bike-friendly-cities

Most Bike-Friendly Cities in the U.S.

These cities offer the most robust bike sharing programs in the country, copious miles of bikeways and have plenty of urban and mountain biking trails.   If you’re into cycling or just getting started then you’ll want to read this list as these cities are leading the charge in creating healthier and cleaner cities through biking.

To develop this list, the team here at HousingList performed a lot of research into climate, population, infrastructure, dedicated bike-lanes/paths, bikability ratings from site’s like Walkscore, and input & Comments from users across various city forums, bicyclist sites and more.  We have a high confidence that if you are a biker, and looking to move to a new, bike-friendly city, you will be pleased with any of the top 6 locations below.  Some locations with a high bike-score didn’t make the cut of the top 6 due to difficulty of terrain, weather or other issues that may impact bicyclists of all-levels.

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rent-to-own-contracts

Rent-to-Own Contracts (a.k.a. Lease to Own Contract)

So you’ve decided to rent-to-own a home, or maybe you’re a landlord who wants to lease your property to a tenant.  The first step is drafting up a Rent-to-Own Agreement (also known as a “Lease with Option to Purchase “) that protects both the home owner and the tenant.

There are many sample rent-to-own agreements and templates online that you can customize and use.  Before using a template however, you should review laws in your state and common items included in a contract to ensure you covering all bases prior to signing a contract.  (more…)

rent-to-own-good-idea

Rent to Own Homes: Good Idea or Bad?

It’s a seller’s market all across the country and as a result home prices are rising, and competition is increasing.  This makes it more difficult to buy a home, especially in areas where prices are already overly-inflated.  The combination of needing to have a large down payment and a great credit score in order to compete for a home is locking out many would-be homeowners from the real estate market.

Many individuals learn about the rent-to-own home market after discovering the purchase of real estate is beyond their current means.  Rent-to-own homes allow would-be buyers to get a home without the heavy competition, large initial investment, or perfect credit that many need.  However, it can be true that many rent-to-own opportunities work in the seller’s favor.  This happens when renters are unprepared, or uneducated about the process of leasing to own a property, and unfortunately, get taken advantage of.  If you are ready to learn about the rent-to-own real estate process, and do your due diligence when searching for homes and reviewing contracts, rent-to-own homes can work in your favor and be an incredibly smart decision.  The key difference between a rent-to-own home being a good idea or a bad idea comes down to educating yourself, which is a fact of life for all financial dealings whether buying or renting. (more…)

Indy (2)

Living in Indianapolis

Indianapolis (or as the natives call it “Indy”) is the capital city of Indiana and also the largest city in the state.  Indy is host to over 700 businesses but really thrives on tourism which has become a billion dollar industry for the city.   Of these attractions, Indianapolis is most known for playing host to the Indianapolis 500 auto race but there are many other attractions that draw people to this city.   It’s also home to the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts, as well as the NBA’s Indiana Pacers. There are also many great conventions are hosted in Indy as well, perhaps most notably GenCon which is the largest tabletop gaming convention in the world.   The layout of downtown in Indy shows off the cities organizational skills, Indy is connected by walkway to the convention center, Circle Centre Mall, numerous hotels, and Lucas Oil Stadium which makes getting around the downtown area quite easy for visitors.

Indianapolis Economy:

Indianapolis is the economic heavyweight in Indiana and drives nearly 40 percent of the state’s economy.  The economy in Indy is composed primarily of retail and service industries in large part brought about when the city quadrupled tourism and doubled its hotel space in the late 80’s.  Indy is doing something right because in 2016 its’ gross product reached $135 billion which accounted for 39.9 percent of the entire state’s gross product.    2017 is expected to reach $142 billion.    In addition, both wages and employment are up in Indy with nearly 3 million new jobs and nearly a 3% rise in average income.  Clearly Indianapolis is a growing and thriving metropolis.

Indianapolis Quality of Life:

One of the great things that the people of Indy say about the town is that it’s got all the amenities of a world class city but the people are still down to earth.  It’s not uncommon to see people willing to lend a hand to those in need.   Indy is not too big and it’s also not too small, most would say it’s just the right size.   Commute times are cut to a minimum with well designed and maintained highways, plus the downtown areas’ “quad” layout and walkways makes it a breeze to get around.

Indy has one of the lowest costs of living in the country.   Do a Google search on this subject and you’ll find numerous articles citing Indy as one of the most affordable places to live.  Low taxes, low utility costs, short commuter times, low home prices, above average median incomes all make Indy an ideal place to start a career and build wealth.

On top of all of this, homeownership in Indy is not out of reach for most of its populous.  In the later decades of the 20th century housing prices were roughly 2 times the average income.  This made housing easily affordable for most people.    The median home price in Indianapolis is a low $134,000 while the median household income is $55,000.  This makes the cost of a home in Indy 2.4 times the average income.   This figure is far closer to the norm of the late 20th century than we see in many places around the country that are seeing home prices jump as high as 10 times the average income levels.    And for those that still can’t afford a home in Indy there are still options such as rent-to-own homes in Indianapolis to consider.

Pet friendly

Finding pet-friendly rentals

Not only is moving a stressful situation, owning pets only serves to compound the hassle.  Pet friendly rentals are increasingly harder to come by for pet owners.  To make matters worse most places that do accept pets place breed restrictions on dogs and only allow certain domestic pets such as dogs, cats, and fish.

This proves problematic for renters, 72% of whom own a pet of some sort. On the other end of the equation, only 36% of rentals allow pets at all.   Of those rentals that do allow pets, landlords tend to charge additional deposits that can sometimes be as high as $300 per pet which puts a strain on already tight funds. In addition to deposits, many landlords also charge a monthly rent for each pet which we’ve seen to be as high as $50, per pet, a month.  (more…)

Seattle

Seattle Rent-to-Own Homes: Living in Seattle

The Seattle metro is one of the best places in the country to live, conduct business, and visit.   This is evident by the fact that it is home to a number of globally recognized companies (Amazon, Microsoft, Starbucks, Alaska Airlines, Costco, Boeing, Nordstrom, Weyerhaeuser, and REI), a growing small and minority-owned businesses, highly skilled workers, cutting-edge research facilities and thriving industry clusters.   It is really no surprise Seattle was named by Kiplinger’s as one of the “10 Best Cities for the Next Decade.”   The widely diverse population of 3.8 million residents are sure to provide many cultural events, economic opportunities, and educational experiences.   With all of this Seattle is poised to continue its “Best City” reputation for the next decade (more…)

river walk (2)

Should you Rent-to-Own in San Antonio?

Thinking of buying or renting-to-own home in San Antonio?   San Antonio is nestled deep in the heart of Texas and is one of the state’s most visited cities because of its warm weather and urban beauty.  Most people know of San Antonio because of the famous Alamo and the 13 day siege by Mexican troops on the mission which still exists in Downtown.  More recently, San Antonio is known for the river walk offering gondola style transportation which winds through the downtown area with access to bars, clubs, shopping, and restaurants.  Speaking of restaurants, San Antonio lays claim to some of the best Tex-Mex food offered anywhere.  (more…)