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About 180,000 would-be buyers won't meet the June 30 deadline for a tax credit. But some may end up with a better deal.

By Teresa Mears Jun 28, 2010 4:18PM

If you've ever bought a house, you know how nerve-racking it can be to try to close the deal by the contract deadline.

 

Sometimes you do. Often you don't. There are problems with the inspection, or with the appraisal, or with the insurance, or the lender wants more documents. Or there are delays that don’t seem to have any explanation.

Usually all it costs you is a few sleepless nights and some extra paperwork. But for first-time homebuyers who expected to get a federal tax credit, failing to close on time will cost them up to $8,000. Those who don't close by June 30 don't get the credit.

 

Recall includes batches of Corn Pops, Honey Smacks, Froot Loops and Apple Jacks.

By Karen Datko Jun 28, 2010 3:39PM

This post comes from partner site ConsumerAffairs.com.

 

Kellogg Co. is recalling some of its more popular breakfast cereals because of what the company called "an uncharacteristic off-flavor and smell coming from the liner in the package."

Kellogg said it believes the potential for serious health problems is low but cautioned that some consumers are sensitive to the uncharacteristic off-flavor and smell and should not eat the recalled products because of possible temporary symptoms, including nausea and diarrhea.

 

Looking for that six-figure income isn't such a bad thing after all.

By Karen Datko Jun 28, 2010 2:54PM

This guest post comes from Pop at Pop Economics.

 

Economists have a way of taking the joy out of joy. That's the first thought that crossed my mind when I read a study by David Blanchflower of Dartmouth and Andrew Oswald of the University of Warwick that talked about "happiness equations" and "happiness-maximizing numbers." Nothing like an economist to take the mysterious pleasures of life and break them down into cold figures.

 

And they've been doing it a lot lately. The "pursuit of happiness," long the purview of psychologists, has been taken up as a serious topic of discussion by economists just in the last couple decades. They've discovered that in most cases, we have a poor sense of what makes us feel good about life.

 

Analysis of FDA inspections finds mice, roaches and other unsanitary conditions at companies that prepare meals for airlines.

By Teresa Mears Jun 28, 2010 1:16PM

It may turn out to be good news that we're getting fewer meals on airplanes.

A USA Today analysis of Food and Drug Administration inspection reports at facilities that prepare in-flight meals found "unsafe and unsanitary" conditions that could lead to food-borne illnesses, Gary Stoller reported.

 

Inexpensive readers abound, but few are bargains. What shoppers need to know.

By Karen Datko Jun 28, 2010 12:19PM

This Deal of the Day comes from Kelli B. Grant at partner site SmartMoney.

 

After a sudden competitive round of price cuts, e-readers are now as affordable as an iPod nano or an entry-level Blu-ray player -- that is to say, as cheap as $120.

 

Amazon.com dropped the price of its popular Kindle e-reader last week to $189 from $259, a change of 27%. The same day, Barnes & Noble introduced a new Wi-Fi-only version of its Nook reader for $149, and also slashed the price of its 3G-enabled version from $259 to $199. Borders continued the trend, sweetening the deal on its new Kobo reader by bundling the $149 device with a $20 store gift card and $10 in store rewards. It also recently began taking orders for the $120 Aluratek Libre, which will be available in late July.

 

The push to get devices into consumers' hands is more about the growing e-book market than the e-readers themselves.

 

Hopes are dashed now that the homebuyer tax credit training wheels are removed from the market.

By Karen Datko Jun 28, 2010 9:52AM

This post comes from Marilyn Lewis of MSN Money.

 

What's that hissing noise heard around the country? It's the sound of air rushing out of the housing market.

 

If you listen closely you'll also pick up a cracking sound: That would be hearts breaking and hopes crashing. Sellers, agents, builders, homeowners, bankers, mortgage brokers -- just about everyone except perhaps prospective buyers -- needs sales and prices to rise and the housing market to turn around. And soon.

 

I know a $2.3 million dream home won't make me happier than the house we were thrilled to get in 2004. And yet . . .

By Karen Datko Jun 28, 2010 7:41AM

This post comes from J.D. Roth at partner blog Get Rich Slowly.

 

Walking home from work the other day, I decided to take the long way. Most of the time, I choose the easy quarter-mile stroll downhill from the office to our happy half acre (or happy .62 acre, if you'd like to be precise). But to celebrate the first day of summer, I took the river-forest loop.

The river-forest loop is exactly what it sounds like: a series of quiet streets that wind along the east bank of the Willamette River, easing their way beneath stands of tall oak, fir and pine. It's 3 miles from our house down the river-forest road and back again. I choose this route when I need exercise or want to think. And, on days like that day, I choose it to soak up the scenery.

 

As I walked, I looked at the trees and the river and the lake. I listened to the birds. I watched the squirrels go about their squirrely business. I nodded to the neighbors, and (strangely enough) I encountered three different loose dogs traipsing around unleashed, each of which was pleased to spend some time walking with me a ways.

 

After a while, I stopped looking at nature and started looking at the homes.

 

Shoppers can avoid the risk by sanitizing the bags after each trip.

By Karen Datko Jun 25, 2010 1:09PM

This post comes from partner site ConsumerAffairs.com.

 

Environmentally conscious consumers bring their own reusable grocery bags to the checkout line, but they may be endangering their health.

A research report by the University of Arizona at Tucson and Loma Linda University says reusable grocery bags can be a breeding ground for dangerous food-borne bacteria and pose a serious risk to public health.

 

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