Search found 1301 matches

by adamthesmythe
Thu May 25, 2017 6:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Land ownership" in a high rise condo
Replies: 8
Views: 937

Re: "Land ownership" in a high rise condo

You do not own the land. The association owns the land and all other common elements. Hallways, roof, lobby, etc. Each condo will own a percentage of the association. Voting right, association dues, etc. all flow from the association. That being said, the value of your condo is partially dependent ...
by adamthesmythe
Thu May 25, 2017 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help! Renters asking for radon mitigation--what do I need to do?
Replies: 18
Views: 1365

Re: Help! Renters asking for radon mitigation--what do I need to do?

A professional retest seems to be called for. As far as I know, you are not required to do remediation and you are certainly not required to do it "ASAP." I would proceed deliberately (careful retest, look for a good contractor, schedule as a non-rush project). If the retest comes back and...
by adamthesmythe
Thu May 25, 2017 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Land ownership" in a high rise condo
Replies: 8
Views: 937

Re: "Land ownership" in a high rise condo

> You do not own the land. The association owns the land and all other common elements. Hallways, roof, lobby, etc. Each condo will own a percentage of the association. Exactly. > in the case of a major earthquake that makes structures inhabitable and in need of being rebuilt. I seem to recall that ...
by adamthesmythe
Wed May 24, 2017 5:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lufthansa Premium Economy
Replies: 22
Views: 1813

Re: Lufthansa Premium Economy

Haven't been on Lufthansa recently- but- for premium seating it will depend on the route in addition to the airline. When they roll out new or refurbished planes it doesn't happen all at once. You can often find a website with a report relevant to your airline and route. In general- in my experience...
by adamthesmythe
Wed May 24, 2017 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do I transfer property from mother-in-law to wife and I?
Replies: 6
Views: 756

Re: How do I transfer property from mother-in-law to wife and I?

> She simply needs to deed the property to you and record the deed and a death certificate. I'm not sure, because I'm not a lawyer, but doesn't that depend on the way that the property is titled? Anyway, you should consult a lawyer. A quit-claim deed is a way of transferring an ownership interest. H...
by adamthesmythe
Tue May 23, 2017 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it worth it spending money to keep your house looking sharp?
Replies: 37
Views: 3772

Re: Is it worth it spending money to keep your house looking sharp?

Why do you care what others think? If you care about it, that is all that really matters. The same is true for cars and most other durable goods. Some people wash and detail their cars regularly, some will wash it once a month, and some don't have a schedule for washing/cleaning it. Some will get e...
by adamthesmythe
Mon May 22, 2017 11:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Restoring Church Pew
Replies: 4
Views: 542

Re: Restoring Church Pew

Cut in half, butt each end up against a wall with 2x4 underneath for support.

Now as to HOW you cut it half...neatly...I have no good ideas. A sawzall is not gonna do it.

> if it is just beat-up pine and nothing particularly nice, it might not be worth it.

But more likely it's oak...
by adamthesmythe
Mon May 22, 2017 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need advice from FF miles experts
Replies: 24
Views: 1711

Re: Need advice from FF miles experts

I use FF miles only for business class long-haul flights. I will buy a modest amount of miles if necessary to top up.
by adamthesmythe
Sat May 20, 2017 7:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are outdoor portable fans worth it?
Replies: 3
Views: 387

Re: Are outdoor portable fans worth it?

In Arizona outdoor ceiling fans are a thing. Also outdoor misters, but they aren't going to help where it's humid.

Anything battery powered is probably more trouble than it's worth.
by adamthesmythe
Sat May 20, 2017 7:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When will used Rolex prices decline significantly?
Replies: 12
Views: 2371

Re: When will used Rolex prices decline significantly?

No one buys a Rolex to know what time it is.

Prices should depend greatly on how many people have more $ than they know what to do with. So they should rise with the market, drop when the market crashes.
by adamthesmythe
Fri May 19, 2017 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How handle home sale proceeds?
Replies: 7
Views: 728

Re: How handle home sale proceeds?

Congratulations on your sale. As long as your profit is less than $250K and you're single, there are no tax issues. A long time ago there was a time limit to reinvest the capital gains but that is no longer. Look for an online bank that offers a bonus for transferring your money in. Right now Cit B...
by adamthesmythe
Fri May 19, 2017 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long do I really need to keep tax returns?
Replies: 18
Views: 1427

Re: How long do I really need to keep tax returns?

I just moved with a half dozen boxes filled with 30 years of tax returns. I am not so much deliberately keeping them as unwilling to dump them without shredding. Scanning would be way too much work. At some point I will go through them to pick out the recent ones and shred the rest. Haven't decided ...
by adamthesmythe
Thu May 18, 2017 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to sell a house?
Replies: 22
Views: 1877

Re: How to sell a house?

> Zilow estimate is $175,000

Ignore this.

Declutter and put on the market for what it will bring.

> Hire dumpster company

Hiring a dumpster is easy and cheap. You will need to find people to fill it.
by adamthesmythe
Thu May 18, 2017 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chandler, AZ
Replies: 35
Views: 2659

Re: Chandler, AZ

The nice, higher-end place in the Phoenix area is Scottsdale.
by adamthesmythe
Wed May 17, 2017 9:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paris private tours
Replies: 12
Views: 1007

Re: Paris private tours

Can't help you, your goals are diametrically opposed to mine when visiting museums.
by adamthesmythe
Wed May 17, 2017 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Legal Question - HO Insurance Claim paid out, but Insurer and Contractor still arguing
Replies: 13
Views: 698

Re: Legal Question - HO Insurance Claim paid out, but Insurer and Contractor still arguing

> sold my house a month ago in a matter of hours. Seems to me you CAN'T be liened because you don't own it anymore. Worst that could happen is that the new owner could go after you personally, but this might depend on exactly what provisions there were in the sales contract. I would probably pay the...
by adamthesmythe
Wed May 17, 2017 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keep paying for AC refrigerant when tech cannot find a leak
Replies: 20
Views: 1538

Re: Keep paying for AC refrigerant when tech cannot find a leak

If your system runs most of a season between fills then the leak is very very small, possibly requiring painstaking and exotic techniques to find. I don't think I have any good suggestions. The leak could also be in the refrigerant lines between the air handler and compressor. When you finally do ne...
by adamthesmythe
Wed May 17, 2017 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Privacy vs $$$$
Replies: 23
Views: 2204

Re: Privacy vs $$$$

Fake addresses are the way to go.

I use mailinator.com as an email address. ANY address (ex. bigguy@mailinator.com) will absorb incoming email AND you can read it (at least for a day or so).

For a phone number, my favorite was the fax # at a former employer.
by adamthesmythe
Tue May 16, 2017 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Small SUV for 15 Year Reliability?
Replies: 92
Views: 7303

Re: Which Small SUV for 15 Year Reliability?

Today you can get a good reading of the 15 year reliability of models built in 2002. All of the brands you mention have good to very good reputations for reliability. All of them have had known issues in particular models and particular years. You are never going to get the assurance of reliability ...
by adamthesmythe
Mon May 15, 2017 5:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renting a small apartment vs buying a bigger home
Replies: 26
Views: 1423

Re: Renting a small apartment vs buying a bigger home

It's even harder to compare apples and oranges when you want to compare a big apple with a small orange. I can understand where you are coming from. Is a 2 BR 2 Ba condo out of the question financially? One reason I moved out of the bay area decades ago was the choice between a huge mortgage and a s...
by adamthesmythe
Mon May 15, 2017 3:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Scolded by my adviser at F******* ! [Fidelity]
Replies: 23
Views: 3831

Re: Scolded by my adviser at F******* !

I recently took a survey at FI. I did not give them 100% on everything! Their website is convoluted and annoying. Today I received a phone call from my assigned advisor, who scolded me that anything less than 100% positive responses reflects directly on him, even though the questions are general. T...
by adamthesmythe
Sun May 14, 2017 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace floor BEFORE or AFTER New Cabinets?
Replies: 27
Views: 2243

Re: Replace floor BEFORE or AFTER New Cabinets?

If the underlayment needs to be torn up/ replaced/ supplanted that should be done before the cabinets. Most of the time I have seen tile up to but not beneath the cabinets which says to me that tile was done last.
by adamthesmythe
Thu May 11, 2017 7:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Samsung or LG tv?
Replies: 49
Views: 2587

Re: Samsung or LG tv?

I know it's not on your list for consideration, but I love my 4K Vizio's. In particular, the built in Google Chromecast support is awesome. Once TV is turned on, YouTube or any other Chromecast supported app sees it as a target. Casting to it automatically switches inputs and starts playing video o...
by adamthesmythe
Thu May 11, 2017 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stressless Recliners
Replies: 27
Views: 14728

Re: Stressless Recliners

I think I've got everyone beat because I bought mine in 1980 for $500 (if I remember correctly). It's tied for the most comfortable chair in the house and is easier to get into and out of. Pretty worn at this point but still frequently used. A big attraction for me was that it worked with the spare ...
by adamthesmythe
Thu May 11, 2017 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Addition Costs
Replies: 19
Views: 1536

Re: Home Addition Costs

Maybe go back to the architect, ask for "value engineering".

Argue that he should revise the plans for free because he was so far off with his design price.
by adamthesmythe
Thu May 11, 2017 1:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Arbitrage
Replies: 8
Views: 594

Re: Arbitrage

Gotta have fast internet. Really fast internet.
by adamthesmythe
Thu May 11, 2017 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does a new car purchase make sense?
Replies: 38
Views: 2485

Re: Does a new car purchase make sense?

> a Camry (or similar) that is young, but used Resale values on Toyotas are high so it is unlikely you will find this attractive. You say that - your wife hates the present car -present car is not that new - safety is a concern -you can afford a new car reasonably comfortably. Getting a reliable rea...
by adamthesmythe
Thu May 11, 2017 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Samsung or LG tv?
Replies: 49
Views: 2587

Re: Samsung or LG tv?

> Do get 4k, upscaling makes 1080 content look even better.

I didn't see anything in the newer and larger models that was NOT 4K. The 4K models that did not have high dynamic range were pretty cheap. OLED, while it may be spectacular, has a bleeding edge price right now.
by adamthesmythe
Wed May 10, 2017 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: title of my home in my name but I'm remarried
Replies: 30
Views: 2869

Re: title of my home in my name but I'm remarried

> Is there a better way to ensure my child only gets the proceeds of my home In another state I am familiar with- you can will a house to someone other than your spouse- but you need a spousal signature agreeing to this if the spouse gets less than 50%. As I see it your problem is- you have done the...
by adamthesmythe
Wed May 10, 2017 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Samsung or LG tv?
Replies: 49
Views: 2587

Re: Samsung or LG tv?

> The curved thing is kinda cool (although it makes the screen appear smaller) One of the AV sites recommended against curved. They said it was more of a gimmick. I decided to go for flat. > We noticed that older black and white tv series look amazing good. I think that may be due to upscaling elect...
by adamthesmythe
Wed May 10, 2017 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Samsung or LG tv?
Replies: 49
Views: 2587

Re: Samsung or LG tv?

Both appear to be sound choices and among the "better" manufacturers.

I am the owner of two Samsung TVs, one about 10 years old and the other a few weeks old. So far so good.
by adamthesmythe
Tue May 09, 2017 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What home improvements are worth it
Replies: 37
Views: 5323

Re: What home improvements are worth it

You should ask which improvments are "more" worth it- that is, most likely to return a good fraction on resale. Do-it-yourself painting is almost certainly a good idea, provided you do a decent job, and not including the garage floor. Maybe the garage walls would pay better. At those price...
by adamthesmythe
Tue May 09, 2017 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Renting correct size car
Replies: 31
Views: 2159

Re: Renting correct size car

Remember you will often get a car larger than the one you reserved. Also keep in mind that they do not promise the model you see in the picture, they will to give you that model, a "similar" one, or a larger one. Good supplemental credit card insurance, like the AMEX premium car rental ins...
by adamthesmythe
Sun May 07, 2017 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retired - How much can I afford to pay for house
Replies: 12
Views: 1687

Re: Retired - How much can I afford to pay for house

I would be comfortable going into retirement with 500K in a (paid off) house and 2M in investments. You may want to look carefully at the cost of OWNING the house- the total cost of taxes, maintenance, utilities, HOA, etc. Look at the difference between your comfortable withdrawal rate and your cost...
by adamthesmythe
Sun May 07, 2017 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Long distance move, issues/costs
Replies: 11
Views: 965

Re: Long distance move, issues/costs

> Traditional movers can be notorious for giving an "estimate" then jacking up the price once they have your stuff. If you don't pay the price you don't get your stuff back. While experiences may vary, I have never had this happen. In my last move I had three (nearly identical) fixed-price...
by adamthesmythe
Thu May 04, 2017 6:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road trip to western states
Replies: 38
Views: 1999

Re: Road trip to western states

> I have read about U.S. 89 and people say it is an incredible drive. Just got back from there. You're probably hearing about 89 in Utah. Southern Utah has several really nice National parks in close proximity. (Close for the west, that is). Consider that area if you want to maximize the time actual...
by adamthesmythe
Mon May 01, 2017 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: best retail source: service or price?
Replies: 4
Views: 247

Re: best retail source: service or price?

This is a case where the intrinsic value of the product is small and the reason to spend the money is to show that...you care enough to spend the money.

So go to Macy's and be sure to keep the Macy's bag to show you didn't try to cheap out.
by adamthesmythe
Mon May 01, 2017 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: buying dining table is hard
Replies: 55
Views: 3319

Re: buying dining table is hard

>or they have vinyl chairs If you're seeing vinyl you are looking in low-end stores. You may also have a great deal of cowboy style in Texas. I am sure that the national brands like Bassett have stores in Houston and will offer a number of classic designs (almost always with leaves). Expect to pay a...
by adamthesmythe
Sun Apr 30, 2017 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Motor Home
Replies: 33
Views: 3532

Re: Motor Home

Thoughts 1. Buy used. There seems to be a rather large market for used RVs. 2. Calculate the cost of using a car and renting hotel rooms. Depending on how long you intend to do this, it might turn out to be similar in cost. If you're thinking of national parks and such- keep in mind that getting aro...
by adamthesmythe
Fri Apr 28, 2017 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Warranty
Replies: 11
Views: 876

Re: Home Warranty

I would take some active steps to cancel. I decided not to renew my warranty with AHS last year and just ignored it. They sent it to collections. You should report that to the BBB. That's just plain illegal. How can they send something to collections for service they are not providing? Unless you w...
by adamthesmythe
Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Warranty
Replies: 11
Views: 876

Re: Home Warranty

> It was provided by the seller last year when I bought my townhouse. If the company doesn't have your credit card info or bank details, how are they going to charge you? If they provided a postpaid envelope, then write cancel in bold letters and send it back. If not, ignore. Calling is too much eff...
by adamthesmythe
Wed Apr 26, 2017 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: need advice on sale of a 55 or older retirement listing
Replies: 7
Views: 603

Re: need advice on sale of a 55 or older retirement listing

Safest would be for you to take a mortgage. If he is paying 120K CASH at closing you would hold a first mortgage. That would be very safe it seems to me. If he is getting 120K from a mortgage you would be a second mortgage holder and be much less safe. If it's a mortgage he makes payments to you. As...
by adamthesmythe
Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice for shareholder advocacy?
Replies: 3
Views: 262

Re: Advice for shareholder advocacy?

Reminds me a of a new yorker cartoon of a shareholder meeting. One officer says to another "this is the part of capitalism that I hate." Companies are required to take shareholder questions. Maybe there is a signup sheet. I suspect this portion of the meeting is almost always for show. Ser...
by adamthesmythe
Tue Apr 25, 2017 5:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $300+ to remove a racoon. Really?
Replies: 83
Views: 4778

Re: $300+ to remove a racoon. Really?

Doom&Gloom wrote:This:
http://www.havahart.com/

Trapping is the easy part. Transporting it to a new location and release is the key.


Used one for squirrels. Squirrels like peanut butter. Mr.(Ms.) squirrel now has a new zip code.
by adamthesmythe
Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New job and offer - recruiter sent a wrong $$
Replies: 43
Views: 4969

Re: New job and offer - recruiter sent a wrong $$

It's possible that the recruiter screwed up, and is trying valiantly to not admit his mistake.

If you did accept the job at the lower salary, it would leave a bad taste in your mouth. You might also suspect more than the usual level of incompetence in management at the new company.
by adamthesmythe
Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New job and offer - recruiter sent a wrong $$
Replies: 43
Views: 4969

Re: New job and offer - recruiter sent a wrong $$

You don't say whether you already have a job, and you don't say whether +20K is a reasonable offer for the position or better than reasonable.

One strategy is to reply that you are very interested in the job but the salary does not meet your expectations.
by adamthesmythe
Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Will cars be autonomous in three years?
Replies: 223
Views: 10913

Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

With a 3 year horizon I would not make a decision that depends on the availability of autonomous cars. (Level 3 or level 4).

I do expect high-capability autonomous vehicles within a 10 year time horizon.

Just a guess by an engineer not working in this area.
by adamthesmythe
Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aftermarket batteries for cordless tools?
Replies: 10
Views: 1141

Re: Aftermarket batteries for cordless tools?

A battery is a battery unless it explodes.

Seriously- the problem with the battery-powered skateboards was fires caused by apparently poor-quality batteries.

I would buy a well-rated non-OEM but I would also be a bit careful where I stored it.
by adamthesmythe
Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)
Replies: 56
Views: 4814

Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

> I suggested to my current agent that she should be here for every showing. After about a month of this, she is clearly not happy and always has some excuse why she can't be here. And she says the world is different than 25 years ago I am familiar with your area and your price range. I have never h...
by adamthesmythe
Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Comcast negotiations
Replies: 58
Views: 6238

Re: Comcast negotiations

johnubc wrote:Would you be happy with the $120 rate? Take the triple play and just do not use the phone number. Do not port your current phone to them. You get the $120 triple play and a phone number you do not use.


It could be handy to have a new phone number that doesn't actually have a phone connected.

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