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New White Sox park would bring riverfront-friendly design and big economic impact, developer says

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

A new White Sox stadium near downtown would make the most of views of the Chicago River and the Willis Tower, bringing explosive growth to the South Loop, prospective developers said Wednesday.

Drawings from Related Midwest show a new stadium with walls of windows looking onto the South Branch of the Chicago River, while spectators inside gaze...Read more

Real estate Q&A: How can I sell 'underinsured' condo?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: I have a contract on my condominium and was told the lender cannot finance the sale due to the association being underinsured. The policy deductible is too high, and the limit is too low. We just renewed the policy, and our monthly dues increased to pay for the larger premium. How can I sell my apartment? Do I have any legal remedies? —Greg...Read more

Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group/TNS

Hotel deals implode in Bay Area and California as economy turns murky

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

SAN JOSE, California — The market for hotel purchases has nosedived in both the Bay Area and California, in a sign that investors believe the weakness in the lodging sector has yet to run its course.

Measured by dollar amount, acquisitions of hotels plunged by 48.3% in Northern California and by 60.2% in Southern California, Atlas Hospitality...Read more

Dirk Shadd/Tampa Bay Times/TNS

How corporate investors are taking over Tampa Bay's neighborhoods

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The calls, texts and letters started about two years ago. St. Petersburg, Florida, resident Tamika Morris has a pile of junk mailers just inside her front door and dozens of numbers blocked on her phone.

The messages are always the same. Companies, with names like “HomeInc” and “HomeVestors,” offer to pay cash “as is” for her ...Read more

Trent Sprague/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Demand for office space nearly back to pre-pandemic levels in some cities, but not in Chicago, report finds

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Demand for Chicago office space kept falling in 2023, a sign that a true recovery for downtown could be years away.

The drop-off comes even as some high-flying cities like New York City saw demand nearly return to 2019 levels, while tech-heavy markets on the West Coast remain stuck in the doldrums far behind Chicago, according to a new study by...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Here's what one college financial aid expert advises about the latest FAFSA delay

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

There has been much apprehension and hand-wringing again this week since the U.S. Department of Education announced — again — a delay in its process for federal financial aid for college students.

The department said that student data from the newly revamped Free Application for Federal Student Aid would not be sent to colleges until March,...Read more

Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images North America/TNS

Yellen says commercial property is a worry, but regulators are on it

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that while losses in commercial real estate are a worry, U.S. regulators are working to ensure that loan-loss reserves and liquidity levels in the financial system are adequate to cope.

A combination of factors “is going to put a lot of stress on the owners of these properties,” Yellen told lawmakers ...Read more

Téa Kvetenadze/New York Daily News/TNS

Bronx tenants sue landlord, city over building collapse, allege harassment

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Over two dozen residents of the Bronx building that partially collapsed in December alleged their landlord harassed them following the incident and described dire conditions in a lawsuit filed Monday.

Tenants from 1915 Billingsley Terrace say they want immediate repairs done, the destroyed corner of the property rebuilt and the ability to ...Read more

DREAMSTIME/TNS

Turf is out. Native grasses are in. Here are 4 lush low-water options

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES — Tearing out your lawn can be a tough decision, especially if you have children or dogs who love to roll and play.

Or — no judgment here — maybe you just enjoy the visual serenity of a swath of green in a region where the hills go brown in the summer.

The good news is there are low-water, lushly green native lawn ...Read more

Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Palm Springs capped short-term rentals. Now some home prices are in free-fall

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Two years ago, YouTube star Luan Palomera paid $1.5 million for a chic vacation home in Palm Springs.

Today, he’d be lucky to get $1 million for it.

As L.A. continues its crackdown on Airbnb, city officials can turn toward the desert for an example — perhaps a cautionary tale — of the potential side effects of curbing the short-term ...Read more

Jose F. Moreno/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

How Philadelphia labor unions are helping members buy homes

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Latisha Thompson and Paul Prescod are big fans of labor unions and the benefits and protections they’ve won for workers. So much so that they got engaged Labor Day Weekend a couple years ago and plan to get married this Labor Day Weekend.

So when they decided to buy their first home, they looked to Thompson’s union for help.

Last year was ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: Could growing green patch on ceiling be mold?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: I recently noticed a damp spot on the ceiling of my rented apartment. I mentioned it to my landlord, who ignored the issue, wiping the area with a towel and spray cleaner. Now, it is getting larger with a small green patch. I am concerned that this may be mold, and my landlord does seem to take it seriously. What should I do? — Irma

A: You...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Housing affordability near record low hits Black buyers particularly hard

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

After years of mostly steady decline, the Black homeownership rate in the US saw its largest jump on record in the early days of the pandemic. Now, soaring borrowing costs and home prices threaten to erode those gains.

Black Americans — who for decades in the mid-20th century were shut out of swaths of the housing market by redlining and ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Home Depot cuts unspecified number of jobs in undisclosed locations

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Home Depot, the largest company by both revenue and employees based in Georgia, has acknowledged making some job cuts, but won’t say how many or where they were.

The home improvement giant continues to be upbeat about demand this year for its products and services, but has “reorganized some teams to better support our long-term priorities,�...Read more

Gary Arbach/Dreamstime/TNS

Did you pay H&R Block for tax help? You may be getting a refund

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

As Californians do their taxes for 2023, an estimated 70% could qualify for free help online to prepare and file their federal returns. But in the past, only a small percentage of them have taken advantage of these services.

State and local officials have long blamed the lack of participation on two leading tax-preparation companies, Intuit (...Read more

Warrengoldswain/Dreamstime/TNS

Financial adviser's advice: How to approach finances as a couple

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Money can be an emotional subject for couples. Without a shared understanding and commitment to financial goals, partners may find themselves arguing more and even resenting each other.

“Money arguments are normal. Even the closest couples argue about money,” says Stephanie Genkin, a certified financial planner and founder of the Brooklyn-...Read more

Yuri Gripas/AFP/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/TNS

What Warren Buffett thinks about AI and investing

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The growth potential of artificial intelligence has investors excited, bidding up the stocks of AI leaders Nvidia, Microsoft, Alphabet and others throughout 2023 and into 2024. But what does arguably the world’s greatest investor Warren Buffett think about AI and its potential?

Here’s what Buffett and his late partner Charlie Munger have ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

January Fed meeting preview: 3 key questions as the FOMC looks likely to push back on rate cut bets

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Slowing inflation and a strong U.S. economy had Federal Reserve watchers thinking they might get the best of both worlds in 2024: aggressive rate cuts with no recession in sight.

But officials on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) are bound to spend their first rate-setting meeting of the year emphasizing that, when it comes to slashing ...Read more

New year, new way to file your tax return for free: The IRS launches Direct File pilot program

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

It's back to regular IRS deadlines this year, but with a new tool for many low- and moderate-income households: a service that will prepare and file their tax returns online for free.

Starting later this year, taxpayers in 12 states — Arizona, California, Florida, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Nevada, New York, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas,...Read more

Real estate Q&A: What do we need to do to sell deceased mom's condo?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: My widowed mother passed away a few months ago. I have been making payments to the condo association while my sister and I have been cleaning it. We want to sell it. What do we need to do next? — Kelly

A: It is hard to lose a loved one, and sorting their affairs can be challenging. You and your sister are off to a good start in settling ...Read more