Subscribe to our Newsletter
May 25, 2016 Big-city living comes with quite a few perks. Grocery stores and shopping centers are often in walking distance and there are usually plenty of restaurants, bars and activities close by. But when you live in a city with a high cost of living, you have less purchasing power. You might spend a lot more on housing, food and healthcare than you would if you lived somewhere else.
May 27, 2016 Though the U.S. doesn't rank as the happiest country in the world (that honor goes to Denmark) Americans report high levels of life satisfaction. The U.S. ranked 13th in a recent World Happiness Report that looked at 156 countries. But how do individual counties within the U.S. stack up in the happiness stakes? Let's take a look.
Mar 31, 2016 Feeling the lure of the Windy City? Ready to make your home in the Jewel of the Midwest? We don't blame you. Chicago combines the features of a major city with a small-town feel and Midwestern friendliness. Here are 13 tips for anyone considering moving to Chicago.
Aug 09, 2016 Alaska, also known as the Great Land, is on many people's travel bucket list. If you visit Alaska on vacation and fall in love with it, you may decide you want to move to the country's 49th state. While Alaska famously offers an annual check to each of the state's residents, the high cost of living may offset this perk. Here's what you need to know about expenses in the state, as well as what you can expect to pay in each of the following major expense categories.
Mar 15, 2016 In the wake of the housing crisis last decade, homeownership rates declined markedly. In 2005, more than 69% of American households owned the home they lived in. Today that rate is just 64%. The decline has been especially steep among young homeowners. At the end of 2015, less than 35% of adults under the age of 35 owned their home.
Feb 03, 2017 After reaching historic lows, mortgage rates are once again on the rise. But homeowners who are looking to refinance can still get a great deal. A mortgage refinance can certainly help you keep more cash in your pocket but you need to weigh the pros and cons before you sign on the dotted line. If you're wondering whether now's the time to take out a new home loan, here are three reasons why it makes good financial sense.
Dec 22, 2016 Do you owe more on your mortgage loan than what your home is worth? You're not alone. In the third quarter of 2013 6.4 million homeowners were similarly underwater on their homes. That comes out to 13 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage.
Feb 17, 2017 Saving for a down payment could take years, especially if you're trying to buy a house in an expensive market. But the more money you put down, the less you'll have to borrow and the lower your loan-to-value (LTV) ratio. What exactly is the loan-to-value ratio? Here's a breakdown of what it means and what mortgage lenders consider to be a good loan-to-value ratio.
Feb 16, 2017 Chicago is the third-largest city in the U.S., with a diverse population and a diverse economy to match. Financial services, engineering and publishing are some of the biggest industries in the Windy City but manufacturing and food processing are key drivers, too. Here's what to know about working in Chicago.
Feb 16, 2017 Homeownership rates still have not fully recovered from the 2007 housing crisis, data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows. For some age groups, foregoing homeownership is not a hard decision. It can offer more labor market flexibility and the chance to pursue other investments. For many retirees, however, homeownership may be an important facet of their retirement plan, giving them stability as well as the chance to build equity. Below we look at where the homeownership rates for retirees are rising the fastest.
Feb 15, 2017 We've all grown accustomed to instant gratification. We can get instant coffee and instant access to our favorite movies and TV shows. So when we actually have to wait for something, being patient can be challenging. This issue often arises when it's time to buy a house. While many of us want to purchase a house within a few weeks, buying and moving into a new home could take a few months (or more).
Feb 17, 2017 Television ratings reveal that hockey is far from being America's favorite pastime. In fact, the numbers seem to suggest that the sport's popularity is declining, especially in terms of viewership. Only 3.9 million viewers tuned in for the six-game Stanley Cup Finals in 2016, compared to the 5.6 million viewers who watched the series the previous year.
Feb 14, 2017 Whether you just bought a house or you're trying to renovate an old one, furniture shopping can be intense. And depending on what you're looking for, it can also be expensive. If you're on a budget, your best bet is to begin looking for a new couch or dresser when it's on sale. If you're not sure when to start shopping, we'll tell you the best time to buy furniture.
Feb 15, 2017 Ever feel like you're one step away from looking under sofa cushions to cobble together your next rent payment? You're probably not alone. In past studies we've highlighted cities where rent payments are gobbling up the majority of residents' incomes. Below, we look at data on the largest cities in the country to see how many hours the average person needs to work to pay rent.
Feb 13, 2017 How long does it take to sell a house? It depends on where you live and what's happening in your local housing market. If it's a seller's market, home sellers will have an advantage. There will be lots of buyers competing for a limited number of homes. The opposite is true in a buyer's market, when homebuyers have the upper hand. If you're not sure how long your house will sit on the market, looking at trends might help you prepare for the home-selling process.
Feb 10, 2017 Reverse mortgages are popular among seniors. Through the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) Program, retirees can turn their home equity into a monthly source of income without moving out of their houses. And with their extra cash, seniors can remodel their homes and pay for their living expenses. If you're interested in buying a new home in retirement, a reverse mortgage can cover the cost of that, too. That's where the HECM for Purchase Program comes into play.
Feb 09, 2017 Thinking about moving to Los Angeles for the beautiful weather, diverse population and access to California's natural beauty? Well, unless you're retired, a student or independently wealthy you'll also need to work in LA. Check out our list of 10 things to know about working in Los Angeles.
Feb 09, 2017 Home is where the heart is, so the saying goes. For homeowners, their home is also where they probably invested a large chunk of their money. In some places homeownership has proved to be a worthwhile investment, as the home values skyrocket. But in other places, depressed home values and high property taxes may have made owning a home less worth it.
Feb 08, 2017 Just before the end of the Obama administration, outgoing Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Julian Castro announced that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), would be lowering mortgage premium insurance rates on FHA loans. On his first day in office, President Trump reversed that decision, keeping FHA insurance rates where they are. Let's take a look at what this decision means.
Feb 13, 2017 The marriage rate has declined over the past several decades and the median age of first marriages for women and men has climbed steadily in the past 50 years. While many people are postponing marriage or avoiding it altogether, walking down the aisle is still part of the American Dream. What's more, being single by the time you reach a certain age is usually considered less than ideal.
Feb 07, 2017 Do homeowners sell their houses before paying off their mortgages? Turns out, it happens more often than you may think. After all, most mortgage loan terms last for 30 years and few homeowners stay in their houses for that long. While you can sell your home before ditching your mortgage debt, there are some things you should know before putting your house on the market.
Feb 06, 2017 Putting 20% down on a house may not be feasible for everyone. That's why many homebuyers get stuck paying private mortgage insurance (PMI). Having to pay mortgage insurance can make owning a home more expensive. But you may not be responsible for making those payments over the entire life of your loan. Depending on your circumstances, your PMI can either be canceled automatically or upon request. Read on to find out how to get rid of PMI.
Feb 03, 2017 Paying property taxes is inevitable for homeowners. The amount each homeowner pays per year varies depending on local tax rates and a property's assessed value (or a yearly estimate of a property's market value). If you’re unsure of how and when you must pay real estate taxes, know that you might be paying them along with your monthly mortgage payments.
Feb 02, 2017 Raising a family can be tough. First of all, it's expensive. The USDA estimates that raising a child born in 2015 would cost a family $233,000 over 18 years. It's common nowadays for both parents to work outside of the home, meaning they need to pay for full-time child care, which can be very costly. Parents also want to give their children the best chance to succeed so school quality is on many parents' minds when deciding where to live.
Feb 01, 2017 Wedding costs are climbing. Between 2014 and 2015, the average cost of a wedding rose by 4.6%, according to The Knot Real Weddings Study. Nuptials now cost $32,641, on average, and one in eight couples spend more than $40,000 when tying the knot. Interestingly enough, research suggests that brides and grooms who spend more money on their weddings have a greater chance of getting divorced. Read on for our ranking of the best U.S. cities for an affordable wedding.
Jan 31, 2017 Buying a home takes a lot of planning. Neighborhoods need to be researched, open houses attended and, if you have children, schools need to be investigated. But first and foremost, before you can even take the first step in buying a home, you need to make sure you have enough saved up for a down payment. Depending on where you live, saving for a down payment can be a multi-year process requiring careful financial planning. Below, we investigate how long it takes to save for a down payment in some of the largest cities in the country.
Jan 30, 2017 Going from renting to buying is a high priority for many Americans. We've all been taught that homeownership is a key piece of the American dream. But if you're between jobs, is homeownership out of reach? Let's take a closer look at the question of whether you can buy a home while unemployed.
Jan 27, 2017 By consistently paying your mortgage bill on time, you're showing your lender that you're a responsible borrower. That may be obvious, but what's often overlooked is the art of making extra mortgage payments. Paying more than you're required to can benefit you in several different ways, including reducing the amount of interest you pay over time. If you're interested in making extra mortgage payments, here's how to do it.
Jan 26, 2017 Thinking of moving to Pittsburgh? You're part of a rare breed. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported in March 2016 that, per U.S. Census Bureau data, "among the nation’s 30 largest metropolitan areas, Pittsburgh is the only one deemed to have fewer people on July 1, 2015, than were counted during the official 2010 census." Translation? Pittsburgh isn't growing, despite being a great place to live. Check out our list of the 15 things to know before moving to Pittsburgh.
Jan 23, 2017 If buying a home is one of your resolutions for the new year, you'll need to make sure that your credit is in good shape. Since the Federal Reserve may raise interest rates more than once in 2017, mortgage rates may climb. Having an excellent credit score can work in your favor. But having a bad credit score could keep you from buying a house. As you navigate the home-buying process, here are some common credit mistakes you should avoid at all costs.
Jan 20, 2017 Home sales tend to rise when the weather warms up. That's good news for anyone who wants to sell a home. But before you put your house on the market, you may need to add some tasks to your to-do list. Giving your house a facelift may be necessary if you want an edge over the competition. Here are six ways to prepare your home for the spring buying season.
Jan 19, 2017 Some people eat just to live. For others, colloquially known as foodies, eating is the reason to live. Foodies' lives are enriched by the act of eating great food. Some love to cook gourmet meals, while others like to go to sit-down restaurants and have gourmet meals prepared for them. For others still it's the ingredients that are the most important, with questions like, "is the food sourced locally?" and "is this produce high quality?" looming large. We looked at data on these and other factors to determine the best cities for foodies.
Feb 01, 2017 Vacation home prices have skyrocketed in recent years, causing home sales to fall. According to a report from the National Association of Realtors, vacation home sales declined by 18.5% between 2014 and 2015. Buying a second home by the beach has become impossible for many Americans, including millennials and others who can barely afford to buy their first homes.
Jan 17, 2017 One of the most challenging aspects of the home-buying process is getting access to financing. Securing a loan can be even more difficult when you're planning to build a house from the ground up instead of getting a mortgage to purchase an existing property. If you're building instead of buying the home of your dreams, here are some things that you'll need to keep in mind.
Jan 16, 2017 You've spent months scouring real estate listings and you've finally found your dream home. You put in an offer and everything seems to be smooth sailing until you get that dreaded call from your real estate agent: There are other buyers interested in the property. Even worse, they're offering the seller more money. Before you know it, you find yourself in the middle of a heated bidding war.
Feb 07, 2017 Steel City is known for its industrial history and its scrappy charm. Recently, several articles have touted Pittsburgh as an affordable option for young creatives priced out of other cities. Let's take a closer look at the cost of living in Pittsburgh and how expensive it is to live in the city.
Jan 13, 2017 Thinking of moving to Michigan? With a population of just under 10 million, the Great Lakes State has a lot to offer, from affordable housing to stunning landscapes. The state's economy has had its ups and downs, sure, but the Wolverine State is still drawing new residents. Check out our list of 15 things to know before moving to Michigan.
Jan 17, 2017 Coffee is the lifeblood for many Americans. It is not uncommon to hear people say they can’t start the day without that first cup of joe. However much like beer, a unique culture around coffee is growing across America. Take Starbucks for example, there's one on every corner, but today's coffee snobs spurn the global icon in favor of flat whites and Costa Rican pourover coffee. But not all cities are as coffee-obsessed as others. We looked through the data to see which American cities are the best for coffee fanatics.
Jan 10, 2017 Homeownership rates are on the decline for all age groups across the country, data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows. This trend is particularly pronounced for millennials, whose homeownership rates dropped from 40% in 2006 to 32% in 2015. With house prices back on the rise, sky-high rents and student loan debt, it's not surprising that young adults today are struggling to buy their own homes. However in some American cities, millennials are bucking the trend and buying rather than renting. Below we comb through the data to find out where are millennials buying homes.
Jan 05, 2017 New Mexico has attracted residents drawn to its beautiful landscape and weather. If you're thinking of moving to New Mexico, there are some tips that can help you prepare for the transition. Check out our list of 15 things to know before moving to New Mexico.
Jan 03, 2017 When you buy an older home instead of a newly constructed home, you have the opportunity to choose a property that has its own unique personality. But it could turn out to be a money pit if you have to spend thousands of dollars restoring different parts of the home. Before making an offer on an older house, here are five important questions you'll need to consider.
Dec 30, 2016 Getting an inspection is one of the most important steps of the home-buying process. The inspection is designed to assure homebuyers that a property has no major defects or issues that could delay a home sale. Problems can arise, however, when an inspection doesn't reveal something that a homebuyer would have liked to know about before closing on their home. If that happens, a buyer may wonder whether they can sue their home inspector.
Dec 29, 2016 With a population of around 5.5 million, Minnesota is famous for the high quality of life it offers. Thinking of moving to Minnesota? You don't have to settle in the Twin Cities or the surrounding suburbs. You can opt for a rural residence on a farm, by a lake or in the mountains. Wherever you decide to live, here are 15 things to know before moving to Minnesota.
Dec 28, 2016 The real estate market is constantly evolving and 2017 is shaping up to be another year of change. If you're planning to buy a home in the new year (or you want to sell your existing home), it doesn't hurt to know a thing or two about what's trending in the markets. As we look ahead to the new year, here's what should be on your radar with regard to the housing markets.
Dec 28, 2016 SmartAsset looked at America through a number of personal finance lenses over the past year. We crunched data to find the best cities to get out of debt and the cities where homeowners save the most on taxes. We did analyses where finance was only part of the equation, like the most affordable beach towns in America or the best cities for millennials. We also analyzed the job market to see where workers are succeeding, for studies like the best cities for women in tech and the best cities for pay in STEM jobs.
Dec 27, 2016 Beer brewing is experiencing something of a renaissance at the moment. Since 2000 the number of breweries in America has tripled, data from the Brewers Association shows. This growth in breweries is great news for beer drinkers across the country no matter where they live. But whether it comes to prices, variety or availability, some cities are better than others for quenching a beer lover's thirst for the carbonated beverage. Below we investigate which cities every beer drinker needs to check out.
Dec 26, 2016 Buying a home isn't something you should do on a whim. After all, homebuyers have to make a lot of decisions. Besides choosing a location and deciding how much you're willing to pay, you'll need to think about when you want to seal the deal on a new home. Is the spring the best time to buy a house? Or would you have better luck waiting until the fall? Let's look at what industry experts have to say about the best time to buy a house.
Dec 28, 2016 Thinking of moving to Wyoming? There are plenty of reasons a person might be drawn to the Equality State. For many, the state's natural beauty is the main attraction. Some of the country's most beloved national parks are located in Wyoming, and the state's residents are big on the outdoors. Here are 15 things to know before moving to Wyoming.
Dec 28, 2016 After an extended period of record-low interest rates, the Federal Reserve decided to raise rates by a quarter of a percentage point. If you have your sights set on becoming a homeowner, you may have your work cut out for you. Looking at the long-term interest rate outlook - and how that may affect home prices - can give you a better idea of whether the new year is the right time to tread the homeownership path.
Dec 21, 2016 There's no getting around the fact that Americans as a whole could be in better shape. More than two in three American adults are considered overweight or obese, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. But getting in shape is not easy. Fast food tempts the would-be dieter, gyms are often crowded and unappealing and after a long day at work it's hard to muster up the energy to work out.
Dec 29, 2016 Since the Federal Reserve decided to raise interest rates during its December meeting, mortgage rates may rise in 2017. Even if rates don't increase substantially, taking on a home loan could become more expensive. If you're interested in buying a home in the new year, here's what you can do now to improve your chances of getting approved for a mortgage loan.
Dec 28, 2016 Idaho's state nickname is the Gem State, and once you've seen Idaho you'll realize how apt the name really is. Yes, there are gemstones and other natural resources, but a lot of Idahoans would say that the real gem in Idaho is the landscape. Not a nature lover? You might still be drawn to the state's economic opportunities.
Dec 15, 2016 Ahead of the presidential election, publications like the New York Times, the Huffington Post and 538 gave Hillary Clinton somewhere between a 65%-99% chance of winning the election. You know what happened next. As November 8 ticked into November 9 and it became less and less likely that Clinton would win, people began wondering how forecasters got it so wrong.
Dec 20, 2016 The U.S. economy isn't exactly booming. While the unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level since 2007, the economy is still growing at a relatively slow pace. Some places, however, are better off than others. For the third year in a row, SmartAsset took a look at the places experiencing rapid population and economic growth. Read on to find out which cities rank at the top of our list.
Dec 13, 2016 Of all American values, entrepreneurship is one of the most revered. Many Americans dream of the day they can take out a loan, build their own business and make it on their own. Big metro areas like San Francisco and New York get most of the attention when it comes to entrepreneurship but there are plenty of smaller metros where people are also living the American dream. We were curious about them. Read on for SmartAsset's look at which small and mid-size metro areas in America are the most entrepreneurial.
Dec 09, 2016 Many people dream of moving to New York City and pursuing a new life or career. But some transplants fail to realize that they may not be able to live in the city without finding a roommate. One-bedroom apartments in the Big Apple now cost around $3,000, on average. If you need help finding a roommate who won't drive you up the wall, here are some ways to get started.
Dec 28, 2016 Thinking of moving to Utah? We don't blame you. The state is known for its high quality of life, low crime and beautiful landscape. Utah is more affordable than neighboring state Colorado but offers similar climate and access to stunning mountains. Here are 15 things to know before moving to Utah.
Dec 08, 2016 Millennials are now the largest generation in the country, having passed Baby Boomers sometime in the past year. There are no shortage of stereotypes used to describe millennials (defined as those ages 18-34 in 2015). Millennials have been called lazy, entitled and narcissistic. But in reality, many millennials don't have it easy. The generation faces an incredibly competitive globalized labor market and are often saddled with mortgage-sized student loan payments, tacked onto sky-high rent costs. This means that it's important for millennials to be smart about where they choose to live. With that in mind, we ranked the best cities for millennials.
Dec 06, 2016 Charlotte is the largest city in North Carolina and has a population that's growing quickly. Between 2010 and 2015, Census Bureau records indicate that Charlotte's population grew by 12.4%. Have prices risen along with the population? Let's take a closer look at the cost of living in Charlotte.
Dec 01, 2016 If you can't afford to pay your monthly mortgage bill, you have a couple of options. For one, you can choose to refinance. You can also apply for a loan modification. The former would force you to start over with a brand new loan. But the latter would allow you to make adjustments to your original loan terms so that your mortgage payments are less burdensome. If you're interested in getting a loan modification, here are three steps you'll need to take.
Dec 28, 2016 Intrigued by the Green Mountain State? Thinking of moving to Vermont? Vermont has experienced slow population growth in recent years, but that doesn't mean it's not worth putting on your list of potential destinations. To help you make your decision, here are 15 things to know before moving to Vermont.
Nov 29, 2016 If you own an investment property that you rent out to tenants, you might be wondering whether landlord insurance is right for you. You probably want some form of insurance coverage for your property and for the liability you take on when you rent to tenants. Landlord insurance rolls those and other forms of coverage into one policy. Here's how it works.
Nov 29, 2016 If you're dying to move out west but you can't afford to live in Seattle or San Francisco, you might want to consider moving to Denver. Located just east of the Rocky Mountains, the Mile-High City has many appealing features, including its strong economy and the almost constant presence of sunshine. But renting in Denver is not for the faint of heart. If you're interested in living there, here's what you need to know about the city's rental market.
Nov 29, 2016 Not all ski resorts shut down when the winter season ends. Quite a few stay open throughout the year, giving tourists something to do in the summer months and nearby communities a much-needed economic boost. In fact, in the state of Colorado alone, the ski industry brings in over $4 billion per year. If you'd like to ski and breathe fresh mountain air on a daily basis, you'll love our list of the best ski towns to live in.
Nov 25, 2016 Some homebuyers prefer to have their new homes built from scratch. If you fall into this category, you might already have your sights set on the perfect piece of land for your dream home to sit on. But buying land can be expensive and not everyone has enough money saved up to make that kind of purchase. Fortunately, there are loans you can take out in order to buy empty land.
Dec 28, 2016 Thinking of moving to Virginia? You're not alone. The state has a reputation for a well-educated population and a strong job market. Of course, there's more than one way of living a Virginia life. There are small towns and sizable cities, conservative communities and liberal ones. Check out our list of 15 things to know before moving to Virginia.
Nov 24, 2016 In 2016, the U.S. homeownership rate fell to its lowest level since 1965. What's behind this trend and what are the implications for the country? Let's take a closer look at the homeownership rate and what it says about economic conditions in the U.S. and how Americans are forming households.
Nov 23, 2016 Are you starting to think it might be time for a change? Moving to a new city can be a great way to shake up your professional and social life. It's good to feel comfortable in your surroundings, but it can be easy to fall into a rut if you stay in the same place for too long. Of course, moving isn't for everyone, but here five signs you should move to a new city.
Nov 22, 2016 Dreaming of renting in Seattle? You'll be in good company. In this soggy seaport city on the West Coast, you'll be surrounded by people from all walks of life. And surprisingly, more than half of them are renters. Whether you're moving to the Emerald City to work at Microsoft or a local coffee shop, here's what you need to know about the rental market in Seattle.
Nov 21, 2016 Don’t have enough cash for a down payment? If you can't put at least 20% down on a house, you might have to pay for private mortgage insurance. Luckily, there are ways to get around that. One solution is to find out whether you qualify for lender-paid mortgage insurance. Depending on your arrangement, lender-paid mortgage insurance can lower your monthly mortgage payment.
Nov 17, 2016 People choose where to live based on a variety of factors. Although safety may not the number one concern for everyone, it is certainly a factor most people consider when deciding on a place to call home. People typically think of safety in terms of crime but other factors like bad air quality or the prevalence of reckless drivers also make for an unsafe environment. We looked at these and other factors to create a ranking of the safest cities in America for 2016.
Nov 16, 2016 Much has been written about rent increases in America’s largest cities. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that in cities like Boston, New York and San Francisco, rents have risen by 10-15% from 2012 to 2015. An interesting component of this discussion is the rise in incomes, as that often accompanies the rise in rent. We at SmartAsset were curious about the cities where incomes are rising faster than rents.
Nov 16, 2016 According to most research, a pay gap exists between men and women in the U.S. The numbers vary but for the working population over age 15 nationwide that gap is around 28%, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. This means women make 72 cents on average for every dollar men do. And pay is not the only important metric to consider when it comes to workplace equality.
Nov 15, 2016 Miami is a popular spring break destination for college kids eager to get away from campus for a week. Those who live there get to enjoy sunshine and sandy beaches year round. But for some folks, living in Miami comes with certain costs. In fact, it's one of the least affordable cities for renters. If you can see yourself moving to the area, read on for a look at the ins and outs of renting in Miami.
Nov 11, 2016 Between 2010 and 2015, the population of South Carolina increased by 5.9%. The state's population is expected to hit the 5 million mark by the 2020 census. Are you thinking of moving to South Carolina? You're not alone. Here are 15 things to know before moving to South Carolina.
Nov 15, 2016 Hosting a successful conference starts with choosing the right venue. But in order to decide where to hold your event, you'll need to consider several factors. Will there be enough hotels available to accommodate your guests? Will the venue be close to local restaurants and bars? To answer these questions, SmartAsset ranked the best cities in America to host conferences.
Nov 08, 2016 Paying off your mortgage ahead of schedule could be a good idea if you want to save money on interest. In the process of getting rid of your home loan just one or two years early, you could potentially save hundreds of dollars. But if you're planning to take that approach, it's important to avoid making mistakes. Here are four missteps that could cost you when you're trying to pay off your mortgage early.
Nov 03, 2016 Unlike most states, Maine has had a fairly flat population in recent years. New residents are barely offsetting the residents the state loses each year, though the southern half of the state is growing more quickly than the northern part. Are you thinking of moving to Maine? Here are 15 things to know before you go.
Nov 02, 2016 Some folks don't like being stuck inside. They prefer to spend their free time participating in different outdoor activities, from cycling and backpacking to whitewater rafting. Finding a peaceful park or a quiet hiking trail can be a challenge, particularly when you live in a major metropolitan area. But in some cases you don't have to sacrifice your love of nature for a big-city lifestyle. We took a look at the best cities in the country for outdoor enthusiasts.
Nov 03, 2016 The process of readjusting to civilian life can be difficult for many veterans. One survey from Pew Research Center found that 27% of veterans said they had a difficult time reacclimating to civilian life. It can be difficult for veterans to find work, rebuild support structures and start a new life, especially for those experiencing PTSD.
Feb 03, 2017 Did you go to a school that required uniforms? Do your kids wear school uniforms now? If you answered "yes" to either question, you probably have strong feelings about uniform requirements in schools. Even if you don't have a personal connection to uniforms, you might be interested in the topic. If so, check out our guide to the pros and cons of school uniforms.
Dec 28, 2016 Do you have Georgia on your mind? Ready to move to a state where the tea is sweet and the trees drip Spanish moss? With a population of over 10 million people and a growing political profile as a possible swing state, Georgia is a popular choice for Americans on the move. Here are 15 things to know before moving to Georgia.
Nov 03, 2016 City dwellers can get pretty riled up when extolling the virtues of their chosen city. Just try talking to any New Yorker. But have you ever wondered how your city compares to others in practical factors like housing costs, crime and walkability? In other words, which cities in the United States are the most livable? We at SmartAsset were curious so we ran the numbers on 93 of the biggest cities in the country. Read on to see what we found out.
Oct 24, 2016 When you have pets, finding someone who's willing to buy your home can be challenging. You may love your animals, but buyers may not be able to see the true value of your property if they're distracted by a barking family dog or the antics of a curious cat. If you're preparing to put your home on the market, here's how to prevent your pets from scaring away potential buyers.
Feb 03, 2017 Some praise globalization while others protest the phenomenon and blame it for job loss and other ills. Even if you're investing in emerging market funds or buying items made abroad, you may not have given much thought to the arguments for and against globalization. Is one side correct or is globalization more of a mixed bag? Let's take a look at some of the pros and cons of globalization.
Oct 20, 2016 Montana is known for its natural beauty. You may have seen scenes shot in Montana if you saw the films "A River Runs Through It" or "The Horse Whisperer." Broad swathes of the Montana country is not just beautiful but empty. The state's population density is the third lowest in the country, behind Alaska and Wyoming. If that sounds like the perfect escape to you, here are 15 things to know before moving to Montana.
Oct 18, 2016 Subletting your apartment might make sense if you're planning to be away from home for months at a time. Finding someone to temporarily take over your space can be a good alternative to breaking a lease or having to move out completely. Whether you're planning to sublet to a friend, family member or a complete stranger, there are a few things you'll need to keep in mind.
Oct 18, 2016 Buying a home is a big deal and it's important to make sure that it's protected. Homeowners insurance can cover the cost of damages that result from a fire or a windstorm. But your insurance policy will only goes so far. Purchasing a home warranty can give you some peace of mind but warranties have their limitations as well. Let's take a look at what home warranties typically cover.
Oct 13, 2016 Research reveals that while women are statistically better than men at keeping up with their mortgage payments, they're also more likely to pay more for a loan. According to the Urban Institute, while women borrow less money from lenders than men, 4.9% of female homebuyers end up with a higher-priced mortgage loan compared to 4.6% of male homebuyers.
Dec 28, 2016 The population of the state of Arizona grew by 6.8% between 2010 and 2015. It's one of the 10 fastest-growing states in the country. Are you considering moving to Arizona? Maybe you're drawn by the beautiful mountains or the low cost of living. If so, here are 15 things you should know about the state before you go.
Oct 27, 2016 Ever wondered how trick-or-treating conditions in your neighborhood stack up against those in other cities? Should your neighbors give out more candy to your kids? Is your area as safe on Halloween night as it is across town? It's hard to know for sure. That's why we created a list of the best places to trick-or-treat. We ranked 252 of the largest U.S. cities using seven metrics, including local crime rates, weather and home affordability. Read on to learn what we discovered.
Oct 11, 2016 In most cases, when you own a piece of property you have both "surface rights" and "mineral rights." That means you have a right to build (or not) on the land, and rights to what lies beneath the surface of the land, too. If there's oil, coal or natural gas below the surface of the land on your property, you may be approached about selling your mineral rights.
Oct 10, 2016 Many millennials who want to become homeowners simply can't afford to buy a house. In some cases, it takes young adults a decade to save up for a standard 20% down payment. If you don't want to defer your dream of owning a home for the next 10 years, you might need to create a savings strategy. Here are some of the fastest ways to come up with the cash you need for a down payment.
Oct 06, 2016 A survey published by Discover found that millennials are twice as likely as baby boomers to take out a home equity loan. While many of the participants used a home equity loan to consolidate debt or tackle remodeling projects, 27% said they relied on a loan as a source of emergency cash. While taking on a home equity loan may cheaper than racking up credit card debt, it's not a tool you should use on a whim.
Oct 06, 2016 Over 10 million people live in North Carolina, a fast-growing state with highly productive pockets such as the Research Triangle. The Tar Heel State combines natural beauty with technological innovation and a high quality of life. If you're thinking of moving to North Carolina, you're not alone. But before you go, here are 15 things to know about the state.
Oct 05, 2016 Fall is in the air and for some home sellers, it's the perfect time to try and find a buyer. Selling a home in October or November can work in your favor since there's less competition. But it's important to be diligent if you want to negotiate the best deal. With Halloween on the horizon, here's a look at some home-selling mistakes that can leave you feeling tricked rather than treated.
Nov 03, 2016 November is just around the corner, which means it's almost time for Americans to go out and vote. However, there is wide disparity in voter turnout across the 50 states. In 2014, some states had as little as 33% voter participation while others had as high as 61%. Voting is really a two-step process: first you register to vote and then you cast your ballot. Someone who registers to vote but doesn’t actually vote can still be considered more politically engaged than someone who never registered at all. And, of course, voting isn't the only way to be an engaged citizen, you can also donate to campaigns and volunteer. So states with high numbers of voter registration, voter turnout and campaign donations can be said to be politically engaged. With these factors in mind, we at SmartAsset crunched the numbers to find out which are the most politically engaged states.
Oct 04, 2016 Living with a roommate in college can be tough. And if you thought those days ended when you graduated, think again. As rental prices rise at an alarming rate, renters in some cities are forced into communal living situations. Depending on where you live, sharing an apartment with a roommate might make the most sense, particularly when thinking about your short-term financial circumstances.
Oct 03, 2016 If you're ready to shop around for a home, it's best to make sure you can qualify for a loan first. Getting preapproved for a mortgage can give you an idea of how much you'll be able to borrow. At the same time, it can show home sellers that you're ready to commit to a purchase. If you want to improve your chances of getting preapproved, here are some mistakes you can't afford to make.
Dec 28, 2016 In 2015 Oregon's population hit the 4 million mark. According to the Census Bureau, the state's population grew by 5.2% between 2010 and 2015 and continues to grow. If you're thinking about moving to Oregon, it might be worth knowing more about what it's like to live there. Here are 15 things that anyone moving to Oregon should know.