Search found 1762 matches

by adamthesmythe
Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I week in California, Road Trip Planning
Replies: 34
Views: 1447

Re: I week in California, Road Trip Planning

> LA is a big sprawl No, LA is a great big freeway. Not pleasant unless you really enjoy traffic. If the midwest is flyover country in my opinion LA is drivearound country. Do what you gotta do in LA and then go somewhere else. At least part of the coast on Route 1 is well worth it unless you are im...
by adamthesmythe
Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Warranty Paid by the Seller
Replies: 15
Views: 915

Re: Home Warranty Paid by the Seller

Ask for a credit if possible. If your emergency fund will cover an expensive replacement it's a good bet to do without. If it's already bought don't expect much value. I suppose some companies are better than others, but the difference is only relative. > Thank you. How much $$ to ask as cash credit...
by adamthesmythe
Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help! Buying my first sofa/couch
Replies: 26
Views: 1051

Re: Help! Buying my first sofa/couch

The only way to know if it will be comfortable is to sit in it in the store. In that price range consider department store furniture (ideally on sale) or even Ikea (but don't expect it to stay looking good forever). You can get it delivered. Usually getting it in the door is not the problem. Getting...
by adamthesmythe
Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recessed 4 inch LEDs: Recommended brands
Replies: 25
Views: 1166

Re: Recessed 4 inch LEDs: Recommended brands

Why 2700K color? I've been switching to LEDs. While my wife doesn't know the details she is happy with the 6500K bulbs I'm using. Yes, I'm a fan of daylight color temps. I'm very picky about lighting color. If I had 6500k bulbs I'd be sitting around the house in sunglasses 8-) MichaelR IS wearing s...
by adamthesmythe
Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rant about Savings Rate
Replies: 25
Views: 1899

Re: Rant about Savings Rate

I am fascinated by the highly quantitative approach some people use to assess their situation, and predict the future. As an engineer, I do quantitative. But I know when the assumptions are shaky and don't warrant detailed analysis. My approach has been dead-reckoning, guesses, and occasional course...
by adamthesmythe
Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My 2012 Fiat 500 is officially the most dependable car I have ever owned
Replies: 19
Views: 866

Re: My 2012 Fiat 500 is officially the most dependable car I have ever owned

Even brands that were considered unreliable are better today. And someone always wins the lottery.

Watching for a Land Rover owner to check in with 120K trouble-free miles.
by adamthesmythe
Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay cash or get mortgage for 2nd home?
Replies: 11
Views: 821

Re: Pay cash or get mortgage for 2nd home?

(For a second house in AZ) I got a mortgage for a fraction of the home price and then paid it off before I retired. Not 30 year. Seems to me if you can't comfortably pay a 15 year mortgage you are overextended. > Rent 2nd home. no need to buy. Nobody NEEDS a second home. But if you WANT it, and it i...
by adamthesmythe
Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: frustrated with patek philippe poor service
Replies: 29
Views: 2397

Re: frustrated with patek philippe poor service

Most amusing (to one who does not buy watches).

An expensive watch is a gift that keeps on taking.
by adamthesmythe
Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Giving up on first home
Replies: 43
Views: 4256

Re: Giving up on first home

Hey, buying and owning a house is easy. Kids are hard, and scary.
by adamthesmythe
Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Multiple Offer situation/should we pull our offer?
Replies: 72
Views: 5320

Re: Multiple Offer situation/should we pull our offer?

This is our first offer on a house and I guess I am naive. In a business setting you’re only as good as your word. If you say you’re going to do something, I expect it to get done. I guess I assume too much of people to say “you do XYZ and we’ll do ABC.” We’ll wait it out I guess, not like we have ...
by adamthesmythe
Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 26 foot Box Truck Rental Questions (Tolls and Insurance)
Replies: 10
Views: 581

Re: 26 foot Box Truck Rental Questions (Tolls and Insurance)

I don't drive rental trucks but

be very careful not to drive under a low-hanging roof when buying gas. Also watch for low bridges.

I have seen the consequences and they are not pretty.
by adamthesmythe
Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What home related expenses do I need to think of?
Replies: 16
Views: 837

Re: What home related expenses do I need to think of?

Wow, I would never pay an assessment that high (I hated our $360 monthly assessment at the time). Even if you pay off your mortgage, that is a huge expense to cover with no relief at all, until you sell. Keep in mind that builders usually go artificially low on the initial HOA dues. Once they dump ...
by adamthesmythe
Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: condo rental and emotional support animals issues
Replies: 24
Views: 3012

Re: condo rental and emotional support animals issues

I am not sure- but- seems to me that animal cleaning fees, damage deposits, and/ or an extra vacant day would not be forbidden by ADA, etc. There is nothing discriminatory about requiring payment for damages or cleaning.
by adamthesmythe
Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone move/relocate with a large woodshop and wood inventory?
Replies: 8
Views: 922

Re: Anyone move/relocate with a large woodshop and wood inventory?

The specialty movers are called riggers. I have seen them move really heavy and awkward stuff. It doesn't sound like you are quite in that range. Do you remember how the stuff arrived? Presumably strapped to a pallet? If you can do that yourself an intermediate-grade mover with a hand pallet truck c...
by adamthesmythe
Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Insurance Claim by Previous Owners
Replies: 8
Views: 1031

Re: Home Insurance Claim by Previous Owners

If it were me- the buyers had the house inspected and they bought subject to that inspection.

I would say no despite the possible unpleasantness at reunions.
by adamthesmythe
Sat Feb 17, 2018 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $12,000 Refrigerator? [Looking in $7k price range]
Replies: 66
Views: 6718

Re: $12,000 Refrigerator?

There are few consumer products where the best value is NOT in the middle of the price range.

A relative has a SubZero. It's a nice refrigerator but doesn't seem to offer anything I don't get in a midrange commodity manufacturer's model. Besides the commodity refrigerator I can fix myself.
by adamthesmythe
Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good brands for Kitchenware?
Replies: 38
Views: 2694

Re: Good brands for Kitchenware?

We sure like All Clad and Lodge for Cast Iron Was gonna buy myself a set of really nice pots because I like to cook. So I was looking at some All Clad in the store. But the salesperson had some story about how they were'nt good in the dishwasher, had to go up a grade to get that. Decided at the las...
by adamthesmythe
Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I'm Cancelling My Home Insurance
Replies: 156
Views: 10797

Re: I'm Cancelling My Home Insurance

Hey, be my guest.

But there is a difference between a house fire and a market crash. After a market crash you still own your part of the economy, and likely the market will still go up again. That smoking hole in the ground is never going to increase in value.
by adamthesmythe
Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How Not to Get Rich - Mark Twain
Replies: 17
Views: 3437

Re: How Not to Get Rich - Mark Twain

Just finished reading "How Not to Get Rich: The Financial Misadventures of Mark Twain" https://www.amazon.com/How-Not-Get-Rich-Misadventures-ebook/dp/B01MXXZZNJ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1518790002&sr=8-1&keywords=how+not+to+get+rich . He was never poor by any means, but it's Interesting that a man wi...
by adamthesmythe
Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scottsdale, AZ - 2 day business trip
Replies: 23
Views: 1636

Re: Scottsdale, AZ - 2 day business trip

I was in the Sedona area in November.. amazing. I am from the NE, and desert is something I have always sought after! I am assuming Scottsdale is similar weather and environment-wise. Umm, no. Sedona is pinion/ juniper forest, Scottsdale is Sonoran desert. Temperatures are 1-15 degrees F different.
by adamthesmythe
Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Repairing Stucco: A Case of Contractor Gouging
Replies: 39
Views: 2720

Re: Repairing Stucco: A Case of Contractor Gouging

> Honestly, many contractors are flakes. I think this is a bit strong, I think it is just a consequence of what happens when one guy is running a business out of his phone and his truck. The ability to do craftsman-like work does not necessarily transfer to efficient business operations. > he said h...
by adamthesmythe
Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scottsdale, AZ - 2 day business trip
Replies: 23
Views: 1636

Re: Scottsdale, AZ - 2 day business trip

Depends a lot on what time of year you will be there. Right now there are a couple hours of sunlight after 4 PM and you could walk in one of the mountain parks. Later in the year more sunlight and much more heat. The botanical garden is open until 8 and a good visit especially if you are from the no...
by adamthesmythe
Thu Feb 15, 2018 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First time Home Buyer in HCOL area - funds check
Replies: 21
Views: 2119

Re: First time Home Buyer in HCOL area - funds check

Ask your bank how large a mortgage they will approve. Then try very hard to spend less. > Or should I rather buy 350k townhouse and after 8-10 years move into bigger single family home and rent townhouse? Less house means lower taxes and less maintenance. A single family house has a yard to maintain...
by adamthesmythe
Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda vs. Toyota: Which has more bang for the buck?
Replies: 88
Views: 6675

Re: Honda vs. Toyota: Which has more bang for the buck?

I've had both. Honda seems to sell at a bit higher price, all other things being equal. I had problems with the Honda but not the Toyota. So I lean Toyota. But anecdote is not data.

Both are very good so I would make your decision based on a features/ price comparison.
by adamthesmythe
Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How would you be compensated for running a Facebook group
Replies: 6
Views: 634

Re: How would you be compensated for running a Facebook group

This is essentially consulting. You should certainly get more than your regular job hourly wage. You decide whether this should be 2X or what. Quote a fixed fee if you can predict the effort with reasonable accuracy. I have sometimes set a consulting rate according to how much I wanted to do the work.
by adamthesmythe
Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling a rental property
Replies: 15
Views: 1048

Re: Selling a rental property

Are you sure you know the current value of the property?

Do you know how to sell a house in your state?
by adamthesmythe
Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home buying: how to send postcards to neighborhood we want to live in?
Replies: 38
Views: 3769

Re: Home buying: how to send postcards to neighborhood we want to live in?

> You have access to the MLS just like any other buyers agent. Having a buyer's agent with the big shop in town...could just get OP notice before, or simultaneous with, MLS posting. It is possible to do better than waiting for houses to appear. If OP is into proactive approaches...how about regularl...
by adamthesmythe
Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Potentiometer for motor speed control- any electrical engineers around?
Replies: 40
Views: 2394

Re: Potentiometer for motor speed control- any electrical engineers around?

> The motor and circuit have rules which prohibit a pwm.

Sounds like the "rules" prohibit modern technology. Maybe two plates in a bucket of salt water solution?
by adamthesmythe
Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are the structure problems with whole life insurance?
Replies: 15
Views: 1300

Re: What are the structure problems with whole life insurance?

Some products are just too hard- or too much work- to figure out. Look at it from the other side. You KNOW how to save for retirement- invest regularly in something sensible, ideally deferring taxes. You KNOW how to get the necessary insurance for your family- term life. This reasoning- together wit...
by adamthesmythe
Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driving a rental car in Western Europe
Replies: 46
Views: 1553

Re: Driving a rental car in Western Europe

I have done it many times and I quite enjoy it. But then I would never drive into one of the big cities. My interests are in touring the smaller cities and the countryside (and the mountains). I find renting is reasonable in price for two people in a car compared to trains. If you have a suitable cr...
by adamthesmythe
Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "If there were ironclad rules, we would all be following them."
Replies: 6
Views: 1171

Re: "Be Terrified"

software wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:47 pm
Clickbait title, followed by an extremely drawn out “nobody knows nuthin” article. Yawn...
Well that's all we read here sometimes (although admittedly at less length).
by adamthesmythe
Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Making an offer and buying a foreclosure?
Replies: 12
Views: 948

Re: Making an offer and buying a foreclosure?

Per the listing realtor, the title is free and clear. I agree that it technically is not a foreclosure but house for sale by bank-owned. Interesting though when you look at the MLS listing, it does say foreclosure! The main issue we are also facing is how to arrange the finances to place an offer w...
by adamthesmythe
Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone have a Walabot (imaging sensor for wires, pipes, studs in walls)?
Replies: 17
Views: 1791

Re: Anyone have a Walabot (imaging sensor for wires, pipes, studs in walls)?

A quick pass through the website did not reveal any explanation of mechanism. Unless there is one that passes the giggle test, avoid.
by adamthesmythe
Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you think it is worth the money to travel to warm weather destinations during the winter?
Replies: 77
Views: 6420

Re: Do you think it is worth the money to travel to warm weather destinations during the winter?

It was certainly worth it for ME. But I'm not you. I don't know what your finances are like.

Personally I would pay good money to avoid a baseball game. Be aware that certain costs tend to go up in AZ around spring training.
by adamthesmythe
Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can the real estate market crash if there's no inventory?
Replies: 15
Views: 1270

Re: Can the real estate market crash if there's no inventory?

People remember the last time there was a big move in the real estate market. That is, a big run up and a big crash. So now they think something similar is destined to happen again. There is no guarantee that history will repeat itself. My guess is that a saturation in prices is more likely than a s...
by adamthesmythe
Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Live / work in California - Technology Career
Replies: 99
Views: 5906

Re: Live / work in California - Technology Career

Housing is the big deal, with state income tax coming next. Sales tax on the scale of these things is minor. Seriously- get a job offer and then look at the costs in that location. If I could afford to I would live in SF, the bay area, or San Diego. I don't like LA. Be sure to evaluate the actual na...
by adamthesmythe
Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scrapping old computer parts
Replies: 24
Views: 1355

Re: Scraping old computer parts

Steven in NC wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:36 pm
If you decide to discard the hard drive just take a drill and drill a few holes right thru it.
Sometimes the platters are glass so drilling might be messy (and lead to short-lived drills).

Consider the sledgehammer.
by adamthesmythe
Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Munich to Venice
Replies: 15
Views: 802

Re: Munich to Venice

A Eurail pass for 4 (2 adult, 2 youth 12-17) would be $1250 Euro for 2nd class; $1542 Euro for 1st class. This would allow 5 days of train travel within two months. This is more expensive than renting a car, but you don't have to concern yourself with gas. Well for one thing that means that a Eurai...
by adamthesmythe
Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Munich to Venice
Replies: 15
Views: 802

Re: Munich to Venice

Depending on their interests, teens might enjoy the Munich science museum.

You will have opportunities for walking in the mountains if that interests you.
by adamthesmythe
Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Free standing gas stove vent is hot!
Replies: 7
Views: 762

Re: Free standing gas stove vent is hot!

Is there a gap between the vent pipe and the top of the stove? I have seen an arrangement like this above a gas water heater, where there is a conelike appendage on the vent line. My guess is that the vent line is too long, has too many bends, or maybe even is influenced by winds on the outside. (Yo...
by adamthesmythe
Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: annuity vs. decumulation: apples to apples comparisons?
Replies: 26
Views: 1964

Re: annuity vs. decumulation: apples to apples comparisons?

> "actuarially fair" annuities...not only do these not exist in the real world of SPIAs

Huh? What do you mean exactly? Are you talking about the rather small margin that the insurance company has?
by adamthesmythe
Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Comcast vs DirecTV
Replies: 9
Views: 928

Re: Comcast vs DirecTV

> Should I be concerned about a hole being drilled into our house to run the cable ? More than one hole, they need a few to mount the dish and a penetration for the cable(s). Done right, there is no problem. Done wrong, minor leaks. (I just removed my unused dish). If you have an HOA, check into any...
by adamthesmythe
Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ever Thought of Suing (or Sued) A Waterproofing Company?
Replies: 20
Views: 1540

Re: Ever Thought of Suing (or Sued) A Waterproofing Company?

The cost of waterproofing is probably less than the maximum dollar value that can be awarded in small claims count. You probably have a good chance of recovering this amount.
by adamthesmythe
Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Personal liability risk for unit owners in condo association?
Replies: 13
Views: 1210

Re: Personal liability risk for unit owners in condo association?

Most condo insurance includes some loss assessment coverage in case the homeowner's association's liability coverage is exhausted by an incident and the homeowners are assessed for the rest. Check to see what kind of coverage the association carries and also what is included in your condo policy. A...
by adamthesmythe
Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Independent Consulting Liability
Replies: 15
Views: 753

Re: Independent Consulting Liability

Friend wants me to consult for his company. I would like to help but he has forwarded a 6 page Independent Consulting Agreement for me to sign. As I am recently retired, one of my goals was to de-stress and simplify. As I read this agreement I feel I would probably need E&O or similar Professional ...
by adamthesmythe
Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why do many bogleheads feel they can time the housing market but can't time the stock market?
Replies: 63
Views: 4651

Re: Why do many bogleheads feel they can time the housing market but can't time the stock market?

Commonly seen on OTHER discussion boards: 1. Assert that "many" people think X. 2. Ask WHY many people think X. 3. Long thread ensures, ending with accusations that some posters are Nazis. Seriously though. The best that can be claimed is that "some" people here think they can time the housing marke...
by adamthesmythe
Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with House Selling and Buying situation, school districts
Replies: 20
Views: 934

Re: Help with House Selling and Buying situation, school districts

In many places in the US higher house price = better school district. You should be thankful that the price differential is so modest. Some places you may be talking about large integer multiples. AND you should be thankful that you do not need to pay with commute time. Be sure to check the taxes to...
by adamthesmythe
Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alaska rental car - what is the real risk with unpaved roads?
Replies: 36
Views: 2364

Re: Alaska rental car - what is the real risk with unpaved roads?

As noted, any insurance/ CDW coverage might not apply if you are off-road. So your liability could be up to the value of the car. Off-road you have essentially zero chance of a collision with another car. Low-probability accidents include animals, rollovers, front end damage and cracked oil pans. I ...
by adamthesmythe
Wed Jan 31, 2018 7:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Become a rent-to-own landlord?
Replies: 9
Views: 680

Re: Become a rent-to-own landlord?

This sort of arrangement seems to be attractive to tenants who want to own their own home but have poor credit. The landlord would presumably charge a premium over the cost of an ordinary rental. This would be because at the end of a period he would possibly no longer own the property (and, I suppos...
by adamthesmythe
Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New or used vehicle for new graduate with job?
Replies: 31
Views: 1363

Re: New or used vehicle for new graduate with job?

Given that travel is part of the job, and that civil engineering tends to be done in places that are remote, icy, muddy, and unpaved, a new crossover is a reasonable choice. PROVIDED other parts of his spending are under control. Most of the cars (or pickups) I can think of that are suitable have hi...