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Jeff Bezos to sell a Seattle-area property, reports say

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Billionaire Jeff Bezos, who recently announced his plans to move to Miami, is looking to offload at least one of his Seattle-area homes, according to media reports and property listings.

The Amazon founder owns a 4,300-square-foot, five-bedroom home in the Eastside town of Yarrow Point currently listed for nearly $4.4 million, Business Insider ...Read more

California may require homeowners to replace broken A/C units with heat pumps starting in 2026

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

California may require homeowners to replace their broken air conditioning units with heat pumps or more efficient HVAC systems beginning in 2026, draft rules released last month by state energy regulators show.

Encouraging the adoption of heat pumps, which both cool and heat homes using electricity, is key to the state’s carbon neutrality ...Read more

Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Santa Cruz plans high-rise living as a fix for sky-high housing costs -- and meets opposition

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

You can sense it in the ubiquitous "Help Wanted" posters in artsy shops and restaurants, in the ranks of university students living out of their cars and in the outsize percentage of locals camping on the streets.

This seaside county known for its windswept beauty and easy living is in the midst of one of the most serious housing crises ...Read more

Minneapolis Fed survey predicts tough times ahead for commercial and residential developers

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

A new survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis shows deepening concerns about the health of residential and commercial construction companies in the Fed's six-state region, while companies that build industrial and infrastructure projects are more optimistic.

Across all sectors, however, the industry is seeing some improvements as ...Read more


Conor Sen: Frustrated homebuyers are about to catch a break

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Homebuyers have suffered some severe whiplash in recent months. After all, when mortgage rates hit 8% in late October, it was reasonable to think the housing market would stay on ice throughout the winter. The move cemented a narrative of negativity about poor affordability and homeowners with low-rate loans being unwilling to sell. Seven weeks ...Read more

Jack Flemming/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Black-trimmed homes, tiny libraries and other signs your neighborhood is about to be gentrified

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES — A shift in demographics. Affordable apartments transformed into luxury condos. A coffee shop called something like "Brew Slut."

The signs of gentrification take many forms. A newly opened art gallery can serve both as a communal space and a harbinger of the displacement to come. Remodeled homes might boost a street's curb appeal...Read more

Real estate Q&A: Can I sell one of my parking spots?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: I live in a condominium where every apartment has two assigned parking spots. Since it is just me, one of my neighbors asked me if I would sell him one of my spots. Since I am not using it and times are tight, the extra money would help. Am I allowed to do this? — Ted

A: To get to the bottom of this, you must answer two questions: Can you ...Read more

Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group/TNS

To save on their mortgages, Bay Area buyers are increasing their down payments

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Who has $235,183 lying around in a bank account? The average homebuyer in Silicon Valley, apparently. That’s the median down payment for a home in the San Jose metro area — and it’s on the rise.

In the third quarter of 2023, the median down payment in San Jose reached nearly 25% of purchase price, up from 23% in the first quarter, ...Read more

Feverpitched | Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

35% of Americans want a housing crash, poll says

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

How out of whack is the housing market?

Well, an October poll by LendingTree of 2,045 US adults found 35% want the housing market to crash — highlighted by youthful Gen Z-ers (53%) and millennials (46%).

Look, rooting for a bargain is as American as apple pie. Who doesn't hope for that big sale, deep-discount coupon or holiday pricing to ...Read more

Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Salesforce Tower opens at Chicago's Wolf Point

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Five years in the works, Salesforce celebrated the grand opening of its 57-story, 1.2 million-square-foot Chicago tower Tuesday, a bold new addition to the city’s skyline rising up amid a slumping office market.

Located along the Chicago River at the Wolf Point site near the Merchandise Mart, Salesforce Tower features a shimmering glass ...Read more

Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal/TNS

People are flocking from California to Vegas -- and not just to visit

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Las Vegas remains a top destination nationwide for people looking to relocate, and Los Angeles is the prime city they are moving from, according to Redfin, an online real estate brokerage.

The Las Vegas Valley ranked second in the nation for people relocating from other states, behind Sacramento, which topped the list with approximately 5,000 ...Read more

Inflation has depleted pandemic-era savings for many Americans

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Inflation has sapped 40% of Americans of their pandemic savings, making consumer spending even more reliant on the job market.

Generous government stimulus payments and lock-downs that kept people at home led to “windfall” savings, Stephen Stanley, chief U.S. economist at Santander U.S. Capital Markets, said in a research note Monday. How ...Read more


What banks really mean when they put trillions into ESG

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

In recent years, many of the world’s biggest banks have published reports chronicling the vast sums they say they’re channeling into environmental and social activities. Now, senior people inside the industry are raising questions about those statements.

Banks including Morgan Stanley, HSBC Holdings Plc, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and ...Read more

Prefab homebuilder Veev to shutter after funders abandon former 'unicorn'

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Bay Area prefabricated construction startup Veev, which promised to slash the time and costs required to build new homes, has announced to its employees that it plans to shutter operations after acquiring unicorn status just last year.

The company, with offices in Hayward and Israel, said in a statement that the closure comes because the ...Read more

How real estate agents get paid at issue in high-stakes Georgia lawsuit

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

A class action lawsuit filed in a Georgia federal court that’s modeled on one that resulted in a huge judgment against brokers in Missouri threatens to shake up the local housing market, mainly by revamping the way that real estate agents for homebuyers are paid.

In the Georgia suit, plaintiffs argue that Realtors groups and brokers have ...Read more


US pending home sales index drops to lowest level on record

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

A gauge of pending sales of existing U.S. homes fell to its lowest level on record in October, illustrating a resale market battered by high borrowing costs and prices.

The National Association of Realtors’ index of contract signings to purchase previously owned homes declined 1.5% to 71.4, the lowest in data back to 2001, the group reported ...Read more

Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group/TNS

Free rent? With apartment supply increasing, Bay Area landlords turn to concessions

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

A $2,000-a-month studio apartment might not be considered a good deal in most parts of the country. But in the Bay, it might be — especially if the landlord throws in a sweetener.

At least, that’s how Gwen Wang, 23, felt when she got a discount on a new studio in the Skylyne Apartments in Oakland. Her complex offered two months rent free on...Read more

Real estate Q&A: Can I sell rental property before tenant's lease is up?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: We are moving out of town for a job opportunity and have decided to sell our rental property. The lease still has six months to go. Do we need to wait until the tenant moves to be able to sell? If not, what do we do? — Yami

A: You can sell the property in the middle of the lease.

Besides dealing with a new landlord, the lease remains ...Read more

Erika Schultz/The Seattle Times/TNS

Is Amazon following Jeff Bezos to Miami? Not exactly

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Amazon is searching for office space in Miami — but founder Jeff Bezos' new hometown will occupy only a small portion of the company's massive corporate footprint.

A spokesperson for Amazon confirmed Tuesday that the company is looking to lease 50,000 square feet of office space in Miami, a process that started before Bezos said he planned to...Read more

Angelina Katsanis/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS

Can't buy a house because you don't have a down payment? Help is on the way

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Scraping up a down payment to buy a house isn't easy, so Freddie Mac wants to help.

The federal mortgage giant recently launched DPA One, a website that connects buyers with dozens of down payment assistance programs offered by state housing finance agencies in 48 states.

There's a bonus for Minnesota buyers trying to navigate higher rates and...Read more