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Miami condo king Jorge Pérez on gentrification, Liberty Square and federal investigations

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

"Nobody knows anything," screenwriter William Goldman famously said about the movie industry's ability to predict a box-office hit.

But in the real estate industry, experience imparts knowledge, expertise and insight -- and few in South Florida are as experienced as The Related Group CEO and Chairman Jorge Perez.

Since 2010, the company he ...Read more

It's hard to manage your credit when you've never heard of 'interest'

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

When Kentucky state Treasurer Allison Ball and a colleague talked with high school seniors last year about credit cards and other pieces of the personal finance puzzle, something wasn't right.

"We kept using the word 'interest' and we kept getting blank stares," Ball recalled. Finally, she asked the students who knew what interest is. No one ...Read more

These 10 stores secretly price-match Amazon every day of the week

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Here's a pro savings tip: Save more at big-box stores by using secret price-match policies.

It's not well known that many stores match Amazon's online prices (not third-party retailers), so you can always get the best deal on purchases when shopping at Best Buy, Target, Walmart and other major retailers.

Use price-matching and price-adjustment...Read more

Deals & Steals: Back to school: Extra savings just for teachers at Barnes & Noble in August

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Teaches can save more on back-to-school supplies during Barnes & Noble's Education Appreciation Days events in August and October.

Stores are offering special discounts in addition to the 20 percent off teachers already get year-round at the bookseller on Saturday and Sundays this month when using a Barnes & Noble Educator Discount Card...Read more

Fidelity fires fee salvo vs. Vanguard, launching two new mutual funds with zero fees

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The mutual fund giant Vanguard has led the way in cutting costs for retail investors -- until last week.

Now, it's Fidelity's turn to take on Vanguard -- and Fidelity just went to zero fees first.

As of Friday, Fidelity launched two mutual funds with no fees. Fidelity ZERO Total Market Index Fund (FZROX) and Fidelity ZERO International Index ...Read more

Key California housing bills enter the home stretch

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- As Californians reel from sky-high rents and home prices fueled by the economic boom, state lawmakers return Monday from their summer recess to debate proposals attacking the housing crisis.

In the feverish final four weeks of the legislative session, the Legislature will take up bills to speed permanent housing for the ...Read more

'N Sync's Lance Bass says he's heartbroken over losing Brady Bunch house, but broker says it was never a done deal

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- Looks like Lance Bass is saying bye bye bye to his dream of owning the Brady Bunch house.

The singer-dancer-actor of 'N Sync fame on Friday had tweeted that his offer for the Studio City home, which hit the market last month for $1.885 million, had been accepted.

But just a day later, in a subsequent message posted to Instagram,...Read more

Susan Tompor: Borrower beware: Soon it will be tougher to unload college loans

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Here's a good reason to think twice about taking out piles of student loans after watching a catchy TV ad for a for-profit college.

The U.S. Department of Education is on a path to make it far tougher to get federal college loans forgiven using the argument that the school cheated you out of a good education by misleading you about job ...Read more

Need a loan? Forget the corner payday lender — your boss has you covered

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Your employer might contribute to your retirement account or help pay for health insurance. But will it help you set up an emergency fund? Or offer you a loan of a few thousand dollars when your transmission breaks down?

If you work for Comcast Corp., yes.

The Philadelphia-based telecom and entertainment giant is rolling out those and other ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: Apartment pool closes for five months. Is rent discount in order?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: The pool where I rent an apartment was closed for five months for renovations. We feel that our rent should be reduced because the use of the pool is part of what we are renting. Are we entitled to the discount? -- Thomas

A: Much of this answer will depend on the wording of your lease. However, if your lease reads like the typical one, then ...Read more

Hot Property: Quaid's vantage point in Palisades

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- Actor Dennis Quaid has tossed his Pacific Palisades home on the market at $6.495 million. He bought the place five years ago for $5.1 million, records show.

Obscured from the street by hedges and a thicket of bamboo, the gated Spanish-style home sits on more than a third of an acre with a 10-car motor court, a swimming pool and ...Read more

The Mortgage Professor: Daily interest: A festering sore in consumer loan markets

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Question: What do home mortgage loans (including second mortgage loans), retail installment loans, automobile loans, home improvement loans, and mobile home loans, have in common -- aside from being loans to consumers?

Answer: The interest charge sometimes is calculated monthly and sometimes daily. With a monthly interest rate (MIR) the ...Read more

The Mortgage Professor: Daily interest: A festering sore in consumer loan markets

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Question: What do home mortgage loans (including second mortgage loans), retail installment loans, automobile loans, home improvement loans, and mobile home loans, have in common -- aside from being loans to consumers?

Answer: The interest charge sometimes is calculated monthly and sometimes daily. With a monthly interest rate (MIR) the ...Read more

H. Wayne Huizenga's Fort Lauderdale estate listed for $26.95 million

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- The sprawling riverfront estate that belonged to the late Fort Lauderdale billionaire H. Wayne Huizenga is now up for sale and is listed for $26.95 million.

Dubbed Tarpon Pointe, the estate boasts 60,000 square feet of land and a standout 18,000-square-foot home that is a mix of Mediterranean and French architectural ...Read more

Wells Fargo fined more than $2 billion for mortgage abuses

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The U.S. Justice Department said Wednesday it is fining Wells Fargo more than $2 billion for mortgages it made and sold to investors in the run-up to the financial crisis, the latest blow to the San Francisco-based bank.

Wells agreed to pay the $2.09 billion penalty to settle allegations it knowingly misrepresented the quality of the ...Read more

Airbnb to start taxing users in these three Bay Area cities

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Travelers staying at Airbnb rentals in Cupertino, Redwood City and Sunnyvale will notice an extra charge tacked onto their reservations under new tax agreements expected to rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars per year for the cities.

Airbnb on Wednesday began automatically deducting an occupancy tax from each booking made on the short-term...Read more

Microhousing is trendy in Seattle and NYC, but will it fly in Charlotte? These builders are betting on it

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- While the idea of squeezing into a "micro-apartment" with just a few hundred square feet is common in high-priced cities like Seattle and New York, it's a new concept in Charlotte -- a Sunbelt boomtown where part of the lure is more living space for your buck.

But developers are betting that there are enough people in ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: How can I make my community's board listen to my ideas?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: I live in a beautiful community that is well maintained by the board and its various committees. All is great, except for the roads -- they are ugly with oil marks and patched areas. I have asked after this, but it does not seem to be a priority of the board of directors. How do I get the board to address this issue? -- Philip

A: Most people...Read more

Craigslist, Facebook and beyond: Local experts offer tips for buying and selling items online

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

CHICAGO - Three days before Yael Meshulam left for college in 2010, she had $800 stolen from her bank account after buying an item on eBay. She hasn't used the platform since.

"The $3 ring from China was absolutely not worth the hours I spent on the phone with both my bank and PayPal, both claiming the other was responsible," said the...Read more

Red Lobster introduces cheap early-bird specials on weekdays

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Red Lobster has new early-bird dining deals on weekdays.

The Orlando, Fla.-based chain has introduced a different early-dining special on popular seafood dishes from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Prices start at $15 per entree.

Here a rundown:

Monday: Mix and match from Garlic Shrimp Scampi, Hand-Breaded Shrimp and Wood-Grilled ...Read more