A Possible Housing Meltdown? These Experts Respectfully Disagree

June 6th, 2016

A Possible Housing Meltdown? These Experts Respectfully Disagree | Keeping Current Matters

We want to let you know that “rumors of a new market meltdown” are not based on any reputable data. As proof, we offer you the comments of the following experts who have a totally different view on the current housing market.

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR:

“In spite of deficient supply levels, stock market volatility and the paltry economic growth seen so far this year, the housing market did show resilience and had its best first quarter of existing-sales since 2007.”

Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist at realtor.com:

“We had a triple crown of April home sales reports, so 2016 is in the pole position to earn best year of home sales in a decade.”

Andrea Riquier, MarketWatch housing reporter:

“I’m calling the end of the housing “recovery.” On to ‘expansion.’”

Freddie Mac:

“Despite the disappointing economic reports, we still forecast housing to maintain its momentum in 2016.”

Steven Russolillo, Wall Street Journal housing reporter:

“A recent gauge of home builder sentiment held firmly in positive territory, according to the National Association of Home Builders. Perhaps more important, expectations for sales in the next six months jumped to the highest level of the year.”

Fannie Mae:

“Our latest housing tracker shows that the first quarter of 2016 was the second fastest first quarter pace of home sales in the past decade… Home sales typically rise in the spring and summer months, and we anticipate an acceleration in home sales that will surpass 2007’s pace by late summer.

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10 Mistakes New Home Buyers Make

June 5th, 2016

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This list is not in any particular order. Number 1 isn’t more severe than Number 10.

1. They get pre-approved before talking to an agent.

Let’s make sure we’re being clear on one point. Most agents want their clients pre-approved before showing them properties. The difference is that clients get pre-approved before talking to an agent. But here’s something to think about. Only 32% of home buyers report a positive experience with their lender. Over 1/3 of home buyers reported a “very to extremely stressful” home purchase. Why?

Because their lender can’t close on their deal.

Agents are known for being able to close deals. And agents work with lenders who they know can close on a deal. If a lender can’t close the loan, you don’t get your house and nobody gets paid.

A few months back, I watched in horror as a lady-client was badgered nearly daily by a loan officer who could not get her home loan closed. We finally had to switch lenders and the new lender closed the loan in 2 weeks. Just for the record: a recent report indicated that only 32% of home buyers had a positive experience with their LENDER. Listen to your agent!

2. They get a new credit card.

For some reason, when shopping for a home or even in escrow, people seem to want a new credit card. If you’re shopping at a clothing store and the cashier asks you if you want to save 10% by getting a store charge card say NO! A new credit card means they will run your credit which drops your credit score. And because you were approved, the lender now sees you have a new credit card with a new debt limit. Both the credit score drop and the credit limit impact your loan.

This is what I did as my mistake new home buyers make. I did this when I bought my first property. Two days later, the lender called me absolutely irate because my credit score dropped, thereby increasing my monthly payment and almost disqualifying me for the loan. All that to save $20.

3. They run up their credit cards.

Right in the middle of escrow, little Jimmy has a birthday and we MUST buy him the latest X-Box with the newest World of Warcraft. Oh he also needs that gorgeous iPad pro! BAM! Little Jimmy is happy and the world is a better place.

Not so fast. Charging up your credit card has a snowball effect on your home buying process.

There is a direct relationship between credit card balances and your credit. Look at what happens with you credit card balances.

  • As your credit balance increases, your credit score decreases.
  • As your credit score decreases, your interest rate for your home loan increases.
  • As your interest rate increases, your monthly mortgage payment increases.
  • As your monthly mortgage payment increases, the amount you can borrow decreases.

Little Jimmy will live just fine without a new BMW for his birthday.

Unfortunately, this is a common mistake new home buyers make. It comes from old habits, whereby credit cards finance happiness. The best advice I can give is that you do NOT touch your credit cards at all during the escrow process. If anything, pay them down.

4. They buy a car.

WHY?!? You’re buying a new house and you need a new car?!?! I get it. You’re buying a new house so why not have a new car to go with it. Right? Wrong! Unless you’re paying cash, you’re going to have to finance that car. And when you finance your car, it affects your finances. See bullet point 3.

Unfortunately this one stays with you for the duration of your lease or until you’ve paid off your car. Again, the charge on your credit is seen almost instantly by the lender, thereby raising your interest rate and raising your mortgage payment. Usually this demolishes a buyer’s plans on purchasing a home.

This ranks up in the top 5 mistakes new home buyers make. The excitement of purchasing a new home goes to their heads and they suddenly want a new car. After escrow closes, then you can buy the new car. I don’t recommend it but go ahead if you mustafter escrow.

5. They change or quit their job during escrow or go on maternity leave.

Some friends of mine were expecting their first child. She went out on maternity leave 5 days before the end of escrow. Wouldn’t you know it: the lender called a day later to verify employment and freaked out to find out she wasn’t working anymore. The loan officer had to pull a miracle out of thin air to prevent them from losing the house. Wait until AFTER the close of escrow to change jobs.

This is what I call one of the “unknown” mistakes new home buyers make. Essentially when you’ve been pre-qualified, you should put your entire life on hold. No job changes, no new credit cards, no new charges on your credit cards. Nada. Don’t do anything.

6. Not Knowing the Neighborhood.

I often equate house hunting to dating. It’s easy to fall in love with someone until you meet their nightmare family. Same with a house. You fall in love with this property and you absolutely MUST have it! Forget the neighborhood!

When you buy a home, you’re also buying the neighborhood.

A few things. First: your agent should be able to give you data on the neighborhood so you know how the neighborhood is doing economically. Second: your agent should be able to tell you about any surprises going on in that neighborhood. Third: always visit the neighborhood late on a Saturday night. What do you hear? Oh look! There’s a Death Metal Mariachi Club that comes alive at night that caters exclusively to meth dealers and biker gangs. Discounting the neighborhood is another of the common mistakes new home buyers make.

7. The Commute.

You’re in love with a home that’s two hours away (factoring in traffic) from your job? Sweet Moses smell the roses! That’s four hours a day, five days a week. That’s 20 hours of your life every week that you’re not getting back. Maybe its best to consider the time you’ll spend in the car, away from your family and life in general. People do make that trek every single day. All the power to them!

If you grind this drive every day, it will wear on you. Most people, confident they can handle it, start envisioning a commute that is 15 minutes and not 2 hours. Unfortunately you’re stuck in your house for a few years before it becomes monetarily sane to sell and find some place closer to your work. Underestimating the commute is another common mistakes new home buyers make.

8. They count on appreciation.

Appreciation is how much a home’s value will increase (or decrease) over time. Markets go up, markets go down. It’s a fact of life. While everyone certainly remembers the housing crash that started in 2008, they forget that the mid 1990’s was also another crash. There was also one in the 1980’s. The 1970’s and 1960’s had one as well. Actually every decade has experienced a housing crash. It is not a question of “if” but “when”. My axiom is that there’s never a bad time to buy but there are horrible times to sell. Your long term focus should be on paying down your mortgage and becoming debt free.

I hear clients say “Yeah, I’ll buy this house and in 2 years my house value will have doubled!” Um… no one guarantees that and you shouldn’t think that way.

9. They use “Uncle Bob” as a home inspector.

Home inspections usually cost $300 to $400. But Uncle Bob is a contractor! He can do it for free! Have a professional home inspector do your inspection for you. Every qualified home inspector has a detailed list of EVERYTHING that needs to be inspected in a house. Your Uncle Bob won’t and usually doesn’t. When negotiating with the seller, the only source a home buyer will have to use is the home inspection report. If it is not listed in that report, you won’t be able to negotiate with the seller on any needed repairs.

It’s the buyer’s responsibility to make sure the inspector they use is qualified, certified and thorough with their home inspection.

Again, your agent has a ready-made list of inspectors who are top-notch.

This is not one of the common mistakes new home buyers make. It only seems to impact those people who feel they must always “have the deal”. They start looking at ways to cut corners. When you’re making your biggest financial investment decision, now is not the time to cut corners.

10. They buy with emotions.

House hunting is like dating. You’ve discovered your big “Why I want to purchase a home.” You’ve made a list of all the items that you need to support your vision. Suddenly you see a house that you absolutely MUST have. You’re dancing barefoot in the tulips! The problem is the house doesn’t have anything you indicated that you need. But you MUST have it! You lose your head, overpay for the house and forgive all those problems with it.

A year later, you’re miserable. All those problems your inspector found now haunt you and your wallet. This is the problem when you buy a home based purely on emotion.

The flip side to this is that you fall in love with a house, put down an offer, and you don’t get the house. Someone put in a better offer and that was accepted. It happens.

This is the most powerful of the mistakes new home buyers make. Emotions can get the best of us. That’s why it’s important to make sure you remain focused on your “Why” and keep looking for a house.

Summary

There’s probably a myriad of other mistakes new home buyers make but these are the ones I’ve witnessed more times than I can count. At the end of the day, the biggest mistake is that new home buyers ASSUME that once they are pre-approved that everything is set. They don’t realize that the lender is watching their finances very closely. Any change and they are all over you!

3 Ways to Add Emotional Cues to Make Buyers Feel at Home for a Quicker Sale

June 3rd, 2016
3 Ways to Add Emotional Cues to Make Buyers Feel at Home for a Quicker Sale
There are a lot of ways you can effectively stage your home to snag the attention of potential buyers, but there are often a few extra things you can do to really engage the senses of your guests. If you’re hoping for an instant offer and are pulling out all the stops to sell your home, here are some ways you can emotionally engage with visitors to your home.

Carefully Choose Your Color Scheme

You probably already have a fairly distinct color palette in your home, from the couch you’ve purchased to the tone of your paint, but that doesn’t mean you can’t spice it up with a few carefully chosen pieces. Neutrals like white, brown and grey are a great place to start, but instead of letting the room speak for itself, add a punch of color – like bright pillows or a bold throw – that will add instant appeal and make your home a little more memorable. Just remember that it’s important to use colors and patterns that aren’t too bright, as these can overwhelm your space.

Remove Your Most Personal Items

Many homeowners think it’s a great idea to have a lot of personal items around to draw people into their house, but too many items like this can actually distract your guests and may even make them feel uncomfortable. Before organizing your open house, ensure that you remove excess personal items like fridge photographs and frayed posters. Instead, stick with items like artwork or coffee table books which will still exude personality but won’t make potential buyers feel like they’re intruding.

Consider The Sense Of Smell

The senses are often drastically under-appreciated when it comes to staging your home, but they can actually go a long way in getting a lot more interest. Because smell can provide other positive cues that merely looking cannot, baking some cookies or muffins beforehand can be a powerful means of providing a great first impression and making visitors feels like they’re home. The addition of room spray or music may also mean potential homebuyers won’t mind lingering a little longer.

Successfully staging a home can be a matter of common sense, but engaging a buyer’s emotions can go a long way towards making an even better impression.

Contact me with your questions and concerns

Olya V. Krokos
M.A, REALTOR®
Sellers Representative Specialist
Master Certified Negotiations Expert

Sell NOW Before Competition Hits the Market

June 2nd, 2016
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In their current edition of the Home Price Expectation Survey released last week, Pulsenomics asked this question of the 100+ economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists they surveyed:

“In your opinion, what is the primary driver of recent home value growth in the U.S.?”

Here are the top four reasons given by those surveyed:

Sell NOW Before Competition Hits the Market | Simplifying The Market

As we have stated before, the current lack of inventory in most housing markets has caused home appreciation to increase at greater percentages than historical averages. This means that this is a great time to sell your home as supply is low and demand is high.

However, things may be about to change…

The fortuitous situation sellers see themselves in may soon change for three reasons:

  1. As more homeowners realize their equity situation has dramatically improved over the last four years, they will be more likely to put their homes on the market.
  2. With the residential real estate sector outperforming a sluggish economy, more home builders will be looking to add new construction inventory to a depleted supply of housing stock.
  3. Many banks are just now foreclosing on loans that have been delinquent since the housing bust. These houses will also be coming to market.

According to Daren Blomquist, senior vice president of RealtyTrac, in the Q2 2016 U.S. Residential Property Vacancy and Zombie Foreclosure Report:

“Lenders have been taking advantage of the strong seller’s market to dispose of lingering foreclosure inventory.” 

Bottom Line

In most housing markets, don’t wait for this additional competition to hit the market. If you are considering selling your house, now may be the time.

European Tour: Moskow, Russia

June 1st, 2016

Moscow is a city more than eight centuries old, evolved from a hunting village on the Moskva River to the crown jewel of Eastern Europe.

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Iconic monuments such as St. Basil’s Cathedral, Red Square and the Kremlin are the soul of the city, yet expressions of its architectural and artistic achievements are everywhere, including its 100-plus parks, gardens and squares. Life here is not lived cheap. Moscow is one of the most expensive cities in the world, according to rankings by Mercer Consulting, giving New York and London a run for the money.

Like many European cities, Moscow is laid out in concentric circles radiating from the Kremlin at its center.  The area between Bulvarnoye Koltso [Boulevard Ring] and Sadovoye Kolso [Garden Ring] is where many sought-after neighborhoods are located.

They include the small residential area of Patriarchy Ponds in the Presnensky District, a fashionable address for both Muscovites and expats alike and the site of many embassies. Chistye Prudy, once known for its butcher shops, is now a cozy area of lime trees, lilacs and elegant pre-Russian Revolutionary buildings. Buyers, especially the new moneyed class, are drawn to its tranquil European charm.

The Tverskaya district has a history of grand residences dating back centuries.  Quiet side streets, easy access to parks and international schools and limited residential building keep prices high.

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At one time, Moscow’s nobility took up residency in Arbat, an area celebrated in Russian literature. Its Art Nouveau mansions as well as trendy estates, curved lanes and gracious courtyards giving rise to its moniker Moscow’s Golden Mile. Immediately outside the Garden Ring is Frunzenskaya, an oasis of greenery, which stretches along the river overlooking Gorky Park.

Famed Russian author, Leo Tolstoy once wrote, “Happy is he who is happy at home.”  In Moscow, what makes many high end home buyers happy are residences with extraordinary bones that have undergone Western-style renovation, known as evroremont.

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How Does Housing Help Build Family Wealth?

May 31st, 2016

As the economy continues to improve, more and more Americans are seeing their personal financial situations also improving. Instead of just getting by, many are now beginning to save and find other ways to build their net worth. One way to dramatically increase their family wealth is through the acquisition of real estate.

For example, let’s assume a young couple purchased and closed on a $250,000 home in January. What will that home be worth five years down the road? 

Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists every quarter. They ask them to project how residential prices will appreciate over the next five years. According to their latest survey, here is how much value that $250,000 house will gain in the coming years.

How Does Housing Help Build Family Wealth? | Keeping Current Matters

Over a five-year period, that homeowner can build their home equity to over $40,000. And, in many cases, home equity is large portion of a family’s overall net worth.

Bottom Line

If you are looking to better your family’s long-term financial situation, buying your dream home might be a great option.

 

Questions? Let me help you

Call/Pm/email me

Olya V. Krokos
M.A, REALTOR®
Sellers Representative Specialist
Master Certified Negotiations Expert

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week

May 31st, 2016

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - May 31, 2016

 

Last week’s economic reports included new home sales, pending home sales along with weekly mortgage rates and new jobless claims.

New Home Sales Surpass Expectations

Sales of new homes surpassed expectations and the prior month’s reading. April’s reading of 619,000 sales exceeded expectations of 523,000 new homes sold and 531,000 new homes sold in March.  New home sales rose by 16.60 percent on a seasonally adjusted annual basis, which was the highest increase in 24 years.

Analysts said that April’s new home sales indicate that builders are increasing production of new homes to meet high demand for homes. Short inventories of available homes are credited with driving up demand and home prices. Buyers seeking family homes are contending with investor buyers and cash buyers in popular markets.

With affordability becoming limited in many cities, first time and moderate income homebuyers aren’t buying as many homes as they once did. This development contributes to slowing markets, as move-up buyers generally rely on first time buyers to purchase their homes.

Shortages of available homes has pressured home builders to break ground on new home construction projects, but builders continue to cite labor shortages and a lack of buildable lots as reasons why they aren’t building homes as fast as homes are needed.

Pending Home Sales Numbers Suggest Peak Buying Season Returns

Pending home sales were also higher than forecast in April with a reading of 5.10 percent as compared to expectations of 0.80 percent for April and the March reading of 1.60 percent. Pending home sales gauge future closings for home sales and reached their highest level in 10 years and posted a year-over-year gain of 4.60 percent.

Three of four regional readings for pending home sales posted gains, with home sales in the Midwest posting slower growth. On a year-over-year basis, he South posted a gain of 6.80 percent and the Northeast posted a gain of 1.20 percent. The West saw a jump in pending sales with a reading of 11.40 percent after posting a negative reading in March.

April’s expansion in new and pending sales suggests that the peak home buying season is back.

Mortgage Rates Rise; New Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported higher average mortgage rates. The rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage was six basis points higher at 3.64 percent; the rate for a 15-year mortgage rose eight basis points to 2.89 percent. The average rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage rose seven points to 2.87 percent. Discount points averaged 0.50 percent for all mortgage types.

New jobless claims dipped last week to 268,000 as compared to an expected reading of 275,000 new claims and the prior week’s reading of 278,000 new claims. Analysts said that New York school employees that were eligible for benefits boosted jobless claims earlier in May due to a non-typical law that allows some school workers to draw unemployment during school closures such as spring break or labor disputes.

Whats Ahead This Week

This week’s scheduled economic news includes Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, construction spending and reports on inflation, core inflation and consumer sentiment. No reports were scheduled for Monday due to the Memorial Day holiday.

Questions? Let me help you

Olya V. Krokos
M.A, REALTOR®
Sellers Representative Specialist
Master Certified Negotiations Expert

18 Easy DIYs To Consider Doing Before Selling Your Home

May 31st, 2016

1. Learn how to cheaply and easily make an ugly backsplash a thing of the past.

Via Dimples and Tangles

2. Tired of that ugly ceiling light cover? Want to focus the light on a smaller area? This DIY shows how to create a drum shade for your ceiling light.

Via Apartment Therapy

3. Here’s how to make your laminate countertop look like expensive soft-stone.

Via Rain on a Tin Roof

4. For vanity updates, grey is the new black. Here’s a DIY to create your very own modern, concrete-style vanity.

Via Hometalk

5. If you would like a little more privacy without cutting the lighting down too much, try frosting your windows with cornstarch.

Via Annabel Vita

6. You can hang a curtain from the ceilings to create the illusion of a larger shower. Giving your rod a few coats using gold spray paint adds a nice touch too.

Via Country Living

7. You can create this rustic upgrade for boring white walls by nailing and gluing 2 inch thick wood slices to a plywood backing.

Via Country Living

8. Upgrade those boring cabinets with thisshaker style DIY.

Via Elizabeth Burns Design

9. You can also create that beadboard country-cabinet look with a simple wallpaper job.

Via Weathered or Not

10. Enhance your closet racks with elegant end-brackets. See how here.

Via LonleyFashion

11. Add an extra dimension of style to your flatscreen TV by framing it using various moldings and trim.

Via Pinterest

12. By half painting a wall, it will make the room seem quite a bit taller.

Via Clive Tompsett

13. Use some inexpensive frames to upgrade any boring light switches.

Via Me Myself & DIY

14. Turn that plain jane cabinet into something amazing with some basic molding and a fresh paint job.

Via How Fantastic Blog

15. Make your rug nice and plush by using carpet underlayment.

Via Ever After Blueprint

16. See this DIY for the details on un-staining and restaining your wooden furniture.

Via Frugal Flourish

17. Here’s a great example of how to upgrade your bathroom mirror with the appropriate trim.

Via Liz Marie Blog

18. Finally, make your bed that much harder to get out of in the morning by dressing it like hotels do.

 

Questions? Let me help you with suggestions or finding household specialist who can help you to prepare your house

Olya V. Krokos
M.A, REALTOR®
Sellers Representative Specialist
Master Certified Negotiations Expert

Best Cities for Job Seekers in 2016

May 29th, 2016

Despite a slow but steady economic recovery, the nation’s unemployment rate remains stuck at about 6%, forcing many Americans to consider moving to find their next job.

“A lot of people, either single or with family, look at certain areas for career opportunities and where they’re going to see growth and success,” says Rebecca Harrell, a regional vice president at Randstad US, a national staffing and recruiting company. “Most companies enjoy providing opportunities for people who are willing to be flexible and relocate.”

NerdWallet’s analysis

To help guide job seekers in 2015, NerdWallet crunched the numbers for 100 of the largest U.S. cities to determine the best places to find employment. Here’s what we found:

Texas is the top state for job seekers. Six of our top 20 cities — including Fort Worth, Austin, Laredo, Corpus Christi, Lubbock and Irving — are in the Lone Star state.

It’s best to avoid the coasts. Most cities on our list are in the Midwest, Texas and the central U.S. Many places in California are low on the list because of relatively higher unemployment rates, low population growth and the high cost of living.

College towns welcome job seekers. Many of our top 20 cities are home to flagship universities, including Ohio State University, the University of Texas, the University of Minnesota, the University of Nebraska and the University of Wisconsin.

 We analyzed three factors to determine the top cities for job seekers:Job availability. We looked at unemployment rates for U.S. metropolitan areas to determine job availability in each city. A lower unemployment rate increased a city’s overall score.

Workforce growth. We considered the working-age population growth from 2009 to 2013. A strong rate of growth increased a city’s overall score.

Affordability. We equally weighted median income for full-time workers and median monthly rent to determine if a city is affordable. A higher median income and lower median monthly rent contributed to a higher score.

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Best cities for job seekers in 2016

1. Lincoln, Nebraska

This Midwest city tops our list largely because it has the lowest unemployment rate in the country. With a median of $722 a month for rent, Lincoln residents pay the least for housing compared with people living in our other top 10 cities. The city’s largest employers include the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, BNSF Railway and several medical centers.

2. Fort Worth, Texas

Just 30 miles west of Dallas, Fort Worth has a rapidly growing working-age population, with a 10% growth rate from 2009 to 2013. More than 22,000 of those employees work for AMR Corp. and American Airlines, and thousands more find jobs at Lockheed Martin, Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth and the Fort Worth Independent School District.

3. Columbus, Ohio

Ohio’s state capital makes our list for its low unemployment rate and the relatively affordable median monthly rent of $809. The city’s top employers include the federal government, Wal-Mart, Kroger, Ohio State University and JPMorgan Chase & Co. However, Columbus residents earn about $40,000 a year, which is less than the national median income.

4. Minneapolis, Minnesota

The larger of the Twin Cities, Minneapolis is home to several Fortune 500 companies including Target, U.S. Bancorp, Xcel Energy and Ameriprise Financial. Residents here earn the second-highest median income in our top 10: $45,640 a year. Even though the city has one of the lowest working-age population growth rates in our top 10, it’s still higher than the national rate of 4.1%.

5. Denver, Colorado

The Mile High City scored better than the national averages in all three metrics we analyzed. Residents here make about $45,242 a year, which is the third highest in our top 10. In addition to the Denver Public School District and state and local governments, the city’s employers include the USDA National Finance Center, Denver Health and United Airlines.

6. Austin, Texas

Texas’ capital made our list for its 12.47% working-age population growth and a low jobless rate of 4%. The city thrives in advanced manufacturing, clean energy and life sciences, and has earned the nickname “Silicon Hills” for its growing technology industry. Major employers include the University of Texas at Austin, Dell and Seton Healthcare Family. However, Austin residents pay $1,008 a month for rent, the highest in our top 10.

7. Greensboro, North Carolina

Greensboro’s working-age population is growing quickly, at a rate of 11.17% from 2009 to 2013. The city’s largest employers include Cone Health, the U.S. Postal Service and Harris Teeter, a supermarket company. Other notable employers include Honda Aircraft Co., Volvo Trucks North America and Mack Trucks.

8. Portland, Oregon

Portland’s eclectic mix of microbreweries, local businesses and liberal-minded population have helped give it the unofficial slogan “Keep Portland Weird.” The city’s workers earn about $49,616, the highest median income of our top 10, but it’s offset by a higher rent, about $956 a month — which is more than the national median. Major employers in Portland include Intel, Nike and several large grocery store companies and health systems.

9. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, the state’s largest city and capital, earns a spot on our list for its 3.9% unemployment rate, the 9.31% growth in its working-age population and the low median rent of $747 a month. Top employers include Tinker Air Force Base, a Federal Aviation Administration aeronautical center, Hobby Lobby Stores and Chesapeake Energy Corp. However, the city’s workers earn a median income of $36,718, which is the lowest in our top 10 and several thousand dollars less than the national average.

10. St. Paul, Minnesota

St. Paul holds many of the same economic characteristics that make its Twin City Minneapolis so attractive to job seekers — low unemployment, high affordability and a working-age population growth rate that’s higher than the national average. It only ranks a few spots below Minneapolis due to the median income being about $4,000 lower. The State of Minnesota, one of  the largest employers in the area, is located in St. Paul.

Methodology

Job availability: We looked at the October 2015 unemployment rates for U.S. metro areas based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A lower unemployment rate increased a city’s overall score.

Workforce growth: We considered cities’ working-age population growth rate from 2009 to 2013 with data from the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey. A higher growth rate increased a city’s overall score.

Affordability: We included median income for full-time workers and median gross monthly rent to determine if a city is affordable. The data for both metrics also came from the American Community Survey. A higher median income and a low median monthly rent increased a city’s overall score.

Note: This methodology is slightly different from last year’s Best Cities for Job Seekers in 2014. Instead of looking at overall population growth, we looked at growth in the working-age population. We used median rent, not monthly homeowner costs, to measure a city’s affordability.

NerdWallet examined the numbers for the nation’s 100 largest cities, but Honolulu, Hawaii, wasn’t included in the final list because of insufficient data.

Help with Relocation, call/email/PM me today

Olya V. Krokos
M.A, REALTOR®
Sellers Representative Specialist
Master Certified Negotiations Expert

The Best Places to Live—For You

May 29th, 2016

Find out where is the best place for your money

https://www.nerdwallet.com/cost-of-living-calculator/

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Let me know if you have any questions on relocation or finding Real Estate professional to help you with move

Olya V. Krokos
M.A, REALTOR®
Sellers Representative Specialist
Master Certified Negotiations Expert