Greatest DJs in the…

Posted by Jim on Mar 24th, 2008
Mar 24

Check out today’s installment of the comic Big Nate, made by Portland resident Lincoln Peirce. Pay close attention to the banner on the DJ’s table. Do those letters look familiar?

Big Nate 03-24-2008

Of course, there is no way this comic could take place in greater Portland area. In yesterday’s strip Teddy mentions that there is no more snow because it is seventy degrees and sunny out. The weather isn’t that nice yet, especially considering the snow we have coming this week.

Update: It just occurred to me that Lincoln Peirce put a WMPG reference in today’s comic because he is involved with the station in some way. The only Lincoln that I am aware of who is involved with WMPG is the host of one of my favorite shows, South by Southwest, which I’ve been listening to since I first moved to Portland in 2004. I did a bit of research an lo and behold, Lincoln the DJ and Lincoln the comic artist are one and the same! How awesome is that?

Realtor Expedition to Brunswick

Posted by Jim on Mar 22nd, 2008
Mar 22

Nissa and I have signed a buyers’ representation agreement with a Realtor and spent a couple hours in Brunswick this afternoon looking at four homes.  The four properties appeared good on paper, but only one of the four would we consider living in.  We’re not about to make an offer on it or anything; we’re also looking in South Portland and Westbrook and want to see what’s out there.  It is reassuring to view a home that we could see ourselves in for the next few years.  The Raltor will keep us updated on any Brunswick properties that come onto the market and fit our budget, plus go over what’s available in South Portland and Westbrook and e-mail us with some listings.  From there, Nissa and I will plan another trip to visit some potential purchases.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Posted by Jim on Mar 16th, 2008
Mar 16

Filmed a year ago, out side of Bull Feeney’s. Be sure to do your best Chris De Burgh impression and keep your eyes on the lady in red.

Science can Work for You

Posted by Jim on Mar 13th, 2008
Mar 13

Any scientific theory that has the caveat “requires time travel” is ok in my book.

Future Planning, the Home and Kids edition

Posted by Jim on Mar 12th, 2008
Mar 12

Nissa and I are still in the midst of purchasing our first home, dealing with mortgage brokers.  While looking at some financial information today, I found myself researching college savings plans.  We don’t even have plans for having children yet, but it already looks like we’re off to a great start for our future children’s college savings.  Maine is one of the best states to live in when it comes to saving for college.  State tax laws allow for a state tax deduction of up to $250 per beneficiary, no matter which state’s program we decide to use.  Plus, we aren’t limited to using just one state’s plan.   So, we could begin investing in Maryland’s College Investment Plan and take advantage of their low fees, low minimum contributions, and great funds managed by T. Rowe Price and count $250 per year towards our Maine state taxes.  At the same time, we can take advantage of Maine’s NextGen College Fund and reap the benefits of being an in-state resident by getting grants and matching contributions.  That’s like free money!  Take that Matthew Lesko!

There is a lot more great information out there about college savings.  Check out How Stuff Works’ guide to 529 Plans for a good overview.  Then use the wisdom of the folks at Kiplinger to find the best 529 Plan for your needs.

In other news, we met with a loan officer from Nissa’s credit union (Navy Federal) on Monday.  They offered us a great deal based on our current financial situation situation.  We don’t have enough money on hand to make a 20% down payment on they kind of house we want, but Navy Federal has some great 100% financing programs.  The money we had saved for a smaller down payment can now be used to pay some origination fees and points on the loan to get us a great interest rate (lower than my parents’ rate, I’ve discovered).  Plus, since Navy Federal is so large, they don’t require mortgage insurance!  That’s a savings of $135 a month right there.  If we were to get a loan for $180,000, we’d have a monthly mortgage payment (including taxes and home insurance) that is slightly higher than our current rent yet still within our budget.  That would get us a nice house that we’d actually own!  No more lying in bed grumbling that the heat isn’t on, we’d control it.  It would be ours.  We’re hoping to meet with a realtor Nissa knows sometime next week to begin searching for our home.