.
Employed fulltime: $120k/yr total income$110k in the bankneed a cushion but nowhere near $110k sitting in cash accounts.

Id like to spend about 130-150k for another vacation property near my current property, I full expect this property to pay for itself with seasonal rentals. Financially, whats the best approach and strategy to be in position to purchase another vacation rental in the $130k-$150k. Where should I deploy about of the cash I have saved? Should I pay off one of the mortgages before buying the new condo, or take my cash + HELOC and use that to buy a property out right? Any advice would be appreciated!
Real Estate Deals
Real Estate: Selling current home and buying another?
Added on : Monday March 03rd 2014 09:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: mailvips
Views: 38 Replies: 0 Here's our scenario:

We live in a decent townhome and are thinking about living in a single family house with yard etc in same area (South Bay in SFO Bay Area).
The houses which we like (went to couple of open houses) and the area where we want to live are pretty expensive (1.0 to 1.4m) and hence the dilemma.
The current home has a 400K mortgage at 3.5% 30 years fixed and
Zillow's Zestimate of it is about 1m.
We can do20-25% of down payment for the future home
Renting may not work as it will not be cash flow positive and hence the taxdepreciation will be passive loss and will not offset my active/portfolio income. Due to our income levels wecan not avail the 25K deduction either
Although we can afford the jumbo mortgage for a loan of 1m, we would generally like to keep that to a lower amount (sounds like oxymoron)
Other info:Our credit scores are >800 and I have a IT consulting business where both me and my wife are employed

So the questions are:

Am I missing any ways to keep the current home and its low rate and pay down more towards new one?
What would be the FW way to move to what we think (which is totally subjective evaluation) to a better home?
Also isthis a good time to do this move from a real estate market perspective where valuations are all time high in this area
How good are Zillow Zestimates?
How does one go about buying and selling at the same time?


Personal Finance Deals
Getting a Loan
Added on : Sunday March 02nd 2014 01:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Newyorker1905
Views: 2 Replies: 0 Hi guys.

I am an expat living in USA. I would like to buy a house in my home country so that my father can live in it while he is alive. God forbid, something happens to him, I will rent it out.

That said, I require around 100K USD. I am not able to get a mortgage from a US Bank as they can't foreclose the property in my home country. At the same time, I don't want to get a loan from my home country because the rates are insanely high (20% annual rate for 10 years).

Is there a way to secure this amount from a US Financial institution as a regular loan?

I am working at a Consumer Goods company which is in Fortune 200 globally. I am also a US citizen and my credit score at the moment is 788.

After all my expenses, I can comfortably pay back the loan if the 10 year interest rate is around 8% annually. Any suggestions?

Personal Finance Deals
Looking for Advice on Affordability of Home Purchase
Added on : Sunday March 02nd 2014 09:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: BillRHIT
Views: 182 Replies: 7 Hi all, I have run a lot of numbers and am on the verge of making an offer on a home. I believe we can comfortably afford it, but would like to hear others opinions and see if I have missed anything. I acknowledge that we don't "need" this fancy/large of a house, but I would prefer to buy our "dream home" now as opposed to buying an intermediary home and in 5-10 years moving up. We live in the midwest (not Chicago), so housing is cheap here.

My wife and I make a combined $250K. ($200 for me, $50 for her). My job is as stable as I could hope for. My income could fluctuate year to year, but should generally increase over time. I'm a new partner in a well established mid size law firm.

We currently live in a $140K home and owe about $80K on it. In addition to that $50-60K equity, we have $450K in liquid funds and $300K in retirement savings. Both of our cars are worth about 25K each and are paid off, and we have no debt other than the mortgage. We currently have a two year old son, and hope to have one more child in the near future. Our current home is too small for a second child. We spend $1000 a month on child care and will send our kids to the local public schools, which are very good.

Home would be 600K, maximum. Property taxes are roughly 5.5K annually with $500/yr HOA fees. With a 200K down payment and a 4.125% 30 year mortgage for the rest I figure the payment (all in) would be $2500/month.

Our net income is about $160,000. This accounts for taxes, health insurance, HSA contributions, and maxing out retirement savings. Obviously this would go up if we were to take on the larger mortgage.

Based on this, the mortgage described above would be ~19% of our take home pay. We would still have 300K in savings (provided our current home sells quickly, which we expect based on it being in great shape and the cheapest home in a desirable neighborhood/school district). I expect to spend about 20K furnishing the new home in the next few months.

Am I missing anything? Thanks in advance for your thoughts. I know many may think this is too much house, and I hear that, but you could spend it in worse ways, right?
Personal Finance Deals
Am I biting off more then I can chew in regards to a condo purchase?
Added on : Saturday March 01st 2014 08:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: guy4167
Views: 0 Replies: 0 Single, 2 years out of college. I have been living at my parents house. Last year I made $44,350 including bonuses. I have been promoted since I started work and it is going very well. Good job working for a large corporation, but not where I want to be in terms of salary yet. I am in the profession that my career will be spent doing.

I have $54,000 at my disposal right now. No debt and I own a car worth about $6000 that is in good working order. Thinking of purchasing a 2 bedroom condo:

$179,000 asking price. (sold for $245,000 in 06)
$4400 property taxes
$300/month HOA

Puts me at a monthly payment close to $1400 between mortgage/taxes/HOA. Only taking home $2500 a month after taxes, health insurance, maxed 401k, etc.
Selling house mid nonth, do i need to make last payment?
Added on : Friday February 28th 2014 05:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Wads
Views: 179 Replies: 1 Hello

Selling on a house that I have owned for a period of time (I do not live in this home).

closing date is scheduled for March 10, but contract is by March 14th.

Per the mortgage, it is considered late, and a late charges is assessed on the 16th.
Is it a wash if I make the payment, or am I better off to not. not sure how that payment is evaluated.

note, I am bringing money to close,
thanks in advance for the help

Personal Finance Deals
Lenders who are Self-Employment Friendly
Added on : Thursday February 27th 2014 07:00:11 PM
g: 0 Posted By: tembenite
Views: 99 Replies: 0 I started my own business in October and its going really well, but I'd like to purchase a house.

Based on my research, most lenders require 2 years of self-employment history before they allow you to borrow. I of course do not have this.

I have found one mortgage broker who states that they only require 1 year of employment history, if you're still in the same field as you were before you were self-employed (Which I am).In talking with him, he indicated that "1-year" means 1 tax year, not one full annual year, so since I was in business Oct-Dec 2013 I've been in business "one year". As a result I might have found one lender that might loan me something.

However, I was curious if anyone else on Fatwallet had experience with different lenders that were self-employment friendly, or "maybe" if there are any more "stated income" loans still out there.
Real Estate Deals
Which debt to pay down first?
Added on : Thursday February 27th 2014 01:00:12 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Al3xK
Views: 190 Replies: 6 I have two debts that are screwing me now that I need to address. I'm paying PMI on my home and 9.5% interest on an unsecured pool loan. I'm thinking it makes more sense to try and remove PMI. I would feel comfortable throwing $30k at something. Here are the numbers:

Conventional home loan:

$327,000 purchase price (4/13), 5% down, original loan value $310,650 @ 3.625% interest rate
Current remaining balance $305,085
Monthly PMI: $173.45
Appraisal fee $385
I estimate the value at $370k.
PMI is scheduled to be removed at 78% LTV of the $327k purchase, so 10/21 when the mortgage is roughly $255k. I want it gone long before that

Pool loan:

$30,000 @ 9.5% for 60 months started 7/25/13.
Remaining balance $23,414, pay off is $24,322
I made one-time $5k payment to knock it down a bit

I'm thinking I pay the $385 to do the appraisal, and if the home comes in at $360k for example. I'd need to pay $17k to get to 288k and remove PMI...BUT I was thinking perhaps pay the full $30k and get it to $275k owed on a $360k property, and see if I could do a HELOC to pay the pool down? Or would it make more sense to just pay the minimum to remove PMI and the remainder to the pool loan?

For those curious, the reason I took on PMI and a 9.5% interest loan is because I was able to get 2-3 roommates bringing in $1250-1850 cash off the books...so it covered those expenses easily.
Personal Finance Deals
Can I withdraw my salary from my personal bank account
Added on : Thursday February 27th 2014 05:00:15 AM
g: 0 Posted By: nshear
Views: 11 Replies: 0 I used to have a regular well paid job; in my last year working I earned $600K on my W2. One year ago I started my own business. We have been running at a heavy loss for 2014. I setup as a single-member LLC (disregarded entity). I setup a business account, but I didnt pay myself through the business account; I have been paying living expense including mortgage etc. straight from cash in my personal account.Its tax time and my business account shows a loss of $77,000 (office expense, employees not mine - salaries etc.). I have probably spent $200,000 in living expense from my personal account. Two questions:1)Can I count the $200,000 towards my losses? My concern is that I should have put the money through the business account and then drawn it out.
2)Can I get any W2 tax back from previous years (when I paid loads of taxes)Thanks
My Net Worth at [ONLY AT] Bank of America is up over $250,000 today!!!
Added on : Wednesday February 26th 2014 10:00:10 AM
g: -3 Posted By: macosx
Views: 283 Replies: 2 [If you have a Bank of America account and check your Net Worth, did you find a similar surprise?]

Anyone else feel a little richer today? I think they made a calculation error adding my mortgage to my net worth. Wish that was how it worked.

Are there other bad calculations to lookout for?

Personal Finance Deals
Need help with Condo Decision
Added on : Tuesday February 25th 2014 03:00:09 PM
g: 0 Posted By: kevb81
Views: 32 Replies: 0 As far as background, I am a 32-year old single male looking at buying a place in Jersey City due to how close it is to the city and how much I like the area (I rented there for a few years). I am trying to evaluate and make a smart decision - I am debating between 2 condos below.

One unit is right off a nice park park in a brownstone complex. The unit is good shape except the kitchen which has granite and updated cabinets but still has older looking (white) appliances (electric stove) and would be nicer if opened up so its not enclosed. The rest has some exposed brick accents, completely renovated bathroom with nice finishes, crown moldings. No washer dryer in unit (card system in the building) or real amenities. Right near the park but not directly over it so it shouldn't be too noisy. Parking is uncovered and part of the maintenance fee . The walk to the train is 14 - 15 minutes per google maps. $2110/mo including mortgage, hoas, taxes, etc ($383k)

The other unit that I was debating is in a more modern building (doorman, nice lobby and a common Courtyard
). 7 minute walk to the train in an arguably more happening area (more midrise condos). Open kitchen and nice finishes/fixtures. 2nd floor so not a ton of light despite being in a midrise building. No parking. I would have to rent for about $200/month in the building, so my total cost is about 3,020/month. ($460k)

Both are about 750 sf, 1bed/1ba. I am looking at ideally staying there for about 5 years when I settle down and need more space. My guy says that the appreciation may be better in the more expensive unit but I have never been one to bank on that.

Given that its a "starter home" should I get something more luxurious or something simpler but nice at good cost savings. I am grappling with it :/
Personal Finance Deals
Q: re: mortgage service transfer and account age
Added on : Tuesday February 25th 2014 08:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: moneypyts
Views: 98 Replies: 0 I have a mortgage that originated in July, 2005. In July 2012 the loan servicer, Aurora Bank, was purchased by Nationstar, and I made subsequent payments to Nationstar rather than Aurora.

Initially, Nationstar reported the "date opened" as July 2005, but in Jan, 2014 they changed their reporting to all 3 credit bureaus and reported the "date opened" as July 2012. This erased 6 years of credit history from my reports. It seems to me that there is no justification for this, as Nationstar purchased the assets of Aurora, which included my loan, but in no way did their transaction affect the loan itself. (edited)

Does anyone know if there is an "industry standard" for loans transferring? Other loans I've had in the past always reported the original "date opened" after transferring.

And, when I call Nationstar to ask if they can re-age the account, what department do I ask for?

Thanks for any help or suggestions,
Personal Finance Deals
Renting condo, buying house question
Added on : Sunday February 23rd 2014 12:00:03 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Stockmoose16
Views: 134 Replies: 2 Hi,

I purchased a condo in the Los Angeles area for $320k about 18 months ago. I believe the place is worth around $400k in the current market.

I'm considering renting out the condo, and buying a house in the $500-600k range. The issue is, I need the equity from the condo to put a 20% down payment on the new place. What is the best method to do this that will net me the most favorable interest rate on both properties?

In addition, I have a question about the tax advantages of renting a property. I make approximately $200k gross income, and it's my understanding that you can't take the $25k special tax allowance if your MAGI is above $150k. With all my personal write offs (401k, mortgage and property taxes, etc), I can probably get my MAGI down to 165k,but not below $150k.

My question is, when can I realize all the tax savings of the rental property if I'm not allowed to do it annually based on my income? If I have to wait until the property is sold, and carry over the tax loss on a yearly basis, what happens if in that year, I barely have any income, and therefore, not enough taxes to write off against the carryover?

Basically, I'd like to know if there is any way to realize the tax advantages of a rental property on an annual basis, even at my income level . Possibly creating an LLC or S-corp?

Thanks in advance for your input.
Personal Finance Deals
Looking for property tax assistance....
Added on : Saturday February 22nd 2014 04:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: ZDog377
Views: 129 Replies: 2 Hello everyone,

I've run into an issue between my mortgage holder and my local tax collector. Quick summary here and longer version below.

Quick version - Mortgage company says they sent $1734 to tax collector for school tax. Taxes are in reality $1434 since I have received Homestead exemption and 2% discount this year (2013). I request difference from tax collector. She responds that mortgage company did not send extra, they had sent the correct amount and the reason I am seeing the issue is that the mortgage company has crossed two names in their system. The tax collector states there is nothing she can do to get the mortgage company to fix their records. I explained to her that if this is not resolved by this coming Monday at 8 AM, I am taking legal action to get this matter resolved. I have emails from her stating that the issue is not on her end but in the system of the mortgage company.

Long version - Back in December when my mortgage company did my yearly escrow analysis, they noted that I was $143 short and that I could either pay up now or I could roll it into the next 12 payments. I sent in the check. A few weeks later, I receive a delinquent tax notice for my school taxes. In getting proof from my mortgage company that the taxes were paid, I noticed that the amounts were about $300 off. I then found out that the tax collector is not doing her job well enough and that just about everyone in my town has received these notices. The town performs an audit and finds checks from four months ago totaling several hundreds of thousands of dollars just sitting un-cashed in her office. I finally reached someone at the borough building and they confirm that yes I am paid in full, but at the $1434 amount not the higher amount. Mortgage company sends me a letter stating that they paid the $1734 amount and have not received any Cash Back.
Finally, I contacted both the business manager at the school district and also the tax administrator at the county level and they both agree that I have overpaid and that I am due a $300 credit on my taxes. They state that I need to recover this money from the tax collector. I first tried calling and received no response. I then tried email and received a response. She states that my mortgage company has my information confused with another person and that I am paid for the correct amount and the mortgage company did not send her a check for too much. She cannot tell me who she talked to at the mortgage company that helped her come to this conclusion. I explain to her that the mortgage company had sent the payment by magnetic tape disbursement (their words) and not by check. She then responds she does not accept anything except checks, I then questioned how she is showing anything on my account then?

I am wondering how I go about getting back the overpayment on my taxes. I have done everything I can on my end to move this process along but she seems to not be cooperating. I have no problems taking this to small claims court, or is this something I should let a lawyer handle?

Please let me know if any more information is needed.

Tax Deals
I am terrible at math and projections: should I pay my rental or invest?
Added on : Friday February 21st 2014 01:00:10 PM
g: 0 Posted By: maxandsam
Views: 176 Replies: 1 I have about 100k extra sitting around doing nothing except losing value b/c interest rates are low. I am going to withdraw this to pay off a loan or invest. However I am terrible at math and do not know which scenario is better.

Should I:

1. pay down the note of a rental house that I own and owe 190k on. 30 year fixed at 3.625%. Rentals during the year cover my entire mortgage. (I owe more on my primary residency, but due to laws, it would be the hardest thing for me to lose so that payment is last).

2. invest the money into mutual funds. I have about 400k in mutual funds already and my goal is to get to 1 million by age 40. I'm 33 rt now. That's my goal b/c firecalc.com says at 1 million, by retirement age, I should have plenty to do nothing if I want.

If I add more to funds and get average market return, due to compounding and interest and growth, will I get more value out of investing my 100k or will paying down the rental house note (and the interest saved with prepayment) exceed investing? Let's say I think 10 years out, will my 100k investing, grow and far exceed the savings of prepayment of loan? Thanks to all you math wizzes. and PS, I could spend it on hookers and blow and crown vics, but I like German cars and don't want the herps nor a bloody nose so no H&B.
Personal Finance Deals
Just got $125 from a BoA "CLAIM PMNT" any idea why?
Added on : Thursday February 20th 2014 07:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: renaud
Views: 155 Replies: 5 I just logged into my checking account at a local CU, and there is a deposit of a bit over $125 that is listed as "Bank of America CLAIM PMNT." I have no idea what this is from. I don't recall entering any class action suits against BoA, and I have never had a mortgage with them. I do have a checking account and CC with them if that matters. Any ideas?
General Economics Deals
g: -1 Posted By: remick
Views: 265 Replies: 0 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004HD5YMA

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Total consumer bad debt costs every adult in the US $683 every year. For the average non-supervisory worker thats nearly 54 hours of work (before taxes) a year. Outstanding credit card debt is nearly three quarters of one trillion dollars. Total consumer debt, including home mortgages, exceeds $9 trillion.

Starting a Collection Agency, How to make money collecting money by Michelle A. Dunn Winner of the New York Book Festival and Writers Digest Award. The only award-winning comprehensive book on how to start and manage a collection service. Everything from state laws to what kind of equipment you will need. Its chapters include legal requirements, licenses and regulations, where to find clients, fair debt collection practices, Fair Credit Reporting Act, skip tracing, buying debt, bad checks, and software.

Books Deals

Amazon Coupons
Adding an addition onto my house - Questions. Am I going about this right?
Added on : Wednesday February 19th 2014 03:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: NonReturnable
Views: 104 Replies: 4 I own a 1300 sqft 3 bedroom, 1 bath house.

I would like to add an extra bathroom onto the master bedroom.

2 reasons - I am sick of walking downstairs in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. Also, we would like to move to a larger house closer to my job in 3-4 years or so (waiting for wife to finish college and get a secure job). I have been watching the houses for sale in my area for the last several years, and its seems like the houses that sit on the market and never sell have 2 things in common - single bathrooms and tired, old looking kitchens. I've updated my kitchen with tile floors, new appliances and new counter tops.

My house has 2 floors. The second story is not the full width (front to back) as the 1st floor. The only thing upstairs is my office and our master bedroom. These are over top of my living room and kids' room. I would like to add a 2nd floor over the back part of my house (dining room and kitchen).

I originally was going to just do a 15 foot wide dormer, however I have had a General Contractor come out to give me an estimate, and said it would be much easier and cheaper to build the addition to the existing corners of the back of the house, as it would not require as much reinforcing if he used the existing corners. This would not just give me a bathroom, but if we go this route, it would give me enough space for a small 4th bedroom, master bath and walk in closet. This would easily increase the value of my house by 25%.

So, here is where I am at -
I have several GC's coming to give me estimates on framing in the addition, putting a roof on it, and siding the outside. That is all I want. I can do everything on the inside. I have drywalled several other rooms (used to be plaster), I have experience doing electrical work, and I have a friend that is a plumber that said he would help me with adding the drain and water lines. In my county I do not have to get permits. I know this is weird, but they only require permits for anything that is a 3 family building or larger (eg, apartment). I've confirmed this by calling the courthouse and asking.

I went to Menards and priced everything I would need for the bathroom. It came to right around $1000 for a shower stall (I want a 3/4 bath), toilet, sink, plumbing materials, etc. I don't plan on making this super upscale, just using contractor grade materials, as in my area there isn't enough market demand for these items. Drywall and electrical materials will run me around $400. Insulation about $150.

I had an HVAC unit installed 6 years ago, and to be honest, I got kinda screwed. Its not powerful enough. When it gets in the upper 90s, it can only keep the house around 75, and the 2nd floor gets into the 80s, so we use a window AC in the master bedroom. I plan to reroute the return that goes to the 2nd floor to pull from my living room, and the forced air line to a bedroom that currently doesn't have a forced air line. I'll install a 2-ton Mitsubishi mini-split HVAC unit to cool and heat the 2nd floor. These run around $700.

I plan to take these numbers (after I sort through everything and make a nice spreadsheet) along with 3 estimates from different contractors on framing in the addition to my bank, to attempt to refinance my house and get a home equity loan to pay for the addition.

I paid $75k for the house in 2008.
I currently owe $66k on a 30 year mortgage.

Since I purchased the home, I have put about 20k into upgrades (laminate floors, HVAC - it only had electric baseboards when I moved in, split up a massive 15x20 laundry room to make a small utility hallway and a 3rd bedroom, etc)

I would like to get the house re-appraised to take the upgrades I've done into account, however I will have to pay for it because the bank will only do drive-by appraisals, not one where the guy comes in.

Should I pay for the appraisal before or after I talk to the bank?

Basically I want to go to the bank and say:
I owe 66k
The house is worth $X (somewhere in the mid $80s most likely, based on what my neighbor who is a Realtor says)
I want to do the following upgrades that will cost $Y and afterwards the house will be worth $Z.

So, how does this work? How can I get a loan on the equity between what I owe and what the house is worth?

What is the best way to go about this?

I would appreciate any advice that will get me moving in the right diection.

Thanks guys!

TL;DR - Want to build an addition on my house. Talk to me about how to best approach a home equity loan.
Question Deals
Questions about mortgage as a first time home buyer
Added on : Wednesday February 19th 2014 03:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: fleetwoodmac
Views: 78 Replies: 7 I have never bought a house nor applied for mortgage

I understand that there is a difference between "mortgage pre approval" and "mortgage pre qualification"

1-Which one do I need to get before looking for houses?

2-Do I have to get the mortgage from the same company that I got the "mortgage pre approval"or "mortgage pre qualification"?

Question Deals
TurboTax Deluxe $29.99@ Intuit Note: Online version
Added on : Tuesday February 18th 2014 07:00:14 AM
g: -1 Posted By: puggle
Views: 525 Replies: 1 TurboTax Deluxe $29.99@ Intuit Online version

Get every dollar you deservewe'll search through 350+ deductions and credits
Get help deducting mortgage interest and property taxes
Get help with reducing your risk of an audit with Audit Risk Meter
Get an extra 10% on top of your federal refund with our exclusive bonus* See offer details

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Tax Software Deals

TurboTax Coupons
TurboTax Deluxe $29.99@ Intuit
Added on : Tuesday February 18th 2014 03:00:04 AM
g: 0 Posted By: puggle
Views: 184 Replies: 0 TurboTax Deluxe $29.99@ Intuit

Get every dollar you deservewe'll search through 350+ deductions and credits
Get help deducting mortgage interest and property taxes
Get help with reducing your risk of an audit with Audit Risk Meter
Get an extra 10% on top of your federal refund with our exclusive bonus* See offer details

Details: Use any increment of $100 from your federal tax refund to purchase an Amazon.com Gift Card
TurboTax will give you an extra 5% on your gift card if you are using Federal Free Edition or Basic
TurboTax will give you an extra 10% on your gift card if you are using Deluxe, Premier, Home & Business or Military Edition
For example, if you file with TurboTax Deluxe, you can use $500 of your refund to receive a $550 Amazon.com Gift Card

Tax Software Deals

TurboTax Coupons
First Time Homebuyer- Newbie Mortgage Question. ARM or Fixed?
Added on : Monday February 17th 2014 03:00:14 PM
g: 0 Posted By: saavyfw
Views: 130 Replies: 5 Pre-approved for $175K, 30 year fixed @5.5% 100% financing with Navy Federal and plan on staying in the home 5 years or less. I am exploring all options and don't know too much about mortgage rates and options so looking for some advice. I have excellent credit.

My question is which loan type is best for me? I never really considered the ARM but would this be the best option in my case? If so, what type of ARM and should I go with Navy Fed or Pen Fed? I think Navy Fed has a slightly better 5/5 ARM rate as of this posting. Thanks!

Real Estate Deals
First Time HomeBuyer looking for Mortgage advice
Added on : Monday February 17th 2014 12:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: risic
Views: 17 Replies: 0 I'm a veteran looking for advice on whether to take points or not on my mortgage. I bank with Navy Federal Credit Union.I have about $25K saved. I plan on appplying for a VA Loan which requires no down payment & no PMI, but a funding fee of 1.75-2.15%. The asking price for a home I like is $240K. Here are the interest rates, associated points,and a 1% origination fee for a 30 YR VA loan:

3.375%@ 3pt
3.5% @ 2.5pt
3.625% @ 2pt
3.75% @ 0pt
4.0% @ 0pt (no 1% origination fee)

I don't know which way to go. Should I take the loan with the most points to have a low interest rate and save $30K in interest payment(paying about $15K total in points & fees) or pay no points at all?
Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Personal Finance Deals
Making an offer on a foreclosure
Added on : Monday February 17th 2014 06:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Kainer
Views: 124 Replies: 3 Hi guys,

Wondering if anyone has experience buying a foreclosure. I'm currently looking at a house priced $240,000 that has been on the market for 90+ days. It has been reduced from $259k in that time-frame. It's in a great area, with great schools, and the Surrounding homes are all worth between 275-350k.

The house is in great shape - could use some remodeling, but nothing precluding us from living in it (assuming the inspection comes back clean). I'm already pre-approved for a mortgage.

What I want to know is how low can I go on the offer? Is there a downside to a really low ball offer to a bank other than we get rejected?

Appreciate the help as always! Thanks!
Real Estate Deals
Hold rental home or sell now Fw advice requested
Added on : Saturday February 15th 2014 01:00:03 AM
g: 0 Posted By: fljeremy
Views: 80 Replies: 0 Dear FW community,

I purchased a home in 2003 and moved to another home in 2007 and have been renting out my original home. With last years nice appreciation and rates looking like they might start to rise my current tenant (a mortgage broker) wants to buy with a USDA loan. He gave me a pretty good offer 230k zillow currently says it's 197 but we all know they run low. In speaking with a real estate agent last October said it should go for about 220. So I am torn should I sell now which has the advantages of no listing commission as it's a deal between him and I. Or hold for maybe 3 more years or more. Currently I am getting below market rent of 1400 market rents are now 1550 so if I sell I also lose an income stream. And based on my research property values will continue to climb for at least next 3 years, 5-6% a year? I am in North Florida , holding out could mean a much bigger payday down the road.

In addition if I had some cash in hand from the sale I could refinance my primary and lower the rate by at least 1 percentage point and lower my monthly payment by 1000 a month but also taking out another 30 year mortgage. Currently I have 25 left on primary and 20 left of rental. Hmmm options options. help me out with your knowledge please. Thank you in advance
Question Deals
How much house should we buy? Several variables here...
Added on : Wednesday February 12th 2014 05:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: dougletw
Views: 54 Replies: 1 Just the data:
Two wage earners, one at $85K and one at $40K. Additional income of $500/mo from disability pension.
Analyst at $85K depositing 8% into a 401K with a match of 10% of salary plus .75 of contributions up to 6%. Age of employee is 40. Current 401K balance of $70K. Vested defined benefit to pay out $800/mo at age 65. Projected retirement income of $90K a year seems about right.
Teacher at $40K has a defined benefit plan with a pension that allows full retirement if age plus years of service equals 80. Age of employee is 37.
First home completely paid off. Resale value of $150K. Rental rate of $1200/mo.
Two children, ages 5 and 6. $500/mo deposited into college savings plan. Current balance is approximately $15K.
No debts period. $80K in cash on hand for a down payment. VA loan terms available.
Prequalified for $521,250.00 with a 20% down payment.
Goals--1) Pay for most of kids' college (don't want to pay for everything to incent scholarship)
2) Feel secure about retirement
3) Buy a new house

What SHOULD we pay for a new house? I feel like we may be too thrifty here because my wife is culturally averse to debt, even for mortgages.
Real Estate Deals
Penfed 15/15 Adjustable Rate Mortgage
Added on : Wednesday February 12th 2014 09:00:13 AM
g: 0 Posted By: discoganya
Views: 23 Replies: 0 Penfed now offers an interesting product: 15/15 ARM (i.e. a 30 year mortgage that resets only once midway)


For Purchases & Refinances
Primary Residence & Second Homes (Investment properties are not eligible)
Loan amounts up to $750,000
1% origination fee

On 2/12/2014 Rate is 3.75%

An interesting alternative to a traditional 30-year fixed.
My Time to Refinance? Help wanted.
Added on : Tuesday February 11th 2014 09:00:22 AM
g: 0 Posted By: justignoredem
Views: 47 Replies: 0 Hello folks,

I'm new to the mortgage game. I came into a relationship with my fiancee having a home already, so forgive me for some questions. I know some things might be able to be addressed in the sticky topics, but I don't feel comfortable with everything yet (including terms).

Current Information:
Yearly Income Combined (Untaxed): ~$130k
Original Mortgage Amount: $140,000
Current Mortgage Remaining: $111,000 (Just over 20% threshold?)
Mortgage APR: 5.00%
Loan Type: FHA. So we currently pay PMI until the end of this year. Refinancing would save us a little here.

We Currently pay our Mortgage + $600 - $1000 additional principal every month (depends on how good we did for the month).

My issue's are:

1) What fee's can I typically expect? A lot of people mention "Don't worry, they can roll the fee's into the loan"... I don't care, a fee is a fee, a debt is a debt. I want as least fee's as possible. I want as much equity as possible.
2) What is the best way to Refinance? I am thinking given how much additional principle we do, a 15-year at today's rates (~3.3% according to Yahoo Finance) makes the most sense.
3) As I understand, the disadvantage to refinancing is our mortgage returns to Day 1. So the majority of the beginning of the loan payments will go to Interest instead of principle. Is this true? If so, should I stick to my current 30-year?
4) Who should I refinance with? Most bang for my buck, least amount of fee's? I hear PenFed and Lending Tree from time to time here, but I'm still unsure. Any help is appreciated given my circumstances.
Relationship Banking Discounts on Mortgages
Added on : Monday February 10th 2014 09:00:15 AM
g: 0 Posted By: xxjt
Views: 169 Replies: 4 Anyone have advice about using a lender with a "relationship" discount on a mortgage.

Talking to BofA now - they appear to offer up to 0.5% discount on a mortgage if you have at least $50k in a BofA checking linked with Merrill. HSBC seems to have something similar.

Any catches? Do FWF members have some specific stories here? I'm inclined to open a BofA checking account shortly to try to get this set up before closing.

General Economics Deals
Need advice re student loan/mortage refi with cash available
Added on : Monday February 10th 2014 08:00:21 AM
g: 0 Posted By: throwaway2001
Views: 83 Replies: 0 So my wife and I have collectively about 300K in student loans and a $350K mortgage (house is valued at $300K currently in a yearly arm after having a 7/1 expire). We have $200k in liquid assets. My wife is a stay at home mom for now, but when full time employed, pulls in six figures as I am doing now. Okay those are the deets- now to my considerations-

1. I am in a position to perform a HARP 2.0 at any time (I haven't refi'ed yet since purchasing the house)- however, I'm concerned of having to have a higher apr due to the program- I'm also concerned about being locked into the HARP 2.0 terms- I've read that I can't refinance if I'm in the HARP2.0 program (definitely not again with another HARP 2.0 but am unsure if after paying down principle that I would be able to refi through another bank for an ARM or 30y in the next 3-5 years after having done a HARP 2.0.) I would then continue to invest as I have been doing eventually paying everything down at some point before I die.

2. With our liquid assets- my other consideration was paying down the mortgage- then refinance with a 5/5 or 30yr. basically invest $150k from assets and have $50k in case of emergency- then chip away at student loans and mortgage until I die.

3. Paying off a majority of student loans- I'm getting no benefit from student loan interest through taxes due to my earned income- paying off those loans seems premature when my house is underwater- nonetheless- eventually paying off my student loans would provide more money to pay down my mortgage until I die.

My thought was basically do #2 (pay down the house and refi)- assuming housing continues to recover- potentially refi again later on and pull some money out of the house to pay off some of the student loans- by that time, I would have made a pretty good dent in the loans to potentially pay it all off- this would be at the cost of still owing a vast majority on my house and maybe getting dinged with higher rates later on- but I'd benefit from taxes from the mortgage all the while.

Any advice into how to handle this debt load with my available assets would be greatly appreciated.

Personal Finance Deals
Principal Home ownership in the name of a Trust
Added on : Saturday February 08th 2014 09:00:15 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Nishant1
Views: 1 Replies: 0 My HOA has average home price of about 750,000 to a million depending on the size of the house.
I came across some homes in my HOA where the ownersuse it as a principal home but the ownership is their name with a word "Trust" in the end.

Are there any advantages in forming a trust?
Is mortgage criteria different for such trust ownership?
Vacant house next door: any opportunity?
Added on : Friday February 07th 2014 06:00:15 AM
g: 0 Posted By: bluegreenturtle
Views: 197 Replies: 5 We bought our house 10 years ago and had a very nice and cool neighbor next door who had lived there for decades and fixed his house up nicely, but about a year after we moved in, he decided to sell and move elsewhere. The house sold for $275,000 to a couple from CA. About 3 years ago they got into a disagreement and walked away from the house - one to another state and the other disappearing. I talked to one of them and she said that indeed they were walking away and leaving any equity they had. The house has been vacant ever since. About a year ago, finally somebody from the bank showed up and drilled out the locks and about once a month in the summer somebody mows the lawn and trims a little. I talked to the lock guy and he said that the mortgage was at least 3 years in arrears and so it was well past the point of forclosure. But there's been nothing - it's just vacant, and in fact the front door has no latch or locks on it. I went over there the other day and it's wide open - leaves in the living room from the door being open, bathrooms have been winterized but otherwise it's just empty. Absolutely no activity from anybody, the bank, whatever, since the locks got taken out - but the house is still in good shape. Market value is probably about $350,000, but they seem to have forgotten about this house. Is there anyway to buy it super cheap? There's no contact info anywhere. FOr the most part all of us neighbors have treated it respectfully - no squatters, nobody stealing stuff, the crazy car guy with 30 cars in his yard parked one in front of the house which is probably a good thing. Electricity is still on, which boggles the mind.

Don't expect there's anything I can do but thought I would type all this out because I think about it sometimes.

Real Estate Deals
Selling a house for less than you owe - tax implications
Added on : Thursday February 06th 2014 06:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Kainer
Views: 78 Replies: 2 Hypothetical question:

If I sell my house for less than I owe, and make up the difference with cash at closing (no short sale). Are there any tax deductions that I can take advantage of to help offset this loss?

I'm currently up to date on my mortgage, but our house is getting too small for our growing family. I'm currently trying to weigh keeping the house and renting, or (potentially) selling for a loss.


Tax Deals
Cashed someone else's check
Added on : Thursday February 06th 2014 04:00:17 AM
g: 0 Posted By: kevtin
Views: 243 Replies: 12 Hello everyone. 4 years ago I bought a house in a particular nasty short sale. The gist of it was the seller made some misrepresentations regarding the taxes which my attorney missed (this was a new construction, and this was a spec house the seller built). The details are irrelevant, but resulted in some maneuvering with the bank that held the sellers mortgage.

Fast forward 3 years to last spring, and out of the blue I received a letter and a check from that bank in the mail. I know I messed up here, but I saw the amount ($1000) and was so excited, I really only glanced at the actual letter and saw it was some sort of refund due do to a legal settlement. Enough words stood out that I just assumed it was related to my previous tax situation. I signed the back of the check and, along with other checks, deposited it from home using my scanner. I put the checks in a pile while I waited to make sure all the checks cleared.

A couple of weeks later, I was cleaning up my desk, and I was shredding all those check when I saw the check was not made out to me, but to the guy who I bought the house from. I had already tossed the letter that came with the check, but I thought back and think it must of been some settlement sue to some sort of lending practices. I immediately called the bank who sent the check, but not even knowing what part of the bank it came from, I never got anyone who could help me "undo" the deposit. I sent a letter to the guy who sold me the house to the only address I could find on any of my closing statements, but never heard anything (it seemed to be an office). I googled the guy looking for a current address and didn't find anything. Eventually I gave up, figuring I tried my best, and although two wrongs don't make a right, the guy did screw me out of a few thousand dollars. I sort of forgot about it

Yesterday, I received a letter addressed to this guy (my addreess) from the bank. I opened it (as opposed to destroying it), and it was a 1099 for the $1000 for the guy. I now am a little worried. I know I did something wrong depositing this guys check (honest mistake, though no one will believe that, I signed MY name on the back), but I felt like I did my job to make it right.

So my question is, a) whats my liability here, legally and b) should I just move along and hope I never hear from the guy?


Personal Finance Deals
Turbo Tax/Tax Act - Basic version
Added on : Thursday February 06th 2014 04:00:16 AM
g: 0 Posted By: jgooner22
Views: 50 Replies: 1 Forgive me for asking this naive question.

This is the first time I am doing my own taxes using Turbo Tax or Tax Act (can't decide which one I should go with). I only have W2, 1099-INT and 1099-DIV to be taken care of. tIRA and standard deductions, no mortgage, kids etc. Do I really need anything other the basic version for either TT or TA? I don't see any benefit of going with the deluxe version, or am I missing anything? Thank you.
Tax Deals
Is it possible to change the mortgagor on a mortgage?
Added on : Sunday February 02nd 2014 12:00:05 PM
g: 1 Posted By: adion4157
Views: 403 Replies: 18 When my uncle got sick, I moved into his house and started paying his mortgage because he was not able to. He recently passed away and I'm wondering if I can call the lender and have them add me on as the mortgagor. He has an excellent rate on his mortgage and I'd rather take over his than apply for a new one.

If I cannot add myself to his mortgage, what if I just continue paying it as I am now? I doubt the bank cares if he is alive or not as long as they are getting their money.

edit: Changed all the mortgagees to mortgagor. Thanks tszyeung.
Question Deals
Is it possible to change the mortgagee on a mortgage?
Added on : Sunday February 02nd 2014 09:00:14 AM
g: 0 Posted By: adion4157
Views: 135 Replies: 7 When my uncle got sick, I moved into his house and started paying his mortgage because he was not able to. He recently passed away and I'm wondering if I can call the lender and have them add me on as the mortgagee. He has an excellent rate on his mortgage and I'd rather take over his than apply for a new one.

If I cannot add myself to his mortgage, what if I just continue paying it as I am now? I doubt the bank cares if he is alive or not as long as they are getting their money.
Question Deals
1099c from short sale, how to mitigate tax liability?
Added on : Saturday February 01st 2014 11:00:04 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Ma171aC
Views: 165 Replies: 3 In a situation much like everyone else with Florida property who was laid off during the crash. Purchased condo with intent on staying for many years, laid off and relocated for work (i was very lucky and happy with the offer) back in December 2008. Already under water, i rented the property and took my $800 hit each month. Eventually couldn't keep up and went through a 2 year short sale process. Bank wrote off 67k, i agreed to 15k promisory note at 0% interest. I understand the debt relief act that was extended through last year, but its only for primary residence..

My question i suppose is that my hardship caused all this to begin with and i made an attempt to keep up with my end of the deal. I was not insolvent at the time of sale either so that's off the table. Anyway i can take advantage of the debt relief act or are there other ways i can reduce the tax impact i'm about to receive? I do have a tax guy who will be receiving all my docs for last year, but i thought i would ask the great fatwallet community and see if anyone has experienced something similar.

To get this out of the way, i have every intention of paying my bills if thats what it comes to (although not at once, thats a mighty large tax bill). How did the "walking away" guy end up dealing with it, or did he have to? I THINK i can request removal of all late fees and other charges on the total amount that was owed to reduce the 67k number can't I, making it just what they lost on the house and not their fees?

Timeline in case it matters;

Purchased Townhouse 3/2007
Laid off 12/2008
Relocated for work (TX) 2/2009
Purchased house in TX 4/2011
Stopped paying mortgage 7/2011
Started short sale process 9/2011
Property sold 7/2013 for 141k
Total OWED 223k
Paying back 15k @ 0% to bank
they wrote off 67k which i got a 1099c for

With the deficiency "income" i'll be looking at around 180k of total income last year so that's the tax bracket.

Tax Deals
Divorce and quit claim deed
Added on : Saturday February 01st 2014 07:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: moneybie
Views: 54 Replies: 2 Any title company here? My wife and I are going to file or divorce mid february. We are living in community state and I bought the house with mortgage under my name only but I quit claim it to her. Now that we are filing for divorce, do I need to quit claim back the house to me now? or when the divorce is finalized, that would void that quit claim deed? She's giving me the house as she does not want debts/mortgage split.
Personal Finance Deals
Interactive Brokers margin loan for real estate purchase?
Added on : Wednesday January 29th 2014 08:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: jkbrennan77
Views: 37 Replies: 0 I'm looking to build a new home and don't want to sell stock to do it. Interactive Brokers (IB) margin rates are 1.57% on the first $100k and 1.07% on the next $900k. I currently pay 2.875% on my mortgage and would expect to pay more on a new loan in particular if it was a construction loan. A Schwab Pledged Asset Line seems to be over 3.5% (1-month LIBOR plus 3.4+%).

I expect to borrow around $400k for the new home. Why wouldn't I just transfer ~$1.2 million worth of stock into an IB account and use margin to pay for the new home? (For tax purposes I would be taking separate cash out and using the margin to pay for the stocks).

I understand there is market risk and if the stock portfolio fell below $600k (?) I would risk a margin call. I would use mid and large cap US stocks and ETFs that presumably have low margin requirements (long holdings, no shorts, no options, etc.).

I also understand there is margin rate risk that the margin rate could go up over what I could get in a traditional mortgage. I don't believe the fed funds rate is going up to 2.5%+ in my time frame of the next 5 years. Also, I will likely sell my current home once the new one is complete (within 6-12 months of starting construction/initiating the margin loan) and could use the money from that to pay off the margin loan if rates go up.

They mention a $10 minimum trade commissions per month but a.) that's trivial compared to the interest savings b.) based on their fees I might do that anyway and c.) that seems to be waived for accounts over $100k. Will they throw me out if I just let the account sit there and just make a trade or two each month?

Are there other costs/risks to the IB accounts or margin loans I'm not accounting for?

Are there better alternatives I should be considering? Where better would be still sub-2% interest rate but with lower interest rate risk or market risk and without paying high closing costs or points. I'm willing to put up as much as $1.5 million in equities and the house worth $600k as collateral.
Investing Deals
Wells Fargo Opened Credit Card without my consent
Added on : Monday January 27th 2014 04:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: dukeboy
Views: 136 Replies: 1 Wells Fargo is really trying to push into Credit Card business after all the money they made in mortgage.
A few months ago, I got a call from a local WF branch, offering me a new product, WF Amex card with 1% Cash Back for everything.
after telling me the reward, he was like, you will receive the card in a few days. ( without even asking for household income, ssn, birthday...).
I immediately told him, that I don't want this card.

Last week, got another call from local branch, he'd like to provide me a new product that is only available for premier account holder, visa signature Cash Back card.
I told him that I already have enough credit cards, and don't need this offer after he insisted many times. At the end, he said, he will mail me some information on the credit card.

The next day, I got a alert from my id monitor, and one hard inquiry showed up and a new credit card (visa signature CashBack) with $15k line in my WF account.
Again, without my consent or even asking those usual questions other credit card issuer normally ask before they approve a credit line.

looks like I'll have to double my MS activities to get the best out of this card.

Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: TheDiggler
Views: 107 Replies: 0 Got an e-mail from Quizzlethat they've switched over to the VantageScore from Equifax (and that they're now giving a free Equifax credit report):
Quizzle now features the VantageScore credit score. This score is used by thousands of lenders, including the nations largest banks, in their credit card, auto lending and mortgage decisions.

In addition to your new free score, we're also giving you a free Equifax credit report. You won't find this combination anywhere else on the web!

Quizzle previously supplied a FAKO score from Experian, where whatever algorithm they used, IMO was complete sh1t. For me italways reportedwayyyyy too low a score (compared to FAKO andactual FICO Experian scores I'd receive from other scoring sites).Their VantageScore, OTOH, seems to be far more accurate (actually reporting an even higher score than I tend to find elsewhere).
General Economics Deals
How to save money and still live a little?
Added on : Saturday January 25th 2014 05:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: brfitzp
Views: 31 Replies: 0 So i'm 22 years old just got out of college and got a decent job in my field making 55k/yr. I have about 5k in savings and no debt besides my car payment. I want to save for so many things it seems crazy to imagine how people pay for everything they do and still save money. I want to save for retirement, a house, and i'll probably want to have some kids in a couple of years as well. I want to save money in a place in which i can use it if needed like when it comes time to buy a new car or house but it seems like IRAs and 401ks make that process difficult and costly. I don't want to live my entire life pinching pennies, I want to live too buy new things every once in a while.

Any advice on savings accounts or funds i should look into?
also, I don't expect to make this much money forever, but realistically the most I could make maybe 10 years from now is 100k. I was looking at homes in my area just to get an idea and everything under 400k was like 1100 sq feet and looked like garbage, how are people affording these expensive homes when a mortgage payment would be over 2500 a month, this seems crazy to me. I'd need to put like 150k down to get reasonable payments, That would take me like 10 or 15 years to save for. I gotta be missing something here.
Personal Finance Deals
Official 2013 tax filing Federal/State submission and acceptance.
Added on : Friday January 24th 2014 08:00:16 AM
g: 0 Posted By: CptSavAHo
Views: 172 Replies: 0 Last year was shenanigans with tax filings. A lot of delays. Last year I submitted on Jan 28, Federal delay notice on Feb 2. accepted on Mar. 3. Holdup was a $50 home energy credit for high eff hot water heater. So for this year;

1. Date of filing
2. Federal forms or lack of
3. State
4. Response date

For me;

1. Jan 17th. I used loan statements from Dec for interest paid on student loans and mortgage, and SSI withholding to calculate taxable income from pay stub.
2. Filed with house, student loans, dependent and itemized deductions.
3. Colorado
4. Federal accepted 1/24.

And a note;

As part of controlled IRS testing, a small number of federal returns will be transmitted to the IRS between January 22 and January 30, 2014. This is before processing officially begins on January 31. If you receive an acknowledgement during this timeframe, your return has been accepted by the IRS but your refund will not be processed early.
Tax Deals
How to hide Manufactured Spending from a Mortgage Application?
Added on : Thursday January 23rd 2014 04:00:11 PM
g: 0 Posted By: vnuts21
Views: 87 Replies: 3 I do a fair amount of MS - on the order of 15-20k/month across 3-4 credit cards,not to mention chasing sign up bonuses (6 or so per year). The MS entails BB, MOs, and Amazon Payments. MOs are sread out across 3-4 different checking accounts.

I have a house, and thus a mortgage application, on my 2-3 year horizon. I will also be getting married in September.

How do I go about continuing the MS tactics, while also hiding the MS from a mortgage application? I will be getting a joint bank account with my wife - should I keep the other bank accounts, and use the primary joint checking account as our main account to disclose to a potential lender? The main account would have direct deposits coming in from both our incomes, and about 2-3k/mo in credit card payments going out (will try to keep paying general use credit cards only, rather than the MS cards).
Real Estate Deals
Evolve Money Billpay: Use debit card to pay billers
Added on : Wednesday January 22nd 2014 01:00:13 PM
g: 0 Posted By: larryc
Views: 226 Replies: 2 Just came across this: Evolve Moneyis a free bill paying service that lets you use the following to pay over 10,000 billers that don't normally accept credit/debit cards:

Visa or MC Debit cards
Visa or MC Gift Cards
Reloadit cards
Evolve Paybucks

Billers seem to include common utilities (electric, gas, water, cable, etc), mortgages, loans, and insurance co's. No, before you ask, you can't use it to pay other credit cards. (Darn!)

If you have a debit card that gives CashBack, this seems like a great opportunity to earn Cash Back that otherwise wouldn't be available. Also seems like a nice way to cash out those rebate gift cards for small amounts.

Couple of negatives though:
- I don't see any way to schedule future payments. You pay a bill; they send it in two days (a few billers offer express pay, which is same day). But there's no way to schedule
- After the recent Target data breach, we should all be wary of sharing our debit card information. Think carefully about which (if any) debit card you want to share with this service

PR release here.

Discussion Deals
bankruptcy is dismissed but credit score is shot
Added on : Tuesday January 21st 2014 12:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: nam9684
Views: 126 Replies: 2 Long story short, my fiance owned a property that was underwater. She began the bankruptcy process, however this was avoided with a bank re-modification program and the bankruptcy was dismissed. Because she initiated the bankruptcy process, her credit score is how <700, although we never follow through with the bankruptcy and was dismissed. Since the loan re-modification (2 years) ago she has had no miss payments and her account is in good standing. She has no other debt other than student loans and the mortgage. What can we do to improve her credit score? Is it possible to get the bankruptcy remove from credit report?
Personal Finance Deals
Financial Advice After Insurance Settlement
Added on : Monday January 20th 2014 06:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: tylerAlwaysAdvancing
Views: 83 Replies: 1 First off, thanks for taking the time to read this and respond with any advice. I am a 23 year old recent college graduate. I am engaged and work as a region rep for my fathers small business he started 14 years ago. I rent an apartment with hopes of buying a home in Summer 14.

Recently I was involved in an wheeler accident with zero fault on my part. I suffered back injuries, nothing major but still very much so significant. I am expecting anywhere from 300k-600k in a settlement. I have a top attorney doing his job, all the information has been provided its in their hands.

I am wanting advice on options for me and my soon to be family here in the near future. I have zero college loans or credit debt. I own my current car (after the accident took mine and left me with cash to buy another). I currently have no investments, savings, retirement funds or anything. I have roughly 10k in the bank and my fiance is a school teacher making a living while having no expenses all through hs/college/and young profession other than a car payment. (scholarship, no school debt) she has a nice sum in her bank. I will make around 50k this year and should increase 15-20% a year after that.

The #1 thing to do is purchase my first home. I believe it is in my best interest to purchase my home by paying cash without worrying about mortgages. My budget we will say is 250k.
After that I am running laps around my head trying to figure out what to do first; insurance, retirement, investments, kids college funds etc. and how much to really dive into that right away.

Obviously I need money set aside if my back injury takes a bad turn later down the road.. I will eventually own my fathers company and insurance won't be easy to come by (fiance dreams of stay a home mom) I want to be as prepared as possible going into this.

Any advice would be appreciated.
Personal Finance Deals
where to get money for downpayment.. 401k or Stock
Added on : Sunday January 19th 2014 01:00:04 AM
g: 0 Posted By: mrrino002
Views: 18 Replies: 0 I'm in the process of purchasing a home... I have a few options that I've been thinking about... First I need $25,000 dollars for a downpayment... I have roughly 75k in my 401k and 100k in company stock that pays a decent dividend and offers ownership incentives during bonus time... I'm 33 years old and have roughly 24 years of working, if everything goes smooth... My question is do I take a hardship loan of the 25k from my 401k, repaying it back over 15 years through a payment plan through payroll deduction, with 4.25% that I repay to myself. Or do I sell the stock, pay the capital gains tax, lose the dividend and ownership incentives, but don't have to worry about a repayment coming out my paycheck?

I was leaning more towards borrowing against my 401k cause you could only borrow from there during a few things and first time home purchase is one... If anything were to happen.. I could always sell the stock and repay the 401k loan..

the other question is... 25K is only 10% of the mortgage loan.. so Im paying PMI insurance of roughly $85 dollars a month for minimum of 3-5 years.. or do I put 50k down, dont have a pmi, but again lose a lot of my life savings and lose out on the dividends and ownership incentives plus the capital gains taxes?.. but have no pmi and $200 dollars less a month mortgage payment?

thanks any help would be great
Personal Finance Deals
W9 for Stock for a Minor?
Added on : Saturday January 18th 2014 04:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: BenH
Views: 37 Replies: 0 I purchased a share of Disney Stock for my daughter while they were still issuing paper certificates. I bought it in my daughter's name, but as she is a minor I listed myself for the custodian.
I received a letter from the transfer agent that they want a certified TIN and they sent a W9 for me to fill out.

The name they listed on the form was "BENH CUST" (my name).

Do I fill this out with my SSN or my daughter's? There is a section on the back of the W-9 that says "What Name and Number to Give the Requester" but it looks like it is listed under part #5 "Mortgage interest paid by you" although it may simply be following that (difficult to tell from formatting). Under that section it says type #3 "Custodian account of a minor (Uniform Gift to Minors Act)" and says to put the SSN of the Minor with the foonote that I should circle the minor's name.

I'm confused because they entered my name and "CUST" already, and again - I'm not sure if this table refers to my issue or not.

Can anyone assist?

Question Deals
CURealty - Earn cash back on real estate purchase/sale transactions
Added on : Friday January 17th 2014 04:00:11 PM
g: 0 Posted By: mistadeal
Views: 85 Replies: 0 Text

Whether you are buying or selling a home, you can earn a cash rebate back in the amount of 20% of your real estate agent's commission when you start your real estate search with a participating credit union. It is pretty simple actually - here's how I did it:

1. Visited my local credit union when looking for a mortgage to purchase a home. They told me about this program, which they participate in, and they referred me to a participating agent.
2. My agent filled out a form or two for me to sign, and he sent it in to CU Realty for processing at closing.
3. Purchased a home, waited 60 days, and received a rebate check for 0.6% of the purchase price (20% of my agent's 3% commission).
4. Sold my home, waited 60 days, received another rebate check for 0.6% of the sale price.

Overall I received a cash rebate of about $2,500.

-To find participating realtors in the area, you can fill out the enroll form on the site or chat with a live representative during regular business hours.
- This is obviously YMMV based on participation - From the site text, it seems like you might not even need to belong a credit union and can possibly directly be linked to the participating realtors. But since it is CU realty, I feel like you might need to link to a participating CU to be considered, at least initially.
- Iended up actually using PenFed CU for my loan since my local CU could not match their 5/5 ARM terms. PenFed does not participate in this program, but since I started my real estate search with a CURealty participating credit union and considered their mortgage products before choosing PenFed, the rebate was still allowed.
- The CU had a list of participating realtors, I just happened to choose the first one referred to me because he came highly recommended. You can probably be more selective and interview some before you decide on a particular one. I learned to appreciate my realtor during the process because I came across some really flaky ones while looking at open houses.
- I'm not sure about tax implications, I will post a reply once I hear back from them about whether this rebate is taxable income.

Site text:
Our Realtors = Rebate.CU Realty has partnered with some of the top real estate professionals in your area to provide members with an outstanding opportunity to work with a trusted Realtor and earn a substantial rebate all at the same time.

How does it work?Its really quite simple. When you use any agent in our network to buy or sell your home, youll earn a cash rebate equal to 20% of the agents commission. That money is yoursapply it towards closing costs, agent commissions or take the cash outright! Its your choice.*

How much can you save?Use the chart to the right to estimate your savings. The rebate is based on the total home price, not the amount mortgaged.
HomeAdvantageis an exclusive service provided by your Credit Union in partnership with CU Realty Services, the nations leading provider of real estate services for credit union members. Best of all, the program isabsolutely free!To take advantage, simplyenrolltoday. Once youve enrolled, youll have access to all the tools and expertise youll need.
Sample Average CU Realty Home Rebates Home Sale Price Rebate to Member* $200,000 $1,200 $400,000 $2,400 $600,000 $3,600 $800,000 $4,800
*Rebates are awarded to buyers and sellers registered in the CU Realty program before they begin their home search or sale and who use a REALTOR from the Approved Agent network. Examples of rebate amounts shown here are based on 3% commission rate; your agents commission rate may differ. Terms of receiving the rebate vary by state and credit union. Please check with your credit union for specifics on their program.
Real Estate Deals
Girlfriend housing problem
Added on : Friday January 17th 2014 10:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: brucesprings
Views: 70 Replies: 2 My girlfriend has rented a townhome for the last 6 years following a divorce. She was a stay at home momfor most of her marriage which her ex wanted and she enjoyed which makes it difficult to find job paying a decent wage. She is nearing the end of alimony and child support payments and was working a part time job for years up until recently when she started looking for full time employment. Then last night she finds out her landlord has decided to sell townhome which was an investment property that is worth $100,000 less than what she paid for it 8 years later. She asked my girlfriend if she wanted to buy it for $160,000 and I think my girlfriend has enough money to pay cash for it but due to no job at moment is hesitant. My question is would bank give any kind of mortgage to her so she wouldn't have to pay all cash as she will need money for other things and I would assume paying all cash is not a good thing.
Personal Finance Deals
Problem: Collection, credit score, and mortgage
Added on : Wednesday January 15th 2014 07:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Izmeeh
Views: 43 Replies: 0 I need some advice as what I should do. I'm planning to buy a house this year. I checked Credit Karma last week and everything was fine. Checked it again today and noticed a "new" collection dated 1/15/14 and my credit score went down 26 points.

I requested the free credit reports. The collectionis not on Equifax and Experian, but it is on TransUnion.
Placed for collection: 1/31/2012
Date Updated: 11/25/2013
Remarks: Acct info disputed by consumer; >placed for collection<
Estimated month and year that this item will be removed: 10/2014

Situation: I sold a car for $300 back in 2007 (?). The new owner parked it somewhere and got it towed. Instead of going after the new owner, they went after me. I provided a copy of the transfer of ownership paper, and they didn't take it. They told me to pay the $1,390 then sue the buyer. I refused.

I'm not sure if the collection was on Equifax and Experian before and they took it off after they investigated.

1) I was goingto apply for a mortgage next month. Will this be a problem?
2) If I request an investigation again, will Trans Union do anything about it?There is anote that I havedisputed the information on the account already.
3) If I request an investigation again, will that extend the timethe information remain onmy credit report?

What should I do?
Question Deals
First time home buyer/Morgaage questions
Added on : Wednesday January 15th 2014 06:00:17 AM
g: 0 Posted By: NewAtFinance
Views: 96 Replies: 0 Hi everyone, here is my situation:

25k in checking account
40k in house account
53k in Retirement
Age 27
116k yearly salary
No Debts
Credit Score around 780

Lots of student loans
62k salary
~5k in CC dept, working to help her budget better
4k in the bank
No other debt
640 credit score

The first question is, will getting a mortgage with my wife hurt at all given her low credit score and her debts? Credit Karma says if she pays off the card, it will go up. I think she should be able to do this within the next 2 months based on the budget we have her on. Credit karma says she has paid on time about 99.9% of the time. I think the low credit score is mostly because of high utilization, lack of history, and lack of credit.

Is it worth touching my retirement for a house? This will be in the Boston market. Right now we live on the subway, so a ~1000 sq Condo within walking distance to the subway is between 350-400k. We are considering moving out of the suburbs, which would get us almost double the amount of inside space for another 50-100k. I am wondering if its worth touching any of that money to get something nicer.
Personal Finance Deals
Home Equity... How soon
Added on : Tuesday January 14th 2014 04:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: elptrainerny
Views: 148 Replies: 0 I bought my property last June. The LTV (from purchase price) is 76, but with home price appreciation should be 70..

I'm looking for a 75k home equity loan to purchase a commercial property (as a CMBS loan is hard to get for such a small amount)

-Is someone who bought so recently eligible?
-How does a home equity work, if I exceed 80 LTV, so I have to pay mortgage insurance etc?

Real Estate Deals
Need some help for 55 year old
Added on : Tuesday January 14th 2014 10:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: brucesprings
Views: 43 Replies: 0 Here is my situation I just received a cashpay out of $15,000 and I need help how to proceed. I currently live by myself in a single family home with no mortgage, but I had to pay off my ex-wife her half of the home so I took out a HELOC 3 years ago for $165,000 (2.99%)to do that. Since then I have paid down the loan to about $146,000 after taking on a part time job along with my full time job. I would like to get a real mortgage but I do like the low interest rate on my current pay off but I know that rate will go up in the near future. Need some good ideas on what the experts would do.
Personal Finance Deals
New Home Mortgage
Added on : Monday January 13th 2014 05:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: bobaldie
Views: 94 Replies: 0 Wrote a contract for my first new construction home which to be delivered in July. I thought i can apply loan in Mar - April and will have time to get my finances in order but to my surprise the builder said during signing that i need to get a loan commitment with in 30 days. Hmm not sure if that could put me in fix.

1) --> Spouse is W2 employee so income verification is easy, hmm wait spouse current job ending and new job starting Feb 1st (right about the time we might start loan application process). Actually its nothing but re-badge at same work place but with different company. How to handle it during application process?
2) --> I am W2 in our company(S Corp) which is held 100% in my spouse name, I am an IT consultant and i have two others i placed at client so that is the revenue to our company. Now while applying .. do I mention as self employed or W2?
3) --> I draw 75k salary so if i say I am W2 my income shows only that. But having paycheck coming from company with same address as my home address would raise questions? And again if they ask for HR reference what should i do .. give my spouse name ?
4) --> Probably both the W2s put together mayn't be sufficient for the home loan so we may have to put forward the company income for consideration. I heard from many that showing income from business would complicate things by large and one should avoid .. but if we have to show that income .. what to expect? Just additional documentation or its going to be gruesome grilling? What documentation would they ask?

5) While my company is established in 2008, income generation came , after i converted to independent, since 2011. Would that be sufficient history?

6) I had to transfer big chunk from business to personal account and that could definitely raise quires hence we will be forced to disclose business. If business income is considered, plenty of cushion for approval.

Twist 2) I have 2 rentals in my name and spouse has one rental and one primary. Plan to convert this primary into rental when we move.
This new house will be held in both our names - first time. Any issues in obtaining a fifth loan altogether?Any pointers on how to approach.

Am bit unclear on how they treat our rentals during loan qualification process...any pointers? all 3 are occupied with 1 coming for renewal next month and other two in following 2 months. Our current primary will be rented only after we move out. so how all these will be treated for financial burden calculations..

Real Estate Deals
Paying off mortgage and change of credit score
Added on : Monday January 13th 2014 08:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: ArmchairQB
Views: 195 Replies: 1 A few years back I rolled my mortgage in to a PenFed 5 year home equity loan for the lower rate and to accelerate paying it down. I recently paid off the loan to Penfed. I have been using CreditKarma since last summer to keep an eye on the scores that they present. I had expected with the payoff that I might get a bump in the scores. To my surprise when I logged on yesterday, the first day that CreditKarma reflected the payoff, my VantageScore dropped 61 points! This is far lower than my score has ever been. The payoff was the only change on the site. They do list one account reported as closed, which is the PenFed one that was paid off.

Anybody else ever have this happen to them?

Personal Finance Deals
Wife Quitting Job - AOR & other advice
Added on : Monday January 13th 2014 06:00:16 AM
g: 0 Posted By: kogerk
Views: 46 Replies: 1 My wife is quitting her IT job in 2 weeks for both increased stress and personal reasons. It will be a bit tight, but we should be able to pay all our bills (mortgage, utilities, taxes, phone, internet, insurance) with my salary, without dipping too much into our savings/emergency fund. In the long term (after 1 year) she probably will look for other options. We have two rental properties (big thanks to FWF) that are positive cash flow (about $600/month) that I do not plan to dip into.

I am looking for advice on what steps to take in the next few months, so as to not run into problems and if possible exploit the current situation.
- Unemployment benefits is almost ruled out since she is quitting and there is no harrassment of any kind.
- Will transfer health insurance onto my name in the next couple of weeks.
- Plan to do an AOR on her name (details below - any input is highly appreciated)
- Anything else ...!!??

The AOR is primarily for points/CashBack. I plan to get big on BB/VR and MS to further supplement our incomes. We do not have CVS, Riteaid, OfficeMax. We have Walgreens though and will try my first VR today there.
Her credit score is about 705 (credit karma) and her current salary is about $65K (mine about $80K). Here is a list of potential ongoing offers. Am I missing some offers.
Wells Fargo 5 rewards points for every $1 spent on gas, grocery, and Drugstore net purchases for 6 months (primarily for VR at WGs) Barcley 2X on all purchases - ==2.2% CashBack NFCU 60K points with $3K spend in 3 months -- now 15K?? Marriot 70K points with 1K spend IHG Rewards Club 80K points with 1K spend Capital One 50,000 points with Capital One Venture Card Chase Slate Introductory Offer: 0% APR on Balance Transfers Chase Saphire 40,000 Ultimate Rewards points after $3000 within 3 months Chase Ink Bold 50,000 UR points
I plan to get a EIN and also apply for some business cards. We don't worry about any hits on her credit score, as we don't plan on refinancing or such in the near term. I have done couple pf mini AORs before but, I plan to optimize this AOR since we might not be able to show any income on her name for a while.

I would highly appreciate any advice on all pertinent matters. TIA>

Personal Finance Deals
Financing a car and a house this year. In which order?
Added on : Sunday January 12th 2014 01:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: EvilPuppy
Views: 76 Replies: 0 I'm looking into getting an used car which I may qualify for a pretty attractive rate through the manufacturer. But I'm also getting a house in a few months. If I get the car first, would the home mortgage loaner see the car loan on my credit report and think I'm a bigger risk thereby give me a higher rate? Or does it even matter?

Car Loan Amount: $15,000
Car Down Payment: $3,000

Home Loan Amount: About $500k
Home Down Payment: $200k
Personal Finance Deals
Confused - do I need a will and/or estate planning?
Added on : Saturday January 11th 2014 04:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: guraaf
Views: 30 Replies: 1 Hi all,

I am a US permanent resident (green card holder) who moved to the US about 9 years back. I have two kids less than 10 years of age. I am trying to understand whether we need estate planning and/or a will. Right now, I manage all the finances, taxes etc. myself but recently discussed with two certified planners and the said that I absolutely need a will and should get an estate made.

The idea is that if my wife or I were to die then our assets will either go to the state or our kids will have a huge problem and a tax burden. Is that really the case here? I can't seem to tell for sure. We have:
- bank checking accounts
- brokerage accounts
- house that is paid off (no mortgage)
- no other loans
- 401k accounts for both
- Roth IRA for both

All my accounts are joint owner with rights of survivorship and my two sons are 50% each beneficiaries. So why do I need a will if I don't want to give money to relatives or charity? I live in Texas, BTW. The two cases that I am interested are: a) my wife or I die, b) my wife and I both die. Wouldn't the money be simply available to the surviving spouse or the kids as the beneficiaries? Will there be a tax impact? Why? The savings are already taxed.

Thanks for any help and insight.
Personal Finance Deals
Planning for temporary loss of income
Added on : Saturday January 11th 2014 09:00:14 AM
g: 0 Posted By: RedCelicaGT
Views: 87 Replies: 1 I'm a 29 year old student. I also work full time and have no debt other than my mortgage. Through employment, Igross 88K annually including overtime.

For certification reasons, I need to take a 2 yearunpaid training after I finish school. At the end of my training, my income will be 120K-140K with 10 year potential to 190K...So the incentive to do this is clear.

I have managed to avoid student loan debt through employer tuition reimbursement. At the end of my classroom education and research I will be "employed" in a 2 year unpaid training/residency. It's good I have some time to prepare for a loss of income, but at the same time a bit nervewrecking to know I have a family to take care of while not having any income. With small children, my wife as a school teacher will not net enough money to warrant working and offset daycare. Children must come soon. Medically speaking that is the only choice. Right now we have an infant. I'm currently saving about $900/month including matched 401K contributions.My mortgage PITI is $1380 with $400 going to principal so that's kind of like sending the money to savings at this point.So far, here are my assets and liabilities:
Asset Value Loan Balance House 250K 216K 401K 56K NA Liquid 25K NA Car 1 12K NA Car 2 10K NA Total 345K 216K Net 149K
Here are my planned expenses during training:
Expense Amount Rent 700 Car/health Insurance 400 Utilities 100 Food/Baby 600 Gas 150 Life 500 Monthly Total 2450 2 year total 58800
I'd prefer to not burn through my life's savings in two years. I will sell the house which will net about 25K after expenses. Liquid+house proceeds can almost carry us through the whole time. I really don't want to dip into 401K. I can sell the cars and drive an old beater if necessary but I'd prefer to keep the cars and have reliable transportation.I don't feel bad taking some government assistance if I qualify during this time period since I've been paying taxes and have not been getting government assistance while in school. I'm considering moving all my liquid over the next few years to roth IRAs so we can qualify for WIC/SNAP and pay for most everything from the IRA.

What would you do if you were me to prepare for the loss of income? Is it unethical to plan in such a way to be able to qualify for government assistance while having a substantial amount in retirement accounts?
Personal Finance Deals
Options for Rental Properties with Equity
Added on : Saturday January 11th 2014 09:00:14 AM
g: 0 Posted By: mricu
Views: 72 Replies: 0 I have two rental properties. The primary reason for these investments is to gain "steady" income incase things at work go wonky which is usually the case every few years in my industry. I was lucky enough to buy low and both properties have a significant positive cash flow after mortgage and expenses.

Fast forward to today. Both properties are now worth twice what I paid for. Ideally I would like to pay off the mortgages somehow so that my income is purely the rental rate I am getting for both my places. Is there an option somehow to pull equity from my homes to pay off my mortgages without having to take on another debt (which would obviously be counter productive).

Selling the properties is not an option because I'd loose the income in case of issues at work and purchasing aother propeties with the profit also will not work since prices everywhere have gone up which would make be take out another mortgage and rental rates have not increasedwith the price of the properties.
Real Estate Deals
Choosing a Tax Accountant
Added on : Saturday January 11th 2014 06:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: DrToxic
Views: 74 Replies: 1 Happy New Year everyone! As we all know,each new year also means paying taxes for last year... That being said, I have some questions I wanted to draw on your collective FWF knowledge for, since my wife and I got married in November and will be filing jointly for 2013, which is a whole different animal for me. We will most likely fall int he 25% tax bracket, and have no children/dependents. I'm currently debating whether or not we should hire a tax professional, due to the reasons I'm outlining below.

My situation:I usually have quite an extensive Schedule D due to mutual fund trading. I am still carrying forward a capital loss from the past few years. I am a W-2 salaried employee with employer provided healthcare benefits that I have paid into all year, and a 401k. I am the primary income earner of our household. I currently am paying off a mortgage on our house, which I bought in 2012

My wife's situation: She is also a W-2 employee, but works from home and travels frequently for work while claiming expenses that she is reimbursed for. She has a secondary income stream which probably will not come out to more than $500, and so probably won't be claimed. She has some investments/assets that are not actively traded and are held long-term. My wife's family also has a tax accountant which they have used for years, but I am hesitant to trust that he is going to put his best effort into our return.When I was talking to my wife about this, she told me how the accountant has said that he hates itemizing and doesn't usually do it, because the standard deductions are usually about the same anyway. ...I REALLY DON"T LIKE THAT ATTITUDE...my dad and IALWAYS itemized my return... Sure, yes, sometimes we ended up taking the standard deduction for me, but only if it was greater AFTER we itemized and found what that amount was... so to me, it sounds like my wife's family's accountant doesn't really want to go through the effort...

ANYWAY... Based on the info I've given, my questions are:
1. Should we even bother hiring a tax accountant at all? Does it sound like we have a complicated enough situation that hiring someone is worth the money?
2. I understand this is a personal preference question, but if you were in my shoes, would you want to hire a new tax professional? Or trust the one who is already familiar with my wife's taxes?
3. If we hire someone, should I be looking for specifically a CPA? An Enrolled Agent? Both? Are there any real pros/cons to either?
4. Should I be getting all hot and bothered about the fact that my wife's family accountant doesn't itemize? In your experience, if you DO itemize your returns, do you feel that it's been worth your time?
5. Are there any other angles I'm not considering? Tax Professional qualities I should be looking for/looking out for? Any advice?

Tax Deals
Mortgage on primary home or rental?
Added on : Thursday January 09th 2014 06:00:14 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Kinasharma01
Views: 111 Replies: 8 We live in a paid off condo. Now we are looking to buy a similarly priced single family home and rent the condo. The options we have are -

1. Get a mortgage on the SF house when we buy it.
2. Do a cash-out refinancing on the condo and buy the house outright with cash.

Any opinions, thoughts on which option is better and from what perspective? Any benefits of mortgaging the rental property vs primary home? From what I have read on other threads, the mortgage interest is deductible on both properties, so it may not matter. Any other factors to consider?
Personal Finance Deals
Questions for the AOR / CC churner pros
Added on : Wednesday January 08th 2014 01:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Mattattack
Views: 57 Replies: 0 Please bear with me, I am new at this. I learned everything I know about AORs by reading FWF up until this point.

Old CCs (will keep for account age)
Statefarm CC (25k limit) (opened 2009)
Penfed platinum rewards (7.8k limit) (opened 2010)
Chase Freedom (5k limit) (opened 2010)

New CCs (I already have these and I have received or am in the process of receiving the bonuses)
Chase Southwest visa (8.5k limit) (received 50k bonus + companion pass back in September) (opened May2013)
Chase Southwest business visa (5k limit) (recently closed - see below) (received 50k bonus back in September) (opened May2013)
Amex blue cash preferred (7.8k limit) (opened May2013)
Discover IT (6.5k limit) (Opened November 2013) ($150 sign up)
Capital one Quicksilver (7.5k limit) (will keep for 1.5% on everything) (Opened November 2013) ($100 sign up)
Citi thank you preferred (6.5k limit) (Opened November 2013) (30k TY point sign up)
Citi dividend (4.2k limit) (Opened December 2013) ($100 sign up + the $300 from the first quarter categories)

Total Credit line 78.8k

Just got a mortgage March 2013 (30yr fixed 3.625%) and dont anticipate needing a loan anytime soon. (Was told by my mortgage broker I had a 745 at the time)Credit Karma currently has me at a 687. I havent otherwise pulled my own credit.


1. Long story short a payment was missed on my chase south west business visa. Im 99% sure I requested the payment to be made and the money was just never taken from my checking. They waved the late fee but, the CSR said the late payment was most likely already reported to credit agencies. In the moment I had them cancel the card because I already had the bonus and didnt think I needed it anymore. This is my first missed payment on a CC. Is this a big deal? My plan is to get my free credit reports in a month or two, see if it appears, and then dispute it. It hasnt shown up on credit karma yet.I probably should have kept this card to transfer the line to a different business card (chase ink) but, its too late now.

2. Is there any reason to keep my personal chase southwest visa? Do I cancel and request they move the credit line to my chase freedom? So, I can churn the card again in the future? I had the personal and business plus cards. When my companion pass runs out I could get the premier cards in 2015. Then eventually get the plus cards again in the distant future? (assuming any 50k point offers come up in the future)

3. It there any reason to keep the citi thank you preferred card after I get the bonus? Ive only received 10k of the 30k points so far. I took the first 10k points as a $100 Staples GC to try to monetize it buying free after rebate items but, I have yet to find a free after rebate item in stock. (Im a Staples noob)

4. Is there any way to get the annual fee on the amex BCP waived? Do I keep it just to get the $285 each year? (6% x $6000 = $360 - $75 AF = $285)

5. Any advice on how long I should wait until I do another AOR? (I know the two Ive done were only 3 cards each and were weak but, I have yet to be denied a credit card)

Any other comments, tips, suggestions would be appreciated.
Discussion Deals
PSA: Qualified Mortgage Requirements effective January 10, 2014
Added on : Tuesday January 07th 2014 07:00:11 PM
g: 0 Posted By: boxerbrief
Views: 0 Replies: 0 I did a search and no one has posted this yet. Some major changes are happening in the mortgage industry, and I just thought the community here should be aware. Effective January 10, 2014, the CFPB will be implementing the Ability to Repay and Qualified Mortgage Standards under TILA (Regulation Z). While most lenders may still originate loans that don't meet the standards, those who originate QM loans will have Safe Harbor legal protections meaning a borrower who got a loan and defaulted can not sue the lender for originating a bad loan (example: the borrower in a QM loan can not claim the income was not sufficient to cover the expenses so the loan should not have been originated in the first place). Some of the new rules for QM I pasted below, but you should go straight to the CFPB website for the actual laws and how it may impact you if you are looking to get a mortgage loan in the near future. Note that a 43% debt-to-income ratio is the new ceiling in the law as I know that is a common question on the forum about qualifying for a loan. It is hard to predict how different lenders will react to this, but I know that one particular lender will only originate QM loans as of January 10th and added on additional reserves and residual income criteria (not part of the law) in response to this law since lenders can now get sued for bad loans. I know a lot of you will be surprised that they actually have to make a law for the ability to repay aspect, which I agree should be something every lender should be doing already in the first place.


Mandatory product feature requirements for all QMs Points and fees are less than or equal to 3% of the loan amount (for loan amounts less than $100k, higher percentage thresholds are allowed); No risky features like negative amortization, interest-only, or balloon loans (BUT NOTE: balloon loans originated until January 10, 2016 that meet the other product features are QMs if originated and held in portfolio by small creditors); Maximum loan term is less than or equal to 30 years.

=11.5ptAbility-to-Repay Determinations=11.5pt. The final rule describes certain minimum requirements for creditors making ability-to-repay determinations, but does not dictate that they follow particular underwriting models. At a minimum, creditors generally must consider eight underwriting factors: (1) current or reasonably expected income or assets; (2) current employment status; (3) the monthly payment on the covered transaction; (4) the monthly payment on any simultaneous loan; (5) the monthly payment for mortgage-related obligations; (6) current debt obligations, alimony, and child support; (7) the monthly debt-to-income ratio or residual income; and (8) credit history. Creditors must generally use reasonably reliable third-party records to verify the information they use to evaluate the factors.
PenFed Now Offering Rate Reset Protection on Select Mortgages
Added on : Tuesday January 07th 2014 10:00:17 AM
g: 2 Posted By: desikid
Views: 246 Replies: 1
Up to five rate "borrower selected" rate resets over the life of the loan mortgage
No fee to reset the rate
Provides an alternative to the refinance process
Loan maturity date remains the sameno new 30-year amortization required


General Economics Deals
Best use for 80K cash in short term
Added on : Tuesday January 07th 2014 10:00:16 AM
g: 0 Posted By: americano
Views: 0 Replies: 0 =10ptThese funds will become available in a few weeks. I am looking to maximize ROI on it for a few months.Anytime after Oct I can optionally use these funds to pay downthe mortgage

=10ptRCA is too much trouble. Is my last option.
=10ptUse it for Fidelity Mileage plus. Any other good offers?
=10ptSharebuilder? Although they don't currently have anyoffers.
=10ptShould I just invest it as per my AA? Of course it rules out the option of paying down the mortgage.Worried as the market is at an all time high.

=10pt​Please share your ideas.
Social Security Assigned Same SSN to two people
Added on : Tuesday January 07th 2014 06:00:18 AM
g: 0 Posted By: mamamouse
Views: 21 Replies: 0 Husband was born in Jacksonville, FL in 1985. Another man with same first and last name, born on same day in Miami, FL. When husband was five his parents found out that the Same SSN was issues to both boys. SSA told my in-laws to keep SSN and assigned other guy a new one. When the other man turned 18, he started using my husbands SSN for everything and racked up tens of thousands in debt. We have worked for years on it to no avail. Went to pull credit report today and we can't answer verification questions correctly (because its not his info being asked about...) so can't pull report. Where in the world do we start??? Appears based on verification questions that the other Aaron opened a mortgage 2 months ago using my husbands SSN. We are at a loss, no money or a lawyer, and desperate to get this rectified so we can move on with our lives. Can't get a house or a car. Husband graduates college in 9 months and I'm terrified this will effect him finding a job. We have filed with police, alerted credit bureaus, and made a complaint with the FTC yet nothing had helped and he is still using my husbands SSN. What would you do?
Personal Finance Deals
Mortgage loan advice 120K Gross 20K down pay
Added on : Monday January 06th 2014 03:00:09 PM
g: 0 Posted By: tips40
Views: 189 Replies: 0 Hi All,

Currently I make around 120k (Gross), with previous Gross salary 105K on W2, I have good credit score too.
what are my options for mortgage around 450 K with 20k down payment , I don't have any loan apart from
2 -- 3k of revolving credit on credit cards. residing 20171 Virginia, looking for Town home / Single family around this area.
Appreciate your suggestion and help.

Thanks in advance..
Real Estate Deals
Buying a rental house targeted at shorter-term tenants
Added on : Monday January 06th 2014 06:00:15 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Bagofchips
Views: 0 Replies: 0 Here's an idea I'm toying with. Where I live (suburbs, upscale, Northern California)there is little inventory for housing (be it rental or purchase). This in turns leads to more people wanting to remodel their homes, but those who do so often have the challenge of where to live short-termduring a move-out remodel.

The cash flow on homes purchased for rental usually stinks, but am thinking MIGHT be able to make something work with a rental targeted at shorter-term occupancy. Rental terms would be front-loaded with a higher rate and the rate would decline over time (to a still-above-market rateat month-to-month). Where I am there is no rent control. Shorter-term tenants also include the recently-relocated (from outside the area or urban flight families) who are house hunting.

The ideal home for such a situation would have these qualities:

Generousgarage for storage
One level for easier move-in / out
Convenient location
Finishes / fixtures able to withstand more wear & tear

Things that ordinarily might hinderproperty value which could matter lessto shorter-termtenants (to an extent):

Road noise
Appearance of neighboring properties, house itself, grounds
Interior condition

So basically, I'm thinking there might be a way to cater to shorter-term credit-worthy tenants paying above-market rent in a property that is fundamentallylower cost / sq ft. Clearly Iwould need to manage vacancy. I can't get to the oft-advised1% rent threshold, though I will be able to self-manage given my proximity to it. Rent could cover mortgage and property taxes and minimal maintenance like landscaping. But let's say not routine repairs, insurance, home warranty...

Refi 2nd mortgage only - any lenders willing?
Added on : Sunday January 05th 2014 12:00:02 AM
g: 0 Posted By: finalpendragon
Views: 1 Replies: 0 Are there any lenders who would be willing to do a refi on a second mortgage, or maybe do an HE loan that would pay off the original 2nd? Okay, I know the obvious question is "Why not just refi both loans together?". You see my second mortgage has a rate of 8.25% while my first mortgage was refi'd last year at 3.5%. With the current market rates being about 4.5%, and the second mortgage being so much smaller than the first, it doesn't offer me any advantage to combine the two into a higher rate. Here are the numbers:
first mortgage (3.5%) $330k second mortgage (8.25%) $48k LTV 75%
Because the LTV is less than 80%, it seems plausible to think that I can refi or use an HE to pay off the second lien. But is it? I went through the interview process with one lender already this week only to be turned down. It's a pretty time-consuming process! So I'm wondering if it's worth trying again with other lenders or if I'd just be wasting my time. The few other threads that touched on this subject were very old. Does anyone know of a lender who's willing to refi a second in the current market?
Investment Property Advice
Added on : Saturday January 04th 2014 04:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: OCDSaver
Views: 105 Replies: 1
I have been renting my former primary residence for 3 years.
Current FMV $320k
Mortgage balance $200k, 2.875%, 21 years remaining. Rate resets every October, tied to average 12 month Libor+ 2%. I have the ability to refinance at any time to a fixed rate and term of my choosing based on the prevailing IRS applicable federal rate
Rents cover all expenses (Mortgage, HOA, Property Tax, Insurance, Repairs, etc.)
I do my own taxes through Turbo Tax so I am not very clear on how depreciation factors in to any decision I make
I recently hired a property manager and because I'm not losing money on the property, I would not be inclined to sell it


How would you approach the refinance situation? Applicable federal rate is currently 3.44% and rising. How aggressive would you be in paying down this mortgage? The balance in the business checking account is steadily growing so I have surplus cash that I won't be investing for fear of a major unexpected repair. Also, my day job is in finance so I don't want to put all my eggs in the financial markets basket, and the idea of investing a little more to my only real estate holding seems attractive (we pay rent on our primary residence)
If I were to sell down the road, how is my gain computed?
How does depreciation factor in?
If this property management flows as smoothly as I hope, this seems like a nice investment. Anything I should be thinking about, considering this isn't my day job

I'm happy to answer any questions. I'm sure I've left a lot out.
Real Estate Deals
Mortgage company late paying tax bill, any recourse?
Added on : Friday January 03rd 2014 11:00:19 AM
g: 0 Posted By: PsychoFan
Views: 24 Replies: 0 I'm assuming my recourse is oh well/too bad, but I just want to be sure.
Basically, sent via fax a Real Property Consolidated Tax Bill to mortgage company in the beginning of December. Receipt of the bill was acknowledged in writing via email from the company. The payment deadline was 12/31. Mortgage company never paid the bill, so got in touch with them yesterday on 1/2 to ask what's going on. They acknowledged oversight and paid the bill today (1/3). Issue is that because they paid this tax bill ($3K+) in 2014, it will not appear on the 2013 year end summary thus I cannot deduct when I file my income return, right? I know some of you may ask why I didn't contact them earlier, but my experience has been that tax bills aren't typically paid by mortgage company until the actual due date. I guess it's lesson learned to keep bugging them in the future (at least I should be able to deduct it in 2015 then, right?).
Mortgage on an rental home
Added on : Friday January 03rd 2014 09:00:13 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Xnarg1
Views: 159 Replies: 2 I plan to buy a house later this year which will eventually turn into an investment property. I realize that there are different terms/rates for primary homes and rental homes. If I purchase a house as a primary residence, how long do I have to physically live there before I can turn it around and rent it out?
Real Estate Deals
g: 0 Posted By: FWpep
Views: 158 Replies: 4 So if you read a financial article today, whether it is bullish on the market or bearish on the market you will see a gazillion comments in the comment section of the articles each making the opposite case. Since I think most would agree that people here in the FW Finance forum are typically smarter (financially speaking) than most, I thought the folks in this community could put forth their thoughts on this subject.

I recently watched some youtube videos of the financial coverage about a week before the crash in 2008 (Sept. 14-19 2008), this was just before the huge slide down. I found it to be a good exercise because I had already forgotten just how bad it got even before the huge slide down. You could actually hear the fear in the tone of the usually very optimistic anchors and analysts. I had mistakenly thought that they remained optimistic up until the point the market plummeted but that was not the case at all. They were talking financial armageddon days before the huge slide really got underway.

So in hindsight it is easy to see that the housing market down turn, bad loans, and perhaps most importantly the crisis in confidence with bad ratings on the mortgage backed securities would end badly. A whole cascade of bad things happened when that began to unwind. That is the short version of course.

It seems today that we are in much better shape. The economy is supposedly fairly strong, and headed in the right direction albeit slower than hoped and the stock market is hitting new highs every other day. However, stock markets cannot go up forever. Not asking for a prediction of when (but you can include if you'd like) but more of a big picture look knowing all we know about the Fed's monetary policy and general economic conditions and trends. I would have thought that we would have widespread inflation right now, but that is not the case and I don't really know why there isn't massive and widespread inflation. So,

1. What do you THINK will cause the next downturn?

2. Do you think it will be a mild and orderly downturn OR a major downturn?

3. What are you doing to protect/hedge your entire financial portfolio?

Investing Deals
Maxing out retirement - what to do next?
Added on : Thursday January 02nd 2014 03:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: CaptainHuey
Views: 200 Replies: 5 My wife and I are fortunate enough to be able to max out our 401k's and Roth IRA's (viayearlybackdoor conversions). With my 401k match, we put away ~$50k in 2013 towards retirement and we are in our mid/late 30's. We have been doing this level of maxing-out for close to a decade (at whatever the limits were), so our combined retirement balance is pretty good given our age.

We also own a nice home in a pricey area where we have 30%+ equity and it is being financed over 15 years at 3% fixed. The house should be paid off when our oldest child is of college age and our average age would be ~50. I think that we should have a very comfortable retirement with 10-12k/month, and I think we are on track for that (especially if the massive mortgage payment goes away ~15 years prior to retirement).

All that said, we have a few tens of thousands in savings not earning much and with the prospect of padding on to that with additional savings from leftover funds, the question is, what to do with the money?

-Munis? Seems like relatively low yield and ties the money up.
-Taxable investment account? Probably will go this route and buy index funds.
-Rental property? I am VERY handy, but I live around a pricey area, so it is not so easy to find a rental property that seems like a "slam-dunk" investment. Example: The best I've found is a 4-unit (all 1BR/1BA units) in average shape & location selling for over 500k with a profit of 39k/year assuming all four units are rented. I then have to pay the mortgage from that - figure ~30k/year (20% down) for a net profit of around 10k/year. Nothing else comes close.
-Buy small business and have someone run it? Could be profitable if properly vetted but always risky to have someone else run it.

Thoughts on what to do or anything else I mentioned?

Investing Deals
Real Estate Tax Shelter
Added on : Thursday January 02nd 2014 01:00:04 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Carterman32
Views: 108 Replies: 1 Hello,

I'm trying to legally shelter my income, but am having trouble coming up with an effective way to do so.

Here are my stats:

Age: 32

Gross Income: $200k (entertainment biz)

Itemized Deductions:
Traditional 401k contribution: $17.5k
Mortgage interest: $8k/yr
Property taxes: $4k/yr
HSA: $1200/yr
Total Itemized deductions: Approximately:$30.7k/yr

MAGI: $169.3k

I live in the Los Angeles area and was considering purchasing rental income property to offset my earnings, butit seems that the yearly tax deductions for rental properties phases out completely at income levels above $150k MAGI. If I'm understanding tax law correctly, above that stated income, you have to carryover tax losses every year until you sell the property, at which point you can claim all the "losses" (Depreciation, repairs, property taxes, etc) at once. That seems like a long time to wait to get the tax benefit, and there may be no tax benefit if you happen to not have a job (and therefore, haven't paid much in taxes) in the year the property is sold.Is there any way to claim yearly tax deductions from rental property to offset your income if you make above $150k MAGI? If not, are there any quality, legal tax shelters that I should be aware of to help offset my income and get me into a lower bracket?

Would appreciate any help you could offer.
Real Estate Deals
Just how unique was the run up in the market this year?
Added on : Wednesday January 01st 2014 09:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: packers9626
Views: 193 Replies: 1 There was a 32.4% run up on stocks in the S&P 500 this year. I am relatively young and have only had money available to invest for the last few years. My basic strategy so far has been to buy large, well established companies with a good business who have stocks that are selling at a significant discount. Those kind of stocks are becoming very hard to find in this environment.

What kind of strategies would you recommend in the current market? I do not have a mortgage or any debt worth paying off to spend my excess money on until market conditions change.
Investing Deals
Mortgage loan ?
Added on : Monday December 30th 2013 04:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: georgeojungle
Views: 104 Replies: 0 My wife and I live in West TN and are in process of receiving our first mortgage. TN is a spousal state, so we applied for the loan in just my wife's name. My wife was approved w/ conditions. It is my understanding that all debt in my name would not be included in her DTI. I refied our cars in my name to eliminate any debt in her name, but now the underwriter wants to see the sourced funds for the payoffs. I explained to the mortgage consultant what I did and why, but he seems to think that this will be included in her DTI which would screw us. I cannot be on the loan with such a short work history. Anyone have experience or knowledge in this situation?
Personal Finance Deals
Thank you FW members - How did I better my life
Added on : Monday December 30th 2013 10:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: jba
Views: 101 Replies: 0 Thank you FW!

There are certain advancements in my financial life and it would not have made possible without your expert (selfless) advice. Some of them are:

Don't pay off mortgage. Its free money over the years and reinvest. I have made 3x of my investments.
Deals! Deals! Save $$$ on items i need to buy.
Buy only essential and get family latched onto FW posts.
Lots of advices on my few problems (check my past posts).

Thank you! fellow FW members.

Please add yours and appreciate the community.
Discussion Deals
Getting Married- Merging Finances... tips?
Added on : Sunday December 29th 2013 05:00:10 PM
g: 0 Posted By: FFGuru
Views: 183 Replies: 5 This year I'm excited to be getting married! When it comes time to merge the finances though, we want to do it smartly & make sure we don't do anything that could hurt hour credit or ability to open our own business. Looking for tips & tricks from fellow FW'ers before we get married.

She: Credit in the low 700's, but a ton of student loan debt from med school, slight credit card debt, but no bad marks. Student loan repayments are income based, and the principle will be forgiven in 20 years.
Me: Credit in the high 700's, very little debt aside from an above-water mortgage. Eventually I'd like to open my own business, which will require more loans.

Based on her loans, we plan to file taxes married filing separately--- in effort to maximize the benefit of the loan forgiveness.

We want to maximize our ability to start our own businesses, get loans in the future, and to not do damage to my credit. Are we safe to add each other to bank, & CC accounts, and loans without hurting my credit? Or should we keep our finances separate?

Any other tips about merging our finances?

Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: EatenByGrue
Views: 182 Replies: 4 I am curious if, given my situation, there may be more options open to me than an average first-time home buyer.

- I'm 40 years old, never owned a home, am debt free, and I live in the Silicon Valley of the San Francisco Bay Area.
- I have $150k+ in cash, $2.2M+ in non-retirement investment accounts, and $600k+ in retirement investment accounts (401ks, Rollovers, SEPs, and a Roth).
- My three FICO credit scores are all over 800.

I recently attempted to buy a first home -- my offer was not accepted, but I did have my "eyes opened" (partially) to the process of getting a mortgage by going through a rigorous (some might say proctological) pre-approval process.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around a mortgage's "closing costs" (in my case it was $16k+ for a $625k conforming-for-high-cost-area 30 year fixed loan. I was planning to put 25% down on an $850k house).

A few of the closing cost charges seem reasonable, but things like "loan origination fees" for processing paperwork seem excessive to me.

My mainreason for "borrowing" instead of "paying cash" is to take advantage of the "home mortgage interest deduction" to reduce my annual taxable income. A close second reason for not wanting to pay cash is to avoid creating taxable events by selling $500k+ worth of stock (I rarely sell stocks or funds, I tend to only buy them... So I'd have to sell a lot more to pay capital gains). Lastly, "Opportunity cost" doesn't mean much to me (but I'd take advantage of it for money not tied up in a house).

As I see it, I'm offering to borrow money from a company at 4+% -- seems like a good deal for them. I'm willing to "secure" that loan by using the rest of my nest egg.

If possible, I'd like to avoid paying for "the privilege" of loaning "a great credit risk" like me money. Am I being out-of-touch and unrealistic here?

I've heard of "no closing cost mortgages" where the lender eats their costs to maintain a relationship with the borrower. How do I go about developing one of these relationships?

Real Estate Deals
Underwater Mortgage Options
Added on : Sunday December 29th 2013 11:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Benjamin75
Views: 56 Replies: 0 General info.

1st mortgage with PNC bank
balance $55,472
payment $742.74 (including tax/insurance)

2nd with Huntington bank
balance $33,311.51
payment 359.58

owe 88,784.12
payments 1,102.32

house is a duplex, built in 1922 in Ohio.
the county for tax purposes had valued the house for $97,800 before the market collapse, then the value dropped to $78,000. In 2012 the county raised it back to $98,700

i would like to move, my neighborhood has declined, and quite frankly, I don't like where I live. I could have a nicer apartment for half of what I pay now.

Currently, i bring home JUST enough to pay the mortgages and other debts (minimum payments) to be one of the working poor. Just barely enough left after bills for food & gas. Anything extra, or unexpected ends up on a credit card.

i was approached by PNC and told my mortgage was eligible for a HARP refinance, since the loan was owned my Freddie Mack. When they ran the numbers, I was told if I paid close to $700 up front, I could reduce my interest rate and lower my monthly payment by about $100. Since I didn't have $700 laying around! and it would take 7 months to even break even, I did not go further with it.

i approached Huntington about refinancing my loan with them. It has an interest rate of 10% and I had to have my mother co-sign for it. I was hoping to get her name off, and possibly a lower rate. Huntington surprised me, by telling me I may be able to get one new mortgage from them, that payed off both of my loans, put it all in my name alone, and would save me $100-$300 per month depending on the interest rate.

Huntington paid for an appraisal, and it came back at $60,000.
Huntington isn't offering to do anything for me now.

from what I've read, I'm not eligible for any of the modification programs because Huntington isn't a participating bank of HAMP, and because I have a co-signer.

so do I have any options?

Short sale: doubtful Huntington would agree to take what little money was left after PNC took their money. Seems they'd rather go after my retired mother.

Walk Away/Foreclosure: ruin my credit, Huntington still pursue me; ruin my mothers credit and have her pursued also.

Real Estate Deals
Pay off mortgage $375k left
Added on : Sunday December 29th 2013 10:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: vistaluck
Views: 168 Replies: 2 Hi there
Im hoping to get some real and confirmed info on how to do this legally? I got $375k left mortgage left with Bank of America. I got rich relatives who can help me pay if off or at least pay like 150k next year and another 150k 2015 and the rest in 2016. How can they do this for me? My first thought would be this - have them write a check directly to Bank of America with my mortgage account # and the home address on the check. Say here you go Bank of America 150k. I think this is probably the best because it doesn't even go through me. However, I just don't know if there is any limit on how much can a relative pay for your mortgage each year. They don't mind paying 200k. And how will I file tax for that? Or I don't even need to file any tax for it? And will this affect my relative. Do they need to file tax for it?

I'm sure a lot of people know this method. Each person can donate $14000 to me each year and those are tax free gift. But thats the max they can donate each year. So I guess I can have like 10 relative and friends donate $14000 to me and Ill pay Bank of America immediately after I got it. Or I can just have them write a check to Bank of America directly just like the above method. This method is for sure works and its tax free for both of the gifter and me.
General Economics Deals
Advice on Financial Layout
Added on : Saturday December 28th 2013 12:00:07 PM
g: 1 Posted By: PF2014
Views: 172 Replies: 9 Details

Wife and I are both 31 years old
Total net income: $67,600/ year; $5,633/month

Work Retirement Accounts
We both contribute 25% to our respective retirements at work
Me: 401k (3% match)
Wife: 403(b) teacher
Current Amount $5K [I started new job and recently got wife to sign up for 403b]

Personal IRA Account
Mine (Rollover & Roth IRA): $122K, Vanguard Target Retirement 2045
Wife's (Roth): $5500, Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 [Just got wife to sign up for Roth]

Bank Accounts
Checking: $24K
CDs: $20K [Waiting to mature to divert funds to High Yield Savings]
High Yield Savings (0.85% APY): $100K
Regular Savings (Emergency): $23K

Mortgage + HOA: $900/month
Cell phone: $130/month
Internet: $35/month
Utilities: $40/month
Car Insurance: $150/month

Recently signed up for mint.com to track spending
Groceries: $350 /month
Restaurants: $575 /month
Wary about the cost to feed us...I think this is something to work on for 2014

Other info
Own both cars, 2005 & 2009 models
Hoping for healthy baby in 2015 & thinking about 529 plan
High amount of liquid cash because wife didn't invest in her 20's. After we met, I advised investing (opening 403b, Roth IRA)

Requesting your counsel for plan of action for 2014 to maximize our money saving and having our money work harder for us. Will provide more info if needed. Thank you!
Personal Finance Deals
Applying for different mortgages at once?
Added on : Saturday December 28th 2013 09:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: nickboats
Views: 7 Replies: 0 My Brother seems to think he can get two different mortgages on two different properties at the same time without telling each lender up front. He's going to get one mortgage for a primary residence (which he is going to live in) and a second investment property. He is going to put down 25% on the IP. He seems to think he can submit the applications on different properties with different lenders on the same day and because of the lag in credit reports, MERS and public records that he can close on a couple of them at once. I've tried to tell him this could be mortgage fraud since he is not telling each lender about the other loan applications. He thinks because the mortgages are on different properties, not one, there's no problem. I guess he figures if he tells them upfront it may affect his score, his qualification or his DTI (he makes plenty). If asked about multiple inquires he claims he'll just explain he's shopping for the best rate. I keep telling him to just put all the honest info on the all the applications, that's he's buying different properties at once. Aren't the lenders going to find out some how that he's trying to do multiple mortgages and didn't disclose it on his applications? If one property closes and another closes 5 days later isn't there a way for the second lender to figure out he just got a mortgage on another property and deny him?

Real Estate Deals
g: 0 Posted By: CptSavAHo
Views: 120 Replies: 4 I'll start by saying I already gave the employee the 'you need to lawyer up' advice, and the employee is working on finding a qualified attorney. I'll do bullet points to make this easy.

-Employee went into default on his house
-Primary mortgage at 80% got a modification program to forgive past due principle and reduce interest rate. Employee has been current on it since the modification over 6 months ago
-Secondary mortgage at 20% went into default, foreclosure, and was sold at auction (I have no idea how this happened, if employee ignored notices or it was supposed to be covered by PMI, or why it wasn't bundled into the loan modification)
-Ruthless company now owns the secondary note and is trying to force him out of his house. It will be easy profit for them as the property has appreciated in value.
-Ruthless company gave employee written notice today to be out by the 29th. After speaking with them they extended it until Friday, the 3rd, and then they will pursue court eviction.
-Ruthless company is trying to force him to sign over payoff information for the primary note. They claim to have the deed for the property and that the court will foreclose on the primary note and give them title.
-This is Denver County, Denver CO.

I have no idea if or how the secondary note sold at auction can force foreclosure and eviction. It sounds to me like they are trying high pressure scare tactics to convince employee to sign over the primary note so they can pay it off and then take the property. This is way more complicated than I am familiar with.

The way I see it employee has 3 options
1-Cooperate and possibly lose the house to scumbags but keep his credit and public record clean.
2-Try some kind of cash fire sale on the property, using whatever attorney to cash out on the increased value.
3-Retain a lawyer, fight it tooth and nail, and be hounded by the scumbags.

I encouraged employee to go route #3. Have someone home at all times, don't answer the door, and install some serious heavy duty locks.

Personal Finance Deals
heloc w high dti
Added on : Thursday December 26th 2013 10:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: michaelgh
Views: 29 Replies: 0 I have 4 multi family properties, all in my name only. I have great rates, so if I cash out refi it will cost me in the interest and charges. I live in one , and want to heloc it. It is worth 1mill and I owe 500 in 1sf mortgage. I only want 120,000 but the bank says I should apply for a credit line of 200,000 because I get a better rate ! But with four mortgages , my dti ratio is crazy, even though my buildings are profiting! I clear 4000 a month on top of mortgage, escrowed taxes and insurance, but even with a decent full time job I cant get a dti down near 50, especially with the new debt line fully considered. Are there any banks or guidelines that allow for a heloc scheme to work the heloc in hard numbers instead if a ratio ? Ny or Nj . Any suggestions.?
New User Question Deals
Financial (Debt) Advice for a New Home Owner
Added on : Tuesday December 24th 2013 05:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: dbess2013
Views: 60 Replies: 0 Hi all,

I am a long-time lurker, first-time poster; love your advice on this part of the forum and after lurking for quite awhile, I figured I would post and see what ideas I can get about my financial situation which has been a little hairy since my house purchase. The basic story here is that I purchased a foreclosure home that was "too good of a deal" to pass up. Indeed, it still is a great deal but I was burned by the bank in regards to obtaining "fixer-upper" funds. I was told by my originator that upon purchase, I would be able to borrow under a second mortgage right out of the gate which turned out to be entirely untrue due to the grant I received which will be forgiven in two years. Lesson learned.

The home upon purchase was listed for $50k at auction, I placed a bid at $45k with theseller paying closing costs (truly paying, not rolling into the loan).I was then able to obtain a 10k state grant for downpayment assistance since it was a vacant home which leaves me with a total mortgage of about 34k. The first valuation came in at 78k prior to my repairs. Judging by the area and what I've been told by a couple realtor friends, they believe it would fetch about 120-125k in today's market.

The good side is that its a great place with a huge yard in a city which doesn't usually have both of those attributes. It's an up and coming area so the value will likely rise pending on the market. The bad side is that since I was unable to get a second mortgage for repairs, I now am saddled with some debt that came from necessary repairs to make it liveable.

Current Debt:
Credit Card: 5k @ 15.9%.
Lowes Credit Card: 6k @ 5.99%
401K Loan: 6K @ 2% or so(to myself)

I've always been an anti-debt kind of person and I would really like to jump out of this hole ASAP. It was a seize the moment type purchase which may or may not have been a good idea given my hate of debt. My current plan is to try for a balance transfer card with 0% for 18 months and then add a second mortgage after the grant is forgiven in 07/2015 or the Penfed Promise for the 3.9% for life balance transfer and forget the mortgage. I'm unsure if I'll be approved for the Penfed as my credit score after all this house buying and whatnot is at about 730 (previously 770).

Of course, the ideal situation would have been to have cash to do these repairs and I am half-way kicking myself for doing it. On the flipside, I'm paying far less even with the high interest debt than I was renting.

Anyone have any other ideas for paying less interest with what I have going on?
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: vnuts21
Views: 87 Replies: 0 Pardon the lengthy post, but I wanted to get some general advice on how best to prepare for buying our first home in the next few years. Ages: 26 (Me), 27 (Her).

We will be married in September, 2014.

Me - $78k/yr
Her - $76k/yr
Average take home pay: ~7200/mo
Other income: Credit Card/MS shenanigans - ~$500/mo

~5000/mo (includes rent, student loan payments, Roth IRA contributions, food, traveletc) (high cost of living area)

Currently not maxing retirement savings- only contributing max Roth IRA (5500 each) and minimum to get company match. This will change once student loans are paid off (~9 months)

$40k in 401k
$26k in Roth IRA
$5k Liquid

$35k in 401k
$10k in Roth IRA
$9k Liquid

Me - $40k in student loans (3.5%)(being generously paid off by my brother at $14k/year, and by me at a rate of $4k/yr) - will bepaid offin ~2.5 years
Her - $10k in student loans (5% average) (will be paid off in 1 year)

I will most likely be taking a temporary new job in the DC area for 1 yearwhich will greatly increase our savings ability. The job covers all living expenses and provides a daily food stipend, allowing us to live rent, utilityand food-free (will end up saving ~30k extra over 1 year) (this assumes my fiancee will be able to find a job in DC at the same time). Paying off the student loans over the next year or so would also free up almost1000/mo.

Job prospects:
Overall good - we are both ambitious engineers

Me: BS (high ranked private university), MS in Mechanical engineering (no-name state school). Currently working for US Government (decent job security, but will most likely be leaving after the DC position in search of something higher paying and more challenging).
Her - BS in Manufacturing Engineering (high ranked private university), MBA (decently ranked private university) in May 2014. Currently working for amedical instrumentcompany (decent job security, but overall underpaid given her position, experience level). Will most likely be looking for a new job coinciding with my DC position.

2-3 year goals:
-Live in DC for 1 year
-Live in California for 1-2 years
-Settle down in northern east coast (NY, PA, VA, MD etc)(near family) in ~2017 and purchase a home (~300-350k range). I'd like to be able to put 20% down onthe house. This would require 60k, which is easy to do even now (if saving for a few months and tapping into Roth IRA), but I'd prefer not to touch the Roth accounts to do so.

Here's my questions:
- How to handle manufactured spending/credit card sign ups in the 2-3 years leading up to buying a house? Our credit scores are excellent, and we have leveraged those scores into great vacations, and a lot of extra income from manufactured spending techniques. When should we stop the spending, so that lenders do not ask questions and are not put off by the ~20 open credit cards per person?
- How to best stagger the accounts to get approved for a mortgage? I know the lenders want to see an account capable of paying off the mortgage and will scrutinize every transaction dating back almost a full year. Would opening a joint account and having the paychecks deposited into it be ok? I would keep all other accounts (rewards checking, bluebird, etc) separate. This would be our only joint account from the time we are married until the time we buy a house.
- Any other words of wisdom, advice on how to improve our financial situation?

Discussion Deals
Yet another Mortgage vs. HELOC question
Added on : Monday December 23rd 2013 11:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: panmet69
Views: 529 Replies: 14 So I'm thinking about purchasing a house within the next ~1-3 months. I have enough for the 20% down no problem. I've been doing a lot of reading on the Mortgage vs. HELOC question and it seems very time sensitive (what advice everyone gave 12 months ago might not apply today...hence I'm asking the question) My income is 93,000/year. I am currently renting an apt for $1700 a month (with the girlfriend, each pay $850). Single (no head of household, no kids , no divorced wife, crazy uncle, etc. etc.) Girlfriend will be living in the house with me , she will pay rent (House in my name, no gf money included / needed for this).

My max purchase price is probably 300,000. I have access to a personal loan where I could pay "cash" and then obtain some type of loan on the house to pay the personal loan back. For arguments sake, lets say I can put %25 (75k) down. I have comfortable emergency funds, etc. etc. Do I...

1. Ignore the personal loan, take out a regular mortgage (with 20% down)
2. Pay cash , obtain a HELOC , pay person back.
3. Pay cash, obtain line of credit
4. Pay cash, obtain regular mortgage

I like the idea of #2, (take out 225,000 heloc) with the penfed 5/5 ...0 closing costs. If rates start skyrocketing I think I can just get a regular mortgage...right?

I'm worried I'm missing something (like need 12 months of payment for HELOC, can't convert HELOC / LOE to mortgage if needed. Crazy fee's somewhere.. or not being able to deduct HELOC interest on the taxes)

No pics of GF...unless you provide incredibly insightful advice that saves me thousands of dollars...
Real Estate Deals
Yet another Mortgage vs. HELOC / LOE question
Added on : Sunday December 22nd 2013 05:00:04 PM
g: 0 Posted By: panmet69
Views: 2 Replies: 0 So I'm thinking about purchasing a house within the next ~1-3 months. I have enough for the 20% down no problem. I've been doing a lot of reading on the Mortgage vs. HELOC question and it seems very time sensitive (what advice everyone gave 12 months ago might not apply today...hence I'm asking the question) My income is 93,000/year. I am currently renting an apt for $1700 a month (with the girlfriend, each pay $850). Single (no head of household, no kids , no divorced wife, crazy uncle, etc. etc.) Girlfriend will be living in the house with me , she will pay rent (House in my name, no gf money included / needed for this).

My max purchase price is probably 300,000. I have access to a personal loan where I could pay "cash" and then obtain some type of loan on the house to pay the personal loan back. For arguments sake, lets say I can put %25 (75k) down. I have comfortable emergency funds, etc. etc. Do I...

1. Ignore the personal loan, take out a regular mortgage (with 20% down)
2. Pay cash , obtain a HELOC , pay person back.
3. Pay cash, obtain line of credit
4. Pay cash, obtain regular mortgage

I like the idea of #2, (take out 225,000 heloc) with the penfed 5/5 ...0 closing costs. If rates start skyrocketing I think I can just get a regular mortgage...right?

I'm worried I'm missing something (like need 12 months of payment for HELOC, can't convert HELOC / LOE to mortgage if needed. Crazy fee's somewhere.. or not being able to deduct HELOC interest on the taxes)

No pics of GF...unless you provide incredibly insightful advice that saves me thousands of dollars...
Real Estate Deals
$170k income, but 21yo and self-employed. How can I get a mortgage?
Added on : Sunday December 22nd 2013 12:00:05 PM
g: 1 Posted By: younginquisitive
Views: 152 Replies: 4 I started an online business several years back selling clothes, screenprinted graphic shirts and the like. I've never had a traditional job. Things are going steadily. I've been living in an apartment costing $1,000/month for the last year and a half and feel like I'm ready for a house (or townhome), in part because I need the extra space. In this area, most of the ones that I was looking at were around the $300k range, which would mean a mortgage of around $1,500-$1,800 a month. I've been reading the forum extensively, but I feel like my age and self-employed status makes for a trickier case than most of what I've read.

Any information on whether I could be approved for a mortgage/what I would need to do to ready my accounts for the underwriting process would be greatly appreciated.

Here's any information I think could be relevant:

2011 income was $45k, 2012 income was $170k, 2013 income looks like it will end up about $200k
I have $80k in savings and $80k in stocks that could be quickly liquidated
No one can co-sign for me, my family all has terrible credit
I have four personal credit cards and two business ones, all paid in full every month
My oldest account is 2 yrs 7 months old, the average account age is 1 yr 3 months.
No debt at all, car was paid for in full, never went to college
CreditKarma score of 758

Any other information you might need, let me know. Getting a house has been the smart choice for a while now and I'd like to move forward with this in the near future. Even if I don't know what I'm doing yet, I thought it was time to come forward so that I at least knew the right resources to seek or the right questions to be asking.

Thank you for your time.
Real Estate Deals
Retirement crisis based upon financial paralysis
Added on : Sunday December 22nd 2013 09:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: iseetrails
Views: 66 Replies: 0 Issue: I believe that I have become afraid of the market and cant make rational choices regarding my retirement anymore.

Short background: age: 44, self-employed, California, 90,000 gross income with approx. 50,000 take home after all taxes and business expenses. In 1998, I started taking active management in my 401k accounts and promptly lost half of my balance at the time in the tech crunch. In 2007, I broadened my investment approach to commodities and lost quite a bit more. Since then, I have drifted more and more toward cash or cash equivalents as I become more risk adverse.

Goal: to contribute approx. 15% of salary a year to retire accounts with annual returns of approx. 8 to 10%. Current balance is approx. $200,000.

Problems: assets are spread across four retirement accounts and difficult to track. Allocation is currently $100,000 in stocks and $100,000 in cash or cash equivalents. Need to get money from earning nothing in cash items without entering market all at one time. Need to regain confidence in self as investor.

Question: has anyone had similar situation where they got past investing fears on their own; or should I find someone else to manage my money? I dont want to pay a 1 or 2% fee but it is currently more attractive than my inaction in investing. I am also stuck with how quickly you can reinvest 50% of the value of the portfolio back into stocks without buying at wrong time. Is 5 or 10% per month a safe rate to re-enter?

If the cash is just sitting in retirement accounts; is there any reason to contribute any more to retirement accounts at this point or just pay down mortgage until all 401k money is invested? The idea of having my mortgage paid off before retirement has a strong emotional attraction that I am not sure is the best use of the money. I have no other debt and enough emergency cash.
Personal Finance Deals
Save up to $400/year per child on your taxes with a custodial account
Added on : Sunday December 22nd 2013 04:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: tarcapone
Views: 0 Replies: 0 It's been written about on FWF before ( http://www.fullofdeals.com/forums/finance/955610/ ), but it's been a while. It's also been a while since we've had significant appreciated stock (at least for me). Here's the basic concept:

You can gift up to $13K per year to your child (so can your wife/husband)
This gift can be the current value of appreciated stock
When your child sells stock, the first $1,000 per year (amount occasionally increases) is tax free and the next $1,000 is taxed at their rate. Any income over $2,000 is taxed at the parents rate. I always avoid this because it complicates your taxes.
The gift is an irrevocable gift to your child. However, you can take the money out to use for the child's benefit. I take it out in a lump sum. I know that I spend enough on the kids to cover this, but don't track it. It is somewhat loosely defined by the IRS. You could probably argue that a portion of your mortgage is for the child's benefit, but certainly camps, vacations, tuition, clothes, toys, etc.

I've found the most effective way to maximize these benefits is to gift appreciated stock with the highest appreciation percentage to my child. I estimate how many shares are needed to reach the $2,000 gain and transfer the shares from my Fidelity account to theirs (very easy on the Fidelity site, don't know about other brokers). I then sell once the transfer is completed (takes a couple days).

When my children were younger, I gave them a large block of appreciated stock that they sold over the years to hit that $2,000 threshold (was lower back then). I would plan so that the dividends plus gains would reach the Target.

Two caveats that Mimi6789 points out in the post linked above are "If your kids are close to college age, you have to keep in mind that those are your child's accounts and are counted as their assets for FAFSA calculation. Also, if you gift stock to your child and the stock tanks, you cannot transfer the stock back to you to harvest the tax loss." Also, keep in mind you'll have to file tax returns for your kids each year. These are pretty simple returns and after the first year, only take a couple of minutes.

It is a bit of work, but can save $300-$400/year per child in taxes. Worth my time.

Tax Deals
Someone explain why anyone would buy leasehold property?
Added on : Saturday December 21st 2013 07:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: atikovi
Views: 0 Replies: 0 Was watching something on the Travel Channel than mentioned in Hawaii you can buy a house as leasehold. You own the house but lease the land. Unless it's a mobile home, why would anyone buy a house like that? At the end of the lease you give up the house? How can you even get a mortgage?
FHA loan vs. Conventional loan--which one is better?
Added on : Friday December 20th 2013 01:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: dyslexiateechur
Views: 17 Replies: 0 I posted awhile back about owning several smaller rental houses but having issues getting financed for a larger house, due to medical collections. I was advised at that time to put it off for awhile, pay off my collections, and wait for my credit to improve on its on. I've done that and my credit is now high enough to qualify me for a mortgage.

We have found a house that we think we can pick up at a very good price that would fit our family's needs. I've turned in the paperwork, and now it's time to decide which route we want to go.

The house is listed at $159K, but we think we can get it between $120K and $130K. Our household income will be around in the $150K's for this next year.

Choice A:
FHA mortgage at 4.3% interest with $171 mortgage insurance required for the life of the loan. 3.5% down

Choice B:
Conventional Mortgage at 5.3% interest with $114 mortgage insurance required until we pay it 80% of the way down. 5% down.

We've got enough saved for the down payment, so that's not an issue.

I'm really thinking about going with B and paying it down to 80% right away. My husband thinks we can pay the house off completely within 3 years if we are aggressive, but with the fed getting ready to up interest rates, I'm not sure how wise that is.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
RoundPoint Mortgage
Added on : Thursday December 19th 2013 08:00:13 PM
g: 0 Posted By: NewToFatWalletUser
Views: 69 Replies: 0 What's the deal with these guys, is there a catch? Saw the offer on Credit Karma and could get a real good rate.
Question Deals
To Mortgage or Not to Mortgage
Added on : Wednesday December 18th 2013 09:00:07 AM
g: 1 Posted By: sweeterae
Views: 508 Replies: 5 I am a retired veteran 48 years old. My pension after taxes/dental/survivor benefit plan is about $1200 a month. Currently unemployed. My wife is 54 and makes about $10 hour/40hour week. We have medical/dental insurance. We just sold our home and currently have $126,000 in the bank with about $8000 in debt. We are fixing to buy another house for $99,900.00 and have arranged a 15 yr mortgage with a bank at 3.5% had to pay a point and 1/4 to buy it down to that rate. the payment with taxes and home owner insurance should be around $650 a month. Children are grown and out of the picture, we live simply. I will be getting a job but it may not be a major wage earner.

My question is does this make since and if not why? What would you do?
Personal Finance Deals
Financial Advice for Mid-Life(Crisis) Retired Veteran
Added on : Wednesday December 18th 2013 06:00:11 AM
g: 1 Posted By: sweeterae
Views: 333 Replies: 5 I am a retired veteran 48 years old. My pension after taxes/dental/survivor benefit plan is about $1200 a month. Currently unemployed. My wife is 54 and makes about $10 hour/40hour week. We have medical/dental insurance. We just sold our home and currently have $126,000 in the bank with about $8000 in debt. We are fixing to buy another house for $99,900.00 and have arranged a 15 yr mortgage with a bank at 3.5% had to pay a point and 1/4 to buy it down to that rate. the payment with taxes and home owner insurance should be around $650 a month. Children are grown and out of the picture, we live simply. I will be getting a job but it may not be a major wage earner.

My question is does this make since and if not why? What would you do?
Personal Finance Deals
What to Do.
Added on : Wednesday December 18th 2013 05:00:20 AM
g: 0 Posted By: sweeterae
Views: 93 Replies: 2 I am a retired veteran 48 years old. My pension after taxes/dental/survivor benefit plan is about $1200 a month. Currently unemployed. My wife is 54 and makes about $10 hour/40hour week. We have medical/dental insurance. We just sold our home and currently have $126,000 in the bank with about $8000 in debt. We are fixing to buy another house for $99,900.00 and have arranged a 15 yr mortgage with a bank at 3.5% had to pay a point and 1/4 to buy it down to that rate. the payment with taxes and home owner insurance should be around $650 a month. Children are grown and out of the picture, we live simply. I will be getting a job but it may not be a major wage earner.

My question is does this make since and if not why? What would you do?
Personal Finance Deals
Tax implications - When is debt considered cancelled in a Deed In Lieu?
Added on : Monday December 16th 2013 12:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: BocephusSTL
Views: 112 Replies: 0 My brother is going through a Deed-In-Lieu with BOA, and he is concerned about the potential tax liability if it's not completed by Dec. 31, because of the expiring Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act (MFDRA). They told him it's in the final stages of completion (post-closing dept.), but that it probably won't be fully completed for a couple of months. I'm hoping someone here might have relevant experience to determine when a DIL is considered complete for tax purposes.

The facts as he relayed them to me are:

His file is in the Post-Closing Dept. at BOA
The Warranty Deed where he signed the property back to BOA, and BOA's Deed of Release, have both been recorded with the county.
The post-closer said his incentive check is on the way.
He called the IRS, and was told that the determining factor for meeting the Dec. 31 deadline of the MFDRA expiration is that the debt must be cancelled by that date.
Post-closer told him she "thinks" the Deed of Release is the point at which the debt is considered cancelled, but she's not certain.
BOA still has to transfer the property to HUD, clear things off their books, report to CRAs, etc, which could take another couple of months.

The person at IRS told him that it's completely up to the bank as to when they consider the debt cancelled. The post-closer from the bank told him she "thinks" the recording date of the Deed of Release is what would be considered the date of debt cancellation in his case, but she wasn't sure. He is worried they won't consider it cancelled until it's fully off their books and reported to the CRAs. If that's after Dec. 31, the cancelled debt will be subject to taxes, which he can't pay so is obviously trying to avoid that situation.

Another question that came up when he talked to the IRS, could potentially make all of this moot. The IRS person told him that because it's an FHA loan,there technically won't be any cancelled debt because the mortgage insurance claim that will be paid to BOA effectively makes them whole. As a result, my brother won't be subject to income tax of the "cancelled debt". This kind of makes sense, but then again, it sounds too good to be true.

Any tax or legal experts here who can be any more definitive about these questions? I wore out my Google-Fu trying to get answers, but the only information I could find wasn't specific to these details.
Discussion Deals
Pay down mortgage or save
Added on : Monday December 16th 2013 09:00:15 AM
g: 0 Posted By: cardinalfan6784
Views: 162 Replies: 3 My wife and I are buying a house that we plan to be in for 7-10 years. Is there any reason to make additional principal only payments vs. saving the difference in a separate savings account?
Personal Finance Deals
35 and financially on the right track, but want to stay there.....
Added on : Thursday December 12th 2013 03:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: dan812
Views: 171 Replies: 3 I know many people post about finances and thankfully I have been following the advice given for the past 10 years. I want to see where I can do a little better for down the road and that is why I am posting;
Married with a 2 year old and one on the way. We have 2 cars both paid for, we own a house which we owe $250k on (15 year mortgage at 2.5% which I am paying $5k month so it will be paid off in 7 years)
Combined Income is $140k/year, Savings is $165k, retirement and stocks $100k, no credit card debt or other debt.
Monthly bills are; electric, water, heat, cell phones, groceries = $650/month
When the second child is due we will have to have someone watch the baby and then will also be paying for school for the other one since my wife and I both work.
She has a 401k at her job, not offered at my job; My healthcare is through her work;
Currently I am on the right track and want to stay there !!

General Economics Deals
40 and almost broke - need advice
Added on : Wednesday December 11th 2013 06:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Eagle357
Views: 370 Replies: 11 hello everyone, new guy here looking for some financial advice. this site was the first result from a google search for 'finance forum'.

anyway, story is that i am 40 yrs old with 3 kids. i seem to live paycheck by paycheck, and barely have anything left to save at the end of the month. i have been at my job for 10 yrs, but am thinking about quitting to pull out my retirement and start all over.

right now i have the following:
-$7500 in savings
-$130,000 in retirement
-$100,000 life insurance policy at current job

my debt:
-$10,000 credit card
-$4200 car1 ($270/mo. @ 6.8%)
-$12000 car2 ($330/mo. @ 4.5%)
-$15000 home equity loan ($220/mo.@ 8.8%)
-$123,000 mortgage ($1500/mo. inc. tax/ins. @ 3.8%, 10 yrs left, est. appraisal $160k)

i make enough to live decent, but i am not saving anything towards college education, emergencies, or anything. i have the option of staying at current job and paying down house and bills. or i can sell house and take out retirement. the 2nd option will allow me to pay off all bills, car notes, and be debt free completely and have about $105,000 left. i would have to reolcate and find another job though.

what would you do? i should say that i'm pretty thankful for what i have, but i feel i wasted 15+ years squandering money, a lot of which i had no control over and due to unexpected circumstances. thanks for listening.
Personal Finance Deals
How much can you "stretch" when buying a two family home?
Added on : Monday December 09th 2013 01:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: packers9626
Views: 0 Replies: 0 I know and agree with the general sentiment not to take out more then 3x or so your income in a mortgage. However,If buying a two family,what would be considered reasonable?

Is 5x (50k salary, 250k house) reasonable for a duplex? The extra unit could rent for $1100 easily, and its a major metropolitan area so renters will always be around.

Any advice you would give? `
SunTrust Access 3 Equity Line 1.99% through 1/2015
Added on : Monday December 09th 2013 11:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: fatwallet21
Views: 0 Replies: 0 ~~Save with a SunTrust Access 3 Equity Line
No application fees, and as long as your account is kept open for at least three years, we will advance most, if not all, closing costs on your behalf.2
Interest may be tax-deductible3
Interest rate reductions for qualified SunTrust account holders4============ Gotchas========
- LOC has to remain open for 3 years
- Closing costs on $100K comes to ~$1K
- After Jan 2015, the interest rate goes up to 5.00 plus (it is prime plus margin and their margin is pretty higher) This is where the existing suntrust clients discounts come into picture
~~~~More savings for SunTrust clients
Existing SunTrust clients are eligible for up to 0.75% interest rate reduction off our standard rates for new and refinanced equity lines4. Discounts include:
0.25% interest rate reduction if you maintain a qualified SunTrust deposit account
0.25% interest rate reduction if you have a qualifying mortgage from SunTrust Mortgage, Inc.
0.25% interest rate reduction if payments on your equity loan are automatically deducted from a SunTrust checking, savings or money market account using SurePaySMhttps://www.suntrust.com/PersonalBanking/Loans/EquityLinesOfCreditAndLoans/EquityLineOfCredit
Question on Refinance, help please.
Added on : Sunday December 08th 2013 09:00:09 PM
g: 0 Posted By: regor1000k
Views: 165 Replies: 0 I thought I might ask these questions here in this forums as many members are familiar with the Penfed 5/5 ARM mortgage.

Just to be sure I understood the loan, the 5/5 mortgage with a 2.625% starting rate, correct me if I am wrong:

1. for 1st five years the rate is 2.625%
2.the rate adjusts once every 5 years ONLY
3.The maximum rate adjustments up or down ONCE every 5 years in 2% ONLY (so my 6th year might be 4.625% or 0.625%)?
4.The total rate adjustment cannot be more than 5% which means, my rate will be NEVER more than 7.625% probably in year 15 not before that?(if rates are going up)

Now, my situation:
I closed on a 30 yr conforming loan 2 months ago (with Wells Fargo) after which I applied to 3 credit cards to buy appliances, furniture and also get some 0% APR offer. ~3k Debt@0% APR
My LTV ratio is about 75%, which means my home is worth 25% more than my loan as per the purchase price/appraisal 2 months ago.

1.Can I apply for a Penfed 5/5 ARM now just after 2 months of closing? Will they even consider my mortgage application?
2.Will Penfed closing cost offer cover all my closing fees? I read that it does not cover Owners Policy, do I need a new owners policy when I refinance?
3.How does the process work?, should we pay for appraisal and other fees to start with before closing or will penfed pay everything to start with?
4.Their website says that they might have a origination fee which can be waived with a 0.25% rate increase, any experience with that?

All your help appreciated...
New User Question Deals
Mortgage Quotes
Added on : Sunday December 08th 2013 06:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: scottatteberry2
Views: 19 Replies: 0 I am completely new to buying a home and have recently been looking around for mortgages. One thing I would like to know is:

When a lender reviews your financial situation (income, down payment, credit score, etc) and then calculates how much home you can afford, does the lender include the property tax payments and PMI into your maximum monthly payment they will allow, or do they just calculate the maximum based on principal and interest?

For example: Say your monthly gross income is $10,000, and the lender will not approve you for a payment above 30% of your monthly gross income.
Say the principal and interest for a house you are looking at is $2,800, but with property taxes and PMI thrown in the monthly payment is $3,400.

Will the lender approve you?

Responses appreciated. Again, I am a total noob at mortgages and home buying. Thanks
Rental home severely damaged by tenants Best steps to take?
Added on : Friday December 06th 2013 09:00:14 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Zan86
Views: 0 Replies: 0 Hello, I am posting this on behalf of my parents-in-law. They have a rental home in Colorado. The current tenants are on a month-to-month lease. Rent was due at the first of the month, which they did not pay. The tenants have avoided any contact by phone or stopping by and are not currently at the house. My parents-in-law went in there the other day because the dogs had been barking nonstop for like 24 hours, with the entry allowed per the lease agreement. They noticed that most of the tenant's possessions in the house had been moved out, and there was severe damage done. Parts of the house were remodeled prior to them moving in, which was over one year ago. There are numerous and large holes in the wall, the floors are scraped and looked trashed, the counters are in poor shape, it appears the unit has not been cleaned once in the past year. I believe the tenants had about 5 children under the age of 15. A best estimate of the damage in that brief visit when checking on the dogs looked in excess of $10,000.

I know a lot of people here have rental properties and possibly have come accoss the same situation. Does anyone have any advice on the next steps? My thoughts were to take them to small claims court, but attempting to "serve" them could be difficult and than actually getting them to pay could be another story. They gave a $1,600 deposit, but that would not be enough to cover the extent of the damage. They would not be able to rent out the house until the damage is fixed, which could potentially lead to foreclosure because they would be stuck with that mortgage paymentas well. Any help would be much appreciated!!
I'm putting down payment in home...what stake should I ask for?
Added on : Friday December 06th 2013 02:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: arilin
Views: 152 Replies: 1 I'm buying a home with my fiancee and will be using my savings (saved from before we were together) as the down-payment in the home. I'd like to have an agreement that this money is separate and protected in the event of a sale.

What is fair/standard? I was thinking that if I put in 25% down then I should have a 25% share in the home. In the event of a sale, 25% goes to my name, and whatever principal left in the property is shared (we'll be sharing the mortgage while living). Is this reasonable? How do I get this formalized?
New User Question Deals
EverBank Experience... if you need a mortgage...
Added on : Thursday December 05th 2013 04:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: MattT
Views: 134 Replies: 0 I thought I'd pass this along. I just did a Refi on my primary that was difficult. (Self employed, etc.). I worked with JoeBallerino at EverBank (he can do all 50 states).
And I have to say. I couldn't be happier. After working with dozens of lenders who swore they could "make it happen" (None did) This guy did exactly what he said he would do.

Thought I'd share. I haven't been this happy with a lender in a very long time!

Real Estate Deals
Buying a condo where someone holds majority ownership - Any experience?
Added on : Thursday December 05th 2013 02:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: elptrainerny
Views: 25 Replies: 1 A vacation condo opportunity came up at a very good price. It's one unit (30%), part of a 4 unit condo. Upon further investigation, one person has 2 units (55%). I'm assuming that could be a potential nightmare down the road with a person having majority ownership (they could set their own rules)and problems in getting a mortgage (fannie doesn't allow multiple ownership where a majority can happen).

Wanted to see if others ever had a similar situation?
New User Question Deals
Ocwen Mortgage Error - Automatic Payment Debited Twice
Added on : Tuesday December 03rd 2013 01:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: jmw11
Views: 136 Replies: 0 Better check your bank account if you let Ocwen automatically debit your monthly mortgage payment. They debited my monthly payment twice.


Subject: Automatic Draft Information

We recently identified a discrepancy with the automatic payment received on December 2, 2013. Your account was incorrectly debited for this payment twice. To resolve this situation, we reversed the entry credited to your account in error and have returned the funds to your financial institution. Every effort was made to return the funds as quickly as possible. If this transaction caused a fee to be assessed by your financial institution, please forward evidence of this charge to our office by fax to 1-319-236-7479 or by mail to Electronic Payments, PO Box 780, Waterloo IA 50704.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience you experienced because of this situation, and expect no further issues on a go-forward basis. If you have any questions, please contact us at 1-800-766-4622 weekdays from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Saturdays 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and Sundays from 8:00 AM to 8:00PM, Central Time.

Customer Care
Loan Servicing
Real Estate Deals
Caliber Home Loans Mortgage
Added on : Tuesday December 03rd 2013 12:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: sharpie13
Views: 112 Replies: 3 My mortgage loan servicing rights were recently transferred to Caliber from Flagstar Bank, who were very professional. Caliber is a totally different animal. My mortgage is in good standing, yet these scum-bags insist on printing the mini miranda warning: "THIS IS AN ATTEMPT BY A DEBT COLLECTOR TO COLLECT A CONSUMER DEBT AND ANY INFORMATION OBTAINED WILL BE USED FOR THAT PURPOSE. I called to ask what the deal was and they seemed to be adamant that this was a consumer debt and they had the right to print this warning. I filed a complaint with the Consumer Protection Agency who seemed equally baffled and took up the mater with the bank. I received a nice letter from Caliber saying that my loan was in good standing; however it was their policy to print the mini Miranda warning on all their loan correspondence. The CPA hasn't followed up yet, but before I go and start something, does anyone have the same Miranda printout on their mortgage billing statement? If so are you OK with it? Thanks in advance for your input.
Real Estate Deals
House sale fell through -being sued -update-Is this finally the end??
Added on : Saturday November 30th 2013 06:00:09 PM
g: 0 Posted By: ditchqueen
Views: 67 Replies: 0 Orginal Post

UPDATED - After themediator found in my ex's favor and theseller decided to bring it toa higher court , the mortgage company hired a lawyer as did my ex. From what I understand the trial was a crap show. Half way through, the seller (whom is a lawyer), called his realtor to the stand to testify, only for the presiding judge to realize was that he was currently selling his house, with her as a realtor! The judge thanrecused himself, but my ex's lawyer requested that the trial resume from the end of the current one, since the trail was video taped.

A month later the trial resumed with a new judge whom viewed the video of the prior trial, this way the seller could not be more prepared etc from the last trial. My ex Got the decision a few weeks ago and the judge ruled in favor of my ex.! The judge basically said that even though it is unfortunate that the deal fell through the contract did not state that my ex would pay for any repairs so he is not responsible for them.

Also, come to find out my ex never really released the $1500 deposit. he has sent a copy of the decision along with a certified letter requesting the deposit and has not heard back. He is waiting a few more days and then contacting his lawyer. the seller has threatened to take the case to the supreme court! If this happens my ex is going to see if he an file a complaint with the bar association for him bringing a frivolous lawsuit forth (not sure)

Real Estate Deals
Who Reports to CRAs, and When?
Added on : Tuesday November 26th 2013 03:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: NeoMayhem
Views: 68 Replies: 0 I have seen a lot of posts on FWF about when delinquent accounts can be reported, and if a SSN is needed or not. It seems there are three types of accounts when it comes to negative credit reporting:

1. Shows up on CR immediately after 30 days late.
-Credit Cards, Car Loans, Student Loans, Mortgages, others that report monthly
2. May show up on CR after 30-90 days late depending on company. They usually try to get payment first.
-Utilities, Cable, Cell Phones, Internet, others who ask for SSN at sign up, but do not report regularly.
3. Must go to collections before it hits report. These companies do not generally report to CRAs directly.
-Medical Bills, Home/Car Maintenance, Landlords, PayPal, others who do not normally view/report to CRAs.

Does this seem accurate. Anything I am missing?
Discussion Deals
g: 0 Posted By: dkong
Views: 127 Replies: 0 https://www.valleynationalbank.com/Personal/BlackFriday.aspx?ref=hp1

There are also 2 CD deals.

I have a question: T=13pxhe fine print says it's for "=13pxowner-occupied properties" only. Does anyone know of a good deal for a rental?
Personal Finance Deals
Bank offered Mortgage Refi - But now its not as it seemed
Added on : Friday November 22nd 2013 03:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: NonReturnable
Views: 134 Replies: 2 I was at my bank about a week ago to withdraw some money for a potential purchase I was going to make on craigslist.

The lady processing my transaction was the branch loan officer. She noticed I had a home loan while looking at my account, and asked if I'd considered refinancing.

I looked into it about 2 years ago, but it was going to cost me several grand out of pocket, and since we don't plan on living there more than another few years, it didn't seem worth it.

She explained that the process had changed, and they can now do refinancing without closing costs or other costs. She said it would not cost me for the refinance, did some calculations, and showed me they could drop my mortgage from a 30 year to a 20 year with a better interest rate and that my monthly would stay the same.

My thinking was - I could pay the same monthly and when I go to sell I have more of it payed down, so more money in my pocket when we sell.

I email her copies of my W2s and pay stubs.

Yesterday I get some paperwork in the mail. Including paperwork for a home equity loan, which I did not ask for, paperwork advising me that I should pay $80 for a lawyer through the bank to help with this process, and a Good Faith Estimate showing me the refi will cost me $700 in settlement charges.

I'm quite pissed off right now. This is not what the loan officer said it was. I did not want an equity loan, nor would I pay $700 out of pocket. I don't have $700 to fork over on this right now.

At this point, I'm going to call her and tell her to shove this new loan up her ass.

But, before I do, do I have any other options? Can I haggle into getting the settlement charges dropped (as they had said there would not be any to begin with).
Or, should I just drop this whole thing?

Edit - Just got off the phone with the bank. Loan officer is going to give me a call in an hour after she's off a conference call.
The person I spoke with explained that the "Settlement charges" were not a cost to me, it was something the bank pays, but they had to disclose it to me.
And, that the refi loan actually IS a home equity loan, for the cost of the house.

Still a bit unsure about this. I want to go through the paperwork with the loan officer and have it all explained to me first.
Question Deals
g: 3 Posted By: joeH1974
Views: 667 Replies: 20 Doesn't seem to be pinned anymore, and can't reach it from a Google search.

Edit: While the mods see if they can recover the original thread, I was hoping to use this as a temporary until if/when the old thread returns.

Discussion Deals
New hard credit check
Added on : Wednesday November 20th 2013 07:00:07 AM
g: -1 Posted By: balor124
Views: 124 Replies: 3 I bought a home June 1 and took out a loan with Everhome mortgage. Today, nearly 6mo later, I just got a hard inquiry on my report from Fannie Mae. Should I be concerned about that? It knocked my credit score down by 3 points (according to CreditKarma) but its still pretty high.
Credit Deals
I need software that will preform an audit on any type of loan
Added on : Wednesday November 20th 2013 06:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: rianosaurus
Views: 127 Replies: 2 =16.0ptI have been searching for software for my job to assist us in preforming audits on our customers loans. I need it to handle various types of loans ranging from a fixed rate mortgage to a credit card / auto loan. I need it to be able to take in account that biweekly payments are being made. If you have knowledge of any such software that can assist with what I need can you please post the link to where I can find them.
Credit Deals
g: 0 Posted By: joeH1974
Views: 138 Replies: 6 Doesn't seem to be pinned anymore, and can't reach it from a Google search.

Edit: While the mods see if they can recover the original thread, I was hoping to use this as a temporary until if/when the old thread returns.
Discussion Deals
JP Morgan agrees to $1.5 billion reduction of principal on mortgages
Added on : Tuesday November 19th 2013 07:00:10 PM
g: 0 Posted By: bighitter
Views: 0 Replies: 0 As part of today's announcedgovernment settlement of charges with JP Morgan Chase,$4 billion in aid to homeowners is required. At least $1.5 billion of the settlement is to be directed to borrowers who owe more than their property is worth (to reduce their loan balance). An additional $300 - $500 million must be used to make homeowner's monthly housing expense more affordable, such as reducing a homeowner's monthly mortgage payment. According to the wall street journal, an independent monitor will oversee the $4 billion in consumer relief to ensure it is completed by the end of 2016.

I haven't seen anything reported yet on the details of "who" or "how" the recipients will be chosen. Stay tuned.

Discussion Deals
Fannie Mae hard inquiry seven months after refi?
Added on : Tuesday November 19th 2013 07:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: sullim4
Views: 68 Replies: 0 I closed on a refi in April of this year with Box. My loan was sold to Provident who then sold it to Fannie. As a result of this transaction I had a single hard inquiry on my credit report from Box.

Today I got a notification from TransUnion that Fannie initiated a hard pull on my credit yesterday. I certainly didn't request it nor did I apply for any new credit since I did my refi this past April. Are they allowed to initiate a hard pull like that, i.e. did I give them permission somewhere in the standard set of loan docs I signed? I am planning on disputing it based on the fact that I never got a hard pull from Fannie on any of my 2 prior mortgages, but I figured I'd ask the folks here if I'm being unreasonable or if this is a legitimate dispute. Thanks!
Discussion Deals
HELOC with high LTV?
Added on : Sunday November 17th 2013 11:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: valueinvestor
Views: 124 Replies: 0 I have a property with a first mortgage of 60-70% LTV. Primary residence. I'd like to pull some out to buy a rental property cash (found a very good cash deal). I'm wondering if anyone is aware of lenders in Ohio that will do HELOCs with high loan to values on upper 600s credit? No recent derogatories. With the smaller loan amount, I'd prefer a higher APR with lower fees.
Real Estate Deals
Out of College Tax Help
Added on : Sunday November 17th 2013 07:00:05 AM
g: -1 Posted By: FalseKiva
Views: 51 Replies: 1 Hi,

I've just finished my first year at my first job out of college and take strides to be diligent with my personal finances (credit card churning, budgeting, etc all the FWF way). But, I'm new to taxes and want to know what is the best way to plan for this past year and future years to capitalize on deductions, etc.

Some details:
23 years old
120K annual salary
10K personal trading, mostly ST capital gains
maxed out 401K but did it through roth 401K (should I consider doing the regular next year to minimize taxes? My concern is if tax rates rise the roth is better)
Can I contribute to an IRA or Roth this year? Not sure how to best think about the MAGI and also not sure if I should contribute now or if I can wait until I do my taxes after 2013 ends
No mortgage so no deduction. No student loan so no deduction. I am filing as single household. Any other ways to claim deductions? Can I deduct transportation costs that were part of my job search?

Thanks in advance to the FWF community!

Tax Deals
How to effectively negotiate with credit card companies?
Added on : Saturday November 16th 2013 03:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: ecohezzy
Views: 102 Replies: 1 I'm in debt with credit card companies. The why of how that happened is something I've reviewed extensively within myself through much soul searching, daily spending monitoring, counseling, reading advice on all kinds of forums, workbooks and books from the library.
What I need advice on, and hoping someone here can help me out with...is how to negotiate effectively with the credit card companies.
As of this date, I've not been late on a payment for any kind of bill in...gosh, I don't know...30 yrs?
But, things are what they are, and the end of this month will be the first time I'm going to have choose which bills do not get paid, I truly do not have enough money to pay all my bills.
The ideal strategy for me at this point, is to talk to 3 of my credit card agencies and ask them to accept a lower than minimum payment for the next 6 months.
I've run the numbers dozens of times, and it truly could work. Not saying that in 6 months everything will be fine, but that six months will allow me, if saving me 300 per month, the chance to get back on track (with working every bit of OT I can get).
A bonus would be if they didn't make a negative report, but at this point, I really can't get too concerned about my credit score.
What I don't want to pay late: Mortgage, Insurance, Auto Payment (unfortunately,, my car recently bit the dust, so I had to go buy a used one, no cash so had to finance).
I've read numerous articles and I think this is what I should do,, but if you have any other constructive advice, please let me know.
So, I figure I call them up, politely ask if the customer service rep I'm speaking to has the ability to lower payments or interest rates, if they don't, ask to speak to someone who does.
When and if I get switched to that person, I will ask to make sure they have proper contact information for me including email and phone, and I will ask how I can contact them in the future, getting their name and ID if possible.
Then I should be completely honest and explain that I've been their customer for X number of years, never late on payment, and without tears or excuses just explain that I'm facing the inability to pay all my bills.
Ask to have interest rate reduced, possible plan to pay them x number of dollars for 6 months, then back to normal.
I don't know if anyone has ever had any success with this course of action, if you have, I'd love to hear about it. If you haven't, I'd love to hear that also, thanks in advance.

Credit Deals
Suggestions for Inheritance Windfall
Added on : Thursday November 14th 2013 10:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Kainer
Views: 118 Replies: 6 Hi FW Financers,

I had a relative die, and my wife and I will be receiving a fairly significant inheritance ~ $35,000

I'm looking for suggestions as to what to do with the money. Wondering if I should pay down debt, invest, etc. I'd like to put some into an educational savings account for my newborn son. I'm really looking to get the best bang for my buck. I appreciate any advice.

Also, We have a 2 month old son and I'd like to be able to move to a house in a nicer school district by the time he is school age - ~ 5 years. Our house is unfortunately underwater, but we're current on payments, just Refinanced 1.5 years ago.

Current Debt:
1.5 years into a $150k mortgage (refi) at 4.0% APR - house currently worth $110k according to Zillow - Currently up to date on all payments (paying a little extra each month)
$7,843.91 Student Loan @ 4.0%
$10,779.10 Student Loan @ 4.25%
16,569.25 Car Loan @ 2.99% APR

Personal Finance Deals
Best Ways To Churn At this Point...
Added on : Thursday November 14th 2013 05:00:16 AM
g: 0 Posted By: justignoredem
Views: 101 Replies: 2 Hello FWers. I'm looking for some advice from people. Namely, these questions:
1) Should I get more credit cards (Or will it hurt my credit too much?)
2) Which Credit Cards Should I get? (To Maximize churn, good starting bonus, etc)
3) Should I get any with annual fees that I have been avoiding like the plague?

I am looking for more ways to churn money as possible. As of right now, I have stuck with nothing but No annual fee, rotating 5% category credit cards. These have been incredibly lacking lately. Apparently they are playing a game for the last year called "Match what the other is doing!", thus making them insignificant to having multiple (aside from being able to put more into the category). I want to maximize as much different revenue from all categories as possible. At the same time, I don't wantrandom cards for 1 tiny category that I barely contribute anything to - especially if it has an annual fee tacked on to it. While I don't want to HURT my credit, I'm not at a point where I think I can hurt it too much either. I have 0 loans under my belt (including college), 0 mortgage, but ~4 years experience with credit cards and 0 late fees. I do not pay interest on anything.

The other day we decided to buy $2k for wooden flooring replacement. I had nothing to do other than get a measly 1% out of it. I felt bad getting so little out of that. We just got back from a trip where we had to spend on hotels, I feel we don't get enough CashBack out of trips as well... For that, I was thinking the Marriott with 70k points, but that is an annual fee card.

Current Credit Cards:

Discover - Rotating 5% Categories
Chase - Rotating 5% Categories
Citi - Rotating 5% Categories
American Express, Costco - 3% Off Gas (Not used), 2% Travel (Use this for flights/hotels), 1% Else. Mostly this card I use for risky transactions, AMX is known for being the most reliable in helping
Bank of America, Cash Rewards - 3% Off Gas (Use this), 2% Off Groceries (Use this), 1% Else
Bank of America, Better Balance Rewards - Free $ Churn

Personal Life:
I'm in my mid 20's. I'm about to get married, my fiance has a mortgage that is entirely under her name. We have a lot of expenses coming up with the wedding, honey moon, and more. While we want to move, there currently is just no means to with our job situation. We hate the town, but we have excellent opportunity with our career. It's a mixed bag.

Anythign else, feel free to ask
Credit Deals
Man who led the Fed's QE mortgage program issues apology to America
Added on : Wednesday November 13th 2013 12:00:04 AM
g: 0 Posted By: BADADVICE
Views: 63 Replies: 0 http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303763804579...

Interesting to see what thoughts go through a man's head when he is tasked to spend $1.25 trillion on a program he didn't believe in in the first place.

Discussion Deals
Considering Switch To W2 - Buy A Home To Reduce Taxes?
Added on : Tuesday November 05th 2013 07:00:15 PM
g: 0 Posted By: robronson
Views: 140 Replies: 1 I've been involved in high paying 1099 work ($100ish/hour) and been considering a switch to W2 for reasons beyond the scope of W2 versus 1099. I much prefer 1099 from a tax perspective but the other advantages of this new position are superior. For the sake of this thread, let's assume that I don't have a choice and am switching to W2 in the range of $130k to $150k per year.

I'm a renter and always thought I'd eventually buy a home, when I had enough to pay for one in cash, to avoid a mortgage. Let's assume that I've run the numbers multiple times, and ignoring any tax benefits from mortgage interest deduction, it's significantly more financially favorable for me to rent rather than buy.

That said, at $150k W2 income, there's not many possibilities for tax deductions, and as a W2 with one or two years of job history of making $150k, I imagine I can easily qualify for a mortgage on a $300k to $350k home with 20% down. So getting the mortgage will likely be easy, and potentially I can shelter more money from taxes with interest and property tax deductions.

I haven't run a detailed analysis of the numbers yet, partially because I haven't even accepted the W2 offer and partially because it will need to wait at least a year or two before a bank will be satisfied with my W2s that I have a stable job. However, I am starting to consider how this might look tax-wise. I realize I'll need to forgo the standard deduction. Running rough numbers off my head, if the mortgage is 5% on $300k borrowed, that's $15k in interest owed per year. Presumably, the first several years I'm paying interest-only on my monthly payments so presumably I get to deduct $15k per year for the first few years. That's more than the $6k standard deduction, but not much. I also assume I can deduct property taxes of $5k to $10k per year (depending on where I buy the home).

Any rules of thumb or rough numbers to consider when estimating what kind of tax breaks buying a home can lead to? How about AMT? How bad will that hurt? Does it essentially make it so I'm not really getting the deductions at all since they're being added back in for AMT calculations?
Personal Finance Deals
New Mortgage After Divorce (While Still on the old Mortgage)
Added on : Sunday November 03rd 2013 12:00:09 PM
g: 0 Posted By: rckymtnwst
Views: 7 Replies: 0 Posted this in the mortgage thread, but thought the topic might be fit for broader distribution.
Question about mortgage after divorce:

I have a mortgage on a property with my ex-wife. She is responsible for making all of the payments (per the divorce decree; and she has been doing so faithfully) but isn't going to be able to get me off of the mortgage for another 18 months. However, she was able to get the money together to buy out my equity (I think she borrowed from a family member), so I have a solid down payment since we had a decent bit of equity. I have a $200K+ income and sterling credit. How will this mortgage impact my ability to get another mortgage before she is able to refi/assume our old mortgage on her own? Will it still factor into my DTI ratio? What about my child and spousal support -- are these considered "debts" for the purpose of DTI?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Personal Finance Deals
Next Financial Step
Added on : Thursday October 31st 2013 04:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: beanie4me
Views: 9 Replies: 0 I am curious what next financial step you all would take in my situation.


No debt except Mortgage (about $178.6K at 3.75%, 79% LTV on primary residence purchased in 4/2013)
Emergency Fund that covers 9 months of living expenses at current levels
Saving about 10% for retirement to get company match and fully fund Roth IRAs. No other matching funds exist.
Combined gross income: $126K

My Ideas:

Start 529 college fund. Pros: Tax avoidance if used to pay for college. Cons: No kids yet. Future kids may get full-ride scholarships like wife & I
Save more in non-Rothretirement accounts.Pros: Tax deferral. (Really a pro?) Cons: Withdrawal restrictions & illiquidity
Invest.Pros: Flexible withdrawalCons: No tax benefits
Pay off mortgage early.Pros: Peace of mind. Guaranteed savings on interest. Cons: 3.75% for 29 more years is cheap money. (Note: Our tax deductions are too low to itemize, so we do not see tax benefits for our mortgage.)

Wife says investment properties are off the table.
Wife says H&B and divorce are off the table.

Thanks for the input.
Told Fannie Mae accepted my offer then they sold it back to servicer
Added on : Tuesday October 29th 2013 03:00:18 PM
g: 0 Posted By: frustratedinvestor
Views: 138 Replies: 2 Okay, I went out of the country for five days. I had an email from my agent saying my offer was 100% accepted by Fannie Mae and that NOONE could break the contract but me because I had 10 days from date of receipt of official contract to inspect property/revoke offer. He insisted we didn't have to use the contract and revise the numbers that they emailed over my terms and we got back an email saying the seller revised only the closing date, awesome I emailed back ACCEPTED and waited for a contract. Then I went to Mexico for a wedding. I was told that a) the mortgage insurer rejected my offer which was 97% of asking price, and I have excellent credit, a pre-approval letter, what gives? Is this legal? Should I take it to the board of realtors? This is my first foreclosure property so I"ve never ever heard of such a thing. Please advise if I should report my agent/broker or if this is typical and there are just too many hands in the pie at FANNIE MAE???? I was told after mortgage insurer rejected my offer that they sold it back to the servicer, what????? Was my realtor just baiting me, or is this a legit situation?

Personal Finance Deals
How much Life Insurance do I need to take care of wife?
Added on : Tuesday October 29th 2013 05:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: MikeDaddy
Views: 112 Replies: 3 My employer (state-funded University) is having Open Enrollment for benefits, and I want to increase my life insurance coverage, since my wife and I recently purchased our first home. The balance on the mortgage is close to $200K. I work full-time, but my wife only works part-time, so basically I bring home the bacon. She could easily go back to full-time if she wanted (has a BS and MS in Education with plenty of experience). When we purchased the house, I knew I wanted to increase my Life Insurance to take care of her if something ever happened to me. We have no children (yet).

Through my employer, I get a death benefit of $75K. I have also been carrying $100000 in Life Insurance, which costs me $8/month. I want to up that, but I am not sure by how much. Here are the rates I can choose from (with increments of $10K in-between):

$100000 - $8/month
$200000 - $16/month
$300000 - $24/month (This is the highest I can go).

I have 2 questions:
1. How much LI do I need to cover the house, funeral (cremation), and provide for my wife?
2. How do the rates above seem (e.g., high, low)?

BTW,I'm a very healthy, 34-year-old male. Thanks in advance.

Personal Finance Deals
Experience with PenFed competency?
Added on : Monday October 28th 2013 07:00:13 AM
g: 0 Posted By: BenH
Views: 0 Replies: 0 Just curious to those of you who have used PenFed for any banking needs. I opened up an account with them about 2 months ago. I'm not really considering using them for my main financial institution, but wanted to become a member to take advantage of any mortgage/credit offers that I might need in the future.

The whole experience has been a little wonky. In establishing accounts they have mis-routed my paperwork causing delays in checking account opening, requested information multiple times, etc.
Additionally, they are telling me that our debit cards (my wife has joint ownership) have to use the *same* PIN. We must have like half a dozen joint accounts with other Financial Institutions (including CUs) and never before have I heard that you can't have different PINs on each account owner's card.

Anyway - this is all most minor inconvenient things - nothing drastic, but my gut feeling is that they aren't very professional in their dealings (my feeling from interacting with them) and don't seem to be "up-to-date."
I'm just concerned in putting more faith into other products if/when I need them.

I know they offer good rates - and maybe that is enough to make up for these inadequacies.

Wanted to know if my experiences are isolated, or if others have the same feelings about their service.

Thank You Rewards Redemption Rate Changes after receiving Share Points
Added on : Monday October 28th 2013 07:00:13 AM
g: 0 Posted By: howie888
Views: 76 Replies: 2 Anyone else have this strange issue?

My wife and I own two thank you reward accounts:

TYR Acct #1: The sponsor account is our joint checking
TYR Acct #2: The sponsor account is our joint credit card

Last Friday, we decided to use the "share" feature to combine our points into one account and redeem for a $750 (75,000 points) mortgage payment.
On both TYR Acct's the redemption rate was the same (75,000) points. So we arbitrarily decided to share (60,000) points from our TYR Acct #2 (sponsor join credit card acct) into our TYR Acct #1 (sponsor joint checking).

Today, the redemption rate on the TYR Acct #1 (sponsor joint checking) became devalued. Now it costs 93,900 points to redeem for $750 mortgage payment.
However, on the TYR Acct #2 it still costs 75,000 points.

I was on the phone speaking to the manager and their explanation is that the banking product redemption rates differ compared to credit card redemption rates.
This doesn't make any sense to me. If you earn TYR via checking/product or credit card product & you can transfer points between those TYR accounts arbitrarily, the redemption rates on both should be the same.

If they were not, everyone would transfer points from TYR account sponsored by a banking product to a TYR account sponsored by a credit card to get more value.

Any thoughts?

Deposits Deals
tax and insurance
Added on : Friday October 25th 2013 05:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: jcastaneros
Views: 13 Replies: 0 Is it really necessary to put taxes on insurances? I was reading some stuff earlier

Tax Deals
US Mortgage for Expat
Added on : Friday October 25th 2013 05:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: aznshadoboy77
Views: 107 Replies: 2 Hi,
I'm looking at buying a new townhouse (closing a year from now, investment loan, 66% LTV). I currently live and work in the US (on a US payroll), and I've prequalified with my current income. However, I've been tentatively offered an opportunity by my company to move to somewhere in the Eurozone, where I would most likely be paid in Euros by the European branch of my company. It would also most likely involve a significant pay raise.

If I take this offer, I would most likely be moving before my mortgage close, so I assume that the final qualification before closing would have to be based on my European pay stubs - does anybody have any experience with this? My credit score is pretty decent (740+ FICO), and I plan on maintaining my US credit cards and also a place of residence (physical address). Will US mortgage companies qualify and close me on a loan based on international pay stubs?

I know I could ask the company that did my prequalification, but I don't want to raise any red flags for underwriting later.

Real Estate Deals
Any advice for getting healthcare if you can't afford it?
Added on : Thursday October 24th 2013 04:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: mxmaniac
Views: 161 Replies: 4 I'm in a tough spot right now, in need of healthcare and treatment for some medical problems. I make too little to afford care, yet too much to qualify for any help. I know I'm not the only person like this, there are tons of people who live paycheck to paycheck.

Heres a brief summary of my situation. I was a successful and healthy construction worker, things were looking good. All of a sudden I'm hit with multiple health problems, thought they were minor but didn't realize how bad they were till it was too late. I could no longer work my regular job due to the health issues, and I found a lighter duty construction job which only paid half what I was making (with opportunity for increase). Just barely enough to squeak by and live paycheck to paycheck. I got minimal treatment but couldn't continue because the copays/patient responsibility was thousands of dollars, which I couldn't afford living paycheck to paycheck. My conditions got worse, and I lost my job and now can't work construction at all because my body in its current state can't take it, and I'm having tons of trouble finding any decent job/career I can live off of, with no college and a construction background. Right now my unemployment so small, that it is roughly the same as my mortgage. I'm selling things and using minimal savings just to pay the day to day food/utilities, I'll be out of things to sell very shortly. Yet the minimal unemployment which does not even pay the bills, is above the poverty level, and overall considered too high of income for any sort of low income medical help, or any sliding scale places. The obamacare is a joke, $300 a month for a plan with a $8000 deductable, how is a paycheck to paycheck person supposed to afford that? I am not willing to default on my mortgage or loose my home, it is the most important thing I have, and is the only sort of retirement savings I have. I really just need to get the proper medical treatment so that I can go back to work my former construction job, but with the ridiculous costs of healthcare, often thousands for simple little things, I don't have the money for it. I just can't believe, all my life I've been working hard, and paying money so that those too lazy to work can have their healthcare paid for, but the time I reach a rough patch I seem to be screwed.

Anyways, does anyone have advice or ideas to help? Even if they are somewhat radical like maybe going up to canada or another country long enough to get treatment (don't know if you can even do this).

Personal Finance Deals
Renegotiate Home Selling Price After Contract Signed?
Added on : Thursday October 24th 2013 09:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: jwmgt
Views: 118 Replies: 0 Hey Everbody,

Im currently in the process of closing on my first home. I was recently made aware that the current seller is 9 months behind on the mortgage and is 2 months behind on taxes and owes several thousand in other misc. items to the town such as the lake usage fee. Currently, we are under contract to close on 11/20 however I am looking to get in once the mortgage commitment is final as this is my first house and I have no other obligations so I can just move right in.

My question is can I try to get this guy to drop the price even more or just threaten to back out entirely? I figure why not make him sweat a little bit or maybe he doesnt even care if hes that far behind whats another few months.Do I have any leverage here to play or am I locked in?

I remember I read on here once that somebody asked the seller to the price on the closing date but you run the risk of losing the deposit or something of that nature?
Real Estate Deals
Mortgage Co made unauthorized withdrawal from my checking act
Added on : Thursday October 24th 2013 09:00:09 AM
g: -1 Posted By: yaknart33
Views: 103 Replies: 3 I am up to date on my mortgage ,pay on time .I found over $1500.00 dollars taken from my checking act by my mortgage co,with out my authorization.I contacted them and they admitted their mistake ,they have taken

four days to replace the money and pay the over draft fee .I am charged by my bank a wire transfer fee of $15.00 ,I think they will make good on that.I was not given a straight answer as to why they did this and who

authorized it.I will add that the first week of Sept my morgag co called me six times ,when I returned the call each time they said every thing is good,no problems,That was four times over 10 days, I returned their

calsl same answer.In Oct & they call meat ^:00 AM same stuff ,no problems.I asked them to take care of whatever is making them call me.Also these are not computer generated calls ,they are from actual people .I

know its illegal to call that early and to takemoney without authorization .My question is ,would I have the right to ask for some type of compensation?If I am late I get dinged for a fee.I wanted to get some feed back

from you all .Thanks
Deposits Deals
Applying for a mortgage but have a bank history issue
Added on : Wednesday October 23rd 2013 12:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: cap217
Views: 167 Replies: 1 Quick story...

Girlfriend and I have been looking for a house. She has a lot of student loan debt and in return credit to limit ratio is over extended. She has $120k in student loans. She makes $65,000 a year and receives some money from the HRSA program to repay for 2 years. This will get her to around $70k when that s done. I helped her with finance stuff and she is on the right track and has a credit score of 680. We have been saving but in her account mostly bc she makes more and when we want to buy a house, she will be the primary borrower.

I have only a car lease for debt. I think my AMEX and other cards might show a small revolving balance but I pay them off monthly. Sometimes it gets reported with a balance due to the billing cycle (I dont know)? Anyways, I dont make more than her and we couldnt afford anything nice in a house that I could purchase with my income.

Last week we found the perfect house in the perfect area that was underpriced. I talked to my agent and loan guy and I could qualify on my own. The house price is $99,000. Here is the general breakdown:

Income $18/hr @ 33 hr week= $30,888 year.
Monthly debt= $250
Checking $7,800

All that works out for me. I told my loan guy that I was going to deposit a check from my girlfriend for $9,000 and he said NO (her account has all our savings $40,000). Dont scar your bank account by doing that. I then realized that my previous bank statements show about $2,400 in ATM withdrawls. I buy and trade and sell guitars as a hobby. This amount of money comes in and out on a normal basis along with paypal deposits (selling on forums or eBay) and large AMEX bills (buying on forums usually) (that are 100% paid). He said this is going to be an issue.

This was a long post that is all over the place. What I want to know is; will my atm withdrawls, large AMEX payments, and paypal deposits to my checking account be an issue? How do I address this issue? If I would have known we were using my checking account and I was doing a loan on my own, I wouldnt have been doing this for the past few months. Has this hurt my chances for a loan?
Real Estate Deals
Wells Fargo Duplex Owner Occupied Mortgage .25 fee??
Added on : Wednesday October 23rd 2013 10:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: viprvette
Views: 2 Replies: 0 I applied for a mortgage on an owner occupied duplex conventional loan with 20% down. The broker is quoting me .25% on top of the normal rate saying that Wells Fargo charges that fee for multi-familiy houses. Does this sound right? I was under the impression that the rates would be the same as a single family owner occupied.
Fifth Third Mortgages - Careful with overpayment FYI
Added on : Tuesday October 22nd 2013 07:00:15 AM
g: 0 Posted By: hcrossing
Views: 38 Replies: 0 I've been making additional principle payments to Fifth Third since mortgage inception and just recently cancelled the escrow from the payment. I kept the same payment but Fifth Third treated the additional amount of overpayment as a pre-payment versus applying the over payment to principle. The cs lady told me that autobill doesn't work directly with the mortgage department so autobill doesn't know to do anything different with the payment. Just be careful with Fifth Third when making autobill changes. In theory, applying payments as a pre-payment this way would cost you just as much as paying the minimum amount over the life of the loan.
General Economics Deals
Buying a home with Mother In Law Supplying down payment
Added on : Monday October 21st 2013 01:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: rxyl
Views: 149 Replies: 3 My fianc and I have recently been talking about purchasing a house. His Mother offered to put down the 20% for our down payment. I asked him what she expects out of doing this for us and he said "if anything she would like the tax benefit of being on the mortgage." I have no idea what this means. It actually makes me a bit uncomfortable that she would be on the mortgage to begin with. It wouldn't really feel like it would be our home. I think his expectation would be to add her to the mortgage for financial, interest rate and tax purposes. I am completely new to this and want to do all of my research before I agree to anything. Can you please point me in the right direction. What would be the best way to go about this if we were to accept her help with the down payment? I am completely unsure how to go about this and know nothing about owning a home as this would be my first. Thanks for your help!
Personal Finance Deals
Between a standard mortgage and a reverse mortgage?
Added on : Monday October 21st 2013 08:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: StevenColorado
Views: 118 Replies: 4 Standard mortgage - lender owns the property, and the mortgagee makes payments.

Reverse mortgage - owner owns the property, and a mortgage company makes payments.

Is there a middle ground, where someone lives in a property with equity in it, and NO payments are made? A forbearance on the mortgage payments?
General Economics Deals
Weekly/Bi-Monthly Payments on a 365/360 Mortgage
Added on : Monday October 21st 2013 06:00:17 AM
g: 0 Posted By: L1st3r
Views: 1 Replies: 0 I can't seem to get any consensus on whether paying weekly would reduce the amount of interest I pay on my mortgage. My First Payment is Dec 1st, so I was hoping to figure this all out before I start making payments. Thanks!

Should I pay off mom's credit card?
Added on : Monday October 21st 2013 06:00:17 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Marsavings
Views: 78 Replies: 3 My dad died in 2005. I am an only child and live 2 hours away. He had always handled all of the money in the family, so I was concerned about how my mother would deal with it. He left a couple of small life insurance policies (one thru MetLife and one thru his former employer where he retired at age 57 in 1985). She gets a small pension payment (half of the pension he used to receive when he was alive) from his former employer, along with SS. When my dad died I paid for the cremation myself and I also paid the remainder of their car loan off for my mom so she wouldn't have that to worry about. I believe she has spent all of the life insurance monies except a small amount (less than $2000) that is left in one account. She does not want to spend that money - I don't know if it's an emotional attachment to my dad, or if it's the security of having that money available. She claims it's because it earns a higher interest rate (maybe 6%??). After my dad died she opened a checking account (my dad didn't believe in checking accts or cc's - he paid for everything in cash unless he needed a car loan, etc.) as well as a Chase Freedom card that got 5% CashBack on Gas/Groceries/DrugStores at the time. They have since changed that program so the categories are revolving every quarter. I told my mom at that time the the only way she should get this credit card is if she pays it off in full every month. Otherwise the interest charges will eat up any CashBack she might get. She also has a Discover card that she uses (supposedly) just for her medication that she has to buy thru mail order. Over the years she has bought several things that I did not agree with, but when I said anything, she would say "I needed it" or "I've never had xxxx, I deserve it", etc. Examples are new carpeting, new linoleum in the kitchen/bath, new toilet, new stove, new bedroom suite, new couch. Some - like the toilet - were a necessity. But others like the flooring and furniture were just "I want it, I deserve it" situations. For about the past year she has made casual comments to me such as "I want to get that credit card paid down," etc. But I never asked, as I didn't want to butt in. If I made a comment about something she had purchased, she would get defensive and justify it. I figured if she needed help she would ask for it.

This weekend she called and asked for my opinion. She wanted to know what I thought of taking out a loan at the bank to pay off the credit card. She said the bank has 12 months interest-free and she would pay it off in that year. I kept telling her that didn't sound right as I've never heard of a bank that doesn't charge interest...credit card companies - yes. Stores - yes, 12 months interest-free. But never banks for a loan. I asked her how much is her credit card bill, that this "loan" would be for? She said about $5,000 (I was actually afraid it would be more, but still a daunting amount). So this morning I called my local brach of that same bank for clarification. I was told they have a bank CREDIT CARD with a balance transfer deal of 12 months interest free. But not loans. So I don't know if my mom realizes it or not, but she is looking at getting yet ANOTHER credit card to pay off the Chase with a balance transfer, etc.

I think at the very least, she should take the remaining money in that life insurance account and pay down her cc bill to at least reduce it. But she doesn't want to. But it makes no sense to earn some small amount of interest on a small remaining balance of life insurance money, when you have $5K in cc debt that is probably accruing close to 30% interest every month! And maybe then contact Chase and see if they will settle the account for a less amount. I know she would take a hit to her credit for doing that, but she probably doesn't have that high of a credit score to begin with anyway. She told me that her minimum payments to Chase are $150/month right now.

And to top it all off, I asked her if she'd ever cashed in any of her CashBack rebates from the Chase card, and she said no. !!! So for 7-8 years she has never contacted Chase to get any of her CashBack sent to her or credited from her bill. I don't for for sure, but I doubt ALL of the CashBack that she would have accrued during this time would still be available, as I know most of the time the points or CashBack rewards expire after a certain period of time. But I told her to contact Chase using the 1-800 number on the statement, and askabout her CashBack rebates status. She might even have CashBack money available from Discover too. I don't know which Discover card she has.

We are in good financial shape - no kids, no car payments, mortgage paid off, pay our credit cards in full every month. I am wondering if I should let her "live and learn", or should I pay off her credit card in full for her so she doesn't have to worry about it anymore, and have her cancel the account so she can't continue to use it.

I just don't know if I should bail her out or not. She is 77 years old and this time since my dad died has been the first time in her life, I think, that she has had total control of her own money. I helped her out right after he died by paying off the car and the cremation costs, and tried to pound it into her head about paying off the cc's every month. At first I thought she was doing alright because she would take the checkbook to the bank to have the teller help her balance it every month, and she assured me when I would ask that she was paying off the credit cards every month. But then she started getting all this other credit from Lowe's, and the furniture store, as she purchased bigger items, and she knew how I felt about that.

I know it's hard for her living on such a small fixed income. Her mortgage is paid off, but she still has to pay the taxes and all of the monthly bills plus medication costs,and I know she's not rolling in dough. I just don't want her to repeat this all over again if I come to the rescue and pay it off.
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: remick
Views: 169 Replies: 0 http://www.amazon.com/Financial-Innovation-Collection-Publishing--Milken-Innovations-ebook/dp/B0085MG8EW

Sustainable, responsible financial innovation: lessons from the crisis, and new paths to global prosperity

After the global financial crisis, responsible financial innovation is more Crucial than ever. However, financial innovation will only succeed if it reflects the true lessons of the past decade. In this collection, three leading global finance researchers share those lessons, offering Crucial insights for market participants, policymakers, and other stakeholders. Drawing on their pioneering work, they illuminate new opportunities for sustainable innovation in finance that can help restore housing markets and the overall global economy, while avoiding the failures of predecessors. In Financing the Future, Franklin Allen and Glenn Yago carefully discuss the current role of financial innovation in capitalizing businesses, industries, breakthrough technologies, housing solutions, medical treatments, and environmental projects. Allen and Yago explain how sophisticated capital structures can enable companies and individuals to raise funding in larger amounts for longer terms at lower cost, accomplishing tasks that would otherwise be impossible -- and offer a full chapter of essential lessons for using financial innovation to add value, manage risk, and improve the stability of the global economy. Next, in Fixing the Housing Market, Allen, Yago, and James R. Barth explain how responsible financial innovation can "reboot" damaged housing markets, improve their efficiency, and make housing more accessible to millions. The authors walk through the history of housing finance, evaluate housing finance systems in mature economies during and after the crisis, highlight benefits and risks associated with each leading mortgage funding structure and product, and assess current housing finance structures in BRIC economies. Building on these comparisons, they show how to create a more stable and sustainable financing system for housing: one that provides better shelter for more people, helps the industry recover, and creates thousands of new jobs.

From world-renowned leaders and experts Franklin Allen, Glenn Yago, and James R. Barth
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How can retirees secure a mortgage?
Added on : Sunday October 20th 2013 05:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: frognap
Views: 26 Replies: 0 My parents are in their late 60s, retired, with a great credit score, and healthy retirement accounts. We figured that getting a loan to move them into a 55+ community would be easy. (They will eventually sell their current home, but don't want to rush it.). At first, they were turned down completely because they don't have enough of an annual income. Well, duh! They are retired! Finally, we found someone with a clue who knew to annuitize their retirement accounts to consider how much they can pay monthly from their 401Ks on a 15 year loan. They were pre-approved for a 15 year loan with 20% down. Now the lender is coming back (because the closing has not yet been set because it is a new construction) with a "counter-offer" of 30% down because they are claiming underwriting won't approve a 20% down. Are they playing games with us? Anyone have experience and advice for securing a mortgage on retirement income? Thanks!
Real Estate Deals
Out of Wallet Questions and Credit Pull
Added on : Saturday October 19th 2013 07:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: billcard
Views: 32 Replies: 0 Recently I had to answer out of wallet questions to activate a credit card and a debit card online. These are the questions that are something along the lines of, "Which of the following counties have you lived in?" "Who do you make you mortgage payments to?", etc... Recently I did this for Bank of America, and again just now to get a miles debit card. For the Bank of America credit and debit card, it lit up Credit Karma and Credit Sesame as a hard pull. The hard pull only stayed on the report for 2 days though and was gone for my next refresh. Anyone else had this kind of phantom hard pull?

The questions seem to really be going downhill too. Each of the three times I have done this recently, one of the questions has been unanswerable. For example, "Which of these counties have you lived in?" Answers A&B will be counties I have lived in, C will be one I have not lived in and D will be None of the Above. Similar problems with "What is your Auto payment at X Bank?" when I have two auto loans there and both payments are in the multiple choices. These are driving me crazy. Should I just resign myself to calling in?
Personal Finance Deals
Take Out Unnecessary Student Loan to Boost Credit Score?
Added on : Thursday October 17th 2013 06:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: km782
Views: 67 Replies: 0 I am looking for a way to boost my credit score. My score from Transunion is 747, which is ok but I don't really think it reflects my financial situation so I'd like to increase it. Two years ago it was over 780 but I decided to close my oldest credit card which began charging an annual fee and offered no rewards. I also opened a new account in its place and my score dropped 40 points as a result.

Right now I have 2 open credit card accounts. One is a Capital One card with a $15k limit and the other is a Citi card with a $31k limit. Citi recently increased my limit but Capital One refuses my requests. I have $170k in liquid assets (stocks, savings, etc.) so I am more than capable of paying off any bill that comes my way and have no other outstanding debt.

I am a part time student in grad school right now and have been paying the tuition bills out of pocket. Would taking out a student loan and then paying it off soon after that boost my credit score? My understanding is that it is helpful to have types of debt other than just credit card debt on your credit report. Id like to purchase a house in the next few years so even though I would pay a fee for the student loan I wonder if a lower interest rate on a mortgage would more than make up for it?
Personal Finance Deals
Sell Home or Rent Out - Out of State Move
Added on : Tuesday October 15th 2013 06:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: COCAHomeOwner
Views: 74 Replies: 2 I found another thread like the one this one with someone questioning whether to rent or sell their home on an upcoming move out of state. His situation was not cash flow positive on his home and his house had only appreciated 10% since purchase. I am looking for advice on whether or not to rent out or sell our property when moving out of state. We do not live in a state with any family or ties (CO) and will be back to CA, where we have most of our family and originally came from. We own a rather new home in high demand area which is all families, new schools, parks etc. We bought the home from someone who has it used as a rental property and it was very generic. The house is up 120K since purchase (with our down payment we are looking at about 200K) and could go up more by the time we are ready to sell (spring 2014) or it could fall back to earth (anything is possible). We have a low rate (mid 3's and have no debt). Houses of our size rent for $500-1000 above our mortgage, insurance and taxes so we would be cash flow positive monthly. The house was fully remodeled in the past year so everything is updated with the exception of the ac/heat unit, roof and water heater. The wear and tear is a concern of course. I would manage this property from CA, with a list of trusted tradesmen on call that we used to remodel the home. We could sell this house and bank the profit (also could put it into something short term) but we will not be buying in CA as prices are nuts again. I figure we will rent in CA for a year to three years. The reason why I am asking for advice is from a tax perspective, Im not sure which is a smarter move. Combined income is north of 150K, we have two young kids and standard ira/401ks with no stocks/bonds etc. Assuming the mortgage interest deduction remains, is it wiser to hold this property or not? My other concern is related to trying to buy something in CA in a few years and our money will be locked up in this property. Im probably not thinking of everything so appreciate any input.
Personal Finance Deals
Buying foreclosed condo that is owned by my passed away dad.
Added on : Tuesday October 15th 2013 02:00:09 PM
g: 0 Posted By: webdeveloper
Views: 59 Replies: 0 Two years ago my dad has been diagnosed with cancer. Due to his condition he wasn't able to work and decided that he will not be paying for the underwater condo that is worth around 70k and he owes 130k on.
He has passed away few months ago, in the meantime foreclosure proceedings have progressed. He was the only one on the mortgage.

My mom is currently the only person that is living in the condo. Due to foreclosure she will have to move out soon.
I'm looking for another condo for my mom in the 70k price tag, rough value of the current condo.

I will buy a place for her to live anyways, but I'm wondering what do you guys think about contacting a bank that owns it and offering them market value of the condo?
I would be making a cash offer if that makes any difference.
Real Estate Deals
Reverse Mortgage for fun and profit
Added on : Monday October 14th 2013 09:00:13 AM
g: 9 Posted By: brettdoyle
Views: 793 Replies: 31 I recently read an article stating that the FHA will need a $1.7 billion bailout from the Treasury to cover projected losses in its reverse mortgage programs. This got me wondering how they are losing so much money on these mortgages at a time when housing prices are supposedly rising. Until recently I didn't fully understand this program as I am a younger person and reverse mortgages have a negative stigma attached to them. They are generally used by individuals living beyond their means... but when I looked into it and ran the numbers it sounds like a pretty good deal in many scenarios.

A quick background: Reverse mortgages are only for individuals ages 62 or older. You can either take a lump sum payment or receive a payment stream. The home continues to compound principle and interest over time, however you cannot be kicked out of the home no matter how large the mortgages compounds. When that individual passes away, the family has the option to repay the balance and keep the home or leave the collateral to the lender. Any excess equity it kept by the lender. You can borrow up the 75% of the appraisal value.

The system was designed with rules to protect taxpayers such that only the individuals on the mortgage could continue to live in the home indefinitely. You could only qualify if every person on the mortgage was 62 years old, so a couple typically left the younger spouse off the mortgage. Women typically outlive men, and often this meant that when the man died the widow would need to cough up the mortgage balance or else move out of the house. Of course, the losers who made bad decisions didn't like this outcome and looked for ways to prevent it.

Now the interesting part is that AARP ultimately teamed up with these widows, went to court, and somehow got a judge to decide that the widows cannot be kicked out of the homes... even though they never qualified for the reverse mortgage program (which is ridiculous).


Ultimately, this could be a really good deal in a situation where a woman is younger than her husband. Consider a homeowner with a $400,000 property who is eligible to borrow up to $300,000. If he has a wife that is 57 years old and assuming she lives until the median expectancy of 82... that would allow her to live in the home for 25 years without ever repaying a cent.

Assuming a 7% annual investment on that $300,000.... after 25 years it would compound into a value of $1,628,230 that could be left to heirs in lieu of a house. This would probably be much larger than the future value of the home... a house is a fixed asset that simply sits there whereas the $300,000 could be employed into active business investments that will compound and generate much higher returns on investment.

What happens after the widow finally dies? As you can imagine, an individual without equity in a home is not going to take great care of the property. They aren't going to renovate the kitchen or do major repairs. The interest and principle compound over decades but the collateral is probably worth no where near that amount. The home gets sold off a large loss relative to the mortgage. Interestingly enough the lender doesn't care if this happens as they won't lose a penny. They get to make a bunch of money off fees and interest and are made whole loans by the US taxpayer as these loans are federally guaranteed. Their goal is to just write as many of these smelly loans as possible.

In more extreme scenarios with a 62 year old male and a 45 year old wife that lives until 95... the payouts could hit $10 million. I also wonder how badly this ruling could be abused. What if the widow decides to marry a younger male? Does that mean he can live in the home for the rest of his life without paying a cent? Could the widow arrange a paper wedding with a 20 year old to give him a free house? Could he then marry someone in turn and keep the home? Who knows... but the losses on these loans are massive.
General Economics Deals
Reverse Mortgage... a hot deal
Added on : Monday October 14th 2013 07:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: brettdoyle
Views: 0 Replies: 0 I recently read an article stating that the FHA will need a $1.7 billion bailout from the Treasury to cover projected losses in its reverse mortgage programs. This got me wondering how they are losing so much money on these mortgages at a time when housing prices are supposedly rising. I am a younger person and reverse mortgages have a negative stigma attached to them. They are generally used by individuals living beyond their means... but when I looked into it and ran the numbers it sounds like a pretty good deal in many scenarios.

A quick background: Reverse mortgages are only for individuals ages 62 or older. You can either take a lump sum payment or receive a payment stream. The home continues to compound principle and interest over time, however you cannot be kicked out of the home no matter how large the mortgages compounds. When that individual passes away, the family has the option to repay the balance and keep the home or leave the collateral to the lender. Any excess equity it kept by the lender. You can borrow up the 75% of the appraisal value.

The system was designed with rules to protect taxpayers such that only the individuals on the mortgage could continue to live in the home indefinitely. You could only qualify if every person on the mortgage was 62 years old, so a couple typically left the younger spouse off the mortgage. Women typically outlive men, and often this meant that when the man died the widow would need to cough up the mortgage balance or else move out of the house.

Now the interesting part is that AARP ultimately teamed up with these widows, went to court, and somehow got a judge to decide that the widows cannot be kicked out of the homes... even though they never qualified for the reverse mortgage program.


Ultimately, this could be a really good deal in a situation where a woman is younger than her husband. Consider a homeowner with a $400,000 property who is eligible to borrow up to $300,000. If he has a wife that is 57 years old and assuming she lives until the median expectancy of 82... that would allow her to live in the home for 25 years without ever repaying a cent.

Assuming a 7% annual investment on that $300,000.... after 25 years it would compound into a value of $1,628,230 that could be left to heirs in lieu of a house. This would probably be much larger than the future value of the home... a house is a fixed asset that simply sits there whereas the $300,000 could be employed into active business investments that will compound and generate much higher returns on investment.

What happens after the widow finally dies? As you can imagine, an individual without equity in a home is not going to take great care of the property. They aren't going to renovate the kitchen or do major repairs. The interest and principle compound over decades but the collateral is probably worth no where near that amount. The home gets sold off a large loss relative to the mortgage. Interestingly enough the lender isn't on the hook for a penny. They get to make a bunch of money off fees and interest and are made whole loans by the US taxpayer as these loans are federally guaranteed.

I also wonder how badly this ruling could be abused. What if the widow decides to marry a younger male? Does that mean he can live in the home for the rest of his life without paying a cent? Could the widow arrange a paper wedding with a 20 year old to give him a free house? Could he then marry someone in turn and keep the home? Who knows... but the losses on these loans are massive.
g: 0 Posted By: remick
Views: 282 Replies: 0 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00COGYQOO

A brand new collection of up-to-the-minute personal finance guidance from award-winning columnist Liz Weston 4 authoritative books, now in a convenient e-format, at a great price!

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Money! Debt. Credit Scores. Investments. Retirement. College. You need answers you can understand, trust, and actually use! Thats where Liz Weston comes in. In this amazing 4 book collection, Americas #1 personal finance columnist helps you create and execute your own action plan for long-term financial security. No hype, no lectures, no nonsense: just realistic, up-to-the minute help delivered in plain English. Start with the latest edition of Westons nationwide best-seller, Your Credit Score, Fourth Edition complete with brand-new information on protecting (or rebuilding) the 3-digit number that rules your financial life. Learn how todays credit scores work exactly how much skipped payments, bankruptcies, and other actions will lower your score how companies can and cant use your score against you. Get Crucial new information on FAKO alternative scores, short sales, foreclosures, FICO 8 mortgage scores, new credit risks from social networking and mobile banking, and how to fight score-related credit limit reductions or higher rates. Next, in Easy Money, learn how to simplify and take control of your financial life, now and forever! Weston takes on the problem everyone has: the sheer hassle of managing money! Youll find practical guidance and easy checklists for investments, credit cards, insurance, mortgages, retirement, college savings, and more! Discover how to consolidate, delegate, and automate your financessave time and moneyand live a more rewarding, secure life. In Deal With Your Debt, Updated & Revised Edition , Weston offers up-to-the-minute help on averting disaster, recovering from serious money setbacks, getting real help, and taking action that works. Weston reveals why its simply impractical to live forever debt free - and why trying to do so can actually make you poorer. Youll find up-to-the-minute strategies for calculating how much debt is safe, and assessing and paying off the right debts first... and if youre too far in debt, Weston will gently and non-judgmentally guide you back into your safety zone. Finally, in There Are No Dumb Questions About Money, Weston offers up-to-date, common sense answers to the financial questions people ask most often. Youll find quick, sensible advice on setting priorities choosing investments saving for college, home-buying, retirement, or other major expenses getting past the pain, arguments, and guilt surrounding money, and doing what works!
Books Deals

Amazon Coupons
Excessive amount owed on revolving accounts... WHAT?
Added on : Sunday October 13th 2013 09:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: junkmail9572
Views: 150 Replies: 1 Just got denied trying to get a Fort Knox FCUcredit card for 5% gasCashBack capability due to Penfed now wanting either $26 yearly feesOR hold hostage some account money.

Anyway I pulled all 3 credit reports for the first time in my life. They are all excellent - no negatives. I have had several card number changes due to requests by the Credit Card companies as they detected fraud by companies I may have done business with (they didn't say who). Also Sallie Mae sold my account to Barclays and that number has changed.

I have also had a few occasions where I have had high balances of over $10,000 in a month but I have always paid in full on time.

My Risk Score New Empirica is 777. I am over 60 and have had a perfect credit history for all of my life andalways pay on time. I own my house and have no mortgage. I co-signed a $20,000 loan for my daughters car that she always paid on time and paid off in 3 years.

Why do I have "excessive amount owed", when I always paid it in full. Can I repair this damage? ....fix the unbroken? How do I fix "no negatives" and "all accounts in good standing"?

Is this just Fort Knox not wanting to give me a 5% gas CashBack card?
Credit Deals
Tax beyond exemption - need help
Added on : Saturday October 12th 2013 06:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: thewenson
Views: 85 Replies: 0 This a capital gain tax issue for helping my parent (California)

They bought a large house for $230K about 30 years ago
All children are grown up and moved out.
College costs of children exhausted most of parents savings
They are retiring in about 4 months with only $85K IRA and small emergency fund.

Learning from a retired relative lived on the rent of rental properties, parents hope to downsize and generate rental income with 3 small rental units using one for home themselves. However they dont want to move far away from all their friends around for30 years.

The house is now valued at $1.1M (by a realtor friend)
$90Kcostswill be sale commission (6%) and escrow stuffs (2%+)
Re-financed mortgage balance is ~$310K
Taxable capital gain of home sale = $370K (after $500K exemption)
Small rental units in our area are normally around $250K each
For producing income, all properties should have no loan.

Not only the 370K income would put them in high tax rates, but also the Capital Gain Tax could likely go over $110K!? Federal rate 20% and California State rate 10%+ (Google results so not sure). For less than $600K left, it seems unlikely to reach their 3 units goal.
Deferring the capital gain taxes would make a big difference here (if possible),
Any way to do it?
Tax Deals
Insurance claim money and paying off mortgage.
Added on : Thursday October 10th 2013 06:00:16 AM
g: 1 Posted By: foolface
Views: 181 Replies: 3 I have a rental property that had a tree fall onto it and cause $26000 in estimated damages from my insurance company. I will be able to get all the repairs done for much less than half that amount.

Since I still have a $32000 mortgage on this property, all the insurance money went to my mortgage company. They refuse to disburse the money unless the repairs are done as exactly specified by the insurance estimate. I do not want to waste all that money doing things like replacing an 8 year old roof when it only needs some minor repair work.

My Question: If I pay off the mortgage, will the mortgage company be required to send me entire balance of insurance funds?

Personal Finance Deals
Can a mortgage co dictate my homeowners ins AFTER closing?
Added on : Thursday October 10th 2013 05:00:16 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Abewley
Views: 163 Replies: 5 Hello, We just got a call from our HO Ins agent saying our mortgage co we closed on our house with 2 months ago contacted our agent saying they need to change our dwelling coverage, wind coverage, and the deductible percentages on our policy. Can they do this?? Our agent said she has never had a mortgage co try to dictate AFTER closing what our policy should be. We currently have a dwelling coverage higher than our appraisal. The mortgage co is requesting to lower the dwelling amount and increase our deductible from 2% to 5%. This will cause our premium to go up, our monthly payment to go up, and our coverage to be less. We closed 2 months ago. Should we seek an attorney if they continue to push this after us saying we do not want this? If we cancel our current policy we will also have to pay a penalty. TIA!
Personal Finance Deals
Credit card with no foreign currency fee - PentagonFederal
Added on : Wednesday October 09th 2013 04:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: cyfan
Views: 100 Replies: 2 I'm going overseas again and was telling my credit card companies that I was doing so as to not get the cards rejected as being stolen. I was happy to find out that my PenFed Amex still charges no foreign transaction fee. My other credit cards charge 3%. That's a lot! Even if you don't work for the Pentagon, you can choose a contractor that you work for. Although I worked at one time for a military contractor on their approved list, I don't recall ever having to prove that I did.

P.S., They often have very cheap rates on mortgages but their mortgage people are dumb and lazy so I wouldn't recommend that unless you have months and months to buy a house.


Credit Deals
government shutdown, default on debts
Added on : Sunday October 06th 2013 04:00:05 AM
g: -3 Posted By: FrugalFreak
Views: 127 Replies: 2 what will the impact be on credit market when a large portion defaults on debt unable to pay mortgages, credit cards? Will it force credit industry to loosen credit reins? will it dilute the overall scoring system? better options for remaining top credit citizens?
General Economics Deals
Considering Divorce - What would others have done differently?
Added on : Sunday October 06th 2013 02:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: dukenyc1
Views: 1 Replies: 0 I am looking for some guidance from others on FW who have been through divorce.Was wondering what my options are and what others would have done differently in hindsight.

I am a male in my early forties who has been married for 16 years and have not been happy in the marriage for a while. It has had some good times but recently been thinking about moving on. I am the one who is pushing this, my wife seems content to just stick together and slog it through. Have been to marriage counseling and was given advice that it may be time to move on. Willing to try marriage counseling again. Hoping to try collaborative divorce as long as she is willing.

Financial Picture.Live in NYC, make about 140k a year (not that much in NYC) and spouse makes about 65k. Earned a Doctorate while in the marriage, she earned a Masters.
Two beautiful girls 16 and 13 who are the love of my life and hers.

Assets. House worth 525k with 195k left on mortgage. 200k in TDA combined accounts. 30k in various bank accounts. NYS Retirement Pension 60 percent of pay at full vestment of pension.

Discussion Deals
g: 0 Posted By: sergey007
Views: 79 Replies: 0 At the end of august I have requested to redeem my thank you rewards for a mortgage payment. I got a check from them within ten days or so and sent it to my mortgage company, which is also CitiBank,adding my personal check for the rest of the amount to make it a full payment. I sent it all well in advance and my personal check got cleared in my bank on Sep 12. However I noticed that the payment still has not posted. I called them last week and they are saying that even though my check got cleared, the rewards check still hasn't cleared. It doesn't make sense to me that over 3 weeks is not enough for a Citibank to clear a Citibank check. They claim they don't know how long it will take to get the check cleared and to my question whether they would charge a late penalty if it's not cleared by the due date (which is in less than a week), they don't answer and tell me to call them on the due date about that. Have anyone experienced anything like that with mortgage rewards check?
Personal Finance Deals
Any idea on these lenders?
Added on : Thursday October 03rd 2013 02:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: regor1000k
Views: 78 Replies: 0 Hello people!

I need some help in choosing a lender for a SFR purchase.

1.I tried searching for companies through Zillow and got a bunch of them such as Round Point, Kansas State Bank, Box Loans etc.
2.They all provide good rates and their fees are also low. They are out of state and say they are licensed in my state and will have no issues closing.
3.They have bunch of reviews in Zillow.com, but not sure how legitimate those reviews are as anybody can write a review.
4.They are a tad lower than my local credit union who I can physically meet and follow through if something happens.
5.My mortgage should is very straight forward: 25%down, ultra-low DTI Ratio, W-2 etc.

My questions are:
1.Kansas State bank, Box Loans, Round Point Mortgage Anybody any experience? All are out of state
2. Any risks or things that I have to be careful when choosing an online vendor?
3.Valley West mortgage is local to me any experiences with them?

Any advice before I choose a lender is appreciated.
Personal Finance Deals
Government shutdown and loan contingencies
Added on : Thursday October 03rd 2013 05:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: mojoshtudd
Views: 110 Replies: 1 One unexpected issue stemming from the government shutdown is disbursement of home loans. The IRS office is shut down - this means lenders are not able to get the tax transcripts from them.It is now a requirement to get those transcripts before loans are actually disbursed. Any lender that is backed by Fannie May (which is almost all lenders) are in this mess.This will be true for almost all buyers who have loan contingencies. We already got emails from our loan agents to expect delays in closing. For example, see this.

Whats a good way to write offers so that delays due to this loan funding issue does not result in costly penalties beyond the scheduled closing date?

Discussion Deals
Anyone borrow from their stockbroker to pay off their mortgage?
Added on : Wednesday October 02nd 2013 03:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: carl1864
Views: 149 Replies: 2 So I was just surfing the internet the other day, and stumbled upon a tidbit of info down in the comments section of an article which I had never heard of before.

Supposedly a couple people mentioned that if you own stocks, it is very quick and easy to get a 10 year loan from your investment company at really low interest rates like 2%, simply using your stocks as collateral. The way I understand it, say you get to a point where you only have 10 years go go on your mortgage anyways, and say you owe $80k at 4% interest, and you have 80K in stocks. It almost seems like a no brainer to take the loan from your broker, and pay off the house, cutting your interest rate in half.

Has anyone done this? I did more google searching I didn't find much on the topic, it doesn't seem to common. Are there any pitfalls to it, or inefficiencies? Perhaps any tax disadvangages or something? Or other more efficient things that can be done?

PS: The article, with the various comments at the bottom was herehttp://finance.yahoo.com/news/4-ways-to-compete-with-all-cash-buyers-122758502.html
Real Estate Deals
Mortgage underwriting - sourcing and seasoning of cash to close
Added on : Wednesday October 02nd 2013 09:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: jmac2287
Views: 0 Replies: 0 Hi all,

Long-time reader, first time to post.

Quick question for those familiar with residential mortgage underwriting:

Wife and I will be purchasing a home with financing through a broker, or possible community bank. Conventional mortgage at 95% LTV with third party MIP.

The down payment is to come from a family gift, but to get around contributed equity/gift limitations, I'm providing verification of retirement assets with the indication of using an IRA withdrawal for cash to close.

Other than brokerage statements to verify available retirement assets, what would typically be required in this situation? Will the underwriters need confirmation of the indicated IRA withdrawal/deposit/availability prior to closing, or will the verification of funds held in the brokerage suffice? I could always contend that I am holding off on the distribution until the last minute, to mitigate any prospective penaly/tax liability in the event the closing doesn't materialize.

Your opinions are appreciated.

Thank you.
Fannie Mae offers federal workers help during shutdown
Added on : Tuesday October 01st 2013 04:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: tuphat
Views: 71 Replies: 0 From Politico. Yeesh ...

FANNIE MAE OFFERS FEDERAL WORKS HELP IF HURT BY GOVERNMENT SHUT DOWN: Taxpayer-owned mortgage-company Fannie Mae will allow federal workers to temporarily postpone making their home loan payments if they fall behind while the government is shut down, according to a letter sent to lenders today.

The policy only applies to loans owned by Fannie and borrowers would have to prove a financial hardship caused by the government closing in order to receive whats known as an unemployment forbearance plan, which would allow them to skip making payments for up to six months or until the government reopens. Federal employees who have been furloughed after closing on a new mortgage will still be eligible for financing through Fannie. Delays may occur as lenders wait to have a borrowers employment verified by a shuttered government agency, which is still required before Fannie will finance the loan.

The letter included other policy changes lenders could follow when running into problems writing loans after the government closed its doors today. For instance, Fannie will allow lenders to get IRS copies of tax returns or Social Security number validations later in the process because these requests may not go through while these agencies are closed, according to the letter.

Fannie said in the letter that the new policies assume the shutdown would be short and that it will issue new guidance if negotiations drag out for an extended period.

General Economics Deals
PenFed 5/5 Arm
Added on : Tuesday October 01st 2013 10:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: meadows6
Views: 35 Replies: 0 I have been looking to refinance with this loan. Last week it was at 2.75% and it went up to 2.85% today. My current mortgage is a 7/1 arm at 2.85% as well (2 years into that). Should I go ahead and submit the application at 2.85% with PenFed? It's less of a clear cut decision for me now that the rate went up to what I currently have. So it will be the same payment for the next 5 years, but the advantage with PenFed is that after that it can only go up 2% and stay there for 5 more years. Not sure how likely PenFed is to drop down to the 2.75% mark again.
General Economics Deals
How Much Will You Gain (or Lose) By Moving to Another State?
Added on : Saturday September 28th 2013 05:00:06 PM
g: 1 Posted By: lonestarguy
Views: 193 Replies: 1 I found an article in my local newspaper that referenced an online calculator that takes into account cost of living differences, taxes, rent versus mortgage, etc to estimate how much more money you may have after moving from one state to another. The calculator is here: http://whynotmove.org/ .

The partial news article is here: http://www.statesman.com/news/business/from-california-to-texas-a-million-dollar-move/nZ7MX/

Personal Finance Deals
g: 1 Posted By: spydermonkey
Views: 128 Replies: 4 Title says it all. I can understand certain bills like mortgage, insurance, car note, etc can be easily split, but what about utilities, groceries, household items, etc? Before my wife and I got married, we would try to split everything. At the grocery, we would calculate 1/2 on my card, the rest on hers. Going out to eat, I would pay sometimes, she would pay other times. Monthly bills were easier, calculate them and divide by 2. I would transfer money into her checking and she would pay all the bills. All this can be a PITA and it just seems so much simpler for our paychecks to go into a single, joint account and pay everything from there.

For those who have separate accounts, how do you handle dividing up who pays what, when, where?

BTW, Ive done some searches on this topic but none of the threads never really explained how couples do this. The threads seem to focus on if doing one or the other is better/worse.
Personal Finance Deals
Request to have lender drop PMI on Short Sale?
Added on : Wednesday September 25th 2013 10:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: MikeDaddy
Views: 106 Replies: 1 Purchased a Short Sale this past August for $235,000. Appraisal came in at $250,000. We put down 15% (we technically had the cash to do 20%, but I did not want us to be house rich and money poor). I make my first mortgage payment October 1st. My mortgage broker said I should try calling in about 4 months or so to see if Quicken Loans would drop the PMI (only about $50/month), seeing as how we're already at 20%, given the appraisal.

Personal Finance Deals
Debt payment plan - round 2 check-in
Added on : Wednesday September 25th 2013 06:00:13 AM
g: 0 Posted By: MFFNike
Views: 170 Replies: 12 Things have gotten more dire. I originally posted in April, but for some reason it's been archived and I can't reply to the thread. I've linked the original post below.

Old thread

Background: In April, due to living above means, my wife and I were 51k in CC debt with a pre-tax HHI of $135k. Flash forward to now: I lost my job ($85k) in August.

Current HHI: 50k pre-tax. 3400/month post-tax.
My Roth IRA: 10k (all contributions, should be able to withdraw tax free if necessary)
My 401k: 35k (assuming untouchable due to 10% early withdrawal penalty)

Mortgage: 1200
Car payments (0.99% APR through PenFed): 600

CC debt:

$2,400 15.99%
$12,500 15.24%
$2,900 8.74%
$20,0000.00% expires 12/2013
$7,0000.00% expires 6/2014
$7,0000.00% expires 2/2014

Total Debt: Still at 51k
0%: 34k

Any help is much appreciated. We have cut back as necessary (no cable, tiny internet bill, wife's company pays for her cell phone, etc.)

Personal Finance Deals
What drives/determines fixed home equity loan rates?
Added on : Wednesday September 25th 2013 06:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: SummerSoFar
Views: 65 Replies: 0 I can't seem to find a conclusive answer to this anywhere on the interwebs.

Government-backed first-lien mortgages are driven by MBS. HELOCs are driven by LIBOR and/or prime rate. What drives fixed-rate equity loans?

General Economics Deals
home insurance claim
Added on : Tuesday September 24th 2013 05:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: ram00
Views: 21 Replies: 0 Guys

I had a home insurance claim and the cheque is more than $10000 but less than $20000. Due to this the cheque is payable to my mortgage company. I see that with my mortgage company there is aCertification of Intent to Repair/Homeowner Completed Repairs. Is there a time associated with this. How does the verification process work. I am not planning to get the work done right away and this process may take about a year or two. Is that ok. Looks like they will endorse the cheque in my name right away if the amount is less than 20 grand.
Personal Finance Deals
Making extra house payments, any downside?
Added on : Monday September 23rd 2013 07:00:16 AM
g: 0 Posted By: woowoo2
Views: 41 Replies: 0 Recently I have been given notice that my employer will be selling the business next spring.
At this point, my employment is unsure.

To create a little financial cushion, I have been making house payments every two weeks instead of monthly.
I am not making extra principal payments, just the regular house payments.

Are there any downsides to this?
Will this screw up my escrow account?

15 year VA mortgage with Navy federal.
Property tax and Insurance paid by escrow.
$408 payment, 3.2% interest rate, $35K left on the loan.
Next payment due in Feb. of next year.


Personal Finance Deals
Roth vs Traditional 401k after raise/expected bonus
Added on : Saturday September 21st 2013 09:00:17 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Carterman32
Views: 48 Replies: 0 Hi,

I am trying to figure out how to dole out my retirement savings, and hope someone can provide some advice. I started the year making approximately $77k, then got a raise to $110k in March, and then another raise to $140k in mid September. I am expecting a bonus of around $30k. When all is said and done, my gross income for the year should be around $143k w/bonus. I have mortgage/tax deductions of approximately $12k, leaving me with a net income of $131k.

Right now, I'm splitting my retirement contributions 50/50 between a ROTH and TRADITIONAL 401k, but I was doing so because at the start of the year, I was in such a low bracket. I'm wondering if, given my expected income, I should make an immediate change to the allocation, and put everything going forward into a TRADITIONAL 401k. My company matches 2% of my 401k contributions, and I currently live in California (high tax rate).

What's the best course of action?
Question Deals
Financial Institutions - Unauthorized Credit Hard Pulls - Damages
Added on : Friday September 20th 2013 02:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: IrateConsumer
Views: 92 Replies: 1 Unless it is authorized, a financial institution you've deposited funds into, can't do a hard pull on your credit. A "hard pull" is a defined as an inquiry into someone's credit that will get listed on their credit report. It reduces the credit holder's credit score.

I deposited a large sum of money into a credit union account over a year ago. In going over my credit report a few months ago - my mortgage broker noticed two separate hard pulls on my credit instituted by my credit union.

A credit union employee said they were privileged to pull a hard report when I opened my account. However, on my credit report, the reason for the hard pulls was listed as either "real property" or "real estate." I cried foul, and was about to close my account. I had never authorized my credit union to do a hard pull on my credit. Nor, had I applied for or even inquired about a mortgage.

The two hard pulls affected my credit score - about a 10 point drop, not so horrible. However, the reporting of the hard pulls on my credit report had a pretty deleterious effect. My mortgage broker said a few financial institutions would not consider refinancing my mortgage at a lower rate, since it looked like I was turned down for refinancing at my credit union.

The credit union ultimately admitted they did the hard pulls without my permission and for a reason they could not explain; probably to qualify me for some financial product they were offering. The credit union asked Experian to remove the hard pulls, it took a while, but they were removed. The credit union was pretty bristly about the issue - and not very apologetic.

I am pretty sure there are statutory penalties for a financial institution spontaneously doing a hard pull on credit absent authorization or a valid legal reason. However, I am having trouble locating the cite and penalty amounts. Does anyone on FW, know them? Also has anyone else on FW had a similar experience?

Credit Deals
Purchasing Life Insurance
Added on : Friday September 20th 2013 12:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: DaveTheStud
Views: 2 Replies: 0 I am 31 year old male and my wife is 33. My wife is pregnant with our first child and we are thinking of each getting life insurance with the intent that our future baby would be the beneficiary. We both already have life insurance coverage through our work, I get 3x salary and my wife is 1x salary. We are both healthy. I was thinking getting $1M life insurance policy for me and $1M for my wife. What would be the best type of Life Insurance to get to insure our future needs are met should something god forbid happen but at the same time if all is well having some type of annuity payments coming as well in the later years.Obviously premium at an affordable monthly rate and would not increase just because we age.

We have 401Ks, Roth IRAs and other investment accounts that we fund/invest in. Our only debt is just home mortgage.
Personal Finance Deals
Wells Fargo Amex Propel 365 Credit Card
Added on : Friday September 20th 2013 05:00:12 AM
g: 2 Posted By: meph
Views: 123 Replies: 2 Just spoke with my contact at Wells Fargo, and they are rolling this card out today. It is a targeted offer to only certain clients - they actually get a list of existing clients they can call. The ability to get this card is apparently based on your relationship with Wells Fargo, including average account balance, length of time you have been with them, etc. The list is not even available yet, it is being released to the bankers later today, but I will update this thread with any info I can get from my banker.

Key Notes:
$45 annual fee / no fee first year
10k points with $3k spend in 3 months
3x gas
2x restaurants
1x everywhere else

annual relationship bonus:
10% with Wells Fargo checking and savings accounts
25% with PMA package *
50% with PMA package and balance of $250,000 or more

no cap on points, never expire

*PMA is their "VIP" bank account type. If you get one of these accounts, a special note appears on your file each time you call / go into branch. You get best rates on mortgages, etc. No fees for 90 days, then $25k minimum balance total across all personal accounts so no fees on any personal account.

See the attached document for what I got from my banker, it outlines some perks I didn't put above.

Unfortunately I was hoping for something better, as I already have 5% on gas (so even with 50% annual bonus, this card gives 4.5% back). Might be a good addition to your cards however if they count in-store purchases as gas (since card isn't available yet, I have no experience on this).

Credit Deals
REI ends generous return policy
Added on : Tuesday September 17th 2013 12:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: avalon6
Views: 0 Replies: 0 Sign of things to come? Apparently a few people were returning knock offs and used items bought from garage sales to REI for cash. Article claims people made enough money to pay their mortgages and college tuition.

Fighting HOA Condo Assoc Rules Cant sell Cant Rent
Added on : Tuesday September 17th 2013 09:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: gdrum
Views: 195 Replies: 5 We listed a condo for rent for 950 month. 2 bedroom 1300 sq ft, 1 car. The amount owed is 80, and the property is worth 80. Instead after realitor comissions, inspection repairs I figured its better to rent it and walk away with 300-400 a month in the green then lose 7-10k. I figured I might have some problem with HOA as they have a cap for rentals but never thought it would escalate more then a warning. 3 days after listing for lease on mibor we received a letter and email from the president of the HOA advising if we do not change the listing from lease to sell we would face legal issues. Below is a blip of what they forwarded me.We of course immediately changedthe listing to for sale. The community is on the FHAnon-approved communitys due to number of rentals so there goes a large percentage of my buying market.

I requested additional informationin regards to the rules below. What were the total number of properties? What does 20% mean? How many are currently rented? How long is the waiting list? What is the current HOA budget?Ihad no response with any information or communication. I was made aware there were 3 or 4 lawsuits filed at this current point with the HOA. We do not know if its hoa to owner or owner to hoa.

Questions. What legal action could they tie me too? I have had 4 or 5 requests to rent it in the last week. What could they do legally? If I went to court could I stand before the judge and explain I am just someone trying to pay my bills and have no other options? Maybe I need to wait to sell another month then go that route? Can I waste his time requesting certified mail/letters/legal just because I feel like thats what I should do at this point? What are your suggestions, ideas for moving forward with this situation?

=12ptHere is a copy of that section for your records. We appreciate your immediate compliance.=12ptFurther communications will be answered they Courtney. =12ptArticle XI
Leasing of Condominium Units and Maximum Number of Condominium Units Owned =12ptSection 11.01. Limits on the Number of Leased Condominium Units ("Rental Cap").In order to insure that the residents within Avon Village share the same proprietary interest in and respect of the Condominium Units and the Common Areas and to assist in Avon Village purchasers being able to obtain federally insured or backed mortgages, no more than twenty percent (20%) of the Condominium Units may be leased or rented to non-owner occupants at any given time, except as may be otherwise provided in this Article XI. The Condominium Units described in the next paragraph of this Section 11.01 shall count towards the twenty percent (20%) "cap". If at any time such percentage of Condominium Units are leased or rented, an Owner who wants to rent or lease his or her Condominium Unit which is not already rented shall be placed upon a waiting list by the Board of Directors. When an existing tenant moves out, the Owner of that Condominium Unit shall immediately notify the Board of Directors or Managing Agent of such fact and that Condominium Unit cannot be re-rented until all prior Owners on the waiting list, if any, have had a chance to rent their Condominium Units. Prior to the execution of any lease, and in addition to the requirements set forth below, the Owner must notify the Board of Directors or the Managing Agent as to that Owner's intent to lease his or her Condominium Unit. After receiving such notice, the Board of Directors or the Managing Agent shall advise the Owner if Condominium Units may be leased or whether the maximum number of Condominium Units within Avon Village is currently being leased. If the maximum number of Condominium Units is being leased, the Board of Directors or the Managing Agent shall also notify the Owner of that Owner's position on the waiting list.
Personal Finance Deals
PNC $200 Opening Bank Account- Georgia only, ends 9/28
Added on : Tuesday September 17th 2013 04:00:16 AM
g: 0 Posted By: leenga
Views: 116 Replies: 0 http://pnc.com/get200

Open a Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend in Georgia and get unlimited use of any ATM - PNC or not - for FREE. Plus, get $200* when you establish a qualifying direct deposit and make at least one payment with PNC Online Bill Pay.

* $200 offer not available in these counties: Dooly, Macon, Marion and Troup. See complete offer details below.

Hurry, $200 offer ends 09/28/2013!

Open any one of these accounts to make every ATM free and to get $200*:
Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend
Virtual Wallet with Performance Select
Performance Select

* New Performance, Performance Select Checking account, Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend or Virtual Wallet with Performance Select must be opened online via the "Apply Now" links on this web page or at a branch using the appropriate coupon between 09/08/13 and 09/28/13.

New checking account must be opened in the state of Georgia, excluding Dooly, Macon, Marion and Troup counties.

To qualify for the $200 reward, a qualifying Direct Deposit must be received, and 1 payment must be completed via PNC Online Bill Pay (from the Spend account for Virtual Wallet products) within 60 days of account opening. Your checking account must remain open in order for you to receive the $200 reward, which will be credited to the eligible account within 60 days after all conditions have been met and will be identified as "Cash Trans Promo Reward" on your monthly statement. A qualifying Direct Deposit is defined as a recurring Direct Deposit of a paycheck, pension, Social Security or other regular monthly income electronically deposited by an employer or an outside agency into a Performance or Performance Select Checking Account, or the Spend Account of a Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend or Virtual Wallet with Performance Select. The total amount of all qualifying Direct Deposits credited to your checking account must be at least $2,000. Credit card cash advance transfers, transfers from one account to another or deposits made at a branch or ATM do not qualify as Qualifying Direct Deposits. New account will not be eligible for offer if any signer has signing authority on an existing PNC Bank consumer checking account or has closed an account within the past 90 days, or has been paid a promotional premium in the past 12 months. If multiple accounts are opened with the same signers, only one account will be eligible for the premium. For this offer, signing authority will be defined by the customer name(s) and social security number(s) registered on the account.

In the event that we determine in our sole discretion that your account does not meet the eligibility criteria or the activity on your account does not qualify as a Qualifying Direct Deposit, we will not be obligated to credit your account with the payout.

*New checking account must be opened in the state of Georgia. Subject to change at any time.

1.For Purchase Payback cash rewards, you must have an eligible checking account with a PNC Bank Visa Check Card, or a PNC CashBuilder Visa credit card, and online banking to participate. PNC Purchase Payback offers are available from participating merchants. Your personal banking information is not shared with the merchants participating in PNC Purchase Payback. Whether you receive offers may depend on using your PNC Visa Card, or where you use your PNC Visa card to make purchases. Not everyone will get the same offer.

2.For detailed information about bonus rewards, visit pnc.com/creditcards.

3.A qualifying direct deposit is a recurring electronic deposit made by an employer or an outside agency. Transfers made from one account to another or deposits made via a branch, ATM, online transfer, mobile device or the mail are not eligible to meet this requirement.

4.PNC deposit accounts include consumer checking, savings, money market, certificate of deposit, and retirement certificate of deposit. PNC loan accounts include line of credit, auto or home equity installment loan, and mortgage loan. PNC linked investment balances include investment balances from a PNC Investments account including the value of any annuities if they are reflected on the PNC Investments account statement. Some accounts may not be eligible to be included in the combined average monthly balance requirement based on titling structure, product type or other constraints. A maximum of ten (10) linked PNC accounts, including this account, may be included in the combined average monthly balance relationship. Customer must request account be linked to receive relationship benefits. The outstanding balance on lines of credit, and the original principal amount on installment and mortgage loans, will be used to determine the combined average monthly balance

Deposits Deals
Loan options other than student loans?
Added on : Saturday September 14th 2013 07:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: latieungao
Views: 38 Replies: 0 Hi everybody,

I need loans (from a financial institution) to fund my education -about $15K every 3.5 months. It is out of the country, so federal loan is not an option. The only private loan company on my school's list lends out at a variable ~9.5%. They will install a fixed about every semester and repayments can be deferred until graduation. My sister, who is has very good credit, is very supportive and willing to take out loans for me (yes, in her name). I wonder if she can take an equity loan for a cheaper rate? (how do equity loans work?) Is there options other than the private student loan I mentioned?

I am 24 years old. Have good credit (always pay my credit card bills in full). I fortunately never had loans (I save and pay for stuff with cash), so I am clueless about loans.
My sister has good credit. She had 2 mortgages but recently sold off one.

Thank you!

Personal Finance Deals
Navy Federal: Fee Padding on Mortgage
Added on : Friday September 13th 2013 04:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: zimma13
Views: 105 Replies: 0 I searched but didnt find anything. Sorry if this has been covered previously.

I'm in the midst of getting approved for a mortgage at Navy Federal. On the GFE the appraisal was quoted at $400. I got an email from a different person at NFCU asking where to charge the $390 appriasal fee, but yet I was still charged $400. I emailed both people I was dealing with and get a very quick response back that I'll be credited the $10. Its not the money that matters, its the fact that they overcharged me. I'm a stickler for crap like this. A few questions for those of you who have done this more than me:

1. If I request a copy of the appraisal invoice (I got the report), do they need to supply it to me?
2. Is it illegal for them to pad fees? If so, should I report it and to who?(after mortgage closes)It is often hard to prove, I think I just caught them by chance.
Real Estate Deals
Earn 20k or 40k TY points with new Citi checking
Added on : Wednesday September 11th 2013 05:00:07 AM
g: 1 Posted By: prikindel
Views: 2117 Replies: 17 Basically, you have two choices:

open a Basic Banking Package with no minimum requirements and get 20k TY points
lock in $50k in aCitigold Account Package for about 4 months and get 40k TY points

In either case, you have to make 1 DD and 1 bill pay per month for 2 months, and also either use their mobile app or sign up for paperless statements.

promo link

Offer details:ThankYouPoints will be credited to your ThankYou Member Account within 90 days from the end of the statement period in which you satisfy all offer requirements.

1. Qualifications:

To qualify for 30,000 bonus ThankYou Points, open a new Regular Checking account in The CitigoldAccount Package; or to qualify for 10,000 bonus ThankYou Points, open a new Regular Checking account in The CitibankAccount Package or Basic Banking Package.
Within 60 days after account opening, you must enroll the new checking account in Citi ThankYouRewards and; 1 qualifying direct deposit must be credited, and 1 qualifying bill payment must be posted, to the new checking account and such activities must also occur during a calendar month and the following calendar month.
Qualifying direct deposits are Automated Clearing House (ACH) credits, which may include payroll, pension, or government payments (such as Social Security) by your employer or an outside agency. Qualifying bill payments are those made using CitibankOnline, Citi MobileSMor Citiphone Banking. Bills paid by making a transfer between linked accounts and/or transfer payments made to accounts within Citibank or to accounts of Citibank affiliates do not qualify as bill payments for this offer.

2. To qualify for an additional 10,000 bonus ThankYouPoints:

You must satisfy the qualifications described above AND within 60 days after account opening complete one of the following digital services:
- Download the Citi MobileSMApp and use the app to sign on with the same User ID and Password you use to access your new checking account online;
- Or Enroll your new checking account in paperless statements.
Citibank Online registration is required before you can complete any of these digital services.
Important Tax Information: Enrollment in Citi ThankYou Rewards and this offer limited to customers who are either citizens or resident aliens of the United States (U.S.) with a valid U.S. taxpayer identification number. The value of the rewards from redeemed Points may be reported to the IRS as miscellaneous income on Form 1099-MISC in the year redeemed, if the value of the rewards plus other taxable miscellaneous income awards received from Citibank, N.A., is in the aggregate $600 or greater for a calendar year, as required by applicable law. Customer is responsible for any applicable taxes.Separate enrollment of eligible checking account in Citi ThankYouRewards required. Citi ThankYou Rewards enrollment and participation are subject to terms, conditions and restrictions. Visit thankyou.com to see the various rewards available in the Citi ThankYouProgram; ThankYou Rewards and the ThankYou Point levels for specific rewards are subject to change without notice. Customers must log in to their ThankYou Member Account to see specific rewards and redemption values available to them.Offer is for new checking customers only, 18 years or older. All accounts subject to approval and applicable terms and fees. Limit of one offer per customer and account. Offer expires 10/31/13, may be modified or withdrawn at any time without notice, is not transferable and cannot be combined with any other offer. If you have received a bonus reward for opening a new Citibank consumer checking account within the past two years you will not be eligible to receive a bonus associated with this offer. Your new Regular Checking account in The Citigold Account Package, The Citibank Account Package or the Basic Banking Package must be open and in good standing at the time the bonus ThankYou Points are posted to your ThankYou Member Account.

Information about Banking Products and services

3. Get cash, get information and transfer balances between eligible linked Citibank accounts with no ATM usage fee when you use your Citibank ATM or Debit Card at ATMs at Citibank branches and Citibank-branded ATMs at other locations. Not all ATMs are owned or operated by Citibank. Not all functions available at all ATMs.

4. Citibank does not charge you a fee for using Citi Mobile or for the Citibank for iPad app. However, charges from your wireless carrier may apply. Regular account charges apply.

5.Citigold Account Package- Monthly service fee is waived if you maintain a combined average monthly balance of $50,000 in deposits and retirement balances OR $100,000 in combined average monthly balances in deposits, retirement, investments, credit cards, and loans/lines of credit excluding first mortgage, otherwise a $30.00 monthly service fee is applied. Ask for details.

Citibank Account Package- Monthly service fee is waived if you maintain a combined average monthly balance of $15,000 in eligible linked products otherwise a monthly service fee of $20.00 is applied. Eligible linked products are linked deposits, loans, mortgages, credit cards, retirement and investment accounts. Ask for details.

Basic Banking Package- Monthly service fee is waived if the following transactions are completed: maintain a combined average monthly balance of $1,500 in either your Basic checking or your linked Basic Savings Account OR if One Qualifying Direct Deposit is credited to your Basic Checking account or to a linked Day-to-Day Savings in a Basic Banking Package AND One Qualifying Bill Payment is posted to your Basic Checking account. Otherwise a $10.00 monthly service fee is applied. Qualifying bill payments are those made using Citibank=9pxOnline, Citi MobileSMor CitiPhone Banking=9px. Bills paid by making a transfer between linked accounts and/or transfer payments made to accounts within Citibank or to accounts with Citibank affiliates do not qualify as bill payments for this offer. Qualifying direct deposits are Automated Clearing House (ACH) credits, which may include payroll, pension, or government payments (such as Social Security) by your employer or an outside agency. Ask for details.

This page contains information about U.S. domestic financial services provided by the Citigroup family of companies and is intended for use domestically in the U.S.

Deposits Deals
Should I do an extended mortgage rate lock?
Added on : Tuesday September 10th 2013 07:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: toddpublic
Views: 53 Replies: 0 Hi everyone,

I'm in the process of building a house that we will likely close on in February. I'm being offered by my lender a 6-month extended rate lock program with the following terms for a 30 year conventional fixed rate mortgage. I'm putting 25% down with excellent credit:

The one-time fee is $1,575 (0.5% of loan amount). The "base rate" will be 4.75% with a cap of 0.5% over the base rate, which is 5.25%. I also have the option to float down within 30 days of closing if the market rate is lower than my cap rate of 5.25%. So basically, I'm paying for a guarantee that I won't have a rate higher than 5.25%.

My question is simple, should I do it or hold out until I can do a regular (free) 60-day rate lock around December? What do people think will happen with the Fed and QE over the coming months? I'm also a little worried because we are still early in the build process (just starting framing this week) so there is the potential it could take longer than the 6 months to close, at which point I've wasted $1,575.

Personal Finance Deals
Is the cash from home sale worth more than the rental income?
Added on : Monday September 09th 2013 01:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Al3xK
Views: 0 Replies: 0 I have a cashflow positive rental property, but also a good deal of equity in it since I bought at the bottom of the market. The house is worth ~$230k (IMO), I owe $120k, it rents for $1500/mo, and my general monthly expenses (some are yearly just normalized to month) are:

Mortgage $865 (30 yr /3.75% started 05/03/13)
Insurance $74
Termite $14
HVAC $17
Eviction insurance $12.50

So I'm going to be net ~$500. I'll have to store $ away for misc stuff, which I've already found out (bad outlet, vegetable drawer, etc).

If the house was worth $1mil, with all my same #'s, it'd be obvious that the cash is worth more than the rent. I always thought the general rule of thumb was 1% rent from the purchase price makes it generally a good rental.
Help. Settling for less then Full for LiveBeat
Added on : Monday September 09th 2013 01:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: 74ak
Views: 207 Replies: 2 While the post may be more suited for credit boards I am not a deadbeat and am looking to improve my yield

- Received a loan from my former employer ($22k, 1.88% fixed, 81months)
- A normal practice for my employer to sell the promissory note to a collection agency who services it
- I called the collection agency inquiring about buying the note out for less than par on the start of a repayment - the declined
- Got a offer in mail today with 5 days to respond to settle for 15% off ( ~$17.5k lump sum, currently ~ 77 months to go)
- I have no liquidity issues. Dont want to jump thru hoops of RCA and can settle, attractive IRR (imho) - 6-7% pretax
- Currently, the debt is not reported to any credit agencies
- Avg Fico Score 800
- Just completed my AOR, curtailed my mortgage to get rid of PMI and paid of a car loan - again in a quest for yield, not looking to refi or but might get a new car loan (0.75% fixed)


1) Should I counteroffer (a quick Google search showed they offer up to 50% off ...but to deadbeats - the lady on the phone indicated my "type" (I assume paying type) does not get this kind of offers) and request the new terms in writing while waiting for inflation?
2) IF I am to accept the above 15% off offer, how should approach it?
This particular collection agency is very nasty and I am worried:
a) they will play games with me by posting the payment after the deadline and thus ripping me off of low fixed rate loans - keeping the original amortization schedule/terms and simply curtailing it (opportunity cost, etc - I did accumulate low fixed interest loans on purpose - higher reinvestment rates in the future, inflation etc - and would not want to lose it)
b) suddenly reporting "settled for less than full" to credit bureaus and thus damaging my score (I estimate 40-100pts hit and could take it but rather not OR at least for more $ off - 10k would be fair ). Should I write on a check "payment in full" - does it have any power?

I appreciate any advice, guys.
Personal Finance Deals
'Loan Size to Be Cut for Fannie, Freddie' (WSJ)
Added on : Sunday September 08th 2013 03:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: tuphat
Views: 102 Replies: 0 WSJ reporting that GSEs' regulator may lower conformingloan limits. Link: http://online.wsj.com/article_ (possible paywall).


Federal officials are preparing to reduce the maximum size of home-mortgage loans eligible for backing byFannie MaeandFreddie Mac,a move that is likely to face resistance from some lawmakers in Congress and the real estate industry.The proposed move is designed to wean the mortgage market off government support and allow the market for non-government-guaranteed mortgages to take a bigger role. But critics argue that any such move will shrink the pool of eligible home buyers, stunting the nation's housing recovery.... Currently, Fannie and Freddie Mac can back mortgages that have balances as high as $417,000 in most parts of the country and up to $625,500 in expensive housing markets, including parts of California and New York, and as much as $721,050 in Hawaii. ...The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates Fannie and Freddie, hasn't announced how far it will drop the loan limits, which would take effect Jan. 1, 2014, and a spokeswoman declined to elaborate on specifics. But in a statement, the agency said a "gradual reduction in loan limits is an appropriate and effective approach to reducing taxpayers' mortgage-risk exposureand expanding the role of private capital in mortgage finance."
Discussion Deals
Which loan to pay extra towards? Mortgage or Student Loan?
Added on : Sunday September 08th 2013 11:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: fremirrific
Views: 89 Replies: 6 Hi FW Community,

I just purchased my first home, and I can afford to pay an extra $1,500 a month towards any of my loans. I heard it's great to pay extra on your mortgage at the beginning, but I also have student loans which are at higher interest rates.

I was wondering which loan should I pay the extra $1,500 a month towards?

I have a FHA loan and would like to have at least 20% of my house paid for by 2018 so that I will no longer have to pay PMI, which means i have to have my house down to $131,000 by 2018.

I have at least 3 months worth of living expenses in my savings account.

Here are my current numbers...

Mortgage: $159,000 at 3.25%, minimum about $980
Student loan 1: $4100 at 4.25%
Student loan 2: $5400 at 6.55%
Student loan 3: $4100 at 3.15%
Student loan 4: $2500 at 6.55%
Minimum for all Student loans combined is $236

I just can't figure out the smartest way to do this!

Thanks as always!

Personal Finance Deals
Vacation and Luxury Spending - First World Problems
Added on : Friday September 06th 2013 12:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Horseymen
Views: 235 Replies: 3 Fatwallet Friends,

I have spent a lot of time thinking about this over the last few weeks - and I have even done quite a bit of research on this. I know there is no right answer to the questions I will pose, but perhaps hearing different people's philosophies toward it can be helpful.

There was a thread similar to this on a Disney Board with good datapoints, but I find these people are different than Fatwalleters:


The question is in essence - how much will you allow yourself to spend on luxury items like vacations? What rules would you apply in different scenarios?

I grew up extremely poor - our household income growing up was probably 15,000 as a family, so the idea of spending $15,000 dollars for ONE vacation is a bit nauseating to me. I have been collecting miles - and have over nearly a million miles - but if dates don't line up and things to that end - you gotta pay for airfare and things to that end. But, one thing I've learned from reading many threads is that the one thing that people will spend money on are experiences. I try to budget miles like cash, so I don't want to spend miles if I'm only going to get a penny a point value - I try to save the miles for the saver flights.

My personal situation - we are debt free other than the mortgage. As my primary job is a college professor, I have 4 months a year to basically travel. (3 months in summer, 1 month in December/January - and Spring Break). As a family (wife, me, 2 kids), we value traveling and enjoy it. I don't have any other hobbies, and really don't spend much on anything else.

We love traveling but have been doing it super cheap. We have used timeshare deals, last minute traveling and driving instead of flying to score some killer deals on travel. This past summer, we spent 7 straight weeks on "vacation" - at Marriott's, Disney resorts using RCI points, Starwood hotels while driving - and probably only spent about $7000 dollars (entertainment, hotel cost, gas cost, car rental) for 7 weeks - I ignore food in that budget because at most timeshares, we shopped and ate at the condo and we were going to eat anyway. To me, I can wrap my head around that because there's value - just about everything was a good deal (had a friend get us in Disney on a military pass, scored great deal on the minivan, used 5% cards for gas, used points when we stayed in hotels, etc..). I'm thinking a 7 week trip to Europe next summer could run as high as 20-25k.

We are now to the point where we have been to 49 of the 50 states. We've done Disney. We've done oceans and beaches. It's time for international travel. It's time for Hawaii. It's time for that world. Even though we have the money, I can't wrap myself around $4,000 dollar flights for 4 people (just in Coach!) - or multi-thousand dollar cruises. I know many of you would then say "Use miles!" - but generally speaking, as a teacher, most of my travel availability is when everyone else is traveling, so good luck finding a trip to hawaii one can use on miles from December 13th to 21st, for instance.

It would be helpful to know some of the rules that middle class to upper middle class people use - and maybe you don't value travel - but might have a hobby that is expensive similarly that you do value. We make around 150-175k a year - and generally after retirement and bills/utilities have anywhere between 2k and 4k left over in a month. We recently (in the last couple of months) just became debt free. We could easily have a $25,000 dollar a year travel budget putting aside $2000 a month - but is this ridiculous? Should one wait until literally every bill (including the mortgage) is paid off before starting to do that level of travel/luxury spending? Would you require a certain level in 401k's before doing this? What rules have you applied to the financing of things you value? If you're a deal hunter like me - will you forego a trip because there's no deal available? Or do it because it's what you want to do?

Like I said, I know there are no "right" answers to this, but hearing how others handle this could be helpful in developing my own philosophy - since this wasn't something I necessarily had growing up or even have friends who role model this type of behavior. I know many of you are very financially fortunate and well off and may have had a chance to develop philosophies on this.

I don't want to be the one at 60 who says "I wish I would have seen the Great Wall of China.." - but I don't want to be stupid and extravagant, either..
Personal Finance Deals
Getting a mortgage now before house is finished being built
Added on : Friday September 06th 2013 06:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: scotto777
Views: 108 Replies: 2 My sister and brother in law just put down a deposit on a new house. The house will not be finished until February, and the earliest they can lock in a mortgage is December. Given that rates seem to keep ticking up, they'd rather lock in now before rates go up any further. Anyone know of a way or a mortgage provider willing to lock in a rate now as oppose to waiting until December? Appreciate the help and insight.
Personal Finance Deals
Small Business Loan Ideas
Added on : Thursday September 05th 2013 10:00:13 AM
g: 0 Posted By: SmBizJames
Views: 193 Replies: 1 My wife and I are going to undertake our first small business venture, a gas station c-store, and are looking for ways to get the necessary capital. We are going to purchase an existing station which is highly favorable to both us and the bank. We knew that we needed to put down 20% but news that we will most likely need to put down 30% is a serious downer. We dont have that kind of cash. We have excellent credit and zero debt accept for a mortgage we are current on. What are the best methods to get an additional loan or advance of about 30k-50k? Ideas we have been looking into are local credit union, second mortgage, home equity line, and credit card adv.

We plan on throwing as much business profit at the secondary loan as we can to pay it down in short order. What would be the best method in your opinion to help fund this business purchase in addition to a standard small business bank loan?
Personal Finance Deals
Helping Data Brokers for Fun and Profit
Added on : Thursday September 05th 2013 12:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: ThomasPaine
Views: 105 Replies: 0 I thought about titling this "Dancing with the Devil for Fun and Profit", but that would be too vague.

SoSlashdotand the NYT are writing about a marketing company called Acxiom opening up their database of publically collected info about individuals and allowing them to edit them....
The "beta" website is calledhttp://AboutTheData.com.. it allows you to both edit, and suppress info from being used for marketing.
Can it be selectively updated, to maximize the chance of preapproved BT cards? Probably, it says the data updates within a few months.

So I had a try... this is my review.

The NYT review said there were inaccuracies, and there were mine too.. it confused me with my father (same name), my race, and the mortgage info is from the previous owner.

They require last 4 SSN, email, address, DOB and and a lot of info people here will be leary of giving marketers..
They use the last four of your SSN as a password... WTF.
They are not a credit reporting agency under FCRA, but they do collect some financial information
You can get the very same info, read onlyfor$5 from their offlinedisclosure dept
The Terms of Use warn that it's not a credit repair shop,
You will see your changes on screen immediately. However, it may take anywhere from 90 to 120 days for the changes to be updated in all systems. Changes will be kept for 24 months from date of change.

I'm sure this will cause paranoia over confirming marketing data, and if you like, you can certainly opt-out.
That being said, I was curious what I would have the ability to edit, and learn about the accuracy of the data.

They divide their info into five categories

Characteristic Data (DOB,Age,Gender,Race,Ethinicy based on Surname,Martial Status,Presence of Children,# of Children,Political Party, andOccupation)
Home Data (Owner/Renter, Type of Ownership, (Investor,Homeowner, Homestead), Trust Owned, Dwelling Type, Property Type, Length of Residence, HO insurance expiration date, SQ, Value, Comparitive Home Market Value, Assessed Value, Purchase Date, Loan Amount, LTV, Conventional, Loan Date, Transaction type, Fixed/Variable, Loan Amount, Available Home Equity, Lendable Home Equity
Auto (Monthauto insurance renews)
Economic (Household Income, Active Investor, Presence of Credit Card, AMEX/VISA/MC (More below)
Shopping (More below)
Household Interests (Donate to Charity, more categories of hobbies)

Economic Info
It breaks down the actual number of purchases made with "X" in the last 2 years with selected retailers

Credit Card

Interestingly, under presence of credit card you can choose to select from the following options:

=13pxBank Card Holder
Gas/Department/Retail Card Holder
Travel and Entertainment Card Holder
Credit Card Holder - Unknown Type
Premium Card Holder
Upscale Card Holder

Under credit card types (AMEX/MC/VISA), you can check boxes for "Gold/Premium" or Regular
Under Shopping it goes into more detail, basically added more detail from Economic

Total # of purchases captured over last 2 years, and total $ spent
Offline Purchases by amounts, #, total dollar spent, Average spent
Online Purchases by amounts, #, total dollar spent, Average spent
Mail-order buyer/Purchaser, and purchase categories
A whole slew of interests

So it's a mixed bag.... As mentioned in Slashdot.. likely Lexus/Nexus has better info for skiptracing... and this is probably used for preapproval offers only.
That I gave a broker all sorts of data about me does worry me a bit, but I figure I can always opt out later..
General Economics Deals
Changes to Penfed Platinum Cash Rewards
Added on : Wednesday September 04th 2013 02:00:10 PM
g: 0 Posted By: jdcthegreat
Views: 2 Replies: 0 I just got this email:
=12px=14pxSeptember 4, 2013=12pxPenFed frequently evaluates the cost effectiveness of our products so that we can continually offer incredibly low rates to all our members. This evaluation has resulted in a change to your PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards Visa Card and will be effective October 26, 2013.
=12pxThere will be a $25 annual fee assessed once a year on the anniversary date of your PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards Credit Card.=12pxHOW YOU CAN AVOID THESES CHANGES
To avoid an annual fee, you can obtain a qualifying PenFed product:

=12px=12pxActive checking account with direct deposit ($250 min.)
=12px=12pxMoney Market Certificate or IRA Certificate

=12px=12pxInstallment loan*
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Credit Deals
Parting with House Down Payment
Added on : Tuesday September 03rd 2013 07:00:09 PM
g: 0 Posted By: regor1000k
Views: 92 Replies: 1 Hello All,

We are in market for a SFR in Western USA (think, LA, Central Cal, Reno, Phoenix, Tucson etc). The RE market has gotten insane. Sellers were begging buyers in Jan 2013, now they show so much attitude!
We have about total 100k in savings (non-retirement) of which $30k is an emergency fund. We have about $150k in retirement savings (401ks, IRA, Roths etc) which I do not want to touch now.
We have saved every penny as much as possible in the last 1.5 years to make up this $70k as a couple.
We already own a small home with a very small mortgage and are very happy about it. We want to take advantage of this low interest environment before Fed tapering and get a mortgage for a second, bugger home (not sure how it will impact interest rate)

We are only liking/able get into contracts on houses that are worth 5 times our down payment (about ~$340k+..) (~20% down)... which are nice looking ones. Lower than that price houses are crappy

Whenever we think of parting with the $70k down payment, we feel terrible!That's all our savings (outside of retirement) we have. We do have a $20k student loan debt and a $16k car debt and no other debts.
With this 2nd house' mortgage and other debts our debt ratio will be 50% of income.

1. Should we wait to save more? Prices and interest rates are going up.. day by day.. (we have been doing this for about 6 months, but as the savings get bigger, its harder to part with it!)
2. Any suggestions to change the way we think that makes us feel comfortable in putting/parting away with that much cash down?
3. We always feel we will have a buyers remorse.. not sure how to overcome that.. any suggestions? - this is possibly because sellers are asking outrageous prices lately here..(we always have to waive appraisal and cover the difference, if not - no chance to get accepted)

I always appreciate the people in this forum..for their valuable comments and help.

Question Deals
g: 0 Posted By: dynorodzilla
Views: 10 Replies: 0 I have been getting trained for a promotion, which is imminent. Doing some long term planning here, and I want to buy a townhouse on a 15 year mortgage which will cost me $1300 a month (including taxes and HOA).

Expecting the offer to be in the low 50s. Crunched the number and after taxes, 401k, health, dental, etc this is what I am looking at in terms of monthly cash at various salary levels:

45k-$2,739 per month
50k- $3,016 per month
55k-$3,252 per month
60k- $3,488 per month

Where number do you think I need to get to in order to be comfortable and buy this townhouse? I own my car and have no debts outside of 15k in student loans.

Real Estate Deals
g: 0 Posted By: atohmc
Views: 23 Replies: 0 I just recently closed on a mortgage with Chase and wanted to share this promotion I found while I was shopping loans. It looks like this has been around for a little while, but I didn't see any posts about it:


12,500 points for any new Chase mortgage under $250,000
25,000 points for any new Chase mortgage between $250,000 and $500,000
50,000 points for any new Chase mortgage over $500,000

You need to call the number on the website or get preapproved using the link. Chase surprised me by being competitive -- I didn't post this when I found it because I fully expected to get a subpar offer (they have to recoup the cost of the points somehow, right?). I called maybe 12-15 lenders, and in the end, Chase's offer was the best: 4.125% APR jumbo mortgage with a $1,250 credit. I had one other bank who matched this, but with Chase I also received the 50,000 Southwest points and am ableto participate in the 1% mortgage CashBack program (up to $500/yearly), making Chase a clear winner here.

If you're shopping around for a mortgage, it's worth a shot. Worked for me
Credit Deals
HELOC and Mortgage Question
Added on : Friday August 30th 2013 06:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: techie3
Views: 76 Replies: 2 My parents are self-employed with everyone talking about rates going up, we went into citibank to inquire about getting a heloc, just in case they need it for business or emergency. We thought we may not use it but who knows. Anyway the citi rep, for about 200k heloc suggested we add my name for income verification purposes. He thought it would get approved that way. My question is if my name is added, will that have a negative influence if say next year I need to take out a mortgage and buy my own place. I guess it would depend if we used heloc and how much. Anyone have experiences to share?

Forgot to mention my parents already have 10 yr mortgage with about roughly 200k left.
Personal Finance Deals
The floating ARM as a house asset?
Added on : Wednesday August 28th 2013 08:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: dmlavigne1
Views: 0 Replies: 0 I was wondering if the FWF community knew that ARM's are generally transferable? When my parents bought back in the early 80's you could assume the mortgage but I wasn't aware that it still existed until the closing agent said "ARM's are generally transferable." I was shocked at this and my mind started to immediately wonder.

We just purchased a new home with an insanely low rate on a 7 yr term and since that time the rates have gone up over a point. Frankly, if we sell the house within 7 years and the rates are up, and the buyer can come up with the cash ((loan - principal paid)+appreciation) why would it not be good to list the ARM on the MLS like another bedroom and use that text? At the current low rates that is about a 15% payment difference for the length of the ARM on our place.

Does anyone know any hangups? The loan officer said that the buyer has to be qualified which was a no brainier. Other than that if the FWF savvy are buying or selling a house, it might be beneficial to ask for the arm rate if buying or list the rate if selling.

VERY Expensive eye exam, no notice of OOP expenses
Added on : Wednesday August 28th 2013 09:00:13 AM
g: 0 Posted By: mortgageornot
Views: 0 Replies: 0 I remember reading a FW Finance thread this year where the eye doctor wouldn't give the patient their glasses rx and the thread started going into how doctors make very little on the eye exam and make a killing on contacts/glasses.
I can't find that thread now (anybody have a link?), but boy is my experience totally different!

I have VSP insurance. My copay for an eye exam is $5 and there is a $125 allowance combined allowance for a contact lens exam and contacts.

Last year I accidentally went to a non-member doctor so this year I went to VSP's website and found a member doctor with good Yelp reviews.

Last month I went in for my eye exam. The DR performed just about every test under the sun. I've been going to what I thought were sophisticated eye doctors for years, but this was something totally different.

DR took these super high res photos of my eyelid/lashes and said they were dirty/clogged up. DR hands me some lid scrub and a spray and tells me to use them twice daily until the follow-up exam a month later.

Also suggested I take Omega3 supplements for either the same issue or something else, I can't remember. And also provides suggestions on how to change diet for eye health.

During the contact lens exam DR says the contacts I've been wearing may be too tight and suggests a different brand and taking both RXs down by .25.

No mention during the entire exam of any out of pocket costs for what DR is doing.

At the end of the exam I'm expecting a $5 copay, but am presented with a bill for $86. This is made up of
$49 for "Digital Screening" (I think those high-res pics)
$15 for the lid scrub
$22 for the eye spray

DR bills VSP:
$214 New Patient Comprehensive exam
$89 for Refraction
$89 for the contact lens evaluation
(above is based on my receipt, I don't know what VSP actually paid DR and VSPs website isn't overly informative even though I can see the exam details there).

Receptionist says after the $89 CL eval I have $36 left of my $125 allowance that I can put towards contacts. DR quotes me $240 ($60 per box x 4) for a 1-year supply of the new contacts. I tell them I'm good for now, knowing I'll buy them myself online.

Ok, $86 out of pocket, no biggie. I move on with my life.

I buy the 1-year supply of the new contacts (4 boxes) from VisionDirect for $97 total, not including another $15 ($15%) I'll get back from ShopDiscover, so basically $20 a box...

Was expecting to submit the receipt to VSP to get that other $36 back, but apparently their website shows my $125 is now exhausted...maybe from some of the charges above?

A month goes by and I go in for my follow-up.

DR says lid scrub/spray seems to have done the trick, my lids are much better.Newer, looser contacts are working out much better and helped fix whatever they were intended to fix.

They dilate me.Again, DR does a bunch of different tests. Now there are apparently two small holes in each of my retinas, but apparently theyve healed themselves nicely. Still DR recommends I take a supplement called 4sight or something for eye health. Again talks about diet changes for eye health.

Again, no mention during the entire exam of any out of pocket costs for what DR is doing.

At the end of this exam I'm expecting to pay $0, but am presented with a bill for $335.

Receipt is broken out as follows:
$200 Existing Patient Intermediate Exam
$230 Fundus photography$240 Scanning opthal diag
$140 External ocular
-$475 Doctor discount (presumably for having VSP?)
So I hand over the credit card and am out another $335 out of pocket.

So I guess my question is: what just happened? Is this normal? Because I really feel like I've been ripped off.

I've been getting eye exams approx every other year for over a decade and can't remember ever paying more than $50-100 out of pocket. Come to think of it I don't ever remember going back for a follow-up. Did I develop some serious eye problems and now this is just the price I have to pay?

DR wants me to go in for another follow-up 2 months from now to keep an eye on the retinas or something else I can't remember.

But I don't want to drop another $300 for what is quickly becoming apparent to me is for no reason. Who knows what new tests I'll undergo next time.

Time to find a new doctor?
HARP refinance?
Added on : Tuesday August 27th 2013 09:00:13 AM
g: 0 Posted By: RBirns
Views: 53 Replies: 0 Just got contacted by the holder of my mortgage. They are offering me a simplified refi under Obama's HARP program (so they say). I understand this program is supposed to help underwater folks refinance easily, but my loan is not underwater. Loan balance is about $168K, market value somewhere over $600K. Anyway, I'm halfway through a 20 year mortgage at 5.5%. They are offering a simplified refi to a new 10 year loan at 4%. Closing costs of about $3500 would be rolled into the loan so nothing out of pocket. My payment will go down $53 a month, ending at the same time as my existing loan. No documentation, just proof of insurance and verification that I'm currently employed. Is this a good idea?
Personal Finance Deals
Mortgage Payoff
Added on : Friday August 23rd 2013 05:00:15 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Everglader
Views: 45 Replies: 2 So - I was hoping I could get some input on a decision regarding my mortgage.

I recently sold a home where I took out aconsiderable amount of equity (eg. 250K). I then purchased a home with a 20% down payment at a 5-Yr ARM at 2.7%. The balance of the mortgage on the new home is approx. 250K. I'm planning on putting my equity to work over the next 5 years until the ARM potentially readjusts. The ARM can increase at the 5 year point by 2% points and will then be locked in for another 5 yr period.

How would you invest theequity to minimize risk (knowing you might want to payoff in 5 years) and maximize return.

Thanks in advance to any recommendations.
Personal Finance Deals
Clever gift giving in mortgage process
Added on : Sunday August 18th 2013 03:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: brotherchaos
Views: 73 Replies: 0 Question related to gift-giving when applying for a mortgage:I know that the only gifts you can receive are ones from family members and they must be verified to be gifts and not loans. However, I've thought of a (possibly) sneaky way to have anyone give you a gift without the lender noticing, but I'm wondering if anyone here has heard of it before.The reason I'm doing this is not to buy a home that I can't afford, but because someone (family friend) actually wants to give me a gift to help pay for other costs that may come up around the house-buying period and I have to tell them they can't.The way you could do it is simply have that person pay off your credit card debt from their own bank account. Since mortgage lenders only look at YOUR bank statements, they wouldn't notice any weird transactions and so it would basically be a sneaky way to receive a gift without anyone noticing.Does anyone see a problem with this?
Real Estate Deals
Buying a $700,000 house...I know it's crazy, but is it even possible?
Added on : Saturday August 17th 2013 06:00:10 AM
g: -2 Posted By: Thrwaway1234569
Views: 202 Replies: 9 I understand that this is crazy I am not looking for "pay your bills" and "you are irresponsible" advice. I fully understand that this would be spending way above our means, but theoretically, I just want to go through the exercise and see if the loans even exist to buy a house with our financial situation.I want to know if my wife and I can buy a $700,000 house with our financials, and if so, what kind of loan we could get to accomplish this. I already know that a conventional mortgage loan is more than likely out of the question.Wife and I have $100,000 cash and gross about $137,000/year. In two years my wife's salary will jump and hopefully we will be around $240,000/year (She is a medical resident). We have zero debt. Cars, student loans etc...all paid off. My question is simple...Is it possible to get a loan to buy a $700,000-$730,000 house, and if so, what kind of loan would it be? I am envisioning a zero percent down loan and use the cash to pay for the first couple years until we see a jump in our salary. Do any loans like this exist?
Personal Finance Deals
Investment/retirement plan for parent
Added on : Wednesday August 14th 2013 01:00:04 PM
g: 0 Posted By: motuwallet
Views: 8 Replies: 0 One of my parents has asked me for some advice regarding their current investments. I thought I would poll the FWF communities for some ideas. Background info:
Age: 60
Income: hard to predict. between 0-30k from working for the next 10 years, then 0 after. presumably SSA payments after that (?) but I have no idea how that works.
Balance sheet:
IRA - about 600k, currently managed by a financial advisor who charges 1%/yr and has it in an assortment of mutual funds. it's about 70% equities, 30% bonds right now.
Home - 350k mortgage at about 6% interest. Home value is about 1 million.
Cash - about 600k, sitting in various money market accounts earning essentially 0%.
Total: 1.85MM net worth. 1.2MM liquid/IRA, 650k in houseMy parent has expressed a desire to keep some of the cash available for 1) facilitating living expenses and 2) maintaining options for investment opportunities. This parent from time to time gets presented with what are essentially "inside track" deals in the local real estate market which could be short term lending or an opportunity to partner on an investment/rental property. These are safe bets with good returns (let's say 15%/yr, 0 risk) when they come up, but there's no telling when the next one will be.
Secondly, there is an interest in shifting a portion of the investment portfolio into higher risk, higher return investments. Mortgage:
Clearly, the mortgage at 6% is bleeding money. When my parent looked into doing a refi, it was difficult to obtain one with no certain income going forward. The only option at that time required putting an extra 100-150k down on the house to refi at 3.5%. To me, this was a no-brainer, however the parent passed at that time because of the desire to maintain liquidity. I think this option should be pursued again - any suggestions on how to go about it are welcome. I gather rates have gone up recently. Should it be possible to obtain a refi w/o the additional down payment?IRA:
I've wanted my parents to dump their worthless financial advisors for a long time so this is a great opportunity. I work in this field so I'm knowledgeable. However, I want to limit my "blame risk" should something go wrong. I would be interested in finding them a fee-based financial advisor they could meet once a year to rebalance, but the effort to find a good one and then pay them is probably not worth it. As a baseline improvement, I'm thinking the returns on the IRA portfolio can be replicated by just shifting into Vanguard total stock/bond funds, the immediate benefit being saving 1%/yr on advisor fees and the higher fees of the current mutual funds. For asset allocation wonks, I'm questioning the value of having any allocation to bonds at this juncture. They're not paying much, and seem to offer much more downside than upside. I believe another mega-crash is coming, so I'm not comfortable with putting my parents in a super high beta equities-and-up only portfolio. But I have no idea when that crash will be. Seems like the current bubble can keep going for years, and like I said above, I want to limit my "blame risk" and not make any drastic shifts. I don't think about asset allocation much so any comments here are welcome. Higher risk/return goal:
This is where there's some room for creativity. One way to accomplish higher risk/return would simply be shifting more of the IRA to equities. However, I'm considering:
1) suggesting allocation a portion of the cash balance - let's say 20k - to a p2p lending portfolio like LendingClub.
2) do IRA assets count toward accredited investor status? If so it could be interesting to allocate a small amount - again say 20k - to some online crowdfunding/seed investment platforms. Insurance:
Are there any insurance needs we should be considering? A family friend recently had their spouse go through a debilitating illness for years and pass away. they had purchased some long-term care insurance for >50k which ended up paying off for them. 50k is a lot to plunk down on the chance of this happening though ...
Investing Deals
1st time homebuyer, lots of mortgage questions...
Added on : Tuesday August 13th 2013 05:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: rossasarus
Views: 171 Replies: 1 I'm in the process of buying a condo, and it's slightly different than the usual closing timeline. I have a few questions that I can't seem to find answers for.It is a small multi unit building that is being converted to condos. It isn't finished yet, but our offer is contingent on the developer finishing to spec. We have a signed p&s. The closing date could be anywhere in a 1 month period starting the end of october.Since it is so far out (90+ days ) I feel like our only option is to wait until we are within 60 or 90 days to get a mortgage. On the other hand I've been reading articles prognosticating on the direction the taper will go and it has me wanting to lock in a rate as early as possible.Questions:
1 Can I get a rate lock without having a closing date?
2 If I get a 60 day lock can I extend it before it expires, or do I need to just get a 90 day lock?
3 If I lock a rate, what will it cost me to back out and go with another bank?
4 I'm sure that Ben Bernanke is an avid fw reader, will you please pm me with when you are going to start the taper?
5 Any armchair homebuyers out there have any advice?Thank you all for your collective brains. I'm always humbled whenever I ask a question here.
Real Estate Deals
g: 0 Posted By: minghi
Views: 88 Replies: 2 Hi, I'm currently asked my agent whether to move forward with the title search and insurance services with the agency they usually work with but I suggested that they use entitle direct and the agent said it might cause a problem at closing if their agent cannot make it to the agent's office.Also, the mortgage broker I'm working with said they are known to be very slow to work with and it is "not backed by the state of pennsylvania" and I should choose some local company that my agent works with. when I posed the same question to an entitle direct agent over the phone, she said they are registered with the state of PA and whatever my mortgage broker stated was untrue.How do I know who is telling the truth? I seem to get more resistance from the mortgage broker. thanks
Personal Finance Deals
Mortgage Rates (Primary vs Vacation)
Added on : Wednesday August 07th 2013 02:00:10 PM
g: 0 Posted By: welookgoodcom
Views: 0 Replies: 0 I noticed in my area mortgages for primary or vacation homes are the same. -Are others seeing the same?
-Shouldn't there be a difference in rate between them (.25 or .5) for the extra risk involved?
First time home buyer - newly constructed home
Added on : Wednesday August 07th 2013 12:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: AltidinVA
Views: 92 Replies: 1 We just got news that the builder (MI Homes) has accepted our offer ($650k) for a new home which should be completed by end of October this year. Specific financial details:
Location: Northern Virginia
Total income: $115k
FICO: around 750
Existing car loan: $16k (about $404 a month @ 0.9% APR)
Existing credit card debt: $20k (about $210 a month @ 0.9% APR - till November this year)Anticipated down payment: $130k (20% of home so I can get rid of PMI) + closing costs of about $18k
Anticipated Mortgage: $2,598/mo (@ 4.381% - for now, lets assume this is the rate when we close)
Anticipated HOA + Insurance + Taxes: $820/mo
Thus total expenditure is $4,032/mo (incl Mortgage, HOA, taxes, car payment & credit cards) - this works out to a debt-income ratio of 42%.I expect to "roll" over the credit card debt only *AFTER* closing on the home (even if that means paying a slightly higher minimum on the credit card for a month or 2)As an alternate to the 20% down, I could put only 10% down, and use the remaining cash to pay of the car loan & the credit card debt. This results in my monthly payment going up by $65. I do save $27k upfront from the lower down payment, but end up paying $51.9k extra in interest over the 30-yr loan. I understand that the PMI can be deducted from my taxes, where as the credit card & car loan interest is not deductible.Q1. Would you put 20% down & not deal with PMI, or put 10% down + PMI, get a bigger tax deduction, but then have to deal with requesting PMI to be waived once 20% equity has been built?Q2. How easy or hard is to get PMI waived off? Do I need to pay for another appraisal or other fees at that time?Q3. Would you get "title insurance" (in case any of the contractors sue the builder for non payment)? This is about $2k, but for a brand-new home with a clear title, I am not sure if its worth it or not.Q4. Anything else? Having never owned a home before, I am hoping to get collective insight into experiences (positive & negative) that you people can share.Thanks for your time.
Real Estate Deals
g: 0 Posted By: neophyte
Views: 138 Replies: 0 Since we can't revive the old thread:http://www.fullofdeals.com/forums/finance/1206135/It hit the news again: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/07/us-usa-freddiemac-rich...
Freddie Mac (FMCC.OB), the government-owned mortgage finance company, on Wednesday said it is considering legal action against Richmond, California, if the city uses eminent domain to seize mortgages of local residents who owe more than their properties are worth in a bid to keep them in their homes.
The quick refresh: this approach had been promoted by a shady for-profit politically-connected organization Mortgage Resolution Partners, here's a piece of propaganda on the same topic obscured as news article: http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/the-exchange/eminent-domain-under...My local perspective from Bay Area: our local RE is mostly recovered - and more, and we're well into a new bubble; however a few cities including Richmond had left behind. Richmond has a host of other problem starting with a crime and local mismanagement. Now they fall for this scam and will dig themselves in deeper.
General Economics Deals
IRS Code/Publication for Mortgage Interest Rate Deduction for Two Owners
Added on : Wednesday August 07th 2013 09:00:16 AM
g: 0 Posted By: ziffy
Views: 74 Replies: 0 Mortgage is in both my name and spouse's. 1098 always generated with my spouse name but spouse doesn't claim any interest deduction, we file separately. I'm the one that claim the interest deduction. We have been doing it fine for 10 years. Yesterday I got an adjustment notification for tax return because my name was not on 1098, eventhough I paid the mortgage and my name in the mortgage.I have gathered all the documents to show the proof that I am in the mortgage.
I'm trying to find the IRS code/publication... I look on publication 936 but there's no mention about two owners and one claim the deduction.I'm not savy at all on the IRS tax code/publication, can someone point me out what tax code/publication that applies to my situation?I would think sending the proof that my name in the mortgage to IRS should be suffice, am I missing something else? Appreciate the advise.Thank you for your help
Personal Finance Deals
Buying a home with the girlfriend. QUESTIONS
Added on : Wednesday August 07th 2013 06:00:14 AM
g: 0 Posted By: SnotRocket
Views: 163 Replies: 8 I've been dating the same girl for many years, and we are going to be married in the future, just not yet. We live in NJ and are currently looking to buy a house together. My questions:
1) Is there a legal document to show how much each of us are putting down for the down deposit? If we get separated I would like to be able to avoid any issues with money regarding the sale of the home.
2) Trying to get a mortgage, her credit isn't as good as mine, can I "buy" the house myself and add her to the title or deed at a later date? Having better credit I'm offered a better rate. I'm told that the lowest of our two scores will be taken and we're not sure what her score is yet. It's only fair that since she will be paying mortgage monthly and putting some money down that her name appear on the house paperwork at some point.
3) I've been doing searched but it seems 4.5% is the lowest possible, are there other ways to save closing cost or get a better rate? The homes we are looking at, we are able to put 20% down so no penalty from that.Thanks so much!
Personal Finance Deals
Explain Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to me
Added on : Tuesday August 06th 2013 07:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: HiLine
Views: 45 Replies: 0 As I understand it by reading various articles, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac basically made 30-year mortgage market possible since they guarantee the liquidity of these super-long-term mortgages by buying the mortgage-backed securities from lending banks. You can correct me right here if this collected knowledge is not right. But assuming these premises are somewhat close to reality, I have several ensuing questions:1. Did Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac not have a mechanism to assess the risk associated with the underlying mortgages and totally entrust the lenders to assess and report the risk?
2. If we eliminate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, will the 30-year mortgage market vanish as well unless we replace them with another government entity that assumes the same responsibilities?
3. What do you think is the most likely outcome of the government's effort to wind them down?
General Economics Deals
Prepayment Date Recorded Incorrectly, What are next steps?
Added on : Friday August 02nd 2013 03:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: welookgoodcom
Views: 26 Replies: 0 Got a 15 yr mortgage with first payment date as Aug 1, 2013. Made the initial payment with extra principal(calculated what I need to do to make it a 12 yr mtg) included and instructions on how to apply.The first payment was not to the bank (who officially took over loan on Aug 1st) but to broker. The broker acted as an agent of the bank. What broker did is separated my payment and prepayment, recording the payment as of 7/24 and the prepayment won't be recorded till sometime in August(so still not as of yet!). The bank (Sovereign) said till they receive payment from broker even if they cashed check, nothing is recorded.Spoke to Sovereign CS where the rep kept on telling me the interest accrued doesn't change regardless of prepayment. I understand I need to pay the same amount each month. But asking if hypothetically I paid down the balance by 50%, my interest accrued would be much less and more applied to principal. Both rep and supervisor said no..So they are clueless and I need to get someone higher up

My concern is this action will increase my interest charge since the principal balance is higher. While it's a few $$$, if you add it up to many customers. And who knows what other shadyness this will bring.This posting is to ask for advice on who to contact to get the mortgage service to act properly for issues such as this. BBB, Federal Reserve, etc when such a servicing issue comes up on a mortgage. I had issues with my student loans before (had a low fixed rate with IDAPP, new company, AES bought it and changed rate, needed federal agency to get them to fix it), so it looks like I need to be prepared with the mortgage as well.
Personal Finance Deals
any former gmac users to ocwen loans : Getting account closed message?
Added on : Thursday August 01st 2013 06:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: megafinanceguru
Views: 89 Replies: 0 my loan from gmac was sold to ocwen.
I logged into gmac mortgage to make a pyament to my ocwen loan. I am 2 months late but the account says "closed." I made the May payment before and am trying to pay June and July today. Anyone getting this? I called them but they tell me to call each other #s. HELP!
General Economics Deals
Is it true that mortgage lender has to charge everyone the same fee?
Added on : Thursday August 01st 2013 06:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: mikedan
Views: 85 Replies: 0 I am looking for a mortgage. One loan officer refuses to negotiate the fee by claiming that the law requires her to charge everyone the same fee. According to her email, "I cannot waive any of my lender fees due to Federal Lending / Fair Act Laws." Is this true?
General Economics Deals
paying property taxes
Added on : Thursday August 01st 2013 05:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: rismoney
Views: 219 Replies: 4 Normally I pay my property taxes via an escrow payment on my mortgage. If I were to submit some payments online via the county's web site (via official payments) would it credit my tax bill, and then I can call my mortgage company up in a few months to lower my escrow payment? would that work?
Personal Finance Deals
Please advise on credit card situation
Added on : Wednesday July 31st 2013 09:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: unknownroad
Views: 119 Replies: 1 Question for the credit gurus, I have read the FAQ but I am not sure it specifically addresses my situation.I have had the same capital one platinum credit card ($8k limit) for 10+ years and it has been my only card. Yesterday I signed up for the PenFed Cash Rewards card and the Capital One Quicksilver card. I was approved for the Quicksilver card ($10k limit) but have not heard back yet about the PenFed card ($5k limit). My credit score is 780-800, I pay my balance off every month, and carry no debt.1. My existing platinum card charges me $5 per month membership fees, which I have tried to have waived to no avail. If my existing card was a no fee card I would just keep it open, but I was planning on closing it since from my research has shown closing an account does not affect your credit score that significantly and I will also be doubling my available credit anyway with the 2 new cards. HOWEVER, I just learned that age of credit line can be very important. Since this has been my ONLY and OLDEST account, should I bite the bullet on $60 in fees a year just to keep it open? If so for how long? I have heard people being declined loans due to available credit lines not being old enough. I may be applying for my first home mortgage within a year or two.2. I read that your account histories stay on your credit report for 7-10 years even after being closed, which I thought would allow me to close my old account while still taking advantage of having 10+ years of excellent history. But I have heard of someone being declined a loan because their EXISTING lines of credit were not old enough despite having an closed older line of credit still showing on their overall credit history... So does your oldest line of credit need to still be OPEN when it is being taken into account when seeking a loan?3. Since one of my new cards is also from Capital One, will/can my account history/age be "rolled over" into my new account? Or will this be looked at as essentially a brand new line of credit with no history attached to it despite it being from the same company I have over 10 years of excellent history with?I was trying to get away from this $60 a year in membership fees while also getting some good Cash Back rewards with the new cards, but I am not sure what I should do now with my old card... Thanks in advance!
Personal Finance Deals
2 Questions: Student Loan Payoff and Mortgage Refi
Added on : Tuesday July 30th 2013 08:00:04 PM
g: 0 Posted By: xkilldozer
Views: 18 Replies: 0 Here's the scenario:I have a $25K student loan at 4.95% variable.
Payments are about $160 a month.
I have $35K in my emergency fund.
Should I pay it all off right now and be done with it?My current mortgage is an FHA loan from 2010 at 4.5% and I'm paying $101 per month for insurance.
Property values have increased so if I refi it will be conventional.
Does it make sense to refi the mortgage to conventional, even at 4.5%, and save the $101 per month?
I expect my out of pocket to be around $1500 for the refi.If I do refi, are there any drawbacks if rates continue to drop and I try to refi again a year from now? Would it even be possible?Thanks!
Buying a house, still have the old house, qualifiying for mortgage?
Added on : Tuesday July 30th 2013 02:00:12 PM
g: 0 Posted By: bluegreenturtle
Views: 235 Replies: 6 So, this question has indeed been asked a bunch of different ways before but I thought I'd ask again, folks seem enjoy analyzing these situations:Current house: Paid $220k, have $139k left on mortgage, 15 year, 13 years left @ 3.75%, appraised at $400k, I think $360-380k is probably realistic. Monthly payment is $1500 including taxes and insurance (P/I is $1000). Could rent probably for $1800-2200 (rentals in our neighborhood are rare and sought after, there's something down the street that is considerably worse and are asking $2000, it's currently rented). Looking at new house: Asking price is $470k, I think we could get them down a bit as it's been on the market for a few months and has some weird features to it. That said it's a cool house and in a very good area for us, more walkable than our current. So a new 30 year on it with 20% down ($95k) would be about $2250 a month with taxes and insurance). We were thinking about trying to rent the house for a while - a year or 2 and then see about selling it. I honestly don't think I'm up to fixing it up to try to sell it in the next 6 months, and since it should easily rent for more than it costs including taxes, it seems like a "safe" way to make the move. We have about $120k in cash available, though I still owe taxes (next april) on about half that. We are both self-employed, but I have a good income stream for the next 2 years. We are expecting a second baby in Nov, so wife's income is going away for a year, but again, my income is going to be pretty good for a while, about $90k each year at least. We have about $250k in various investments, some of which are in an IRA and some of which are in a taxable account and I wouldn't shed a tear about selling to come up with more cash. So what's the question and problem you might ask? Well, we're self employed. While this year and the next 2 are really good, last year our AGI was probably about $45k. This wasn't a problem, our living expenses including mortgage are about $4k a month currently, and we have good savings, but it probably doesn't look too good to a lender. We qualified for refi's twice as self employed people without issue, but I'm assuming if you have another mortgage on file they are going to look a little more sternly at you. What are our options? I really don't want to try to sell the house before the baby comes. If my parents co-signed the new loan (they are retired and have no debts) would that solve the issue? What do people do who want to move but really need to buy the new house before selling the old?
Personal Finance Deals
Renting out condo- any danger in requesting mailing address change?
Added on : Tuesday July 30th 2013 10:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: NikeFace
Views: 131 Replies: 5 I'll spare all details of our long journey (see old posts). Here's the deal: We own a condo and after years of trying to refi, we finally pulled it off through HARP 2 (Chase was and still is the lender). 3 weeks ago we bought a new SF home, which we moved into and already have tenants in the condo. Good there. We forwarded all our mail to the new address at POffice and we have changed all address records at various companies etc. except for Chase. This morning I went to call Chase (again, the lender on the condo) and then I abruptly freaked out and hung up... Could we raise any weird red flags by requesting an address change for all mortgage docs on the condo? Will they even ask "why"? Could I just imply a "personal reason" like a separation or something? Do they even care where the bill goes assuming its just paid on time?I know I should have, and still should, view our mortgage paperwork to make sure there was no clause against renting it out (mainly because FHA), but to be blunt, we flew below the radar because it was either refi and rent out the condo, and buy SF - or, we would have walked away from condo (yes, deadbeat I know, but didn't do it). Any insight is greatly appreciated... Thanks.Edit: changing the address is just about the only option not available online, which is another reason we're worrying...
Personal Finance Deals
Mortgage shopping help
Added on : Tuesday July 30th 2013 05:00:19 AM
g: 0 Posted By: fishballer
Views: 9 Replies: 0 We're buying a new house that's currently under construction (Pulte Homes).Pulte mortgage is the easiest, but it seems like their rates are going to be higher. 10k in closing helps, but long term, i'm thinking a lower rate is better.I broached that topic when we first started the application. The guy said he'll work with us, but didn't provide any details. I'm sure he's not going to just come down in rates. Do I need a pre-approval letter from someone else to use as leverage? should i just forget pulte and go with nfcu?anyone with prior experience?
Pay Off The Mortgage Or Invest? The $500K Question...
Added on : Monday July 29th 2013 12:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: IrateConsumer
Views: 168 Replies: 5 My cousin John called and asked a financial question I thought Id get opinions on from fellow fatwalleteers before answering. It is kind of an interesting conundrum. John owes approximately $500,000 on a $650,000 house he purchased a few years ago. The home has appreciated in value to $750,000. The current mortgage rate on the residence is 5.25%. The monthly mortgage payment is $3,722.64.John has repeated tried to refinance to a lower rate, but due to a few mortgage late pays and being unemployed, no one will refinance his mortgage. Here is the twist one where I thought getting opinions from fatwalleteers might prove helpful. John sold his business a few years ago and is sitting on $750,000 cash - in the bank. I think hes like 52 or 53 years old. John asked if I thought it would be wise to pay off his $500,000 mortgage entirely. That way he would save the 5.25% compounding interest rate. Frankly, I didnt have a great answer.There is of course the ability to make money in the market with his savings. However, would the return exceed the 5.25% compounding interest on $500,000 John is currently paying? John is slightly risk adverse, preferring to invest in his own businesses, hes owned a few though for now, hes been taking time off for a couple years. Ive never been in Johns position; but I think that the mortgage interest deduction won't be beneficial for him, as John is not receiving an income. John is divorced without alimony or children.My natural inclination is to advise John to get into an income property then I realized - oh yeah John is not be able to get a loan given his circumstances. So, now I am leaning towards telling John to pay off his residential mortgage. Yes, his liquid assets would be reduced to $250,000 but absent the mortgage, he would save heartily on expenses. Any ideas? Kind of an interesting dilemma; what do you think?
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: vins0010
Views: 42 Replies: 0 Hi,So, in July 2011, my wife and I took out a second mortgage (for 24,000) as part of a piggybacked 80-10-10 loan to buy our primary residence. Since, then, we've been paying back the second mortgage at about $400 total (so, covering interest and extra principal payments each month). This month, our principal owed was around 4400 dollars, so, we just decided to pay thing off and be done with it - but still keep the line of credit open. My wife stopped by the bank to do this, and she paid the $4400, but they said there was an additional $500 or so due in "interest" (their words). So, they wanted about $4900 to pay it off. Unfortunately, my wife did not ask questions and just wrote a check. This struck me as a big extra amount to pay, over 10%, of what remained of the principal. So, I'm suspicious about the transaction. I plan on following up with the bank, but want to see if this sounds normal? I couldn't find anything about this when I tried searching the web, but, at the same time, I might be missing some critical terms or language to describe the situation. Thanks...
Personal Finance Deals
How to use 529 Plans funds in case of overfunding?
Added on : Monday July 29th 2013 04:00:16 AM
g: 0 Posted By: stevento
Views: 38 Replies: 0 We opened 529 plans for each of our 2 daughters shortly after their births (13 and 10 now).
Initially, we contributed $5K total for both.
Eventually, as our income rose, that grew to the max $10K deductible under state tax rules.
Last year, we tripled it to $30K by opening 529 plans in grandparents' names (all still working last year and this, perhaps their last working years), and will likely do it again.If we do make a full $30K contribution this year as well, I'll need to look into risks of overfunding, and creative uses of 529 plans funds.
I've seen mentions of buying real estate with the funds in the college town and paying for mortgage as a housing expense through the plans.
While that seems interesting, I don't know how profitable that might be as that seems to be a forced decision.
Are there any other ways to cash out of overfunded 529 plans without incurring penalties?
Personal Finance Deals
Possible to get another credit card?
Added on : Saturday July 27th 2013 11:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: nanotech2
Views: 86 Replies: 2 I have about $150k income, $150k student loan debt, $18k car loan, no mortgage and about a $30k balance spread over 6 different credit cards. Only missed one payment before but that was 10yrs ago and I don't think it's even showing on my report anymore, the only new accounts are student loan accounts posted last year when I finished grad school (but there are 7 different accounts, don't know why they did it like that and they seem to be classified as "consumer finance accounts."I am trying to get in on these sweet credit card deals for free flights and 0% bal transfers but I'm afraid I might not get it because of the student loan accounts, my overall debt levels and the fact that the $30k balance is about 60% of my total available credit both overall and per card. I don't want to put a "hard inquiry" on my credit report if there is a reasonable chance for a rejection. I haven't applied for a card since 2008 and I feel they may have gotten much stricter on who they approve and how much they approve for. I'm looking for maybe $20k in new credit with the two card applications....my current cards all have around a $10k limit.Do you think I could get the Southwest credit card, for example?Thanks for your input!
Personal Finance Deals
Getting out of CC Debt (My plan)
Added on : Saturday July 27th 2013 08:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: ftroyalty
Views: 173 Replies: 4 Thanks in advance to all who reply. Any advice is appreciated as my wife and I begin to tackle our credit card debt.My wife and I have about $13,000 in credit card debt that we need to get under control. We thought we were in a manageable position, but our 3 1/2 son has autism, and we incurred some additional expenses, mainly paying about $500 out-of-pocket for therapy. This expense began toward the beginning of this year.Quick details about our income, expenses, and debts.
Monthly income after taxes: $4,976
***Expenses*** - 2520
Daycare: 135/week so about 540/month
Autism therapy: 120/week so about 480/month
Cars: 300 (Insurance is 100/month, and 200/month of gas and routine maintenance. I take care of what I can, so far just the scheduled maintenance)
*Both cars are paid off
Food: 500 (We do most of our own cooking and rarely eat out. Pizza or take-out barbecue one night on the weekends)
Utilities: 500
My cell: 30/month (just switched to prepaid)
Wife cell: 100/month (she will be switching to prepaid soon but her contract goes through October. Haven't done the math on EFT yet)
Gas: about 50-60 in winter
Water: about 50-60 per month
Internet: 50/month
Electric: between 200-300/month in the summer and about 100-50/winter
Pets (Two cats and a lab): 100/month
Gym: 100/month *This one is important to my wife, so I told her we would budget for it. I'd rather not debate the pros and cons.
***Debt*** - 1842
Mortgage: 1462/month
VISA: Balance of 10,151 @ 14.9 APR, minimun is 216/month
AmEx: Balance of 2,268 @ 16.9 APR, minimum is 52/month
My student loan: 66.50/month with 280 left
Wife student loan: 112/month with 13,000 left
***Savings*** - 200/month
***Leftover*** - 414/monthNote: I tutor over the summer (I'm a teacher), so I'll have a paycheck coming for a few hundred dollars at the end of the month. I'll use this to pay off my student loan and free up the 66.50 to put toward credit card debt.Wife and I went to our bank yesterday (Wells Fargo) and spoke with a personal banker about our options. We narrowed down to two options: open a HELOC or take out a personal loan. (Note: Credit score is 784 from the pull at Wells Fargo. I don't know which bureau)
HELOC details: 5-6% APR, 20,000 minimum, .5%/origination fee, $75/annual fee, line is good for 10 years, must be open for 3 years
*We bought the house a little over a year ago. It appraised at 250k, we paid 220k, remaining loan is 210k
Personal Loan for 13k details: 319/month, 48/months @ 8.25 *No prepayment penalties for either loan
403/month, 36/months @ 7.25 *Of these two, we are more comfortable with the 4 yr loan.My starting point toward debt reduction: 216 (Visa Min) + 52 (Am Ex min) + 66.50 (former student loan payment) = 334.50/month
Even with our budget above, we will save any money we can to pay down our debt. 334.50 is the minimum we will pay each month, hopefully more.Questions for FWF: Which sounds like a better option: the HELOC or personal loan? We understand the risk of tapping home equity, but the lower rate is appealing. Plus, having the HELOC sounds like a nice thing to have in the long run (10 years) should we need it. (Note: I know that statement sounds like we haven't learned our lesson, but we have. Wife and I are both committed to getting our debt under control. Credit cards and any HELOC checks/cards are going in a box). However, I've also read moving unsecured debt to secured should be avoided in case anything were to happen. We are both stable in our jobs and not looking to move, but you never know these days. Also, are there options I'm not considering?Again, thanks for reading and any advice offered.
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: Echo5Zulu
Views: 90 Replies: 5 All,After having read the FAQ and done a diligent search of the forums, I have not found anything that can satisfy a somewhat unique inquiry. That being said, I'll dip my toes in the FW water and see if my diligence was adequate enough (go easy on me!).I'll make this as brief as possible. First time home buyer. I'm a veteran and used my VA home loan to purchase a 170k house. Not having to put anything down (VA guaranteed loan terms) allowed me to not dip in to my emergency / savings accounts, and still have enough capital left to purchase appliances, paint the interior, make the house our "home", etc. After a home inspector gave us a positive report of the home, I was confident that very little work was required on my part with the home. Without going in to the absolutely crazy details, it turns out that this log home has significant log rot, water intrusion, drainage issues, dangerous chimney problems, and black mold infestation. The reason these things weren't detectable by myself was because the previous owner used log chinking to reshape rotted logs on the exterior of the home. On the interior, they installed dry wall over the log rot, mold, and termite damage. The drainage issues appear only after a hard rain. The chimney had a crack, but I was told it was a minor stress crack... turns out it's a thermal crack, rendering the chimney / fireplace useless. The roof leaks, among other things. While much of the damage and problems with the home were concealed intentionally by the previous owner (this is not assumption on my part... I actually found mold treatment products and scraps from the building material used to cover the damage in a locked shed on the property), the insurance claims adjuster told me that there are tell tale signs of issues with the home that the inspector should have caught and annotated in his report (which he didn't).Long story short; I haven't been in the house 2 months (haven't even made my first mortgage payment) and there is no way I can afford the repairs to the home. I've gotten a lawyer (an expensive one), filed a lawsuit, paid the legal fees upfront, and informed the Department of Veterans Affairs. I filed a claim with my lender (who told me to go pound sand), and got estimates for all of the repairs that need to be made to the home. The previous owner is being sued for breach of contract, intent to misrepresent the condition of real estate, and some other legalities. The inspector is being sued for negligence. The lawsuit could take a year. I have my third child on the way... due in 6 weeks. The house is not safe for my family, but the codes office will not condemn it without a positive lab test of the toxic variety of mold (which I cannot afford at the rate of 3 thousand dollars). I have already spent my emergency money and savings trying to make the house at least livable for the duration of the lawsuit, but I'm at the end of my money and there is still about 7 thousand dollars worth of work to be done before the baby gets here. I haven't even begun to purchase baby stuff for the "thirdling" yet. /sigh/Keeping the home is not an option. I cannot bring a baby back from the hospital into these conditions. If I get the things done needed to make the home livable, I will be so far in debt, that much of what I may or may not win in the lawsuit will go just to recouping those losses during this year waiting period. In the meantime, my house will still have giant holes straight through the rotted logs, moist conditions perfect for regrowth of mold, slowly worsening condition of the overall structure, making damages more costly by waiting.Don't get me wrong here... I am all about personal accountability as an investor. I made a contract with my lender, and under normal circumstances, I would hold my self to this obligation come hell or high water out of principle. However, I feel I did my due diligence in ensuring the home was to standard. I had a report from two inspectors / appraisers agreeing with the condition / value of the home. What was done by the previous owner was criminal. The inspector I originally hired was negligent in his job. The lender has told me that they cannot help out unless I legally prove breach of contract (essentially... "go through the lawsuit, then we may or may not help). The VA told me I'm not only out of luck with them, but that I'm screwed out of the VA Home Loan benefit now because the difference between the purchase price and actual value with the damage will come out of any future guarantee I try to get with them (basically, my benefit that I fought in Iraq for... is gone). Nobody wants a piece of this. I'm being told "tough stuff" anywhere I go, and now, I'm thinking my only option is to give the house back to the bank and foreclose on the house. The lender will most likely come after me for the difference in value versus the purchase price, which I will be trying to get out of the previous owner and original home inspector in the lawsuit.Am I missing something here? I've been researching every possible avenue from here, and it looks like I'm just up a creek. I've budgeted for every possible outcome and there is simply no way to keep the home and not pay a ton of money up front without the risk of losing the home anyway (because I cannot afford it). The urgency comes from the house being unsafe, not being able to run the air conditioner (mold in the unit / ducts / basement /etc.) while my pregnant wife and children are in this Southern July heat, and a baby making landing in 6 weeks... with no money left over... period. I'm still active duty military, but just found out I'm being medically discharged. So on a relatively crummy paycheck (compared to what I was making in the civilian world), with potential loss of employment... am I overlooking a way around / out of this? I've researched the laws and contract front to back, top to bottom. My lawyer gets back in town in a few days, but when I approach him with the idea of walking out on the home, I want to be armed with sound FINANCIAL advice so that I can consider the legal stuff and make good decisions based on both aspects of this issue.Please no patronizing or flaming... I'm really looking for any sort of realistic analysis from money smart, experienced folks... and I'm already having a hard enough time with this. Your time in reviewing this ridiculously long post is GREATLY appreciated and of the utmost value to me. Thank you.
Personal Finance Deals
Pay off the mortgage?
Added on : Friday July 26th 2013 09:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: GreatestGambler
Views: 142 Replies: 3 I am trying to decide if it would be a wise decision for me to pay of my mortgage.
Mortgage Payoff amount $570K (@ 3.5% for 30 year loan)
Car loan 18K @ 1.5%
Cash: 300K
Stocks: 200K
Other investment: 40K in 401K
Single income, around 200K/year (+ around 50K from stocks)
The cash is sitting in my brokerage account earning almost no interest. Stocks are doing ok, around 8 to 10% up and earning some dividend.No other investment or loan.
Age 40. Have one kid, will go to college in 8 years. No separate collage fund setup yet. But I want to pay for his college (my parents paid for mine).It may not be the best financial decision to pay the mortgage off as much as possible. But I have worked hard for this cash and dont want to risk it with wrong investment decision.After seeing all the greed in financial and banking sector over past several years, I am not very trusting on their investment advice. Thats why I invest myself in stock and did ok. But it takes too much of my time and risky, so I started cashing it and have 300K in cash with tax paid off. I can cash in remaining 200K to pay off mortgage.I am looking for easy and safe way. I will lose all extra income from stocks once pay off mortgage, but it will reduce risk and give me more free time.
Or is there other safe investment where I can get more than 3.5% interest completely risk free?
Personal Finance Deals
Looking for new jumbo mortgage urgently - please help
Added on : Friday July 26th 2013 06:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: asterix007
Views: 52 Replies: 0 DEAR Fatwallet Community,I'm a long time FW user. The community has helped me out numerous times and I've posted suggestions to help others. I'm looking for a new jumbo mortgage loan in California. Here is my situation:Primary home purchase in California.
Loan amount: 750K with 20% down.
Excellent creditCurrently inclined to take 5/5 ARM from PenFed at 3% O-points.1) Are there any other options for 5/5 ARM or 10/1 ARM at a cheaper interest rate with no points?
2) I would love to take 30years fixed at less than 4% with no points. Are there any such options available?I understand that I'm slightly late in the game.
Thanks so much. Appreciate all suggestions.
Personal Finance Deals
Mistake to get preapproval before shopping around?
Added on : Friday July 26th 2013 05:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: moxie
Views: 147 Replies: 3 We're first time home buyers, so I've been learning the process as we go along. My knowledge is limited to what I've read in "Homebuying Kit for Dummies" and I'm also working my way through "Mortgage Ripoffs and Money Savers." We are trying to buy a home in the next few months, so we recently got preapproved for a loan with Chase, because they were aggressive and speedy, whilst our credit union is very slow. Our credit is excellent (above 800) and we are applying for a mortgage with payments well within our budget. From my reading of the mortgage book, it seems that Chase has a lot of unnecessary fees (Application Fee, Third Party Courier, Survey Fee) totaling to over $1000. I'm also confident that their rates are not competitive. But, they say we don't have to pay these fees until we sign a contract. We put together a short list of a couple of brokers recommended by friends and our agent, as well as our credit union. When we have an accepted offer on a house, we're going to call all on the same day so that we could compare rates and fees. However, as I learn more, it seems that we should have shopped around for Good Faith Estimates BEFORE getting the pre-approval, not afterward. Is this a problem? I'm worried about somehow getting locked in to a lender before we have had a chance to shop and negotiate.Thanks for any advice!
Personal Finance Deals
How to join Navy Federal Credit Union
Added on : Thursday July 25th 2013 08:00:11 PM
g: 0 Posted By: asterix007
Views: 64 Replies: 2 Dear FatWallet Community,I'm trying to get a new mortgage and NFCU has excellent rates on jumbo loans. Unfortunately I've no association with Navy or military. Is there any way that I can join NFCU? For example, Pen Fed allows to join by making a small donation to National Military Family Association. Please understand I've excellent credit and will bring good business to NFCU. Appreciate any suggestions. If there are any Navy members on this forum, could they refer?
Personal Finance Deals
Comparing Mortgages
Added on : Tuesday July 23rd 2013 09:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Jobowoo
Views: 157 Replies: 2 I'm helping a friend look over various mortgage options for a home purchase. I did a quick perusal of the Mortgage Rates Thread. So far she's gotten quotes from two banks: Chase and Provident.I want to do an apples-to-apples comparison of her various options but am having a hard time comparing her options. Some of them include various rebates but have a higher interest rate. Here are the pertinent details:Loan Amount - $273,000
Home Value - $365,000
Credit Score - 760Chase
Closing Costs (inclusive of everything): $3,500
4.5% with $1,434 Rebate
4.625% with $3,829 Rebate
4.75% with $6,567 Rebate
Closing Costs (origination + appraisal): $1,579

3.750% with -$9,213 Rebate
3.875% with -$6,483 Rebate
4.000% with -$1,303 Rebate
4.125% with -$1,365 Rebate
4.25% with $682 Rebate
4.375% with $2,047 Rebate
4.500% with $3,753 Rebate
I'm assuming there's some formula for calculating the net present value but I don't have a background in finance so I'm a bit lost. What's the correct way to compare/think about these loan options. Thanks!
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: dmlavigne1
Views: 156 Replies: 4 So many people that preach and post here keep the 3-6 months emergency fund. I have a family member that does the same but for the financially savvy it is an absolute waste. Every time I hear of someone doing this I cringe because they are losing to inflation every year and losing out on stock market returns. I keep enough cash for a month tops. That's it. My effort has allowed me to maximize my investment return on all my funds. This process assumes that you are "good with money" and have decent credit. My strategy is simple, pay down what you owe. Use credit and retirement as your cushion.When I was young and broke, my emergency fund was: Roth IRA contributions, and HELOC. Why keep an emergency fund when you can withdraw Roth contributions without penalty? Why put off putting in your Roth for that perceived safety? Even if the market tanks 50% (worst case) you can still liquidate that and have it in three days. If you don't need it, you get market returns. If it is short term, draw on a HELOC (assuming you own a house with more than 80% ltv), that interest is deductible vs the car loan/cc that is not. Why keep an emergency fund when you have debt that is any percentage points higher than your savings? Honestly, in a worst case catastrophe (medical, being sued, etc) you want your funds in a Roth vs cash because retirement is protected by law. 20-50K cash is a lot easier to go after.Now I get that people do have debt, but it is silly to keep an emergency fund when you have credit. If I have 10K in credit at 9% potential interest and 10K in savings (1%) and 10K in student loans at 6%, why would I not use the funds to pay off the student loans and live paycheck to paycheck for a while while rebuilding my cash (but putting it in investments)? You are "earning" 4% after tax on your 10K monthly. When you have some savings: Stocks/MF's are liquid. I can sell whatever I want and have the money in hand in three days. Aside from a kidnapping this is plenty fast to accomplish anything in the real world. Again if I need cash, use the HELOC (find one with no fees) for the short term and everyone takes CC. I just don't get it, people will chase a 1/4 point on a mortgage @250K or 1/4 point on savings but will leave 50-100K in a savings/MM account earning 1% or less. With say 5% average market returns you are "losing" your entire mortgage interest deduction of 250K after chasing that 1/4 point.Figure with the rule of 7, the 25K that you have in an emergency fund is losing ~20K every 7 years. I'm not saying I do everything right, I paid off a 4.5% mortgage in 2009 for the "peace of mind" when I should have continues to float it on 0% and invest (or keep the 4.5% note and invest), but if you told me to keep the cash in a 1% account, I would rather just keep it under the bed and roll around in it once in a while. Use the tools that our system provides rather than listening to the archaic advice of the simpletons. Using the tools allows you to get ahead faster and cheaper.
Credit Deals
g: 0 Posted By: webdeveloper
Views: 35 Replies: 0 I currently own 4bd/2.5bt townhome appraised in April at $210k and still owe 120k. I just refinanced it in April 15yrs 3.0%.Per month:
Mortgage: $840.
Association: $350.
Taxes: $400.No cc debt.
2 more years on a car at $370/month.Steady job at $100k/year. Wife doesn't work, she is still in school, school costs 16k a year.Im considering buying a house just a mile away from my townhome. It's smaller than our townome, just about 2000sqft(including finished basement) compared to 3000sqft(including finished basement), but it is a house and it has a great yard. Plus from the investment perspective I have someone paying off my first house.I should be able to get it at $210k.
Much smaller townhomes are renting out for $1600+/month. I think I should be able to get about $1800-2k a month.I currently have about $70k in liquid assets out of which I would probably put about $44k on the downpayment.
It seems that I should be able to cover all of the expenses of owning my townhome with rent income.Is there anything I'm missing?
When I refinanced I marked it as my primary residence. Do I have to change anything with the lender when it comes to it?
From the investment perspective, should I rather look for a cheap condo that I can but with cash and rent out right away?Thanks!
Personal Finance Deals
Purchasing a vacation home
Added on : Monday July 22nd 2013 08:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: berkeleyman
Views: 117 Replies: 0 Hi All,I am a long-time reader of FWF and now decided to get some advice from the crowd on the financial implications of purchasing a vacation home(~$90k). I've seen a few threads on this but none answer all of my questions.
So here it goes:
1) Financing - I have enough cash savings for 40-50% down-payment and can finance the rest (or even 100%) with HEL on my main house. With penfed 2.74% APR it seems a no-brainer and I foresee no problems for 10-year term. Is there a financial reason not do do it, e.g. go conventional mortgage route?2) I found the house myself and saw it with seller's agent. Now I would like to get my own representative, hopefully with buyers rebate. I saw a few companies around that advertise 2% which sounds pretty good. Should I just go with one of these or should I email some local realtors asking if they'd do this for me. Please share your experiences in finding rebate realtor.3) The house is furnished and per listing agent all the furniture stays. How do I make sure of this in the Purchase Agreement? Should there be an itemized list or ...?4)I am considering offering weekly rentals on the house with VRBO or airbnb. I am not expecting the income to afford the purchase but it's nice to have a side income. I am not sure if this deserved a separate thread but if someone is doing this I would appreciate your advice on where I should start my research on the topic to avoid legal pitfalls etc. Do I need to think about any of this in the pre-purchase stage?Thanks!
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: fatwallet102
Views: 0 Replies: 0 My parents are in their mid 50s and own a house which they plan on remaining in. My Dad recently retired and is collecting a pension at 2/3 of what he was making upon retirement. He also got another job which is comparable to his last job, so he is more or less collecting two salary's. My Mom works as well. Net income for my parents is around $180,000.I am 25 and in the market for a condo. Been working at my company for two years and its a very stable kind of a gig. Making ~$50k, living at my parents house, looking to move out. Parents have been told by the tax guy at H&R Block that they should get something else for tax purposes. Mortgage on the house they have lived in for 20+ years is almost paid off, so they aren't getting much of a deduction. Question is, does it make much sense to combine forces on buying a duplex with a couple 2 bedroom apartments? I would be in one of them and mow the lawn, etc.
How should it be structured? What makes sense here?
House / mortgage affordability
Added on : Friday July 19th 2013 10:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Pipboy
Views: 173 Replies: 4 I'm in the market for a townhouse or condo in the Los Angeles area. I've seen guidelines like spending no more than 28% of gross income, or spending no more than 25% of take home pay. Obviously this is a big range and I don't know how realistic it is since they seem to be written for the lowest common denominator home buyer.The place I'm looking at is $519k, and I'll put 165k down and finance the rest, 30-year fixed. I'm single with a very stable job that I've been in for 15+ years, and this will be my residence. My DTI front end should be about 25%. However it is about 48% of my take home pay (edit: I have no other debt). I'll have 3-4 months emergency fund after furnishing. I max out my 401k and expect to be able to save about 14-15k after tax per year. As a sanity check, is this a crazy amount to spend? Basically, if I go by the 25% take home pay guideline I believe I will never be able to buy a home in southern California.Thanks
Personal Finance Deals
TDBank Mortgage Debacle - How to proceed?
Added on : Friday July 19th 2013 08:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Bizatch
Views: 0 Replies: 0 -Applied for an investment property mortgage from TDBank approximately 40 days ago.
-All communications with my processor happen through email. She never calls, never returns calls.
-I quickly comply with all documentation requests.Closing is scheduled for Tuesday. I call closing attorney today to get final figure for amount of funds I need to deposit into escrow. Attorney tells me they don't have any closing docs from TDBank and TDBank needs the docs to be at attorney's office 2 business days before closing. I call TDBank, they say closing can't take place for at least 5 days, some 'things' need to happen first, which they won't disclose to me.I have a tenant moving into the property shortly after Tuesday closing. I have to close Tuesday, so I'm scrounging funds elsewhere and going to pay cash at closing and allow closing to happen on time on Tuesday.My main complaint: Why am I never told that closing can't happen until after *I* call TDBank. Noone from TDBank notifies me, the closing attorney, nor anyone else that closing can't take place on time.
I *finally* get a call from my loan processor (for the first time) today and she tells me she 'dropped the ball' on a certain form that I sent 2.5 weeks ago. I've already paid for an appraisal and been told their is a .5% fee (of my full loan amount) if I cancel the deal with TDBank.Question: I don't want to pay the .5% fee. I'd also like my appraisal cost refunded since I only got the appraisal b/c of the loan. How do I formally request these things?I think I can document fairly well that my processor gave me no service and really dropped the ball on my slam dunk loan.
g: 0 Posted By: raspino
Views: 160 Replies: 0 I have a rental property with about 37K Heloc @ 7.9%. I can't refinance because the rental property is under water. Meanwhile my recent residential property that I bought has appreciated to the point where I can get some equity line of credit from pretty soon if not earlier. Does it make business or financial sense to do this? My residential mortgage interest rate is 3.625% so I stand to gain some on a lower interest rate. However, I think I will be losing some on being able to potentially write off some of the loan in taxes towards depreciation. I guess a good option is for me to run the numbers but since this is my first year of renting, I haven't done the depreciation valuation in my tax returns before. Does anyone have experience with this and what I should look at before taking the plunge?
Personal Finance Deals
Taking a loan from an Irrevocable Trust as a Mortgage?
Added on : Monday July 15th 2013 07:00:08 AM
I did a search for this on Google and the forums with no luck. Makes me think this is either something so rare no one does it... or so stupid that no one does it.I am the Trustee and Beneficiary of an Irrevocable Trust. There are 7 figures in the trust. The trust contract allows investment in pretty much anything.I am looking to buy a home and starting a family. I have saved for many years living the Fatwallet way and have ample cash to make the down payment. Here are the pertinent details:Age: 31
State: MD
Current Net worth: $850k
House: $535k
Down payment: $200k
Annual income: $180k exclusive of trust income (Girlfriend makes about 55k as well making total income a bit higher)
This leaves $335k of mortgage. Though I have the funds to cover this amount in the trust, I would prefer to leave money there for future generations to use as I cannot add more to it - outside of investment income of the trust itself taxed at very high rates.Here is the question:
Should I take a mortgage loan from the Trust for the $335k?Rationale:
I would have the house in my name so I can claim the mortgage interest deduction and the interest the trust makes would be income. I could then distribute the interest income back to me to be taxed as income... effectively returning the principal back into the trust and leaving the interest returned back to me with an effective tax rate of 0.Am I thinking about this wrong? Is this even a possibility or am I waving a big red flag for a sure fire audit. Not sure how many folks have any experience with this but looking for some opinions.
I will be moving in a relatively isolated town in a state in the Deep South, for a job there.The banking angle of the move is this: big banks such as Bank of America do not have any branches or ATMs in the state. The town I'll be moving to has an assortment of local banks you most likely never heard of, a couple of local credit unions, and a regional bank's branch (aptly named Regions).Currently I have an assortment of banking accounts, some for ATM convenience (BofA, WF), others for the interest given if you make a certain number of monthly purchases, and others for their online reach (Ally, Fidelity, ING - OK, this one had a nice BF incentive to open). I am thinking of reconfiguring my account portfolio usage so that I can use checks for rent, pay credit cards via ACH, and also be able to use local ATMs for purchases in places (quite a few) that don't take credit cards, by incurring as few fees as possible, while keeping the set-up relatively streamlined. The plan is long-term, and it may involve buying a home; the potential future mortgage and HEL may or may not be with the local banks; I assume the local rates are less than impressive. Does any of you have any useful experience to share with me on this matter? If you ever moved in a place that resembled somewhat the one I described, how did you deal with it, banking-wise?Thanks in advance!
What if there were no mortgages?
Added on : Sunday July 14th 2013 01:00:06 PM
What if tomorrow, the government mandated that mortgage loans would be abolished?What would housing prices look like?Would the country be a better place? Keep in mind that the US is one of the easier places to borrow money to own a home. In other countries, you have people putting down up to 70% down payment.
House sale fell through -being sued -update
Added on : Saturday July 13th 2013 03:00:04 AM
I wanted to update those interested on what has happened so far. I had stopped posting, because I was worried the seller maybe also on this forum.
Archived topic:LINK
Original post:
A little background- (very long read)
I currently have a home with several mortgages due to (2) 100 year flood, national disasters (one right after another. Lucky me) My soon to be ex-husband is not on my primary mortgage, but is on the deed.
He was pre-approved for a loan and He went to buy a home, a short sale from BOA. The process started in dec 2011. He put 1500 down as good faith money with the normal contingencys that it would pass inspection and he could obtain financing.
in Jan the seller's still could not get written approval from BOA, he extended the contract. Come March BOA finally gave him approval and he order the house inspection. Due to the sellers not putting oil in the tank or winterizing , when the house inspection started the pipes burst from being frozen and the inspector found mold. He then extended the contract hoping they would fix the home. After his agent hassled the other one for weeks asking for info/ update etc, they finally decided to fix the home because BOA offered to pay the expenses. They fixed the pipes at the end of April(yes that long!) and my ex paid to have the house re-inspected. (about 1300 total) . The sellers did not fix the mold, hoping it would pass the assement and the mold could be mitigated later. My ex agreed because BOA closing deadline was getting close. It did not pass the assessment (about $500), so my ex again extended the contract while he awaited the mold to be fixed . BOA insisted that the house must close by the 15th of June. After hassling the sellers agent again, she finally had the mold mitigation done on Jun 11th. During this time he finds out through a friend at the town hall that the town is putting a lien on the house for an unpaid water bill. The agent contacts the sellers agent and they refuse to pay it and then proceed to call the town hall and try to see if they can stick him with the water bill
The mortgage broker ordered another assessment which was finished on the 14th ($75). The mortgage broker put in all the paperwork and tries to push in the closing for the 15th. It can't be done so they push the closing to the 18th with BOA approval. Come the 18th, my ex gets a call from his buyers agent, stating the loan did not go through because he is on 2 of the house mortgages, (due to the floods). These were found by the underwriters doing a deed search. He was not aware he was on the mortgages and because he was on the deed thought when he signed the forms he was just giving permission.( He is not on the main mortgage) In the beginning, He did bring this up to the finance guy when he was running his credit and asked if he was on the mortgages and the guy said no, and In fact they never show up on his credit report.
Now because of the debt, he no longer meets the ratio and the sale fell through. His agent called him in a panic and told him to release his good faith money or that the sellers agent was going to try and keep it and sue him for her out of pocket money. (unknown to him, the sellers agent had paid to put oil in the tank, and paid for all the repairs upfront) My ex tells her he will not release the funds because the contract clearly states he has to obtain financing, or the contract is void and he gets his money back. Plus he feels as though he got screwed out of money because he had to keep getting the inspectors to go back due to her procrastinating , but she tells him that the date of the contract was never extended past March. My husband feels that if the other agent hadnt procrastinated so long the loan people would have found the mortgages and we could have tried to fix it. As it is now Im filing a Quick Claim deed and will try and call the mortgages tomorrow to have a loan novation to have him taking off ( there is no way I can refinance) .
So several questions Does anyone know why these mortgages are not showing up on his credit? Should he release the funds ? The agent has been calling him all day and insisting that he will be sued and it will be expensive. UPDATE:
My ex-husband gave back the deposit. The prepaid lawyer told him that if he gave it back, and the seller accepted it, then the seller would technically give up all legal recourse. Unfortunately, no one explained this to the seller (whom is a lawyer), because he then took my ex-husband and the mortgage broker to small claims court. The seller lost in small claims but then brought it forth to superior court. Both my ex and the mortgage broker, at this point, hired separate lawyers. The seller represented himself, (probably not a good idea). The seller argued that he made the repairs because he was going to get reimbursed by the bank when the house sold. Since the house did not sell, he felt he was entitled to the repair money from my ex. My ex's lawyer argued that: the repairs would not have had to be made if the seller had kept the house in good repair ,(by purchasing oil in the winter), that the bank was supposed to reimburse the seller and that the seller did not have a contract signed by my ex stating he would assume financial responsibility for the repairs. The lawyer also argued that the bank would not have loaned the money without the repairs and that it was up to the sellers real estate agent to have had a contract with BOA for the repair money. After my ex's lawyer reviewed all the contracts, she found that in fact there was a contract that the seller signed stating that my ex would get his deposit back no matter what if the sale fell through. After my ex gets the decision from the court, the lawyer wants to sue the seller for lawyers fees and the deposit.
As far as the house.. the joke is, once it went into foreclosure , (several weeks after this deal fell through),a new relator took the house on and sold it in 5 days for $225,000 . My ex was going to buy it for $184,000. This helps prove my argument that this whole fiasco was the sellers realtors fault.
As far as a mortgage for my ex.. I did a quick claim deed the next day. SBA would not take my ex off the loans nor do a novation. (Dealing with the SBA was a whole 'nother horror show that could fill a forum!)Due to that, my ex could not get an FHA loan but was able to do a loan through TDBank through one of their other programs. He contracted with a new realtor (it was too awkward to use the old one), and he purchased a home , (oddly enough), directly in back of the one he is being sued over! The other ironic thing was this new house also needed some repairs and my ex's realtor had a contractor contract with the bank directly so the repairs were a separate transaction from the sale of the house. That way the contractor would be paid weather the house sold or not. (something the other relator should have done and supposedly she sells multi-million dollar homes!) When the decision from the court comes through, I will update.
The condo is a 1 BR. It is in an a well off town close to my work. 1 BR's in the association were selling for around 200k from 04-07, now are selling for 125-135 in the last year or so. the condo would be a very easy, safe financial move. Paying the mortgage would be a breeze. I would pay it off in less then 10 years, and then hold it, become a landlord and collect an inflation protected ~$600 a month for life. Other option would be to buy a 2 family house in a lower end town. Its near a college with 10,000 students. It would run around $210,000 for a 2 unit house with a couple 2 BR apts. I could rent a 2BR apartment out for $1200 a month even if its outdated and not very nice. I would probably also let a buddy live with me for like $400 a month in the spare bedroom in my apt. Thinking maybe the 2 family would be the better financial move, even if it is a bit riskier.
CPA fee justified?
Added on : Friday July 12th 2013 06:00:17 PM
Hi, I wanted to ask those in accounting field (esspecially CPAs) if my CPA's fee to prepare my personal tax return for 2012 was reasonable. He charged me $1450 for it (married with 2 dependents). My previous CPA charged $600 for 2011 personal tax return. This occurred in California. Do you think his charge was reasonable for this scope of personal tax return work? Thank you.Here is what my new CPA noted changed in 2012 vs 2011:1. W-2 forms:a. 2012 had twice as many as 2011b. 2012 had 6, 2011 had 32. Interest income Schedule B:a. Sch B was required for 2012, but not 2011b. 2012 had over twice as many as 2011c. 2012 had 7, 2011 had 33. Capital Gain Schedule D:a. 2012 had over twice as many as 2011b. 2012 had 2 reportable sales and 1 carryoverc. 2011 had 0 reportable sales and 1 carryover4. California differences from Federal:a. 2012 had 6 to report, 2011 had 4 to report5. Itemize Deductions:a. 2012 had 2 mortgages to report, 2011 had 16. Partnerships & S-Corporationsa. 2012 had 5 entities; 4 with special Section 179 depreciation pass throughb. 2011 had 3 entities; 0 with special Section 179 depreciation pass through7. Under Estimated tax penalty for underpaying estimated taxes:a. 2012 computation and reporting was required, 2011 was not8. First-time set up and complete review of 2011 to insure continuity accounted for approximately $300.
Florida Credit Union 100% Mortgage Financing
Added on : Friday July 12th 2013 10:00:06 AM
Noticed that Florida Credit Union had 100% Mortgage Financing. Does anyone know if this is valid for all of Florida or just the membership counties they serve?It says you need to be a resident but makes no mention of permanent residency. I am assuming a property tax bill is all I would need to prove residency?
FHA Mortgage Assumption
Added on : Thursday July 11th 2013 11:00:04 AM
I'm wondering if anyone has experience as a buyer or seller with assumable mortgages - VA or FHA. I refinanced my FHA mortgage last year at 3.25%. Since then, average interest rates have increased to about 4.5%. I can see interest rates increasing further in the next few years. I plan on selling in a couple of years when I begin a low paying medical physics residency. Would there be a premium paid on a home by a buyer if the assumable rate is 3.25% and the prevailing rate is somewhere around 5.5%? Would the average buyer even be interested?I see this as a major advantage by the borrower. The original 30 year loan will be at about 27 years which will reduce the overall interest paid by the new owner. The interest rate is much below market, and MIP will drop off in a couple of years. What am I missing? Is there some catch?
2013 vs 2014 Vehicle
Added on : Tuesday July 09th 2013 06:00:10 AM
I'm thinking of buying a new car and have a bunch of questions:1) It's obviously cheaper at this point to get a 2013 vehicle rather than a new 2014 since dealers probably want to get rid of "last year's" model. But does that mean I would be getting a car that's sitting on the lot rusting away? Or if I take delivery from the "factory" does that mean it's been sitting for months in some warehouse? Is that bad for the car to be sitting around not being driven? If I'm coughing up cash for a new vehicle, I want it to be in good shape and last many years.2) What are your thoughts on paying upfront and taking money from savings, vs getting a loan with low APR? I have very good credit so it would hopefully be around 1%. Sure, today that's a little more than my savings account, but in two years the interest might be higher. Or am I crazy to expect such a low APR on the loan?3) If I do go for the car loan, am I allowed to pay it back early like with a mortgage, or I can only make the regular monthly payments?4) Should I rather get a certified pre-owned from 2012 or so? I know that once I take a new car off the lot I lost about $2000 or more in value immediately. So perhaps it's wiser to just get a 2012 so that depreciation is not something I have to pay for.
Added on : Monday July 08th 2013 01:00:08 PM
Received $1484.21 from the National Mortgage Settlement Fund because the devious BofA bat rastards only make home loans in order to screw their borrowers.BEWARE OF BANK OF AMERICAPropublica linkPropublica Article said: Bank of America employees regularly lied to homeowners seeking loan modifications, denied their applications for made-up reasons, and were rewarded for sending homeowners to foreclosure, according to sworn statements by former bank employees.....And then the foreclosure department was worse.
Anyone Have Mortgage Experience With Prudential Savings Bank In PA?
Added on : Wednesday July 03rd 2013 02:00:05 PM
Hi, I'm planning to get a mortage from Prudential Savings bank because they show the lowest 15yr mortgage rate on bankrate.com at 3% interest. So, I google'd them to find any user reviews but did not find any online. Just wondering if anyone worked with them before. Thanks
Mortgage transferred from Flagstar to Caliber Home Loans..
Added on : Monday July 01st 2013 07:00:10 AM
Starting today, my mortgage has been transferred over to Caliber from Flagstar. So far I have had no issues with Flagstar ..wondering how Caliber is..anyone has any experience with them? So far I have not been enrolled online as Caliber mentioned my papers are still in process of being transferred.
Can you walk me through my final HUD and escrow refund (refi)?
Added on : Sunday June 30th 2013 06:00:09 AM
I recently refinanced and have just received an escrow refund and final escrow disclosure statement from Wells Fargo, my old loan servicer. I want to make sure I received the correct amount but I'm not sure I know how to calculate that. I think I understand but want to be sure. Any help would be appreciated. The final HUD shows closed on 5/31 and disbursement listed as 6/11. The HUD actually calculated interest from 5/1-6/12, or $1239.00 at 2.875%, then the statement fee/recording fees of $92.00, so a total payoff of $375,811.88. That implies to me the HUD calculation was based on a payoff date of 6/13.Per WellsFargo, my principal balance on 5/1 was $374,480.88. Wells Fargo shows the loan was paid off on 6/10. Without any additional payments, I would have owed interest from 5/1-6/9, if I understand correctly.However, I also made my usual mortgage payment of $3356.25 on 6/5 (principal: $1800.08; interest: $897.19; escrow: $658.98). If that was credited as a payment as usual, then on 6/10 the payoff amount was used first to pay interest 6/1-6/9 (9 days at 2.875% on $372,680.80 = $264.19); then to payoff the principal balance of $372,680.80 from 6/1; then the recording and doc fees of $92.00; then the balance of ($375,811.88 - $372,680.80 - $264.19 - $92.00 = $2774.89 went to the escrow account? This is what the escrow account ledger shows.The escrow refund would then be the June 1 escrow account balance, plus the escrow amount in my 6/5 payment, plus the $2774.89 which was the excess payoff amount to Wells Fargo.Did I get this correct?
Late Wells Fargo Mortgage Payment
Added on : Saturday June 29th 2013 09:00:07 PM
I searched for late payment information regarding mortgages and nothing closely related showed up, just credit card stuff. Aside from the "pay your bills deadbeat" posts which I probably deserve, I'm definitely not a deadbeat. I have my 6 month savings and the rest of my finance in very healthy condition.I thought my Wells Fargo mortgage payment was on autopay and it wasn't. My credit is sparkling and I've been current for the life of this account, almost 3 years. This is definitely my fault. My account had a red notice at the top that said 29 days late. I immediately paid tonight but it won't be assessed til tomorrow, which will post on the 30 day delinquency date(this seems to be the big date of delinquency for when it gets serious).I see a late payment fee posted for $42, I don't care cause it's my fault. My concern is my credit score, I will be showing the house very soon(next week) and will be selling. I will be renting closer to work because my commute is killing me. Now I'm worried that my credit will get me rejected from renting apartments. I don't know my credit score but it should be upper 700's at the least. I see people talking about an immediate 100 point hit, ouch. I plan on calling WF on monday when the mortgage department opens to get details. Below is a recent thread I made regarding selling vs landlord, not important but it gives some numbers on my loan balance and likely listing price.Should I be concerned? Is there anything I should do to help this situation? I appreciate the help from the FWF community over the years and ask for your help/advice again.http://www.fullofdeals.com/forums/finance/1274855/
Bank of America Credit Card Rewards Redemption Changes
Added on : Friday June 28th 2013 10:00:05 AM
This information affects the Bank Americard 1-2-3 card (ex-Schwab), I haven't checked if it affects other BoA rewards cards but it probably does.
Heads up! The Bank of America website says that they will be changing their redemption in July. They are removing the ability to redeem rewards to make mortgage payments, IRA/529 accounts contributions, charitable donations, and direct deposit to a non BoA or Merrill Lynch account. You can still get a check in the mail, which seems regressive to direct deposits. It says that the rewards value and earning will remain the same. Hopefully they will retain the 10% bonus for redeeming to a BoA account. I reformatted their notice to make it readable and posted it below. Bank of America said:
Important information about upcoming changes to cash rewards redemption

Why are you making changes?

We are updating our website and how you redeem rewards so its simpler, easier and more secure.

When will the changes occur?
July 2013

Is how I earn cash rewards changing?

No. This change will not impact how you earn cash rewards. Youll continue to earn cash rewards with every purchase.

Is the value of my cash rewards changing?

No. This change will not impact the value of the rewards you earn. Sign in to review your Program Rules for details.

Will I continue to access the cash rewards redemption website the same way?

Yes. You will continue to access the cash rewards redemption website through Bank of America Online Banking or directly at the website address you currently you use.

How will requesting redemptions change?

Fewer clicks and no manual account set up will be required. You will simply sign in with your Bank of America Online ID and,
Select how to receive rewards from a personalized list of your eligible options.
Enter an amount to redeem.
Submit your request.

Are the ways I can receive my rewards changing?

Yes, you will choose from the following popular options:

Have rewards deposited into your Bank of America checking or savings account,

Merrill Edge or Merrill Lynch CMA account

Receive a statement credit on your credit card

Have a personal check mailed to you

Redeeming cash rewards in the following ways will no longer be available after July 2013:

As payment to a mortgage account
As a contribution to an IRA or 529 account
For a charitable donation
As a deposit into any checking, savings or investment account from another bank

Will I still be able to have my rewards electronically deposited to accounts I have with other banks?

No. Only Bank of America checking or savings accounts, Merrill Edge or Merrill Lynch CMA accounts will be eligible to receive electronic deposits of rewards. And, you will also be able to receive your rewards as statement credit or a personal check.

How do I know the information you have on file about me is safe and secure?

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Title Issue - what's the best way to resolve it ..
Added on : Thursday June 27th 2013 09:00:05 AM
We are facing this strange issue with a home refinance.. we did few refinances in past, never an issue. But latest one with Aim loan, they found a claim on deed from a old mortgage company from which we refinanced years back thru Principal Bank. They appear on deed, but not on our credit report (as they're paid off). That old bank was bought over few times, and final successor is captial one. Having bit of issue getting a person on CaptialOne to handle this. I got an email address for dept who is supposed to handle it. Their automated email states to provide them payoff statement. The problem is, that refinance was around 7-8 years back - we don't have the old documents. Bank that refinaced and paid off that old back was principal bank. Principal since then sold the mortage to Citi Bank & we paid off citi back with Heloc few years back. So trail of paperwork is bit of a mess.What is the best option to resolve this? Do we need a title lawyer? anything else we can do in meantime (looks like aim loans will not extend the lock).
New home buyer - questions about options and timeframe
Added on : Wednesday June 26th 2013 02:00:07 PM
I have already applied for a mortgage loan, which I had to do per the contract within 3 days, but my interest rate increased before I was locked in. I have to be out of the current house I am renting by July 31 and my closing date is set for July 29. Is it to late to look into another mortgage option like Quicken or AmeriSave? Or am I stuck with having to make a decision to buy points to lower my rate?Current options:30 yr fixed:
4.500% - .50 pts
4.625% - .00 pts lender will pay $200 towards closing
4.875% - 1.0 pts and no PMII am a first time home buyer and only plan to live her 5-6 yrs.
Complete Collection of Financial Resouces
Added on : Tuesday June 25th 2013 11:00:07 PM
How I would go about learning finance today if I was a newbieI've been getting this more and more in my own private life and via PM on here(and a long response just accidentally deleted broke the camels back on me answering it piecemeal).Obviously depending on where you're at already would determine where you would probably want to hop in.It's my belief that most people should follow some pattern like this:
1) They see something in the space that captures their attention and interests them
2) Learn the basic building blocks like time value of money(and get good at it on excel), basic bond valuation, basic macro/micro, etc.
3) Pick up regular financial habit like reading a particular financial news site or show on TV. It just has to be something that interests you enough to be able to keep up with it. This one is very important since most people aren't going to be able to 'crash course' enough information in large blocks of dense reading to really get that far. In most cases it's the regular stuff that really gets someone up there.
4) The real great thing is using google, wikipedia, and investopedia to look up something you don't quite understand every time it comes up from those regular financial habits. See nobody really has the attention span to jump from constant wikipedia entries to more entries. Instead it's the occasional article with some term you don't know much about that spawns a few dense readings that is pretty bearable.
5) Then supplement all of this with the occasional book focused on some particular subject matter that interests you in a more dense fashion.List of many of my financial site bookmarks
-Street Sleuth probably the best financial news aggregator online that has the last handful of headlines from numerous online sources, many of whom are listed below
-RealClearMarkets Very good focused aggregator of financial news sort of like a Drudgereport of financial news for the day
-Finviz News Besides being quite likely the best free stock screener online Finviz has pretty decent rolling news aggregator
-Then obviously google and yahoo financial news although it's pretty sub par unless you use specific keyword searches into their news search engine.Main general publications:
-Wall Street Journal needs no introduction, WSJ allows a person coming from Google to get by the pay wall a certain number of times a day so if you see an article you want to read just search it's title and you can get past the pay wall
-Financial Times
-NYT Business
-Reuters Business
-Investors Business Daily
-CNN Money
-Fortune Mag(CNN money)
This list is really quite endless and the interesting this is that you'll basically get all of the same information from each of these places because they all rely on the wires to determine content minus maybe a few idiotic personal finance pieces thrown in as filler.Specialized and Original WorkGeneral Dense:
-Zerohedge Despite some of the more apocalyptic postings from some of the staff and very weird comment community they do quite often produce some of the best work in the business
-Dealbreaker A little more 'inter workings' focused news site for original content with a little bit of comedic side of shoveling $hit at key Wall Street players in a TMZ fashion
-Dealbook(nyt) Basically an advanced financial news site for industry professionals
-Market Folly Not particularly high volume, but good valuable information you wont find too many other places. Their weekly "hedge fund links" is usually a great source of info.
-Motley Fool Not particularly more advanced than your typical news site
-247 Wall Street Same as aboveInternational English:
-Globe and Mail Investor
-Spiegel Business
-South China Morning Post Business
-Arabian Business
-African Business News DigitalGeneral Econ:
-The Economist More high brow
-Mish's Global Economic Analysis More low brow
-A lot of this is covered in the general news section otherwise the next place is to go to the think tank publications like Cato, Brookings, etc. depending on the persuasion your after(my quick dig: fyi in this area Krugman doesn't really count since practically all of the think tanks out there actually do real work except him).Trading/Investing News:
-Seeking Alpha Primary utility to me has been their aggregation of company conference calls
-Value Walk Value focused news site
-Value Investors Club Value focused research community
-Wall St. Cheat Sheet Stock specific news and useful earnings report cliff notes
-The Street Even though it's Jim Cramer's baby it has become a bigger player in stock news so it deserves to be mentionedUseful Trading Investment Tools, Research, etc.:
-Zacks Probably best free equity research site
-Morningstar Best free mutual fund and ETF research and info online
-ETF Database Good ETF screener and source of lists
-Finviz Probably the best free stock screener online
-Firecalc Best free historical and/or monte carlo simulator online
-MSN Money Great for stock research particularly in their interactive graphing, historical revenue and income numbers, and tracking of earnings estimates.
-Google Finance Mostly for equity research. Laid out well, but pretty similar to what else you'll see.
-Yahoo Finance Really yahoo key statistics is really all that is left that I like about of habit I still yahoo to look up SEC filings. Places like MSN have mostly beaten them in all the other areas. They have their message boards as a semi unique offering, but those have mostly become a joke.
-Quantum Online Good outfit for researching things like Preferreds
-Big Charts Really nice interactive charts. Great because you can easily customize date ranges, have dividend dates appear on the map, even include the number of news stories for each day, etc. pretty useful
-Earnings Whispers Good source of information on guidance, changes in earnings expectations prior to an earnings release, etc.
-Conference Call Transcripts A search engine for transcripts of company conference calls
-ZenWealth Time Value of Money Calc FYI it defaults to type 0 for payments which means that it assumes end of period payment
-Stock Mapper Mostly just a cool heat map type of site for how the NYSE is doing at any point of the day. Provides a great visual plus it's pretty to look at.
-Citron Research These guys do some pretty damn good short focused researchTech, Angel/Venture Capital, etc.:
-Venture Beat Financial news site for start ups
-Tech Crunch Financial news site for start ups
-Finovate Site for financial start ups. Can watch many of the pitches onlineFollowing Key Financial Investors/Hedge Fund Managers/etc.:
-Financial Titan Thread FWF thread I started covering many famous financial figures
-GuruFocus Site dedicated to following the actions of famous investors
-Hedge Fund Letters A site dedicated to being a depository of letters to investors from various hedge funds. Not particularly up to date on many of them they cover.
-Name.Blogspot One gentlemen has a created a list of blogs for famous financiers and updates new information quite regularly. This one is devoted to Kyle Bass, but if you look in the lower right you'll see other ones this individual follows and posts on.
-Titan Search Query 1 One of 3 search queries I run for a list of names. From there I go to search tools and specify a period of time(maybe 1 month or 1 week) and just look at the recent results mentioning these people. I also go to videos to see if they've done any recent video interviews or presentations
-Titan Search Query 2 Same as before just another list of names.
-Titan Search Query 3 Same as the prior 2Financial Documentaries/Media/Online Class
-Financial Documentaries
-Top Documentaries Go to the Economics section
-Coursera Site for free online courses taught by good professors from top schools
-MIT OpenCourseWare Can look at the course notes of any financial or accounting class you likeTax Information:
-Fairmark Probably the best online source for new tax info out that I know of
-PWC 2013 Tax Planning GuideBooks(note I have a high preference for audiobook so I only *read* a whole book if I think it's worth it):
-The Intelligent Investor
-Security Analysis 6th edition
-Snowball: Warren Buffett
-Berkshire Hathaway Letters to Shareholders (you can actually get all of these online and avoid the book)
-Market Wizards, New Market Wizards, Hedge Fund Market Wizards
-Wilmott's Reading List I probably wouldn't trust anyone more than Wilmott to provide a solid reading list for those that want to look at more advanced books
-Wiley Finance Otherwise if looking at solid financial textbooks today I would mostly stick to what is published by Wiley.Audiobooks(slim pickings out there in good finance books most are the more entertaining sort):
-Liar's Poker
-The Big Short
-Fools Gold: JP Morgan
-House of Cards: Bear Stearns
-Crash of the Titans: Merrill and BofA
-All the Devils are Here
-The Match King: Ivar Kreuger
-The Dark Genius of Wall Street: Jay Gould
-Den of Thieves: Drexel Burnham Lambert
-King of Capital: Schwarzman
Specifically What Kind of Program Would I Probably Put Someone on That was Interested1) Watch "The Ascent of Money"2) Watch "Commanding Heights: Battle for the World Economy"(probably the biggest list of key world figures taking part in one documentary ever made)3) Seek out a basic understanding of the following concepts(via google, wikipedia, investopedia, or a class on coursera or MIT OCW):
a) Time Value on Money calculations: Should set a goal to get pretty good on multi step calculations on excel
b) Key assets: Coupon bonds, zero coupon bonds, convertible bonds, preferred shares, common stocks, and shares in pass through entities such as Master Limited Partnerships and Real Estate Investment Trusts.
c) Collections of exchange traded assets: ETFs, mutual funds, index funds, etc.
d) Trade execution: Bid, ask, long vs. short, market order vs. limit order, stop loss(don't use), trailing stop loss(don't use)
e) More complicated assets/derivatives: Call option, put option, asset backed security/mortgage backed security.
f) How call and put options operate from the perspective of the seller or buyer to the point they could draw an options return profile themselves.
g) Bond valuation
h) How to read financial statements(income statement, balance sheet, cash flows) knowledge of how to write up journal entries not required.4) Pick up some regular financial habit(s). The list above should provide plenty of options. If I were to suggest a couple I would say:
a) Street Sleuth for a while. You'll eventually start to notice you navigating to particular sites on Street Sleuth, but at first it's a great place to see what headlines grab your attention.
b) Real Clear Markets. Content is just nice and balanced. Good mix of basic and more advanced. Good mix of bullish and bearish work. Good mix of the main news for the day with some of the less talked about stuff. Just a very well designed news site.
c) Whatever else listed above interests you. WSJ is a good choice. So is Zerohedge and Dealbreaker. Snagging video from the financial titan search queries are really interesting as well.5) I would then supplement that with some reading.
-The Intelligent Investor
-Security Analysis
are probably the most ideal starting points
This is all I've got for tonight I might add more later on. I'm sure I forgot a bunch and it's getting late.
Forward/Freedom/it/Amazon for a College Senior
Added on : Sunday June 23rd 2013 06:00:04 PM
Lurker here crawling out from under a rock...I'm trying to build a solid credit foundation and now looking to add one or more credit cards now that my existing paid-in-full accounts have aged for awhile. Most of my spending goes towards Amazon and restaurants, and I would like to maximize the rewards I can earn on those categories. I am an authorized user on my father's Chase card which has helped start my credit report, and I'm hoping now it can act as a foot in the door for individual Chase cards. I think the Citi Forward for college students has the best rewards, but I'm worried about redeeming the points at a decent rate (I have no loans/mortgages) and that Citi seems to be phasing out the Forward. Whichever cards I get now I plan to keep for as long as possible, while building a permanent relationship with the card's bank. What would you do in my shoes?
Should I pay off my mortgage (interest rate is 2.5%)?
Added on : Sunday June 23rd 2013 02:00:08 AM
Hi all,
Almost 2 years ago I purchased some rural land for $41k. I put a 5k downpayment and the owner is financing the rest at a rate of 2.5% (5 year balloon) and therefore currently owe about 21k. I have a good job that pays 100k/year, and aside from apartment rent at $719/mo, that's the only major expense I have. My savings is about 45k (my retirement is $55k) and I max out my Roth IRA every year (employer also contributes to a separate SEP-IRA plan). I am also single with no kids and am aged 32. I would like to build a vacation home on this property in the next year (I don't plan to buy a home anytime soon since I live in a low cost apartment just 1 mile from work). With the above info, would you recommend I completely pay off my land or keep it going at the low rate of 2.5%?Thanks!
New construction - mortgage rates blowing up
Added on : Thursday June 20th 2013 07:00:09 AM
I'm due to get a contract for my new construction (primary home) over the next couple of days. Since starting this process in early May, looks like 30yr fixed have jumped from 3.5 to around 4.25. Home will probably be completed mid-November to early December. Should I try to wait and try to lock in a rate closer to construction completion, or try to scramble now for a good long term (120 or 180 day) lock?
What to expect while buying a home? (first time homeowner)
Added on : Thursday June 20th 2013 06:00:13 AM
The property I'm looking to buy has an assessment of $74k for the land and building. The zipcode in which the home resides values houses at an average of $78k. The zEstimated value of the home is currently $63.5k and the home is listed on the market at $59.9k.^ I'm not sure if the above information helps at all. Basically I want to know what to expect in terms of buying a house for the first time in terms of finances. Assuming I wouldn't need a mortgage, what would be a fair estimate as to how much out of pocket based on spending $59.9k?Also, I know the market for homes is at an all time high since people can't afford their homes and foreclose, or simply move. Therefore since there are a lot of houses for sale on the market, what would be a fair offer to give the homeowner for their home? Is there any FatWallet tricks to save me any money in this process?Any help/tips would be appreciated! Lots of green to those that help!
Stuck owning a 3 family, but not upside-down. What to do?
Added on : Wednesday June 19th 2013 06:00:07 PM
Seeking to improve my financial position, I bought a three family home using an FHA Rehab loan while the $8000 tax credit incentive existed in 2009. I had essentially no non-retirement assets at the time and had to do this in a highly leveraged fashion, using a credit card 0% on purchases offer and the US Mint deal to establish a reserve suitable for the down payment. The house is in a slightly run down area of a northeast US city where vacancy rates are running around 9%.The house was bought in foreclosure for ~120k in 2009 using an FHA rehab loan, with ~195k total owed after closing costs and rehabilitation costs were rolled in. It is now a turnkey property with all new heating systems, renovated rooms, flooring, etc. At present, I live in one unit which has a likely market value of $1000 per month, and the other two units rent for a combined $1600 / month (which is probably slightly below market. It's realistic that I could get $1800 in total, but would need to find new tenants for one of the units to do this.) Unfortunately, there were cost overruns with the rehabilitation, which was a situation I was prepared for, which required me to spend an additional $15k out of pocket, for a total effective basis of around $210k in the house. In addition, I had some difficulty finding tenants initially, which led to me running up around $30k of debt juggled with 0% balance transfer offers, which I have since retired to around $9000. My employer has a generous match, and I didn't want to miss out on any of that, or my ability to contribute to a roth IRA each year, and preferred the debt at an effective cost of 3-4% APY.The present mortgage payment, including property tax and insurance escrows, MIP, etc is around $1700, so the house is close to cash-flow neutral (barring repairs and common utilities), despite the fact that I'm occupying it and using 35% of its value or so - Overall, it's been a reasonable investment, but I'm still in a very cash poor position.I have an opportunity and a locked in rate to refinance the property to a new conventional 30 year loan at 3.75%, contingent upon an appraisal that allows me to do so. Because it is a three family property, I can only find reasonable deals at 75% LTV which will require me to bring up to 15k to the table to close a refinance depending on how the appraisal comes in. In the event that I can close the refinance, I plan to remain in the home for at least one year (though probably no more than two), so I qualify for an owner occupied mortgage for the re-fi, though eventually I plan to leave the region of the country I a