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Hot Property: Moving on to the next round

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- Simon Cowell, known to most as a judge on "The X Factor" and "America's Got Talent," has bought a compound in Malibu for $24 million. He's also quietly shopping his Beverly Hills home in the $30 million range.

The Malibu home is behind gates on a bluff top of about 2 acres with expansive lawns, gardens, a lighted tennis court and...Read more

Google-backed massive housing and office plan wins approval

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- It's a Google town.

Mountain View City Council Tuesday night unanimously approved a sweeping redevelopment plan, clearing the way for Google and other developers to create a dense, city-like campus of offices and homes in a housing-starving region.

The new master plan could reshape North Bayshore, home to Google ...Read more

30,000-square-foot rooftop restaurant and bar will crown new Navy Pier hotel

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

CHICAGO – Visitors who play at Chicago's Navy Pier soon will be able to stay there as well, with a new seven-story hotel set to rise on the eastern end of the familiar landmark over the next 18 months.

Developers unveiled plans this week for the upscale, 222-room Curio Collection by Hilton hotel adjacent to Festival Hall, which will include ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: Think safety, double-check insurance before throwing party with a bounce house

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: We are having a party for my kid's birthday and she wants it with a bounce house and other outside attractions in our backyard. I am concerned with my liability if someone gets injured at the party. What are my rights? – Amanda

A: You are rightfully concerned about this because you may be sued if someone gets injured on your property. The ...Read more

How to avoid buyer's remorse

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

You've dreamed about that new home and finally signed on the dotted line. But then the uncertainties creep in. Was it the right choice? Did I pay too much? Can I really make the payments?

So much debt. So much doubt.

According to a recent survey by Trulia, 44 percent of U.S. homebuyers have some regrets about their home or the buying process. ...Read more

The Mortgage Professor: Minimizing the Upfront costs of a mortgage: What borrowers ought to know

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Mortgage borrowers have some control over the amount of cash they must produce at the closing table. Minimizing the amount, however, may or may not be in their long-term interest.

Interest Rates and Lender Rebates

Borrowers can control the amount of cash they are required to produce at closing when they select the combination of interest rate ...Read more

The Mortgage Professor: Minimizing the Upfront costs of a mortgage: What borrowers ought to know

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Mortgage borrowers have some control over the amount of cash they must produce at the closing table. Minimizing the amount, however, may or may not be in their long-term interest.

Interest Rates and Lender Rebates

Borrowers can control the amount of cash they are required to produce at closing when they select the combination of interest rate ...Read more

She lost part of her head to Irma, but the Coppertone Girl just got a big facelift

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

MIAMI -- The Coppertone Girl has her whole head back.

With a facelift, to boot.

This week, the MiMo Biscayne Association announced on Facebook that the iconic "Coppertone Cutie," a fixture in the city since 1959, has "fully recovered from her Hurricane Irma injuries and is safely back home at 7300 Biscayne Boulevard."

After Hurricane Irma ...Read more

Shopping mall giant Westfield being sold to French real estate firm in $16-billion deal

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

WASHINGTON -- Westfield Corp., operator of upscale shopping malls in Los Angeles and dozens of other locations in the U.S. and Britain, is being sold to French commercial real estate giant Unibail-Rodamco in a $16 billion deal, the two companies announced Tuesday.

The cash-and-stock deal values shares of Australia-based Westfield at $7.55 a ...Read more

California proposition would encourage older homeowners to sell

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

In the midst of California's severe housing shortage and a federal tax overhaul, a statewide ballot initiative was submitted this fall with the idea of getting longtime, older owners to sell their homes, freeing them up for younger families to buy.

The proposal from the California Association of Realtors would expand Proposition 13, the ...Read more

Hot Property: Additional holiday markdowns

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, but there are still a few discounts to be had.

In Montecito, Ellen DeGeneres and wife Portia de Rossi appear to have lowered expectations on their Italian villa-style home.

Originally offered at $45 million, the romantic weekend retreat and its centerpiece Wallace Frost-designed ...Read more

How to cut down your heating bills this winter

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Did you get sticker-shock opening your first home-heating bill this year? Those initial late fall/early winter utility bills are an unfortunate reminder that the tiny gaps in your house or apartment are really little heat-sucking vampires costing you money.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says the average household spends more than $2,...Read more

FHA won't insure new mortgages with PACE loans

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The Federal Housing Administration will stop insuring new mortgages on homes with PACE loans, a type of financing used to fund energy-efficient home improvements.

The announcement Thursday followed criticism from consumer groups that too many borrowers have taken out unaffordable loans for solar panels and other projects after contractors ...Read more

America's disappearing mortgage tax break finds few defenders

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

WASHINGTON -- One of America's most popular tax breaks is about to be rendered nearly useless. And there are few economists rushing to defend it.

The $64 billion mortgage-interest deduction has long been touted as fuel for U.S. homeownership. Yet as the real estate industry fights the Republican tax plan that's set to diminish its use, finding ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: A gated community without all the gates? Speak with developer about completing the job

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: We recently purchased our home in a new gated community that is still under construction. We just learned that the developer is only gating for cars, not the sidewalks. We are concerned pedestrians and solicitors can freely enter our community, defeating the security of being in a gated community. Can we make the developer fix this? – ...Read more

The Mortgage Professor: Internet-based medical scams

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Medical scams executed on the internet aim to convince respondents that a medical condition is best treated by a non-prescription remedy that only the scamster can provide. In other words, you should ignore your physician, ignore whatever you may have read about your problem in mainstream sources, and buy a cure from a non-credentialed source ...Read more

The Mortgage Professor: Internet-based medical scams

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Medical scams executed on the internet aim to convince respondents that a medical condition is best treated by a non-prescription remedy that only the scamster can provide. In other words, you should ignore your physician, ignore whatever you may have read about your problem in mainstream sources, and buy a cure from a non-credentialed source ...Read more

Minneapolis apartment building collecting pets' DNA to catch poop-a-trators

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

MINNEAPOLIS -- Residents of a large apartment building in downtown Minneapolis are under orders to surrender their dogs' DNA in a campaign to crack down on poop left on the property, an enforcement strategy that is gaining popularity around the country.

Management of the Soo Line Building, an apartment complex with 250 or so units in the heart ...Read more

Lawmakers' plans to overhaul Fannie and Freddie come into focus

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

WASHINGTON -- Lawmakers have a long way to go before resolving the biggest remaining quagmire from the 2008 financial crisis. But a consensus is now forming around principles for overhauling Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the U.S. mortgage-finance system.

Sens. Bob Corker and Mark Warner have been working on a bill for months, and they intend to ...Read more

Seattle among five most-expensive big cities for renters

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

SEATTLE -- Data can sometimes reveal unexpected trends. This isn't one of those times.

New numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that is Seattle is -- for the first time -- among the five most-expensive big cities for renters. The median amount paid by Seattle renters reached $1,448 last year, an increase of $92 from 2015.

The median is ...Read more