Home & Leisure


Here's how to prepare for a recession, if it actually happens

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

A recession could be on the way. Or it could not.

Economists have been predicting and prognosticating for months, some saying the economy will recede later this year, while others point to 2024. If it does happen, most agree it will be mild, not to the level of job losses from the 2007-09 Great Recession.

Regardless which forecast is right, ...Read more

Monica Herndon/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

A young Black wealth coach's money advice for millennials: Start by giving up the scarcity mind-set

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Time is a crucial ingredient for building wealth. But these economic times for millennials, those born between 1981 and 1996, have not been auspicious.

Culprits included the 2018 Great Recession, which took off just as many were graduating from college or in the early days of their careers. Add to that the huge student-loan debt load that so ...Read more

How much a $100,000 salary is actually worth across America

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

For many, reaching a six-figure salary is a watershed moment, yet it’s an illusory milestone: In reality, your take-home pay is much lower after taxes and factoring in the sky-high cost of living in many major cities. That’s especially true with slowing wage gains and nearly two years of persistent inflation.

So where should you live if you...Read more

D.A. Varela/Miami Herald/TNS

They bought their dream homes from the 'King of Coconut Grove.' They still can't move in

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Twelve new townhouses line a block of Coconut Avenue. Lushly landscaped, outfitted with high-end appliances and spacious closets, they’re in move-in condition. Yet the Coconut City Villas are empty, as empty as their backyard swimming pools and unsullied trash bins sitting in unoccupied driveways.

Instead of “For Sale” signs, house ...Read more

Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda/Orlando Sentinel/TNS

Florida homeowners are in the dark about flood insurance, expert says

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

After the back-to-back named storms last year left billions of dollars in flood losses across Florida, one organization is warning that major reforms are needed to government regulations and flood insurance, especially inland as climate change makes storms wetter and more powerful.

As of January, FEMA, which administers the National Flood ...Read more

Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun/TNS

In Southeast Baltimore, a nonprofit struggles to buy vacant homes from investors

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Kari Snyder really didn’t want to spend $62,000 on this vacant rowhouse.

She was on vacation last summer in a beach town and was supposed to be eating dinner with her family when a middleman called her. The boarded-up house in Southeast Baltimore was on the verge of collapsing, and he had the contract to sell it. Snyder couldn’t stomach ...Read more

Broward County Sheriff's Office/TNS/TNS

They weren't porch pirates: Theft ring members stole whole houses, authorities say

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Three suspects have been charged in what investigators say was an elaborate scheme to steal Broward County, Florida properties with fraudulent quit claim deeds, liens and litigation.

The three arrested suspects — Tyrone Jones, 44, of Fort Lauderdale, Michael Dupree, 51, of Riverview, and Yury Domatov, 50, of Dania Beach — are accused in the...Read more

Real estate Q&A: How can I protect my home against fake deeds?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: I read an article about people using fake deeds and lawsuits to steal people’s homes. It sounded horrible for the victims and is frightening. How can I protect myself? — Clive

A: Real estate title fraud rarely occurs but is devastating when it does. In the type of scam that was recently in the news, a fraudster will record one or more ...Read more

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

30-Year mortgage rates retreat for first time in 5 weeks

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

U.S. mortgage rates declined for the first time in five weeks, helping propel a measure of home-purchase applications to the highest in a month.

The contract rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage fell 8 basis points to 6.71%, according to Mortgage Bankers Association data released Wednesday. The group’s index of mortgage applications for the ...Read more

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images North America/TNS

Allison Schrager: Don't make the same mistake as SVB with your 401(k)

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The poor risk management at Silicon Valley Bank is stunning. But what went wrong is actually pretty common. There is often confusion about what makes a safe asset versus a risky one, and guessing wrong is often at the core of financial blow-ups. Safe assets, as we properly define them, are the backbone of financial markets; they are how we price...Read more

Patrick T. Fallon/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Making sense of Silicon Valley Bank's failure: What it means for your money

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

It's never a good sign when "bank collapse" is trending on Twitter.

Such was the case Monday as investors pummeled shares of First Republic Bank and Western Alliance Bancorporation, among several other regional financial institutions. Evidently, they feared that these banks would suffer the same fate as Silicon Valley Bank in Santa Clara, Calif...Read more

Renée Jones Schneider/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS

How frugal shoppers are helping to fight inflation

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

It's not just the Federal Reserve that can fight inflation — consumers can, too, by changing their buying habits, Deloitte researchers say.

Consistent frugal behaviors by enough people can force retailers and manufacturers to keep prices, and profit margins, in check. But a new longitudinal study by Deloitte found not everyone is curtailing ...Read more

Carline Jean/TNS

Mortgage rates keep climbing as economy grows. What home buyers and sellers should know

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The housing market is on the fritz – again.

Mortgage rates rose for the fifth consecutive week, sending the 30-year fixed mortgage rate to 6.73%, according to Freddie Mac’s latest data, released March 9. That’s up 0.08% from the previous week and 2.8% compared to this time last year.

At the same time, other parts of the economy continue ...Read more

Paul J. Davies: A full banking crisis isn't apparent in the SVB wreckage

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The market still appears to be hunting for weakness among some smaller U.S. banks and even across Europe after U.S. authorities stepped in to guarantee deposits at Silicon Valley Bank. This makes little sense: There should be no snowballing of runs on banks. But profit expectations could be trimmed at many firms, which could justify some — but...Read more

David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

Solar panels can cost about $20,000, but some homeowners say they're worth the investment as energy prices go up

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

This fall, as John Y.K. Lee realized his electric bill had doubled, he finally decided to invest in solar panels.

For years, the neurosurgeon had thought about installing them on his family’s Havertown, Pennsylvania, home. But he sped up his timeline in the past year.

“All of a sudden there is all this perturbance in the energy market,” ...Read more

Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS

Central Florida homes on state-run Citizens Insurance shoot up by 159%

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Jeremy Seghers didn’t have much of a choice about moving his home insurance to the state-run insurer of last resort, Citizens Property Insurance. His broker explained it was the only policy he could get after his previous company, Southern Fidelity Insurance, was liquidated by the state last year.

“They told me, ‘Citizens is it. It’s ...Read more

Home values in South Florida jump 13%, despite the slowing market

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Homeowners across South Florida saw their homes values rise over the past year, despite the market taking a turn, new data shows.

In South Florida, home values have increased upward of at least 13% over the past year, depending on the area, despite rising interest rates cooling the market significantly, according to an...Read more

Jefferee Woo/Tampa Bay Times/TNS

With households cash-strapped, here's what's it like at a Florida pawn shop

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LARGO, Florida – Inflation, no inflation, recession, stimulus, pandemic, whatever may come: “In here it always stays the same,” said Tim’s Trading Post & Pawn team member Rita Casillas. “There are always people who need cash and have nowhere else to go.”

Stepping into Tim’s reveals an arsenal of semi-automatics and revolvers, ...Read more

Shanna Madison/Chicago Tribune/TNS

As real estate giant prepares to open first office on Chicago's South Side, residents feel torn about the influx of development

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

CHICAGO — Since moving to Bronzeville in 2007, Vanessa Harris has seen the many vacant lots in the South Side neighborhood get scooped up by developers and turned into $800,000 townhomes, some of them right outside her window.

A retired state employee, Harris, 66, bought her two-flat for $231,000 through the city’s New Homes for Chicago ...Read more

JESSICA GRIFFIN/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

Philadelphia's zoning board denies 'granny flat' proposal for iconic Venturi house

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

David Lockard is, perhaps, the only person in Philadelphia whose home is featured on a postage stamp. Unfortunately for him, it feels about the size of one, too.

Lockard lives in one of Chestnut Hill’s modernist marvels, the Vanna Venturi house, which the United States Postal Service honored in 2005 for its an iconic mid-century design.

The ...Read more