Loading
Tap on the profile icon to edit
your financial details.

Mortgage

Aug 09, 2018 Both the Texas state government and U.S. federal government offer special programs for first-time home buyers who might be struggling to get the money together to make a purchase. Depending on your exact needs, you may be able to find a loan with cheap down payment requirements and low credit score minimums in addition to ones designed for specific demographic sets you might fit into like veterans or school teachers. If you want help throughout the process, SmartAsset’s SmartAdvisor matching tool has the ability to match you with up to three nearby financial advisors who can help find the best mortgage for you. Read More...

Aug 08, 2018 The process of purchasing your first home can be daunting and expensive, and it will likely include many financial situations you’ve never encountered. Luckily, the federal and Florida state governments have stepped in and created programs specifically for first-time home buyers. Even if you don’t have much to put toward a down payment, or you need a low interest rate, these loans and mortgage programs are great options that are worth looking into. If you want some help ensuring that you’ve made the right mortgage choice, the SmartAdvisor matching tool can pair you… Read More...

Aug 08, 2018 While it may seem like an intimidating process, purchasing and owning your first home is a reachable goal. Some of the cheapest and most reliable ways to hang your hat on a nice piece of property are through mortgage programs specifically geared toward first-time homebuyers. These are available both at the state and national level, though what the federal government and California state government can offer will differ. If you’d prefer to get personalized help throughout the process of getting a first-time homebuyer loan, the SmartAdvisor matching tool can connect you with as many as three fiduciary financial advisors in your area. Read More...

Dec 08, 2017 Raising a family in this country isn't cheap. According to the USDA, the average cost to raise a child is $233,610. That includes food, shelter and other necessities. It doesn't include the cost of college or private school. These costs can be even higher in a city like Los Angeles. Read More...

Jun 25, 2018 First-time homebuyer programs throughout the country help hopeful homeowners even if they are low- to moderate-income individuals. These programs also assist Americans in securing  mortgages when they don't have the best credit scores. Some even cater to specific professions like those in law enforcement, education and the military. Read More...

May 22, 2018 The  debt-to-income ratio is one of the most important factors mortgage lenders use to evaluate the creditworthiness of borrowers. It measures the size of your monthly debt burden relative to the size of your monthly pay. And in addition to your credit score and other financial information, it helps lenders decide whether you're capable of taking on another loan. Worried that you have too much debt to buy a house? Let's look at what lenders have to say about the ideal debt-to-income ratio for mortgages. Read More...

May 15, 2018 It’s no secret that living in New York City is darn expensive. Before the average NYC resident’s paycheck even reaches the bank, she’s shelling out some of the highest income taxes in the country, with total rates ranging from 7% to 12%. After that, she’s facing some of the least affordable housing in the country, along with prices for every-day products that are up to twice the national averages. Read More...

Dec 20, 2017 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. Read More...

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. Read More...

Jun 19, 2018 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.  Read More...

Aug 15, 2018 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.  We've also identified the top financial advisor firms in Anchorage to help you manage your assets. 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. Read More...

Apr 05, 2017 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. Read More...

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. Read More...

May 21, 2018 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. Read More...

Aug 15, 2018 Purchasing your first home can be intimidating. In Maryland, where there’s no county with an average list price under $100,000 , it can be expensive too. Going through the homebuying process, you will likely encounter many situations and price tags that you never have before as you try to secure a mortgage. Luckily, both federal and Maryland state governments offer programs to help first-time home buyers  navigate and afford this major purchase. No matter what your financial situation, these programs are worth looking into. Since it can be challenging to decide which mortgage is right for you, check out… Read More...

Aug 15, 2018 Making a down payment for a new home can be expensive, even for those with decent income. If you're eyeing a particular home but don't know whether you can afford to make a down payment to secure a mortgage, don't worry. Down payment assistance programs are widely available to home buyers who need an extra leg-up. Read More...

Aug 14, 2018 It's important to understand the distinction between the annual percentage rate (APR) and interest rate when financing your property with a  mortgage or taking another kind of loan. Both detail the rates associated with borrowing money, but the terms do differ. APR highlights the overall costs of taking out a loan. The interest rate, however, shows you how much money you'll spend monthly for financing your purchase. Therefore, the APR vs. interest distinction is the cost each entails. Read More...

Aug 16, 2018 Tech jobs are some of the hottest in the country. And the increasingly available opportunities to work in tech deliver high salaries, to boot. But because some of the traditional tech hubs are clustered in the cities with the highest cost of living, like New York or San Francisco, that tech pay may not always go so far. There are, however, plenty of nontraditional tech cities where pay is still high and where workers don’t need to worry about whether or not they can afford their mortgage. Read More...

Aug 08, 2018 Between breathtaking natural beauty, a burgeoning craft beer scene and a plethora of job opportunities, there are plenty of reasons to move to Colorado . Unfortunately, home prices in the Centennial State have grown exponentially since Colorado rebounded from the 2008 recession. Prices don't show signs of slowing down  but that doesn’t mean first-time home buyers should steer clear of securing a mortgage. The federal and Colorado state governments have created loan and mortgage programs to  help make the process a bit… Read More...

Aug 03, 2018 When you take out a mortgage and have a down payment of less than 20% of the home's value, you typically have to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI). But if you're securing a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan, you're not off the hook. In this case, you'll have to pay FHA mortgage insurance. This helps the lender lower its risk in case you default on the loan. But how much does it cost, what are the terms and is it canceable? Below, we explain the ins and outs of FHA loan insurance. Read More...

Aug 01, 2018 One of the most important decisions young families make is deciding where to raise their children. Families need to balance priorities like finding a city where they can get an affordable mortgage and living somewhere with access to first-class public schools. Below we look at these and other factors to rank the best cities for children. Read More...

Jul 30, 2018 With homeownership comes home equity. Both home equity loans and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) use the equity you've built up to help you pay off big expenses. You can use these loans to tackle credit card debt, tuition payments or a kitchen renovation. In addition, you can use these loans essentially as another  mortgage to pay off debt you owe on your home. You just use your home as collateral and and pay monthly payments with different interest rates on the loan. So in the HELOC vs. home equity loan decision, which is best for you? We explain the nitty-gritty below and let you decide. Read More...

Jul 27, 2018 When you take on a mortgage loan, you may be so laser-focused on reducing your debt load that you get overeager and make payments ahead of schedule. But your exuberance and diligence can actually have a negative effect. If you pay off your mortgage too quickly, you'll contend with a prepayment penalty. Here's the lowdown. Read More...

Jul 26, 2018 Trying to find an affordable apartment is almost a full-time job for renters in America’s largest cities. But the housing crisis ranges in severity, depending on which city you consider. In Columbus, Ohio, for example, the average renter spends 28.1% of their income on rent. In New York City that figure is 32%, and in Detroit the average renter spends nearly 37% of income on rent. With such a high percentage of income needed to pay for rent, renters are often unable to save up for a down payment and are locked out of the mortgage market. Read More...

Jul 24, 2018 Just under 70% of U.S. households have a pet, according to the National Pet Owners Survey. It probably comes as no surprise that the survey also found that dogs were the most popular pet for American households. Of the 85 million pet-owning households, 60.2 million of them opt for a pooch. But as any dog-owning family knows, the quality of life for you and your dog can be heavily dependent on where you live. Dog-friendly cities contain walkable streets, runnable parks and access to affordable mortgages. Read More...

Jul 30, 2018 Sometimes, scrounging up the money for a standard 20% down payment on a home can be a challenge when securing a mortgage. Even if you have the cash on hand, you may not feel comfortable parting with it. After all, you have to handle the rest of your expenses and take on the financial responsibility of your new home. But private mortgage insurance (PMI) allows you to make a lower down payment (less than 20% of the home's value) by making additional monthly insurance payments. This helps protect the lender, who is taking on added risk with the lower down payment, in case the borrower ends up in foreclosure. PMI might seem appealing if you're looking to make that smaller down payment, but the exact details of the mortgage insurance payments vary for different PMI types. Below, we take a closer look at what… Read More...

Jul 17, 2018 When it comes to owning a home, shouldering the burden of a hefty down payment and  paying off your mortgage over many years can be daunting. For that reason, it would be pretty hard to turn down a generous cash gift a few months prior to securing your mortgage. But how do you take this cash and use it specifically to cover your down payment or mortgage payments? You need to convince lenders this money is not a loan but a gift to use on your house. Gift letters solve that issue. Here's our guide to them. Read More...

Aug 09, 2018 Taking out a mortgage to buy a home can be a great investment (as long as you are buying a home you can afford, of course). Just take a look at the average American home. The median home in America increased in value by $10,500 between 2015 and 2016. That's only an increase of around 5% but for the average household in America, which took home $57,617 last year, an extra $10,500 would be worth 18% of their annual income. Read More...

Jul 16, 2018 If you're looking to build your dream house or tackle a renovation, you may want to secure a construction loan. This describes a sum of money you receive to help finance your building costs. But borrowing money in this way differs from getting a standard  mortgage. Read on to find out the requirements for a construction loan. Read More...

Jul 11, 2018 Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or a grizzled veteran of the home-buying experience, you want to make sure you are taking out a mortgage you can afford. Homes can be good investments and the best home purchasers are those who taken on mortgages they can afford while buying an undervalued home. If you’re not a real estate expert, trying to figure out the true value of a home can be difficult. Below we analyzed data to find the most undervalued cities in the U.S in 2018. Read More...

Jul 03, 2018 When you're securing a loan for a particularly expensive house, a regular mortgage may not suffice. If what you borrow exceeds a certain amount, you may need to get a jumbo loan. Jumbo loan limits describe the dollar thresholds that require you to explore a jumbo loan should you exceed them. So do you need to get a jumbo loan and should you take on the burden of buying a house that requires one? Read below to find out and gain a comprehensive understanding of jumbo loan limits.  Read More...

Jun 28, 2018 Typically when you buy a home and can't afford to pay the full price up front, you get a mortgage. You make a down payment first, and then you'll make loan payments every month over a number of years based on a particular mortgage rate until the balance reaches zero. But a balloon loan works in the inverse fashion. You start off making regular loan payments and then put down a lump-sum at the end to get fully square. Why would you opt for a balloon loan and how does it work? Read on to find out. Read More...

Jul 12, 2018 Sometimes renting can be just as difficult as homeownership. The most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that the average renting household spends 29.9% of their income on rent. Over 10 million renting households spend at least 50% of their income on housing. But those are not the only struggles renters face. The threat of eviction looms for renters struggling to cover costs and many renters, especially in the most expensive cities, are forced into long commutes to find affordable accommodation. This leaves many renters unable to save for a mortgage or for retirement. Read More...

Jun 20, 2018 Buying a home is no small decision, but when it comes to building a home, the stakes are even higher. Between finding the right contracting company and figuring out your mortgage payments, building your home can quickly become a daunting task. But a construction loan, essentially a sum of money you get to finance your building costs, can help you manage this large financial undertaking. Whether you're putting up a house from scratch or renovating, construction loans have quirks that differentiate them from a traditional mortgage. So before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you're up to date on the basics of construction loans and how they work in practice. Read More...

Aug 10, 2018 Homeownership is a hallmark of American society. Data from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis shows that 64.2% of homes in America are owner-occupied, and a Pew Research survey from 2016 found that 72% of renters would like to own a home at some time in the future. But the benefits to home ownership are different based on which state you live. Some states have seen fast-growing home values while others offer affordable mortgages, thanks to low property tax ratesRead More...

Jun 19, 2018 With summer starting to heat up it's time for families to start planning their summer vacations. This can be a stressful period, especially for families whose budgets are already stretched trying to afford their mortgage and saving for retirement. But while a dream trip to a distant country may be off the table, there are plenty of affordable U.S. destinations which families can enjoy without breaking their savings accounts. Below we rank the most affordable U.S. travel destinations. Read More...

Jun 20, 2018 Most people are faced with a trade-off when choosing where to live. You could move closer to the city center where most of the jobs are but face a more expensive mortgage and more cramped housing options or move outside of the city and enjoy more space but endure a longer commute. For every city and metro area, the math breaks down a little bit differently. In some city centers the cost of living is not much higher than the outlying metro area while some outlying metro areas have excellent commute options.  Read More...

Jun 12, 2018 According to Pew Research Center estimates there are around 71 million millennials in America and they are expected to surpass the number of baby boomers in 2019. That makes millennials a coveted generation for cities looking to bolster their workforce and tax base. But millennials are notorious for their quixotic preferences and figuring out where they will head to next can be difficult. It's a worthwhile undertaking though: where millennials decide to move has enormous impact on local markets, from the cost of a mortgage to whether or not you will be able to find a good avocado toast in your neighborhood. Read More...

Jul 02, 2018 The average home increased in value from $194,500 in 2015 to $205,000 in 2016, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. That is an impressive return of nearly $11,000, or about 5%, for American homeowners. Relative to income that extra $11,000 is equivalent to the average American household receiving a raise of 19% on their annual income. But when it comes to investing in the real estate market, location is everything. Some cities are better bets when it comes to buying an investment property, thanks to more affordable mortgages or lower property taxes. Read More...

Jun 11, 2018 Millions of American families struggle to pay mortgage payments. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, nearly 7 million American households were severely housing cost-burdened in 2016, meaning they spent over 50% of their income on housing costs. When households spend so much on housing not only are they less able to afford day-to-day expenses but they are also unable to hit financial milestones, like saving for retirement or investing with a financial advisorRead More...

Jun 04, 2018 To transfer real property, you need to use a written document known as a deed. One common type of real estate deed is the quitclaim deed. You may also see a quitclaim deed called a non-warranty deed or a quick claim deed. Quitclaim deeds are not ideal for every situation because they don’t offer much security for a homebuyer. However, they are useful in specific situations such as transferring property between family members. Below we’ll take a look at what exactly a quitclaim deed is and whether it’s worth considering one as you prepare to buy a home. Read More...

Jun 12, 2018 The U.S. ranked as the 18th-happiest country in the world in 2018, according to the World Happiness Report, released by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the U.N. That's down four spots from the 2017 ranking. But while the U.S. may not be the happiest country in the world, there are some parts of the country that are doing exceptionally well. Thanks to factors like affordable homes, low unemployment rates and high life expectancy, some counties are happier than others. Below we look at these and other factors to rank the happiest places in America. Read More...

May 17, 2018 Searching for the best rates and best mortgage terms can be hard on your own. That's why some homebuyers opt to choose a mortgage broker, the middleman of the home loan market. Instead of going to each lender for a rate quote yourself, a mortgage broker does the legwork for you. Brokers generally receive compensation from the lender you end up working with or from fees charged to you. The amount is usually a percentage of the loan total. If you decide to go with a particular mortgage broker, always be sure to calculate your monthly mortgage payment to have a full understanding of what your costs will be.  Read More...

May 15, 2018 From 2012 to 2016, the median home in the U.S. increased in value by roughly $33,000, from $172,000 to $205,000. That is great news for all the homeowners in the country. However those home investment returns have not been spread uniformly across the country. Some cities are experiencing faster than average home value growth due to the number of new residents moving to a city outpacing the number of new homes. This puts upward pressure on home values and mortgage costsRead More...

Jul 09, 2018 Many renters don't enjoy living with roommates, but in order to live alone you need to find an affordable home. This can be challenging, especially with rents on the rise across the country. However, there are some cities where living alone is within reach for a large number of workers. Below we look at these and other factors to rank the cities where you can afford to live alone. Read More...

Jun 25, 2018 It is difficult to come up with any one definition for the American Dream that every American will agree on. But certainly for many people, it includes homeownership, economic opportunity and diverse communities. For these people, they need to live in a city where homes, and mortgages, are affordable and where it’s possible to climb the economic ladder. Below we look at this special combination of traits to rank the best places for living the American Dream. Read More...

May 07, 2018 The largest purchase most Americans will make in their life is their home. With so much on the line buying a home can be a stressful and difficult process, especially for first-time homebuyers. However, thanks to local economic factors like a stable mortgage market and affordable homes, some cities are better for first-time homebuyers who are hoping to make the change from renting to buying. Read More...

Apr 30, 2018 With shows like "Flip or Flop" and "Property Wars" attracting TV viewers, Americans have become more interested than ever in how to buy a foreclosure. If you can purchase an inexpensive home, your mortgage payments will be low for the life of the loan. Dealing with foreclosures can seem like a complicated and potentially expensive process. But it's actually not so different from buying a regular home. We break it down for you in the guide below. Read More...

Apr 25, 2018 These days having a college education is not enough to ensure a financially secure future. According to data from the Census Bureau, over 30% of Americans over the age of 25 have a bachelor’s degree or a graduate degree. That means college graduates looking to get a professional edge need to move to the right cities. Cities that have plenty of jobs, low mortgage costs and a variety of entertainment options are good fits for new college grads.  Read More...

Jun 19, 2018 Mortgage preapproval requires extensive documentation of your financial and credit history. Before house hunting, you should seek mortgage preapproval. Most real estate agents expect serious buyers to have one in hand. Read on as we explain what exactly mortgage preapproval is, what you need to secure it and what should be your next steps once you have it. Read More...

Apr 19, 2018 Over 80% of renters have a desire to own a home, according to a 2015 survey from the National Association of Realtors. One big hurdle for many renters who are hoping to buy a home and take on a mortgage is saving for a  down payment. In some cities, the average home is worth so much more than the average income it can take over a decade of saving to have enough for a down payment. Below we rank the cities where the average workers need to save the longest to afford a down payment. Read More...

Apr 18, 2018 Nearly 83% of renters have a desire to own their home, according to a National Association of Realtors poll. However with mortgage costs on the rise, it is difficult to switch from renting to buying. And buying a home can be even more difficult if you are single. However, there are some places where singles are bucking the renting trend and buying homes. Below we look data to find the cities with the highest single homeownership rate. Read More...

Apr 12, 2018 The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) issues loans with low interest rates and zero down payments to thousands of low-income Americans, so they can finance homes in rural and suburban areas. Meeting the requirements for these loans is far more manageable than those for conventional mortgages. Read on as we explain everything you need to know about USDA loans, including how to qualify and apply. Read More...

Jun 26, 2018 In 1948, only 32% of women were in the official labor force, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. As of February 2018, that number had almost doubled to 57%. Today in some American cities, women are earning large salaries, running their own businesses and handling their mortgages with ease. With this in mind, SmartAsset decided to find the U.S. cities where women are succeeding the most. Read More...

Apr 11, 2018 If mortgage payments are eating away at your income, you may find some relief through refinancing your home loan. When you refinance a mortgage, you basically take out a new loan to pay off the old one. This time around, however, you aim for a lower interest rate and better terms. Read More...

Apr 11, 2018 The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 61% of two-parent households, both parents work outside the home. But not all cities are equally suited for this family structure. In some cities,  mortgage costs overwhelm earnings. In other cities, childcare costs are so high it makes getting by on even two incomes difficult. Below we look at these and other factors to rank the best cities for working parents. Read More...

Apr 09, 2018 A subprime mortgage helps people with low credit scores finance their homes. Today’s subprime mortgages function much differently than the ones before the Great Recession, but they still pose certain risks. However, they can serve as an advantage for the right borrower. Read More...

Apr 04, 2018 New York real estate has an estimated market value around $1.26 trillion as of 2018, according to the New York Department of Finance. Some New York neighborhoods are more popular than others, putting upward pressure on home values and  mortgage costs. Below we look into the phenomenon to find the New York City neighborhoods with the fastest-growing home values. Read More...

Apr 04, 2018 Nearly 17 million people competed in 30,400 U.S. road races in 2016, according to data from Running USA. But for Americans who are truly passionate about getting their daily steps in, not all cities are equal. Some cities are better for runners who prefer to run outdoors. While others are better for those who value access to competitive races. Below we look at these and other factors to rank the best cities for runners. Read More...

Mar 28, 2018 Americans sold 612,000 homes in 2017 and 44,000 in January 2018, according to data from the Census Bureau. For most home sellers, selling your home at a profit is likely one of your goals. Location is a big factor in this, as some housing markets favor sellers while others are more favorable to buyers. Below SmartAsset looks at the best cities to sell a house. Read More...

Mar 20, 2018 Around 4% of Americans name hockey is their favorite sport to watch, putting it in fifth place behind football, basketball, baseball and soccer. So while hockey may not be America’s favorite pastime, for those who love it, it’s a way of life.  But some places are better for fans of hockey than others. These towns combine a great on ice experience with other quality of life factors, like affordable housing costs. For the fourth consecutive year SmartAsset ranked the best hockey towns in America. Read More...

Mar 13, 2018 In some housing markets across the country it may feel like you need to be a millionaire just to buy a home. This is truer in some cities than in others, like San Francisco where Census Bureau data shows the median home is worth over $1 million and comes with sky-high monthly mortgage costs.. Below we look at data on the home-purchasing habits of $1-million-earning-households to see where millionaires are buying homes. Read More...

Mar 21, 2018 People buy second homes for a variety of reasons. Some people buy a beach home as a place to get away during the winter months, others buy a place next to their favorite mountain to enjoy the slopes. Homebuyers may choose to buy second homes as investments, taking advantage of rising home values. For some that move has paid off. The median home value in the U.S. increased from $194,500 in 2015 to $205,000 in 2016. Read More...

May 21, 2018 The cost of raising a family continues to rise. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that raising a child born in 2015 costs $233,610, from birth to age 17. After accounting for inflation, that's $31,000 more than it cost in 1960. The USDA does offer some reprieve in that same analysis, however. The data shows that raising a child in the urban Midwest costs about $40,000 less than raising a child in the urban Northeast. Read More...

Feb 22, 2018 Women are consistently paid less than men for the same work, according to data from a variety of sources, including the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau. Additionally, women are often underrepresented in the highest-paying occupations. In particular, women are underrepresented in STEM occupations, which in today’s economy tend to come with the best pay and strong long-term prospects.  Read More...

Feb 07, 2018 Does it feel like most of your paycheck goes to covering rent? You’re probably not alone. Data from the Census Bureau shows that over 46% of American renters are housing cost-burdened. But the scale of the problem changes depending on where you look. In California over 52% of renters are housing cost-burdened while in North Dakota that figure is just over 36%. The rent problem tends to be at its worst in the big cities. In order to highlight this problem, we looked the data to find the hours of work needed to pay rent in the 25 largest cities in the country. Read More...

Feb 05, 2018 In the past SmartAsset has analyzed gender income inequality through the lens of earnings. As of 2016, the Census Bureau estimates that the average full-time working female earns 80% of what the full-time working male earns. When women consistently earn less than men for the same work that has pernicious long-term effects on their ability to afford homes, save for retirement and balance budgets. This is especially true for single women. Our data shows that a man is 50% more likely to buy a home without a cosigner than a woman.  Read More...

Jan 30, 2018 Millennials, for the most part, are a generation of renters. Only 34.7% of Americans under the age of 35 owned their homes as of 2016, according to a Census Bureau survey. But that's not always by choice. According to a Pew survey, 72% of renters hope to become homeowners one day. One big hurdle, especially for millennials, is that they are unable to buy affordable homes. Read More...

Mar 28, 2018 Big cities can be challenging places to live. But if you are trying to leave a big city it can be difficult to find a smaller city worthy of moving to. Big cities tend to get the most attention when it comes to cost of living, quality of life and availability of economic opportunity. But there are plenty of smaller cities which are just as, if not more, livable than the big cities. Below we look at data to find the most livable small cities in the country. Read More...

Jan 18, 2018 As winter drags on you may catch yourself wondering if summer is ever coming back. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are plenty of towns across America where it’s possible to spend a few weeks or, if you’re retired, a few months soaking in some warm weather. But, as that year-round warm weather is in demand, affording a home in one of the places can be difficult. With this in mind we decided to find the best beach towns which won’t break your account. Below we rank the most affordable beach towns for 2018. Read More...

Feb 15, 2018 Around 64% of Americans drink a daily cup of coffee, while 11% drinks four cups or more. This makes coffee not only one of America’s favorite beverages but also the preferred fuel for getting the day started. For those Americans who are fanatical about their cups of joe,  where they live can have a big impact on the quality, quantity and cost of coffee they are consuming. For the third year in a row SmartAsset has crunched the numbers to find America’s coffee mecca or the best cities for coffee fanatics. Read More...

Jan 10, 2018 It can be tough to balance work and play. The highest-paying jobs often require the longest hours and the most exciting cities typically come with budget-busting rents. But, while every city has its pros and cons and you likely need to make some compromises, not every city is equal in what it offers its working residents. Below we look through data on employment, home affordability and lifestyle to find the cities with the best work-life balance. Read More...

Dec 29, 2017 Getting in shape is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions in America. Despite this, obesity rates in the U.S. continue to climb. While it's never easy to hit your fitness goals, some cities make it easier than others. These cities tend to be walkable, have healthy eating options and plenty of places to get a workout in. Below we look at the most fitness-friendly cities to see where residents are most well placed to accomplish their new year’s resolutions. Read More...

Dec 27, 2017 Beer is Americans' favorite alcoholic beverage, according to a Gallup poll of alcohol-consuming Americans. In fact, except for a short-lived period between 2005 and 2006 Americans, on average, have always preferred beer to wine by about 10 percentage points. But for some beer-drinkers, beer is more than just a beverage, it is a way of life. For these, beer lovers, scouting breweries and trying the newest brews is a true passion. Read More...

Dec 21, 2017 Veterans who want to take out a mortgage backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs must prove that they qualify for the home loan program. There are certain requirements to meet as well as paperwork to complete for qualification. If you meet the criteria, you'll receive a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) that shows a mortgage lender that you're eligible for a VA loan. In order to receive a COE, you need to submit VA Form 26-1880 through the mail or apply online through the eBenefits portal. Read More...

Dec 19, 2017 STEM jobs are some of the most desired in the country. These jobs tend to offer the best pay and the best benefits. However, as inequality remains a problem in American society, more people are starting to focus on who are employed in these fields. This issue recently came to the fore when Google let go of an employee who released an anti-diversity memo. Below we look through the data to find the best cities for diversity in STEM. Read More...

Mar 19, 2018 Starting new businesses is the key to growing any economy. But starting businesses can get expensive, and unless you are a trendy new startup, getting funding can be difficult. While many people may be dreaming of launching a new startup in Silicon Valley or the Big Apple, those places also come with the largest upfront costs. Below we look at data to find the cities with the lowest startup costs. Read More...

Feb 06, 2018 The economy is finally starting to heat up. In fact, the economy is moving so fast the Federal Reserve recently increased the interest rate in an attempt to thwart potential inflation. But this growth has not taken place everywhere. Some places are booming more than others. Below we take a look at the data to see where the economy, housing and the populations are growing the fastest to find the top 10 boomtowns. Read More...

Dec 12, 2017 Housing costs may be the most important factor people consider when choosing where to live. But safety is often a close second. When deciding where to raise a family, for example, many parents place a premium on safety. Living in a safe environment means more than just a place with little crime. Breathing in polluted air is dangerous and living in cities with reckless drivers is also a cause for concern. Below we delve into data on these and other factors to rank the safest cities in America for 2017. Read More...

Dec 11, 2017 Conferences bring together like-minded individuals for the chance to trade information, network and conduct business. Conferences are also an economic boon to the cities which welcome them, filling local hotels, exhibition halls and restaurants with paying customers. But not all cities are equally well set up to host conferences and receive this economic bounty. Below SmartAsset digs into the numbers to rank the best cities for conferences. Read More...

Mar 01, 2018 The Great Recession lasted from late 2007 to mid 2009. It was the longest recession since World War II and had huge impacts on the U.S. economy. Investors lost big as the S&P 500 Index fell 57%. The housing market crashed and home values fell about 30%. National unemployment rose to a peak of about 10% in late 2009. Almost a decade after the start of the Great Recession, conditions have improved in many places. Read More...

Dec 08, 2017 For long periods in this nation’s history manufacturing was the dominant industry, providing jobs and financial security for wide swaths of the population. Today manufacturing is not the force it once was with service jobs being the go-to occupation for many workers. This movement of manufacturing jobs out of America became a big political issue the 2016 presidential election. In some places across America however, manufacturing industries are still thriving. Read More...

Nov 15, 2017 Almost half of renters (46%) spend more than 30% of their income on rent, according to Census Bureau data. This means they are classified as housing cost-burdened based on guidelines from the Department of Housing and Urban Affairs. Rents across the nation continue to rise, especially in the biggest cities in the country. Below we compare rents and incomes to find the cities with the largest rent increases. Read More...

Nov 09, 2017 Many people decide to become teachers for idealistic reasons. They want the opportunity to teach and mold tomorrow's generation. However that doesn’t mean teachers cannot make strategic decisions about where to become teachers. Certain places in the country offer teachers higher pay, more affordable housing and greater job security. Below SmartAsset looks at these and other factors to find the best places to be a teacher. Read More...

Nov 09, 2017 Nursing is one of the fastest-growing occupations in the country, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But in some places that growth is higher than in others. Additionally a nurse's salary stretches further in some places than others. Below, SmartAsset analyzes data on earnings, housing affordability and job growth to find the best places to be a nurse. Read More...

Mar 16, 2018 What makes a city a great place to live? You'll probably get a different answer from every person you ask. But there are some factors that the majority of people would agree makes a city livable. For example you probably want your city to be affordable, to have access to jobs and to be safe. Below SmartAsset ranks the most livable cities in the United States based on  cost of living, economic indicators and more. Read More...

Jan 08, 2018 There are 2.6 million workers in the United States who are paid at or below the federal minimum wage, according to the BLS. About half of these workers are over the age of 25, including adults who support themselves and their families on the minimum wage. What happens when minimum wage workers want to buy a home? In some cities, high home values and low minimum wages may make this almost impossible. Read More...

Apr 04, 2018 North Carolina is the ninth-most populous state in the country. Millions of parents in the Tar Heel state have to decide where to raise families. Should they go to Charlotte, a bustling city with the third-largest banking sector in the country? Or head west to live near the Great Smoky Mountains? Below we look at factors like housing affordability and job opportunity to find the best places in North Carolina to raise a family. Read More...

Oct 19, 2017 As the effects from climate change become more and more apparent, many Americans are wondering what they can do. For some that means recycling more or using less water. For others, it might mean attaching a solar panel to their homes, making their homes more affordable and helping the environment. Yet, another group takes it to the next level. They dedicate their professional lives to protecting the environment. Read More...

Oct 18, 2017 Just under 10% of Americans chose Halloween as their favorite holiday, according to a 2015 Harris Poll. The chance to dress up and eat candy is always a treat, especially for the younger generation. But not all places have the same trick-or-treating experience. Some places are better for maxing out how much candy you can get your hands on while others offer a safer environment. Below we rank the best places to trick-or-treat. Read More...

Oct 18, 2017 Oregon is known for its geographic diversity. The dense forests and bodies of water which dot the Oregon countryside make it a haven for nature lovers. And there are big populous metro areas like Portland which is known as a counter-culture hub. Regardless of what you like to do, Oregon has something for everyone. Below we look at these and other factors to find the best places to live in Oregon. Read More...

Oct 12, 2017 Finding the right place to buy a family home can be difficult. Families with more than one child need enough space to live comfortably. But larger homes can be tough to find, especially large homes which are affordable. Below SmartAsset looks at these and other factors to find the best cities to buy a home big enough to raise a family. Read More...

Feb 14, 2018 Americans love to tout their hard-working natures. In fact, among countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the average American ranks around 13th for most hours worked per year. Of course, people work hard for multiple reasons like securing a stable retirement or buying a home. But within America there are large differences between hours spent working. Below we look through the data to find the hardest-working cities in America in 2017. Read More...

Oct 10, 2017 It's widely accepted that baseball is America’s pastime, but for many people baseball starts and ends with the major leagues. However, there are over 150 teams plying their trade in the minor leagues. In 2016 over 37 million spectators attended a minor league baseball game. But not all minor league towns are the same, some offer things like affordable homes, while others offer on-field excellence to wow the crowd. Below we rank the best minor league baseball towns in America on those and other metrics. Read More...

Jun 25, 2018 If you're in the process of buying a home, you may have heard the term "deed of trust." Depending on what state you live in, this may have come up more frequently than it would in other places. But what exactly is a deed of trust? And is it the same as a mortgage? (Spoiler: it's not.) Read on and allow us to explain. Read More...

Nov 20, 2017 Raising a family in a small city can be an enriching experience. Small cities come without much of the hustle and bustle of larger cities or the sky-high costs of living. Plus, many small cities still offer access to employment opportunities and can offer residents a sense of community. Below we rank the best small cities to raise a family. Read More...

Jan 16, 2018 How much home you can afford depends on your income. Many experts recommend that homebuyers should generally purchase homes worth 2.5 times their annual income. Yet, in many of the largest cities across the country the average homes have values which exceed seven times the average household's income. Below we rank the largest cities according to how many years' worth of median income is needed to buy the average home. Read More...

Sep 28, 2017 High rents are forcing more and more people to live with roommates. The Census estimates that 5.8 million Americans currently have a roommate. The benefits from living with another person vary from city to city. In some cities, it may not be worth the hassle. In other places however, especially where homes are unaffordable, living with a roommate can save you thousands of dollars. Below we rank the cities where living with a roommate can save you the most money. Read More...

Sep 27, 2017 The best places to live are often the most expensive. This is especially true in some of the biggest cities in the country. But there are still some fantastic places in the United States boast more  affordable homes, low unemployment rates and come without the hustle and bustle of big cities. Below we rank the most livable mid-sized cities in the country. Read More...

Sep 21, 2017 Data from the Census Bureau shows that the average full-time working woman earns about 80% of what the average full-time working man does. But this pay gap is different across every profession. Below SmartAsset looks at the occupations with the largest pay gap and the occupations with the smallest pay gap in America. Read More...

More articles...

Ask Our Home Buying Expert

Have a question? Ask our Home Buying expert.

Have questions? Email Send your question to mlerner@smartasset.com