Search found 1121 matches

by serbeer
Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fakespot vs. Reviewmeta for Amazon?
Replies: 10
Views: 786

Re: Fakespot vs. Reviewmeta for Amazon?

OP, I just ran the Amazon iPhone case web page mentioned in your post through Fakespot, and it gives the reviews an "A" rating :confused Hmm, not sure what happened. I found another case. Please check this on both: https://www.amazon.com/Apple-iPhone-Leather-Case-Saddle/dp/B075KXPG9D/ref=sr_1_50?s=...
by serbeer
Sat Sep 15, 2018 12:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Light bulbs
Replies: 19
Views: 1704

Re: New Light bulbs

Like 3000K LEDs the best. They are analogy of halogen bulbs color-wise 2700K are anology of incadecent one, and I just like brighter 3000K better. My outside lamps are antique-stylized, and use 1800K LEDs in them-- which is anology of candle light. I have landscaping with solar torch lights that are...
by serbeer
Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bay Area housing frenzy cooling
Replies: 120
Views: 17593

Re: Bay Area housing frenzy cooling

I've been in the market in the Bay Area for the last 9 months. I've noticed a slow down as well. Hoping there will be a sweet spot soon where houses decline somewhat but interest rates haven't increased to make it a wash. Why would you want to buy a house that is dropping in value? Sure it is bette...
by serbeer
Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bay Area housing frenzy cooling
Replies: 120
Views: 17593

Re: Bay Area housing frenzy cooling

Real estate is all about location, location, location, not diversification. I'd take direct ownership of a well-located Bay Area property over any broad-area REIT. I know Bay Area real estate seems extremely expensive to many, but it is still a "bargain" compared to real estate in other major econo...
by serbeer
Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing in 5G Wireless
Replies: 44
Views: 2328

Re: Investing in 5G Wireless

There may be unusual factors that impede the rollout of this technology: https://techcrunch.com/2018/09/10/bay-area-city-blocks-5g-deployments-over-cancer-concerns/ I doubt that this will be a serious issue. Nothing about 5G technology makes it riskier than older cell technologies. One small munici...
by serbeer
Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing in 5G Wireless
Replies: 44
Views: 2328

Re: Investing in 5G Wireless

There may be unusual factors that impede the rollout of this technology:
https://techcrunch.com/2018/09/10/bay-a ... -concerns/
by serbeer
Fri Sep 07, 2018 5:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Large Family Trip - Florida or Carribean
Replies: 24
Views: 1691

Re: Large Family Trip - Florida or Carribean

Thanks all. Will start looking into places in Aruba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Bahamas. Would prefer the first two as I've been to the latter two. But by the time I add up flights and lodging and consider logistics, it may be more than my family is looking to do. Look into Jamaica as well...
by serbeer
Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I hit the magic side hustle milestone in August
Replies: 19
Views: 4830

Re: I hit the magic side hustle milestone in August

.. The home office deduction, unfortunately, is no longer really viable. Ralph Why not? It can still be deducted from his self-employment income, can't it? Even if he is both employee somewhere and has self-employment side-gig, he can still deduct home office due to later if indeed using it to gene...
by serbeer
Fri Aug 24, 2018 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mileage efficiency dropping after new tires- Subi
Replies: 7
Views: 519

Re: Mileage efficiency dropping after new tires- Subi

Just the difference between a 3/32" tread and the 10/32" tread of a new tire is worth 1% in indicated mileage, even if actual mileage didn't change. This is due to the increased circumference of the new tire. Also, it's my understanding that tires with a lot of tread have more flexing and squirming...
by serbeer
Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bay Area housing frenzy cooling
Replies: 120
Views: 17593

Re: Bay Area housing frenzy cooling

toomuchRE wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:26 pm
Umm, So you guys think my prediction is coming true??


viewtopic.php?f=10&t=250256&p=3944276#p3944276
not its stock-related part, that's for sure :)
by serbeer
Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lock Suitcases on International Flight or Not?
Replies: 32
Views: 2680

Re: Lock Suitcases on International Flight or Not?

I think this video will give you definitive answer to your question:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JvmAktLvFg
by serbeer
Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cheapest Home Insurance ?
Replies: 34
Views: 2946

Re: Cheapest Home Insurance ?

UALflyer, thank you for this feedback, The case study used in the article is pretty similar to my situation, hence the interest. I ordered copies of my/wifes CLUE reports so that I know what insurers will see on my records, and will get a quote from Chubb to see it fares any better than Amica once I...
by serbeer
Mon Aug 20, 2018 4:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cheapest Home Insurance ?
Replies: 34
Views: 2946

Re: Cheapest Home Insurance ?

...I guess, if I consider switching, eg to Chubb, I must price using the value of the house that Amica uses, so that I compare apples to apples. That's not going to be an option. High value carriers all approve higher end contractors, better workmanship and higher end materials, so their replacemen...
by serbeer
Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cheapest Home Insurance ?
Replies: 34
Views: 2946

Re: Cheapest Home Insurance ?

Also, I recently worked with an independent agent in changing homeowners insurance. He came to me reporting that he could save a several hundred dollars annually by moving my coverage from one firm to another. with my consent, he did it. However, when doing it, he did not mention what happened next...
by serbeer
Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cheapest Home Insurance ?
Replies: 34
Views: 2946

Re: Cheapest Home Insurance ?

In all fairness, USAA isn't the only carrier that does this, but there are mass market carriers that will still allow you to expand the water and sewer backup coverage above $10,000. High end carriers all cover water and sewer backups up to the full face amount of your dwelling coverage. I actually...
by serbeer
Mon Aug 20, 2018 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cheapest Home Insurance ?
Replies: 34
Views: 2946

Re: Cheapest Home Insurance ?

What this means is that if you are trying to decide between Amica and State Farm, for instance, and the contractual coverage options are identical, you'd be insane to pay substantially more for Amica. If you only limit your price shopping to a few companies, however, and State Farm is not on that l...
by serbeer
Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cheapest Home Insurance ?
Replies: 34
Views: 2946

Re: Cheapest Home Insurance ?

Yes, Amica is excellent and I've been with it for over 10 years now. It was the cheapest originally, and increases had been very reasonable given the claims they paid over the years. I totally love it. Now that I changed houses though, the house insurance trippled even though the sale price of the n...
by serbeer
Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Civil service: Long Shot Interview.. Would you go?
Replies: 33
Views: 3648

Re: Civil service: Long Shot Interview.. Would you go?

If you don't ask you don't get, so go get it
by serbeer
Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I get a mortgage if retiring?
Replies: 37
Views: 5253

Re: Can I get a mortgage if retiring?

Got it--misunderstood your response, thanks for clarifying!
by serbeer
Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I get a mortgage if retiring?
Replies: 37
Views: 5253

Re: Can I get a mortgage if retiring?

I'm a lender at one of Chase/wf/boa. ... Written over 200 conventional mortgages in the last 12 months... Written Zero asset depletion loans. Very hard to get those done. Need several million to even have a shot. For a conventional investment property loan you need 20% down and debt to income ratio...
by serbeer
Tue Jul 24, 2018 5:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tornadoes in Iowa,Nebraska,KC In August
Replies: 46
Views: 2596

Re: Tornadoes in Iowa,Nebraska,KC In August

The Wizard wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 5:16 pm
OP forgot about Kansas, where I went to high school.
Kansas is a great place to find tornados in the April, May, June season.
After that, less so.
Enjoy...
Ah, I suspect I now know how you got your username :)
by serbeer
Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whole Foods -- any drop in prices after Amazon takeover ?
Replies: 31
Views: 3950

Re: Whole Foods -- any drop in prices after Amazon takeover ?

WF has very good produce and it is not more expensive than standard supermarkets. Sorry, but have to disagree. Very good produce? Definately. But prices can be 1.5-2x of those in my local supremarket (Jewel) and I don't think anything is cheaper at all. I buy very little in WF as a result, though w...
by serbeer
Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whole Foods -- any drop in prices after Amazon takeover ?
Replies: 31
Views: 3950

Re: Whole Foods -- any drop in prices after Amazon takeover ?

I don't buy many things in WF, but for nearly 10 years I've been buying their brand of Almond Milk for my kids weekly. The price went up twice over the the years to $3.99 per 64oz carton. After Amazon purchase, the price dropped to $2.99 per the carton. So, "any drop in prices"? Definately. I believ...
by serbeer
Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you own just 5% of anything?
Replies: 65
Views: 5077

Re: Do you own just 5% of anything?

Yes, of REIT and Emerging markets, 5% each.
by serbeer
Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Do you subscribe to Consumer Reports?]
Replies: 31
Views: 2968

Re: [Do you subscribe to Consumer Reports?]

Used to subscribe, both paper and website. My library now offeres electronic access to their website for library patrons, so I can check ratings online anytime I want.
by serbeer
Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others
Replies: 42
Views: 3558

Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

..What this means is that if you are trying to decide between Amica and State Farm, for instance, and the contractual coverage options are identical, you'd be insane to pay $1,000 more for Amica... It only seems insane -- until you have serious accident or damage to your property and discover that ...
by serbeer
Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: MoviePass vs AMC
Replies: 3
Views: 513

Re: MoviePass vs AMC

Also, AMC plan, while not being equally good deal, allows web ticket purchases and this is VERY valuable for weekend showings in major urban areas as where I leave newer movies are nearly impossible to watch on weekends without buying tickets in advance--or if you can get in, you would be in the fir...
by serbeer
Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Capital One 360 ACH limits
Replies: 63
Views: 13516

Re: New Capital One 360 ACH limits

This time I couldn't find a Live Chat button where the Facebook guy said it would be, so I went back to Facebook and they said in the Hipster talk, "If chat's a no go, give us a call on our secure line and we'll dish the deets". Dish the deets? What is this, high school? This disturbs me. Me too, e...
by serbeer
Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CNBC: Social Security buying power has slipped by a third for retirees
Replies: 95
Views: 7244

Re: CNBC: Social Security buying power has slipped by a third for retirees

I'm going to call partial BS on the original article. Among the top items they have "home heating oil" - how many people use home heating oil as a primary source? ... "About 5.7 million households in the United States use home heating oil as their main space heating fuel..." Source: https://www.eia...
by serbeer
Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is day trading profitable?
Replies: 36
Views: 3286

Re: Is day trading profitable?

I've found that winning the lottery is exceptionally easy. Simply buy the winning ticket. Day trading is also exceptionally easy. Buy stocks in the morning that will double by afternoon and then sell them. If they're not going to double by the afternoon, then why would you buy them? This is very go...
by serbeer
Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS publishes draft 2018 1040 - Huge changes made
Replies: 156
Views: 17149

Re: IRS publishes draft 2018 1040 - Huge changes made

One of the great joys of my life was when we finally had enough money (and tax complexity) to hire a real CPA to do our taxes for us -- not an H&R Block or some similar outfit. They are shuffling the forms around, but the tax calculations will still be done by software and electronically sent to th...
by serbeer
Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Capital One 360 ACH limits
Replies: 63
Views: 13516

Re: New Capital One 360 ACH limits

I guess that's my answer to your question - if the bank cannot fix a problem, you move. Simple as that. The only reason I have not moved yet to Fidelity (my backup checking account) is CapOne ACH speed. It's 24 hours at the most in either direction, and many times almost instant, so it's a perfect ...
by serbeer
Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Capital One 360 ACH limits
Replies: 63
Views: 13516

Re: New Capital One 360 ACH limits

...it has been 5 full months now as I've been trying to add my wife as secondary account owner to my Capital One 360 Money Market account and to no avail. I called literally several dozens of times, talked to many customer service representatives and their managers, and got absolutely nowhere. Just...
by serbeer
Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Air conditioner compressor replacement cost
Replies: 31
Views: 3560

Re: Air conditioner compressor replacement cost

Just don't tell them what the 1st HVAC company said, let's them diagnose it themselves.
by serbeer
Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Capital One 360 ACH limits
Replies: 63
Views: 13516

Re: New Capital One 360 ACH limits

I like their rates and ease of use, but it has been 5 full months now as I've been trying to add my wife as secondary account owner to my Capital One 360 Money Market account and to no avail. I called literally several dozens of times, talked to many customer service representatives and their manage...
by serbeer
Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Air conditioner compressor replacement cost
Replies: 31
Views: 3560

Re: Air conditioner compressor replacement cost

In case it help, here in Chicago area I just had 23 yo entire outside condenser AC unit and evaporating coils in the furnace replaced with 3.5 ton American Standard Silver unit (the least legally allowed efficiency-wise 13 SEER) for exactly $3K. The unit came with 10y warranty on it.
by serbeer
Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Too much house vs. just enough
Replies: 38
Views: 3657

Re: Too much house vs. just enough

And extra $110K for $1M house is no brainer. An extra $110K for $250K house is a no-go.
by serbeer
Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [Looking for ways to reduce taxes and keep more of my income]
Replies: 91
Views: 9253

Re: [Looking for ways to reduce taxes and keep more of my income]

This locked thread contains pretty comprehensive list of nearly all your real options IMO:
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=105229
by serbeer
Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping HVAC installers?
Replies: 22
Views: 2164

Re: Tipping HVAC installers?

I tipped today when they replaced my AC unit, $15 to installer and $5 for his helper. Helper was appreciative, installer was supprised and appreciative Yes, they are paid rather well, the reason I tipped is that they checked and added freon to my 2nd AC unit for free saving me over $100 in regular c...
by serbeer
Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Yahoo Finance no longer works - Alternatives to download securities quotes]
Replies: 287
Views: 49464

Re: [Yahoo Finance no longer works - Alternatives to download securities quotes]

I've been searching for an alternative to Yahoo Finance for almost a year, and just now discovered this Thread... It contains some great information, and I have tried a number of the solutions posted here, but so far, none seem to be able to replace what I was previously using: A simple Excel 2010 ...
by serbeer
Tue May 29, 2018 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawyer instead of buyer's real estate agent? Experience anyone?
Replies: 54
Views: 5580

Re: Lawyer instead of buyer's real estate agent worked great!

The thing is, you still must offer 2.5% buyer agent comissions to attract buyer agents to bring in their clients. So negotiable portion is really sellers agent comissions. When I sold the house I negotiated 1.5% (for a total of 4%) but that probably worked because I also bought new house with the sa...
by serbeer
Tue May 29, 2018 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is a reasonable amount of time to spend cleaning a house prior to showing
Replies: 17
Views: 1478

Re: What is a reasonable amount of time to spend cleaning a house prior to showing

I had 2 cleaning ladies work for 6.5 hours before putting a house on the market. After that, was doing daily maintenance myself, about 15-20 mins each day and actively prompting my young kids to put in extra effort in not messing up the house. Did not prepare for showings specifically. Luckily, sold...
by serbeer
Fri May 11, 2018 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS tax form [Rejected as photocopy, signature must be in blue ink]
Replies: 41
Views: 3771

Re: IRS tax form [Rejected as photocopy, signature must be in blue ink]

I've never encountered this. I've certainly never signed in blue ink. I can confirm what inbox788 said: ironically, once upon a time, blue ink was a big no-no because some photocopiers would not copy it--you would intentionally use a light blue pencil to make marks that would vanish in photocopies....
by serbeer
Fri May 11, 2018 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Ally online savings now at 1.80%]
Replies: 220
Views: 35726

Re: Ally online savings now at 1.60%

Capital One 360 Money market is also 1.6%
by serbeer
Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap Caribbean [add-flights, cut price in half... too good to be true?]
Replies: 28
Views: 2311

Re: Cheap Caribbean [add-flights, cut price in half... too good to be true?]

Also e-mailed a few private travel agents. One just got back to us for $2505, exact room we want, non-stop flights at great times, and transport included. Some association with Funjet (similar type company). Sounds familiar--my wife does exactly the same thing for her clients: if they come to her w...
by serbeer
Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap Caribbean [add-flights, cut price in half... too good to be true?]
Replies: 28
Views: 2311

Re: Cheap Caribbean [add-flights, cut price in half... too good to be true?]

The site is legit. Other major providers (eg Apple Vacation) can price-match their packages if they have the same hotels in their network, but you need to use their travel agent network to do that. Then you'd have the same package through major provider if dealing with cheap caribbean directly makes...
by serbeer
Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cedar Roof
Replies: 27
Views: 1955

Re: Cedar Roof

Saying goodby to Amsterdam? Welcome to Chicago! I also just purchased a house with cedar shakes roof. The roof has reached its end of life, in only 22 years. I don't think it was maintained much, if at all, the house was rented out for the past 7 years. HOA prohibits asphalt shingles and only allows...
by serbeer
Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does Non-deductible IRA make sense
Replies: 7
Views: 784

Re: Does Non-deductible IRA make sense

Whether non-deductible IRA is useful is good question, maybe not unless can be converted through back-door Roth if possible to move some of the money from it to 401K account at certain point in the future, sooner rather than later. My wife had NDIRA and when she started little side business a few ye...
by serbeer
Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Staying Motivated: How do you ward off hopelessness?
Replies: 59
Views: 7998

Re: Staying Motivated: How do you ward off hopelessness?

By taking actions.
How do you eat an elephant? One piece at a time...