Home & Leisure



Riding into a Hidden Hills retreat

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- Actor John Stamos has joined the likes of Britney Spears, Drake and the Kardashians in Hidden Hills, where he has purchased an equestrian estate for $5.75 million.

Set on 1.5 acres, the Cape Cod-inspired traditional residence is markedly different from the rustic Country French-style house the "Full House" star is currently ...Read more

High cost of housing cuts into food, utilities study says

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

More than a third of Americans have been forced to cut spending on essential items like food and utilities to afford housing, according to a Freddie Mac study.

About 42% of renters and 33% of homeowners have had to reduce the money spent on essentials to cover the cost of housing during the prior two years, the report said. Overall, 62% of ...Read more

Land values in these two states are growing faster than in California

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Across the country, the price of land occupied by single-family homes ticked up from 2012 to 2017. But despite soaring housing costs in California, the Golden State didn't rise to the top of the list.

According to a recent report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, both Nevada and Colorado actually outpaced ...Read more

Here's How: Remove Old Peeling Sealer From Deck

Consumer / Here's How /

Dear James: I used a dark deck sealer several years ago. It looked good for the first year or two, but now it is peeling off in areas. What is the best way to fix the bare areas and stop further peeling? -- Roger M.

Dear Roger: The attractive dark sealer you applied a couple of years ago functions more like a coat of paint than a sealing stain....Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 5 Reasons You'll Quickly Regret Raiding a Retirement Account

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I know it's hard. I know you're desperate. You're stressed and losing sleep. Things are tough. You have to do something, and soon. But whatever you do, don't touch your retirement account. Don't borrow against it. Don't withdraw from it. Just leave it alone.

What's so bad about liquidating a retirement account? Here are five reasons you'll ...Read more

Marijuana stores on Chicago's Mag Mile? Cannabis companies aim to redefine 'high street' retail

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

CHICAGO -- Cannabis companies are eyeing sites on some of the priciest retail streets in Chicago, including the Magnificent Mile, as they get ready to sell recreational marijuana in Illinois.

Dispensaries have opened in marquee retail spots around the country -- like Fifth Avenue in New York and a mile from the Las Vegas strip. Chicago's turn ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Get Rid of Bugs and Crawling Insects Fast and Easy Without Poisons

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Got creepy bugs and crawling insects like ants, centipedes, cockroaches, silverfish or bedbugs trying to take over your home or garden? Need to know how to get rid of them? Don't call an exterminator quite yet. I'm confident this is a problem you can fix yourself with diatomaceous earth -- cheaper and faster!


If you want to treat...Read more

Vanguard investors jolted with wrong prices from stock markets

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

As investment values slipped again Monday -- with U.S. stocks down, and bond yields also off on China trade war fears -- Vanguard Group investors got an extra jolt when the Malvern, Pa. company showed some of its popular funds falling much farther.

Vanguard, which invests more than $5 trillion in clients' money in mutual funds and exchange-...Read more

Amid housing crisis, Culver City is the latest town to cap rents

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Culver City approved a temporary rent control measure early Tuesday morning, joining a handful of other Southern California cities that have boosted tenant protections as the state grapples with an affordability crisis.

In a 4 to 1 vote that followed a five-hour discussion, the city council capped annual increases to 3% in buildings built on or...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 14 Things You Need to Know About How to Use Your Garbage Disposal

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I would like to personally thank the late John W. Hammes, an architect working in Racine, Wisconsin, who in 1927 invented the garbage disposal. What a brilliant idea. Is there anything more convenient in a kitchen than a garbage disposal? For me, it's right up there with my dishwasher.

I've learned the hard way that a garbage disposal is not a ...Read more

Apartment owners race to add luxury amenities

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Competition for tenants who can pay top rents has grown so fierce that landlords are loading up their new buildings with goodies unheard of in years past when a swimming pool and laundry room were considered ample enticements for renters.

In a new downtown Los Angeles apartment complex, residents could be found on a recent hot Friday afternoon ...Read more

The Journey: The financial complications of getting married later in life

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Whether due to gray divorce or early widowhood, retirement planning increasingly needs to include a new partner. And often, it couldn't come at a trickier time.

Remarriage rates among those 55 and older increased by 15 percentage points between 1960 and 2013, according to Pew Research Center. And during the period from the mid-1990s to early in...Read more

Susan Tompor: Social Security sent out some wrong estimates. What you need to know

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Who would imagine that you could get a wrong estimate of your Social Security benefits from -- guess who -- the Social Security Administration?

The story is yet another reminder about how you need to double-check your numbers, take a hard look at what you're being told and keep good records of previous Social Security statements.

In an odd ...Read more

Sluggish housing market could add up to less remodeling business in 2020

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

A contractor not returning your calls? Consider calling next year.

Remodelers are having one of their busiest summers ever, but that's likely to change.

The annual gain in home-improvement spending is expected to fall by as much as half in many major real estate markets by the end of this year, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 7 Simple Secrets to Make Jeans Last Longer

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Finally, you found the perfect pair of jeans. They fit great and feel fantastic. Basically, you want them to last forever, but that's not going to happen. In fact, just the opposite is what I'm hearing from my readers: These days, jeans seem to rip and fall apart long before their time. This problem sent me in search of a solution to make jeans ...Read more

House Calls: More Reader Comments on Home Staging

Consumer / Edith Lank /

Readers are still sending in comments about the rant from a seller who resented trying to live in her professionally staged home while it was on the market. Some sellers agree, but say that staging is worth the discomfort. Some sellers disagree. And at least one reader evidently misread the letter.

Resenting 'Nasty' Answer

Ms. Lank: How...Read more

Art of Design: Cottage Style

Consumer / Art of Design /

Cottages -- it seems they never go out of style. The simple, warm-the-heart rustic decoration of cottages has a lot of followers in the interior design world. And it's logical, thanks to the warmth of the wood and the elegance of the stone. It is a style that transports us to a simpler way of life, a world already past that many of us long for. ...Read more

California home builders are pulling back, deflating hopes for housing relief

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Home builders are pulling back from new construction, the opposite of what economists say is needed to ease California's housing affordability crisis.

In the first six months of 2019, builders gained approval for 51,178 new homes in California, nearly 20% fewer than the same period a year earlier. That puts the state on track for the first ...Read more

Hot Property: Down to earth for 'Friends' star Matthew Perry

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- He's come a long way from Chandler Bing's modest New York apartment.

Actor Matthew Perry, who played the character on the beloved sitcom "Friends" for 10 seasons, has put his penthouse at the Century building in Century City on the market for $35 million.

The roughly 9,300-square-foot residence, dubbed the "Mansion in the Sky," ...Read more

Most expensive homes to sell so far in 2019 in San Diego area

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

SAN DIEGO -- It might be hard to tell with these prices, but the luxury market across the United States has actually seen prices go down in many places.

Experts point to changes in the tax law that limit deductions and a major slowdown in foreign buyers as the main reasons for fewer high-end sales.

As it has for the past several years, ...Read more


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