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Phillip Molnar/The San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS

San Diego has declared 'housing as a human right' but does it mean anything legally?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

San Diego City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to declare housing as a human right, a rare move for a city with a lot of housing issues.

San Diego's resolution states housing is a "fundamental human right and reaffirms its commitment to providing more housing and services geared toward putting a roof over the head of every San Diegan." ...Read more

'High anxiety' in Miami's Little Haiti, after developers snap up properties at big auction

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Already reeling economically from the COVID-19 pandemic, rampant real estate speculation and looming gentrification, residents and business owners in Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood are now confronting a new source of worry and uncertainty: The purchase by developers of a significant slice of properties along its main commercial street.

...Read more

Nike's exit shows just how far downtown Seattle is from a comeback

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Just before noon last Friday, a crowd gathered quietly on the corner of Sixth Avenue and Pike Street, waiting to pay their last respects to the downtown Seattle Nike store before it closed for good.

"I'm heartbroken," said Richard Green, who had come up from Tacoma and who, despite being entirely outfitted in Nike (including, he attested, ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

A huge chunk of land in Bel-Air is going up for auction

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Thanks to its impressive list of celebrity residents and impressive collection of record-setting mega-mansions, the Los Angeles Westside neighborhood Bel-Air has developed a reputation as one of the ritziest enclaves in the country.

A 260-acre property that spans 6% of the famed neighborhood is being auctioned off to the highest bidder.

The ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: What should I do if condo manager doesn't respond to emails?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: Several months ago, I discovered a large hole in the building’s exterior that exposed the inside of the wall in behind my apartment. I emailed our condominium’s manager a few times and have not gotten a response. What should I do? — Steven

A: It is good that you are taking damage to your condominium building’s condition seriously. It...Read more

High Orlando rents are 'a new normal,' expert says

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The explosive cost of rent around the country continued to cool in December, according to a report released Thursday, but one expert says the high prices of the past two years are likely to be “the new normal” for Orlando, Florida.

The median rent in metro Orlando was $2,130 per month in December, up about 2% from November, according to the...Read more

Spencer Platt/Getty Images North America/TNS

White House directs FTC, CFPB to probe housing rental market practices

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Landlords will face greater federal scrutiny from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Trade Commission and other agencies amid rapidly rising rents under a plan that President Joe Biden released Wednesday.

The plan, described as a blueprint, along with actions by federal agencies, are meant to “advance a stronger, more equitable...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Lessons learned from a heat pump water heater home installation

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

A few weeks ago, I had just finished writing my last story of 2022 — about how aging gas water heaters are prone to sudden failure, so don’t wait to upgrade to an electric heat pump model — when I heard the sound of a waterfall cascading through my Berkeley, California, home. Without warning, my nearly 17-year-old heater had burst, and I ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Who pays for your rewards? Indebted cardholders, paper finds

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Credit cards with rewards are rewarding only for those who know how to profit from the system, according to a paper released by the Federal Reserve.

Consumers with higher credit scores benefit the most because they tend to spend more money — thus earning more rewards such as cash back or miles — and pay on time, according to the study. ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

3 ways retirees can make money from home

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

For many, retirement is the coveted goal post at the end of a rewarding career.

It allots more time to spend with family and in the comforts of home. Though it represents the end of full-time work, it does not always mean never working another day.

The 2022 Spending in Retirement Survey examined the spending habits and income of 2,000 American...Read more

Iryna Shatilova/Dreamstime/TNS

Survey: Nearly half of Americans are sacrificing recession preparedness by paying checking fees

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Finding ways to prepare for a recession or weather high inflation can be even simpler than cutting back on spending and increasing your income. Sometimes, it first comes down to finding the right place to bank.

More than 1 in 4 Americans with a checking account (or 27%) are paying monthly fees, costs that include routine service charges to ATM ...Read more

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Just what improvements qualify for Florida's $10,000 home-hardening grant? Answers aren't always easy to find

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

As early applicants to a Florida state-funded home improvement program analyze their wind-mitigation inspection reports, some say they are confused about what home-hardening improvements will be eligible for up to $10,000 in $2-to-$1 matching grant funds.

Under the My Safe Florida Home program, will an entire roof replacement be eligible for ...Read more

E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Citadel's $16 billion win tops Paulson's greatest trade ever

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Ken Griffin’s Citadel churned out a record $16 billion in profit for clients last year, outperforming the rest of the industry and eclipsing one of history’s most successful financial plays.

The top 20 hedge fund firms collectively generated $22.4 billion in profit after fees, according to estimates by LCH Investments, a fund of hedge funds...Read more

Vacation rentals are adding to South Florida's housing crunch, study suggests

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Thousands of short-term vacation rentals could be contributing to the rental crisis in South Florida, where it has become harder to find affordable places to live, according to a new study.

Short-term vacation rentals might be keeping units from entering the market that could instead be used as longer-term rentals during a time when many areas ...Read more

Upzone, demolish, construct: How Berkeley plans to build 8,934 homes by 2031

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

BERKELEY, California — Some of the city’s most affluent neighborhoods, bustling street corridors and empty single-family homes are being eyed to try and develop nearly 9,000 new homes over the next eight years, after the Berkeley City Council unanimously gave a 656-page plan the green light Wednesday.

Now, state housing officials just have ...Read more

Brandon Bell/Getty Images North America/TNS

Renting a house is more affordable than buying one across the US

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Renting a median priced three-bedroom home is more affordable than buying a three-bedroom single-family home in the country's largest counties, according to a report by the national real estate data company Attom.

Among counties with populations of at least a million people, Philadelphia and Allegheny Counties, Pennsylvania, are two of the most...Read more

Kevin Ruck/Dreamstime/TNS

Charlotte might be the hottest housing market in the country. Here's why

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Charlotte’s housing market will be the hottest in the country this year, a new study predicts, but it’s not all bad news for prospective homeowners.

The city topped Zillow’s “annual predictions for the hottest housing markets of the year” for 2023. Still, the real estate website says, “buyers who can overcome acute affordability ...Read more

Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times/TNS

A new California housing law has done little to encourage building, report says

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Once seen as the death knell for single-family neighborhoods in California, a new law meant to create more duplexes has instead done little to encourage construction in some of the largest cities in the state, according to a new report published Wednesday.

Senate Bill 9 was introduced two years ago as a way to help solve California's severe ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: Should monthly fee be prorated if I bought townhouse near end of month?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: I bought a townhouse last Oct. 27, and the association charged me the maintenance fee for the entire month of October, despite there being only four days left in the month. Shouldn’t the fee have been prorated? — Deb

A: Yes, but not by your new community association. People buy and sell property every day of every month, and community ...Read more

US mortgage rates retreat to 6.23%, lowest in four months

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

U.S. mortgage rates fell to a four-month low last week, supporting more home purchases and refinancing.

The contract rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage decreased 19 basis points to 6.23% in the week ended Jan. 13, according to Mortgage Bankers Association data released Wednesday. That helped boost total applications by nearly 28% in the week, ...Read more