Home & Leisure

As seas rise, coastal homes in Florida could lose value. One report says 15% by 2030

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

MIAMI -- Increasing sea rise is going to water down the value of some of the most coveted and expensive real estate in Florida, and insurance rates will go up too.

That's the conclusion of a pair of new reports calculating just how much of an impact climate change will have on Florida's real estate industry.

A report from international ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: You signed agent's agreement, so grit your teeth and pay

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: My tenant wants to purchase the home he recently rented with the help of my real estate agent. I checked the listing agreement I signed with the agent and noticed that it states that if I sell the property to the tenant, I need to pay the agent an additional sales commission. I already paid the agent for the rental, and I do not understand ...Read more

Microsoft ups its commitment to affordable housing by $250 million

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

SEATTLE -- One year ago, Microsoft made national headlines with its largest pledge ever, a promise to invest $500 million in affordable housing.

On Wednesday, the tech giant put a potential $250 million on top of that.

Like most of its previous tranche of funding, though, the new money isn't for free -- it's a line of credit for a state agency...Read more

Dee Gill: Moving for happiness, part 1: How to relocate among people who bring you joy

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

You're thinking about moving, from your hometown or college town or wherever you've been lately. Perhaps you've just graduated and are pursuing jobs in several states. Or you need to relocate so your spouse can find a better job. Or maybe you and your partner come from different cities, and you're considering those so your kids can grow up near ...Read more

Warner Bros. breaks ground on massive new studio with Gehry-designed 'iceberg buildings'

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Warner Bros. on Tuesday officially broke ground on a pair of Frank Gehry-designed office towers, which when completed will mark a major expansion of the Burbank, Calif.-based movie and TV studio's headquarters.

The project, first announced last April, was commemorated in a ceremony with Warner Bros. Chief Executive Ann Sarnoff and Gehry, the ...Read more

7 tools every homeowner needs

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

If you believe everything you see on TV and the internet, you might think no home is complete without a tricked-out workshop. Sure, there are some intrepid DIYers out there whose homes look like something out of Norm Abram's New Yankee Workshop. For the rest of us, though, the closest thing to a home workshop is a kitchen junk drawer jammed ...Read more

Dr. Phil family home pops up on the market

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- Social media users were scratching their heads after an unusual home tied to television's Dr. Phil came up for sale at $5.75 million.

Outlandish by even L.A.'s standards, the Spanish-style two-story home boasts details such as black fabric wallpaper, neon lights and what's described as an anti-gun art installation. Odd animal ...Read more

Carla Fried: Big cars, big car loans make for household financial fiasco

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Buying a dependable used car with above-average mileage is the budget-smart move -- remember, a car is a very expensive depreciating asset. And yet, more than 17 million new cars were purchased in each of the past five years.

Bought, as in financed. Experian reports that more than eight in 10 new cars are bought with loans, with the average ...Read more

Susan Tompor: New retirement rules could help boost your savings: 5 things to know

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The rules of the retirement game just saw a sizable overhaul in Congress, giving a nod to the reality that many Americans can't afford to quit working.

The changes aren't massive enough to put to rest concerns about an upcoming retirement crisis where some forecast a growing gap between the haves and have-nots. Even so, the adjustments are ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: Do I still have to pay a bill if it's more than I agreed?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: We hired a local company to help us with a project on our property. After the work was done, we received a bill for more than what was agreed. The bill also included work that was not performed. Do we need to pay it? -- Karl

A: Whenever you hire someone to perform work on your home, you should have a written contract. The agreement should ...Read more

How Vanguard aims to prevail in fee wars, especially vs. Schwab-TD Ameritrade

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Vanguard reached $6 trillion in assets late last year. And it achieved that amid an ongoing fee war with Schwab-TD Ameritrade, which continued last week.

Since the 2008 financial crisis, Vanguard has led the movement to lower fees across Wall Street, first by attracting hundreds of billions of dollars in index fund assets, then by cutting fees ...Read more

Moving for the school is still a thing in Chicagoland — even if it means keeping two residences. Amenities may be king, but schools still rate in real estate

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

When Melody Roberts moved from Hyde Park, on the South Side of Chicago, to the north shore suburb of Wilmette with her son Jason Pereira,16, she said there were a number of theories floating around the neighborhood: One was she was secretly getting divorced from her husband of 27 years. Another theory was she just wasn't fond of the Hyde Park ...Read more

Doreen Christensen: Tightwad tips to save thousands in 2020

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Make saving more money a top priority this year. It's easier than you think.

I asked my community of super savers on Facebook to share their top tips. They came through with large and small ways to trim expenses. I've added a few of my favorite ways to pinch pennies, too. Feel free to share your tips at homeandleisure/consumer/home/s-2312762">Read more

Deals & Steals: Free $20 Amazon credit from Audible Books

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Take the Audible Challenge 2020 to get a free $20 Amazon credit by listening to three book titles at least 3 hours long on the free Audible app on any mobile device. Choose from 180,000 titles.

This also would be a great way to put to work that new Echo, Kindle or Fire device that you got over the holidays.

The reward is for new or current ...Read more

The rise of the renter: For the first time in decades, Seattle has as many renters as homeowners

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

SEATTLE -- For decades, Seattle has been primarily a city of homeowners, but those days may be coming to an end. It's one of the many ways that the city's current population boom has been transformative.

According to census data, a record 360,000 Seattle residents lived in rental units in 2018 -- a 16% jump from just five years earlier. And ...Read more

The 5 ingredients of a low-maintenance kitchen

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

As we slide into a new decade, the kitchen of tomorrow is taking shape. And one characteristic above all dominates: low maintenance.

Going back 20 years, kitchens were beautiful and functional, but they also required a lot of upkeep. They could be anxiety-provoking, too - think pristine marble countertops that were prone to staining and ...Read more

Social Graces: You see someone's fiance on Tinder. Now what?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: What should you do if you see someone's fiance on Tinder?

A: Discovering someone's fiance on Tinder catapults us onto ethical thin ice. On one hand, we feel the moral duty to "be a friend" by sharing vital information that affects the friend's current and future happiness. On the other hand, we know we're cracking open a hornet's nest ...Read more

Carla Fried: Tax refund or bonus? Hire a financial planner

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

In a survey of more than 1,600 workers, nearly 60% identified financial matters as their top stress. The next most-common stress was "my job" at a very distant 15%.

Every household has its own list of financial stress points, but there are some common anxiety-inducers:

--Building an emergency fund

--Getting a handle on credit card debt

--...Read more

Susan Tompor: Why student loan debt is ballooning for those 50 and up

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Retirement should be filled with plenty of carefree days, peppered with a few bucket-list-worthy adventures. Headaches, such as student loans, ideally should be long gone.

But increasingly, some retirees are wondering how they're going to pay the utilities or the rent in retirement, thanks to monthly student loan bills that add up to hundreds ...Read more

LA to curb developer donations, but some fear corporate contributions could mask source of giving

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- Real estate developers pushing to get new projects approved at Los Angeles City Hall will be banned, under a new law, from giving campaign contributions to the council members vetting their projects.

But Los Angeles leaders have held off on another change that critics say is needed: Barring donors from giving through limited ...Read more