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Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Biden wants more housing units as Hill Democrats urge rental aid

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

As lawmakers work their way through infrastructure proposals and appropriations bills, Democrats are confronted with a gap between President Joe Biden and members of Congress over how to address what both see as a big shortage of affordable housing.

The lines between the two aren’t always clear, but the president is broadly using the ...Read more

Alan Budman/TNS

Real estate Q&A: What can homeowners do when the HOA board isn't doing its job?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: Our association’s board of directors is not doing their job. Overgrown landscaping, boats and inoperable vehicles in driveways, and houses that need painting are among the many problems in our community. What can a homeowner do when their board and management company are ineffective? — Margaret

A: The board of directors of your community...Read more

Michael Vi/TNS

Renters search for more space as COVID leaves them working at home

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Many renters are ramping up their searches for bigger places after COVID-19 forced them to work more than a year at home.

Although workers are gradually returning to their regular offices this summer, many are still being allowed to work at home full time or for portions of their workweeks.

Since the pandemic struck down the economy in March ...Read more

Steve Ringman/TNS

Seattle struck a 'grand bargain' on housing. Initial results are coming into view

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The "grand bargain" that Seattle politicians and developers struck for larger buildings and affordable housing is starting to yield some results.

Under the new Mandatory Housing Affordability program formulated in 2015, the city agreed to relax zoning restrictions in more than two dozen neighborhood hubs while requiring developers in those ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 7 Ways to Get Rid of Flies in the House

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Flies are a nearly unavoidable nuisance in most homes, especially during the warmer months of the year. Annoying for sure, but more than just pesky, houseflies (Musca domestica) can carry and transmit disease and cause illness. Consider these seven simple ways to banish these pests from the house and keep them out for good.

BLOCK THE ENTRANCES ...Read more

agshotime/E+/TNS

Susan Tompor: IRS issues new batch of 1.5 million unemployment refunds

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Another round of extra tax refund cash began hitting bank accounts Wednesday as the Internal Revenue Service sent money to taxpayers in the middle of an abrupt change in the rules relating to jobless benefits.

About 1.5 million people received an average of $1,686 this week after the IRS adjusted its federal income tax returns. Refunds by paper...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Upsize a Cake Mix That's Too Small for the Recipe

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

In my kitchen, I have a small collection of cookbooks which I consider prized possessions. One of them, the classic Betty Crocker Cookbook, was a wedding gift and, trust me, it's seen more than its share of splatters and dog-eared and ripped pages. And I wouldn't part with it for anything.

Another features 100 things to do with an ordinary cake...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Growing my first pot plant was easy -- until it was time to smoke it

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES — For almost as long as I've known about the cannabis plant, I've wanted to grow my own weed. This is partly because I like everything about it; not just the psychoactive effect of combusting and inhaling it, but also the way it looks, from the slender serrated fan leaves to the densely packed flowers shimmering with a crystal-like...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Incredibly Simple Travel Tips to Take Stress Out of Flying

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Flying is back. More people boarded commercial planes in the U.S. this past Thursday than the comparable same pre-pandemic day in 2019. The Transportation Security Administration reported that 2,147,090 travelers passed through its security checkpoints, a good indicator for what's to come over the next few months. If you plan to travel by air ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Carla Fried: Out-of-pocket -- the healthcare number you need to know

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Beyond premiums and deductibles, a bigger potential expense

You know what your household spends each month for your health insurance premium. And you likely know how much you need to kick in — your annual deductible — to cover medical bills before insurance starts actually covering things.

But what about your maximum annual out-of-pocket ...Read more

Social Graces: How to address a friend who keeps bringing up your past

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: Your friend keeps embarrassing you in social circles by bringing up things you did in the past for laughs. How do you gracefully put a stop to it?

A: This is a great question because I have experienced this issue firsthand. A friend has done it to me for years. My usual response is to smile and try to laugh off whatever tale she is ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Help! My White Leather Couch Reeks of Smoke

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Dear Mary: I found a great deal on a gorgeous couch at an estate sale. It is upholstered in white leather and appears to be new -- as if no one has ever sat on it. Priced at $100, you can be sure that I grabbed it up fast and brought it home.

I put it in the garage. Then it hit me -- the reeking smell of old, nasty cigarette smoke. Once I ...Read more

Art of Design: Curating Your Collection

Consumer / Art of Design /

My first collection or attempt at displaying items as a child was boxes. Made of any material: cardboard, wood or plastic, I would organizes them by sizes and stack them in all sorts of arrangements. Now that I think of it, this was probably my first foray into architecture and interior design.

Accessorizing is one of the most fun aspects of ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 7 Pleasantly Surprising Reasons to Decorate with Houseplants

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

There's something warm and inviting about a well-placed, thriving houseplant. Experts call this "interior landscaping," and it's becoming increasingly popular, not only in homes but in offices and other commercial settings. I would have assumed that's because houseplants can be quite inexpensive. But now, we're learning that houseplants offer ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Day traders take wall street by storm again in record dip buying

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

On Monday at around 1 p.m. in New York, just as U.S. stocks were gripped by the worst trading session in months, Google searches for the “Dow Jones” spiked.

By the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had clawed back some of the biggest losses, and the next day posted its best performance in a month.

This week is lesson to ...Read more

JESSICA J. TREVINO/Detroit Free Press/TNS

Susan Tompor: Ready to sell your used car? You may be surprised by its value

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

I'd never, ever call my 2004 Pacifica a clunker. But it has played one in print more than once when I've written about how old cars are bringing home some serious cash.

Back in 2010, used cars were in hot demand and short supply after a Great Recession strategy took many older cars off the road as a way to push new metal off the lot.

Cash-for-...Read more

Carline Jean/TNS

Florida homebuyers should rent and wait out housing boom, experts say

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Researchers are urging Florida homebuyers to consider renting while they wait for the state’s overheated market to cool as soaring prices in South Florida hit records in June.

Statewide, they say, homes are overvalued by 21.76%. creating a risk that buyers could get stuck with overpriced homes for significant periods of time until prices ...Read more

Ellen M. Banner/Digital/TNS

After watching decades of gentrification, Seattle church calls on city to return land

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

At a small park near his church, the Rev. Robert Jeffrey Sr. sees a chance for Seattle to take a step toward righting decades of housing discrimination and gentrification in the historically Black Central District.

Jeffrey's New Hope Missionary Baptist Church once owned a nearby plot of land in what is now the Spruce Street Mini Park. In 1969, ...Read more

CHRIS DELMAS/AFP/TNS

'Upzoning' in my backyard? California bill won't turbocharge home building, study says

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

A bill advancing through the California Legislature to allow for denser home building in single-family zones would be likely to produce an uptick in the state’s housing supply, but the so-called upzoning probably won’t cause mass redevelopment, according to a report published Wednesday.

The study by the Terner Center for Housing Innovation ...Read more

Zbigniew Bzdak/TNS

'Mega-development' for the Chicago's South Side gets official nod

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The Chicago City Council has approved the sale of the former Michael Reese Hospital site and zoning for a $4 billion mixed-use redevelopment, inching the proposed Bronzeville lakefront project closer to breaking ground.

The $97 million sale of the medical campus will allow a coalition of development companies to move forward on nearly 8 million...Read more