Search found 355 matches

by Luke Duke
Mon Jul 20, 2015 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for gas grill
Replies: 63
Views: 4939

Re: Recommendations for gas grill

Weber.

Check Craigslist.
by Luke Duke
Mon Jul 20, 2015 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Baby on the way...yay! Big ticket items, and what do you REALLY need?
Replies: 82
Views: 4523

Re: Baby on the way...yay! Big ticket items, and what do you REALLY need?

We used cloth diapers with our oldest for about a year. Then we went on vacation for about a week and used disposables, since using cloth diapers would have been very inconvenient while we were traveling. We're on child #3 now and we haven't used a cloth diaper since that vacation.
by Luke Duke
Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does Anyone Plan to Work Past 70 years of Age
Replies: 63
Views: 5502

Re: Does Anyone Plan to Work Past 70 years of Age

If I am working past 70, then something very bad has happened.
by Luke Duke
Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pulling equity out of home to invest?
Replies: 71
Views: 4936

Re: Pulling equity out of home to invest?

Toons wrote:Invest money that you have Saved ,Only.
Never borrow money to invest.
Its not complicated ,keep it Simple. :happy


So one should never take out a mortgage on an investment property?
by Luke Duke
Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 60K Car Maintenance Service = $600. Is this Reasonable?
Replies: 51
Views: 4276

Re: 60K Car Maintenance Service = $600. Is this Reasonable?

Always keep in mind that service advisors at the dealership work on commission.
by Luke Duke
Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which professional to contact? [Front yard maintenance]
Replies: 12
Views: 1041

Re: Which professional to contact? [Front yard maintenance]

This isn't complicated. Get some topsoil and a rake. Fill in the hole. Your grass will begin poking through in a week or two. Done.
by Luke Duke
Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Good Mortgage Companies?
Replies: 21
Views: 1671

Re: Good Mortgage Companies?

Just shop around for the best combination of rate/closing costs. 95% of them are going to sell your mortgage within a year anyway and you'll be dealing with someone else anyway.
by Luke Duke
Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing central AC-is it necessary to replace to refrigerant line?
Replies: 19
Views: 1195

Re: Replacing central AC-is it necessary to replace to refrigerant line?

tibbitts wrote:You would need to check the manufacturer website to see if the diameter is correct for the new system. In our case the newer refrigerant required larger capacity lines.


This. You will probably not achieve the advertised efficiency if you are using undersized copper lines.
by Luke Duke
Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wiring home network cable type?
Replies: 30
Views: 1929

Re: Wiring home network cable type?

Cat5e is good up to 1Gbps and its easier to run than Cat6a. That is what I ran when retrofitting my home last year. If you want to future proof for 10 Gigabit Ethernet @ 100meters you need to go to Cat6a. Make sure if you go Cat6a that all connectors, keystones, patch panels, etc are rated for Cat6...
by Luke Duke
Wed Jul 08, 2015 3:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: kitchenaid vs. bosch dishwasher
Replies: 61
Views: 3244

Re: kitchenaid vs. bosch dishwasher

We bought a Kitchenaid about 3 years ago. We were, like you, deciding between a Bosch and a Kitchenaid. The deciding factor for us at the time was that we didn't like the racks in the Bosch. I'm sure that the racks for both have changed some since then anyway.
by Luke Duke
Thu Jul 02, 2015 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New tires - where to buy, how to get a good deal?
Replies: 50
Views: 5275

Re: New tires - where to buy, how to get a good deal?

If I have a choice, I will never buy a tire from anyone other than Discount Tire. I can make an appointment and their customer service is phenomenal.
by Luke Duke
Wed Jul 01, 2015 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health insurance "birthday rule"
Replies: 35
Views: 4196

Re: Health insurance "birthday rule"

The birthday rule would only go into effect if you kept your coverage through your employer and your wife had coverage through her employer as well. When you drop your coverage it will be a non-issue.
by Luke Duke
Fri Jun 26, 2015 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Squirrel nemesis
Replies: 60
Views: 5894

Re: Squirrel nemesis

I think that this is what pellet guns are made for.
by Luke Duke
Fri Jun 26, 2015 9:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Most Economical Way to Handle the Lawn
Replies: 84
Views: 8183

Re: Most Economical Way to Handle the Lawn

As a novice, I'm looking at two options. I'm leaning toward hiring a lawn company for around $35 a week while handling my own fertilizing/weed removal. $35/week is a steal for a 1/2 acre lot. The only reasons I can think of not to pay $35/week is if you really enjoy yard work and/or you want to for...
by Luke Duke
Thu Jun 18, 2015 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best "All Around Lens" for Nikon DSLRs?
Replies: 105
Views: 8400

Re: Best "All Around Lens" for Nikon DSLRs?

OP wanted a zoom, single lens for travel. Lightweight preferred. Self-admitted to being a point and shoot guy. Why is anyone recommending fixed, bright, portrait lenses? I will continue to talk to myself in left field over here, muttering, "maybe he should just buy a point and shoot camera, fo...
by Luke Duke
Thu Jun 18, 2015 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best "All Around Lens" for Nikon DSLRs?
Replies: 105
Views: 8400

Re: Best "All Around Lens" for Nikon DSLRs?

If RooseveltG's current 35 mm lens is f/2.8, f/1.8 or better, then I think he will be disappointed in a zoom lens which is slower with just f/3.5 or worse. Doubtful. The OP probably leaves his camera in A or P mode and "points and clicks". There's nothing wrong with that if it suits his n...
by Luke Duke
Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best "All Around Lens" for Nikon DSLRs?
Replies: 105
Views: 8400

Re: Best "All Around Lens" for Nikon DSLRs?

The AF-S DX NIKKOR18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR has worked well for me. I own some prime lenses, a longer zoom and occasionally rent a 70-200 f/2.8, but I still take 90+% of my pics with the 18-105mm. I wouldn't want to haul around anything bigger or heavier for an extended period of time.
by Luke Duke
Wed Jun 17, 2015 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dress Shirts: Off The Rack + Tailored Or Made to Measure
Replies: 15
Views: 1641

Re: Dress Shirts: Off The Rack + Tailored Or Made to Measure

I have a big neck and short arms so it is nearly impossible for me to find my size at a store. If by some miracle I find my size, it still fits like a parachute. I never really considered this to be a major issue since I only wore a dress shirt to weddings and funerals and I just kept my jacket on. ...
by Luke Duke
Mon Jun 15, 2015 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How/where to get rid of old gasoline
Replies: 35
Views: 3903

Re: How/where to get rid of old gasoline

I would put a little at a time in your car's tank and not think twice about it.
by Luke Duke
Fri Jun 12, 2015 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unsure of the process of paying off mortgage early (all at once)
Replies: 30
Views: 3543

Re: Unsure of the process of paying off mortgage early (all at once)

dolphinsaremammals wrote:Be sure you are in the time period where you can pay off your mortgage in advance. With mine I could not do that for the first two years or somesuch.


Sure you could have. There may have been a penalty to do so, but you could have done it.
by Luke Duke
Wed Jun 10, 2015 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are there any merchants that accept only Amex?
Replies: 25
Views: 2394

Re: Are there any merchants that accept only Amex?

Louie's in Dallas, at least before Louie died. I haven't been back since.
by Luke Duke
Thu May 28, 2015 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early/Earlier/Earliest Retirement?
Replies: 30
Views: 4990

Re: Early/Earlier/Earliest Retirement?

Independent, Do you mind explaining this one in more detail? The house is your long term care plan. Thanks! I'm sure that he means that the sale of her home could fund several years of nursing home care should she require assistance toward the end of her life. There would be no need for LTC insuran...
by Luke Duke
Thu May 28, 2015 9:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BMW needs new tires
Replies: 24
Views: 2235

Re: BMW needs new tires

If I have a choice, I will never buy another tire from anyone other than Discount Tire.
by Luke Duke
Thu May 21, 2015 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Building a guest house
Replies: 20
Views: 2127

Re: Building a guest house

yellowgirl wrote:He also wants to design the house.


I would insist on veto power.
by Luke Duke
Mon May 18, 2015 1:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Internet - Cat 5e or Cat 6
Replies: 49
Views: 3600

Re: Home Internet - Cat 5e or Cat 6

I haven't read all of the responses... They are ripping you off on the Cat 6. Cat6 cable is only about $25 more for a 1000ft spool. The keystones cost double ($1.50 vs $0.75 ). My personal preference would be for Cat6, but not at the markup that you are being quoted. If you can't get them to upgrade...
by Luke Duke
Tue May 12, 2015 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Preventing people from disturbing wet sidewalk cement.
Replies: 13
Views: 1395

Re: Preventing people from disturbing wet sidewalk cement.

If someone lightly defaces some wet concrete you can use a push broom to fix it.
by Luke Duke
Fri May 08, 2015 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying off student loans by selling house
Replies: 43
Views: 3126

Re: Paying off student loans by selling house

If you kept your house and decided to make paying off her loans the #1 priority, how long do you think it would take you? If I didn't invest and we combined incomes, it would be done in 19 months. If I continued to max out my Roth and 401k and we combined incomes, it would be done in 29 months. Tho...
by Luke Duke
Thu May 07, 2015 3:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying off student loans by selling house
Replies: 43
Views: 3126

Re: Paying off student loans by selling house

If you kept your house and decided to make paying off her loans the #1 priority, how long do you think it would take you?

You mention your house not being ideal for starting a family. Can you elaborate why?
by Luke Duke
Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help me understand preferred stock we own...
Replies: 9
Views: 1155

Re: Help me understand preferred stock we own...

Well, I had this nice long note all written but then my session timed out and it vanished. The short answer is that you should read the prospectus, keeping in mind that it's a sales document, not an unbiased evaluation, and answer just this one question: If you had $2M in new cash to invest, would ...
by Luke Duke
Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I pay off the mortgage before I quit my job?
Replies: 30
Views: 3569

Re: Should I pay off the mortgage before I quit my job?

Why not wait another year and put all of your take home pay towards your mortgage? At least that way you will know that you can live on one income and if you do decide to use your taxable account to pay off your mortgage the balance won't be nearly as high. You won't know if you will like staying ho...
by Luke Duke
Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prepping a house for sale: What are the priorities?
Replies: 33
Views: 3242

Re: Prepping a house for sale: What are the priorities?

I haven't read all of the responses, but you might try just cleaning the carpets and see how they look. If you still feel that they would turnoff a prospective buyer then you can advertise a "carpet allowance of $x,000" as part of the sale. I think that it works best for all parties involv...
by Luke Duke
Thu Apr 30, 2015 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you tip a valet?
Replies: 54
Views: 4458

Re: What do you tip a valet?

they mess up my seat adjustment. I hate that. Every time I get my Buick back from the mechanic, i have to readjust the seat. It's an old car, so it's not like they're joy riding. Would you rather they drive the car while in an awkward position? I'll be honest, it annoys me too, but they're probably...
by Luke Duke
Thu Apr 30, 2015 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car every 5 years instead of 10?
Replies: 129
Views: 10871

Re: New car every 5 years instead of 10?

If you want and can afford a new car every 5 years, go for it. But don't kid yourself about that being more economical than driving a car for 10 years. This. Heck, since Christmas I've dumped $1200 into a 12 yr old car with 210K miles and now I have a car that I hope to drive for 2-3 more years. I'...
by Luke Duke
Thu Apr 30, 2015 8:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: family cabin planning through generations
Replies: 16
Views: 2396

Re: family cabin planning through generations

This attorney strongly recommends passing / giving such property to one individual rather than have it pass through the generations to an ever larger number of heirs. In his experience it is not so much the second generation owners who are the problems, because they grew up as siblings with a share...
by Luke Duke
Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you tip a valet?
Replies: 54
Views: 4458

Re: What do you tip a valet?

I was a valet in Austin, TX from 1999-2001. We were not paid an hourly rate of any kind unless we were working at a private party, even then it was about $1 above minimum wage. If there was a fee for valet service, 100% of that fee went to the valet company, not to the valets. We even had one locati...
by Luke Duke
Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Water Heater
Replies: 42
Views: 4383

Re: New Water Heater

I've posted about my water heater adventures before, but... Where I live, water heaters are typically installed in the attic. Which, to be honest, freaks me out more than a little. So I do what I can to try to prevent a catastrophe. I don't know if it really helps, but I drain the sediment every Oc...
by Luke Duke
Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Water Heater
Replies: 42
Views: 4383

Re: New Water Heater

In order to flush it effectively, I think there needs to be something to stir up all the sediment so it is suspended in the water before flushing. I have yet to see something like that marketed in water heaters. http://www.waterheaterrescue.com/pages/WHRpages/English/OrderPages/XCart/Sediment-Contr...
by Luke Duke
Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Proactively replace water heater?
Replies: 53
Views: 6021

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 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New washing machine won't fit down basement steps.
Replies: 32
Views: 3529

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 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling rental house with two owners
Replies: 4
Views: 713

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
Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Projects when moving into a new (to us) home
Replies: 20
Views: 1703

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

Refinish any hardwood floors that need refinishing before you move in.
by Luke Duke
Fri Mar 06, 2015 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suggest an infrared temperture gun
Replies: 21
Views: 1937

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
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: 1704

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 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suggest an infrared temperture gun
Replies: 21
Views: 1937

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 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I shut off water in a vacant home in winter?
Replies: 15
Views: 1678

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
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: 4322

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
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: 7400

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 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real estate planning and a parent who lives overseas
Replies: 13
Views: 810

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
Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tomahawk Steak
Replies: 29
Views: 3794

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
Mon Jan 12, 2015 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ridiculous closing costs on cash deal?
Replies: 15
Views: 2908

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...

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