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The Mortgage Professor: Readers' questions about mortgage shopping

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: How many price quotes should I get in refinancing my mortgage?

A: Get as many valid quotes as possible. Two or three valid ones help; 10 phony ones are worthless, or worse. Valid price quotes must meet three major conditions:

--Same market timing: All quotes must be as of the same day, since mortgage lenders reset their prices every morning...Read more

The Mortgage Professor: Readers' questions about mortgage shopping

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: How many price quotes should I get in refinancing my mortgage?

A: Get as many valid quotes as possible. Two or three valid ones help; 10 phony ones are worthless, or worse. Valid price quotes must meet three major conditions:

--Same market timing: All quotes must be as of the same day, since mortgage lenders reset their prices every morning...Read more

Real estate Q&A: Who is responsible for accidents at a condo's social club?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: If a member of a social club (dance, tennis, karate, etc.) within our Condo Association gets hurt or does something that causes an injury to one of its members or guests, can the Condo be held responsible? -- Bob

A: Your association can be held responsible for the injuries to the extent that it was negligent in reasonably keeping the area ...Read more

President Donald Trump's former Greenwich mansion listed again for $45M

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Interested buyers can own a piece of presidential history in Greenwich, where a mansion President Donald Trump lived in with wife Ivana in the 1980s is back on the market with an asking price of $45 million.

Trump bought the home, on a peninsula overlooking Long Island Sound, for $4 million in 1984. He and Ivana lavishly decorated the mansion ...Read more

City, nonprofits to coordinate St. Louis blight fight, target thousands of abandoned buildings

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

ST. LOUIS -- With an estimated 7,100 abandoned structures today, vacancy is a bigger problem than the city can handle on its own.

But a formal working relationship between the city, legal clinics, community development organizations and neighborhood nonprofits is close, those working on city vacancy issues say. They're working to create a "...Read more

Home Depot sued for mismanaging retirement fund accounts

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

ATLANTA -- A suit filed in federal court against Home Depot charges that the hardware giant permitted mismanagement of retirement funds affecting more than 200,000 people and costing their accounts at least $140 million.

The complaint against the $100 billion-a-year, Atlanta-based company was filed last week in U.S. District Court in Atlanta by...Read more

Are master-planned communities a development of the past?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Sales increased faster in Otay Ranch last year than almost any other master-plan community in the nation, said a recently released annual report.

The massive residential development, the largest in San Diego County, is close to the U.S.-Mexico border and has seemingly emerged as one of the top spots for new homes in the region after years of ...Read more

Developers plan city's second-tallest skyscraper next to new Tribune Tower condos

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

CHICAGO -- Developers on Monday unveiled plans for Chicago's second-tallest skyscraper, a tapering shaft of metal and glass that would soar above historic Tribune Tower, resemble the top of Batman's black mask and be only 29 feet shorter than Willis Tower.

If completed, the $1 billion-plus project to repurpose Tribune Tower and build a skinny, ...Read more

Taking the mystery out of stock picks for young investors

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Appo Agbamu recently quit a $75,000-a-year job at U.S. Trust, a dream job for a young associate portfolio manager.

However, Agbamu, 25, has an entrepreneurial dream. He's founder of ahrvo.com, an investment app targeted at young people that went live at the Google and Apple online stores in January.

"I'm passionate about ...Read more

On Philanthropy: Involve kids early in family philanthropy and give them input into giving

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Many of us adults give considerable thought to how we will pass along our money to the rising generations in our families when we die. Far fewer of us also consider how we will pass along our "value assets" -- our family's unique approach to community, giving back and helping others, while we're living.

The passing along of family values cannot...Read more

Susan Tompor: How will you spend your tax refund? Many use it to buy used car

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Tom Staperfenne, 34, isn't ashamed to admit that he went out and spent most of his family's income tax refund for 2017 right away.

Nearly the entire $3,700. Gone.

But don't wrongly label Staperfenne as a spendthrift. Most of that money went toward the loan for a 2012 silver Ford Fusion that he bought used last summer for around $8,200.

"I ...Read more

Could granny flats help ease California's housing crisis? Some advocates think so

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Several years ago, Patsy Spitta of Altadena, Calif., wanted to help her daughter afford a home -- something out of reach for many teachers like her daughter.

So Spitta, still working as a paralegal in her retirement years, had an idea.

She would build a backyard house and live there, allowing her daughter and grandson to leave their $2,500-a-...Read more

Hot Property: Verily, 'tis the King's custom

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- Dustin Brown and the L.A. Kings are making another run in the Stanley Cup playoffs, but away from the ice, the star right winger is making a play of a different sort: He and his wife, Nicole, have put their home in Manhattan Beach up for sale at $6.999 million.

Custom-built for Brown and his family four years ago by Matt Morris ...Read more

Zillow is getting into the home-flipping business

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

SEATTLE -- Zillow is getting into the home-flipping business.

The company on Thursday announced it will test a pilot program in which, in select markets, it will directly buy and sell homes for the first time.

Most people simply list their home on the open market and wait for the best offer. But Zillow is hoping people who don't want to go ...Read more

In this California city, houses probably earn more per hour than you do, report finds

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Houses in San Francisco earn more per hour than most of their owners -- or anyone else, for that matter -- do at work, a new report finds.

The study by real estate site Zillow finds that houses in the Bay Area city typically appreciate at a rate of $60.13 for each working hour, calculated based on a 40-hour work week.

Minimum wage workers in ...Read more

The Mortgage Professor: Choosing the best type of mortgage

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Most house purchasers look at many houses before they make a decision, weighing multiple features of one against the other. In contrast, the decision about which of numerous mortgage options to select often is made hastily with little thought. Yet borrowers have to live with their mortgage indefinitely, often for as long as they have the house. ...Read more

The Mortgage Professor: Choosing the best type of mortgage

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Most house purchasers look at many houses before they make a decision, weighing multiple features of one against the other. In contrast, the decision about which of numerous mortgage options to select often is made hastily with little thought. Yet borrowers have to live with their mortgage indefinitely, often for as long as they have the house. ...Read more

Busy millennials confess: We hired a house cleaner and it's worth it

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Between Emily Pomeroy's job as a cancer researcher at the University of Minnesota and her Ph.D. program, the 31-year-old Minneapolis woman had little time for much else, especially household chores. Add in her husband's new, more demanding job last fall, and suddenly the couple's weekends were consumed with the household cleaning that fell by ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: Can I get my neighbor to pay for her tree's damage to my house?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: My neighbor's large, seemingly dead tree overhangs my screened-in pool and has long made me nervous. I have repeatedly asked her to remove it. She always ignored or rejected my requests. During a hurricane, the tree finally came down, like I knew it would, and damaged my pool cage and house. The damage, while expensive, was less than my ...Read more

Black buyers struggle more to find housing in Bay Area, new report says

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

It's tough to buy a home in the Bay Area these days, but the prospect is especially daunting for black and Hispanic households, according to a new report Tuesday that highlights the role race plays in the region's affordable housing shortage.

Last year black home buyers could afford just 10 percent of the San Jose-area houses on the market, and...Read more