How accurate are Zestimates?
Spot on, says Zillow. The company is now so confident in its ability to estimate the value of a home without ever setting foot inside, it will make a cash offer on select houses.
The company announced the initiative this week — 15 years after first posting its Zestimates, the oft-watched home-value estimates that...Read more
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s eviction moratorium was blocked by a Texas judge who said the federal government overstepped its authority in stopping landlords from throwing out tenants.
U.S. District Judge J. Campbell Barker, who was nominated by President Donald Trump, said that while states have the authority to regulate ...Read more
Late last year, Congress gave Michigan more than half a billion dollars to protect renters in the state from eviction. There was just one catch: State leaders had to sign off on distributing the money.
Nearly two months later, the funding—along with the rest of the federal aid given to Michigan for schools, vaccine distribution and business ...Read more
SAN FRANCISCO — Even on a foggy San Francisco morning, the view from Scott Simmons’ 25th-floor apartment stretches from downtown to Golden Gate Park. The home of the 42-year-old tech worker is also spacious for a one-bedroom, featuring hardwood floors, new appliances and granite countertops.
A year ago, when he was sharing a two-bedroom ...Read more
Q: I signed a contract about a year ago with a small builder to purchase a new home. Since then, housing prices have increased a lot, especially in this neighborhood. My contract called for an additional earnest money deposit to be made a few weeks ago, and I inadvertently missed the deadline. The seller sent me a letter saying they were ...Read more
Ever feel like your employer is bringing in new software for the express purpose of driving you so crazy you’ll quit? You’re probably not alone.
A study from the National Bureau of Economic Research crunched decades of data on 50,000 businesses and 11.6 million workers and found that the faster a company installs new software, the faster it...Read more
Want to avoid gender pay gaps? The solution starts (and mostly ends) with your bedmate.
Economist Patricia Cortés is an expert on the gender pay gap. If you ask her advice on how to avoid a gender pay gap in your own life, her answer is surprisingly close to home. Actually, it’s in your home: “If I’m honest, my advice is to marry a man ...Read more
Home prices in 20 U.S. cities surged in December, with low mortgage rates fueling the housing market.
The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index of property values climbed 10.1% from a year earlier, beating the median estimate of 9.9% in a Bloomberg survey of economists. It followed a 9.2% gain in November and was the biggest jump since 2014.
A survey of nearly 6,000 households asked, in multiple choice format, the definition of “passive investing.” More than half chose “didn’t know.” Another 29% incorrectly chose “buying and holding without being influenced by short term market fluctuations.”
Only one in five retirement savers, in the quiz by Hearts & Wallets, ...Read more
Many people who suddenly ended up working remotely during the pandemic in 2020 found themselves plopped at their kitchen table in front of a laptop.
But more people than you might imagine hit the road and worked out of someone else's kitchen or spare bedroom, maybe visting a relative or a summer home, in another state.
So what happens now at ...Read more
Writing earlier this year, I picked on fixed-income exchanged-traded funds, arguing that without the Federal Reserve’s unprecedented intervention in corporate credit markets, it’s unclear whether these relatively new vehicles for investing in bonds would have survived the liquidity crunch of March 2020.
Unsurprisingly, this didn’t sit ...Read more
Q: What should you do if your friend who has been vaccinated stops wearing a mask in public?
A: I like to ask reasonably intelligent people questions that might help me better understand their decision-making. So my initial interaction would be something like this:
1) “I understand you were recently vaccinated. Is that why you’re no ...Read more
The transition to a world of electric vehicles has officially shifted into higher gear. In January, General Motors announced a goal that by 2035 only electric cars and trucks would roll off its assembly lines. China is on record telling its automakers it expects 40% of new car sales in 2030 to be EVs.
Even if you’re not motivated by climate ...Read more
Sales of previously owned U.S. homes unexpectedly rose to a three-month high in January as Americans sought to take advantage of ultra-low mortgage rates that have powered the boom in housing.
Contract closings increased 0.6% from the prior month to an annualized 6.69 million, after a downwardly revised 6.65 million in December, according to ...Read more
Many people created workspaces — at their own cost — in their homes last year if they were no longer going to an office to work, and some may be wondering if they'll get a tax break on setting up their home office.
"Unfortunately, no," said Alex Kindler, a partner at H2R CPA in Green Tree, Pa.
"If you're an employee who telecommutes, there...Read more
A few years ago, during the height of Seattle’s historic population boom, I wrote about a remarkable trend: The city was adding cars as fast as people.
That trend appears to be over, at least for now. Census data shows that Seattle’s car “population” — the number of vehicles owned or leased by city residents — has finally leveled ...Read more
Q: Our tenants are nice people but consistently pay their rent late. Their annual lease expires in September, and I do not want to renew it. With everything going on, am I allowed to do this? —Barbara
A: A lease is a contract, and you and your tenant are bound by its terms.
Your first step is to review your lease agreement to see if you ...Read more
The ever-so-anticipated third stimulus check is supposed to give people a financial lift during the pandemic.
But it's raising new questions during tax season, such as: Do I really need to file my 2020 federal income tax return as soon as possible to get a bigger payout?
Increasingly, we're hearing buzz that some people who lost their jobs or ...Read more
One way to reliably fund 529 college savings accounts
Ours isn't a consumer household — it's more a way station for items we need at present, usually acquired, used and later given away or recycled. My 12-year-old son just dropped by my desk, wearing his typical winter outfit of jeans, a t-shirt and a fleece, all from consignment stores (two ...Read more
As body cams are revolutionizing the issue of police brutality — irrefutable proof is so much stronger than mere witness accounts — so might an experiment in videotaping workplace teams convince skeptics about the seemingly unalterable process by which women are railroaded into silence and powerlessness on the job.
Sure, any woman with work...Read more
- Cheaper rent in San Francisco? For some Oakland tenants, the city across the Bay is more affordable now
- Carla Fried: What's that college degree worth — $2 million or $248,000?
- Mark A. Stein: Don't let technology run you out of a job you like
- Real estate Q&A: Can a builder terminate contract for new home after I missed deposit deadline?
- Carla Fried: Retiring early? Tap your 401(k), wait until 70 for Social Security