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Dreamstime/TNS

Tight US housing market uncoils with sellers ready to cash out

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Prospective home sellers who sat tight as U.S. prices climbed higher and faster than ever during the pandemic are finally emerging to cash out, a step toward easing a dire shortage in the frenzied housing market.

The number of U.S. homes for sale climbed 6.7% in early June from the same weekly period in May, according to Haus, an investment ...Read more

Greg Gilbert/Seattle Times/TNS

Residential upzoning: What it means for housing and for you

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Some SFH-only areas and cities are inviting denser development

A big culprit in the housing shortage bedeviling many of the country’s most popular and dynamic cities is a long history of zoning that enshrines the single-family home (SFH) at the cost of other more economical forms of housing. That’s starting to change, just a little bit, and...Read more

TNS/TNS/TNS

Real estate Q&A: Many are to blame, who has to pay for water damage?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: A few weeks ago, another apartment in our condo was having their hot water heater replaced. The management company only placed signs in one section notifying that the water would be shut off. We lost water in my unit, so I went outside to investigate. Seeing no one around, I noticed that the main water valve was shut off. When I opened the ...Read more

Kent Nishimura/TNS

The falling rents of COVID times are behind us. Expect prices to rise

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The era of pandemic rent declines appears to be over.

After falling through much of the COVID-19 crisis as people relocated to suburbs or moved in with relatives, rents in big cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York are now on the rise. And experts say that prices are likely to keep swinging upward.

"Landlords are really eager...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Arianne Cohen: Why college grade inflation is good for America

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Try reading up on the topic of grade inflation at U.S. colleges, and you’ll very soon encounter grim opinion essays about moral decay and the erosion of academic standards. We can guess that most of these missives were penned by those with secure jobs, little or no student debt remaining and a certain distance from, shall we say, economic ...Read more

TNS

Emily Lambert: How to be productively involved in your kid's school

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

You don’t want to be that parent who’s a pain in the neck

Many parents have great hopes for their children — and for their kids’ elementary school years. This is where children develop friendships, a sense of self and a lifelong love of learning.

I guess that’s why parents get involved at school. I couldn’t say, as everyone’s ...Read more

John J. Kim/TNS

Chicago is allowing construction of new coach houses and granny flats. Will they help solve its affordable housing shortage?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Applications to build coach houses, basement units and attic apartments poured in during the first month of a pilot program in Chicago, as the addition of units became legal in the city for the first time in nearly 65 years.

The program is designed to expand access to moderate-cost and affordable housing, provide space for multigenerational ...Read more

TNS

Arianne Cohen: 5 ways community colleges fail students, and how to avoid them

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The Achilles heel of community colleges also happens to be their strength. They’re flexible, affordable and supportive of students from all walks of life. But because of that flexibility and chronic underfunding from state and local governments, “they’re often not providing very consistent, structured support,” says Xueli Wang, author of...Read more

TNS

Arianne Cohen: 5 best reasons to attend a community college

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Community college seems like an oasis of affordable opportunity: It’s cheap! It’s nearby! And you can just see the number in your bank account ballooning with the salary boost from your new degree or certificate! But proceed with caution. Without a strategy, community college can also be a bonfire of wasted time and funds.

The key, says ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Arianne Cohen: Want a lucrative career? Take jobs that force you to make decisions

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

By Arianne Cohen

Rate.com careers editor

To launch your career into the stratosphere, aim for roles with ample decision-making tasks.

“It’s basically impossible to keep getting pay increases after (age) 35 or 40 if you’re not in a job that requires decision-making,” says David Deming, a professor of public policy at Harvard Kennedy ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Arianne Cohen: How making the right work friends can improve your work life

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Work buddies are like school friends: Fall into the wrong crowd, and your path can swerve southward. Becoming besties with a tired-and-over-it manager might tank your attitude, while friendship with the head of the company volunteer group might socially engage you.

“Some friendships are very positive in terms of performance, motivation and ...Read more

JESSICA J. TREVINO/Detroit Free Press/TNS

Susan Tompor: IRS launches new tool for Child Tax Credit for those who don't normally file returns

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Families who don't normally file a tax return will need to pay close attention to a new online tool from the IRS.

A special non-filer tool is now available to help eligible families who don't normally file a tax return register for the monthly Child Tax Credit advance payments that are scheduled to kick off July 15.

Eligible families will ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Carla Fried: What to know before you leave your IRA or 401(k) to the kids

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Their tax bill is accelerated under new law

By Carla Fried

Rate.com financial news editor

Of the many changes wrought by the SECURE Act of 2019, one of the most significant governs how those who inherit retirement accounts take distributions. Starting in 2020, new non-spouse beneficiaries have just 10 years to empty the account. Under old tax...Read more

Andrew Marginean/TNS

Banks, credit unions making changes on how sky-high overdraft fees are handled

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Overdraft fees remain a moneymaking machine for banks and a devastating financial gotcha for poor families and communities of color.

Some consumers lose enough money in just one day to cover a monthly utility bill. Think about that one for one minute.

Many vulnerable consumers just don't have a financial cushion to absorb those kind of ...Read more

Social Graces: Where should you put your mask when dining at a restaurant?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: If you wear a mask to a restaurant, when should you take it off and where do you put it?

A: When it comes to mask etiquette at a restaurant, my personal protocol is to always err on the side of safety and to follow the current recommended mandates.

When entering and traveling through a restaurant, I prefer to wear a mask until properly ...Read more

Erika Schultz/Digital Image/TNS

With 2 new villages and an expansion, the effort to double tiny house villages in Seattle begins

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

It's going to be a busy summer at "The Hope Factory," an 8,000-square-foot warehouse in Seattle's SoDo neighborhood, where around a dozen volunteers will come in six days a week to build at least 10 shed-sized homes a month for homeless people.

"All of our weekends are booked, except two Saturdays, through Labor Day," said Barb Oliver, director...Read more

TNS/TNS/TNS

Real estate Q&A: My husband's ex-wife's name is still on deed of house we paid off. What do we do now?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: When my husband divorced his former wife, he was awarded the house. We have been married for 10 years and recently paid off the mortgage. We want to remodel the home but do not want to pour more money into the house until her name is taken off of the deed. What can we do? — Melisa

A: Being awarded the house in a divorce does not ...Read more

JESSICA J. TREVINO/Detroit Free Press/TNS

Susan Tompor: What to do now to avoid a nasty tax surprise next year

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

When it comes to taxes, many people now are focused on trying to track their refund. Or they're looking forward to getting a monthly check beginning around July 15 for an advance of the Child Tax Credit.

But plenty of people should consider whether they're going to have enough money withheld this year to cover the taxes owed in 2022.

It may ...Read more

Patrick Raycraft/Hartford Courant/TNS

Connecticut legislature passes crumbling foundations bill protecting homeowners

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Connecticut lawmakers approved a bill meant to protect owners of homes with crumbling foundations and prevent the faulty concrete that caused the costly and widespread problem from ever being used again.

Gov. Ned Lamont is reviewing the bill, his spokesman said Tuesday.

Among other provisions, the legislation removes a five-year cap on ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Carla Fried: Another reason for men to work longer -- increased longevity

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

If you’ve saved well enough to retire, but can’t quite decide which you’d enjoy more — retiring now or continuing to work — there’s a piece of research that suggests you might live somewhat longer if you keep working.

This only applies to men; working longer doesn’t seem to deliver a similar health boost for women.

Work longer, ...Read more