Does Your Neighbors’ Age Influence Your Home Value?

You may never have thought of housing in this way, but exploring the ages of the people where you live—or where you want to move—can give you a high level sense of potential homebuying opportunities. Small towns across America have experienced rapid outmigration. And the main reason? Jobs. Young, working-age people are moving where the jobs are and buying up affordable housing in these popular places. In other words, your friend who is having a hard time finding an apartment in San Francisco is committed to the place because it’s an area where industry reigns.

This is where age enters the picture. The majority of the population in growing, high-industry areas are 20- to 64-years-old. The places that have been abandoned by outmigration — so much so that they will pay you to move there — tend to skew 65 and older. Basically showing that wherever young, working-age people are moving, housing is, or will be, in higher demand and therefore less affordable.

To illustrate this, we created a map breaking down the country by age and median home value. After looking closely at the top 100 metros, the three counties with the highest working-age population are home to top industries and also have housing affordability issues: Arlington and Alexandria, VA and San Francisco, CA. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Arlington and Alexandria are two of the most popular counties for homeowners commuting into Washington DC. They have high housing demand and home values well above the national median ($672,700 in Arlington as opposed to $217,300 nationally). And San Francisco? It goes without saying, but let’s say it anyway: San Francisco dominates the tech space with the largest population in their wage-earning prime, and its median home value is $1,359,000.

As the population in these areas deal with a housing crisis, the areas they have left behind are becoming more creative in recruiting them back. Places like Baltimore are literally paying people to move there. And it’s interesting to note that the cities where your paycheck goes a long way, tend to be in communities with less working-age people. If owning a home is still your American dream, that dream may be better fulfilled looking into places whose populations are under 20 and over 64 years of age.

Take a look at the map above and see what you find.

For the full report, click here.

Methodology

We used a ternary coloring scheme to map three sets of ages—young (0-19 years), working age (20-64) and elderly (65 and over). Each county is represented by a color mixture determined by its distance from the national age structure. This map is inspired by work done by Kashnitsky, I., & Schöley, J. (2018). Regional population structures at a glance. The Lancet, 392(10143), 209–210., and makes use of their code, published here.

Median home values by county are based on Trulia estimates. We use the Census Bureau’s 2010 and 2017 population estimates by age.

The post Does Your Neighbors’ Age Influence Your Home Value? appeared first on Trulia's Blog.

What a $250,000 Home Looks Like in Every State

Whether you’re simply browsing or looking to relocate, we’ve scoped out a home for sale for $250,000 in each of the largest cities in every state for $250,000, which is just shy of the national median list price of $289,000. These homes range from from 900 square feet in New York City to 3,504 square feet in Wichita, KS, and show where you can get the most bang for your buck.

  •  

     



    $250K-in-Every-State-Birmingham-AL

    Alabama

    Alabama: Birmingham
    Three Bedroom House
    $250,000

  •  

     



    $250K-in-Every-State-Anchorage-AK

    Alaska

    Alaska: Anchorage
    Three Bedroom Home
    $250,000

  •  

     



    $250K-in-Every-State-Phoenix-AZ

    Arizona

    Arizona: Phoenix
    Three Bedroom Home
    $259,000

  •  

     



    Arkansas

    Arkansas: Little Rock
    Four Bedroom Home
    $250,000

  •  

     



    California

    California: Los Angeles
    Three Bedroom House
    $255,000

  •  

     



    $250K-Homes-Across-America-Denver-CO

    Colorado

    Colorado: Denver
    Two Bedroom Condo
    $250,000

  •  

     



    $250K-Homes-Across-America-Bridgeport-CT

    Connecticut

    Connecticut: Bridgeport
    Nine Bedroom Townhouse
    $255,000

  •  

     



    $250K-Homes-Across-America-Wilmington-DE

    Delaware

    Delaware: Wilmington
    Three Bedroom House
    $250,000

  •  

     



    $250K-Homes-Across-America-Jacksonville-FL

    Florida

    Florida: Jacksonville
    Four Bedroom Home
    $254,900

  •  

     



    $250K-Homes-Across-America-Atlanta-GA

    Georgia

    Georgia: Atlanta
    Four Bedroom House
    $250,000

  •  

     



    $250K-Homes-Across-America-Honolulu-HI

    Hawaii

    Hawaii: Honolulu
    One Bedroom Condo
    $250,000

  •  

     



    Idaho

    Idaho: Boise
    Three Bedroom Home
    $259,900

  •  

     



    Illinois

    Illinois: Chicago
    One Bedroom Apartment
    $250,000

  •  

     



    $250K-Homes-Across-America-Indianapolis-IN

    Indiana

    Indiana: Indianapolis
    Four Bedroom Home
    $250,000

  •  

     



    Iowa

    Iowa: Des Moines
    Three Bedroom Home
    $250,000

  •  

     



    Kansas

    Kansas: Wichita
    Five Bedroom Home
    $250,000

  •  

     



    $250K-Homes-Across-America-Louisville-KY

    Kentucky

    Kentucky: Louisville
    Two Bedroom House
    $250,000

  •  

     



    Louisiana

    Louisiana: New Orleans
    Three Bedroom House
    $250,000

  •  

     



    Maine

    Maine: Portland
    Three Bedroom Home
    $250,000

  •  

     



    Maryland

    Maryland: Baltimore
    Four Bedroom House
    $250,000

  •  

     



    $250K-Homes-Across-America-Boston-MA

    Massachusetts

    Massachusettes: Boston
    Three Bedroom Condo
    $250,000

  •  

     



    $250K-Homes-Across-America-Detroit-MI

    Michigan

    Michigan: Detroit
    Four Bedroom Home
    $250,000

  •  

     



    Minnesota

    Minnesota: Minneapolis
    Three Bedroom House
    $250,000

  •  

     



    $250K-Homes-Across-America-Jackson-MS

    Mississippi

    Mississippi: Jackson
    Four Bedroom House
    $250,000

  •  

     



    $250K-Homes-Across-America-Kansas-City-MO

    Missouri

    Missouri: Kansas City
    Four Bedroom House
    $250,000

  •  

     



    Montana

    Montana: Billings
    Two Bedroom Townhouse
    $250,000

  •  

     



    $250K-Homes-Across-America-Omaha-NE

    Nebraska

    Nebraska: Omaha
    Four Bedroom House
    $250,000

  •  

     



    Nevada

  •  

     



    New Hampshire

    New Hampshire: Manchester
    Two Bedroom House
    $250,000

  •  

     



    New Jersey

    New Jersey: Newark
    Three Bedroom Townhouse
    $259,800

  •  

     



    New Mexico

    New Mexico: Albuquerque
    Three Bedroom House
    $250,000

  •  

     



    $250K-Homes-Across-America-New York-NY

    New York

    New York: New York
    Three Bedroom Coop
    $250,000

  •  

     



    $250K-Homes-Across-America-Charlotte-NC

    North Carolina

    North Carolina: Charlotte
    Four Bedroom Home
    $250,000

  •  

     



    $250K-Homes-Across-America-Fargo-ND

    North Dakota

    North Dakota: Fargo
    Four Bedroom House
    $250,000

  •  

     



    $250K-Homes-Across-America-Columbus-OH

    Ohio

    Ohio: Columbus
    Three Bedroom Home
    $250,000

  •  

     



    $250K-Homes-Across-America-Oklahoma-City-OK

    Oklahoma

    Oklahoma: Oklahoma City
    Four Bedroom House
    $250,000

  •  

     



    $250K-Homes-Across-America-Portland-OR

    Oregon

    Oregon: Portland
    Two Bedroom House
    $250,000

  •  

     



    Pennslyvania

    Pennslyvania: Philadelphia
    Three Bedroom House
    $250,000

  •  

     



    $250K-Homes-Across-America-Providence-RI

    Rhode Island

    Rhode Island: Providence
    Four Bedroom House
    $250,000

  •  

     



    $250K-Homes-Across-America-Charleston-SC

    South Carolina

    South Carolina: Charleston
    Three Bedroom House
    $250,000

  •  

     



    $250K-Homes-Across-America-Sioux-Falls-SD

    South Dakota

    South Dakota: Sioux Falls
    Four Bedroom House
    $250,000

  •  

     



    $250K-Homes-Across-America-Nashville-TN

    Tennessee

    Tennessee: Nashville
    Three Bedroom House
    $250,000

  •  

     



    $250K-Homes-Across-America-Houston-TX

    Texas

    Texas: Houston
    Two Bedroom Apartment
    $250,000

  •  

     



    $250K-Homes-Across-America-Salt-Lake-City-UT

    Utah

    Utah: Salt Lake City
    Three Bedroom House
    $255,000

  •  

     



    Vermont

    Vermont: Burlington
    Three Bedroom Townhouse
    $270,000

  •  

     



    Virginia

    Virginia: Virginia Beach
    Three Bedroom House
    $250,000

  •  

     



    Washington

    Washington: Seattle
    Two Bedroom Home
    $250,000

  •  

     



    $250K-Homes-Across-America-Washington-D.C.

    Washington, D.C.

    Washington, D.C.
    Studio Apartment
    $259,999

  •  

     



    Wisconsin

    Wisconsin: Milwaukee
    Four Bedroom House
    $250,000

  •  

     



    Wyoming

    Wyoming: Cheyenne
    Three Bedroom House
    $250,000

Any cities on the list that excite or surprise you? Comment below and let us know!

The post What a $250,000 Home Looks Like in Every State appeared first on Trulia's Blog.

Baltimore Will Pay You To Fix Up a Historic Rowhouse

If everything you know about Baltimore comes from The Wire or Serial, you might be missing the bigger picture. The grim version of Baltimore portrayed in those popular series doesn’t do justice to this beautifully historic, delightfully cultural, and truly livable city. And Baltimoreans are so eager to spread the word about their beloved hometown, they’re offering serious housing incentivizes to those willing to commit to Charm City.

It’s an appropriate nickname. Baltimore’s famously charming rowhouses are at the center of the city’s Vacants to Value program, which has been restoring the homes and helping first-time homebuyers purchase them since 2010.

It’s a big help for first-time homebuyers in a tight real estate market. The median home list price for the Baltimore Metro area is up 2 percent year-over-year to $300,000. And while housing inventory is up 6 percent over last year, that’s a fraction of the inventory recovery happening elsewhere: nearby cities Washington D.C. and Silver Spring, Maryland are up 21.9 percent and 16.2 percent respectively, and the similarly-sized Portland, Oregon’s inventory is up 21.5 percent.

Think you might want to take advantage of this special program for first-time homebuyers?

Baltimore rowhouses

Here’s what life as Baltimore’s latest rowhouse resident might look like.


What Vacants to Value Offers Buyers

In a nutshell, Baltimore’s Vacants to Value gives eligible homebuyers $10,000 towards closing costs for the purchase of a formerly vacant home. A wealth of other city- and business-sponsored incentives are available too, which can add up to tens of thousands of additional dollars towards restoration costs—the only catch is that the buyer must be the primary resident of the home for at least five years after the closing.

Why the generosity? Vacants to Value is the brainchild of former Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and other city employees. Their goals were to help residents build wealth by helping them purchase properties in their neighborhoods and to attract new residents—and it’s been a huge hit.

“A lot of what Baltimore has done is cutting-edge in the urban development field,” says Tammy Hawley, chief of strategic communications for the Baltimore City department of housing and community development. “We are working towards deleting blight; we are streamlining bureaucracy—selling properties in receivership, getting places up to code, and into the possession of hard-working Baltimore residents.”

How far does that $10,000 go toward the total cost of a Vacants to Value home? While many of the blighted rowhouses have a listing price in the $5,000 to $10,000 range, after a city-managed renovation, the sale prices land around $100,000 to $140,000 (less than half the median list price for Baltimore Metro homes)—meaning that $10,000 toward closing costs can represent a sizable portion of the total cost.

Buying Into Baltimore

Jason Hill, 31, and his husband Nic Thornton, 36, were lured to Baltimore by the Vacants to Value program. “About five years ago, friends of ours started looking here, and we frankly thought they were crazy,” says Jason. “Then we realized that for the price of a crappy studio in D.C., we could own a gorgeous, three-story home … and our $100,000 house here would be $1 million in D.C.!”

But first, they were in for a bit of a journey with their selected property in Baltimore’s Greenmount West neighborhood.

“When we first saw our house, in 2015, it had no roof, and it had a family of feral cats living in it,” says Jason. “We were lucky enough to pair up with a developer who had an in-house architecture team, and a dedication to green construction materials.”

Today, he and Thornton love to spend their weekends checking out cool restaurants and bars that are popping up all over Baltimore. “Nic collects clippings on all the new places we need to try,” Jason says with a laugh. “He’s the cruise director!”

And though they have an hour commute each way to their jobs in D.C., the Amtrak station is a quick walk from their new home—a larger and more perfect-for-them home than they could have afforded anywhere else.

“Baltimore has a slew of great programs,” says Jason. “We are both highly indebted student-loan carriers, with no assets—the efforts of the City of Baltimore made homeownership a possibility for us in a way we never could have done on our own.”

First-time homebuyers in Baltimore

Jason Hill and Nic Thornton purchased their three-story Baltimore rowhouse for a fraction of they would have paid in Washington, D.C. where they work.


First-time homebuyers in Baltimore

What was once a roofless shelter for feral cats is now Jason and Nic’s gorgeous new Baltimore home.


Building Local Wealth, Too

One of the most innovative aspects of Vacants to Value is that while it does invite outside investment, it also focuses on growing wealth for existing residents. Ernst Valery—the managing partner of SAA|EVI, an urban-development company who works closely with the city to renovate vacant rowhouses says his primary focus is “investment without displacement.” Offering existing residents a pathway to homeownership is good for them, and it’s good for Baltimore.

Ernst compares giving Baltimoreans the opportunity to invest in their own city to allowing startup employees to invest in their company early on. “The way I see it, Baltimore City is currently ‘pre-IPO,’ and when it goes on the open market, it will be too late for low- to middle-income families: They will be priced out just like they currently are in cities like D.C., New York, San Francisco, L.A., and even Miami,” says Ernst. “This is a paradigm shift—and it’s so exciting to be a part of it in Baltimore.”

One of the newest Vacants to Value homeowners is Kiona Pearson. Unlike some other beneficiaries of the program, she earned the restoration of her three-story rowhouse in the Woodbourne-McCabe neighborhood the Habitat way—through a year’s worth of sweat equity, contributing labor to the renovation of homes all over Baltimore with Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake, including her own.

“I moved into my house in February, and absolutely love it,” says Kiona, who grew up on the other side of Baltimore. “At first, I was a bit trepidatious—I’m pretty much a girly-girl, and on my very first day, we were mixing mortar! By the end, though, I was a whiz with the screw drill!”

And she had no small job in front of her. When Kiona first saw her house, it was a shell—it had no roof, and there was a board over the basement to prevent treacherous falls. “Now it is beautiful, and so quiet,” she says. “I love it here.”

Kiona now encourages all of her friends to take advantage of the program while properties are still available. And that goes for out-of-towners, too. If now’s the time to invest in a growing, vibrant Baltimore, anyone with East Coast dreams might want to consider getting in on the ground floor. With $10,000 available—and potentially even more—there’s no time like right now.

First-time homebuyers in Baltimore
First-time homebuyers in Baltimore

Kiona Pearson invested a year of work renovating Baltimore homes with Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake, including hers.


Lifelong Baltimore resident and new homeowner Kiona love her home and recommends the Vacants to Value program to everyone.


If you’re more the small-town type, you’re still in luck. Small towns across the U.S. are offering homeownership incentives as well, including New Richland, Minnesota’s free land deal.

Envisioning yourself in another city? Check out what’s available in your future hometown on Trulia.

Methodology

The inventory and median home list price data come from Trulia’s inventory report. For our inventory metrics, we take a snapshot of listings each Wednesday in the middle month of the quarter. Quarterly inventory totals are based on the median of the count each Wednesday. Price is based on the median listing price of every active listing throughout the month. We measure affordability as the share of income needed to purchase the median-priced home, assuming a 20% down payment and the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate in each quarter as quoted by Freddie Mac in its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS). Household incomes are pulled from 1-Year American Community Survey (ACS) microdata. We inflation-adjust 2016 incomes to later quarters. We use 2016 5-Year ACS data to estimate property taxes and insurance rates.

The post Baltimore Will Pay You To Fix Up a Historic Rowhouse appeared first on Trulia's Blog.

Baltimore Will Pay You To Fix Up a Historic Rowhouse

If everything you know about Baltimore comes from The Wire or Serial, you might be missing the bigger picture. The grim version of Baltimore portrayed in those popular series doesn’t do justice to this beautifully historic, delightfully cultural, and truly livable city. And Baltimoreans are so eager to spread the word about their beloved hometown, they’re offering serious housing incentivizes to those willing to commit to Charm City.

It’s an appropriate nickname. Baltimore’s famously charming rowhouses are at the center of the city’s Vacants to Value program, which has been restoring the homes and helping first-time homebuyers purchase them since 2010.

It’s a big help for first-time homebuyers in a tight real estate market. The median home list price for the Baltimore Metro area is up 2 percent year-over-year to $300,000. And while housing inventory is up 6 percent over last year, that’s a fraction of the inventory recovery happening elsewhere: nearby cities Washington D.C. and Silver Spring, Maryland are up 21.9 percent and 16.2 percent respectively, and the similarly-sized Portland, Oregon’s inventory is up 21.5 percent.

Think you might want to take advantage of this special program for first-time homebuyers?

Baltimore rowhouses

Here’s what life as Baltimore’s latest rowhouse resident might look like.


What Vacants to Value Offers Buyers

In a nutshell, Baltimore’s Vacants to Value gives eligible homebuyers $10,000 towards closing costs for the purchase of a formerly vacant home. A wealth of other city- and business-sponsored incentives are available too, which can add up to tens of thousands of additional dollars towards restoration costs—the only catch is that the buyer must be the primary resident of the home for at least five years after the closing.

Why the generosity? Vacants to Value is the brainchild of former Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and other city employees. Their goals were to help residents build wealth by helping them purchase properties in their neighborhoods and to attract new residents—and it’s been a huge hit.

“A lot of what Baltimore has done is cutting-edge in the urban development field,” says Tammy Hawley, chief of strategic communications for the Baltimore City department of housing and community development. “We are working towards deleting blight; we are streamlining bureaucracy—selling properties in receivership, getting places up to code, and into the possession of hard-working Baltimore residents.”

How far does that $10,000 go toward the total cost of a Vacants to Value home? While many of the blighted rowhouses have a listing price in the $5,000 to $10,000 range, after a city-managed renovation, the sale prices land around $100,000 to $140,000 (less than half the median list price for Baltimore Metro homes)—meaning that $10,000 toward closing costs can represent a sizable portion of the total cost.

Buying Into Baltimore

Jason Hill, 31, and his husband Nic Thornton, 36, were lured to Baltimore by the Vacants to Value program. “About five years ago, friends of ours started looking here, and we frankly thought they were crazy,” says Jason. “Then we realized that for the price of a crappy studio in D.C., we could own a gorgeous, three-story home … and our $100,000 house here would be $1 million in D.C.!”

But first, they were in for a bit of a journey with their selected property in Baltimore’s Greenmount West neighborhood.

“When we first saw our house, in 2015, it had no roof, and it had a family of feral cats living in it,” says Jason. “We were lucky enough to pair up with a developer who had an in-house architecture team, and a dedication to green construction materials.”

Today, he and Thornton love to spend their weekends checking out cool restaurants and bars that are popping up all over Baltimore. “Nic collects clippings on all the new places we need to try,” Jason says with a laugh. “He’s the cruise director!”

And though they have an hour commute each way to their jobs in D.C., the Amtrak station is a quick walk from their new home—a larger and more perfect-for-them home than they could have afforded anywhere else.

“Baltimore has a slew of great programs,” says Jason. “We are both highly indebted student-loan carriers, with no assets—the efforts of the City of Baltimore made homeownership a possibility for us in a way we never could have done on our own.”

First-time homebuyers in Baltimore

Jason Hill and Nic Thornton purchased their three-story Baltimore rowhouse for a fraction of they would have paid in Washington, D.C. where they work.


First-time homebuyers in Baltimore

What was once a roofless shelter for feral cats is now Jason and Nic’s gorgeous new Baltimore home.


Building Local Wealth, Too

One of the most innovative aspects of Vacants to Value is that while it does invite outside investment, it also focuses on growing wealth for existing residents. Ernst Valery—the managing partner of SAA|EVI, an urban-development company who works closely with the city to renovate vacant rowhouses says his primary focus is “investment without displacement.” Offering existing residents a pathway to homeownership is good for them, and it’s good for Baltimore.

Ernst compares giving Baltimoreans the opportunity to invest in their own city to allowing startup employees to invest in their company early on. “The way I see it, Baltimore City is currently ‘pre-IPO,’ and when it goes on the open market, it will be too late for low- to middle-income families: They will be priced out just like they currently are in cities like D.C., New York, San Francisco, L.A., and even Miami,” says Ernst. “This is a paradigm shift—and it’s so exciting to be a part of it in Baltimore.”

One of the newest Vacants to Value homeowners is Kiona Pearson. Unlike some other beneficiaries of the program, she earned the restoration of her three-story rowhouse in the Woodbourne-McCabe neighborhood the Habitat way—through a year’s worth of sweat equity, contributing labor to the renovation of homes all over Baltimore with Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake, including her own.

“I moved into my house in February, and absolutely love it,” says Kiona, who grew up on the other side of Baltimore. “At first, I was a bit trepidatious—I’m pretty much a girly-girl, and on my very first day, we were mixing mortar! By the end, though, I was a whiz with the screw drill!”

And she had no small job in front of her. When Kiona first saw her house, it was a shell—it had no roof, and there was a board over the basement to prevent treacherous falls. “Now it is beautiful, and so quiet,” she says. “I love it here.”

Kiona now encourages all of her friends to take advantage of the program while properties are still available. And that goes for out-of-towners, too. If now’s the time to invest in a growing, vibrant Baltimore, anyone with East Coast dreams might want to consider getting in on the ground floor. With $10,000 available—and potentially even more—there’s no time like right now.

First-time homebuyers in Baltimore
First-time homebuyers in Baltimore

Kiona Pearson invested a year of work renovating Baltimore homes with Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake, including hers.


Lifelong Baltimore resident and new homeowner Kiona love her home and recommends the Vacants to Value program to everyone.


If you’re more the small-town type, you’re still in luck. Small towns across the U.S. are offering homeownership incentives as well, including New Richland, Minnesota’s free land deal.

Envisioning yourself in another city? Check out what’s available in your future hometown on Trulia.

Methodology

The inventory and median home list price data come from Trulia’s inventory report. For our inventory metrics, we take a snapshot of listings each Wednesday in the middle month of the quarter. Quarterly inventory totals are based on the median of the count each Wednesday. Price is based on the median listing price of every active listing throughout the month. We measure affordability as the share of income needed to purchase the median-priced home, assuming a 20% down payment and the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate in each quarter as quoted by Freddie Mac in its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS). Household incomes are pulled from 1-Year American Community Survey (ACS) microdata. We inflation-adjust 2016 incomes to later quarters. We use 2016 5-Year ACS data to estimate property taxes and insurance rates.

The post Baltimore Will Pay You To Fix Up a Historic Rowhouse appeared first on Trulia's Blog.

Baltimore Will Pay You To Fix Up a Historic Rowhouse

If everything you know about Baltimore comes from The Wire or Serial, you might be missing the bigger picture. The grim version of Baltimore portrayed in those popular series doesn’t do justice to this beautifully historic, delightfully cultural, and truly livable city. And Baltimoreans are so eager to spread the word about their beloved hometown, they’re offering serious housing incentivizes to those willing to commit to Charm City.

It’s an appropriate nickname. Baltimore’s famously charming rowhouses are at the center of the city’s Vacants to Value program, which has been restoring the homes and helping first-time homebuyers purchase them since 2010.

It’s a big help for first-time homebuyers in a tight real estate market. The median home list price for the Baltimore Metro area is up 2 percent year-over-year to $300,000. And while housing inventory is up 6 percent over last year, that’s a fraction of the inventory recovery happening elsewhere: nearby cities Washington D.C. and Silver Spring, Maryland are up 21.9 percent and 16.2 percent respectively, and the similarly-sized Portland, Oregon’s inventory is up 21.5 percent.

Think you might want to take advantage of this special program for first-time homebuyers?

Baltimore rowhouses

Here’s what life as Baltimore’s latest rowhouse resident might look like.


What Vacants to Value Offers Buyers

In a nutshell, Baltimore’s Vacants to Value gives eligible homebuyers $10,000 towards closing costs for the purchase of a formerly vacant home. A wealth of other city- and business-sponsored incentives are available too, which can add up to tens of thousands of additional dollars towards restoration costs—the only catch is that the buyer must be the primary resident of the home for at least five years after the closing.

Why the generosity? Vacants to Value is the brainchild of former Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and other city employees. Their goals were to help residents build wealth by helping them purchase properties in their neighborhoods and to attract new residents—and it’s been a huge hit.

“A lot of what Baltimore has done is cutting-edge in the urban development field,” says Tammy Hawley, chief of strategic communications for the Baltimore City department of housing and community development. “We are working towards deleting blight; we are streamlining bureaucracy—selling properties in receivership, getting places up to code, and into the possession of hard-working Baltimore residents.”

How far does that $10,000 go toward the total cost of a Vacants to Value home? While many of the blighted rowhouses have a listing price in the $5,000 to $10,000 range, after a city-managed renovation, the sale prices land around $100,000 to $140,000 (less than half the median list price for Baltimore Metro homes)—meaning that $10,000 toward closing costs can represent a sizable portion of the total cost.

Buying Into Baltimore

Jason Hill, 31, and his husband Nic Thornton, 36, were lured to Baltimore by the Vacants to Value program. “About five years ago, friends of ours started looking here, and we frankly thought they were crazy,” says Jason. “Then we realized that for the price of a crappy studio in D.C., we could own a gorgeous, three-story home … and our $100,000 house here would be $1 million in D.C.!”

But first, they were in for a bit of a journey with their selected property in Baltimore’s Greenmount West neighborhood.

“When we first saw our house, in 2015, it had no roof, and it had a family of feral cats living in it,” says Jason. “We were lucky enough to pair up with a developer who had an in-house architecture team, and a dedication to green construction materials.”

Today, he and Thornton love to spend their weekends checking out cool restaurants and bars that are popping up all over Baltimore. “Nic collects clippings on all the new places we need to try,” Jason says with a laugh. “He’s the cruise director!”

And though they have an hour commute each way to their jobs in D.C., the Amtrak station is a quick walk from their new home—a larger and more perfect-for-them home than they could have afforded anywhere else.

“Baltimore has a slew of great programs,” says Jason. “We are both highly indebted student-loan carriers, with no assets—the efforts of the City of Baltimore made homeownership a possibility for us in a way we never could have done on our own.”

First-time homebuyers in Baltimore

Jason Hill and Nic Thornton purchased their three-story Baltimore rowhouse for a fraction of they would have paid in Washington, D.C. where they work.


First-time homebuyers in Baltimore

What was once a roofless shelter for feral cats is now Jason and Nic’s gorgeous new Baltimore home.


Building Local Wealth, Too

One of the most innovative aspects of Vacants to Value is that while it does invite outside investment, it also focuses on growing wealth for existing residents. Ernst Valery—the managing partner of SAA|EVI, an urban-development company who works closely with the city to renovate vacant rowhouses says his primary focus is “investment without displacement.” Offering existing residents a pathway to homeownership is good for them, and it’s good for Baltimore.

Ernst compares giving Baltimoreans the opportunity to invest in their own city to allowing startup employees to invest in their company early on. “The way I see it, Baltimore City is currently ‘pre-IPO,’ and when it goes on the open market, it will be too late for low- to middle-income families: They will be priced out just like they currently are in cities like D.C., New York, San Francisco, L.A., and even Miami,” says Ernst. “This is a paradigm shift—and it’s so exciting to be a part of it in Baltimore.”

One of the newest Vacants to Value homeowners is Kiona Pearson. Unlike some other beneficiaries of the program, she earned the restoration of her three-story rowhouse in the Woodbourne-McCabe neighborhood the Habitat way—through a year’s worth of sweat equity, contributing labor to the renovation of homes all over Baltimore with Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake, including her own.

“I moved into my house in February, and absolutely love it,” says Kiona, who grew up on the other side of Baltimore. “At first, I was a bit trepidatious—I’m pretty much a girly-girl, and on my very first day, we were mixing mortar! By the end, though, I was a whiz with the screw drill!”

And she had no small job in front of her. When Kiona first saw her house, it was a shell—it had no roof, and there was a board over the basement to prevent treacherous falls. “Now it is beautiful, and so quiet,” she says. “I love it here.”

Kiona now encourages all of her friends to take advantage of the program while properties are still available. And that goes for out-of-towners, too. If now’s the time to invest in a growing, vibrant Baltimore, anyone with East Coast dreams might want to consider getting in on the ground floor. With $10,000 available—and potentially even more—there’s no time like right now.

First-time homebuyers in Baltimore
First-time homebuyers in Baltimore

Kiona Pearson invested a year of work renovating Baltimore homes with Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake, including hers.


Lifelong Baltimore resident and new homeowner Kiona love her home and recommends the Vacants to Value program to everyone.


If you’re more the small-town type, you’re still in luck. Small towns across the U.S. are offering homeownership incentives as well, including New Richland, Minnesota’s free land deal.

Envisioning yourself in another city? Check out what’s available in your future hometown on Trulia.

Methodology

The inventory and median home list price data come from Trulia’s inventory report. For our inventory metrics, we take a snapshot of listings each Wednesday in the middle month of the quarter. Quarterly inventory totals are based on the median of the count each Wednesday. Price is based on the median listing price of every active listing throughout the month. We measure affordability as the share of income needed to purchase the median-priced home, assuming a 20% down payment and the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate in each quarter as quoted by Freddie Mac in its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS). Household incomes are pulled from 1-Year American Community Survey (ACS) microdata. We inflation-adjust 2016 incomes to later quarters. We use 2016 5-Year ACS data to estimate property taxes and insurance rates.

The post Baltimore Will Pay You To Fix Up a Historic Rowhouse appeared first on Trulia's Blog.

The Place Generation

Place matters to young adults. So much so that they are building their lives around the cities and neighborhoods where they want to live—not where they need to live for a job. In fact, just 11.9 percent of millennials cite a new position or a work transfer as their reason for a move.

What draws them to their ideal city? Our data show that for millennial homeowners, what’s happening outside their door—like shopping, dining, and community events—factors into their home-buying decisions more than the older generations.

Moving to a city for the lifestyle it offers and building a life and career around it requires a little bit of guts and certain amount of strategy. Here are five people who did it—and how they pulled it off.


Tara Mackay

Los Angeles, California

What Tara Mackey did seven years ago—quitting a prestigious job at Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City to drive cross-country to California with no job and $300 in her pocket—might sound unwise at best. But, Mackey, 31, had chronic health problems for which she was taking a staggering 14 prescription medications a day. The sunny Los Angeles lifestyle called to her.

“I wanted to learn about alternative therapies, from herbs to Ayurveda, and to study yoga and meditation,” she says, “and California seemed like the perfect place to do just that.”

Quickly, Tara was able to find holistic solutions to treat her illnesses, is now prescription-free, and has since started a wildly popular blog, The Organic Life. She’s also written two best-selling natural-healing books and launched a skincare line—all of which she attributes to wisdom she’s gained in her adopted home.

“It was so much better here than what I was expecting,” Tara says. “Imagine feeling sick for 25 years, and then finally finding a solution and regaining your health? Every single day I wake up and it is sunny and beautiful—I get up, I take the pups on a hike, do interviews, email, write. I am such a hippie, and it suits me here.”


Taylor Griffin

Bushwick, New York

A native of California, Taylor Griffin went to college and lived for a few years post-graduation in the Pacific Northwest. But it just wasn’t the right fit for him. “I had long been thinking about NYC as a dream—and I was 25, and I thought, if I didn’t do it now, I never will.”

He did it—with a duffle bag in tow, and with the help of friends who shared their couches while he found a place. Why was the move worth it? New York City’s active comedy scene. “Improv is my jam—basically my whole social scene is based on people I’ve met at UCB [Upright Citizen’s Brigade] classes,” Taylor says.

By day, Taylor is an Apple store manager in Manhattan. The job covers his bills in an apartment that he shares with two roommates in the popular Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick, which offers the fast-paced, access-to-everything, NYC lifestyle he wanted

“Hands down, my favorite part of living in New York is that there is always something to do,” Taylor says. “You could live here a lifetime and still discover new things to do, see, eat, smell, sit on, fall in love with, get mad at, wait in line for. It’s an entire world just a $2.75 metro fare away.”

Taylor’s big move and the pursuit of his craft are paying off in the city he has come to love, as he is now working on a comedic web series with his improv friends.


Ni’kesia Pannell

Atlanta, Georgia

Now 30, Ni’kesia Pannell grew up in Orlando, Florida where she got her Master’s degree in creative writing for entertainment. But Pannell set her sights on a place bigger than her hometown. At nearly twice the population, and with energy and culture to spare, Atlanta would be the perfect city for an entertainment-loving, style-conscious creative like herself.

“I called my mom to tell her I was moving, and she said, ‘What part of Orlando?’ She didn’t really believe me,” Ni’kesia says. She moved to the Northlake section of Atlanta in 2013, and she found her apartment—remotely from Orlando—by searching online and having a trusted friend go to check out apartments. However, despite her prestigious degree, once she got to Atlanta, finding a job wasn’t as easy as she’d imagined.

After bouncing from gig to gig for three years, she realized writing about her Atlanta lifestyle—music, relationship, and her faith included—was her passion. “I started my blog in 2014, and it changed everything for me,” she says. Soon after, she was in New York for Fashion Week and arranged a meeting with an editor at Essence. Now, she’s the magazine’s food and travel columnist.

“I love the culture in Atlanta—you can’t get any of this, from music and fashion, anywhere else,” says Ni’kesia. “I go to a little spot called Cinco, just down the street from my apartment,” she says of her favorite restaurant. “I go there every Friday, and bring everyone who visits from out of town.” Today, Ni’Kesia lives in Marietta, which is five minutes outside of Atlanta proper. “My neighborhood is bustling,” says Ni’kesia, “I’m just a few minutes from Cumberland Mall and The Battery, where the spectacular new Braves stadium and lifestyle plaza has been built.”

Atlanta has even found its way into her professional work—Marietta Square in particular. “[It’s] where I go a lot to do photo shoots. It’s a little quieter, there are great little antique shops and record stores, and it’s a perfect place to grab a bite to eat.”


Alana Esposito

New York City, New York

Alana Esposito has lived plenty of places—including Greece and Paris—and has had plenty of jobs, from art-gallery administrator to freelance writer. But her heart has always been in the Big Apple.

“I grew up in Providence, Rhode Island, but my mom was from New York City,” says 33-year-old Alana. “I grew up visiting relatives in the city, and my whole life I knew I would eventually end up here.”

In 2015, she finally moved there. After a long apartment search, she ended up in a studio south of the West Village and north of Tribeca with an amazing rooftop.

“What I love about the city is that people feel free to be whoever they are, and, despite everyone seeming to be too busy to care about their fellow New Yorkers, people here do pull through for each other in dark times such as by volunteering to clean up and rebuild after Sandy,” Alana says.

She now owns an apartment on the border of Chinatown and the Lower East Side—it is a vibrant and culturally diverse area with global restaurants and magical little community gardens between the buildings.

Career-wise, Alana returned to her original field of study, international relations. “I work at a non-profit that is focused on the well-being of women around the world. Because of the time difference, I am sometimes on calls from 11 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., but that’s New York, and the subway’s always running and hailing a taxi is easy!”


Kate Brannen

Washington, D.C.

Just 25, Kate Brannen graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a dual major in PR and women’s representation in the media. She moved to Washington, D.C., soon after she got her degree, without any job prospects and not knowing a soul in the city, and ended up in the Vienna, Virginia area of Metro D.C. “It was super convenient because it was right across from the metro station and above a grocery store, and just a few blocks from the Mosaic District which has great restaurants, a movie theater, and shopping,” Kate says. From the beginning, she just knew D.C.’s career-focused, breakneck vibe was for her.

Brannen now lives in Arlington, Virginia‘s Courthouse neighborhood. “I love it,” she says. “People here work hard and play hard. Patios and rooftop happy hours are a way of staying sane. For me, it’s meeting friends in Clarendon for Wednesday night bingo, grabbing a drink at Courthaus Social or canceling out any workout with Fireworks Pizza.”

Sure enough, she eventually found just the kind of job she was hoping D.C. would have for her. “I started researching influencers online, and one posted a job,” Kate says. Her PR company does crisis counseling and marketing. Her favorite part of the job is the clients. “So many of them are involved in great philanthropy,” she says. “We work with the Olympics, we do a lot of pro-bono work, and that feels great.”

And the D.C. lifestyle is everything she imagined. “Living in Oklahoma, I had to drive everywhere, but here everything is so accessible,” Kate says. “I love that I can walk to work, jump on the metro for a short ride into D.C., and bike or run the miles and miles of beautiful trails that connect Virginia, D.C., and Maryland.”

How These Movers Made It Work

“Give yourself a good plan. Do your finances and stick to your home-buying goals.”

– TARA MACKEY

 

“Use every single network that you have—you never know who may have a friend or a relative with a place right where you want to be.”

– KATE BRANNEN

“Everyone gets happiness from different things. Pick something you have can control over. Things you can’t control? Relationships and jobs. Find something you are passionate about and focus on that.”

– TAYLOR GRIFFEN

“If you’ve moved to a new and unfamiliar place, and you’re supposed to be there, it will happen for you. Don’t let anyone, your family or friends, talk you out of your dreams.”

– NI’KESIA PANNELL

Want to make your big move?

Start Searching

The post The Place Generation appeared first on Trulia's Blog.

The Place Generation

Place matters to young adults. So much so that they are building their lives around the cities and neighborhoods where they want to live—not where they need to live for a job. In fact, just 11.9 percent of millennials cite a new position or a work transfer as their reason for a move.

What draws them to their ideal city? Our data show that for millennial homeowners, what’s happening outside their door—like shopping, dining, and community events—factors into their home-buying decisions more than the older generations.

Moving to a city for the lifestyle it offers and building a life and career around it requires a little bit of guts and certain amount of strategy. Here are five people who did it—and how they pulled it off.


Tara Mackay

Los Angeles, California

What Tara Mackey did seven years ago—quitting a prestigious job at Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City to drive cross-country to California with no job and $300 in her pocket—might sound unwise at best. But, Mackey, 31, had chronic health problems for which she was taking a staggering 14 prescription medications a day. The sunny Los Angeles lifestyle called to her.

“I wanted to learn about alternative therapies, from herbs to Ayurveda, and to study yoga and meditation,” she says, “and California seemed like the perfect place to do just that.”

Quickly, Tara was able to find holistic solutions to treat her illnesses, is now prescription-free, and has since started a wildly popular blog, The Organic Life. She’s also written two best-selling natural-healing books and launched a skincare line—all of which she attributes to wisdom she’s gained in her adopted home.

“It was so much better here than what I was expecting,” Tara says. “Imagine feeling sick for 25 years, and then finally finding a solution and regaining your health? Every single day I wake up and it is sunny and beautiful—I get up, I take the pups on a hike, do interviews, email, write. I am such a hippie, and it suits me here.”


Taylor Griffin

Bushwick, New York

A native of California, Taylor Griffin went to college and lived for a few years post-graduation in the Pacific Northwest. But it just wasn’t the right fit for him. “I had long been thinking about NYC as a dream—and I was 25, and I thought, if I didn’t do it now, I never will.”

He did it—with a duffle bag in tow, and with the help of friends who shared their couches while he found a place. Why was the move worth it? New York City’s active comedy scene. “Improv is my jam—basically my whole social scene is based on people I’ve met at UCB [Upright Citizen’s Brigade] classes,” Taylor says.

By day, Taylor is an Apple store manager in Manhattan. The job covers his bills in an apartment that he shares with two roommates in the popular Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick, which offers the fast-paced, access-to-everything, NYC lifestyle he wanted

“Hands down, my favorite part of living in New York is that there is always something to do,” Taylor says. “You could live here a lifetime and still discover new things to do, see, eat, smell, sit on, fall in love with, get mad at, wait in line for. It’s an entire world just a $2.75 metro fare away.”

Taylor’s big move and the pursuit of his craft are paying off in the city he has come to love, as he is now working on a comedic web series with his improv friends.


Ni’kesia Pannell

Atlanta, Georgia

Now 30, Ni’kesia Pannell grew up in Orlando, Florida where she got her Master’s degree in creative writing for entertainment. But Pannell set her sights on a place bigger than her hometown. At nearly twice the population, and with energy and culture to spare, Atlanta would be the perfect city for an entertainment-loving, style-conscious creative like herself.

“I called my mom to tell her I was moving, and she said, ‘What part of Orlando?’ She didn’t really believe me,” Ni’kesia says. She moved to the Northlake section of Atlanta in 2013, and she found her apartment—remotely from Orlando—by searching online and having a trusted friend go to check out apartments. However, despite her prestigious degree, once she got to Atlanta, finding a job wasn’t as easy as she’d imagined.

After bouncing from gig to gig for three years, she realized writing about her Atlanta lifestyle—music, relationship, and her faith included—was her passion. “I started my blog in 2014, and it changed everything for me,” she says. Soon after, she was in New York for Fashion Week and arranged a meeting with an editor at Essence. Now, she’s the magazine’s food and travel columnist.

“I love the culture in Atlanta—you can’t get any of this, from music and fashion, anywhere else,” says Ni’kesia. “I go to a little spot called Cinco, just down the street from my apartment,” she says of her favorite restaurant. “I go there every Friday, and bring everyone who visits from out of town.” Today, Ni’Kesia lives in Marietta, which is five minutes outside of Atlanta proper. “My neighborhood is bustling,” says Ni’kesia, “I’m just a few minutes from Cumberland Mall and The Battery, where the spectacular new Braves stadium and lifestyle plaza has been built.”

Atlanta has even found its way into her professional work—Marietta Square in particular. “[It’s] where I go a lot to do photo shoots. It’s a little quieter, there are great little antique shops and record stores, and it’s a perfect place to grab a bite to eat.”


Alana Esposito

New York City, New York

Alana Esposito has lived plenty of places—including Greece and Paris—and has had plenty of jobs, from art-gallery administrator to freelance writer. But her heart has always been in the Big Apple.

“I grew up in Providence, Rhode Island, but my mom was from New York City,” says 33-year-old Alana. “I grew up visiting relatives in the city, and my whole life I knew I would eventually end up here.”

In 2015, she finally moved there. After a long apartment search, she ended up in a studio south of the West Village and north of Tribeca with an amazing rooftop.

“What I love about the city is that people feel free to be whoever they are, and, despite everyone seeming to be too busy to care about their fellow New Yorkers, people here do pull through for each other in dark times such as by volunteering to clean up and rebuild after Sandy,” Alana says.

She now owns an apartment on the border of Chinatown and the Lower East Side—it is a vibrant and culturally diverse area with global restaurants and magical little community gardens between the buildings.

Career-wise, Alana returned to her original field of study, international relations. “I work at a non-profit that is focused on the well-being of women around the world. Because of the time difference, I am sometimes on calls from 11 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., but that’s New York, and the subway’s always running and hailing a taxi is easy!”


Kate Brannen

Washington, D.C.

Just 25, Kate Brannen graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a dual major in PR and women’s representation in the media. She moved to Washington, D.C., soon after she got her degree, without any job prospects and not knowing a soul in the city, and ended up in the Vienna, Virginia area of Metro D.C. “It was super convenient because it was right across from the metro station and above a grocery store, and just a few blocks from the Mosaic District which has great restaurants, a movie theater, and shopping,” Kate says. From the beginning, she just knew D.C.’s career-focused, breakneck vibe was for her.

Brannen now lives in Arlington, Virginia‘s Courthouse neighborhood. “I love it,” she says. “People here work hard and play hard. Patios and rooftop happy hours are a way of staying sane. For me, it’s meeting friends in Clarendon for Wednesday night bingo, grabbing a drink at Courthaus Social or canceling out any workout with Fireworks Pizza.”

Sure enough, she eventually found just the kind of job she was hoping D.C. would have for her. “I started researching influencers online, and one posted a job,” Kate says. Her PR company does crisis counseling and marketing. Her favorite part of the job is the clients. “So many of them are involved in great philanthropy,” she says. “We work with the Olympics, we do a lot of pro-bono work, and that feels great.”

And the D.C. lifestyle is everything she imagined. “Living in Oklahoma, I had to drive everywhere, but here everything is so accessible,” Kate says. “I love that I can walk to work, jump on the metro for a short ride into D.C., and bike or run the miles and miles of beautiful trails that connect Virginia, D.C., and Maryland.”

How These Movers Made It Work

“Give yourself a good plan. Do your finances and stick to your home-buying goals.”

– TARA MACKEY

 

“Use every single network that you have—you never know who may have a friend or a relative with a place right where you want to be.”

– KATE BRANNEN

“Everyone gets happiness from different things. Pick something you have can control over. Things you can’t control? Relationships and jobs. Find something you are passionate about and focus on that.”

– TAYLOR GRIFFEN

“If you’ve moved to a new and unfamiliar place, and you’re supposed to be there, it will happen for you. Don’t let anyone, your family or friends, talk you out of your dreams.”

– NI’KESIA PANNELL

Want to make your big move?

Start Searching

The post The Place Generation appeared first on Trulia's Blog.

The Place Generation

Place matters to young adults. So much so that they are building their lives around the cities and neighborhoods where they want to live—not where they need to live for a job. In fact, just 11.9 percent of millennials cite a new position or a work transfer as their reason for a move.

What draws them to their ideal city? Our data show that for millennial homeowners, what’s happening outside their door—like shopping, dining, and community events—factors into their home-buying decisions more than the older generations.

Moving to a city for the lifestyle it offers and building a life and career around it requires a little bit of guts and certain amount of strategy. Here are five people who did it—and how they pulled it off.


Tara Mackay

Los Angeles, California

What Tara Mackey did seven years ago—quitting a prestigious job at Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City to drive cross-country to California with no job and $300 in her pocket—might sound unwise at best. But, Mackey, 31, had chronic health problems for which she was taking a staggering 14 prescription medications a day. The sunny Los Angeles lifestyle called to her.

“I wanted to learn about alternative therapies, from herbs to Ayurveda, and to study yoga and meditation,” she says, “and California seemed like the perfect place to do just that.”

Quickly, Tara was able to find holistic solutions to treat her illnesses, is now prescription-free, and has since started a wildly popular blog, The Organic Life. She’s also written two best-selling natural-healing books and launched a skincare line—all of which she attributes to wisdom she’s gained in her adopted home.

“It was so much better here than what I was expecting,” Tara says. “Imagine feeling sick for 25 years, and then finally finding a solution and regaining your health? Every single day I wake up and it is sunny and beautiful—I get up, I take the pups on a hike, do interviews, email, write. I am such a hippie, and it suits me here.”


Taylor Griffin

Bushwick, New York

A native of California, Taylor Griffin went to college and lived for a few years post-graduation in the Pacific Northwest. But it just wasn’t the right fit for him. “I had long been thinking about NYC as a dream—and I was 25, and I thought, if I didn’t do it now, I never will.”

He did it—with a duffle bag in tow, and with the help of friends who shared their couches while he found a place. Why was the move worth it? New York City’s active comedy scene. “Improv is my jam—basically my whole social scene is based on people I’ve met at UCB [Upright Citizen’s Brigade] classes,” Taylor says.

By day, Taylor is an Apple store manager in Manhattan. The job covers his bills in an apartment that he shares with two roommates in the popular Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick, which offers the fast-paced, access-to-everything, NYC lifestyle he wanted

“Hands down, my favorite part of living in New York is that there is always something to do,” Taylor says. “You could live here a lifetime and still discover new things to do, see, eat, smell, sit on, fall in love with, get mad at, wait in line for. It’s an entire world just a $2.75 metro fare away.”

Taylor’s big move and the pursuit of his craft are paying off in the city he has come to love, as he is now working on a comedic web series with his improv friends.


Ni’kesia Pannell

Atlanta, Georgia

Now 30, Ni’kesia Pannell grew up in Orlando, Florida where she got her Master’s degree in creative writing for entertainment. But Pannell set her sights on a place bigger than her hometown. At nearly twice the population, and with energy and culture to spare, Atlanta would be the perfect city for an entertainment-loving, style-conscious creative like herself.

“I called my mom to tell her I was moving, and she said, ‘What part of Orlando?’ She didn’t really believe me,” Ni’kesia says. She moved to the Northlake section of Atlanta in 2013, and she found her apartment—remotely from Orlando—by searching online and having a trusted friend go to check out apartments. However, despite her prestigious degree, once she got to Atlanta, finding a job wasn’t as easy as she’d imagined.

After bouncing from gig to gig for three years, she realized writing about her Atlanta lifestyle—music, relationship, and her faith included—was her passion. “I started my blog in 2014, and it changed everything for me,” she says. Soon after, she was in New York for Fashion Week and arranged a meeting with an editor at Essence. Now, she’s the magazine’s food and travel columnist.

“I love the culture in Atlanta—you can’t get any of this, from music and fashion, anywhere else,” says Ni’kesia. “I go to a little spot called Cinco, just down the street from my apartment,” she says of her favorite restaurant. “I go there every Friday, and bring everyone who visits from out of town.” Today, Ni’Kesia lives in Marietta, which is five minutes outside of Atlanta proper. “My neighborhood is bustling,” says Ni’kesia, “I’m just a few minutes from Cumberland Mall and The Battery, where the spectacular new Braves stadium and lifestyle plaza has been built.”

Atlanta has even found its way into her professional work—Marietta Square in particular. “[It’s] where I go a lot to do photo shoots. It’s a little quieter, there are great little antique shops and record stores, and it’s a perfect place to grab a bite to eat.”


Alana Esposito

New York City, New York

Alana Esposito has lived plenty of places—including Greece and Paris—and has had plenty of jobs, from art-gallery administrator to freelance writer. But her heart has always been in the Big Apple.

“I grew up in Providence, Rhode Island, but my mom was from New York City,” says 33-year-old Alana. “I grew up visiting relatives in the city, and my whole life I knew I would eventually end up here.”

In 2015, she finally moved there. After a long apartment search, she ended up in a studio south of the West Village and north of Tribeca with an amazing rooftop.

“What I love about the city is that people feel free to be whoever they are, and, despite everyone seeming to be too busy to care about their fellow New Yorkers, people here do pull through for each other in dark times such as by volunteering to clean up and rebuild after Sandy,” Alana says.

She now owns an apartment on the border of Chinatown and the Lower East Side—it is a vibrant and culturally diverse area with global restaurants and magical little community gardens between the buildings.

Career-wise, Alana returned to her original field of study, international relations. “I work at a non-profit that is focused on the well-being of women around the world. Because of the time difference, I am sometimes on calls from 11 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., but that’s New York, and the subway’s always running and hailing a taxi is easy!”


Kate Brannen

Washington, D.C.

Just 25, Kate Brannen graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a dual major in PR and women’s representation in the media. She moved to Washington, D.C., soon after she got her degree, without any job prospects and not knowing a soul in the city, and ended up in the Vienna, Virginia area of Metro D.C. “It was super convenient because it was right across from the metro station and above a grocery store, and just a few blocks from the Mosaic District which has great restaurants, a movie theater, and shopping,” Kate says. From the beginning, she just knew D.C.’s career-focused, breakneck vibe was for her.

Brannen now lives in Arlington, Virginia‘s Courthouse neighborhood. “I love it,” she says. “People here work hard and play hard. Patios and rooftop happy hours are a way of staying sane. For me, it’s meeting friends in Clarendon for Wednesday night bingo, grabbing a drink at Courthaus Social or canceling out any workout with Fireworks Pizza.”

Sure enough, she eventually found just the kind of job she was hoping D.C. would have for her. “I started researching influencers online, and one posted a job,” Kate says. Her PR company does crisis counseling and marketing. Her favorite part of the job is the clients. “So many of them are involved in great philanthropy,” she says. “We work with the Olympics, we do a lot of pro-bono work, and that feels great.”

And the D.C. lifestyle is everything she imagined. “Living in Oklahoma, I had to drive everywhere, but here everything is so accessible,” Kate says. “I love that I can walk to work, jump on the metro for a short ride into D.C., and bike or run the miles and miles of beautiful trails that connect Virginia, D.C., and Maryland.”

How These Movers Made It Work

“Give yourself a good plan. Do your finances and stick to your home-buying goals.”

– TARA MACKEY

 

“Use every single network that you have—you never know who may have a friend or a relative with a place right where you want to be.”

– KATE BRANNEN

“Everyone gets happiness from different things. Pick something you have can control over. Things you can’t control? Relationships and jobs. Find something you are passionate about and focus on that.”

– TAYLOR GRIFFEN

“If you’ve moved to a new and unfamiliar place, and you’re supposed to be there, it will happen for you. Don’t let anyone, your family or friends, talk you out of your dreams.”

– NI’KESIA PANNELL

Want to make your big move?

Start Searching

The post The Place Generation appeared first on Trulia's Blog.

What It’s Like to Live in These American Gayborhoods

The Castro. Greenwich Village. Chelsea. America’s most historic LGBTQ neighborhoods have plenty of name recognition, but lesser-known gayborhoods are in almost every city in the country. And living in them is not all Pride parades and rainbow-clad bars (although there are plenty of those, too). From Salt Lake City to suburban Atlanta, we take an inside look at everyday life in these five fascinating gayborhoods.

 

South End, Boston

Good music is easy to find in Boston’s South End. See available homes here.

South End, Boston

Boston’s South End was once a jazz stronghold—now it’s a gay one.

With its collection of immaculately preserved Victorian row houses (the largest in the nation), handsome public parks, and sought-after restaurants, the South End is considered one of Boston’s most desirable neighborhoods. It’s also the gayest: According to the 2010 census, it was the city’s most popular neighborhood for same-sex male couples.

In the mid-19th century, the area was a haven for wealthy urbanites. When they fled for the suburbs in the early 20th century, the neighborhood became a home for African Americans, who brought jazz to the South End. Between 1915 and 1917, the top black musicians’ union in the country had its offices in the South End. Wally’s Cafe, one of the last remaining jazz clubs in the area, keeps the neighborhood’s musical legacy alive today.

Outside of jazz, there are many other beloved nightlife spots to be found—including the Boston Eagle, a long-running gay bar. These buzzy spots keep South End’s commercial district running late into the night, mostly with young professionals. But many of the leafy side streets are whisper-quiet. “While a lot of people like to say the South End is gentrifying, it’s not all for the worst,” says Jeffrey Borst, a retiree who has lived in the neighborhood for 12 years. “More families are moving in, and the food scene is better than ever. You don’t need to go to other neighborhoods for good food anymore.”

The centrally-located and increasingly swanky South End is among Boston’s pricier areas. The median home sales price is $905,000. (Elsewhere in Boston it’s $620,000.) Median rent lands at $5,350. The good news is the South End has plenty available to buy or rent.


 

 

Avondale Estates, Georgia

Avondale Estates Georgia is as quaint a town as they come. See available homes here.

Avondale Estates, Georgia

 Avondale Estates is home to the Georgia General Assembly’s first openly gay representative—and she’s still serving after 17 years.

This tight-knit community is only eight miles east of Atlanta, though it can feel more like England. Named after Shakespeare’s birthplace, Avondale Estates is full of tree-lined streets, small-town charm and an impressive collection of Tudor Revival architecture. Even the downtown looks straight out of the English countryside (complete with the Towne Cinema).

Avondale Estates not only has the state’s highest population of same-sex couples, it’s also had a gay representative, Karla Drenner, since 2001. She was the first openly gay person elected to the Georgia General Assembly and is now one of only four LGBTQ representatives.

The well-behaved suburb offers a flourishing food and arts scene—every fall is the annual AutumnFest, which brings together local artisans and food (including an apple pie contest). Because of the many families that call the Estates home—it’s home to a popular magnet school—expect to see lots of strollers on the streets, and plenty of family-friendly dining and entertainment options. “We really hit the jackpot,” one resident says in a Trulia school review.

Avondale Estates—while still affordable, compared to other parts of metro Atlanta—is seeing substantial growth in home value. The median sales price for homes is $322,500, up from $292,900 the year before. The median rent is $1,947, but the market for rentals can be scarce.


 

 

Marmalade District, Salt Lake City

Want to live in Salt Lake City’s Marmalade District? Knowing how to preserve fruit will come in handy. See available homes here.

Marmalade District, Salt Lake City

The Marmalade District was named after fruit preserves, so of course its first gay bar was called “Club Jam.”

Salt Lake City—or Utah for that matter—probably isn’t the first place people think of when they think of LGBTQ enclaves. But the city’s historic Marmalade District, located just north of downtown and west of the Capitol Building, has been drawing LGBTQ individuals for at least a decade—and they’ve helped shaped Salt Lake City into a welcoming place for all kinds of people.

The neighborhood was the original home of the Utah Pride Center, but many locals credit the 2007 opening of Club Jam, the neighborhood’s first gay bar, for sowing the seeds of inclusivity.

Speaking of seeds, the neighborhood was named after the fruit trees planted by early settlers, and every year the neighborhood council hosts the Marmalade Jam Fest, which features a fruit preservation competition.

The Marmalade District is quiet, residential, and picturesque. “Many parks, historic sites, cultural opportunities nearby,” one resident says on Trulia’s What Locals Say. “Ensign Peak is a couple of miles to the north, and is one of my favorite spots with stunning views of the entire south and western valley.”

The Marmalade District is considered part of the Capitol Hill neighborhood. It’s among the city’s priciest areas—the average listing price is $720,566. (The average listing price in all of Salt Lake City is $432,629.) In Marmalade, in particular, many of the homes are historic and highly coveted. The eclectic mix of homes feature examples of Carpenter, Gothic, and Italianate architecture.


 

 

Andersonville, Chicago

Andersonville is a gayborhood with more than its fair share of pickled herring and knäckebröd. See available homes here.

Andersonville, Chicago

Andersonville has a Scandinavian past and an LGBTQ present. 

The Boystown neighborhood may get all the credit—what with being the nation’s first officially recognized gay village and all—but nearby Andersonville, about seven miles north of downtown Chicago, is a gayborhood unlike any other. Swedish farmers first settled the area in the mid-19th century, and the neighborhood still has a strong Scandinavian identity, anchored by the Swedish American Museum and an assortment of Swedish bakeries and restaurants.

The community of about 110,000 has long been considered a lesbian enclave—it’s sometimes referred to as “Girlstown.” Many locals point to the opening of the feminist and LGBTQ-oriented Women and Children First bookstore in the early ’90s for the initial influx of lesbians to the neighborhood, and it’s still a neighborhood institution.

Thanks to Andersonville’s well-regarded public schools, more families are starting to call the neighborhood home. But young, single adults can still find a bustling downtown area with beloved, locally-owned shops and bars. “We don’t like to leave on the weekends,” Karen Krider says, who’s lived in the neighborhood with her family for six years. “It’s a small town not far from the big city, and a quiet, lovely place to return to each night.”

You can also find great value for your dollar in Andersonville. The median home price is $275,000. The median rent is around $3,850, and there are lots of properties to be found.


 

 

Washington Square West

When the neighborhood is named after a park, you know it’s going to be pretty. See available homes here.

Washington Square West, Philadelphia

Washington Square West’s rainbow-hued street signs make it one of four LGBT districts in North America to be visibly marked.

Though it was first coined “The Gayborhood” by a local newspaper writer in 1992, Philadelphia’s Washington Square West had long been the city’s epicenter of LGBTQ activity. Throughout the ’70s and ’80s, it was the center of Philadelphia’s gay bathhouse culture. In 2007, the city officially recognized the area as a gay village and added gay pride rainbow flag symbols to street signs throughout the neighborhood.

Washington Square West is within walking distance of all the city’s major commercial districts—but there are lots of local shops and restaurants, too, including many with outdoor seating, like Talula’s Garden.

“This neighborhood is central to everything,” one resident says on Trulia’s What Locals Say reviews. “I can’t think of a neighborhood with a better location.” The area buzzes with pedestrian traffic during the day, and its many bars keep it hopping late into the night. But the stately Washington Square offers a peaceful escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. On warm days, kids can be seen playing in the square’s fountain.

In Washington Square West, the average home price is $414,250, and the median rent falls around $2,600.

Looking for a more inclusive neighborhood? Find what’s available in these communities and more on Trulia.

The post What It’s Like to Live in These American Gayborhoods appeared first on Trulia's Blog.

What It’s Like to Live in These American Gayborhoods

The Castro. Greenwich Village. Chelsea. America’s most historic LGBTQ neighborhoods have plenty of name recognition, but lesser-known gayborhoods are in almost every city in the country. And living in them is not all Pride parades and rainbow-clad bars (although there are plenty of those, too). From Salt Lake City to suburban Atlanta, we take an inside look at everyday life in these five fascinating gayborhoods.

 

South End, Boston

Good music is easy to find in Boston’s South End. See available homes here.

South End, Boston

Boston’s South End was once a jazz stronghold—now it’s a gay one.

With its collection of immaculately preserved Victorian row houses (the largest in the nation), handsome public parks, and sought-after restaurants, the South End is considered one of Boston’s most desirable neighborhoods. It’s also the gayest: According to the 2010 census, it was the city’s most popular neighborhood for same-sex male couples.

In the mid-19th century, the area was a haven for wealthy urbanites. When they fled for the suburbs in the early 20th century, the neighborhood became a home for African Americans, who brought jazz to the South End. Between 1915 and 1917, the top black musicians’ union in the country had its offices in the South End. Wally’s Cafe, one of the last remaining jazz clubs in the area, keeps the neighborhood’s musical legacy alive today.

Outside of jazz, there are many other beloved nightlife spots to be found—including the Boston Eagle, a long-running gay bar. These buzzy spots keep South End’s commercial district running late into the night, mostly with young professionals. But many of the leafy side streets are whisper-quiet. “While a lot of people like to say the South End is gentrifying, it’s not all for the worst,” says Jeffrey Borst, a retiree who has lived in the neighborhood for 12 years. “More families are moving in, and the food scene is better than ever. You don’t need to go to other neighborhoods for good food anymore.”

The centrally-located and increasingly swanky South End is among Boston’s pricier areas. The median home sales price is $905,000. (Elsewhere in Boston it’s $620,000.) Median rent lands at $5,350. The good news is the South End has plenty available to buy or rent.


 

 

Avondale Estates, Georgia

Avondale Estates Georgia is as quaint a town as they come. See available homes here.

Avondale Estates, Georgia

 Avondale Estates is home to the Georgia General Assembly’s first openly gay representative—and she’s still serving after 17 years.

This tight-knit community is only eight miles east of Atlanta, though it can feel more like England. Named after Shakespeare’s birthplace, Avondale Estates is full of tree-lined streets, small-town charm and an impressive collection of Tudor Revival architecture. Even the downtown looks straight out of the English countryside (complete with the Towne Cinema).

Avondale Estates not only has the state’s highest population of same-sex couples, it’s also had a gay representative, Karla Drenner, since 2001. She was the first openly gay person elected to the Georgia General Assembly and is now one of only four LGBTQ representatives.

The well-behaved suburb offers a flourishing food and arts scene—every fall is the annual AutumnFest, which brings together local artisans and food (including an apple pie contest). Because of the many families that call the Estates home—it’s home to a popular magnet school—expect to see lots of strollers on the streets, and plenty of family-friendly dining and entertainment options. “We really hit the jackpot,” one resident says in a Trulia school review.

Avondale Estates—while still affordable, compared to other parts of metro Atlanta—is seeing substantial growth in home value. The median sales price for homes is $322,500, up from $292,900 the year before. The median rent is $1,947, but the market for rentals can be scarce.


 

 

Marmalade District, Salt Lake City

Want to live in Salt Lake City’s Marmalade District? Knowing how to preserve fruit will come in handy. See available homes here.

Marmalade District, Salt Lake City

The Marmalade District was named after fruit preserves, so of course its first gay bar was called “Club Jam.”

Salt Lake City—or Utah for that matter—probably isn’t the first place people think of when they think of LGBTQ enclaves. But the city’s historic Marmalade District, located just north of downtown and west of the Capitol Building, has been drawing LGBTQ individuals for at least a decade—and they’ve helped shaped Salt Lake City into a welcoming place for all kinds of people.

The neighborhood was the original home of the Utah Pride Center, but many locals credit the 2007 opening of Club Jam, the neighborhood’s first gay bar, for sowing the seeds of inclusivity.

Speaking of seeds, the neighborhood was named after the fruit trees planted by early settlers, and every year the neighborhood council hosts the Marmalade Jam Fest, which features a fruit preservation competition.

The Marmalade District is quiet, residential, and picturesque. “Many parks, historic sites, cultural opportunities nearby,” one resident says on Trulia’s What Locals Say. “Ensign Peak is a couple of miles to the north, and is one of my favorite spots with stunning views of the entire south and western valley.”

The Marmalade District is considered part of the Capitol Hill neighborhood. It’s among the city’s priciest areas—the average listing price is $720,566. (The average listing price in all of Salt Lake City is $432,629.) In Marmalade, in particular, many of the homes are historic and highly coveted. The eclectic mix of homes feature examples of Carpenter, Gothic, and Italianate architecture.


 

 

Andersonville, Chicago

Andersonville is a gayborhood with more than its fair share of pickled herring and knäckebröd. See available homes here.

Andersonville, Chicago

Andersonville has a Scandinavian past and an LGBTQ present. 

The Boystown neighborhood may get all the credit—what with being the nation’s first officially recognized gay village and all—but nearby Andersonville, about seven miles north of downtown Chicago, is a gayborhood unlike any other. Swedish farmers first settled the area in the mid-19th century, and the neighborhood still has a strong Scandinavian identity, anchored by the Swedish American Museum and an assortment of Swedish bakeries and restaurants.

The community of about 110,000 has long been considered a lesbian enclave—it’s sometimes referred to as “Girlstown.” Many locals point to the opening of the feminist and LGBTQ-oriented Women and Children First bookstore in the early ’90s for the initial influx of lesbians to the neighborhood, and it’s still a neighborhood institution.

Thanks to Andersonville’s well-regarded public schools, more families are starting to call the neighborhood home. But young, single adults can still find a bustling downtown area with beloved, locally-owned shops and bars. “We don’t like to leave on the weekends,” Karen Krider says, who’s lived in the neighborhood with her family for six years. “It’s a small town not far from the big city, and a quiet, lovely place to return to each night.”

You can also find great value for your dollar in Andersonville. The median home price is $275,000. The median rent is around $3,850, and there are lots of properties to be found.


 

 

Washington Square West

When the neighborhood is named after a park, you know it’s going to be pretty. See available homes here.

Washington Square West, Philadelphia

Washington Square West’s rainbow-hued street signs make it one of four LGBT districts in North America to be visibly marked.

Though it was first coined “The Gayborhood” by a local newspaper writer in 1992, Philadelphia’s Washington Square West had long been the city’s epicenter of LGBTQ activity. Throughout the ’70s and ’80s, it was the center of Philadelphia’s gay bathhouse culture. In 2007, the city officially recognized the area as a gay village and added gay pride rainbow flag symbols to street signs throughout the neighborhood.

Washington Square West is within walking distance of all the city’s major commercial districts—but there are lots of local shops and restaurants, too, including many with outdoor seating, like Talula’s Garden.

“This neighborhood is central to everything,” one resident says on Trulia’s What Locals Say reviews. “I can’t think of a neighborhood with a better location.” The area buzzes with pedestrian traffic during the day, and its many bars keep it hopping late into the night. But the stately Washington Square offers a peaceful escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. On warm days, kids can be seen playing in the square’s fountain.

In Washington Square West, the average home price is $414,250, and the median rent falls around $2,600.

Looking for a more inclusive neighborhood? Find what’s available in these communities and more on Trulia.

The post What It’s Like to Live in These American Gayborhoods appeared first on Trulia's Blog.