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Doctor accused of multiple rapes can't practice medicine, judge says, and now faces a civil suit

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- One of seven women a Newport Beach surgeon is charged with drugging and raping filed a civil lawsuit this week against the doctor and his girlfriend, alleging the couple assaulted her in 2016.

The woman is seeking unspecified damages from Dr. Grant Robicheaux, 38, once dubbed Orange County's most eligible bachelor, and his ...Read more

California homeownership rate jumps after years of decline

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The number of owner-occupied homes in California rose by 182,000, or 2.6 percent, from 2016 to 2017, the largest increase in at least 12 years, new Census Bureau estimates show.

About 54.8 percent of households in California owned their homes in 2017. The homeownership rate in California fell for a decade between 2006 and 2015, largely as a ...Read more

The Mortgage Professor: Debt consolidation during a period of rising interest rates

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Debt consolidation is the conversion of high-rate debt into lower-rate debt in order to reduce total interest costs. Homeowners with large amounts of credit card debt who have unused borrowing power on their home have a consolidation option.

Whether or not it is in the homeowner's long-run interest to exercise the option, however, turns out to ...Read more

The Mortgage Professor: Debt consolidation during a period of rising interest rates

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Debt consolidation is the conversion of high-rate debt into lower-rate debt in order to reduce total interest costs. Homeowners with large amounts of credit card debt who have unused borrowing power on their home have a consolidation option.

Whether or not it is in the homeowner's long-run interest to exercise the option, however, turns out to ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: I want to sell, but my ex is not cooperating. What are my options?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: I own half of a property with my ex and want to get the value out. However, he is refusing to sell. What can I do? -- Patricia

Q: I got the house in our divorce years ago. Now it is time to sell, but I am told he is still on title and will need to sign. Of course, he is not cooperating. What are my options? -- Kamala

A: I see these sorts of...Read more

How a California doctor fell from reality TV star to suspected serial rapist

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- Authorities continue to seek potential victims after additional charges were filed this week against a prominent Newport Beach doctor, who now is accused of attacking at least seven women.

Dr. Grant Robicheaux, 38, once dubbed Orange County's most eligible bachelor, and his girlfriend, Cerissa Riley, 31, are accused of rape by ...Read more

American Dream in a box: Alongside appliances, tools and shoes, Sears once also sold mail-order prefab kit homes

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- Southern California was just beginning to develop a taste for suburban sprawl in 1923 when an enterprising property owner built a charming Craftsman home in the Venice neighborhood using plans and materials purchased from the Sears, Roebuck & Co. mail-order catalog. Or so the story goes.

The beach-area bungalow, which probably ...Read more

Where once there was a golf course, now there are grapes

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

FALLBROOK, Calif. -- Developers were showing interest and the residents of Fallbrook's Gird Valley were scared.

The 56-year-old Fallbrook Golf Club closed for good in early 2016, another North County golf course that had been struggling financially for years due to high water costs and a diminishing pool of golfers.

A Beverly Hills speculator ...Read more

Owning real estate has not panned out for many African-Americans

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Politicians and advocates have long touted homeownership as the best way to build wealth, saying that over the long term, home values go in only one direction: up.

But since the dawn of the 21st century, that promise has been an empty one for many African-Americans.

In nearly a fifth of the ZIP codes where most homeowners are black, home ...Read more

Newport Beach surgeon charged with drugging and raping 5 more women

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

SANTA ANA, Calif. -- A Newport Beach surgeon was charged Wednesday with drugging and raping five more women as prosecutors added felony kidnapping counts and increased bail for the celebrity doctor to $1 million.

Dr. Grant Robicheaux, 38, once dubbed Orange County's most eligible bachelor and a reality TV star, and his girlfriend, Cerissa Riley...Read more

Susan Tompor: Can you afford to retire at 40? Or do you need to wait till 70?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

We're looking at a new dust-up in the retirement universe. What, exactly, is a reasonable age for retiring?

Is 70 the new 65? Or is 35 the magic number?

TV personality Suze Orman says don't dream about retiring a minute before you hit 70, while Twitter showman and blogger "Mr. Money Mustache" is promoting a lifestyle through the FIRE movement ...Read more

Frustrated with health insurance costs, some turn to religious plans: 'For us it's been a godsend'

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Sarah Barazza doesn't have health insurance, but money was the last thing on her mind as she and her 15-month-old son raced to the hospital in an ambulance last year. The toddler's airway had become swollen from croup, and he struggled to breathe.

"Wow, I'm so grateful I don't have to worry about finances," the Plainfield woman said. "I'm just ...Read more

Hot Property: She's taking the scandals with her

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- Television mega-producer and screenwriter Shonda Rhimes has listed her longtime estate in Hancock Park, but her setting will remain rooted in the historic L.A. neighborhood.

Rhimes is seeking $9.995 million for the 1920s traditional that she has called home since 2010. The move comes roughly a year after the Hollywood force ...Read more

The Mortgage Professor: Many mortgage lenders give preferential terms to physicians

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Mortgage lenders offer special deals to doctors -- some doctors, anyway. I am a doctor but I am not eligible for any special loan programs because my doctorate is in economics. Economists and others with doctorates in philosophy have no special features that make them attractive as mortgage borrowers.

On the other hand, lenders view physicians ...Read more

The Mortgage Professor: Many mortgage lenders give preferential terms to physicians

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Mortgage lenders offer special deals to doctors -- some doctors, anyway. I am a doctor but I am not eligible for any special loan programs because my doctorate is in economics. Economists and others with doctorates in philosophy have no special features that make them attractive as mortgage borrowers.

On the other hand, lenders view physicians ...Read more

Mortgage rates rise to a seven-year high

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage is nearing 5 percent, following a surge this week that put borrowing costs at their highest level since 2011, according to Freddie Mac.

The sharp increase in mortgage rates -- to 4.9 percent this week, from 4.71 percent last week and 3.91 percent a year ago -- stems from the same rise in the overall ...Read more

Mortgage rates rise to a seven-year high

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage is nearing 5 percent, following a surge this week that put borrowing costs at their highest level since 2011, according to Freddie Mac.

The sharp increase in mortgage rates -- to 4.9 percent this week, from 4.71 percent last week and 3.91 percent a year ago -- stems from the same rise in the overall ...Read more

Seattle construction boom means lots of empty apartments, even some cheaper rents

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

SEATTLE -- It's getting easier to find an apartment to rent, and in some neighborhoods it's even getting cheaper.

Seattle-area renters are enjoying the least competitive market since the recession as more and more apartments sit empty and rents have flatlined -- a trend that is likely to continue as the ongoing apartment-construction spree ...Read more

Turn schools into teacher housing? Unique idea sparks backlash in Bay Area community

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- A local school district's unique idea to turn schools into teacher housing -- an attempt to tackle the region's dire housing shortage and retain fleeing instructors -- is colliding with a massive backlash from neighborhood residents.

The San Jose Unified School District has identified nine district-owned properties where it ...Read more