Three children have died after being strangled in the cords of window blinds, so today six companies announced a massive recall of several brands of window treatments.
An Oregon landlord refuses to let his tenants install air conditioners because he thinks they “look tacky.” Tenants of the Arbor Creek complex in Aloha who choose to sacrifice aesthetics for comfort have ten days to correct their mistake before facing eviction. One tenant’s kid already landed in the hospital thanks to heat stroke.
The New York Times says a white roof on your house “can cost as little as 15 percent more than its dark counterpart” yet “reduce air-conditioning costs by 20 percent or more in hot, sunny weather.” This is because, scientifically speaking, the color white hates the stupid sun and won’t have anything to do with it.
Jeffrey and his wife found their dream house. Except they failed to realize the difficulty that one tiny problem with the house might give them. The difficulty? Well, the previous owners doubled the size of the house. Only they sort of forgot to get permits for any of the additions or renovations.
CNNMoney has a list of 25 towns where the price of a house isn’t much more than the median family income. Guess where they all are?
Meet Michelle. We met Michelle at Arbitration Fairness Day and she told us about being forced into arbitration when she tried to get her poorly constructed home repaired. Now she’d like to share her story with you.
Congress will sneak into your bedroom tonight and steal a precious hour of sleep, but you don’t need to take the theft lying down. Get up tomorrow and use a few tips from Consumer Reports to steal back some hard-earned cash.
Meet Gregg and Brittiny Peters. They’ve had a pretty terrible year. Two of their children were diagnosed with costly medical disorders, and as the bills began to mount, they decided to start over by selling all their worldly possessions on eBay. Enter Donnia and Keith Blair, who upon learning of the Peters’ plight, bid $20,000 and won the auction. Here’s the catch: the Blair’s are willing to pay, but they don’t want to take any of the Peters’ things. This has apparently infuriated the Peters.
Apparently, buying a house you can afford and fixing it up with a modest loan and money that you earned through gainful employment is rare enough to warrant a 3-page profile in the NYT. [NYT]
Bill Whitlatch, longtime owner of one of the leading home builders here in northeast Ohio, is among the casualties. Three years ago, he borrowed from regional banks to start six developments in the Cleveland area. Soon the region’s home market turned cold. Buyers vanished. Mr. Whitlatch drained his personal savings of $2 million to keep his company going.
Well, this just further proves that real estate is the meanest profession. Dean “Cookie Kwan” Isenberg was arrested a week ago and charged with “posting fake escort ads on the Internet using a rival’s phone numbers, sparking hundreds of raunchy calls” and text messages to the woman and her daughter. The victim, Debbie Blasberg, was a former coworker of Isenberg’s who had “closed on a property he had been trying to sell.”
Con artists use publicly available foreclosure notices to find victims for their equity stripping scams.
The ongoing subprime meltdown will claim its next victims in October, when adjustable rate mortgages worth over $50 billion reset, but homeowners facing foreclosure can keep a roof over their head by following a few common-sense tips. Above all, don’t panic, and don’t ignore the problem – instead, try the following:
A little house work in the spring means more time for photographing cats in the summer. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER
The Van Eses are using Seattle-based Redfin, one of several new brokerage services that hope to revolutionize home buying by rebating part of their commissions back to buyers. The challenge is aimed at traditional firms that charge full commissions, which often total tens of thousands of dollars in today’s high-priced Southland market.