Search found 855 matches

by deanbrew
Fri Jul 31, 2015 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Appraisal Higher than Accepted Offer Price
Replies: 21
Views: 2023

Re: Appraisal Higher than Accepted Offer Price

So, the taxable value is 1.2 million for this, so since the appraisal value is higher than the taxable, does that now become the taxable value of the house? Thanks! No. Every taxing authority (whether managed by the state, county, school district, etc.) has firm rules and procedures for reassessing...
by deanbrew
Thu Jul 30, 2015 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is your home owner insurance going up 27% this year?
Replies: 35
Views: 3862

Re: Is your home owner insurance going up 27% this year?

thanks Mudpuppy to set the record straight :) i was having a convoluted logic, which often fails, atleast in my case. Anyway though, what is the best resource to figure out a reasonably good number for replacement cost? you think it is available somewhere or one needs to hire engineering firm? You ...
by deanbrew
Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: FWD vs AWD (Vehicle)
Replies: 76
Views: 4141

Re: FWD vs AWD (Vehicle)

I am confident saying that an AWD car with all-season tires would beat a FWD car with winter tires in acceleration, and the opposite would be true of braking. Cornering and handling, I'm less certain, though I think it might be close, and would likely depend on many factors. You may be confident bu...
by deanbrew
Tue Jul 28, 2015 4:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Well water did not pass total coliform bacteria
Replies: 13
Views: 1455

Re: Well water did not pass total coliform bacteria

Agree. You will need to look at UV filters. These filters won't do anything about taste or sediment or odor. If you have those problems, you should also look at other types of filters. Looks like you are in for some research and shopping. The bleach trick can help in the short term, but you really n...
by deanbrew
Tue Jul 28, 2015 4:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: FWD vs AWD (Vehicle)
Replies: 76
Views: 4141

Re: FWD vs AWD (Vehicle)

Browser wrote:But the next time I'm driving in the Alaskan Cross Country Winter Auto Race, I'll be sure to use a Subaru with winter tires. :thumbsup


If you really, really want/need to drive in the snow and slush, that would be the setup - a Subaru with winter tires.
by deanbrew
Tue Jul 28, 2015 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: FWD vs AWD (Vehicle)
Replies: 76
Views: 4141

Re: FWD vs AWD (Vehicle)

I'm not trying to nitpick William4u - this has just been a curiosity of mine as well and you are stating something as if it is a fact and showing videos and citing articles that don't really back up the claim. I'm still guessing "it all depends" but my personal experience is AWD rules. I ...
by deanbrew
Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: FWD vs AWD (Vehicle)
Replies: 76
Views: 4141

Re: FWD vs AWD (Vehicle)

Can anyone explain just what an AWD vehicle actually does for you? I can see it if you are slogging offroad through mud or snow where having some power to both front and rear might help you get unstuck or where I'm crawling over big rocks. I can see it in vehicles like Audi quattro where things lik...
by deanbrew
Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: FWD vs AWD (Vehicle)
Replies: 76
Views: 4141

Re: FWD vs AWD (Vehicle)

To answer the above question, if you get winter tires, absolutely get all four. The last thing you want is to have uneven traction on one end (either end, no matter which end has locomotion), which can result in spinouts or sliding.
by deanbrew
Mon Jul 27, 2015 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is your home owner insurance going up 27% this year?
Replies: 35
Views: 3862

Re: Is your home owner insurance going up 27% this year?

My latest renewal had a 16% increase in homeowners insurance, which followed an 11% increase last year. I shopped around and changed companies and am paying 25 percent less than my former company wanted. It pays to shop around every two or three years, I've found.
by deanbrew
Mon Jul 27, 2015 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: FWD vs AWD (Vehicle)
Replies: 76
Views: 4141

Re: FWD vs AWD

The answer depends on how much you need or want to drive when it snows, how long it takes for your local roads to be cleared after a snowfall, and what type of vehicle and tire size you end up with. While many people claim that FWD, driving ability/techniques and tires make all the difference, that ...
by deanbrew
Fri Jul 10, 2015 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Asbestos 2 story home
Replies: 8
Views: 962

Re: Asbestos 2 story home

I guess my question is why are you doing the abatement? If the insulation is sound, not breaking apart, then I'd leave it all alone. Asbestos is only hazardous when it is friable and becomes airborne. I can only imagine that the ducts in the walls are enclosed and not presenting any danger. Even the...
by deanbrew
Tue Jul 07, 2015 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to lease land to a business and not get sued?
Replies: 10
Views: 754

Re: How to lease land to a business and not get sued?

Many commercial leases include a clause that requires the tenant to purchase and maintain a liability insurance policy for one or two million dollars, with both the tenant and landlord listed as covered parties. You will want a triple-net lease where the tenant pays not only for this insurance, but ...
by deanbrew
Thu Jun 11, 2015 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A/C efficiency question
Replies: 31
Views: 3441

Re: A/C efficiency question

I put my thermostat on the "fan on" mode when I first turn on the AC in the spring, or in the summer if it's been off for a day or two, to equalize the temperature throughout the house. If the AC has been off, the upstairs is hot as hades and the downstairs is much cooler, so the AC won't ...
by deanbrew
Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Improving Pool Efficiency
Replies: 13
Views: 1393

Re: Improving Pool Efficiency

Solar covers certainly help reduce evaporation. I use one on my pool almost the entire pool season, but I'm in PA and my wife likes the water very warm (90 degrees is not too warm for her, but I like it about 84-85). I only take it off when the water temp gets up to about 90 and I don't want to turn...
by deanbrew
Thu Jun 11, 2015 8:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A/C efficiency question
Replies: 31
Views: 3441

Re: A/C efficiency question

I don't have much to add regarding the original question. There is little doubt that "setting back" the thermostat saves money, unless time-of-day electricity rates come into play. The question becomes at what cost to comfort in terms of cooling back down and perhaps removing humidity. I a...
by deanbrew
Wed May 27, 2015 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead 4wd Car (for family)?
Replies: 49
Views: 5326

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: 840

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: 840

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: 2400

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: 2807

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: 4961

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: 4961

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: 4961

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: 6946

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: 6946

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: 1326

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: 6946

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: 4961

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: 4961

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: 4961

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: 4961

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: 7613

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: 4445

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: 7613

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: 7613

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: 4445

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: 5864

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: 4445

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: 55
Views: 5308

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: 7613

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: 1173

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: 2179

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: 3219

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: 2179

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: 3219

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: 2259

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: 2259

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: 2259

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: 2259

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: 4608

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...

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