Search found 311 matches

by snackdog
Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Proposal for Structural Damage
Replies: 12
Views: 908

Re: Proposal for Structural Damage

1. I would hire my own to avoid conflicts of interest.
2. Yes as it will narrow the scope of work and improve quotes.
3. Probably nothing other than getting that report to three contractors and having them come take a look.
by snackdog
Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Traveling overseas .. credit cards? cash exchange?
Replies: 35
Views: 1750

Re: Traveling overseas .. credit cards? cash exchange?

It depends partly on where you are going. There are quite a few countries where $500 cash could be the difference between life and death, either in a medical emergency or criminal situation. I know this from experience. These also happen the be the places you are more likely to need to work extra ha...
by snackdog
Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Landscaping costs?
Replies: 15
Views: 1968

Re: Landscaping costs?

Fairly reasonable based on what I have seen.
by snackdog
Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are unleveraged real estate returns more comparable to stock market returns or just a notch above inflation?
Replies: 54
Views: 2098

Re: Are unleveraged real estate returns more comparable to stock market returns or just a notch above inflation?

Real estate business is extremely local as is inflation so I’m not sure what good the generalization is. A generalization I know is real and have observed is that real estate can and does allow average people to retire sooner than stock market investing with more effort up front. The real estate mar...
by snackdog
Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your single most expensive mistake?
Replies: 204
Views: 12870

Re: What is your single most expensive mistake?

I sold quite a bit of Apple stock back in 2005 or so. Ouch.
by snackdog
Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone hire an interior designer?
Replies: 34
Views: 2900

Re: Anyone hire an interior designer?

The more you are spending the more it makes sense because of the potential to add value. Ideally, you would involve them in a new build and let them specify 90% of the finishes (cabinets, floors, wall colors), furniture, art and decor so that it would all be harmonious. When done right, this way has...
by snackdog
Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Humidity in basement
Replies: 38
Views: 3123

Re: Humidity in basement

I have similar problems but cooler temps so no AC. The dehumidifier is loud as hell. Do they make quiet ones?
by snackdog
Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to determine quality of a finished new construction home
Replies: 45
Views: 2865

Re: How to determine quality of a finished new construction home

I agree that the incentives to cut cost (and boost profit) in ways not obvious post-construction are too significant for most builders to ignore. There is risk in buying new which is commensurate to your ability to QC the construction after the fact. All new houses have issues and some have catastro...
by snackdog
Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is home alarm monitoring worth it?
Replies: 56
Views: 3736

Re: Is home alarm monitoring worth it?

I think you've described the pros and cons of monitoring. I use the ultimate deterrent at my house......nothing of any value inside. :D Unfortunately, that is not a very good deterrent. As criminals get more stupid and drug-adled, their ability to discern which vehicles and homes contain valuables ...
by snackdog
Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I need a chainsaw to trim branches and limbs!!
Replies: 93
Views: 4094

Re: I need a chainsaw to trim branches and limbs!!

Several Americans *per week* are hospitalized overnight for injuries related to use of chain saws. They tend to kick at the wrong time and cut those using them, sometimes resulting in an amputation.
by snackdog
Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you use social media to enhance your travel experience?
Replies: 66
Views: 2779

Re: Do you use social media to enhance your travel experience?

Judging from what I see on Instagram and how other travelers behave at famous sites, it would seem the main purpose for travel is show others that you are doing it. "Look where I am!!!" Have you tried doing it this way?
by snackdog
Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard
Replies: 61
Views: 4055

Re: Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard

Schwab charges $76 per trade on mutual funds, which is outrageous. E-trade is $19.95. I assume you refer to Vanguard funds. If you ask your assigned consultant, they will waive the fee (mine does). I believe the fee is simply passed on by Schwab from Vanguard. I have no doubt Vanguard funds are inc...
by snackdog
Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on how to deal with barking dogs
Replies: 59
Views: 5054

Re: Advice on how to deal with barking dogs

Shallowpockets wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:17 am
.. History is full of incidents where noisy dog owners have responded aggressively and there have been sufficient reports of assault by those owners or by the one who is complaining. There have been deaths on both sides. ...
Glad you are keeping it all in perspective.
by snackdog
Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard
Replies: 61
Views: 4055

Re: Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard

Schwab charges $76 per trade on mutual funds, which is outrageous. E-trade is $19.95.
by snackdog
Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on how to deal with barking dogs
Replies: 59
Views: 5054

Re: Advice on how to deal with barking dogs

Shallowpockets wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:35 am
...
I would expect very little when confronting the dog owners. Dog owners are some of the most oblivious, non caring, aggressive people in the world.
..
This seems a rather broad condemnation of a class of people. I sense an issue here.
by snackdog
Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC annual contracts vs yearly annual cleaning
Replies: 32
Views: 2203

Re: HVAC annual contracts vs yearly annual cleaning

There are two type of maintenance. Everyone should be changing their own filters and cleaning the AC condenser. However, most DIYers will not want to open the system and do the routine maintenance a pro can do periodically. Once per year is not overkill - - clean the coils - lubricate moving parts (...
by snackdog
Tue Sep 04, 2018 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor Fencing question
Replies: 50
Views: 3910

Re: Neighbor Fencing question

Check your state laws on the fence issue. In some states you may be required to pay half as long as the fence is "reasonable". Also check the state laws on fence positioning. In some states once a fence is in place for a while, it become the legal property line. In Texas, for example, many people wo...
by snackdog
Tue Sep 04, 2018 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Establishing residency after relocation
Replies: 14
Views: 721

Re: Establishing residency after relocation

Change all addresses, get new docs (DL, vehicle tags, voter rego, etc) ASAP. Keep documentation of move dates, job start date, etc. Be sure to stop any VA withholding from any employer, retirement plan, etc. Resign from an VA boards, jobs, etc. Keep meticulous records of days in both states in 2018 ...
by snackdog
Tue Sep 04, 2018 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling a car to CarMax
Replies: 74
Views: 5703

Re: Selling a car to CarMax

Their offer is good for like 30 days so no reason not to get it and have it as Plan B if you can't sell on your own. I've had mixed results both buying and selling and it really depends on 1) the vehicle and 2) the national market. CM advertises and ships nationally so they can not have local price ...
by snackdog
Tue Sep 04, 2018 9:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does it make sense to invest in individual stocks (like Kanye West) if you stick to what you know?
Replies: 110
Views: 5539

Re: Does it make sense to invest in individual stocks (like Kanye West) if you stick to what you know?

I'm surprised no one suggested to just do a shadow portfolio, comparing the results with VTI or VOO, dividends reinvested. That way you know, before risking real money, whether you can actually beat the market or not. (HINT: Most investors cannot beat even that dumb, simple, large-growth index that...
by snackdog
Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lexus vs. Mercedes
Replies: 86
Views: 6358

Re: Lexus vs. Mercedes

MB ranked below average in the 2016 JD Power initial quality survey. The Lexus GS350 was a premium pick. If you enjoy tow trucks and service centers, buy the German car. If you have better ways to spend your time, get the Toyota.
by snackdog
Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House Affordability - Question on standard advice
Replies: 35
Views: 3129

Re: House Affordability - Question on standard advice

PITI should be 36% of gross income, roughly.
by snackdog
Fri Aug 31, 2018 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for a good Moving Company. All have awful reviews.
Replies: 21
Views: 965

Re: Looking for a good Moving Company. All have awful reviews.

The most important thing is to project manage the move yourself. You must make clear what is expected in terms of professional staff for your move so you get the best team. Then you must manage them on the day, via whoever is in charge on site. Make sure they understand how to protect the property a...
by snackdog
Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Depreciation Curve, Lifespan, Repairs, & Sweet Spot of Ownership
Replies: 35
Views: 3252

Re: Car Depreciation Curve, Lifespan, Repairs, & Sweet Spot of Ownership

I got to ask what Lexus sells for 20% off MSRP after 10 years. I want to lease one of those:) Given you can normally get 5-10% off MSRP, you would need some really odd situations (buying a LFA maybe) for that to make any type of sense. Take the BMW. Imagine it was a 50k car that you bought for 30k?...
by snackdog
Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Shop at Sears?
Replies: 14
Views: 1102

Re: Shop at Sears?

We relocated recently and needed a washer dryer. Consensus on the internet for a matching pair was LG brand. Found them at the same old Sears store we have been visiting for appliances more than 20 years. Scratch and dent warehouse with hundreds of brand new appliances at 40% off because of a small ...
by snackdog
Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Depreciation Curve, Lifespan, Repairs, & Sweet Spot of Ownership
Replies: 35
Views: 3252

Re: Car Depreciation Curve, Lifespan, Repairs, & Sweet Spot of Ownership

Every car model will have a different MSRP, depreciation curve, reliability curve, value/utility to the owner and sweet spot so few rules of thumb apply. The only universal seems to be if you want low capex, low opex and long term durability, buy a 10 year old Corolla or Civic and drive it ten more ...
by snackdog
Tue Aug 28, 2018 7:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to repel wild dogs?
Replies: 65
Views: 5315

Re: How to repel wild dogs?

You could consider some protective clothing...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jYwQacBdGw
by snackdog
Mon Aug 27, 2018 6:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you calculate net worth with pensions?
Replies: 105
Views: 6566

Re: How do you calculate net worth with pensions?

First of all, pensions and SS are financial assets, regardless of their varied and individual survivability or liquidity, because they are guaranteed revenue streams. Some people do have a need to figure out their contribution to net worth for financial or legal reasons. It is a legitimate question ...
by snackdog
Sun Aug 26, 2018 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driving as a side gig, not Uber/Lyft/taxi, in my spare time
Replies: 18
Views: 1506

Re: Driving as a side gig, not Uber/Lyft/taxi, in my spare time

How about driving a school bus? License is easy to get. Safety is paramount. Hours are minimal outside the morning and afternoon runs. Seems like you could bring in maybe $1000/month.
by snackdog
Fri Aug 24, 2018 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Decent compensation to move to Bay Area CA?
Replies: 290
Views: 21504

Re: Decent compensation to move to Bay Area CA?

I would go for it. Don’t try to buy in Sunnyvale. That would be nuts. Buy or rent wherever you can afford it. Pleasanton. Fremont. Daly City. It is all doable and the quality of life in CA more than makes up for not having a fancy formal living room or three car garage.
by snackdog
Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real estate dropping like a rock in U.K. - can the U.S. be far behind?
Replies: 66
Views: 11656

Re: Real estate dropping like a rock in U.K. - can the U.S. be far behind?

The party in the states is ending slowly as rates rise. High end has already slowed a lot.
by snackdog
Sat Aug 18, 2018 5:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Switch to auto lease after retirement?
Replies: 38
Views: 3108

Re: Switch to auto lease after retirement?

Do you include sales tax on your purchase scenario and on your lease scenario? What are the lease terms and total drive-off cost? What is the opportunity cost of your $60,000 - I would guess 5% CAGR invested. What is the make and model of the car? There other advantages of leasing. One is that you g...
by snackdog
Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!
Replies: 124
Views: 7592

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

If you think it could cost you a cushy government job then by all means hire a smart lawyer.

And quit driving recklessly before you kill someone.
by snackdog
Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: It's not enough to mumble "Stay the Course"... INT'L Investing has been a disaster!
Replies: 1046
Views: 80851

Re: It's not enough to mumble "Stay the Course"... INT'L Investing has been a disaster!

I guess any sector which underperforms for a while is subject to rants from people who held it, lost and want to sell and buy some other sector which has been done well over the same period. I guess the same people read the Morningstar reports and buy the best performing mutual fund from last year. ...
by snackdog
Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Terminating an employee with company car
Replies: 62
Views: 6132

Re: Terminating an employee with company car

How about asking for the car keys (along with other company property) when you terminate? You could send her home in a taxi.
by snackdog
Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Seeking ideas for relaxing but not boring vacation
Replies: 19
Views: 1546

Re: Seeking ideas for relaxing but not boring vacation

Portugal would tic all your boxes.
by snackdog
Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Counter Depth Side by Side refrigerator
Replies: 24
Views: 2314

Re: Best Counter Depth Side by Side refrigerator

Anecdotal reports seem useless but I will report we are surprised how much we like a Bosch French door counter depth which sort of came our way (didn’t buy it). Nothing in the door so clean look. Ice in top freezer drawer is super convenient and doesn’t spray all over the kitchen like in door ice. W...
by snackdog
Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much did your braces/invisalign braces cost?
Replies: 32
Views: 2788

Re: How much did your braces/invisalign braces cost?

Dentists will try to sell you invisalign as it is a huge profit for them. You can obviously negotiate the price. I would strongly recommend only doing corrective work with an orthodontist. The initial diagnosis/setup and ongoing progress monitoring are not something dentists are qualified to do in m...
by snackdog
Sun Jul 15, 2018 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How often do you buy a primary residence?
Replies: 46
Views: 4078

Re: How often do you buy a primary residence?

Most people average about 7 years per home, less on the early ones and more on the later ones. It is more common than you may imagine for people to covet homes near their own because they see them often and already know/like the location. When they come up for sale, they buy. My parents moved into t...
by snackdog
Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping in a hotel room/cruise ship room
Replies: 57
Views: 4282

Re: Tipping in a hotel room/cruise ship room

Cruises are easy. On DAY ONE, not long after you check in to your room, or maybe concurrently, you will be visited by your dedicated steward. He/she will introduce the room to you and mention the upcoming fire drill. Before he/she leaves, you lay $20 on him. Bam. You are taken care of the rest of th...
by snackdog
Sat Jul 07, 2018 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which advanced tech is necessary in cars?
Replies: 86
Views: 4864

Re: Which advanced tech is necessary in cars?

Those are mostly gimmicks and crutches for inattentive drivers. I'm not aware of any figures which indicate they make anyone safer. You are better off paying attention to avoid collisions and lane incursions. Wear your seat belt. Don't drive after dark and limit time at the wheel to the bare minimum.
by snackdog
Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance for Retirees, % escalation
Replies: 34
Views: 2522

Re: Health Insurance for Retirees, % escalation

Double your inflation rate assumption, as a rule of thumb.
by snackdog
Sun Jul 01, 2018 7:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to document a verbal conversation for future legal reasons.
Replies: 21
Views: 3043

Re: How to document a verbal conversation for future legal reasons.

You asked for how to document a verbal conversation, but received mostly advice of how to put it on paper, in which case it is no longer verbal but becomes written which is completely different. If it is strictly verbal, the best way to use it for later legal considerations is to 1) legally record i...
by snackdog
Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to clean eyeglasses?
Replies: 59
Views: 4166

Re: Best way to clean eyeglasses?

I normally give them a quick scrub with my shirt tail. This only works if the shirt is cleaner than the spectacles..
by snackdog
Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House seller fudging disclosure re: buried oil tank?
Replies: 36
Views: 4271

Re: House seller fudging disclosure re: buried oil tank?

It's not that easy to disclose publicly what you know about a property in which you have no interest. I guess you could put up a big sign somewhere. I would talk to an attorney first, however, since you expose yourself to litigation from the current owner of the property and potentially anyone invol...
by snackdog
Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When did you start flying business class?
Replies: 155
Views: 12516

Re: When did you start flying business class?

The airlines make all their money ripping off business class travelers. Everyone up front is flying on the company dime, an airline employee, or mileage grubber. I would feel like a total sucker paying retail for a comfy seat. As someone else said it is about opportunity cost: if I offered you $8,00...
by snackdog
Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much car to buy reasonably?
Replies: 86
Views: 5633

Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

The Germans have major reliability issues. I would steer clear unless you like roadside assistance and service areas. That leaves Americans and Japanese, which is not too bad. You can have a lot of fun for very little money. The most fun are probably a Camaro or a Miata, both of which can be very af...
by snackdog
Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Sellers - do you read Buyer inspection reports?
Replies: 25
Views: 2380

Re: Home Sellers - do you read Buyer inspection reports?

Both of our selling and buying Real Estate agents said "You would be surprised"... One said that few buyers actually pay for an inspection of a newer tract home -- they seem to think it costs too much. To me, that's cheap insurance. Brand new homes are among the most risky to purchase, in my experi...
by snackdog
Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: reverse phone look up - free service
Replies: 4
Views: 588

Re: reverse phone look up - free service

I guess you could call the number and phish out who is one the other end.
by snackdog
Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Sellers - do you read Buyer inspection reports?
Replies: 25
Views: 2380

Re: Home Sellers - do you read Buyer inspection reports?

In Texas, at least, the standard disclosure form includes a section on Inspections and asked you to provide copies of any you have from the last four years. Thus, the importance of viewing them or not. I see no advantage to viewing them as a seller. I prefer to simply ask the buyer to close the deal...