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Earth Day: Top 10 ‘Greenest’ States

Rismedia Todays Top Story - Sat, 04/22/2017 - 00:06

Earth Day calls to mind the importance of protecting the environment—but some states, according to a new analysis by WalletHub, are doing a better job at it than others.

The analysis took into account three factors: environmental quality, which encompasses aspects such as energy efficiency; eco-friendly behaviors, such as water consumption and solar panels; and climate change contributions, such as carbon dioxide emissions.

Based on those parameters, WalletHub ranked the following states greenest:

  1. Vermont

No. 1 for Environmental Quality
No. 2 for Eco-Friendly Behaviors
No. 9 for Climate Change Contributions

Vermont has the second-lowest municipal solid waste per capita and the third-highest air quality of the 50 states.

  1. Massachusetts

No. 4 for Environmental Quality
No. 12 for Eco-Friendly Behaviors
No. 6 for Climate Change Contributions

  1. Oregon

No. 9 for Environmental Quality
No. 1 for Eco-Friendly Behaviors
No. 24 for Climate Change Contributions

Oregon is tied with four other states for the highest percentage of energy consumption from renewable sources and has the fifth-highest amount of LEED-certified buildings per capita of the 50 states.

  1. Washington

No. 3 for Environmental Quality
No. 7 for Eco-Friendly Behaviors
No. 20 for Climate Change Contributions

Washington is tied with four other states for the highest percentage of energy consumption from renewable resources and has the second-highest water quality and the third-highest soil quality of the 50 states.

  1. Connecticut

No. 7 for Environmental Quality
No. 22 for Eco-Friendly Behaviors
No. 3 for Climate Change Contributions

Connecticut has the highest water quality of the 50 states.

  1. Maine

No. 11 for Environmental Quality
No. 6 for Eco-Friendly Behaviors
No. 10 for Climate Change Contributions

Maine is tied with four other states for the highest percentage of energy consumption from renewable resources and has the highest percentage of recycled solid municipal waste of the 50 states.

  1. Minnesota

No. 2 for Environmental Quality
No. 5 for Eco-Friendly Behaviors
No. 31 for Climate Change Contributions

Minnesota has the second-highest percentage of recycled solid municipal waste, the second-highest soil quality and the third-highest water quality of the 50 states.

  1. New York

No. 12 for Environmental Quality
No. 11 for Eco-Friendly Behaviors
No. 5 for Climate Change Contributions

New York has the lowest energy consumption per capita and the lowest gasoline consumption per capita of the 50 states.

  1. New Hampshire

No. 29 for Environmental Quality
No. 10 for Eco-Friendly Behaviors
No. 2 for Climate Change Contributions

New Hampshire has the fourth-highest amount of LEED-certified buildings per capita, the fourth-lowest municipal solid waste per capita and the fifth-highest percentage of recycled municipal solid waste of the 50 states.

  1. Rhode Island

No. 15 for Environmental Quality
No. 16 for Eco-Friendly Behaviors
No. 4 for Climate Change Contributions

Rhode Island has the second-lowest energy consumption per capita, the third-lowest gasoline consumption per capita and the fifth-lowest municipal solid waste per capita of the 50 states.

How does your state rank on the green scale? View the full list here.

Source: WalletHub

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Categories: Realty News

Take Pet Pampering to the Next Level With These Fabulous Dog Houses

Rismedia Todays Top Story - Thu, 04/20/2017 - 17:05

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:

Dog owners are infamous for providing their furry ones with a better lifestyle than their own. For instance, you might recall the time Paris Hilton had a replica of her mansion done for her pet Chihuahua.

We don’t need to go there, but there are definitely plenty of crazy options in the market. Who knows? One of them might catch your fancy.

Mediterranean Villa

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: LaPetiteMaison.com

Is your dog named Quixote? Donatello? If not, you might as well rename them, especially if that means they get to live in this woof-tastic villa. Look at that wooden double door! Seriously, if you can’t win your dog’s affection with this one, then just stop trying.

The Full-Fledged Mansion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: LaPetiteMaison.com

If you’re going to go all out, you might as well just get your dog a straight-up mansion. If you already own a mansion (like Paris), I’d say it’s only fair you share the wealth. (Although your dog probably has its own room in the house. But why not both? #Excess.)

The Victorian Home

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: LaPetiteMaison.com

I’m a big fan of Victorian homes, so I’d probably go for this one…for myself? How is that a dog house? I only wish my downtown New Haven apartment looked as picturesque as this puppy’s home. I hope his name is Darcy and that he wants to be my friend.

The Dog Equivalent of the ‘Home Alone’ Mansion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: LaPetiteMaison.com

I’d say this is pretty close to the McCallister home, right? (As far as dog houses go, at least.) I can totally imagine dogs holding town meetings inside this bad boy. If I were a dog myself, I’d probably prefer sleeping in here than inside my owner’s run-down home, because let’s face it: the dog who owns this home is definitely much better off than his owner.

And this was just a quick search! There are legitimate houses for dogs out there—as in, a concrete building with rooms where only your dog(s) reside(s). I know there’s always stuff to fix around the house, but surely your four-legged friend takes priority?

Have some cool dog houses you want to share with us? Tweet them @HousecallBlog!

Gabrielle van Welie is RISMedia’s editorial intern. Email her your real estate news ideas at gvanwelie@rismedia.com.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

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Categories: Realty News

Cheap Workout Trends to Try

Rismedia Todays Top Story - Mon, 04/17/2017 - 16:18

(TNS)—Workout trends come and go. These days, CrossFit and SoulCycle are all the rage, but, unfortunately for your wallet, with an average monthly membership of $125 for CrossFit and about $34 per class at SoulCycle, hopping on them can really cost you.

That doesn’t mean you have to dust off your Tae Bo video cassette to get your sweat on. Many of today’s workout trends are inexpensive or even free.

Quick Workouts
It’s often hard to find time to get to the gym for a workout, so busy people are turning to efficient workouts that take very little time. These workouts don’t require a gym membership and can be done at home or at the office.

There are many quick workout programs available online. One such program is JobuFIT, a subscription-based program modeled after daily workouts of busy professionals in Japan. The JobuFIT workouts focus on healthy alignment and offer a convenient way to get in a workout at your office, home or hotel room in fewer than 10 minutes.

Subscriptions are $65 per quarter and new workouts are posted regularly so you don’t get bored. You will also receive reminders so you don’t slack off.

If you like some ‘namaste’ each day, fitness expert Nadia Murdock of NadiaMurdockFit.com recommended YogaWorks, which offers online workouts as short as five minutes. Subscriptions cost $15 per month with a 14-day free trial.

Murdock also recommended BeachBody.com, which offers a 10-minute trainer program, among many other workout programs. Beach Body charges $9.99 per month for six months, including a 30-day money-back guarantee.

“These streaming workouts allow people to work out in a short amount of time anywhere at any time,” Murdock says. “Today, workouts are about being effective and time-efficient, which often means squeezing it in when you can. That’s why streaming workouts are ideal.”

A popular form of the quick workout is Tabata, a high-intensity interval training workout. Tabata was created by Japanese scientist Izumi Tabata, and the most basic form involves eight rounds of 20 seconds of intense work, followed by 10 seconds of rest, according to Active.com.

Each cycle lasts four minutes, and the exercises are typically squats, jumps, lunges, burpees, push-ups and the like. Some involve dumbbells, kettlebells and other equipment, while others just use your body weight.

You can create your own Tabata workouts with a stopwatch, but if you need motivation, or just want someone else to run the stopwatch, there are numerous free Tabata workouts on YouTube.

“The Body Project” channel on YouTube has an excellent free Tabata workout that requires no equipment. If you like to lift heavy things, try the free “BodyFit by Amy” channel on YouTube. Fitness trainer Amy has several Tabata workouts sprinkled into her dumbbell and kettlebell programs.

Trampolines
If you have young children, you have probably encountered a trampoline in a friend’s backyard or at birthday parties. But jumping on a trampoline isn’t just for kids—it’s also a great workout for adults. Fitness instructor Suzanne Bowen was given one as a gift, and she loved it so much that she created a workout around it.

“Bungee-style trampoline workouts decrease impact on joints while revving up your heart rate, recruit muscles you didn’t know you had and make you feel like a happy kid again,” Bowen says. “I took my method, BarreAmped, to the trampoline and could not believe how much more challenging and fun it was on the dynamic surface of the mat while holding onto the sturdy handle ‘barre.'”

If you’re interested in a trampoline-based workout, you’ll need to budget for the workout accessories. You’ll need a bungee-style trampoline with a handle, plus light hand weights and a DVD. At JumpSport.com, trampoline prices start at $199 and handle prices start at $79. A DVD like “BarreAmped Bounce” costs $19.99, or “JumpSport Fitness Trampoline and Cardio Strength Workout” costs $21.65 at Amazon.com.

Barre
Barre workouts have been around for a few years, but the enthusiasm doesn’t seem to be waning. Barre studios have popped up all over the country, and although you can probably find one near you, they tend to be expensive. At popular barre studio Pure Barre, a monthly unlimited pass is $195, which is a new client special, according to GymMembershipFees.com.

At-home workouts are the more budget-friendly way to experience barre. Rachel Speck of Speck Fitness, Inc. created the Tendu Toning workout, which is a combination of ballet and bodybuilding. This 60-minute program is $19.99 at SpeckFitness.com.

“Ballet-inspired workouts are huge right now,” says Speck. “They are great because they usually don’t require much equipment, so they can be done at home. Misty Copeland has brought a huge awareness to the ballet community and has shown that dancers aren’t just skinny—they are also insanely strong. Creating long, lean muscles is what all women desire, and what better way to do that than do a ballet-inspired workout?”

There are also free barre programs available on YouTube. The “Jessica Smith TV” YouTube channel has several free barre workouts of varying lengths.

Alexa Workouts
If you have an Alexa-enabled device at home, you’ve probably discovered its many free “skills.” Maybe you use it each morning for the weather forecast or to play a genre of music that suits your mood. Now, Amazon has added several fitness-related skills.

There are yoga workouts through the “Yoga Schedule” skill, a “Seven-Minute Workout” skill and a “CrossFit Workout of the Day” skill, for starters. If you have questions about fitness, you can ask My Fitness Trainer. Some skills are automatically enabled, but others you have to verbally enable. Alexa, of course, will tell you how.

Group Personal Training
There’s nothing like having a personal trainer to watch your form, motivate you and teach you new exercises. Unfortunately, they’re also expensive.

If you’ve already exhausted the free training sessions that came with your gym membership and are hungry for more, ask your trainer if he or she would consider offering group training sessions. If you can split the fee with one, two or more friends, you’ll receive personalized attention at a fraction of the cost.

“Personal training is an excellent way to get customized workouts, especially if you suffer from an injury; however, small group training is the perfect alternative and at a reduced cost,” Murdock says. “If you keep the group small, you are still able to get a personal touch and reap the benefits of working out in a group for a bit of extra motivation.”

Consider meeting up for the group training in a friend’s basement or even in a local park.

©2017 GOBankingRates.com, a ConsumerTrack web property

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Categories: Realty News

Outdoor Kitchens: Still on the Way Out?

Rismedia Todays Top Story - Sat, 04/15/2017 - 00:00

Outdoor kitchens became a must-have amenity for homeowners ostensibly overnight—and fell out of favor almost as quickly.

A recent survey by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), however, proves outdoor kitchens are still in. In fact, the architects cited in the AIA’s Home Design Trends Survey report an uptick in demand for outdoor kitchens in the fourth quarter of 2016.

“Homeowners continue to find new ways to add value to their homes by creating more functional space, which is apparent in the rise in popularity of outdoor kitchens,” said Kermit Baker, chief economist of the AIA, in a statement on the survey. “Kitchens have become a hub for the home—now, homeowners want to bring some of that activity to their outside space.”

Upgrades to indoor kitchens, according to the survey, remain in-demand, as well. The most sought-after add-ons include a charging station and/or computer area, a double island, high-end and/or under-counter appliances, and sensory faucets.

Bathroom improvements are also high on homeowners’ priority lists, with a door-less shower, radiant heated floors and a water-saving toilet the most popular additions.

Source: American Institute of Architects (AIA)

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Categories: Realty News

Zillow: The No. 1 Obstacle for Would-Be Homeowners

Rismedia Todays Top Story - Wed, 04/12/2017 - 16:07

For all the hurdles to homeownership, one obstacle is stubbornly more insurmountable than the rest: the down payment.

Renters are having trouble stacking up the savings to place a down payment on a home, according to the recently released Zillow® Housing Aspirations Report (ZHAR). Seventy percent of renters surveyed in the report say the down payment is more of a hindrance than debt (cited by 50 percent of those surveyed), job security (38.5 percent) and qualifying for a mortgage (53.2 percent)—though those aspects are barriers, as well. Low supply was a roadblock for just 11.2 percent of those surveyed.

“With home values close to record highs, it’s no surprise renters are concerned about coming up with enough money to buy a home,” says Dr. Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow. “Rising rents are also a factor—it’s extremely difficult to save when you’re paying record-high rents.”

The irony? The difficulty of coming up with a down payment is keeping most renters from saving money as a homeowner. In 33 of the 35 major metropolitan areas, a monthly mortgage is less expensive than monthly rent.

Though renters have low down payment options, the long-term savings gained with 20 percent down—a general standard—often outweigh those earned upfront.

“While it is possible to put down as little as 3 percent on a home, the trade-off is a higher interest rate and costly private mortgage insurance—a financial trade-off that may make sense for some buyers,” Gudell says.

Renters, still, have not lost sight of their homeownership goals. Sixty-three percent of those surveyed are “confident” in their ability to afford a home “someday;” 25 percent have a more definitive timeline, planning to buy a home in the next three to five years. Twenty-two percent of millennial renters, markedly, plan to buy a home in the next one to two years. Only 2 percent of millennial renters plan on never buying a home.

Importantly, 66 percent of those surveyed equate owning a home with the American Dream.

For more information, please visit www.zillow.com.

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Categories: Realty News

REALTORS® Answer Call for Greener, Sustainable Homes

Rismedia Todays Top Story - Mon, 04/10/2017 - 16:24

More homebuyers and sellers are in the market for greener, sustainable homes—and REALTORS® are answering the call.

Over half of REALTORS® recently surveyed in the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) REALTORS® and Sustainability report say consumers have an interest in sustainability as it pertains to real estate—homes that have features intended to conserve natural resources, such as solar panels or walkability. Twenty-seven percent of those surveyed have been involved with at least one “green,” or sustainable, property in the past year.

One of the more valued features, according to the survey, is efficient lighting, cited by 50 percent of the REALTORS® surveyed as important to consumers. A “smart” home is also in demand, according to 40 percent of those surveyed, and, to a lesser extent, geothermal technology and “green community features” (e.g., bike paths). Sixty percent of those surveyed say consumers are looking for outdoor recreation and/or parks in proximity to home, while 37 percent say consumers are looking for “local food.”

Eighty percent of the REALTORS® surveyed, in addition, say solar panels exist in their market, but just 42 percent say their presence gives a boost to perceived home value. Twenty-four percent say tiny houses exist in their market.

The real estate industry has recognized the mounting significance of sustainability—in fact, 70 percent of those surveyed “feel strongly” about the benefits of marketing sustainable home features to consumers, and 43 percent say their MLS has green data fields to input information related to those features.

REALTORS® and Sustainability is part of NAR’s Sustainability Program, a “platform for dialogue on sustainability for REALTORS®, brokers, allied trade associations and consumers,” with a “focus on coordination and articulation of NAR’s existing sustainability resources, while also supporting a growing area of interesting for consumers, helping members to assist homebuyers and sellers,” according to a release on the report.

“As consumers’ interest in sustainability grows, REALTORS® understand the necessity of promoting sustainability in their real estate practice, such as marketing energy efficiency in property listings to homebuyers,” says NAR President Bill Brown. “The goal of the NAR Sustainability Program is to provide leadership and strategies on topics of sustainability to benefit members, consumers and communities.”

For more information, please visit www.nar.realtor.

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Categories: Realty News

What Are the Best States for Millennials? The Answer May Surprise You

Rismedia Todays Top Story - Sun, 04/09/2017 - 13:05

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:

When you think about the ideal state for millennials to live in, you likely imagine them traipsing around California or New York. But a recent MoneyRates.com study shows the best state for young folks these days is actually…wait for it…North Dakota?

The study looked at eight different aspects to determine the best states for millennials. These criteria are:

  • Job market for young adults (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • Young adult proportion of population (U.S. Census Bureau)
  • College tuition affordability (Four-year in-state cost data from the College Board)
  • Residential rental availability (U.S. Census Bureau)
  • Residential rental affordability (U.S. Census Bureau)
  • Access to high-speed broadband internet (Federal government’s National Broadband Map)
  • Concentration of bars relative to the young adult population (U.S. Census Bureau)
  • Concentration of fitness facilities relative to the young adult population (International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association)

With these in mind, MoneyRates.com ranked the following 10 states as the best fit for the millennial generation.

1. North Dakota
This may seem like an out-of-the way choice, but it clearly has no problems attracting young adults. North Dakota has the second-highest population of people aged 20 to 24, trailing only Utah. One reason why young people are drawn to the state? The job market. Across most of the nation, unemployment for young adults has remained persistently troublesome, but North Dakota’s unemployment rate for people aged 20 to 24 is just 5.3 percent, compared with 8.1 percent for the typical state. One major knock on North Dakota is if you are a health nut: It has the third-worst concentration of health facilities relative to its young adult population.

2. South Dakota
It probably comes as no surprise that South Dakota would share some characteristics with its neighbor to the north. Of particular interest to millennials looking for work, these similarities include a strong job market for young adults. South Dakota also ranks No. 1 nationally in the affordability of residential rentals, leaving millennials more money to put into their savings accounts.

3. Nebraska
This is another state that might not automatically be thought of as a mecca for young adults, but proportionately, its population of 20- to 24-year-olds is in the top 10 nationally. Nebraska also scored top 10 rankings for young adult employment, residential rental affordability and the proportion of bars relative to the size of the young adult population.

4. Louisiana
Being home to New Orleans makes it easy to think of Louisiana as a party state, but actually it scored only a little better than average in terms of the availability of night life. However, it scored very well for broadband access, rental availability and proportion of young adults in its population. If you move to Louisiana, just make sure you have competitive job skills, because the job market for 20- to-24-year-olds is quite weak.

5. Wyoming
With student loan debt an increasingly troubling issue for millennials, Wyoming offers a very strong attraction: At an average of $5,055 per year, the cost of a four-year public college degree for in-state residents is the lowest in the nation. Wyoming also was among the best five states for rental availability and concentration of bars relative to the size of its young adult population.

6. Iowa
The two greatest strengths for Iowa in this study were that it ranked among the 10 best states in both rental affordability and concentration of bars.

7. Kansas (Tie)
Scores for Kansas were more consistently decent than featuring spectacular ups and downs, though the state did rank particularly well for the availability of high-speed broadband and access to residential rentals.

7. Wisconsin (Tie)
Though it earned a tie with Kansas, Wisconsin reached that position with a very different set of characteristics. For example, unlike Kansas, Wisconsin offers relatively low residential rental availability. However, Wisconsin stands out as a particularly good place to work and play. In terms of work, Wisconsin has the fourth-lowest rate of young adult unemployment in the nation. In terms of play, it has the second-highest concentration of bars relative to the size of the young adult population.

9. Montana
While Montana is a wide open state with a relatively sparse population, the people who live there like to have a good time, because state ranks No. 1 in its concentration of bars relative to the size of its young adult population. For more serious-minded millennials, another attraction of Montana is that it has the third-lowest in-state tuition for four-year public college degrees. In addition, the state was in the top 10 for concentration of fitness facilities.

10. Indiana
The top ranks for Indiana would fall into the general category of ease-of-living for young adults. Indiana was in the top 10 for both affordability and availability of residential rental properties, and it also scored well for access to high-speed broadband.

Source: MoneyRates.com

Zoe Eisenberg is RISMedia’s senior content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at zoe@rismedia.com.

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Categories: Realty News

Incomes Need to Rise at This Pace to Stay on Track With Rents

Rismedia Todays Top Story - Sat, 04/08/2017 - 00:03

Rent raised? You’ll need a raise.

According to a new analysis by Zillow, the average renter would need his or her income to grow by $168 to keep up with an expected 1 percent rise in rents over the next year. Many renters, however, would need more—in some cases, much more—to keep costs manageable.

Renters in Seattle, Los Angeles, Boston, Sacramento, and Orlando would be in need of the biggest pay bumps, according to the analysis. In Seattle, renters would need an additional $1,248, while in Orlando, renters would need an additional $672.

Renters in San Antonio, Detroit, Las Vegas, Austin and Columbus would be in need of the smallest—$84 in San Antonio and $264 in Columbus.

“For a long time now, renters have faced an affordability crisis when it comes to housing, and renters in some hot markets will still need significant raises just to keep up with rising rents,” says Dr. Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow. “Incomes have a ways to go to bring rental affordability closer to historical levels, but recent gains are being met with slowing rent appreciation—a welcome sign for renters.”

Appreciation is grinding to a halt in many major metropolitan areas—conditions which, combined with growing incomes, make them ideal for renters. These include New York, Chicago, Houston and Miami, according to the analysis.

For more information, please visit www.zillow.com.

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Categories: Realty News

Location, Location: Trading Up Costs $450 More a Month, With Exceptions

Rismedia Todays Top Story - Tue, 04/04/2017 - 16:35

There are many benefits to trading up to a home with more square footage, especially for growing families—but with more house comes more cost, and, as a recent analysis by Zillow reveals, it can vary by location.

Trade-up homeowners can expect to spend an average $447 more each month if they move from a home with two bedrooms to one with three, according to Zillow’s Cost of Moving Up Analysis, or 50 percent more tacked on to a monthly mortgage payment.

In several markets, trading up from two bedrooms to three adds less expense to a monthly mortgage payment than the average—in some cases, a lot less. In Cleveland, Ohio, trading up from two bedrooms to three will cost a negligible $74 more each month, while trading up in Philadelphia, Pa., will cost only $77 more. Trade-up homeowners in Indianapolis, Ind., Baltimore, Md., and Kansas City, Mo., will pay below-average costs, as well: $103, $105, and $112, respectively.

Trading up from two bedrooms to three in high-priced markets, however, comes at a steeper cost: above average at $2,224 more each month in San Jose, Calif.; $1,660 more in San Francisco, Calif.; $1,033 more in Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, Calif.; $928 more in San Diego, Calif.; and $601 more in Denver, Colo.

The analysis also calculated the cost of trading up from homes with one bedroom to two, three bedrooms to four, two bedrooms and one bathroom to two bathrooms, three bedrooms and one bathroom to two bathrooms, three bedrooms and two bathrooms to three bathrooms, four bedrooms and two bathrooms to three bathrooms, and four bedrooms and three bathrooms to four bathrooms:

“While deciding whether to move is a personal choice, understanding how certain characteristics like size, location, or number of beds and baths, can impact a home’s price can be hugely important when determining if a particular home is the right fit for you and your family,” says Dr. Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow. “Even though many families may be prepared to spend extra for a larger home, just how much more may come as a surprise, especially for those living in coastal markets.”

Knowing what to expect in terms of trade-up costs could give prospective spellers the push they need to put their homes on the market this spring.

For more information, please visit www.zillow.com.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

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Categories: Realty News

Finally, a True Picture of Asian American Homeownership

Rismedia Todays Top Story - Sun, 04/02/2017 - 13:09

2016 was a momentous year for the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. The Census Bureau—which had, up until July, grouped Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) into a “Other” category—agreed to include a separate category for AAPI in its research.

The importance of that change is highlighted in the Asian Real Estate Association of America’s (AREAA) recently released 2016 State of Asia America Report, which includes, for the first time, accurate data about AAPI homeownership. AREAA campaigned for the change as part of its No Other initiative, making a case for the separate category with the help of government leaders and partners in the real estate industry.

In 2016, the AAPI homeownership rate was 55.6 percent—considerably below the 59 percent recorded in 2015, when AAPI were labeled “Other.” The contrast underscores just how crucial the new category is to assessing the needs of the AAPI community. The AAPI homeownership rate also lagged behind the national rate, which was 63.5 percent.

“With this new data, researchers will be able to analyze the barriers to housing facing the AAPI community and preventing it from achieving high levels of homeownership,” the report states.

The AAPI community represents an immense opportunity in real estate. The AAPI population is more than 21 million strong—a figure expected to double by 2050—and will have a purchasing power of over $1 trillion by 2018. Twenty-seven states now have an AAPI population larger than 100,000, with Los Angeles County, Calif., Honolulu County, Hawaii, and Santa Clara County, Calif., the counties with the highest AAPI concentrations. By 2024, 1.8 million more Asian households will be formed.

AAPI also boast the highest employment rate of any race or ethnic group, at 61.3 percent—with the highest average earnings, to boot.

All of these indicators make for a group that is able, ready and willing to participate in the real estate market. Asians submitted the second-highest conventional purchase loan applications (and contributed to the second-highest conventional purchase loan originations) in 2015. Fifty-two percent of all Asian real estate capital was invested in the U.S. in 2016, with China the biggest purchaser of U.S. homes, as well as the biggest spender, with an $831,000 average home price.

“Real estate professionals who take time to learn more about the unique needs and challenges of the AAPI community position themselves to provide better service and offer more value to customers,” stated Geoff Lewis, president of RE/MAX, LLC, which presented the report.

Homeownership in the AAPI community, however, is not without challenges. Twenty percent of AAPI homeowners report experiencing discrimination while homebuying—in fact, Asian homebuyers who contact real estate agents about listings report learning about 15 percent less homes and being shown 19 percent less homes than whites. A study by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) confirms those findings, reporting one in five in the AAPI community experiences discrimination while home-buying or renting.

Student loan debt is another potential roadblock. AAPI are the fastest-growing group of college students, projected to grow 35 percent over the next 10 years. As more AAPI undertake postsecondary education, the burden of student debt, especially when it comes to saving for a down payment, will become heavier, dragging down household formation.

“The student debt crisis and its impact on homeownership will have a profound impact on the younger generation of would-be homebuyers,” states the report. “As more and more AAPI go to on to pursue higher education…the stringent underwriting requirements related to debt-to-income ratio will keep many from achieving the American Dream for years to come as they work to pay off their student loans.”

The category change is a major step forward toward addressing these and other issues, now with the possibility of implementing truly effective solutions based on reliable data.

“As more research disaggregates data for the AAPI community, a clearer picture will be painted for policymakers to understand the issues affecting us,” AREAA National Chair Vicky Silvano said in RISMedia’s Real Estate magazine. “I am proud to have been a part of this movement.”

For more information, please visit www.areaa.org.

Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at sdevita@rismedia.com.

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Categories: Realty News

Prepare for a Real Estate Rush This Spring

Rismedia Todays Top Story - Wed, 03/29/2017 - 15:56

Homebuyers this spring will meet out-of-this-world prices and unsparing competition—a real estate rush.

According to Clear Capital’s recently released Home Data Index (HDI) Market Report, the national median days on market is 43 days, down from an 85-day stretch seen in January 2012. Days on market in Denver, Colo., Lincoln, Neb., and Raleigh, N.C., are coming in under two weeks, while days on market in Fresno, San Francisco and San Jose, Calif., and Portland, Ore., and Seattle, Wash., are finishing in under three weeks.

“Along with an increase in temperatures, the spring season also brings out the buyers and an increase in demand to the housing market, which most often translates to faster price growth and a decrease in marketing times,” says Alex Villacorta, vice president of Research and Analytics at Clear Capital. “But what’s great news for homeowners—particularly those looking to get out of negative equity or sell outright—is unfortunately bad news for prospective buyers. This springtime uptick in demand is likely to put buyers in a major time pinch in areas where marketing time is already lightning fast.”

Home price growth in the first quarter of 2017 was 0.9 percent, according to the report, with quarterly growth across regions between 0.8 percent and 1 percent. Prices grew 1.8 percent quarterly in San Antonio, Texas, making it the fastest growing metropolitan market, while quarterly prices in San Jose, Calif., remained at a standstill, posting no growth.

“This situation, coupled with the already precarious affordability situation for buyers, can lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts for the market as a whole, one where buyers rush to purchase homes at or above asking price in fear of waiting too long and losing out—pushing prices up and pulling marketing times even lower,” Villacorta says. “Buyers will need to remain vigilant this spring and constantly keep their eyes peeled for new supply entering the market, and, most importantly, be wary of rushing to purchase at sky-high prices.”

Source: Clear Capital

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Categories: Realty News

Bookworms: Here’s Where to Move If You Like to Read

Rismedia Todays Top Story - Wed, 03/29/2017 - 15:42

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that bibliophiles are big on bookstores and libraries. If you identify with this group and feel your current city is failing you in the reading department, here are some pointers as to where you might want to flee.

If you don’t have enough places to buy books, then what kind of life are you even leading? According to Publishers Weekly, these are the states with the most bookstores per capita (which will surprise you):

  1. Montana
  2. Wyoming
  3. Vermont
  4. Alabama
  5. Tennessee
  6. Nebraska
  7. Arkansas
  8. Colorado
  9. Kansas
  10. Missouri
  11. Alaska
  12. Iowa
  13. Minnesota
  14. Washington, D.C.
  15. South Carolina
  16. Mississippi
  17. West Virginia
  18. Georgia
  19. Indiana
  20. North Carolina

While you would expect places like New York and Massachusetts to come up, they don’t because there’t just too many people for the amount of bookstores.

In addition, Amazon* ranks the top 20 well-read cities around the States every year. These were the chart-toppers for 2016:

  1. Seattle, Wash.
  2. Portland, Ore.
  3. Washington, D.C.
  4. San Francisco, Calif.
  5. Austin, Texas
  6. Las Vegas, Nev.
  7. Tucson, Ariz.
  8. Denver, Colo.
  9. Albuquerque, N.M.
  10. San Diego, Calif.
  11. Baltimore, Md.
  12. Charlotte, N.C.
  13. Louisville, Ky.
  14. San Jose, Calif.
  15. Houston, Texas
  16. Nashville, Tenn.
  17. Chicago, Ill.
  18. Indianapolis, Ind.
  19. Dallas, Texas
  20. San Antonio, Texas

*Do keep in mind that Amazon gets its numbers from the amount of Kindle and Amazon purchases, but they do also include magazines and newspapers in the lot.

And last, but not least, you may want to consider a move (or a visit) to the homes of the nation’s prettiest libraries:

New York, N.Y. – New York Public Library/Morgan Library & Museum

Boston, Mass. – Boston Public Library

Washington D.C. – Library of Congress

New Haven, Conn. – Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library/Sterling Library

Ridgefield, Conn. – Jay Walker’s Private Library

Salt Lake City, Utah – Salt Lake City Public Library

Baltimore, Md. – George Peabody Library

Exeter, N.H. – Phillips Exeter Academy Library

Being surrounded by other bibliophiles is like setting yourself up for positive peer pressure!

Gabrielle van Welie is RISMedia’s editorial intern. Email her your real estate news ideas at gvanwelie@rismedia.com.

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Categories: Realty News

Positive Trends to Emerge for Buyers in 2017

Rismedia Todays Top Story - Tue, 03/28/2017 - 16:22

In 2016, home prices experienced increases, despite the predictions of many that prices would fall for the first time since the recovery began. Home price gains were buoyed mostly by limited inventory, with entry-level homes being particularly short in supply.

Many areas across the country saw sales prices touch their pre-2007 values, while mortgage rates remained historically low. Nationally, home values increased 3.85 percent from the previous year. The number of unsold homes in the United States fell to 1.65 million units at the end of 2016, as reported by the National Association of REALTORS®, the lowest since 1999, when they first started tracking this data.

Market conditions continue to vary greatly across the country, but there’s a positive trend emerging for buyers in 2017. As demand for homes remains strong, inventory will continue to be a challenge, but there are signs that the situation will improve. The National Association of Home Builders predicts 1.24 million housing starts in 2017, compared to the 1.16 million starts in 2016. Additionally, home builder sentiment has been gradually trending upward.

In the first month of Donald Trump’s presidency, we witnessed the Dow Jones Industrial Average close over 20,000 for the first time in history, and the administration has made it clear that business-friendly policy will be a priority. The administration also signaled it will encourage infrastructure investment and a more positive monetary policy. These conditions, coupled with a rising interest rate environment, can stimulate a gradual increase in inflation.

Mortgage interest rates are mostly impacted by movements in the bond market, not the Federal Reserve’s short-term interest rate policy. The bond traders that influence long-term rates (like those used for mortgages) are trying to make educated guesses about where the economy will be in 10-15 years. Some of these predictions, which are focused on growth, can lead to higher rates.

Looking ahead, we’ll need to keep an eye on affordability throughout the year, with the possibility of increased home prices combined with potentially higher rates creating challenges in some markets.

In the near term, I’m sure spring 2017 will be a robust home-buying season. Consumers will be competing for available homes and rushing to lock in their low interest rate.

Derek Latka is vice president of Business Development for Quicken Loans.

For more information, please contact the Quicken Loans Agent Relations team at AgentRelations@QuickenLoans.com or (866) 718-9842, or visit Agent.QuickenLoans.com.

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Categories: Realty News

How to Prepare Yourself for Becoming a Landlord

Rismedia Todays Top Story - Sat, 03/25/2017 - 00:00

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:

If you own some property that you are not actively living in, you might be thinking about renting the property out and becoming a landlord. Renting usable property is a great way to make some extra money, but if not done carefully, it can turn into a disaster. Here is a list of some of the most important things to learn before taking the plunge.

Study Local Laws
Since shelter is a basic human need, a large body of legal rules and regulations apply to the process. Rental laws vary a great deal from state to state, so you’ll need to find a good resource for researching these laws, unless you are already a lawyer yourself. While looking around online is a good start, you’ll probably also need to consult a legal professional, or at least some books on the subject. Your local library is an excellent resource to find any of the information without spending an arm and a leg.

Set Up Your Maintenance Team
As the rental owner, for the most part, you will be legally liable for keeping up the property in terms of basic maintenance. Between electrical, gas, water, HVAC, and other systems, a home is a bundle of potential maintenance issues waiting to explode in your face. Hiring good people to keep everything working properly is important to staying ahead of the curve, especially if you are renting out multiple properties; the more locations you are leasing, the more maintenance hours you will log. Of course, sometimes the problems will go beyond what a maintenance team can cover. For those cases, you’ll want a working relationship with a good local contractor.

Get the Proper Insurance
However many steps you go through in your tenant screening process, the fact remains that problems can and will occur. Whether from unruly and careless tenants, freak accidents that cause serious damage, or simply from regular wear and tear, your property is at risk when you rent it out. You can protect your investment by making sure you are covered by the best home insurance possible, so you can recover against any losses. Protect your home further with a home warranty that can keep your pricey appliances covered in case of expensive damages.

Set Up Your Lease Properly
With all the knowledge you’ve acquired in the previous steps, you should be well prepared to put together a strong lease at this point. This document is hugely important to beginning your time as a landlord right, since it outlines the rights and responsibilities of both you and your tenant. As such, it protects both people in the relationship from problems, intentional and otherwise. You’ll definitely want to get a lawyer involved in at least one draft of the document, and ask him or her how to make sure you aren’t put in a dubious legal position.

Whether you are renting out a single property or operating multiple rental properties, the basic requirements for success are fundamentally the same. With a little work, you can turn that property into money in your pocket.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

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Categories: Realty News

Realtor.com: Not Every Market Is a No-Go for Millennials

Rismedia Todays Top Story - Thu, 03/23/2017 - 16:07

Millennial homebuyers are struggling against a tide of too-high prices—but not in every market.

Realtor.com®’s recently released Top Cities for Millennials ranks the markets with double the draw for millennials: (relatively) affordable housing and employment. The top 10:

  1. Salt Lake City, Utah
  2. Miami, Fla.
  3. Orlando, Fla.
  4. Seattle, Wash.
  5. Houston, Texas
  6. Los Angeles, Calif.
  7. Buffalo, N.Y.
  8. Albany, N.Y.
  9. San Francisco, Calif.
  10. San Jose, Calif.

Aside from being twice as nice, the markets in the ranking already have tracts of millennial residents, setting them up as home-buying hot spots.

“High job growth in markets such as Orlando, Seattle, and Miami, and the power of affordability in places like Albany and Buffalo, are making these markets magnets for millennials,” says Javier Vivas, manager of Economic Research for realtor.com. “But what really stands out is that all these markets already have large numbers of millennials, which translates into strong populations of millennial homebuyers.”

Breaking down the top 10:

  1. Salt Lake City

Millennial Hot Spot: Sugar House
Millennial Share of Population: 15.8 percent
Share of Income Spent on Housing: 30 percent
Unemployment Rate: 2.9 percent

  1. Miami

Millennial Hot Spots: South Beach, Wynwood
Millennial Share of Population: 13.1 percent
Share of Income Spent on Housing: 49 percent
Unemployment Rate: 5.1 percent

  1. Orlando

Millennial Hot Spot: Thornton Park
Millennial Share of Population: 14.6 percent
Share of Income Spent on Housing: 34 percent
Unemployment Rate: 4.4 percent

  1. Seattle

Millennial Hot Spots: Belltown, Capitol Hill
Millennial Share of Population: 15.2 percent
Share of Income Spent on Housing: 35.6 percent
Unemployment Rate: 4.2 percent

  1. Houston

Millennial Hot Spots: The Heights, Oak Forest, Timbergrove
Millennial Share of Population: 14.5 percent
Share of Income Spent on Housing: 36.1 percent
Unemployment Rate: 5.4 percent

  1. Los Angeles

Millennial Hot Spot: Silver Lake
Millennial Share of Population: 15 percent
Share of Income Spent on Housing: 64.1 percent
Unemployment Rate: 4.7 percent

  1. Buffalo

Millennial Hot Spots: Buffalo, North Buffalo
Millennial Share of Population: 13.4 percent
Share of Income Spent on Housing: 22.7 percent
Unemployment Rate: 5.6 percent

  1. Albany

Millennial Hot Spot: Downtown Albany
Millennial Share of Population: 12.7 percent
Share of Income Spent on Housing: 27.3 percent
Unemployment Rate: 4.5 percent

  1. San Francisco

Millennial Hot Spots: Mission, North Beach
Millennial Share of Population: 15 percent
Share of Income Spent on Housing: 56.2 percent
Unemployment Rate: 3.7 percent

  1. San Jose

Millennial Hot Spot: Downtown San Jose
Millennial Share of Population: 14.2 percent
Share of Income Spent on Housing: 53 percent
Unemployment Rate: 3.7 percent

Salt Lake City takes the lead in the top 10 for not only having the highest millennial share in its population (15.8 percent), but also having the third most affordable housing costs as a share of income (30 percent) and the lowest unemployment rate (2.9 percent). Seattle (15.2 percent) and San Francisco (15 percent) have similarly high shares of millennials in their populations.

Albany and Buffalo, on the other hand, win when it comes to affordability, with Buffalo’s housing costs taking up the lowest share of income (22.7 percent) and Albany taking up the second lowest (27.3 percent).

Seattle and San Francisco round out the top three for their low unemployment rates, both at 3.7 percent.

For more information, please visit www.realtor.com.

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Categories: Realty News

10 Tips for Homebuyers and Sellers This Spring

Rismedia Todays Top Story - Wed, 03/22/2017 - 16:31

Spring is here, and so is spring home-buying and -selling. Buyers and sellers preparing to take action this season should put those plans into play now—according to Zillow Group’s Report on Consumer Housing Trends, the No. 1 regret for both buyers and sellers is “not starting their home search or prepping their home to sell soon enough.”

“This spring, both buyers and sellers should be prepared for fast-moving sales, intense negotiations, and even bidding wars,” says Jeremy Wacksman, CMO at Zillow Group. “Home shoppers and sellers are motivated to become more strategic and knowledgeable about what’s happening in their neighborhood. Understanding whether you are in a buyer’s or a seller’s environment will help you manage your expectations and will give you insight into what you’re going to need to bring to the table in order to close the deal.”

For buyers, that means:

Keep your options open. More than half (52 percent) of homebuyers surveyed in the report said they also considered renting, and more than one-third (37 percent) of first-time buyers seriously considered continuing to rent. Savvy shoppers should have a Plan B in place, hoping to buy if it works out, but willing to sign a lease for a home if they don’t make a deal by the time they need to move.

Be realistic with your budget. Once you set it, stick to it. First-time home buyers are more likely to exceed their budget than repeat buyers (39 percent versus 26 percent), according to the report. Before you meet with a lender to determine how much mortgage you’ll be approved for, take a good look at your individual finances and spending preferences to determine the monthly payment range that you feel you can comfortably afford. (Use Zillow’s mortgage calculator to help with you with the math.)

Get your financing squared away early. Plan to meet a few lenders four to six months ahead of when you’re planning to buy to ensure you can make a competitive offer quickly when you find your dream home. The majority (82 percent) of buyers get pre-approved, with 77 percent getting pre-approval from a lender before finding a home on which they are interested in placing an offer.

Find an agent with a winning track record. Take the time to find an agent who has expertise in fast negotiation, leveraging escalation clauses, and winning bidding wars. Only 46 percent of buyers got the first home on which they made an offer, according to the report, demonstrating that competition is now part of the process. Use search tools, like Zillow’s Agent Finder, to choose an agent based on sales and listing activity, area of expertise and reputation.

Communication is key. Make sure your preferred method—and frequency—of communication matches that of your agent. One-third (33 percent) of all buyers surveyed in the report preferred phone calls with their agent over emailing (21 percent) or texting (15 percent). Buyers can use the agent reviews on Zillow to learn more about prospective agents and their clients’ experiences.

And for sellers:

Start early and be strategic. Sellers consider putting their home on the market for five months before they list it—but the top seller regret is that they wished they spent more time prepping for the sale. Many cities have a magic window in the spring when homes have a higher likelihood of selling quickly for more money.

Work with an agent from the start. The vast majority (90 percent) of sellers surveyed in the report who sold quickly and for more than list price worked with an agent, and two out of three (58 percent) began working with an agent at the very beginning of their selling journey.

Pay attention to your online curb appeal. The majority of buyers begin their search online. Sellers who sold their home for more than list price made imagery and home information available online: 48 percent had professional photos taken of the home; 30 percent shot video footage; and 21 percent shot drone footage. Zillow’s video walk-throughs give sellers an easy way to show home features that are hard to capture in photos.

Home improvements can be a worthwhile investment. Sellers who fetched above list price tackled home improvements before listing their home, being 50 percent more likely to take on a large project like modifying an existing home plan and 20 percent more likely to renovate a kitchen than the average seller.

Don’t be afraid to try again. In many markets, nearly half of listing views occur in the first week the home is on the market. Twenty-six percent of those who sold above list price took their home off the market once to adjust the sales price, opting to start anew, rather than letting the home languish on the market with minimal activity. 

For more information, please visit www.zillow.com.

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Categories: Realty News

When It Comes to Homeownership Decisions, Pets Rule

Rismedia Todays Top Story - Tue, 03/21/2017 - 15:56

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:

A lot goes into the decision to buy, sell or remodel a home. After all, this is one of the most significant investments of your lifetime, so there are a lot of factors to be weighed and considered…including how happy your pet will be.

Yes, you read that right. In fact, 81 percent of respondents to a recent report from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reported that animal-related considerations play a role in determining their next living situations. In 2016, 61 percent of U.S. households either had a pet or planned to get one in the future, so it stands to reason that our animal companions will play a significant role in our housing decisions for the foreseeable future.

According to NAR’s 2017 Animal House: Remodeling Impact report, 99 percent of pet owners said they consider their animal part of the family, and 89 percent of those surveyed said they would not give up their animal because of housing restrictions or limitations. In fact, 12 percent of pet owners have actually moved in order to accommodate their furry, finned or feathered family member, and 19 percent said they would consider moving to accommodate their animal in the future.

No one knows the relationship between homeowners and their animal friends better than REALTORS®. Those surveyed for the report said that one-third of their pet-owning clients often or very often will refuse to make an offer on a home because it is not ideal for their pet.

Other interesting statistics from the report include:

  • 67 percent of REALTORS® say animals have a moderate to major effect on selling a home. If you’re selling your home, make sure you’ve cleaned or replaced any areas affected by pet damage or odors.
  • 52 percent of respondents said they had completed a home renovation project specifically to accommodate their pet, such as fencing in their yards, adding a doggie door or installing a pet-friendly laminate flooring.
  • 80 percent of REALTORS® consider themselves animal lovers, so you’ll have lots of support in accommodating your pet’s housing needs when buying!

Maria Patterson is RISMedia’s executive editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at maria@rismedia.com.

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Categories: Realty News

In These Markets, You’ll Earn Enough to Cover Rent—and Then Some

Rismedia Todays Top Story - Sun, 03/19/2017 - 13:10

Reasonable rent and a solid-paying job? Dream on…right?

According to a recent analysis by LinkedIn and Zillow, there are dream markets for renters—if their field of choice is finance, healthcare or technology.

The analysis identified markets where renters earn in excess of the necessary income to support costs of living, taking into account indicators such as “labor market velocity,” “job listings,” “salaries,” and “rental housing costs.”

By sector, renters have the most left over in:

Finance

  1. Charlotte, N.C.
    Disposable Income: $3,793 (51.2 percent)
  1. Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
    Disposable Income: $3,597 (53.4 percent)
  1. Phoenix, Ariz.
    Disposable Income: $3,249 (50.6 percent)
  1. Boston, Mass.
    Disposable Income: $3,198 (41.7 percent)
  1. Chicago, Ill.
    Disposable Income: $3,453 (48.8 percent)

Healthcare

  1. Phoenix, Ariz.
    Disposable Income: $3,793 (52. 1 percent)
  1. Indianapolis, Ind.
    Disposable Income: $3,111 (53.7 percent)
  1. Boston, Mass.
    Disposable Income: $2,861 (40.1 percent)
  1. Denver, Colo.
    Disposable Income: $2,580 (40.5 percent)
  1. Austin, Texas
    Disposable Income: $2,846 (48.7 percent)

Technology

  1. Seattle, Wash.
    Disposable Income: $5,493 (54.3 percent)
  1. Austin, Texas
    Disposable Income: $4,336 (53.8 percent)
  1. Pittsburgh, Pa.
    Disposable Income: $3,681 (56.4 percent)
  1. San Francisco Bay, Calif.
    Disposable Income: $3,964 (35.6 percent)
  1. Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
    Disposable Income: $4,121 (54.9 percent)

Four markets—Austin, Boston, Dallas/Fort Worth and Phoenix—rank in the top five in all three sectors. Austin makes a showing in both healthcare and technology, but ranks higher for healthcare, while Boston boasts for healthcare and finance, but also ranks higher for healthcare. Dallas/Fort Worth has opportunities in finance and technology, ranking higher for finance, and Phoenix’s prospects are in finance and healthcare, ranking higher for healthcare.

“High demand and inventory shortages have driven up housing prices in some markets so much that even if you land a great job, the salary might not cover living within commuting distance,” says Dr. Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow. “On the other hand, the nation’s most affordable housing markets don’t always offer plentiful employment opportunities. Housing is the biggest line item in most people’s budgets, so we did the math for you and found ‘sweet spots’—places with great job markets and housing markets that will leave you with some cash at the end of the month.”

For more information, please visit www.zillow.com.

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Categories: Realty News

Size Matters: Most Americans Dissatisfied with Home’s Square Footage

Rismedia Todays Top Story - Sat, 03/18/2017 - 00:04

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:

When it comes to a home’s square footage, Americans seem to have a Goldilocks mindset: too big, too small, jussstttt right. At least, this is the consensus from a recent Trulia/Harris Poll study. The study, which surveyed over 2,000 American homeowners, found that most folks want a different sized home than the one they’re in now; however, they don’t necessarily want to go bigger. Today’s average new home size is over 2,700 square feet, 57 percent larger than homes built about 40 years ago. It’s undeniable that homes are getting larger. But interestingly enough, just because the average home size is getting larger doesn’t mean everyone is looking for more square footage. In fact, 60.6 percent of those questioned were looking to downsize. It seems more space doesn’t necessarily mean more comfort.

Below are some key findings from the survey:

  • As expected, age matters when it comes to size. Only 26 percent of baby boomers surveyed would upsize their homes, whereas 46 percent of millennials would like to add more square footage.
  • Only 32 percent of those surveyed would choose a home the same size as the one they’re currently living in if they decided to move within a year.
  • Out of survey respondents currently living in homes larger than 2,000 square feet, only 39.4 percent would choose a larger home, compared to 60.6 percent looking to downsize.
  • One interesting takeaway from the study is based on income. It seems the more affluent hope to minimize their square footage, whereas those with smaller incomes want to score more space. Seem backwards? It isn’t. Fifty-three percent of those making more than $150,000 a year hope to downsize, whereas 65 percent of those making under $150,000 say that would snag a bigger spot if given the chance.

 

For more data from the survey, click here.

Zoe Eisenberg is RISMedia’s senior content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at zoe@rismedia.com.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

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Categories: Realty News

Surprise! The 10 Best Cities to Sell a House

Rismedia Todays Top Story - Mon, 03/13/2017 - 16:29

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ at blog.rismedia.com:

Whether it’s your first house or your fourth, you’ve likely heard the phrase “location, location, location.” A recent Smart Asset study procured information on the very best city to sell a home based on five factors. They looked at the change in median home value, the percent of homes in the area sold at a loss, the average number days a home sits on the market, the closing costs and the number of real estate offices per 1,000 residents. The results were a bit surprising.

Colorado and Texas Slay
These two states seem to be the best places to sell, snatching up nine out of the 10 top city spots on the list.

No-No Northeast
Out of the top 15 cities ranked, only one Northeastern city made the cut. The winning city? Boston.

Big Wins for Denver
The Mile High City not only has an impressive growth in median home values, but Denver homes stay on the market for an average of just 27 days.

See the full rundown below and visit SmartAsset.com for more findings.

Zoe Eisenberg is RISMedia’s senior content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at zoe@rismedia.com.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

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Categories: Realty News

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