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Social Graces: How to tell your neighbor to stop smoking weed, even if it's legal

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: How should you tell your neighbor to stop smoking weed, even though its legal in some states?

A: Even if weed is legal in your state, you shouldn't tell your neighbors to stop doing something in their own home if they can't legally smoke in public. And before you point out someone else's behavior, you have to look at yourself, because you...Read more

5 kitchen and bath trends for 2020

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

A whole new vocabulary is forming around home design, with terms like biophilia, assisted cooking and livability being bandied out by more remodeling pros. That was clear from the 2020 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS), which took place last month in Las Vegas.

More than 90,000 attendees caught the latest wares from more than 600 ...Read more

Hot Property: 'Future Man' Josh Hutcherson completes mission to sell

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- Actor Josh Hutcherson, who stars in the Hulu adventure-comedy series "Future Man," has sold his home in the Hollywood Hills for $2.94 million.

Obscured from the street by lush landscaping, the roughly half-acre property centers on a wood-clad Midcentury Modern-style home of nearly 1,900 square feet. Built in 1951, the single-...Read more

A Chicago firm is about to make its mark on South Philly's refinery site

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

A Chicago-based redevelopment firm is about to make its mark on Philadelphia.

On Thursday, a federal bankruptcy judge confirmed the $252 million sale of the sprawling shuttered South Philadelphia refinery site to Hilco Redevelopment Partners, a firm which has promised "billions of dollars of investment into the site to transform the debtors' ...Read more

Liz Farmer: Want a vibrant, growing city to call home? Follow the immigrants

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Living amid economic and population growth puts the wind at your back. Demand for housing rises in these areas, so homes appreciate. Highly skilled workers abound, so businesses new and old can prosper. And local and state governments remain solvent, ensuring better services.

How to identify such cities? Just look for places that have a ...Read more

Liz Farmer: Cities and states offering cash, tax breaks to lure workers

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

You've heard of moving incentives: companies offering a signing bonus to lure workers to relocate. Now, state and local governments are getting into the game, offering tax credits or actual cash to lure residents.

If you're considering a move, knowing about these incentives might help tip the scales. Perhaps you're a soon-to-be college graduate...Read more

Liz Farmer: Mansion taxes — behind the rise in real estate transfer levies

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

If you live in or near Connecticut or New York state, you may have heard about mansion taxes and what they'll mean for home sales in the posh real estate markets of Manhattan or Greenwich. And then, because you don't live in a mansion in either of those states, you dismissed the notion that such taxes would ever apply to you.

Not so fast. ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: How can I make sure my daughter keeps my house after I die?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: I want to make sure that my daughter keeps my house after I pass. Can I add her to my title now without any problems? Can I give a deed to hold and record later? What is the easiest way? -- James

A: Dealing with financial and property issues shortly after a loved one passes away is difficult. You are kind to seek to spare your daughter this ...Read more

Susan Tompor: How banks are motivating customers to save up for big purchases

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Just as we fill up on empty calories throughout the day, we load our shopping carts full of useless junk. Some days, to be sure, we do better than others.

But what if a savings tool could keep our head in the game -- and our money in our bank accounts -- just a bit longer?

The overall theory: If you can see it, you can save for it.

Ally Bank,...Read more

Carla Fried: Actively managed funds fail against the S&P 500, charge big fees

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

U.S. stock investors reached a milestone last year. For the first time, money invested in stock index funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) exceeded the amount in actively managed U.S. stock funds, according to Morningstar Direct.

That's a sign that individual investors are getting smarter. Index mutual funds and ETFs are "passive," aiming to ...Read more

Carla Fried: Near retirement? An income strategy to help you sleep well

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Just before retirement, there's a huge job to tackle: figuring out how to create a stream of income that will make for an enjoyable retirement, without worries that your money will run out before you do.

That's no easy task given the good chance that retirement will be a 25- to 30-year stretch, due to increasing longevity for those who reach ...Read more

On Philanthropy: In 2020, philanthropy will be seriously affected by politics, tax law and climate change

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

As the philanthropic landscape continues to evolve in 2020, expect these meaningful developments.

--Political fundraising will challenge charitable fundraising

2020 is likely to be the most-expensive-ever U.S. political campaign year. Billions of dollars will be donated to national, state and local campaigns. It is projected that media ...Read more

Social Graces: What to do when a friend undertips the server

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: What should you do if your friend is being a bad tipper, especially after making a huge fuss with the server at a restaurant?

A: If you find yourself in a position in which you notice your friend has undertipped the server, you can discreetly excuse yourself from the table and offer an additional amount. While you don't want to embarrass ...Read more

Erin Arvedlund: Coronavirus fear? It's already peaked on Wall Street.

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The coronavirus didn't stop Wall Street from rallying to new records last week. And the pandemic had an unintended effect -- driving down borrowing costs for corporate America while lowering Treasury bond yields for investors.

"Fearful investors are driving down long-term rates, such as the 10-year Treasury," said Dev Kantesaria, managing ...Read more

5 quick and simple weekend projects

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Home improvements don't have to be major remodels. The turn of a screw, new paint in a favorite nook - a few small upgrades can go a long way in creating a welcoming atmosphere that inspires and comforts you in every room. Don't know where to start? Here's a look at five simple projects you can tackle in a weekend or two.

1. Install a new ...Read more

Hot Property: Joe Mantegna readies for a scene change in Toluca Lake

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- After nearly three decades, Joe Mantegna is calling it quits in the Toluca Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. The veteran actor, whose myriad credits include "Three Amigos," "The Godfather Part III" and "Criminal Minds," has listed his Tudor-style haunt for $4.195 million.

A Tudor through and through, the two-story home sits on ...Read more

Rape charges against Newport Beach doctor, girlfriend to be dismissed today

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- An Orange County judge on Friday is expected to dismiss charges against a doctor and his girlfriend in a sensational sexual assault case in which the pair were branded as a "Bonnie and Clyde" team who drugged women and forced them to engage in sex acts.

Orange County prosecutors accused prominent Newport Beach doctor Grant ...Read more

Susan Tompor: Loan refinancing website LendEDU sold rankings to highest bidders, FTC says

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

If you never heard of LendEDU, you very likely might have spotted one of their many, many quirky surveys.

Take a recent one: Reportedly 62% of student loan borrowers actually would give up their right to vote in the 2020 presidential election if it meant their student loan debt was completely forgiven.

Really? Are we driven totally these days ...Read more

High-tax states' bonds are so in demand that ratings don't matter

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

NEW YORK -- There's so much money chasing after the bonds sold by America's high-tax states that buyers don't seem to care too much about what credit-rating companies think.

The heavy demand overall has driven municipal yields to their lowest in more than six-decades. And with rates so low, the yield penalties that would typically differentiate...Read more

Real estate Q&A: Can we put a candidate sign in front of our home?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: We want to put a lawn sign out in front of our home for our favorite candidate. Our homeowners association is saying no way. What about my First Amendment rights? Can they restrict this? -- Barry

A: Political season is upon us, and many people want to show their support for their favorite candidate.

Americans like to show off their chosen ...Read more