The Most Expensive Condos in America

If you won the lottery, where would you move? While some might dream of a sprawling country estate, others would head their favorite metropolis for urban luxury living. If the latter sounds like your #lottogoals, we’ve rounded up the top 25 most expensive condos in America to fuel your jackpot fantasies. From a huge New York City duplex that comes with a trip to outer space to a sculptural Seattle space with mountain views, here’s a glimpse inside the most luxurious condos in the nation.

New York 1 Most expensive condos

1. Massive Hell’s Kitchen Duplex With Very Unusual Amenities

$85,000,000

Don’t mistake “condo” with “short on space” — especially when it comes to the most expensive condo in New York. This 15,000-square-foot duplex at the Atelier has enough living space across a floor and a half to comfortably accommodate your family and your entourage (10 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms, to be exact). Oh, and if the bird’s-eye view of the Hudson River isn’t enough for you, know that this condo also comes with two tickets for a future trip to outer space (yup).

 

New York 2 Most expensive condos

2. Full-floor Penthouse in Midtown’s Most Unusual Building

$82,000,000

If your idea of luxury is never having to see (or hear) a neighbor, this six-bedroom, eight-bathroom penthouse that comes with its own private elevator would be perfect for you. The 8,255-square-foot condo occupies an entire floor of one of New York City’s slimmest skyscrapers, a set-up that also gives you 360-degree views of the city. Fun fact: This condo is higher than the Empire State Building, a sight that you’ll marvel at from the nearly floor-to-ceiling windows.

 

New York 3 Most expensive condos

3. Magazine-worthy Loft in an Artsy Neighborhood

$65,000,000

With its art galleries and thriving dining scene, SoHo has long been the neighborhood of choice for the lovers of culture. Slightly more down-to-earth architecture is the norm in SoHo — like the five-story building where you’ll find this updated four-bedroom, seven-bathroom updated condo. Every inch was redesigned by Roman & Williams, the interior design firm that counts celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Hudson among its clientele. But, the best features are outside: There are approximately seven terraces (one with a TV alcove) and a rear yard.

 

Philadelphia 1 Most expensive condos

4. Customizable Condo Near a City Landmark

$14,000,000

Old meets new at this 9,515-square-foot penthouse at the sleek Ritz-Carlton Residences. It’s located right across the street from Philadelphia’s most beautiful structures — the wedding cake-like City Hall. This is a condo building with all the perks of a luxury hotel, from the ability to order room service from the Ritz-Carlton whenever the whim strikes, to the use of a chauffeured car. However, the design and features of the penthouse itself are entirely up to you. Go ahead, dream big.

 

Most-Expensive-Condos-Philadelphia-PA

5. Sleek New Construction in a Historic Neighborhood

$6,959,000

History abounds in Philadelphia, especially in the area of Society Hill. That’s where you’ll find Independence Hall, the site where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed and adopted. Steps away is the brand new 500 Walnut residential tower, home to a 4,300-square-foot condo that comes with its own architect so you can put your own spin on the space. Before you move in, give yourself a housewarming gift of an electric car — one of the building’s many amenities is an induction-powered charging pad that’ll charge up your battery sans plug.

 

Most expensive condos Philadelphia 3

6. Bright and Airy Condo Built for Entertaining

$5,800,000

The Rittenhouse Square neighborhood is a bit quieter than other parts of the city, with upscale boutiques and restaurants alongside handsome, old townhomes. You’d have a great view of it all from this warm and inviting four-bedroom, three-bathroom condo. Though it’s already a roomy 4,166 square feet, the unit also has a private terrace off the dining room that’s big enough for entertaining. Rainy? Take the party back indoors to your own private screening room.

 

Boston 1 Most expensive condos

7. Ultra-modern Penthouse that Blends Indoor and Outdoor Living

$18,000,000

Though it’s technically a condo, this four-bedroom, five-bathroom residence is more like a sky mansion. Found at the very top of the Archer, the penthouse looks a lot like the kind of sleek, flat-roofed luxury homes usually found in Los Angeles. The design approach does feel a bit Hollywood as well, with 5,998-square-foot interior living space opening up (via floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors) to more than 2,326 square feet of outdoor space. Yes, there’s a pool and hot tub out there, too.

 

Boston 2 Most expensive condos

8. Opulent Flat in a Historic Mansion

$15,995,000

If your taste in architecture favors the more traditional, Boston isn’t short on grand old homes that date back to the 1800s. This four-bedroom, six-bath condo in a circa-1852 estate gives you all the benefits of historic mansion living, with an updated interior that suits a more modern lifestyle. Meaning, the kitchen and baths are huge, but you still have old-timey details to appreciate, like a solarium. While you may not have a yard, you do have the Boston Public Garden outside your front door.

 

Boston 3 Most expensive condos

9. Sunny Condo Near Boston’s Best Shopping

$13,500,000

With its “front-to-back” layout, this high-up three-bedroom, four-bathroom residence is the very, very upscale take on a railroad apartment. All the rooms flow together, so the natural light from the floor-to-ceiling windows shines throughout the entire condo. It comes pre-decorated by the renowned interior designer William Hodgins, who popularized open, uncluttered designs. That means you won’t need to shop at the boutiques found below on Boston’s iconic shopping stretch Newbury Street to fill your home with beautiful things — but hey, why not do it anyway?

 

San Francisco 1 Most expensive condos

10. Gallery-like Residence with Unbeatable Views

$14,750,000

With its elaborate columns and carvings, the entryway of this luxury condo building might lead you to believe the interiors will be similarly ornate. You’d be very wrong. The four-bedroom, three-and-a-half bathroom penthouse has a more minimalist aesthetic, reminiscent of an art gallery. It puts the focus on the cityscape you’ll enjoy from every window. There’s no better way to see the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, the Marin Headlands, and the Bay Bridge all at once.

 

Most expensive condos San Francisco 2

11. Worldly Two-bedroom in a Groundbreaking Building

$14,500,000

The 181 Fremont might have taken more than five years to complete, but this gleaming condo building was worth the wait. (It has the unusual bragging right of the deepest foundation in the city, setting a new standard for safety.) Here, you’ll find a 3,368-square-foot residence that might set a new trend for interiors. Its eclectic finishes came from all over the world — marble from Italy, Pladao wood doors from New Guinea, and the bronze entry door hardware is from Paris.

 

San Francisco 3 Most expensive condos

12. Elegant Penthouse Surrounded by the City

$11,700,000

Situated 400 feet above Union Square, in this three-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bathroom penthouse you can overlook much of the city from virtually any window. If the tastefully neutral interiors bring to mind those found in a luxury hotel, you’d be correct. That’s because the 3,830-square-foot unit is a Four Seasons Private Residence. It’s kind of like living on vacation.

 

Los Angeles 1 Most expensive condos

13. Double Penthouse with a Bonus Apartment

$48,888,888

Everything’s a bit more over-the-top in the City of Angels, and luxury real estate is no exception. This mid-century tower, located near Beverly Hills, is home to the most expensive condo in the city: a 7,000-square-foot double penthouse with a 3,000-square-foot terrace. It’s the billionaire’s version a “fixer upper” in that it’s currently unfinished. If you have the happy problem of needing somewhere to live while making this your dream penthouse, don’t worry. This property also comes with a one-bedroom apartment and a studio.

 

Los Angeles 2 Most expensive condos

14. Deco-inspired Two-bedroom in the Heart of the City

$29,900,000

If Jay Gatsby lived in modern-day Los Angeles, he’d call this place home. Though this two-bedroom, four-bathroom condo was built in 2010, it’s designed to evoke the glamour of the 1920s and 30s. Each room has a different theme, with mood lighting to match — and the most over-the-top room might be the black-and-gold master bath, complete with coordinating black marble.

 

Los Angeles 3 Most expensive condos

15. Neutral Penthouse Fit for a Style Icon

$16,500,000

Though it’s located inland (between Century City and UCLA), this towering three-bedroom, five-bathroom penthouse is high enough to have views all the way across the city to the ocean. However, the vista isn’t even the most notable feature of this white-and-beige unit, despite the 1,800-square-foot terrace that looks straight from a boutique hotel. Nope, that honor goes to the custom closet. Kitted out with glass doors and a shoe wall, it’s a style-lover’s dream.

 

Seattle 1 Most expensive condos

16. Downtown Condo with Peaceful Mountain Views

$12,500,000

For nature-loving city-dwellers, this condo has it all. This impeccably decorated two-bedroom, three-bathroom flat is a stone’s throw away from Seattle’s famous Pike Place Market, yet looks out onto the gorgeous Puget Sound, Mt. Rainier, and the Olympic Mountains. It’s a view you can enjoy while grilling your farmer’s market catch of the day, thanks to the outdoor barbecue located on one of two terraces.

 

Seattle 3 Most expensive condos

17. Open-concept Penthouse with a Bonus-packed Rooftop

$3,999,000

Sure, views of mountains and sunsets are nice, but sometimes, you just want the ultimate in luxury. This two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bathroom penthouse is ideal for those whose idea of communing with nature is admiring a countertop made of fine stone. The four-car garage (a rare find in Seattle) can accommodate your fantasy car collection, and the condo building itself will happily secure your wine collection. Take your best bottle up to your private rooftop terrace, which packs in a Viking mini-kitchen, spa, and a fire pit.

 

18. Glass Aerie That Puts the City at Your Feet

When money is no object, you can indulge in fun features that are only for occasional use. For instance, having an unsheltered, open-air hot tub in a city that’s famous for constant rain. This is just what you’ll find off the patio of this two-bedroom, two-bathroom penthouse condo, along with other fair-weather comforts like an outdoor kitchen and fireplace. Most of the year, however, you’d still be able to get the illusion of outdoor living thanks to the glass walls that surround the designer interior with panoramic skyline views.

 

Chicago 2 Most expensive condos

19. Spacious Double Unit Near a Chicago Icon

$11,000,000

It’s two condos for one with this purchase, which adds up to a whole floor to call your own near Willis Tower (aka Sears Tower). When combined, you’ll have a five-bedroom, seven-bathroom residence that totals an impressive 8,200 square feet. As for what to do with all that space, perhaps the layout can offer clues. The condos were designed to have a museum-like presence, making it the perfect home for a burgeoning art collection.

 

Chicago 3 Most expensive condos

20. Designer Condo in an Upcoming Building

$10,368,390

Though it won’t be ready until 2020, Chicago’s third most expensive condo promises to be a standout. The Sky 360 Residences of Vista Tower is going to be the newest addition to the Chicago skyline, and the interiors promise to be as well-designed as the unusual tiered exterior of the building. In this proposed five-bedroom, six-bathroom condo, your future self would get to enjoy motorized kitchen cabinets, full-height stone walls throughout the unit, and a heated bathroom floor that’ll take the chill out of those Chicago winters.

 

21. A Curated 4-Bedroom in an Architectural Masterpiece

When it opens in 2020, the Vista Tower skyscraper will be the third-tallest in the city—and also the tallest structure in the world designed by a woman. It’s the work of Jeanne Gang, who also won a MacArthur Genius Grand in 2011. In other words, living in the future Sky 360 Residents at Vista Tower comes with quite a bit of distinction. That’s before you even get to the impressive four-bedroom, five-bathroom condo you’d call home. Designed by Hirch Bedner Associates (a firm that specializes in five-star hotels), the interior combines stone walls, wide-plank wood floors, and hyper-modern cabinetry and appliances for an unusual mix of natural elements and cutting-edge tech.

 

Houston 1 Most expensive condos

22. Four-bedroom Condo in a Resort-like Building

$7,500,000

The peak of living large in Houston is at the brand-new River Oaks building, where the biggest price tag in the city will buy you a four-bedroom, six-bathroom condo that occupies 6,200 square feet. The 1,700-square-foot terrace gives you even more living space — but if it’s still not enough, that’s where the amenities come in. There are two picturesque pools anchored by contemporary artwork, an outdoor kitchen, and a pet spa with a dog park to let your pup get his energy out in comfort.

23. Custom, Floor-sized Condo with a Formal Garden

$6,736,000

This unfinished, floor-sized condo gives you 9,294-square-feet to design to your specifications, which could accommodate a six-bedroom, six-bathroom condo. There are at least eight areas that likely won’t need a full renovation, though: the eight terraces found on each side of your floor, which just require some luxury lounge furniture. And if you love to look upon perfectly-manicured trees and landscaping, you’re in luck — the building has its own formal gardens.

Houston 3 Most expensive condos

24. Sophisticated Urban Oasis with an Infinity Pool

$4,225,000

A little bit of New York City came to Houston in 2015 in the form of the Arabella, the sister building to luxury high rises in the Big Apple. Here, you’ll find a four-bedroom, six-bathroom condo with of-the-moment design touches like lacquered cabinets. But the ultimate luxury is right off the balcony, in the form of a private pool with soaring views of the city.

 

Most expensive condos Miami 1

25. Glass “House” with Biscayne Bay Views

$25,000,000

If your home was made almost entirely of glass, you’d have to be very strategic with the location to maximize privacy. But in the case of this all-glass, six-bedroom, five-and-a-half bathroom penthouse, you’re so high up that you’re guaranteed privacy. Designed by architect Bjarke Ingels so that no internal structure obscures light, this modern take on a solarium is for the style minimalist with a maximalist budget. In addition to luxe features like a chef’s kitchen, there’s a 3,000-bottle wine room and a rooftop “moonlight cinema.”

 

Miami 2 Most expensive condos

26. All-season Living at an Exclusive Building

$22,000,000

Miami is the rare place where you could have an equal amount of outdoor and interior space and get plenty of year-round use out of each. This five-bedroom, six-bathroom duplex condo splits the difference with 5,000-square-feet of living space and 5,000-square feet of terraces. The high price isn’t just for the amount of room you’ll get, but also due to the exclusivity of the building. At Beach House 8 — with only eight full-floor condos — an opening is a rare find. In addition to your two floors, you’ll find a third level with an infinity pool.

 

Miami 3 Most expensive condos

27. All-white Condo by the Ocean

$21,500,000

Located just north of Miami, Surfside is an upscale neighborhood within the city limits — though it has a less flashy atmosphere. (The mayor has been known to skateboard around town.) The Surf Club Four Seasons is indicative of that luxurious-yet-laid-back vibe, with condos that offer high-end amenities without a lot of over-the-top glitz. This four-bedroom, seven-bathroom furnished condo has an all-white interior that puts the focus on its best feature — an expansive ocean view.

 

Clearly, the most expensive condos in America vary greatly based on price, location, and style. With so many diverse options, which condo would you choose as your dream home? Let us know in the comments!

The post The Most Expensive Condos in America appeared first on Trulia's Blog.

What Locals Love About Their Austin Neighborhoods

If you’re thinking about moving to Austin, one of the most important things to figure out is what neighborhoods might be a good fit for you. Do you want to be close to the action or somewhere quieter? Are you a family with kids or a recent college grad just starting to build your adult life? Austin has neighborhoods to suit almost anyone – but if you really want to understand what an area has to offer, you have to talk to the people who live there. Which is why Trulia has added a new feature – What Locals Say – to every home listing. More than fifteen million locals have shared insights about their neighborhoods, and an average of 100,000 reviews are being added every day. We used that data to identify four very special, and very different, Austin neighborhoods that you might want to consider in your home search.

What Locals Love About Bouldin

Best for: A taste of all the things that make Austin Austin

If some locals consider this hip enclave to be the best neighborhood in all of Austin, it’s for a good reason. Bouldin, a historic zone just across the river from downtown’s core, contains a taste of all of the things that make the city great. And while it has a reputation for being a paradise for young singles, it’s much more than that – which you find when you dig into the numbers.

Fans of urban living value one neighborhood characteristic above all others: walkability. And Bouldin sure is walkable. Want to be able to mosey to cool bars and hot restaurants? Check, according to 94% of residents, with almost the same number adding that the neighborhood is a safe place to walk alone at night – and a large majority appreciating the fact that even there are sidewalks, which is not a given in this car-oriented town. Interested in a tattoo? Bouldin has you (literally, if that’s your style) covered. Are you an Asian-food fan? Great, because Bouldin features some of the best Vietnamese and Thai restaurants in the city. Enjoy silence? So do your potential neighbors, despite the lively shopping and dining scene on the main drags, with 82% describing Bouldin as quiet. Love dogs? A resounding 100% of locals who weighed in on the matter describe the hood as ‘dog friendly.’ And while 75% of residents say you are probably going to want to own a car, the same number note that you won’t need it for errands like grocery shopping. As one local puts it: “Living so near [downtown] and having the peace and quiet of a suburban neighborhood gives you the feeling that every day is a vacation. What a great place to live!


A main street in Bouldin



Locals love Bouldin’s walkability.

If you’re interested in more of what Bouldin has to offer, here are some key spots to check out during your visit:

  • Best mega-Austin-y restaurant: The popular and bohemian Bouldin Creek Cafe, which one local describes as ‘the best Vegan diner on earth”
  • Best Vietnamese restaurant: Elizabeth Street Cafe, which also serves delicious French-Vietnamese baked goods
  • Best castle: Bouldin Castle, a Franciscan monastery-turned-spectacular medieval-inspired home  
  • Best park: Town Lake Memorial Park, which hugs the Colorado river with spectacular views of downtown
  • Best concert hall: The Long Center for the Performing Arts
  • Best neon-sign gallery: Roadhouse Relics, where local artist Todd Sanders crafts vintage-style designs
  • Best landmark: The famous ‘Greetings from Austin’ mural
  • Second-best landmark: The statue of late blues-guitar master Stevie Ray Vaughan

A busy street in Bouldin

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What Locals Love About Hyde Park

Best for: Bookish, crunchy, and mellow families who want a small-town feel in the big city

If you are looking for a small-town feel, historic Hyde Park – which is overwhelmingly residential and full of turn-of-the-century homes – is the move. The neighborhood has a longstanding reputation for being brainy, with deep connections to the nearby University of Texas,  and a little bit hippy. But dig into the numbers and you’ll find one of the most interesting residential zones in the city.

Victorian mansions meet modest bungalows in this leafy, historically protected district. But even though it is mostly residential, locals love the Hyde Park’s convenience to all key amenities. More than 95% of residents say that grocery shopping and dining are within easy walking distance (although this is still car-oriented Austin and 93% say you need a car). That urban feeling has some trade-offs, though, with less than half of residents finding their neighbors friendly or lauding their “holiday spirit.” But everyone loves dogs, with 100% claiming dog-friendliness, and even if you need to have a car, a solid 85% say that parking is no problem. As one local fan proclaims, “Great homes with character, walkable, friendly neighbors. The best!”


A Hyde Park local establishment



Quack’s Bakery is a Hyde Park staple.

Considering living in Hyde Park and planning on swinging by the neighborhood? Here are some things to look for:

  • Best bakery: Get a cupcake at Quack’s 43rd Street Bakery
  • Best coffee spot: Flightpath Coffeehouse, where the beard-and-glasses crowd huddle around Macbooks working on their dissertations  
  • Best historic home-turned-museum: The Elisabet Ney Museum, former home and workplace of the acclaimed German-American sculptor
  • Best hippie cafe: Mother’s, a classic vegetarian spot
  • Best comedy club: ColdTowne Theater, where you can also take an improv class
  • Best diner: Every neighborhood should have a diner, and the Omlettery is Hyde Park’s
  • Best import: In N’ Out Burger

Tree lined street in Hyde Park

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What Locals Love About Old West Austin

Best for: Hip families with young kids who love urban amenities

Back in 1991, Richard Linklater put both Austin and a certain style of local resident on the map with his groundbreaking feature-film debut, Slacker. And if you want to feel like you are a part of that movie, you could do worse than moving to – and spending your days drifting though – lovely Old West Austin’s vintage record stores, thrift shops, blues bars, and hip locavore restaurants. The ‘old’ part of the neighborhood’s name tells a big part of the story – it is one of the oldest areas in Austin, and its historic housing stock is protected by landmark laws. In part because of its location just west of downtown, Old West Austin also has a reputation for being a place that younger people, often just out of college, gravitate to, but if you talk to the locals and look art the numbers you’ll find a different story.

While Old West Austin is a great fit for young singles, it really shines as family neighborhood. A large majority of residents say that it’s safe for kids to play outside, which isn’t true of many nearby areas. They also agree that neighbors are friendly, holiday spirit abounds, dogs are loved, and it is safe to walk through at night. While virtually everyone agrees that you’ll need a car, 98% say parking is easy, and once you are in the neighborhood and looking for evening or weekend activities, you won’t need it much: 96% say grocery shopping is an easy walk, and 88% say the same of dining out. Parks, playground and hiking and biking trails abound. As one enthused resident puts it: “Dogs, people, location is great! Really special place that I can’t imagine living elsewhere! Never moving!”





Residents get a taste of Old West Austin in this rustic establishment.

If you want to get a taste of Old West Austin, here are some spots to check out:

  • Best vintage soda fountain: Grab a burger and a shake at Nau’s Enfield Drug’s vintage lunch counter in the back of a pharmacy
  • Best beer and wine bar: Chill out on the patio at Mean Eyed Cat
  • Best beach: Rent a kayak, ride a bike, or just catch a tan at Ladybird Lake-Lamar Beach Metro Park
  • Best bookstore: Bookpeople is a locally owned classic
  • Best record store: Waterloo Records is the indie record store of your Slacker-inspired dreams
  • Best Locavore restaurant: Get a reservation at Wink, a neighborhood institution
  • Best coffee spot: Caffe Medici

Locals kayaking and paddle boarding in Old West Austin

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What Locals Love About Allandale

Best for: Families looking for suburban amenities with a dash of Austin weird

This affluent north-central Austin neighborhood has everything a professional family might need: good schools, a wide variety of single-family homes on good-sized lots, parks and easy access to shopping an amenities. But it’s still Austin – and that means that there aren’t just Walmarts (although there is one of those) – there are also plenty of vibe-y bars, shops, and locavore restaurants. The neighborhood is also well served by public transportation, and sporty commuters have the option of a bike path that takes you all the way downtown. And if you talk to the locals and look at the numbers, you’ll understand why this is such a special place to live.

Everything a growing family might care about are the areas in which Allandale excels. More than 80% say that kids are safe to play outside – a high number for Austin. More than 95% say that yards are well-tended, parking is a breeze, and dogs are loved. More than 90% love the sidewalks and walkable grocery shopping. And a large majority say they are in for the long haul – with 79% saying they plan to remain in the area for at least five years. As one resident puts it, “I love this area! It’s close to everything and still secluded from the hustle of the city. The neighbors are super friendly.”


Austin Spider Tree



Allandale keeps Austin weird with their Austin Spider Tree.

If you’re considering Allandale, here are some neighborhood highlights to consider:

  • Best donuts: Gourdough’s has a wide variety of sweet treats
  • Best tiny pies: Tiny Pies bakes sweet and savory personal-sized pies
  • Best Mexican-Korean fusion: Get Korean barbecue in a taco at Chi’lantro
  • Best outdoor hang: Yard Bar is a dog-friendly spot for local beers and bites
  • Best Park: Sheffield Northwest Park’s playgrounds, lake, and tennis courts are the heart of the neighborhood
  • Best refurbished gas station: Phil’s Ice House, where you can grab a solid burger

A main street in Allandale

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

What Locals Love About Their Austin Neighborhoods

If you’re thinking about moving to Austin, one of the most important things to figure out is what neighborhoods might be a good fit for you. Do you want to be close to the action or somewhere quieter? Are you a family with kids or a recent college grad just starting to build your adult life? Austin has neighborhoods to suit almost anyone – but if you really want to understand what an area has to offer, you have to talk to the people who live there. Which is why Trulia has added a new feature – What Locals Say – to every home listing. More than fifteen million locals have shared insights about their neighborhoods, and an average of 100,000 reviews are being added every day. We used that data to identify four very special, and very different, Austin neighborhoods that you might want to consider in your home search.

What Locals Love About Bouldin

Best for: A taste of all the things that make Austin Austin

If some locals consider this hip enclave to be the best neighborhood in all of Austin, it’s for a good reason. Bouldin, a historic zone just across the river from downtown’s core, contains a taste of all of the things that make the city great. And while it has a reputation for being a paradise for young singles, it’s much more than that – which you find when you dig into the numbers.

Fans of urban living value one neighborhood characteristic above all others: walkability. And Bouldin sure is walkable. Want to be able to mosey to cool bars and hot restaurants? Check, according to 94% of residents, with almost the same number adding that the neighborhood is a safe place to walk alone at night – and a large majority appreciating the fact that even there are sidewalks, which is not a given in this car-oriented town. Interested in a tattoo? Bouldin has you (literally, if that’s your style) covered. Are you an Asian-food fan? Great, because Bouldin features some of the best Vietnamese and Thai restaurants in the city. Enjoy silence? So do your potential neighbors, despite the lively shopping and dining scene on the main drags, with 82% describing Bouldin as quiet. Love dogs? A resounding 100% of locals who weighed in on the matter describe the hood as ‘dog friendly.’ And while 75% of residents say you are probably going to want to own a car, the same number note that you won’t need it for errands like grocery shopping. As one local puts it: “Living so near [downtown] and having the peace and quiet of a suburban neighborhood gives you the feeling that every day is a vacation. What a great place to live!


A main street in Bouldin



Locals love Bouldin’s walkability.

If you’re interested in more of what Bouldin has to offer, here are some key spots to check out during your visit:

  • Best mega-Austin-y restaurant: The popular and bohemian Bouldin Creek Cafe, which one local describes as ‘the best Vegan diner on earth”
  • Best Vietnamese restaurant: Elizabeth Street Cafe, which also serves delicious French-Vietnamese baked goods
  • Best castle: Bouldin Castle, a Franciscan monastery-turned-spectacular medieval-inspired home  
  • Best park: Town Lake Memorial Park, which hugs the Colorado river with spectacular views of downtown
  • Best concert hall: The Long Center for the Performing Arts
  • Best neon-sign gallery: Roadhouse Relics, where local artist Todd Sanders crafts vintage-style designs
  • Best landmark: The famous ‘Greetings from Austin’ mural
  • Second-best landmark: The statue of late blues-guitar master Stevie Ray Vaughan

A busy street in Bouldin

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What Locals Love About Hyde Park

Best for: Bookish, crunchy, and mellow families who want a small-town feel in the big city

If you are looking for a small-town feel, historic Hyde Park – which is overwhelmingly residential and full of turn-of-the-century homes – is the move. The neighborhood has a longstanding reputation for being brainy, with deep connections to the nearby University of Texas,  and a little bit hippy. But dig into the numbers and you’ll find one of the most interesting residential zones in the city.

Victorian mansions meet modest bungalows in this leafy, historically protected district. But even though it is mostly residential, locals love the Hyde Park’s convenience to all key amenities. More than 95% of residents say that grocery shopping and dining are within easy walking distance (although this is still car-oriented Austin and 93% say you need a car). That urban feeling has some trade-offs, though, with less than half of residents finding their neighbors friendly or lauding their “holiday spirit.” But everyone loves dogs, with 100% claiming dog-friendliness, and even if you need to have a car, a solid 85% say that parking is no problem. As one local fan proclaims, “Great homes with character, walkable, friendly neighbors. The best!”


A Hyde Park local establishment



Quack’s Bakery is a Hyde Park staple.

Considering living in Hyde Park and planning on swinging by the neighborhood? Here are some things to look for:

  • Best bakery: Get a cupcake at Quack’s 43rd Street Bakery
  • Best coffee spot: Flightpath Coffeehouse, where the beard-and-glasses crowd huddle around Macbooks working on their dissertations  
  • Best historic home-turned-museum: The Elisabet Ney Museum, former home and workplace of the acclaimed German-American sculptor
  • Best hippie cafe: Mother’s, a classic vegetarian spot
  • Best comedy club: ColdTowne Theater, where you can also take an improv class
  • Best diner: Every neighborhood should have a diner, and the Omlettery is Hyde Park’s
  • Best import: In N’ Out Burger

Tree lined street in Hyde Park

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What Locals Love About Old West Austin

Best for: Hip families with young kids who love urban amenities

Back in 1991, Richard Linklater put both Austin and a certain style of local resident on the map with his groundbreaking feature-film debut, Slacker. And if you want to feel like you are a part of that movie, you could do worse than moving to – and spending your days drifting though – lovely Old West Austin’s vintage record stores, thrift shops, blues bars, and hip locavore restaurants. The ‘old’ part of the neighborhood’s name tells a big part of the story – it is one of the oldest areas in Austin, and its historic housing stock is protected by landmark laws. In part because of its location just west of downtown, Old West Austin also has a reputation for being a place that younger people, often just out of college, gravitate to, but if you talk to the locals and look art the numbers you’ll find a different story.

While Old West Austin is a great fit for young singles, it really shines as family neighborhood. A large majority of residents say that it’s safe for kids to play outside, which isn’t true of many nearby areas. They also agree that neighbors are friendly, holiday spirit abounds, dogs are loved, and it is safe to walk through at night. While virtually everyone agrees that you’ll need a car, 98% say parking is easy, and once you are in the neighborhood and looking for evening or weekend activities, you won’t need it much: 96% say grocery shopping is an easy walk, and 88% say the same of dining out. Parks, playground and hiking and biking trails abound. As one enthused resident puts it: “Dogs, people, location is great! Really special place that I can’t imagine living elsewhere! Never moving!”





Residents get a taste of Old West Austin in this rustic establishment.

If you want to get a taste of Old West Austin, here are some spots to check out:

  • Best vintage soda fountain: Grab a burger and a shake at Nau’s Enfield Drug’s vintage lunch counter in the back of a pharmacy
  • Best beer and wine bar: Chill out on the patio at Mean Eyed Cat
  • Best beach: Rent a kayak, ride a bike, or just catch a tan at Ladybird Lake-Lamar Beach Metro Park
  • Best bookstore: Bookpeople is a locally owned classic
  • Best record store: Waterloo Records is the indie record store of your Slacker-inspired dreams
  • Best Locavore restaurant: Get a reservation at Wink, a neighborhood institution
  • Best coffee spot: Caffe Medici

Locals kayaking and paddle boarding in Old West Austin

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What Locals Love About Allandale

Best for: Families looking for suburban amenities with a dash of Austin weird

This affluent north-central Austin neighborhood has everything a professional family might need: good schools, a wide variety of single-family homes on good-sized lots, parks and easy access to shopping an amenities. But it’s still Austin – and that means that there aren’t just Walmarts (although there is one of those) – there are also plenty of vibe-y bars, shops, and locavore restaurants. The neighborhood is also well served by public transportation, and sporty commuters have the option of a bike path that takes you all the way downtown. And if you talk to the locals and look at the numbers, you’ll understand why this is such a special place to live.

Everything a growing family might care about are the areas in which Allandale excels. More than 80% say that kids are safe to play outside – a high number for Austin. More than 95% say that yards are well-tended, parking is a breeze, and dogs are loved. More than 90% love the sidewalks and walkable grocery shopping. And a large majority say they are in for the long haul – with 79% saying they plan to remain in the area for at least five years. As one resident puts it, “I love this area! It’s close to everything and still secluded from the hustle of the city. The neighbors are super friendly.”


Austin Spider Tree



Allandale keeps Austin weird with their Austin Spider Tree.

If you’re considering Allandale, here are some neighborhood highlights to consider:

  • Best donuts: Gourdough’s has a wide variety of sweet treats
  • Best tiny pies: Tiny Pies bakes sweet and savory personal-sized pies
  • Best Mexican-Korean fusion: Get Korean barbecue in a taco at Chi’lantro
  • Best outdoor hang: Yard Bar is a dog-friendly spot for local beers and bites
  • Best Park: Sheffield Northwest Park’s playgrounds, lake, and tennis courts are the heart of the neighborhood
  • Best refurbished gas station: Phil’s Ice House, where you can grab a solid burger

A main street in Allandale

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

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 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.

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.

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.

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?

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The post The Place Generation 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.

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