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by deanbrew
Wed May 27, 2015 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead 4wd Car (for family)?
Replies: 49
Views: 4729

Re: Boglehead 4wd Car (for family)?

Toyota Sequoia. Same engine and reliability as the much more expensive Landcruiser. Much safer, in my opinion than the smaller and lighter Subarus. And much more likely to roll over, and certain to burn a whole lot more fuel. There is a lot more to "safety" than having the most mass. Bein...
by deanbrew
Fri May 15, 2015 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renting Town home--How to analyze?
Replies: 7
Views: 780

Re: Renting Town home--How to analyze?

If you allow pets, take your lead from most apartment complexes and add a sizeable rent premium and/or a large non-refundable cleaning fee (collected upfront). Take a look around your market and see what others do - both individual landlords and professional apartment projects. As for your lender, i...
by deanbrew
Thu May 14, 2015 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renting Town home--How to analyze?
Replies: 7
Views: 780

Re: Renting Town home--How to analyze?

Yes, you deduct mortgage interest as an expense, along with taxes, insurance, repairs, maintenance, and leasing/advertising costs. You also deduct a depreciation allowance, which is usually a fairly significant number that improves cash flow. The depreciation factors into any capital gain you have w...
by deanbrew
Tue May 05, 2015 8:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice Needed: Family + Rental Property + Interesting Scenario
Replies: 22
Views: 2171

Re: Advice Needed: Family + Rental Property + Interesting Scenario

I think you will really make a mess of things if you let her move in and pay off your mortgage. She will have effectively acquired an equity interest in your property. In regards to "intention", yes, I think she's trying to help us out. I *think* the high-level idea is to try and eliminat...
by deanbrew
Tue May 05, 2015 8:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor wants to excavate shallow water hole common to both properties
Replies: 31
Views: 2587

Re: Neighbor wants to excavate shallow water hole common to both properties

While it's reasonable to give proper consideration to liability, it's also possible to worry too much about it. You already have a large umbrella policy, and many rural properties have streams, ponds, canyons, etc. Frankly, I don't see this as much of a worry, and you seem to be properly protected a...
by deanbrew
Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking about a new desktop PC.
Replies: 55
Views: 3921

Re: Thinking about a new desktop PC.

What about brands - I know, this will delve much further into opinions. Buying a Dell or HP is easy, and they make configuring it easy. I find that Asus gets good marks for reliability, but you can't seem to customize/configure them quite the same way... unless I am simply not finding that. I know t...
by deanbrew
Wed Apr 29, 2015 7:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking about a new desktop PC.
Replies: 55
Views: 3921

Re: Thinking about a new desktop PC.

Just so I understand, if you have a SSD (say, 256GB), you also generally have a traditional drive for document storage? You put the OS and programs on the SSD and put files (documents, spreadsheets, photos, etc.) on the spinning drive? Am I understanding correctly? In the real world, how much quicke...
by deanbrew
Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking about a new desktop PC.
Replies: 55
Views: 3921

Re: Thinking about a new desktop PC.

Thanks for the replies so far. It has gotten me thinking, and I believe Win8 is probably the way to go, perhaps upgrading to Win10 after it's been out for awhile. I was looking at HP's website and started looking at the ENVY 700qe. Any advice on: RAM: It comes with 12GB. Any real reason to go up to ...
by deanbrew
Mon Apr 27, 2015 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Been invited to wedding in Disney World. My cost?
Replies: 58
Views: 5956

Re: Been invited to wedding in Disney World. My cost?

...A trip to Disney World can expensive or cheap... However, I think a big part of the value of a "destination wedding" is the chance to socialize casually with a group of people who don't often get together in the same place at the same time. Among other things, this probably means you w...
by deanbrew
Mon Apr 27, 2015 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Been invited to wedding in Disney World. My cost?
Replies: 58
Views: 5956

Re: Been invited to wedding in Disney World. My cost?

This sounds like the couple have plenty of money (or think they do) and are out of touch with the economic decisions most people have to make on a daily basis. Or just the opposite. If they don't want to drop $10k-$20k or more on a wedding and reception, and also pay for a honeymoon, they can have ...
by deanbrew
Mon Apr 27, 2015 8:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to heat 15x18 Office?
Replies: 10
Views: 1075

Re: Best way to heat 15x18 Office?

For your situation, I would almost certainly choose a mini-split heat pump system. You can use if for both heat and AC, and unlike a window AC, it is quiet and holds a steady temperature. They are also quite efficient. Being in zone 5, as am I, there will probably be some days in the winter where th...
by deanbrew
Mon Apr 27, 2015 8:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Been invited to wedding in Disney World. My cost?
Replies: 58
Views: 5956

Re: Been invited to wedding in Disney World. My cost?

I haven't gone to a destination wedding, and I wouldn't unless either... a) It was one of my children's wedding... or b) The destination was no more than one day's drive from home... or c) I wanted to go the that destination anyway, and a few hours at the wedding wouldn't interfere with my real pla...
by deanbrew
Mon Apr 27, 2015 7:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking about a new desktop PC.
Replies: 55
Views: 3921

Re: Thinking about a new desktop PC.

Have you tried using Windows 8 with Classic Shell installed? Windows 8.1 can be configured to boot directly to the desktop and Classic Shell gives it a 'Start Menu' that's identical to Windows 7. Aside from some minor UI differences, 8 works and looks almost exactly the same as 7 and you never (or ...
by deanbrew
Mon Apr 27, 2015 6:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking about a new desktop PC.
Replies: 55
Views: 3921

Re: Thinking about a new desktop PC.

Is the desktop PC for personal use? for gaming? and what is your price range. If your concern is with upgrade, those are done seamlessly with very little intervention on your part and I suppose any new PC would come with a 1 year warranty so you can swap for new one if you have issues. Also, do you...
by deanbrew
Mon Apr 27, 2015 6:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking about a new desktop PC.
Replies: 55
Views: 3921

Re: Thinking about a new desktop PC.

I posted on another thread that I have 15 of 50 laptops using W8.1. I bench-marked identical images on identical hardware with W7 vs. W8.1 (with Classic Shell). Boot times were 4-5x on W7 vs. W8.1. Shutdown times were similar difference. Users have been very happy with W8.1 and barely notice the sl...
by deanbrew
Sun Apr 26, 2015 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking about a new desktop PC.
Replies: 55
Views: 3921

Thinking about a new desktop PC.

I am thinking about buying a new PC, and see that HP and Dell (and probably other) are still selling and marketing Windows 7 units. I like Win7 and don't really like Win8 on a desktop or laptop. I read that Microsoft intends to let Win7 and 8 users upgrade to Win10 when it comes out later this year....
by deanbrew
Fri Apr 24, 2015 7:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Marginal benefit of spending more on car
Replies: 83
Views: 6828

Re: Marginal benefit of spending more on car

I always had cloth seats until my latest two cars, which have had leather. I much prefer leather. Yes, black leather will get very hot in the summer, which is why I bucked the trend and got tan/camel colored leather in my current car. Doesn't get hot or sticky at all. Leather is easy to clean and lo...
by deanbrew
Fri Apr 24, 2015 7:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Water Heater
Replies: 42
Views: 3935

Re: New Water Heater

I am admittedly not an expert, but it seems to me you have a couple of different issues regarding draining the sediment. I can see where it would definitely be beneficial for a traditional gas or propane water heater, where heat is applied at the bottom of the tank. If you have a layer of sediment, ...
by deanbrew
Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Marginal benefit of spending more on car
Replies: 83
Views: 6828

Re: Marginal benefit of spending more on car

Rear-view cameras are a government standard and will be on all cars by 2018, so that is a moot point. That's true, but you have to give Honda credit for putting backup cameras in all of their cars several years before they are mandated. Or at least if that's an important feature to you. But putting...
by deanbrew
Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Marginal benefit of spending more on car
Replies: 83
Views: 6828

Re: Marginal benefit of spending more on car

You should understand that spending more than that is an image thing. It really is, deny it though people will. But even die hard Bogleheads often care what their car looks like because they feel that a car is part of their identity. ... But no, you don't actually get anything concrete for it, let'...
by deanbrew
Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Water Heater
Replies: 42
Views: 3935

Re: New Water Heater

No because if those things fail, they just stop working, if the Water Tank fails it will ruin my rug, and furniture in the finished basement the laundry room is connected to. Why in the world does that not make sense? Maybe if it costs thousands to get a new one, I might do as you say, but the enti...
by deanbrew
Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cruises
Replies: 35
Views: 4540

Re: Cruises

Costco has a special discount for NCL (Norwegian). We know this is true; whether it is also true that it's not as good for other lines, that we don't yet know. Costco had a great deal with Celebrity for us, as well. And Holland America. We took a Holland America cruise this year, and we got a bette...
by deanbrew
Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Water Heater
Replies: 42
Views: 3935

Re: New Water Heater

I disagree. Yes, sometimes they leak, but in my neighbors case, he had a basement full of water. Not sure why I would wait for that. I rather just buy a tank with a long warranty and go by the date. I rather do it before it leaks because Peace of Mind is priceless. I'm not sure that logic holds up....
by deanbrew
Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a Car to commute - SUV or Sedan?
Replies: 44
Views: 3644

Re: Buying a Car to commute - SUV or Sedan?

The little mini SUVs are practically the same as the related midsize sedans. (ie. CRV/RAV4) You'll get very similar gas mileage and maintenance will be the same. That doesn't sound right to me. A crossover or SUV is heavier and gets worse mileage than a similar-class sedan. There's just no way arou...
by deanbrew
Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Marginal benefit of spending more on car
Replies: 83
Views: 6828

Re: Marginal benefit of spending more on car

In reality, when you are actually using your car, you are mostly thinking about getting to your destination, and only rarely think about the pleasure of driving it. Other times, you are regretting the fact that it needs to be parked, cleaned, serviced, fueled, taxed, etc. The brief pleasure of buyi...
by deanbrew
Fri Apr 17, 2015 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Speeding tickets and points
Replies: 10
Views: 1108

Re: Speeding tickets and points

In the past, I have just paid the ticket online and was done with the affair. My insurance company doesn't run checks for moving violations unless you are starting up a new policy, making a significant change to the policy or moving your policy between states. I got busted by a traffic camera on an...
by deanbrew
Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy new Acura? Nearest dealer service is 125 miles away
Replies: 23
Views: 1959

Re: Buy new Acura? Nearest dealer service is 125 miles away

I've heard that dealerships may be making more money servicing cars than selling them. If that's the case, it's unlikely that an Acura dealer is going to tell you that it's OK to get your maintenance work done somewhere else; maybe not even to sell you a new vehicle. Just wondering. It doesn't matt...
by deanbrew
Wed Apr 15, 2015 7:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which 3 year old hybrid: Camry or Prius
Replies: 36
Views: 2862

Re: Which 3 year old hybrid: Camry or Prius

Congrats! Enjoy your new car.
by deanbrew
Wed Apr 15, 2015 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy new Acura? Nearest dealer service is 125 miles away
Replies: 23
Views: 1959

Re: Buy new Acura? Nearest dealer service is 125 miles away

I've thought about buying an Infiniti or Acura but have shied away partly due to not having any dealers close to me. I just didn't want to have to drive a couple of hours to have warranty or recall work performed. Normal maintenance isn't a big deal, as independent shops or associated-brand dealers ...
by deanbrew
Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which 3 year old hybrid: Camry or Prius
Replies: 36
Views: 2862

Re: Which 3 year old hybrid: Camry or Prius

So, option (3) is a year older with 5K more miles. Not so sure how to value that (maybe worth a $1K). One year older, even with only 5k more miles, translates to more than $1k difference in value - to the market, if not to you. You are also talking about the difference between a Camry and a Prius -...
by deanbrew
Tue Apr 07, 2015 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: anyone have experience with water softeners?
Replies: 41
Views: 1881

Re: anyone have experience with water softeners?

I have hard water, am about to replace a boiler at vast expense (because repair guy tells me it's scaled up and this is causing constant failures) and wondered about a softener. I came across the Kinetico web site, so I can confirm they are still in business. What has put me off is the requirement ...
by deanbrew
Mon Apr 06, 2015 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: anyone have experience with water softeners?
Replies: 41
Views: 1881

Re: anyone have experience with water softeners?

Yes, I have watched them, and they do replace the tank. It's a metal tank, about 10" in diameter, and it's not immediately obvious to me how you would open it to dump in salt. They come around with a truck load of tanks and replace the one on your house. The tank is located outside the house (...
by deanbrew
Mon Apr 06, 2015 1:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: anyone have experience with water softeners?
Replies: 41
Views: 1881

Re: anyone have experience with water softeners?

I live in SoCal, and yes the water is very hard here. We have a water softener, it's the type where we have a service that comes every couple weeks to change the tank. It was there when we bought the house, and I prefer soft water so we've continued to buy the service. I would have to look up what ...
by deanbrew
Mon Apr 06, 2015 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: anyone have experience with water softeners?
Replies: 41
Views: 1881

Re: anyone have experience with water softeners?

Do your own research. Google around. Most water softeners remove Calcium and Magnesium but add a ton of Sodium which is bad for the heart. Plus, you will spend half of forever trying to wash off soap in the shower. Not only are they expensive, but most water softener manufacturers recommend you not...
by deanbrew
Mon Apr 06, 2015 6:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road Tolls, and Rental Cars
Replies: 43
Views: 4249

Re: Road Tolls, and Rental Cars

DO NOT register rental car plates to your transponder. Just mount the transponder in the rental car and go. We have two MA EZ-pass transponders in our family, and use them in four cars, and my wife has taken one on vacation to use in a friend's car. We never bother making any changes to the registr...
by deanbrew
Sun Apr 05, 2015 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road Tolls, and Rental Cars
Replies: 43
Views: 4249

Re: Road Tolls, and Rental Cars

Leeraar wrote:To get an MA transponder, you have to be in MA.
.


You didn't when I got mine from Massachusetts. I got it from there instead of my state (PA) because I could get it for no upfront or annual cost. I don't know about current rules.
by deanbrew
Thu Apr 02, 2015 7:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Modular Homes
Replies: 2
Views: 677

Re: Modular Homes

There was a very recent thread about just this topic: http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtop ... r#p2411862
by deanbrew
Sun Mar 29, 2015 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Restaurant tipping
Replies: 200
Views: 13769

Re: Restaurant tipping

I HATE the automatic gratuity for "large" parties. More often than not, it results in bad service for a too-large tip, as they try to spread one or two servers too thin. I have, on occasion, requested that it be removed, but not as often as I should.
by deanbrew
Sat Mar 28, 2015 8:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Whole Life Insurance 'Gift' from Parents
Replies: 60
Views: 4941

Re: Whole Life Insurance 'Gift' from Parents

I had decided to not chime in again, as it seems as all of the bases have been touched... but I just can't help myself. Given the miniscule annual premium, I think it would be foolish to do anything but keep paying the policy. People keep mentioning term insurance as the "right" life insur...
by deanbrew
Fri Mar 27, 2015 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Restaurant tipping
Replies: 200
Views: 13769

Re: Restaurant tipping

Basically, as a waiter, you're going to encounter one of two types of people. 1. People who are in a great mood, and as long as you don't screw up royally, you'll get a decent tip from them. 2. People who are not in a great mood, are probably rarely in a good mood, and are going to screw you on the...
by deanbrew
Thu Mar 26, 2015 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Graduating Medical Student- Rent vs. Buy in Residency
Replies: 45
Views: 3328

Re: Graduating Medical Student- Rent vs. Buy in Residency

I think QOL would be better for my spouse with buying, as we could have a nicer place than if we rented. However, buying obviously has a lot of additional costs besides the monthly mortgage payment. My spouse is definitely is more interested in buying than I am. If it was just me I would rent a pla...
by deanbrew
Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Whole Life Insurance 'Gift' from Parents
Replies: 60
Views: 4941

Re: Whole Life Insurance 'Gift' from Parents

The general accounts are typically around 85% bonds/treasuries. This will be the 3rd time in this thread where I have said the decision to buy is different then the decision to surrender. You actually just proved my point about it being like a highly managed front loaded bond (mostly) fund. I have ...
by deanbrew
Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Whole Life Insurance 'Gift' from Parents
Replies: 60
Views: 4941

Re: Whole Life Insurance 'Gift' from Parents

There is no diversification with whole life. They just invest the money in bonds for you. That would be like me saying I bought total bonds at vanguard and total bonds at Schwab and now I'm diversified. You also have underestimated how many years it is a poor investment. This isn't a reflexive pooh...
by deanbrew
Thu Mar 26, 2015 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Whole Life Insurance 'Gift' from Parents
Replies: 60
Views: 4941

Re: Whole Life Insurance 'Gift' from Parents

While these are horrible purchases, the decision on whether or not to keep an old policy is different then the decision to purchase one or to buy more term. This is bc costs are sunk. The real question is do you want a permanent death benefit. You or someone else has already pretty much paid for it...
by deanbrew
Thu Mar 26, 2015 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Graduating Medical Student- Rent vs. Buy in Residency
Replies: 45
Views: 3328

Re: Graduating Medical Student- Rent vs. Buy in Residency

I'm not a doctor, and I don't even play one on TV. But I've worked in the real estate industry for a long time. I would advise to not buy a home that you intend to live in less than seven years, unless there are extenuating circumstances, such as you need a large detached home with a yard and there ...
by deanbrew
Sun Mar 22, 2015 7:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whats a good Pistol to buy?
Replies: 112
Views: 9501

Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

I guess what I'm getting at is the person you intend to shoot someone one who is breaking into your motorhome? I'd get a shotgun. You won't miss. This is the oft-repeated untruth I referenced previously. Absolutely untrue. The shot spread at 10 feet, out of a traditional shotgun, is negligible, mea...
by deanbrew
Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whats a good Pistol to buy?
Replies: 112
Views: 9501

Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Petrocelli wrote:I don't know a lot about this, but doesn't it depend on who you want to shoot

As in. .. race, gender, nationality, shoe size, species, fur thickness? Sorry, I have no idea what you are trying to get at.
by deanbrew
Sat Mar 21, 2015 8:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whats a good Pistol to buy?
Replies: 112
Views: 9501

Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Another reasonable option for the sort of close distances one would have in and around an RV would be a handgun revolver shotgun, for lack of a better term. The Taurus Judge was the first on the market, and is still available, but S&W brought out the Governor a couple of years ago, and nearly al...
by deanbrew
Fri Mar 20, 2015 4:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whats a good Pistol to buy?
Replies: 112
Views: 9501

Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

For combat, I choose my cousin the police officer with vest, tactical radio, and two weapons that he practices with weekly. That gets back to the earlier advice of using a cellphone and dash cam as your primary weapon. So, your cousin is available and nearby 24 hours a day? Even though I am a stron...
by deanbrew
Fri Mar 20, 2015 3:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whats a good Pistol to buy?
Replies: 112
Views: 9501

Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Like many of the replies here, I'd first look at Smith & Wesson and Ruger revolvers. They both make many varieties, with lots of different barrel lengths. For your stated wishes, I'd go with a 4" barrel. Easier to point and aim than a snub-nose, but handier than a 6" barrel. You can ge...

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