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Avocado: A True Game-Changer for Real Estate

Rismedia Todays Top Story - Sat, 05/27/2017 - 00:04

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

Who knew that creamy, verdant avocados could make or break one’s future in real estate?

According to Australian developer Tim Gurner, (who is 35 and worth half a billion dollars, nbd) millennials are poor and unable to buy homes because of their infatuation with the single-seeded berry (yes, it’s technically a fruit—The More You Know!)

On a recent episode of Australia’s “60 Minutes,” he said: “When I was buying my first home, I wasn’t buying smashed avocado for 19 bucks and four coffees at $4 each.”

I would propose that maybe only millionaires would pay $19 for guac, but I digress.

Also noteworthy, Gurner was handed $34,000 from his grandfather at the age of 19, which led to his early success in real estate, and he wants to chastise me for my love of guacamole!? Get outta here. What does he think? That if I was given free money, I would’ve bought 22,667 avocados instead of investing it? (Actually, that sounds like a pretty OK investment, if you ask me.)

Snarks aside, Australian real estate company Ray White is latching on to the avocado craze and offering buyers a delicious deal: free avocado toast for 12 months is up for grabs for anyone willing to shell out for a new two- or three-bedroom townhouse in Queensland.

Now, millennials can save their pennies for a townhouse and guacamole in one fell swoop! If you’re an avocado aficionado, you’d better get that passport renewed ASAP: the deal expires June 30.

What a time to be alive.

Nick Caruso is RISMedia’s senior editor. Email him your real estate news ideas at nick@rismedia.com.

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

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Categories: Realty News

Nature Lovers: 6 Towns for True Outdoorists

Rismedia Todays Top Story - Thu, 05/18/2017 - 16:40

If you’re a nature lover, then you probably want to live somewhere where Mother Nature is knocking at your door. Of course, there is an allure to the high-rise skylines of big cities and all of the perks that come with them, but for some folks, it’s not the bright lights that entice them, but the endless opportunities that await them in the wild.

Many people have predetermined places where they’ve dreamed of living for their entire life, and then there are people who have absolutely no idea at all. If you find yourself in the latter of the two categories, then consider this list. Allow your imagination to run wild and really try to envision living in some of these spectacular outdoor-centric towns from all around the nation. These places are known to quench the insatiable thirst of all outdoorists who, above all else, crave proximity to Mother Nature, adventure and the peace that comes with living wild and free.

Move On Up in Billings, Mont.
Tell your kids to pick their new passion. It can be rock climbing, mountain biking or anything in between, because in Billings, Mont., you’ll have access to all of it. If you love steep inclines and summit vistas that stretch for miles, then Billings is the place for you. This town gives off a rather laid back vibe, but it won’t take long to realize what a strong sense of community it offers, as well. Many of the people who have lived in Billings their entire lives are ranchers and farmers—you know, the salt of the earth kind of folk—and they love their town and all it has to offer.

If you plan on visiting Billings before you buy, we suggest bringing along some climbing gear or renting while you’re there, so you can get a little taste of adventure while you are getting a feel for the place.

Become One With the Last Frontier in Valdez, Alaska
Do you have a desire to spend your afternoons skiing, snowboarding, ice climbing, snowshoeing, hiking, mountaineering, fishing or even going on some extreme hunting trips? Enter Valdez.

This small town is home to 4,000 individuals and is one of the most important fishing and freight ports in the state, so you’ll always have fresh seafood. The best thing about Valdez is the winter—that is to say, if you like the winter. We’re talking snow, and lots of it. Valdez is rated the snowiest town in the U.S., even though their winters don’t get quite as cold as other similar climates in Alaska.

Be careful visiting Alaska, because there is a good chance you’ll never want to hop on a plane back down to the lower 48. Yet, if you do visit before you buy, there is one thing you should absolutely bring, especially if you’re visiting before the warmer weather rolls through. You’re going to need to bring a down jacket—I mean real down and real heavy.

A parka is a must and, if you’re a lady, we would actually suggest a down skirt. They are incredibly warm and an extremely popular fashion item up north.

Bend, Ore.: It’s Kind of a Big Deal

 

You’ll be pleasantly surprised when the winter months roll around. The weather cools off and snow falls, but that’s about all that will change. You’ll likely still want to spend every day outside snow camping, skiing, snowboarding, climbing, snowshoeing or just hiking through the enchanting wilderness.

If you plan to visit Bend, make sure you bring a camera. There is a reason Bend was rated one of the top 10 places to live by Men’s Journal. It’s truly gorgeous and there are endless outdoor activities available to the people living here. For your visit, you might want to bring a detailed map so you can circle all the super cool places you visit, from the parts of town you might like living in to all the hip breweries and restaurants you don’t want to forget about on your next visit.

Be a Beach Bum in Kauai, Hawaii

Somewhere along the line people forgot that lounging on the beach is actually an outdoorsy thing to do, even if you have a drink in your hand. On Kauai, you get all the delights of true island life without all the touristy backlash. You can really let your hair down and become one with this place. Learn to surf and I guarantee you’ll never want to leave.

If you plan a trip to visit Kauai to see if it’s the spot for you, then please heed this one bit of advice: bring practically nothing. Seriously, keep your carry on limited to the essentials. You’re going to be in your swimsuit the majority of the time, anyway. You’ll get the true experience of this place if you visit with a minimalist perspective and a decent pair of flip flops.

Duluth, Minn.: Not Just a Trading Co.
This little town has witnessed a rise in popularity over the years simply because it offers up a little bit of everything: canoeing, kayaking, biking, hiking, sailing, fishing, skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledding and rock climbing, to name a few. The size of its community is small, but the sense of adventure looms large and you’ll never run out of stuff to do. During the summer months, there isn’t a single weekend where an event isn’t being hosted in town, pulling in thousands of tourists from across the nation.

Duluth is a true gateway to exploration and outdoorsy fun, especially because it sits on the edge of Lake Superior, so there are plenty of water sports to take advantage of. If you want to visit and feel out this buzzing little port town, be sure to book a hotel room and plan to visit when you can catch a free concert, touring show or theater performance during your stay.

Wow Factor of Wausau, Wis.
This little Wisconsin town has a few secrets up its sleeve that make it quite the interesting place to live. First, because there is a ski hill in town, you can enjoy delightful alpine skiing during the winter months. Second, you can spend your summer going on whitewater rafting trips. And thirdly, because the roots of this town are very much steeped in German and European culture, you have lots of beer to pick from, and most Wausau bakeries have warm, gooey Nutella-drizzled breakfast croissants at the ready on a daily basis.

If you want to plan your trip to Wausau and you’re a big fan of hunting, Wisconsin offers plenty of opportunities to hunt various types of game; if you plan your trip during the right time of year, you’ll get to hear the gobblers going off during your visit. I advise bringing along a turkey call so you can get some practice in before next year’s season!

It’s a big step to move your family, but it’s well worth it if you are surrounded by the scenery and activities you love. Sure, some of these towns are a little off the beaten path, but they serve as major gateways to vast outdoor opportunities. Plus, these tight-knit communities make for strong friendships, great schools, and happy dispositions, even if you have to start online shopping more. It’s worth it.

Casea Peterson is a freelance copywriter and content marketing specialist for businesses in the outdoor industry.

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

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Categories: Realty News

Florida Friendly to First-Time Buyers, According to Zillow

Rismedia Todays Top Story - Mon, 05/15/2017 - 15:48

First-time homebuyers up against high prices this spring could have a better chance of staying in-budget in the Sunshine State, where homes are still relatively affordable, according to a recent Zillow analysis. Orlando and Tampa took the No. 1 and No. 2 spots, in order, in its ranking of the best housing markets for first-timers, considering median home values and home value forecasts, as well as inventory, price reductions and time it takes to break even on a home purchase.

Why is the Theme Park Capital of the World tops? The median home value in Orlando is $202,900, with a forecasted appreciation rate of 3.8 percent. Supply stands at 10,344, with prices cut on 17.4 percent of listings. The time it will take to break even is one year and 11 months—all factors that, combined, make for first-time homebuyer-friendly conditions.

Keeping out of the red is a challenge for first-time homebuyers, who, according to the 2016 Zillow Group Report on Consumer Housing Trends, are more likely to go over budget than others.

“As millennials reach the typical home-buying age, they are coming into a tough housing market with low inventory and lots of competition,” says Dr. Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow. “These markets have more favorable conditions for first-time buyers to become homeowners. More challenging metros aren’t out of reach for new buyers, but they should be prepared to face a more competitive buying environment.”

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

Drool Over These Epic Indoor Slides

Rismedia Todays Top Story - Sun, 05/14/2017 - 13:05

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

We’ve covered many-a-fun house features here on Housecall, from 3D floors to wacky kitchensaquatic living rooms and bedazzled bathrooms. But when it comes to cool features, what is more fun (and frivolous) than a house decked out with an indoor slide?

These homeowners know how to have a good time, and I’ll bet not all of these slippery babies are for the kids. Behold, four fun indoor slides to make you super jelly.

Zippy Yellow

Image Credit: Buzzfeed, Pinterest

Seemingly straight out of the movie “Big,” this vibrant London townhouse allows you to slip from the master bedroom to the dining room in seconds. And doesn’t that sunflower yellow give you all the good feels? Also, pay mind to that pillow pit. This setup is ideal for hours of safe, slippery fun. Just look how happy that family is! This could be you, if only you would install an indoor slide…

Blobular

Image Credit: Pinterest

Something about the style of this slide makes me think of Play-Doh. But still, it’s pretty rad, or at the very least, a great pick up line. “Want to come back to my place and check out my slide…?” Who could say no to that?

Sleek Ride

Image Credit: Homedit.com

This silver baby is marketed as a kid’s slide, and if that’s the case, call me a child and sign me up! It’s rare something as ostentatious as a giant indoor slide looks good with the decor, but this design nailed it. Can’t you just imagine some hotshot CEO sliding downstairs in the morning in her bathrobe and slippers? Maybe even somehow balancing a coffee cup?

Splash!

Image Credit: FeelItCool.com

If you have an indoor pool, an indoor slide is sort of a must. If this was the sitch in your home, you’d have a guaranteed party spot. Just stand at the top and holler, “I am a golden god!”

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

First-Time Homebuyers Shell Out More for Upgrades

Rismedia Todays Top Story - Sat, 05/13/2017 - 00:04

While first-time homebuyers are facing certain challenges entering the housing market, that doesn’t mean they aren’t spending on upgrades to the homes they end up owning.

According to a recent report by Houzz, first-time homebuyers in 2016 dropped more than ever on renovations, spending an average $33,800. Homeowners overall spent an average $60,400.

First-time homebuyers aren’t starting with small changes, either—in fact, many have taken on remodeling four rooms at once, including more involved projects like bathrooms and the kitchen. Most, as well, are focused on outfitting their new homes with smart home technology.

“Younger and cash-constrained first-time buyers are responding to the low inventory of affordable homes by purchasing properties that require more than just cosmetic upgrades,” said Nino Sitchinava, principal economist at Houzz, in a statement on the survey. “Not surprisingly, we are seeing their spend on home renovations increasing significantly in 2016 and expect this trend to continue through 2017.”

That lack of cash for a more expensive home could explain why first-time homebuyers rely more on credit cards to finance renovations than other homeowners, according to the survey. Ninety-one percent of homeowners overall fund renovations, at least partially, with cash. Eleven percent fund them by taking out a loan, mainly a home equity line of credit (HELOC).

First-timers are also having trouble keeping renovations within budget, with 47 percent of those surveyed reporting it challenging to stay out of the red. They are, however, willing to ask for help, being just as likely as other homeowners to hire a professional.

Source: Houzz

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Categories: Realty News

These 3D Floor Designs Are Perfect for Hours of Trippy Entertainment

Rismedia Todays Top Story - Sun, 05/07/2017 - 13:03

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

It looks like 3D is not just for blockbuster films and street art anymore. Now, you can take 3D home with a 3D floor design.

These hip geometric floor patterns can give your home an artsy, innovative vibe, with their cool colors and minimalist patterns. Put out by Atra Flooring, these vinyl designs come in a variety of styles, and all of them are pretty trippy. From the never-ending swirls of the “Hula” pattern to “Giants Causeway,” reminiscent of the famous M.C. Escher lithograph, your floors will definitely be a source of conversation (and perhaps a bit of vertigo).

Atra Floor isn’t the first to take a stab at 3D floors. From a bedroom resting atop a waterfall to lava oozing across the living room floor, the designs can get pretty daring. Check out some of these crazy options.

Credit: Decoist.com

Credit: 3d-pavimenti.it

Credit: PSFK.com

Whatever design you choose, a 3D floor is sure to up your home to a whole new level of cool. Good luck keeping your guests from staring at their feet.

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

Americans Find Moving More Stressful Than Weddings

Rismedia Todays Top Story - Thu, 05/04/2017 - 16:28

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

Shopping for a new home can be one of the most exciting times of your life, but after the excitement of finding that perfect space, making an offer and closing, you have to face the harsh task of packing up all your belongings and moving.

Whether you’re moving across the ‘hood or across the country, moving is always stressful. Unfortunately, unless you plan to live in the same place for the rest of your life, moving is also inevitable. The U.S. Census Bureau projects 40 million Americans will add another home to their list this year, with 65 percent moving between Memorial Day and Labor Day. With the spring moving season upon us, many are packing up their boxes and hitting the road.

According to a new survey released by SpareFoot.com, Americans have moved an average of six times throughout their lives. Below are the top findings from SpareFoot.com’s study on the emotional side of moving:

More Stressful Than a Wedding – Surprisingly, 58 percent feel moving is a bigger challenge than wedding planning. Move over, Bridezilla. Say hello to…Movezilla?

Argument-StarterStress often leads to arguments, so it makes sense that 31 percent of Americans who have moved in with a partner–including 46 percent of millennials–have had some of their worst arguments while moving.

A Time for Parents to Be Selfless Prior to a move, 69 percent of American parents claim they prioritize their child’s needs over their significant other’s needs.

It Takes Longer With Kids Like grocery shopping, traveling, and, well, most things you do with your children, the actual process of moving can take up to eight days longer when your kiddos are in tow.

Finders, Keepers Wading through sentimental items may make your move take longer. The study found that 81 percent of parents admit they have kept a child’s possession, even when given permission to get rid of it. Take our advice: No one cares about those second grade art projects and that box of nubby stuffed animals. Let them go.

Source: SpareFoot.com

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

Homeowners Making Improvements Despite Political Uncertainties

Rismedia Todays Top Story - Sat, 04/29/2017 - 00:04

Homeowners are springing more for upgrades to their homes, despite unknowns that have the potential to impact their spending—a full 60 percent more than what they spent in 2016, according to a new report by HomeAdvisor.

“Home improvement activity is showing resilience in the face of political shifts,” says Brad Hunter, chief economist at HomeAdvisor. “While there is a sharp divide in how homeowners feel about the economy and the current presidential administration, that divide is not affecting their willingness to take on home projects.”

Thirty-five percent of the homeowners surveyed for the report, the 2017 True Cost Report, are confident the Trump Administration will put policies in place that will improve their finances—but 80 percent will carry out upgrades, anyway.

The report also found:

HomeAdvisor’s True Cost Report Infographic (PRNewsfoto/HomeAdvisor)

Source: HomeAdvisor

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Categories: Realty News

How to Have a More Modern Office: Alternative Work Arrangements

Rismedia Todays Top Story - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 16:05

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

In modern office settings, the 9-to-5, Monday-through-Friday work experience is becoming extinct. For companies focused on building a collaborative office culture with happy, invested employees, alternative work arrangements are the new norm. Think working from home once a week or spending only part of your work week in-house, telecommuting and flextime.

According to a new study from staffing firm The Creative Group, 76 percent of advertising and marketing executives surveyed said their company offers alternative work arrangements in some form or another. The most common? Part-time in-house hours, great for students or parents, are offered by 61 percent of employees. Another 33 percent of professionals are bagging flextime, with 30 percent telecommuting from elsewhere. Of those 30 percent working remotely, they are doing so an average of three days a week.

Why should you offer alternative work arrangements? According to the study, you will attract a younger crowd. Younger professionals between the ages 18 and 34 are more likely to work for companies that offer alternative work arrangements than those of other generations. You will also provide more comfortable working situations for those with kids, those pursuing higher education, or those who have to travel further to get to the office.

Plus, your office will snag major cool points, and who doesn’t want those?

The following infographic from The Creative Group offers further insight.

Source: The Creative Group

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

Realtor.com: The Top 10 College Towns With Investment Potential for Parents

Rismedia Todays Top Story - Wed, 04/26/2017 - 16:50

Buying real estate in your student’s college town can be a short-term vehicle for savings and a long-term vehicle for investment.

Realtor.com® recently ranked the cities best for both, factoring in monthly mortgage payments (based on a 20 percent down payment) and other housing costs such as insurance and property taxes, and monthly rental costs.

“College tuition in the U.S. has increased more than 60 percent over the last 10 years,” says Javier Vivas, manager of Economic Research for realtor.com. “Assuming you can afford the down payment, owning a home that your child can live in while at school can help cut the high costs of off campus living. It also makes a great future investment as a steady flow of students into the town continues to drive demand.”

The top 10 in the ranking:

  1. Baltimore, Md. (John Hopkins University)
    Median Buying Cost: $775
    Median Renting Cost: $1,443

The median price for a home in Baltimore County is $131,400, well below the national median of $260,000, and homes have an average of three bedrooms and two bathrooms, according to realtor.com. Charles Village, a small neighborhood located southeast of campus, is popular for students. Another great area for investors is in and around the recently revitalized East Baltimore Development Inc. project.

  1. South Bend, Ind. (University of Notre Dame)
    Median Buying Cost: $470
    Median Renting Cost: $856

With a median home price of $89,900, the area surrounding the University of Notre Dame offers the most affordable home prices in the top 10 ranking. When comparing the average ownership cost and rental payment, parent investors could potentially save $386 a month, which does not account for their student living with roommates. South Bend is a popular student neighborhood around Notre Dame where housing stretches the dollar and offers multiple bedrooms with affordable prices.

  1. West Lafayette, Ind. (Purdue University)
    Median Buying Cost: $666
    Median Renting Cost: $970

Homes near Purdue University have an average price of $131,000 and offer an average of three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Parents looking to invest may want to consider the Chauncey Hill area, which is popular with students due to its close proximity to campus and overall walkability.

  1. East Lansing, Mich. (Michigan State University)
    Median Buying Cost: $628
    Median Renting Cost: $930

The median price for a home in Ingham County is $107,225 and homes have an average of three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Downtown East Lansing is popular among younger undergraduate students who want to be close to campus as well as bars and restaurants. Parents of graduate students may want to consider the Groeseck neighborhood, which is better for those looking for a quieter, more relaxed environment.

  1. Philadelphia, Pa. (University of Pennsylvania)
    Median Buying Cost: $964
    Median Renting Cost: $1,252

The average home surrounding University of Pennsylvania is $167,950, well below the national median, and offers three bedrooms and two bathrooms. With an average monthly rent of more than $1,200, parents looking to invest in real estate have the potential for significant income. Point Breeze and Passyunk are popular neighborhoods for undergraduate students because of their proximity to campus, as well as their general walkability.

  1. College Park, Md. (University of Maryland)
    Median Buying Cost: $1,699
    Median Renting Cost: $1,971

University of Maryland has the highest average home price on the list, with a median of $300,447, as well as the highest average monthly rent of $1,971. While more costly, the average home has four bedrooms and three bathrooms, which gives parents more opportunities for rental income. Parent investors should consider buying in the popular student areas of College Park Woods and Hollywood on the Hill.

  1. Cleveland, Ohio (Case Western Reserve University)
    Median Buying Cost: $677
    Median Renting Cost: $866

Homes in Cuyahoga County have a median price of $120,574, well below the national average, and offer an average of three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Coventry, North Coventry and Cedar-Fairmount are popular neighborhoods among students because of their easy access to shopping and grocery stores, as well as nightlife.

  1. Swarthmore, Pa. (Swarthmore College)
    Median Buying Cost: $1,128
    Median Renting Cost: $1,252

The median home price in Delaware County is $189,125, and homes offer an average three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Parents of students attending Swathmore College may want to consider an investment in the revitalized downtown that is attracting large groups of students or the nearby borough of Media, which offers larger homes with a little more peace and quiet.

  1. Milwaukee, Wis. (Marquette University)
    Median Buying Cost: $856
    Median Renting Cost: $954

Parents considering an investment around Marquette University will pay an average of $135,450 for three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Beerline, a small neighborhood that borders the north side of the Milwaukee River, is home to many new developments ready for investors, while the Lower East Side neighborhood offers single-family homes, high-rise apartment complexes and everything in between.

  1. Champaign, Ill. (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
    Median Buying Cost: $875
    Median Renting Cost: $956

The median-priced home in Champaign County is $149,075, with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. To the west of campus lies “Senior Land,” which is highly popular with students, as well as anything on Green Street between Neil Street and Lincoln Avenue. Downtown Champaign has been revitalized with a vibrant live music scene and a host of bars and restaurants.

Homebuyers would spend 21 percent, on average, of the local median household income on housing in each of the top 10 cities—less than the 28 percent national average, according to realtor.com Renters, to compare, would spend 27 percent, on average, of the local median household income on housing—more than the 25 percent national average.

The ranking comes ahead of National College Decision Day, May 1.

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

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

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Categories: Realty News

6 Things Professional Burglars Don’t Want You to Know

Rismedia Todays Top Story - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 16:01

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

Even though a burglary occurs every 20 seconds in the U.S., you can still protect yourself without installing top-dollar security features.

Home burglary generally has a pattern: Criminals are looking for an easy target they can rob fast. Learn from the pros. Here are six tips from career burglars you can use to defend your home and prevent break-ins.

  1. Nighttime Burglaries Aren’t the Best Time
    Burglars like to break in to homes during daytime hours—the last thing criminals want is to encounter someone at home. Weekdays are ideal for thieves, since weekend schedules are too unpredictable. Between 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. are the most popular times because there’s a high chance people will be away at work or school.
  1. They Know When You’re Not Home—Thanks to Social Media
    While it’s tempting to post about your vacation to your social media feed, wait to share those trip photos and exotic location check-ins until you’ree back home. Criminals scout public social media accounts like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Foursquare to find victims.

Locating someone’s home address using basic information from their social media profile is surprisingly easy. In one survey of convicted burglars, more than 10 percent say they used social media to determine who was out of town. The same survey found one burglar stole over $250,000 in electronics and jewelry from 33 women he saw in public—he used GPS data embedded in photos they posted online to find their homes.

Even if all your accounts are private, that old friend from high school or new neighbor down the street could be a potential criminal. Never post what times you’re not home or how long you’ll be out.

  1. They Don’t Like Your Security Practices
    Burglars want nothing to do with alarm systems (whether they’re from the best home security companies or not). Homes without a security system are almost 300 percent more likely to be targeted for a break-in. If you do install an alarm system, make sure you guard it with a strong code. Don’t use your house number or birthday, and clean any dirt or grease off your keypad so a burglar won’t guess your code based off the numbers you’ve hit the most. Unlocked windows, unused deadbolts, poorly lit homes, and residences without security systems are prime targets for burglars, so make sure you are using the security features you already have.

Also, tricks that make it look like you’re home really work, professional burglars reveal. Burglars run from properties that look like people are inside. Motion sensor lights, bright flood lights, and timed lights are inexpensive security features for a home’s exterior that scare criminals away. TVs or radios left on, as well as cars parked in the driveway, make burglars nervous that someone is home.

  1. Great Targets Advertise Their Weapon Supply
    If you’re a proud gun owner, that won’re scare away burglars—it entices them. A gun is stolen roughly every two minutes in the U.S., so homeowners should be sure to always lock up their guns. NRA bumper stickers on a car or Smith & Wesson signs on a house advertises that there are lots of guns to steal.
  1. Shrubs and Architecture Make Great Hiding Spots
    Tall bushes are favorites of burglars since they offer an obstructed view from the street and an easy way to hide from neighbors. Keep shrubs and large landscaping features trimmed. If you want big plants by your windows, choose something thorny that will detract a burglar, like roses or cacti.

Think twice about large architecture features, too, like fences, half walls, and big fountains. Thieves are searching for crimes of opportunity, and such decor elements give a burglar more time to hide and plot their method of entry. The best defense is a clear view of your front porch.

  1. Valuables in the Open Help Them Decide on a Target
    Keep your expensive items out of sight. You’re making it too easy for a burglar by advertising the type of valuables they can steal. Don’t leave a new MacBook in front of your first floor kitchen window, iPads on your living room ottoman, or even a nice car in a garage window with a clear sight line to the street. Key hooks—especially with labels for each key—need to be concealed out of view from windows, too.

“A burglar appreciates such kindness, but you will find it expensive when you have to replace all the locks after a break-in,” says Mike Fraser, former professional burglar and host of the BBC show “Beat the Burglar.”

Fraser also advises to leave large family calendars out of view. You’re inviting a break-in by detailing when you’ll be away, he says. This advice goes for any ID documents, too. Mail or other personal information left in plain view is a gold mine for a criminal looking to easily steal your details for identity theft.

Using these tips can help you protect your home from break-ins. Also, be sure to research crime rates and trends in your neighborhood and state. Just like some houses are safer than others, some states are safer than others. Where does your state rank?


Using data collected by the FBI, ASecureLife compiled a list of the 10 states with the lowest numbers of recorded break-ins per 100,000 inhabitants in 2015.

Krystal Rogers-Nelson is a Safety & Security Expert for ASecureLife.

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

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Categories: Realty News

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.

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Categories: Realty News

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