Search found 594 matches

by davebo
Tue Feb 09, 2016 6:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Car for Family of 5?
Replies: 60
Views: 2906

Re: Best Car for Family of 5?

We have a 2011 Honda Odyssey and it's worked out pretty well so far. We have a 7 year old and twin 5 year olds.
by davebo
Tue Feb 09, 2016 6:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any audible users out there? Worth it?
Replies: 21
Views: 993

Re: Any audible users out there? Worth it?

With my kids being young, I found I didn't have too much time to read so I tried out audible. I do the annual thing and love the service when I can find a book that is interesting. I'm just now getting into more fiction books so that should open up my world a little bit. It's also kind of nice becau...
by davebo
Mon Feb 08, 2016 6:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Planning a High-Value Wedding Regardless of Cost
Replies: 55
Views: 2777

Re: Planning a High-Value Wedding Regardless of Cost

The biggest thing we did is get married young. We hadn't been to that many weddings up until that point so we didn't know what we were doing wrong :) In our case though, we chose to get married at a nice venue that was further out from the city (probably 45 minutes outside Chicago). I still found th...
by davebo
Wed Feb 03, 2016 6:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of home addition? Should I do it?
Replies: 44
Views: 2945

Re: Cost of home addition? Should I do it?

We're in the early stages of doing a full-scale remodel. In fact, I have a $3000 architect bill due and we're barely done 50% of the plan. A little advice: 1. Do not try to live through the renovation. It will be too disruptive with three kids and end up costing more since they're working around yo...
by davebo
Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Am I Over Insuring My House?
Replies: 17
Views: 1802

Re: Am I Over Insuring My House?

I'm with Allstate and my purchase price was $500K. Allstate has a final page of my policy which tells me the cost to replace and it states they will not insure my home for less than that. It seems expensive to rebuild my house since I've heard you can re-build a house for $150/SF, which would be my ...
by davebo
Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of home addition? Should I do it?
Replies: 44
Views: 2945

Re: Cost of home addition? Should I do it?

I am currently in a ranch with the master off the back of the house and a tiny bathroom. We went through the same debate for quite awhile and finally decided that the main reason we wanted to do the addition was that the bathroom was small. Eventually we hit upon ways to make the bathroom feel bigg...
by davebo
Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of home addition? Should I do it?
Replies: 44
Views: 2945

Re: Cost of home addition? Should I do it?

We did a new master suite/addition last winter. We loved our house and were in a good location: Ageing parents in same subdivision, Primary, Middle, and High School all within 2 miles for our 2 kids. We converted our original master bath and half of our original bedroom to a big full sized laundry ...
by davebo
Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of home addition? Should I do it?
Replies: 44
Views: 2945

Re: Cost of home addition? Should I do it?

No time to read all the replies, but what struck me from the original post is why have a new bedroom built when it is just the bath that's an annoyance? Yes, I would replace the bath, it sounds like a daily annoyance. The bath is a minor annoyance, but I know I can fix that if needed. The other thi...
by davebo
Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of home addition? Should I do it?
Replies: 44
Views: 2945

Re: Cost of home addition? Should I do it?

I went from a small cape cod with bedrooms in a finished attic to a full-up 2-story house. We added a sun-room and broke down one exterior wall to add to the dining area. Our square footage literally doubled. Would I do this again? Yes. This was done through what's known as a "tear-off" -...
by davebo
Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of home addition? Should I do it?
Replies: 44
Views: 2945

Re: Cost of home addition? Should I do it?

I have been contemplating an almost identical project for a year or so (right down to the master bath being at the back of the house, wanting to remodel it and tack a new master bedroom and closet behind it). I discussed it with a general contractor friend and asked him for a very rough back-of-the...
by davebo
Tue Feb 02, 2016 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of home addition? Should I do it?
Replies: 44
Views: 2945

Re: Cost of home addition? Should I do it?

2) Should I do it? ...... It's ok, but the finishes are not as nice as ours and the basement is smaller because it's a 2 story (as opposed to ranch). Thoughts? Not sure if it's worth the headache or not. Real estate is all about location, location, location. A lot of people think their finishes or ...
by davebo
Tue Feb 02, 2016 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Babysitter not providing SSN
Replies: 59
Views: 5358

Re: Babysitter not providing SSN

I wonder if the babysitter understood why you were asking for her SSN to begin with. I think most babysitters (esp. sporadic ones) assume that they are getting paid cash. When they give you "the rate", it's "the cash rate". I guess the best you could hope is explaining that you h...
by davebo
Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of home addition? Should I do it?
Replies: 44
Views: 2945

Cost of home addition? Should I do it?

I purchased my 3 bed/3 bath ranch for $500K in 2011. The house has 2350 SF and a full finished basement with bar, office, workout room, and full bathroom. Location is great, we can walk to the schools that my kids go to, large lots, wooded, and it's unincorporated so we pay very low property taxes. ...
by davebo
Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you pay for exercise?
Replies: 209
Views: 10786

Re: Do you pay for exercise?

My wife belongs to a Lifetime fitness and the club closest to us is considered to be the highest level (so most expensive) because they limit the memberships. The facilities are nice, but it's $80/month just for my wife. For the last couple years, I've had a gym membership at a park district right n...
by davebo
Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What was your biggest unexpected home expense?
Replies: 87
Views: 7264

What was your biggest unexpected home expense?

I'm just curious what the biggest expense you had to cover (not covered by insurance) while you have been a homeowner. You can throw in expenses that were anticipated at some point, but came a little sooner than you expected. For us, it's still somewhat in motion. We were advised to replace a sectio...
by davebo
Mon Jan 18, 2016 10:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What online Email do you use
Replies: 59
Views: 4870

Re: What online Email do you use

LearningtheRopes wrote:
cheese_breath wrote:I had reservations about letting Google have access to my Emails


This is precisely why I have stayed with Yahoo for my email. It's fine.


If you're getting email for free, they have the right to "read" your emails.
by davebo
Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering Family Relocation - Seeking Wisdom
Replies: 39
Views: 4674

Re: Considering Family Relocation - Seeking Wisdom

I don't have any direct experience, but I would expand your search to other areas and then consider the area if you find a job that looks enticing. You might not get the perfect job in your desired area, but you might get a more perfect job in an area that is NOT dc and closer to where you grew up. ...
by davebo
Thu Jan 07, 2016 11:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: helping a creative child grow
Replies: 40
Views: 1943

Re: helping a creative child grow

I don't know if you can rely on the schools to really foster creativity. I'm 37 and, when I was younger, I don't feel like the school did a good job of that. My oldest is now in 1st grade and I think it's much better, but very much focused on common core targets; there is only so much time in the da...
by davebo
Thu Jan 07, 2016 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Housing Dilemma (Might want 4th BR with 3 kids)
Replies: 26
Views: 2529

Re: Housing Dilemma (Might want 4th BR with 3 kids)

Thanks for the replies. There are certainly some noteworthy suggestions. Many have suggested we have plenty of time if we want to upgrade and we certainly shouldn't upgrade until #3 is a reality. I totally agree with the latter part of that statement, but I am not quite sure on waiting until the ki...
by davebo
Tue Jan 05, 2016 6:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fix Broken Sewer Line-Thoughts?
Replies: 20
Views: 990

Re: Fix Broken Sewer Line-Thoughts?

It's either taking in water from the municipal sewer or from the ground. Check your check valve which ensures one way flow of water and also inspect the basin for leaks. With cold weather it's not uncommon for freezing to cause cracks or force rubber seals loose. You don't want your sewage ejector ...
by davebo
Tue Jan 05, 2016 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fix Broken Sewer Line-Thoughts?
Replies: 20
Views: 990

Re: Fix Broken Sewer Line-Thoughts?

2nd guy just came through and said there is nothing that needs to be done and it's fine. He said that there are always cracks in the pipes and it doesn't mean that they need to be fixed. He said that he put the dye into the toilets and said that none of the dye ended up in the pit. If that ejector p...
by davebo
Tue Jan 05, 2016 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fix Broken Sewer Line-Thoughts?
Replies: 20
Views: 990

Re: Fix Broken Sewer Line-Thoughts?

I called another plumber to come over to my house to diagnose the problem. When I told them the company I got the quote from (who was highly rated on Angie's list) he said that they always recommend replacing the pipe because they want to charge $4-5K. He said something like "Did they even try ...
by davebo
Tue Jan 05, 2016 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fix Broken Sewer Line-Thoughts?
Replies: 20
Views: 990

Re: Fix Broken Sewer Line-Thoughts?

Largely depends on how deep he has to dig, how many replacement parts/pipes he needs to use, and any obstructions that would make the job difficult. Four years ago, I was quoted $3,700 to $5,800 to replace a 50-60 feet section of pipe that was 11 ft underground (it was an old paper-clay sewer line ...
by davebo
Tue Jan 05, 2016 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you keep your young kids busy/occupied?
Replies: 37
Views: 2781

Re: How do you keep your young kids busy/occupied?

I have a 7 year old and twin 4 (soon to be 5) year olds. My twins are much much better at keeping themselves busy. Depending on their moods, they can play together or by themselves for a long period of time. Usually when this happens, they are making a big mess but it's worth it for a little quiet! ...
by davebo
Tue Jan 05, 2016 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fix Broken Sewer Line-Thoughts?
Replies: 20
Views: 990

Fix Broken Sewer Line-Thoughts?

I posted awhile back back about my ejector pump running constantly. It turned out that I actually had a break in the main sewer line that was causing water to get back into my ejector pit. The house used to have a septic tank so the sewer line runs along the back of the house and then to the the fro...
by davebo
Sat Jan 02, 2016 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Housing Dilemma (Might want 4th BR with 3 kids)
Replies: 26
Views: 2529

Re: Housing Dilemma (Might want 4th BR with 3 kids)

I wouldn't let the house hold you back from having th kids you want. I have a 3 bedroom house and 3 kids, so my boys share a room. I have also considered moving, adding on, carving out space inside the house, or just leaving it be. I would just proceed and then figure it out later. Speaking as someo...
by davebo
Tue Dec 29, 2015 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Light Conversion?
Replies: 17
Views: 1412

Re: Light Conversion?

I wouldn't, but that's mostly because my Christmas lights break so much. I'd just get a timer and keep them on for very short times 5-10pm or something.
by davebo
Tue Dec 22, 2015 8:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: For those who have seen the new Star Wars movie
Replies: 36
Views: 4248

Re: For those who have seen the new Star Wars movie

The ticket prices are the same at both theaters, but if you reserve in advance then you are obviously doing it online and have to pay the $3.75 (total) convenience fee. Have you tried going to the box office in person and buying a ticket in advance? That's how we did it. There's no need to pay a co...
by davebo
Tue Dec 22, 2015 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: For those who have seen the new Star Wars movie
Replies: 36
Views: 4248

Re: For those who have seen the new Star Wars movie

I saw Star Wars on Sunday and did do the reserved seating. Since I only purchased the tickets the day before, I had to go with 3d since that is all that was available (for 2 seats). I don't know if it's the same everywhere, but the 2 nearby movies theaters are both AMC. One of them is the old school...
by davebo
Tue Dec 15, 2015 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My credit score is 808
Replies: 37
Views: 4709

Re: My credit score is 808

Mortgage broker here. 740+ will all get the same rates for conforming loans. Jumbo loans can have fee reductions for 760+. Either way you're fine. Don't be surprised if your mortgage lender pulls a different FICO than you're expecting. We use a FICO 04 scoring system, and you probably only have acc...
by davebo
Tue Dec 15, 2015 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I take the job?
Replies: 55
Views: 4076

Re: Should I take the job?

You made the right decision. I have 3 kids and work at a 40 hour per week job and have a wife that works about the same. I really can't imagine either one of us working 50-55 hours per week.
by davebo
Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Always max out retirement? (Even when your max is high)
Replies: 14
Views: 2342

Re: Always max out retirement? (Even when your max is high)

I did not see a mention of Roth IRAs. You can treat Roth IRAs as those semi liquid assets if the need arises. You can always withdraw contributions to Roth IRAs. We do have roughly $40K (out of those retirement funds) that are in a ROTH IRA. In the last few year we have not been able to contribute ...
by davebo
Mon Dec 14, 2015 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Always max out retirement? (Even when your max is high)
Replies: 14
Views: 2342

Always max out retirement? (Even when your max is high)

I am a W-2 employee, my wife is a teacher with a pension, and we have a side-business that the 2 of us run. For my wife's pension, you are paid the average of your highest 4 years of salary and the multiplier is 2.2% x years of service. So for example, if she teaches for 25 years then her multiplier...
by davebo
Mon Dec 14, 2015 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy a Bosch dishwasher on Amazon?
Replies: 25
Views: 1772

Re: Buy a Bosch dishwasher on Amazon?

No, don't buy this dishwasher on Amazon. If it was sold by Amazon, maybe it's worth considering but it is sold by a 3rd party so you'll have to deal with them if there are issues. Just buy local and have them install+haul away.
by davebo
Fri Dec 04, 2015 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Brilliant Energy-Saving Idea -- Or Just Really Stupid?
Replies: 54
Views: 5379

Re: Brilliant Energy-Saving Idea -- Or Just Really Stupid?

If you're standing outside, it would probably smell pretty good. I can't imagine that smell filling up your basement though, it would probably be totally overwhelming.
by davebo
Fri Dec 04, 2015 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help Protect My Home From Water!
Replies: 21
Views: 2493

Re: Help Protect My Home From Water!

I’m pretty sure that there is drainage setup for the retaining wall so the water that is currently draining there is just locked there and then eventually going into the drain tiles. It seems to me that a simpler solution would just be to allow for some drainage in the wall. That way you’re only te...
by davebo
Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help Protect My Home From Water!
Replies: 21
Views: 2493

Re: Help Protect My Home From Water!

This all depends on where the water is coming from and where it can go. I totally agree with this statement. We do not have enough info to determine how water is coming into your basement or crawl. Gutters are a common culprit and what was suggested may be a good start. The ground around your house...
by davebo
Wed Dec 02, 2015 10:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What age did you hit $100,000?
Replies: 136
Views: 18121

Re: What age did you hit $100,000?

I guess I hit $100K when I was around 30 or so and that was in 2008. At that point, I basically had lost most of the equity in my house and the stocks were all in the toilet. Since then, I got ultra aggressive with my savings and, with the help of the market, have zoomed up to around $700K. My wife ...
by davebo
Wed Dec 02, 2015 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help Protect My Home From Water!
Replies: 21
Views: 2493

Re: Help Protect My Home From Water!

So last week we had a snow melt followed by a decent rain storm. The result was my sump pump was running about ever 30 seconds during the heavy stuff and still (1 week later) running about every 5-10 minutes. I can walk down there at any point and just hear the water pouring into the pump. I've tal...
by davebo
Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help Protect My Home From Water!
Replies: 21
Views: 2493

Re: Help Protect My Home From Water!

This all depends on where the water is coming from and where it can go. I totally agree with this statement. We do not have enough info to determine how water is coming into your basement or crawl. Gutters are a common culprit and what was suggested may be a good start. The ground around your house...
by davebo
Wed Dec 02, 2015 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help Protect My Home From Water!
Replies: 21
Views: 2493

Re: Help Protect My Home From Water!

So last week we had a snow melt followed by a decent rain storm. The result was my sump pump was running about ever 30 seconds during the heavy stuff and still (1 week later) running about every 5-10 minutes. I can walk down there at any point and just hear the water pouring into the pump. I've tal...
by davebo
Tue Dec 01, 2015 5:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help Protect My Home From Water!
Replies: 21
Views: 2493

Re: Help Protect My Home From Water!

I have all my downspouts connected to buried piping and I must say, I really like it. Not only does it look clean but in wet years, it keeps the areas in front of the downspouts drier. The best solution to your problem is to ensure that you have properly graded soil up next to your house all around...
by davebo
Tue Dec 01, 2015 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: the business of marketing watches ?
Replies: 11
Views: 1459

Re: the business of marketing watches ?

Who needs watches? Just ask someone what time it is or look at your phone.
by davebo
Tue Dec 01, 2015 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help Protect My Home From Water!
Replies: 21
Views: 2493

Help Protect My Home From Water!

So last week we had a snow melt followed by a decent rain storm. The result was my sump pump was running about ever 30 seconds during the heavy stuff and still (1 week later) running about every 5-10 minutes. I can walk down there at any point and just hear the water pouring into the pump. I've talk...
by davebo
Tue Dec 01, 2015 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do "finishes" count in home appraisals?
Replies: 34
Views: 3988

Re: How do "finishes" count in home appraisals?

I posted a similar thread several months back. We live in a middle class subdivision with mostly builder-grade houses. We have updated our house to have finishes most others in the neighborhood do not have (granite, hardwood throughout, non-builder grade cabinets, tiled showers, etc). We were think...
by davebo
Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Club Youth Sports (Baseball)
Replies: 32
Views: 2856

Re: Club Youth Sports (Baseball)

I have a 7 year old and, in my area, the travel soccer clubs are JUST starting up and they have already started to peel away some kids from the (VERY) vibrant rec league. I live in a fairly affluent area and I do believe that some parents drift towards "travel" teams because they can outso...
by davebo
Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lack of Web Browser on Apple TV. Competing Devices?
Replies: 9
Views: 1299

Re: Lack of Web Browser on Apple TV. Competing Devices?

I have an appleTV as well and find that airplay seems to be a good display if you want to put something on the TV. I own a Chromecast as well and was not impressed.
by davebo
Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do "finishes" count in home appraisals?
Replies: 34
Views: 3988

Re: How do "finishes" count in home appraisals?

1) Most real estate listings that I have seen clearly state or imply that there is no guarantee as to the advertised square footage and it is up to a buyer to verify. I would never rely on what posted in listing. Also good to compare with local assessor data. In fact, my neighbor just listed her ho...
by davebo
Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do "finishes" count in home appraisals?
Replies: 34
Views: 3988

Re: How do "finishes" count in home appraisals?

I posted a similar thread several months back. We live in a middle class subdivision with mostly builder-grade houses. We have updated our house to have finishes most others in the neighborhood do not have (granite, hardwood throughout, non-builder grade cabinets, tiled showers, etc). We were think...
by davebo
Mon Nov 30, 2015 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do "finishes" count in home appraisals?
Replies: 34
Views: 3988

How do "finishes" count in home appraisals?

I purchased a home back in 2011 and think that, from an appraisers perspective, probably overpaid for my house. I live in a very small sliver of an unincorporated township that has maybe 500 homes that are either A) Small 1950’s ranch homes (no basement) that are not updated or B) Tear-downs with mi...

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