Ask Madison: Reader Mail Volume 5

Posted by Madison on June 30, 2011

Time for another round of reader mail. Let’s jump right in:

Have you heard any update on the mfs class action lawsuit you wrote about some time ago? no word in years…wondering what the disposition is. – Dan

I’ve been wondering too… but I haven’t heard a word on it yet! The FAQs don’t list anymore dates beyond the deadlines to submit claims last year. I’m wondering if one day we’ll just get a check in the mail… wishful thinking?

After I responded to Dan’s email, a few readers reported getting letters in the mail this week with the status of their claims. Be sure to check your mail!

How often do you usually wait between credit card apps? I did a 50k Citi AAdvantage bonus in April but am tempted to take advantage of either the Citi or Chase gift card offer too! – KF

I don’t really have a set amount of time. If the offer is good enough, I apply! The way I figure it, if I am not getting any application denials for too many recent inquiries, then I haven’t been applying for enough. Seriously though, it is a good gauge to see how far you can push the bonuses (as long as you aren’t going to be applying for a mortgage in the near future, in which case I’d be a little more cautious).

A few years ago, I used to pick out my favorite 10-20 offers and apply for them all on one day in one sitting. However, I’m a little more selective now that I have so many credit cards and just apply whenever I find one that I really want.

Reading the email of June 15, 2011 (Should We Move to a Smaller House?), we noticed the cost of $115/sq-ft. The list of expenses seems quite complete. What we were inquiring about is the cost for an architect. Is the cost of $115 include the fees of the architect as well as getting permits etc?

We would like to build our dream home and have even found a drawing of the house we would like to build. We feel we can find the land that suits us but our problem is finding the architect. What was the cost for the architect? – Claudio

The first house we built, the cost of the architect was $5,000. That was for a completely custom house, and the cost per square foot was much higher than $115.

In the next house we plan to build, if we build, we would use one of the builders plans, so the cost of the architect will be included in the the $115 per square foot.

I am a reader of your blog and am looking for a new stock broker to trade stocks with. What broker would you recommend? – Brian

Here’s a recent comparison that I did of online brokers.

My favorite broker is usually whoever is willing to give a sign up bonus for a new account. Without that criteria though, whenever I open accounts for family members, I do so at Scottrade.

I hope that helps!

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