Search found 1021 matches

by deanbrew
Tue Mar 21, 2017 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a Storage Unit with Condo...?
Replies: 23
Views: 1500

Re: Buying a Storage Unit with Condo...?

The price seems a little high, but you do have to factor in the convenience, as well as the ability to (hopefully) recover your money when you sell. You could find out what a storage unit rents for at a self-storage facility, but it's probably not worth the bother. Just buy the storage unit and enjo...
by deanbrew
Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What would it take to buy a house in our neighborhood?
Replies: 20
Views: 1368

Re: What would it take to buy a house in our neighborhood?

He never wants to leave NYC but my preference would be a city in VA or NC (close to our parents). My husband could make 80-120K in a place like Durham which is still more than enough to have a comfortable lifestyle (but he is not convinced there would be a job that interests him). We could take a f...
by deanbrew
Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What would it take to buy a house in our neighborhood?
Replies: 20
Views: 1368

Re: What would it take to buy a house in our neighborhood?

Wow. Those numbers are staggering. But so is an annual income of $300k. If you look at industry standard ratios, you can easily afford to buy a $1m to $1.2m home. Having said that, however, spending $2,500 a month to rent the equivalent of a $900k home seems to indicate that the market is out of wha...
by deanbrew
Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car/home insurer....cut the cord?
Replies: 8
Views: 849

Re: Car/home insurer....cut the cord?

Agree on shopping around. I do it every two years. The insurance companies love to talk about rewarding long-term customers with various things, but you really don't know unless you shop around. Call an independent agent, who can shop all of the independent companies, and also call State Farm, Allst...
by deanbrew
Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any way to improve single stage snowblower?
Replies: 22
Views: 1845

Re: Any way to improve single stage snowblower?

Yes, thanks for the update. I have a 12 year old Toro single-stage. I replaced the paddles several years ago, and it made a tremendous difference. I can tell they need replaced again, and will do it after winter is over.
by deanbrew
Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling Car - Private Sale vs CarMax vs Dealer
Replies: 53
Views: 5618

Re: Selling Car - Private Sale vs CarMax vs Dealer

Have sold many cars privately, most recently through Craigslist. Price it right, give it time and be honest. Oh yeah, only accept cash :moneybag I would add: set up a special email account (aol, yahoo, google, etc.) for just this purpose, don't use your regular one(s). That way, you won't get these...
by deanbrew
Sat Mar 04, 2017 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oil Change Advice Honda CR-V
Replies: 40
Views: 2266

Re: Oil Change Advice Honda CR-V

Most new cars have reminders/gauges/lights for oil changes, using some sort of algorithm. I honestly can't say how complex or accurate the algorithm is, as in whether it considers time, cold starts, warm starts, average speed, highway miles, outside temperatures, etc. I suspect it doesn't truly fact...
by deanbrew
Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you buy a car that way?
Replies: 31
Views: 2099

Re: Would you buy a car that way?

Buying from a car finder direct from auction will maybe guarantee you a low price, but it cannot guarantee a good car. Cars go to auction for a variety of reasons. They aren't the right brand (for that dealer), they have too many in stock of that model, it has sat too long on their lot, it has an i...
by deanbrew
Sat Feb 18, 2017 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car for wife and what to do with old car
Replies: 48
Views: 2492

Re: New car for wife and what to do with old car

If you haven't looked there yet, you might want to check out the Edmunds review of the CRV: https://www.edmunds.com/honda/cr-v/2017/suv/review/ And the C&D review: http://www.caranddriver.com/honda/cr-v It looks like the Touring level gets you some useful stuff, and some frivolous stuff: LED hea...
by deanbrew
Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PC replacement time
Replies: 30
Views: 2616

Re: PC replacement time

I bought my Dell desktop two years ago when SSDs still cost quite a bit, so I didn't go that route. I probably would now, if the price gap has narrowed. I ended up buying online from Costco, even though I don't have a Costco near me and didn't have a membership. It was so much cheaper that it was wo...
by deanbrew
Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car for wife and what to do with old car
Replies: 48
Views: 2492

Re: New car for wife and what to do with old car

Give your wife the Outback and get yourself a 2015 Odyssey. She won't even set foot in that thing. The only concern I have with a minivan is fitting it in a garage. They look bigger than a pilot The "only concern"? Your wife has already told you she absolutely doesn't want a minivan. Thou...
by deanbrew
Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Contractors Estimates (accessory dwelling unit). What should we look for?
Replies: 12
Views: 1156

Re: Contractors Estimates (Granny Unit). What should we look for?

A granny unit, or in law unit, is another way of saying an accessory dwelling unit or a second smaller unit on a property that has a main house. That's what I figured, but that phrase isn't used where I am. Where I am, MIL suite is used for a living unit in or attached to the house, and guest house...
by deanbrew
Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car for wife and what to do with old car
Replies: 48
Views: 2492

Re: New car for wife and what to do with old car

You already have an Outback which is a great car for a small family (I have a 2013 Outback and a 6 and 4 year old). Any reason your wife can't drive that if she hauls kids more and you take the Accord? Interesting you say that. I told her to take my car and I will take the Accord and drive it into ...
by deanbrew
Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Contractors Estimates (accessory dwelling unit). What should we look for?
Replies: 12
Views: 1156

Re: Contractors Estimates (Granny Unit). What should we look for?

What is a "Granny Unit"? I've never heard that phrase. Are you talking about an entire house of some sort, or an addition to an existing house? If you are working with an architect, I guess I can assume you are not talking about a modest or simple project. Comparing construction estimates ...
by deanbrew
Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car for wife and what to do with old car
Replies: 48
Views: 2492

Re: New car for wife and what to do with old car

What do you gain by switching to a CRV/RAV4/Forester type vehicle compared to your Accord? I would think you have more back seat room in the Accord than those other vehicles.
by deanbrew
Fri Feb 10, 2017 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: mattresses and alcohol (bourbon, scotch, whiskey)
Replies: 45
Views: 3916

Re: mattresses and alcohol (bourbon, scotch, whiskey)

Quite a few of my children's generation equate high $$$ spirits with high quality. Perhaps some are worth the extra $$$, but I imagine a lot of the $$$ goes into expensive ads/commercials that position their brand such that it seems very upscale. I don't know to which generation you are referring, ...
by deanbrew
Thu Feb 09, 2017 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Deal on 2016 CPO Honda Odyssey
Replies: 34
Views: 2130

Re: Deal on 2016 CPO Honda Odyssey

Thanks all for the replies. Very helpful. I'm surprised so many people came out against going with a CPO, but your comments have made me reconsider. Going to see how low I can get the price on the CPO, but will also take another look at a new 2016. A new 2016? Don't you mean a new 2017? I wouldn't ...
by deanbrew
Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Deal on 2016 CPO Honda Odyssey
Replies: 34
Views: 2130

Re: Deal on 2016 CPO Honda Odyssey

Fair enough, but I'm not going to get into the used vs new debate. We are mainly looking at CPO because this is a sudden purchase that we weren't planning on, so we're trying to limit out of pocket costs. If it was a planned purchase, then yes we'd be purchasing new. That said, I can get a new 2016...
by deanbrew
Sat Feb 04, 2017 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to save money on a minivan?
Replies: 44
Views: 2977

Re: How to save money on a minivan?

I have never noticed a correlation between age of vehicle and insurance cost. It seems to have more to do with many other factors. I'll grant you the personal property tax issue, but my state doesn't have that. Hard to argue opportunity cost, but I would lump that in with affordability. As for finan...
by deanbrew
Sat Feb 04, 2017 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to save money on a minivan?
Replies: 44
Views: 2977

Re: How to save money on a minivan?

If you get one for $10k and put in $5k repairs and sell it for $2k that leads to $1300/year over 10 years. If you get one for $30k and put in $0 for repairs and sell it for $10k that is $2k/year. $700/yr savings is pretty good. The $0 for repairs on the new one I think makes that conservative. But ...
by deanbrew
Fri Feb 03, 2017 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Purchasing 4 Family House for Rental Income
Replies: 34
Views: 2347

Re: Purchasing 4 Family House for Rental Income

Rental property isn't a purely passive activity like many would like you to believe. Besides joining assets, you're sharing credit lines and liabilities. There are also responsibilities that are shared, which means no one is really in charge, and eventually, everyone will feel like they're receivin...
by deanbrew
Fri Feb 03, 2017 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Holding a Relative's Mortgage
Replies: 20
Views: 1426

Re: Holding a Relative's Mortage

Who was the beneficiary of the note? Would a stream of income been beneficial? Is this addressed to me? If so, I'm not sure I understand. The note was payable to my MIL. At her death, her estate was divided among her three children, one of which was my wife. So we paid off the mortgage to the estat...
by deanbrew
Fri Feb 03, 2017 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Holding a Relative's Mortgage
Replies: 20
Views: 1426

Re: Holding a Relative's Mortage

Thanks; that is exactly what we are looking for. I am researching the implementation details. I know we drew up a loan agreement as well as a mortgage document that was recorded at the courthouse. So there is still some cost on that end, but no appraisal, origination fee, and other closing costs. T...
by deanbrew
Fri Feb 03, 2017 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Holding a Relative's Mortgage
Replies: 20
Views: 1426

Re: Holding a Relative's Mortage

These are pretty common. Not sure why everyone is getting up in arms over it. Many families loan money to each other to keep the interest paid in the family vs to a bank especially considering the interest rate on the loan is usually higher than the measly rates paid by savings accounts and CD'S (e...
by deanbrew
Fri Feb 03, 2017 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Purchasing 4 Family House for Rental Income
Replies: 34
Views: 2347

Re: Purchasing 4 Family House for Rental Income

Investment property deals that I have been involved in require 25% down. Setting up the LLC or whatever form of ownership that you are using is critical, one or more of you is likely to get divorced, or sick, or just tired of it, and there needs to be a clean exit process that is fair for all, assi...
by deanbrew
Fri Feb 03, 2017 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lexus PreCollision Safety System (auto braking)
Replies: 35
Views: 2544

Re: Lexus PreCollision Safety System (auto braking)

I'm not sure I'd pay $2,000 for the braking system even if I was buying a new car anyway. In terms of money, I don't see how this is even debatable. The probability of being in a crash where this system makes a difference is minuscule, I would think. This is really a personal decision, in terms of a...
by deanbrew
Thu Feb 02, 2017 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to save money on a minivan?
Replies: 44
Views: 2977

Re: How to save money on a minivan?

I didn't want to spend over $20k, but even less would be better. That makes two of us. I have been re-searching as well since we have a growing family. My budget is only 15K. At or below $15K, I have found several Sienna's and Odyssey's between years 2006 to 2011 range but almost all of them were 8...
by deanbrew
Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: fender bender...no citation, likely scam...what next?
Replies: 17
Views: 2990

Re: fender bender...no citation, likely scam...what next?

So...should I use the insurance? Does it even matter at this point, since they've already been notified? I always report to my insurance company so I'm in the system should the other guy attempt to file a claim against me. I do however opt out of getting reimbursed by my insurance company for small...
by deanbrew
Tue Jan 31, 2017 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to save money on a minivan?
Replies: 44
Views: 2977

Re: How to save money on a minivan?

One other thing to consider is just how many and how often you want to have more passengers. In our search, which may be outdated from 3 years ago, the 2011+ Odyssey's were the only minivans that truly sat 8. They have a removable third seat across the middle row. It is functional enough for an adu...
by deanbrew
Tue Jan 31, 2017 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to save money on a minivan?
Replies: 44
Views: 2977

Re: How to save money on a minivan?

Bite the bullet and get the new one you want. That would be my advice, as well. Hondas and Toyotas hold their value too well to buy new, as you have figured out. It just isn't worthwhile, as the price difference isn't enough to make up for the miles, wear, tear and diminished or missing warranty. B...
by deanbrew
Tue Jan 24, 2017 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car lease scenario
Replies: 17
Views: 1217

Re: Car lease scenario

As pretty much everyone says, there is no reason to get out of the lease now. Paying money now to get out of it, and not having it to drive for the next two years is nuts. Just keep the car for two more years and plan for a prudent purchase then. Four years is not a long time to keep a new car. [Tho...
by deanbrew
Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How High is Your TV?
Replies: 41
Views: 3619

Re: How High is Your TV?

Above the fireplace or high on a wall is OK, so long as you are sitting far enough back you don't need to crane your neck. Also, if you mount it higher than the height of your head while sitting on your viewing chair, you should angle the TV downward. TVs tend to be pretty forgiving with sideway ang...
by deanbrew
Tue Jan 17, 2017 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to get HID (Xenon) kit?
Replies: 20
Views: 1416

Re: Where to get HID (Xenon) kit?

As mentioned, original equipment HID lights are good. The "bulbs", housing, mirrors, wiring, power supply and front/lens are designed to work together. Retrofit HID kits are not worth installing, may be illegal, may blind oncoming drivers and may cause costly damage to electrical component...
by deanbrew
Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling Car - Private Sale vs CarMax vs Dealer
Replies: 53
Views: 5618

Re: Selling Car - Private Sale vs CarMax vs Dealer

dm200 wrote:
With loans on both, selling to CarMax or a dealer simplifies the whole loan and lien complication.


I forgot about the loan issue. Unless you can pay off the loans and get clear titles, it will definitely be easier to sell to a pro.
by deanbrew
Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling Car - Private Sale vs CarMax vs Dealer
Replies: 53
Views: 5618

Re: Selling Car - Private Sale vs CarMax vs Dealer

They are both pretty popular vehicles with good "fan bases", so they should be relatively easy to sell. But there is no getting around the fact that it does take time and effort to sell on your own. There is no "right" answer, and it depends on how much time you have to devote to...
by deanbrew
Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting Subaru Legacy(4Cyl 2.5L or V6 3.6R?)
Replies: 56
Views: 4335

Re: Getting Subaru Legacy(4Cyl 2.5L or V6 3.6R?)

I have a 4 cyl 2.5L Outback, and it is more than sufficient power for normal driving - though it was a bit of an adjustment for me after driving a V6 Maxima for 14 years prior. Ha. I also got my 2.5 Legacy after driving a Maxima for 7 years. The Nissan V6 is a terrific engine, and there is quite a ...
by deanbrew
Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting Subaru Legacy(4Cyl 2.5L or V6 3.6R?)
Replies: 56
Views: 4335

Re: Getting Subaru Legacy(4Cyl 2.5L or V6 3.6R?)

I think that TOJ's point was that if you want the 3.6R you're getting the 3.6R Limited for $31,640. If you want the 4 cyl 2.5i, you can choose any of 4 trims (2.5i $21,995, 2.5i $23,995, 2.5i Sport $25,995 or 2.5i limited $28,840). Maverick posted that he got a 2.5i Premium with Eyesight for around...
by deanbrew
Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting Subaru Legacy(4Cyl 2.5L or V6 3.6R?)
Replies: 56
Views: 4335

Re: Getting Subaru Legacy(4Cyl 2.5L or V6 3.6R?)

The only problem with the 3.6 is you have to buy the upper trim with it, which makes it a ~$35k car. Then you paid $35k for a Legacy. Huh?? The MSRP for the Legacy Limited (top trim level) is $29,660 for the 2.5 and $32,460 for the 3.6. So, the larger engine costs nearly $3k more, but it doesn't ta...
by deanbrew
Tue Jan 10, 2017 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting Subaru Legacy(4Cyl 2.5L or V6 3.6R?)
Replies: 56
Views: 4335

Re: Getting Subaru Legacy(4Cyl 2.5L or V6 3.6R?)

I've noticed what seems to be a Boglehead forum trend of Subaru enthusiasts. I've never owned a Subaru. I'm sure like most car buying, much of it is personal preference. I'm curious, from the Subaru owners on here what makes you a Subaru fan as opposed to other brands like Toyota, Honda, etc.? Than...
by deanbrew
Tue Jan 10, 2017 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling Car - Private Sale vs CarMax vs Dealer
Replies: 53
Views: 5618

Re: Selling Car - Private Sale vs CarMax vs Dealer

So what is a good way sell a car if there is no Carmax in your area and you are uncomfortable with selling privately? [The dealers seem to give you a very low price if you are not trading for a new car, and it almost seems more fruitful to donate it and take a tax deduction.] I don't know that I ha...
by deanbrew
Tue Jan 10, 2017 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I ask this contractor to lower his quote?
Replies: 13
Views: 1678

Re: Should I ask this contractor to lower his quote?

My brother is a contractor. Most of the time, he gives non-detailed quotes, or just quotes Time & Materials and his rates for himself and his workers. As mentioned, this is a pretty small job. Just the kind of job my brother would like to fill in a gap in his schedule, or for a few days when the...
by deanbrew
Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tell me all about snowblowers
Replies: 44
Views: 3010

Re: Tell me all about snowblowers

I am using a single-stage Toro that I bought in 2003. Single-stage blowers (or throwers, as they are technically called) are smaller and less powerful than two-stage blowers. I have found it adequate most years, so long as I don't let the snow pile up over about 10 inches. That means I need to go ou...
by deanbrew
Wed Dec 28, 2016 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Assistance needed for car situation
Replies: 12
Views: 1093

Re: Assistance needed for car situation

I don't know how you buy a car that is cheaper than what she has that also won't need repairs. $200 a month is a pretty low car payment, but if she still owes $4,100 that likely means she will still be paying for at least a couple more years. Selling it won't get rid of the debt unless she's willing...
by deanbrew
Wed Dec 21, 2016 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Event Fee at Restaurants?
Replies: 22
Views: 2403

Re: Event Fee at Restaurants?

Having just hosted my wife's birthday party in a private room at a restaurant I can say about half the places I called wanted to charge me a room fee. I just simply ruled those out. I received some quotes that added a 5% service charge on the pre-tax total, or a small flat fee. Like you, I generall...
by deanbrew
Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frying pan recommendations
Replies: 53
Views: 3332

Re: Frying pan recommendations

It looks like a consensus has been reached, and I agree. I use two skillets for 95 percent of my cooking. I use a non-stick one (mine is Farber and the coating is starting to come off) for frying eggs, and cast iron (we have four cast iron skillets - 2 large and 2 small) for just about everything el...
by deanbrew
Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2nd cell phone in different area code
Replies: 13
Views: 1575

Re: 2nd cell phone in different area code

absolutely get a Google Voice. I would not want to keep track of a second device. Having two phone numbers is easy. I do some business in a neighboring state, and I got a Google Voice number in that state/area code. It rings into my cell phone whether I am there or here or anywhere else. People cal...
by deanbrew
Fri Dec 02, 2016 4:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hearing aids: best brands and where to get them?
Replies: 35
Views: 3201

Re: Hearing aids: best brands and where to get them?

I'll add another vote for Costco. When I first decided to get hearing aids I got Oticon Delta from my ENT/audiologist. Cost over $6K. Then when those reached the end of their useful life two years ago, based on recommendations here and elsewhere, I bought a Costco membership even though the nearest...
by deanbrew
Fri Dec 02, 2016 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anything new about how to buy a new car I should know?
Replies: 14
Views: 849

Re: Anything new about how to buy a new car I should know?

While I agree this fee is absurd, once I had negotiated the agreed-upon OTD price, the winning dealership essentially backed-in to the selling price of the car (which included this stupid processing fee). In other words, the final OTD price quoted in my email was exactly what I actually paid in the...
by deanbrew
Fri Dec 02, 2016 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hearing aids: best brands and where to get them?
Replies: 35
Views: 3201

Re: Hearing aids: best brands and where to get them?

I did much the same research earlier this year, and figured out that Costco is probably the way to go. Unfortunately, I don't have a Costco near me. Sam's Club sells hearing aids, but the product and service seems to be a step or two down from Costco. Bummer.
by deanbrew
Thu Nov 17, 2016 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lot Financing Options
Replies: 2
Views: 415

Re: Lot Financing Options

In general, banks don't like to lend on vacant land. If they do, a 50% LTV is about the most you will get. Many people in your spot will buy with no loan, use seller financing or a home equity loan on a current residence. None of these will lock in today's interest rates, except perhaps seller finan...

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