Philadelphia ranked best city for millennials

Philadelphia ranked best city for millennials to work and live, but they prefer NYC

Philadelphia may be the most economically viable metropolis for millennials looking for a place to live, work and play at an affordable rate.

Forbes posted a recent survey naming Philadelphia as the best city for millennials because of its below average unemployment rate, which is 20 basis points lower than the national average, as well as its supply of affordable housing.

Based on feedback from 2,000 people born between 1982 and 1998, the survey found that millennials flock to cities that maintain a thriving job market, affordable rent and affordable home prices. The data was obtained by Abodo, an apartment search website run by millennials.

But despite Philadelphia’s market viability for generational youth, less than 1 percent of the respondents deemed it as their ideal city; New York remains a more popular metropolitan hub for millennials.

According to Center City District President and CEO Paul R. Levy, this finding may be true for career-driven millennials.

“Philadelphia has done exceedingly well in attracting millennials,” Levy said. “Forty percent of Greater Center City’s population is millennial. If New York is ranking higher, it has less to do with the amenity package and more to do with the fact that New York City simply has more jobs. Despite what people may say in surveys, jobs are the No.1 determinant for residential location decisions.”

But Center City is just one section of Philadelphia that offers top quality amenity packages for millennials.

Jason Weiss, 30, an attorney at Wapner Newman in Philadelphia, has been a local resident for the past six years. He has seen this economic viability pour into surrounding neighborhoods.

“There has been a major expansion of high-rise office buildings and higher-end residential areas beyond Center City in areas like Fishtown and the Naval Yard,” Weiss said. “With that, rent has substantially increased but salaries have as well. That type of development is attracting more and more young people to the city and not just the areas around it.”

Local businesses like Publicis Health Media are helping drive this influx of youth into the city. PHM President Matt McNally said that about 80 percent of the company staff are under 30 years old.

“From what we have seen, this is just a generational trend in the city,” McNally said. “PHM operates in three major cities — Philadelphia, New York and Chicago. In the last few months, we have seen high-caliber New York-based talent want to relocate to Philadelphia for a better cost of living and quality of life.”

How much a home cost the year you were born

How Much A Home Cost the Year You Were Born

To view the slideshow and see the different costs, click here.

People love telling stories about how a home purchased years ago for next to nothing is today worth hundreds of thousands of dollars or more. Truth is, those tales might be overestimating real estate as an investment. While a house bought in 1930 for around $6,000 may be worth roughly $195,000 today, when adjusted for inflation, the appreciation is not as impressive as it seems. Since 1930, inflation-adjusted home values have increased by a modest 127%, or less than 1% each year.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed real estate data from the Case-Shiller Home Price Index and the U.S. Census Bureau. According to research conducted by economist Robert Shiller, major increases in real estate values took place over two distinct periods: the post-World War II housing boom, and the subprime housing bubble leading up to the 2007-09 recession. Outside of these spikes, national home prices have remained relatively stable.

Several factors after World War II, during the first major increase in home prices, drove up housing demand. Government rationing during the war had caused a limited supply of homes, and the 1944 G.I Bill, which subsidized home purchases for millions of soldiers, further increased demand. While the construction of new homes increased considerably at this time, it was still outpaced by demand, and home values spiked.

Unlike the housing bubble that occurred 60 years later, the post-war housing boom stabilized. By the late 1940s, the national median home price had plateaued around $130,000, where it would remain roughly unchanged for the rest of the century.

Another housing boom began in the early 2000s. Easy access to credit, favorable tax policy, low mortgage interest rates, and an increased enthusiasm for homeownership drove up demand for housing. The homeownership rate peaked at 69.0% in 2004, up significantly from 47.8% in 1930. When many of these homeowners could not afford to pay their mortgages, foreclosures spiked and home prices plummeted.

Outside of those two periods, housing prices have been fairly stable. Regional markets, however, have been more volatile. A number of major U.S. cities experienced regional booms in the 1970s and 1980s.

Other features of the American housing market have changed over time. The population has become more urban, shifting from 56.1% of Americans living in an urban environment in 1930 to 80.7% in 2010. The size of homes have increased too. Between 1973 and 2014, the size of a typical home increased by 65.3%, from 1,505 square feet to 2,488.

There is little consensus among economists as to what drives home price fluctuations over time. Factors such as construction costs and mortgage interest rates are often considered major drivers. However, the relationship between these factors and home value is far from clear. Home prices may not change primarily on the basis of these forces, according to Shiller.

To identify home values in each year, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed historical housing data published by Robert J. Shiller as an appendix to his book Irrational Exuberance. The home price index was matched with the median home value data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2014 American Community Survey (ACS) to determine the median home value for every year since 1930. Homeownership rates, the size of a home measured in square feet, and the percentage of people living in urban or rural areas, also came from the U.S. Census Bureau. Disposable income per capita for each year since 1930 came from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

This is what a home cost from 1930 to 2015.

RIVERSIDE: City aims to restore library, pool hours

RIVERSIDE: City aims to restore library, pool hours

Next year’s budget no longer calls for closing a swimming pool and reducing library hours, after changes made this week.

With some last-minute shifting of dollars, Riverside city officials will likely avoid the least popular of the proposed budget cuts for fiscal 2016-17.

City Manager John Russo proposed trimming mostly small amounts from travel, office supplies, employee training and other such costs, which would allow the city to keep libraries and the Arlington swimming pool open.

Earlier proposals to avoid a $10.5 million deficit included closing the pool July 1 and reducing hours at all eight library branches, which would have meant furloughs for library workers.

The last-minute changes, which the council will vote on next week, came in response to residents’ concerns and how the council reacted to them, Russo said Tuesday, June 14.

“This is the budgetary equivalent … of turning everybody upside down and shaking them and seeing what coins fall out of their pockets,” he said.

The overall budget, which after cuts total about $267 million in general fund spending, would still trim at least 4 percent from a baseline of this year’s spending. Most departments would leave some vacant jobs open or not replace workers who retire, but the cuts do not include layoffs.

Several residents said they were pleased to learn of the last-minute changes.

“I came here today expecting to have to beg and plead for these essential services that the city needs,” resident Katie Porter told the council Tuesday. Instead she found herself thanking officials.

Officials previously announced they would not eliminate the University Neighborhood Enhancement Team, which polices the area around UC Riverside, and that they would restore funding for July 4 fireworks at La Sierra Park. But no city fireworks shows would be funded in 2017, so the city will seek private dollars to pay for them at La Sierra and Mount Rubidoux parks.

Reaching agreement on the year-old city management team’s first budget has been a bumpy road for council members.

A month or two ago, some questioned how there could be a deficit after years of apparently balanced budgets. Russo has said officials had been relying on last-minute windfalls, reserve funds and other stopgap solutions.

Praising the work of city officials and and council members, City Councilman Mike Gardner said, “I feel pretty good about where we have gotten ourselves at this point.”

The council will vote on the budget Tuesday, June 21. The plan currently depends on tentative agreements with unions for firefighters and fire management, which union members were expected to vote on Wednesday, June 15, and Thursday, June 16.

The Riverside City Council members tinkered with the 2016-18 spending plan to avoid some painful service cuts.

Changes: The city would no longer close the Arlington pool or reduce library hours. July 4 fireworks at La Sierra and Mount Rubidoux parks would take place. The police team that serves the area around UC Riverside would continue patrols. No fire stations would close.

Reductions: Services such as tree trimming and road repair would take place less often. Some vacant city jobs wouldn’t be filled. The city would shrink internal costs such as for travel, training and supplies.

What’s next: The council will vote on the budget at a meeting beginning at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 14, at Riverside City Hall, 3900 Main St.

10 States with the best economies

Investors: 10 States With the Best Economies

market-studiesPositive economic indicators typically include a strong U.S. dollar, job gains, lower oil prices, increased consumer spending, and general improvements in the housing and business sectors.

WalletHub identified that states that embody these conditions, finding that Utah, Washington, and California, by far, have the best economies.

In order to identify the best-performing state economies, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across three key areas: economic activity, economic health, and innovation potential. In addition, the states were scored based on 23 metrics and given a value between 0 and 100 (wherein 100 represents the most favorable economic conditions for a state and 0 the least).

Utah’s total WalletHub score was 71.55 on the list, while Washington and California had scores of 70.68 and 67.84, respectively.

For real estate investors, better economies could mean more opportunities in a flourishing housing market.

With more than 15 years of experience in the SFR market, Tim Herriage, CEO, 2020 REI Investment told MReport that he focuses on economic fundamentals when it comes to deciding where to invest. “I have always focused on jobs and schools as the main driver for my investment decisions,” he said. “Chasing high rents, without understanding the important underlying fundamentals: leads to poor investment decisions.”

The markets targeted by the larger institutional investors have done well by and large, with many of the markets having gone up nearly 30 percent from the beginning of their aggregation phase, according to Herriage. This is not representative of the mass market, however.

“Those that live in markets where achieving an acceptable gross yield is not probable tend to invest out-of-state but not in markets where rents are high,” Herriage said. “I see them investing in places like Ohio in Indianapolis. Here for a $60,000 house you can get $800 a month rent.”

This strategy, however, is a “cash flow play,” according to Herriage; he said, “If you can find a market, like Dallas, that has good job growth, good schools, and middle-of-the-road, you, the drivers of the reinvestment will turn out much better over the test of time.”

WalletHub’s 2016’s States with the Best Economies:

  1. Utah (71.55)
  2. Washington (70.68)
  3. California (67.84)
  4. Massachusetts (65.58)
  5. Colorado (60.81)
  6. Delaware (59.85)
  7. District of Columbia (59.50)
  8. New York (58.82)
  9. Texas (58.74)
  10. Oregon (57.48)

Among the states with the worst U.S. economies are Mississippi (31.86), Arkansas (33.94), West Virginia (34.31), Maine (34.34), and New Mexico (34.52), according to the report.

In response to the survey, experts provided their advice to WalletHub on how state and local officials can boost local economies effectively.

Gregory S. Burge, Associate Professor of Economics at University of Oklahoma, College of Arts and Sciences said that “consistent and effective stewardship of tax revenues should be their focus” and “government officials should also “know their economy.””

“First, one should ask why boost the local economy. If it is only to be re-elected, then one should pause,” said Giuseppe Moscarini, Professor of Economics at Yale University. “If it is because the local economy does need a boost, then the right policy depends on why it needs it, what’s wrong with the local economy. Some states have ageing population. Others have infrastructure problems. Yet others have higher taxes. And so on. Boosting per se can be very detrimental to welfare, by introducing new distortions, subsidies, misallocation, keeping afloat businesses that should exit, ect.”

Editor’s note: The Second Annual Five Star Single-Family Rental Summit will be November 1-3 in Frisco, Texas. The Five Star Institute is the parent company of MReport and

Make Your Bedroom More Cheerful

15 Cheap And Easy Ways To Make Your Bedroom More Cheerful

Zoe Burnett / BuzzFeed

1. Cut out Matisse-inspired shapes from card stock, then frame them for your walls.

It’s a cheap, easy, and ~artsy~ option to splash some color on white walls. Here are all the details.

2. Recover a plain and boring lampshade with strips of bright fabric.

Hot glue guns can do pretty much anything — learn more here.

3. Paint a basic basket with your favorite color combo and use it to store blankets or shoes.

Or whatever you need. You can get a similar basket at Ikea for $12.99, and learn how to transform it into something super bright here.

4. Dye a thrift-store rug using a spray bottle and a plastic tarp.

It’s way easier than you think! Learn how here.

5. Slice yourself a piece of funfetti pillow cake.

You can either hand-stitch straight lines or use fabric glue — but anyone can do it! This tutorial will show you how. (And if you actually want to BAKE a funfetti cake, here’s a great recipe.)

6. Dip-dye flower pots like they’re Easter eggs.

Seriously! Here’s how.

7. Paint and paper the tops of affordable Ikea step stools.

Do this in the course of two afternoons: first, paint the stool and let dry. Then, go to town with the paper. Get the full step-by-step here.

The unpainted stools are $14 each here.

8. Tie back your curtains with bright tassels on a leather cord.

Here’s how to make them.

9. Turn a lump of clay into a brushstroke coaster with a little paint.

The coasters can hold your bed side water for sipping while you read at night. Here’s how to make them.

10. Embroider a simple pattern to hang on your wall (or your bedroom door).

Trust me, I learned to embroider not too long ago, and it’s so easy to pick up! Here’s a pattern to get you started.

11. Wrap clay around votive holders to fancy them up with an ~ombré~ pattern.

This is an easy craft for kids, too! Here’s the tutorial.

12. Embellish the top of your dresser with colorful wallpaper (and a few of your favorite books).

The tutorial uses removable wallpaper, so if you mess it up, you can easily fix it.

13. Then replace the knobs on your dresser with hand-painted wooden ones.

You can get everything you need for these at a craft store. Here’s how to do the geometric patterns.

14. Paint the inside shelves of your furniture for a fun focal point.

It looks like a relaxing swimming pool! Here’s how to do it.

15. And if you’re feeling extra crafty, try sewing this super easy blanket to drape over your bed.

Get the pattern here for $12.

11 Easy Ways To Save Money

11 Easy Ways To Save Money

It’s not just small change.

~ I hope you enjoy these tips from Huffington Post whether you use it for saving towards a home purchase or home improvement. I think these will help you, there are a couple I know I will be trying out ~

There are few things better than realizing that an easy habit you picked up landed you an extra couple hundred dollars by the end of the month. Maybe it was finally ditching that morning cold brew from the funky coffee place down the street. Maybe it was scouring the below-eye-level shelves for some major deals from the grocery store.

Because you can never have enough tips on being smarter about saving money, we’ve rounded up a few creative ways to help loosen up your wallet.


1. Save those Lincolns

manx_in_the_world via Getty Images

I try and save every $5 bill I receive. I have an envelope full of fives that I hide away so I forget about it. I’m currently at about $900 in fives!


2. Grab coffee from the office

For the first few months of the year, I promised myself I wouldn’t spend more than $1 on coffee. I was spending about $4 a day at local coffee shops, and instead bought street coffee or grabbed a cup of joe from the office. In three months I spent less than $90 — versus the ~$360 I was spending before. KA-CHING!


3. Be an Amazon pro

Nerd alert — the app Paribus will keep track of what you’ve purchased and alert you and automatically to ask for a price adjustment if the price changes. Just got $8 back from Amazon this week!


4. Stock up on meats

Jonathan Kirn via Getty Images

I stock up on meats when they’re on sale and do a bit of pre-freezer prep work. I’ll portion things out — I can thinly slice chicken breasts for stir fry and then freeze that as a meal — and often will marinate them at the same time. Then I defrost it the day I want to use it. I’ve gotten dinners for my family of three down to about $4 per dinner this way, or $1.30 per person per dinner.


5. Check the far aisles

Whenever you go to a store like Target or Walmart, check the end caps, especially those along the outer perimeter of the store. That’s where they put deeply discounted items on clearance. It’s sort of a catch-all, but it’s where you can grab a box gift set of Old Spice bathing and deodorant products for $5.


6. Co-ops are your best friend

Betsie Van Der Meer via Getty Images

Shop at a co-op! I do all my grocery shopping at a co-op once a week and eat lots of organic and otherwise happy food for a ridiculously low price. My partner and I usually spend less than $400 on groceries a month. Bonus: You get to witness the occasional throw-down over food politics.

Also: If you are very, very broke, most of the CSAs and farm shares in New York have tiered plans for different incomes!


7. Keep the change

Carrying around change is a universal hatred, and most of mine used to go absentmindedly into tip jars and in between couch cushions. I now keep an empty jar on my counter in which I dump all my change at the day’s end every day. Yes, simple trick, and nothing you haven’t heard before, but at the end of two months I end up with an extra ~$100 I would have literally given away.


8. Get money for your old clothes

Ryan McVay via Getty Images

H&M is currently trying to rehabilitate its image as one of the worst offenders of fast fashion. As such, H&M offers a coupon to customers who bring in a bag of clothing, and it’s worth 15 percent off their entire next purchase. They take anything, too. What does that mean?  When the consignment store like Beacon’s Closet, Plato’s Closet or Buffalo Exchange won’t take your used clothing, put it in a bag and give it to H&M for that coupon. It can be old T-shirts from Dollar General, for all H&M cares — they just want to recycle.

Double tip: When you’re at H&M using that coupon for 15 percent off your entire purchase, text to sign up for their newsletter to get 20 percent off of one item. They let you use it on the most expensive item too, and in conjunction with the 15 percent off coupon. Then to avoid getting their annoying texts, immediately reply “STOP” to the newsletter to unsubscribe. Then you can use the discount again next time with the same process.


9. Tag along to a friend’s gym

I go to Crunch Fitness with my friend, as her guest, for free — which eliminates paying for a monthly gym membership.


10. Ride for free

Peathegee Inc via Getty Images

Bike to work instead of using subway! A 30-day fare card in New York is $116. I still use the subway sometimes, so I save about $80 per month.


11. Go cash-only

If I don’t want to spend frivolously, especially That Week before my next paycheck, I’ll go cash-only. I know mentally that I have breathing room in my account, but if I only take out $100 for the week, I’ll be smarter every day when going out to get lunch or run for coffee knowing that I want to make those specific, tangible, in-front-of-me dollars stretch. This curbs a lot of impulse spending too.


10 Incredible Cities Where Rent Is Incredibly Cheap

10 Incredible Cities Where Rent Is Incredibly Cheap

It’s time to make some moves.

If you’re looking to move someplace adventurous but aren’t quite ready to settle down and buy a house, then it’s time to choose a great new city where apartment rent happens to be cheap.

And whoa, do we have a some stellar options for you.

Real estate site Housely recently did some research on large U.S. cities (aka cities with more than 200,000 residents) with the cheapest apartment rents. They used data from search engine RentJungle, which updates a database of more than 700,000 listings daily to draw conclusions about rental trends over time.

The Housely findings reveal good news: Many of our favorite under-the-radar cities to visit are also incredibly affordable to live in (Hellooo, Richmond), along with some unexpected picks that are spectacular, too (Hey Las Vegas!).  If you feel like making a move, then it just may be time to make one of these cities your new home. Check out Housely’s 10 big cities with low rent below:

    • Raleigh, NC

      Sean Pavone via Getty Images
Average rent for one-bedroom apartments: $915
Average rent for two-bedroom apartments: $1,113
    • Las Vegas, NV

      Eric Lo via Getty Images
Average rent for one-bedroom apartments: $885
Average rent for two-bedroom apartments: $1,095
    • Richmond, VA

      Photography by Deb Snelson via Getty Images
Average rent for one-bedroom apartments: $875
Average rent for two-bedroom apartments: $996
    • Cleveland, OH

      RudyBalasko via Getty Images
Average rent for one-bedroom apartments: $730
Average rent for two-bedroom apartments: $918
    • St. Louis, MO

      Suman Roychoudhury via Getty Images
Average rent for one-bedroom apartments: $730
Average rent for two-bedroom apartments: $911
    • Oklahoma City, OK

      Don Klumpp via Getty Images
Average rent for one-bedroom apartments: $670
Average rent for two-bedroom apartments: $858
    • Indianapolis, IN

      Don Klumpp via Getty Images
Average rent for one-bedroom apartments: $648
Average rent for two-bedroom apartments: $771
    • El Paso, TX

      Jeremy Woodhouse via Getty Images
Average rent for one-bedroom apartments: $631
Average rent for two-bedroom apartments: $784
    • Tucson, AZ

      David Sucsy via Getty Images
Average rent for one-bedroom apartments: $599
Average rent for two-bedroom apartments: $865
    • Wichita, KS

      DenisTangneyJr via Getty Images
Average rent for one-bedroom apartments: $555
Average rent for two-bedroom apartments: $621