Search found 1145 matches

by serbeer
Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home security system and outside cameras
Replies: 3
Views: 453

Home security system and outside cameras

I was hoping to get an advice regarding choice of home security system and cameras, if you have a setup that you are really happy with, could you please briefly describe it ? The house I recently bought has wired ADT system installed and I was hoping to retrofit their wiring and sensors for use with...
by serbeer
Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: fuel for snowblower
Replies: 47
Views: 2557

Re: fuel for snowblower

Thank you for all the feedback folks!
by serbeer
Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: fuel for snowblower
Replies: 47
Views: 2557

Re: fuel for snowblower

Northwest suburbs of Chicago, 30+ mins drive to any of the towns listed, I am pretty sure -- since I would recognize any name in this radius
by serbeer
Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: fuel for snowblower
Replies: 47
Views: 2557

Re: fuel for snowblower

Hm, thanks folks, looks like I can as well save myself some money and buy grade 87 if it is E10 across the board. As far as availability in IL, I went to https://www.pure-gas.org/index.jsp?stateprov=IL and see no towns with names I recognize, which is the same as to say that there is nothing nearby,...
by serbeer
Tue Nov 13, 2018 6:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: fuel for snowblower
Replies: 47
Views: 2557

fuel for snowblower

I purchased new Toro HD 1028 snowblower this season, and while I know that it is gold standard to use ethanol-free fuel, I don't have easy access to it and think it may be an overkill anyway. I always drain/burn fuel after the season is over, and I purchased Toro fuel treatment to add to the fuel du...
by serbeer
Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House selling costs
Replies: 23
Views: 2143

Re: Typical house selling costs

Figure on 8% for a new house. No one smart pays 6% commission anymore I paid only 3.5% comissions, but my total money spent on transaction were 9%. All the fees--state and local, then prepayment of real estate tax at 105%, etc. It all adds up, in my case in IL to 5+% in addition to agent comissions.
by serbeer
Thu Nov 01, 2018 5:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FSA and HSA
Replies: 4
Views: 601

Re: FSA and HSA

You both can sign up for dependent care FSA, but total annual contribution cannot be over $5K: https://finance.zacks.com/can-husband-wife-claim-flexible-dependent-care-benefits-9058.html So if you husband is already signed up, you can only sign up for $5K minus his amount. If he was HCE last year an...
by serbeer
Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Am I Risking My Life to Sell My Car?
Replies: 37
Views: 4659

Re: Am I Risking My Life to Sell My Car?

The tire will probably not blow up on 30 mi drive, and if it does, it will not be an explosion, the car will simply start leaning to one side and you'll just pull over and call towing. The risk is very small IMO, I would not hesitate to drive.
by serbeer
Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The most you ever paid for a prescription
Replies: 80
Views: 3532

Re: The most you ever paid for a prescription

$50 -- the highest copay of my HMO, applied to brand-name and specialty-pharmacy drugs. Usually it is $15 regular copay.

How high can it go if not covered? Hepatatis C treatment recently made news with $100K price tag
by serbeer
Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House selling costs
Replies: 23
Views: 2143

Re: House selling costs

I'd say 9% is about right if selling through agent that takes reasonable comissions (closer to 4% than to 6%). If selling on your own, you could get to keep 4-5% of that. But most likely, even in this case, you'd still have to pay 2% for buyer agents to bring people to see the place, plus some expen...
by serbeer
Wed Oct 24, 2018 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Black Friday is coming.. what's on your list?
Replies: 82
Views: 8060

Re: Black Friday is coming.. what's on your list?

- Laptop with large (512Gb) SSD for my wife (cannot be Lenovo though their prices are the best since they do not support 2 external monitor, learned the hard way--already had to return one after upgrading and configuring it...) - Iphone Xs for my wife - Security system for the house. Probably Simpli...
by serbeer
Fri Oct 19, 2018 4:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Too Much Apple [AAPL] Stock
Replies: 55
Views: 5877

Re: Too Much APPL Stock

I no longer own individual companies stock at all, but even when I did I made sure to keep no more than 5% of my portfolio in any single company, and I suggest you do the same.
by serbeer
Thu Oct 18, 2018 6:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tip Furniture Delivery?
Replies: 12
Views: 1138

Re: Tip Furniture Delivery?

I do if furniture was heavy and required assembly. Usually $10 per person. If does not require assembly, $5, like when snowblower was delivered and guy put the crate into garage. But recently, we ordered sectional, and when it was unpacked and assembled, we did not like how it looked on the floor. S...
by serbeer
Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where would you go for financial guidance if you win the Megamillions?
Replies: 188
Views: 16824

Re: Where would you go for financial guidance if you win the Megamillions?

I'd see if I could find a way to claim the money and not let my identity be disclosed. So, once I found I had the winning ticket, I'd be looking for legal advice. I would not sign the back of the ticket. I'd see if I could set up some kind of legal loophole that would let me stay anonymous. I assum...
by serbeer
Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sell & Buy New Home Now vs. Next Spring
Replies: 25
Views: 1104

Re: Sell & Buy New Home Now vs. Next Spring

Hm, if you know you have to change houses, why wait till spring? I gave offer on our new home in early October a year ago, actually took the whole winter and most of the spring to negotiate (seller was in another country) and get the house ready for moving in, so only purchased in mid-February this ...
by serbeer
Mon Oct 15, 2018 8:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DIY Home Security: SimpliSafe vs Ooma vs Nest vs Ring vs Other?
Replies: 66
Views: 7735

Re: DIY Home Security: SimpliSafe vs Ooma vs Nest vs Ring vs Other?

We have arlo, nest and canary. Nest IQ cameras have been the best so far. $50 first camera, $30 for any additional. That’s what I’d go for if I was you. I am sorry, but how do you get Next IQ for $50????? I see it goes for $300 indoor / $350 outdoor each. Or is it monitoring price on top of equipme...
by serbeer
Sun Oct 14, 2018 11:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DIY Home Security: SimpliSafe vs Ooma vs Nest vs Ring vs Other?
Replies: 66
Views: 7735

Re: DIY Home Security: SimpliSafe vs Ooma vs Nest vs Ring vs Other?

Were your false alarms from entry sensors? No false alarm with the motion sensors. However, on occasion when arming the system, it reports that a motion sensor is not ready. Then I remove and reinstall the batteries. That seems to work. This is alarming. Is your Simplysafe system's hardware the new...
by serbeer
Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Purchase - Sellers Request Help with Repairs
Replies: 69
Views: 3198

Re: Home Purchase - Sellers Request Help with Repairs

You are right, not your problem to solve
by serbeer
Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Kid already in 9th grade, too late to start 529?
Replies: 14
Views: 1714

Re: Kid already in 9th grade, too late to start 529?

If you have state tax deduction, it makes total sense regadless of when you started. Eg, if your state tax rate is 5% and deduction applies to first $10K of annual contribution, then even if you don't have 525 at all prior to college, it makes sense to contribute money into it every year to the max ...
by serbeer
Tue Oct 02, 2018 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Homeowners - Paint first or fix hard wood floors first?
Replies: 15
Views: 1273

Re: New Homeowners - Paint first or fix hard wood floors first?

Standard/ideal sequence is to put in hardwood floor with 2 coats of lacquer on it (due to guranteed sawdust storm during the job), then do the painting, then buffing out scratches and 3rd coat on hardwood.

If using prefinished hardwood, then do painting first.
by serbeer
Thu Sep 27, 2018 2:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to charge much higher than Credit Card Limit
Replies: 39
Views: 3506

Re: How to charge much hire than Credit Card Limit

runner3081 wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 11:27 pm
HAHA! Spelling is... hard?
Yes, very heart :)
by serbeer
Wed Sep 19, 2018 5:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fixing diamond ring
Replies: 19
Views: 1420

Re: Fixing diamond ring

Thank you very much folks, I'll take a 50x magnification glass I have and will actually try to see if I see the impurities in my GIA certificate on the map or serial number (though I don't think the number was engraved).
by serbeer
Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fixing diamond ring
Replies: 19
Views: 1420

Re: Fixing diamond ring

Thank you for all the advice folks, I really appreciate it and will attemt the things suggested.
by serbeer
Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fixing diamond ring
Replies: 19
Views: 1420

Fixing diamond ring

Folks, my wife noticed that 1ct diamond in her $5K engagement solitaire ring became loose a bit and slightly moving inside the prongs. I want to take it to a jeweler to tighten and clean but I don't think there are any that do it while I wait. When I took jewelry before for repair at local major mal...
by serbeer
Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fakespot vs. Reviewmeta for Amazon?
Replies: 16
Views: 1736

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: 1851

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: 18281

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: 18281

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: 46
Views: 2926

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: 46
Views: 2926

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: 1780

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: 4934

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: 555

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: 18281

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: 2784

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: 3086

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: 3086

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: 3086

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: 3086

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: 3086

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: 3086

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: 3723

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: 5372

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: 5372

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: 2844

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: 4082

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: 4082

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: 5227

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: 3054

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: 3896

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 ...