Search found 990 matches

by deanbrew
Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How High is Your TV?
Replies: 41
Views: 3294

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: 1219

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: 42
Views: 3501

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: 42
Views: 3501

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: 51
Views: 3596

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: 51
Views: 3596

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: 51
Views: 3596

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: 51
Views: 3596

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: 42
Views: 3501

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: 1610

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: 42
Views: 2428

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: 1024

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: 2323

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: 3149

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: 1444

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: 2879

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: 770

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: 2879

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: 386

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...
by deanbrew
Tue Nov 15, 2016 5:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do do with 9 year old Metlife Flexible Premium Multifunded Life (VUL) policy?
Replies: 7
Views: 580

Re: What do do with 9 year old Metlife Flexible Premium Multifunded Life (VUL) policy?

If you look at your last two annual statements, how much has your cash value, or accumulated value, increased from year to year? While this policy might not have been the smartest idea when it was purchased, it is old enough that it is probably a good idea to keep it. If your cash value is increasin...
by deanbrew
Thu Nov 10, 2016 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 2070
Views: 557493

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Rereading Orwell's 1984... I just re-read it last year. There were passages that gave me chills. Both of my kids read 1984, at my urging, and fairly often bring up quotes or thoughts from the book. It apparently is no longer required reading in high school, but it should be. the version I borrowed ...
by deanbrew
Thu Nov 10, 2016 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 2070
Views: 557493

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

letsgobobby wrote:Rereading Orwell's 1984...


I just re-read it last year. There were passages that gave me chills. Both of my kids read 1984, at my urging, and fairly often bring up quotes or thoughts from the book. It apparently is no longer required reading in high school, but it should be.
by deanbrew
Tue Nov 08, 2016 5:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which state to move for milder weather
Replies: 118
Views: 12700

Re: Which state to move for milder weather

We did research on weather in the US before retiring from the DC area two years ago. One meteorologist said that if you eliminate CA from the equation (which clearly has the best weather in the US) then the Asheville NC area has the most temperate weather in the country. We live about thirty minute...
by deanbrew
Thu Nov 03, 2016 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spreadsheet or worksheet for comparing health insurance plans?
Replies: 1
Views: 269

Re: Spreadsheet or worksheet for comparing health insurance plans?

Never mind. I don't have enough plans to choose from to make it necessary to compare. Two companies dropped out of my county, and the remaining two don't have that many plans. I bet I have one-fourth of the total plans available to me than I did last year. Now I need to look at the in-network tiers ...
by deanbrew
Thu Nov 03, 2016 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spreadsheet or worksheet for comparing health insurance plans?
Replies: 1
Views: 269

Spreadsheet or worksheet for comparing health insurance plans?

I did a search, but didn't see anything. Before I delve into looking at health insurance plans - both on-exchange and off-exchange directly from insurance companies - has anyone found a spreadsheet or worksheet to compare several plans? I'd like a spreadsheet that uses premium amounts, copays, deduc...
by deanbrew
Wed Nov 02, 2016 2:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 2070
Views: 557493

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Finders Keepers by Stephen King. It follows some of the same characters of Mr. Mercedes. I'm a third of the way through it. So far at least its a straight murder/detective/mystery book. None of the paranormal themes sometimes found in King. I've enjoyed so much of his ouvre; but not all. I look bac...
by deanbrew
Thu Oct 27, 2016 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Just released ratings steering me from Legacy to Camry
Replies: 35
Views: 2705

Re: Just released ratings steering me from Legacy to Camry

I have a used Subaru Outback :annoyed with 115k on it I'd love to sell you. It leaks oil and will cost $700 to fix the radio but other than that it is fine. It has a new front end and a new air conditioner on it. What year? From Subaru forums I visit, it seems that they have largely fixed the oil c...
by deanbrew
Thu Oct 27, 2016 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Just released ratings steering me from Legacy to Camry
Replies: 35
Views: 2705

Re: Just released ratings steering me from Legacy to Camry

I own a 2011 Subaru Legacy, and have had only one minor problem with it in almost six years of ownership. My wife and I have owned a variety of Honda, Toyota and Ford vehicles, in addition to my Legacy, which is our first Subaru. Purely anecdotally, I would rank Subaru as reliable as Honda and Toyot...
by deanbrew
Fri Oct 21, 2016 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 2070
Views: 557493

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Finders Keepers by Stephen King. It follows some of the same characters of Mr. Mercedes. I'm a third of the way through it. So far at least its a straight murder/detective/mystery book. None of the paranormal themes sometimes found in King. I've enjoyed so much of his ouvre; but not all. I look bac...
by deanbrew
Fri Oct 21, 2016 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Finishing a Basement
Replies: 13
Views: 1478

Re: Finishing a Basement

I'm going to throw out an in-between option. If the basement is just for the kids and a workout room, you could go somewhere in the "unfinished but more pleasant" to "semi-finished" range. We have a basement under part of our house, and we wanted somewhere for the kids and their ...
by deanbrew
Wed Oct 05, 2016 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Odd question regarding vehicle negotiations
Replies: 17
Views: 1700

Re: Odd question regarding vehicle negotiations

As a matter of contract law, once the offeree makes a counteroffer the original offer cannot be accepted. Gill That's weird. What law dictates the the protocol for people haggling over the purchase of a used car? I mean if A says your counter offer is not accepted, my original offer is still on the...
by deanbrew
Wed Oct 05, 2016 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Europe bus tours
Replies: 36
Views: 2191

Re: Europe bus tours

I'm curious what knowledgeable posters have to say about this. My wife and I want to visit and explore England, Ireland and Scotland. Ideally, I would like a middle ground between the 8AM-10PM every day bus tour grind (which we did in China, and it was exhausting) and figuring things out on our own....
by deanbrew
Wed Sep 28, 2016 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is a garbage disposal unit a good idea for a rental property?
Replies: 34
Views: 2154

Re: Is a garbage disposal unit a good idea for a rental property?

We had one in our rental unit. I'd specifically call out in the lease agreement that if it breaks, landlord will not repair. Yeah, you can probably structure the lease with a work-around to avoid having to pay a plumber for a 5-minute fix. I know apartment owners that are taking garbage disposals a...
by deanbrew
Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Basic pool equipment - best brands/types
Replies: 41
Views: 3046

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: 3046

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: 12694

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: 12694

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: 3046

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: 3670

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: 2774

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: 2774

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: 2774

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: 509

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: 2774

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: 2774

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: 2774

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: 3670

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: 12089

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: 521

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: 2619

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...

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