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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

Dreamstime/TNS

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

TNS

Carla Fried: Don't believe these 5 retirement myths

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Our less-than-ideal retirement system requires most retirees to make a series of decisions in their 60s that could determine their financial and healthcare future. But widely held beliefs around retirement and old age — many of them mistaken — can lead to ruinous decisions.

Be on high alert for these five myths:

1. You won’t live past 85...Read more

Scott Olson/Getty Images North America/TNS

Small states cry foul on federal rental relief redistribution

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

States with small populations say a federal plan to take back unspent emergency rental aid and redistribute it elsewhere is unfair, potentially depriving them and their residents of millions of dollars to address broad affordable housing challenges.

Last December’s federal law appropriating $25 billion for emergency rental assistance ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Carla Fried: Paying for college -- essential list of dos and don'ts

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

With list prices that can be more than $50,000 a year, college can be a huge financial sinkhole for families that don’t plan and shop wisely.

Case in point: Nearly one in five people who take a hardship withdrawal from their 401(k) retirement plan do so to pay college tuition or other school expenses, according to the Transamerica Center for ...Read more

Handout/Dreamstime/TNS

The era of mutual funds is dying. Long live ETFs.

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The battle between mutual funds and exchange-traded funds is over. ETFs won.

It wasn’t easy. ETFs have been around for nearly three decades, and hardly anyone noticed for a long time. The first ETF, State Street’s SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust, debuted in 1993. By the mid-2000s, there were roughly 350 ETFs, but the industry had gathered just $320 ...Read more

Scott Olson/Getty Images North America/TNS

Small states cry foul on federal rental relief redistribution

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

States with small populations say a federal plan to take back unspent emergency rental aid and redistribute it elsewhere is unfair, potentially depriving them and their residents of millions of dollars to address broad affordable housing challenges.

Last December’s federal law appropriating $25 billion for emergency rental assistance ...Read more

Mark Wilson/Getty Images North America/TNS

Editorial: Realtors must embrace fair rules of competition, lest their hands get forced

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

These are boom times for residential real estate, and especially for real estate agents who help to buy and sell homes. Soaring prices and fast-paced sales in markets across the country have put many top agents on easy street. Their sales commissions are expected to surge 16% this year, surpassing $100 billion for the first time, according to an...Read more

Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Meet the Korean dancer whose houseplant obsession inspired her new career in ceramics

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES — Artist Mipa Shin sits on a low metal stool next to her pottery wheel and prepares to talk houseplants. Smiling, pointing to the planters that line the shelves of her single-car-garage-turned-ceramics-studio, her excitement grows, just like her favorite plant: the tall, sculptural Adenia venenata.

She loves caudiciform ...Read more

Dania Maxwell/Los Angeles Times/TNS

California's median home price seen topping $800,000 in new peak

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The median price for a home in California is set to jump north of $800,000 next year, adding to a long-simmering affordability crisis in the state.

The state, which has grappled for years with a shortage of affordable housing, will see prices rise 5.2% to a median of $834,000 in 2022, according to a forecast by the California Association of ...Read more

Handout/Dreamstime/TNS

Susan Tompor: When to look for next child tax credit payment and other October tax tips

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

As we fall deep into the season of dancing skeletons and haunted hayrides, yes, it's time once again to think about taxes.

Sure, dressing up as a CPA isn't exactly a hot Halloween costume, though, an industry group once smartly suggested dressing up as a golfer wearing the name tag "Par Value" and gave another another costume tip for "General ...Read more

Darren Fisher/Dreamstime/TNS

Real estate Q&A: Is now a good time to start being a landlord?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: We are getting older and ready to move to a smaller home. Our plan has always been to rent our existing house to make extra money toward our retirement. After the eviction moratorium, we are nervous. Is it a good time to be a landlord? — Jerri

A: Not collecting rent is a scary prospect that every landlord needs to be prepared for.

Whether...Read more

Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun Sentinel/TNS

Can't afford to buy? Homes built for renters might be what you're looking for

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

It’s tough out there for would-be home buyers. Too many people chasing too few properties, and down payments that keep getting further out of reach.

But here’s an idea whose time might have come: New homes built to be rented, not sold.

And it’s catching on across the U.S., with “build for rent” programs gradually taking hold in ...Read more