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Judge denies prosecutor's request to drop rape charges against Orange County doctor, girlfriend

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- A judge denied the Orange County district attorney's request to dismiss sexual assault charges against a well-known Newport Beach doctor and his girlfriend Friday, continuing a legal saga that has been marred by a political battle between the county's current and former top prosecutor.

Grant Robicheaux, 39, and his girlfriend ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: Do tenants have to agree to multiple credit checks?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: We are looking to rent our home, and the management company requires background and credit checks on all buyers and tenants to get approved. Our real estate agent already conducted a credit check on our prospective tenants. The tenants do not want a second credit check because they do not want to hurt their credit score. The tenants will have...Read more

A tent city in Cupertino: Wealthy tech capital grapples with new homeless camp

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

CUPERTINO, Calif. -- Already caught in the shockwaves of a global pandemic, Cupertino now has another unprecedented problem: For the first time in recent memory, the upscale city has a visible homelessness issue.

When the small cluster of tents suddenly appeared on the side of Wolfe Road it brought the Bay Area homelessness crisis to the front ...Read more

Susan Tompor: Mortgage rates could stay low for weeks, months — but there's a catch

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Super-low mortgage rates, which took hold back in early April, are now amazingly stretching into summer, giving many who didn't refinance yet a second chance.

"The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate is 3.56%, close to the record low of 3.50%," said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com.

Essentially, mortgage rates have hovered...Read more

Susan Tompor: Mortgage rates could stay low for weeks, months — but there's a catch

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Super-low mortgage rates, which took hold back in early April, are now amazingly stretching into summer, giving many who didn't refinance yet a second chance.

"The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate is 3.56%, close to the record low of 3.50%," said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com.

Essentially, mortgage rates have hovered...Read more

What happens to neighborhood appeal if the coronavirus closes small businesses for good?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

PHILADELPHIA -- A neighborhood coffee shop on the walk to work. A gym on the way home. A theater or concert venue a few blocks away. An assortment of restaurants and bars ready to satisfy changing moods.

Potential home buyers evaluate the characteristics of properties -- numbers of bedrooms and bathrooms, parking, prices -- but often just as ...Read more

Social Graces: Your job is heading back to the office, but you don't feel safe. Here's how to handle it.

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: Your company has decided to go back to the office, but you don't feel safe doing that yet. How should you handle the situation, given the economy and job security?

A: In a matter of a few short months, the guidelines for etiquette have shifted. Safety comes before etiquette. As we do our best to adjust and with many stay-at-home orders ...Read more

5 ways to ace your next interior painting job

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Painting your home is a near-instant way to refresh your space and give it new life. But when it comes to paint, each room has its own needs - and everything from choosing the right hue to properly prepping the space matters. We've compiled some expert tips to help you plan for the best results.

1. Know your paints.

Before you start your ...Read more

Hot Property: Sly Stallone readies for another round in La Quinta

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- It's been a rocky road for Sylvester Stallone in La Quinta, but the movie star is trying to knock out a home sale in the resort city once more. His desert digs are back on the market for $3.35 million, or $849,000 less than his original asking price five years ago.

The Oscar-nominated actor appears destined to take a loss on the ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: Ask a real estate pro: Now that we're divorcing, what can I do to force the sale of our home?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: My husband just filed for divorce. We both own the house, but I was the only borrower on the loan. I would like to sell it and get something that I can afford on my own, but he is not cooperating and is no longer kicking in toward household expenses. What should I do? -- Kelly

A: When multiple people own a property, they all have to agree to...Read more

Rabbi makes rap video for his house listing while it's stuck on the market during pandemic — and the whole family joins in

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

CHICAGO -- Video tours and virtual walk-throughs have become the norm for home sellers during the coronavirus pandemic, but Moshe Teldon took things one step further.

The suburban Wilmette rabbi and his family created a chuckle-worthy music video in which he describes the $499,000 home listing and implores buyers to bite.

"I really want to ...Read more

San Diego real estate deals raise questions about property values, disclosures

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

SAN DIEGO -- In the early days of 2017, as a new president was set to take office and the U.S. stock market began a historic rise that would only be felled years later by a deadly virus, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer went real estate shopping.

He and his staff reached a 20-year lease-to-own deal for the longtime headquarters of Sempra Energy,...Read more

Life skills: How do you tell someone they're not muted during a work Zoom call?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: How do you politely tell people they're not on mute during a work Zoom call?

A: The most important thing is to be subtle and gentle about it. You can always send a private message to let them know that they haven't turned the microphone off.

Alternatively, depending on your comfort or familiarity with the meeting attendees, you can ...Read more

5 signs it's time to call a tree service

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Trees are an attractive addition to any yard, and they come with plenty of benefits. In addition to cleaning the air and improving the look of your landscape, shade from trees can lower your home's cooling bill and even add a 10 percent boost to your property value, according to the USDA Forest Service. If you enjoy your trees and want to keep...Read more

Hot Property: 'Law & Order' star looks to sell famous TV setting

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- Actor Christopher Meloni, who will soon be back on the case in an upcoming "Law & Order" spinoff, has put his home in the Hollywood Hills on the market for $6.495 million.

Television viewers may be familiar with the East Coast-inspired home, which doubled as a set for "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" in the 1950s and 1960s. ...Read more

Buyers and renters are moving into homes without seeing them first

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

PHILADELPHIA -- Bryan Locasale listed one of his rental properties in Philadelphia's Callowhill neighborhood last week on Zillow. Twenty minutes later, a woman contacted him about it. In an hour and a half, she submitted an application. Within 36 hours, she had signed the lease, and the place was hers.

His new tenant, he said, never saw the ...Read more

Should you fix that yourself? How to handle home repair during the pandemic

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- When Tony Nittoli of North Hollywood noticed a leak under his bathroom sink in mid-April, he tied it up with an old T-shirt and stuffed junk mail under it. He'd normally call his apartment manager to take care of it, but health officials' orders were clear: stay inside and away from others to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

"...Read more

Starbucks gets cold reception after demanding rent breaks from landlords

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

SEATTLE -- When Starbucks landlord Leon Brooks got a letter asking for at least a year's reduction in rent for the company's drive-thru store in San Clemente, California, the property owner knew his answer.

"I am highly disappointed, disgusted and angry," Brooks wrote back to the global coffee chain. "Shame on you."

Seattle-based Starbucks, ...Read more

Why home prices should perform far better than overall economy

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The coronavirus crisis sent stocks plummeting, but home prices should hold up better because of a housing shortage.

Three-quarters of brokers report their clients haven't lowered prices because of the economic contraction, according to an April 30 survey from the National Association of Realtors. One in five buyers had dropped out of the market...Read more

Social Graces: How to turn down a ride-seeker

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: How do you turn down a friend or acquaintance asking for a ride in your car?

A: In response to this question, many people will come up with reasons to get out of giving the ride - going in the opposite direction, errands, no gas, etc.

Why should you have to make up excuses for something you don't want to do? We do this because saying no...Read more