Renting & Buying with the “Walk Score” in Mind

1The “Walk Score” is a procedurally generated number assigned to addresses to determine their specific walkability.  The true value in this number is that the higher it is, the less likely you will need a car to comfortably live.  The “Walk Score” calculates the distances to certain amenities that most renters and buyers look for; grocery stores, public transit, nightlife, etc..  Whether you are in the market for a temporary rental or your next home, this score provides a wealth of information.

Walk Score,” an automated efficiency model, has adapted its information gathering to provide scores not only on walkability, but also transit, biking, and crime.  Taking into account all of these different metrics, walk scores range from 0 to 100.  Scores ranging from 0 – 24 dictate a car as an absolute necessity while scores 70 and above suggest that you can accomplish all errands on foot.  

The most obvious money saving benefit of the “Walk Score” is  removing most, if not all, driving from your daily routine.  Save on gas, upkeep, and maintenance, and take public transit to work.  

walkConvenience is the other major selling point of the “Walk Score.”  Easy access to amenities and recreation can make or break a neighborhood.  Higher walk scores typically translate into higher quality neighborhoods.  Pedestrian Friendliness is determined too, by analyzing population density, block length, and intersection density.

On the other side of the argument, a high “Walk Score” often results in higher prices.  In a study done by Redfin, one point of “Walk Score” was worth up to $3000.

Most websites, including RentalBeast.com, feature the score on their listings.  So before you make your next move, make sure to check the “Walk Score.”  

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New Brightline Rail connects South Florida

2Brightline Rail Service, connecting Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, will soon launch and offer discounted rates for its first few trips. The tentative first runs will begin in late summer with full service opening up in early autumn. Ride ticket prices have not been announced, but CEO Dave Howard stated that it is, “going to be less than the cost of driving your car” regarding the discounted tickets.

The bigger picture to this private endeavor is that it will connect our metro and stay east of I-95. At full service the rail will offer 32 daily round trips between Miami and West Palm Beach. This is a crucial step into changing South Florida’s car-centric culture. Traffic continues to be one of the leading limiting factors for economic growth in our market. Brightline expects a ridership of three million passengers per year.

Each county is getting its own station starting with a more than eleven acre Miami Central Station that will offer residences, offices and retail. Broward and Palm Beach Counties will get 60,000 square foot stations right in the heart of their urban core.

Landlords in the area should get excited because this brings the city connections that renters look for in a short or long-term home. The Millennial generation tends to especially enjoy alternative travel and staying close to major elements in the city.

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Recycling old buildings keeps Philly’s character intact

“Repurposed, remodeled, and revamped.”

feat_history_newsstand_old-jan16-8e0ba478These words are being used more and more in the construction boom that Philadelphia is currently experiencing. Every week there seem to be new restoration and renewal projects proposed, or announced, in what are currently just dilapidated or un-used buildings.

What has been fantastic to watch is the effort and time developers have put into keeping the character and integrity of these architectural slices of history. Structurally, Philadelphia is an extremely diverse city with tons of variant architectural elements scattered throughout its limits. Keeping this personality alive is of utmost importance for the city.

Curbed has done a fantastic job detailing the many different developments.
Some of my personal favorites are below.
Converted West Philadelphia high school in the apartments named “The West Lofts.”
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The Hale Building revamp which is labeled as a “Hub for creative tech companies.”
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The on-going plans for the Edward W. Bok Technical High School; and the incredible views from Bok Bar.
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Homes you can rent in the Miami area for under $2000 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. Because of this, we’re happy to provide you with a glimpse at what under $2000 in rent will get you in one of our most popular markets! —RentalBeast.com

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Homes you can rent in Boston for under $2000 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. Because of this, we’re happy to provide you with a glimpse at what under $2000 in rent will get you in one of our most popular markets! —RentalBeast.com

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Cambridge joins Boston as most expensive cities in U.S.

shutterstock_82722607A new report from RENTCafe, a real estate research site, has listed the most expensive cities to live in the United States by averaging the rents of buildings with at least fifty units.

Among the top five are two cities in the Greater Boston area: Boston and Cambridge. According to RENTCafe, Boston was number three on the list of Top 10 Cities with the Highest Rents with an average rent of $3180, topped only by Manhattan, NY, at number one, and San Francisco, CA, at number two. Cambridge was number five on the list with an average rent of $2957, which was only slightly less expensive than San Mateo, CA.

Perhaps a direct result of urban areas demanding such high rent, the U.S. Census Bureau has reported that urban renter household renter growth has been overtaken by suburban renter household growth in nineteen of the top twenty largest U.S. metros. Boston is number five on this list and around sixty percent of renters are in the suburbs where they can save an average of around $800 a month compared to the city.

RENTCafe expects to see an increased number of suburban construction projects in the new few years as experts are saying that the next trend in multifamily is expected to happen in the suburban apartment markets.

Rental Beast‘s coverage area in the Boston market includes Greater Boston and the surrounding suburbs, as well as the rest of Massachusetts, and the states of Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Maine.

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.”