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Real estate Q&A: Landlord insists on cash payments for rent. What I can do to stay safe during coronavirus?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: Our lease states that we must pay the rent in cash. Because of the Safer at Home orders in place, we do not want to go to the bank to get the money. We offered to pay with a check or even have our bank transfer the funds, but our landlord refused. We want to stay safe during the pandemic. What can we do? -- Amanda

A: It is crucial always to ...Read more

Coronavirus leaves home buyers and sellers in limbo — and at financial risk

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

A single mother and nurse in her mid-30s could no longer afford her house in Delaware County, Pa. So she took all the money she could scrape together for a security deposit and the first and last month's rent for an apartment, and she put her house on the market.

To help make ends meet, she needed the profits from her home sale, originally set ...Read more

Virtual open houses, masked notaries: How you can still buy a home in a pandemic

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

It's a Sunday, a day when home shoppers would normally pack open houses. Luke Smith arrives solo to a Redondo Beach, Calif., listing, angles his laptop toward the front door so its camera can capture the scene and enters the two-bedroom condo.

"This property is listed for $819,900," the real estate agent for Rex tells his client, a video ...Read more

Social Graces: Social distancing with roommates because of the coronavirus

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: How do you ask your roommate to stay away from you while quarantined due to the coronavirus?

A: Because of this pandemic, social norms, routines and expectations have changed from what was originally agreed upon when you moved in together. For many people, working from home is the new norm, and in many households, two to three people are ...Read more

5 ways to spruce up your yard this spring

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

As spring brings warmer weather, now's a good time to start pulling out your lawn mower and gardening gloves - if you haven't already. But before you get to planting and mowing, there are a few steps you can take to ensure your yard stays healthy and beautiful all year long.

1. Clean up your outdoor space.

First things first, it's ...Read more

Hot Property: Shia LaBeouf finds new scenery in Pasadena

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- Actor Shia LaBeouf has purchased a newly built home in Pasadena for $5.475 million.

Designed to evoke the period revival styles of the early 20th century, the Mediterranean-inspired residence sits on a third of an acre near the Huntington Library. A fountain and terrace sit outside the roughly 4,100-square-foot house, which has ...Read more

WFH got you stiff and sore? An ergo expert offers 8 tips to stay healthy

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Most of us are working from home now as the fast-spreading coronavirus has forced us to shelter in place.

That means that many of us are working remotely in less than ideal ergonomic situations as we type on laptops in bed, on bookshelves, on the couch and at the kitchen table.

Staying home may be the right thing to do for the greater good, ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: What I can do when buyers won't leave their house for closing?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: I am under contract to sell my house and the buyer is telling me they cannot close because they are unable to leave their house for the closing. With all that is going on, I am sympathetic, but I need to sell my home. What can I do? -- Miriam

A: A national emergency, such as the coronavirus pandemic, does not automatically cancel contracts ...Read more

Column: Coronavirus may be a new factor when California's housing debate reignites

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

People fleeing cities in an attempt to outrun the coronavirus have caused consternation in rural hinterlands and warm-weather refuges.

But the COVID-19 crisis has triggered a longer-term discussion about the health risks in densely packed cities and whether the crisis will lead to living quarters being more spread out in the future.

In the ...Read more

How to talk to your landlord about rent if coronavirus closures have affected your paycheck

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

For many out-of-work Americans, the first of the month looms larger now than it did just four short weeks ago.

Even if your landlord has announced rent cuts or is helping you cover the rent due, you may be wondering just what to do on the first of the month.

You're not alone. Two weeks ago, a record 3.28 million Americans filed unemployment ...Read more

'I could feel balls of hair just falling out': DevaCurl customers are quitting the brand, alleging products cause hair loss, skin reactions and health issues

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

CHICAGO - Leslie Gomez noticed her ringlet curls becoming wavy and her hair thinning last summer, but she didn't panic until her mother told her, "You look like you're balding." Before that, she had a head full of shiny, perfect curls, she said, and she was horrified.

"That sent me into hysterics, because I'm thinking that ...Read more

Blair Kamin: Will the open-plan office make you vulnerable to coronavirus? Or will the virus crisis force offices to become safer?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Even before coronavirus struck, critics were slamming the layout used in most American offices -- the open plan -- as noisy, distracting, stress-inducing, and nowhere near the teamwork booster its designers made it out to be.

"Open-plan offices are now the dumbest management fad of all time." Inc. magazine proclaimed in 2018, pouncing on a ...Read more

Carla Fried: Term life insurance is cheap and most adults should have plenty

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

All right, we're all freaking out about a global pandemic and the potential financial chaos that could follow. It's beyond our control, which is frustrating. So, here's one crucial financial planning item within your control that's also inexpensive and easy to obtain: term life insurance.

Chances are you can buy a policy without ever leaving ...Read more

How the coronavirus stimulus package can help retirees and savers

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The House gave final passage Friday to a massive $2.2 trillion stimulus package intended to help businesses and workers cope with the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

But goodies for Americans saving for retirement, and those already retired, are also tucked inside.

"The bill is complex, so check with a tax specialist or ...Read more

To pay or not to pay? A coronavirus conundrum

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

SAN DIEGO -- Melodie Holmen really wanted to have her hair cut and colored Saturday, and her hairdresser was eager to comply.

But Holmen's spouse is a cancer survivor. Spending time with another person, the San Diego resident felt, was just too risky.

"So when I mentioned my husband's health as a concern, she immediately understood," Holmen ...Read more

Susan Tompor: Coronavirus confusion continues in 2020 tax season

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Sure, we thought the chaos and confusion of last year's tax season was long behind us.

This year, they told us, was bound to be better as people became more familiar with the new tax rules that initially showed up on 2018 tax returns.

Then the coronavirus crisis took hold in the United States. And 2020 tax season has become more confusing by ...Read more

Wall Street is quietly telling companies not to draw their loans

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

NEW YORK -- The biggest U.S. banks have been quietly discouraging some of America's safest borrowers from tapping existing credit lines amid record corporate drawdowns on lending facilities, according to people familiar with the behind-the-scenes conversations.

For Wall Street, it's not an issue of liquidity so much as profitability. Investment...Read more

'All my income is gone': Tenants, landlords voice coronavirus fears as rents come due

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- Tenants and landlords across the country are bracing for Wednesday, when April rents are due just as thousands of people have lost their jobs and most business have been shut down as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Government officials have provided certain protection against evictions for renters and limited mortgage ...Read more

4 ways to prep your home for remote work

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

If you're used to going into the office every day, dusting off your desk to work from home can be a tough transition. Fortunately, there are things you can do to prepare a home workspace that's both pleasant and productive - even if you don't have the square footage for a room dedicated to doing your job. Here's a look at a few ways to make ...Read more

Social Graces: How to tell people you don't want to shake hands because of the coronavirus

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: How should you tell people you don't want to shake hands or have other physical contact because of coronavirus?

A: Misery does not love company. With more questions than answers, the world is feeling the effects of the coronavirus. But whether it's this new disease or the common cold, always be considerate when you're in public spaces. A ...Read more