The Best Places to Live in Pennsylvania in 2022

  • Pennsylvania is known as the Keystone State for its role in U.S. history
  • The state’s roots are deep in manufacturing, including industries such as coal and steel
  • Living in Pennsylvania gives you access to all the riches of the state, no matter what city you call home

Pennsylvania holds a notable place in the history of this country. Not only did it help shape our formation into the United States, but its roots are deep in the coal, steel and railroad industries. Living in the Keystone State puts you among historic locations that paved the way for the development of so much of this country.

It’s a lofty reputation to hold up, but staying grounded in industry and opportunity has enabled the state to maintain itself as an attractive spot for those looking for employment. With affordable housing across the state, plenty of colleges and universities and a slew of historic landmarks, why wouldn’t you want to call this northern state home?

For all these reasons, the best places to live in Pennsylvania stretch from one side of the state to other. Some cities are easily recognizable, while others you may hear about for the very first time. Regardless, you’ve got plenty of choices when it comes to finding the perfect home in Pennsylvania.

Allentown, PA

Allentown, PA

  • Population: 125,845
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,885
  • 2-BR median rent: $2,027
  • Median home price: $187.750
  • Median household income: $41,167
  • Walk score: 59/100

A rich Dutch history gives Allentown a unique look and feel. Situated on the Lehigh River, this busy city is full of beautiful parks and gardens. It offers up a diverse collection of inhabitants with plenty to do to accommodate any lifestyle. There are plenty of job opportunities and thriving districts for the arts, theater and culture.

A day out and about in Allentown isn’t complete without a walk through the Allentown Art Museum, The Liberty Bell Museum, America On Wheels Museum and more. If the season is right, grab tickets to see the infamous Lehigh Valley IronPigs AAA baseball team go a few innings as well.

Bethel Park, PA

Bethel Park, PA

  • Population: 33,577
  • 1-BR median rent: $975
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,099
  • Median home price: $240,000
  • Median household income: $79,894
  • Walk score: 46/100

A Pittsburgh suburb, Bethel Park combines affordable housing with excellent schools and an abundance of green space. The city’s population is a combination of retirees and young professionals, but it’s also a great place for families. In addition to the parks, you’ll find plenty of bars, coffee shops and retail outlets.

With less than 30 minutes between Pittsburgh and Bethel Park, the town draws in those still commuting in for work, but who are looking for a quieter place to end each day. On weekends, locals will stay put and enjoy everything from the Montour Trail to the Hundred Acres Manor.

Camp Hill, PA

Camp Hill, PA

Source: ApartmentGuide.com/Society Hill
  • Population: 8,130
  • 1-BR median rent: $890
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,422
  • Median home price: $225,900
  • Median household income: $87,008
  • Walk score: 34/100

One of the best places to live in Pennsylvania is a small city along the banks of the Susquehanna River. Camp Hill gives you a nice amount of waterfront to explore. The town is also home to the northernmost engagement of the Gettysburg campaign during the Civil War. To honor this piece of history, you can follow the West Shore. There you’ll find historic buildings and battle sites.

For outdoor lovers, Camp Hill is a perfect home base to access hiking, biking, skiing and water activities. There are also plenty of local parks for a simple stroll.

Collegeville, PA

Collegeville, PA

  • Population: 5,043
  • 1-BR median rent: $2,060
  • 2-BR median rent: $2,655
  • Median home price: $380,000
  • Median household income: $112,500
  • Walk score: 44/100

As a suburb of Philadelphia, Collegeville got its straightforward name from Ursinus College. Academic life still plays an important role here, although the city is also a popular destination for a variety of businesses.

While there’s plenty of shopping and plenty for college students, the area’s top feature is the Perkiomen Trail. This 20-mile path follows the river, connecting many parks and historical sites. You can walk, bike and even ride horseback along the path.

Harrisburg, PA

Harrisburg, PA

  • Population: 50,099
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,137
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,407
  • Median home price: $199,025
  • Median household income: $39,685
  • Walk score: 55/100

As the state capital, Harrisburg is one of the best places to live in Pennsylvania as much for its location within the state as for its history. Living here puts you near the Susquehanna River, Appalachian Trail and the cities of Hershey and Gettysburg. You can easily sample a little nature and history with so much close by.

Within Harrisburg itself, you have access to the city’s own island. Here you’ll find a beach, riverboat, arcade and more. It’s a great stop during the day. When the sun goes down, keep yourself occupied with the upscale bars and restaurants downtown.

Hershey, PA

Hershey, PA

  • Population: 13,858
  • 1-BR median rent: $915
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,075
  • Median home price: $339,900
  • Median household income: $69,688
  • Walk score: 57/100

Yes, it’s named after that chocolate bar. Hershey is often referred to as one of the sweetest places on earth because, to this day, Hershey’s still calls the city home. This not only means a variety of job opportunities working with chocolate but plenty to lure in tourists. The city also boasts Hersheypark, which has rides and a zoo, Hersey Gardens and Hersheypark Stadium.

Although the city grew up around a single company, today, it contains all the attractive elements of a smaller town one could want. Step away from the more touristy areas to find scenic hiking trails, museums, restaurants and shops.

Lancaster, PA

Lancaster, PA

  • Population: 58,039
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,269
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,453
  • Median home price: $225,625
  • Median household income: $45,514
  • Walk score: 56/100

Situated alongside Amish Country, Lancaster is home to the Pennsylvania Dutch. While you can tour Amish attractions and even immerse yourself into the lifestyle for a special experience, locals have plenty of other activities to occupy their time.

As one of the best places to live near Philadelphia, the downtown area is full of shops, theaters, restaurants and art galleries. Underground caverns provide a little adventure for those seeking something different. You can also take a ride on the country’s oldest operating railroad or see a different side of the city’s history with a ghost tour.

Perkasie, PA

Perkasie, PA

  • Population: 9,120
  • 1-BR median rent: $995
  • 2-BR median rent: $995
  • Median home price: $425,000
  • Median household income: $77,420
  • Walk score: 38/100

Another commuter town, Perkasie is one of the best places to live in Pennsylvania because it’s a great small town that’s only about an hour away from downtown Philadelphia. Once known for its factory that made baseballs for the major leagues, Perkasie today has managed to grow while holding onto its rural appeal.

A fantastic park system and revitalized downtown area provide the perfect combination of hometown activities for residents. There’s no shortage of restaurants, shops, music venues and more.

Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia, PA

  • Population: 1,603,797
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,872
  • 2-BR median rent: $2,102
  • Median home price: $260,000
  • Median household income: $45,927
  • Walk score: 84/100

The most populated and well-known city in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia definitely has one of the rooms where it happened. Not only is it the original home of the Liberty Bell but it also housed our Founding Fathers as they signed the Declaration of Independence into being.

Popular in its own right, Philadelphia offers additional appeal for its proximity to New York City. Hop a train into the city for work or a weekend of fun. You can also stay close to home and snack on an authentic Philly cheesesteak as you enjoy the art and history of downtown. There’s no shortage of 300-year-old buildings, cultural attractions, quaint parks, bars, restaurants and shops.

Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh, PA

  • Population: 302,971
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,435
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,890
  • Median home price: $217,000
  • Median household income: $48,711
  • Walk score: 69/100

Bookending the state, Pittsburgh is the most populated city on the opposite end from Philly. Known as the City of Bridges, Pittsburgh has long shared a connection with steel, however, the industry is only part of what makes this area so special. As a highly walkable city, you can easily explore on foot but wear comfortable shoes. With over 712 sets of city-maintained steps, you’re going to get a great workout.

If walking isn’t your thing, don’t worry, Pittsburgh has you covered. For sports fans, this affordable town is home to professional baseball, football and hockey teams. For those looking toward higher education, the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University are the notable tip of Pittsburgh’s collegiate iceberg.

Reading, PA

Reading, PA

  • Population: 95,112
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,475
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,540
  • Median home price: $160,000
  • Median household income: $32,176
  • Walk score: 69/100

Named after the Reading Railroad, which all you Monopoly players should know well, the town of Reading sits in the southeastern part of the state. Today, it’s uniquely known for the variety of pretzel companies that call the area home. Reading is also a combination of culture and history. It’s easy to divide your day between looking at an Egyptian mummy in the Reading Public Museum and hiking through the Nolde Forest. You can also check out Daniel Boone’s birthplace for some real American history.

With plenty of affordable, suburban housing, residents get drawn into Reading for the charms of the city itself, as well as its proximity to Philadelphia. These two cities on the list of best places to live in Pennsylvania are only about 60 miles apart.

Scranton, PA

Scranton, PA

  • Population: 76,328
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,184
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,095
  • Median home price: $149,000
  • Median household income: $40,608
  • Walk score: 58/100

Laid out more like a traditional small town, Scranton has tight-knit neighborhoods clustered around a thriving downtown. You’ll find trendy restaurants, boutiques and art galleries nestled among the historic Lackawanna County Courthouse building.

Taking into account its high population of young professionals and families, Scranton caters to its residents with plenty of special activities, including cultural festivals and monthly art walks. Scranton also pays homage to its nickname, the Electric City, with The Electric City Trolley Station and Museum. The first streetcars, successfully powered by electricity, ran here in the 1880s.

Willow Grove, PA

Willow Grove, PA

Source: ApartmentGuide.com/Willow Pointe
  • Population: 13,730
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,907
  • 2-BR median rent: $2,230
  • Median home price: $300,000
  • Median household income: $79,162
  • Walk score: 57/100

A small town with big fun, Willow Grove offers residents a quiet, laidback community that doesn’t lack the amenities you’d want close by. There are plenty of shopping and dining options that you’d expect to find in bigger cities.

As a Philadelphia suburb, Willow Grove has the nearby city going for it as far as activity goes, but it’s not without its own set of museums and historic sites to occupy residents. Visit the 42-acre grounds and home at Graeme Park or check out the indoor playground at Urban Air Adventure Park for something really different.

Find an apartment for rent in Pennsylvania

The best places to live in Pennsylvania spread to all four corners of the state. Each city has its own charm, beauty and history to explore, not to mention job opportunities and affordable housing.

Once you decide what area is right for you, begin the hunt. Look for apartments for rent in Pennsylvania to see all your options. Then, start narrowing things down by location, amenities and more. You’ll find the perfect place to call home in no time.

The rent information included in this summary is based on a median calculation of multifamily rental property inventory on Apartment Guide and Rent.com as of December 2021.
Median home prices are from Redfin as of December 2021.
Population and median household income are from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The information in this article is for illustrative purposes only. This data herein does not constitute a pricing guarantee or financial advice related to the rental market.

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How to Style a Gallery Wall

After moving into a new place, the biggest question you’re asking yourself is likely, “How am I going to decorate?”

A great use for all that blank, white space is a gallery wall. This is an easy way to feature your favorite framed artwork and personal photographs.

Follow our tips to style your own gallery wall:

1. Decide what to hang: Choose your medium (painting, drawing, photograph), size, and frame (including color, material, and shape). Don’t be afraid to mix and match! When adding variation, just make sure it’s balanced and doesn’t clash. If you have a collection of various frames but want to make everything uniform, consider painting them all the same color.

2. Plan the arrangement: Play around with the layout before you start putting nails into the wall. Decide if you’re going to group multiple pieces in a shape (diamonds, squares, and rectangles work well) or in a straight line. You might want to do a little sketch on paper (to scale). Then lay out your collage on the floor. Place each frame approximately one or two inches apart for cohesiveness. If you’re mixing sizes, start with the biggest piece and work around them with the smaller ones. Consider choosing one piece of art as the focal point and place it in the center.

3. Test your layout: Once you’re happy with the arrangement, cut out pieces of paper that fit each framed piece. Mock up your collage on the wall with paper and tape to help visualize the result. Make tweaks, and move the pieces around until the layout is just right.

4. Start hanging: This is the moment you’ve been waiting for! Break out your hammer and nails. Place the frames over the paper, replacing each cut-out with the actual piece.

Once you’re done, take a few steps back to admire your work! One of the best things about a gallery wall is that you can swap personal photos and art if you find a new piece that you want to feature.

Source: century21.com

Homie Highlight: Jennifer Wood

Jennifer Wood is a buyer’s agent for Homie Arizona who enjoys helping others find their dream home. Read below to learn more about our Homie Jennifer and why she loves working for Homie.

1. What is your role at Homie? Buyer’s Agent
2. What initially attracted you to Homie? I love that Homie is trying to disrupt the real estate industry.
3. How long have you been in the industry? I started in real estate in 2004.
4. What has been your biggest career accomplishment to date? Selling my own house that was an open house.
5. What are your hobbies, interests outside of work, etc.? I love to cook and paint with oils and acrylics. My degree is in studio art from Florida State University.
6. What do you love most about working for Homie? The people I work with.
7. In 10 words or less, how would you describe the culture at Homie? Homie has done a great job at creating a culture that includes everyone.
8. What advice would you give someone pursuing a career in what you do? It’s hard work but pays off because you’re helping others find their dream home.

Join the Disruption

If you want a career you love, want to help change the lives of others, and want to join a company in disrupting the real estate industry, check out careers at Homie!
Want to learn more about what Homie real estate agents do for their clients? Click here.

Read other Homie stories:

Homie Highlight: Cassidy Longnecker
Homie Highlight: Lourdes Zischke

Source: homie.com

The 15 Best Neighborhoods in Detroit for Renters in 2022

Motor City is full of neighborhoods that provide gorgeous views, active nightlife and world-class culture.

While there’s no shortage of amazing places to live, actually choosing one is difficult. Luckily, the best neighborhoods in Detroit have great rental opportunities to fit just about every lifestyle. And you’ll be deeply invested in your new neighborhood — like a true Detroiter should — before you know it.

Here are the 15 best neighborhoods in Detroit.

  • Walk Score: 62/100

Bagley is a neighborhood that offers the best of many worlds. Located near University Park, along Livernois, you’ll have access to amenities on the vibrant Avenue of Fashion, one of Detroit’s top commercial strips. McNichols Road is another commercial center with bars and coffee shops. Local restaurants also abound, ranging from casual Kuzzo’s Chicken & Waffles to fine dining at Table No. 2.

Perfect for people who enjoy living and breathing Detroit’s energy while paying reasonable prices, living in Bagley means quality amenities, a great location and no shortage of activities.

  • Walk Score: 73/100

As the oldest Detroit neighborhood, Corktown has apartments with charm, character and an assortment of price points. Though a popular tourist destination for the shops, bars and restaurants located right on Michigan Avenue, this one strip is just a part of Corktown’s appeal.

Leave Michigan Avenue behind and explore the cutest collection of mixed-era buildings as you make your way to Mudgie’s for the tastiest sandwich in town. Other gathering spots locals flock to are Trumbull & Porter, a local and tourist hangout, and Batch Brewing Co., where they make elevated bar food and beer on site.

Downtown Detroit, MI

Downtown Detroit, MI

  • Median 1-BR rent: $2,097
  • Median 2-BR rent: $2,587
  • Walk Score: 94/100

Almost overnight it seems as if Downtown Detroit transformed from a sleepy retail and business area to a thriving city center with new apartments steadily being developed, in both new and vintage buildings.

Some of the best parks are home to Downtown Detroit. That includes Spirit Plaza and Cadillac, and most museums like the Detroit Institute of Arts. With event spaces, restaurants and pubs on every street and the riverfront, there’s no better place to live for those who move with the beat of the urban landscape (and who don’t like to drive).

  • Walk Score: 59/100

Warren Avenue bisects East English Village, a major street providing access to key bus lines that will easily take you into the downtown area and bike lanes aplenty. While community-strengthening redevelopment efforts are in progress, you can still visit the historic Alger Theatre and the classic Detroit bar Cadieux Café — the only place in the entire country where they offer feather bowling.

Heralded as one of the best neighborhoods in Detroit for years, East English Village has apartments for rent that are modest, well-maintained and affordable.

Gold Coast, Detroit, MI

Gold Coast, Detroit, MI

  • Median 1-BR rent: $699
  • Median 2-BR rent: $1,652
  • Walk Score: 62/100

Home to large apartment buildings, the Gold Coast sits along Detroit’s riverfront outside of Downtown. Located next to everything, you have your pick of the best food, bars, venues and entertainment Detroit has to offer.

Along with amenities and activities, there are great schools and tons of parks so kids will always have something to keep them interested. In this densely populated area, you’ll get the true urban experience and some amazing views from your living room window.

  • Walk Score: 48/100

Jefferson-Chalmers is officially recognized as a National Treasure, which pretty much means it’s one of the best neighborhoods in Detroit. A waterfront neighborhood, blocks of apartments line riverfront streets and even have backyard access to waterways that lead to the Detroit River and Lake Saint Clair.

A great place to hang out, Jefferson-Chalmers has a yacht club, amazing architecture, a fishing park, great shopping and more. Known for its business investment and community development, Jefferson-Chalmers is continually evolving and will remain a wonderful place to settle into.

  • Walk Score: 84/100

East of Downtown, Lafayette Park is a historic neighborhood with the largest collection of buildings designed by Mies van der Rohe in the world. It’s hailed for its progressive architecture and rare stability. It’s one of the most important and successful urban renewal zones in the entire country.

Located near many activities, it’s a short walk to Eastern Market and Downtown and a quick bike ride to the Riverfront. The area is dedicated to its residents, with some living there since its founding and newcomers who actively participate in the care of Lafayette Park.

Midtown, Detroit, MI

Midtown, Detroit, MI

  • Walk Score: 93/100

Just outside of Downtown Detroit, Midtown is a neighborhood anchored by Wayne State University, nearby hospitals and the Detroit Institute of Arts. This is an ideal place to live if you relish having the ability to walk everywhere. You’ll be near Comerica Park and Little Caesars Arena, venues for major sports teams and entertainment.

Adjacent to major areas of shopping and fine dining, it will be impossible to stay inside when Grey Ghost, City Bird and Bottom Line Coffee House are all within walking distance. A cultural district connecting major libraries and museums will also call Midtown home.

  • Median 1-BR rent: $1,762
  • Median 2-BR rent: $2,225
  • Walk Score: 91/100

A lively neighborhood and business district, New Center is full of vibrancy and diversity, as well as first-rate shopping, dining and entertainment. Dominated by Fisher and Cadillac Place, formerly the General Motors building, it’s an ideal place to work, play and live.

Living in New Center will also give you a special treat every Fourth of July weekend when Comerica TestFest occurs, a premier music and food festival. The streets of New Center transform completely as the music takes and good times take over.

Palmer Park, Detroit, MI

Palmer Park, Detroit, MI

  • Median 2-BR rent: $800
  • Walk Score: 54/100

The apartment district in Palmer Park is a part of the National Register of Historic Places. This neighborhood is one of the few that’s close to the action without breaking the bank. Apartments have eclectic architecture and many sit around Palmer Park, a gorgeous green space with walking paths, picnic areas and a fountain.

State Fairgrounds provides Palmer Park residents with a wide range of amenities and there are many bars, restaurants and brunch places springing up all the time to fall in love with.

  • Median 1-BR rent: $1,250
  • Median 2-BR rent: $1,800
  • Walk Score: 75/100

When living in Rivertown Warehouse District, you’ll see freighters, kayaks and boats cruising on the Detroit River regularly. A neighborhood with mostly apartments and condos, the river is the backyard of most residents.

Adding to Rivertown Warehouse District’s natural beauty are parks, outdoor spaces, greenways and the Riverwalk — Detroit’s crowning achievement. The Riverwalk is three and a half miles long, offering incredible views of the skyline and river. It connects neighborhoods and an island, taking you through splash pads, fishing areas, beaches and parks.

  • Median 1-BR rent: $725
  • Median 2-BR rent: $825
  • Walk Score: 59/100

Schulze is a strong neighborhood full of residents that know what makes their community great. It’s perfect for young families and professionals who don’t need proximity to the city. The Northwest Activities Center is the heart of Schulze, providing programming, events, activities and services to more than 300,000 visitors every year.

When living in this area, residents are serious about their block clubs as they keep residents in the know of everything happening in the area. Another Detroit neighborhood that aims to build and improve together, Schulze continues trending up.

Southwest Detroit, MI

Southwest Detroit, MI

  • Walk Score: 70/100

A sprawling neighborhood, Southwest Detroit is a growing and very active area united by Mexicantown, a strip of businesses lined with bakeries, shops and restaurants so popular they constructed a shared street.

Vibrant murals cover the buildings and the streets spill over with people during the holidays, enhancing the neighborhood’s already infectious vibe. Clark Park is also located in Southwest Detroit. It’s one of the cleanest and most fun parks in the city and the city is planning additional park amenities.

  • Median 1-BR rent: $1,160
  • Median 2-BR rent: $1,725
  • Walk Score: 59/100

Diverse, friendly and teeming with pride, Detroit’s University District is a neighborhood of buildings with lavish architecture and elaborate marble and stone facades. Bound by Livernois Avenue, called The Avenue of Fashion by locals, there are boutiques,. But you’ll see more art galleries and creatives spaces, with some even dubbing it Gallery Row.

Though near premier greenspaces, restaurants, parks, libraries and the Detroit Golf Club, University District is ideal for students, retirees and other residents who enjoy a quieter city lifestyle and enjoy access to high-quality amenities.

West Village, Detroit, MI

West Village, Detroit, MI

  • Median 1-BR rent: $1,095
  • Median 2-BR rent: $1,395
  • Walk Score: 75/100

If you’ve never cared for walking the beaten path, West Village, located on the east side of the city, is the best neighborhood in Detroit for you. Primarily a residential area, West Village has apartments constructed from 1890 to 1920. And the stylings are Colonial, Mediterranean Revival and Tutor architecture.

Packed with local businesses, bars and restaurants for such a small area, West Village is where Detroit Vegan Soul, Belle Isle Pizza, Marrow Detroit and Sister Pie can all be found. Ripe for development, grabbing an apartment in this ever-evolving neighborhood is a good idea.

Find the Best Detroit Neighborhood for You

A special city in the country and the world, it’s nearly impossible to choose where to move to when looking for apartments to rent in Detroit.

One thing is sure, when you do choose the best neighborhood in Detroit to make your new home, you’ll be alongside some of the friendliest, most caring neighbors.

The rent information included in this article is based on a median calculation of multifamily rental property inventory on Apartment Guide and Rent.com as of November 2021 and is for illustrative purposes only. This information does not constitute a pricing guarantee or financial advice related to the rental market.

Source: rent.com

17 Tips for Getting a Job Out of College

As if adulting wasn’t enough, juggling final exams, project deadlines, and a social life, along with worrying about getting a job out of college, can make the last few months of your senior year feel overwhelming. The good news is you’re not alone.

Many graduates feel like they can’t find a job after college. In fact, 66 percent of them are not very optimistic that they’ll get a job that will fit their career goals. Although searching for jobs after graduation can be stressful, learning how you can prepare for the job market can lift some weight off your shoulders.

If you want to learn how to navigate the job search and dodge common mistakes recent grads make, this guide will help you better prepare for the future. You can also check out the Game of Life After College in our infographic below.

The Current Landscape for Getting a Job After College

Is it hard to get a job after college? There’s not a concrete answer to this, since each person has their own set of skills and experience. However, here are some stats to keep in mind and other pressing questions answered, including what percentage of college students get a job after they graduate and what is the average time to get a job after graduation.

  • In 2020, the percentage of employed college graduates went down from 76% to 67%.
  • In August 2021, employment rose by 235,000 in one month.
  • The unemployment rate went from 14.7% in April 2020 to 5.2 percent in August 2021.
  • In October 2020, 67.3% of college graduates were employed after they graduated.
  • It takes an average of three to six months for college graduates to find a job after college.
  • In March 2021, the unemployment rate for bachelor’s degree holders was 3.7% compared to 6.7% for those only holding a high school diploma.

Reasons People Struggle With Getting a Job Out of College

Finding a job after college can be challenging, especially when learning how to adapt to life after graduating. If you are in the position where you can’t find a job after college, the following reasons might help explain:

Not Being Prepared

Some college graduates will only start preparing for their career after graduation. Although preparation involves some effort, such as taking online courses, finding an internship, or networking, being prepared for the job market is crucial to getting a job after college.

Not Being Proactive

Not being proactive by following up with potential employers and reaching out to your network is also a common reason college graduates might take longer to land a job. Only applying on job boards is a common mistake job seekers make, as they tend to get lost in the pool of applicants.

Not Enough Experience

Having a degree in hand doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get a job right after graduation. Most employers consider having internship and work experience one of the top factors for considering a candidate.

Not Making It About the Employer

Another common mistake recent graduates make is focusing on what they want out of a job and not the employer’s needs. Employers want to know what you can provide them with and how your skills align with the position.

Not Doing Enough Research

If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you likely won’t be able to find it. Not doing enough research is another struggle graduates face when starting the job search. Researching what’s suitable for you and what career paths to take can help you achieve your career goals faster.

 

how to stay motivated in the job search

How To Get a Job Right Out of College

Now, with all these stressors against you, you might be wondering, “How do I get a job just out of college?” Even if this won’t be your first job ever, making the most of your college experience and job search process can put you at ease.

1. Get Experience During College

While in college, you’ll have many opportunities to join clubs and organizations, attend events and seminars, and learn new skills. Each of these can help you learn more about yourself and enhance what you have to offer — plus, it looks great on your resume.

Pro tip: If you didn’t have a job during college, use your participation in a club or organization as your job experience.

2. Start Networking

When you’re ready to start your career, you’ll likely hear that networking is very important, and that’s because at least 70 percent of open positions are not advertised. Meeting people within your major and professional organizations can be a great way to start building connections. But don’t limit yourself — even friends, family, and coworkers can be part of your network.

Pro tip: If you haven’t heard back from a job you applied for, ask for help from your network or college alumni who work for that company.

3. Research the Job Market

Just like a research project for a class in college, exploring different job fields can help you narrow down your job search. Learning about what kinds of jobs are in that field, what a typical day looks like, how the job market is, and what requirements are needed can help you understand exactly what to look for and increase your chances of getting hired.

Pro tip: When doing your research, take note of common skills and experience required in the job descriptions, and personalize your resume accordingly.

4. Be Proactive

If you want to find a job right after you graduate, being proactive is the key. Don’t just wait around — apply to different jobs, reach out to people in your network and on LinkedIn, and follow up on any jobs you haven’t heard back from. By showing interest and being proactive, you’ll let hiring managers know that you’re ready to put your skills and experience to work.

Pro tip: After applying for a job, send the hiring manager a personal email letting them know you applied and why you believe you’re a good fit for the job.

5. Become a Volunteer

Seeking volunteer opportunities can be a great way to give back to the community while also building your skills and connections. Finding a volunteering activity that you enjoy can also help boost your communication and interpersonal skills, and could potentially lead you to find your future employer.

Pro tip: Join a volunteering club or organization on campus to help the local community.

6. Attend Career Fairs

Career fairs might sound intimidating, but there’s a good chance your future employer is there. Recruiters at career fairs are ready to meet people and want to learn more about you and your experience. This is a great way to develop your interviewing skills as well as learn more about different companies and job opportunities.

Pro tip: Research companies on the career fair list ahead of time, so you can come prepared with specific questions to ask the recruiters.

7. Create a Portfolio Website

Take an extra step and create a personal website to showcase your skills and experience. Even if it’s just a simple website, this is a great opportunity to share your writing, photography, or art, or just to tell your story.

Pro tip: Add your website to your resume and job applications as well as your LinkedIn profile to make you stand out to employers.

8. Land an Internship

Finding an internship can be a great way to test the waters and see what a potential job in that field might look like. As a matter of fact, 55 percent of employers believe having internship experience is one of the top factors for considering candidates. Getting an internship can also help you build connections and could even lead to a full-time position.

Pro tip: Taking an internship position after graduating college can help you sharpen your skills if you didn’t get enough experience during school.

9. Consider a Part-Time Job

Even if it’s not in your field, pursuing a part-time job can also help you build connections and skills. Getting a part-time job on campus can not only allow you to earn some extra bucks to pay your tuition, but it can also help you understand your work style and what kinds of tasks you enjoy doing. Finding a part-time position in your field can also get you a foot in the door, and potentially lead to a full-time position.

Pro tip: Working part-time after college can help you build your work ethic and bring in extra money while applying for full-time positions.

10. Keep Your LinkedIn Updated

A lot of recruiters will take a look at your LinkedIn profile during the hiring process — in fact, 72 percent of them use it for recruiting. Keeping your LinkedIn profile updated with your most recent resume and experience can help show recruiters that you’re open to work.

Pro tip: You can also add an #OpenToWork frame to your profile picture on LinkedIn to let recruiters know you are actively looking.

11. Leverage Career Services

On-campus career centers are one of the best sources for new job opportunities, especially locally. Many employers will leave their information with university career centers, which means they’re open to hiring graduates from there. On top of giving you career guidance, career centers may also offer resume and networking workshops, mentoring programs, and mock interviews.

Pro tip: You can still visit your campus career center after graduating to get tips and strategies on how you can improve your resume and interview skills.

12. Take Online Courses

If you want to level up your skills aside from what you learn in class, taking online courses can help you get hands-on experience in the field. It can also guide you to figure out if it’s the right career path for you.

Pro tip: There are a variety of open online courses you can take for free on websites such as Coursera, Udemy, and edX.

13. Find a Mentor

There are many benefits of having a mentor, like providing career guidance and constructive criticism. A mentor is someone you trust and look up to, and can be a supervisor, coworker, teacher, or even a friend. Building a relationship with your mentor can also help you strengthen your communication skills and avoid common pitfalls.

Pro tip: If you don’t have someone close to you to become your mentor, many college career centers have mentorship programs that link you to alumni.

14. Create a Routine

The job hunt can seem endless at times, but building a routine can help you keep track of your goals. Schedule times on your calendar for each task, such as searching for jobs, updating your resume and profile, following up with recruiters, taking online courses, and networking. But don’t forget about your health! Schedule mental health breaks, such as working out, taking a walk, watching a movie, or reaching out to a loved one.

Pro tip: Try using time management techniques such as the Pomodoro Technique and time blocking to help you stay on track.

15. Join Professional Development Groups

Job board websites can feel overwhelming when there are so many job postings. Narrow down your search by finding groups for a specific field or location. These groups can also be a great place to connect with other job seekers who can share career insights.

Pro tip: Facebook and LinkedIn are great places to find groups, such as remote job seekers and city-specific jobs.

16. Level Up Your Resume

Since some job postings tend to get hundreds of applicants, many job seekers are finding ways to stand out from the crowd. One way to do this is by spicing up your resume and making it creative. You can do that by trying different resume layouts, colors, and even adding a fun facts section. Although some would go as far as sending a donut box resume, be mindful of the company you are applying for.

Pro tip: You can create your resume using a template from websites such as Canva. Make sure it’s saved as a PDF so resume-scanning softwares can still read it.

17. Apply on Company Websites

Another way to stand out from the crowd and not get lost in the sea of job applicants is to apply directly on the company’s website instead of only big job boards. Some companies will keep their websites updated with current job openings and actively check for candidates. Applying through their website can make it more personal and show that you’re especially interested in working for them.

Pro tip: If you find a place where you genuinely want to work, it may be worth emailing them even if they don’t have current openings to show you are interested.

Why Your First Job Out of College Matters

Your first job out of college might not be a perfect fit, but it’s still one of the most important. If you happen to be in a position where you realize the job is not what you expected, use it as a learning opportunity.

This is your chance to develop your skills and learn from your mistakes. So dive into your first job like a pro and learn negotiation skills, tackle your time management abilities, connect with others in the industry, and discover your preferred work style. Taking advantage of a not-so-great first job can set you up for career success down the road.

 

If getting a job out of college is one of your main goals, preparing ahead of time can not only help you stay motivated while job searching, but can also help you land a job faster. By learning what common mistakes you’re struggling with and following the tips in this guide, you can get one step closer to achieving career success. Monster | Psychology Today

The post 17 Tips for Getting a Job Out of College appeared first on MintLife Blog.

Source: mint.intuit.com

Can Your Craft Become Your Livelihood? A Conversation with Grant Ginder

That creative thing you love—writing, painting, designing, composing—that’s what you do for pleasure. To relax, unwind, escape. Many of us hold a belief that the thing we love to do and the thing we get paid to do can’t be one and the same. Unless, of course, you’re Lizzo or Stephen King. 

But what if that assumption is wrong? What if there's a way to add a small revenue stream, or even make a full-time career, out of the creative thing you love?

Becoming a creative begins with creating.

I sat down with novelist Grant Ginder (author of The People We Hate at the Wedding and Honestly, We Meant Well) who boldly shares his advice on how he turned his writing hobby into a profession and how he believes you can follow his lead down any artistic path you choose.

What makes someone an artist?

When I asked Grant what makes someone an artist, he chuckled before confessing that even as a published author, he struggles to claim the title out loud.

"I think … so much of it is just a matter of taking ownership. [We tend to believe] you're not allowed to call yourself a painter unless you've sold paintings. But a painter is someone who paints. …I spend a lot of my day writing, and so I'm a writer. Getting anyone else to take you seriously is to take yourself seriously. And part of taking yourself seriously is calling yourself what you are."

Addressing the mindset of art as a hobby or creative pursuit only

Many of us carry a creative wish or talent inside of us. And yet so many believe that our art—the creating—is the thing we must do after the “real job” is done. Being creative happens separately from being a professional.

"My parents… encouraged me to follow those [writing] ambitions. And if I would've told them after I graduated college ‘I'm going to go be a writer’… they would have [said] ‘Maybe you won't be doing that.’

"When my first book came out, my parents had a celebration for me and my dad was giving a speech. He said ‘Grant said he was going to write a book and we didn't believe it!'"

Then, after Grant’s second book was published, his parents (supportively) expressed the same surprise.

"It was a mixed message. It’s not just your parents [sending you this message]—I think you have pressures from all sides; from school, from media, from just looking at the world around you. It’s like the only [artists] that matter are the ones who make a lot of money. I think it’s a very skewed way of looking at art."

Making the move from amateur to creative professional

It's all well and good to say that we should all support creative pursuits as a means to an income. But how do you actually get started on making it official? The answer, perhaps unsurprisingly, is that becoming a creative begins with creating.

"For me, the creating part was learning to set aside time, and to protect that time, to engage in this particular craft… I would write on the weekends a lot. [I had to learn] to say no to things… [because] this is the time that I've set aside to engage in this process, and I'm going to engage in this process now. Holding yourself to that and getting other people to recognize and take that seriously [is essential]."

He also speaks to the importance of consuming the art form you want to produce. For Grant, that’s the novel. But he acknowledges that it's probably the same for other creative arts like painting or music. The process involves analysis and self-reflection.

"You read a novel and you want to write one of these things. [What do you like about it? Why do you like that? And how is that writer doing that thing? And so, [you're] coming at it as… someone who's trying to train themselves in a particular craft. I think that's kind of step one in producing something [creative]."

Finding inspiration and motivation

Sometimes you don't have the luxury of waiting for inspiration to strike you. You have a job to do.

What about inspiration? Do you wait for it to strike or do you just have to start?

Grant believes the artist simply has to start.

"I don't believe that I have to wait for inspiration to strike. I actually think that this comes from my training as a speechwriter, and from writing under deadlines. Sometimes you don't have the luxury of waiting for inspiration to strike you. You have a job to do."

He pointed to an idea he paraphrased from novelist Taffy Brodesser-Akner:

"You write a sentence. Just write that sentence. And it might be a really bad sentence, but the next one will probably be a little bit better."

"I'm also a fan of super messy first drafts. I think my writing is at its worst and my process is at its worst when I get way too precious. Am I in the mood? Is the light in the apartment just right? It's like, no, just roll up your sleeves and start."

Getting your creation out into the world

Once you’ve written or painted or composed the thing, is there a clear, step-by-step roadmap to getting it out into the world? Grants recommendations were refreshing. And relatable.

1. Do your research

"I used Google. When I wrote my first novel, I Googled ‘how many words are in a novel?

"I've always loved writing. I've always loved reading. And so, on breaks [from my speechwriting job], I would write. And, I kept that up. And then… when I reached that magic number [of novel words], I Googled ‘how to publish a novel.

"My path was like a Google Commercial."

Grant's googling led him to conclude that he needed to find a literary agent. And, of course, he then used Google to find out what a literary agent was. 

"Your research is really important [in figuring out] what the next steps are and how to prepare yourself for those steps."

2. Be scrappy

"I started realizing I'd never really read the acknowledgments in the backs of books before. So I started reading the acknowledgments… and authors thank their agents. So if I really liked the book, I would read the acknowledgments and keep a list of who the agents were.

"When it was time for me to query agents… I reached out to those agents. Some of them didn’t respond, but some did. It takes a while. You get a lot of rejections. But I told myself that for every rejection, I was going to send it out to two more people. You just chip away."

I told myself that for every rejection, I was going to send it out to two more people. You just chip away.

3. Make connections

"I assume this would translate to other fields—developing a network of other writers, painters, musicians helping each other … to navigate the landscape."

Grant had no prior knowledge of the steps to take in getting a book published. He had no connections. He had only a book, a wish, and a decent internet connection. And this is how he would advise any creator to figure things out as they go.

How do you handle rejection?

Grant mentioned rejection. And I wasn’t letting him off the hook. How, I asked, do you deal with rejection?

"There is this incredible vulnerability in putting something out in the world. It's something that you've sat with for years. And it's just [been] you, engaging with [it]. Then all of a sudden it's in the hands of everyone and they're allowed to think whatever they want about it.

"I think you have to get to this state—and I'm not there yet—[but] I imagine [it’s] like the author's Nirvana… where I’ve made this thing that belonged to me while I was making it. And I am now putting it forth for interpretation… [but] texts are meant to be read and processed in a variety of different ways. And I think that… the more you can lean into that belief, the happier, and probably the better writer you can be."

Grant's advice to budding creatives

I wrapped our interview with this question: What’s the one piece of advice you wish you could give your younger self?

Here’s a (slightly paraphrased) summary of the pep talk Grant wished he'd received.

"Just sit down and do it. Trust the process. One sentence will lead to the next sentence, which will lead to the next. Don't worry so much. Just write the book you want to write."

Source: quickanddirtytips.com

11 Surprising Things That Are Taxable

If you work for a living, you know that your wages are taxable, and you’re probably aware that some investment income is taxed, too. But, unfortunately, the IRS doesn’t stop there.

If you’ve picked up some extra cash through luck, skill or even criminal activities, there’s a good chance you owe taxes on that money as well. To avoid being caught off guard when it’s time to file your return, take a look at our list of 11 surprising things that are actually taxable. If you collected any of the income or property on the list, make sure you declare it on your next tax return!

1 of 11

Scholarships

graduation cap on moneygraduation cap on money

If you receive a scholarship to cover tuition, fees and books, you don’t have to pay taxes on the money. But if your scholarship also covers room and board, travel and other expenses, that portion of the award is taxable.

Students who receive financial aid in exchange for work, such as serving as a teaching or research assistant, must also pay tax on that money, even if they use the proceeds to pay tuition.

2 of 11

Gambling Winnings

people playing crapspeople playing craps

What happens in Vegas doesn’t necessarily stay in Vegas. Gambling income includes (but isn’t limited to) winnings from lotteries, horse races, casinos and sports betting (including fantasy sports). The payer is required to issue you a Form W2-G (which will also be reported to the IRS) if you win $1,200 or more from bingo or slot machines, $1,500 or more from keno, more than $5,000 from a poker tournament, or $600 or more from other wagers if your take is more than 300 times the amount of your bet. But even if you don’t receive a W2-G, the IRS expects you to report your gambling proceeds on your tax return.

The good news: If you itemize, your gambling losses are deductible, but only to the extent of the winnings you report as income. For example, if you won $4,000 last year and had $5,000 in losing bets, your deduction for the losses is limited to $4,000. You can’t deduct the balance against other income or carry it forward.

Your state may want a piece of the action, too. Your home state will generally tax all your income (if it has an income tax) — including gambling winnings. But also watch out for a tax bill if you place a winning bet in another state. You won’t be taxed twice, though. The state where you live should give you a tax credit for the taxes you pay to the other state. Also, check to see if your state allows a deduction for gambling losses.

3 of 11

Unemployment Benefits

picture of man who was just firedpicture of man who was just fired

Millions of Americans have received unemployment compensation during the pandemic – many for the first time. While these benefits provide an important lifeline during tough times, they could also produce an unexpected tax bill.

Unemployment benefits are a form of income, and that income is generally taxable at the federal level. In some cases, state taxes are due on unemployment benefits, too. (State treatment varies, so check out our State-by-State Guide to Taxes on Unemployment Benefits to see what your state does.) According to the IRS, unemployment compensation, for the most part, includes any amounts received under federal or state unemployment compensation laws, including state unemployment insurance benefits and benefits paid to you by a state or the District of Columbia from the Federal Unemployment Trust Fund.

You have the option to have as much as 10% of your weekly benefits withheld for federal taxes. Taxpayers will receive a Form 1099-G from the IRS, which shows the amount received and the amount of any federal income tax removed from your benefits. Taxes may be withheld from unemployment benefits at the request of the benefits claimant by using Form W-4V, while others who choose not to have their taxes withheld may need to make estimated tax payments during the year.

4 of 11

Cancelled Debt

picture of the word debt being erasedpicture of the word debt being erased

Don’t get too excited if a credit card company says you don’t have to pay off the rest of your balance. That’s because debt that is cancelled or otherwise discharged for less than the amount you owe is generally treated as taxable income. This applies to credit card bills, car loans, mortgages, or any other debt that you owe. So, for example, if your bank says you don’t have to pay $2,000 of the $6,000 you still owe on a car loan, you have $2,000 of cancellation of debt income that you must report on your next tax return.

There are some exceptions to the general rule, such as for student loans, debts discharged in bankruptcy, qualified farm indebtedness and a few other types of debt. Also, in the case of “nonrecourse” debt — i.e., where the lender can repossess any collateral property if you fail to pay, but you’re not personally liable for the unpaid debt — any cancelled debt is not considered taxable income (although you might realize gain or loss from the repossession).

If you do have a debt forgiven, the creditor may send you a Form 1099-C showing the amount of cancelled debt. The IRS will get a copy of the form, too — so don’t think Uncle Sam won’t know about it.

5 of 11

Stolen Property

picture of robber holding gun and moneypicture of robber holding gun and money

If you robbed a bank, embezzled money or staged an art heist last year, the IRS expects you to pay taxes on the proceeds. “Income from illegal activities, such as money from dealing illegal drugs, must be included in your income,” the IRS says. Bribes are also taxable.

In reality, few criminals report their ill-gotten gains on their tax returns. But if you’re caught, the feds can add tax evasion to the list of charges against you. That’s what happened to notorious gangster Al Capone, who served 11 years for tax evasion. Capone never filed a tax return, the IRS says.

6 of 11

Buried Treasure

picture of treasure chestpicture of treasure chest

In September 2020, a man found a 9-carat diamond in the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Pike County, Arkansas. It was the second-largest diamond ever found in the park and could be worth more than $1 million.

But be aware that if you find a diamond in the rough, unearth a cache of gold coins in your backyard or discover sunken treasure while deep-sea diving, the IRS wants a piece of your booty. Found property is taxable at its fair market value in the first year it’s your undisputed possession, the IRS says.

The precedent for the IRS’s “treasure trove” rule dates back to 1964, when a couple discovered $4,467 in a used piano they had purchased for $15. The IRS said the couple owed income taxes on the money, and a U.S. District Court agreed.

7 of 11

Gifts from Your Employer

picture of gold club with gift bow on itpicture of gold club with gift bow on it

Ordinarily, gifts aren’t taxable, even if they’re worth a lot of money. But if your employer gives you a new set of golf clubs to recognize a job well done (or to persuade you to reject a job offer from a competitor), you’ll probably owe taxes on the value of your new irons.

More than 50 years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that a gift from an employer can be excluded from the employee’s income if it was made out of “detached and disinterested generosity.” Gifts that reward an employee for his or her services don’t meet that standard, the court said. Gifts that help promote the company don’t meet that standard, either.

8 of 11

Bitcoin

picture of bitcoin logopicture of bitcoin logo

While you can use bitcoin to purchase a variety of goods and services, the IRS considers bitcoin — along with other cryptocurrencies — to be an asset. If the bitcoin you used to make a purchase is worth more than you paid for it, you’re expected to pay taxes on your profits at capital gains rates — just like stocks and bonds.

Also be warned that, as the use of cryptocurrency increases, the IRS is starting to pay more attention to it. For instance, since 2019, the tax agency has been sending letters to people who may not have reported transactions in virtual currencies. Plus, the 2021 Form 1040 includes a line asking taxpayers if they received, sold, sent, exchanged or otherwise acquired any financial interest in any virtual currency during the tax year. 

Some cryptocurrency platforms are sending investors statements that provide a record of their transactions. But even if you didn’t get a statement, you’re responsible for paying taxes on your crypto gains.

If your employer pays you in bitcoin or some other virtual currency, it must be reported on your W-2 form, and you must include the fair market value of the currency in your income. It’s also subject to federal income tax withholding and payroll taxes.

9 of 11

Bartering

picture of people trading an apple for a cupcakepicture of people trading an apple for a cupcake

When you exchange property or services in lieu of cash, the fair market value of the goods and services are fully taxable and must be included as income on Form 1040 for both parties. But an informal exchange of similar services on a noncommercial basis, such as carpooling, is not taxable.

If you exchanged property or services through a barter exchange, you should expect to receive a Form 1099-B (or a similar statement) in the mail. It will show the value of cash, property, services, credits or scrip you received from bartering.

10 of 11

Payment for Donated Eggs

picture of a petry dishpicture of a petry dish

Every year, thousands of young, healthy women donate their eggs to infertile couples. Payments for this service generally range from $6,500 to $30,000, according to Egg Donation, Inc., a company that matches donors with couples. Those payments are taxable income, according to the U.S. Tax Court. Fertility clinics typically send donors and the IRS a Form 1099 documenting the payment.

11 of 11

The Nobel Prize

picture of Nobel Prizepicture of Nobel Prize

If you were selected for this prestigious honor — worth about $1.1 million in 2021 — you must pay taxes on it.

Other awards that recognize your accomplishments, such as the Pulitzer Prize for journalists, are also taxable. The only way to avoid a tax hit is to direct the money to a tax-exempt charity before receiving it. That’s what President Obama did when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009. If you accept the money and then give it to charity, you probably will have to pay taxes on some of it because the IRS ordinarily limits charitable deductions to 60% of your adjusted gross income (for the 2021 tax year, under a provision in the CARES Act, you can deduct donations of up to 100% of your AGI to charity).

Source: kiplinger.com

The Best Places to Live in Virginia in 2022

Virginia is for lovers — or so the saying goes. It’s near impossible not to fall in love with a state that contains so much U.S. history, as many former U.S. presidents were born here and the first Thanksgiving took place here. Plus, it has charming small towns and access to both the mountains and the ocean.

Virginia forests cover over 60 percent of the state for the outdoor enthusiast, making it easy to be one with nature on the weekends. It also attracts young professionals to its many universities and top military, business and manufacturing jobs.

Four of the wealthiest counties in the U.S. are in Virginia, thanks to higher spending power. Keep on reading to get to know the best places to live in Virginia in 2022, including one of its biggest cities, Virginia Beach.

Alexandria, VA

Alexandria, VA

  • Population: 159,467
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,951
  • 2-BR median rent: $2,372
  • Median home price: $598,500
  • Median household income: $100,939
  • Walk Score: 62/100

Located right at the state’s northern tip, Alexandria borders the Potomac River with Washington, D.C., just across the water. Old Town Alexandria, the city’s historic area, showcases Colonial-era architecture that takes you right back in time. Walk the cobblestone streets to the many museums and restaurants and learn more about George Washington’s hometown.

Living in Alexandria makes it convenient for those that work in the nation’s capital but enjoy a quieter, more affordable suburb. You can rent a one-bedroom for $1,952 per month on average and enjoy a stroll through Huntley Meadows Park on the weekends.

Arlington, VA

Arlington, VA

  • Population: 238,643
  • 1-BR median rent: $2,315
  • 2-BR median rent: $3,125
  • Median home price: $675,000
  • Median household income: $120,071
  • Walk Score: 81/100

Arlington’s strategic location just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., makes it an excellent option for those working in the nation’s capital and one of the best places to live in Virginia. Average rents for a one-bedroom hover around $2,315 per month if you want to move to Arlington. Employers in the city mainly focus on the federal government, including the Pentagon.

While the rent prices are higher, the city’s walkability and outdoor spaces like the W&OD Railroad Trail make up for it. You can also visit the Arlington National Cemetery and other wartime monuments nearby, as the city had a large part in the nation’s wars.

Charlottesville, VA

Charlottesville, VA

  • Population: 46,553
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,417
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,600
  • Median home price: N/A
  • Median household income:$59,471
  • Walk Score: 47/100

Home to the University of Virginia, Charlottesville is more than a college town. Charlottesville has more than 40 wineries along the Monticello Wine Trail, thanks to the perfect combination of soil and climate.

If you’re more of a hiker, don’t miss the trails at Shenandoah National Park, right by the Blue Ridge Mountains. In Historic Court Square, you can find the town’s first taverns along with the Live Arts Theatre, the art center and other museums. On average, you can find one-bedroom apartments in Charlottesville for $1,417 per month.

Fredricksburg, VA

Fredricksburg, VA

  • Population: 27,982
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,630
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,941
  • Median home price: $377,500
  • Median household income: $65,641
  • Walk Score: 29/100

Located off Interstate 95, Fredericksburg is the perfect location for those commuting to either Washington, D.C., or Richmond. The preserved buildings from around the turn of the century now house restaurants, antique shops and small retail shops right in the center of town. Craft breweries and distilleries have recently opened in the area, as well.

Head to the Rappahannock River with your kayak and enjoy floating downstream when the weather is nice. Living in Fredericksburg brings a quiet, charming community, as well as convenience to your 9-to-5.

Newport News, VA

Newport News, VA

  • Population: 186,247
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,155
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,257
  • Median home price: $237,250
  • Median household income: $53,215
  • Walk Score: 44/100

Newport News is right along the banks of James River, near the Hampton Roads harbor. The city is central to several amenities offered in Williamsburg and Virginia Beach, too — just a short drive away. The city has a rich history dating back to the Revolutionary War and the founding of Jamestown so you can tour all sorts of attractions and museums. You can also enjoy hiking, camping and more nearby at the York River State Park.

Prominent employers in the area focus on transportation, mainly railroad and aviation. You can find an apartment in Newport News for $1,155 per month on average for a one-bedroom.

Norfolk, VA

Norfolk, VA

  • Population: 238,005
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,451
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,641
  • Median home price: $265,000
  • Median household income: $51,590
  • Walk Score: 54/100

Conveniently located near Virginia Beach, Norfolk has many ports that have helped make its economy one of the fastest-growing in the U.S. The suburb features several malls, a thriving performing arts center, the Virginia Opera and the critically-acclaimed Chrysler Museum of Art. Nearby, you can also see the world’s largest battleship, the USS Wisconsin.

You’re a hop and a skip from the beach and several state parks like False Cape State Park for hiking and boating. It’s easy to find a home in Norfolk — you can rent a one-bedroom apartment for $1,451 per month on average.

Richmond, VA

Richmond, VA

  • Population: 226,610
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,376
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,641
  • Median home price: $290,750
  • Median household income: $47,250
  • Walk Score: 57/100

One of the oldest major cities in the U.S. and one of the best places to live in Virginia, Richmond now serves as the capital of the state. Right in the middle of the city, you can enjoy a stroll through Libby Hill Park in the historic Church Hill neighborhood. This park is one of three original parks created while Virginia was a colony.

You can also walk in the Fan District and enjoy the mansions and row houses built at the end of the last century. The city is also home to six Fortune 500 companies with a growing economy. You can live in Richmond for $1,376 per month on average for a one-bedroom apartment.

Roanoke, VA

Roanoke, VA

  • Population: 100,011
  • 1-BR median rent: $800
  • 2-BR median rent: $946
  • Median home price: N/A
  • Median household income: $44,230
  • Walk Score: 48/100

Nestled in the south part of Shenandoah Valley, Roanoke is right by the beauty of the Blue Ridge mountains. The small town turns on the charm with its many festivals like the Strawberry Festival, Dickens of a Christmas and the Kite Festival. The downtown area boasts a farmer’s market, several museums and a zoo.

The Historic Roanoke City Market is the oldest market in Virginia that has been continuously operating since 1882. Healthcare, transportation and banking are the primary industries in the area. You can find an apartment in Roanoke for $800 per month on average for a one-bedroom.

Virginia Beach, VA

Virginia Beach, VA

  • Population: 459,470
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,309
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,417
  • Median home price: $321,750
  • Median household income: $76,610
  • Walk Score: 47/100

One of the biggest cities in the state, Virginia Beach boasts a three-mile boardwalk that’s a sight as the afternoon sun sets. The beachfront area encompasses about 40 city blocks, with small restaurants, hotels and family-friendly activities. The Virginia Beach Art Center showcases local artists’ works so you can grab custom items.

It’s not all beach all the time. Virginia Beach also has access to some of the best schools, especially in the Bayfront neighborhood. Many large employers have headquarters in the area, including insurance and the federal government.

If that all sounds good, you can find places to live in Virginia Beach for $1,309 per month on average for a one-bedroom.

Williamsburg, VA

Williamsburg, VA

  • Population: 15,425
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,705
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,469
  • Median home price: $404,000
  • Median household income: $57,463
  • Walk Score: 30/100

The self-proclaimed “Colonial Capital of Virginia,” Williamsburg truly feels like you were back in the 18th century. The city’s intentional restoration and preservation of structures and architectures are seen throughout. The Historic Triangle, a hub for several historic sites and museums, is a fun stop for landmark lovers.

Williamsburg is also home to the College of William and Mary, the second-oldest institution for higher education in the U.S.

The York River State Park offers more than 30 miles of hiking trails, kayak and mountain biking opportunities. If the colonial city charmed you and you’re ready to find an apartment in Williamsburg, you can rent one for $1,705 per month on average.

Find an apartment for rent in Virginia

The Old Dominion state has a beautiful coastline and a rich history as one of the 13 original colonies. Many nature opportunities abound thanks to the Appalachian Mountains, along with a strong economy in Virginia.

Whatever you’re looking for, one of these best places to live in Virginia will match your lifestyle — from big cities to small towns. Thinking of moving to one of these cities? Check out all the apartments for rent in Virginia right here.

The rent information included in this summary is based on a median calculation of multifamily rental property inventory on Apartment Guide and Rent.com as of December 2021.
Median home prices are from Redfin as of December 2021.
Population and median household income are from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The information in this article is for illustrative purposes only. This data herein does not constitute a pricing guarantee or financial advice related to the rental market.

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Source: apartmentguide.com

11 Super-Simple Ways to Build Wealth in 2022

A wealthy couple
Jacob Lund / Shutterstock.com

To paraphrase William Shakespeare, some people are born wealthy and others achieve wealth. If you weren’t lucky enough to be in the first group, then it’s time to get going on your self-made fortune.

Think that can’t happen? You’re wrong. Pathways to wealth are everywhere. Why shouldn’t you take them?

Some of these smart choices will save you money upfront. Next, use that money to make more money through strategies like fractional investing and online wealth management.

Want to put yourself on the road to riches? These tactics can help.

1. Used Chevy or new Mercedes?

Save $100 a month, earn 1% on it and after 20 years you’ll have $26,545. Enough for a used Chevy.

Boost that percentage to 15%, and you’ll end up with $124,569 after 20 years. That’s nearly $100,000 more: enough for a new Mercedes.

Of course, earning 15% isn’t easy (the stock market’s average return is about 10%) and never guaranteed, but here’s something that is guaranteed: You won’t be earning big returns at the bank.

If you want to super-charge your savings, you’ve got to invest.

Plenty of people grow up thinking that “investing” is something only rich people do. Not so! You can start your investing journey with as little as $1, without paying a dime in fees, thanks to an investing app called Public.

With the Public app, you take part in “fractional investing,” which means buying little slivers of companies, funds or crypto assets. Take your choice from among thousands of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and stocks.

Start by signing up and telling the app what investing experience (if any) you have and what your investing goals are. According to Public, 90% of users are in it for the long haul.

There’s no charge to join, although you’re allowed to leave tips on transactions. And again: You can start with as little as $1. What else can you get for a buck these days? Even dollar stores are raising their prices!

Download the app now, and take the first step toward getting rich instead of just getting by.

2. Chop your car insurance bill by $700 a year

Auto insurance is a must. You know what isn’t a must? Paying too much for coverage.

People who switch to Progressive for their auto insurance can save up to $700 – not just initially, but every year. Imagine what you could do with an extra $700 in your budget.

Emergency fund? Extra payment against your mortgage? Retirement planning? It’s your call. Point is, those are dollars that are now working for you instead of for someone else.

Incidentally, a cheaper premium doesn’t mean you’re cheaping out on protection. Progressive is known for its strong coverage. Request your free quote now and see how much you can save this year, and every year.

3. Let mortgage savings put your kids through college

If you’re currently paying about 4% on your mortgage, refinancing could lower your rate to as low as 2.376%.

Not much of a difference, right?

Well, if your mortgage is $300,000, that lower rate would mean paying about $94,000 less in interest over the life of the loan. That’s enough to put your kids through college, start your own business or retire earlier.

Maybe you know the savings would be significant, but haven’t refinanced yet because it seems so complicated. It isn’t. A direct lender called Better will make it child’s play.

The simplifying starts with a near-instant rate quote, and continues through the refinancing process. Better doesn’t charge origination fees or lender fees, and you can get a mortgage interest rate lock if you like.

Millions of homeowners around the country are saving every month because they refinanced. But the experts are saying these low rates won’t last. It’s do-it-or-lose-it time.

Get your new, personalized rate today, and make strides toward a better tomorrow.

4. Stop worrying about expensive household breakdowns

For most of us, our home is our most valuable asset. We put a lot of money down to buy it and pay a lot of money each month to keep it. Sometimes we’re stretched pretty thin financially, so when things break down it can be tough to cover the fixes.

The heating/cooling system grinds to a halt. A major appliance gives up the ghost. And why are the lights flickering — could it be the electrical panel?

What you need is a full-time maintenance person.

The next best thing? A home warranty from America’s 1st Choice Home Club. You can choose from among several coverage plans that cover issues with appliances, plumbing, heating, electrical systems and more. You can use your own technician or let America’s 1st Choice send someone over.

A breakdown happens in the middle of the night? Doesn’t matter. The in-house service team is available 24/7.

All this starting for as little as $390 a year.

Homeownership is great. But when things go wrong — and they will! — we can no longer call the landlord. We are the landlord, and we might go into debt just to keep things running smoothly.

Stop worrying about household breakdowns, and the high costs that come with them. Get a free quote in 30 seconds.

5. Get paid to watch videos and take surveys

Think of all the time you spend waiting somewhere. Waiting for the spin cycle in the laundromat. Waiting at the auto shop until the mechanic can give you an estimate. Waiting for your kid’s sports practice to be over. Waiting in an exam room for the doctor, who’s running 20 minutes late.

You could spend that time watching funny cat videos — or you could use that time to make some money. Our friends at InboxDollars can help you with the latter.

InboxDollars is a rewards site that pays you actual cash to watch videos and take surveys. Seriously: Why not use your downtime to make money?

Those aren’t the only ways to earn money with InboxDollars, however. You can also do some online shopping, click on daily emails, scan your grocery receipts into the “Magic Receipts” function, complete special offers (especially those for things you’d planned to buy anyway), play games and even help others by making donations to various causes.

From now on, get paid for waiting. It takes seconds to sign up, and you’ll get a $5 welcome bonus just for joining.

6. Find cheaper homeowners insurance in 60 seconds

Again, our homes are usually our most valuable asset. It’s essential to make sure they’re protected in the event of an emergency. But how do you know whether you’re overpaying for homeowners insurance?

Simple: You ask Lemonade for an estimate. It takes only a few seconds to find out whether you could be keeping more of your hard-earned money each month. Lemonade’s coverage starts from just $25 a month.

Homeowners insurance isn’t just about fixing things up after a fire, though. The dog bit the mailman? Lemonade can help with legal and medical payments.

A thief steals your stuff? Lemonade has your back, even if the theft happened away from home.

Your home rendered unlivable due to that fire? A homeowners insurance policy through Lemonade will cover expenses until you can get back into your home sweet home.

Why overpay with your current carrier? Find cheaper home insurance in seconds.

7. Add $1.7 million extra to your retirement

A recent Vanguard study indicated that a self-managed $500,000 investment would grow into $1.69 million in 25 years, on average. Sounds pretty good, huh?

However, with professional help, that same $500,000 would have turned into $3.4 million. In other words, a quality financial adviser could double your retirement nest egg!

At least talk to a pro, especially when finding one is free and easy. SmartAsset is a free service that will match you with a qualified money manager who can help you put your money where it will do you the most good.

Bank interest rates don’t beat inflation, so the value of your savings erodes over time. Stocks and other investments have historically beaten inflation, but a lack of knowledge and experience leaves you vulnerable to dodgy advice or financial scams.

SmartAsset will put you in touch with up to three local, experienced professionals, all of whom are fiduciaries, meaning they’re required to put your best interests over their own. They can give you a clear picture of where you are now, and help you develop the right plan for the long term.

Since the first appointment is often free, what have you got to lose? If you’re ready to at least consider a local adviser, check it out.

8. Protect your wealth with a gold IRA

Not everyone is comfortable with traditional retirement investments. Some people are opting for a “gold IRA,” which is just what it sounds like: gold, gold and more gold. This can be bullion (coins or bars) only, or also include gold stocks, ETFs and mutual funds. Gold is one of the few commodities that the Internal Revenue Service approves as an IRA investment. It’s a finite resource, rather than one that can be controlled by governments or banks.

Sound intriguing? Time to educate yourself, with help from American Hartford Gold.

This family-owned company can help you set up a gold IRA that meets all IRS standards. Chief among them: The gold must be kept at an approved depository. (No, you can’t bury it in your backyard.)

There may be less than 20 years’ worth of mineable gold remaining in the ground. As the saying goes about real estate, they ain’t making any more of it. Demand for gold is rising all over the world, especially in the electronics industry, so your IRA has a great chance to increase its value until you’re ready to retire.

American Hartford Gold has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and a 5-star rating with TrustPilot. Get your free investors kit now.

9. Diversify your portfolio with art collected by billionaires

Billionaires didn’t become billionaires by making bad investment choices. And billionaires have been collecting art for generations; for example, the Rockefellers amassed a collection that sold for an eye-popping $835 million in 2017.

But it isn’t just the ultra-rich who can invest in art by Banksy, Warhol and Picasso. With a new investing app called Masterworks, you can invest in iconic artworks as well – right alongside deep-pocketed folks like Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey and Jeff Bezos.

Blue-chip art outpaced the S&P 500 from 1995-2021, which is impressive considering that historic bull run we’re now witnessing. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that art is “among the hottest markets on Earth.”

Art also has one of the lowest correlations to stocks that you can find. In other words, art’s value doesn’t have anything to do with the stock market’s wild swings, which makes it a good hedge.

Masterworks is an invitation-only art investment platform. So if you want to invest like a billionaire, request your invitation to join here.

10. Borrow $50,000 to erase your debt

Ever feel like you’ll never get out from under your credit card debt? Consumer debt is way too easy to get into, yet sometimes feels impossible to escape. You pay as much as you can each month, but the high interest rate just keeps piling on the dollars.

AmOne is a free service that matches people like you with loan providers. When you fill out one simple form online, AmOne finds lenders who want to fund your loan of up to $50,000.

Once you’ve been approved and agree on the terms, it can take as little as 24 hours to get the cash. Use the money to erase all your debt at once, then pay back the personal loan at a lower interest rate than those credit cards were charging you.

The service does only a “soft” credit pull, rather than have you going directly to lenders and getting “hard” credit pulls that affect your credit score. And speaking of your credit score: You don’t need an “excellent” rating to be considered, since AmOne’s lending partners are willing to work with people of varying credit ratings.

AmOne has a 4.7-star rating (out of 5) on TrustPilot. It’s free to check your rate online, and it literally takes just one minute.

11. Pay no interest until 2023 with a better card

Another way to deal with high credit card balances? Get another credit card. Specifically, get a 0% APR card, transfer those balances and get charged no interest while you’re paying down the debt.

There’s another good reason to get a 0% APR card: to get free financing on a big-ticket item.

Suppose your HVAC system goes out or your car needs a few thousand bucks’ worth of repairs. Rather than deplete your emergency fund, pay with that new 0% APR card to give yourself some breathing room while you pay it off.

How much breathing room? Anywhere from 15 to 21 months, depending on the card you choose.

You’ll need a plan to go along with that new card: no more using the other cards with unnecessary splurges while you pay off the 0% APR card. It doesn’t make sense to run up more debt while you’re paying off old debt.

But with a 0% card, you’ll pay no interest. Think of all the interest you’d been paying, and what those dollars could have done for your long-term financial security. With a 0% APR card, you won’t have to waste any more of your hard-earned dollars on interest.

Compare these top cards and discover the best one for you.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Source: moneytalksnews.com