Search found 214 matches

by ArmchairArchitect
Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Effects of extreme cold weather
Replies: 107
Views: 9599

Re: Effects of extreme cold weather

The extremely low humidity is causing some damage to our home. Our Nest has been reading at about 17-20% humidity. Baseboards/moulding pulling apart from the wall, new creaks on the floor, new cracks in walls, new gaps between planks in hardwood floors. I never realized the effect of low humidity on...
by ArmchairArchitect
Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater
Replies: 92
Views: 5464

Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Maybe try a tankless/instant water heater on the same line as your water heater, but installed closer to your faucet/shower.
by ArmchairArchitect
Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Honda CRV - first oil change full synthetic?
Replies: 72
Views: 4496

Re: New Honda CRV - first oil change full synthetic?

Synthetic is far superior- you can double triple the longevity of your motor just from using synthetic. And yes most manufacturers today recommend synthetic for obvious reasons. $60 sounds about right for a synthetic oil change. That being said, you don't have to change it as often as dyno oil, so i...
by ArmchairArchitect
Mon Dec 18, 2017 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Save all this money, what do you splurge on?
Replies: 181
Views: 14650

Re: Save all this money, what do you splurge on?

- Restaurants (Philadelphia has some of the best in the world, so we can't not take advantage)
- Travel
- Cars/Motorbikes (Corvette Z06, Range Rover, Mustang Cobra, Honda Rebel)
by ArmchairArchitect
Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 4WD necessary/recommended on Big Island, HI
Replies: 39
Views: 2794

Re: 4WD necessary/recommended on Big Island, HI

We did just fine with a FWD car on the Big Island, and wer'e pretty adventurous. Only place where 4WD is recommended in to get directly to the green sand beach- otherwise you can hike it (with nice views along the hike) or pay the locals a few bucks to take you there (they wait in the main parking a...
by ArmchairArchitect
Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paying contractors for incomplete work
Replies: 32
Views: 2487

Re: Paying contractors for incomplete work

Make sure you write a review on Yelp to warn others. It's the only way this industry (home contractors) can improve over time.
by ArmchairArchitect
Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ancestry / 23andMe
Replies: 79
Views: 6190

Re: Ancestry / 23andMe

Just keep in mind the privacy/security aspects of providing your DNA to a 3rd party, non-medical provider not subject to HIPAA regulations.
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A Trip to Russia
Replies: 81
Views: 4514

Re: A Trip to Russia

riverguy wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:28 pm
obgraham wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:05 pm
Are you taking an arranged tour? Unless you speak Russian, it's not easy to do Russia by yourselves.
Also don’t believe anything you hear in the media about Russia.
Haha ok. I guess we are supposed to trust Kremlin-controlled media more than independent media?
by ArmchairArchitect
Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toyota older, "good" cars - my observations
Replies: 52
Views: 5477

Re: Toyota older, "good" cars - my observations

I'd pass based on having to spend big money ($1,000+ each time) on periodic timing belt replacements.

Cars with timing chains are much lower maintenance.
by ArmchairArchitect
Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I decline Grand Prize trip because of taxes on winnings?
Replies: 93
Views: 8932

Re: Should I decline Grand Prize trip because of taxes on winnings?

I believe there are ways to argue the value of the item, for IRS tax purposes. Ie. if you have documentation/evidence that the same trip could've been bought for much less (as compared to retail prices).
by ArmchairArchitect
Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla truck unveil
Replies: 142
Views: 9083

Re: Tesla truck unveil

Electric trucks would make the most sense for local and regional delivery where the vehicles return to a home base each night. For long distance, i don't think its practical. How much battery density do you need to get a 80000lb semi up the very long grades in mountainous terrain? For moving long d...
by ArmchairArchitect
Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has used furniture dropped in value dramatically?
Replies: 108
Views: 9134

Re: Has used furniture dropped in value dramatically?

The furniture you're picturing looks like furniture someone elderly would have. Too traditional, that's why it's not worth anything.
by ArmchairArchitect
Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it really Worth it to brown bag your lunch at work?
Replies: 313
Views: 20371

Re: Is it really Worth it to brown bag your lunch at work?

There's a better way to analyze this. Figure out your hourly wage, by dividing your salary by number of hours worked in a year. Any services significantly under this hourly rate you should outsource, unless you enjoy the task or don't value your free time/leisure. By making your own lunch every day...
by ArmchairArchitect
Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it really Worth it to brown bag your lunch at work?
Replies: 313
Views: 20371

Re: Is it really Worth it to brown bag your lunch at work?

There's a better way to analyze this. Figure out your hourly wage, by dividing your salary by number of hours worked in a year. Any services significantly under this hourly rate you should outsource, unless you enjoy the task or don't value your free time/leisure. By making your own lunch every day ...
by ArmchairArchitect
Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vehicle Toubleshooting (multiple issues)
Replies: 61
Views: 3504

Re: Vehicle Toubleshooting (multiple issues)

There are forums dedicated to literally every make and model car (see Google). It's more appropriate to ask this type of question on one of those forums.
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed Aug 23, 2017 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Overextended in Bay Area housing?
Replies: 37
Views: 4163

Re: Overextended in Bay Area housing?

You can afford the house. I'd be more concerned about the amount of time you spend commuting each day, being farther out.
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed Aug 23, 2017 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why do we consider cash flow from rentals but not our own homes?
Replies: 89
Views: 6494

Re: Why do we consider cash flow from rentals but not our own homes?

Your logic is sound. However, I wouldn't even include principal in your equation because that's just a transfer of money from your bank account to your home (it's not an expense). I would only include expenses in your calculation, and I always use the interest associated with a 100% mortgage for cal...
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you hire an obese nanny?
Replies: 81
Views: 3618

Re: Would you hire an obese nanny?

There's a higher likelihood that she will overfeed your kids, be lazy about her job, or have unexpected days off due to health issues stemming from the morbid obesity.

Not saying that will happen, just that there's a higher chance.
by ArmchairArchitect
Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Drinking water price craziness
Replies: 79
Views: 8636

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: 937

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: 8696

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: 661

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: 3099

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: 7751

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: 2671

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: 1603

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: 21
Views: 3326

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: 15173

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: 5992

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: 4235

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: 31688

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: 1156

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: http://www.toptiergas.com/licensedbrands/ 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 ga...
by ArmchairArchitect
Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: is luxury car a smarter purchase?
Replies: 102
Views: 8562

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: 36827

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: 15529

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: 2333

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: 3786

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: http://www.toptiergas.com/licensedbrands/ You can buy regular 87 octane gas from a compan...
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed May 17, 2017 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone use "MyPillow" pillows?
Replies: 50
Views: 7738

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 predefined shape. The bamboo...
by ArmchairArchitect
Thu May 04, 2017 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WOW fantastic Cars in the Wild
Replies: 91
Views: 14187

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: 4415

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 eye) for yo...
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed May 03, 2017 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Removing a tree - expensive!!!
Replies: 85
Views: 9068

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: 1988

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: 4445

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: 8495

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: 1025

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: 15529

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: 4445

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: 4753

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.