99 votes
Accepted

My tax refund is exactly $3000. Did I hit a cap?

One can overpay their state and federal taxes by tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Tax time is when it gets reconciled, a payment due or a refund. No cap either way, your $3000 is just ...
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95 votes

Why do sellers care about down payments?

They want to gauge the chance of a successful sale. There's nothing quite as frustrating when selling and moving to a new home as getting into escrow, doing all the paperwork, crossing off all the ...
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  • 23.8k
52 votes

Looking for a new job - how do I handle my landlord with apartment lease renewing?

Inquire with the landlord about switching to a month-to-month lease, meaning you wouldn't have to renew for an entire year. It's been a while since I was a renter but I recall most apartment leases I'...
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  • 551
38 votes
Accepted

I just paid off my car - should I release my Credit Union's lien on the car?

For practical purposes, you will need/want to remove the lien before you sell the car1, so unless you plan to run the car until it falls apart2, you will need to remove it at some point. The question ...
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  • 9,037
26 votes

My tax refund is exactly $3000. Did I hit a cap?

Is there some law I'm running into that is capping my tax return You're filing two returns, not one. Thus, the premise of your question is flawed. Just as importantly, the two tax returns don't ask ...
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  • 48.7k
21 votes

Paying $1000 a month to keep a car in New York City

The car has value, but it is still a depreciating asset. You're paying far more to rent a space to park the car than you are to own and drive it if you look beyond the initial term of your loan. You ...
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20 votes

Why do sellers care about down payments?

If the appraisal is less than the purchase price and the down payment is small, the bank might not approve the mortgage.
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  • 2,743
18 votes
Accepted

When buying a property without using a realtor as a buyers agent, can you build a discount of the buyer's agent commission into the contract?

I pulled it off. I did my own searching and so took a lot of load off my agent. As a result my agent agreed to work for 1% commission instead of the normal 3%. Got seller's agent to agree to take 4% ...
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  • 716
15 votes

When buying a property without using a realtor as a buyers agent, can you build a discount of the buyer's agent commission into the contract?

I am a realtor. When I am approached directly by a buyer, it's their choice to bring their own agent, come unrepresented, or buy through us via disclosed dual agency. With no buyer agent, my office ...
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15 votes

When buying a property without using a realtor as a buyers agent, can you build a discount of the buyer's agent commission into the contract?

See if you can find a buyer's agent who will represent you at an hourly rate, and refund the balance of the buying agent's commission. As I noted in a comment, I know of at least two agencies that ...
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  • 3,481
15 votes
Accepted

Is the beneficiary of life insurance responsible for the debt?

No you are not. Sorry about the goings on in your life that is certainly a lot of drama in addition to the loss of your mother. An advantage of having assets pass without going through probate is ...
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  • 74.9k
15 votes
Accepted

Broker charging 15% on leasing a no fee apartment in NYC. Can he do this?

If you used an outside broker to find the apartment, meaning a broker not affiliated with the landlord/management company, then they are allowed to list it as a No Fee apartment with a Collect Your ...
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  • 13.8k
14 votes
Accepted

Am I required to file taxes on an LLC that made no money?

LLC doesn't really mean anything to the IRS. Your business filing requirements depend on how your LLC is treated for tax purposes. If you have a single-member LLC, then it's not considered a separate ...
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  • 63.9k
14 votes
Accepted

What should I prepare for tax-wise when moving from one state to another?

There should be no difference in Federal taxes. You will have to file a federal W-4 with a new employer. You will want to do everything you can to make it clear to New York that you have moved. ...
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13 votes

My tax refund is exactly $3000. Did I hit a cap?

Roughly, about one in a thousand people will have a tax return in multiples of a thousand. If 100 million people/families file, there could be around 100,000 with a return that’s a multiple of 1,000. ...
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  • 37k
13 votes

I just paid off my car - should I release my Credit Union's lien on the car?

When I paid off the loan, I wanted to get the lender off the title. It streamlines the transfer of title when you are selling the car. Some answers have said that it can save you money on insurance. ...
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12 votes
Accepted

Is it better to trade a car in and save on taxes or sell a car to a private party?

This is a very easy question to answer. Take the value of the trade in ($10,000), add in the discount from sales tax that you will receive, ($800) compare that $10,800 benefit to what you could make ...
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12 votes

Looking for a new job - how do I handle my landlord with apartment lease renewing?

Read your lease. It may already have a provision that it switches to month to month automatically after the lease term expires. I've had a few leases like that in the (distant) past. If that's the ...
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  • 900
12 votes

I suspect an investment I made is run by a scam artist, what can I do?

Tell your $12.5k "goodbye". The probability of getting your money back is essentially zero. Explanation: The scammer set up the account. It is their account, not yours. They have the ...
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  • 943
11 votes

Paying $1000 a month to keep a car in New York City

I purchased a used (2011, low miles) sedan in early 2014 for ~28k, 9 months before moving to the city. I put 12k down including trade in and currently own 9k on the car (1.9% APR). It's a luxury ...
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  • 20.1k
11 votes

Ambulance Fees and Insurance

You need to understand why it was not covered. It's possible there's an error in the billing. This could be something as simple as a missing tax id number. Earlier this year claims codes changed ...
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  • 48.5k
10 votes

Paying $1000 a month to keep a car in New York City

Back when I was 25 and living near Kansas City, I would put 500-700 miles on my car almost every weekend traveling to other places like Omaha, St. Louis, Iowa City, occasionally Minneapolis, once to ...
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10 votes

When buying a property without using a realtor as a buyers agent, can you build a discount of the buyer's agent commission into the contract?

Well sure you can ask. You can ask for the sun, the moon, and the stars too. Whether they are willing to accommodate you depends on how the local real estate market is doing. In the US from 2007-2010, ...
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10 votes

Is the beneficiary of life insurance responsible for the debt?

You cannot inherit debts, and the only cases where life insurance can be used to pay the debts of the estate of the deceased are when a living beneficiary was not named on the policy. It's possible ...
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10 votes

Why do sellers care about down payments?

A personal story, previously shared in an answer to another question: For the last house I sold, the buyer was doing a no-money-down mortgage and had no money for a down payment. He was even ...
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9 votes

What does it mean to "get health insurance to avoid a tax penalty"?

This is part of the Affordable Care Act. Because of the ACA, everyone must have insurance, either through their employer or purchased through one of the marketplaces (i.e. personally purchased). Here ...
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  • 13.8k
9 votes

I just paid off my car - should I release my Credit Union's lien on the car?

A co-worker of mine paid off his car, got the lien release and then moved. During the move, he lost his copy of the letter. In the mean time, the place he purchased his car from had gone out of ...
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  • 1,214
9 votes

Do I have to put 20% down on a condo so that I don't have to live in it for 1 year before renting it out to tenants?

This is how it works in my experience regarding getting a mortgage: Owner occupied. If you put less than 20% down you have to get PMI. Rental. You are required to put 20% down. Not all lenders will ...
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9 votes
Accepted

Can a 20% down payment actually hurt you?

If you are offering 20% ($40k) down then does the bank/assessor only look for $160k value in the house? The appraiser is tasked with determining the current value of a property, your down payment ...
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  • 63.9k
8 votes
Accepted

Drive 100 miles per month for 3 years: the most affordable way

You'll have to run the numbers, but I would recommend either: 1) Get a used "beater" car, which has already lost most of its value. You'll be able to resell it for close to the same amount. And yes, ...
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  • 31.8k

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