Search found 1549 matches

by sunny_socal
Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I saved $3,200 on a $23,500 car with minimal stress.
Replies: 39
Views: 4446

Re: I saved $3,200 on a $23,500 car with minimal stress.

Well done! I use similar approaches. I also target the prior model year's new cars. I also decide beforehand exactly what options I want to pay for. But I also use TrueCar.com to determine what others are paying for the same car. And I am usually fairly flexible about color. I'm usually flexible am...
by sunny_socal
Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Fall of Consumer Reports
Replies: 57
Views: 8500

Re: The Fall of Consumer Reports

CR is indeed useless nowadays. Then again there are hardly any trustworthy 'reviews' online. Amazon is filled with obvious fake reviews and cross-posted references (ie. you think the comments are for your product but really they are for something else.) The best approach is to do a general search an...
by sunny_socal
Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Total Wireless v. Cricket Wireless
Replies: 13
Views: 900

Re: Total Wireless v. Cricket Wireless

I've been on Cricket for a long time. Tried Mint in an effort to save even more but ended up getting rid of it. The billing structure was strange, everyone had to have their own account. Went back to Cricket. Now we're on the $100 plan, 4 lines of unlimited voice/text/data. Speed is capped at 3Mbps ...
by sunny_socal
Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?
Replies: 33
Views: 1954

Re: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?

I would do this:
[1] Thread the hole again, one size larger (eg. helicoil)
[2] Install a Fumoto oil valve

But I DIY all my oil changes...
by sunny_socal
Fri Aug 17, 2018 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off personal loan at house closing?
Replies: 12
Views: 856

Re: Pay off personal loan at house closing?

You're very lucky it's turning out this way. I thought for sure you weren't going to see your money at all despite the 'friend' making a good profit.
by sunny_socal
Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time for new phone, Buy or Lease?
Replies: 30
Views: 1905

Re: Time for new phone, Buy or Lease?

MNGopher wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:36 pm
Thanks for the replies and patience. I am very tech ignorant.

I there any disadvantage to buying an unlocked phone on say, Amazon? They seem a lot cheaper, but are they more expensive to activate? Just trying to learn.
No added cost
by sunny_socal
Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Old Acura TL vs new Honda Accord
Replies: 12
Views: 937

Re: Old Acura TL vs new Honda Accord

No way I'd make this switch. - Consider the transaction costs. You'll lose some money selling the old one and even more buying the new one. - Edmunds is ok for a quick check but don't use it as gospel. I'll bet "cost of ownership" is roughly the same between those cars. - Your Acura is very likely m...
by sunny_socal
Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time for new phone, Buy or Lease?
Replies: 30
Views: 1905

Re: Time for new phone, Buy or Lease?

I'd buy an entry/mid phone. You can get a Motorola from Costco for about $120 and any of the newer phones at places like Cricket are about $100-150. They are all equivalent to "high end" phones from a couple years ago. For reference I just received a Samsung J7 Star from my employer. It has better s...
by sunny_socal
Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cleaning gas grill
Replies: 40
Views: 3357

Re: Cleaning gas grill

I've never covered my weber grill, I just leave it outside - rain or shine.
by sunny_socal
Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cleaning gas grill
Replies: 40
Views: 3357

Re: Cleaning gas grill

If you get a brush, make sure it's the kind with the bristles wrapped within a thick twisted wire in the middle. DO NOT get a wooden or plastic brush. Those little bristles will come out and end up in your next burger or steak. These days I just use a nice stiff metal spatula to scrape the extra cru...
by sunny_socal
Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When is leaving your job that pays well a good idea?
Replies: 74
Views: 6946

Re: When is leaving your job that pays well a good idea?

I can speak to this. I left a boring and well paying job in a Megacorp. Joined another Megacorp with the promise of a more interesting position, possibility of growth - but with 20% less pay. (Moved to TX, supposedly not a HCOL state) Turns out the new job is even worse than the old one. Can't imagi...
by sunny_socal
Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you allow your car stereo to run USB debug mode on your android phone?
Replies: 6
Views: 881

Re: Would you allow your car stereo to run USB debug mode on your android phone?

I run ALL my Android phones in 'debug' mode. Why? Without it they aren't seen as a USB drive. I'd have no hesitation using Debug mode in any car and I've done so for years. (BTW, I stream the audio via BT not USB)
by sunny_socal
Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Huge mortgage mistake
Replies: 58
Views: 8447

Re: Huge mortgage mistake

No mistake at all IMO, your PMI is not very large. I just did a 80-10-10 mortgage to avoid PMI but OTOH I'm still paying a little 'extra' for that 2nd mortgage to make the 1st 'seem' like 80% LTV. Is that interest payment going down the drain? Perhaps, but I didn't have to put down as much. Refi lat...
by sunny_socal
Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $8712/year for insurance (auto, home, rental) How to reduce?
Replies: 39
Views: 2660

Re: $8712/year for insurance (auto, home, rental) How to reduce?

Have teen son start paying a small portion of his insurance. Try quotes from geico or progressive. Up here they smoke the competition. Will do that, after my accidents drop off in 2019. One lesson I've learned: If involved in a minor accident with no injury, offer to settle with cash if possible . ...
by sunny_socal
Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $8712/year for insurance (auto, home, rental) How to reduce?
Replies: 39
Views: 2660

Re: $8712/year for insurance (auto, home, rental) How to reduce?

Got a quote from Allstate today: - All vehicles: $1966 for 6 months - Home: $1164/year That brings it very close to what I was paying in California! Now I'll just have to convince my wife that it's ok to switch insurance companies (she's completely sold on USAA since that's what her parents have......
by sunny_socal
Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Has anyone taken out an online mortgage?
Replies: 32
Views: 2138

Re: Has anyone taken out an online mortgage?

I've used aimloan.com and amerisave.com, both with good results.

Due to slower response time I would ONLY use an online bank for a refi, never a new purchase. You can always refi to something better right after the deal closes.
by sunny_socal
Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2016 Volvo XC90
Replies: 17
Views: 1560

Re: 2016 Volvo XC90

I own a 2018 XC90 T6, zero issues with it so far. Best vehicle we've ever owned :mrgreen: Things that I know about the 2016 model listed below. Pretty much all of them are covered via "tech journals" (ie. bug reports) and can be fixed by your dealer should you encounter them. The 2016 was a "first ...
by sunny_socal
Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2016 Volvo XC90
Replies: 17
Views: 1560

Re: 2016 Volvo XC90

I own a 2018 XC90 T6, zero issues with it so far. Best vehicle we've ever owned :mrgreen: Things that I know about the 2016 model listed below. Pretty much all of them are covered via "tech journals" (ie. bug reports) and can be fixed by your dealer should you encounter them. The 2016 was a "first y...
by sunny_socal
Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco auto buying service is USELESS!
Replies: 43
Views: 26597

Re: Costco auto buying service is USELESS!

It's not useless, it is created for people who don't want to fight for a good price. These buyers will settle for a 'decent' price and avoid haggling. Much like truecar . You can likely achieve a better price by shopping directly with the internet sales departments of your local dealers but it takes...
by sunny_socal
Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worth it to get 300 Mbps internet?
Replies: 61
Views: 36633

Re: Worth it to get 300 Mbps internet?

You (and the majority of US consumers) are getting ripped off by cable and telephone service providers. We pay 45€ per month for an all inclusive package of 200Mbps fibre optic connection + unlimited international calling + basic TV + my iPhone plan with 20GB of 4G data. This is the result of some ...
by sunny_socal
Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $8712/year for insurance (auto, home, rental) How to reduce?
Replies: 39
Views: 2660

Re: $8712/year for insurance (auto, home, rental) How to reduce?

Reminds me of my move from NJ to CT years ago. NJ auto insurance is sky high and I was hoping to get a break when we moved to CT but when I called liberty to change the address my rate almost doubled. I hung up and called Geico and they offered me a nice 25% (or so) discount over my rate in NJ. I'd...
by sunny_socal
Tue Jul 31, 2018 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $8712/year for insurance (auto, home, rental) How to reduce?
Replies: 39
Views: 2660

Re: $8712/year for insurance (auto, home, rental) How to reduce?

Four vehicles is a lot. Reduce your number of vehicles. I could do that I guess. Vehicle1 = Wife Vehicle2 = Me (truck, for weekends) Vehicle3 = Me (sedan, commuter car) Vehicle4 = Teen son (wife's old car) I plan on keeping Vehicle3 for my other son who will start driving in a couple years. I haven...
by sunny_socal
Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $8712/year for insurance (auto, home, rental) How to reduce?
Replies: 39
Views: 2660

Re: $8712/year for insurance (auto, home, rental) How to reduce?

Called the insurance co and raised my deductibles, also removed comprehensive & collision on a couple older vehicles. Total annual bill is now $8k. Better than before, I suppose :| I do have a couple 'incidents' on my driving record that do not help the situation: - Cell phone ticket in 2014 that wa...
by sunny_socal
Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $8712/year for insurance (auto, home, rental) How to reduce?
Replies: 39
Views: 2660

Re: $8712/year for insurance (auto, home, rental) How to reduce?

We're in Austin. There are no tornadoes, forest fires or hurricanes here but people have told me that once in a while (every 20 years) there will be storm with hail the size of golf balls. (Up in Dallas that hail can be baseball size....) And planning on buying a house in Dripping Springs, 25 miles ...
by sunny_socal
Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $8712/year for insurance (auto, home, rental) How to reduce?
Replies: 39
Views: 2660

$8712/year for insurance (auto, home, rental) How to reduce?

So... I just moved from CA to TX. I understood from all my sources that "Living in TX is _much_ cheaper than Cali!" In my experience thus far the situation is actually quite the opposite. Gas is cheaper and there is no state tax, but practically everything else is either the same or more expensive. ...
by sunny_socal
Wed Jul 25, 2018 4:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where can I rent a Volvo?
Replies: 21
Views: 1649

Re: Where can I rent a Volvo?

I had the exact same question/problem as you last year, wanted to rent a new XC90.

Ended up finding a local dealer who let us have a car for the weekend. No fees or strings attached other than a 50-mile limit. We enjoyed the stress-free test time and ended up purchasing from that same dealer :beer
by sunny_socal
Wed Jul 25, 2018 4:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wire transfers from internet banks (CapOne 360)
Replies: 12
Views: 1272

Re: Wire transfers from internet banks (CapOne 360)

When I called CapOne they said indeed one could wire money to an Escrow company. I believe that will work. However I was trying to wire money to a Builder. They use a regular bank account. I had assumed that any earnest money or deposit would be held in an escrow account, but my builder won't put th...
by sunny_socal
Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do Honda Mowers Leave Un-cut Grass Strips? [YES, but...]
Replies: 95
Views: 47812

Re: Do Honda Mowers Leave Un-cut Grass Strips? [YES, but...]

I'll stick with the Toro 'personal pace' drive system: - Their mowers are very affordable - Good engines as well (B&S), very easy to start - The push/clutch system is effortless. Just... push! No handles to mess with I went with a 'high end' Husqvarna, hated it and took it back to Lowes. Honda doesn...
by sunny_socal
Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wire transfers from internet banks (CapOne 360)
Replies: 12
Views: 1272

Re: Wire transfers from internet banks (CapOne 360)

Tried to do a wire to myself and got this nasty message: You are not eligible to make a wire right now. You may be able to send money with a cashiers check, a transfer, or send money with Zelle. Or call us at 1-877-383-4802 for any help So lesson learned: Don't rely on CapOne 360 if you must make a ...
by sunny_socal
Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wire transfers from internet banks (CapOne 360)
Replies: 12
Views: 1272

Re: Wire transfers from internet banks (CapOne 360)

Capone 360 does wire transfers to escrow companies. I just did one a few months ago. There is a form on their website and as long as you submit it before a certain time (2 pm?) is guaranteed to go out that day. Worked great for me out of a MM account. Interesting, the FAQ explicitly says they don't...
by sunny_socal
Thu Jul 19, 2018 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 35 minute connection for flight, long enough?
Replies: 65
Views: 3641

Re: 35 minute connection for flight, long enough?

dm200 wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:38 pm
I have taken flights where they hold the departing flight when there are a number of arrivals coming in on the same airline.
Yeah, and I wouldn't want to be one of the passengers forced to wait. Everyone has their own connecting flights at the other end to worry about! :oops:
by sunny_socal
Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 35 minute connection for flight, long enough?
Replies: 65
Views: 3641

Re: 35 minute connection for flight, long enough?

Sounds great - if you can somehow teleport yourself to the next gate immediately upon landing. Not enough time in the real world.
by sunny_socal
Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Excel Spread sheets -mac or. Windows?
Replies: 21
Views: 1095

Re: Excel Spread sheets -mac or. Windows?

For what you're doing, either platform will work. No need to emulate Windows, just use the mac version if you already have it. (F2 key won't work however, you'll need to install some 3rd party apps to fix it.) And google sheets will work as well. I'm increasing relying on google sheets since I have ...
by sunny_socal
Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Making an offer on a 'new' home from builder
Replies: 10
Views: 1466

Making an offer on a 'new' home from builder

We're planning on building a new home: - It's not a full custom, but rather we pick a floorplan and add a few options (eg. another garage bay, back patio etc) - Builder pays for the house, there is no construction loan - On closing day we show up with the cash per our contract, we may pick any lende...
by sunny_socal
Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Families - What's your total annual credit card spend?
Replies: 92
Views: 6899

Re: Families - What's your total annual credit card spend?

On track to spend 100k this year, family of 4. Everything except our mortgage goes through a card (mostly the Alliant 2.5%) Expecting about $3k cash in credit card rewards this year between all my cards.
by sunny_socal
Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wire transfers from internet banks (CapOne 360)
Replies: 12
Views: 1272

Wire transfers from internet banks (CapOne 360)

I'm required to make a large transfer for a down payment on a house (~$110k.) The final transfer will occur when the deal closes and will likely be to an escrow account. The closing won't be for another 6 months since the house is a new build. My local credit union held the funds but I moved out of ...
by sunny_socal
Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Alliant 3/2.5% card - any experience?
Replies: 44
Views: 6380

Re: Alliant 3/2.5% card - any experience?

We just did a cross country move and put a lot of money through this card.

Cash back for the month: $453

Still loving it! :beer
by sunny_socal
Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New construction: financing fell through, builder won't return deposit/earnest $
Replies: 37
Views: 3476

Re: New construction: financing fell through, builder won't return deposit/earnest $

If I were in your shoes I would recognize that I signed a contract and did not perform and therefore forfeit the deposit. Ya, and give up 15k. Sure.... I"m shocked by a boglehead callousness for an agreement that someone signed in good faith. If the company had performed differently and not complet...
by sunny_socal
Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New construction: financing fell through, builder won't return deposit/earnest $
Replies: 37
Views: 3476

Re: New construction: financing fell through, builder won't return deposit/earnest $

Pajamas wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:39 pm
sunny_socal wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:05 pm
Since then we've seen that our existing home is not going to rent as expected
Why aren't you selling it instead?
In-laws still live in CA, we may wish to return at some point
by sunny_socal
Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New construction: financing fell through, builder won't return deposit/earnest $
Replies: 37
Views: 3476

New construction: financing fell through, builder won't return deposit/earnest $

Hi all, We moved to a new state and during our house hunting trip we signed a contract for a new construction home. It was 100% complete and ready for move in. We gave $1k in earnest money plus a $14k deposit. There was no home sale contingency but we verbally mentioned that we must rent out our exi...
by sunny_socal
Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Found an FSBO home for sale. How to avoid Realtor?
Replies: 42
Views: 3651

Re: Found an FSBO home for sale. How to avoid Realtor?

Updates : 1. I filled in the Zillow "I'm interested in this home" form and 5 minutes later a Realtor called me. (WTH!) Turns out various agents have paid to attach themselves to listings on Zillow regardless of how they are being sold (ie. through an agent or FSBO) This agent said he'd be expecting...
by sunny_socal
Thu Jun 07, 2018 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Found an FSBO home for sale. How to avoid Realtor?
Replies: 42
Views: 3651

Found an FSBO home for sale. How to avoid Realtor?

Hi all, I'm moving soon and will be shopping for a house this weekend. We have a couple days set aside with a realtor, everything has been arranged already in terms of when we'll meet. However we won't be meeting our realtor for another couple days, nothing has been signed. But now I found a house t...
by sunny_socal
Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc)
Replies: 266
Views: 18317

Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

TLDR My kids are "average" and we're "upper middle class." Don't expect to get a penny from anyone. Our plan is to put the kids into community college for a couple years followed by a state college for a couple more. If they want a MS they can get their first employer to pay for it and take classes ...
by sunny_socal
Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Using multiple real estate agents simultaneously
Replies: 9
Views: 821

Using multiple real estate agents simultaneously

We're making a long distance move and we're looking for a house. Is it possible to use multiple real estate agents? The agents we've found are clearly local experts for different parts of town. (Via MLS they can of course provide information on any house.) We have a trip scheduled for three days and...
by sunny_socal
Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Early termination of Cable + Internet
Replies: 10
Views: 1290

Re: Early termination of Cable + Internet

I'd pay the fee, then never get 'cable' again. Everything is available online these days and you'll save a ton of money.
by sunny_socal
Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for: Mortgage Broker in Austin TX
Replies: 1
Views: 234

Looking for: Mortgage Broker in Austin TX

Hello,

I'm looking for a mortgage broker in Austin TX. My relocation company has already provided several lenders but they are all with traditional Brick & Mortar banks (eg. Chase, Wells Fargo) and I know from experience they aren't very aggressive with rates compared to a broker.

Thanks
by sunny_socal
Wed May 30, 2018 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do you guys do on the side?
Replies: 299
Views: 30872

Re: The Side Hustle

I could quite easily do a 2nd job: engineering consultant. However I'd have a conflict of interest with my current employer. Furthermore all my ideas 'belong' to the current employer per the contract I signed when I joined. I'm not supposed to be working for someone else. I spend some of my weekend ...