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Real estate Q&A: Hurricane delays home closing — Now what?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: We were in the middle of buying our new home when Hurricane Irma arrived. We still want to buy the home. What happens now? -- Joan

A: When a hurricane is approaching, it becomes impossible to get homeowner's insurance, causing most closings to be delayed.

The standard real estate contract used in most closings will contain a clause dealing ...Read more

Bitcoin's likely to split again in November as debate rages on

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

HONG KONG -- Bitcoin is looking increasingly likely to splinter off again in November, creating a third version of the world's largest cryptocurrency as miners and developers pursue separate visions to scale its rapidly growing marketplace.

Major industry players, including the bitcoin investor Roger Ver, known as "Bitcoin Jesus" for ...Read more

The Mortgage Professor: Another method of encouraging home equity growth: A right to recast

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Growth in home equity during working years is important because home equity is a potential source of spendable funds after retirement. In a recent article, I suggested that mortgage borrowers might develop an extra payment plan that would pay off their loan balance before term using calculator 2a on my website, which was developed solely for ...Read more

The Mortgage Professor: Another method of encouraging home equity growth: A right to recast

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Growth in home equity during working years is important because home equity is a potential source of spendable funds after retirement. In a recent article, I suggested that mortgage borrowers might develop an extra payment plan that would pay off their loan balance before term using calculator 2a on my website, which was developed solely for ...Read more

When Bret Parsons isn't selling homes, he's preserving LA's architectural legacy

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- Bret Parsons is a real estate agent and director of the architectural division at Coldwell Banker Beverly Hills North. The office is the highest-grossing residential real estate office in the country.

A decade earlier, as a residential loan agent, Parsons wrote millions of dollars' worth of residential mortgages.

In addition to ...Read more

Target, Best Buy and even Amazon among retailers who see new power in stores

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

MINNEAPOLIS -- Target has spent more than a decade adapting to the arrival of online shopping.

For a time, it outsourced much of its digital effort to Amazon. Then it tried to fight a head-to-head battle for the attention of internet shoppers.

Now CEO Brian Cornell is shifting the Minneapolis-based company's emphasis again to focus on a not-so...Read more

Insurers cutting back on drug coupons amid concerns over consumer costs

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

CHICAGO -- With many drug prices rising, consumers often pull out coupons or discount cards from drugmakers to save money when they buy medications at pharmacies.

But some insurers are limiting how those discounts may be applied amid concerns they're driving up health care costs for everyone. Curbing the coupons could mean more money out of ...Read more

Susan Tompor: New apps encourage millennials to round up spending to trim down college debt

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

What if every time you ordered a spicy tuna roll or tried a new craft beer, you could set aside an extra dollar or so to put toward your student loan debt?

It's a strategy that might work for many millennials. A new app, for example, allows Fifth Third banking customers to link their debit cards to student loans held by more than 30 major loan ...Read more

Investment firm that started small carves out a big-time niche

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

MIAMI -- In 2004, Coral Gables Trust Company was founded by a small group of Miami-area investors who put up $3 million in initial capital and started out with a handful of clients, mostly shareholders.

Despite competing against much larger trust companies and financial institutions like Northern Trust, JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America, the ...Read more

Gail MarksJarvis: The Equifax breach left many of us vulnerable. Here's how to protect yourself

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

When your Social Security number has been exposed, you're vulnerable.

When the bad guys know your address, driver's license number and age along with your Social Security number, the risk is even worse.

Now that a massive data breach at Equifax has compromised that data for nearly half of Americans -- essentially giving away the keys to their ...Read more

Hot Property: Lights … camera … auction

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- The longtime family ranch and a North Hollywood dance studio of late singer-actress Debbie Reynolds will be among property up for auction next month.

The ranch-estate in Creston, Calif., had been offered for sale before Reynolds' death last year for $4.8 million but was taken off the market in June. The studio on Lankershim ...Read more

Slowly but surely, an 1880s home was moved for preservation

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

BARRINGTON HILLS, Ill. -- Like delicate surgery, crews used jacks to lift an 1880s home in downtown Barrington off its foundation and slowly hauled it with a truck two miles away to a residence in neighboring Barrington Hills.

Nearly 10 hours after crews started the process at 4:30 a.m. Sunday, the historic home arrived safely at its new ...Read more

US probing high-pressure mortgage sales that target veterans

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. is investigating lenders for allegedly pressuring veterans and members of the military into unneeded mortgage refinances -- unsavory conduct that not only leads to higher consumer costs but has consequences for one of the world's largest bond markets.

The probe is being conducted by Ginnie Mae, a government-owned ...Read more

On Philanthropy: Higher education philanthropy: More like soccer or basketball?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Most people agree that higher education is worthy of philanthropic support. In 2016, nearly half of all donations from the largest 50 donors in the United States went to colleges and universities. That same year, U.S. colleges and universities accepted $41 billion in contributions.

In early 2015, higher education endowments totaled more than $...Read more

Real estate industry blocks sea-level warnings that could crimp profits on coastal properties

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

NAGS HEAD, N.C. -- All along the coast of the southeast United States, the real estate industry confronts a hurricane. Not the kind that swirls in the Atlantic, but a storm of scientific information about sea-level rise that threatens the most lucrative, commission-boosting properties.

These studies warn that Florida, the Carolinas and other ...Read more

Don't let your home's infrastructure crumble

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

It's no secret that U.S. infrastructure is crumbling, but is your home's infrastructure in good shape?

Maintaining key features that make a home livable will save money down the road and may even fall under critical life-safety issues. These home maintenance checkups aren't sexy or fun, but they are necessary to keep a house in top shape.

...Read more

Real estate Q&A: Owner can't sell home until long-lost ex is off the deed

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: I have owned my home for more than 20 years and now want to sell it. When I did a simple divorce from my husband a decade ago, he never deeded his half of the house back to me. I haven't seen or heard from him since we split up. How can I sell my house?

-- Susan

A: I see this problem often in my practice. I can't emphasize enough the ...Read more

The Mortgage Professor: CFPB on delaying Social Security with a reverse mortgage

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Seniors can begin receiving Social Security at 62 or wait before applying in order to draw a larger amount. For example, a Social Security payment of $910 a month starting at age 62 becomes $1,300 starting at age 67. If a homeowner can't afford to wait before drawing more funds, she can take out a home equity conversion mortgage -- the federal ...Read more

The Mortgage Professor: CFPB on delaying Social Security with a reverse mortgage

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Seniors can begin receiving Social Security at 62 or wait before applying in order to draw a larger amount. For example, a Social Security payment of $910 a month starting at age 62 becomes $1,300 starting at age 67. If a homeowner can't afford to wait before drawing more funds, she can take out a home equity conversion mortgage -- the federal ...Read more

In Southern California, a new generation of young home buyers is tiptoeing into the market

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- Newly married and in their mid-20s, Josh and Kayleigh Hyink were ready for the next step in their "master plan."

So the couple ditched their $1,644 one-bedroom apartment in Orange County and this spring purchased a new $430,000 house in the farther-out Riverside County city of Murrieta, becoming homeowners for the first time.

...Read more