Search found 2593 matches

by adamthesmythe
Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Home Inspection - Resale Home
Replies: 6
Views: 481

Re: Home Inspection - Resale Home

Hello, I'm in the process of purchasing a 2006 built resale home. I scheduled a general home inspection and found a deficiencies with HVAC system and some minor deficiencies with electrical and roofing. I'm considering getting an energy inspection done as well, to evaluate insulation and other ener...
by adamthesmythe
Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Urban Myth on Electronic Car Break-ins?
Replies: 17
Views: 1071

Re: Urban Myth on Electronic Car Break-ins?

Where are the Mythbusters when we need them?
by adamthesmythe
Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to fix foundation damaged by neighbor's car
Replies: 17
Views: 1542

Re: How to fix foundation damaged by neighbor's car

> The only purpose of those bolts sticking up through the bottom plate of the stud wall is to prevent the entire structure from being lifted up and off the foundation with heavy winds.

In CA they are there to keep the house on the foundation during earthquakes.
by adamthesmythe
Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Navigating the Appraisal and Inspection as a Seller
Replies: 31
Views: 1213

Re: Navigating the Appraisal and Inspection as a Seller

Nothing to do until the reports come back.

Relax and try not to get emotional when they do. Most of the time things work out. You are in a good position if you received multiple offers.
by adamthesmythe
Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hybrid Rental
Replies: 7
Views: 386

Re: Hybrid Rental

Even IF you find a company that rents hybrids (and according to IMO this does not seem to exist) you may not actually get that car.

Better to focus on saving $ on the rate and on the insurance.
by adamthesmythe
Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Use of airport skycap experience
Replies: 14
Views: 1086

Re: Use of airport skycap experience

In some cultures it is considered obligatory to bring lots of gifts when returning to visit family.

This is the reason for some of the very large suitcases.
by adamthesmythe
Tue Apr 23, 2019 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who is buying 1-3 year old used Toyotas and Hondas?
Replies: 59
Views: 4530

Re: Who is buying 1-3 year old used Toyotas and Hondas?

I suspect that there are very few 1-3 year old Hondas and Toyotas for sale in the first place, as their owners might hold onto the cars for a long time. These are not like BMW or Audi, where the customers lose interest and trade in their cars after just a couple of years. Since lightly used Toyota ...
by adamthesmythe
Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to fix foundation damaged by neighbor's car
Replies: 17
Views: 1542

Re: How to fix foundation damaged by neighbor's car

I recommend that you sue. Oh, come on. This makes no sense at all. You sue for things that involve substantial money, where more sensible attempts to resolve don't work, and you sue expecting to spend a bunch of money for uncertain results far in the future. OP should go through an insurance compan...
by adamthesmythe
Sun Apr 21, 2019 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: update 70s kitchen or nah?
Replies: 49
Views: 3472

Re: update 70s kitchen or nah?

You WILL get offers with the house as-is if you list at the right price. The right price may not be one you are happy with though. Renovating a kitchen is a considerable inconvenience and always takes longer than you expect. Do it if you really dislike what you have and you plan to stay for a while....
by adamthesmythe
Fri Apr 19, 2019 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Controlling Ivy on walls
Replies: 26
Views: 1493

Re: Controlling Ivy on walls

Rats love ivy - easy to climb, great habitat to hide and burrow in. Oh, no, not RATS! And how about snakes?? Snakes creep me out! Seriously, although I can't quite call totally bogus, I have lived in a house with Virginia creeper for 30 years. I have never seen, heard of, or thought about rats. Nor...
by adamthesmythe
Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: DW worried about What if ...? Wishes to pay off mortgage
Replies: 33
Views: 3072

Re: DW worried about What if ...? Wishes to pay off mortgage

Definitely term life insurance. A house is no good to a kid until he/she is at least 21. Until then living expenses, a guardian, and ideally enough for college is much more important.
by adamthesmythe
Thu Apr 18, 2019 11:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it worth renting a car in Vegas?
Replies: 22
Views: 1668

Re: Is it worth renting a car in Vegas?

If you stayed at a reasonably central hotel on the strip you could walk or take the monorail (or whatever that thing was) to where you wanted to go. Driving from one place in Vegas to another place in Vegas is a recipe for aggravation. If you got a taxi you would have to hope the driver knew better ...
by adamthesmythe
Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Garage Door Opener Replacement
Replies: 28
Views: 2051

Re: Garage Door Opener Replacement

There are many things around the house I would attempt myself. Changing the garage door opener is not one of them. If you decide to do it youself, make sure you understand how it works and think carefully about every step. Don't blindly follow aYoutube video. The concern is the stored energy in the ...
by adamthesmythe
Thu Apr 18, 2019 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smoke detectors
Replies: 36
Views: 1699

Re: Smoke detectors

1. You gotta buy a ladder or persuade someone else to change the battery. For a while I would ask the guy who checks the furnace in the attic. After a while I bought a ladder. Useful for other purposes also. 2. When the battery gets low the smoke detector starts beeping. Even if it's a wired smoke d...
by adamthesmythe
Thu Apr 18, 2019 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Controlling Ivy on walls
Replies: 26
Views: 1493

Re: Controlling Ivy on walls

There's real ivy (evergreen) and there's Virginia creeper. I've had two old houses with Virginia creeper on the walls. To keep it from going on the roof (a really bad thing) I would trim once a year several feet back from the roof. Maybe a bit more often near the windows, but that can be done from t...
by adamthesmythe
Thu Apr 18, 2019 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rheem Central Air with leaking coil?
Replies: 9
Views: 574

Re: Rheem Central Air with leaking coil?

rgs92 wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:09 pm
My central air always needs to be replaced every 9-10 years (Lennoxes), so I would just get a new system.
All the HVAC companies I use say that's all you can expect out of a system these days, and they seem to be right.
I do not buy this at all, and it is not in accord with my experience either.
by adamthesmythe
Thu Apr 18, 2019 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help with insurance for mom
Replies: 9
Views: 376

Re: Need help with insurance for mom

Is COBRA an option to cover some of that time? 1. COBRA is expensive but it is probably the best coverage you can get. 2. Hoping that present health continues at age 63 is not a plan. It is a gamble. 3. Almost nothing is likely to cover much or any dental care. But cleaning is not that expensive.
by adamthesmythe
Thu Apr 18, 2019 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on non warrantable condo in Bellingham
Replies: 17
Views: 1436

Re: Advice on non warrantable condo in Bellingham

I'm guessing this problem has three problems: hard to mortgage (and hence hard to sell); insufficient reserves; AND many renters (I'm guessing, otherwise why would one person own 22%?). It is very hard to guess whether 10% price reduction is enough to compensate for all these problems. Is the unit a...
by adamthesmythe
Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Migrating to better weather in retirement -- rent a timeshare or buy a vacation home?
Replies: 21
Views: 1926

Re: Migrating to better weather in retirement -- rent a timeshare or buy a vacation home?

I bought a vacation house, not 10 years before retirement but 5. Worked out well for me. One not insignificant advantage was in moving; I knew exactly where I was going, no need for intermediate rental, and could judge what to take and what to discard. Yes, this costs more money than renting. But if...
by adamthesmythe
Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: seriously thinking about leaving S. CA but where to?
Replies: 177
Views: 9774

Re: seriously thinking about leaving S. CA but where to?

Tribonian wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:35 am
Greece
I hear only little people pay taxes in Greece.
by adamthesmythe
Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What defines "income" on a retiree's credit card application?
Replies: 102
Views: 5962

Re: What defines "income" on a retiree's credit card application?

>So IANAL, but making up a number, whether too high or too low, would not be “true and correct” information.

That's what > < and ~ signs are for.

I use them whenever I am asked for this sort of information. Partly because it would be a real pain to look up numbers.
by adamthesmythe
Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: seriously thinking about leaving S. CA but where to?
Replies: 177
Views: 9774

Re: seriously thinking about leaving S. CA but where to?

Everywhere with near-CA weather is hotter than CA, often a lot hotter. I mean AZ, NV, NM.

Of course you could move to Mexico....
by adamthesmythe
Sun Apr 14, 2019 8:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Plan - Can Vendor Exchange Funds without Notice or Approval?
Replies: 6
Views: 494

Re: Retirement Plan - Can Vendor Exchange Funds without Notice or Approval?

I've had funds exchanged WITH notice. I seem to remember it coming by snail mail not email. Usually this happens because administrators have decided that having too many choices made them vulnerable to lawsuits. Sometimes you have the option to open a brokerage account that has more choices. If this...
by adamthesmythe
Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Late K1
Replies: 9
Views: 942

Re: Late K1

K1s are always late, right?

I sold because the K1 was too much trouble. Too late for next year, but if you sell now you won't have to deal with this for the year after.
by adamthesmythe
Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Luxury car recommendations?
Replies: 104
Views: 8147

Re: Luxury car recommendations?

Try first to settle on a size/ type of car. Then visit dealerships (and try test drives) for a few different kinds of cars: - Lexus (better Toyota) - corresponding better current Toyota model - a German car - maybe an American, just for fun. Each time you drive, think about what you like/ don't like...
by adamthesmythe
Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best 48-52" TV for ~$500? Costco?
Replies: 14
Views: 910

Re: Best 48-52" TV for ~$500? Costco?

Back when I bought a year or so ago- the dirt cheap models didn't have HDR (high dynamic range). This makes a big difference in your perception of image quality (very black blacks). I recommend trying to get into an HDR model unless you always use the TV in a lighted room. OLED is even better, but y...
by adamthesmythe
Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Walking shoes
Replies: 33
Views: 2136

Re: Walking shoes

Rockport Feet must be different. I had a very bad experience with Rockports years ago (bad blisters etc.). I will never buy another pair. I keep buying Merrells every time I wear a pair out. Works for me. OP should buy something and wear it for several weeks NOW. Then decide if the brand is working...
by adamthesmythe
Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Young And Senior Community
Replies: 10
Views: 1171

Re: Young And Senior Community

Well, do you like being around wrinklies?

Other than that, I think the usual questions about inspections, construction, resale, and amenities apply.
by adamthesmythe
Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving company lost an antique item
Replies: 22
Views: 2216

Re: Moving company lost an antique item

I think you need to allow a few days for tracing.

If not found soon- file a claim- what you get depends on whether you paid for the "enhanced" insurance.

Usually they tag each item as they load it into the truck. Do you know the item number? Did you see it going out the door?
by adamthesmythe
Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What definition of income do you use to figure out the percent you pay in taxes
Replies: 19
Views: 1367

Re: What definition of income do you use to figure out the percent you pay in taxes

It's hard enough to figure out how much to send the IRS. Once that is done, I am done.
by adamthesmythe
Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any way I can hire my parents?
Replies: 45
Views: 2247

Re: Any way I can hire my parents?

Smells like a tax dodge. IS a tax dodge. Asking for trouble.
by adamthesmythe
Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trust investment choices for a difficult beneficiary
Replies: 112
Views: 6565

Re: Trust investment choices for a difficult beneficiary

This is an issue that the trustee needs legal advice on before proceeding. I'm guessing OP is the trustee?? Anyway...I would think the trustee, whoever he is, should take legal advice on interpretation of the trust documents, and then do exactly as he believes appropriate. Then unfriend the benefic...
by adamthesmythe
Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ingenious Way To Find Reasonably Priced Painter
Replies: 57
Views: 6049

Re: Ingenious Way To Find Reasonably Priced Painter

Try again later in the year. We are getting close to outdoor painting season so maybe they have all the business they need.

It's possible they may have decided that you would be more trouble than the usual customer.
by adamthesmythe
Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seller's Agent - Tiered Commission structure?
Replies: 15
Views: 1085

Re: Seller's Agent - Tiered Commission structure?

Negotiate the 5% and leave it at that.

Put all the intellectual effort into decluttering and painting.
by adamthesmythe
Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to finish wall
Replies: 5
Views: 790

Re: How to finish wall

Batt insulation would be easier and wouldn't leave any voids.

And it probably wouldn't matter anyway. At least not enough to notice.
by adamthesmythe
Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:48 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: cost of a franchise
Replies: 3
Views: 807

Re: cost of a franchise

Wrong question. You don't need to know how he came up with his price. Maybe he picked it out of a hat, maybe it's how much the boat costs.

Nor do you care what UPS thinks.

You need to know whether it is an acceptable price to YOU.
by adamthesmythe
Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should you use a real estate agent when buying a house? What are your experiences?
Replies: 72
Views: 3790

Re: Should you use a real estate agent when buying a house? What are your experiences?

Most people who want to do without a buyer's agent want to save money. There are two ways to save money:

1. Buy an FSBO.

2. Buy from a seller's agent who will take less than "usual" if there is no buyer's agent.

It appears that to save money you will limit yourself to a fraction of the market.
by adamthesmythe
Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Asset allocation if 60 % in company stock
Replies: 15
Views: 1213

Re: Asset allocation if 60 % in company stock

> Against my advise she wants to keep all her company stock for now

You have advised and that advice has been rejected. I would butt out.
by adamthesmythe
Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should you use a real estate agent when buying a house? What are your experiences?
Replies: 72
Views: 3790

Re: Should you use a real estate agent when buying a house? What are your experiences?

1. An agent may know things about a neighborhood or house that you don't. Very recent sale of the same house? Houses in the same area all have wet basements or settling? Traffic and noise? Of course, some things you can find out for yourself. Other things are not permissible topics. 2. There may be ...
by adamthesmythe
Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ceiling fan install (high ceiling)
Replies: 32
Views: 1828

Re: Ceiling fan install (high ceiling)

BUY a 12 foot stepladder. You will need to get it delivered.

You will use it again when you paint and when you replace the batteries in the smoke detector.
by adamthesmythe
Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grand Canyon and Sedona
Replies: 40
Views: 3620

Re: Grand Canyon and Sedona

> Antelope Canyon Antelope Canyon was crowded and expensive. I hear it is now much more crowded and more expensive. Consider Waterholes Canyon, although not as stunning it is much less crowded. > Meteor Crater I've been and it would not be high on my list. The loop for Wupatki/ Sunset Crater is bett...
by adamthesmythe
Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: can I afford second home purchase with retirement funds
Replies: 19
Views: 2346

Re: can I afford second home purchase with retirement funds

You haven't explained why you want to own two houses.

Personally I would not get an interest-only loan with a balloon.
by adamthesmythe
Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dentist Question
Replies: 18
Views: 1505

Re: Dentist Question

bsteiner wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:15 am
I use different dentists for root canals, implants and crowns.
Yeah, a specialist will be (1) more efficient and (2) maybe better.
by adamthesmythe
Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need a new microwave
Replies: 29
Views: 1879

Re: Need a new microwave

Look for a microwave (or Faraday box) with inverter technology. Internet explanation of how they work: A microwave with inverter technology relies on inverters as the main power supply instead of magnetic coils or transformers. Inverter technology operates steadily at 50% power throughout the cook ...
by adamthesmythe
Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hiking in Alps - Hotel to hotel, service hauls bags.
Replies: 11
Views: 1403

Re: Hiking in Alps - Hotel to hotel, service hauls bags.

Thanks for the replies. How strenuous were the hikes? We can do 10-15 miles per day on rolling terrain, not sure in mountains. Anything going over high passes will be considerably more challenging than "rolling" terrain. Remember the valleys are at 1000- 1500 m where most flatlanders already feel o...
by adamthesmythe
Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I regularly replace the water filter in the fridge?
Replies: 50
Views: 4007

Re: Should I regularly replace the water filter in the fridge?

billyo44 wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:53 am
Our water is purified with a reverse osmosis system :happy ...refrigerator filter not used (or necessary).
Mine is purified by the city, which does daily, maybe even hourly monitoring.

I've never replaced the refrigerator filter.
by adamthesmythe
Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long Term Care Self-Insurers: How are you planning and investing for old age care?
Replies: 47
Views: 2922

Re: Long Term Care Self-Insurers: How are you planning and investing for old age care?

What willthrill, quantandhold, and shallowpockets said.

The main concern is preserving a reasonable portion of assets for the use of a spouse not in care. There are a few ways to do this and I expect to be consulting a lawyer about this at some point in the future.
by adamthesmythe
Sat Apr 06, 2019 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Eye glasses - cheaper alternates
Replies: 45
Views: 2920

Re: Eye glasses - cheaper alternates

I need to replace my eye glasses with a new prescription. Visited a store and found I need to pay a lot over and above the limit provided by my eye insurance. What are alternates to buy inexpensive glasses. If I buy a pair online, how can I test them and return if needed as I have a new prescriptio...
by adamthesmythe
Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grand Canyon and Sedona
Replies: 40
Views: 3620

Re: Grand Canyon and Sedona

Doing the drive to/from Grand Canyon at night is fine. There is really not much to see from the road. If you are going to drive up to the Humphreys Peak trailhead, then you might as well hike to the top and back. It is only about 10 miles round-trip and would take about 5 to 6 hours of hiking. mmm....
by adamthesmythe
Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grand Canyon and Sedona
Replies: 40
Views: 3620

Re: Grand Canyon and Sedona

An afternoon/ evening in Vegas gives you a chance for a walk on the trip experiencing the weirdness. Pseudo-Venice next to New York next to Egypt. Artificial like Disneyland but free. There are shows of all sorts and plenty of places to eat. Vegas is the only place I have gone where my reserved rent...