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Amex Platinum Master Thread To sign up:

Consumer: http://www.dansdeals.com/go/Platinum5/

Business: http://www.dansdeals.com/go/BusinessPlat5/

If I apply now and get approved will I have to pay an annual fee for 2010 and 2011 or just for 2011?

Lastly (:)) if I got approved today for a AMEX SPG should I wait to apply for PLAT at all?

Thanks so much!

December 09, 2010, 03:17:10 PM
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Re: Consumer Advocate Attacks Credit Card/Points Blogs
I see many people here are extremely delusional about Dan and his site. I too benefit from it but I don't think for a second that Dan is in this for me. He's in it for himself, to make money. Frum yidden in general seem to have a very Utopian view of their dealings with other frum yidden, which explains why so many get scammed by their friends, neighbors, and community members. Whenever I see commnets on the site lauding Dan (like Dan's the Man) and gushing over him and all he does, I laugh at peoples' naivete.
-1 while what you are saying is true just because Dan makes money off of it is not a reason not to appreciate it and I am very thankful to Dan even though I know he does it to make an honest living

February 05, 2015, 12:41:41 PM
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Re: Elite Member Groups!
Any status for highest poster of the year? As the year is almost over I was looking around and I was blown away by David smith's  post per day count. I know he only joined this year but it's pretty impressive. (Could be there are others with higher ones but I didn't find any.)

My point is CONGRATULATIONS David to a great year Iy"h many more to come!

Post count per day (or period) is not something we want to be encouraging.

As always, quality > quantity except with $$$.

December 30, 2015, 03:31:18 PM
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Re: Elite Member Groups!
You can find "garbage" posts not in JS as well.
And you can find some quality posts in JS.

December 30, 2015, 03:45:40 PM
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Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)! Before I get into all the details of our trip that we took for mid-Winter break.  I just want to let you know that we were traveling with 3 kids from pre-school to middle school so I wanted somewhere where we could both relax and do excursions but at a low-key, non-stressful pace and in a comfortable environment that all my kids would enjoy.

With Panama, I basically found a place that has the ease of vacationing in Miami or Scottsdale but with the adventures you can get in the rainforest and beaches of Costa Rica and Brazil.  On United or Singapore it is also only 35k RT in Economy or 60K in J, with tons of flights out of NY, LA and other markets. Since there are no direct flights from where we live in Denver we booked the outbound through IAH and on the return we did a two night stopover in Cancun.  Because we knew we were going to Cancun we did not make the effort to visit some of the amazing beaches and islands they have in Panama, although I'll try to still provide info on them.

Ok here is it goes (and before I begin, thank you to @Yehuda for helping me with the pictures)...we arrived late on a Sunday and thanks to this AMAZING app called Kosher PTY we had awesome sushi and pasta waiting for us at our hotel!





The app is in spanish but a lot of the words are the same and y'all have google translate so you should be able to figure it out!  Also, they do NOT accept payment over the app, it is just for ordering so remember you need to be there at your delivery time (so you can't have food waiting at your hotel for you).

We stayed at the Hilton on Avenida Balboa, and I would HIGHLY recommend it!  Because hotels are so cheap, I actually decided not to waste any points and just paid for the room (Panama City would be a great place to spend less points by booking with your Sapphire Reserve although I will also have info later on one hotel that might be the best possible use of your Marriott 7 night cert in the whole system).  Since it cost less than two rooms, and I don't like being crammed with our kids into one room we booked an Executive Master Suite.  It was HUGE, over 1100sqft. with a full kitchen and 2 bathrooms.

Here are some pics:

Kitchen, Living and Dining Area




We had a huge bedroom and Master Bath and another full bathroom with shower although my pictures of those are loading her upside down so if someone wants to help me figure out how to post them correctly, I can add some pics of them too!  ;D


Most people don't know that Panama City has more skyscrapers than any city in Latin America (yep, more than Rio and Mexico City) and it has a truly stunning skyline...





The hotel lobby was also just gorgeous with stunning two story windows and views of the Pacific Ocean and Bay:



This is a picture take from our suite of the Waldorf Astoria, one block over (sorry it's showing landscape and not portrait).  You can see it is a row back so it doesn't have water views from most rooms or the pool.  The pool also looks really small.  Because of those reasons and also no breakfast or lounge, I decided to book instead at the Hilton and was very happy with my choice.  The Hilton, Waldorf Astoria, Le Meridian and InterContiental are all super close and in what I think is an excellent location.



Since it was a long day of outbound travel and we were there a full week, we decided to make the first day a lazy one.  That morning got up late and went to the Kosher Coffee Bean literally a block from the Hilton and enjoyed some awesome pastries and empanadas and they have beautiful salads and sandwiches too (and all those wrapped goods had a hecsher on each product, in addition to the teudah on the store). I have a picture from here but that one also is loading upside down so it's not included.


We then walked a few blocks more to the Multi-Centro Mall to the HUGE Deli K Supermarket.  My kids actually had fun picking out stuff from Israel and all over that we can't buy in Denver.  They also have a sit down meat and dairy restaurants (we did not order from those though).  For those of you that keep CY, they even had shelf stable CY milk.  We didn't do any overnight or extreme excursions while we were there but if you were you wouldn't have to bring anything from the US and I would pick up everything here.  I regretted packing any snacks as they really do have everything!



After our little shopping trip and laden down with bags we decided to take a cab the almost mile back to the hotel and it was a whopping two bucks and I didn't even have to bargain (try that in Israel or Cancun where you better be ready to battle the cab drivers over fares)!

We then headed down to the gorgeous Hilton Pool, it's on their 12th floor, with great views.




Hope you enjoyed the beginning of my TR, my apologies for newbie photo or other errors and hopefully more is coming soon!

March 15, 2017, 01:52:28 PM
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Rental market implosion in Lakewood- implications There are currently hundreds of rental apartments looking for tenants in Lakewood. Basement rental apartments have been particularly hard hit. There are dozens of units that have been vacant for more than six months, and some that haven't had a tenant in close to a year. Some homeowners have given up and have stopped advertising their vacant units. Consequently, rental prices have crashed to levels not seen since the 1990's. Three bedroom apartments with central air, high end kitchens etc. can be had for under $700 a month in some developements. The crash is filtering down to townhouses as well, where prices have dropped substantially.

For several years the demand for rentals outpaced supply, and rental prices rose to the point where the rental of a townhouse and basement apartment would fully cover the mortgage and taxes plus a hefty profit. Many homes were built with two rental apartments and investors bought homes by the dozen to turn into rentals. Low interest rates help fuel the building boom.

The supply of rentals began to outpace demand, yet hundreds of homes were in the approval/ construction phase and were completed adding to the oversupplied market. At this point, despite the massive oversupply of rental units, there are still hundreds of additional units being built including large scale apartment buildings, and even more in the pipeline in various stages of the approval process. It isn't always feasible to pull the plug on a project that is underway, even though the fundamentals have changed. Eventually the market will balance itself out as the natural population growth helps absorb the excess supply, but judging by the units in the pipeline, things are likely to get much worse before they get better..

What are the implications of the rental implosion?
The most obvious will be the impact on the home construction/ real estate market. With the rental income potential drastically lower and the financial incentive in place to rent there will obviously be an impact on demand and consequently prices. The Toms River and Jackson markets stand to gain in the short term since most homes there do not have a rental basement making their lower price point more attractive than a higher priced home in Lakewood with a rental.

Will there be even more young couples moving to Lakewood to take advantage of rental prices that are a fraction of what they will find in almost any other market?

Will it be easier for parent to promise support for young couples since they will be spending thousands less on rent each year?

What are some of the other potential implications? Thoughts?


May 01, 2017, 07:41:30 PM
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Re: Rental market implosion in Lakewood- implications
How much is the mortgage on the same townhouse? In some markets your monthly mortgage bill (after 20% down) is less than rent on the same property.

If renting, I'm not building equity and my rent might go up if the market tightens.
rental income for full townhouse should be min. $1600 and for basement Min. $800    should almost cover a mortgage if someone put down 20%.

and a side note is that people need real lessons in finance to explain that you can't buy a house with an assumption that you will have a basement renter for 12 months out of a year.  way to many people make that mistake and get into problems...

May 02, 2017, 10:16:46 AM
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Re: Rental market implosion in Lakewood- implications
and a side note is that people need real lessons in finance to explain that you can't buy a house with an assumption that you will have a basement renter for 12 months out of a year.  way to many people make that mistake and get into problems...
Many basement rentals in Lakewood are 3 BR apartments, not 1 BR dumps. They're suitable for young families, not just newlyweds. It's not so unreasonable to expect a degree of stability once you have a tenant.

May 02, 2017, 10:24:58 AM
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Re: Rental market implosion in Lakewood- implications
rental income for full townhouse should be min. $1600 and for basement Min. $800    should almost cover a mortgage if someone put down 20%.

and a side note is that people need real lessons in finance to explain that you can't buy a house with an assumption that you will have a basement renter for 12 months out of a year.  way to many people make that mistake and get into problems...
A year ago it was a given and all the agents were selling high ticketed houses with that sales pitch.

May 02, 2017, 10:37:14 AM
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Re: Rental market implosion in Lakewood- implications
At best the mortgage payment would be a wash even after factoring in equity, more likely a losing proposition vs renting. As far as the fear of being squeezed down the road by rising rent prices, rent prices are almost certain to rise but that would only factor in to your rent vs buy calculation if you think house prices will be rising as well. If you think the market is softening (which in all likelihood it is) then it makes sense to take advantage of the low rent prices now, and then buy when rent prices start to go up....
+1

From an economic perspective, the average Lakewood family living on a budget should definitely be renting at this time.

Iv run the numbers, it makes zero economic sense to purchase new construction now...

May 02, 2017, 12:38:40 PM
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