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Susan Tompor: How saver's can make the best of falling interest rates

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

No one has been getting rich stuffing their money into a savings account, and it's bound to get even tougher, as the Federal Reserve shifts further into a rate-cutting mode.

The Federal Reserve announced another rate cut after its two-day policy meeting last week. A divided Fed lowered its benchmark interest rate by another quarter percentage ...Read more

Storm-damaged Bahamas properties hot as investors chase bargains

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

It didn't take long. Shortly after Hurricane Dorian damaged countless homes and businesses in the northern Bahamas, real estate investors started calling local agents in search of bargains.

"We've surprisingly had several calls," said Colin Lightbourn, who manages real estate company Engel & Volkers' Bahamas office in Nassau. "People are asking...Read more

Susan Tompor: How saver's can make the best of falling interest rates

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

No one has been getting rich stuffing their money into a savings account, and it's bound to get even tougher, as the Federal Reserve shifts further into a rate-cutting mode.

The Federal Reserve announced another rate cut after its two-day policy meeting last week. A divided Fed lowered its benchmark interest rate by another quarter percentage ...Read more

Hot Property: Kirsten Dunst sells her home to actress Annie Potts

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- Kirsten Dunst's Toluca Lake home is staying in Hollywood hands. Actress Annie Potts was the buyer of the two-story, which sold last week for $4.55 million.

Potts, known for her role as secretary Janine Melnitz in the original "Ghostbusters" films, must have liked what she saw in the place. The Cape Cod-inspired house went under ...Read more

Erin Arvedlund: Vanguard trying out a new robo-only adviser that is even cheaper

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Vanguard is testing a pure robo adviser that is pushing costs down even further for that automated investing service.

On Sept. 17, Vanguard filed a brochure for a trial service called Vanguard Digital Advisor, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Initially, the trial robo adviser is available only to those with Vanguard ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: Cellphone mast causing too much interference at our condo

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: Our condominium association rents space on our roof for a large cellphone antenna. We thought it would be great for getting some extra money into the community, but we did not count on workers banging through the stairwell at all hours carrying heavy equipment and leaving behind a mess. What can we do? -- Jane

A: Everyone, from individuals ...Read more

Amid recession fears, almost half of Americans have anxiety over debt

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Being buried by mountains of debt can make you feel sick. Forty-five percent of Americans said that their debt makes them feel anxious at least once a month, according to Northwestern Mutual's 2019 Planning and Progress Study, and 20% said it makes them physically ill at least once a month.

Amid mounting fears of recession, more people are ...Read more

Amazon leases new multistory warehouse in South Seattle, first of its kind in US

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

SEATTLE -- To speed up e-commerce delivery, Amazon and its competitors aim to stage more goods closer to population centers so the so-called last mile of shipment is more like one mile than 10.

But in dense, urban areas like Seattle, it can be tough to find a plot of land to accommodate a large warehouse, accessible by big rig trucks, even as ...Read more

California wants you to build a 'granny flat' in your garage or backyard. Here's why

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- They used to be called granny flats. Now, they're billed as a secret element to solving California's housing crisis.

Striving for ways to boost housing, California legislators have sent two controversial bills to the governor that would make it easier for homeowners to turn garages into rental units or build cottage ...Read more

Susan Tompor: UAW workers picketing GM must wait for $250 a week in strike pay

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

DETROIT -- What does $250 a week in strike pay really add up to these days?

Not a lot at all. UAW strike pay is below the national poverty line, below the Michigan minimum wage and even below what the average retiree gets in Social Security. Even many part-time workers see bigger paychecks than that.

What's more important: The strike pay for ...Read more

Erin Arvedlund: Should you recession-proof your investments?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Good question, and yes, everyone's asking.

An economic recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth. The U.S. economy has experienced 10 recessions since 1950, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Does this mean stock prices drop also? Not necessarily.

The most severe was the Great Recession ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: Can a creditor take a house I just inherited?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: I have a fairly large judgment against me from a lawsuit I lost a few years ago. I just inherited a house from a relative that passed away. Can my creditor take this? -- Barb

A: It will depend on many factors. Generally, a judgment creditor has a variety of ways to try to get paid back. They can garnish your wages and your bank account; lien...Read more

Baltimore nursery decor designer dishes on styling your baby's room

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Since 1995, Baltimore-based Bratt Decor has provided a pop of whimsy to nurseries with its timeless, chic furniture in unusual metal finishes. Mary and Stephen Bauer began designing, manufacturing and selling the type of furniture they wanted but couldn't find when they were designing the nursery for their first child and couldn't find much ...Read more

Hot Property: On the cutting edge in La Jolla

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- A high-profile name has emerged as the buyer of the Razor House, an architectural masterpiece on the coast of La Jolla.

Singer-songwriter Alicia Keys plunked down $20.8 million for the striking San Diego-area estate, according to people not authorized to comment on the sale. That's the priciest deal in the coastal community this ...Read more

Susan Tompor: How do you make more money when the Fed cuts rates?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

No one has been getting rich stuffing their money into a savings account and it's bound to get even tougher, as the Federal Reserve shifts further into a rate cutting mode.

The Federal Reserve is expected to announce another rate cut soon near the end of its next two-day policy meeting.

"I expect the Fed to lower the fed funds rate range by 25...Read more

Real estate Q&A: Can a creditor take a house I just inherited?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: I have a fairly large judgment against me from a lawsuit I lost a few years ago. I just inherited a house from a relative that passed away. Can my creditor take this? -- Barb

A: It will depend on many factors. Generally, a judgment creditor has a variety of ways to try to get paid back. They can garnish your wages and your bank account; lien...Read more

Aretha Franklin, other celebs died without an estate plan. Will you?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

PHILADELPHIA -- The Queen of Soul, who died at 76, left a lot of R-E-S-P-E-C-T, but apparently no will.

Three handwritten documents, dated between 2010 and 2014, were found in Aretha Franklin's Michigan home in recent months, including one in a spiral notebook found under her couch cushions.

The latest, dated March 2014, appears to give the ...Read more

San Diego: Zillow wants to buy your home

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

SAN DIEGO -- Real estate website Zillow launched an instant-buying program Monday in San Diego County that will give users quick cash offers on their homes.

The Zillow Offers program -- already in 16 other markets -- charges a convenience fee instead of a commission that a seller might pay a real estate agent, but Zillow will handle the ...Read more

Susan Tompor: IRS impostors are using fake emails to trick you: How to spot a scam

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Did you just get an email about your tax refund? Or maybe an email using the phrase an "electronic tax return reminder?"

Ignore it. It's a hot new scam, according to the latest warnings from the Internal Revenue Service.

Taxpayers are increasingly reporting that they're receiving unsolicited emails from IRS impostors. The subject line on the ...Read more

Hot Property: Jenny Craig's compound sold for a slimmed-down price

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- Most people want to lose a few inches. Jenny Craig has dropped a few thousand square feet.

After slimming the asking price for her compound in the San Diego-area community of Del Mar, the weight loss guru has sold the oceanfront property for $22 million. That's $17.5 million shy of the original asking price, records show.

Shaped...Read more