Sunday, January 17, 2010

Is That Murphy Camped Out on My Porch?

My newly acquired car payment is $160.00 per month.

On Saturday, my mortgage company recalculated my property tax and insurance payments for the year, and let me know that my payments for 2010 will be going up by $162.00 beginning in February.

Same old income, but now I have to come up with an additional $322 per month in regular expenses.

OUCH!

The only bit of good news is that my granddaughter's living expenses at college have reduced since her hours have increased at her parttime job, so I'll be saving $125 a month there.

On the job, collective bargaining has begun. I am at the top of the pay scale and have been for some time, so I usually don't get a monthly increase. Instead, there's a lump sum "bonus" instead. That's OK by me, but this year, health benefits are on the table. Mine will be covered, but I also cover my youngest daughter and will until she's 21. It looks like I may have to contribute some amount per month to keep her covered, beginning in April.

I was sort of hoping that 2010 would be better financially than 2009. Maybe it will, but first I have to get Murphy gone from my life.

12 comments:

Sharon said...

Grace,
Challenge your mortgage company on this one. I actually pay my insurance and taxes separately, and when my insurance bill went up, I called. They ended up lowering it because of the reassessed property values. You may actually pay less! It's worth a call, anyway! :)

MasterPo said...

I think you either mis-stated the events or don't understand them.

Your mortgage company doesn't "recalculate" your taxes and insurance. The county/city/state you live in assesses your property for taxation. And your insurance company sets the premiums.

Your mortgage company does however make an estimation of how much escrow funds will be needed that year to pay the tax and insurance.

If your balance plust current coupon payments don't allocate enough for escrow they can and will raise the escrow portion of your coupon to cover it (or give you the option to make a 1-time deposit for escrow for the year).

But they aren't charging you anything more.

Grace. said...

So, Po--I think you and I are saying exactly the same thing. I'm not quite sure why "recalculate" is the incorrect word. But it is true that it is the escrow account that is being adjusted.

Sharon--I live in a state that did a property tax limitation several years ago a la California with similar, unfortunate results. There's nothing to challenge since property taxes are being charged on a tax-limited base rate that relates back to my 1993 purchase price. I may have "lost" money on my house recently, but it is worth significantly more than my purchase price.

Anonymous said...

Grace--I do not mean to be harsh or disrespectful, but a new car payment and increased property taxes and insurance are not, in my opinion, examples of Murphy. Unlike "bad luck" type Murphy events (car breakdowns, medical emergencies etc.) a new car payment was a conscious decision you made and an increase in taxes and insurance cannot have been a total surprise (was there no discussion of property tax increases in your local paper?) In all the years I've owned real property the cost of homeowners insurance has ALWAYS gone up each year--sometimes by a small amount and sometimes by a substantial amount. I think that, going foward, planning for these sorts of inevitable increases needs to be part of the calculation BEFORE you decide to make a big purchase like a new car. I do agree with Sharon though--call your insurance company and threaten (mildly) to take your business elsewhere. It cannot hurt.

Grace. said...

Anon--you are right, of course. There's the "I shoulda seen it coming" Murphy and the "Oh S**t" Murphy. Right now, I'm whining about the former.

Anonymous said...

Next year you can plan for it. Maybe then you'll be pleasantly surprised instead of unpleasantly!

MasterPo said...

ps- I can assure you the property tax portion of your escrow will always go up. :-((

Shevy said...

Yes, Anon, but Grace didn't just decide one fine Tuesday that she should get a new van. The old one died at the beginning of December. And she didn't buy a new van, just new-to-her. It was a measured response to a Murphy event.

Yes, perhaps she "should have seen it coming", given that the previous vehicle was a 1999 model but that's only 10 years old. That's not *so* old.

Shevy said...

Mah zeh, ha "anonymous post" b'ivrit? [What is this anonymous post in Hebrew?]

In what world did a foreign language ad for a "romantic, intimate room with room service included" belong on Grace's blog?

What possible connection does it have to the issue of Grace's increased expenses?

(rolls eyes)

Grace. said...

So that's what that comment was? I erased it. I am getting way too much spam in my comments but I don't want to have to moderate all the comments. Nice to have a reader who knows Hebrew!

Petunia said...

I know I am chiming in just as you post you are leaving for Paris, but I an wondering why your monthly impound account just took such a big jump.

You state that Washington property tax structure is similar to California's. Being a Californian, I know that our property tax base can increase no more than 2% per year (under Prop 13) and additionally, must be lowered to reflect declining property values (Prop 8). I have enjoyed substantially lowered property tax bills in the last 2 years.

If Washington's property tax structure is similar, why are your property taxes going up?

Homeowner's insurance typically rises a bit each year, but not $1920 worth.

I just don't get it. Are you satisifed that the mortgagor's calculations are correct?

Grace. said...

It was my homeowners that took a massive jump after the garage fire in late 2008. My carrier cancelled me and it took forever to get another carrier. The price more than doubled, but since this all happened the first of last year, I made a lump sum payment into my escrow account. This year, it's being amortized over 12 months, which accounts for the jump. My property taxes went up a small amount--less than $200.