Philadelphia, Young Professionals are staying here.

Genos-east-passyunk-philadelphia-video-465.jpgA recent study from the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia reported an unexpected 93% of young professionals currently living in Philadelphia said there is a good chance their next job would be in the area as well. Furthering the optimism, the same study also reported that 42% of the people who responded were homeowners and 29% plan to buy a home in the next three to five years.
So why are professionals currently choosing Philadelphia as a place to call home?
A recent report could point to the answer. As PhillyMag states:
“Philadelphia is growing jobs at a faster pace than New York for the first time in at least 25 years, according to data complied by the regional chapter of the global commercial real estate firm CBRE.” 
For a city that has long been an afterthought for millennial and young professionals settling down, this study brings extremely welcome news. The area is home to some of the nations top Universities such as Penn and Villanova, so it is no surprise the “Eds and Meds” sector is leading employment opportunities. Fast paced growth was also seen in the transportation and warehousing sectors.
As highly educated young professionals continue to stay the area, it seems as though the “Eds and Meds” model should continue to create employment growth in the area for years to come.

Adam Ozimek, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics in West Chester, was recently interviewed by Philly.com and is excited by the growth in the Philadelphia area:

“There’s clearly optimism. It’s a very exciting time to be watching the Philadelphia economy, that’s for sure. It feels like there’s a possibility that Philadelphia could be like one of those mega-cities.”

Homes you can rent in Philadelphia for $1500 right now!

Rental properties are becoming the norm in almost every market across the United States. Those seeking a new home are making the decision to rent at an increasing rate; so much so that the supply is having difficulty keeping up with the demand. Though the market is expanding and catering to the renter, it can be a challenge to get a handle on the ideal price. A dollar amount that may get you a 3 bedroom in Philly may only get you a storage locker in NYC. Because of this, we’re happy to provide you with a glimpse at what $1500 in rent will get you in our most popular markets! —RentalBeast.com

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All of these listings (and many more) are available on RentalBeast.com RIGHT NOW! Head on over to see more amazing rental properties in your ideal price range that could be yours today.

An Introduction to the FFHA and ADA

Happy 4th of July, everyone!

Who’s ready for a brief history lesson on two historic acts of legislation that affect both renters and landlords all across America?

The United States Government has created multiple pieces of legislation that protect consumers from unlawful discrimination. This article will introduce, and briefly touch on, how The Federal Fair Housing Act of 1968 and The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 affect both renters and landlords. While general information and requirements will be discussed, this article is by no means fully comprehensive and professional advice should be sought when necessary.

1The Federal Fair Housing Act was created in 1968 to protect buyers and renters from landlord discrimination. In short, the FFHA mandates that a landlord may not dissuade, steer, preclude, evict or reject renters or buyers for discriminatory reasons because of their race, color, religion, sex, familial status or national origin. For example, it is illegal for a landlord to write in an advertisement, “no kids allowed.” It is likewise illegal for a tenant to be rejected based on maintaining this familial status.

Protected classes were further expanded with the creation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. In short, the ADA protects tenants with disabilities that were not initially covered under the FFHA. Protected disabilities include, but are not limited to: mobility impairments, hearing impairments, visual impairments, mental illness, HIV, AIDS and mental retardation. Likewise, a landlord may never dissuade, steer, preclude, evict or reject renters or buyers because of ADA-covered disabilities.

The ADA additionally requires that landlords create ‘reasonable accommodations’ for renters with disabilities. For example, in the instance that a mobility-impaired tenant may require a wheelchair ramp, a landlord is required by law to accommodate this person, as long as the request doesn’t create an undue financial burden.

According to Rent Post, “Landlords are responsible for paying for accommodations, though many common ones are free or low cost. Tenants are usually responsible for paying for structural modifications unless the dwelling is listed as a federally assisted housing structure.”

Disclaimer: this article is not fully comprehensive with respect to legislation affecting landlords. This piece serves to provide a basic understanding of two historic acts of legislation. Always seek expert advice when necessary.

Miami’s Metromover is getting over the Causeway and other bumps

transportation-detail-default--606-x-335Miami-Dade County prepares Metromover extensions for Miami Beach and Wynwood. In their first nascent move toward realizing the multi-billion dollar SMART transit plan, county officials stated that the planned linking of the beach and the downtown area could add another 10 stops for the Metromover.

Concurrently, Uber has added Miami to its list of cities where the lauded ride-sharing app includes public transportation information in real-time. This integration is currently being piloted in 40 U.S. markets with the hopes of nationwide expansion.

South Florida in general has amongst the most congested roads in the world; in fact we rank number 10 in the world. Ten is scary considering the metro is just over 100 years old. To put that in perspective, Los Angeles has a 12.7 percent congestion rate which means drivers spend 12.7 percent of their commutes in traffic. Miami is at 8.7 percent and ranks fifth amongst most congested areas in the United States with much less of a footprint than Los Angeles. This is ahead of D.C., Boston, Dallas and even Chicago.

South Florida, like most new metros, was built backwards. It began with an urban core but quickly sprouted other towns and eventually cities outside of the city limits. Coral Gables, Hialeah, Doral and Kendall (not yet a city) are some examples of the initial urban sprawl that created this traffic monster. As little as ten years ago, Downtown Miami was a place you did not want to be after 5pm for its crime rate, lack of open businesses, and overall rundown look.

Luckily, we are now at a crossroads where we have “run out of land” and are looking back into the urban core for development. At the top of the list should be a focus on mass transit and the need for it to catch up to new development. I commend the county and Uber for spearheading the future of mass transit in Miami.

 

Millennials: Buying or Renting…and why?

There is no shortage of opinions or statistics about where and how the Millennial generation is choosing to live. We hear tropes all the time about how the young generation is flocking to urban areas, but at the same time there’s a constant drone about how they’re staying in mom and dad’s basement.

Articles abound, discussing how Millennials cannot afford to buy (or even rent in a lot of cities!) because they are saddled with debts from college. Housing costs are skyrocketing, while news stories tell us all about how Millennials are lazy, entitled, and always glued to a screen.

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Millennials, like all Americans, understand the value of homeownership, but our goals and our realities may not always make owning a home a possibility, and cities, governments, and responsible developers have a role to play in helping us (and all us 99%) figure out ways to make our living choices possible, whether we rent or buy.

The signs that Millennials are ready to buy are out there:  According to a Trulia analysis of Census Bureau data, in the first quarter of 2017, more new households were formed as a purchase rather than a lease, the first time that happened in 11 years.

Other data shows that in 65% of the country, an average mortgage is less than the average rent!

Regardless of generation, one can see the value in that. Some developers are taking the path of trying to get more starter homes on the market after many years flooding the market with luxury units and McMansions.

There was a 27% increase (up to 31% of the market total) in speculative new homes under 2,250 square feet from January to March in 2017 versus the same period in 2016. And with the trend of more dense urban living, some developers are also buying and reselling homes in and around city centers where there is less land for redevelopment.

But, there are still plenty of factors pointing to a love (or need) for renting. Many Millennials are simply not ready to take the plunge into ownership, knowing that a lease can offer attractive features that a mortgage just cannot.

Others are suffering from the 8% unemployment rate for their generation and spending their money on their portion of the $1 trillion in student debt loan instead of the often 10% down payment required to purchase a home – not to mention the convenience of avoiding ongoing maintenance and repairs, insurance, etc that are not typically required with a lease.

1Consider too that many apartments today offer gyms, pools, connectivity, possibly a concierge – things not available to a homeowner. And while the tides may be changing, many apartments are still located in more community-oriented areas of town than an affordable home, with easier access to culture, nightlife, and public transit among other perks. Unlike with a purchase, a lease is temporary, so it’s very easy to pack up and leave when or if the desire strikes.

In sum, while it’s as easy to point out facts, figures, and opinions about Millennials as it has been and still is for Boomers, Gen X, and all those who preceded and will follow them, the takeaway is that each generation is made up of multi-faceted individuals with a huge variety of tastes, goals, and means. Markets shift over time and there will always be innumerable different combinations of needs, wants, and abilities when it comes to where we choose to live.

 

 

 

Why You Should Use a Realtor to Find Your Next Rental

Starting your search online for your next home to rent has become commonplace. But when it comes time to narrow your search, it may seem like homebuyers have the advantage of calling on a real estate agent to help them through the process. But renters shouldn’t sell themselves short. Many real estate agents will gladly represent a renter. It’s just a matter of connecting with the right professional who is familiar with the rentals in your target area.

By enlisting the help of an agent, you get all the benefits available to a homebuyer: professional experience, a personal touch, local knowledge, and an understanding of your budgetary constraints.

Here are four reasons you may benefit from using a real estate agent to help you find your next rental.

  1. 1Location: If you’re going to be living in a central neighborhood close to downtown, having a professional on hand would be extremely helpful. Often in a competitive market like DC, a real estate agent is necessary to help you get appointments to tour available spaces.
  2. Relocating: If you are unfamiliar with the DC Metro area and neighborhoods, it could be a major advantage to call in a pro who spends their days scouring neighborhoods for available homes.
  3. Time: Some perspective renters simply do not have the time to search websites, connect with landlords, and tour properties. Enlisting the help of an agent can eliminate that time crunch they struggle with.
  4. Touring: Besides large apartment communities, most rentals are run by mom-and-pop landlords and property owners, where calls and emails have the potential of going unanswered. Even if you’ve got access to the leasing office, businesses may close at 6pm, creating a very limited window to access someone who can assist you. It’s a real estate agent’s job to make that connection for you. With an agent representing you, it might be possible to schedule an after-hours showing or ensure the property manager knows you’re serious about your inquiry.

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Rental Beast has been partnering with real estate firms in the DC area to help support and train their real estate agents to be the most prepared and qualified professionals when it comes to helping perspective renters find their next home. With a database of up-to-date and available properties larger then any other website or professional listing service, the Rental Beast platform helps to make sure that any person looking for a rental property will find exactly what they need. Our agents work for some of the leading brokerage firms nationwide and take pride in providing that professional experience and local know-how to help you find your next home. No other platform can take you from first click to signed lease with greater ease.

 

Housing Inventory: What does it mean for you?

findperfecthome.jpgThere are many options available when it comes to a choosing where you lay your head at night. Are you planning on buying that dream home you’ve been designing/decorating in your imagination over the last few years, or have you decided to lease an apartment, condo, house, or townhouse that allows you to walk or bike to all the local favorites you’ve been commuting to for far too long?

There are positives and negatives to both, but more and more often your choices are limited if you’re looking to buy that starter (or forever) home. However, there continue to be many options when it comes to leasing a place to live.

You can work with the experts and reach out to a Real Estate firm, then give them your wish list so they can find you multiple properties to view (hopefully in your price range). These are all valid options, and things I’ve done myself, but what I’ve noticed over the last few years in DFW is that once you find something you love there are most likely going to be offers already in. This doesn’t leave you with many options if yours isn’t accepted, or you have to go into a bidding war. According to CNBC, this is because the number of homes being rented out is increasing, which brings down the available options to buy.

11-5-Couple-Moving-Boxes-Into-Their-Perfect-New-HomeSo, what does this mean for you?

Fortunately, there are so many great rental properties available but you might have to check a website hoping they’re up to date and accurate…or we’re back to driving up and down the streets in your favorite neighborhood looking for a sign in the yard. In addition, there is always the option of working with a local expert from a Real Estate firm who already has access to those hidden gems and knows exactly what you need.

If you’re downgrading from an empty nest or having to wait until there are more options available before you buy it doesn’t mean you can’t find a rental with all of your must-haves, but you should know where to look and who to work with to make sure you get what you want.