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Design industries are critical to Detroit's future but need nurturing

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

DETROIT -- Back in 2002, urban guru Richard Florida published his influential book "The Rise of the Creative Class," which highlighted the importance of so-called "creatives" -- artists, graphic designers, architects, and others -- to the vitality of cities trying to overcome long-term decline.

Florida's book helped set the agenda for many a ...Read more

The Mortgage Professor: Undoing Dodd-Frank: Are portfolio lenders more cautious?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was a congressional overreaction to the financial crisis of 2008-9, and a process of amelioration is underway. Under the proposed Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, introduced by Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, certain provisions of Dodd-Frank would not apply to...Read more

The Mortgage Professor: Undoing Dodd-Frank: Are portfolio lenders more cautious?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was a congressional overreaction to the financial crisis of 2008-9, and a process of amelioration is underway. Under the proposed Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, introduced by Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, certain provisions of Dodd-Frank would not apply to...Read more

Real estate Q&A: Don't know what to do about your neighbor's tree? Here's help

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: I read your recent tree article and want to know how I can protect myself? -- Bob

Q: My neighbor has a tree near the fence, and the roots are intruding in my yard and ruining the fence. What can I do? -- Jay

Q: I do not think the law is fair that I have to pay for damage caused by my neighbor's trees! Where the trunk lies, so should the ...Read more

Seattle-area home-price growth from current boom has surpassed last decade's bubble

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

SEATTLE -- As the Seattle area continues its run as the nation's hottest real- estate market, it has now seen home prices surge upward for a full six years -- with more growth in home values during the current boom than during last decade's bubble.

Single-family home costs across the metro area grew 12.7 percent in February from a year earlier,...Read more

Nightmare 90-minute 'super commutes' more common as Bay Area housing shortage intensifies

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

For Katrina Gonzalez, like so many others who toil in Silicon Valley each day, the trek to work is more of an odyssey than a commute.

The 25-year-old Stockton resident traverses seven different freeways to get to her job as a restaurant manager at a San Jose Red Lobster, spending at least three hours a day on the road. It's such a long drive ...Read more

How small can you go? These new Miami apartments want you to downsize and live large

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

MIAMI -- Would you plunk down $300,000 for a studio that measures 350 square feet -- about the size of two surface parking lot spaces -- to live in the heart of Miami Beach? If the idea seems preposterous, micro-units are not for you.

But a growing number of real estate developers are banking on the micro-unit concept -- tiny, furnished ...Read more

Southern California home prices jump to a new record high

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Southern California's median home price jumped 8.4 percent in March from a year earlier, setting a new all-time high, as hopeful buyers engaged in bidding wars over a limited supply of homes on the market.

The six-county region's median price for new and resale houses and condos hit $519,000 last month, up $40,000 from a year earlier, real ...Read more

The Journey: Families and money can be a troublesome combination

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

When it comes to money and family, is there ever a "right" answer?

A widow with a toddler child recently confided that her late husband's family contacted her right before this month's tax-filing deadline.

In a confusing phone call, the relative told her the family wanted to include her son's Social Security survivor benefits in a tax return ...Read more

Susan Tompor: Becoming a 401(k) millionaire

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Steve Horaney has two kids in college, a home in South Lyon, Mich., and every other excuse people can roll out for not saving for retirement.

Except he's still one of the country's 401(k) millionaires.

Horaney, 50, says he's learned to sock away money with every paycheck going back to his early 20s when he started a good job at Guardian ...Read more

Hot Property: The Manor one-ups a Billionaire

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- The most expensive home for sale in America is still found in Los Angeles, but it's no longer the larger-than-life mansion that debuted a year ago in Bel-Air at $250 million.

That speculative wonder of owner-developer Bruce Makowsky has returned to the Multiple Listing Service at $188 million. That's a price cut of $62 million ...Read more

The Mortgage Professor: Readers' questions about mortgage shopping

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: How many price quotes should I get in refinancing my mortgage?

A: Get as many valid quotes as possible. Two or three valid ones help; 10 phony ones are worthless, or worse. Valid price quotes must meet three major conditions:

--Same market timing: All quotes must be as of the same day, since mortgage lenders reset their prices every morning...Read more

The Mortgage Professor: Readers' questions about mortgage shopping

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: How many price quotes should I get in refinancing my mortgage?

A: Get as many valid quotes as possible. Two or three valid ones help; 10 phony ones are worthless, or worse. Valid price quotes must meet three major conditions:

--Same market timing: All quotes must be as of the same day, since mortgage lenders reset their prices every morning...Read more

Real estate Q&A: Who is responsible for accidents at a condo's social club?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: If a member of a social club (dance, tennis, karate, etc.) within our Condo Association gets hurt or does something that causes an injury to one of its members or guests, can the Condo be held responsible? -- Bob

A: Your association can be held responsible for the injuries to the extent that it was negligent in reasonably keeping the area ...Read more

President Donald Trump's former Greenwich mansion listed again for $45M

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Interested buyers can own a piece of presidential history in Greenwich, where a mansion President Donald Trump lived in with wife Ivana in the 1980s is back on the market with an asking price of $45 million.

Trump bought the home, on a peninsula overlooking Long Island Sound, for $4 million in 1984. He and Ivana lavishly decorated the mansion ...Read more

City, nonprofits to coordinate St. Louis blight fight, target thousands of abandoned buildings

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

ST. LOUIS -- With an estimated 7,100 abandoned structures today, vacancy is a bigger problem than the city can handle on its own.

But a formal working relationship between the city, legal clinics, community development organizations and neighborhood nonprofits is close, those working on city vacancy issues say. They're working to create a "...Read more

Home Depot sued for mismanaging retirement fund accounts

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

ATLANTA -- A suit filed in federal court against Home Depot charges that the hardware giant permitted mismanagement of retirement funds affecting more than 200,000 people and costing their accounts at least $140 million.

The complaint against the $100 billion-a-year, Atlanta-based company was filed last week in U.S. District Court in Atlanta by...Read more

Are master-planned communities a development of the past?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Sales increased faster in Otay Ranch last year than almost any other master-plan community in the nation, said a recently released annual report.

The massive residential development, the largest in San Diego County, is close to the U.S.-Mexico border and has seemingly emerged as one of the top spots for new homes in the region after years of ...Read more

Developers plan city's second-tallest skyscraper next to new Tribune Tower condos

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

CHICAGO -- Developers on Monday unveiled plans for Chicago's second-tallest skyscraper, a tapering shaft of metal and glass that would soar above historic Tribune Tower, resemble the top of Batman's black mask and be only 29 feet shorter than Willis Tower.

If completed, the $1 billion-plus project to repurpose Tribune Tower and build a skinny, ...Read more

Taking the mystery out of stock picks for young investors

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Appo Agbamu recently quit a $75,000-a-year job at U.S. Trust, a dream job for a young associate portfolio manager.

However, Agbamu, 25, has an entrepreneurial dream. He's founder of ahrvo.com, an investment app targeted at young people that went live at the Google and Apple online stores in January.

"I'm passionate about ...Read more