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The rise of the renter: For the first time in decades, Seattle has as many renters as homeowners

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

SEATTLE -- For decades, Seattle has been primarily a city of homeowners, but those days may be coming to an end. It's one of the many ways that the city's current population boom has been transformative.

According to census data, a record 360,000 Seattle residents lived in rental units in 2018 -- a 16% jump from just five years earlier. And ...Read more

The 5 ingredients of a low-maintenance kitchen

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

As we slide into a new decade, the kitchen of tomorrow is taking shape. And one characteristic above all dominates: low maintenance.

Going back 20 years, kitchens were beautiful and functional, but they also required a lot of upkeep. They could be anxiety-provoking, too - think pristine marble countertops that were prone to staining and ...Read more

Social Graces: You see someone's fiance on Tinder. Now what?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: What should you do if you see someone's fiance on Tinder?

A: Discovering someone's fiance on Tinder catapults us onto ethical thin ice. On one hand, we feel the moral duty to "be a friend" by sharing vital information that affects the friend's current and future happiness. On the other hand, we know we're cracking open a hornet's nest ...Read more

Carla Fried: Tax refund or bonus? Hire a financial planner

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

In a survey of more than 1,600 workers, nearly 60% identified financial matters as their top stress. The next most-common stress was "my job" at a very distant 15%.

Every household has its own list of financial stress points, but there are some common anxiety-inducers:

--Building an emergency fund

--Getting a handle on credit card debt

--...Read more

Susan Tompor: Why student loan debt is ballooning for those 50 and up

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Retirement should be filled with plenty of carefree days, peppered with a few bucket-list-worthy adventures. Headaches, such as student loans, ideally should be long gone.

But increasingly, some retirees are wondering how they're going to pay the utilities or the rent in retirement, thanks to monthly student loan bills that add up to hundreds ...Read more

LA to curb developer donations, but some fear corporate contributions could mask source of giving

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- Real estate developers pushing to get new projects approved at Los Angeles City Hall will be banned, under a new law, from giving campaign contributions to the council members vetting their projects.

But Los Angeles leaders have held off on another change that critics say is needed: Barring donors from giving through limited ...Read more

Hot Property: Tom Brady looks to score in the Massachusetts housing market

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- Tom Brady is moving up and down the field as he and the New England Patriots make another postseason run. Away from the gridiron, however, the three-time league MVP is still looking to score big in the real estate market.

Brady and his wife, former supermodel Gisele Bundchen, are asking $33.9 million for their gated estate in ...Read more

Guns, bears and bizarre designs: Dr. Phil's strange Beverly Hills home comes to market

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- A dozen guns adorn the dining room wall. Bizarre figurines of bears and rabbits eye you from every living space. L.A. has gobs of outlandish estates, but Dr. Phil's Beverly Crest home -- which just hit the market for $5.75 million -- is as unusual as they come.

The popular TV host, whose real name is Phillip McGraw, bought the ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: It's hard to keep up with landscaping. Can I go with a more wild look?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: It is getting harder for me to cut the lawn and maintain my landscaping. I am thinking of going with more a "wild" look. Is there a reason that I should not? -- Alex

A: There are several reasons why you cannot let your landscaping run wild that vary depending on where you live.

The first and perhaps the most essential reason is out of ...Read more

Spooked by property tax increases, Chicago developers look to other cities

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

After years of luring corporate headquarters downtown, altering the city's skyline and transforming once-fringe neighborhoods, some of Chicago's best-known developers are taking a new approach for 2020 and beyond.

They're lining up real estate investments in other cities.

A decade into a Chicago construction boom, some major players known for ...Read more

From squatter to legal homeowner? In California, it's possible

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

If you break into an empty house, move in your family and your belongings and call it home, can you ever stake a legal claim to the property?

The answer is yes. But it's a difficult process, and it rarely ends successfully.

"Sometimes I'm just overwhelmed with a sense of appreciation for the privilege of having a house," said Steven DeCaprio, ...Read more

Vanguard's market forecasts for 2020 and beyond? Higher, but not as juicy as the 2010 decade.

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Between 2010 and 2020, stocks and bonds have been on an amazing run.

But annual returns won't be as high over the next decade, so cool your expectations, professional investors warned.

The 2010-2020 period may be the only decade without a recession in U.S. history and the highest S&P earnings growth in U.S. history, said Matt Topley with ...Read more

5 cleaning tasks to tackle after the holidays

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The countertops were polished and the floors all spick-and-span, and then came friends and family, trudging through the foyer with suitcases and gifts in tow. Or perhaps in your hurry to get out the door, you weren't able to tidy things the way you usually do before traveling.

As the season of giving wraps up and twinkling lights go back in ...Read more

Social Graces: Sharing is caring in the world of marijuana

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: More and more states are legalizing recreational marijuana. Can you ask to bum some weed the way you would a cigarette?

A: It's even easier to ask to share cannabis than it is to "bum" a cigarette because sharing is an integral part of cannabis culture.

Think about a circle of cannabis smokers, passing a joint. When new people come up ...Read more

Racist property deeds kept thousands of Philly homes off-limits to all but white buyers, study finds

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Drawn by booming industry, driven from the South by repression, African Americans' population in Philadelphia swelled at the beginning of the 20th century.

As they arrived, Philadelphia adapted by baking segregation into property documents.

By 1930, the black population of Philadelphia had reached 219,000, according to the Pew Center for Art ...Read more

You can buy 'cheap' in LA, but you won't own your home and may oust a renter

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

In April, a two-bedroom unit in a 1920s Silver Lake fourplex sold for about $530,000. The Spanish-style home was recently renovated and has a seemingly choice location -- a short walk from restaurants on Sunset Boulevard. Still, it sold for about $250,000 less than the median price of a two-bedroom condo in the neighborhood.

A month earlier, ...Read more

Susan Tompor: Will the U.S. economy steer clear of a recession in 2020?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Could the U.S. economy really avoid a recession in 2020?

Well, the answer, as of late December anyway, is yes.

The longest economic expansion in U.S. history, which kicked off in June 2009, apparently has more gas in the tank. It's quite a change from last summer's cloudy rumblings when some experts saw the the odds going up for the ...Read more

Stocks soared this year. Half of millennials missed out

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

At 27, Nick de Leon knows firsthand about the gulf between millennials and Wall Street.

De Leon graduated this year from UC Berkeley with bachelor's degrees in political science and rhetoric with plans to start law school soon, and he has an internship with a Superior Court judge in his hometown of San Bernardino. He's also intrigued with the ...Read more

Around the world, luxury real estate poised to (mostly) strengthen

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Rich homebuyers laid low in 2019 as economic uncertainties turned global cities into risky propositions.

But don't be surprised next year to spot the world's wealthiest people beginning to spend money again as home prices in relatively stable economic areas continue to sink into bargain territory.

In a few cities, prices are even set to rise, ...Read more

Los Angeles rent rose 65% over the last decade, study shows

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

On Jan. 1, a sweeping rent control bill will take effect in California, capping yearly rent increases at 5% plus inflation and requiring just cause for eviction. But after the last decade for L.A. renters, the new protections appear akin to putting a Band-Aid on a bullet wound, according to a new study from listing service RentCafe.

The report ...Read more