Search found 242 matches

by ArmchairArchitect
Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying Partner's Billboard Rights
Replies: 16
Views: 1799

Re: Buying Partner's Billboard Rights

Get rid of that billboard; you're making money at the expense of blight on the public.
by ArmchairArchitect
Sun Sep 09, 2018 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pennsylvania Vehicle Registration Renewal - 2 year option
Replies: 42
Views: 5553

Re: Pennsylvania Vehicle Registration Renewal - 2 year option

If only they switched to inspections every 2 years (or never). A lot of data/studies on states without frequent inspection requirements, and there's very little value to requiring inspections (especially annual inspections).
by ArmchairArchitect
Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Removing Existing Satellite Systems
Replies: 23
Views: 3239

Re: Removing Existing Satellite Systems

Removed two so far- sold them on craigslist for $30 each. So Id either sell them or post them on the 'free stuff' section of craigslist. Better than them going to the landfill.
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience With No Car? (Uber/Lyft)
Replies: 31
Views: 2824

Re: Experience With No Car? (Uber/Lyft)

I would use Uber/Lyft, public transit, moped, or bicycle for short trips, and Turo (basically an airbnb for cars, you rent other people's cars conveniently in your neighborhood) for longer trips. Should end up costing less (depreciation, insurance, maintenance, parking, etc.) and less hassle.
by ArmchairArchitect
Tue Aug 21, 2018 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to buy engagement ring?
Replies: 56
Views: 4017

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Diamond itself from Blue Nile, ring custom made at your nearest jeweler district (non-chains). If you are near Philadelphia, definitely go to Jeweler's Row, the oldest jewelry district in the entire country with lots of skilled craftsmen. Specifically, we went with DiAntonio & Klein, amazing work at...
by ArmchairArchitect
Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Consultant leaning toward 1099 instead of W2 and looking for advice
Replies: 32
Views: 2332

Re: Consultant leaning toward 1099 instead of W2 and looking for advice

I much prefer W2 due the potential liability of being 1099. As a W2, you are MUCH better protected, and don't need liability insurance. Plus employer FICA tax is covered by the employer so you're not paying the self-employment tax. Now, with the 2018 tax changes and 20% savings for self-employed per...
by ArmchairArchitect
Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Monterey Grand Prix at Laguna Seca
Replies: 8
Views: 1012

Re: Monterey Grand Prix at Laguna Seca

Calling this a 'Grand Prix' is stretching the traditional interpretation a bit much, as this is just one round on the US IMSA sports car schedule. But if that is your thing, Laguna Seca is one of the better tracks to visit. As IMSA events are lightly attended, there shouldn't be any restrictions on...
by ArmchairArchitect
Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell phone tip: block callers
Replies: 50
Views: 6796

Re: Cell phone tip: block callers

totallystudly wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:29 pm
How much have you received
In total well over 6 figures.
How many hours of your time do you spend in each case, and are you easily able to collect the judgments?
by ArmchairArchitect
Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Affording a $1.8-2M house
Replies: 54
Views: 9502

Re: Affording a $1.8-2M house

MCOL cities are the sweet spot.
by ArmchairArchitect
Fri Jun 22, 2018 5:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road trip Pennsylvania,Maryland,and DC
Replies: 97
Views: 5491

Re: Road trip Pennsylvania,Maryland,and DC

Philadelphia in the summer is definitely something you need to experience. Amazing food/restaurant scene, lots of beer gardens, Fairmount Park (favourite parts are Boathouse Row and Forbidden Drive in Wissahickon Creek...you can do an Indego bikeshare for cheap and see a lot of the park) is the cou...
by ArmchairArchitect
Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road trip Pennsylvania,Maryland,and DC
Replies: 97
Views: 5491

Re: Road trip Pennsylvania,Maryland,and DC

Philadelphia in the summer is definitely something you need to experience. Amazing food/restaurant scene, lots of beer gardens, Fairmount Park (favourite parts are Boathouse Row and Forbidden Drive in Wissahickon Creek...you can do an Indego bikeshare for cheap and see a lot of the park) is the coun...
by ArmchairArchitect
Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: can we afford to spend $20K on travel annually
Replies: 89
Views: 7423

Re: can we afford to spend $20K on travel annually

$200,000 for 10 years of vacations is too much, even on your salary. An exotic trip to Africa, Australia, the Far East here and there is fine, but not as a routine. Definitely do enjoy life and travel if you desire. Also, extrapolating to other aspects of your life, make sure you don't have to spen...
by ArmchairArchitect
Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: can we afford to spend $20K on travel annually
Replies: 89
Views: 7423

Re: can we afford to spend $20K on travel annually

$200,000 for 10 years of vacations is too much, even on your salary. An exotic trip to Africa, Australia, the Far East here and there is fine, but not as a routine. Definitely do enjoy life and travel if you desire. Also, extrapolating to other aspects of your life, make sure you don't have to spen...
by ArmchairArchitect
Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: can we afford to spend $20K on travel annually
Replies: 89
Views: 7423

Re: can we afford to spend $20K on travel annually

Yes you can afford it but not sure how you plan to run the tab up to $20k (even internationally) unless you're traveling for a month or more each year
by ArmchairArchitect
Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Reno, your objective opinion please.
Replies: 34
Views: 3129

Re: Home Reno, your objective opinion please.

As a side note, I would consider putting those two extra apartments on airbnb (via a property manager/host program) when not in use as they seem underutilized. That'll reduce your 90k annual cost there.
by ArmchairArchitect
Sun May 20, 2018 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coachella concert
Replies: 8
Views: 1032

Re: Coachella concert

Coachella is well past it's prime/jumped the shark, they used to have good acts but no more, they lost credibility by having all the commercial "musicians". I'd recommend finding a better festival.
by ArmchairArchitect
Tue May 15, 2018 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Car Suggestions: BMW Crapping Out
Replies: 61
Views: 5892

Re: New Car Suggestions: BMW Crapping Out

Avoid the German brands. Besides the reliability issues, they intentionally overengineer and intentionally design their cars to be hard to service (to make money for dealerships and via parts), such as by hard to access components, specialty tools required, etc. Which is a slap in the face after you...
by ArmchairArchitect
Mon May 14, 2018 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mobile WIFI in France?
Replies: 13
Views: 677

Re: Mobile WIFI in France?

I second switching to Google Project Fi as your carrier. Much cheaper both domestically and internationally. We're leaving for France in a week ourselves and will be using my phone there without having to worry about finding a SIM card etc. The other thing I'd recommend doing is saving the parts of ...
by ArmchairArchitect
Mon May 14, 2018 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is there a boglehead muscle car?
Replies: 140
Views: 9384

Re: Is there a boglehead muscle car?

totallystudly wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 11:31 am
Nobody likes Corvettes I suppose... If I were to buy a muscle car that would be it. Holds a decent value, looks good and nice performance.
Corvettes aren't muscle cars. They're proper sports cars.
by ArmchairArchitect
Thu May 03, 2018 10:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need advice on $5M property sale
Replies: 39
Views: 4316

Re: Need advice on $5M property sale

Use Redfin (www.redfin.com). 1.5% commission, and we got superior service.
by ArmchairArchitect
Tue Mar 20, 2018 2:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question on closing/rolling over 401k accounts prior to large dividend payments
Replies: 1
Views: 179

Question on closing/rolling over 401k accounts prior to large dividend payments

So not too long ago I rolled over two 401k accounts from previous employers, to my current employer's 401k account (which has different investment options). I did this in September to avoid the annual maintenance fees that the old plans were charging me each October. From these old 401ks, annually I...
by ArmchairArchitect
Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tires on a 15 year old car....Replace or not?
Replies: 79
Views: 6095

Re: Tires on a 15 year old car....Replace or not?

If garage kept or out of the sun and elements, I would think you have more life out of them since there's no UV rays breaking down the rubber.
by ArmchairArchitect
Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Redfin implicit hidden costs.
Replies: 23
Views: 3696

Re: Redfin implicit hidden costs.

The scenario you're describing has nothing to do with Redfin- most buyers have their own agent. To me it would be stupid to use the seller's agent as your own agent, because they're being paid by the seller and have the seller's best interests ahead of yours. Some states even ban dual agents. We use...
by ArmchairArchitect
Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?
Replies: 100
Views: 5929

Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

I commute by bicycle in Philadelphia, but it's a very bike-friendly city (#1 in bike commuting per capita of major cities). Lots of bike lanes, flat terrain, and enough other bicyclists where drivers are aware to look out for bikes. My commute is 3 miles each way, but I would probably do up to 5. Be...
by ArmchairArchitect
Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home buying: how to send postcards to neighborhood we want to live in?
Replies: 38
Views: 4392

Re: Home buying: how to send postcards to neighborhood we want to live in?

Redfin.com has a solid review system for all their agents, and as a buyer they rebate a huge chunk of their commission back to you. Way better option than this silly letter idea.
by ArmchairArchitect
Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: For BHs who actually like cars - [what car do you drive every day?]
Replies: 280
Views: 20840

Re: For BHs who actually like cars - [what car do you drive every day?]

I'm a car enthusiast, but I ride my bicycle to work every day for the quick commute, health benefits, fun, and cost. Living in the city (Philadelphia) is awesome!
by ArmchairArchitect
Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Short Commute or Nicer House?
Replies: 142
Views: 9270

Re: Short Commute or Nicer House?

I grew up in the city (NYC) and have lived in the suburbs now for a long time. I can't imagine not being able to go to the supermarket or wherever and not being able to toss my stuff in the trunk of my car and have to carry it around in all kinds of awful weather and step in slush/mud and worry abo...
by ArmchairArchitect
Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Short Commute or Nicer House?
Replies: 142
Views: 9270

Re: Short Commute or Nicer House?

Option #1, and assuming you choose a nice, safe neighborhood in the city, as someone who's lived in both city and suburbs, there are things in the city that the suburbs can't provide you. Here are just some: - On average, MUCH better restaurants - More interaction with neighbors, and a more social a...
by ArmchairArchitect
Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Effects of extreme cold weather
Replies: 107
Views: 11019

Re: Effects of extreme cold weather

The extremely low humidity is causing some damage to our home. Our Nest has been reading at about 17-20% humidity. Baseboards/moulding pulling apart from the wall, new creaks on the floor, new cracks in walls, new gaps between planks in hardwood floors. I never realized the effect of low humidity on...
by ArmchairArchitect
Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater
Replies: 100
Views: 8007

Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Maybe try a tankless/instant water heater on the same line as your water heater, but installed closer to your faucet/shower.
by ArmchairArchitect
Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Honda CRV - first oil change full synthetic?
Replies: 87
Views: 17062

Re: New Honda CRV - first oil change full synthetic?

Synthetic is far superior- you can double triple the longevity of your motor just from using synthetic. And yes most manufacturers today recommend synthetic for obvious reasons. $60 sounds about right for a synthetic oil change. That being said, you don't have to change it as often as dyno oil, so i...
by ArmchairArchitect
Mon Dec 18, 2017 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Save all this money, what do you splurge on?
Replies: 193
Views: 19667

Re: Save all this money, what do you splurge on?

- Restaurants (Philadelphia has some of the best in the world, so we can't not take advantage)
- Travel
- Cars/Motorbikes (Corvette Z06, Range Rover, Mustang Cobra, Honda Rebel)
by ArmchairArchitect
Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 4WD necessary/recommended on Big Island, HI
Replies: 39
Views: 3324

Re: 4WD necessary/recommended on Big Island, HI

We did just fine with a FWD car on the Big Island, and wer'e pretty adventurous. Only place where 4WD is recommended in to get directly to the green sand beach- otherwise you can hike it (with nice views along the hike) or pay the locals a few bucks to take you there (they wait in the main parking a...
by ArmchairArchitect
Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paying contractors for incomplete work
Replies: 32
Views: 2903

Re: Paying contractors for incomplete work

Make sure you write a review on Yelp to warn others. It's the only way this industry (home contractors) can improve over time.
by ArmchairArchitect
Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ancestry / 23andMe
Replies: 87
Views: 8831

Re: Ancestry / 23andMe

Just keep in mind the privacy/security aspects of providing your DNA to a 3rd party, non-medical provider not subject to HIPAA regulations.
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A Trip to Russia
Replies: 81
Views: 5512

Re: A Trip to Russia

riverguy wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:28 pm
obgraham wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:05 pm
Are you taking an arranged tour? Unless you speak Russian, it's not easy to do Russia by yourselves.
Also don’t believe anything you hear in the media about Russia.
Haha ok. I guess we are supposed to trust Kremlin-controlled media more than independent media?
by ArmchairArchitect
Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toyota older, "good" cars - my observations
Replies: 52
Views: 6346

Re: Toyota older, "good" cars - my observations

I'd pass based on having to spend big money ($1,000+ each time) on periodic timing belt replacements.

Cars with timing chains are much lower maintenance.
by ArmchairArchitect
Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I decline Grand Prize trip because of taxes on winnings?
Replies: 107
Views: 13929

Re: Should I decline Grand Prize trip because of taxes on winnings?

I believe there are ways to argue the value of the item, for IRS tax purposes. Ie. if you have documentation/evidence that the same trip could've been bought for much less (as compared to retail prices).
by ArmchairArchitect
Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla truck unveil
Replies: 142
Views: 10758

Re: Tesla truck unveil

Electric trucks would make the most sense for local and regional delivery where the vehicles return to a home base each night. For long distance, i don't think its practical. How much battery density do you need to get a 80000lb semi up the very long grades in mountainous terrain? For moving long d...
by ArmchairArchitect
Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has used furniture dropped in value dramatically?
Replies: 119
Views: 12857

Re: Has used furniture dropped in value dramatically?

The furniture you're picturing looks like furniture someone elderly would have. Too traditional, that's why it's not worth anything.
by ArmchairArchitect
Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it really Worth it to brown bag your lunch at work?
Replies: 313
Views: 23148

Re: Is it really Worth it to brown bag your lunch at work?

There's a better way to analyze this. Figure out your hourly wage, by dividing your salary by number of hours worked in a year. Any services significantly under this hourly rate you should outsource, unless you enjoy the task or don't value your free time/leisure. By making your own lunch every day...
by ArmchairArchitect
Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it really Worth it to brown bag your lunch at work?
Replies: 313
Views: 23148

Re: Is it really Worth it to brown bag your lunch at work?

There's a better way to analyze this. Figure out your hourly wage, by dividing your salary by number of hours worked in a year. Any services significantly under this hourly rate you should outsource, unless you enjoy the task or don't value your free time/leisure. By making your own lunch every day ...
by ArmchairArchitect
Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vehicle Toubleshooting (multiple issues)
Replies: 61
Views: 4089

Re: Vehicle Toubleshooting (multiple issues)

There are forums dedicated to literally every make and model car (see Google). It's more appropriate to ask this type of question on one of those forums.
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed Aug 23, 2017 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Overextended in Bay Area housing?
Replies: 37
Views: 4650

Re: Overextended in Bay Area housing?

You can afford the house. I'd be more concerned about the amount of time you spend commuting each day, being farther out.
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed Aug 23, 2017 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why do we consider cash flow from rentals but not our own homes?
Replies: 89
Views: 7451

Re: Why do we consider cash flow from rentals but not our own homes?

Your logic is sound. However, I wouldn't even include principal in your equation because that's just a transfer of money from your bank account to your home (it's not an expense). I would only include expenses in your calculation, and I always use the interest associated with a 100% mortgage for cal...
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you hire an obese nanny?
Replies: 81
Views: 4593

Re: Would you hire an obese nanny?

There's a higher likelihood that she will overfeed your kids, be lazy about her job, or have unexpected days off due to health issues stemming from the morbid obesity.

Not saying that will happen, just that there's a higher chance.
by ArmchairArchitect
Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Drinking water price craziness
Replies: 79
Views: 9628

Re: Drinking water price craziness

Consider the effect on the environment/nature when buying water bottles. One can always use a reusable water bottle and a kitchen sink filter at home for similar quality water.

If you're concerned about your municipality's water, each is required to publish an annual report with independent tests.
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: android auto or carplay?
Replies: 10
Views: 1131

Re: android auto or carplay?

Android Auto by far.
by ArmchairArchitect
Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How far off are Zillow's estimates?
Replies: 82
Views: 9773

Re: How far off are Zillow's estimates?

Zillow is based on formulas and doesn't account for more qualitative features, which can have a HUGE affect on selling prices.

Best way (other than paying for an appraiser) is to look at recently sold homes you have been inside (eg. open houses) that are comparable to yours.
by ArmchairArchitect
Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rust proofing patio furniture and fence
Replies: 5
Views: 790

Re: Rust proofing patio furniture and fence

In the future I'd buy aluminum patio furniture; it won't rust.