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Getting Things Done

July 18th, 2008 at 08:01 am

1. Short Sale House: DH & I went to look at it yesterday. It is a real beauty, and it is being offered at a really good price. I had looked at it once, and was afraid DH would fall totally in love with it and want it. I say "afraid" because while it is a lovely home, it looks like the type of home where we would spend quite a bit of time on upkeep of the house and the yard. Fortunately, DH agreed that the house would require quite a bit of time on an on-going basis. (Actually, he made that comment about the yard only, but I can tell the house would be the same, and guess whose shoulders that work would fall on?) The house is pre-foreclosure and has been unoccupied for 6 months. It has not been trashed, but it has been a bit neglected. When we got home, DH walked in to our apartment, looked around, and said: "I like this apartment. It's so CLEAN!" I replied, "Yes, it is" but inside I was laughing and thinking "That's because the magic cleaning fairies show up on a regular basis" Big Grin I was also thinking "Give me 3 days alone with that house and it will sparkle" but I didn't say that because frankly I'm still hoping for a smaller, more modest house and I did not want to put any ideas in DH's head.

2. 2nd Car: Apparently I was not the only one researching cars the last month. In addition to the SmartCar that I want to test drive, DH wants to check out the new Volkswagen Jetta Diesel. Looks like a reasonable choice to me. Now I just need to find out if it's currently available in our area.

3. Short-Term CDs: BofA is offering a 7-month CD @4.11% (available on-line only). Not too shabby. We decided to go with that for some of DH's post-busy-season money. Higher rates are available elsewhere, but either the terms are longer or the bank is shakier.

4. VMSXX: We discussed, and DH is considering it. He's a bit anxious about putting non-tax-deferred dollars in a non-FDIC insured spot. Why that is any worse than putting tax-deferred money in a non-FDIC insured spot is beyond me. He keeps asking me: "How safe is Vanguard, really?" I'm all for VMSXX, but DH needs a bit more time to process the idea ... He has a couple friends who are both financially savvy and conservative. No doubt he will be consulting with them. Hopefully we won't end up with a mattress investment.

5 Responses to “Getting Things Done”

  1. merch Says:

    For the VMSXX, the yield is too low for my like. I might later CDs to get a better return at the same risk level. Just a thought.

    I think he might not undertand how Vanguard makes its money and the risk to vanguard. If there was a run on Vanguard, they would sell all the holdings of the funds and distribute that to the shareholders. Vanguard won't liquidate buildings or anything like that. They'll just sell the holdings of that fund and distribute what they get.

    As for Deisel, I know in Boston it's hard to find a gas station that sells it.

  2. MileHighGirl Says:

    I was also really intrigued by the Smart Car when it came out. However as much as I would love a small efficient and environmentally friendly car, it would have to get double that mileage. 2008 EPA 33city/40highway mpg. We have a 92 civic averaging 43mpg, with much more interior room. Just curious why you think it's would be a good fit for your family?

  3. dmontngrey Says:

    As a recent convert from VW (5 weeks and still feeling FREE)I would advise you to put a LOT of research and thought into that car. I mean more than a lot! Don't get me wrong, my first two cars were Jettas and I loved them both. I don't even feel I just parted with my car on a sour note, I just feel free and no longer blinded by my love for VWs. If you don't plan on keeping the car for the long haul, a VW might be a good choice for you. If you want a car that will last many years and be reliable, I wouldn't highly recommend it. You will have to accept astronomically high repair costs down the road - often double what other cars would cost. That's IF the problem can be diagnosed and IF you can find a shop to fix it. Even more expensive at the dealership where you most likely would be stuck going for repairs. Good luck with your decision!

  4. Sunshine Suz Says:

    Ok, I'm going to date myself and my computer knowledge....but how do you get the funds to BofA for the online CD...do you have to put info from your existing accounts at another bank OR already have accounts at BofA?

    Thanks for the info!

  5. scfr Says:

    MHG - We looked at the Civic (and the Corolla), but unfortunately their gas mileage now is not near what you are getting with yours (35 hwy). I don't know why that is, but I would guess it's because they have gotten much bigger? Unfortunately, the Civic NGV is not available here at this time, and wouldn't be a practical option for us right now since we are in an apartment and can't do the home-fueling thing. I think the SmartCar would be a good 2nd car for us, because we already own a Camry that we can use when it's the 2 of us plus the dog, or us plus passengers, or us making a Costco run. The SmartCar would be fine when it's just me going back & forth to work, or just the 2 of us going somewhere. I like the combination of the safety rating, gas mileage, and price.

    dmontngrey - Thanks for sharing your experiences with VWs. I personally think the Jetta TDI is quite expensive, but if DH is interested in it then I am willing to give it a look-see. Safety and gas mileage wise, it is good. (Finding diesel here is no problem.)

    SunshineSuz - I have only opened a couple CDs on-line, but they will usually give you an option of transferring your money from another account with the same bank, doing a bank to bank transfer, or mailing in a check. I ended up not opening the CD on-line ... I went in to my BofA branch to deposit some money to my account and check on funds availability (to see when I could transfer it to the CD) and they told me they had a in-branch promotional CD at 4.00% APY. They started that promotion just today, and it will be going on for 2 weeks. This is a Texas-only promotion, but I am guessing that they other BofA branches throughout the country are probably also doing promotions, because the branch manager told me they were doing it to lure customers from other banks who might be getting nervous because their banks are more shaky financially. I was really surprised, because BofA is not known for their stellar rates. I decided to just go ahead and open up the CD at the branch ... even tho the APY is 0.11% less, I started earning interest today, and 4.00% is nothing to turn my nose up at.

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