Search found 295 matches

by Lexx
Tue Mar 02, 2021 8:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dentist billing in advance
Replies: 63
Views: 5071

Re: Dentist billing in advance

If you're being charged $10 for PPE, that likely doesn't even cover the actual cost. Go and price PPE these days and you'll be shocked at how expensive it is.
by Lexx
Sun Feb 28, 2021 4:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I Pull Money (Equity) Out of Rental Properties?
Replies: 45
Views: 3400

Re: Should I Pull Money (Equity) Out of Rental Properties?

Yes I did. CAP rate tells you the net operating income and return on the property. Cash on cash gives you the return on your money invested. CAP rates can be used to compare the return between different properties. It's affect by things like location, condition of property, type of property, etc. Ca...
by Lexx
Sat Feb 27, 2021 8:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used minivan - suggestions
Replies: 30
Views: 1554

Re: Used minivan - suggestions

I urge you to look at the IIHS.org safety ratings for minivans. On one of their previous tests, which is relevant to a used minivan, the only minivan that was not literally a death trap was the Odyssey. Take at look at how the other vehicles folded up after a collision and ask yourself you want to ...
by Lexx
Sat Feb 27, 2021 4:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cleaning out laptop dust
Replies: 17
Views: 1057

Re: Cleaning out laptop dust

You know what works great to vacuum keyboards? A shopvac! I have a Rigid shopvac with really strong suction. That sucker literally sucks all the debris out. It's even got a brush attachment. I use one of their vacs , link below - consumer/electronics section on their home page - I've had it a long t...
by Lexx
Sat Feb 27, 2021 4:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used minivan - suggestions
Replies: 30
Views: 1554

Re: Used minivan - suggestions

I urge you to look at the IIHS.org safety ratings for minivans. On one of their previous tests, which is relevant to a used minivan, the only minivan that was not literally a death trap was the Odyssey. Take at look at how the other vehicles folded up after a collision and ask yourself you want to b...
by Lexx
Sat Feb 27, 2021 12:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which car to sell?
Replies: 16
Views: 1242

Re: Which car to sell?

Keep the Lexus/Toyota and get rid of the Nissan. Toyota/Lexus >>> Nissan.
by Lexx
Sat Feb 27, 2021 12:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for Safer WiFi Router Solution
Replies: 12
Views: 1209

Re: Looking for Safer WiFi Router Solution

Hard wire your home with Cat 6. That's what we did. But I still have a mesh router for the convenience.
by Lexx
Fri Feb 26, 2021 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car suggestion for 70+ year-old mom
Replies: 137
Views: 6628

Re: Car suggestion for 70+ year-old mom

The Crosstek is a fantastic vehicle. It's perfectly proportioned for someone who doesn't need a big car. And unless she's really wedded to getting leather, I encourage her to try sitting in a cloth Premium. The cloth interiors are really really comfortable. They're not not in the summer nor are they...
by Lexx
Fri Feb 26, 2021 7:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car suggestion for 70+ year-old mom
Replies: 137
Views: 6628

Re: Car suggestion for 70+ year-old mom

I'm not familiar with GM cars anymore but Subaru's Eyesight system is awesome. The adaptive cruise control has to be manually engaged, but the blind spot monitor, and automatic braking systems work work without having to turn them on. For example, if you're backing up and a pedestrian crosses the pa...
by Lexx
Fri Feb 26, 2021 6:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: best wristwatch for the price
Replies: 184
Views: 16991

Re: best wristwatch for the price

If you want the most "practical" timepiece, most folks already own one - the cellphone. These days I usually don't wear a watch since I can just as easily look at my phone. It even has the date lol. I don’t like to dig a phone out of my pocket to check the time. I can see the time in 0.2 ...
by Lexx
Fri Feb 26, 2021 6:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend nightly for hotels (leisure/vacation)?
Replies: 187
Views: 10734

Re: How much do you spend nightly for hotels (leisure/vacation)?

As much as I like the nicer resort hotels, I hate paying that much for them. So if my wife (who has a bona fide travel agent card), can't get us a deal, we're not staying there. For example, I can get 3 nights at the Grand Hyatt Kauai for $279/night compared to the regular rate of almost $500/night....
by Lexx
Fri Feb 26, 2021 5:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: best wristwatch for the price
Replies: 184
Views: 16991

Re: best wristwatch for the price

If you want the most "practical" timepiece, most folks already own one - the cellphone. These days I usually don't wear a watch since I can just as easily look at my phone. It even has the date lol.
by Lexx
Fri Feb 26, 2021 2:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cleaning out laptop dust
Replies: 17
Views: 1057

Re: Cleaning out laptop dust

Seems a bit unnecessary to me. I would take the back cover off myself and just blow it clean with dry air. If the CPU is working fine and the temps are not running outside of normal limits, why remove it? The big thing is to keep the little vent access holes in the case free of debris and dust. I've...
by Lexx
Fri Feb 26, 2021 1:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Purchasing home with title issues
Replies: 16
Views: 1658

Re: Purchasing home with title issues

The big question is, what happens if you end up buying the home anyway with the clouded title, and then find out you can't get the bathroom permitted retroactively? Will the city make you bring everything up to current code? Will they make you tear it apart enough so that they can see what's going o...
by Lexx
Thu Feb 25, 2021 11:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: best wristwatch for the price
Replies: 184
Views: 16991

Re: best wristwatch for the price

The problem with a Rolex these days is it makes you a target. That's why I wear my Apple watch instead, if I wear a watch at all. That being stated, Rolex holds its value and is likely to actually increase in value over the years. It's by no means the best watch out there, but it's the way the compa...
by Lexx
Thu Feb 25, 2021 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water damage in house
Replies: 15
Views: 1002

Re: Water damage in house

If the OP is worried about mold or fungal issues, the go to fix is once the old drywall is out, spray the affected area with a solution of bleach and allow to air dry before closing it back up. I've had leaks where I hired mold remediators and that's exactly what they did.
by Lexx
Thu Feb 25, 2021 4:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience at Royal Lahaina Resort in Maui
Replies: 11
Views: 2124

Re: Experience at Royal Lahaina Resort in Maui

Yup. We go to Maui quite often and our go to choice are the Kapalua Bay Villas. We usually rent an ocean front unit. These units are literally ocean front with the waves crashing on the rocks below your windows. They usually have a nice view of beach and Moloka'i across the way. Most of the units ar...
by Lexx
Thu Feb 25, 2021 4:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water damage in house
Replies: 15
Views: 1002

Re: Water damage in house

Be smart and just pay for the repair to the sheetrock yourself or DIY. A claim for water damage to sheetrock will cause your homeowners rates to either skyrocket or get non-renewed. The cost for drywall repair is minimal.
by Lexx
Wed Feb 24, 2021 10:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Calling all Plumbers (or anyone who has bought a toilet).
Replies: 76
Views: 6316

Re: Calling all Plumbers (or anyone who has bought a toilet).

OP here. Many thanks for all the insights and suggestions. I've learned a bunch about toilets over the past week. Just to check my senses, I called a sister and asked her to measure the toilets that I use when I visit her home. They never seemed of abnormal height to me. She measured both, and they...
by Lexx
Wed Feb 24, 2021 10:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Contractor Issues with Remodel
Replies: 64
Views: 3740

Re: Contractor Issues with Remodel

It sounds like there's a miscommunication between the homeowner and contractor. Rather than talking to the contractor, the homeowner is looking for a "gotcha" situation where he can wiggle out of paying the change order. While the homeowner may be right technically if the contract was writ...
by Lexx
Wed Feb 24, 2021 7:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where would you live in Phoenix if you could WFH
Replies: 123
Views: 7921

Re: Where would you live in Phoenix if you could WFH

Well if one is concerned about one contributing to the urban heat island effect is to buy/live in a small condo (trying to be part of the solution vs. the problem, but what are you going to do? people want to live in a SFR). It's a tough issue to mitigate because water is an issue in Phoenix and ot...
by Lexx
Wed Feb 24, 2021 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where would you live in Phoenix if you could WFH
Replies: 123
Views: 7921

Re: Where would you live in Phoenix if you could WFH

AZ has interesting and decent TexMex food. I have not been to Australia or NZ. That's on my list of places to visit once this covid thing is over. Santa Fe foods are decent to good. Restaurants run on the pricey side. Texan food is good if you like a lot of BBQ and TexMex influence. The food scene i...
by Lexx
Wed Feb 24, 2021 1:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water leakage - fix it or not?
Replies: 54
Views: 3348

Re: Water leakage - fix it or not?

My concern is if the leak PVC pipe is under concrete, how would I even break it? If it's just a small concrete pathway that you have to tunnel under, you can look on YouTube how to DIY a boring pipe using water to excavate the dirt. That's what I did to run our sprinkler lines under a sidewalk. A c...
by Lexx
Tue Feb 23, 2021 11:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thoughts or suggestions: upgrading from Honda Fit for DW's comfort on long road trips...
Replies: 40
Views: 1915

Re: Thoughts or suggestions: upgrading from Honda Fit for DW's comfort on long road trips...

Hondas have really hard seats. Our Odyssey is painful to sit in after about an hour. I hate the seats. For some reason leather makes them even harder. Perhaps it's the cheap grade of leather they use. Conversely I love the cloth seats that I had in my Subaru Outback and now my Subaru Ascent. Cloth i...
by Lexx
Tue Feb 23, 2021 11:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Calling all Plumbers (or anyone who has bought a toilet).
Replies: 76
Views: 6316

Re: Calling all Plumbers (or anyone who has bought a toilet).

When we did our gut remodel, I made sure all the toilets were Toto ADA height. ADA height is so much more comfortable when if you sit for an appreciable amount of time. The short squatty ones make your legs go numb. Oh and BTW, the 30 year old toilets are prized these days because other than the Tot...
by Lexx
Tue Feb 23, 2021 11:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where would you live in Phoenix if you could WFH
Replies: 123
Views: 7921

Re: Where would you live in Phoenix if you could WFH

Lexx. You really need to expand where you dine in Phoenix. I live in the Paradise Valley area of north east Phoenix. I have very nice Italian and Chinese and Mexican restaurants all within a mile of my house. Each are run by ethnic owners and chefs. Each serves good food, Maybe not MICHELIN rated b...
by Lexx
Tue Feb 23, 2021 11:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water leakage - fix it or not?
Replies: 54
Views: 3348

Re: Water leakage - fix it or not?

Fix the sprinkler system yourself. Just go on YouTube and watch the videos. It's not rocket science. The wiring is super easy and there's no positive or negative. It's just one wire for the lead and the other is the common ground. If it's not a huge yard, it's super easy to do it yourself if you're ...
by Lexx
Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dental PPO - Cost for Cap/Crown
Replies: 31
Views: 2755

Re: Dental PPO - Cost for Cap/Crown

Insurance companies would love to have you believe that all dentists are equal. In fact they are not! If you have a dentist that you've been with for years, and you've had good results, IMO it would be foolhardy to start shopping around just because you "might" find someone cheaper. And ye...
by Lexx
Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where would you live in Phoenix if you could WFH
Replies: 123
Views: 7921

Re: Where would you live in Phoenix if you could WFH

We used to have a vacation home in the North Scottsdale area. Weather wise, it starts to get uncomfortably hot by about 10am. By Noon, it's time to head inside. It'll stay hot all night until the wee AM hours. 10 pm will still be in the 90's. I'm partial to the North Scottsdale area all the way up t...
by Lexx
Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water leakage - fix it or not?
Replies: 54
Views: 3348

Re: Water leakage - fix it or not?

If the leak is under the house and not fixed, sooner or later you're going to end up with a sinkhole. So be careful there. Otherwise if they want to run new pipe coming from the street to the house, you could do some of that yourself. Get the utility company out there to mark all the underground stu...
by Lexx
Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Questions regarding carpet damage due to storm
Replies: 15
Views: 829

Re: Questions regarding carpet damage due to storm

Is it going pose a health hazard if we were to leave our stuff in the apartment for the next couple weeks even though we don't stay there? Does everything that comes in contact with the damp carpet gets mold? Do you recommend moving the stuff out right away? Please advise. Thanks. I'm not a virolog...
by Lexx
Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Questions regarding carpet damage due to storm
Replies: 15
Views: 829

Re: Questions regarding carpet damage due to storm

If you are not 100% sure of the water source, I would assume it's contaminated. Get out now. Do not live there. Notify the landlord immediately and request he replace the carpet ASAP. I don't know what the rental laws are in your state, but here in California you are allowed to put the rent withheld...
by Lexx
Mon Feb 22, 2021 5:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First home purchase in CA - realistically, how much can I afford?
Replies: 35
Views: 3919

Re: First home purchase in CA - realistically, how much can I afford?

Lifelong Californian here, age 63. If you’re not going anywhere, meaning likely to keep working and living in same area, then waiting for the bubble to burst may not be best course of action. In California, house prices over time tend to go up, as you know, One thing that changes your math is to ha...
by Lexx
Mon Feb 22, 2021 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Questions regarding carpet damage due to storm
Replies: 15
Views: 829

Re: Questions regarding carpet damage due to storm

See if the landlord will offer a solution. Otherwise hire a carpet cleaning service that has one of those vacuum attachments. They can do a deep clean and suck off all the excess moisture. It also makes a difference if it was clean vs contaminated water. If it's contaminated water, I'd be tearing th...
by Lexx
Mon Feb 22, 2021 5:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House buying negotiations
Replies: 84
Views: 5919

Re: House buying negotiations

Did you read where I stated to not get emotionally attached? It's just a house. I've bought real estate for bargain prices because I never get emotional about it. If someone wants to outbid me, they're welcome to it. Plenty of other deals out there. No one says you have to buy something. Besides IMO...
by Lexx
Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New home construction and possible settlement?
Replies: 18
Views: 1595

Re: New home construction and possible settlement?

Be careful. If it's a national builder you may be ok. But if it's a small builder, those guys have a way of declaring BK after they've hidden or transferred all their assets.
by Lexx
Sun Feb 21, 2021 7:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House buying negotiations
Replies: 84
Views: 5919

Re: House buying negotiations

If the seller is emotional and wedded to their price, no amount of negotiating will change anything. Some people are just stubborn. I like the idea of giving them a bottom line offer with all the data attached, a copy of whatever loan pre-approval you have, and an expiration date for the offer. If t...
by Lexx
Sun Feb 21, 2021 6:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Most tax-efficient way to pass a vacation home to children
Replies: 22
Views: 2255

Re: Most tax-efficient way to pass a vacation home to children

Gifting the property is an easy way to avoid taxes. But you also get the original basis. What also needs to be looked at very carefully, is your parents' total assets. In 2025 the current estate exemption is going to sunset and the lower $5 mil rate will apply. So if your parents estate is over $10 ...
by Lexx
Sun Feb 21, 2021 6:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I Think I *Can* Buy This Home, *Should* I Buy It?
Replies: 44
Views: 3191

Re: I Think I *Can* Buy This Home, *Should* I Buy It?

5. Have you talked to a lender? Since your wife has no income, and your current mortgage, you may not easily get a 700k loan, especially not at a good rate. This is an especially salient point. Lenders tend not to look at future income. They prefer to look at paystubs from your last few months inco...
by Lexx
Sun Feb 21, 2021 5:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I Think I *Can* Buy This Home, *Should* I Buy It?
Replies: 44
Views: 3191

Re: I Think I *Can* Buy This Home, *Should* I Buy It?

You an probably do it by putting the minimum 20% down @ $180k. Add in closing costs and your cash reserves are probably down to about $50k. Plus there's the cost to furnish the place. So it all depends on how you want to live and if you're ok with possibly having to delay retirement as a result of t...
by Lexx
Sun Feb 21, 2021 5:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Landlord Question??
Replies: 25
Views: 1965

Re: Landlord Question??

Your state is likely far more landlord friendly than California, but here if you were to raise the rent after someone had a disabling accident, I bet you'd open up yourself for a discrimination lawsuit. Perhaps you wait until they've recovered? Others here have also given good advice.
by Lexx
Sun Feb 21, 2021 1:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Getting Residence In Another State to Pay Less Taxes?
Replies: 30
Views: 3374

Re: Getting Residence In Another State to Pay Less Taxes?

There are folks who have sold their brick and mortar home and travel year round in a motorhome. Check out the Escapees RV forum. I think South Dakota is one of the popular places to declare residency as it is super easy. Check out this article: https://www.escapees.com/establishing-domicile-for-rver...
by Lexx
Sun Feb 21, 2021 1:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House buying negotiations
Replies: 84
Views: 5919

Re: House buying negotiations

Unless you are willing to pay his price, if the seller is under the impression that the market is super hot in his location (all real estate is local), then there's nothing you can do to change his mind until the house sits and he just doesn't get what he wants. Remind him that your offer stands and...
by Lexx
Fri Feb 19, 2021 6:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where would you spend $1 million on a home in SW Florida?
Replies: 75
Views: 4865

Re: Where would you spend $1 million on a home in SW Florida?

Excellent information. Hopefully this helps the OP. I would look at Boca Raton or West Palm Beach. Live there half the year and have a RV or another home in another state the rest of the year unless I was tied down with a job. Avoid the east coast of FL - too much of a hurricane risk. Am I the only ...
by Lexx
Fri Feb 19, 2021 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House buying negotiations
Replies: 84
Views: 5919

Re: House buying negotiations

This is excellent advice. The seller has emotions attached to his home. You as a buyer need to be more detached and more data driven. I would follow what Outer Marker posted and be prepared to walk away if the seller doesn't budge. I do a lot of contract negotiations. Parties respond better to fact-...
by Lexx
Fri Feb 19, 2021 5:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where would you spend $1 million on a home in SW Florida?
Replies: 75
Views: 4865

Re: Where would you spend $1 million on a home in SW Florida?

I would look at Boca Raton or West Palm Beach. Live there half the year and have a RV or another home in another state the rest of the year unless I was tied down with a job. Avoid the east coast of FL - too much of a hurricane risk. Am I the only one who sees this as a contradiction? You may be ri...
by Lexx
Fri Feb 19, 2021 5:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dual Agent Commission - what is "normal" if there is no separate buyers agent?
Replies: 14
Views: 1159

Re: Dual Agent Commission - what is "normal" if there is no separate buyers agent?

I would offer 5-6% total commission if it's a two broker sale. If it's just your own broker and she gets the full boat commission, I would limit it to 4-5%. Depending on the sales price of the home, there's also the possibility of a tiered commission based on price.
by Lexx
Fri Feb 19, 2021 5:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First home purchase in CA - realistically, how much can I afford?
Replies: 35
Views: 3919

Re: First home purchase in CA - realistically, how much can I afford?

Looking at your finances, if it were me, I would not buy a house yet. The savings are just not there. With the housing market at an all time high, I'd be reticent to jump in at these price levels. Home prices are cyclical. We are now seeing overbids and long lines for new tract home developments. Wh...
by Lexx
Fri Feb 19, 2021 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where would you spend $1 million on a home in SW Florida?
Replies: 75
Views: 4865

Re: Where would you spend $1 million on a home in SW Florida?

I would look at Boca Raton or West Palm Beach. Live there half the year and have a RV or another home in another state the rest of the year unless I was tied down with a job. Avoid the east coast of FL - too much of a hurricane risk. Am I the only one who sees this as a contradiction? You may be ri...
by Lexx
Fri Feb 19, 2021 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where would you spend $1 million on a home in SW Florida?
Replies: 75
Views: 4865

Re: Where would you spend $1 million on a home in SW Florida?

I would look at Boca Raton or West Palm Beach. Live there half the year and have a RV or another home in another state the rest of the year unless I was tied down with a job. Avoid the east coast of FL - too much of a hurricane risk.