Go Minimalist in Marfa

It began with a pipe dream shared by so many urban creatives: In the 1970s, artist Donald Judd decided he’d had enough of the New York scene. He wanted to get as far away from the city as possible and concentrate on his minimalist creations, so he bought an Army base in a dusty West Texas outpost called Marfa.

The Chinati Foundation, now located on 340 acres of land, is filled with Donald Judd’s minimalist art. Photos by  Laura Miner.

Decades later, this little town in the middle of nowhere no longer feels out-of-the-way. Over time, it’s become an oasis for creative people seeking a respite from the pressures of city living. From artists to writers to film directors to vegan chefs, Marfa has become an increasingly popular weekend escape for the young and hip, a sort of Brooklyn in the desert. A trip to Marfa usually starts with a pilgrimage to Judd’s Army base-turned-art installation. Now run by the Chinati Foundation, it features a hundred of Judd’s signature boxes, as well as installations by several other major artists.

The fake Prada Marfa store you’ll pass on the three-hour drive into town from El Paso was created by a pair of Berlin-based artists as a reminder to ditch your pretensions at the city limits.

Say you spend a weekend in Marfa, perhaps at one of its either retro or modernist hotels. Say you fall in love with the flat, dusty spaces, the vegan-friendly restaurants and food trucks that open or close on a whim, the curated shops and boot stores, and the saloons that draw in renowned bands, particularly for music festivals like Marfa Myths. Say you want to build a vibrant and creative life far from the chaos of the big city. Then maybe this modular home about a 10-minute drive from the center of town is the place for you.

At $325,000, this 1,024-square foot pad has tons of open space and natural light.

Inside, you can literally create and design your own refuge.

Made of insulated panels and with cement floors, the eco-friendly materials stay cool in hot temperatures.

Everything in the interior, with the exception of the bath, can be removed and reconfigured to accommodate your vision.

Minimalist in Marfa

The neutral surroundings allow new owners to make their mark quickly, simply by adding new colors to the space.

You can also think about building on the five acres of land that comes along with it.

If you want to use the existing property as a studio space and build a home next to it—or vice versa—you can.

This is a spot for aspiring pioneers and adventurers. The property even has its own well with a solar pump, allowing you to escape the grid.

Not beautiful to behold, but a beautiful concept.

Of course, if you’re seeking something a little more polished, there’s this beautifully finished adobe bungalow in town, listed at the same price. Or, if you want a lot more house, there’s this converted adobe dance hall with birch floors and ceilings. Either way, there’s plenty of room to spread your creative wings in Marfa.

Is Marfa on your bucket list? What’s another creative town you love? Comment below with your experience.

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What You Need to Know About Buying a House in Summer 2018

Thinking about buying a home this summer? The sunniest time of year is great for exploring new neighborhoods and visualizing future patio parties during viewings. But before you start any serious shopping, it’s important to understand what the housing market is like for buyers right now, and what you can do to end up with the best home—and the best price—for you.

The housing market should be just as strong this summer as it’s been all spring. Existing home sales and list prices have risen this year, and starter home inventory has plummeted by 14 percent. But there are perks to house hunting right now, too. Here are some facts and tips to help you get the most out of this year’s summer housing market.

Summer Market Facts

  • Prices drop during the summer.

    Summer may be a busy home-buying season, but it’s not as crazy as spring. In fact, prices drop from May through October. If you can hang on until late August, you could find a really great deal—that’s when nearly 14 percent of listings get a price cut.

  • PMI is getting more affordable.

    There’s good financing news, too: Private mortgage insurance (PMI) is getting cheaper after PMI lenders MGIC and Radian lowered their rates this spring.

    “That’s going to cause most of these PMI companies to be competitive, which is going to bring them all down,” Knoxville real estate agent Nic Nicaud says. Because PMI is typically required when homebuyers have a down payment of less than 20 percent, that means it’ll be cheaper for some buyers to get into homes sooner.

Summer 2018 Homebuying Tips

  • Don’t discount older listings.

    When homes are flying off the market within days, it’s easy to think a listing that’s a week or so old is a red flag. Minneapolis real estate agent Danny Dietl says that’s not always the case. In his experience, it’s often because a buyer got cold feet and pulled out of a deal on a perfectly good house. But thanks to the assumptions people make about older listings in busy markets, the delay can cause the price to come down.

  • Consider a fixer-upper.

    In a competitive market, it’s important to be flexible. That could mean going with a fixer-upper, even if you were imagining a move-in ready dream home. There are just more of them out there: The number of starter homes on the market is shrinking, but there are 8.3 percent more fixer-uppers among them than there were six years ago.

    If you’re dead-set against a fixer-upper, Dietl says to be prepared to move quickly. “There’s only ever going to be a couple of options at a time,” he says. “And when new listings come on, it’s going to be pretty ferocious.”

  • Get to know the neighborhood.

    In competitive markets, it’s tempting to make an offer on any available property that fits your criteria, but if it’s in the wrong neighborhood, you may never end up feeling at home in your house.

    Take the time to do some community scouting before making an offer. You might notice convenient parks and new playmates for your kids—or be relieved to find more nightclubs than strollers on your block. You can even find out what your future neighbors have to say about the area with the new What Locals Say feature on listings throughout Trulia.

  • Make the strongest offer—even if it’s not the highest.

    Obviously, now is not the time for low-ball offers. But the strongest offer isn’t always the highest one. Dietl says cash offers are often the secret to a winning bid. “You can even actually be the highest offer by thousands of dollars, and a cash offer may take precedence,” he says.

    Sure, coming up with a cash offer could be tough for many buyers. But there are other ways to make a strong offer that don’t require gobs of money: Including generous contingencies, like a shorter closing or inspection period, and writing a great offer letter can help make your offer stand out.

Ready to start your hunt for a home this summer? Check out what’s available on Trulia.

The post What You Need to Know About Buying a House in Summer 2018 appeared first on Trulia's Blog.

Putting Their Money Where Their House Is

Thirty miles north of Seattle, at the end of the Strait of Juan de Fuca in the Puget Sound, lies a long, thin island, just 37 miles top to bottom. Nicknamed “The Rock” by locals, Whidbey Island is made up of two distinct regions: the North, where the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station is based, and the South, where the artists, craftspeople, and former tech executives live.  Whidbey Island’s rugged Pacific Northwest setting—with its massive Douglas Firs and migrating whale pods—attracts entrepreneurially-minded newcomers. For these new arrivals, the idea of writing a business plan and starting a company from scratch can be daunting. If they’re lucky, this is when they find the Whidbey Island Local Lending group.

What’s it like to live in Whidbey?

Find Out

A twenty-minute ferry ride from the mainland, Whidbey Island takes about an hour to drive from end-to-end.

Former New York Times reporter Graham Gori and his wife Iliana Lopez-Gori arrived in Whidbey with the hopes of starting something new. Describing their eureka moment, they say, “It started on a bone-chilling day in Whidbey. We were walking down the street and found ourselves craving the warmth of Latin food. We knew locals would love it if they could try it.” Though the couple raised $16,000 in a successful Kickstarter campaign to open their Latin fusion restaurant, they soon realized they needed more funding to get the restaurant off the ground. A friend mentioned the existence of a local neighbor-to-neighbor lending group. It was called Whidbey Island Local Lending, or WILL for short. The couple was intrigued and described what happened when they investigated the group: “We found an amazing guy who only invests in businesses right here in Langley. We were on our way!” They opened Portico Latin Bistro & Cantina in 2015.

Though the couple led a successful Kickstarter campaign, raising $16,000, they soon realized they needed more funding to get the restaurant off the ground.

Graham Gori and his wife, Iliana Lopez-Gori, stand proudly in main room of Portico Latin Bistro & Cantina surrounded by friends, family, and new customers.


Since 2012, Whidbey Island Local Lending has helped local entrepreneurs realize their small-business dreams, a boon for nascent businesses like Portico. From launching a print magazine to opening a ceramics company, from supporting a uniform company for carpet cleaners to opening a gourmet-bagel bakery, WILL’s approach of helping neighbors grant relatively small low-interest loans of 4% to 6% to each other is working. Its founder, longtime Whidbey resident Steve Shapiro, explains the surprising key to success: “WILL is not any kind of formal entity. There is no loan committee. Every lender accepts the risks associated with a personal loan and negotiates the loan amount and terms directly with the borrower. And while that might sound scary, it’s worth noting that WILL has loaned over $1.5 million, with only a couple of loans in default. In my opinion, this success is happening thanks to the social ties binding investors with borrowers.”

Success is happening thanks to the social ties binding investors with borrowers.

— Steve Shapiro, founder of WILL

And the lenders are passionate about their role. John Lovie, a semi-retired businessman who arrived on Whidbey Island from England by way of New Jersey, has made a number of loans—five current and three paid off—under the WILL umbrella. In addition to investing money, he advises local businesses, sharing his experience. Lovie’s first neighbor-to-neighbor loan was to a local farmer, Georgie Smith, in 2012, just as WILL was beginning. Upon learning that Willowood Farm was in need of capital, he provided a loan to help Georgie buy a refrigerated van, allowing her to deliver fruits and vegetables more quickly to top restaurants in Seattle. He describes what drew him to the program, “In a bigger, more anonymous urban place, life is transactional—you go to a bar and order a drink, pay for it and it’s over. Here, life is relational. If someone is late on their loan payment, you go and talk to them, person-to-person. It’s very different from how a bank would deal with delinquency, and it works. WILL has improved where we live and has helped to create at least 110 jobs.”

Photo of Willowood Farm courtesy of Paul Simoneau.

In an anonymous urban place, life is transactional—you go to a bar and order a drink, pay for it and it’s over. Here, life is relational. If someone is late on their loan payment, you go and talk to them, person-to-person.

— John Lovie, early WILL investor

Maryon Attwood and her partner Robbie Lobell were also beneficiaries of one of John Lovie’s WILL loans. Their business, Cook on Clay, produces pro-level, handmade clay cookware that can go from freezer to oven to table, cooking food at a more even rate than metal or glass vessels. People like Deborah Madison are fans. “Banks don’t like the size of loan we needed. We were lucky that there was a place like WILL in our community, bringing together investors willing to issue smaller loans of $1,000 and up,” says Attwood. “When we pitched our loan, we had multiple offers from lenders.” 

Maryon Attwood of Cook on Clayworks on one of her trademark pots. A thriving business, Cook on Clay has now become a lender in the WILL program. 


So how does neighbor-to-neighbor lending work? According to founder Steve Shapiro, it starts with the WILL Mashups where potential lenders and borrowers meet in person. Since Washington State regulation states that investors must have a preexisting relationship with the folks they’re loaning money to, Mashups allow both parties to meet in person in a casual environment. According to Shapiro, “Our Mashups are the antithesis of traditional, stressful meetings with bankers sitting behind a huge desk. It’s a time for neighbors to meet neighbors, drink some great wine, and share a vision for the future of their community.” At the quarterly Mashups, borrowers sometimes bring in a short presentation about who they are and what they do. There is one important rule, though: no money requests may be made at the mashups, which are a time for sharing ideas. Shapiro explains, “Sometimes we gently talk someone out of an idea that won’t work or we share resources for someone whose idea is only partway there. It’s really is a big brainstorming session.” If, after the event, a business owner wants to submit an application, they can do it on the website, where potential loaners can review it. “Sometimes, loaners will join together to work on bigger projects,” says Shapiro.

Mashups are a time for neighbors to meet neighbors, drink some great wine, and share a vision for the future of their community.

— Steve Shapiro, founder of WILL

Sharon Lundahl and her husband are former diplomats who invested in the Whidbey Island Bagel Factory in the Whidbey Island town of Clinton. She invested, she says, because she “wanted to invest in our community and we liked that the owner John Auburn kept prices under $10 so everyone can afford a good meal.” John Auburn’s need was uniquely Whidbey. He said, “The island loses power all the time. By loaning me the money for a generator, Sharon and Fred Lundahl helped with a critical part of my business.”

Oak Harbor residents Fred and Barbara Bennett, the husband-and-wife team behind Southern-style BBQ company ShoNuff Foods, were the recipients of a WILL loan too. They remind other small-business owners who might be interested in seeking a similar loan, “Some people go into it thinking they are on Shark Tank, but then they realize that the lenders are your neighbors. They’re a bunch of nice people who want to help you out.”

Photo of the Bennetts courtesy of Camp Casey.

Some people go into it thinking they are on Shark Tank, but then they realize that the lenders are your neighbors. They’re a bunch of nice people who want to help you out.

— Fred and Barbara Bennett of ShoNuff Foods

Damien and Tiffany Cortez dreamed of opening a bar in a historic building in downtown Langley. “We scraped together some savings, but it still wasn’t enough. I had $100,000 equity in my home, and my wife had a credit score of 780. No banks would lend to us.” Now the proud owners of the warm and welcoming Taproom at Bayview Corner, they marvel: “Within a week of meeting with WILL, we had our $25,000 to build the bar with no hidden fees and no collateral. Our lenders don’t want to repossess our bar stools if we go through a rough patch. What a great feeling that is.” Cortez believes that Whidbey Island’s topography makes all the difference when it comes to starting a business here. “It’s really easy to see where your community is when you’re here on the island.”

 

 

A Grassroots Approach to Neighbor-to-neighbor Lending

Steve Shapiro, founder of WILL, shares hard-won advice for people who want to start their own local lending group.

Make time for face-to-face connections. “A program like this needs a point person. I’m that person for WILL. I meet with each potential lender face-to-face to see that everything is in order. After that, I let the lenders and borrowers take it from there.”

Connect with other lending groups. “I was inspired by the Local Investing Opportunities Network, or LION, based in East Jefferson County. When I asked if I could adapt their paperwork, they were very supportive. I’m available to share my experience so that others can create a program where they live. They can just email us!”

Brainstorm a list of other interested locals. “My wife and I put together a list of about 50 couples on Whidbey who we thought might be interested and sent them emails asking them to join us. We got a hearty response.”

Keep it local and low-key. “No one who takes advantage of the WILL program ever has to make a loan, report a loan made, or even open an email from us. We do not have a loan committee, we don’t have a board. Remember, this is all about neighbors helping neighbors.” 

Thinking of life in Whidbey?

See Homes

The post Putting Their Money Where Their House Is appeared first on Trulia's Blog.

This Small Town in Minnesota Is Giving Away Free Land

Ninety miles due south of Minneapolis, Theresa Grubstad welcomes the same group of 11 retired gentlemen every morning at her Red Leaf Cafe. They talk weather and crops, and maybe a spot of gossip. Theresa is a familiar face around New Richland, Minnesota these days, but it wasn’t always that way.  She and her husband, Dean, moved to the 1,200-resident town in 2003. Now, it’s where they’re living their best life.

“We’d never been to New Richland before, but our real estate agent brought us here to see a home, and we just fell in love with the town,” she says. At first, Dean, a chef, found work at local restaurants. “In 2014, we were able to realize our dream of opening our own place,” Theresa says. “We now employ nine people—and it’s been wonderful.”

Could it be? Opportunity abounds in small town America? Not only is it true, but the opportunities in New Richland go beyond the entrepreneurial: The town is giving away free land to people who commit to building a home on it within a year—free parking and fresh air included.

With housing affordability becoming out of reach for many people in the nation’s largest metros, homeownership can seem like an impossible dream. Not in New Richland. And if thought small-town living wasn’t for you, this little city might surprise you.

A Uniquely Livable Small Town

Red Leaf Cafe is in the middle of a wee downtown that looks straight from a historic movie set. It sits next to the locally owned hardware store, across the street from the library, and kitty-corner to the State Bank of New Richland.

A thriving downtown full of independent businesses is a small-town rarity these days. Across the U.S., rural living increasingly means getting by without a local grocery store, pharmacy, or bank. In fact, the Brookings Institution notes that the divergence in the economic health of big cities and small towns since the economic crisis “is becoming even starker than it has been.”

But in New Richland, there are about 100 small businesses in town—from Nancy Jane’s Bakery to the Lady Bug Thrift Shop to Bakken’s Boat Shop—roughly one for every 12 citizens.

And it’s not just shopping opportunities that make living easy in this Minnesota town. The spirit of a simpler time lives on here: In the summer, there are parades and fireworks, and kids spend the warm months diving off the dock at the St. Olaf Lake Park. Residents rave about the New Richland Public Library, which offers a huge range of educational-but-fun programs—from weaving classes to video game design. The local newspaper, The Star-Eagle, has folksy columns like “Compostings,” by resident Al Batt, who recently explored the fascinating reasons why barns are painted red.

In a time when most American small towns are defined by what they don’t have, longtime New Richland community member Pam Goehring says that’s just not the case here. “We have everything you’d need here in New Richland: we have a drug store, hardware store, supermarket, police, and ambulance—some small towns in America aren’t so lucky.”

The Homestake Free Land Program

Even the origin story of the city’s free land program is a nod to New Richland’s warm character. According to Wayne Billing, New Richland’s city clerk and treasurer, the land for what would become the known as the Homestake subdivision was donated to the city by a local farmer named Rick Schultz. It would turn out to be a gift to New Richland’s future.

Here’s how the program works: If you commit to building a home in the city’s Homestake subdivision and meet certain requirements, you can get a free, 86′ x 133′ plot of land (about a quarter of an acre) to build it on. So far, seven of the original 27 lots now have homes on them. The program began in 2004, and though it slowed during the housing crisis, things are picking up again.

“As a lifelong New Richland resident,” says Billing, “it is always nice to see new homes being built and families moving here to keep the community growing and moving.”

The free land offer is certainly getting the small town some attention. Sara Vulcan, city clerk for the city of New Richland says she gets calls about the program at least once a week, “from people all over the country, and even some international interest!”

More Home for Your Money

One of the happy residents of the Homestake neighborhood is Christine Schlaak. Due to the changing needs of her family—she has a special-needs child and her elderly parents were moving in with her—a new-construction home designed with accessibility in mind made most sense for her, but that’s no small ask, financially.

Just 90 miles north of New Richland in Minneapolis, the median price for a two-bedroom house is now $225,000. In New Richland, two- to three-bedroom homes can be had for under $100,000. And then imagine the land is free.

New Richland, Minnesota's Homestake Subdivision

These homes in the Homestake subdivision in New Richland, Minn. were built on free land.

Christine found the process of applying for and getting her free lot to be easy, and through the Homestake program, she was able to keep her family together. “The Homestake program is a nice opportunity to get a wonderful house that you can live in for the rest of your life,” she says.

You may have known life was cheaper in rural America, but the live-without-it state of many small towns just isn’t worth it for many people. But in New Richland, the lifestyle may be different than big-city living, but residents of this well-rounded, self-sustaining community wouldn’t call it a sacrifice. It’s got great schools, a truly vibrant and close-knit community spirit, work opportunities, and it’s a place where you could finally be a homeowner.

Theresa never ceases to be impressed with how kind neighbors are in her little slice of Minnesota.”We have community members that go above and beyond, like people driving you to store or the doctor when you need help.”

Fifteen years into their life in New Richland, Theresa and Dean are integral parts of the community, helping out with fundraisers for the fire department, offering half-off breakfasts for moms on Mother’s Day, and—one of their favorite endeavors—running the Red Leaf at the Lake concession stand at St. Olaf Lake Park during the summers.

“It’s such a beautiful place to be, especially after a long winter,” says Theresa. “There is a sweet little beach for families, a fishing pier, picnic areas, and we just love spending time and serving our neighbors there.”

And just imagine: You could be one of those neighbors, too—helping out with fundraisers, cheering at the parade, and tending to your very own property overlooking the green, Midwestern plains.

Envisioning your future life in rural America? See what’s available in your favorite small town on Trulia.

The post This Small Town in Minnesota Is Giving Away Free Land appeared first on Trulia's Blog.

Greenwich Village Still Has Timeless Classics

 

So much of what makes NYC, NYC has been taken over by bank branches, Duane Reade drug stores and Sephora.  Nobody wants to live inside a shopping mall, but that’s what a lot of NYC is turning into.  Thankfully, areas like Greenwich Village still have a lot of charm and history to offer and we need to support those who still do business there, the cafes, the shops, all it it.  I caught this recent article on one such place that I want to share with you here.  Caffe Reggio is such as place.  They claim to be the firstT shop to bring the Italian Cappuccino to America.  Check them out, then come on by my listing at 100 West 12th St in the heart of Greenwich Village, take a look, make an offer, live the Village life.  Full Gothamist article.

What Locals Love About Their San Francisco Neighborhoods

What’s living in San Francisco like? Maybe you think you know, from visiting or movies. But San Francisco is a big, diverse place with a bunch of distinct neighborhoods, and living in one can be very different from life across town.

Whether you’re looking to buy a house or rent an apartment in San Francisco, you’ll want to know all about your potential new neighborhood. Sure, you can find out about businesses and parks with a few keystrokes, but there are some things you just can’t Google. Like if that park gets sketchy after dark, or if the neighbors are likely to throw a block party to welcome you to town.

These are things only locals know. We used Trulia’s new What Locals Say feature to get an insider peek at five San Francisco neighborhoods. Here’s how it works: Millions of locals dish about where they live, and their reviews are included on Trulia listings. Digging through their feedback, we found a San Francisco neighborhood where people actually see wildlife regularly, and (maybe even rarer) another where locals swear parking is a breeze. Now you can say you know what’s like to live here.

What Locals Love About Noe Valley

If you live in Noe Valley, people imagine your weekends involve catching up on PTA gossip over organic wine. Located east of San Francisco’s Twin Peaks and west of the Mission District, this neighborhood is a magnet for families.

Noe Valley neighborhood in San Francisco

With low crime and this rolling-hills view near Dolores Heights, it’s no wonder Noe Valley locals plan on staying a while.

  • Long-term Neighbors

    Once you move to Noe Valley, you might not leave. A whopping 89 percent of reviewers plan to stay in the neighborhood for at least five years. Committed neighbors are more likely to put the time and effort into building relationships and contributing to their community—which adds a little small-town charm to this urban enclave. The Saturday morning Noe Valley Farmers Market doesn’t hurt either.

    “I lived in this neighborhood for over 10 years,” one local says. “I love being able to walk to all the local stores, great restaurants, and boutiques. Very safe and quiet and wonderful neighbors.”

    The everyone-knows-everyone feel makes Noe Valley feel like a cozy little bubble, but that doesn’t mean you have to abandon city life. Five Muni routes serve Noe Valley, there’s a BART stop on 24th and Mission, and it’s easy to get to 101 and 280. Downtown date night, here you come.

  • Safe Streets

    City living has a bad rap when it comes to safety, but Noe Valley is a pleasant exception. Ninety-eight percent of locals say they can walk alone at night in the neighborhood. And they’re not delusional: crime rates are very low relative to the rest of the city.

    Safe streets mean that during daylight hours, it’s a great place to be out and about with kids. Many restaurants here have a casual, child-friendly atmosphere, and there are a few kid-focused shops like the independent bookstore Charlie’s Corner, which hosts story time four times a day. And there’s another reason residents love hitting the streets: Noe Valley happens to be one of the sunniest spots in the city.

    San Francisco's Noe Valley neighborhood


What Locals Love About South of Market (aka “SoMa”)

If you live in SoMa, a neighborhood located between the Financial District and Mission Bay, people think you’re living in a loft and working for a startup. Oh, and that you’re probably under 30.

SOMA neighborhood in San Francisco

SoMa has nightlife, walkable destinations, and even a few green spaces, like this mini-park near Brannan and 6th Streets.

  • Nearby Nightlife

    They’re probably right about the age thing. SoMa has become a hub for great food and nightlife, which is a big draw for young adults. Described by a local as “exciting,” there’s a hot restaurant or bar minutes away no matter where you are in the neighborhood. Ninety-two percent of locals say you can walk to restaurants like The Perennial (known for its local fare and sustainable ingredients), Zero Zero (the place for punch bowls and pizzas), and Dirty Market (popular with the after-work crowd, especially on the 5th-floor patio). Bonus: Being able to walk to the bar saves you the expense of Uber surge pricing. So go ahead, have that extra craft cocktail.

    Whether it’s a happy hour with coworkers or a Friday night Tinder date, this isn’t a neighborhood that shuts down after dinner—or where you’ll have to dodge strollers as you make your way to a table (and then have to watch your language all night). Locals rate SoMa pretty low on the “quiet” scale, and only 3 percent say they’ve seen kids playing in the neighborhood.

  • Car-free Lifestyle

    Only 7 percent of locals say you need a car in SoMa, something that millennials eager to ditch the driving lifestyle (or just like the extra cash that comes with going car-free) will find appealing. You can pick up a Muni bus from nearly any street or take the F-line Streetcar on Market Street. Or you can just walk to where you need to be, which could include your work, since it’s home to some big employers like Google, LinkedIn, and Gap.

    SOMA neighborhood in San Francisco


What Locals Love About Inner Richmond

Located between the gorgeous Presidio and Golden Gate parks, Inner Richmond is known for its beautiful views and vibrant culinary scene. If you live here, your friends likely ask you for local food recommendations.

Inner Richmond neighborhood of San Francisco

On Inner Richmond‘s Balboa St. you’ll find a Russian bakery, Chicago-style pizza, sushi, and Indonesian food on the same block.

  • Dining Diversity

    A diverse community has brought a wide variety of cuisines from around the world to Inner Richmond. From authentic Sichuan to formal French fare, 100 percent of locals say they’re within walking distance of restaurants. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be tempted to hang up your apron. At-home chefs will love that 98 percent of locals report being a walk away from a grocery store. Even better, those markets range from mom-and-pop Chinese, Spanish, or Korean shops to the supermarket chain Smart & Fresh. Having these options is a bonus when you forget to buy that exotic spice that’s crucial to the dish in the oven (or the ketchup that isn’t).

  • Dog-friendliness

    If your Facebook feed has more photos of your pup than of yourself, you won’t be alone in Inner Richmond. Residents love their dogs here, and local restaurants have responded accordingly with outdoor seating meant to be shared with your four-legged friend. (Or, in the case of the 540 Club, you can bring your dog right to the bar.) Between pet-friendly patios and dog-focused boutiques, it’s no surprise that 98 percent of respondents described Inner Richmond as dog-friendly.

    Inner Richmond Neighborhood of San Francisco


What Locals Love About Mission Bay

If you live in Mission Bay, you might be seen as a pioneer, leading the charge in a new area of the city where development is ramping up. And residents who live in this waterfront neighborhood right next to SoMa are known for being happy to stop and give tourists directions.

What Locals Love about San Francisco's Mission Bay neighborhood

Life is surprisingly chill in the developing Mission Bay neighborhood—especially atop the UCSF Bakar Fitness Center’s roof deck.

  • Easy Parking

    This constantly-evolving neighborhood may have some fast-paced tech companies—Pinterest, Airbnb, Adobe, Lyft, and Uber are moving in—but the vibe is a little more relaxed than some might assume. It may help that people are less stressed about the perpetual urban aggravation of parking. Incredibly, 78 percent of Mission Bay locals say parking is easy (for now).

    The ease of parking is mainly due to one of the most notable buildings in Mission Bay, AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants. The garages and surface lots that popped up to accommodate baseball fans are open on non-game days, making thousands of spots available. (We’ll see how things change when the new Warriors stadium is completed in 2019.) Go, team.

  • Neighborhood Holiday Spirit

    Even though you’ll see some sleek, ultra-modern buildings in Mission Bay, the neighborhood has a surprisingly homey vibe. This is especially apparent during November and December, the time of year when 64 percent of locals say they decorate for the holidays. So feel free to pack all of your twinkling string lights, holiday kitsch, and ugly seasonal sweaters. And definitely mark your calendar for the annual Mission Bay Christmas Boat Parade of Lights, where you’ll watch dozens of decked-out boats light up the night.

    Mission Bay neighborhood of San Francisco


What Locals Love About Bernal Heights

If you live in Bernal Heights, located south of Mission District and southeast of Noe Valley, people assume your wardrobe is heavy on fleece items featuring Eddie Bauer, REI, or Patagonia logos.

Bernal Heights neighborhood of San Francisco

Bernal Heights residents love their greens, from grass to trees. Even this home on Folsom St. at Precita pays tribute to nature.

  • Access to Nature

    Bernal Heights is a hillside neighborhood where you’ll find tree-lined streets and charming vintage homes. Perhaps the most unusual thing about living here though is the access to Mother Nature. It’s not just sodded parks and fountains; 82 percent of locals say they’ve seen actual wildlife here.

    The neighborhood crown jewel is Bernal Heights Park, one of the few natural refuges in the city and a place where you can take in a 360-degree panorama of San Francisco. As you travel the trails or climb the steep slopes, you’ll see more than 40 species of birds here (including the majestic red-tailed hawk), California alligator lizards, and coyotes.

  • Lovely Yards

    Older homes tend to have one thing newer urban construction lacks: an actual yard. In Bernal Heights, residents love every green square foot of this fact and spend time keeping theirs looking lovely. Eighty-five percent of locals say yards are well-kept, something that adds to the natural beauty of the neighborhood, as well as underlines how much residents are into communing with nature.

    On weekends, your neighbors are more likely tending to their garden than nursing a hangover, which makes Bernal Heights ideally suited for quieter types and families. “My family and I have lived in Bernal Heights for seven years,” one local says. “It’s a great little corner of San Francisco. Very family friendly, several parks, a nice downtown area filled with bakeries, restaurants, a grocery store, bank. We love it here.”

    Bernal Heights neighborhood in San Francisco


What Locals Love—About Everywhere

How can you find out what locals love about the neighborhood you have your eye on? What Locals Say is now live on property listings throughout Trulia. More than seven million locals have shared insights into their neighborhoods already, and an average of 100,000 reviews are being added every day. This unique feature helps Trulia users learn so much more than what’s in a home—it explains what it’s like to live there.

Trulia's What Locals Say feature

 

 

Ready to see what locals near you have to say? Search for your neighborhood and find out.

The post What Locals Love About Their San Francisco Neighborhoods appeared first on Trulia's Blog.

Cities Where a Paycheck Goes a Long Way

AT A GLANCE
  • Trulia teamed up with the jobs site Indeed to find out where salaries are highest once you adjust for cost of living.
  • In each city, we looked at how the economy is doing and where the biggest job opportunities are.
  • To help you figure out the best places to live in these cities, we used Trulia’s search data to point the way to the neighborhoods locals love.

When you’re looking for a new job, your potential salary is only part of the story of what life will be like. That great new paycheck may not be so great after all if it barely pays for a roof over your head.

Trulia teamed up with the jobs site Indeed to take a closer look at the U.S. cities with the highest salaries, once you adjust for cost of living. It turns out that the cities at the top of the list are not the big metropolises you may expect. These mid-sized cities with a low cost of living are places where you can have a good job, a good life, and a good home even if you make a heck of a lot less than a Wall Street or Silicon Valley paycheck.

As a headstart for people looking to relocate for a job, we looked into what the big opportunities are in four of these cities and dug into Trulia’s data to find out which neighborhood or suburb in each gets the most searches by locals—in other words, by the people who know the area best. If you’re up for relocating, consider it a sweet spot for starting your home search.

Birmingham has an average salary that, adjusted for cost of living, is higher than in San Francisco or New York City.

Birmingham, Alabama

Average salary: $76,886  •  Adjusted for cost of living: $86,196

Where to work

Long known as “The Pittsburgh of the South” because of its iron and steel industry, Birmingham has diversified to become a leader in banking, insurance, healthcare, education, manufacturing, and the arts. And, once you adjust for cost of living, the average salary here is $10,000 more than in San Francisco and a good $17,000 more than in New York City.

Birmingham’s growth doesn’t match the pace of Southern economic powerhouses like Atlanta, Raleigh, and Nashville, but it is Alabama’s largest city and a bright spot in the state’s economy, accounting for about 30 percent of its domestic product.

The three largest employers in town are the University of Alabama at Birmingham (23,000 employees), Regions Financial Corp. (7,100), and Honda (4,800). Mercedes-Benz U.S., U.S. Steel, and Wells Fargo are also major employers.

The city is home to the Southern Research Institute, a nonprofit where more than 400 scientists and engineers work on drug discovery and development, engineering, energy, and the environment. This gives the institute the distinction of simultaneously working to cure cancer, put people on Mars, and clean the planet’s air and water.

Where to live: Irondale

Birmingham locals search Trulia for homes in the 35210 zip code, which includes the suburb of Irondale, more than any other local zip code. Affordability may be one reason: Median home prices here are $147,000, well below the metro area’s $195,000 median and not even half of Atlanta’s median of $300,000. The average rent in Irondale is $1,249 a month.

Local agent Gusty Gulas says Irondale is popular for its new construction and for homes with larger lots, which can be hard to find. “First-time home buyers come for the affordability and location,” says Gulas. “Others relocate here from nearby districts with a higher tax rate.” Convenience is another draw: Irondale is just 15 minutes from downtown and the airport.

Gulas says that his clients are especially enthusiastic about Grants Mill Crossing and Grants Mill Valley, two neighboring new-home developments, as well as Crestline Gardens and Crestline Holiday Gardens, two older, closer-in Irondale developments.


 

Employment is strong in St. Louis, and the city’s average salary, adjusted for cost of living, is higher than in Chicago and Detroit.

St. Louis, Missouri

Average salary: $76,567  •  Adjusted for cost of living: $84,511

Where to work

Home to ten Fortune 500 companies and 2.8 million people, St. Louis has a strong regional economy and an average salary that, adjusted for cost of living, is $8,000 higher than Chicago’s and $3,000 higher than in the affordable city of Detroit. The employment rate in St. Louis grew in 2017 and is stronger than the national average. The greatest growth has been in St. Louis’s construction, manufacturing, and leisure and hospitality industries.

Among the big companies headquartered here are healthcare players Express Scripts Holding and Centene, manufacturers such as Emerson Electric and Graybar Electric, financial powerhouses Reinsurance Group of America and Jones Financial, as well as Monsanto. Budweiser is still a big name in town and employs more than 4,000 people, and McDonnell Douglas has a workforce of 14,000.

Where to live: Bethalto, Illinois

St. Louis locals search for homes in the 62010 zip code, centered on the village of Bethalto, Illinois, more than any other local area. This town of 10,000 people lies across the Mississippi and over the state line, but is just 35 minutes from downtown.

“I love the smaller hometown feel of Bethalto,” says local real-estate agent Angie Daniels. “Neighbors look out for each other, and people care about their properties. You get a sense of pride and community.” The town itself is mostly residential, but there’s plenty of shopping and dining in Edwardsville, a 15-minute drive away.

Giving the lay of the land of Bethalto’s real estate, Daniels notes, “There are a few newer subdivisions—Patriot’s Crossing, Schreiber Farms, and Woodcrest, as well as the more established Whispering Oaks. For buyers looking for larger yards or a more rural setting, Heartland Meadows and Bethalto Lakes have two-plus-acre lots.”


 

The border town of El Paso has a growing economy and an adjusted average salary that’s higher than in Dallas-Fort Worth.

El Paso, Texas

Average salary: $75,457  •  Adjusted for cost of living: $84,498

Where to work

Government is big business in El Paso, a border town of 850,000 residents, most of whom are Hispanic and many of whom are bilingual.

The sprawling Fort Bliss Army base, which employs 47,000, including 13,000 civilian workers, is by far the largest employer in the region. It also supports at least another 18,000 jobs in the area. Retail, recreation, food services, transportation, and logistics are also important in this region, which locals refer to as “The Borderplex.”

In 2018, El Paso’s economy is projected to grow 2 percent, as compared to the state’s overall projected growth rate of 3 percent. The city isn’t counted among Texas’s economic hotspots, but it’s more affordable. Its average salary, once adjusted for cost of living, is about $7,000 higher than the average in Dallas-Fort Worth.

After two private healthcare providers, the largest non-government employer in the area is Automatic Data Processing—and it’s expanding. Three years ago, the HR/payroll company moved into a new 150,000-square-foot building, and it has been adding almost 300 new employees a year.

Another big player is T&T Staff Management, which has more than 5,000 workers placed in positions around the area that range from minimum-wage service jobs to high-level professional roles.

Where to live: the Upper Valley

The Upper Valley is a long, narrow strip of land on El Paso’s west side that hugs the Rio Grande River and Texas’s border with New Mexico. It’s known for its green, country feel and views of the Franklin Mountains. “The other big selling point of the Upper Valley is community,” says local realtor Rene Botello. “You’re safe moving here. You’re going to know your neighbors.”

It’s also convenient. The Upper Valley parallels I-10, for an easy commute into downtown. Some of its neighborhoods, like Riverbend, are just 15 minutes from the center of town and hold a wide mix of homes, from this $1,675,000 eight-bedroom mansion to this $118,000 three-bedroom ranch. A bit further out, homes in established neighborhoods such as The Willows and Country Club generally command higher prices. Rentals in the Upper Valley tend to range from about $1,000 to $2,700.


 

The Central Valley city of Fresno has an average adjusted salary that’s higher than in both San Francisco and LA.

Fresno, California

Average salary: $82,236  •  Adjusted for cost of living: $84,604

Where to work

Fresno may lack the sizzle of Hollywood or San Francisco, but at $236,100, the median price for a house here is about one-fifth as much as in the Bay Area. Plus, Fresno locals can finish their commute before a Los Angeles driver has even inched onto the freeway. And, jobs-wise, this Central Valley city of one million people has more going for it than the agriculture it’s always been known for.

“Fresno is swiftly becoming a place for tech start-ups,” says Fresno native and local real estate agent Jason Farris. Some of the local software companies making waves are Aplos Software, OnFarm, and Bflow Solutions.

Farming, of course, remains big business, and Fresno also has plenty of healthcare and manufacturing jobs. Within an hour from three national parks—Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia—Fresno has seen its hotel business increase, and leisure and hospitality employment has grown along with it. Logistics is also big business in Fresno, and many companies, including the Gap, base their warehouse operations here to take advantage of Fresno’s midway point between the state’s big population centers. This year, Amazon is hiring to staff a soon-to-open fulfillment center that will eventually employ as many as 2,500 people.

Where to live: Woodward Park 

Fresno locals focus their Trulia searches on Woodward Park, an upscale neighborhood nine miles north of downtown, where the median house price is $342,250, more than $100,000 higher than the overall city’s median. Woodward Park has a large shopping district, plenty of restaurants, and a public park of the same name. Outdoorsy options are good, with hiking, horseback riding, and biking along the banks of the San Joaquin River, and the location is a draw.

“The Woodward Park area is convenient to Fresno, but homeowners here also get the benefit of sending their children to the award-winning schools in nearby Clovis,” says Farris.

There are plenty of rentals available in Woodward Park, as well as properties selling in the $200,000s and $300,000s, most with large lots. The neighborhood also holds some surprises, like this $1.2 million four-bedroom.

 

METHODOLOGY: Trulia identified the ZIP code in each of these metro areas that had the most home searches by locals of that metro area from December 2016 to December 2017.

Which of these cities would you move to for a great job? Tell us in the comments.

The post Cities Where a Paycheck Goes a Long Way appeared first on Trulia's Blog.

The Most Saved Home in Every State

Whether it be a luxurious Hollywood mansion or a quaint country house, there is a top home in every state. We scoped out homes that have been saved the most in each state on Trulia to find the top homes across the United States.



  1. 1. Alaska

    Wasilla, AK

    $265,000



  2. 2. Alabama

    Hunstville, AL

    $71,534



  3. 3. Arkansas

    Conway, AR

    $179,000



  4. 4. Arizona

    Phoenix, AZ

    $125,000



  5. 5. California

    Los Angeles, CA

    $38,000,000



  6. 6. Colorado



  7. 7. Connecticut

    Hamden, CT

    $164,900



  8. 8. D.C.

    Washington, D.C.

    $10,750,000



  9. 9. Delaware

    Bear, DE

    $150,000



  10. 10. Florida

    Ocala, FL

    $50,000



  11. 11. Georgia

    Atlanta, GA

    $198,000



  12. 12. Hawaii

    Honolulu, HI

    $150,000



  13. 13. Iowa

    Des Moines, IA

    $89,715



  14. 14. Idaho

    Boise, ID

    Trulia estimate: $272,674



  15. 15. Illinois

    Rockford, IL

    $87,900

  16. 16. Indiana



  17. 17. Kansas

    Olathe, KS

    $180,554



  18. 18. Kentucky

    Louisville, KY

    $110,000



  19. 19. Louisiana



  20. 20. Massachusetts

    North Andover, MA

    Trulia estimate: $398,044



  21. 21. Maryland



  22. 22. Maine

    Bangor, ME

    $159,900



  23. 23. Michigan

    Oak Park, MI

    $130,000



  24. 24. Minnesota

    Blaine, MN

    Trulia estimate: $245,000



  25. 25. Missouri

    Springfield, MO

    $124,900



  26. 26. Mississippi

    Gulfport, MS

    $169,000



  27. 27. Montana

    Corvallis, MT

    $194,000



  28. 28. North Carolina

    Hayesville, NC

    $99,900



  29. 29. North Dakota

    Fargo, ND

    $171,900



  30. 30. Nebraska

    Omaha, NE

    $129,900



  31. 31. New Hampshire

    Londonderry, NH

    $249,000



  32. 32. New Jersey

    Orange, NJ

    $275,000



  33. 33. New Mexico

    Sante Fe, NM

    $142,500



  34. 34. Nevada

    Henderson, NV

    $200,000



  35. 35. New York

    Jamaica, NY

    $205,000



  36. 36. Ohio

    Dayton, OH

    $137,700



  37. 37. Oklahoma



  38. 38. Oregon

    Portland, OR

    $250,000



  39. 39. Pennsylvania

    Greentown, PA

    $69,900



  40. 40. Rhode Island

    Pawtucket, RI

    $199,000



  41. 41. South Carolina



  42. 42. South Dakota

    Sioux Falls, SD

    $129,900



  43. 43. Tennessee

    Chattanooga, TN

    $169,900



  44. 44. Texas

    Denton, TX

    $200,000



  45. 45. Utah

    Clearfield, UT

    $175,000



  46. 46. Virginia

    Alexandria, VA

    $214,900



  47. 47. Vermont



  48. 48. Washington

    Olympia, WA

    $250,000



  49. 49. Wisconsin

    West Allis, WI

    $129,900



  50. 50. West Virginia

    Hedgesville, WV

    $145,000



  51. 51. Wyoming

    Thayne, WY

    $170,000

Which home catches your eye? Comment below and be sure to save your favorite homes!

The post The Most Saved Home in Every State appeared first on Trulia's Blog.

These Small Towns Will Pay You To Move There

AT A GLANCE
  • Over the last century, small towns in America have experienced rapid outmigration. 
  • Government officials of small towns are looking for ways to innovate and bring young people back. 
  • Incentives like free land, cash grants, and tuition reimbursement are out there for new homebuyers.

Though a flood of people have left rural America over the last century—54 percent of our citizens were living in small towns in 1910, a mere 19 percent do today—less-populated parts of the country are working creatively to stem the tide of depopulation. 

comeback cities

Through innovative incentive programs, government officials in rural states like Nebraska and Minnesota (as well as bigger cities like New Haven, Connecticut) are breathing new life into their communities. Here’s a look at how small towns are experimenting with giving away land, reimbursing tuition, and are compelling buyers to move to towns that could use an economic boost.

What You’d Get If You Moved to These Small Towns

  • comeback cities

    1. Free Land!

    Once a bustling agriculture and manufacturing town, Loup City, Nebraska’s population has been in a tailspin since World War II. Just 1,000 residents call the charming city smack-dab in the center of the state home, but if Dawn Skibinski, executive director of Sherman County Economic Development, has anything to with it, that number is going to shoot up.

    The plan for growth started nearly five years ago. Loup City wanted to create a buzz, so officials decided to build a small neighborhood near town. They named it the John Subdivision and then did something surprising. “We improved the roads, sewer lines were installed, and we decided to give the lots, free of cost, to anyone who would commit to building a home within a year,” says Skibinski. “This was our way to turn around a town with very little new home building happening.”

    Today, the John Subdivision only has one no-cost property left. As soon as it’s claimed, they’ll embark on a new giveaway and hopefully welcome new people. According to Skibinski, “Next, we move on to develop an alfalfa field!” She continues, “We love to bring new people to the area, and we get a lot of attention from the press—people get very excited when they hear the word ‘free.’ I get two to three calls a week from people who want to take advantage of the program.”

    Dawn Skibinski and her colleagues have a very clear goal in sight. As she plainly puts it, “I grew up around here, and I don’t want to see Loup City die.”

    You can also find free land giveaways in…

    Camden, Maine. A New England town whose motto fits with its natural allure: “Where the Mountains Meet the Sea.” It’s a charming little village where an entrepreneur can score free property—as in any available lot in town. The only catch is that the business owner must hire at least 24 locals and their industry must be environmentally friendly.

  • comeback cities

    2. Free Money!

    Another incentive option for small towns looking to lure new residents? Cold, hard cash. The community of Harmony, Minnesota, does just that, through grants from its Economic Development Authority, offering up to $12,000 to anyone who builds a new home in the town.

    Like Loup City, Harmony also has just over 1,000 residents. Chris Giesen, the coordinator for the Economic Development Authority, describes how the Home Construction Rebate program came to be. “In 2014, we began to have a discussion in Harmony: How do we attract people to move here? How do we increase variety in housing stock? Most of the homes here are old, and we saw young people turned away. We asked ourselves: What are the barriers?”

    A plan was hatched, offering a cash-grant to anyone who constructs a new home in Harmony. “We considered many options and realized that giving away money is preferable to land, because the cash is usually put back into the community—you can buy things like furniture, building materials, and carpeting locally.”

    Harmony also kept its red tape to a minimum. “I can help people write the whole application in a few minutes–it’s only one page,” says Giesen. “The only requirement is that we have to have approval before breaking ground. When the exterior is finished, we cut them a check. This program is all about neighbors helping neighbors.”

    Giesen couldn’t be prouder of the Economic Development Authority’s success. “We are in the process of renewing the program now,” he says. “What this program does is bring people in from elsewhere—we’ve been tracking newcomers and most are coming from out of town—and they come in and buy groceries, put money into our banks, they become part of our tax base.”

    “We’re investing,” says Giesen. “We’re not dying. The idea was to get the word out—and it has been incredible.”

    You can also find free money giveaways in…

    New Haven, Connecticut. Most well-known as the home to Yale University, New Haven is relatively economically depressed outside of the prestigious college’s ivy-covered walls. To fix it, the town has a program that grants up to $10,000, interest-free, for a down payment or closing costs on a new home. Even better? City employees, teachers, firefighters, police officers, and members of the military are eligible for an additional $2,500, and New Haven also grants forgivable loans up to $30,000 to homeowners who want to make energy-saving upgrades.

  • 3. Free Education!

    Once a bustling manufacturing center and destination for honeymooners, the mid-size town of Niagara Falls, New York, has fallen on hard times and steadily declining population. The city of about 50,000 on the border of New York State and Canada has come up with a clever plan to draw and maintain younger residents—tuition reimbursements.

    The catch? In exchange for $7,000 worth of student-loan repayment over the course of two years, recent college graduates must agree to rent or buy a residence near the town’s depressed Main Street.

    Seth Piccirillo, Niagra Falls’ community development director, came up with the plan in 2014 after reading multiple news stories about recent college graduates drowning in student-loan debt. With roughly 10 percent of Niagra Falls residents were moving out of town every decade, Piccirillo’s hometown was dying. Not only that, but federal funding was at stake: Niagara Falls needs to maintain a population of 50,000 or above for federal funding to come through. Piccirillo explains, “Fewer people means less attention in the government’s eyes. You need people in your neighborhoods.” With his student-loan repayment plan, he says, “We are basically putting together the population requirement with the human need to create a small solution.”

    You can also find free money giveaways in…

    73 counties in Kansas. The state of Kansas is working to draw new residents to low-population counties in its Rural Opportunity Zones (ROZ). Those who move to one of the 73 counties that offer student-loan repayment are eligible for up to $3,000 per year towards their debt, for a generous maximum of $15,000.

Which incentive would make you move someplace you’ve never considered? Tell us in the comments below.

The post These Small Towns Will Pay You To Move There appeared first on Trulia's Blog.

Move-in Ready Apartments (Already Furnished!)

For some renters, the best part of finding a new place is getting to furnish it. But if browsing furniture stores and analyzing color palettes aren’t your thing, moving into an empty place can be a daunting—and expensive—task. Whether you’re ready for a fresh start or unsure if you’re making a long-term move, furnished, move-in ready apartments eliminate one of the biggest moving stressors.

Furnished apartments often come with slightly higher rent, but for many people, the savings on furniture, moving costs, and mental energy are well worth the price tag.

move-in ready apartments

From linens to a Nespresso machine, this Alexandria, Va. rental is all set. Cobblestone streets included. See more photos here.

1. Alexandria, Virginia

Modern home in a historic city

$5,200/month

It’s no wonder Alexandria is one of Washington D.C.’s most sought-after suburbs. With a history that predates the American Revolution, Old Town Alexandria blends historic charm with present-day luxury. More than 200 restaurants and retailers make their home along the charming cobblestone streets—with many favorites located on Old Town’s main drag, King Street.

Just two blocks off of King Street, this three-bedroom, two-bathroom townhouse is as ready-to-go as it gets. Aside from stylish furnishings, the home comes with bed linens, toiletries, and a fully-stocked kitchen (hello, Nespresso machine). Just a 15-minute drive outside of D.C. and a short walk from the King and Braddock metros, this home is a no-brainer for commuters who actually want to love where they live.

 

move-in ready apartments

Come for the great yard, stay for the whimsical decor. This furnished Dallas rental is a keeper. See more photos here.

2. Dallas, Texas

Sleek rental home with a party-ready patio

$2,950/month

Dallas is an undeniably busy city, but the neighborhood of Preston Hollow offers community and convenience within the larger metropolitan area. Dallasites living in this neck of the woods can skip the traffic and enjoy easy access to a wide selection of shops, restaurants, and parks without ever hitting the highway. When you do need to venture out, downtown Dallas and other popular neighborhoods are less than 20 minutes away.

Located near the popular Preston Hollow Village and Preston Center, this two-bedroom, one-bathroom home offers style, space, and a killer backyard. Besides coming fully furnished, the rate on this 1,000-square-foot rental includes utilities—leaving you with less stress and more time to hammock on the deck.

 

move-in ready apartments

Exposed brick. Faux-grass wall decor. Spiral stairs. This Kansas City, Mo. loft has a “wow” in every room. See more photos here.

3. Kansas City, Missouri

Eclectic loft in the heart of downtown

$2,200/month

Celebrated for its relatively low cost of living and a reputation as one of Missouri’s coolest cities, Kansas City offers plenty of arts, culture, and entertainment. Nowhere is this truer than in the Crossroads area, where art galleries, studios, and local businesses dominate the sidewalks. The neighborhood is known for its First Fridays, a year-long initiative that brings local retailers, artists, and artisans to the area on the first Friday of every month.

This sleek, 900-square-foot loft is in the heart of Kansas City’s cultural scene. The exposed brick, natural night, and spiral staircases may tempt you to never leave home, but you won’t have to walk far to hit some of the city’s best restaurants—such as the “special occasion” spot, Michael Smith, and Manifesto, a romantic cocktail lounge.

 

move-in ready apartments

Too-busy-to-breathe Silicon Valley dwellers will love this amenity-packed, furnished rental. See more photos here.

4. San Jose, California

Luxurious rental in Silicon Valley

$2,329-$3,002/month

San Jose has established itself as one of the largest technological hubs in the U.S.—and with a reputation for great weather, solid school districts, and plenty of employment opportunities, it’s unsurprising that the city appeals to so many. However, more than 95 percent of residents commute by car, which makes traffic hairy. Settle in North San Jose, and you’ll stay within a 30-minute commute from major tech campuses such as Google, Facebook, and Apple.

The Enclave CA is a top-of-the-line apartment community in a location that’s ideal for commuters—but your furnished one-bedroom, one-bathroom rental is close to plenty of fun. For local fare, make the five-minute drive to Mikayla’s cafe, a popular brunch joint, or head to La Catalana for live music, tapas, and an extensive wine list.

 

move-in ready apartments

These views, chic furniture, and near Central Park—this place is everything a New Yorker could want. See more photos here.

5. New York, New York

Upscale living on the Upper West Side

$3,715/month

Actress Tina Fey’s neighborhood of choice, the Upper West Side offers more space, green areas, and relaxed nightlife than some of its rowdier neighbors in the Big Apple. Home to Columbia University and Bernard College (as well as Lincoln Center, the performance arts complex), the neighborhood has a decidedly collegiate feel but is a welcome reprieve for New Yorkers of all ages who need a bit more space and nature in their lives.

If giant windows, sweeping views, and modern amenities are your jam, look no further than Columbus Square rentals. A furnished, one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment will cost you $3,715 per month—which is well under the Upper West Side’s median rent.

 

move-in ready apartments

Bright and cozy on the inside, and cheerful yellow outside, this Atlanta rental is a classic Southern belle. See more photos here.

6. Atlanta, Georgia

Spacious, sunny home in desirable Atlanta suburb

$5,500/month

Atlanta is occasionally dubbed the unofficial capital of the new South. Whether the title comes from the city’s laid-back reputation or its growing popularity as a tourist destination, there’s no denying that Atlanta’s growing economy and vibrant culture make it a desirable hometown. Especially desirable is Inman Park, the city’s first planned suburb. This cozy neighborhood is known for a popular food scene and is just a 10-minute drive from downtown Atlanta.

This two-bedroom, two-bathroom home is an idyllic Southern rental. Beautifully furnished in a neutral color scheme, the cheerful yellow house features a picturesque front porch and a swoon-worthy back patio that’s perfect for entertaining. Best of all, it’s a short walk from Inman Park’s famous food halls: Krog Street and Ponce City Markets.

 

move-in ready apartments

Colorful is an understatement for this Seattle rental. With three bedrooms and a roof deck, fun’s built-in. See more photos here.

7. Seattle, Washington

Modern townhome with private sun deck

$5,450/month

There’s a reason this Seattle neighborhood has the self-indulgent nickname “the center of the universe.” Fremont’s location—north of downtown and central to other Seattle neighborhoods—makes this artsy neighborhood the heart of much of the city’s activity. In addition to offering endless food and entertainment options, Fremont is also home to Seattle’s largest tech headquarters—including Google, Getty Images, and Adobe Systems.

Tech professionals looking for style and (a short commute) will be fighting over this huge, two-bedroom, two-bathroom townhouse in Fremont. We aren’t kidding about that commute: If you work for Facebook, Google, or Adobe, prepare to walk to work. You’ll be able to map out the trip from your private roof deck.

 

move-in ready apartments

This light-filled, 2,812-square-foot home in Nashville, Tenn. won’t fence anyone in. See more photos here.

8. Nashville, Tennesse

Gorgeous new home with tons of natural light

$3,900/month

With its population on a steep incline, Nashville’s booming growth has turned space and prime location into rare commodities. But just a 10-minute drive from popular areas such as 12 South and downtown Nashville, the Shelby Hills neighborhood offers quiet, tree-lined streets with easy access to the best of Music City.

This three-bedroom, three-bathroom home turns childhood dreams of living in a treehouse into a grown-up reality. Built in 2017, the three-story house is surrounded by trees and shrubbery and offers several nooks and crannies within its 2,812-square-foot layout—making it the perfect place for roommates or a growing family.

 

move-in ready apartments

Even full of sleek, modern furniture, this Raleigh, N.C. rental in a walkable neighborhood is a great deal. See more photos here.

9. Raleigh, North Carolina

Pet-friendly apartment in a walkable neighborhood

$1,250/month

Known for its natural beauty and home to North Carolina State University, Raleigh is the perfect place for outdoorsy types who appreciate big-city amenities. The North Hills offers a unique blend of shops, restaurants, offices, and residential living.

At the Anderson Hills Apartments, you can currently rent a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment for $1,250 per month. In addition to the money you’ll save on furniture, living in North Hills makes it easy to cut back on car fill-ups. After all, why drive when you can walk to your local shops, restaurants, grocery stores, and entertainment?

 

move-in ready apartments

With a historical exterior and warm, modern interior, this rental is a bit like Charleston, S.C. itself. See more photos here.

10. Charleston, South Carolina

Renovated apartment in historic downtown

$4,000/month

There’s a lot to love about Charleston—from its antebellum architecture to its mild winters and easy beach access. Walking along the historic streets of downtown, you’ll feel transported to another era, and yet the cobblestone walkways are lined with enough modern shops, eateries, and nightlife to keep anyone busy. Perhaps it’s this unique blend of history and amenities that keep Charleston toward the top of most “best places to visit” lists—or it could just be the “nasty biscuit” at Hominy Grill.

Taking in all of Charleston will be easy in this two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment in the heart of the city. Built in 1800, this charming rental has been fully renovated and has a rooftop patio. Of course, living in the center of this walkable city, you may be too busy to spend much time at home.

Originally published October 26, 2017; updated February 23, 2018. 

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