No. of Recommendations: 4
Wow, I almost feel dirty will all the details of my life you've collected. :-)

Thanks very much for the analysis. I'm continually impressed by the level of helpfulness shown around here by many. I'm more cautious than I was originally, however, because I got hooked up with a (to remain nameless) mortgage broker through these boards who was at best worthless and at worst dishonest with me. It was a matter of great stress for me, especially considering it was my first home purchase. After severing ties, however, the mortgage process went amazingly smoothly and quickly with another broker. That's neither here nor there for this discussion, of course.

To answer a few questions:

- We did, in fact, buy the house with the 80/20. We're at a 5.625% rate on the first mortgage for seven years. We don't anticipate being in the place more than about 5 years. We did get the interest-only option on both mortgages at no charge, but that's for emergencies only and we've had no problem at all paying the full P&I (plus a little more) each month.

- Both my wife's and my debt came from years of idiotic spending caused by ignorance of the impact of misused revolving credit. Neither of us use our cards anymore and haven't for quite some time. The reduction in our collective balances has come from a combination of a timely bonus and aggressive payment while not using the card. A 3.99% rate doesn't hurt, either. She actually has quite good credit now - mid-700s. She's asked two or three times this year to have her rate lowered and got no results. We tried to do the balance transfer game with her but the one new card she opened only allowed her $3500 in credit line and wouldn't increase to accomodate more of the large balance we wanted to move. Of course, you don't find that out until you officially open the card in your name. $3500 at a good rate doesn't help a whole lot, so we're a little gun-shy about opening yet another card if we won't be able to transfer the entire remaining balance. That's why I considered putting it on my card since I have plenty of room.

- The windfall I mentioned is going to happen (woohoo!) but it will be in two ~$11k installments and one ~$7k installment. The first should be at the end of this month with the other two coming approx 90 days apart after that. I'm still trying to figure out the car. I had decided to drive the old Honda for a couple more years but it's been giving me lots of problems recently and I'm looking at buying a new (to me) car for approx $15-$17k. The Accord (130k miles) is looking at approx $2k in repairs right now.

- $5k from the first payment from the windfall is already earmarked for our "emergency fund." The would bring it to $8k, which is more than sufficient for 3+ months. I also have $300/month direct deposited to it from my employer which will continue indefinitely. I've also considered putting that $300/month in a Roth IRA. My 401(k) is at the max matched by my employer - 6%. The other $6k from the 'fall is still up in the air. It would possibly be used as downpayment on the car if necessary. My credit union is offering me a rate of right at 5% for the loan, which I've found is considerably lower than most commercial banks.

- The rest of the windfall has not been allocated. We need some bathroom help (the "unexpected house expense" that everyone expects) that will probably cost us $3k-$4k. Other than that, we're looking into paying off some of her (or my) debt with the second payment. Some of the third, smaller payment may go into a Europe trip in the Spring. We're going to be having a kid late next year and want to finally make it across the pond before we're unable to do it. Financially smart? Probably not. But for two people that haven't had a vacation of more than two or three days in the past several years, it's necessary.

There. More details for you. :-)

Thanks again..

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