Search found 309 matches

by jbuzolich
Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing brake pads in a Honda CRV 125,000 miles
Replies: 34
Views: 2146

Re: Replacing brake pads in a Honda CRV 125,000 miles

Lots of good advice here already. My recommendation is to pick which service provider you feel most comfortable with and plan to use again in the future. I most often recommend an independent mechanic instead of a dealership and definitely not Pep Boys or any of the parts shops that also try to offe...
by jbuzolich
Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wize Cam reviews
Replies: 23
Views: 1727

Re: Wize Cam reviews

We have two of the cameras and love them. Spent around $70 total for two cameras and memory cards. Easy setup. Already feel like the money was saved the first time motion alerts made me look and I noticed the garage was still open. Motion was just headlights on the street but got me out of bed to go...
by jbuzolich
Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Basic LLC Questions
Replies: 10
Views: 817

Re: Basic LLC Questions

The LLC or S-corp you're talking about are more liability control issues and legal structure. You could just operate as a sole proprietor and not bother with LLC unless you wanted to try and limit your exposure. Also might be a good idea to find an accountant you trust or familiarize yourself with s...
by jbuzolich
Sat Jun 15, 2019 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Combined house and auto insurance discount in North California
Replies: 1
Views: 227

Re: Combined house and auto insurance discount in North California

We're happy with Amica. You'll probably get multiple recommendations but Amica is mentioned often. I'm a long time word of mouth supporter of theirs. Not the cheapest but very easy to work with. They don't combine the discount exactly but we receive a multi policy discount. Have two houses, two cars...
by jbuzolich
Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Durable non-stick cookware suggestions?
Replies: 30
Views: 2826

Re: Durable non-stick cookware suggestions?

Exactly, do not wash other than a light wipe down by hand with soap. Air dry. No dishwasher machine runs. Buy commercial grade if you see them. I have a favorite Tramontina Pro from Costco. Used a good number of years, then started to flake a little. I mailed to the company and they mailed me one ba...
by jbuzolich
Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: UPDATE to What to do with a 24" analog CRT TV?
Replies: 58
Views: 3491

Re: What to do with a 24" analog CRT TV?

Take it to ewaste please and do not put in your trash. TVs need to be recycled appropriately. In our town in California, the dump accepts ewaste for free in sorted dumpsters. Also just helped get rid of a TV in Oregon last weekend and the local Goodwill drop off also had signs accepting ewaste for f...
by jbuzolich
Sat May 11, 2019 6:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much can parents gift children in 2019 tax free?
Replies: 38
Views: 4850

Re: How much can parents gift children in 2019 tax free?

There are multiple articles and calculators online if you look around on this subject. No gift tax is due until some really large number is hit, such as over $11M given away by the parent beyond yearly exemptions. They might have to fill out a form with their return that year if they go over the yea...
by jbuzolich
Sat May 11, 2019 5:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Costco Finance and it’s lenders (Consumer Direct)
Replies: 24
Views: 3475

Re: Costco Finance and it’s lenders (Consumer Direct)

I plan to check out the Costco partner offers the next time we refi or purchase a property but we've already had great luck multiple times with aimloan.com. No relationship, but low guaranteed closing costs and we've completed multiple refinances and one purchase with them. Very quick and mostly onl...
by jbuzolich
Thu May 02, 2019 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tequila and Magaritas
Replies: 122
Views: 14681

Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Always 100% agave. Anyway my go to tequila is usually El Jimador. Very reasonable price under $20. The Costco non alcoholic mix is my favorite with just like juice, sugar, and water. It's great and also good for cooking.
by jbuzolich
Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today
Replies: 50
Views: 5256

Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Angle stops can be a good diy if they are easily accessible. YouTube videos are good. You mentioned 12 and it's too late now but I think I would have done them one at a time to see your success rate and if you want to keep going forward. I have taken them apart myself but have not replaced. My worry...
by jbuzolich
Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mini split AC - thoughts?
Replies: 23
Views: 1900

Re: Mini split AC - thoughts?

Parents in Oregon have the Mitsubishi and love it. We did four zone Fujitsu at our cabin and love it. Very quiet and does well with cooling and heating. Prices highly regional I think but we paid about $12k for 4 zone installed including permits. The cooling is the only way the cabin is usable for m...
by jbuzolich
Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Huge AirBNB Cancellation Charge
Replies: 123
Views: 8023

Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

The negative comments about AirBNB here have made me sad. We're hosts for our cabin on that platform and it has mostly been a good experience. If anything it feels like the rules from our view are mostly in favor of the guests. We selected the option for the flexible cancellation policy taking the v...
by jbuzolich
Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:10 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Ally Bank's nightmarish online reviews -- should I be worried?
Replies: 97
Views: 9909

Re: Ally Bank's nightmarish online reviews -- should I be worried?

Like many others on this site, I've had many years of great experience with Ally. It's our main cash savings location and has been for years. Never an issue. Opening and closing accounts online and never talking to anybody. I've closed no penalty CD accounts and immediately had the funds in savings ...
by jbuzolich
Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 457 vs 403b
Replies: 120
Views: 8150

Re: 457 vs 403b

457 plans do feel like a secret sometimes. I'm on the 457 plan oversight committee at my job and accepted a personal fiduciary responsibility being on that group. We're in local government and it feels like very few employees know or have interest because of the pension plan we already have. Anyway,...
by jbuzolich
Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Saving at Costco
Replies: 109
Views: 8604

Re: Saving at Costco

Threads like this make me feel extra fat. Family of three and we love Costco and never worry about spoilage. We freeze what we won't get to right away which feels like faster weekday meals later on. When we do have spoilage we don't like the waste but we're still saving money because it's 4x the qua...
by jbuzolich
Mon Dec 31, 2018 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Underfunded escrow account
Replies: 11
Views: 565

Re: Underfunded escrow account

Another +1 to this being very common. For us the escrow is short every single year since taxes on the home value have been going up yearly. We get the option to lump sum or change the monthly payment. We just do the monthly change.
by jbuzolich
Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial advice to family members
Replies: 37
Views: 3536

Re: Financial advice to family members

Like others have posted, it's generally best to stay out of giving financial advice to family unless they ask you for input. I know it can be extremely frustrating. Sometimes the best offered advice can actually push family in the wrong direction. One great gift you can give to your entire family is...
by jbuzolich
Thu Dec 20, 2018 8:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you pay for internet only?
Replies: 79
Views: 5529

Re: How much do you pay for internet only?

I'm sure it's regional but I'm really surprised by the comments with 100Mbps being too much. Around here that's a basic connection and you're going to have a tough time with more than one stream at a time during the evenings. We have a 100Mb connection but usually just one stream going and other con...
by jbuzolich
Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy Lexus CPO now or wait until end of Dec.?
Replies: 23
Views: 1696

Re: Buy Lexus CPO now or wait until end of Dec.?

I seriously wanted a Lexus before buying our Subarus in the last couple years. Each time I looked at Lexus though I couldn't make the cpo work out for me. The dealers would not move their price at all and it was literally within 15% of what I could get pricing on a brand new one for. I gave up and d...
by jbuzolich
Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Desktop Computer. All in one or separate? And which one?
Replies: 34
Views: 2126

Re: Desktop Computer. All in one or separate? And which one?

Also depends what you mean by gaming. Casual online games like cards, ones with matching colors or patterns, and games on social websites run on just about anything including the cheapest budget computer. Then there is serious gaming where the player would expect that you're building something from ...
by jbuzolich
Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fax without a telephone line
Replies: 23
Views: 2381

Re: Fax without a telephone line

It is hard to believe but yes I'll echo the groups that are stuck forever on physical fax sending and receiving. I'm in local government so of course we're years slow in many things, but I can't believe many of the medical offices we interact with require fax. Not even a discussion whether to consid...
by jbuzolich
Sat Nov 24, 2018 11:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing TPMS stem/kit when replacing tires?
Replies: 16
Views: 1366

Re: Replacing TPMS stem/kit when replacing tires?

Not sure on the accuracy but yes I have read that the tpms needs to be replaced every time the tires are replaced. Apparently moisture can cause them to fail over time with more exposure. Every time we change tires now the fee is always there of roughly $9 per tire no matter what.
by jbuzolich
Sat Nov 24, 2018 6:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best MVNO for Verizon Network - any updates?
Replies: 30
Views: 2412

Re: Best MVNO for Verizon Network - any updates?

Had good luck with Page Plus when I just had the one line. Moved to Total Wireless because it was less expensive and included more data with our two line plan. Been working great for the last year or so and we're averaging $61 total monthly.
by jbuzolich
Thu Nov 22, 2018 11:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CD vs Auto loan payoff
Replies: 19
Views: 1117

Re: CD vs Auto loan payoff

If you did the math right then the interest on the CD might be better. The decision to pay off or not might be mental though or what makes you sleep better at night. We had two loans on cars recently all at zero interest. Mix of four year term and larger balance at five years. I would have kept the ...
by jbuzolich
Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tiny Baby Spiders on my Toaster
Replies: 40
Views: 3270

Re: Tiny Baby Spiders on my Toaster

Cannot tell my DW about any spiders or we might be in a hotel until extermination has been verified. Given the toaster location, I think my reaction would have been to look closely for a few seconds in curiosity, then turn on said toaster until no further evidence. Vacuum or paper towel squisher nea...
by jbuzolich
Wed Nov 21, 2018 8:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: All inclusive resort with 9 year old?
Replies: 16
Views: 2219

Re: All inclusive resort with 9 year old?

We've been to a Riu in Mexico with our son when he was six or so and he loved it. Felt very excited to walk around and pick food rather than waiting on menus. Quick service is always great for kids. Plus the kids pool had water slides.
by jbuzolich
Wed Nov 21, 2018 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home remodeling costs
Replies: 13
Views: 1434

Re: Home remodeling costs

Only accurate way really is to write out what you want and start getting quotes from contractors if you are ready. If you are in the savings phase then save way more than you think you'll need. Talk to your neighbors about what they spent and recommendations on contractors. We've been renovation our...
by jbuzolich
Wed Nov 21, 2018 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying Google Home Minis on Ebays
Replies: 14
Views: 1428

Re: Buying Google Home Minis on Ebays

I would assume they are legit. There have been so many promos on the Google home minis and Google home over the past year that I would expect the mini to be free or nearly so.
by jbuzolich
Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laptop warranty-Costco’s version?
Replies: 4
Views: 562

Re: Laptop warranty-Costco’s version?

Squaretrade used to have amazing word of mouth feedback. I have known people who appreciated the easy claim process. The company has been aquired by a major insurance company though and the positive vibes seems to be gone. I don't have direct experience and I imagine I would still trust it if Costco...
by jbuzolich
Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Diamonds [Earrings and ring]
Replies: 24
Views: 2771

Re: Diamonds [Earrings and ring]

The few purchases I've done with my wife have been with Blue Nile and it was a good experience. Specifically on the engagement ring, she got mad at the price when she saw what I was building and negotiated me down to spending less even though she liked the setting and stone shape. Was further confir...
by jbuzolich
Sun Nov 04, 2018 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dentist replaced crown a few months back and now I'm told the tooth needs to be pulled!
Replies: 49
Views: 3701

Re: Dentist replaced crown a few months back and now I'm told the tooth needs to be pulled!

There is a lot of judgement and preference between individual dentists in my opinion. Your previous dentist may have not done anything wrong at all in recommending a replacement crown, if they felt the underlying structure was still ok. The new dentist might be much more conservative and would have ...
by jbuzolich
Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Deal fell through and didn't get escrow money.....
Replies: 56
Views: 6134

Re: Deal fell through and didn't get escrow money.....

Agree with the other posts in that sounds like seller didn't understand contingency. Nothing to do with mortgage crisis. Contingency condition was triggered so deal was off with no penalty. Around here anyway I would think the earnest money would only go to the seller in a really rare situation and ...
by jbuzolich
Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit card Surcharges
Replies: 41
Views: 1913

Re: Credit card Surcharges

Agree on the recommendations to check out Square or the processor advertised by Costco. The Square rates are around 2.75% maximum on swiped transactions and you negotiate down from there if you have volume.
by jbuzolich
Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to stay to visit Yosemite
Replies: 12
Views: 1356

Re: Where to stay to visit Yosemite

Decide which area and entrance of the park you want to visit. I'd say it's too large to visit more than a couple areas from one of the gates in only a couple days. I also recommend a house rental such as Airbnb near whichever side of the park you want most. We have a place we occasionally rent out o...
by jbuzolich
Wed Oct 31, 2018 8:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Am I Risking My Life to Sell My Car?
Replies: 37
Views: 4929

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

I would just drive to the closest tire shop and ask them to replace with lowest cost available, even if used. Should be $100 or under. Then drive straight from tire shop to CarMax on the same trip and drop it off. Get your check. Carpool or ride share home.
by jbuzolich
Sat Oct 27, 2018 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car hit while parked, no note, just want damages as cash from insurance
Replies: 18
Views: 3066

Re: Car hit while parked, no note, just want damages as cash from insurance

Just had to total my car at the end of September. Hit from behind while we were stationary. Anyway our insurance emailed me the value estimate within a couple days and just gave two numbers. The higher number I mail them the title, the slightly lesser number I keep the car. We did not want the vehic...
by jbuzolich
Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cat's dental work costs
Replies: 31
Views: 2463

Re: Cat's dental work costs

This bill looks very average to me especially since it's described as surgery and not just a cleaning. Any time our pets need something dental I immediately buckle down for $1000 or more.
by jbuzolich
Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Has anyone taken out an online mortgage?
Replies: 55
Views: 6338

Re: Has anyone taken out an online mortgage?

+1 for aimloan.com. We've done a purchase and a couple refinances through them and it was quick and easy. I love the options of modeling the rates with the related closing costs, going less out of pocket when we wanted to.
by jbuzolich
Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:12 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Ally Bank Transfers
Replies: 3
Views: 1105

Re: Ally Bank Transfers

Do you have a question or you are just sharing your experience? Is there a reason you didn't want to directly manage the CD yourself in your Ally account? I've had and still have a number of CDs with Ally. Redeeming CDs always had instant availability into savings or checking at Ally. Could transfer...
by jbuzolich
Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Pension fund fiduciary
Replies: 2
Views: 299

Re: Pension fund fiduciary

That does not sound like an enviable position to be in. Are you also an employee of the company that has this pension or are you a participant of the pension you are a fiduciary member for? I am a fiduciary for a 457b plan of which I am a participant and am a member with others of the oversight comm...
by jbuzolich
Sun Sep 30, 2018 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: city water sewer vs well septic
Replies: 36
Views: 2604

Re: city water sewer vs well septic

Definitely positives and negatives with both. I agree with the earlier comment about with well and septic you pay it in the end anyway but likely much less on a monthly basis. When we were looking at cabins, first place we were on contract with was contingent on inspections. Paid quite a bit out of ...
by jbuzolich
Fri Sep 28, 2018 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good flip flops
Replies: 46
Views: 3697

Re: Good flip flops

Reef Fanning was a huge change for me. Now that's all I buy and I watch the Olukai as well but have not bought any yet. Each pair of Reef Fanning last me a couple years with at least one tropical trip yearly and near daily part time wear at home.
by jbuzolich
Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:11 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: CalSTRS Pension - Does refund of contributions make sense?
Replies: 7
Views: 794

Re: CalSTRS Pension - Does refund of contributions make sense?

Another thing to consider is access to healthcare. I'm PERS and my wife is STRS but we're both 20 years from retirement. If you leave your funds on account and eventually take the pension you can also pay the healthcare rates for coverage through their offerings. If you cash out completely and are n...
by jbuzolich
Mon Sep 03, 2018 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Walmart is not Amazon
Replies: 54
Views: 7109

Re: Walmart is not Amazon

My experience has been similar in that Walmart is getting some orders from me now but still has a long way to go in regard to selection and then reliable shipping. Packaging is about even and both do really stupid packaging about half the time. The worst packaging ever though was a Google Express or...
by jbuzolich
Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time
Replies: 207
Views: 11424

Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

My wife got mad at me and negotiated back from the original engagement ring I was building at Blue Nile. She would have wanted even less than we settled on but I was kind of into gems in high school so I had some minimum specs that I wanted. Still though she talked me back to the lowest I could do. ...
by jbuzolich
Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Airbnb - cleaning fee, service fee, occupancy fee....???
Replies: 132
Views: 12784

Re: Airbnb - cleaning fee, service fee, occupancy fee....???

Probably already talked to death but yes there is a high level of visibility here on the fees and other charges but they don't seem unreasonable to me. The only one on that screenshot set by the host is the cleaning fee which at $15 seems really low. The service fee is set by Airbnb and they charge ...
by jbuzolich
Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others
Replies: 42
Views: 5036

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

Another +1 for Amica. I've had a total car loss with them and they made it comfortable as it could be. All our policies are with them and I don't expect that will change.
by jbuzolich
Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tequila and Magaritas
Replies: 122
Views: 14681

Re: Tequila and Magaritas

I can't stand Jose Cuervo and can't really say why. Don't care for it and get a headache. El Jimador is my tequila of choice and get the reposado plenty of places locally for $15-$16 usually. Mix that with Costco margarita mix without alcohol and I always get compliments. Even more compliments with ...
by jbuzolich
Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sacramento Home Owners - House Areas/Questions
Replies: 18
Views: 2526

Re: Sacramento Home Owners - House Areas/Questions

I think one important reminder for anyone reading this is that all these towns are in the general Sacramento area, yes, but are also a half hour to one hour drive from each other or from Sacramento depending on traffic. We're coming up on ten years in Woodland which is just ten minutes north of Davi...
by jbuzolich
Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inherited jewelry & diamonds--how to value & how to sell?
Replies: 5
Views: 1395

Re: Inherited jewelry & diamonds--how to value & how to sell?

If jewelry is well known designer you might get some value for it but perhaps 50% of retail at most. Jewelry just has terrible resale in my experience. Probably because of the huge markup claimed in the original creation and sales. There are multiple refineries that will buy the metal for 85%-95% of...