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Hot Property: On the cutting edge in La Jolla

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- A high-profile name has emerged as the buyer of the Razor House, an architectural masterpiece on the coast of La Jolla.

Singer-songwriter Alicia Keys plunked down $20.8 million for the striking San Diego-area estate, according to people not authorized to comment on the sale. That's the priciest deal in the coastal community this ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: Can a creditor take a house I just inherited?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: I have a fairly large judgment against me from a lawsuit I lost a few years ago. I just inherited a house from a relative that passed away. Can my creditor take this? -- Barb

A: It will depend on many factors. Generally, a judgment creditor has a variety of ways to try to get paid back. They can garnish your wages and your bank account; lien...Read more

Aretha Franklin, other celebs died without an estate plan. Will you?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

PHILADELPHIA -- The Queen of Soul, who died at 76, left a lot of R-E-S-P-E-C-T, but apparently no will.

Three handwritten documents, dated between 2010 and 2014, were found in Aretha Franklin's Michigan home in recent months, including one in a spiral notebook found under her couch cushions.

The latest, dated March 2014, appears to give the ...Read more

San Diego: Zillow wants to buy your home

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

SAN DIEGO -- Real estate website Zillow launched an instant-buying program Monday in San Diego County that will give users quick cash offers on their homes.

The Zillow Offers program -- already in 16 other markets -- charges a convenience fee instead of a commission that a seller might pay a real estate agent, but Zillow will handle the ...Read more

Susan Tompor: IRS impostors are using fake emails to trick you: How to spot a scam

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Did you just get an email about your tax refund? Or maybe an email using the phrase an "electronic tax return reminder?"

Ignore it. It's a hot new scam, according to the latest warnings from the Internal Revenue Service.

Taxpayers are increasingly reporting that they're receiving unsolicited emails from IRS impostors. The subject line on the ...Read more

Hot Property: Jenny Craig's compound sold for a slimmed-down price

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- Most people want to lose a few inches. Jenny Craig has dropped a few thousand square feet.

After slimming the asking price for her compound in the San Diego-area community of Del Mar, the weight loss guru has sold the oceanfront property for $22 million. That's $17.5 million shy of the original asking price, records show.

Shaped...Read more

Susan Tompor: Don't have a down payment for a house? Banks might have a deal for you

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Home is where the heart -- and frankly most of your money -- is.

Most American homeowners -- 83% -- wouldn't go back to renting after buying a home, according to the 2019 Fall Homebuyer Insights Report issued by Bank of America released Thursday.

And 70% say they're more emotionally attached than they anticipated, according to the online ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: What happens when a storm disrupts home deals?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: I have been on a tear, damaging homes up the Atlantic coast. How does this affect people who are under contract to buy or sell a home? -- Dorian (yes, that Dorian!)

A: Here in Florida, we are experienced in dealing with you and your siblings. When we get wind that you are coming to town, it becomes next to impossible to get homeowner's ...Read more

Trump's tariffs made California's housing crisis worse: A 'perfect storm of the wrong kind'

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump's tariffs have created the "perfect storm" at the wrong moment for the housing industry, California builders say.

The California Building Industry Association estimates tariffs have driven up the cost of an average-size new home by $20,000 to $30,000.

That comes from tariffs on appliances, certain counter ...Read more

Sold! Superior lighthouse auctioned off for $159,000

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Sold to the highest bidder: one historic lighthouse sitting at the tip of Lake Superior's Wisconsin Point.

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) auctioned off the red-roofed tower last week to Steven Broudy of California for $159,000. The Superior Harbor Entry Light was the latest property relinquished by the federal government under ...Read more

Endangered Bay Area species: the new home

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Daniel Huang and his wife, Cathy, were looking to downsize from their three-bedroom house in the East Bay. Their children had moved out, and the couple wanted something new.

They hunted for months and finally bought a two-bedroom condo under construction in a Fremont, Calif., development called the Locale at State Street. For slightly less than...Read more

Jared Kushner's apartment company says it rejects deal with Maryland attorney general over rental practices

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

BALTIMORE -- The apartment company owned by Jared Kushner, son-in-law and senior adviser to President Donald Trump, said it has rejected a settlement offer from the Maryland Attorney General's office after two years of negotiating over the New York real estate firm's rental practices across the state.

In a statement Wednesday to The Baltimore ...Read more

Hot Property: Phil Spector's Alhambra home -- where he killed Lana Clarkson-- gets price cut

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- Phil Spector's infamous murder castle -- where he shot actress Lana Clarkson to death in 2003 -- just got a bit cheaper. After listing for $5.5 million earlier this year, the French Chateau-style mansion has returned to market at $4.995 million in Alhambra.

The eerie estate known as the Pyrenees Castle has seen plenty over the ...Read more

Susan Tompor: IRS impostors are using fake emails to trick you: How to spot a scam

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Did you just get an email about your tax refund? Or maybe an email using the phrase an "electronic tax return reminder?"

Ignore it. It's a hot new scam, according to the latest warnings from the Internal Revenue Service.

Taxpayers are increasingly reporting that they're receiving unsolicited emails from IRS impostors. The subject line on the ...Read more

Try T-Mobile on your phone and number for free

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

T-Mobile will let you try its network for free for 30 days on your smartphone with your current phone number.

If you've considered switching cellphone carriers but were nervous about how coverage in your area, here's a deal for you.

T-Mobile will let you try its network for free using your smartphone and phone number.

Noncustomers can sign up...Read more

Deals & Steals: Ask for this Fido-friendly freebie at Starbucks

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

National Dog Day may have passed on Aug. 26, but Starbucks celebrates the "holiday" every day of the year.

Hit the drive-thru with your pooch and ask the barista for a free "Puppuccino." The special treat, part of the chain's "secret menu," is whipped cream served neat in an espresso cup.

Fido or Fifi will lap it ...Read more

Consumer Confidential: Enough with all the extra fees. Just tell me how much I'm really paying

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- If you buy music at Amoeba Music in Hollywood, you'll see a 35-cent charge tacked on for "wages & benefits."

That's not a state or local tax. It's the company simply reaching a little deeper into your pocket to cover its costs of doing business.

Chris Carmena, Amoeba's general manager, told me the 35-cent charge helps defray ...Read more

Climate change is making the affordable housing crunch worse

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Last year, right before Hurricane Florence hit New Bern, a small riverfront city along the North Carolina coast, Martin Blaney rushed to the public housing complex he runs, banging on doors, yelling: "Evacuate, evacuate, evacuate!"

When the winds settled and the rains ended in New Bern, Blaney's nearby offices were under 6 feet of water. Even ...Read more

Hot Property: A massive mansion for wrestler known as 'The Miz'

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- Michael Mizanin, the former World Wrestling Entertainment champion who performs under the name "The Miz," and his wife, professional wrestler Maryse Mizanin, have slammed down $6.4 million on an English manor-style home in Westlake Village.

A gated entry opens to the stone-clad residence, which sits on more than an acre with a ...Read more

Consumer Confidential: CEOs say they care about customers and workers. Propaganda experts are unimpressed

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Kenneth Osgood studies propaganda. So he knew what he was seeing when business leaders announced this week that they don't just care about shareholders -- they care about customers, workers and society.

"I raised my eyebrows really high when I saw this," Osgood, a history professor at Colorado School of Mines, told me.

He said it instantly ...Read more