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Anti-Amazon ads ask: 'Does this look like a company that needs taxpayer cash?'

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

RALEIGH, N.C. -- A national organization for conservative millennials is launching a digital ad campaign opposing financial incentives in North Carolina and the other 19 U.S. states that are finalists to land Amazon's second headquarters.

Generation Opportunity advocates for free markets and economic policies that benefit their membership of 18...Read more

Seattle rents for offices soaring much faster than elsewhere

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

SEATTLE -- It's not just housing prices: Seattle is not the bargain it used to be for companies, either.

Historically, the city was a cheaper place to rent office space than a lot of other cities with advanced economies. That held true through last decade's economic upswing, and during the recession.

But the city's recent boom driven by Amazon...Read more

The Mortgage Professor: Removing barriers to a competitive home mortgage market

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Last week in this space I suggested that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac be retained with government backing but with a new mission: to eliminate market dysfunction.

A reader responded: "Shifting control of appraisals to borrowers and requiring lenders to purchase and pay for any insurance that protects lenders would help borrowers, but these ...Read more

The Mortgage Professor: Removing barriers to a competitive home mortgage market

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Last week in this space I suggested that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac be retained with government backing but with a new mission: to eliminate market dysfunction.

A reader responded: "Shifting control of appraisals to borrowers and requiring lenders to purchase and pay for any insurance that protects lenders would help borrowers, but these ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: Can a board president thwart sale of your co-op?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: I inherited a co-op in a 34-unit building. I am not happy with the conditions and want to sell. The board president, who owns a majority of the units and rents them like a hotel, told me that I have to sell to him for a ridiculously low price. I told him that I would list it for market value and he laughed and told me that the "board" would ...Read more

The California dream is tough to afford if you're under 40

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Samantha Sprau rents a 450-square-foot studio north of downtown Oakland, Calif., with appliances and gold-speckled laminate that could be decades older than she is.

It costs $1,575 a month.

"It's a ton for one person to pay," said the 27-year-old battery engineer, relies on the grocery-skimping survival skills she learned as a broke ...Read more

Crafting a comfy space

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

"You won't find any modernist box developments in this neighborhood," says Cassandra Corum as she offers a tour of her Koreatown home. Indeed, the two-story Craftsman that Corum shares with Shannon Reese looks out over a tree-lined street in a historic preservation district populated with stately homes. Located between downtown L.A. and Hancock ...Read more

On Philanthropy: 2018 is ideal time to focus on strategic corporate philanthropy

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Businesses must play a more strategic and integral role in efforts to solve the most pressing problems of our local, national and global communities. So believes Larry Fink, chairman and CEO of international asset management and investment giant Blackrock. His colleagues in the business community are taking note.

In his annual CEO letter, Fink ...Read more

Caution: Cleaning this way is like smoking a pack a day, study says

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Just in case you needed a legitimate excuse to be messy, there's a new study that says cleaning may actually be bad for your health.

Researchers at the University of Bergen in Norway found that regular use of cleaning sprays contributed to a greater decline in lung function compared to those who did not clean.

The study, published in the ...Read more

Susan Tompor: Taxes: What you need to know to deduct medical expenses

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Some retirees are grumbling that young families are getting a better deal under tax reform. But seniors could be overlooking some good news for deductions for medical expenses.

At one point, the heated debate on tax reform called for eliminating the deduction for medical expenses entirely.

But the major tax reform package that Congress passed ...Read more

Hot Property: Actress' auction is a no-go: Elsewhere, a former Ford desert property is for sale

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES--After shopping her Palm Springs compound for more than a decade, Suzanne Somers appeared on the cusp of selling her longtime desert retreat at auction last month. She must have had a change of heart.

The actress-entrepreneur and her husband, producer Alan Hamel, decided not to go through with the no-reserve bidding scheduled for ...Read more

Seattle not amused by green-pigs stunt by real-estate company

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

SEATTLE -- An out-of-town real-estate company hoped to make a big splash ahead of its launch in Seattle on Wednesday, so it put cutouts of little green pigs all over the region. The plan was to create buzz and online searches that would lead people to discover the firm.

So early Tuesday, its street team scattered 1,500 of the little pigs, from ...Read more

Buying a Bay Area home now a struggle even for Apple, Google engineers

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Bay Area home prices are out of reach for many middle-income families, but surely if you're a highly prized engineer at Apple or Google you can afford a house here, right?

Not so fast.

These days even high-paid tech workers -- the very people often blamed for driving up home prices -- have to stretch to buy a house, ...Read more

For residents, appeal of downtown Minneapolis is still sky-high

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

MINNEAPOLIS -- Downtown Minneapolis' population has exploded over the past decade, propelled by millennials and empty nesters who are embracing the urban lifestyle.

More people moved downtown last year than any other in the past decade, expanding the city's core by 2,592 residents, according to estimates from the Downtown Council, a business ...Read more

Clean it up: Top kitchen trends for 2018

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The biggest trend in kitchen remodels is tidiness, according to Houzz's survey of more than 1,700 homeowners who use the site nationwide and are either planning a remodel, are in the middle of one or have just completed an update.

The 2018 Houzz Kitchen Trends Study found that for 75 percent of the homeowners, decluttering their counters was ...Read more

On the House: Philadelphia's ultra-luxury condo market is in full swing, but convincing high-end buyers still takes work

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

In Philadelphia in the 1980s -- the decade in which the Phillies won the World Series, city police dropped a bomb on a West Philadelphia neighborhood, and the Frankford Slasher killed at least a half-dozen women -- the City of Brotherly Love also made history in a quieter way: selling its first million-dollar condo.

Compared with its urban ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: Do rental tenants have to obey HOA rules?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: Our community has an association that is not a "paid" HOA; there is no board and no meetings. There are written HOA covenants that I believe should still be part of the property transaction on any home purchase. Many residents are completely unaware/don't care about the HOA rules. What options do I have to enforce the HOA rules, and do rental...Read more

The Mortgage Professor: Political gridlock on the disposition of Fannie and Freddie: Is there a credible solution?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

A major piece of unfinished business from the financial crisis is what to do with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which have been in a Federal conservatorship since 2008. An impasse between republicans and democrats on the future of the agencies could be broken if they came to realize that there is a sensible solution that is consistent with the ...Read more

The Mortgage Professor: Political gridlock on the disposition of Fannie and Freddie: Is there a credible solution?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

A major piece of unfinished business from the financial crisis is what to do with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which have been in a Federal conservatorship since 2008. An impasse between republicans and democrats on the future of the agencies could be broken if they came to realize that there is a sensible solution that is consistent with the ...Read more

Chicago's John Hancock Center skyscraper losing its iconic name

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

CHICAGO -- Chicago's John Hancock Center is getting a name change, nearly a decade after another of Chicago's most beloved skyscrapers -- the Sears Tower -- switched identities and caused a civic uproar.

Owners of the 100-story John Hancock Center said the building's namesake, the insurance company that built the tower almost five decades ago, ...Read more