Search found 957 matches

by deanbrew
Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Basic pool equipment - best brands/types
Replies: 41
Views: 2638

Re: Basic pool equipment - best brands/types

I wouldn't assume the percentage, as it varies from product to product. If it doesn't say, I wouldn't count on it being 5+%. If it doesn't say on the package, is there a number to call? I couldn't find the answer in a quick web search for that brand. Here are a couple of threads on troublefreepool t...
by deanbrew
Thu Sep 15, 2016 7:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Basic pool equipment - best brands/types
Replies: 41
Views: 2638

Re: Basic pool equipment - best brands/types

My last piece of advise - if your pool is clear and the chlorine or salt levels and pH levels are fine. DO NOTHING. If you bring a sample to pool store for testing, I found out about 75% of the time they tell you need to add something. I only bring a sample in after the initial opening to confirm w...
by deanbrew
Wed Sep 14, 2016 7:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which city to start early retirement?
Replies: 128
Views: 11323

Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Had never thought about PA overall but we just did the numbers here and everything looks good except the crime. Areavibes gives it an F overall, it looks like there is a lot of simply random crime. Beautiful old 1800s homes there though, very interesting looking place. "F overall" for cri...
by deanbrew
Tue Sep 13, 2016 7:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which city to start early retirement?
Replies: 128
Views: 11323

Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Had never thought about PA overall but we just did the numbers here and everything looks good except the crime. Areavibes gives it an F overall, it looks like there is a lot of simply random crime. Beautiful old 1800s homes there though, very interesting looking place. "F overall" for cri...
by deanbrew
Tue Sep 13, 2016 6:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Basic pool equipment - best brands/types
Replies: 41
Views: 2638

Re: Basic pool equipment - best brands/types

I have to admit I'm a little surprised at all of the posts about robotic cleaners, as this website is famously frugal on most matters. I've been taking care of my pool for 15 years, and have never had a robotic cleaner. I would like to have one, but have never been able to justify and rationalize th...
by deanbrew
Fri Sep 09, 2016 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Subaru - New 2016 or Used 2014 (25k miles)
Replies: 39
Views: 3369

Re: Subaru - New 2016 or Used 2014 (25k miles)

Just get a chrome chain link license plate frame and a confederate flag (or "redneck flag", as it's called around here) decorative license plate, and you can use the holes. :twisted:
by deanbrew
Thu Sep 01, 2016 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I replace my Samsung Galaxy S4?
Replies: 43
Views: 2376

Re: Should I replace my Samsung Galaxy S4?

Well, mine holds a charge just fine now that I had the power port replaced. I'm not a heavy user, and the charge usually lasts me all day. If not, I have an extra battery that I keep charged that I can substitute.

What don't you like about the Nexus 5X? What is missing, or doesn't work properly?
by deanbrew
Thu Sep 01, 2016 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I replace my Samsung Galaxy S4?
Replies: 43
Views: 2376

Re: Should I replace my Samsung Galaxy S4?

Thanks, everyone. There is a lot of good information in this thread. For the time being, I think I'll just keep using my S4 until it dies. I stopped at Best Buy and AT&T and Verizon (I am on AT&T and can't use Verizon phones, but thought they might have some models to look at) stores yesterd...
by deanbrew
Fri Aug 26, 2016 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I replace my Samsung Galaxy S4?
Replies: 43
Views: 2376

Re: Should I replace my Samsung Galaxy S4?

Yes, I have unlimited calling. What I lack is decent cell reception in my home. Google Voice has been unreliable. Sometimes it's crystal clear, other times people say my voice sounds "robotic" or "metallic". Gotcha. I suspect this is a common problem. People even have the same i...
by deanbrew
Fri Aug 26, 2016 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Importance of AMI certification in Montessori
Replies: 4
Views: 459

Re: Importance of AMI certification in Montessori

I had kids who went to two different Montessori schools. One was AMS certified, but the one that was more rigid in Montessori tools and methods was actually not certified. While the certifications probably have merits, I think you can find out more by visiting the schools and talking with the direct...
by deanbrew
Fri Aug 26, 2016 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I replace my Samsung Galaxy S4?
Replies: 43
Views: 2376

Re: Should I replace my Samsung Galaxy S4?

You could sign up for google project fi - pay $199 for the phone. (though if you did not want service from them you'd have to pay 1 month of service for $20 for that price - you can cancel after that - so $220 in total). Some sellers on ebay sell new ones for about $240. Hence the range $200-250. I...
by deanbrew
Fri Aug 26, 2016 7:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I replace my Samsung Galaxy S4?
Replies: 43
Views: 2376

Re: Should I replace my Samsung Galaxy S4?

I would consider the Apple iPhone. This is by far the best phone we have ever used. I have a good friend with Samsung and I believe he is really considering the move to Apple as well. A huge benefit is the sync with the laptop, iPad, etc. It actually took longer to get to this post than I expected....
by deanbrew
Thu Aug 25, 2016 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I replace my Samsung Galaxy S4?
Replies: 43
Views: 2376

Should I replace my Samsung Galaxy S4?

No, this isn't about wanting a cool, new phone. The opposite, in fact; I would like to keep my three year old Galaxy S4. About two weeks ago, I found that my phone was not accepting a charge. I would plug the charger in, and... nada. OK, I thought, perhaps my charging cable went bad. I tried a diffe...
by deanbrew
Tue Aug 23, 2016 7:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Subaru - New 2016 or Used 2014 (25k miles)
Replies: 39
Views: 3369

Re: Subaru - New 2016 or Used 2014 (25k miles)

So this used car is about 17% used up. The best 17%. I would want maybe a 25% drop in price. Agree completely. You are not only giving up the best 17%, but you are giving up two years of full warranty coverage and two years of tire and battery life. The simple fact is it seldom makes sense to buy a...
by deanbrew
Mon Aug 22, 2016 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AT&T Mobile Users: Check your plans
Replies: 75
Views: 11772

Re: AT&T Mobile Users: Check your plans

It looks like I won't save money compared to my current plan. I have the 15GB plan with 5 smartphones and 1 tablet. They are lowering the price of the data by going up from 15 to 16 GB, but raising the per-phone charge from $15 to $20. So, if I'm analyzing it properly, my bill would go up by $15. It...
by deanbrew
Sat Aug 20, 2016 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quit Claim Deed vs Title of property
Replies: 3
Views: 467

Re: Quit Claim Deed vs Title of property

Real property does not generally have a "title". Ownership is transferred by deeds, usually recorded at the county land records office. So, unless I am mistaken, there is nowhere you can go to get a title to your property. A quit claim deed is used to transfer ownership, similar to any dee...
by deanbrew
Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Property tax increase: Worth appealing? DYI or use attorney?
Replies: 42
Views: 2460

Re: Property tax increase: Worth appealing? DYI or use attorney?

One other thing that might not apply to the OP, but could come into play with others: When you appeal your assessment, you open the door for the county, school district and other taxing authorities to increase your assessed value. I have heard of it happening, especially when the assessment office f...
by deanbrew
Wed Aug 10, 2016 6:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Property tax increase: Worth appealing? DYI or use attorney?
Replies: 42
Views: 2460

Re: Property tax increase: Worth appealing? DYI or use attorney?

Your Assessor's office should be able to tell you which properties were used as comps to make the adjustment to assessed value of your property. Not exactly. Mass assessment doesn't use "comps" in the same way a traditional appraisal does. The assessment office plugs all recent sales into...
by deanbrew
Wed Aug 10, 2016 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Property tax increase: Worth appealing? DYI or use attorney?
Replies: 42
Views: 2460

Re: Property tax increase: Worth appealing? DYI or use attorney?

I did have a recent appraisal done (within the last 6 months) for a HELOC. The appraised value was higher than my purchase price a couple years ago by 4.5%. So it seems that since both the appraised value and the assessed value of the property are higher, the tax increase is probably reasonable. Wo...
by deanbrew
Wed Aug 10, 2016 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Property tax increase: Worth appealing? DYI or use attorney?
Replies: 42
Views: 2460

Re: Property tax increase: Worth appealing? DYI or use attorney?

I checked the assessed values for 10 neighboring homes. All of them (including my house) went up exactly 6.5% from last year. So I guess I am out of luck, correct? No. The only important thing regarding assessments is current market value. The best evidence is a recent appraisal prepared by a quali...
by deanbrew
Mon Aug 08, 2016 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you screen income for potential renters?
Replies: 6
Views: 1225

Re: How do you screen income for potential renters?

Why lose $$ to a rental manager if you're the one screening applicants and showing the apt? That's most of our work. That's what I was thinking. I usually did the advertising and screening myself, but I did use an agent one time when I lived in another state. But I never used a manager. Once it's l...
by deanbrew
Thu Aug 04, 2016 4:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Depending on stability of ACA marketplace for next 8 years?
Replies: 40
Views: 2996

Re: Depending on stability of ACA marketplace for next 8 years?

This is one of my concerns; a "race to the bottom" to having Medicaid equivalent networks and service levels for any affordable ACA plan. There are two major insurance companies active in my area. Both offer a bewildering array of plans that severely limit one's choice of doctors and hosp...
by deanbrew
Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aetna Home Medical Assessment
Replies: 9
Views: 755

Re: Aetna Home Medical Assessment

Just say no. Why would you volunteer so much information for so little compensation? I once agreed to such an assessment (online) and had to answer lots of invasive questions. In addition, I had to deal with all the subsequent emails asking more invasive questions. This is pretty much my train of t...
by deanbrew
Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should my father continue his awful whole life plan at age 65?
Replies: 16
Views: 1958

Re: Should my father continue his awful whole life plan at age 65?

At age 65 and with several health problems, I almost can't imagine not paying the premium. It would very likely be a gift to the insurance company to let the policy lapse. I am confused about the death benefit, however. At the start, you mention that it is a $100,000 policy, but later mention that i...
by deanbrew
Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aetna Home Medical Assessment
Replies: 9
Views: 755

Re: Aetna Home Medical Assessment

I don't think they will discontinue coverage, since pre-existing conditions and medical condition in general is not part of health insurance anymore - just age, gender, smoking and location. We signed up with Aetna this year and had the same invitation. I'm not exactly sure what it is, or what purpo...
by deanbrew
Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Southwest Airlines - Rebooking
Replies: 11
Views: 865

Re: Southwest Airlines - Rebooking

Yep, that's one reason I really like Southwest - the two included bags is the other reason. My wife and I had tickets to San Francisco and back in February. She decided to go to a trade show in Las Vegas for a couple of days before our vacation in SF. I called Southwest and changed our reservation f...
by deanbrew
Tue Jun 07, 2016 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: building a house- realtor recommends selling and renting?
Replies: 22
Views: 2276

Re: building a house- realtor recommends selling and renting?

If you can afford it, I would just move the once into your new house and then after fixing up the old one (i.e. painting, etc.) put it on the market. You will be paying two mortgages but it certainly is a lot less hassle. Agree. Moving twice and renting will likely cost more than owning the two pro...
by deanbrew
Mon May 09, 2016 3:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tips for Selling Bedroom Set
Replies: 27
Views: 2206

Re: Tips for Selling Bedroom Set

You might also want to look into auctions. We have three auctioneers near us, and we had one come out and empty my BIL's house when he got divorced. The auctioneer came and hauled away all sorts of furniture and household goods, and then auctioned it off over the next few weeks at his weekly auction...
by deanbrew
Mon May 09, 2016 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: *IF* VW buys back my TDI
Replies: 37
Views: 3509

Re: *IF* VW buys back my TDI

What exactly is the issue here? VW made diesel vehicles with special software to fool US emissions testing, so now they are potentially going to have to buy back the vehicles with this software installed on them? Why are the owners of these cars upset? Because their car is polluting more than they ...
by deanbrew
Thu May 05, 2016 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax situation on rental properties
Replies: 4
Views: 822

Re: Tax situation on rental properties

You say your mother gifted the properties to you last year. Does that mean there is a deed showing change of ownership? If so, you can quite clearly show when your ownership started. You did not collect any income and are not liable for any taxes before that date. It is typical for any change of own...
by deanbrew
Thu May 05, 2016 8:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Leasing and renting vs buying cash
Replies: 14
Views: 1479

Re: Leasing and renting vs buying cash

Leasing a car is more expensive than owning except in exceptional circumstances. I found I could lease a BMW for $100/month more than owning my seven year old Honda Fit. That's it, I should lease up @ BMW, right? What a deal! If you read the small print $4400 is due at signing! Rinse/repeat every t...
by deanbrew
Tue May 03, 2016 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Leasing and renting vs buying cash
Replies: 14
Views: 1479

Re: Leasing and renting vs buying cash

Just to clarify, I am talking about a way of life. So, one would be renting and leasing indefinitely, paying more (most probably) in the process than someone buying. I am not asking whether it is less expensive, but about if it makes sense when one can afford it and would rather have fewer responsi...
by deanbrew
Tue May 03, 2016 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Leasing and renting vs buying cash
Replies: 14
Views: 1479

Re: Leasing and renting vs buying cash

I don't think it's very common to rent or lease a car for a total cost less than buying it, when you consider all factors. But house/apartment rents vary tremendously from area to area and from neighborhood to neighborhood. There are places where you can rent a home for similar or less than ownershi...
by deanbrew
Tue May 03, 2016 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ally's Webroot Secure anywhere Antivirus software - any good?
Replies: 6
Views: 663

Re: Ally's Webroot Secure anywhere Antivirus software - any good?

I have used Webroot for about three years, and am very satisfied with it. It gets very good reviews from antivirus testers.
by deanbrew
Tue May 03, 2016 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a house, but sold as is?
Replies: 27
Views: 2793

Re: Buying a house, but sold as is?

As-is simply means they have made all the concessions they are willing to make, and that if there are inspected defects, they will not pay for them. This is my guess, too. Put yourself in the seller's position. As the seller, I have lowered the price already, and are entertaining an offer that is b...
by deanbrew
Fri Apr 29, 2016 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Consumer Reports Magazine & Website
Replies: 99
Views: 6409

Re: Consumer Reports Magazine & Website

I won't rehash most of the above complaints regarding style over substance, magazine redesign, etc. But I will add that the number of products actually reviewed must be down to 20 percent or less of what they used to review. Not only are there fewer actual reviews, but nearly every edition seems lik...
by deanbrew
Wed Apr 27, 2016 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Accord or Subaru Legacy
Replies: 52
Views: 3820

Re: Honda Accord or Subaru Legacy

I don't like the boxer 2.5 engine it's older tech and it can leak oil... I'm not sure what you mean by "older tech". Do you mean boxer engines in general? Subaru redesigned the Boxer 2.5 engine in 2011, and the new engine has been used in the Legacy since the 2013 model. Subaru apparently...
by deanbrew
Tue Apr 26, 2016 6:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Accord or Subaru Legacy
Replies: 52
Views: 3820

Re: Honda Accord or Subaru Legacy

I don't want to go over all of the calculations, but some posters need to remember that everyone doesn't drive their cars into the ground or keep them 10+ years. 30k miles and two or three model years is more important in the early years than 12 years down the road.
by deanbrew
Tue Apr 26, 2016 6:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Accord or Subaru Legacy
Replies: 52
Views: 3820

Re: Honda Accord or Subaru Legacy

I was struck by the thought that AWD on a low clearance car is a little bit of a contradiction in purpose, but maybe it doesn't work that way. It totally depends on where you are driving. I've had my Subaru for 5 years, and have never really thought about the ground clearance. I've driven on lots o...
by deanbrew
Tue Apr 26, 2016 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Accord or Subaru Legacy
Replies: 52
Views: 3820

Re: Honda Accord or Subaru Legacy

While Hyundai probably sells a quarter of what Honda does it seems I see quite a few on the road here. I guess I'm more in tune to spot them. Actually, in 2015, Hyundai sold a little more than half of what Honda did in the US: Honda: 1,409,386 vehicles; Hyundai: 761,710 vehicles. If you add Kia's 6...
by deanbrew
Tue Apr 26, 2016 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Accord or Subaru Legacy
Replies: 52
Views: 3820

Re: Honda Accord or Subaru Legacy

If you are considering a used car, consider a Hyundai. I have rented several times while on trips and been impressed. they have a long warranty period and on the used car market they are less expensive than Honda because the buying public has not caught up to the fact that they are good cars. I agr...
by deanbrew
Tue Apr 26, 2016 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Accord or Subaru Legacy
Replies: 52
Views: 3820

Re: Honda Accord or Subaru Legacy

I have owned several Hondas in the past, and own a 2011 Subaru Legacy now. I can't really steer you to one or the other, other than the AWD factor. Both have very similar reliability and quality, IMO. I would go so far as to say that those who say Honda has superior quality and reliability are not ...
by deanbrew
Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Accord or Subaru Legacy
Replies: 52
Views: 3820

Re: Honda Accord or Subaru Legacy

A used 2014 accord is not $20,000. OP wants EX or EX-L. A used EX-L is at least 20k at the dealer versus 27k OTD brand new. Used car savings are exaggerated especially if you drive a car for at least 10 years especially when you're talking Japanese econoboxes (highest resale value, reliability). 38...
by deanbrew
Tue Apr 26, 2016 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Accord or Subaru Legacy
Replies: 52
Views: 3820

Re: Honda Accord or Subaru Legacy

I have owned several Hondas in the past, and own a 2011 Subaru Legacy now. I can't really steer you to one or the other, other than the AWD factor. Both have very similar reliability and quality, IMO. I would go so far as to say that those who say Honda has superior quality and reliability are not f...
by deanbrew
Fri Apr 22, 2016 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling a house with solar panels
Replies: 38
Views: 4398

Re: Selling a house with solar panels

The most recent Appraisal Journal, published by the Appraisal Institute, has a study of homes with solar panels in six states. The study indicates that homes with solar panels - the study only looked at properties with owned, not leased, systems - sell for slightly more than otherwise similar homes....
by deanbrew
Thu Apr 21, 2016 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cannot Pay Huge Tax Burden
Replies: 107
Views: 10029

Re: Cannot Pay Huge Tax Burden

I'd like to add that I don't see the situation nearly as grim as the OP and some of those who advise to desert a sinking ship. Having said that, I would absolutely think about leaving the high COL area after the SO gets 2-3 years of experience under his belt. With some Big City experience under his ...
by deanbrew
Tue Apr 19, 2016 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Door problems with new Subaru
Replies: 41
Views: 3798

Re: Door problems with new Subaru

The car will not lock if a door is ajar. SO if the door is not properly closed, the driver will be unable to lock the car as they are leaving and will realize something is not right. My cars let out a beep if I try to lock it with a door ajar. Is that the way the new generation works? In my 2011, I...
by deanbrew
Tue Apr 19, 2016 8:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Door problems with new Subaru
Replies: 41
Views: 3798

Re: Door problems with new Subaru

There are good dealers and bad dealers, just like there are good auto shops and bad ones. None of them are charities, and they are all making a profit for the work they do, or else they would be out of business. I agree. I've noticed a pretty remarkable improvement in new car dealers over the past ...
by deanbrew
Wed Apr 13, 2016 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How does Billboard leasing work?
Replies: 10
Views: 2760

Re: How does Billboard leasing work?

Hi, I'm reviving an old thread. I'm interested in purchasing a rental property. There is a billboard at the edge of the lot. The street is a relatively busy with 2 lanes each way. The street is lined mostly with houses and a few small businesses. Would having a billboard on the lot affect the mortg...
by deanbrew
Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: led vs cfl
Replies: 102
Views: 7382

Re: led vs cfl

I've had several CREE LED floodlights fail within 18 months (I bought a bunch for a store we set up and installed them all at the same time), but Home Depot has been very good with the returns. Some started to flicker or flash before quitting, and others just "burned out". I've returned on...

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