Archive for October 2004

Fondue!

October 30, 2004

Fondue Pot

Had a fondue party last night! The party was a smashing success, in the relaxing sitting around talking for a few hourse sense. It was nearly perfect. It was a bit hot in my house, and I had to split the pots across different electrical circuits to keep the power on. :-)

We borrowed 1 and purchased 3 of the pot pictured above for about $20 a piece.

I was afraid that we were going to have an accident and spill hot oil on somebody. Fortunately I found that the electical cords for these pots are held on by a magnet, so it’s unlikely you would yank a pot off a table by pulling the cord if you are careful. Like don’t let the cord wrap around the legs of the pot, etc.

Advertisements

Today’s Woot

October 29, 2004

Oh I want this. Bad. But I’m only willing to pay $75.

Fedora

October 29, 2004

In past months the amount of community complaining at Fedora has significantly decreased, I think, due in large part to Red Hat making a concerted effort to talk to engage the community.

I’ve got a quite a bit of respect for Seth Vidal. Seth has generally been among more vocal critics, but stuck it out and kept working on his volunteer project. He just wrote up a pretty fair piece assessing where things stand at Fedora, from the community perspective.

Interest Only vs. 80-15-5

October 28, 2004

Update: Don’t read this. It’s drivel.

A coworker and I had a long discussion today. He’s buying a house and has been crunching numbers trying to make sure he gets the best deal on his loan. It was a fascinating exercise to try to figure out how the 80-15-5 technique would work with a pair interest only loans.

First, a little background. An interest only loan works like a savings account in reverse. A lender gives you a boatload of money. You pay them interest on that money for an agreed upon period of time. At the end of that period of time you have to give all the money back. To pay down the loan over time you overpay your payment. You are on your own to figure out how much extra to pay. In my loan program, my payment goes down every year as I pay down principal. Cool.

Second, a little more background. Most conventional loans require the borowwer to put down 20% of the loan value in cash. If the borrower doesn’t, that equity has to be insured. Mortgage insurance insures the loan for the benefit of the lender, in case the borrower defaults. The insurance only covers 20-30% of the loan value, but if paid, it increases the odds that the bank will not lose money when the propery is sold following foreclosure. Once the borrower has 20% equity in the home they purchased, the mortage insurance can be removed.

Mortgage insurance isn’t free. It’s paid for by the borowwer. It could easily add $50 a month to a loan payment. So often borrowers will go to extraordinary lengths to avoid having to pay it.

80-15-5 is a plan where a borrower takes out two mortgages on a house. The first is for 80% of the loan. The second is for 15% of the loan; it covers the down payment of the first mortage. The last 5% is the down payment the buyer must pay.

On a 80-15-5 the buyer generally works to pay the second mortage down as quickly as possible.

So a buyer unable or unwilling to put down 20% for a loan can choose to pay for mortgage insurance or a first and second mortgage at the same time. The second mortgage tends to be more expensive, maybe by a couple percent, and will have a shorter term, further increasing the payment.

Throwing interest only loans at the problem makes for some interesting mathematics. Would an interest only loan be best as just a 95% loan + PMI? Or should you go ahead and split it into a first and second mortgage? If you did split the mortgage? What’s the best way to pay it down and pull your payment down?

In an hour we couldn’t figure it all out, but it was an interesting discussion.

Cable

October 27, 2004

I just turned satellite TV back on. I hate being confined to network programming, because a lot of it is, in my opinion, trash. To save a couple of bucks I switched to this plan. It’s a surprise for my wife. So, for the next hour or so, don’t tell her. :-)

Hardware Failure

October 26, 2004

Never heard of hardware failing this way.

Jeff Licquia on The Invisible Candidate

October 25, 2004

Jeff Licquia describes why he will vote for Bayh instead of the invisible republican candidate. Sick thing is, even though I disagree, and will vote for the Republican, I can’t remember the candidate’s name. I blush.