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Gail MarksJarvis: Heading to college in the fall? You'll need a bigger piggybank

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

If you're heading off to college, prepare to dig a little deeper into your pockets. Borrowing money to pay for higher education is becoming more expensive.

In July, interest rates will climb on the federal loans students take on to pay for college this fall. Rates on undergraduate Stafford loans are jumping to 4.45 percent, from the current 3....Read more

Hot Property: Drummer snares Calabasas home

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- No small things here: Travis Barker of Blink-182 fame just bought a Mediterranean home on a private street in Calabasas for $2.825 million and sold another home in Cheviot Hills for $4.465 million.

His new house sits on a nearly half acre corner lot. He also owns another house in the gated community.

Built in 2006, the house ...Read more

Miami tops nation in home sales to unmarried co-borrowers

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

MIAMI -- A new study analyzing U.S. residential property loan originations in the first quarter of 2017 shows that unmarried co-borrowers accounted for 40.2 percent of single-family home sale loans in Miami -- more than any other city in the U.S.

Rounding out the top five cities in the study by ATTOM Data Solutions were Seattle (37.4 percent), ...Read more

The Mortgage Professor: Future income replenishment with a reverse mortgage

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The more I work with home equity conversion mortgages -- reverse mortgages offered through the Federal Housing Administration -- the more convinced I become that the HECM is the most underutilized financial tool available to consumers in the U.S. Among the important reasons for underutilization is that HECMs are more complicated than any other ...Read more

The Mortgage Professor: Future income replenishment with a reverse mortgage

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The more I work with home equity conversion mortgages -- reverse mortgages offered through the Federal Housing Administration -- the more convinced I become that the HECM is the most underutilized financial tool available to consumers in the U.S. Among the important reasons for underutilization is that HECMs are more complicated than any other ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: Condo building's insurance policy may not cover individual units

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: With hurricane season right around the corner, I am concerned about insurance for my beachfront condo. Who is responsible for fixing or replacing the building? And if my unit did get damaged, would I still have to pay the mortgage if I'm not able to live there during repairs?

-- Alex

A: Reach out to your community's management and see what ...Read more

Homeowners giving front yards the custom treatment

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Gone are the days of cookie-cutter lawns and hedges. The latest survey by Houzz, the home design and remodeling mega-platform, suggests that homeowners are all about customizing their property.

The 2017 U.S. Landscape Trends study suggests that homeowners are making major changes to their front yards. The survey also indicated that more and ...Read more

Retirement adviser rule will go into partial effect, but changes are still possible

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

WASHINGTON -- A controversial Obama-era rule for retirement advisers, delayed by a review ordered by President Trump because of strong Republican and financial industry opposition, will partially take effect next month, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta said.

But Acosta indicated that he has problems with the rule and that there still could be ...Read more

No couch, one car: How these Minnesotans are living with less

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

MINNEAPOLIS -- Before Minneapolis blogger Anthony Ongaro became an evangelist for the minimalist lifestyle, he was an Amazon addict.

Boxes would routinely show up on his doorstep, full of assorted goodies that he'd impulsively ordered: paper towels, electronic gadgets, cables and more. He kept clicking and buying until one day, he reviewed his ...Read more

Big spike in apartments with A/C as Seattle gets warmer

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

SEATTLE -- As Seattle summers keep getting hotter and hotter, a once-unthinkable perk for renters here has become more commonplace: air conditioning.

Traditionally, there hasn't been much of a point for local developers to spend the extra money to install A/C: Seattle has among the coolest summers in the country, and new construction was rare ...Read more

Honeybees a sweet perk at commercial high-rises

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

CHICAGO -- Bill Whitney rolled up to the loading dock of a Near West Side high-rise with about 9,000 honeybees riding shotgun in his Chevy.

The pickup truck, sporting license plates that read "B SAVER," was overflowing with the parts needed to construct three hives for all those bees on top of the 29th-floor roof of 540 West Madison, the West ...Read more

Susan Tompor: Crooked tech support outfits steal nearly $25 million

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Carolyn Aronson got caught not once, but twice, by tech-support scams, to the tune of $800.

The first time, she was trying to download Windows 10 for free back in 2015. But a dire-looking warning popped onto the screen.

"All of a sudden, my computer just went nuts," said Aronson, 74. "I'm rattled at this point."

So she quickly called the ...Read more

Hot Property: Mogul David Geffen sells his Malibu mansion

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- Less than two weeks after area real estate agents reported seeing moving boxes out front, David Geffen's Malibu compound appeared in public records as having sold for $85 million.

That's an eyebrow-raising sum in the pricey beach community. The most expensive sale previously recorded there took place four years ago for $74.5 ...Read more

Living small in Baltimore: A redesigned 500-square-foot rowhouse strives to make less more

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

BALTIMORE -- Tiny homes are giving new meaning to the phrase "less is more."

The less square footage, the fewer things you own, says Greg Cantori, a volunteer tiny-house consultant for Baltimore nonprofit Civic Works. The fewer things you own, the less "junk purchases" you make. And fewer such purchases free up time and money.

"We spend so ...Read more

Studies estimate impact of AHCA on health insurance

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The good old days of health insurance pricing could return, depending on what part of the country people live in.

Before the Affordable Care Act, it was difficult to buy an individual health insurance policy for those who were pregnant, had sleep apnea or diabetes, among other problems. These were reasons that insurers used to automatically ...Read more

On Philanthropy: Changes to federal policies could drastically affect philanthropists, nonprofits

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Ever since the United States was founded, charitable support of nonprofit organizations has been a fundamental part of its social fabric. Every day, nonprofits touch millions of Americans' lives. They provide for essential human services, advocate for core democratic values and support people, animals, arts and the environment.

Plus, nonprofits...Read more

Minneapolis cooking couple remake their home around the kitchen of their dreams

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

MINNEAPOLIS -- As partners in business, restaurateur Rebecca Illingworth Penichot and her executive chef know the necessity of an efficient kitchen. But as partners in life, that was sorely lacking in their own home.

"The kitchen is very important to us," said Illingworth Penichot, owner of Tinto Cocina + Cantina, a Latin fusion eatery that is ...Read more

On the House: It's the most profitable time to sell your home

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

For those of you who were fortunate enough to hang on to your houses in one of the worst recessions our country has ever seen, I come (finally) bearing some good news: If you're planning to sell any time soon, there's a good chance you could pocket a decent chunk of change.

So much so, in fact, that it's considered the best time to sell a house...Read more

Real estate Q&A: Should landlord evict tenant with new roommates?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: We just renewed our tenant for a second year. When we rented to him, we agreed in the lease that it would be just him living there. Now it seems that he has let another person move in with a small child. Are we stuck with this situation? -- Abe

A: No. A lease is a contract, and your tenant has agreed to more than just paying the rent on time...Read more

Trump tax plan would make mortgage deduction worthless for millions

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has taken pains to stress that the Trump administration isn't out to kill Americans' beloved mortgage-interest tax deduction -- but a side effect of the plan could turn it into a perk only for the wealthy.

President Donald Trump has proposed rewriting the tax code to raise the standard ...Read more

 

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