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Re: Proactively replace water heater?

If you choose not to proactively replace your water heater, you may want to get one of these . I bought a 3 pack and put one in my water heater pan because I had the same concerns that you have. Six months later I had a leak that was immediately detected. Since my water heater is in the attic, the d...
by Luke Duke
Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Proactively replace water heater?
Replies: 53
Views: 5185

Re: New washing machine won't fit down basement steps.

One of these would make it much easier to lower the new machines.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss? ... tric+hoist
by Luke Duke
Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New washing machine won't fit down basement steps.
Replies: 32
Views: 2952

Re: Selling rental house with two owners

thisisatest wrote:I'm thinking the safest thing to do is to have 100% go to the daughter and then she can just transfer money over to the mom over time, under the gift limits. But of course whatever gains there are will be taxed higher with the daughter.


My thoughts as well.
by Luke Duke
Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling rental house with two owners
Replies: 4
Views: 657

Re: Projects when moving into a new (to us) home

Refinish any hardwood floors that need refinishing before you move in.
by Luke Duke
Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Projects when moving into a new (to us) home
Replies: 20
Views: 1569

Re: Suggest an infrared temperture gun

TnGuy wrote:And for a mere $1,600 you can attach one to your smart phone.


David


You can get a Flir One for $249.
http://flir.com/flirone/buy-us.cfm
by Luke Duke
Fri Mar 06, 2015 2:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suggest an infrared temperture gun
Replies: 21
Views: 1720

Re: Going to Austin, TX in March. What should we be doing?

Franklins BBQ is very good. If you decide to go there you should plan to arrive a few hours early to stand in the line down the street. Also I don't think its an 'Austin thing', but the first time I ever had a Kolache it was there, and they are pretty incredible. Theres also a really good local ban...
by Luke Duke
Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Going to Austin, TX in March. What should we be doing?
Replies: 24
Views: 1426

Re: Suggest an infrared temperture gun

There's nothing wrong with a cheap infrared temperature gun, you just need to understand how it works. You can't just point it at any surface at any distance and get an accurate temperature reading. Just about any device under $200 will probably have a fixed emissivity setting of ~.95-.97, which is ...
by Luke Duke
Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suggest an infrared temperture gun
Replies: 21
Views: 1720

Re: Should I shut off water in a vacant home in winter?

I have no experience with boilers either, but 60*F seems high for an unoccupied house. I would also get the owners to spring for a web-enabled thermostat so the home can be monitored remotely.
by Luke Duke
Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I shut off water in a vacant home in winter?
Replies: 15
Views: 1468

Re: What to do with 350K. Plop it in a 529?

niceguy7376 wrote:Remember that you cannot do much with 529 related to tax loss harvesting.


You can if you spread your money around in different states.
by Luke Duke
Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:11 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with 350K. Plop it in a 529?
Replies: 36
Views: 4071

Re: Looking for a DSLR that will allow me to get fairly seri

I agree about getting some fast primes. But watch out if you go too wide if you want to use them to take portraits. A wide angle lens can distort lines and angles (not good for portraits) and you'll have to get quite close to the subject. Yep http://digital-photography-school.com/wp-content/uploads...
by Luke Duke
Fri Feb 06, 2015 3:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for a DSLR that will allow me to get fairly serious.
Replies: 118
Views: 6527

Re: Real estate planning and a parent who lives overseas

The other idea that came up in discussion was for my wife to do a Quit Claim for his portion (or half) to herself and her brother. So my wifes mom would be half owner and wife and brother each 25%. How much was the house purchased for and how much is it worth. I'm guessing that your wife and her br...
by Luke Duke
Fri Feb 06, 2015 2:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real estate planning and a parent who lives overseas
Replies: 13
Views: 768

Re: Tomahawk Steak

I do a somewhat shortened "dry" version of this. I set one burner on my grill on low -- try to get the off-burner elevated rack temp to around 200-225. I cook the steak on this slowly - turning every 5 minutes until the internal temp is around 90-95 degrees. Then I sear each side over dir...
by Luke Duke
Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tomahawk Steak
Replies: 29
Views: 3517

Re: Ridiculous closing costs on cash deal?

Maybe if I go back to the same title company that issued the policy 7 years ago, it will be less expensive. In Texas, the cost of title insurance is set by the state according to the dales price. http://www.tdi.texas.gov/title/titlerates2014.html I would definitely go back to the same title company...
by Luke Duke
Mon Jan 12, 2015 5:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ridiculous closing costs on cash deal?
Replies: 15
Views: 2795

Re: Mom's retirement

That rent seems very low for a $500K house. Houses worth half that rent for close to the same amount in my neighborhood.
by Luke Duke
Mon Jan 12, 2015 4:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Mom's retirement
Replies: 15
Views: 1296

Re: What's in your car emergency kit?

* Small tire pump (12V of course, not a hand pump) Why "of course"? Small hand or foot pumps are cheaper, faster , lighter, smaller and more reliable than the electric ones. And if it breaks I can probably fix it. These are all important attributes for an emergency kit. I disagree with th...
by Luke Duke
Mon Jan 12, 2015 11:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's in your car emergency kit?
Replies: 52
Views: 4188

Re: Anyone prep for the PMP???

I took a Crosswinds class this week from Tony Johnson and I highly recommend it. If you can't get to a class, you can buy his material on Amazon.
by Luke Duke
Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone prep for the PMP???
Replies: 17
Views: 4028

Re: security camera outside away from a power source

Let's assume for a moment that you can get a camera functioning at the entrance and that the camera can record the license plate and a sufficiently clear picture of the driver to positively identify the trash dumpers. Will this actually get you anywhere with the local authorities? Will they actuall...
by Luke Duke
Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: security camera outside away from a power source
Replies: 18
Views: 1825

Re: FSA: how much do I fund?

Ok. So if I use $0 and am fired after 1 pay period i lose $106. But if I spend $406 in deductible payments that first week of January, the company will eat that $300 loss. Do I have that right? Yes. You could max out your FSA, have a medical procedure done on Jan 2, get reimbursed, quit your job an...
by Luke Duke
Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FSA: how much do I fund?
Replies: 16
Views: 819

Re: Donate or Sell AV Receiver

I would give it away. Surely you know someone with a kid in college or wants some music in the garage or back patio.
by Luke Duke
Tue Dec 09, 2014 5:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Donate or Sell AV Receiver
Replies: 11
Views: 933

Re: Holiday Meal Splurging (Wagyu beef)

It's pretty hard to beat a properly cooked Wagyu steak. For a large group I would prepare them one of two ways: 1. Cut them into individual steaks. Sous vide and quick sear. http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/03/how-to-sous-vide-steak.html 2. Keep the ribeye whole. Cook it on the lowest setting that yo...
by Luke Duke
Mon Dec 08, 2014 11:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Holiday Meal Splurging (Wagyu beef)
Replies: 17
Views: 1629

Re: How long do grilles last?

I would think Webers should last more than 8 years, but "beyond cleaning" suggests carbon build up and not a problem with the grill. Have you ever taken it apart and used cleaners and/or a power sprayer? JT This. Also for $300 you won't get a (new) grill that will last more than a few yea...
by Luke Duke
Mon Dec 08, 2014 10:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long do grilles last?
Replies: 26
Views: 2595

Re: Help with inheritance/gift

You should also consider maxing out your 401k in the year that you sell the stocks.
by Luke Duke
Thu Dec 04, 2014 1:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with inheritance/gift
Replies: 8
Views: 1735

Re: Strategically not paying medical bills for 90 days for a

I've gotten 20% off of the negotiated rate on two different occasions by waiting it out.
by Luke Duke
Tue Nov 25, 2014 4:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Strategically not paying medical bills for 90 days for a dis
Replies: 30
Views: 5358

Re: Hybrid electric water heaters

We currently have a gas water heater, the city gas charges us $150 a year to just have them as a service provider. When we purchase gas the charge us for fuel delivery which is $150 then the cost of the gas itself. If we don't need to purchase gas for the next year that's when they charge us the $1...
by Luke Duke
Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hybrid electric water heaters
Replies: 6
Views: 557

Re: What doyou splurge on?

Tools
Meat
by Luke Duke
Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you splurge on?
Replies: 237
Views: 25438

Re: Do freecyclers resell?

Jack FFR1846 wrote:Friday is trash day. I put the stuff out Saturday. If it's still there by Friday, the trash guy takes it.


I'll bet the neighbors love looking at your trash for a week.
by Luke Duke
Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do freecyclers resell?
Replies: 11
Views: 1989

Re: What were your biggest financial emergencies?

I've never unexpectedly needed cash in a hurry for an emergency. Credit cards have always sufficed.

However having cash on hand has come in handy in negotiating for discounts with craftspeople who do work at my house.
by Luke Duke
Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What were your biggest financial emergencies?
Replies: 39
Views: 6117

Re: Do freecyclers resell?

Ged wrote:
livesoft wrote:I am always happy when somebody can find economic value in these cast-offs.


Exactly. I actually like it when the pickers dig through the trash during bulk pickup week. My stuff gets either reused or recycled and I don't have to mess with it.
by Luke Duke
Thu Nov 20, 2014 5:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do freecyclers resell?
Replies: 11
Views: 1989

Re: Poll: How much $ for childcare?

The poll is pretty worthless. The price of daycare varies a great amount depending on where you live. It can also vary greatly in a fairly small area too. I have a friend that spends $1200 mo for one kid at a fancy place where every teacher has a 4yr degree and several have masters. There are iPads ...
by Luke Duke
Thu Nov 20, 2014 5:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: How much $ for childcare?
Replies: 20
Views: 2601

Re: Could you rent out your house?

Maybe I am too cynical but something just doesn't sound quite right about this. Why would anyone pay $1,000 a night to stay in your house? A decent sized house can easily sleep 10 people. You would need 3 hotel rooms to do the same. For an even this size, 3 rooms would probably cost $1000/night. Th...
by Luke Duke
Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Should I] rent out [my] house [for a 3-day event]?
Replies: 68
Views: 7242

Re: Help! Need Liquid Cash!

Or this could be an option:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=146234
by Luke Duke
Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help! Need Liquid Cash!
Replies: 29
Views: 2805

Re: Help! Need Liquid Cash!

The most obvious is to make the minimum payment on the CC bills and not to pay in full. This. Even if you have an interest rate of 24% a balance of $2K will only run you $40/mo in interest. Hardly the end of the world. If it's an AMEX (Why would you charge an amount that you couldn't pay in full on...
by Luke Duke
Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help! Need Liquid Cash!
Replies: 29
Views: 2805

Re: 10y - Plan Review

I agree about the insurance. If you and your wife are in good health you should be able to find some 20yr term policies for a pretty reasonable price.
by Luke Duke
Fri Nov 14, 2014 12:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 10y - Plan Review
Replies: 17
Views: 1409

Re: I have seen the enemy and it is me. Reluctance to inves

As others have said, the fact that you have a pension with a COLA which covers your expenses is a big plus. This gives you a lot of freedom to actually take on more risk with the $1.3 million available to invest. The fact that you mention that not being able to pass along the pension to heirs tells...
by Luke Duke
Thu Nov 06, 2014 4:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I have seen the enemy and it is me. Reluctance to invest
Replies: 29
Views: 3509

Re: What To Do With $85K Inheritance?

If you want more rentals, I would use the money for down payments on 2-3 more suitable properties.
If you don't want more rentals, I would get rid of your PMI, pay down rental #2 and refinance it to an ARM or whatever else has the lowest interest rate and have it paid off in 3 yrs.
by Luke Duke
Thu Nov 06, 2014 4:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What To Do With $85K Inheritance?
Replies: 46
Views: 2960

Re: Money saved by buying a hybrid or electric car?

Can you get 3 car seats in any of these EVs?
by Luke Duke
Tue Nov 04, 2014 12:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Money saved by buying a hybrid or electric car?
Replies: 81
Views: 7068

Re: Automatic shutoff for water leaks?

I have these and they work. And how! Loud screetching alarm. I paid less than shown here; you might want to shop around. http://www.amazon.com/Zircon-Leak-Alert-Electronic-Batteries/dp/B002Q8GRPG/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1414952722&sr=8-2&keywords=leak+detector I have these and they work ...
by Luke Duke
Mon Nov 03, 2014 3:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Automatic shutoff for water leaks?
Replies: 4
Views: 942

Re: Money saved by buying a hybrid or electric car?

dbr wrote:This family spends so little on gasoline that fuel economy in what we drive is utterly irrelevant.


Thank you for your contribution to the thread.
by Luke Duke
Mon Nov 03, 2014 3:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Money saved by buying a hybrid or electric car?
Replies: 81
Views: 7068

Re: Brother-in-law w/ CC Debt

Uncle Pennybags wrote:The OP's brother-in-law has been punished with a 500 FICO; it must have been 800 to get a $20+K unsecured credit line.


LOL. I had more available credit than that in the 90's while in college with no credit history (other than credit cards)
by Luke Duke
Fri Oct 31, 2014 2:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Brother-in-law w/ CC Debt
Replies: 40
Views: 4702

Re: Electric Water Heater

I could go with Lowe's which has Whirlpool (I think it was a 12 year warranty) and would cost about $1000-$1100 (they said higher installation cost because 80 gallons requires 2 installers). Don't get a Whirlpool from Lowe's. http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=140023 we want t...
by Luke Duke
Tue Oct 28, 2014 4:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric Water Heater
Replies: 14
Views: 1039

Re: Only paying for DirecTV part of the year

You can take your satellite box from your summer home to your winter home and use it there. You won't have locals, but you can probably use an antenna for those.
by Luke Duke
Fri Oct 17, 2014 10:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Only paying for DirecTV part of the year
Replies: 3
Views: 533

Re: Splurge vacation recovery--Hawaii or?

Go somewhere you haven't been. Have you been to Costa Rica or Belize? The official language in Belize is English, if that matters to you.
by Luke Duke
Tue Oct 07, 2014 3:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Splurge vacation recovery--Hawaii or?
Replies: 30
Views: 3221

Re: Company stock match, good deal?

I'm guessing that you can sell the shares at anytime. If you sell them before the lock is over then the discount becomes taxable income.

My wife's company offers a 15% discount with a 2yr lock. We plan to sell immediately and take the penalty.
by Luke Duke
Tue Oct 07, 2014 1:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Company stock match, good deal?
Replies: 18
Views: 1270

Re: Cash In Credit Card Points? Or Keep Accumulating?

I let them accumulate and I usually buy something stupid on Amazon that I couldn't really justify to myself if it weren't "free" money. Next on the list is a pellet gun.
by Luke Duke
Mon Oct 06, 2014 12:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash In Credit Card Points? Or Keep Accumulating?
Replies: 28
Views: 2722

Re: Cast Iron Skillet Cooking

Cast iron skillets are great. The only problem (for me anyways) with buying a new one today is that they are all pre-seasoned. I would prefer to season my own so that I know exactly what it was seasoned with. Can you even purchase a non-seasoned cast iron skillet anymore? You can strip the seasonin...
by Luke Duke
Mon Sep 29, 2014 11:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cast Iron Skillet Cooking
Replies: 112
Views: 14755

Re: Cast Iron Skillet Cooking

Kersten wrote:Where can you purchase one of these for $15.00?


http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00008GKDJ/
by Luke Duke
Fri Sep 26, 2014 1:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cast Iron Skillet Cooking
Replies: 112
Views: 14755

Re: Need Investment Help (24 y/o, 100k/yr salary)

There is one action you should immediately take now. Increase your pre-tax 401k contributions to the maximum allowed so you have a chance to put in $17,500 this year . Do the same for subsequent years. To whatever degree this leaves you with not enough take-home pay, make up for this by taking mone...
by Luke Duke
Thu Sep 25, 2014 9:27 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: XXXXX
Replies: 6
Views: 1307

Re: Consulting fees: non working travel time

50% is what I have seen.
by Luke Duke
Mon Sep 22, 2014 3:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Consulting fees: non working travel time
Replies: 36
Views: 2766

Re: Should I buy another fridge or freezer? Or neither?

I have 2 refrigerator/freezers and a chest freezer. They are all full. If you get an extra freezer I would strongly recommend getting an upright. It is a pain to get stuff that migrates to the bottom of a chest freezer. It is also pretty easy to forget you have stuff when it is covered by 2ft of fro...
by Luke Duke
Fri Sep 19, 2014 1:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I buy another fridge or freezer? Or neither?
Replies: 16
Views: 1091
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