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Old 12-17-2013, 07:07 PM   #12961
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-20F when we got up this morning and the highs for the day were low single digits so I filled up the woodstove and hunkered in for the day. Did go out about 3pm to get the mail, check the propane level and make sure the car would start. All ok.

Made our HSA contributions for 2013 and sketched out our taxes and how much of a Roth conversion I can do and still stay in the 15% bracket. Still deciding how close I want to cut it in case something unexpected comes in or I get audited and pushed over the 15% bracket. If I go over I'll pay 41% between federal and state income taxes on any overage.
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Old 12-17-2013, 10:21 PM   #12962
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Made four pounds of chocolate fudge and four dozen chocolate chip cookies yesterday. All were loaded with pecans.

Today I mailed half to my dad and haven't touched any of the remaining goodies.

Dang this diet anyhow.
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Old 12-17-2013, 10:57 PM   #12963
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Does that take significantly longer? Or do you pump a vacuum into the cylinder and let it take however long it takes? I just wonder how long it takes to get all the oil through a tube thin enough to go in the dipstick hole.
With hot oil, and the MityVac pumped a few times, the oil gets sucked into the tall cylinder in a few minutes. Then you can pull the suction tube out, push a valve on the MityVac and direct the collected oil into a jug (through the tube) for eventual recycling.
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Old 12-18-2013, 08:25 AM   #12964
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So far, woke up then got up. That is always good start. Started a fire in the stove. Played string with the cat. While having breakfest watched the snow flit about in all direction in the wind, and the birds taking turns at the feeder.

Then watched DW head for her usual wednesday swim. Now fiddling with this forum and warching the snow swirl about. Soon will grab my skate bag and head of the skating rink.

Whew, and it is not even ten AM yet.
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Old 12-18-2013, 04:15 PM   #12965
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Did my usual morning 2-mile walk for the first time in a while, beautiful day and it felt great to be out there.

After breakfast, finished a small scrapbook album for my mother, and then finished wrapping and packing gifts. After lunch (leftover chicken curry), took them to the PO to mail. My LBYM sensibilities were disturbed since I had to ship them $$priority mail$$ (didn't get to shop and wrap last week as we were out of town with DFIL who had a stroke, so at least it wasn't just laziness).

Replaced the electronic igniter in the gas grill - many thanks to the helpful guy who posted a step-by-step video on YouTube. Made hotel reservations for Christmas visit to DH's family and plane reservations to go see my mother the following week.

Think I've done enough for the day...
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Old 12-18-2013, 07:24 PM   #12966
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Went to 3 post offices before I found one that was open. And I finished my third ice cream scoop - gifts to the girls at work.
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Old 12-18-2013, 08:07 PM   #12967
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Installed dishwasher and baseboards in the bedrooms for the guest cabin we're building. Nearly done and a good thing, first guests here next week!
Dishwasher install in a bedroom? Your guests must be heavy sleepers.
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Old 12-18-2013, 09:26 PM   #12968
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Had a realtor come in to see about giving us a value on the house. It was like talking to a politician. We kept telling him we needed his "best" guess at what he thought the place was worth......and just like all the politicians on tv he just kept going on about you never know what someone will offer. We have another coming on Friday, same person we went through when we bought the place so we think she is relaxed enough to just give us the answers to our questions. Very iffy on whether we can get enough so we can move back to the UK. Not a hardship though....we like the house and if the numbers don't work out we will just enjoy another couple of years here before we check into it again.
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Old 12-19-2013, 10:42 AM   #12969
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Had a realtor come in to see about giving us a value on the house. It was like talking to a politician. We kept telling him we needed his "best" guess at what he thought the place was worth......and just like all the politicians on tv he just kept going on about you never know what someone will offer. We have another coming on Friday, same person we went through when we bought the place so we think she is relaxed enough to just give us the answers to our questions. Very iffy on whether we can get enough so we can move back to the UK. Not a hardship though....we like the house and if the numbers don't work out we will just enjoy another couple of years here before we check into it again.
I have bught and sold several houses which I lived in. I never ever asked a realtor to give me a value, unless I had prior information.. Always hired an independent party to assess market value.

I learned from the trial lawyers: never ask a question unless you know what the answers is, or have a good understanding of the range of answers which are valid.

Once I had the info in hand, then would interview realtors to see who I wanted to hire to sell. Always required the realtor to provide a marketing plan and as part of that plan a proposed asking price. Most were clueless about marketing plan and highballed the value to get the listing.
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Old 12-19-2013, 11:47 AM   #12970
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Been off work recuperating from a minor surgery, aka "practicing retirement". Getting along well enough now to do some minor tasks around the house that I just didn’t seem to find the time for before. Spent the morning setting up my decades old, but still magnificent Bose Series III speakers to my “new” receiver that was purchased specifically because it has the capability of utilizing the Bose equalizer.

Awesome – first music played was a CD with some old Christmas music, Bing Crosby, etc. Second – Janis Joplin hits. What really struck me, and me realize how time sneaks by us at an amazing rate of speed – the last time those speakers had been powered up, the Internet wasn’t anywhere near mainstream yet. No emails, online shopping, or need for computer security software…

Ahhh – time to crank up the volume and sit back in my comfy chair!
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Old 12-19-2013, 11:51 AM   #12971
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ls99- Kind of agree. I was "hoping" that the guy would give me something better than he did. I do plan on the lady coming tomorrow to give me a good decent answer. We had used her when we bought this house and she was very upfront with us on her opinions of things. More "laid-back" if you will. Seems like the realtors are one or the other.....either laid-back or very pushy...nothing in the middle. Probably like car salesmen as well. One technique works better on some people and not the other. If she can give us a decent answer tomorrow I will call the other guy and tell him not to bother coming back on Saturday. Anybody I can't get a straight answer from isn't going to do us any good for the decision we have to make before then end of the year.
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Old 12-19-2013, 02:16 PM   #12972
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ls99- Kind of agree. I was "hoping" that the guy would give me something better than he did. I do plan on the lady coming tomorrow to give me a good decent answer. We had used her when we bought this house and she was very upfront with us on her opinions of things. More "laid-back" if you will. Seems like the realtors are one or the other.....either laid-back or very pushy...nothing in the middle. Probably like car salesmen as well. One technique works better on some people and not the other. If she can give us a decent answer tomorrow I will call the other guy and tell him not to bother coming back on Saturday. Anybody I can't get a straight answer from isn't going to do us any good for the decision we have to make before then end of the year.
House pricing is generally dependent on comparable sales in your area. A good realtor should provide you with a summary of sold and active listings and price per square foot data. Then you can add or subtract upgrades, problems, deficiencies, etc. to come up with a ballpark price.

On thing we do (I have bought and sold 10 houses in my life) is make a written list of pluses and minues about your house and look at that when working on an opening price. Always be prepared to knock off a few % from the asking price.

Realtors are in this game to make sales as that's how they get paid. Title companies handle the real stuff. You are really on your own when it comes to making a deal as the realtor just wants the deal to happen.
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Old 12-19-2013, 03:50 PM   #12973
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DW found a good deal on one-day ski tickets at one of the local ski areas and today was the best weather day between now and when they expired so we took our first ski day of the season. Conditions were ok. Real good where they had made snow but a little bony on the intermediate and expert trails that only had natural snow. Forecast is for snow or rain over the next couple days - I hope they get snow - they could use it to improve conditions before the Christmas holiday rush.
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Old 12-19-2013, 04:02 PM   #12974
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DW found a good deal on one-day ski tickets at one of the local ski areas and today was the best weather day between now and when they expired so we took our first ski day of the season. Conditions were ok. Real good where they had made snow but a little bony on the intermediate and expert trails that only had natural snow. Forecast is for sone or rain over the next couple days - I hope they get snow - they could use it to improve conditions before the Christmas holiday rush.
It must have been fun, even if not the best conditions. I got to ski in Colorado just before Thanksgiving. First time out west in over 10 years. Not much of the mountain was open, but the conditions were just wonderful. I'm hooked again. I'll be getting a season pass when I get moved out there for next winter.
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Old 12-19-2013, 04:34 PM   #12975
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House pricing is generally dependent on comparable sales in your area. A good realtor should provide you with a summary of sold and active listings and price per square foot data. Then you can add or subtract upgrades, problems, deficiencies, etc. to come up with a ballpark price.

On thing we do (I have bought and sold 10 houses in my life) is make a written list of pluses and minues about your house and look at that when working on an opening price. Always be prepared to knock off a few % from the asking price.

Realtors are in this game to make sales as that's how they get paid. Title companies handle the real stuff. You are really on your own when it comes to making a deal as the realtor just wants the deal to happen.
Problem for us is we have a wild card issue.....we have a great view.... what's that worth? No idea.
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Old 12-19-2013, 04:46 PM   #12976
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Problem for us is we have a wild card issue.....we have a great view.... what's that worth? No idea.
If a view is important in your area (like Carmel, California?), advertise it "with a great view" and add 5% over comps? Or 10%? Remember, the price you get is what someone is willing to pay. The main thing is what is the advertised price that will generate traffic?

The hotness/coldness of the market is another factor. Where we live now, houses are being bid on by multiple potential buyers. Comps go out the window when 5 bidders are 10% higher than your asking price.

In areas where nothing is selling, a view may not be much of a desirable feature that a potential buyer is willing to pay more for.
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Old 12-19-2013, 10:08 PM   #12977
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My first day of retirement. I walked to my old job, picked up the bike they bought me, got a coffee, rode home. Got a cool basket for my bike, weavers from Ghana support their village making bike baskets. Took a long nap with my animals and now just relaxing and contemplating a long night of reading since I have no work to go tomorrow!
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Old 12-19-2013, 10:31 PM   #12978
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My first day of retirement. I walked to my old job, picked up the bike they bought me, got a coffee, rode home. Got a cool basket for my bike, weavers from Ghana support their village making bike baskets. Took a long nap with my animals and now just relaxing and contemplating a long night of reading since I have no work to go tomorrow!
Congratulations, Linny! Sounds like a perfect day, and I suspect tomorrow will be even better.
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Old 12-20-2013, 08:46 AM   #12979
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Congratulations, Linny! Sounds like a perfect day, and I suspect tomorrow will be even better.
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Old 12-20-2013, 08:59 AM   #12980
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Problem for us is we have a wild card issue.....we have a great view.... what's that worth? No idea.
That and a bunch of other things may mean a lot to one buyer but irrelevant to another.

Things important to us were being at the end of the street (less traffic) natural gas heat (we like it warm and crank it up in the winter) and the fact that the view out back, while not great, isn't bad either and the fact that it's a flood plain means it won't be built on in our lifetimes. That was important.

All of those may mean nothing to someone else.
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