Search found 1131 matches

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: 979

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: 38
Views: 4424

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: 38
Views: 4424

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: 3026

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: 1665

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: 1230

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: 3458

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: 1398

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: 1398

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: 1398

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: 1624

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: 1814

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: 18141

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: 18141

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: 2869

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: 2869

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: 1759

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: 4915

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: 544

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: 18141

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: 2748

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: 3016

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: 3016

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: 3016

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: 3016

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: 3016

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: 3016

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: 3700

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: 5300

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: 5300

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: 2707

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: 4004

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: 4004

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: 5181

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: 3029

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: 3768

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: 532

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: 14359

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: 7409

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: 3360

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: 17437

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: 14359

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: 14359

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: 3680

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: 14359

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: 3680

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: 3727

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: 9397

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: 2293

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...