Home & Leisure

Arianne Cohen: Even with Google, knowing stuff is crucial to basic reasoning

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

What’s the difference between socialism and communism? How does global warming occur? What’s an economy of scale?

Easily Google-able questions — and parents’ own unhappy recollections of learning that relied on rote memorization — may encourage households to lighten up on the accumulation of knowledge in young minds. “They can ...Read more


Arianne Cohen: Did someone criticize your parenting? How to react

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Few behaviors are as triggering as someone suggesting bad parenting — your bad parenting. Perhaps a co-worker innocently wonders whether you ever cook homemade meals for your kids, or a teacher’s email suggests that all kindergarten parents chaperone field trips.

You think, “Ugh, I’m a horrible parent.”

Rather than looking at these ...Read more

Julia Wall/The News & Observer/TNS

'Where do they think I'm going to stay?' Soaring NC housing prices erase Black neighborhoods

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

RALEIGH, N.C. — In the last three years, J.C. and Telza Perry have watched construction crews tear down seven of 14 houses on their block of East Jones Street, replacing them with towering two-story moderns that have sold for more than half a million dollars.

It stings a little.

The Perrys bought their home for $9,000 in 1968, adding granite...Read more

David McNew/Getty Images North America/TNS

Hot, hot, hot ... warm: SoCal home values hit new record, but price rises are slowing

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Southern California home prices set another record last month, but the market is cooling despite the all-time price high.

The region's six-county median sales price — the point at which half the homes sold for more and half for less — climbed 1.3% from August to $688,500 in September, according to data released Wednesday from real estate ...Read more


US existing-homes sales rise 7%, the most in a year

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Sales of previously owned U.S. homes rose in September by the most in a year, suggesting a slight easing in home-price growth and lower mortgage rates a month earlier provided a tailwind for demand.

Contract closings increased 7% from the prior month, the most since September 2020, to an annualized 6.29 million, figures from the National ...Read more

Carla Roman/TNS

Real estate Q&A: What can neighbors do about hoarder's unkempt home?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: A resident of our community is a hoarder and does not maintain his home. We are concerned that the condition of his home will attract pests and cause other problems. The association’s management company sent him letters, but nothing came of it, and the problem is getting worse. Can anything be done? —Brett

A: Dealing with this situation ...Read more

JANE TYSKA/San Jose Mercury News/TNS

Homebuyer 'love letters' may stir bias. (But they often work)

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Several years ago, Kristine Chadwick and her family were trying to buy a house in Eugene, Oregon. The market was competitive, so her agent suggested she write a letter to the seller, describing her husband, three kids, two dogs and one cat, and why she wanted to raise her family in the house. Hers was not the highest bid, but she got the house ...Read more

Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Susan Tompor: How to find gifts -- and joy -- if a toy shortage hits during the holidays

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The holiday shopping frenzy has always been driven by FOMO. But this year, the fear of missing out is colliding smack dab into the fear of running out.

The ongoing message we're hearing a month before Thanksgiving is buy now before it's too late. A QVC host in mid-October proclaimed that products will be sparse across the board for all ...Read more

Kevin Cable/Dreamstime/TNS

After canker catastrophe, scientists want to bring back Florida's zest for citrus

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Floridians still shudder at the memory. The knock on the door. The warnings to cooperate or be arrested. Then chain-saw crews destroying prized lemon and orange trees in an effort to wipe out citrus canker.

And all for nothing. Despite the loss of almost 900,000 trees in residential areas, the state’s eradication ...Read more


Carla Fried: Medicare Advantage is cheaper for a reason -- beware

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The smart way to shop for any type of insurance is to steel yourself and imagine the worst. The house burns down. The car is totaled. With those “what-ifs” front and center, you’re more inclined to seek out coverage that provides the best protection.

The big what-if of Medicare Advantage

If you are lucky enough to be healthy when you’...Read more

On Philanthropy: Charity 'grand bargain' strained by religious nonprofit tax exemption

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Over a century ago, Mark Twain observed, “No church property is taxed and so the infidel and the atheist and the man without religion are taxed to make up the deficit in the public income.” In 1937, 73% of Americans said they were a member of a church. A Gallup survey in 2020 revealed that only 47% of U.S. adults now belong to either a ...Read more

Ryan Garza/Detroit Free Press/TNS

Susan Tompor: You may be surprised by cuts in October child tax credit

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

It's time to check the mailbox and bank account for extra cash from the October child tax credit that rolled out Friday.

Many parents saw the money hit their accounts as expected just like it arrived for the past three months.

But no, unfortunately, it looks like it won't be smooth sailing for everyone. As has happened in the past, some ...Read more

Ricardo DeAratanha/Los Angeles Times/TNS

They turned a one-car garage into a stunning living space to house their parents. You can too

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES — Four years ago, when they were running out of room in their two-bedroom bungalow, Pastor Alvarado and Gennifer Leong-Alvarado went to architects Rebecca Rudolph and Catherine Johnson of Design, Bitches with a proposition. Could they design a multipurpose room that served not just them, but their extended family? As much as they ...Read more

Michael Laughlin/Sun Sentinel/TNS

'Want to sell your house?' Complaints increase about unsolicited real estate texts

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Here’s how desperate some real estate agents and investors are to find new homes to sell in Florida’s red-hot marketplace: They are sending out unsolicited text messages to find potential sellers.

“Hope you are having a wonderful day. By the way, do you own the house at 26840 SW 142nd Ct,” reads a message sent Friday to Wladamiro ...Read more

Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Tribune Tower Residences are complete, with amenities ranging from an indoor golf simulator to herb garden

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Stepping inside the historic Tribune Tower at 435 N. Michigan Ave., one is faced with a lot less construction, and a lot more polish.

The CIM Group and Golub & Co., who together bought the property from Tribune Media for $240 million in 2016, allowed walk-throughs of the iconic building Wednesday — showing how the renderings of Tribune Tower ...Read more

Amanda Snyder/Seattle Times/TNS

Seattle rent hike rules to become law without mayor's signature

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Two new Seattle tenant protections will become law without Mayor Jenny Durkan's blessing.

The Seattle City Council passed the bills last month. The first requires landlords to give six months' notice of any rent increase, up from the current two months. The second requires landlords to pay certain tenants relocation assistance if the landlord ...Read more

Steve Ringman/TNS/TNS

Real estate Q&A: Can we build another house on my side yard?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: My property’s large side yard is more than big enough to fit another house. I want to deed part of my property to my son so he can build his home there. Should I get my mortgage lender’s permission to transfer the vacant land? Is there anything else I need to do? —Gregg

A: If you live in a community association, you probably cannot do ...Read more

Detroit Free Press/TNS

They're trying to save Detroiters from eviction before it's too late

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Tenesa Sanders walks up to an apartment in Midtown Detroit on a Saturday afternoon, with clipboard in hand and flyers about a free legal clinic happening later that day for people facing eviction and ways to get rental assistance.

She buzzes in to try and reach the tenant, whom she says could be evicted this week, but gets no response.

"He ...Read more

Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Auction of 'The One' -- L.A.'s biggest new mansion -- delayed amid allegations of a power grab

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES — A planned foreclosure auction of the largest modern home in the country has been delayed after billionaire lender Don Hankey was accused of maneuvering to take control of the troubled Bel-Air project and leave other debt holders out in the cold.

"The One," a 105,000-square-foot unfinished mansion once marketed for $500 million, ...Read more


Susan Tompor: Fake Facebook fundraiser shocks family with cancer diagnosis

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Just imagine scrolling Facebook one day and making the shocking discovery that your brother has cancer. He never mentioned a thing to you. But now he's posting requests for donations to cover his medical costs?

And this is how you find out?

The sister picked up the phone and called her brother. Unfortunately, others just donated on the spot, ...Read more