Search found 405 matches

by Bob Sacamano
Mon Mar 02, 2020 7:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lodging in Rome
Replies: 30
Views: 2335

Re: Lodging in Rome

We stayed at Hotel Alberto del Senato with a view of the Pantheon.

It was fantastic.

Image
by Bob Sacamano
Mon Mar 02, 2020 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Baby crib recommendations?
Replies: 9
Views: 643

Baby crib recommendations?

anyone have any good experience with a particular brand/model that they care to share?

i've actually heard the Ikea Crib is pretty well-regarded

https://www.ikea.com/us/en/p/sundvik-cr ... -30248575/
by Bob Sacamano
Fri Feb 28, 2020 6:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help some first-timers with the home searching (and buying) process
Replies: 31
Views: 2578

Re: Help some first-timers with the home searching (and buying) process

hi all. so wife and i were pre-qualified for a mortgage today.

also, we saw a house for sale by owner this evening that we liked quite a bit. anything to look out for when buying from an owner? bad idea for a first timer or OK?
by Bob Sacamano
Fri Feb 28, 2020 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage shopping. Best practices?
Replies: 11
Views: 849

Re: Mortgage shopping. Best practices?

spoke to Chase today. was preapproved for a $560K loan at 3.375% with (.212%) points (they pay me? i don't fully understand this but will look into further). this isn't a final approval but as a general guideline, any thoughts? i still plan to reach out to one or two more lenders but this was the fi...
by Bob Sacamano
Fri Feb 28, 2020 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage shopping. Best practices?
Replies: 11
Views: 849

Re: Mortgage shopping. Best practices?

When I was home shopping, I had my mortgage broker do a pre-approval letter for an amount near the top of my purchase price range (though lower than I could have been approved for). I also asked him in advance if he could generate versions for me at my offer price when I was making an offer on a ho...
by Bob Sacamano
Fri Feb 28, 2020 8:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage shopping. Best practices?
Replies: 11
Views: 849

Re: Mortgage shopping. Best practices?

I first decide who has the best offer and then apply. If your credit is excellent and you can afford 20% down, there is no need to apply to know what they will offer you. You can get a reasonable estimate by looking at their website and/or by speaking with a loan officer. Large banks may offer bett...
by Bob Sacamano
Fri Feb 28, 2020 7:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage shopping. Best practices?
Replies: 11
Views: 849

Mortgage shopping. Best practices?

looking to get pre-approved as my wife and i start looking at homes. we just applied via our bank (Chase). i've been told it's smart to apply via a large national bank (Chase, done), a local bank and a credit union. that said, how do i make sure they each don't do a hard pull of my credit each time?...
by Bob Sacamano
Tue Feb 25, 2020 8:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Relocating back east / Fair Lawn, NJ / Are we crazy?
Replies: 104
Views: 6862

Re: Relocating back east / Fair Lawn, NJ / Are we crazy?

NJ is one of the highest states measured by exodus of people relocating. The reasons for many are the tax burden and fiscal stability of the state. Just something to consider. Yea I hear ya, but right now I'm in Chicago. Schools, violence, tax situation etc - it ain't all rosy hear either Illinois/...
by Bob Sacamano
Mon Feb 24, 2020 7:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help some first-timers with the home searching (and buying) process
Replies: 31
Views: 2578

Help some first-timers with the home searching (and buying) process

recently just been casually checking RE sites but as Spring is approaching, we are ramping up the seriousness. from what i understand, at this point, it makes sense to look into getting pre-approved for a mortgage loan. some friends have recommended Rocket Mortgage but i'm not sold. wife is a teache...
by Bob Sacamano
Sat Feb 15, 2020 6:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's the best thing you've bought on Amazon for <$150?
Replies: 51
Views: 4860

Re: What's the best thing you've bought on Amazon for <$150?

Petrocelli wrote: Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:48 pm A mangroomer to shave my back.
those work?
by Bob Sacamano
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's the best thing you've bought on Amazon for <$150?
Replies: 51
Views: 4860

Re: What's the best thing you've bought on Amazon for <$150?

The best thing I've bought in the last many months was a $9 shower drain hair catcher. It's this long piece of plastic with teeth-like things on it that you shove really far down the bathtub drain, twist, pull up, and voila! I have been trying to unclog this drain for years, using chemicals, baking...
by Bob Sacamano
Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's the best thing you've bought on Amazon for <$150?
Replies: 51
Views: 4860

What's the best thing you've bought on Amazon for <$150?

i have a gift card burning a hole in my pocket. thinking of upgrading my old Paperwhite to the new version. they'll give me $25 credit and 20% off.

what else is out there?
by Bob Sacamano
Sat Feb 08, 2020 7:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacationing to Palm Springs, CA in two weeks. Advice?
Replies: 24
Views: 2314

Re: Vacationing to Palm Springs, CA in two weeks. Advice?

3504PIR wrote: Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:08 am Bring a coat as it’s been a really cold winter.
wasn't it just like 85*?
by Bob Sacamano
Fri Feb 07, 2020 10:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First time home buyers using funds in a Roth IRA for a down payment?
Replies: 29
Views: 1998

Re: First time home buyers using funds in a Roth IRA for a down payment?

pasadena wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 8:14 pm What do the rest of your finances look like?
me:
33 years old
salary: ~$130K all-in
$110K in my 401K
$120K in savings

wife:
33 years old
salary: $105K
$70K in 457
$40K in savings

debt:
2 car payments
mine: $350/mo. ~$8K on loan
hers: $500/mo. ~$25K on loan
by Bob Sacamano
Fri Feb 07, 2020 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First time home buyers using funds in a Roth IRA for a down payment?
Replies: 29
Views: 1998

First time home buyers using funds in a Roth IRA for a down payment?

how poor of an idea is this assuming the Roth isn't the primary vehicle for retirement savings? i primarily contribute to a 401K and my wife a 457b and she has a pension.

the funds in our Roth aren't huge (maybe $40K?) but could certainly help get us to the 20% much more comfortably.

thoughts?
by Bob Sacamano
Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacationing to Palm Springs, CA in two weeks. Advice?
Replies: 24
Views: 2314

Re: Vacationing to Palm Springs, CA in two weeks. Advice?

thanks all for the advice! any photographers here know any good spots to get a nighttime shot of the sky/desert?
by Bob Sacamano
Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any adult Nintendo Switch owners? Thoughts?
Replies: 29
Views: 2313

Re: Any adult Nintendo Switch owners? Thoughts?

This is an interesting thread, which I find pretty relevant. Not only am I an adult, I was gifted a Nintendo Switch by my brother for Christmas, which I have yet to take out of the box. My wife thinks it could be fun, so I should crack it out, but just need to get started. I've found games to run $...
by Bob Sacamano
Wed Feb 05, 2020 6:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any adult Nintendo Switch owners? Thoughts?
Replies: 29
Views: 2313

Re: Any adult Nintendo Switch owners? Thoughts?

i still have very fond memories of Zelda from N64 days...hmmm....
by Bob Sacamano
Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacationing to Palm Springs, CA in two weeks. Advice?
Replies: 24
Views: 2314

Vacationing to Palm Springs, CA in two weeks. Advice?

any advice on things to see, eat, do?

we're staying at the Hyatt in IW.

it's Modernism Week but everything good seems to be booked up.

i made a reservation at Spencer's and Clifhouse.

thanks!
by Bob Sacamano
Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any adult Nintendo Switch owners? Thoughts?
Replies: 29
Views: 2313

Any adult Nintendo Switch owners? Thoughts?

curious if you use it as much as you thought you would. i feel like it'd be a really fun console for my wife and i to play various games instead of, say, going out to dinner or spending money in other frivolous ways on the weekend. obviously im not buying it to "save" money, but it does se...
by Bob Sacamano
Wed Jan 29, 2020 8:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering an iPad. Is it worth it?
Replies: 116
Views: 7211

Re: Considering an iPad. Is it worth it?

Most people love or hate them. I have loved them for 10 years now. IMO the basic iPad is a bargain at $329. Currently on sale for $250 at Amazon. A steal for that price. https://www.amazon.com/Apple-iPad-10-2-Inch-Wi-Fi-32GB/dp/B07XL7G4HH/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=iPad&qid=1580343174&sr=8-3 Oh wo...
by Bob Sacamano
Wed Jan 29, 2020 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering an iPad. Is it worth it?
Replies: 116
Views: 7211

Re: Considering an iPad. Is it worth it?

OP here, my other concern is planned obsolescence.

My wife has an iPad Mini (maybe 1st or 2nd Gen) and it’s virtually unusable. It’s so incredibly slow and laggy, I suppose because the memory has been zapped by the OS but can’t really confirm that.

By the way, thanks for all the replies!
by Bob Sacamano
Wed Jan 29, 2020 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering an iPad. Is it worth it?
Replies: 116
Views: 7211

Considering an iPad. Is it worth it?

do you find that you use it as much as you thought you would?

it's unfortunate Apple really is the only player in the tablet game as they're a premium/luxury good and more expensive than they need to be.
by Bob Sacamano
Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Baby registry "must haves"?
Replies: 64
Views: 3594

Re: Baby registry "must haves"?

We always liked the stroller car seat combos where the car seat could snap directly into the car seat base in the car and then into the stroller without taking the baby out of the car seat. Good for the first year or so. Then the stroller can be used like a regular stroller. A good baby monitor is ...
by Bob Sacamano
Thu Jan 23, 2020 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Baby registry "must haves"?
Replies: 64
Views: 3594

Re: Baby registry "must haves"?

We always liked the stroller car seat combos where the car seat could snap directly into the car seat base in the car and then into the stroller without taking the baby out of the car seat. Good for the first year or so. Then the stroller can be used like a regular stroller. A good baby monitor is ...
by Bob Sacamano
Thu Jan 23, 2020 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Baby registry "must haves"?
Replies: 64
Views: 3594

Baby registry "must haves"?

curious as to what are some of the "must have" baby registry items. my wife is due in June and we're both new to this. i have seen recommendations to avoid asking for clothes as well as some specific recommendations for types of strollers and car seats. just thought it might spark some goo...
by Bob Sacamano
Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: JPM Chase Reserve Card gets more expensive
Replies: 509
Views: 49679

Re: JPM Chase Reserve Card gets more expensive

so when do we need to cancel by? my card expires 6/20.
by Bob Sacamano
Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Living in a HCOL and making a middle class salary is a struggle
Replies: 340
Views: 21314

Re: Living in a HCOL and making a middle class salary is a struggle

Hmm. Well, we live in the Boston suburbs, I'm a stay at home mom and my husband's base is 250K. He has a large bonus but we save it. We have a 900K house on a 30yr mortgage, one kid in private school (one in public), and we still manage summer camps, a nice family vacation and trips to see grandpar...
by Bob Sacamano
Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Living in a HCOL and making a middle class salary is a struggle
Replies: 340
Views: 21314

Re: Living in a HCOL and making a middle class salary is a struggle

Hmm. Well, we live in the Boston suburbs, I'm a stay at home mom and my husband's base is 250K. He has a large bonus but we save it. We have a 900K house on a 30yr mortgage, one kid in private school (one in public), and we still manage summer camps, a nice family vacation and trips to see grandpar...
by Bob Sacamano
Wed Jan 08, 2020 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Living in a HCOL and making a middle class salary is a struggle
Replies: 340
Views: 21314

Re: Living in a HCOL and making a middle class salary is a struggle

you may not be familiar with the tristate. the jobs are here, in NYC and immediate suburbs. not an hour or two into PA, NY or NJ. issue is, i'm in a role that is transferable and have no real need for NYC. i am competing with finance, big law and tech professionals who probably out earn us to the c...
by Bob Sacamano
Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Living in a HCOL and making a middle class salary is a struggle
Replies: 340
Views: 21314

Re: Living in a HCOL and making a middle class salary is a struggle

Similar to you my wife is a teacher as well and she has a ton of family in the area so moving an hour up the line is not an option for me. Everybody makes their own priorities, but the idea that someone wouldn't consider moving an hour or two further from family to be in a more affordable area seem...
by Bob Sacamano
Tue Jan 07, 2020 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Living in a HCOL and making a middle class salary is a struggle
Replies: 340
Views: 21314

Living in a HCOL and making a middle class salary is a struggle

wife and i live in a very expensive suburb of NYC (Westchester for those familiar). at 33-years old we make "decent" but not excellent salaries (her ~$100K and me ~$115K). all in we're at ~$230K gross. we're starting a family and starting to look at homes in the area. even in the less pres...
by Bob Sacamano
Fri Dec 20, 2019 8:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend Laptop
Replies: 79
Views: 5989

Re: Recommend Laptop

i bought an "off lease" Thinkpad T430 about 3 years ago on eBay for $150. came with an SSD and has been flawless since day 1. the thing seems indestructible. some of the best money i've spent.
by Bob Sacamano
Fri Dec 13, 2019 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone skilled at Award Travel and want to help me fight flights to Maui?
Replies: 20
Views: 1815

Re: Anyone skilled at Award Travel and want to help me fight flights to Maui?

We fly to Hawaii once or twice a year. Alaska Airlines Signature Visa offers one $99 companion fare per year. Annual fee is $75 I think. Since we live in Seattle Alaska Airlines is are usual carrier. I try to book 6 most in advance for best flights and seats. something tells me that $99/fare won't ...
by Bob Sacamano
Fri Dec 13, 2019 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone skilled at Award Travel and want to help me fight flights to Maui?
Replies: 20
Views: 1815

Anyone skilled at Award Travel and want to help me fight flights to Maui?

wife and i are looking to take a Babymoon and want to go to Hawaii. problem is, the only time she's able to take off are during busy travel times. we're looking to travel 2/15 - 2/22 from the NYC area. best price i could find was ~$1000/ticket with 1 stop or ~120K Chase Ultimate Rewards points. than...
by Bob Sacamano
Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are you giving (or asking) for Christmas?
Replies: 77
Views: 5705

What are you giving (or asking) for Christmas?

curious what everyone plans to give out for the holidays?
by Bob Sacamano
Tue Dec 10, 2019 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Made a mistake with my 2020 Dependent Care FSA and election window is closed...help?
Replies: 11
Views: 915

Made a mistake with my 2020 Dependent Care FSA and election window is closed...help?

my wife and i are expecting June 2020. we both signed up to contribute $2500/ea. to a Dependent Care FSA in 2020. turns out we may not need to spend any money at all for care in 2020 as we both receive 3-months of parental leave and can likely stagger the time off to get us through 2020. do we have ...
by Bob Sacamano
Sat Dec 07, 2019 6:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Christmas Lights
Replies: 4
Views: 796

Christmas Lights

hi all, curious of a few things:

1. what type of lights do you use? C6, C7, C9?

2. color or white? interior/exterior.

3. where do you buy them?

we have some cheap lights bought at a big box store but i'd like to get some nicer ones. thanks!
by Bob Sacamano
Sun Nov 24, 2019 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bench press and weights
Replies: 59
Views: 4366

Re: Bench press and weights

Cant go wrong with ROGUE gear
by Bob Sacamano
Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Apple TV vs Competitors
Replies: 34
Views: 3646

Re: Apple TV vs Competitors

i just bought the most recent 65" TCL ROKU TV. it's flawless.
by Bob Sacamano
Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Romantic northeast winter weekend getaway?
Replies: 28
Views: 3513

Re: Romantic northeast winter weekend getaway?

Interesting Stowe came up. We where just there this past weekend. I wouldn't stay at the Ski Resort proper unless its Ski season. Off season like this past weekend the place is a ghost town. Another nice place to stay in town if you like historic Inn's is the Green Mountain Inn. Just pay extra for ...
by Bob Sacamano
Sun Nov 10, 2019 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Romantic northeast winter weekend getaway?
Replies: 28
Views: 3513

Romantic northeast winter weekend getaway?

any advice for a really enjoyable long winter weekend? thinking a nice cozy atmosphere (rustic, fireplace, scenic) 3-6 hours from NYC for a long weekend.

thanks!
by Bob Sacamano
Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)
Replies: 65
Views: 6594

Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

big fan of hitting up kitchen supply stores. they sell a lot of stuff made for heavy duty use and i am a fan of a brand called Vollrath found at such stores.
by Bob Sacamano
Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is there any worth to an HSA if you have very strong health insurance?
Replies: 7
Views: 1154

Is there any worth to an HSA if you have very strong health insurance?

i am on my wife's plan. the cost is relatively affordable (~3,500 for both of us annually). there's $0 deductible and $30 co-pays for typical visits. other coverage is solid as well. to me, it makes less sense in this instance to have an HSA and instead i should focus on other means of investment (4...
by Bob Sacamano
Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can you ever find decent flight deals during peak seasons (Christmas, Spring Break, etc.)?
Replies: 10
Views: 1126

Can you ever find decent flight deals during peak seasons (Christmas, Spring Break, etc.)?

wife is a teacher which is nice as it affords her a good amount of time off. however, her time off obviously coincides with major holidays. sure, in the dead of summer you can sometimes find deals, but what about around Christmas, Winter and Spring Break? i also have off the week between Christmas a...
by Bob Sacamano
Tue Oct 29, 2019 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wife (teacher) and I are trying for a baby. What are some "must-knows" and other tips?
Replies: 127
Views: 12845

Re: Wife (teacher) and I are trying for a baby. What are some "must-knows" and other tips?

hi all, OP here just following up on an incredibly helpful thread. signs point to my wife now being pregnant with potential due date in early June. our first doctor's appointment is next week. life insurance is squared away. $1.5MM for each, about ~$650 annually for each. she is getting information ...
by Bob Sacamano
Mon Oct 28, 2019 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone have an issue with Corelle plates?
Replies: 38
Views: 4249

Anyone have an issue with Corelle plates?

i've read, similarly to Pyrex, that Corelle is supposedly buy-it-for-life. however, when we first took shipment of the plates one of the dinner plates had a piece cleaved off and now i notice one of the salad plates has the same thing. they're great with replacements and all (just contact customer s...
by Bob Sacamano
Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where do you buy eyeglass frames online?
Replies: 16
Views: 1636

Re: Where do you buy eyeglass frames online?

nalor511 wrote: Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:29 pm If you don't need them name brand (and are ok with something that looks the same), I've had pretty good luck with eyebuydirect.com , they have 2 week no questions asked returns, and 365 day warranty
yep. eyebuydirect is great.