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Dai Sugano/Bay Area News Group/TNS

Silicon Valley billionaires' Solano County utopia: Prominent conservation group urges opposition

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

A prominent conservation group on Thursday came out against a plan backed by Silicon Valley billionaires for a new, utopian city the size of Vallejo in Solano County, California.

The Solano Land Trust, which has close ties to Bay Area environmental groups and works with state agencies including the Coastal Conservancy and the Department of Fish...Read more

Angelina Katsanis/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS

Days at office aren't fueling downtown Minneapolis' recovery. Nights out are

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Just two months earlier this year tell the condensed story of downtown Minneapolis' choppy recovery.

In February, the area achieved the largest post-pandemic rebound in the U.S. and Canada, with the biggest year-over-year increase of 64 major cities, according to cellphone activity that leapt 45% compared to the previous year.

By April, that ...Read more

Alex Horvath/Los Angeles Times/TNS

They bought homes with the intention to refinance. Now they're stuck

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Steven and Katherine Wolf missed out on the ultra-low mortgage rates of the pandemic. By the time the couple secured solid jobs and could buy a home, borrowing costs more than doubled.

Rather than wait, the former renters jumped into homeownership in fall 2022. They also stretched, buying a Bakersfield, California, home that carried an ...Read more

Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group/TNS

Ultra wealthy are putting money behind bets on San Francisco's comeback

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Goodwin Gaw is convinced people must think he’s “an idiot” after he bought a foreclosed San Francisco office complex formerly owned by Blackstone Inc. for $82 million.

Roger Fields, who recently acquired a former Wells Fargo & Co. office at 550 California St. for $40.5 million, says you need a “cast-iron stomach” to buy in this ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: Can condo building force us to leave for termite tenting?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: Our condominium building has termites and needs to be tented. This means everyone must be out of the building for a few days. Some owners are protesting the idea, its timing and the expense. Do all of the owners have to cooperate? — Hardy

A: Yes, ultimately, all of the residents will need to temporarily vacate the building for the ...Read more

Joe Raedle/Getty Images North America/TNS

Majority of middle-class Americans say they struggle financially

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Almost two-thirds of Americans considered middle class said they are facing economic hardship and don’t anticipate a change for the rest of their lives, according to a poll commissioned by the National True Cost of Living Coalition.

By many traditional measures, the U.S. economy is strong, with robust labor, housing and stock markets, as well...Read more

Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group/TNS

Measure to slow development in Silicon Valley commuter county qualifies for ballot

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Hollister, California, is 45 miles south of downtown San Jose — a small town that can seem a world away from the freeways and office towers of Silicon Valley. But a measure heading to voters this fall could have big impacts on both communities.

Saying that Silicon Valley residents seeking cheaper housing are bringing too much traffic and ...Read more

Al Diaz/Miami Herald/TNS

Florida insurance costs won't climb so high this year, unless the state gets a lot of hurricanes

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

It’s so Florida.

A yearslong effort to stabilize the home insurance industry is finally paying dividends, according to state officials and insurance insiders, just as forecasters are predicting a super-charged, La Niña-driven hurricane season.

What could possibly go wrong?

Let’s start with what insurers say has gone right: Reduced losses...Read more

TNS/TNS

Have a say in how your 401(k) account is invested

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

More than a third of working-age Americans have money in a 401(k) account, and another 18% have individual retirement accounts (IRAs). The median balance in those accounts is $30,000, according to the census.

So where exactly is all that money? Tech stocks, mostly.

Typically, people invest their 401(k) monies into funds, pooled investments ...Read more

Daniel Mears/The Detroit News/TNS

Detroit officials are in 'brainstorming mode' on Renaissance Center's future

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Dan Gilbert said he and other business and government leaders are still in "brainstorming mode" for what to do with downtown Detroit's Renaissance Center, the General Motors Co. global headquarters that the automaker will vacate next year.

"I couldn't tell you the actual specific uses, but I will tell you that the mayor, and the city government...Read more

Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun-Sentinel/TNS

Number of 'millionaire cities' rises to 17 in South Florida. Here's a look at the communities

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

South Florida now has a larger number of “millionaire cities.”

There are 17 cities in South Florida where the typical home is worth at least $1 million, according to an analysis done by Zillow, in which it identified its millionaire cities across the country. That’s compared with 16 last year.

Newly on the list this time: Palmetto Bay, a...Read more

Dai Sugano/Bay Area News Group/TNS

One San Jose tiny home shelter is successfully moving people to housing. Can it be a model for other sites?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

San Jose, California, more than any other Bay Area city, has embraced tiny homes as a solution to homelessness.

Since 2020, the city has developed six tiny home sites with around 500 beds. Three upcoming locations will add more than 700 new beds. The facilities provide rent-free private units, some with individual bathrooms, as well as shared ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: How can I circumvent neighbor's refusal to allow pool installation equipment on her property?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: I want to install a pool in my backyard, but my neighbor won’t agree to let the contractor use any portion of her side yard to get equipment in and out even though I agreed to pay for all repairs and landscaping to put things back to how they were. What do I do? —Jennifer

A: You are in a difficult situation. You want to use your property...Read more

As more Californians fall behind in making debt payments, one group stands out

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Stubbornly high inflation and interest rates are taking an increasing toll in California as the state experiences rising unemployment and slowing wage gains. And those feeling it the hardest: the largest and perhaps most budget-minded generation of them all.

Millennials, those roughly 28 to 43 years old, are generally thought to be more averse ...Read more

Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS

Florida homeowners finally have some new insurers to consider

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Ted Herbert, a retired business professor from Rollins College, said he was shocked when he got a letter last month from his insurance company telling him that while they valued him as a customer they would not be renewing his policy.

“I checked to see why this was happening, thinking they thought my home was on the coast and subject to ...Read more

Rocket Mortgage agrees to $3.5 million settlement in overtime pay case

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Rocket Mortgage has agreed to pay up to $3.5 million to settle a class action lawsuit from mortgage bankers claiming that the company failed to properly pay them overtime wages.

According to documents filed May 17 in U.S. District Court in Arizona, Rocket Mortgage and the plaintiffs, all former mortgage brokers for Detroit-based Rocket, reached...Read more

Pedro Portal/El Nuevo Herald/TNS

Miami communities keep losing historic homes. How one village is pushing to save them

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

At a time when historic homes are being bulldozed in Coral Gables and Miami Beach, one Miami-Dade County village has rallied to preserve and celebrate its architectural heritage.

Miami Shores’ Historic Preservation Board organized a series of events this year to honor a community turning 100 years old. A now-gone real estate development firm,...Read more

Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Illegal hostels are popping up in LA neighborhoods, to some residents' ire

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

In a mostly quiet neighborhood of older homes and small apartment buildings, some residents have drawn their own no-go zones around what might sound like a crash pad for traveling backpackers: hostels.

At least two of them have popped up on West View Street in Mid-City Heights in the past few years, with more in surrounding neighborhoods.

...Read more

Real estate Q&A: Do I have to remove leaves off neighbor's tree from my yard?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: My neighbor has a large mango tree in her yard along the fence that separates our property. I keep the branches of the tree that come over the fence on my side pruned, and she has agreed to do this. However, the wind blows the leaves from the tree on her side of the fence into my pool on windy days. I spoke to her about this, and she replied,...Read more

Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group/TNS

World's largest camera, costly, fragile and built in California, makes epic journey to South American mountaintop

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The world’s biggest camera was on its way from its birthplace at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, California, to a mountaintop half a hemisphere away in the foothills of the Andes. But there was a problem. And it required an order from Chile’s President Gabriel Boric to solve.

“This was very high stakes operation. It’...Read more