Search found 196 matches

by ArmchairArchitect
Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Drinking water price craziness
Replies: 80
Views: 7115

Re: Drinking water price craziness

Consider the effect on the environment/nature when buying water bottles. One can always use a reusable water bottle and a kitchen sink filter at home for similar quality water.

If you're concerned about your municipality's water, each is required to publish an annual report with independent tests.
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: android auto or carplay?
Replies: 10
Views: 721

Re: android auto or carplay?

Android Auto by far.
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How far off are Zillow's estimates?
Replies: 82
Views: 7332

Re: How far off are Zillow's estimates?

Zillow is based on formulas and doesn't account for more qualitative features, which can have a HUGE affect on selling prices.

Best way (other than paying for an appraiser) is to look at recently sold homes you have been inside (eg. open houses) that are comparable to yours.
by ArmchairArchitect
Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rust proofing patio furniture and fence
Replies: 5
Views: 561

Re: Rust proofing patio furniture and fence

In the future I'd buy aluminum patio furniture; it won't rust.
by ArmchairArchitect
Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Property in Rural Area that is going "chic"
Replies: 19
Views: 2785

Re: Property in Rural Area that is going "chic"

If Upstate NY prices are too high, there's always the Poconos, probably the same distance away.
by ArmchairArchitect
Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Those Of You In a HCOLA - What's Your Financial Plan
Replies: 68
Views: 6989

Re: Those Of You In a HCOLA - What's Your Financial Plan

Go with a MCOL city (eg. Philadelphia). MCOL cities are the perfect balance of income, costs, and city offerings.

LCOLs don't usually offer much in the way of jobs/wages or cultural things to do (eg. restaurant scene, music scene, etc.).
by ArmchairArchitect
Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dilemma about car dealership service bill error
Replies: 29
Views: 2409

Re: Dilemma about car dealership service bill error

I wouldn't pay more than the quoted price, that was their mistake.

Especially since the quality of the repair is not up to par.
by ArmchairArchitect
Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite Florida "middle" keys restaurant?
Replies: 17
Views: 1328

Re: Favorite Florida "middle" keys restaurant?

Yelp.com is your friend.
by ArmchairArchitect
Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Teeth Whitening
Replies: 22
Views: 2876

Re: Teeth Whitening

Have there been any studies performed on whitening products and their effect on tooth enamel?

I'm sure some are better than others.

As for me, I use the Crest whitening mouthwash, which you use after brushing, and it works well.
by ArmchairArchitect
Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?
Replies: 170
Views: 12401

Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Since females are the ones that typically prefer an extravagant/expensive wedding, her or her parents should pay all/majority of the cost. If not, the bride needs to get more realistic. I think most grooms would be fine with a low cost/DIY type wedding. And then put the money saved towards a down pa...
by ArmchairArchitect
Thu Jul 06, 2017 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Verizon- Why do they treat old customers worse?
Replies: 47
Views: 5213

Re: Verizon- Why do they treat old customers worse?

We've had nothing but issues with our internet despite multiple attempts to resolve. That, plus initial billing issues. Never had this stuff happen with Comcast. Switching back to Comcast as soon as our Verizon contract is up.
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed Jul 05, 2017 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Expensive Car Repair, New Engine
Replies: 51
Views: 3714

Re: Expensive Car Repair, New Engine

Modern Fords are reliable cars, and that specific Focus has no known engine issues causing prematurely engine failure.

Sounds like a previous owner let the car overheat, run on low/no oil or something else caused by the previous owner's neglect of the car.
by ArmchairArchitect
Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to Live on $60K or Less a Year?
Replies: 248
Views: 27990

Re: Where to Live on $60K or Less a Year?

Philadelphia, PA: Big city offerings at a reasonable price. * Abundant outdoor activities such as hiking and bicycling (within 60 miles of mountains would be ideal, but I'll take what I can get) or free cultural activities; Fairmount Park is the country's largest urban park, Wissahickon Creek is als...
by ArmchairArchitect
Mon Jun 26, 2017 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto Throttle Body Servicing & Injector Flush: 2017 Equivalent to Strut Scam????
Replies: 10
Views: 941

Re: Auto Throttle Body Servicing & Injector Flush: 2017 Equivalent to Strut Scam????

Make sure to always use a brand of gas that meets "Top Tier" specifications: m Non-Top Tier brands have 19x more carbon deposits, and no, it's not a gimmick. This has been independently verified by many sources. Other than that, throw Techron cleaner in the gas tank right before a fill-up,...
by ArmchairArchitect
Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: is luxury car a smarter purchase?
Replies: 102
Views: 7081

Re: is luxury car a smarter purchase?

The depreciation on European luxury cars (ie. BMW, Mercedes, Audi) is horrid, even if you buy used. Reason being, they are overengineered, unnecessarily complicated and have high maintenance/parts costs. So essentially, you're buying a liability.
by ArmchairArchitect
Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Model 3 or Chevy Bolt?
Replies: 330
Views: 31689

Re: Tesla Model 3 or Chevy Bolt?

Also, I am worried about the battery exploding if the car is involved in a wreck. So you are worried about a battery exploding based on a handful of isolated incidents and a statistically near-zero chance of happening, but aren't worried about a gas-powered car with a fuel tank exploding, with a st...
by ArmchairArchitect
Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laundry lifestyle creep
Replies: 84
Views: 14440

Re: Laundry lifestyle creep

ResearchMed wrote:(One could add LOTS of bleach to whites, which would probably do a nice job of keeping them nice and bright... but for how long...!?)


Avoid bleach at all costs...makes clothes brittle/dry and destroys fabrics over time. Oxygen cleaner (you can buy generic) is the replacement for bleach.
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to buy another car key?
Replies: 16
Views: 1854

Re: How to buy another car key?

This question is best asked on a forum specific to your car. Search the web for Subaru forums and ask there, in the appropriate category for your specific model. The answer to this question will differ wildly based on what car you have. For example, on my Corvette, I can buy an inexpensive keyfob an...
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas station prices and quality
Replies: 43
Views: 3175

Re: Gas station prices and quality

As others have already mentioned, ONLY buy from Top Tier brands if you care about your car. It's usually the same price fuel you just have to know which brands to go to. List of brands that meet Top Tier specs: m You can buy regular 87 octane gas from a company that meets Top Tier Specs, and the gas...
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed May 17, 2017 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone use "MyPillow" pillows?
Replies: 51
Views: 6714

Re: Anyone use "MyPillow" pillows?

MyPillow is overpriced. Look on Amazon...we've been very happy with our "shredded memory foam" pillows with "bamboo covers." The shredded memory foam allows you to adjust the position and amount of fill in the pillow, versus a standard memory foam pillow which comes in a predefin...
by ArmchairArchitect
Thu May 04, 2017 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WOW fantastic Cars in the Wild
Replies: 91
Views: 13754

Re: WOW fantastic Cars in the Wild

I live just off the main route to the Hamptons (Long Island, NY). I see these kind of cars all summer long. The BMWs and Mercedes are the junky cars - lol. I live in the snow belt and you seldom see cars like these in the wild. This spring we were driving on a local interstate (still a lot of grit ...
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed May 03, 2017 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a diamond ring
Replies: 57
Views: 3804

Re: Buying a diamond ring

Blue Nile is the way to go, just make sure you rely on the GIA report rather than other certification authorities. GIA is much more stringent with standards. Also Blue Nile will pull the diamond from the vault and verify whether it's "eye clean" (ie. free of any inclusions visible to the e...
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed May 03, 2017 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Removing a tree - expensive!!!
Replies: 85
Views: 7920

Re: Removing a tree - expensive!!!

I found a guy via craigslist that cut a bunch of tall trees the old school way (climbing by rope) for $400 total. He even stacked the wood for me.
by ArmchairArchitect
Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA as Part of Emergency Fund
Replies: 20
Views: 1707

Re: HSA as Part of Emergency Fund

Emergencies can be many things other than medical expenses (eg. layoff), so I wouldn't count an HSA towards an emergency fund. Or maybe weight it, consider a fraction of it as part of the emergency fund.
by ArmchairArchitect
Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ebay Valet - Thoughts?
Replies: 10
Views: 1842

Re: Ebay Valet - Thoughts?

I would recommend creating a post in the craigslist "labor gigs" section, for someone to post your items and you pay them. I did this once and had a college kid help me sell items, and I gave him a commission from each sale.
by ArmchairArchitect
Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: leaving early from work
Replies: 57
Views: 7882

Re: leaving early from work

Fair question to ask your employer, as long as those that don't have kids/don't have that same obligation are given the same flexibility.
by ArmchairArchitect
Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using internet banks for a mortgage?
Replies: 14
Views: 909

Re: Using internet banks for a mortgage?

Use Zillow Mortgage Marketplace...I've used it 3 times so far, with great success. You put in all your specifics, then lenders provide instant quotes/bids. You can then sort by APR, and pick a lender that has good reviews on Zillow. For title insurance, definitely use Title Forward (www.titleforward...
by ArmchairArchitect
Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laundry lifestyle creep
Replies: 84
Views: 14440

Re: Laundry lifestyle creep

They sell generic Oxygen Cleaner for $1 at Dollar Tree, just use that.
by ArmchairArchitect
Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ebay Valet - Thoughts?
Replies: 10
Views: 1842

Re: Ebay Valet - Thoughts?

Their commission was MUCH more reasonable about a year or two ago; then they changed it to increase the commission by a huge percentage. I was looking forward to using the service, now it's out of the question. I'd rather donate the items.
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Legality of renters posting reviews of a condominium complex?
Replies: 82
Views: 4096

Re: Legality of renters posting reviews of a condominium complex?

People have the right to free speech and warning others of the terrible building/management. OP, fix the issues instead of trying to silence people.
by ArmchairArchitect
Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling A Semi-Valuable Vehicle
Replies: 12
Views: 1530

Re: Selling A Semi-Valuable Vehicle

Craigslist is the way to go.

As with any sale of a large amount, only accept a bank certified/cashier's check, then either call or visit the issuing bank to verify the check's authenticity and amount. Simple as that.
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to see in Philly?
Replies: 32
Views: 2267

Re: What to see in Philly?

OP, You did not say when you would be in Philly. The Rocky (Art Museum) steps are now closed through the end of April. They are setting up the stage for the NFL Draft. Link to article... Link Hint: You don't go to the Philadelphia Museum of Art for the "Rocky steps"...it's a world class a...
by ArmchairArchitect
Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to see in Philly?
Replies: 32
Views: 2267

Re: What to see in Philly?

www.visitphilly.com and www.uwishunu.com are the official sites for tourism/events.
by ArmchairArchitect
Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to see in Philly?
Replies: 32
Views: 2267

Re: What to see in Philly?

4 hours is not enough. You need at least 1-2 weeks here to see/do all the unique things. Not joking.
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone replaced a pickup with an SUV?
Replies: 35
Views: 2469

Re: Anyone replaced a pickup with an SUV?

Don't underestimate the ability of the roof of an SUV to carry things that don't fit inside...just slightly more work to strap it down.
by ArmchairArchitect
Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Realtor vs MLS Listing Service
Replies: 13
Views: 925

Re: Realtor vs MLS Listing Service

I would suggest Redfin (www.redfin.com). A newer age disrupter company who is breaking up the realtor cartel. They are still full service just with much less expensive fees.

We've used them and couldn't have been happier with the service and money saved.
by ArmchairArchitect
Sat Nov 05, 2016 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Discount realtor tax consequences
Replies: 3
Views: 704

Re: Discount realtor tax consequences

Been through this myself twice. Once with a traditional realtor who offered me a rebate (found through hungryagents.com), second time with Redfin (redfin.com), whose business model is to offer rebates back to buyers. The rebates are not taxable, they're considered a reduction in the cost basis of th...
by ArmchairArchitect
Sat Nov 05, 2016 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: GMC airbag recall - no fix - unable to sell
Replies: 6
Views: 1248

Re: GMC airbag recall - no fix - unable to sell

Simple solution: sell it yourself on craigslist. You always get less by selling it to a dealer anyway.
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed Oct 12, 2016 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Older Tupperware Safe
Replies: 48
Views: 9771

Re: Is Older Tupperware Safe

Might want to do a Google search to see if old Tupperware has BPAs that can get into your food.
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed Oct 05, 2016 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Incipient Car Rust: DIY Repair?
Replies: 15
Views: 1223

Re: Incipient Car Rust: DIY Repair?

Plenty of youtube videos on how to DIY repair this.

Just make sure you get "exact-match" paint based on your car's color code. Websites such as automotivetouchup.com have exact paint matches.
by ArmchairArchitect
Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Think about a whole house generator. Generac 22k
Replies: 31
Views: 3542

Re: Think about a whole house generator. Generac 22k

How about a Tesla Powerwall? Solar panels are not required for it, FYI.

https://www.tesla.com/powerwall

No maintenance, no noise, cleaner/greener, and it will probably even add a little resale value to your home.
by ArmchairArchitect
Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Older cars by owner on Craigslist - how long to listings stay?
Replies: 14
Views: 1480

Re: Older cars by owner on Craigslist - how long to listings stay?

Last year, we actually sold our old, inoperable minivan (bad engine) for a few hundred dollars on craigslist. I never followed up to see how long the listing stayed and never got more calls. It actually took two listings to make the sale. Got a few calls on the first, but nobody got back to me. Thi...
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed Sep 28, 2016 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Timing Belt Change - Months or Miles if car is old?
Replies: 104
Views: 28701

Re: Timing Belt Change - Months or Miles if car is old?

My recommendation for the future is to not buy any car that has a timing belt (that requires periodic expensive changing). Timing chain engines don't require replacement, saving you a lot in terms of maintenance costs. As for right now, I would echo what some other posters have mentioned regarding i...
by ArmchairArchitect
Tue Sep 27, 2016 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace car battery after X years or wait till it dies?
Replies: 124
Views: 11533

Re: Replace car battery after X years or wait till it dies?

If a battery dies, you're not stranded. All it takes is a jump start from a good samaritan. You're better off spending the money on a good, compact Lithium-ion jump starter and keeping it in your trunk. I guess none of you guys ever go snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, rock-climbin, backpacking, h...
by ArmchairArchitect
Tue Sep 27, 2016 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace car battery after X years or wait till it dies?
Replies: 124
Views: 11533

Re: Replace car battery after X years or wait till it dies?

By the way it's pretty easy to change a car battery (at least in my car). Yes, it is easy to change a battery. However, it is important to do it properly. It is just as easy to do it improperly, which is more dangerous than one might expect. One spark in the wrong place can actually make a battery ...
by ArmchairArchitect
Tue Sep 27, 2016 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stain Our Deck Before Winter - $3,000 or DIY?
Replies: 41
Views: 3796

Re: Stain Our Deck Before Winter - $3,000 or DIY?

Just find a handyman on craigslist or thumbtack.
by ArmchairArchitect
Tue Sep 27, 2016 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace car battery after X years or wait till it dies?
Replies: 124
Views: 11533

Re: Replace car battery after X years or wait till it dies?

If a battery dies, you're not stranded. All it takes is a jump start from a good samaritan.

You're better off spending the money on a good, compact Lithium-ion jump starter and keeping it in your trunk.

Replacing the battery before necessary is neither good for your wallet nor the environment.
by ArmchairArchitect
Mon Sep 26, 2016 8:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: latest scandal has me thinking of leaving Wells Fargo
Replies: 36
Views: 4100

Re: latest scandal has me thinking of leaving Wells Fargo

PNC Bank has served us very well for a big regional/national bank. Great customer service, very convenient hours and ATMs (and non-PNC ATM reimbursement), good account features, and theyre always up to date or ahead of the game when it comes to technology on their website, mobile app, and ATMs.