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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

Trump Tower is now one of NYC's least-desirable luxury buildings

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

NEW YORK -- Trump Tower, once the crown jewel in Donald Trump's property empire, now ranks as one of the least desirable luxury properties in Manhattan.

The 36-year-old building has been turned into a fortress since Trump won the presidency, ringed with concrete barriers and the two main entrances partially blocked off. It hasn't been ...Read more

Want a starter house in the Twin Cities? Good luck

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

MINNEAPOLIS -- From coast to coast, house listings are becoming more abundant, bringing relief to weary spring buyers.

Not so in the Twin Cities metro, where demand for entry-level houses continues to outstrip supply, creating a listing logjam that's choking home sales.

By the end of March, Twin Cities home buyers had 5% fewer options than ...Read more

Susan Tompor: Federal student loan interest rates about to get first cut in 3 years

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

High school grads on their way to college -- as well as returning college students -- just got a bit of a financial gift.

Interest rates on new federal student loans made on or after July 1 will be lower than they are now. It's the first rate cut in three years.

Rates will decrease by 0.516 percentage points for new federal student loans made ...Read more

Hot Property: Olivia Newton-John looks to lasso buyer for Santa Ynez Valley ranch

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- Olivia Newton-John is hoping to hightail it out of the Santa Ynez Valley, where her 12-acre horse ranch of four years is on the market for $5.4 million.

Tucked into a private enclave on the Santa Ynez River, the scenic estate makes the most of its space. There's a contemporary-vibe home built in 2008, a two-bedroom guesthouse, a ...Read more

Is this a solution to California's housing crisis, or a threat to single-family homes?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Could this be the end of single-family zoning in California?

Changes to the comprehensive housing measure Senate Bill 50 -- already hotly debated -- allow property owners broad rights to turn single-family homes and vacant lots into two-, three- and four-unit homes and apartments.

The changes could plant multi-family housing in even the most ...Read more

California levies record fine against upscale hotel for permit violations

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The California Coastal Commission on Wednesday levied a record $15.6-million penalty against the owner of an upscale coastal hotel in Santa Monica because the hotel was built without proper permits that include providing for more affordable lodging in the area.

The commission, at a meeting in Oxnard, approved the penalty against privately held ...Read more

Why it's best to keep renovations simple when selling your home

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- When it comes to selling a home, some homeowners will go to great lengths to boost the value of their property. But do renovation projects translate to big paydays in the real estate market? Not necessarily, Zillow data show.

A mid-range bathroom remodel ($3,000 or less) can bring back $1.71 for every dollar spent, according to ...Read more

Save bucks, win a prize? Sounds great but consumers aren't biting

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

More states are allowing banks and credit unions to entice customers to build up their savings by offering them lottery-like prizes. But even with a chance to win money, most customers still aren't saving.

Twenty-nine states now permit credit unions or banks to offer "prize-linked" savings accounts, according to the National Conference of State...Read more