Search found 87 matches

by WaffleCone
Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fake IRS calls - anybody care?
Replies: 59
Views: 2682

Re: Fake IRS calls - anybody care?

I am curious as to the scam bluelight reports? What could they tell her daughter that would make her buy a gift card and give them the code? An PhD friend was duped by one claiming that he owed taxes due immediately. Went to the grocery store and bought MoneyPak cards. May have had a guilty conscie...
by WaffleCone
Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fake IRS calls - anybody care?
Replies: 59
Views: 2682

Re: Fake IRS calls - anybody care?

Thankfully, this appears to have been purely that she bought a $500 ebay gift card and gave them the code for the card. I didn't even know such things existed. I don't believe that they could get any credit card info from the purchase, and she said that she didn't give them any additional info. Thi...
by WaffleCone
Sun Jul 01, 2018 7:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone Experienced with Credit Card Fraud ? Need Advice
Replies: 21
Views: 2073

Re: Anyone Experienced with Credit Card Fraud ? Need Advice

From our experience, no one really seems to want to catch the perpetrators and the cc issuer's strategy seems to be to keep you (the victim) in the dark and tell you nothing. I don't get it at all. They (the issuers) get what they deserve. I previously worked for a major online retailer who was hit...
by WaffleCone
Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for ice machine
Replies: 22
Views: 1661

Re: Recommendations for ice machine

Not related to the ice maker, but I have been making cold-brewed iced tea lately, with good success. It takes some planning ahead. I do this with green tea. Comes out very smooth and light, compared to brewing hot and then icing. Thanks for the suggestion. I'll try some cold brew Luzianne tea. It's...
by WaffleCone
Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for ice machine
Replies: 22
Views: 1661

Re: Recommendations for ice machine

I'm surprised that your refrigerator did not come with an additional full ice maker in the freezer. Every refrigerator I looked at with ice-in-the-door had a full ice maker. If you don't have a second ice maker in the freezer, you should check to see if your fridge brand/model has an optional ice m...
by WaffleCone
Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lincoln Aviator
Replies: 5
Views: 604

Re: Lincoln Aviator

I was a big fan of Lincoln in the early 2000's when they had the LS. It compared well against euro cars at the time. But they never invested into it, let it get stale, and dropped it a few years later. Since then they have an alphabet soup of MKZ MKT MKX models while at the same time trying to reliv...
by WaffleCone
Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for ice machine
Replies: 22
Views: 1661

Re: Recommendations for ice machine

this seems weird. its like your whole family should be tested for anemia. i turn our ice maker off for weeeeeeeks. because we dont use that much ice. One of the kids is a bit of an ice eater but he was tested normal. The others put it in their large water bottles and it melts throughout the day. Ju...
by WaffleCone
Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for ice machine
Replies: 22
Views: 1661

Recommendations for ice machine

We are a family of 6 and go through a lot of ice. My wife and I are unsweetened iced tea drinkers so it's easy for us to use an ice cube tray each, or more. The older kids load up their sports bottles with ice and water, and even the younger ones always want "ice water" instead of just plain water. ...
by WaffleCone
Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road trip Pennsylvania,Maryland,and DC
Replies: 97
Views: 5156

Re: Road trip Pennsylvania,Maryland,and DC

Longwood is nice if you live in the area, but don't bother with it as it's out of the way and will eat up an entire day when you can do much more by staying an extra day in Philadelphia. Morris Arboretum is much more accessible if you're into nice gardens/estates (and check out the beautiful neighb...
by WaffleCone
Sat Jun 23, 2018 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Repair old refrigerator or purchase new
Replies: 24
Views: 1719

Re: Repair old refrigerator or purchase new

What is the brand and type(side by side, freezer top, French door, etc) of fridge? Sometimes they have a built in diagnostics program you can use to eliminate the guesswork: turn on evap fan, turn on compressor, open freezer flap, defrost, etc. A new fridge will set you back at least $1000, double t...
by WaffleCone
Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road trip Pennsylvania,Maryland,and DC
Replies: 97
Views: 5156

Re: Road trip Pennsylvania,Maryland,and DC

Also late to the thread but this is what I would do... In Philly, make sure you do at least these things: - Liberty Bell - Independence Hall - Museum of the American Revolution - Reading Terminal Market (food!) - Art Museum or something else along the Ben Franklin Parkway. Eastern State Penitentiary...
by WaffleCone
Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Consolidating funds in 401k portfolio
Replies: 8
Views: 757

Re: Consolidating funds in 401k portfolio

OP back. Sorry, got swamped with family stuff the past week. I have about $50k in non-retirement accounts. It's a mish-mash between Vanguard, Dodge and Cox, and some individual stocks (XOM primarily). I won't be able to increase that savings anytime soon and I'm more comfortable keeping it "out of s...
by WaffleCone
Tue Jun 05, 2018 5:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Consolidating funds in 401k portfolio
Replies: 8
Views: 757

Consolidating funds in 401k portfolio

Me: Age 45, married with 4 young kids. Occupation: Software/Engineering. Stable job. Spouse: Age 40, stay at home mom. College educated. Emergency Fund: 12k of higher yielding I-bonds circa 2000. I would only use these if absolutely necessary. We keep very good credit and would use HELOC or 0% cards...
by WaffleCone
Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driving UHaul
Replies: 20
Views: 2040

Re: Driving UHaul

I never had a good experience with uhaul, from their front desk policies to the maintenance on their vehicles. Look at alternatives from Penske. For me, they rent locally from Home Depot. My go to option these days is a cargo van from Enterprise. It's just over 8' deep, so may be a little small for ...
by WaffleCone
Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Energy Industry [looking for website to discuss]
Replies: 23
Views: 1646

Re: Energy Industry [looking for website to discuss]

Reddit has /r/Grid_Ops. That may be best place to open a discussion specific to the industry. rtoinsider.com has an expensive subscription available for their analysis. They offer a few free articles. Also try the major RTO's themselves. In my neck of the woods that's pjm: insidelines.pjm .com - ind...
by WaffleCone
Thu May 31, 2018 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need some advice in regards to A/C System
Replies: 29
Views: 1671

Re: Need some advice in regards to A/C System

+1 re: the cap and contactor. I did the repair myself in 2 hours for about $40. I would have paid $300 but a tech couldn't come out for a week. Needed a/c! You might also consider getting a hard-start cap added. My understanding is, as the compressor gets old it gradually takes more current to start...
by WaffleCone
Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit Card Extended Warranties for Kitchen Appliances?
Replies: 3
Views: 477

Credit Card Extended Warranties for Kitchen Appliances?

Does anyone have experience using a credit card extended warranty on a kitchen appliance like a refrigerator or wall oven? Do they typically pay for someone to come to the house to diagnose and repair? We're upgrading our appliances and a 3-year "protection plan" (1 year manufacturer + 2 year extend...
by WaffleCone
Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PA 529 Guaranteed Plan (GSP) for K12 Education
Replies: 0
Views: 217

PA 529 Guaranteed Plan (GSP) for K12 Education

We pay $12K private school tuition for 4 kids. First child is the most expensive and gradually decreases until the 4th is free. What a deal, eh? I'm trying to determine if it makes sense to use my PA 529 GSP for making payments. The GSP is the type where you buy credits at today's cost for use in th...
by WaffleCone
Thu Mar 08, 2018 11:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need Help Solving A House Smell Mystery
Replies: 46
Views: 4380

Re: Need Help Solving A House Smell Mystery

My first guess is pet smells that weren't properly sealed by the flipper. High humidity makes them worse, but that itself is a problem you need to take care of. How high is high? 60% or more year round I'd want to find the root cause. Did you have an HVAC guy test the system? The filter may be clean...
by WaffleCone
Thu Mar 08, 2018 3:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Converting old home to open plan layout?
Replies: 45
Views: 4209

Re: Converting old home to open plan layout?

I agree with some of the houzz folks that your plans need work and that you absolutely need to involve an architect. I'd stop now if your budget is less than $300K. People here will scoff at that number, say how they can build a house for that much, how you can GC it yourself to do it cheaper, how t...
by WaffleCone
Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Talk some "cents" into me- Home Improvement
Replies: 33
Views: 1695

Re: Talk some "cents" into me- Home Improvement

You say NO KIDS but are you planning on having any? Maybe? I can understand not wanting tar & chip or gravel especially if that isn't the style of your neighborhood, but skip the pavers. They look great when they are new but are more upkeep and often look dated in 5 years. If they're not installed r...
by WaffleCone
Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: curious about baseboard heater problem
Replies: 7
Views: 467

Re: curious about baseboard heater problem

Not that cold at night, maybe twenty. Ha! 20, not that cold... bogleheads in arizona probably need a sweater after reading that! Do you have removable baseboard covers or is it cast iron BB? If removable covers, take them off and check if the copper pipe has fins. I've seen it where the entire room...
by WaffleCone
Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Range Hood Blower Sizing
Replies: 40
Views: 2016

Re: Range Hood Blower Sizing

All that air getting pushed out needs to come in from somewhere and likewise will need to be conditioned, cooled and dehumidified in your case. 1500 cfm is a lot of air movement! Some whole house fans are that size and they are designed to run with windows fully open. I'm not an expert but even on m...
by WaffleCone
Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AJ Madison?
Replies: 11
Views: 1296

Re: AJ Madison?

You should at least give the local dealers a chance to match the price online. I almost bough a washing machine from AJ Madison but without even haggling the local price was $100 cheaper, tax included. They delivered, installed, and removed my old one and I was still ahead $25. I don't think I'd get...
by WaffleCone
Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: anyone installing a hybrid gas heat system for heat?
Replies: 5
Views: 516

Re: anyone installing a hybrid gas heat system for heat?

Your heat pump should have electric coils built-in for supplemental heat. They are basically toaster coils in the blower that are turned on if the heat pump can't keep up by itself. You should check if yours has this, and if not have it installed. In VA it should be there. HVAC guy did not do proper...
by WaffleCone
Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Snow Tires? Worth it?
Replies: 147
Views: 7952

Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

They're a major hassle. ... I mounted my 4 tires last weekend. 30 mins, start to finish, and I wasn't moving quickly. As noted about cost should be about $500 w/ rims, and they will last you many years as others have noted, they only need to save you from one accident to be well worth it. The data ...
by WaffleCone
Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Snow Tires? Worth it?
Replies: 147
Views: 7952

Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

They're a major hassle. Storing 4 tires takes up a fair amount of space. Transporting 4 dirty tires to the shop only to be charged $15/tire to mount and balance adds up. Repeat a few months later. Or you could buy an extra set of rims, costly, and still you drive them to a shop or change each wheel ...
by WaffleCone
Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Septic tank - deal killer?
Replies: 47
Views: 4725

Re: Septic tank - deal killer?

Our tie-in was $12,000 but it easily could have cost triple (and we had quotes for triple+ ). The permit charge was $300 and has since gone up to $1500. Our sewer main tap and lateral to the curb were already installed, which meant no street digging. If we needed to open the street it would have bee...
by WaffleCone
Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pricing a home addition
Replies: 7
Views: 909

Re: Pricing a home addition

I’ve struggled with this for the past year and I don’t think there’s a good way to do it unless you’re working from an architect’s plan that includes a full materials list and construction drawing. For a residential addition, even if a few hundred K, paying for that level of detail may not be worth ...
by WaffleCone
Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Installing a slide inside a home?
Replies: 39
Views: 3360

Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

Parent of 4 kids here. Our house has a slide built-in as part of its original code compliant construction. We call it a railing. Kids climb up, one leg over each side, and wheee! Fun for ages 3-8, no sign of them losing interest despite our best attempts to get them to stop. Slide or no slide, they'...
by WaffleCone
Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Insulation in home question
Replies: 25
Views: 2654

Re: Insulation in home question

Definitely consider blown cellulose before any type of fiberglass product. Better R value, less expensive, and much better at air sealing. In theory I agree with removing the plywood floor and any existing insulation. In practice this can be very time consuming (expensive) and possibly create cracks...
by WaffleCone
Thu Aug 17, 2017 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it worth it? [demanding jobs vs time with family]
Replies: 182
Views: 15182

Re: Is it worth it? [demanding jobs vs time with family]

Just my 2 cents... First, make sure it's really a question of not seeing your children enough vs. not having any time left with your spouse after you both work and spend time with the kids. It doesn't leave a lot of quality couple time before you go to sleep and do it all over again. With a regular ...
by WaffleCone
Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Big family, small house dilemma -- kid bedrooms in basement?
Replies: 23
Views: 3465

Re: Big family, small house dilemma -- kid bedrooms in basement?

We have a real estate agent friend who said that not having a garage is a negative for resale, mainly becuase no matter how nice the house is the auto-searches filter it out before people even see it. On the flip side, no one around here actually uses their garage for parking and the extra bedrooms ...
by WaffleCone
Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Big family, small house dilemma -- kid bedrooms in basement?
Replies: 23
Views: 3465

Big family, small house dilemma -- kid bedrooms in basement?

Anyone have real-life experience with putting the kid bedrooms in the lower level (daylight basement)? We are a family of 6 with 4 kids (under 8yrs) living in a 1600sqft 3bd/1.5ba ranch. The main issue is bedrooms, which are all situated on one side of the house. When one person wakes up, everyone d...
by WaffleCone
Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Physicals and Forms for Kids Activities
Replies: 12
Views: 1017

Physicals and Forms for Kids Activities

This is part consumer question and part gripe. I just spent ~$200 on physicals and health forms so my kids could attend a day camp. The camp was already paid for and something they earned so I went along with it. Allegedly the camp needs it for certification compliance. My insurance covers one physi...
by WaffleCone
Thu Jun 01, 2017 12:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car engine dispute
Replies: 29
Views: 3364

Re: Car engine dispute

I'd keep pouring oil in as well. $4 qt/1000 miles is much cheaper than a $1000 piston job. You may consider using different oil too. I don't know if the Equinox engine is similar to the direction injection model on the Enclave, but I find that I get better results with Pennzoil Platinum 5w30 and AC ...
by WaffleCone
Thu Jun 01, 2017 12:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nephews play football - don't want to encourage this
Replies: 45
Views: 4464

Re: Nephews play football - don't want to encourage this

As the parent of 3 young boys, I can assure you they won't make the connection between buying raffle tickets and your principled stand on not wanting them to play football. I think it's great to mention to their parents about all the new research showing the long term dangers. But ultimately the par...
by WaffleCone
Mon May 08, 2017 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Swing Set 2700.00??
Replies: 35
Views: 4450

Get a steel set for 1/2 the price

I was never a fan of wood playsets. They are expensive and often an eyesore after a few seasons. I suppose they can look good with some maintenance but who wants that. Check out a steel Lifetime set. You can order from Home Depot, Costco, or search online for even better prices. It ships to your hou...
by WaffleCone
Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?
Replies: 75
Views: 7694

Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

I just spent $2200 on 22 yards of mulch and soil, spring cleanup, and bed prep. It would have taken me a month to do the work myself, squeezing it in after work and on weekends in-between kids' activities. The longer it goes, the harder it gets to cleanup. And it's not worth vacation time to do. I'm...
by WaffleCone
Sat Mar 04, 2017 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Building a video game PC with an 8 year old?
Replies: 9
Views: 793

Building a video game PC with an 8 year old?

Silly me thought I could go out and buy the new Nintendo Switch for my son's birthday this week. I was a little surprised to learn people were camping out for it. Camping out was OK when I was 18 buying concert tickets but daddy doesn't shop that way anymore. We live near a Microcenter and I'm leani...
by WaffleCone
Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Giving my lawn the TLC it needs
Replies: 69
Views: 5631

Re: Giving my lawn the TLC it needs

Do not aerate, slit seed, or till any area of your lawn unless you're prepared to fight the weed seeds that are dormant in the layers underneath. In most cases of spot over-seeding simply throwing seed down and covering with a thin layer of compost is fine. And then: water water water. You can put d...
by WaffleCone
Fri Mar 03, 2017 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Giving my lawn the TLC it needs
Replies: 69
Views: 5631

Re: Giving my lawn the TLC it needs

Throw away the estimate if they're not doing a soil test. As someone earlier suggested, go to www.aroundtheyard.com forums. Spend $20 for a soil test and post the results there. They will give you a plan for what you need to do with mostly non-chemical fertilizers. They are very helpful and in a few...
by WaffleCone
Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grass trimmer
Replies: 67
Views: 5518

Give battery a try first.

I have both, a 4-cycle gas dual-line trimmer and a Black & Decker battery power single-line trimmer with a second battery. I NEVER use the gas trimmer anymore. If you have a residential lawn where you're edging grass around sidewalks, fences, and flower beds you don't need the power of gas. Even if ...
by WaffleCone
Wed Feb 22, 2017 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Utility Bills - How do ours compare?
Replies: 44
Views: 6211

Looks like I'm an energy hog

1900 sqft ranch in Philadelphia. Gas heat/HW, electric cooking. Newer windows and insulation. A/C from 2005. Family of 6. Stay at home mom and 2 young kids home most of the day. Electric min/max/avg: $95/221/133 ($1636/yr) Gas: $23/172/78 ($871/yr) Water: $95/125/105 ($1275/yr) Trash: $20/month Tota...
by WaffleCone
Wed Jan 04, 2017 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Construction Loan as 2nd Lien?
Replies: 1
Views: 397

Construction Loan as 2nd Lien?

Does anyone know if it's possible to get a renovation or construction loan (HomeStyle or similar) in the second lien position? I'm at least 6 months away from starting a large home renovation and mortgage rates are climbing. They may be a full point higher by the time we start. Looking to keep my cu...
by WaffleCone
Fri Oct 21, 2016 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Finishing a Basement
Replies: 13
Views: 2157

Re: Finishing a Basement

How high is the basement ceiling? Is it a walkout basement or almost entirely underground? Does it have a bathroom currently? What are you doing for HVAC? And, are you looking for a true code-compliant bedroom or just a workout room (big difference)? Answering these questions may help determine if i...
by WaffleCone
Wed Oct 19, 2016 10:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Two stage Snowblowers -- 22" or 28+"?
Replies: 40
Views: 3573

Re: Two stage Snowblowers -- 22" or 28+"?

I have an Ariens 28" without the auto-turn. I keep the wheels locked and it does take a little extra extra effort to make a tight turn, especially the first pass in deep snow. I don't have a problem with it. My neighbor is 65 and he uses it regularly without a problem. Just something to get used to....
by WaffleCone
Thu Oct 13, 2016 6:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Snowblower
Replies: 39
Views: 5040

Re: Snowblower

There are plenty of good options but you won't get the horsepower you need from a 15A electric circuit. Ariens, Simplicity, Cub Cadet, and Honda all make very good snowblowers. You can get a lesser model from Sears/Craftsman, MTD, etc. that will still far outperform a small gas powered machine or an...
by WaffleCone
Tue Aug 02, 2016 9:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: major remodel: regrets or things you'd do again
Replies: 68
Views: 9306

Re: major remodel: regrets or things you'd do again

We've been planning to start "this fall" for about 2 years now, but we're finally getting closer. Our architect suggested that we pick out everything we can "see or touch" before the remodel begins. If you don't, you'll either have to accept whatever is convenient/cheap for the contractor or you'll ...
by WaffleCone
Sat Jul 30, 2016 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retaining wall on neighbor's property
Replies: 69
Views: 6623

Re: Retaining wall on neighbor's property

Is it really the landscapers fault? If you said "replace this wall" but weren't there during construction and the property line isn't clearly marked, then I think you bear some if not all of the responsibility. Could they be reasonably expected to know where the property line was to within 10 inches?