Category Archives: living well

Raleigh, Charlotte among top 15 millennial boomtowns

The Triangle has become one of the go-to places for people looking to improve their lives, whether it be because of ample job opportunity, ability to raise a family or home affordability, people are flocking in search of prosperity.

MagnifyMoney recently released its list of America’s top boomtowns, with Raleigh, Charlotte and Durham breaking the top 20. The study ranked cities based on industry growth, population and housing changes, and workforce opportunities.

As a follow-up study, the financial product comparison site released another list, ranking the biggest boomtowns for millennials using those same metrics.

Although North Carolina had less of a presence on the list, two cities in the Tar Heel State broke the top 15.

Raleigh came in sixth on the list, receiving a total score of 69.8 out of a possible 100, and Charlotte ranked 12th, with a total score of 56.3.

From 2011-2016, the five-year period for the study, Raleigh’s millennial population increased by 12.7 percent. The City of Oaks’ millennial workforce grew by 23.6 percent to 151,298 workers, the fourth largest increase in the country during the period. Raleigh’s unemployment rate fell from 10 percent to 6.1 percent, a 39 percent decrease, while the median annual salary rose 22.7 percent to $31,235.
Also, A recent study indicates that North Carolina is one of the go-to states to try and achieve the American dream. Raleigh – 3rd, Charlotte – 13th, and Durham – 16th, are among the top 100 boomtowns in America, according to Magnify Money, and some of the most attractive places for businesses and workers.
It’s no surprise that people are flocking to North Carolina’s capital. Raleigh is consistently touted as one of the best places for jobsbusinesses and to live.
By , Triangle Business Journal
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6 Costs Homeowners Overlook and How to Pay for Them

For many people, a house is the biggest investment they’ll ever make. And whether you’re a first-time homeowner or you’re buying your third property, you’re bound to end up covering some unexpected expenses. Here are six costs homeowners tend to overlook (that can really add up)  and how to pay for them:

1. Property taxes

Be prepared to pay property taxes and keep in mind that they rarely decrease. Homeowners often pay them every month along with their mortgage payments. If your loan is backed by the Federal Housing Administration, you’re required to have an escrow or impound account.

If you don’t have to make property tax payments through an escrow account, they may be due at the end of the year. In some counties, you might pay them in installments.

2. Homeowners association fees

Whenever you move into a new home or condominium, you become part of a community. In many cases, there are fees associated with the maintenance and general upkeep of shared common areas. The money collected might cover snow removal, landscaping or repairs to a meeting room.

Monthly homeowners association (HOA) fees for standard single-family homes tend to cost between $200-$300, but rates can vary depending on several factors, including how recently a housing community was built and the kinds of amenities that are available. That’s why it’s best to know how much fees cost upfront.

3. Insurance premiums

If you own a home, another cost you should include in your budget is insurance. The average annual homeowners insurance premium costs $1,120, according to recent data provided by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, but the amount you pay may be higher or lower based on where you live and the kind of policy you choose.

Homeowners insurance typically covers personal possessions, liability for injuries that take place on your property, the structure of your house and additional costs associated with living elsewhere if your home is severely damaged. If you live in an area prone to natural disasters, you might need a supplemental policy like flood insurance.

4. Repair and maintenance costs

Repairing or replacing a roof, furnace or air conditioner can be expensive, and at some point, you might have to address plumbing issues or trade in some old appliances.

The cost of home maintenance is another thing you’ll have to factor into the cost of homeownership. You’ll need money to keep your yard, gutters, carpet and everything in between in tip-top shape.

Financial experts generally recommend setting aside 1 percent of your home’s value to cover the cost of unexpected repairs and maintenance. If you’re trying to save money, you’re better off doing some of the work yourself. Just make sure you have enough funds for the materials you need to get the job done.

5. Costs associated with selling a home

Having a home that’s well-maintained not only lets you enjoy your house while you’re living there, but also prevents you from being saddled with additional costs when you’re ready to sell it.

Replacing your roof or furnace might be something you want to put off, but failing to make necessary repairs or meet demands made by potential homebuyers could hurt your market value or cost you a sale.

6. Pest control costs

Pests are a real concern for many homeowners. Over time, all sorts of critters—like termites, ants, spiders and rodents—might invade your home. Depending on how serious the problem is, you might need to fumigate your house.

If you’re interested in buying a home, make sure you hire an inspector to check for bugs and termites that could cause structural damage. While lenders don’t always require homebuyers to pay for pest inspections, it’s important to have one done. You don’t want to close on a house only to find out later that there’s an issue. Termite inspections generally cost between $75-$150, according to Angie’s List.

Build a rainy day fund!

It’s always better to be prepared for a storm than to be caught in a downpour without an umbrella. Despite the high costs, owning your own home can be a rewarding experience.

Hope for the best and prepare for the worst by keeping enough money in your savings account to cover unforeseen costs. Make sure you account for all of the hidden expenses and fees associated with buying a home and budget accordingly.

By the Experts at Hippo, RISMedia’s Housecall

For Buyers, Credit Matters—but How Much?

Borrowers not as creditworthy as others often have higher mortgage payments; in fact, according to an analysis recently released by Zillow, the average borrower categorized with credit as “fair” can be on the hook for $21,000 more than a borrower with an “excellent” score.

Here’s how: Borrower A has a credit score that’s stellar (“excellent”), and obtains a 4.50 percent rate. Borrower B has a credit score that’s less than stellar (“fair”), and obtains a 5.10 percent rate. If both have a 30-year mortgage and a home with a median price tag, over the course of the loan, Borrower B has $21,000 more to pay than Borrower A.

Across the largest markets, the differences vary:

Zillow_Credit_Scores

“When you buy a home, your financial history determines your financial future,” says a senior economist at Zillow. “Homebuyers with weaker credit end up paying substantially higher costs over the lifetime of a home loan. Of course, homeowners do have the option to refinance their loan if their credit improves, but as mortgage rates rise, this may be a less attractive option.”

Mortgage rates have risen since the start of the year, recently hitting a point not seen since 2011, according to Freddie Mac.

For more information, please visit www.zillow.com.

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