The Best Small Cities in America

Where are the best “small cities” in America?  Recently WalletHub put pen to paper and compared over 1,200 American cities with populations between 25k and 100k using 40 indicators of livability.  These include things such cost of living, housing costs, home ownership, income, school quality, restaurants per capita, coffee shops per capita and many more.  Indeed…be sure to click on the interactive map below.

“Small-city life can be best for those who appreciate more wiggle room, fewer degrees of separation and shorter commutes, to name just a few of its advantages. Granted, these little urban areas demand some tradeoffs, too, such as fewer restaurant options or shorter business hours.”

WalletHub’s top 20 cities are:

  1. Leawood, KS
  2. Carmel, IN
  3. Princeton, NJ
  4. Brentwood, TN
  5. Milton, MA
  6. Needham, MA
  7. Los Altos, CA
  8. Littleton, CO
  9. Newton, MA
  10. West Fargo, ND
  11. Arlington, MA
  12. Melrose, MA
  13. Fishers, IN
  14. Wellesley, MA
  15. Mason, OH
  16. Franklin, TN
  17. Southlake, TX
  18. Highland Park, IL
  19. Westport, CT
  20. Kirkland, WA


Source: WalletHub

Click here to read the full list on

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Mortgage Delinquencies Up Slightly in Q3 of 2018

According to the latest Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) National Delinquency Survey, the delinquency rate for mortgage loans on one to four unit residential properties rose to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.47% of all loans outstanding at the end of the Q3 of 2018.  The delinquency rate was up 11 basis points from the previous quarter, but down 41 basis points from one year ago. The percentage of loans on which foreclosure actions were started dropped one basis point from the last quarter to 0.23% – representing the lowest level since the Q4 of 1985.

“Despite the small uptick this quarter, the healthy economy is overall supporting low mortgage delinquencies and foreclosure inventories,” said Marina Walsh, Vice President of Industry Analysis at MBA. “Unemployment is at its lowest level since 1969, wages have grown 3.1 percent year-over-year – the biggest jump in almost a decade – and job growth is averaging over 212,000 jobs per month thus far.”

Click here to read the full release at the Mortgage Bankers.

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Cities that are Crawling with Bed Bugs

As any landlord can tell you, bed bugs are no stranger to a real estate investor’s world.  Pest fighters Terminix remind us that with one of the busiest travel days of the year approaching travelers need to be mindful about the risks of picking up bed bugs while out and about. To that end they put together their top 25 cities where “bed bugs are crawling.”  To come up with their list, they looked at service data from over 300 Terminix branches across the country with the highest number of bed-bug control services.

‘Contrary to their name, these bloodsucking insects can be found in many household objects, including curtain rods and even behind baseboards or switch plates. The bugs are also expert hitchhikers and can spread by being on or in consumers’ belongings as they go about their daily activities using mass transit, staying in hotels and moving around the country through airports.’

Investors across America know that early detection is the key to stopping an infestation.  And, the best way to detect bed bugs is with Clearvue traps.  Their simple to use devices provide the most effective detection & protection against the growing threat of bed bugs on the market today.

Click here to read the full report at


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Slowing Apartment Construction Could Mean Higher Rents

According to the Wall Street Journal (reposted on, rising construction costs and a tight labor market are slowing a nearly decade long apartment boom, which analysts say is easing a burgeoning glut at the top end of the market that has been forming across the country.  Data show that multifamily building permits have fallen each month since March, which experts suggest is a sign that there could be less new apartment construction over the next two years – which is the normal time to build an apartment property.

“It appears we’re beginning to see some early signs of relief in supply, as both permits and starts have been declining in our markets for most of the year,” Timothy Naughton, chief executive of apartment developer AvalonBay Communities Inc., told analysts on a conference call last month.

Click here to read the full story on


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Almost 2% All Single-Family Homes & Condos Sit Vacant

According to ATTOM Data’s latest Vacant Property and Zombie Foreclosure Report, nearly 1.5 million (1,447,906) single family homes & condos were vacant at the end of Q3 2018, representing 1.52% of all homes nationwide.  This number is down from 1.58% in 2017.  In addition the report found that there were over 10k vacant “zombie” foreclosures  nationwide at the end of Q3 2018, which represent 3.38% of all homes actively in the foreclosure process. They also report that the zombie foreclosure rate was down from 4.18% one year ago.

“The number of vacant foreclosures is now less than one-fourth of the more than 44,000 in 2013 when we first began tracking these zombie homes,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions.

click on the map for more detail

Click here to read the full report on


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VA Loans by the Numbers

BY  ON NOVEMBER 16, 2018

There are a lot of creative financing plans provided by real estate investors that can help folks get into housing and achieve their piece of the American Dream.  Often, it’s the only way a family can afford to buy a home of their own and real estate investors are proud to provide these vital solutions.  In light of the recent Veterans’ day holiday, today’s infographic is about a homeownership benefit that is only available to America’s military veterans, the VA Home Loan.  In 2017, $189 billion was loaned to veterans and their families through this program.  The first step in getting a VA home loan is to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility (COE).  Click here for more information and how apply……Happy Friday!!!

Hat tip to Keeping Current Matters.

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New Homes Being Built in HOA’s Continue to Rise

BY  ON NOVEMBER 15, 2018

Recently released data continue to show that more and more new homes are being built as part of a homeowner’s association.  Using data from the Census Bureau, the NAHB’s Eye on Housing reports that 60.7% of all homes started in 2017 were built within a community or homeowner’s association.  In fact, since 2011 over 50% of all homes built fall into this category.

The Census Bureau defines community or homeowner’s associations as “formal legal entities created to maintain common areas of a development and to enforce private deed restrictions; these organizations are usually created when the development is built, and membership is mandatory.”

Click here to read the full story on the NAHB’s Eye on Housing.


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New “dot Realestate” Domains to go On Sale in Late November

BY  ON NOVEMBER 15, 2018

It used to be cool to get that awesome “dot com” or “dot org” address but now there’s a new domain in town for real estate professionals;  “dot realestate.”  The domain is being launched by none other than the National Association of Realtors and will be available for purchase by the general public through GoDaddy starting November 26, however NAR members can buy it as early as November 16 in a special pre-sale.  According to the Realtors the “dot realestate” domain “is free of restrictions and will allow real estate entities and professionals to creatively market properties and geographic areas served, along with personal brands and specialties.”

Click here to

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Attic Insulation Calculator

BY  ON NOVEMBER 14, 2018

Many older homes lack sufficient attic insulation to retain heat, however it is also one of the easiest places in a home to properly insulate.  As shown in the map below, different regions of the country have different R-Values for the types of insulation required in their particular climates.  The folks over at The Home Depot have put together a handy attic insulation calculator to help determine your area’s recommended R-value and estimate how much insulation is needed to help keep your property warm in the winter.   Simply enter your information for a quick estimate of the attic insulation you’ll need.



Click here to determine your attic insulation requirements.




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Are Shrinking Profits Causing Home Flippers to Flee???

BY  ON NOVEMBER 14, 2018

RealtyCheck’s Diana Olick reports that higher costs, shrinking profits and lower demand are causing some home flippers to flee the markets in certain areas.  She cites data from ATTOM Data Solutions showing that flipping volume has been falling annually by double-digit percentages for at least three months as well as gross flipping returns falling to their lowest level in nearly seven years.  It also takes much longer to sell a flipped home, now averaging 186 days.



Click here to read the full story at CNBC’s RealtyCheck.

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