Consumer

/

Home & Leisure

/

ArcaMax

Hot Property: Maui's losing some volcanic rock

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- After an exhausting Van Halen world tour in 1995, musician Sammy Hagar wanted nothing more than to spend a week relaxing in Hawaii. One week turned into two, two turned into a month and soon, the Red Rocker started looking for a home to buy.

His wish list was long: 10 acres of land, a pool and spa, a guesthouse, space for a ...Read more

Florida's Miami-Dade renters are the most financially stressed in the US

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

MIAMI -- Miami-Dade County has the biggest percentage of cost-burdened renters of any major city in the U.S, according to a study by the online marketplace Apartment List.

Nearly 63 percent of renters in Miami-Dade were cost-burdened in 2016 -- which means they paid more than 30 percent of their incomes to their landlord. Almost 34 percent of ...Read more

Here's How: Have the Ductwork Properly Sized for Your House

Consumer / Here's How /

Dear James: The bedrooms on the north side of our house are always chilly. We are planning a new house now. What causes this and what should we do to avoid the same problem in our new house? It will be two stories. -- Ron H.

Dear Ron: There are several possible causes of the chilly conditions in these bedrooms. They are on the northern side of ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Credit Cards in the Hands of Financially Immature Students

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Our kids are fortunate to be growing up in the most progressive and exciting time in history. Sadly, the very culture that offers them the world is also perpetrating this lie: You are entitled to have everything you want, even if you don't have the money to pay for it. It's not a problem. You deserve it. Buy it now, and you can pay for it later!...Read more

Susan Tompor: Veterans targeted by phone scams, pitches for benefit buyouts

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Military veterans are a prime target for telephone scams and even more likely to end up as fraud victims than the general public, according to a new survey released by AARP.

The survey indicates that veterans can be victimized twice as often as the rest of the public. The research indicates that about 16 percent of U.S. veterans have lost money...Read more

Chicago selling $1 vacant lots to develop affordable housing

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

CHICAGO -- A new city program approved Wednesday by the Chicago City Council will offer vacant lots to affordable housing developers for $1 each.

Developers can purchase eight to 20 city-owned lots, each with a maximum appraised value of $125,000, to build single-family and two-flat homes in neighborhoods primarily on the South and West sides, ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: If insurer denies full payout of Hurricane Irma claim, exercise patience, persistence

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: We sustained some damage from Hurricane Irma. Our insurance company does not seem to want to pay us for all of the damage. What can we do? – Dean

A: Dealing with your insurance company is a process with many rules and you must successfully manage this process to get the benefits you paid for.

You should carefully read your policy and ...Read more

It really does matter which direction your air conditioner filter faces

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: Can you tell me why it is so important to install the air conditioner filter in a certain direction? What harm, if any, does it do if it's backwards? My husband always puts it in backwards.

-- Nancy Henrichs

A: Now that we're tuning up our furnaces for winter, let me assure you that HVAC companies are not just blowing hot air when they ...Read more

When in Rome, or Chicago: thermal baths open in former paint factory

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

CHICAGO -- Chicagoans looking to soak in ancient Roman thermal pools, housed inside a somewhat less ancient restored former paint factory: Your bath is almost ready.

Aire Ancient Baths, a Spanish company, is opening a 20,000-square-foot facility in the River West neighborhood later this month, featuring cold, warm and hot baths, a salt water ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: A Couple's Guide to Common Money Myths

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

The wedding was complicated and expensive. But it's over, and now it's time to settle in and enjoy your new life together.

Lucky for you, I'm here to warn you about some common money myths that newlyweds have been known to bring with them into their marriage.

Myth: Double the income, half the expenses.

This is what I call newlywed fuzzy math:...Read more

Meet the startups fighting Bay Area's soaring housing costs

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- An emerging group of local entrepreneurs is taking up arms against the sky-high cost of living in the Bay Area, hoping to end once and for all the housing crisis crippling the region.

These founders, intent on disrupting the housing market and bringing down costs, are stepping in as government officials and nonprofits ...Read more

The Mortgage Professor: Why the HECM reverse mortgage market is stunted – and what can be done about it

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

During my lifetime, retirement planning has become more and more challenging. People are living a lot longer, which makes retirement periods longer, and fewer people retire with employer-provided defined benefit pension plans. On the positive side of the ledger, the rate of homeownership is higher, home equity is a major part of the wealth of ...Read more

The Mortgage Professor: Why the HECM reverse mortgage market is stunted – and what can be done about it

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

During my lifetime, retirement planning has become more and more challenging. People are living a lot longer, which makes retirement periods longer, and fewer people retire with employer-provided defined benefit pension plans. On the positive side of the ledger, the rate of homeownership is higher, home equity is a major part of the wealth of ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Ask Me Anything: Kitchen Appliances, Counters and Cleaners

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Dear Mary: We are remodeling our kitchen, which means all new appliances. Do you have a suggestion for the brand we should consider? And should we get matching appliances or do more of a mix-and-match to get the best prices available? Also, which type of countertop do you feel is better? We have nine grandkids, so we want everything to be very ...Read more

Small Spaces: Tiny-House Resort

Consumer / Small Spaces /

We've all been watching the tiny-house phenomenon for a while now. Tiny houses have become a fad since the cost of housing has skyrocketed in parts of the country and salaries have fallen behind. For some people, the only way to own a home is to resort to a space that is considerably smaller than the typical home.

Some prototypes have been ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Your Data has been Stolen From Equifax. Here's What You Need to Do Today

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Recently, it has been reported that hackers have stolen personal identifying and sensitive information from 143 million American consumers, including Social Security numbers and driver's license numbers, from Equifax, one of the three big consumer credit reporting agencies.

How this could happen is beyond my comprehension. Still, we must assume...Read more

House Calls: Grandchild Buying

Consumer / Edith Lank /

Dear Edith: My father-in-law is moving from his home of 60 years to assisted living. One of his grandchildren wants to buy the house, possibly in a cash deal. What is the best way to set a fair market value? Are we naive to think we can make the transaction with just a lawyer and no Realtor? What "gotchas" should we be careful about? -- M. D.

...Read more

Art of Design: What Are You Hiding?

Consumer / Art of Design /

The decorative folding screen has become a common interior furnishing that is both functional and aesthetically impactful. It is believed screens were original to China, although in 17th century northern European interiors they were quite popular to shield drafts and give privacy to the usual one-room households and bathing chambers. French ...Read more

Bay Area startup hopes to solve housing crisis by turning shipping containers into homes

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

OAKLAND, Calif. -- When Luke Iseman looks at the huge stacks of shipping containers that loom over the Port of Oakland, he imagines an end to the Bay Area's housing shortage.

With the cost of renting and buying homes continuing to soar, Iseman's Oakland startup is finding creative ways to turn cold, corrugated steel containers into cozy homes. ...Read more

Hot Property: Mother-daughter condominiums

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- The family that buys real estate together stays together, apparently.

"Keeping Up With the Kardashians" matriarch Kris Jenner and her daughter Kim Kardashian West have both bought condominiums at Avanti, a new upscale community in Calabasas. Jenner paid $1.497 million and $1.65 million for two separate residences; Kardashian West...Read more