Search found 100 matches

by Balefire
Fri Sep 04, 2020 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy land and build a house from A-Z. Anyone do it successfully?
Replies: 25
Views: 2761

Re: Buy land and build a house from A-Z. Anyone do it successfully?

What is simpler and less pitfalls: 1. Purchase a property/ land that has a "teardown" on it (residence), not occupied, and not really dwellable, but all utilities are in place and working. IE: septic, sewer, water, electric, gas. You might be able to get a bargain becaue it is a "teardown" but the ...
by Balefire
Sun Aug 16, 2020 11:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is this the right time to build our new home?
Replies: 8
Views: 1483

Re: Is this the right time to build our new home?

Numbers look good now. Congrats.

Expect to pay for upgrades or unexpected issues during the build process.
We were happy to have surplus emergency funds available during our new house build.
The build mortgage won't cover surprises or add ons.
by Balefire
Fri Aug 14, 2020 6:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worthwhile to correct doctor's visit notes?
Replies: 20
Views: 2184

Re: Worthwhile to correct doctor's visit notes?

Pick a different doctor if it is a repeat occurrence.
That is poor form and arguably unethical.
by Balefire
Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considerations Before Going Solar
Replies: 24
Views: 2249

Re: Considerations Before Going Solar

As other folks mentioned, if you're grid tied, you're not independent as your power will be off if the utility is off. If you have a dual mode inverter, you can generate electricity if the power is out. This has its own set of maintenance headaches if you have lead-acid batteries like I do, but may...
by Balefire
Mon Aug 10, 2020 10:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: More fun: drone or RC plane?
Replies: 32
Views: 2130

Re: More fun: drone or RC plane?

Huge former RC car guy.
Now mild drone hobbyist.

Completely different.
RC plane is flown by visual sight.
Drone is flown remote by camera on phone screen.
The drone is almost like a video game.
I got the DJI air for 800 and am happy.
Don't get anything less than a DJI mini.
by Balefire
Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family expanding - Time for a 3 row SUV
Replies: 69
Views: 3948

Re: Family expanding - Time for a 3 row SUV

Happy repeat owner of CX-9. Highly recommend. Neither has ever given us any issues besides regular maintenance. This may be because it is one of the few cars still made in Japan. Driving dynamics excellent. If the GT or Signature trim, I would compare it to any luxury SUV Biggest downside is that en...
by Balefire
Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family expanding - Time for a 3 row SUV
Replies: 69
Views: 3948

Re: Family expanding - Time for a 3 row SUV

Happy repeat owner of CX-9.
Highly recommend.
Neither has ever given us any issues besides regular maintenance.
Driving dynamic excellent.
If the GT or signature trim, I would compare it to any luxury SUV
by Balefire
Sun Jul 19, 2020 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Received wrong chair from Herman Miller
Replies: 30
Views: 3215

Re: Received wrong chair from Herman Miller

Purchased some nice furniture recently.
Had an issue with one piece which arrived broken.
Despite multiple phone calls and emails, little to no response from the company.
We did a credit card charge back.
by Balefire
Sun Jul 19, 2020 7:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unexpectedly taking on parents' debt: pay it all or?
Replies: 33
Views: 4177

Re: Unexpectedly taking on parents' debt: pay it all or?

First gen immigrant son here.
I would do anything for my parents if they needed it.
I would do option 2 or just keep paying their mortgage and or bills till they find a job.
by Balefire
Sat Jul 11, 2020 6:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New roof needed - Consider METAL ROOF?
Replies: 32
Views: 3122

Re: New roof needed - Consider METAL ROOF?

In my VHCOL Chicago suburb every single new construction had at least some of their house decorated with metal roof. Some utilized a metal roof for the entirety but that is very rare.
by Balefire
Thu Jul 02, 2020 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do HD OTA Antennas work?
Replies: 60
Views: 5834

Re: How do HD OTA Antennas work?

I've used the top of the line Amazon leaf USB powered HDTV antenna behind the TV. It only got 3 or 4 channels reliably. If I anchored it to the ceiling of my 1st floor family room, I could get 5 or 6 channels. Now that I've tunneled it to the attic, I can get all the local channels. It needs a clear...
by Balefire
Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on WiFi vs. Wired at Home?
Replies: 34
Views: 2319

Re: Advice on WiFi vs. Wired at Home?

Had Netgear mesh wifi at my old house with WiFi back haul. Periodic rare unreliability was par for the course. At my new house I setup a wired backhaul for my Netgear mesh. I also setup wired to each fixed device (TV's and PCs). Couldn't be happier. 100% reliable and no issues with gaming speed or s...
by Balefire
Wed Jun 24, 2020 7:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New 4K TV: LED, QLED or OLED?
Replies: 113
Views: 6068

Re: New 4K TV: LED, QLED or OLED?

Most everyone here will have a personal preference for whatever they have in their living room. Mine being my 75" 900 series Sony. To figure out what might be best for your personal taste and viewing preferences, I suggest spending some time on the rtings.com website. +1 for rtings.com. Very helpfu...
by Balefire
Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: heated driveway?
Replies: 91
Views: 4678

Re: heated driveway?

There is a lot of bad information in this thread from people with no experience with wet snow and no experience with heated driveways. I am a muscular healthy middle age dad in Chicago. Light snow is easy for most including my ancient parents. Perhaps once a month in the winter there is a heavy snow...
by Balefire
Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice when both buying & selling a home
Replies: 24
Views: 1540

Re: Advice when both buying & selling a home

We've had a couple of scenarios with buying/selling in recent years, and have never been in a position where we could risk two simultaneous mortgages. In both we had inconvenient gaps between our sell date and our new home purchase date. One we lived in our friends' guest bedroom for a month with o...
by Balefire
Sat Jun 13, 2020 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: heated driveway?
Replies: 91
Views: 4678

Re: heated driveway?

I have a heated driveway with my new house. Hydronic system under my concrete driveway. Boiler in the garage. Cost about $17k for my driveway Splurged with the intention of staying in this house forever and would similarly need this when we become ancient. It is manually controlled and works well. H...
by Balefire
Sat Jun 06, 2020 4:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Girlfriend paying rent
Replies: 107
Views: 10759

Re: Girlfriend paying rent

I moved in with my GF many years ago no questions asked. No rent or dues expected of me. It was the financially better move and her place was better than mine. Several months later all the rent and util money I saved went to the ring. Of course we are married now. Have things changed that we charge ...
by Balefire
Sat Jun 06, 2020 6:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Struggling on Purchasing the Right Car
Replies: 54
Views: 4070

Re: Struggling on Purchasing the Right Car

You might be car poor.
Usu recs are car should be 15-25% of salary.
I would use the single income salary to calculate.

GPS in many cars pales to phone gps
by Balefire
Sun May 31, 2020 11:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fold Flat Seats in a 2019/2020 car
Replies: 41
Views: 2695

Re: Fold Flat Seats in a 2019/2020 car

Tesla Model S.
by Balefire
Thu May 28, 2020 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding keeping-up-with-the-joneses w.r.t. private schools
Replies: 320
Views: 18622

Re: Avoiding keeping-up-with-the-joneses w.r.t. private schools

oldfort wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 10:36 am Other than policy tournaments for the debate team and teaching multiplication before the third grade, is there any consensus on what a good school is?

https://www.usnews.com/education/best-h ... s/rankings
by Balefire
Thu May 28, 2020 6:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mesh Wifi
Replies: 130
Views: 9597

Re: Mesh Wifi

I had an Orbi system. Most frustrating experience I have ever had with electronics. It was intermittently working with my google devices like chromecasts. It would work, then an Orbi firmware update would break it again. I removed the Orbis and bought some Eero's. Have had zero problems, and my goo...
by Balefire
Thu May 14, 2020 5:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Secrets to a great lawn
Replies: 65
Views: 5505

Re: Secrets to a great lawn

More frequent mowing with mulching instead of bagging. Seed in fall and in spring. Scott's EZ seed for patches in fall and spring. I water only in dry spells. Rarely fertilize. I've never noticed weed killing fertilizer to actually prevent weeds. Spot spray weeds Agree with other recs like cut grass...
by Balefire
Sat May 09, 2020 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thoughts on tree removal
Replies: 43
Views: 2652

Re: Thoughts on tree removal

If the tree is healthy, why not consider trimming and parking car in garage
by Balefire
Tue May 05, 2020 5:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawn mower recommendation
Replies: 91
Views: 6119

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Don't go too cheap. Ego mowers last. I used to churn through greenworks/black and decker etc cheap models. What's wrong with greenworks? My 16" 40V greenworks cordless mower has been pretty flawless over the past 7 years. Ego mowers seem a little overpriced for what you get... I wouldn't buy an ele...
by Balefire
Sat May 02, 2020 8:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawn mower recommendation
Replies: 91
Views: 6119

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Electric lawn mower
Much less maintenance.
Quiet.
Reliable.
by Balefire
Thu Apr 30, 2020 6:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: construction loan- which would you take
Replies: 10
Views: 638

Re: construction loan- which would you take

Why not a construction loan that converts to a traditional 30 year fixed? That's what I did. However I didn't anticipate covid19 and just refinanced the 30 year fixed. Oh well
by Balefire
Mon Apr 27, 2020 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Using 457 for emergency funds
Replies: 22
Views: 958

Re: Using 457 for emergency funds

My emergency funds consist of 1. Online high yield savings account 2. Taxable investment funds 3. Backdoor Roth IRA 4. Non governmental 457 from my hospital employer God forbid an emergency occurred, I would use those accounts in that order. You are correct that if job loss occurred, the 457 could b...
by Balefire
Sun Nov 24, 2019 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help: Husband's Surprise Debts
Replies: 183
Views: 19883

Re: Help: Husband's Surprise Debts

Consider having one of your kids arbitrate.
Finances is simple but time consuming math.
by Balefire
Mon Oct 21, 2019 6:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wifi in 3000 sq ft house and garage
Replies: 41
Views: 4334

Re: Wifi in 3000 sq ft house and garage

The Netgear orbi is a better mesh Network. It has its own dedicated band for transmitting backhaul data. As other posters have said it also has modules that can be placed outside. these modules can also all be connected via cat6 ethernet cable which is the ideal setup. The downside of the Netgear or...
by Balefire
Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ordering Model Y now - free option on price changes?
Replies: 13
Views: 2020

Re: Ordering Model Y now - free option on price changes?

Whenever possible avoid the 1st year of a new model. There are often bugs and issues that will require visits to the dealer for warranty
by Balefire
Sat Oct 19, 2019 11:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: buying a car online in another state
Replies: 13
Views: 1329

Re: buying a car online in another state

I've bought several cars sight unseen.
No regrets.
Get lots of pictures.
Get a video.
Get copies of maintenance.
by Balefire
Sat Oct 19, 2019 6:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: selling house, should we put in sod to replace ugly lawn?
Replies: 45
Views: 4302

Re: selling house, should we put in sod to replace ugly lawn?

Putting $100 of Scott EZ seed and $30 of weed killer would be a lot cheaper than sod. And look almost as good
by Balefire
Sat Oct 19, 2019 6:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I bought a STOLEN vehicle!!!
Replies: 106
Views: 16460

Re: I bought a STOLEN vehicle!!!

I have bought several used cars private party Never checked the VIN. Thx to the suggestions for checking the (NMVTIS) and using an OB2 scanner to verify the VIN. Another tactic I use is that I Google the seller. I also ask for a list of maintenance records. OP. Very sorry. Report it to police. Cough...
by Balefire
Fri Oct 18, 2019 11:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When is private (elementary) school worth it?
Replies: 100
Views: 9246

Re: When is private (elementary) school worth it?

Also live in a HCOL area with public schools that are 10/10 on great school ranking. However, how high is your public HS ranked in the state and country in US News and World Report? My public HS is ranked 12th in state and top 300 in country. My public elementary school for my kids has ... 5 levels ...
by Balefire
Mon Sep 23, 2019 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Tires - Simpletire.com
Replies: 2
Views: 732

Re: New Tires - Simpletire.com

Long time fan of tirerack for > 20 years. Recently purchased a few sets from Simple Tire due to price. No issues but likely due to its sources, one tire on one set arrived one day later than the other 3. Their communication is poor. Their tire selection is not as broad or current as tire rack. You s...
by Balefire
Thu Aug 29, 2019 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Marie Kondo My Portfolio Please
Replies: 29
Views: 3289

Re: Marie Kondo My Portfolio Please

Tdameritrade customer here too. I also invest monthly amounts with my paycheck so I haven't been a fan of paying the small commission fees on each reinvestment in VTI and VEU. After holding hope that Vanguard commission free would return, and debating if I should leave TDA altogether, I relented. My...
by Balefire
Mon Jul 29, 2019 4:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to get attorney after car accident?
Replies: 27
Views: 3674

Re: When to get attorney after car accident?

My wife and I are not fans of those who sue for disability, work injury, etc. We are hard working high earners. Anyway, she was involved in a rear end collision, suffered similar whiplash and concussion. We "negotiated" a very small compensation to take care of hospital bills early after the acciden...
by Balefire
Sun Jul 28, 2019 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Way out of financial catastrophe?
Replies: 94
Views: 16004

Re: Way out of financial catastrophe?

Similar issues with our new construction in HCOL area. Proposed house did not appraise for the needed amount for construction. Already had purchased lot, architect etc so no going back. So after shopping some lenders who offer physician loans we found a lender who did a 10% down new construction loa...
by Balefire
Mon Dec 31, 2018 6:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to afford a sports car?
Replies: 128
Views: 10206

Re: How to afford a sports car?

There are plenty of used dream cars within the affordable realm less than 20k and some less than 10k.

C5z06
986 Porsche boxster
996 Porsche 911
Mazda RX8
Mazda Miata
by Balefire
Mon Dec 31, 2018 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Low maintenance yard - new home and HOA
Replies: 27
Views: 2425

Re: Low maintenance yard - new home and HOA

cheese_breath wrote: Mon Dec 31, 2018 5:38 pm Rocks and artificial turf.
+1
by Balefire
Tue Dec 18, 2018 7:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kid schooling - not learning much academically. Looking for suggestions.
Replies: 112
Views: 6877

Re: Kid schooling - not learning much academically. Looking for suggestions.

Agree with isabelle77. You won't really know how talented or gifted your kids are until after puberty. If you want to support them, supplementing their non challenging school load with your own is what we did throughout our kids grade school. You could consider moving to a better school district. We...
by Balefire
Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Leasing a Honda Clarity (all electric) good idea or not?
Replies: 5
Views: 725

Re: Leasing a Honda Clarity (all electric) good idea or not?

The clarity EV gets 89 miles range. The clarity hybrid gets 47 miles range. It is a large sedan EV which is bigger than the i3, Nissan leaf, Chevy bolt. The 199 lease is a good deal on a full size sedan. A boglehead however would get a used BMW i3 or Nissan leaf which can be had for very cheap, less...
by Balefire
Wed Nov 21, 2018 8:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: All inclusive resort with 9 year old?
Replies: 16
Views: 2415

Re: All inclusive resort with 9 year old?

We recently took our kids age 10 and 11 to Hard Rock in Punta Cana Dominican Republic. Food was above average but not great, esp given my wife's celiac disease. However the kids loved it. We recently also took our kids on a Disney Cruise. They loved that too. The food was better on the Disney cruise...
by Balefire
Sat Nov 17, 2018 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any space heaters that automatically maintain a temperature in a room!
Replies: 36
Views: 4033

Re: Any space heaters that automatically maintain a temperature in a room!

I have the Dyson AM09 that I got on black Friday last year.
Best space heater ever.
And the temperature is programmable.
by Balefire
Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 20th Anniversary vacation ideas wanted
Replies: 29
Views: 2400

Re: 20th Anniversary vacation ideas wanted

Boracay in the Philippines just reopened.
And everyone speaks English.
by Balefire
Sun Nov 11, 2018 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best city car
Replies: 20
Views: 2299

Re: Best city car

Electric is ideal for short trips.
Although I'm a fan of Tesla, the Nissan Leaf is the most economical and boglehead like electric car.
by Balefire
Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Never thought of living in Bay Area but just got a call from Tesla
Replies: 72
Views: 8233

Re: Never thought of living in Bay Area but just got a call from Tesla

Just visited my brother and best friend in the Bay area.
Both are transplants from a similar HCOL area, Chicago.

Both are happy and have no plans to leave despite enormous family pressure to do so.

California is beautiful. If you get paid enough to afford it, I think it is certainly worth a look
by Balefire
Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving to NYC without a job
Replies: 33
Views: 5422

Re: Moving to NYC without a job

Easier to get a new job if you have a job.
And I don't mean working for Uber or Starbucks.
by Balefire
Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Dealer told us car was Certified, but it isnt
Replies: 80
Views: 5922

Re: Car Dealer told us car was Certified, but it isnt

Part of the CPO process is inspecting the brakes and replacing them if wear is >50%: https://www.cstatic-images.com/image/upload/v1479143413/cpo/inspections/mazda-inspection.pdf Yes, the brake pads must be within that specification AT THE TIME OF PURCHASE! The OP has been driving the car around for...
by Balefire
Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2 rental car reservations?
Replies: 23
Views: 1567

Re: 2 rental car reservations?

Turo.
Get exactly the car you want.
Even get the car delivered if you want.
I haven't used a regular car rental in years.