Search found 208 matches

by Quercus Palustris
Sun Mar 28, 2021 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard vs Fidelity vs M1
Replies: 47
Views: 4236

Re: Vanguard vs Fidelity vs M1

I previously used M1, and liked them a lot. Had a quick response by email to customer service when I had a question, and they quickly fixed a bug in their ETF info screen (this was quite a while back, something was displaying wrong for the SSGA/SPDR ETFs). I found it easy to use, and as someone who ...
by Quercus Palustris
Wed Mar 24, 2021 6:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retention of Government Employee E-mails
Replies: 23
Views: 1787

Re: Retention of Government Employee E-mails

If they're too lazy to bother for me or even admit it might be possible to recover the emails, I'm extremely skeptical they would recover the emails over a mere FOIA request. Now, if the FBI was conducting a criminal investigation, it might be different. Incompetent or not, they're the IT I have at...
by Quercus Palustris
Wed Mar 24, 2021 5:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whole house humidifier recommendations
Replies: 14
Views: 852

Re: Whole house humidifier recommendations

Hate to say it, but 14 years might be a pretty good run for any HVAC equipment! Aprilaire is probably the most well known humidifier maker. Honeywell would be another option. I've not used a steam one, but I think most any can be set up to be controlled by ecobee. When we moved in we had a Skuttle b...
by Quercus Palustris
Wed Mar 24, 2021 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engineering - Umich (OOS) - Uva (InState)
Replies: 74
Views: 2927

Re: Engineering - Umich (OOS) - Uva (InState)

Speaking for CS, an undergrad degree is, as someone above posted, essentially a "license to work". In my experience hiring developers, I honestly gave no weight to where they got their degree vs. work experience and the interview process. Sure, there's top tier schools for CS, but those wo...
by Quercus Palustris
Wed Mar 24, 2021 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House inspection report
Replies: 22
Views: 2376

Re: House inspection report

That's plausible, incorrect insulation and damp air could do that. Maybe ask if they still have a copy of the work order or something showing that the work to fix it was done? Only say that because our homeowner's insurance (Amica) asked for a copy of the inspector's report and they had a few questi...
by Quercus Palustris
Wed Mar 24, 2021 2:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Baylor, Auburn or ‘Bama?
Replies: 73
Views: 5238

Re: Baylor, Auburn or ‘Bama?

None of those schools are known for their NCAA tournament appearances. You yourself said you prefer professional sports. Auburn and Alabama are feeder schools to most of the pro leagues (not sure about NHL) so even if you ONLY paid attention to professional sports you would have heard of them. The ...
by Quercus Palustris
Wed Mar 24, 2021 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Baylor, Auburn or ‘Bama?
Replies: 73
Views: 5238

Re: Baylor, Auburn or ‘Bama?

I find it really difficult to believe you've never heard of any of those universities. Almost everybody would know of Alabama just based on football, even if they didn't watch football. It's a big part of pop culture. In the US it probably is as well known as Harvard. The poster said that implicitl...
by Quercus Palustris
Wed Mar 24, 2021 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tales from this insane real estate market
Replies: 420
Views: 51142

Re: Tales from this insane real estate market

Interesting to hear lenders are being more strict about throwing money around. Our loan agent has reached out twice asking if we want to refi, and it's barely been a year. I guess 3.6% is criminally high and I should have a bad case of FOMO? Depending on your LTV and all that, you should still be a...
by Quercus Palustris
Wed Mar 24, 2021 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tales from this insane real estate market
Replies: 420
Views: 51142

Re: Tales from this insane real estate market

Oy vey, I hear ya. We bought in Vienna (not the town, more like Dunn Loring), VA late 2019 for ~$730K. I felt like we paid too much for a 1960s home that has quite a few unlicensed / barely professional updates that we've been throwing money at remediating. Zillow's ever-optimistic estimate now puts...
by Quercus Palustris
Wed Mar 24, 2021 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Baylor, Auburn or ‘Bama?
Replies: 73
Views: 5238

Re: Baylor, Auburn or ‘Bama?

They are pretty well known schools. I can't recall ever meeting anyone who has never heard of any of them, and I've lived all over the country including both coasts. Although sports successes have probably been at the forefront of public awareness for each school, it's not like they are terrible ac...
by Quercus Palustris
Sat Mar 06, 2021 9:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smart thermostat
Replies: 15
Views: 973

Re: Smart thermostat

I've installed ecobee at our current house and the last. It helped a lot having room sensors, as the second floor would always be hotter - the ecobee (downstairs) can be set to only take bedroom temperature into account at night, for instance. Back before covid mandated telework, being able to adjus...
by Quercus Palustris
Sat Mar 06, 2021 9:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Daughter taking a Job in DC - where to live?
Replies: 111
Views: 7143

Re: Daughter taking a Job in DC - where to live?

I grew up in Silver Spring, moved all over the country, and lived there again until two years ago, and commuted by bus + metro to Judiciary Square before we left. Very easy, no stampeding herd metro transfers was a plus. When metro was down for long term track work, you can also take the MARC (commu...
by Quercus Palustris
Fri Jan 29, 2021 2:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [GameStop GME trading mega-thread]
Replies: 4549
Views: 228194

Re: [GameStop GME trading mega-thread]

What came of the "big announcement" one of the hedge funds (Citron?) was going to make this morning? Someone upthread posted something about it happening this morning.
by Quercus Palustris
Thu Jan 28, 2021 1:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [GameStop GME trading mega-thread]
Replies: 4549
Views: 228194

Re: GameStop GME: anyone joining?

Not sure a lot of the WSB/GME buyers are using M1, since that platform is more geared to buy/hold than rapid fire buying and selling, but they have the following notice posted: Our clearing firm, Apex Clearing, is not allowing purchases of the following securities: • GME: GameStop • AMC: AMC Enterta...
by Quercus Palustris
Sun Jan 10, 2021 11:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: didn't there used to be a "Convert" button?
Replies: 10
Views: 1209

Re: didn't there used to be a "Convert" button?

This is consistent with my experience. Lots of different paths but you need to get on the old user interface screen with small font to get the “convert to Roth” link. The route I stumbled into was to start an exchange on the new user interface and then cancel it. This brings up the old interface wh...
by Quercus Palustris
Sat Jan 09, 2021 12:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: didn't there used to be a "Convert" button?
Replies: 10
Views: 1209

Re: didn't there used to be a "Convert" button?

It's still there, but only on the "old" accounts screen. VG had an awful UI and I'd say it's been upgraded to "awful, and frequently confusing". If you go to Accounts / Balances from the top menu, you'll land on the old page and there's a "Convert to Roth" link above my...
by Quercus Palustris
Thu Jan 07, 2021 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard IRA --> Fidelity 401k --> BrokerageLink - Questions
Replies: 1
Views: 304

Re: Vanguard IRA --> Fidelity 401k --> BrokerageLink - Questions

I too have low cost S&P500+mid/small+int'l in 401k and BrokerageLink to Fidelity. I like it a lot. #1: only thing close to a gotcha is it takes a day for 401k/BL transfers, so if I'm rebalancing (or moving money) it can be a multi day affair. (eg, day 1 sell in 401k plan, day 2 buy orders in BL,...
by Quercus Palustris
Tue Jan 05, 2021 8:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC Replacement - Bay Area
Replies: 35
Views: 2005

Re: HVAC Replacement - Bay Area

Bryant's a fine brand, their models are equivalent to Carrier, just in a tan case instead of gray and the Bryant badge put on. Carrier's "low end" is the ICP brands (Heil, and some other regional ones). They don't spend money advertising Bryant like they do Carrier. We're in the northern V...
by Quercus Palustris
Thu Dec 31, 2020 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogleheads Cell Phone?
Replies: 78
Views: 5416

Re: Bogleheads Cell Phone?

I just got a Google Pixel 4a - $350. It's not yuuuge (my gripe with 1+), the screen is a gorgeous OLED, excellent camera, and 3 years of security updates (and generally the quickest ones in Android land). It's not the "fastest" phone CPU-wise, but my last phone was a high end Sony I kept f...
by Quercus Palustris
Mon Dec 21, 2020 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is the Worst Financial Decision/Mistake You Have Made?
Replies: 230
Views: 18484

Re: What is the Worst Financial Decision/Mistake You Have Made?

Out of college, barely contributed to 401k. Like, not even to the full match %, leaving free money on the table. The reason? College & credit card debt, how could I be putting that money away without first getting out of debt? Of course all the while spending $ on going out, travel, etc. and not...
by Quercus Palustris
Mon Nov 02, 2020 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Furnace Filters
Replies: 50
Views: 3795

Re: Furnace Filters

FilterBuy MERV 8. Amazon also sells them. Tried MERV 11 at last house, furnace wasn't happy and tripped the limit switch even with new filters. Common issue to watch for with 1" filters. I know the primary function of the filters is to protect the air handler / fan, but for some reason whenever...
by Quercus Palustris
Sat Sep 05, 2020 8:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is PenFed good at?
Replies: 77
Views: 6003

Re: What is PenFed good at?

We use it for the no fee, no foreign transaction fee, flat rate 2% cash back card. Also convenience of where the branch is.

I believe they also offer medallion signature (is that the right term?) service, the finding of which seems to be a perennial subject on Bogleheads.
by Quercus Palustris
Wed Sep 02, 2020 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Insulation and air sealing quote - does this seem reasonable?
Replies: 18
Views: 1279

Re: Insulation and air sealing quote - does this seem reasonable?

That seems like a good ballpark figure, could you get another quote if you're uncertain? We paid about $5500 in northern VA to have old attic insulation removed and replaced with blown in cellulose (to R-49), attic sealing, baffles, and tons of covers for all the recessed lights we have. The work di...
by Quercus Palustris
Fri Aug 28, 2020 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lead paint and house offer accepted
Replies: 47
Views: 3657

Re: Lead paint and house offer accepted

I grew up in a house from the 1940s, lead (and asbestos!) all over - the outside paint, enamel paint on the radiators, the folks I sold it to after settling the estate tested and even found it on the glazing of the bath tub. I didn't know about that one, but I guess it can be a concern if you think ...
by Quercus Palustris
Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Ting messing with us?
Replies: 23
Views: 2234

Re: Is Ting messing with us?

I've had better luck with them than you, sorry to hear it's going so poorly. Coverage here in the DC area has been fine for me, I've used them with a Sprint/CDMA phone and now a T-Mobile/GSM SIM and reception is OK, general T-Mobile network problems notwithstanding. Not had any weird stuff show up o...
by Quercus Palustris
Thu Aug 13, 2020 8:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Products that last forever
Replies: 239
Views: 16659

Re: Products that last forever

Pyrex glass measuring cups. Some of mine also go back to the 1970s. Be aware that the Pyrex brand name was sold and the formula for the glass was changed in the 1990's so that the older Pyrex is a lot better than the stuff that is sold today. If you need to differentiate, the pre-sale, original PYR...
by Quercus Palustris
Thu Aug 13, 2020 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Products that last forever
Replies: 239
Views: 16659

Re: Products that last forever

The American Standard boiler at my late parents house that used hot water radiators. I think it dated from the 1960s, used heavily every winter. Don't think anyone did any maintenance on it other than every few years draining and flushing the water in the system. Dad had an HVAC tech check out the b...
by Quercus Palustris
Fri Aug 07, 2020 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grass seed brand recommendation
Replies: 8
Views: 857

Re: Grass seed brand recommendation

Central Sod Farms up in Maryland also sells their seed, you can get a 50lb bag of tall fescue (and it's 100% seed by weight, vs the Scotts/Pennington which is usually 50% fertilizer and antifungal coatings).

https://www.plantsod.com/lawn-care/seed.html
by Quercus Palustris
Thu Aug 06, 2020 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anyone use Ting Internet or mobile?
Replies: 8
Views: 1000

Re: Does anyone use Ting Internet or mobile?

Another +1 on ting mobile. I'm currently using them w/ a SIM for the T-mobile network, previously used a Sprint phone with them. Been very happy, good customer service (at least a few years ago I got straight through to a person and got help) when I've needed it. I don't use much data outside the ho...
by Quercus Palustris
Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I purchase a whole house generator?
Replies: 321
Views: 17878

Re: Should I purchase a whole house generator?

Are you more concerned about the cost of replacing the meds if the fridge fails or is the problem that your wife would then be without her possibly immediately-needed meds until they could be replaced? Those might be two different potential problems, with one having a more critical need than the ot...
by Quercus Palustris
Thu Aug 06, 2020 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I purchase a whole house generator?
Replies: 321
Views: 17878

Re: Should I purchase a whole house generator?

What's got us considering getting a generator (I'm leaning towards a portable inverter model + plug/cutoff to run the gas furnace blower in winter) is DW has some very expensive, very not-covered-by-insurance medications that have to remain in the fridge. They might be ok for a while in a cooler wi...
by Quercus Palustris
Thu Aug 06, 2020 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I purchase a whole house generator?
Replies: 321
Views: 17878

Re: Should I purchase a whole house generator?

For those with NG service and municipal water, hot water supply is typically not effected by a power outage. I have a relatively small portable generator and extension cords that I maintain as a very low cost backup plan. In an extended warm weather outage, I power lights and internet as well as my...
by Quercus Palustris
Thu Aug 06, 2020 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I purchase a whole house generator?
Replies: 321
Views: 17878

Re: Should I purchase a whole house generator?

A refrigerator full of food can be replaced for a few hundred dollars, if that. Food in a freezer should keep at least a day, and probably two or more if it is wintertime and the house is cool. What's got us considering getting a generator (I'm leaning towards a portable inverter model + plug/cutof...
by Quercus Palustris
Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I purchase a whole house generator?
Replies: 321
Views: 17878

Re: Should I purchase a whole house generator?

Our next door neighbor has a whole house natural gas Generac, with automatic switch over. It will run the AC and I think heat pump, as well as lights etc. One point against DIY - he mentioned that in order to fuel the generator and their gas appliances, their gas line needed to be upsized. All said...
by Quercus Palustris
Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I purchase a whole house generator?
Replies: 321
Views: 17878

Re: Should I purchase a whole house generator?

Our next door neighbor has a whole house natural gas Generac, with automatic switch over. It will run the AC and I think heat pump, as well as lights etc. One point against DIY - he mentioned that in order to fuel the generator and their gas appliances, their gas line needed to be upsized. All said,...
by Quercus Palustris
Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Best Non-Fidelity HSA for Investing?
Replies: 5
Views: 516

Re: Best Non-Fidelity HSA for Investing?

I use Lively. They were fee free before Fidelity got into the HSA game and have a pretty nice website and good help documentation. The downside for some might be that they use TDAmeritrade as their brokerage - ETFs are free to trade, but their selection of load/fee free mutual funds is much more lim...
by Quercus Palustris
Sat Aug 01, 2020 10:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: best mesh wifi system on the market?
Replies: 53
Views: 4505

Re: best mesh wifi system on the market?

Anyone using Unifi equipment? Considering adding a dream machine and a couple of access points. Yes, Unifi is great if you are a techie and like to be able to configure your system exactly the way you want. Eg: different settings on different access points. The Wifi 6 access points are still in &qu...
by Quercus Palustris
Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: QuickSilver 1.5% back from CapOne - Anyone Using This?
Replies: 25
Views: 1695

Re: QuickSilver 1.5% back from CapOne - Anyone Using This?

I've had one for a few years now, they offered and I converted my normal, no benefits card into Quicksilver one day. Don't use it anymore as the PenFed 2% cash back card has all the same features (no annual fee, no foreign transaction fee, usual Visa Signature benefits), but I keep the QS as a backu...
by Quercus Palustris
Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unsuccessful Savings Bond Purchase with 2019 Tax Refund
Replies: 15
Views: 2384

Re: Unsuccessful Savings Bond Purchase with 2019 Tax Refund

... Happened to us for our 2018 taxes. Did a payment to get the refund over $5000, filed by paper (thanks FreeTaxUSA :annoyed), thought I did the form 8888 correctly... Got a check from IRS for full amount, I think there was a note about a problem processing our refund form. Didn't try this year :c...
by Quercus Palustris
Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unsuccessful Savings Bond Purchase with 2019 Tax Refund
Replies: 15
Views: 2384

Re: Unsuccessful Savings Bond Purchase with 2019 Tax Refund

Happened to us for our 2018 taxes. Did a payment to get the refund over $5000, filed by paper (thanks FreeTaxUSA :annoyed), thought I did the form 8888 correctly... Got a check from IRS for full amount, I think there was a note about a problem processing our refund form. Didn't try this year :confused
by Quercus Palustris
Sat Jul 25, 2020 12:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Backyard BBQ - easy
Replies: 42
Views: 3951

Re: Backyard BBQ - easy

Our only grill is a charcoal Weber smokey joe gold, probably close to 30 years old. It's fine for two people, Weber makes a smaller chimney starter too as it doesn't need an enormous amount of coals. Spare grates are cheap on Amazon, too. Do yourself a favor though, don't get the gold model like us....
by Quercus Palustris
Thu Jul 23, 2020 11:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mosquitos! Mosquitos! Mosquitos!
Replies: 124
Views: 9535

Re: Mosquitos! Mosquitos! Mosquitos!

Where did you move from, this place without mosquitos? Marylander1 I grew up in MD so I get your surprise :sharebeer I lived a while in Oakland, CA - and our 2nd floor apartment had no screens. I was worried... turns out, for no reason. Mild summers and seemingly no flying bugs. Didn't need AC eith...
by Quercus Palustris
Thu Jul 23, 2020 10:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Getting homeowner's insurance for new house - they want a copy of inspection report
Replies: 21
Views: 1903

Re: Getting homeowner's insurance for new house - they want a copy of inspection report

We've had Amica HO insurance at our current and last house, they requested the inspection report both times but AFAIK never sent anyone for an in-person; maybe this is their SOP when insurance is issued on a house at purchase? For the current house they asked for some receipts to verify some electri...
by Quercus Palustris
Thu Jul 23, 2020 1:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who's tested for Radon? Who's mitigated?
Replies: 29
Views: 2023

Re: Who's tested for Radon? Who's mitigated?

Tested two houses ourselves when we sold (required by county in MD). 1942 house's unfinished basement was so leaky it was negligible, the other house was about 2.x pCi/L, mitigation is required at 4 or greater. Current house in VA was tested by our home inspector, also in 2.x range. If we update the...
by Quercus Palustris
Thu Jul 23, 2020 1:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mosquitos! Mosquitos! Mosquitos!
Replies: 124
Views: 9535

Re: Mosquitos! Mosquitos! Mosquitos!

It's an indirect method, but I put out a birdbath with a BTI dunk in it. It's a bacteria that's toxic to mosquito larva, killing any that spawn in the water, but they're not toxic to birds or mammals. The thinking is to interrupt the life cycle. But as others said, make sure there's no other, untrea...
by Quercus Palustris
Mon Jul 20, 2020 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Duct Cleaning- Your Thoughts
Replies: 37
Views: 2354

Re: Duct Cleaning- Your Thoughts

Had it done when we moved in (+ dryer vent). House has floor vents and a few floor returns (wtf), and previous owners were not only bad at cleaning, had pets, they also had an inappropriate filter in the furnace (it was too big, didn't seal, so wasn't filtering at all). Had HVAC guy clean the coil a...
by Quercus Palustris
Thu Jul 16, 2020 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advise required on Dehumidifier for unfinished basement
Replies: 32
Views: 1395

Re: Advise required on Dehumidifier for unfinished basement

Back many years ago, I had an unfinished basement that was consistently damp. The dehumidifier ran almost full time, especially in the summer. I ended up coating the cinder block walls with some type of sealer that was advertised as a vapor barrier. After applying 2 coats, the basement was much les...
by Quercus Palustris
Thu Jul 09, 2020 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bradford White vs Rheem Gas Water Heater
Replies: 42
Views: 5722

Re: Bradford White vs Rheem Gas Water Heater

jaxxmjd wrote: Thu Jul 09, 2020 8:07 am There are segmented rods with integrated hot water discharge ports for BWs.
Well knock me down with a kipper! Thank you:
https://www.supplyhouse.com/Water-Heate ... 4-sections
by Quercus Palustris
Wed Jul 08, 2020 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google voice is dropping calls. Anyone else?
Replies: 11
Views: 1240

Re: Google voice is dropping calls. Anyone else?

I used my GV on two outgoing calls today without issue - spent about 10min listening to hold music on one of them, the other was shorter. Maybe it's just incoming calls? I don't have any ideas for troubleshooting unfortunately.
by Quercus Palustris
Tue Jul 07, 2020 10:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Truck Rental Alternative Vendors?
Replies: 7
Views: 608

Re: Truck Rental Alternative Vendors?

I used Budget truck rental, but it was quite some time ago.