Homeowner

Save TONS of Money on Replacement Vinyl Windows

I recently needed to replace all the windows in my 1950’s home in Alexandria, VA.  I decided I would explore every option to experience what consumers are up against when making this expensive and common upgrade. The results shocked me.

Conclusion: You could accidentally spend triple the amount on similar windows! This clip will explain:

 

I needed 30 windows, a number that surprised me. I did some searches and put together a list of 10 suppliers of windows in different categories.

  1. The media driven company.  In my case it was Thompson Creek.  For years I had heard this name through radio advertisements across multiple stations as well as radio personalities endorsing this company.  They made claims such as “windows built specifically for our local climate”. And so I took the bait and called.Answering the phone for the company was a representative that took my name and address but then proceeding into a long line of questioning.  “What window issues are you trying to solve”? What a weird question.  Umm, they are 60 years old…  “Who owns the house”?  “Will all the owners be present when the salesman arrives”?

    The day arrives, the salesman showed up with his mini window display and breaks out into a full on […]

By |October 2nd, 2015|Homeowner|

A Natural Gas BBQ Grill is a Thing of Beauty

When I purchased my first home and foreclosure I had a lot to learn.  Seriously, the trials and tribulations were astounding but once in the rear view, the feeling couldn’t be beat.  Luckily, there was no shortage of wise men (and women) around me offering advice from years of their own experience.  Most of the time I used it to solve construction problems such as layout, materials, contractors, etc.  Every once in a while we came up with a solution to a problem I didn’t even know I had yet.

July 4th rolls around and you’ve invited the neighbors to a nice little cookout.  Throw some burgers on the grill, a couple dogs maybe a few brats and some veggies.  Hmm, grill sounds funny. Meats not really cooking, missing that sizzle sound.  You’re out of propane and everyone’s looking at you, starving.  Now since you’ve missed your opportunity to have checked the tank beforehand or be clever enough to have a full spare on hand, you’re left with one option.  Tuck your tail between your legs and run off to the store where you better pray that 100 other jokers didn’t already fall prey to the same situation earlier.

Insert a natural […]

Tax Free Savings Account for Virginia First-Time Homebuyers

Coming up with the funds for a down payment and all the associated closing costs isnt easy, but Virginia has just released a new plan that offers some assistance. It’s called a First-Time Homebuyer Savings Plan and allows up to $50,000 to be set aside in an interest bearing account that will be exempt from Virginia state taxes indefinitely. The Feds will still take their fair share but the 2-5.75% (depending on income level) that VA would normally get is yours to keep free and clear.

In order to qualify at least one person involved in the home purchase must be a first time homebuyer. Each year you must indicate your FHSP account’s tax free status along with your taxes. Currently, there is no time limit on how long the account can exist. The account(s) can be a variety of mutual funds, CDs, stocks, bonds, money markets, insurance, even a regular savings account. You’re only limited by a $50k max contribution over the course of the plan. Total, the principal and interest can not exceed $150k.

Sounds great right? Two things to keep in mind. The funds must eventually be used to actually buy a house. The state will want you […]