Monday, May 22, 2006

Miscellaneous updates

I am feeling like an idiot lately. Not only did I get a $12 fee from my bank for having too many transfers out of my savings account last month, but I forgot to pay my credit card bill online so my 1-day late payment cost me a fine of $39! So much for my eagle-eyed awareness of my own finances! I guess it's like not seeing the forest for the trees-- I'm so focused in on certain things that I'm forgetting about others.

But here's one thing that is a slight relief: my mortgage rate is locked in. I ended up with a rate of 5.875% for a 30-year fixed. I'll be paying 2 points to get this rate-- without paying points it would have been 6.5%. If I stay in my condo for at least 3 and a half years, paying the points will save me money. I doubt rates will go down enough that I'd be likely to refinance during that period, and I expect to stay put for awhile, so I think this was the right decision. My rate is locked for 90 days, which I hope will be more than enough to cover any potential last-minute construction delays.
I had to sigh a bit when I told my mortgage broker to go ahead with the lock-- when I was getting rate quotes about 7 or 8 months ago, I could have gotten a rate under 5% (with a payment of 2 or 3 points). My monthly costs now will work out to almost $200 more than I was looking at back then, which is a real bummer. But I should have another annual raise coming through soon, and as long as I stay close to my monthly expense budget, I should still be fine. My goal is to save a few hundred dollars each month on average-- that is, in relation to my regular take-home pay as it is now: I'll adjust my witholding to make up for the extra tax deduction I'll have on the mortgage interest, but I'm kind of pretending that is not part of the monthly equation! I also don't factor in my yearly bonus, as the amount can change and I look at that as bonus savings that will go straight into investments, not just extra spending money.

One other recent major change is that I'm closing my savings account with Presidential Online-- I'll need that money for the closing costs on the condo. I could have left a small amount in that account but it didn't seem worthwhile. Also, I searched everywhere on their website and they don't seem to have any option to set up external transfers. (I know I missed seeing that option when I first looked at E*Trade and Chase, but this time I really think it's not there!) After the dust settles with the condo I'll see what cash I have left and look into opening an account with ING or HSBC.

Speaking of cash, boy am I glad I cashed out those mutual funds when I did! My account is down about 8% in the past week or so (was about $15,000, currently $13,700) so I was lucky to have sold off about half my portfolio before that happened.

As for my missing blogroll, that is fed from, which seems to be down at the moment, but hopefully it will reappear soon.

That's today's news!


Anonymous said...

Call your credit card company- if this is the first time (or one of the few times) you've been late with a payment, they will often waive the fee. Sugar coat it and play the 'oops i lost track of time card'.
Good luck!

Jocular Jarhead said...

Definitely call your card company. I bet you can dazzle them if you have a good payment record. Use your "vacation" as an excuse. If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, then baffle them with...

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I'd check your other cards. They can easily bump your rate to default rate(30%+) for failing to pay even once. Can be dangerous if you were doing 0% BTs.

Single Ma said...

Wow, lots of great news!! Well, except for the bank fees. I'm sure you can get the late one waived with a quick phone call.

Congrats on the rate lock. Although a little higher than what it would have been 7 months ago, it's still a great rate.

So when does the count down begin? ;-)

Anonymous said...

Mind sharing, which lender you decided to go with?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, call your credit company to forgive the late fee - I did this myself last year. I heard that some companies would allow you to do this once every 12 months.

Natalie said...

We use ING and we're happy with it. The interest rate keeps getting better.

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