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House bill would treat condos like homes (access required)

Thousands of condominiums and housing cooperatives that were damaged when Sandy struck the East Coast last year learned – after the fact – that they were not eligible for money grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Unlike single-family homes, which can get both grants and loans, community associations are considered “business associations” and are only entitled to loans. As we all know, loans have to be repaid; grants do not.

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Lower consumer earnings means lower retail revenues (access required)

Why is it that Macy's, which used to be my favorite department store, and now Wal-Mart and other retailers, are reporting lower earnings and slowdowns in revenues? The financial data report low interest rates, better employment and good home sales, and that General Motors, Ford and Chrysler are selling cars and making huge profits. What's wrong here?

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Title easier to search, but cost still going up (access required)

One of the most overpriced closing costs when buying or selling a home is now getting more expensive. Homebuyers and sellers have long complained about the exorbitant cost of title insurance coverage when computer technology has substantially simplified and sped up the property searching process.

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Investor wants to double down on a bad decision (access required)

Forrest Gump's "stupid is as stupid does" said it better and more succinctly than anyone, including the highly esteemed bard William Shakespeare, whose plays always bored me to the marrow. Unfortunately, there's no cure for stupidity, though I'm told selective breeding (which takes too much time) works well.

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