Search found 64 matches

by puma
Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander
Replies: 69
Views: 5187

Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

[...] However, the Highlander Hybrid is not REALLY a hybrid.. it gives 29 MPG in the city, and nothing much on the highway, compared to an XC90 T8 which is significantly better on a highway (around 55 MPG). [...] A 2017 XC90 PHEV gives 24 city/27 hwy/25 MPG combined according to the EPA. Where did ...
by puma
Fri Aug 19, 2016 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DIY Invisible Dog Fence
Replies: 11
Views: 1192

Re: DIY Invisible Dog Fence

If the issue is opening and closing a manual gate, isn't an automatic gate a simpler and better solution here than a wireless pet fence?
by puma
Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Crossover SUV to purchase
Replies: 146
Views: 22371

Re: Best Crossover SUV to purchase

vatic wrote:[...]
(6) Lexus - Drove 2015 Certified RX350 - [...] Engine is CVT with V6. [...]
[...]
2015 RX 350 does not have a CVT. The hybrid version does, but not the 350.

http://www.edmunds.com/lexus/rx-350/201 ... res-specs/
by puma
Tue May 03, 2016 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I bought the wrong car - know it after 15 days
Replies: 156
Views: 28564

Re: Bought wrong car - Revision - ES350 advice

Will ES 350 solve your too low problem? As I commented on the other thread, based on published specs, ES 350 is just half an inch higher. You may be better off getting a crossover if seat height is an issue.
by puma
Tue May 03, 2016 12:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I bought the wrong car - know it after 15 days
Replies: 156
Views: 28564

Re: I bought the wrong car - know it after 15 days

Problem Solved: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B011BJX3JS/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?qid=1462242823&sr=8-2&pi=SY200_QL40&keywords=lovehome+seat+back+cushion+car&dpPl=1&dpID=51zDoRxm1ZL&ref=plSrch How does this fix the "too low" problem? How does ES solve this problem? Ground to roof, a TSX is slightly shorter t...
by puma
Mon May 02, 2016 11:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I bought the wrong car - know it after 15 days
Replies: 156
Views: 28564

Re: I bought the wrong car - know it after 15 days

Problem Solved: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B011BJX3JS/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?qid=1462242823&sr=8-2&pi=SY200_QL40&keywords=lovehome+seat+back+cushion+car&dpPl=1&dpID=51zDoRxm1ZL&ref=plSrch How does this fix the "too low" problem? How does ES solve this problem? Ground to roof, a TSX and an ES are almost ...
by puma
Thu Apr 28, 2016 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Seat for vacation car rental
Replies: 24
Views: 2023

Re: Car Seat for vacation car rental

Checking the carseat in is the best option. Most airlines will do it for free as long as there is a child traveling. However, while some airlines will also put the carseat in a plastic bag for you, some airlines don't. If Frontier doesn't, you may want to consider purchasing a carseat cover and putt...
by puma
Thu Mar 31, 2016 10:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SF Bay Area Housing: Listing agent underpricing
Replies: 58
Views: 6487

Re: SF Bay Area Housing: Listing agent underpricing

puma, I'm merely suggesting my angst. A person who "lists" a house at a certain price, said price accepted with no contingencies, should be sold to the person offering said price. I am totally with you on that. It is definitely frustrating when you make a full list price or above offer without cont...
by puma
Thu Mar 31, 2016 10:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SF Bay Area Housing: Listing agent underpricing
Replies: 58
Views: 6487

Re: SF Bay Area Housing: Listing agent underpricing

Mind you, I can appreciate the difference between an offer with even a modest contingency (which is merely a counter, under contract law) and a blanket acceptance. The latter forms a contract. Period, end of discussion. john94549, are you saying just because the seller chose to list a property on a...
by puma
Tue Mar 22, 2016 5:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2012 Lexus ES350 vs. 2013 or 2014 Acura TSX
Replies: 6
Views: 1124

Re: 2012 Lexus ES350 vs. 2013 or 2014 Acura TSX

LadyIJ wrote:...I would only consider a "long-in-the-tooth" 2011 if it has very low miles - the body style (grille) will date it...
2011 TSX has the same body style as 2013 and 2014. The mid model change (grill, hdd nav) happened at start of 2011 model year.
by puma
Tue Mar 08, 2016 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Private vs public school in bay area
Replies: 12
Views: 2529

Re: Private vs public school in bay area

Related to both your comments, we've had some brief chats with one of our neighbors. They think the school is strong academically, however, were surprised/disappointed their kids didn't enjoy it. Lots of focus on reading/writing/arithmetic, and little arts even in first and second grade. You will f...
by puma
Mon Mar 07, 2016 7:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Private vs public school in bay area
Replies: 12
Views: 2529

Re: Private vs public school in bay area

In the greatschools website, instead of by "Ethnicity", if you slice it by "Socio-economics and Programs", I am sure you will find more favorable numbers for your group "Not economically disadvantaged". :) As long as you are willing to spend time with your child, couple of years of private preschool...
by puma
Wed Jan 06, 2016 9:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: selecting Airline for international travel WWYD?
Replies: 58
Views: 3557

Re: selecting Airline for international travel WWYD?

I have a hard time seeing how a toddler can basically sit in a seat for 16 hours uninterrupted. Even with the first schedule, I am sure one of the legs is over 10 hours. Once you are past 10 hours on a long haul, it makes no difference how long. Same issues keeping a toddler occupied no matter whic...
by puma
Wed Jan 06, 2016 2:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: selecting Airline for international travel WWYD?
Replies: 58
Views: 3557

Re: selecting Airline for international travel WWYD?

If these are the only two choices, Airline XYZ for sure. Especially with the toddler. You really don't want to drag a jet-lagged toddler between gates, especially if the incoming flight gets delayed and you have a short connection (many international hubs have security and passport check between in-...
by puma
Sat Dec 19, 2015 12:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bought a 2009 Prius and now....
Replies: 28
Views: 4146

Re: Bought a 2009 Prius and now....

Her commute is 20 total every day. Not much.. I know. I should have mentioned that we tend to drive more than 15k miles each year on numerous vacations (which is what I want to use the MDX for given its comfortable ride). The only issue with me driving the Prius is that I don't actually fit in the ...
by puma
Sat Dec 19, 2015 12:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bought a 2009 Prius and now....
Replies: 28
Views: 4146

Re: Bought a 2009 Prius and now....

Age depreciation on a vehicle is much more than mileage depreciation. You may find when it times to sell the MDX that the ultra-low miles doesn't add as much as you think it would to the price. Spouse with the commute should drive the nicer car, and the spouse who needs a car just so that he doesn't...
by puma
Mon Oct 26, 2015 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help me decide between Lexus GX460 and Toyota Highlander (Hybrid/Non-Hybrid)
Replies: 75
Views: 17366

Re: Help me decide between Lexus GX460 and Highlander Hybrid

It's a false dilemma. You can get a high end V6 (non-hybrid) Highlander for $40k. The only option that makes financial sense is to get the V6 highlander and keep the Prius for days when you need the green tags. Completely agree. I can get any number of higher end V6 crossover/suv in the $40K to $45...
by puma
Mon Oct 26, 2015 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help me decide between Lexus GX460 and Toyota Highlander (Hybrid/Non-Hybrid)
Replies: 75
Views: 17366

Re: Help me decide between Lexus GX460 and Highlander Hybrid

Big hybrid Sedans and SUVs never break even until more than 100k miles if then, given the delta cost differential to get the hybrid versus slightly improved mpg over the gas version. If you want to actually save money buy another as designed hybrid like a Prius. Anything else like big sedan or suv ...
by puma
Mon Oct 26, 2015 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help me decide between Lexus GX460 and Toyota Highlander (Hybrid/Non-Hybrid)
Replies: 75
Views: 17366

Re: Help me decide between Lexus GX460 and Highlander Hybrid

$51K for a vehicle that starts under $30k, and that is externally almost indistinguishable from the base model?

Why are these the only two choices at 50k-ish 3 row SUV/crossovers? Have you considered replacing the Accord with an MDX?
by puma
Thu Oct 01, 2015 1:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should my husband become a US citizen?
Replies: 102
Views: 10036

Re: Should my husband become a US citizen?

dpc wrote:When you're coming back to the US and the BCP officer says "Welcome home" -- Priceless.
Permanent residents are also supposed to get a "welcome home".
by puma
Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: About to close on a home we have overbid on - have cold feet
Replies: 74
Views: 12765

Re: About to close on a home we have overbid on - have cold feet

... I was raised thinking $60K is a huge amount of money. But the reality is that it probably won't affect our lives that much. It's also weird that the prospects of losing $60K are a lot more painful than the happiness of gaining $60K passively from a balanced portfolio. ... shrug, assuming backin...
by puma
Mon Aug 31, 2015 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: About to close on a home we have overbid on - have cold feet
Replies: 74
Views: 12765

Re: About to close on a home we have overbid on - have cold feet

I don't have anything to help OP other than say "read the disclosures and walk around the property before overbidding a property without contingencies next time", but this for some reason summarizes the craziness of bay area real estate for me. A first time buyer with no permanent way yet to stay in...
by puma
Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Large amount of cash reserves waiting for downturn?
Replies: 18
Views: 2782

Re: Large amount of cash reserves waiting for downturn?

I don't understand the "waiting for downturn" part. Might make sense for a first time buyer, but unless you are planning to keep the current home to rent out and buy your dream home, how does the downturn help? Delta needed to upgrade may be less in a downturn, but not that less. Also, it looks like...
by puma
Thu Aug 20, 2015 7:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sell or Rent Out House?
Replies: 51
Views: 5166

Re: Sell or Rent Out House? [Bay Area]

School district is in Mission San Jose. It usually has better rating than Cupertino (whatever that means). This has nothing to do with OP's sell/rent question, but OP keeps insisting that his/her home is in the best school district in the bay area. By what measure? If we go just by test scores (rec...
by puma
Sat Aug 08, 2015 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Verizon Killing off 2-Year Contracts & Phone Subsidies
Replies: 129
Views: 15547

Re: Verizon Killing off 2-Year Contracts & Phone Subsidies

westie wrote:Paying 600-$800 for phones will make them a much more attractive target to thieves. Everybody is impacted by this.
How so? The phone is worth the same whether someone pays full price or subsidized price. How is a phone that someone paid full price "much more attractive target to thieves"?
by puma
Sun Aug 02, 2015 3:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sell or Rent Out House?
Replies: 51
Views: 5166

Re: Sell or Rent Out House? [Bay Area]

craiggsean wrote:...#1 Public School district in Bay Area (MSJ, Fremont)...
#1 public school district? How do you figure that?
by puma
Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Peak vs. Off Peak Energy Hours (New Jersey)
Replies: 8
Views: 2522

Re: Peak vs. Off Peak Energy Hours (New Jersey)

I have PG&E in Northern California and we have Peak, Partial Peak, and Off Peak hours. The only place I was ever able to find the actual hours (and days) for each was in tiny print on a monthly bill. We have seasonal variations as well. The detailed information on our bills obscures a lot of the mo...
by puma
Mon Jun 22, 2015 8:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Schools in South Bay Area?
Replies: 10
Views: 2088

Re: Schools in South Bay Area?

More than one person on this thread including OP speaks about seeking a specific demographic mix while choosing schools. I am curious how that matters.

It is not like the mix is going to stay fixed anyway over the course of a kid's schooling in an area like the bay area.
by puma
Thu Jun 04, 2015 8:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: One million dollar home
Replies: 37
Views: 8532

Re: One million dollar home

In our VHCOL area, many of the newer homes are usually in very small lots (i.e., single family homes that feel more like town homes, with windows of adjacent homes all lining up). So the ideal home in our area for someone not wanting to take on remodeling is an older home that has been updated alrea...
by puma
Fri May 29, 2015 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling home - unexpected competition
Replies: 113
Views: 18060

Re: Selling home - unexpected competition

Walking in to an open house without an agent and requesting the selling agent to represent them in purchasing the home being sold and making a pre-emptive offer with that agent before the offer deadline is not that uncommon in this bay area market where buyers are trying to find whatever advantage t...
by puma
Thu May 28, 2015 3:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling home - unexpected competition
Replies: 113
Views: 18060

Re: Selling home - unexpected competition

In the Bay Area, earnest money is always 3%. No. It's not. It would be very difficult to get the sellers to take your offer seriously in the bay area without 3%. In the current market, that may be true. But I was pointing out that it is not ALWAYS 3%. Having lived in the Bay Area since 1987, and be...
by puma
Thu May 28, 2015 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling home - unexpected competition
Replies: 113
Views: 18060

Re: Selling home - unexpected competition

Sandi_k wrote:
thomasbayarea wrote: In the Bay Area, earnest money is always 3%.
No. It's not.
It would be very difficult to get the sellers to take your offer seriously in the bay area without 3%.
by puma
Wed May 27, 2015 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling home - unexpected competition
Replies: 113
Views: 18060

Re: Selling home - unexpected competition

Anyone who buys a house for more than its listed for needs to have their head examined. Nuff said. What are you talking about? List price is just that. Just because a seller (who may not be fully aware of the current up to the minute market conditions like buyers do) lists the house at a certain pr...
by puma
Tue May 26, 2015 11:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling home - unexpected competition
Replies: 113
Views: 18060

Re: Selling home - unexpected competition

OP here again. Per the realtor, open house over the weekend was fairly successful. We received our first offer yesterday, Monday, for $850K. This is exciting and we're happy, but this is also typical of the Bay Area (homes being sold for above listing prices). The 850K offer is from a couple who wo...
by puma
Fri May 22, 2015 8:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: At what point does 529 make sense
Replies: 24
Views: 4133

Re: At what point does 529 make sense

RandomPointer wrote: I understand that 529 will impact financial aid eligibility.
AFAIK, 529 and taxable accounts have the same impact on financial aid eligibility. Both count towards parents assets.
by puma
Wed May 20, 2015 6:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Would a nervous self investor be better off with Wellington Fund?
Replies: 17
Views: 2947

Re: Would a nervous self investor be better off with Wellington Fund?

Only if a 38% decline in NAV does not affect your state of mind. Wellington dropped that much in value during the 2009 debacle in March. However, it rebounded quite nicely along with the rest of the market. The key is not to panic. Let the managers "manage" the fund, all you have to do is to remain...
by puma
Thu May 14, 2015 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much can I spend on a car?
Replies: 157
Views: 21959

Re: How much can I spend on a car?

How much can you spend? Check how much your portfolio went UP today. That's the amount you can spend on a car: Basically a one day gain in your portfolio on a great day. US total market went up by about 1% today. Using that as representative portfolio gain for the day, the livesoft rule of thumb is...
by puma
Thu May 14, 2015 4:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much can I spend on a car?
Replies: 157
Views: 21959

Re: How much can I spend on a car?

How much can you spend? Check how much your portfolio went UP today. That's the amount you can spend on a car: Basically a one day gain in your portfolio on a great day. US total market went up by about 1% today. Using that as representative portfolio gain for the day, the livesoft rule of thumb is...
by puma
Sat May 02, 2015 2:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Powerwall: The Arrival of Home Battery Backup System
Replies: 53
Views: 10941

Re: Powerwall: The Arrival of Home Battery Backup System

For states with net metering and time of use rates, I don't see how this makes any sense for homes with solar. Can't beat generating and selling power at 4x what we pay when we use the power at night. Availability of this technology may give regulators enough cover to give the power companies what t...
by puma
Thu Apr 30, 2015 7:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FIA Card Services website
Replies: 18
Views: 3013

Re: FIA Card Services website

And still waiting on that Apple Pay support!
by puma
Fri Apr 24, 2015 7:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which mortgage loan would you choose (recast or not)?
Replies: 22
Views: 2083

Re: Which mortgage loan would you choose (recast or not)?

Isn't it simpler to do a 1M mortgage and a HELOC that you draw on during closing to make the additional 200k? Then you can pay off the HELOC when you want to, and not worry about recasting the mortgage?
by puma
Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $139 lease for EV, $0 down, 39 month lease Chevy Spark
Replies: 82
Views: 20524

Re: $139 lease for EV, $0 down, 39 month lease Chevy Spark

What do you guys think? https://www.yahoo.com/autos/will-low-lease-deals-get-shoppers-to-give-electric-116965059652.html have you ever driven one? I had one as a rental, worst driving experience I've ever had, bar none. Drove myself (6'3 220) and associate (even larger male) around PDX last year an...
by puma
Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Will I regret selling this house?
Replies: 17
Views: 2981

Re: Will I regret selling this house?

I'm not an expert but my understanding is - in a hot market (such as the one your agent described) you list high and negotiate down if the interest isn't there. This is absolutely not the way bay area real estate works. With hyper inflated prices, everyone is afraid of making a mistake, so if a hou...
by puma
Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Will I regret selling this house?
Replies: 17
Views: 2981

Re: Will I regret selling this house?

I've never understood price low and sell high. As a buyer, it is frustrating when the seller rejects a full price, no contingency offer not because they have an even better offer, but because they listed the home expecting to get higher than list and list price is not good enough for them. To me, o...
by puma
Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $139 lease for EV, $0 down, 39 month lease Chevy Spark
Replies: 82
Views: 20524

Re: $139 lease for EV, $0 down, 39 month lease Chevy Spark

It's "rated" at 82 miles range. Figure 50% of that for actual range - I'd be able to make it to work, and maybe to lunch, but I couldn't make it back home. Where did you get the idea that actual range of an EV is 50% of the rated range? Do you get half of EPA rated mpg on your daily driver right no...
by puma
Wed Apr 22, 2015 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $139 lease for EV, $0 down, 39 month lease Chevy Spark
Replies: 82
Views: 20524

Re: $139 lease for EV, $0 down, 39 month lease Chevy Spark

I had never leased a car either before deciding to lease an EV (every previous car was a cash purchase). Main thing that steered me away from purchase was concerns about loss of range as the battery gets older, past 3, 4, 5 years. Potential technology changes in the 3+ year timeframe, and the extrem...
by puma
Wed Apr 22, 2015 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $139 lease for EV, $0 down, 39 month lease Chevy Spark
Replies: 82
Views: 20524

Re: $139 lease for EV, $0 down, 39 month lease Chevy Spark

It's "rated" at 82 miles range. Figure 50% of that for actual range - I'd be able to make it to work, and maybe to lunch, but I couldn't make it back home. Where did you get the idea that actual range of an EV is 50% of the rated range? Do you get half of EPA rated mpg on your daily driver right no...
by puma
Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a Car to commute - SUV or Sedan?
Replies: 55
Views: 11039

Re: Buying a Car to commute - SUV or Sedan?

joelly wrote:About the hybrid, is it a safe car to drive? I heard it will cause you headache in the long run, is that true?
What on earth are you talking about?
by puma
Mon Apr 20, 2015 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a Car to commute - SUV or Sedan?
Replies: 55
Views: 11039

Re: Buying a Car to commute - SUV or Sedan?

If you live in California, and your commute path has carpool lanes, you might want to consider an EV. That will cut down that horrible commute (by some or a lot) and will be lower cost to operate.

Of course, you will need reliable access to charging either at work or at home.
by puma
Tue Apr 07, 2015 6:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying for childrens' college
Replies: 121
Views: 12269

Re: Paying for childrens' college

Yes the richer kids pay more so they have the necessary exposure to the poor kids. Wow! I have no doubt this is the way people making admission decisions think, but I have not seen it put in such stark terms! After years in a school district where such interaction is limited, one has to pay dearly ...