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Is the South Florida real estate market crashing?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

2021 was a record year for real estate in South Florida, yet the last eight months of 2022 have been about the market slowing. Questions linger as to how bad the decline in the market is and whether it’s headed for a crash.

There’s little doubt that the market has slowed over the past six to eight months: closed sales are down as buyers ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: Does condo association have to pay for repairs after water leaked under slab?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: We had a water leak below the slab at our condo. We filed a claim with our insurance company which is paying for the repair. Our condo association won’t pay my deductible. Many residents have told me that since the leak was outside the condo, the association is responsible for the entire cost. What do I do? — Louis

A: Each condominium ...Read more

Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times/TNS

In LA, hidden armies of workers keep mega-mansions on the market

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

In Southern California, a mansion is a micro-economy.

Every luxury property has a developer who envisioned it, an architect who built it, an agent who sold it, and a deep-pocketed buyer who had to have it.

To run the place — to have the guests greeted, drinks poured, floors polished, windows washed, cupboards stocked, the perimeter secured, ...Read more

Barbara Haddock Taylor/Baltimore Sun/TNS

'Ghost homes' haunt Baltimore's housing market. City officials think they have a creative solution

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Stepping over needles on the sidewalk, Alexander Cruz walked up to the crumbling front stoop of a West Baltimore home. He craned his neck and looked through an open third-story window to see whether the roof had caved in yet.

Cruz’s company had a deal to buy this vacant rowhouse, one of at least 15,000 in Baltimore. He wanted to renovate it, ...Read more

Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times/TNS

California outlawed Section 8 housing discrimination. Why it still persists

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Robert Gardner said he knew it was time to move after he came home to find his Valley Village apartment broken into and ransacked.

He originally moved there for safety, a change the South L.A. native comfortably afforded on minimum wage because a coveted Section 8 voucher covered most of the rent.

But recently, Gardner noticed more drug ...Read more

Eric Seals/Detroit Free Press via ZUMA Wire/TNS

The nation's vacant homes present an opportunity -- and a problem

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

With construction costs for new homes and interest rates soaring, vacant housing is drawing more attention as a shortcut to quickly getting more units on the market.

But whether vacant homes are a curse or an opportunity depends on where you live.

As housing affordability plummets and rents rise, putting more families with low incomes at risk ...Read more

ROBYN BECK/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/TNS

Some states open college savings accounts for every newborn

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

States, cities and community groups that offer free money to families to jump-start college savings face a dilemma: The families most in need often fail to sign up.

To solve the problem, some states have transformed the accounts into automatic programs that help all families — especially the disadvantaged — imagine a college future for ...Read more

Alex Wong/Getty Images North America/TNS

Warren Buffett's portfolio: Here are the stocks Berkshire Hathaway is buying or selling

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Warren Buffett is arguably the world’s most famous investor, and his investment moves are closely followed. Each quarter, the company he runs, Berkshire Hathaway, discloses its current holdings to shareholders.

Here are some of the changes Buffett and his two investment officers, Todd Combs and Ted Weschler, made during the third quarter, ...Read more

As inflation boils, younger Americans face extra holiday spending pressures

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The hottest inflation in 40 years, decades-high financing costs and rising recession risks are dashing Americans’ hopes for the first normal holiday season in two years — and a recent Bankrate poll suggests younger Americans could experience the most stress.

Nearly 1 in 4 Generation Z and millennial holiday shoppers (or 24%; ages 18-41) ...Read more

6 ways to save money on holiday travel

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Holiday travel tends to be stressful, but this year, it may be even more financially so, thanks to inflation. According to a survey by Bankrate, only 43 percent of U.S. residents plan to travel for leisure purposes involving an overnight stay this holiday season. And of those who are traveling, 79 percent are modifying their travel plans due to ...Read more

6 reasons to consider delaying your retirement

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

If you’ve been dreaming of retirement since you entered the workforce, you might have a certain idea of what it looks like when you’re no longer working. But there’s a chance you might not start retirement when you thought you would, perhaps due to circumstances beyond your control.

About 40% of workers are planning to push retirement ...Read more

Now tech layoffs are slowing Bay Area housing market as prices fall even more

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Add tech company layoffs to the list of headwinds facing California's Bay Area housing market.

Rising mortgage rates, recession fears and a volatile stock market have all tamped down home sales and prices in recent months from record-setting pandemic highs.

Now, entering the traditionally slow winter real estate season, growing uncertainty in ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: Why are my neighbors' trees my problem?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: I read your answer about damage by a neighbor’s tree falling on your house being your responsibility and not the neighbor’s. I have heard this before, and it is hard to wrap my head around. I have neighbors on both sides that planted royal palms, which are now 50 feet high and would cut a house in half. Neither neighbor asked my ...Read more

Jose F. Moreno/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

Robots that mimic handwriting, holiday food drives, and many calls. Real estate agents go after clients in a slower market

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

PHILADELPHIA — Over the last two months, Darlene E. Jamison, team leader of the RE/MAX-affiliated Jamison Team, has been sending more texts and making more calls. She and her husband, Kevin, are "planting the seeds" by asking past clients to keep them in mind for future moves and trying to find new clients as the housing market shifts.

"It ...Read more

Seattle landlords accused of conspiring to raise apartment rents

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Several of the largest property management companies operating in Seattle conspired to drive up rents and decrease competition, three lawsuits filed this month allege.

The cases, filed in federal court in Seattle, focus on the use of RealPage software, which gathers information about rental units and rent prices and uses an algorithm to ...Read more

US mortgage rates drop below 7% in biggest decline since July

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

U.S. mortgage rates fell last week by the most since the end of July, slipping below 7% and helping generate a bounce in purchase applications that otherwise remain depressed.

The contract rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage decreased 24 basis points to 6.9% in the week ended Nov. 11, according to Mortgage Bankers Association data released ...Read more

VALERIE MACON/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/TNS

Social Security benefits in 2023: 5 big changes retirees should plan for

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Inflation has been sky-high over the last year, so it’s a good thing that the Social Security Administration (SSA) is boosting its cost of living adjustment (COLA) for benefit checks in 2023. It’s just one of many changes announced by Social Security recently.

Here are some key changes to Social Security happening next year – and what you...Read more

OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Card balances continued to grow at moderate pace in September, Fed reports

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Credit card debt grew moderately in September, as gas prices continued to decline. While inflation remained an issue impacting consumers, rising 8.2 percent over the year for September, gas prices were down 4.9 percent from August. This follows August’s month-over-month 10.6 percent downslide in gas prices.

Consumer revolving debt — which ...Read more

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images North America/TNS

Recession odds are up to 65% -- here's how a downturn could affect you

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Recessions are more than just a slowing economy, volatile stock market and a bad spell of data. Behind the numbers and jargon are real people — and real livelihoods at stake.

Think about the economy as an ecosystem. Each decision made by a business, financial institution or person has ripple effects throughout the entire financial system. ...Read more

Allison Dinner/Getty Images North America/TNS

It's the worst time to buy a home in a generation, US survey shows

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

U.S. consumers are seeing home buying conditions at their worst in a generation as mortgage rates soar in response to the Federal Reserve’s aggressive tightening cycle.

About four in five consumers now describe buying conditions for homes as bad, a record in data going back to 1978, according to the University of Michigan’s consumer ...Read more