Home & Leisure

Do marijuana dispensaries drive up home values? At least one study says yes

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

CHICAGO -- Illinois residents could see their home values increase if the state legalizes recreational marijuana, and the bump could come as soon as a law is passed.

A recent study from Clever Real Estate, a St. Louis-based platform that matches homebuyers with agents, found the prospect of new cannabis industry jobs brings residents to town, ...Read more

Developer plans affordable housing on more than 100 vacant lots in Chicago, using modular construction

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

CHICAGO -- The developer Sterling Bay plans to build affordable housing on more than 100 vacant lots on Chicago's South and West sides, as the developer known for larger and glitzier projects takes a crack at Chicago's affordable housing shortage.

The plan is part of a broader effort, led by Chicago construction firm Skender, to manufacture ...Read more

Owners apply to demolish early, significant Frank Lloyd Wright home in Illinois

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The new owners of a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed cottage in the Chicago suburb of Glencoe, Ill., have formally requested permission to tear down the 106-year-old home, a village official confirmed Wednesday.

Wright, widely considered America's greatest architect, designed the Sherman Booth Cottage, a flat-roofed, one-story frame house, in 1913. ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: How do I get back money I loaned to relative for house renovation?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: I loaned a family member some money to renovate his house. He has not repaid me yet but says he will pay me back over the next few years. We signed a simple letter about the loan. Can I put a lien on his house to be protected? -- Mick

A: In my law practice, a sizable minority of the cases I handle involve family members or close friends ...Read more

Chicago's city center faces huge office vacancies, ownership changes and new competitors

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

CHICAGO -- Corporate moves from the suburbs, record tourism and booming real estate development are fueling downtown Chicago's economy, but the good times have produced one big unexpected challenge.

Office owners are staring down a wave of upcoming large vacancies that could alter how the city's core works in the decades to come.

Part of the ...Read more

Have a flooded basement? You're not alone; here's what you need to know

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

There's few things that will send homeowners into a panic quite like waking up to find an inch of water soaking everything in the basement or a new water stain forming on the ceiling.

Here are some questions and answers about storm-related flooding, and tips on how to protect against water damage at your property.


Vanguard issues its 10-year forecast for stock, bond market returns

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Vanguard on Tuesday released its 10-year projected returns for stock and bond markets, an eagerly awaited piece of research out of the world's largest mutual fund firm with over $5 trillion in assets.

Vanguard published a range of annual market returns the firm forecast for the next 10 years:

U.S. equity returns: 4% – 6%

U.S. aggregate bond...Read more

Deals & Steals: Free interactive Apple and Microsoft camps for kids

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Children can take a creative summer adventure at free Apple and Microsoft YouthSpark summer camps inside the computer retail stores.

Apple Camp: Go to to sign up to get an email reminder to enroll kids 8-12 when the program goes live. The free three-day workshops, held in July, will...Read more

Erin Arvedlund: US infrastructure plays may be rebuilt if Congress can pass new bill

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Repairing America's infrastructure may be the one thing Congress can agree on.

So let's look at different ways investors can take advantage of possible government-sponsored funding for infrastructure, whether through paving roads, building bridges, imposing tolls, dredging rivers, creating logistics, and even operating computer server farms.

...Read more

The Journey: After stock market's decade-long run, is it time to reassess investment strategy?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Retirement account balances cruised to record levels in the decade since the Great Recession's market bottom, which is great news if you're seventysomething and less so if you're younger.

People about to retire could be positioned for disaster if the long bull market ushers in big losses in those critical first few years of portfolio drawdowns....Read more

'Christmas' comes early for Minn. residents in need of home and lawn care

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

CHASKA, Minn. -- Janet Nelson never expected to ask for assistance from Christmas in May, the annual Chaska event when volunteers spruce up houses and yards for residents in need. But recently she had seen a few mice in her mobile home, so she requested help finding and plugging whatever hole the rodents were crawling through.

Like a kid asking...Read more

Hot Property: Kaley Cuoco is looking to exit with a bang

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- Kaley Cuoco, who this week wrapped up a 12-season run on the sitcom "The Big Bang Theory," has put her Tarzana home on the market for $6.9 million.

Once owned by Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom, the 8,000-square-foot home has seen some significant changes during Cuoco's five years of ownership. Living spaces once dominated by ...Read more

Controversial housing bill that challenges single-family zoning is dead for the year

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

A controversial housing bill that called for sweeping changes to California's zoning rules is dead for the year -- a major setback for an ambitious legislative package that aimed to solve the housing crisis, but a triumph for residents worried the zoning overhaul would change their cities for the worse.

Senate Bill 50, which would have allowed ...Read more

San Jose: 42% spike in homeless population

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Aligning with what many residents have suspected, new figures released Thursday show that the number of homeless people in the nation's 10th largest city has spiked dramatically -- 42% in two years.

According to the 2019 point-in-time count, a federally mandated count of the area's homeless population, San Jose has seen the ...Read more

Renters in Chicago's black neighborhoods 4 times as likely to face eviction as those in white areas

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

CHICAGO -- It first appeared in patches -- dark and spotty.

Then with each rainfall, it started to spread across the ceiling, taking on a life of its own.

Mary Williams said that when her landlord neglected to fix her leaking roof and clean up the mold in her bedroom, she stopped paying rent.

"I kept telling them, and they didn't care," ...Read more

Bay Area universities hit road blocks trying to build housing

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

As Bay Area university students and professors struggle to find housing near their campuses, plans to build more homes at UC Santa Cruz and UC Berkeley are facing courtroom challenges that threaten to bog down the projects in delays.

UC Santa Cruz is squaring off against two environmental groups that have sued over the school's plans to build ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: Contracts have consequences — and they can bite

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: We are selling our home, and the buyer just canceled the contract stating he was denied for a mortgage loan. Do we have to give the deposit back? -- Christine

A: One of my favorite sayings is that contracts have consequences. When a seller and buyer agree on the terms of a home sale those terms are binding. The buyer will put up an earnest ...Read more

Susan Tompor: Mistakes on your credit report could cost you thousands: How to fix them

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The Equifax data breach came to light back in September 2017 -- and consumers are still fuming.

Complaints about credit reporting, credit repair services and issues such as errors on individual consumer credit reports, made up 43% of all the complaints made to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to an analysis by the U.S. PIRG ...Read more

Plans for micro hotel with $35-a-night sleeping pods wins approval from Port Commissioners

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

SAN DIEGO --A proposal to build a novel micro hotel on Pacific Highway that would contain dozens of sleeping pods renting for $35 a night won the unanimous support Tuesday of San Diego Port Commissioners.

Their action represents a pivotal step toward eventually building the $10.6 million project proposed by Los Angeles-based Stay Open, a ...Read more

As millennials reject family treasures, baby boomers start to ask, 'What do we do with all this stuff?'

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Every time I enter the blue-tiled bathroom off the back door of my home I think about my mom, my millennial offspring and the overflowing shelves at the local Goodwill.

In that bathroom, displayed next to the outdated mahogany vanity, is a wall hanging featuring shocks of wheat in black silhouette -- a not-inexpensive piece of art my sister and...Read more