Mesa named best big city in the southwest by Money magazine and other valley rankings

Information obtained in original article from Robert Hansen, AZ Republic Aug 18, 2015
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The cities where Americans are likely to pay more than half their income on rent

More people than ever are renting instead of buying homes, but being a renter isn’t getting any easier. For many households, the monthly rent check is so big that it eats up the majority of their paycheck — and the burden is growing. Some 20.7 million rental households — or about half of all renters– spent more than 30 percent of their income on housing in 2013, according to a report from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. About 11 million of those households spent more than half of their paycheck on rent and utilities, up 37 percent from 2003, the study found. (Financial advisers typically recommend that people spend less than a third of their pay on housing costs.)

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More Americans Are Renting, and Paying More, as Homeownership Falls

 

WESTFIELD, N.J. — To Johnnie McDowell, the house on Livingston Street seems to taunt him every time he walks by. It’s nothing special: The two-story home is a bit shabby, and it’s been on and off the market in recent months without finding a buyer. Still, he cannot stop dreaming of a better life for his family as he imagines the extra space inside and his children and dog playing outdoors once he weeds the yard.

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More renters are in financial trouble

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than one in four U.S. renters have to use at least half their family income to pay for housing and utilities. That’s the finding of an analysis of Census data by Enterprise Community Partners, a nonprofit that helps finance affordable housing. The number of such households has jumped 26 percent to 11.25 million since 2007.

Since the end of 2010, rental prices have surged at nearly twice the pace of average hourly wages, according to data from the real estate firm Zillow and the Labor Department.

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Buying is cheaper than renting in most places

Many renters would be better off buying a home than continuing to pay steep rental costs, finds a new study.

The monthly payment on a median priced home is more affordable than the monthly fair market rent on a three-bedroom property in 76 percent of the U.S. counties, according to RealtyTrac’s Residential Rental Property Analysis, which encompassed 461 counties nationwide with populations of at least 100,000.

Overall Researchers found that fair market rents represented 28 percent of the estimated median household income, while monthly house payments on a median-priced home – which included a 10 percent down payment and property taxes, home insurance, and mortgage insurance – represented 24 percent of the estimated median income.

Originally published in The Daily Real Estate News April 10, 2015

“From a pure affordability standpoint, renters who have saved enough to make a 10 percent down payment are better off buying in the majority of markets across the country,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “But factors other than affordability are keeping many renters from becoming buyers, a reality that means real estate investors buying residential properties as rentals still have the opportunity to make strong returns in many markets.”

Of the 461 counties analyzed, 351 had house payments on a median-priced home in the first quarter of this year that was lower than fair market rents on a three-bedroom home.

New downpayment program for AZ renters looking to purchase

The Arizona Housing Finance Authority (AzHFA), acting on behalf of the Arizona Department of Housing, announced the launch of the new Home Plus program. The loan program will be open Statewide to renters (excepting those in Pima County) looking to become homeowners.

“With the escalating increase in rents, many creditworthy renters are finding it more and more difficult to save for a down payment,” said AzHFA Homeownership Programs Administrator Dirk Swift.  “With the HOME Plus program this obstacle has been removed. Home Plus gives qualified renters a pathway to homeownership with a non-­repayable down payment assistance grant.”

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Goodbye Granite: The New Top 6 Countertop Finishes

You are starting to hear many people say they are tiring granite. The following link shows new potential countertop finishes.

http://dishwashers.reviewed.com/features/goodbye-granite-the-6-hottest-countertop-finishes?utm_source=taboola&utm_medium=USAT%20Recirc