Archives For February 2014

Are you tired of living in big cities with unaffordable housing options? If so, you may want to consider purchasing real estate in one of these 10 most affordable small cities in the United States:

Kokomo, Indiana
Population: 82,849
Median home price: $85,000
Median income: $60,100
Percent of homes sold that are affordable: 96.3%

Springfield, Ohio
Population: 137,206
Median home price: $76,000
Median income: $53,500
Percent of homes sold that are affordable: 93.3%

Monroe, Michigan
Population: 151,048
Median home price: $120,000
Median income: $63,700
Percent of homes sold that are affordable: 93.2%

Vineland, New Jersey
Population: 157,785
Median home price: $131,000
Median income: $68,600
Percent of homes sold that are affordable: 93.2%

Cumberland, Maryland
Population: 101,968
Median home price: $89,000
Median income: $53,300
Percent of homes sold that are affordable: 92.9%

Davenport, Iowa
Population: 382,630
Median home price: $94,000
Median income: $63,100
Percent of homes sold that are affordable: 92.5%

Lima, Ohio
Population: 105,141
Median home price: $85,000
Median income: $54,200
Percent of homes sold that are affordable: 92.5%

Bay City, Michigan
Population: 106,935
Median home price: $75,000
Median income: $56,100
Percent of homes sold that are affordable: 92.1%

Fairbanks, Alaska
Population: 100,272
Median home price: $205,000
Median income: $78,400
Percent of homes sold that are affordable: 92%

Mansfield, Ohio
Population: 122,673
Median home price: $91,000
Median income: $54,600
Percent of homes sold that are affordable: 91%

This article can be found in its original form on CNN Money.

Photo: Springfield, Ohio via Rob Hatfield/Greater Springfield GVB

Is there anything more dream-worthy than living in a French castle?

Once the residence of the Grand Duke Mikhaïl of Russia, this castle was host to many famous guests throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The house originally featured 25 master bedrooms, a beautiful ballroom, 2 billiard lounges, 2 smoking rooms, 8 service rooms, and 8 bathrooms—perfect for entertaining royalty and Russian aristocrats.

After being converted in 1947, the castle was separated into 14 individual apartments including this 2,185 square foot, 4 bedroom home, complete with living room, dining room, and two terraces facing the Mediterranean sea.

This Cannes castle apartment is listed with Anne Peche of Sotheby’s International Realty and is on the market for $3,924,753.

This property post can be found in its original form on Househappy.org or view complete gallery below:

The Millennial generation (those born between 1980 and 2000) is currently the second largest segment of homebuyers behind Generation X. As this group is only expected to grow, it is important to understand the different wants and expectations of younger buyers.

Here are 6 home “must-haves” of homebuyers under 35:

1. Updated kitchen and bath. The majority of Millennials are looking for updated kitchen and bathrooms because they simply cannot afford remodeling. “Most of their savings will go toward the down payment and furnishings,” explains Jack Curtis, a real estate professional in Dublin, Ohio.

2. Big kitchen, open floorplan. The kitchen is the center of the home and seen as a hang out place for many young buyers. In addition, Curtis says that “today’s young buyers are also more attracted to an open floor plan, rather than a layout that compartmentalizes the home”.

3. Home office. Due to advances in technology, many Millennials now have the option of working from home making home offices more appealing.

4. Location. Younger buyers tend to see location differently from their parents, says Chicago real estate broker Allison Nichols; “My younger buyers look for properties that are in proximity to public transportation and that have a good walking score.”

5. Low maintenance. According to broker Lou Cardillo, “Younger homebuyers prefer low upkeep features in their homes such as hardwood floors and granite countertops because they are attractive and hassle-free.”

6. Online photos. Younger buyers tend to start their searches online, which makes good quality photos more important than ever. According to the National Association of Realtors, 90% of buyers use the internet to search for homes.

The article can be found in its original form on ABC News.

Photo: Homedit

Placemeter Algorithms Output from Placemeter on Vimeo.

This startup is extracting measurable data from live video streams to help you avoid waiting in those long New York City lines. Placemeter’s vision technology is able to count the pedestrians, calculate how heavy traffic is, and determine what is happening at any given location; this data is then used to approximate wait times to give users the power of knowing what a place is like before they arrive.

Placemeter relies primarily on New York traffic cams; however, to maximize the accuracy of their information, they have created an app for users to contribute data. On their site, the company encourages people to dig out their old, unused smartphones, download the Placemeter app, and place the phone in their window, adding one more camera feed to the Placemeter data collection.

“With every new camera added to our system, we can provide more accurate information about more places,” the company says.

In addition to avoiding that long line at your favorite coffee cart, this real-time pedestrian data is extremely valuable to city planners and business owners.

Source: Placemeter, TechCrunch

Video: Placemeter

The United Nations projects that by 2050, there will be 9.2 billion humans on earth. To solve the impending predicament of where we are going to house all those people, USC professor Behrokh Khoshnevis has come up with the concept for a massive 3D printer capable of creating an entire 2,500 square foot home––in just 24 hours.

Professor Khoshnevis designed a printer with two crane-like arms and a crossbeam to hold a printhead that dispenses super quick drying cement. Though the printer could create the structure of a home, construction workers would still be needed to prep the space, lay down foundation, install window head jambs, and insert a metal ceiling between the floors, along with other finishing touches.

Can you imagine building your dream home in a single day?

Source: Dvice

Image: Dvice

There are many ways that consumers can save energy and spend less––adding insulation, buying a programmable thermostat, replacing single-pane windows, and installing a solar water heater, to name a few; however, many homeowners are considering energy efficient mortgages as an alternate way to go green at home.

Energy-efficient mortgages are a great way to maximize efficiency and finance the cost of improvements that will help you save energy. Fannie Mae, the Federal Housing Administration, and the Veterans Administration loan program all offer energy-efficient mortgages. Though you may make a higher monthly payment, lenders will not move forward with the project unless they believe your home will net cost savings.

In addition to the financial benefits, energy improvements will also help boost your home’s value. According to the Shelton Group, 81% of consumers say energy efficiency “somewhat-to-very-much” affects their home buying decision.

This post can be found in its original form on US News.

Photo: Inhabitat

If you’re looking to move to a city with a low unemployment rate and higher median salary, you may want to consider one of these 20 locations!

Every year, Forbes publishes a list of the 20 fastest growing cities in the U.S. The list is based on the 100 most populous Metropolitan Statistical Areas in the country and rated by six metrics including estimated rates of population growth, year-over-year job growth, and economic growth.

  1. Austin, Texas
  2. Raleigh, North Carolina
  3. Phoenix, Arizona
  4. Dallas, Texas
  5. Salt Lake City, Utah
  6. Denver, Colorado
  7. Ogden, Utah
  8. Charlotte, North Carolina
  9. Orlando, Florida
  10. Houston, Texas
  11. Seattle, Washington
  12. Atlanta, Georgia
  13. Provo, Utah
  14. Cape Coral, Florida
  15. Palm Bay, Florida
  16. Boise, Idaho
  17. Minneapolis, Minnesota
  18. North Port, Florida
  19. San Jose, California
  20. San Antonio, Texas

This article can be found in its original form on Forbes.

Photos: Homes for sale via Househappy.org