flexagon: (Default)
We closed on our refinance yesterday morning -- my second closing ever. I first wrote to the mortgage broker on 2/23, making it less than three weeks from start to finish, and it was also nearly stress-free, because if anything had fallen through, we'd've just continued as before. Here is

But, thanks to Slummerville homes holding onto their value over the last 5 years, we won big. We had 25 years to go on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage; now we have a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage with almost a full percentage point lower interest and (finally!) no escrowing of taxes. Here is what it took, for the curious:
  1. Email and then phone call with the broker, give him salary information and stuff over the phone
  2. Receive pdfs via email for loan application; sign and fax back
  3. Stay home one morning for appraiser to walk through the house (about a 20 minute process, way less thorough than a real inspection)
  4. Email with lawyers, give them insurance information via email
  5. Dig up official Discharge of Mortgage papers from when we paid off the smaller mortgage in 2007 and our bad, bad bank didn't file it as closed with the Registry of Deeds
  6. Get a bank check
  7. Get a Zipcar, drive to closing
  8. ...Profit!

Counting signatures during closing remains a fun game: this time I only had to sign 39 times, unlike the last time when I had to sign 47 times, but this time we had to sign everything with our middle initials included. Weird! But I have to say, I'm thrilled overall. I feel like we did something really productive, worked together well, and ohhhhhh yeah, we are saving about $100K over the remaining life of the loan.

Thanks again to [livejournal.com profile] motyl, who said "this is a great time to refinance, you know" over dinner a few weeks back. :)
flexagon: (Default)
My Friday started with staying home for a condo appraisal. On [livejournal.com profile] motyl's advice we've been looking into refinancing, and, um, YEAH... for the cost of about $2500 we will be able to drop our interest rate almost a full percentage point (from 5.75% to 4.875%), switch from a 30-year term to a 15-year term, and stop having our taxes escrowed. All of these are things we want, but the first one is the craziest: it saves us more than $100K over the remaining life of the loan. Nicest of all, I am not finding this stressful; it's only paperwork, and doesn't determine big things like whether we get to live here. :-)

We don't have final approval yet, but the appraiser thought that we would have no trouble. Our place needs to be worth some percentage more than the loan amount in order for us to get the new loan, so here is a new reason to pay down mortgages faster than required, something I hadn't been aware of before: you'll have a lower principal balance, which makes it that much easier to refinance when housing prices are depressed.

Right now things are strange -- interest rates are low, but only really safe loans are getting approved at all. Luckily, our house seems to have retained its value from 5 years ago (though it maybe hasn't gone up to speak of, that's not of concern right now), and it turns out [livejournal.com profile] heisenbug now has the highest credit score I've ever heard of. High enough that I looked up the maximum possible score... which is 850. Keep working, bug!

What else happened yesterday? I did a great handstand when I wasn't expecting to. I got some stuff done at work that I wasn't expecting to, given my sleepiness level. I got some letters notarized and delivered and I got to play with the notarization stamp (very satisfying; I may need to become a notary public myself just so I can have one of those). I went out to dinner by myself, which is something I actually like very much although I complained about missing my date with [livejournal.com profile] heisenbug. I got to listen to a vice president speak at work, which is good because I hadn't met him before, although I think there's some chance that he may be a mobster.
flexagon: (Default)
"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."
~ R. Buckminster Fuller, Critical Path

Life is complex: it has both real and imaginary components.

I went in to work today (the only day this week I went in to work). What I didn't get done is my goals for this quarter: they are hopeless. What I did get done that was really good: lots of financial chores. One was following up from yesterday's bank business and the other was dealing with 401(k)s at Zillian (I can start contributing!) and my last company (the company matching is done, so I can roll it over). Heads up, all youse who have 401(k)s, the limit in 2008 is still 15,500 -- it is NOT going up this year. The IRS apparently announced this in October and caught a lot of people by surprise, and most of the Internet is still wrong about it.

(This personal finance PSA brought to you by the letters I, R and S.)

Tomorrow I'm flying to Seattle, which I still haven't really internalized. I bought two tubes of lipstick just because they smelled good, and went to kiva.org to try (again) to catch up on my loans through them. They're still limiting each loan to $25, which kind of puts the kibosh on that. For the moment, when they're in that situation I'm just going to donate the money, I think. I gave a $50 Kiva gift certificate to my mom for Christmas... so, oh well, I hope she finds two entrepreneurs she likes.
flexagon: (putt putt putt)
Ah, jobs and stuff. Things have not been so good at work, things have not been so fun at the gym, I am the tired. I will not get good at gym things if I do not do them each day, and I can not do them each day... great, I will just suck some more, and I will write gross code that fits all the dumb rules.

And, you vex me, my bank. I do not need a more safe way to get on your page. It was quite safe. It is now too safe. It may be safe from ME by now.

I'll sleep now, then talk to Flea ere work, when the sun is back up. "Flea", I will say, "thank you but do not send so much snail mail, it kills all the trees." "Flea, why do you not take my cash on the same day each month?" " Flea, what should I do now with the plan to save cash up when I am old?" "Flea, why are you so damn far from my house? If I get rich will you make house calls?" I think it is nice to have a flea, but it is bad to have to take the train way out to see it. If you get a flea of your own, find a close one. Or at least learn to knit so that you can knit on the train.

There's not a good word for the way I feel, though I have felt it quite a lot. It feels like, ugh, just go, do the next thing, so that one day when things are back to good that thing will have been done. Putt putt putt. I still feel tres bad that I killed a plant last week, yes, at least one of you knows the one. It froze to death. I may have teared up a bit. :_( Last year I brought it in and put lights on it... this year I cut it up and put it in a lawn bag, and fed some of its dirt to plant 2. It feels like a sign... a bad one. One less thing to take care of. Life cuts its own self back to what can be done, which is good in a way, but damn harsh for the plant and things like it.

I am glad my cat is loud and tells me when she needs me. You be that way too, 'kay?
flexagon: (Default)
Out at lunch with the new intern, a few of us ended up trading stories of first jobs. I said I worked at Burger King, and this elicited "REALLY?" and quite a lot of laughter from one of my newer co-workers. Sure, when I was a teenager I did, and it was a good first job in a lot of ways. People nodded, and this coworker was shocked to find that most of us around the table had had some kind of food-service or blue-collar job when we were teenagers. "So you guys... you weren't working these jobs because you needed the money, did you, it's more like a cultural thing?"

Well, we got some allowance, but for real spending money to buy our own stuff we needed the jobs, sure. Why, what was your first job, we asked?

It's a totally different culture, he said. Yeah, I didn't say, it's called being rich.

Someone said something about feeling sorry for kids who have too much handed to them. I might have nodded, but I didn't mean it. I know a few people who have grown up with money, and it really hasn't messed them up. Hello, bitter jealousy... ugh... it's the offhanded assumption that everyone has money that tends to get to me.


flexagon: (Default)

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