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Howard Lipin/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS

Meme-stock frenzy returns, baffling Wall Street's 'smart guys'

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Retail traders who lurk in forums like Reddit’s WallStreetBets are back to betting against Wall Street pros and the Federal Reserve as rallies for meme stocks like Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. show shades of last year’s mania.

The home-good retailer nearly tripled at one point during its nine-day winning streak...Read more

HEATHER AINSWORTH FOR KHN/KHN/TNS

Nursing homes are suing the friends and family of residents to collect debts

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Lucille Brooks was stunned when she picked up the phone before Christmas two years ago and learned a nursing home was suing her.

“I thought this was crazy,” recalled Brooks, 74, a retiree who lives with her husband in a modest home in the Rochester suburbs. Brooks’ brother had been a resident of the nursing home. But ...Read more

Sterling Bay/Hartshorne Plunkard/Sterling Bay/Hartshorne Plunkard/TNS

The Great Fire slowed interest in wood buildings, but Chicago's first mass timber tower could soon take shape

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

CHICAGO — Developer Sterling Bay is set to begin construction of Chicago’s first mass timber building, a nine-story, apartment tower in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. If approved by City Council, the $50 million development may kick off widespread use of the modern technique, already popular in other cities, which boosters claim is more ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

The US climate bill could make now the best time to go solar

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

If signed into law as written, the climate bill before the U.S. Congress would change the calculus for American households thinking about going solar. The legislation stands to make that transition more affordable while also subsidizing purchases of electric cars, heat pumps, high-tech water heaters and battery-storage systems — clean-energy ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Socially responsible investing 2022: How to get started in 6 steps

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

If you want to put your dollars into causes you care about, one of the easiest ways to get started is through socially responsible investing. The strategy prioritizes financial return with the caveat that the money is invested to fuel positive change in three key areas: environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG). Perhaps you’re ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS/TNS

Commentary: The fatal flaw in your retirement plan's target date funds

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

There was a major development in 2006 that transformed how Americans invest for retirement. It solved one problem, but created another that will be causing extra pain to people who retire in this economy.

The mid-2000s was the start of the nudge revolution, where policy makers thought they could coax people into more desirable behavior. The ...Read more

Dreamstime.com/Dreamstime.com

Erin Lowry: Millennials should use those Roth IRAs to invest for college

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

If there’s one thing the impending back-to-school season makes clear, it’s that the cost of higher education in the U.S. is nerve-racking. The average tuition and fees for the 2021 to 2022 school year is $10,338 at an in-state public college, $22,698 at an out-of-state and $38,185 at a private school, according to U.S. News data.

Based on ...Read more

Great Chicago Fire slowed interest in wood buildings, but city's first mass timber tower could soon take shape

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

CHICAGO — Developer Sterling Bay is set to begin construction of Chicago’s first mass timber building, a nine-story, apartment tower in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. If approved by City Council, the $50 million development may kick off widespread use of the modern technique, already popular in other cities, which boosters claim is more ...Read more

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Almost half of US mortgaged homes now considered equity-rich

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Home ownership has reached a milestone in the U.S.

Nearly half of mortgaged properties were considered equity-rich in the second quarter — meaning owners had at least 50% in home equity. This marked the ninth straight quarterly rise, fueled by soaring house valuations in the pandemic era and an increase in down payments by recent buyers, ...Read more

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Commentary: Who's to blame for the priciest housing in history?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

With so much attention fixed on soaring prices for gasoline and groceries, one can almost overlook the fact that we’re also enduring an affordable housing crisis. The question is, why?

Spanning the pandemic era from February 2020 through May 2022, home prices soared 43.5%. Over the past 12 months, home prices are up 19.7%, while residential ...Read more

Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Steve Lopez: A $50 million condo for sale in the land of tents is a special kind of LA crazy

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES — Just when we thought the real estate market had cooled, along comes evidence that in the land of make-believe, there is no ceiling.

My colleagues Roger Vincent and Andrea Chang have reported in the last few days that even the humble condominium, which once was sort of like a starter house on training wheels, is going for ...Read more

Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda/Orlando Sentinel/TNS

Florida lawmaker proposes special tax on out-of-state homebuyers and real estate investors

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

ORLANDO, Fla. — Out-of-state real estate investors and homebuyers would pay a special tax under a state senator’s plan designed to tackle sky-high rents pricing tenants out of Orange County.

Sen. Randolph Bracy, who is running for U.S. Congress, unveiled a proposal Tuesday he intends to submit at the next Orange County Commission meeting on...Read more

Real estate Q&A: How can a property be sold if a deceased former owner's deed still shows up online?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: I purchased a property from a widow who owned the home with her deceased husband. Some questions about the ownership seemed to be resolved by presenting his death certificate to the county. Still, his name shows up when I search the property online. I asked the county to remove his name from the deed but was told they could not do that. I ...Read more

Elias Valverde II/Dallas Morning News/TNS

How to save on back-to-school items during tax-free shopping days

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

There’s no dispute that the cost of consumer goods is soaring. The U.S. inflation rate rose 9.1 percent for the 12 months ending June 2022. With rising prices across many sectors, the prospect of shopping for your child’s school items can be daunting. What was once economical may now be expensive.

To take the edge off, look for your state�...Read more

Everyone agrees accessory dwelling units can help Denver's housing crunch. So why are so few being built?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

They can bring housing density to Denver neighborhoods without the need to scrape away existing homes or drastically change the way those neighborhoods look.

They can serve as a source of income for homeowners struggling to keep up with Denver’s rising cost of living and property taxes. Or they can house aging relatives, providing parents and...Read more

Erika Bolstad/The Pew Charitable Trusts/TNS

Factory-built homes could help solve housing crisis

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

EUGENE, Ore. — As a boy in the late 1950s, Terry McDonald watched as workers built an 80,000 square-foot manufacturing plant in an industrial neighborhood on the west side of Eugene.

Long after childhood, McDonald felt an affinity for the factory, where American Steel once fabricated heavy-duty logging equipment until the timber industry ...Read more

Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda/ Orlando Sentinel/Orlando Sentinel/Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda/ Orlando Sentinel

Florida state senator proposes special tax on out-of-state homebuyers and real estate investors

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Out-of-state real estate investors and homebuyers would pay a special tax under a state senator’s plan designed to tackle sky-high rents pricing tenants out of Orange County.

Sen. Randolph Bracy, who is running for U.S. Congress, unveiled a proposal Tuesday he intends to submit at the next Orange County Commission meeting on Aug. 9.

“I ...Read more

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images North America/TNS

Shrinkflation is real. What is it, and how can you combat it?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

A mini bottle of Dawn dishwashing liquid, with its signature blue color and cute duck imagery, doesn’t raise many eyebrows. To notice its secret, you’d have to squint: the bottle contains 6.5 fluid ounces, down half an ounce from its 7-ounce predecessor. But the price point is the same.

It’s just one of many recent examples of “...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Dumping debt could make you 'credit invisible.' Why that's a problem and how to fix it

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Dear Liz: I have a credit card issue that I’ve not been able to resolve and hope that you can provide some helpful suggestions. I am a debt-free senior. I owe nothing on my house or vehicles and I pay off my one credit card each month. I’ve no missing payments on utilities.

My credit card reduced my credit limit last year saying that my ...Read more

These Beverly Hills condos chase record prices with private pools, butlers and a five-star restaurant

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES — A $100-million boutique condominium complex rising in the vaunted Golden Triangle district of Beverly Hills is escalating Southern California's luxury vertical-living rivalry with a potential five-star restaurant, private pools and the kind of pampering that might lure elite downsizers from their sprawling estates.

The swanky 17...Read more