Home & Leisure

Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS

Florida homeowners finally have some new insurers to consider

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Ted Herbert, a retired business professor from Rollins College, said he was shocked when he got a letter last month from his insurance company telling him that while they valued him as a customer they would not be renewing his policy.

“I checked to see why this was happening, thinking they thought my home was on the coast and subject to ...Read more

Rocket Mortgage agrees to $3.5 million settlement in overtime pay case

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Rocket Mortgage has agreed to pay up to $3.5 million to settle a class action lawsuit from mortgage bankers claiming that the company failed to properly pay them overtime wages.

According to documents filed May 17 in U.S. District Court in Arizona, Rocket Mortgage and the plaintiffs, all former mortgage brokers for Detroit-based Rocket, reached...Read more

Pedro Portal/El Nuevo Herald/TNS

Miami communities keep losing historic homes. How one village is pushing to save them

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

At a time when historic homes are being bulldozed in Coral Gables and Miami Beach, one Miami-Dade County village has rallied to preserve and celebrate its architectural heritage.

Miami Shores’ Historic Preservation Board organized a series of events this year to honor a community turning 100 years old. A now-gone real estate development firm,...Read more

Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Illegal hostels are popping up in LA neighborhoods, to some residents' ire

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

In a mostly quiet neighborhood of older homes and small apartment buildings, some residents have drawn their own no-go zones around what might sound like a crash pad for traveling backpackers: hostels.

At least two of them have popped up on West View Street in Mid-City Heights in the past few years, with more in surrounding neighborhoods.

...Read more

Real estate Q&A: Do I have to remove leaves off neighbor's tree from my yard?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: My neighbor has a large mango tree in her yard along the fence that separates our property. I keep the branches of the tree that come over the fence on my side pruned, and she has agreed to do this. However, the wind blows the leaves from the tree on her side of the fence into my pool on windy days. I spoke to her about this, and she replied,...Read more

Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group/TNS

World's largest camera, costly, fragile and built in California, makes epic journey to South American mountaintop

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The world’s biggest camera was on its way from its birthplace at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, California, to a mountaintop half a hemisphere away in the foothills of the Andes. But there was a problem. And it required an order from Chile’s President Gabriel Boric to solve.

“This was very high stakes operation. It’...Read more

Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group/TNS

Upcoming state audit targets California's housing mandates

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

California housing regulators are demanding that cities statewide develop meticulous plans to add 2.5 million affordable and market-rate homes by the end of the decade — but some local officials say the process sets them up for failure.

Frustrated Bay Area mayors and city councilmembers say the new planning requirements are needlessly ...Read more

Monkey Business Images/Dreamstime/TNS

What's mine is (partly) yours: Why Millennial and Gen Z couples aren't putting all their money in joint bank accounts

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Reema Malhotra-Phillips never considered giving up her bank account when she got married last year.

“As a woman I think it’s important to have financial independence,” she said, even though “I am planning on being with my husband until the day I die.”

When they bought their home in Philadelphia's Fishtown neighborhood, the Phillipses...Read more

Hector Amezcua/The Sacramento Bee/TNS

Here's how much you have to earn to qualify as middle class, new study says

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The household income required to be considered middle class in the United States varies depending on where you live. In California, the price is high.

As of 2022, middle-class household income ranged between $61,270 and $183,810 in the Golden State, according to a recent analysis from personal finance site GoBankingRates.

That’s roughly a 50...Read more

Allison Schrager: Private equity is no place for your nest egg

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Retirement is expensive. If you’re lucky, yours will last a few decades, and you’ll be earning no or very little income. So if you want to have enough money when you retire, you basically have three options: Save more, take more risk with your investments, or work longer.

Many people find the first and third options undesirable or ...Read more

David Joles/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS

No one likes shopping for home or auto insurance. Here are tips to make saving less onerous

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Jay Schleicher has seen his fair share of insurance claims during his career as an agent.

Like when a renter fluffed a blanket and tore down a ceiling sprinkler, flooding their townhome unit with $40,000 in water damage. Or when a homeowner came back from vacation to a wet, stinky basement thanks to a backed-up sewer drain. Earlier this month, ...Read more

Cynthia Farmer/Dreamstime/TNS

The humble radiator is getting a climate-friendly upgrade

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Open the door to an apartment at 2 Charlton Street, and the space will look like any of the 3.6 million units in New York.

That is, with one notable exception: The windows are likely to be closed in the winter, a rarity in older New York buildings where the heat is often blasting from radiators. And yet the unit will be a Goldilocks ...Read more

US mortgage rates decrease for second week, falling to 7.02%

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Mortgage rates in the U.S. eased further, relieving some pressure on buyers forging ahead in a tough U.S. housing market.

The average for a 30-year, fixed loan was 7.02%, down from 7.09% last week, Freddie Mac said in a statement Thursday. It’s the fifth-straight week with mortgage rates above 7%.

While the recent pullback helps to ease ...Read more

Robert Willett/The News & Observer/TNS

'Sandwich generation': How this family built an ADU for aging parents in their yard

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

RALEIGH, North Carolina — It’s Friday night. Sara and Lee Stein are leaving their home to meet her mother and stepfather, Abby and Bob Millhauser, for an early dinner.

From their front door, they walk 42 steps to reach her parents’ brand-new, 940-square-foot accessory dwelling unit (ADU). It’s even less (14 steps) if they leave from the...Read more

Ana Ramirez/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS

San Diego's coastal zoning loophole 'pitting neighbor against neighbor'

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

SAN DIEGO — A San Diego zoning loophole is pitting neighbors against one another in Crown Point and making every coastal community in the city, from Ocean Beach to La Jolla, vulnerable to similar battles.

All across the city’s coastal zone, large backyard apartments can be built directly next to a neighboring property with no setback or ...Read more

Dania Maxwell/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Buying a home in Southern California? There are now more options

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

For much of the past year, the Southern California housing market has been defined by an extreme shortage of homes for sale.

The abnormal scarcity — compounded by the region's long-running underproduction of housing — emerged when homeowners chose not to sell and give up pandemic-era mortgage rates. The so-called seller strike helped pushed...Read more

Real estate Q&A: How can we facilitate home renovations?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: We plan on fully remodeling our kitchen and having some other work done on our home. What can we do to make sure the process goes smoothly? — Ted

A: Planning properly and having reasonable expectations is essential when getting into any major project.

When hiring contractors and drawing up plans, try to be very specific about what you ...Read more

Don Pollard/Office of New York Gov. Kathy Hochul/TNS/TNS

Brooklyn's Red Hook Marine Terminal takes step toward mixed-use future: Hochul, Adams

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

A once-bustling but worn-down industrial Brooklyn marine terminal could be converted into a mixed-use area, perhaps including housing, officials said Tuesday.

Mayor Adams said the city aims to “reimagine” the 122-acre port, which is nestled between Red Hook and the Columbia Street Waterfront District. The terminal is set to be transferred ...Read more

Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post/TNS

Skyrocketing home insurance rates, loss of coverage roil Colorado's strained housing market

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Coloradans looking to buy homes or simply hold onto their property face a barrage of challenges: a white-hot real estate market, high interest rates and soaring property taxes. You can add surging home insurance rates to the pile of problems eroding the landscape of affordable housing options.

Colorado homeowners are reporting premium increases...Read more

Treat buy now, pay later loans like real debt

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

It’s been close to two years since the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau indicated it was looking to tighten regulations on popular “buy now, pay later” services. Since then, the sector has grown to $300 billion. It’s time to bring meaningful transparency to an industry that has drawn in legions of consumers, including those ...Read more