Interest rates can have a real impact on inflation. Learn how it works and what changing interest rates could mean for you.
October 3, 2023
When inflation is on the rise, everything from groceries to gas can get more expensive. And while a little inflation is normal, the Federal Reserve Board (also known as “the Fed”) tries to prevent steep increases in prices. Inflationary spikes can occur due to several factors, including supply chain issues, a booming labor market, and a low interest rate environment.
The Fed monitors inflation by tracking the average costs of goods and services. One of the most relied-upon measures of inflation is the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which looks at common expenses like food, energy, transportation, shelter, and health care.
When inflation is high, as it was in 2021 and 2022—with the headline number peaking in June 2022 at 9.1%, per a Bankrate article citing the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)—consumers’ dollars don’t go as far because goods and services are more expensive. This not-so-fun reality tends to put a damper on economic growth, and people with a lower income are disproportionately burdened because they cannot afford higher prices. But it’s not a great situation for anyone.
So, how does raising interest rates affect inflation? Let’s start with why inflation can happen in the first place.
Why is inflation so high?
The pandemic sparked a chain of events—including supply chain disruptions, disruptions in production, and pandemic stimulus packages, per Bankrate—that helped lead to the inflationary spike between 2021 and 2022.
First, the global supply chain, which encompasses all stages of manufacturing, assembly, and logistics that make it possible for goods to be delivered around the globe in a timely fashion, was severely impacted by illness, business closures, and travel restrictions, per Bankrate. Simultaneously, demand for goods increased as people—many working from home—began ordering more things online to be shipped directly to their front doors.
It’s economics 101: When demand goes up and supply goes down, prices rise. And that causes inflation.
Then, as the pandemic started to ease, another event that would lead to price shocks occurred: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia is a major supplier of the world’s oil. As more countries placed war-related sanctions on Russia, oil prices rose—a lot. According to Bankrate, the price of a barrel of oil nearly doubled from February 2022 (when the war began) to July 2022.
Meanwhile, the upward trajectory of a robust job market and a roaring stock market in the U.S. meant that many consumers could afford to pay higher prices at the stores and the pumps. This combination of forces can propel prices even higher and keep economists and policymakers at the Fed up at night.
Luckily, the Fed has a tool to combat runaway inflation: interest rates.
What happens to inflation when interest rates rise?
The Federal Reserve’s job is to keep inflation manageable so that consumers are encouraged to spend and save. Interest rates—which represent the cost of borrowing money—are reflected in the annual percentage yields (APYs) of savings accounts and mortgage rates. (Learn more about how the Federal Reserve can affect mortgage rates.)
How does raising interest rates affect inflation?
When interest rates go up, borrowing money gets more expensive. How does this increase in interest rates affect you? Mortgages, car loans, and business loans aren’t as attractive. As a result, fewer consumers are willing to take out loans to buy or invest in things. Higher interest rates tamp down demand, which usually leads to a dip in prices as well.
Consumers are affected in other ways, too. Because interest rates on savings accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), and money market accounts tend to increase, people move more of their money into these savings products to reap the benefits. Here’s how raised interest rates can affect those different accounts:
Banks’ interest rates typically track what the Federal Reserve is doing. So if you’re wondering when savings account interest rates will go up, it’s usually after a Fed rate hike. Money in a high-yield savings account during periods of higher interest rates will yield more returns as your funds compound over time.
CDs offer a guaranteed interest rate for the entire term of the CD, no matter what is happening in the stock market or if interest rates are rising (or falling). That said, these savings vehicles are especially beneficial when CD rates are high because you can lock in that rate over a set period—typically between three months and 10 years.
Choose your term, lock in your rate, and watch your CD grow
Discover Bank, Member FDIC
Money Market Accounts
Money market accounts also benefit from higher interest rates. They can feature an APY that’s competitive with savings accounts, but they can also include a debit card like a checking account for easy access to your money. To get the most out of a money market account, choose one with a high APY that doesn’t include fees.
When will inflation go down?
Inflation doesn’t last forever. In fact, after a series of interest rate hikes by the Fed, inflation had simmered down to 3% by June 2023, its lowest since March 2021, according to the BLS.
Economic experts predict, however, that inflation could continue through 2024, according to Bankrate. And the Federal Reserve may raise interest rates at least once or twice more, according to a Bankrate poll.
Keep saving through the ups and downs of inflation
Though no one knows for sure when inflation will go up or down, here’s one piece of advice that’s always wise during uncertain economic times: Stay the course. That means continuing to save for retirement and spend money wisely to make your financial goals a reality.
Looking for a safe place to keep your savings that also offers a high interest rate so your money can grow over time? Look no further than a high-yield online savings account.
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Inside: Looking for the best travel essentials? Look no further! This guide has everything you need to pack for a trip.
There’s no feeling quite like the thrill of embarking on a new adventure, and with these top-notch travel essentials, your journey is set to be an absolute blast!
These travel essentials play a crucial role in not just enhancing your travel experience but also in keeping your trip organized, efficient, and absolutely “funner”!
Prepare to soar into hassle-free travel filled with joy, convenience, and unforgettable moments.
Many of my readers diligently save for their vacation and sometimes forget the small details like – travel essentials.
Traveling can transform from a stressful ordeal into an exciting escapade when armed with these must-haves that smart travelers swear by.
So, buckle up for an exhilarating journey ahead, knowing you’re perfectly prepared to take on the world. Let the adventures begin!
What are Travel Essentials?
Getting back to travel? Isn’t it just lovely!
Well, travel essentials are your new best friend! Waves of seasoned globetrotters have prepared this special guide for your benefit.
These items qualify as essentials because they streamline the packing process, afford comfort while traveling, and add a dash of fun to your adventures.
Also, there are so many cool gadgets available now that make traveling seamless.
What things are essential for Travelling?
Before you head off on the trip of your dreams, pack the right travel essentials to maximize your fun!
Meds: Don’t forget your prescriptions and common medicines for allergies or pain. Remember, health first!
Travel Insurance: Give yourself peace of mind by buying travel insurance – especially if you are traveling internationally.
Travel Credit Card: Credit cards are a simple way to pay when traveling. Make sure you have no foreign transaction fees!
Document Copies: Keep digital copies of essential documents to minimize panic and ensure quick verification in case of loss. And share this with someone in case you lose your phone!
Joyous journeys come from well-prepared travelers!
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What are 3 items to take on vacation?
Embrace the exhilarating aura of preparing for your much-awaited vacation!
Tuning into your needs and wants as a traveler, three crucial items stand out as top priority:
Anti-Theft Bag: This is an ideal travel companion – it comes with built-in security features that keep your belongings secure, reducing the risk of theft during your travels. With advancements in fashion, you can now find stylish options with exceptional functionality, making them perfect for vacations where style and security are priorities.
eReader: like the Kindle Paperwhite, makes the perfect vacation companion as it combines the portability and weightlessness of a single book while providing the capacity to store thousands of novels for entertainment. Moreover, its adjustable light settings and long battery life facilitate reading during transit, whether it’s mid-flight or at night, without disturbing others – a luxury traditional books can’t offer.
Tech Organizer Case: ensures all essential tech accessories like cables, adapters, and devices are neatly organized and easily accessible. This not only eliminates the hassle of rummaging through your bag for a tangled cord but also helps to maximize the efficient use of space within the bag.
Remember, the key is to pack smart and embrace savvy travel essentials that optimize comfort and convenience!
Best Travel Essentials Everyone Wants
Planning for a trip often entails the excitement-charged task of selecting the right essentials to pack.
This section highlights the best travel essentials that everyone craves, from the appropriate attire to tech gadgets, that go a long way in enhancing convenience during your journey.
These items, carefully curated by experienced travelers, promise to make every trip, whether short or long, a hassle-free experience.
1. Apple AirTags
Get ready for your next adventure with a travel essential that’s as smart as it is useful – the Apple AirTag.
This tiny gadget can make your trips stress-free by preventing the harrowing instances of lost luggage.
As a modern-day traveler, you’ll love the security it brings to your journeys. Simply sync the AirTag with your ‘Find My map’ and place it in your luggage to keep track of your belongings from point A to point B.
Lost luggage is increasingly common, but with an Apple AirTag, you’re covered.
Don’t forget these handy AirTag holders!
2. Travel Backpack
A travel backpack is your next must-have travel essential!
It’s an easy and convenient way to keep all your essentials – think wallet, phone, keys, passport – in one place, and with some even featuring a built-in USB port, you’ll never run out of battery on the move.
Its versatility and functionality, such as several compartments for organization and a separate section for shoes, are just unbeatable. Seriously, these travel backpacks are way cooler than your backpack from high school!
3. Luggage Scale
Traveling soon? Don’t even think about neglecting the trusty luggage scale!
This small but mighty tool, loved by frequent travelers like us, is your ticket to a stress-free journey.
With this compact gadget, say goodbye to dreaded overweight baggage fees.
Pack it in your carry-on for on-the-go convenience and weigh it with precision every time. One of my best gifts ever!
4. Anti-Theft Bag
An Anti-Theft Bag offers peace of mind when traveling, with built-in safety features deterring theft. These bags aren’t just secure but also fashionable, which is perfect!
The locking zippers act as a deterrent against potential theft as they add an additional barrier of protection.
Moreover, the incorporation of RFID blocking technology in these bags ensures your valuable information stays protected. This technology prevents identity theft by safeguarding any object with an RFID chip, such as passports issued after 2006 and credit/debit cards, from being read through your bag.
While traditionally, anti-theft bags have been seen as lacking in style, new versions of these bags are coming up in several fashionable options. As stated, they are now available in various colors like navy, charcoal, merlot, and blush apart from the usual black.
5. Underwater Action Camera
As a travel essentials superstar, the Underwater Action Camera ensures you never miss capturing a thrilling aquatic adventure. Turning ordinary snapshots into extraordinary keepsakes, this camera becomes a must-have for wanderlust souls.
Remarkably sealed, this camera captures stunning photos even from underwater.
Perfect for beachy holidays, and even more beneficial for snorkelers and swimmers.
Get for a tech-free vacation!
Pro tip: Master using this camera during daylight for better results.
6. Bluetooth Earbud Transmitter – Perfect to Use Your Airpods Pro
Head off on your next adventure armed with the Twelve South Bluetooth Audio Transmitter. This coveted travel essential turns your flight into a personal cinema!
Its superb features include high-quality sound transmission, pairing capabilities with airplane TVs, and functioning as a headphone splitter.
Ideal for tech-savvy travelers and those who love using their own headphones.
7. External Portable Charger
Don’t forget your portable charger – it’s a true travel hero! Imagine never running out of battery while navigating unfamiliar territories or capturing memorable moments.
This external power bank ensures your devices always stay juiced up.
Lightweight and compact size
Can charge multiple devices at once.
Expert tip: Choose a charger that can power your device type at least 4x from zero battery.
8. Lightweight Luggage
Investing in lightweight luggage helps travelers avoid excessive baggage fees.
This is what we did over ten years ago and I can truly say we have saved thousands of dollars.
Look for luggage that weighs less than ten pounds. With most airlines capping luggage weight between 40-50 pounds that gives you 30-40 pounds of your stuff that you can pack.
While it is an upfront investment in new luggage, you will significantly reduce the risk of incurring additional fees.
9. Travel Wallet
This is something I picked up right before my last flight (teal of course)! I loved it because it was lightweight and compact size for easy carrying. Even in my yoga pant pocket!
Heald exactly what I needed with organized compartments for ID, cash, and credit cards
Sleek design that suits any style
RFID protection to keep your information safe
Travel wallets are perfect for minimalist travelers who love simplicity and security.
Learn how much cash can you fly with. It is more than your travel wallet!
10. Passport Holder
A passport holder: the travel essential you never knew you needed.
It’s the perfect companion for safeguarding your most priceless travel accessory – your passport.
Super convenient, passport holders come equipped with slots for important IDs, boarding passes, and even stashed currency.
The RFiD-blocking feature ensures your personal details remain secure from potential scams.
If you are traveling internationally, then this is something you want to seriously consider.
11. Tech Organizer Case
It’s a must-have to neatly stash all your tech essentials. Never be frazzled by tangled cords or lost chargers again.
The Tech Organizer Case, like the top pick FYY Electronic Organizer, is your ultimate travel buddy ensuring a clutter-free trip.
Ample space for multiple chargers, durable, and easy-to-use zippered compartments.
Be the organized traveler everyone envies!
12. Portable Door Lock
You mustn’t miss out on the Portable Door Lock when packing your travel essentials! This compact lock adds top-notch security and peace of mind to your trips.
Portable door locks are hot on the list of travel essentials because of their simplicity – easy to use, install, and pack in your luggage.
Best for solo travelers and Airbnb guests, this device prevents unexpected entrance even with a key.
Pro tip: Always test the lock right after installation for foolproof safety.
13. Carry-On Rolling Luggage
With precise packing, it is feasible to fit everything you need into this one carry-on, thereby ensuring a seamless travel experience.
Picking the best carry-on rolling luggage for your needs requires careful consideration. Rolling luggage with 4-wheels can be ideal as it takes the weight off your wrist and can be rolled effortlessly by your side.
Spacious enough to accommodate all your travel essentials like laptop, shoes, etc.
Opt for brands that offer a good warranty to ensure the durability of your luggage.
If your travel involves different types of terrain or switching from airports to cobblestones, you might want to consider a wheeled backpack which can be rolled or carried as needed. Lastly, always ensure that your chosen luggage is lightweight, versatile, and
These suitcases not only provide convenience due to their mobility but also allow the freedom to avoid checked luggage.
14. Toiletry Bag
Toiletry bags have become an essential part of smart packing for travel.
Hanging toiletry bags, like the Bagsmart option, represent a game changer, contributing significantly to an organized, convenient, and hassle-free travel experience.
Pick one that has the ability to accommodate a week’s worth of travel-size toiletries.
15. Travel Duffel Bag
Whether it’s a long adventure or a weekend getaway, a travel duffel bag is incredibly useful.
It holds your essentials—clothes, tech gadgets, toiletry bag, keys, phone—safely and conveniently.
Remember the thrill of keeping all your belongings organized? You get that with the multiple compartments.
Also, let’s not forget about that separate section for shoe storage—talk about clutch!
Best feature? Some come with a built-in USB port to ensure your devices are always charged.
Expert tip: Look for a bag that’s airline-compliant, lightweight, and durable.
16. Travel Pillow
Ready for your next adventure? Don’t forget your travel pillow – it’s your key to ultimate comfort!
Many popular Travel Pillows offer tailor-made support for your head and neck, especially on those long-haul flights. It’s lightweight and packs easily, meaning less hassle for you.
Best for those who value a peaceful in-flight snooze, this game-changing essential comes with a memory-foam wall offering unmatched comfort.
Pro Tip: Pair it with the EverSnug travel blanket, It doesn’t just keep you cozy but doubles as a compact cushion too! Now, that’s travel made comfy and convenient!
17. Sunglasses Case
Off to a sun-soaked adventure, you need a nifty sunglasses case! It’s a must-have to safeguard your shades from damage while in transit.
Perfect for those eyeing to pack multiple pairs of sunglasses, you’d love this.
Expert tip – Choose a case that securely holds your glasses snugly, ensuring no damage takes place during the journey.
18. Contact Lens Case Kit
After my last late night flight, I was determined to find a better system for my contact. Enter the Contact Lens Case Kit.
Perfect for maintaining your vision care away from home, this kit boasts a mirror, mini solution bottle for your contacts, lens case, tweezer, and remover tool.
You can also get a contact lens and glasses case combo travel kit!
This handy, compact kit is an asset to anyone wearing contacts. Not only will it make your travel simpler, but it’s also affordable, priced under $10.
19. Reusable Water Bottle
Set off on your travels with the ultimate companion, a reusable water bottle!
Refill at any airport water fountain and save on plastic and expenditure – a savvy choice for our planet and wallet!
Plus this is a frugal green item with less plastic waste and sustainable hydration.
Expert Tip: Pack Liquid IV or Nuun tabs to make your drink a fun experience!
20. Packing Cubes
Say goodbye to disorganized luggage with packing cubes—your best travel buddy!
They’re a lifesaver for the frequent flyer seeking an organized and hassle-free travel experience. Especially those traveling with kids!
With features like shoe sleeves and compressibility, they’re ideal for chronic over-packers or shared-luggage travelers. I cannot say how helpful packing cubes are for trips!
21. Luggage Straps
Luggage straps are a travel essential you shouldn’t overlook! These handy accessories offer added security and ease for every traveler.
Designed with durability and convenience in mind, luggage straps, such as the TSA-approved luggage nylon straps, keep your checked bags secure during long flights. You’ll also love their visibility feature – bright neon colors that make your suitcase easily identifiable!
Ideal for people frequently on the go, they’ve garnered solid endorsements from seasoned travelers.
22. Travel Pill Box
Say goodbye to loose pills and experience medication portability at its finest with the Travel Pill Box – a real game changer for travel essentials!
The sheer convenience it offers makes it a must-have for every traveler.
The Travel Pill Box keeps your medications organized with multiple compartments that can be labeled as you wish.
Ideal for people on the go, it eliminates the need for bulky pill boxes and plastic bags.
Expert Tip: Allocate distinct sections for different medications and times of the day to ensure regularity even when your travel schedule is unpredictable.
23. Universal Travel Adapter
This top-quality adapter is a jet-setter’s delight, ensuring you’re always powered up on your globe-trotting adventures.
A travel adapter is a useful device that allows travelers to use their electronic devices in countries where different plug standards are used. It provides a hassle-free way to keep electronic devices like laptops, phones, or cameras powered up, vital for staying connected and entertained during international travels.
With its functionality in over 150 countries and capacity to charge six devices simultaneously, it’s perfect for the tech-savvy traveler.
Remember, it’s not a voltage converter, so ensure your devices are dual-voltage. If not, pack an adapter that converts voltage.
24. TSA Approved Luggage Lock
Secure your luggage with the TSA Approved Luggage Lock, an absolute must-have for every savvy traveler.
With this lock, enjoy peace of mind on your journeys, assured your luggage is safe and no one has been through your stuff!
Featuring easy-to-read dials, an inspection indicator, and a durable zinc alloy design, it’s perfect for frequent flyers and security-conscious travelers.
Expert Tip – Always lock your suitcase when unattended to deter theft. And carry an extra in case yours is lost.
25. TSA Approved Travel Bottles
These TSA Approved Travel Bottles are magnificent game-changers for any frequent flier.
They’re precisely designed, with an easy dispensing mechanism, and leak-proof tops, plus conform to TSA size limits.
A supreme choice for savvy travelers, they’re reusable, eco-friendly, and wallet-friendly.
26. Luggage Cup Holder
The Luggage Cup Holder is about to be your new jet-setting best friend. (In fact, I’m buying this for my son for Christmas.)
This genius accessory deftly holds your coffee or water bottle, freeing you up to maneuver through busy airports effortlessly.
Even better, it features a handy pouch for storing essentials like ID’s or credit cards.
Juggle less and travel more, with this brilliant travel necessity!
27. Compression Socks
Long-haul flights call for compression socks! They increase blood flow while reducing swelling and the risk of blood clotting which may occur due to prolonged periods of sitting, such as during long flights.
Thankfully, they are way more stylish than the traditional hospital-issued white compression socks. This has caused their popularity to soar, providing pressure from the ankle upwards, making them essential for flights.
These socks provide graduated compression especially high at the ankles and reduce upwards towards the knee, facilitating increased blood flow.
Moreover, they are not only meant for those with medical conditions, but also beneficial for travelers, athletes, and those who stand for long hours at work. They enhance overall leg health by minimizing swelling, fatigue, and discomfort, thus improving the quality of your daily activities and sleep.
28. Cruise Luggage Tags
Get ready to sail in style and convenience with one indispensable travel essential – cruise luggage tags.
It’s that little gadget you never knew you needed until you’ve used one and seen its magic.
Here’s why: These tags make your bags unmistakable, reducing the risk of losing them amidst a sea of sameness. It’s a godsend for frequent cruisers as your company-issued tags won’t fall off.
Go for brightly-colored, durable tags. A simple trick, but could save you from a world of lost luggage stress.
29. Laundry soap sheets
One of the best ways to pack less is to run a quick load of luggage on your trip. So, these laundry soap sheets come in handy! We also pack two dryer balls as well.
Ready to pack for your next adventure? Don’t forget laundry soap sheets, a travel game-changer! –
They’re lightweight and occupy minimal space. This is great when packing a minimalist capsule wardrobe.
No time to find a laundromat? Then, use SinkSuds which can be used anywhere!
30. Security Cameras at Home
Securing your home with surveillance cameras while traveling is a crucial precaution.
The peace of mind offered by a vigilant “electronic eye” is incomparable. These cameras capture real-time footage, aiding in deterring burglaries and providing evidence if needed. Perfect for frequent travelers, it assures your abode’s safety from afar.
When we travel, we install one inside our house with an instant notification on our phones. As motion is detected, a siren noise goes off, which I’m sure would terrify any intruder!
Expert tip: Opt for cameras with remote-access features, so you’re always a glance away from your home.
What are the five most important items you need for these vacations?
Setting off for your much-anticipated vacation?
Here are the top five must-have travel essentials for an easy-going and memorable adventure.
Travel Planner and Journal: This bundle is essential for planning your trip and keeping track of your daily activities. The planner helps organize your itinerary, while the journal provides a wonderful means to record memories and experiences from your trip.
Multipurpose Clothing: Items like versatile shoes or pants that are ideal for multiple activities such as hiking and sightseeing are crucial to pack. Such items can save you space in your baggage, simplify your travel outfits, and cover a variety of travel occasions or activities.
All-in-One Travel Bag: A multipurpose bag, like a fanny pack or backpack, is an important versatile travel essential. This item keeps your essentials within easy reach, aids organization, and can adapt to a variety of travel situations.
Personal Care Essentials: Depending on your destination and planned activities, personal care items may include sunblock, moisturizer, or insect repellant. They ensure you are prepared for the environmental conditions you may face and can greatly enhance your overall comfort and well-being during your travels.
Travel Luggage: This trendy luggage piece thrills travelers with its durability and sleek design. Make sure your suitcases are lightweight!
Remember, a well-prepared traveler is a happy traveler. Aim for comfort, protection, and convenience!
Which Essentials for Travelling are your Next Purchase?
Ready to embark on your next adventure?
Don’t let unexpected situations curb your enthusiasm – it all starts with being prepared.
Remember, travel isn’t just about the destination but the journey, and the journey includes packing well!
With these travel essentials ideas, you can load up your bags with high-quality travel gear, ensuring comfort and stress-free experiences during your trip and beyond. Many of which are actually Amazon travel must haves.
Investing in essentials now will not just save you money down the line, but also help avoid irritating travel hitches.
Whether it’s tangle-free cords, smart luggage, or convenient packing tools – each item on our list has earned its spot by proving its worth on countless journeys for me.
So, next time you’re planning a trip, remember to refer back to this list. Good preparation equals to great journeys!
Know someone else that needs this, too? Then, please share!!
A Walk in the Woods is not just a store; it’s a delightful experience that has been enchanting locals and visitors alike since its establishment in 2001. Krystal Hegerfeld, the store’s manager, shared the story behind this charming boutique, which combines home décor and women’s fashion apparel in a unique and ever-evolving way.
A Dream Born in 2001
A Walk in the Woods first opened its doors in a fully renovated building in Custer back in 2001. Krystal’s mother, along with her business partners, had a vision to create a space that offered something more than just products on shelves.
They aimed to provide the community and the region with a haven for home décor and women’s fashion apparel. Over the past two decades, the store has become a beloved fixture in the area, attracting a loyal customer base who appreciate the store’s commitment to offering a constantly changing and curated selection.
CWU A Walk in the Woods
One of the key aspects that sets A Walk in the Woods apart is its ever-changing inventory. Krystal and her team are passionate about merchandising and storytelling, which is reflected in how they curate their products.
Just like a walk in the woods reveals new treasures at every turn, this store always has something new and exciting to discover. Seasonal changes are a hallmark of the store, ensuring that visitors experience a fresh, inviting atmosphere with each visit.
The Scent-Sational Experience
Upon entering A Walk in the Woods, customers are greeted by a delightful medley of scents. The store offers an array of scents, lotions, home sprays and candles, all carefully selected and artfully displayed. The result is an inviting sensory experience where visitors often find themselves asking, “What is that wonderful smell?”
The store’s unique blend of scents is truly a testament to their commitment to providing a one-of-a-kind shopping experience.
Fashion and More Upstairs
Ascending to the upper level of the store, visitors are welcomed by an array of fashion and accessories. Currently in the midst of the fall season, A Walk in the Woods is filled with cozy sweaters, flannels and layered looks.
Krystal and her team take pride in helping customers discover their unique style, ensuring that every shopper leaves feeling confident and stylish.
A Collaborative Space
The magic of A Walk in the Woods doesn’t stop at their doors. The store shares a space with The Custer Wolf, creating a vibrant shopping and dining hub in the heart of Custer.
Visitors can enjoy lunch at The Custer Wolf and then explore the treasure trove of gifts and fashion next door, making it a perfect outing for locals and tourists alike.
Curating the Perfect Gift
One of the store’s specialties is helping customers find the perfect gift. Whether it’s a thoughtful hostess gift, a wedding present or any special occasion, the team at A Walk in the Woods is dedicated to helping you curate a gift that will leave a lasting impression.
Their selection of unique and carefully chosen items ensures that you’ll always find something special for that special someone.
A Unique Brand Story
A Walk in the Woods stands out not only for its diverse range of products but also for its unique brand story. Krystal and her team take pride in selecting vendors and curating products that align with their vision.
It’s their ability to blend and present these items in a distinctive way that truly sets them apart.
Welcome to the land of frigid winters and friendly people.
From bustling urban centers to tranquil suburban paradises, the North Star State offers an impressive selection of beautiful places to call home. Each location featured below is ideal for singles and established families, young professionals and retirees alike.
Whether you’re drawn to a rich educational landscape, unique career opportunities or simply the lure of lake life, this guide to the best places to live in Minnesota will provide you with an insider’s perspective of the towns and cities that truly excel in offering a top-notch quality of life in the North.
Average age: 32.3
Median household income: $70,099
Average commute time: 23.1 minutes
Walk score: 71
Studio average rent: $1,083
One-bedroom average rent: $1,483
Two-bedroom average rent: $2,177
With a thriving job market that includes the headquarters of major companies like Target and General Mills, Minneapolis offers a wealth of opportunities for skilled professionals in a number of fields. Sports fans can easily catch a Vikings game on Sundays, or check out something less conventional like a roller derby match. Foodies will revel in the city’s inventive culinary scene — from food trucks selling gourmet grilled cheese to high-end eateries that could hold their own in any global city.
When it comes to everyday life, Minneapolis hits it out of the park. Think kayaking on the Mississippi River after work, or cycling around one of the city’s lakes on a sunny Saturday. Education is top-notch, with an array of public and private school options, as well as higher education institutions like the University of Minnesota. And let’s not forget about the Skyway system, a godsend during those brutal winters, connecting downtown buildings and making it possible to navigate the city without braving the cold.
Average age: 32.5
Median household income: $63,483
Average commute time: 25.5 minutes
Walk score: 60
Studio average rent: $1,031
One-bedroom average rent: $1,300
Two-bedroom average rent: $1,580
As the other (some would say better) half of the Twin Cities, Saint Paul is undeniably one of the best places to live in Minnesota. Often seen as the more laid-back and historic sibling to Minneapolis, Saint Paul exudes a unique charm with its cobblestone streets and grand brick buildings. But don’t let the quiet elegance fool you; Saint Paul is a powerhouse capital city in its own right. Home to state government buildings and a bustling downtown, the city is steeped in history while maintaining its forward-thinking attitude, hosting a variety of tech startups and eco-friendly initiatives.
Everyday life in Saint Paul offers a delightful mix of leisure and excitement. The city’s gorgeous parks, like Como Park with its zoo and conservatory, provide green escapes right in your backyard. Passionate about education? Saint Paul boasts an impressive range of schools, from Montessori institutions to language immersion programs. The city’s public transportation makes it easy to get around, and the food scene is a smorgasbord of global cuisines, from authentic Italian eateries to cozy Ethiopian cafes.
Average age: 43.3
Median household income: $100,363
Average commute time: 22.2 minutes
Walk score: 21
Studio average rent: $1,503
One-bedroom average rent: $1,727
Two-bedroom average rent: $2,094
Minnetonka is a city that elegantly straddles the line between suburban tranquility and outdoor adventure, making it one of the best places to live in Minnesota. Just a stone’s throw away from downtown Minneapolis, Minnetonka offers a life that is both sophisticated and close to nature. The city serves as a backdrop to Lake Minnetonka, where locals and visitors alike sail, fish or bask under the Minnesota sun. Despite its close proximity to a bustling urban center, Minnetonka maintains an almost resort-like atmosphere, where winding roads often lead to picture-perfect lakeside views.
In terms of everyday living, Minnetonka scores high marks across the board. The city is peppered with excellent schools, upscale shopping centers and a ton of quality restaurants. The extensive trail system provides an idyllic setting for cycling, jogging or walking your dog. And when winter rolls around, there’s ice-fishing on the lake and miles of snow-covered trails for cross-country skiing.
Average age: 40.4
Median household income: $112,631
Average commute time: 23.9 minutes
Walk score: 18
Studio average rent: $912
One-bedroom average rent: $1,380
Two-bedroom average rent: $1,782
What do you get when you mix top-tier schools, a thriving job market and abundant green spaces? The answer is Plymouth, clearly one of the best places to live in Minnesota. Located just 15 miles northwest of downtown Minneapolis, Plymouth has its own self-contained charm while still offering quick access to the big-city amenities. With Medicine Lake at its heart, residents have plenty of opportunities to get out on the lake and enjoy the great outdoors. It’s a city where career-driven individuals and families find common ground, surrounded by cutting-edge technology firms and family-friendly venues alike.
In Plymouth, everyday life feels like a well-curated blend of recreation and relaxation. The city boasts a range of parks that include everything from dog-friendly areas to skate parks. The school system is often cited as being among the best in the state, setting up young minds for a promising future. Plymouth also spoils its residents with its shopping options, whether it’s farmers markets brimming with local produce or retail spots that cater to fashion-forward shoppers.
Average age: 33.7
Median household income: $58,014
Average commute time: 17.1 minutes
Walk score: 36
Studio average rent: $705
One-bedroom average rent: $1,575
Two-bedroom average rent: $1,602
Perched along the northwestern shore of Lake Superior, Duluth is a gem that makes a compelling case for being one of the best places to live in Minnesota. This port city isn’t just a pretty face; it’s an adrenaline junkie’s paradise and an environmentalist’s dream rolled into one. With the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness to the north and the endless horizon of Lake Superior to the east, Duluth is a haven for outdoorsy types. Kayaking, hiking and even surfing (yes, freshwater surfing!) are all in a day’s fun.
Duluth is a hub for healthcare and education, offering a variety of options for both. The local food scene ranges from casual lakeside grills to upscale dining experiences that feature freshly caught fish. For retail therapy, explore boutique shops that offer a curated mix of local and global goods. Meanwhile, a strong sense of community is reflected in the city’s frequent festivals and public events, which range from airshows to maritime celebrations.
Average age: 44.3
Median household income: $108,576
Average commute time: 21.3 minutes
Walk score: 37
Studio average rent: $1,208
One-bedroom average rent: $1,507
Two-bedroom average rent: $1,980
Edina is a suburban utopia that has more to offer than just neatly manicured lawns and sprawling homes. In this charming town, you’ll find a melting pot of professionals, retirees and families, all lured by the city’s top-notch amenities. High-end shopping experiences await at places like the Galleria and Southdale Center, while the Edina Art Center and the various galleries scattered around town appeal to the artsy types.
The school system in Edina is often considered among the best in the state, setting up young learners for academic excellence. Fitness and recreational activities abound; with plenty of parks, golf courses and even indoor ice rinks, there’s no excuse not to engage in some form of physical activity. Dining options range from artisan coffee shops to posh restaurants, catering to the most discerning of palates.
Average age: 40.2
Median household income: $120,170
Average commute time: 23.4 minutes
Walk score: 18
Studio average rent: $1,630
One-bedroom average rent: $1,350
Two-bedroom average rent: $1,590
Eden Prairie boasts a high quality of life that many aspire to but few actually achieve. This southwestern suburb of the Twin Cities offers a harmonious blend of natural beauty and modern convenience. Think swan-dotted lakes and extensive walking trails side by side with cutting-edge tech companies and a thriving business community. What’s more, Eden Prairie is home to the largest enclosed shopping center in the state, offering retail delights to those who are sartorially inclined.
Eden Prairie excels in serving up a comfortable and fulfilling life. A mix of highly rated public and private schools makes it a hit among families. For those who love the great outdoors, the city has more than 1,000 acres of active-use parkland. Work-life balance gets a new meaning here, as the city hosts several Fortune 500 companies, giving residents the option to work where they live.
Average age: 35.9
Median household income: $76,034
Average commute time: 20.7 minutes
Walk score: 30
Studio average rent: $1,257
One-bedroom average rent: $1,542
Two-bedroom average rent: $1,600
When people hear the name Rochester, they often think of the world-renowned Mayo Clinic. However, this southern Minnesota city is far more than just a healthcare hub. It is one of Minnesota’s best places to live, offering an attractive mix of urban sophistication and small-town charm. High-quality healthcare is undoubtedly one of its flagship features, but Rochester also scores points for its robust education system and a strong job market beyond healthcare, featuring a number of tech startups and innovative small businesses.
Life in Rochester is a pleasant blend of intellectual stimulation and recreational pursuits. The city’s public library is a hive of activity, with events that range from author talks to coding classes for kids. Meanwhile, the parks and nearby Zumbro River provide a scenic backdrop for everything from picnicking to fishing, ensuring weekends are never dull. For those who require retail therapy, Downtown Rochester offers a slew of shops and boutiques that provide a unique shopping experience, while the culinary scene is an exciting mix of traditional American fare and international cuisine.
Average age: 26.4
Median household income: $56,274
Average commute time: 17.7 minutes
Walk score: 40
Studio average rent: $995
One-bedroom average rent: $1,195
Two-bedroom average rent: $1,250
The phrase “college town” often conjures images of manicured campuses, lively sporting events and perhaps the occasional toga party. But Mankato, home to Minnesota State University, goes beyond the stereotype, landing it firmly among the best places to live in Minnesota. Located about 80 miles southwest of the Twin Cities, Mankato offers a dynamic lifestyle where education, commerce and natural beauty intersect. The presence of the university enriches the town with a youthful energy, and that’s complemented by a diverse business sector ranging from healthcare to high-tech.
Mankato is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts with its well-maintained bike trails and Minneopa State Park, where you can see a waterfall and a herd of American bison. For those more inclined to indoor pursuits, there’s no shortage of cafes to sip your latte as you catch up on some reading. Parents will appreciate the quality of the local schools and the abundance of family-friendly activities, from interactive museums to public art projects.
Average age: 30.5
Median household income: $54,427
Average commute time: 21.4 minutes
Walk score: 34
Studio average rent: $724
One-bedroom average rent: $745
Two-bedroom average rent: $975
Saint Cloud shines as one of the best places to live in Minnesota. Situated along the Mississippi River, this central Minnesota city combines the allure of scenic beauty with a robust economy. Here you’ll find Saint Cloud State University, lending the town a youthful energy, and a thriving healthcare sector offering solid employment opportunities. It’s a city of contrasts where a 19th-century courthouse stands right next to tech startups.
Families and fitness junkies alike can take advantage of over 90 parks and a clutch of well-maintained trails for biking, walking or leisurely riverfront strolls. The Paramount Center for the Arts is a treasure trove for patrons of the arts, presenting a lineup of plays, concerts and exhibitions year-round. From locally-owned boutiques to big-box retailers, the shopping scene provides something for every type of spender.
There’s an apartment made for you in Minnesota
From the serene beauty of Minnetonka to the bustling energy of Minneapolis, and from the youthful verve of Mankato to the well-rounded appeal of Eden Prairie, Minnesota is more than just a place to endure cold winters; it’s a state where you can truly thrive. Choose wisely, but rest assured that in this incredible state, you’re almost guaranteed to find a community that feels like home.
Rent prices are based on an average from Rent.’s multifamily rental property inventory as of July 2023.
Other demographic data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.
The city meets urban, suburban and rural in one, with the most well-known motor race in the country: The Indy 500. Apart from raceways and government buildings, Indianapolis is home to stunning waterways, unique memorials and a picturesque charm you won’t find in any other city. Indianapolis is altogether her own city and completely unique.
If you’re moving into Indy or just relocating within city limits, you’ll want to examine this list closely. You’ll find the best neighborhoods in Indianapolis for your needs as you try to make that all-important decision on where to move.
Median 1-BR rent: $1,796
Median 2-BR rent: $1,204
Walk Score: 37/100
Not far from Downtown is the bustling neighborhood of Broad Ripple Village. The district is one for relaxed vibes and a community with tons of playgrounds and small businesses where families love to spend their time. Boutiques, galleries, pubs, breweries, pottery schools and other exciting options collect in this eclectic neighborhood, with reasonably priced apartments and plenty of room.
Median 1-BR rent: $1,022
Median 2-BR rent: $1,145
Walk Score: 37/100
If you’re looking for a super-inclusive neighborhood in Indianapolis, then Crooked Creek is the place for you. It’s considered one of the most inclusive areas in the city, with plenty of activities for the whole family, whatever the age. Everyone can find something in one of the best neighborhoods in Indianapolis.
Crooked Creek is in the northwest part of the city in Marion County and offers you plenty of parks and bike trails, horseback riding options and the Juan Solomon Park. Average rent prices are more affordable, too. It’s farther from the center of the city than many of the other popular neighborhoods so you’ll probably need a car living here.
Median 1-BR rent: $1,399
Median 2-BR rent: $1,722
Walk Score: 84/100
Sometimes called the Mile Square, Downtown Indianapolis is a neighborhood for folks looking for an active life. The neighborhood is full of cocktail bars, local festivals and marathons, art exhibits, dining establishments and coffee shops, among others. Because of the incredible revitalization occurring in the area and the booming boutiques and restaurants, Downtown Indy is one of the most popular areas in the city, especially since rent is actually pretty reasonable here.
Median 1-BR rent: $1,022
Median 2-BR rent: $1,145
Walk Score: 37/100
Another historically inclined neighborhood in Indy is Fall Creek. Here you’ll find plenty of historic houses and tree-lined streets for a gorgeous, comfortable community. Nearby parks surround apartment buildings and modern amenities you’ll love.
The neighborhood went through a total urban revitalization in the early 2000s, turning the area into a cozy place where you have access to the rest of the city within minutes and lots of local dining, work and entertainment opportunities.
Median 1-BR rent: $1,250
Median 2-BR rent: $1,425
Walk Score: 77/100
Another popular neighborhood in Indy is Fountain Square. It’s an affordable neighborhood where singles and professionals flock for the European city square vibe at the central fountain and plaza, along with the active nightlife and walkability of the area.
In Fountain Square, you’ll find tons of cozy apartments, single-family homes and duplexes nestled among the popular bowling alleys, billiard halls, bars, comedy clubs, live music venues and ethically-sourced home goods boutiques. Shop for clothing next door, drop into the local brewery or grab Pad Thai or street tacos at the local eateries. This is the perfect makeup of a best neighborhood in Indianapolis.
Source: Rent./E Washington St.
Median 1-BR rent: $1,022
Median 2-BR rent: $1,145
Walk Score: 37/100
Named for Washington Irving, Irvington is a great neighborhood that’s filled with history and encompasses 545 acres overall. The neighborhood originally came to prominence back in 1875 and stayed as the chic spot into the late 1920s, when Butler University grew up around it. Now, the whole neighborhood is kind of a historical small town within the city with many houses on the National Register of Historic Places.
Irvington is friendly and walkable (though not so much for running errands) with plenty of easy streets and parks and green spaces for tranquil living in the middle of the urban area. You’ll find plenty of shopping and dining, as well, in the neighborhood.
Median 1-BR rent: $1,102
Median 2-BR rent: $1,388
Walk Score: 41/100
Residents in Keystone at the Crossing are predominantly renters, and anyone looking for a familiar vibe will find it right here. The neighborhood suits all types of renters, too, with a concentration of jobs and nightlife in one section for the young professionals or peaceful quiet portions for families looking for some chill atmosphere.
Keystone at the Crossing is also a shopping center focused on the favorite Fashion Mall at Keystone. Apartments in the neighborhood are affordable, comfortable and reasonably easy to find, making it one of the best neighborhoods in Indianapolis.
Median 1-BR rent: $1,711
Median 2-BR rent: $1,099
Walk Score: 89/100
Lockerbie Square is one of the city’s oldest surviving neighborhoods. The historic locale is Downtown and known for the residence of Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley. The historic district offers surprisingly affordable rent and plenty of gorgeous architecture and cobblestone streets in a highly walkable area.
In Lockerbie Square, you’ll find some Bavarian influence with German heritage events, year-round festivals and celebrations and plenty of biergartens and Bavarian restaurants. There will definitely be crowds in the hood every time there’s the annual German Fest or other German heritage events going on.
Source: Rent./N College Ave.
Median 1-BR rent: $1,022
Median 2-BR rent: $1,145
Walk Score: 37/100
Meridian-Kessler is just 20 minutes from Downtown, offering residents quick, easy access to pretty much anywhere in the city for a lower housing rate than some of the other popular neighborhoods. It’s the perfect blend of urban and suburban for families and young professionals looking for green spaces, quiet streets and easy access to the main part of the city.
The median age of residents in Meridian-Kessler is 25-34, so the neighborhood is active and home to tons of local events, while the gorgeous Tudor-style houses and Craftsman-style cottages are plentiful and affordable. Butler University is just down the street, too, making it the perfect neighborhood for those working at the University or older students continuing their education.
In Meridian-Kessler, you’ll find tons of amazing local shops and restaurants, too, with offerings like short ribs and Latin American fare. You can also find a mix of books, live music, craft beer, vintage clothing and even a bridal expo at the Indiana State Fairgrounds just nearby.
Median 1-BR rent: $750
Median 2-BR rent: $767
Walk Score: 51/100
Near Eastside is one of those areas of town that’s been reclaimed and turned into a hipster hotspot with trendy new restaurants and developments and loads of amenities urban dwellers are looking for. You’ll find super affordable rentals here, along with retail shops, movie theaters, breweries, coffee shops, fining and more. The vibe in this best neighborhood in Indianapolis is definitely younger millennials.
Median 1-BR rent: $1,022
Median 2-BR rent: $1,145
Walk Score: 37/100
Similar to the other “near” neighborhoods, Near North is close to the heart of the city and made up of several smaller neighborhoods starting to find shape in themselves. The Near North is home to century-old houses, tree-lined streets, cultural landmarks and loads of beauty.
Plus, it’s just a five-minute drive (or Uber) away from the core of Indy, where you’ll find any nightlife or shopping you crave if you haven’t already found it here in the Near North.
Source: Rent./Vivio on Tenth
Median 1-BR rent: $1,045
Median 2-BR rent: $1,200
Walk Score: 44/100
The Near Westside of Indy is a cluster of smaller neighborhoods that attract renters looking for affordable housing near the main urban area of the city. Near Westside is just 15 minutes from downtown and offers more spacious areas at a more affordable price than others a little closer to the busiest parts of town.
Near Westside is also convenient to Bloomington, Lafayette, Terre Haute and other nearby college campus towns.
Median 1-BR rent: $1,022
Median 2-BR rent: $1,145
Walk Score: 37/100
North Willow is a super family-friendly area with affordable rent and plenty of choices for folks looking to settle into a cozy neighborhood with or without the kids. You’ll find it within easy access of Castleton and Keystone at the Crossing areas, as well. Plus, of course, the local entertainment and dining you’ll come to love in one of the best neighborhoods in Indianapolis.
Median 1-BR rent: $1,145
Median 2-BR rent: $1,439
Walk Score: 29/100
Old Northside offers its residents and visitors a blend of historic beauty and modern appeal. Restored Victorian homes are common, some of which have landed themselves a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.
The neighborhood is a few minutes away from IU Health Methodist Hospital, making it the perfect location for folks working there. You can choose from single-family homes with yard space, condos, apartments and more. Old Northside is also home to Indiana’s first-ever gay bar and is the most LGBTQIA+ friendly neighborhood in the city.
In the neighborhood, you’ll be able to visit the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site and check out local artists at the Harrison Center. You can also participate in regular art events, take a job on the Monon Trail or enjoy the thriving nightlife in the area. Most folks do recommend a car for residents here.
Source: Rent./The Block
Median 1-BR rent: $1,022
Median 2-BR rent: $1,145
Walk Score: 37/100
Some cities have a warehouse district. Indy has the Wholesale District.
Here you’ll find the shimmering lights of theater marquees and elegant soirees, where doormen welcome residents. Circle Centre mall makes way for shoppers, who fill the neighborhood with bustling expectations and a thriving art scene.
Find the best Indianapolis neighborhood for you
You’ve come to the right place to find the best neighborhoods in Indianapolis! With condos, townhouses and single-family apartments for rent in Indianapolis, you’re sure to find the right spot for your lifestyle, be that calm and cozy or hip and happening.
The rent information included in this article is based on a median calculation of multifamily rental property inventory on Apartment Guide and Rent. 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.
While full-on Crayola-like green conjures less than complimentary connotations—green with envy; green around the gills; the grass is always greener—take the hue down a notch by mixing in some gray or black and the color yields a whole different experience. Deep-green hues evoke nature in a more meditative manner. Such elements feel nearly spiritual; think of jade, pines, and seaweed. Green is the color of the outdoors and it nurtures the soul. So, pull deep green-decor into your home.
One might balk at the thought of a green dresser, but Acerbis’s Storet subtly teases color out of a rich walnut. Think of it as a functional fern in the corner of your bedroom. Astreus Clarke’s Roebling lamp is a minimalist and earthy green marble alternative to a banker’s lamp with a lollipop-green glass shade. And, it looks as home in a library as on a nightstand. Sara Hayat’s Bevel sofa is a statement piece around which one builds a room; luscious green velvet upholstery is much more inviting than gray. Dive into deep green; we consider a timeless neutral.
Acerbis back in 1994, and the 150-plus-year-old Italian furniture firm recently updated the cabinet’s wood surface. That said, its defining feature is the glossy, lacquered horizontal moldings, which come in a dozen colors both serious and playful, including dark green. $19,173
Sara Hayat scoured industry sources near and far to find a fill that would give the Bevel a bit of bounce while ensuring its cushions would retain their pebble-like shape. Indeed, each velvet-upholstered seat cradles a person perfectly. As it should: It takes the team about a month to hand-stitch this low-slung belted beauty. $28,495
Minotti who passed away in August, played with the idea of balance in the Solid Steel coffee table, despite the heavy-metal inference of its moniker. Party-ready glossy and mirrored finishes belie the architectural geometry of the streamlined, staggered slabs. Even with its fashion-forward feel (or backward: the materials reference 1970s glamour), it evokes an unflinchingly Bauhaus sensibility. Price upon request
Astraeus Clarke found inspiration in N.Y.C. The Roebling table lamp takes its form, albeit loosely, from the Brooklyn Bridge and its name from the bridge’s engineers, John A. Roebling and his wife, Emma. The lamp’s deep-green marble pillars support a gable-shaped top that hides the light source. But there’s a twist: That top segment pivots 360 degrees, allowing the user to direct illumination as needed. $12,500
New Ravenna. Duo, a waterjet mosaic, features boxy, mustard-toned cross-stitches that punctuate a large, dark grid over elegant marble with green veining. The coastal Virginia–based company replicates the texture of stone that has been well-worn by salt air, ensuring your kitchen, bath, or patio looks suitably lived-in. $229 per square foot
The capital of Ohio, Columbus, is famous for being home to the first Wendy’s — yes, that fast-food chain — but it offers much more than that along the banks of the Scioto River.
The city underwent many name changes during its first days in the 1800s, later nicknamed “Arch City” after builders put arches over city streets. You can also experience the deep Native American and Appalachian roots and history in the area.
Established historic neighborhoods like German Village offer some of the city’s oldest buildings as housing options, as well as beautiful, quiet tree-lined streets. Elsewhere, up-and-coming spots like Short North, the Brewery District and Downtown Columbus offer walkability, short commutes and fun arts and nightlife amenities.
Ready to explore Columbus? Here are the 15 best neighborhoods in Columbus.
Median 1-BR rent: $1,212
Median 2-BR rent: $1,485
Walk Score: 88/100
South of the German Village, the Brewery District is as hip as it gets. Music venues and brewery bars line the streets of this neighborhood. Plus, a high walkability factor makes it even more alluring. Watch your favorite comic at Shadowbox Live on weekends. You can also head to the nearby trails at Scioto Audubon Metro Park, bordering the Scioto River.
You can find a one-bedroom apartment for $1,212 per month on average in the Brewery District. Head to pup-friendly Gresso’s for a slice before heading on a brewery hop.
Median 1-BR rent: $819
Median 2-BR rent: $1,049
Walk Score: 68/100
Only six miles from downtown and convenient to Ohio State University, Clintonville has a mix of young professionals and college students. The beautiful Rose Gardens at Whetstone Park will captivate you with their scent, trailing above arches and along walkways. You can also explore the six glacial ravines that cut through the neighborhood, like Glen Echo.
On the weekends, enjoy that high walkability score by heading to High Street for a bite at the many establishments like Lineage Brewing or enjoy a vegan sweet treat at Pattycake Bakery. You can find a one-bedroom apartment in the area for $819 per month on average.
Median 1-BR rent: $1,462
Median 2-BR rent: $1,987
Walk Score: 78/100
The heart of Columbus, Downtown, has as much life as you expect. An outdoor amphitheater, the Columbus Museum of Art, a river walk along the Scioto River, National Veterans Memorial and Museum are just some of the things that make downtown shine. The Scioto Mile connects more than 175 acres of green spaces through the area.
Public transit abounds in the area, making it easy to ditch your car in favor of walking to enjoy the nightlife. You can find a one-bedroom for $1,462 per month on average.
Median 1-BR rent: $739
Median 2-BR rent: $1,200
Walk Score: 61/100
Franklin Park is the most gorgeous when in bloom. Visit the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens to enjoy the warm months and picnic in any corner of the 88-acre park. Just east of downtown, the historic neighborhood offers a farmers market in the summer or grab some tacos nearby at Alebrijes.
You can enjoy this quiet neighborhood by renting a one-bedroom for an affordable $739 per month on average, only two miles from downtown Columbus.
Median 1-BR rent: $625
Median 2-BR rent: $725
Walk Score: 58/100
An up-and-coming artists’ hub, the neighborhood of Franklinton has started creating its own personality in recent years. Right to the west of downtown Columbus, Franklinton is home to breweries, artists’ studios and newer co-working spaces — all on the background of the neighborhood’s history and industrial past.
The Land-Grant Brewing Company and Taft’s Brewpourium anchor Franklinton’s beer scene and mural art adorn several buildings in Columbus’ oldest neighborhood. The neighborhood is quickly changing, but you can still find affordable rents at $625 per month on average for a one-bedroom.
Franklinton residents have an average commute of 20 minutes, thanks to its proximity to Downtown.
Median 1-BR rent: $1,295
Median 2-BR rent: $1,850
Walk Score: 90/100
It’s no surprise that the German Village neighborhood attracts young families and business professionals. With a nearly perfect walk score and high bike score, it’s easy to get around sans car and easily commute downtown. A one-bedroom apartment remains relatively affordable at $1,295 per month on average.
Elder trees and historic red buildings line the streets of this neighborhood. Frank Fetch Park is an excellent weekday spot to enjoy your morning coffee and Schiller Park features trails, a playground and even an amphitheater.
Nearby, the Schmidt Sausage Haus & Restaurant has been a local treasure since 1886, one of many German-inspired restaurants. The Book Loft is a bookworm’s dream with 32 rooms filled with books.
Median 1-BR rent: $1,701
Median 2-BR rent: $1,988
Walk Score: 66/100
Harrison West has seen a slight increase in rents since Summer 2021, but you can currently get a one-bedroom for $1,701 per month on average. The Columbus neighborhood is only 2.5 miles from downtown and a hop and a skip from the beautiful Goodale Park.
The Arena District offers access to a movie theatre, several restaurants and bars and a skating rink only a mile away. Huntington Park is home to the Columbus Clippers baseball team.
Median 1-BR rent: $800
Median 2-BR rent: $1,100
Walk Score: 77/100
Indianola Terrace is a good option if you’re looking for an apartment convenient to Ohio State University and still walkable to everything. The neighborhood offers not only apartments but also multi-family units. You can find a one-bedroom in either option for $800 per month on average. Graduate students mainly reside in this neighborhood.
The Ohio History and Research Center are nearby, offering a detailed look into the state’s history along with seasonal exhibitions. Glen Echo Park is only a couple of miles away in Clintonville, offering a playground, dog park and easy hiking trails.
Source: Rent./Jeffrey Park Apartments
Median 1-BR rent: $1,38
Median 2-BR rent: $1,910
Walk Score: 87/100
Just north of downtown Columbus, every corner of the Italian Village has a restaurant filled with regulars. Not to worry, while parking is hard to come by, walking is the preferred way to see the neighborhood. You can quickly see why the neighborhood, filled with young families and millennials, remains tight-knit.
Try out two local breweries, Seventh Son Brewing and Hoof Hearted Brewery, or visit the local dive bar, St. James Tavern. Snag a one-bedroom apartment for $1,384 per month on average and grab your coffee at Fox in the Snow in the mornings.
Median 1-BR rent: $1,145
Median 2-BR rent: $1,995
Walk Score: 76/100
King-Lincoln Bronzeville has a rich history as a historically African-American neighborhood. The neighborhood is home to the Lincoln Theatre and the King Arts Complex. Recently, more Columbus residents have been discovering the charm of the neighborhood.
You can see beautiful murals throughout the King-Lincoln and visit the Bronzeville Bird and Butterfly Sanctuary. The Columbus Museum of Art is nearby, as well. You can find a one-bedroom apartment for $1,145 per month on average.
Median 1-BR rent: $1,087
Walk Score: 83/100
Olentangy Trail, a gem in the North Campus neighborhood, connects the Ohio State University with other city parks and Olentangy River. It’s the perfect escape, not too far from the city. You can rent a one-bedroom for $1,087 per month on average.
Nearby, you can find hot donuts at Buckeye Donuts, head to games at Ohio Stadium and stop by the Wexner Center for the Arts for the latest exhibitions.
Median 1-BR rent: $1,495
Median 2-BR rent: $2,325
Walk Score: 94/100
Right in the heart of Columbus, Short North attracts renters keen on art gallery openings, city festivals and easy biking, thanks to the neighborhood’s grid pattern. The Short North comes alive with art walks and outdoor concerts at Goodale Park every summer. The 33-acre park is the oldest city and provides ample greenspace to city dwellers for picnics and more.
The neighborhood’s arches on High Street light up the way for visitors to explore high fashion boutiques, a thriving dining scene and, of course, the many galleries. Stop by the North Market for an outdoor dining experience with various food hall vendors if you can’t choose where to eat.
You can enjoy that walkability and gallery hop on the weekends for $1,495 per month on average for a one-bedroom apartment.
Median 1-BR rent: $1,548
Median 2-BR rent: $2,215
Walk Score: 61/100
The best way to know if you’re in the Uptown District is by finding the Ohio Statehouse, a Greek Revival-style building in Colonial Square. The neighborhood has all the charm you want from a suburb while being near Columbus. Uptown District features many upscale restaurants like Veritas and Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse. Breweries and cocktail bars also dot the area.
You can find a one-bedroom apartment in this neighborhood for $1,548 per month on average, with easy access to the Ohio Theatre for a night out.
Median 1-BR rent: $1,250
Median 2-BR rent: $2,425
Walk Score: 87/100
Can you picture going on an early morning walk surrounded by Victorian architecture? That’s what Victorian Village offers to its residents. Don’t miss the Gothic-style mansions and Queen Anne houses. Small shops and restaurants line the streets of this Columbus neighborhood. Goodale Park is within walkable distance to take your family for a picnic.
The neighborhood is on the more expensive side if you want to rent a two-bedroom, but still affordable for those in need of a one-bedroom, available for $1,250 per month on average. Stop by for a pint at Cavan Irish Pub to explore the neighborhood’s Irish-American roots.
Source: Rent./Grant Park Apartments
Median 1-BR rent: $1,481
Median 2-BR rent: $1,882
Walk Score: 87/100
If you’re looking for public transportation and walkability, Weinland Park is the neighborhood for you. The bus system services the area heavily thanks to its grid system and proximity to old streetcar rails.
Convenient to downtown, developers are revitalizing the industrial neighborhood with already slated multi-use developments. Weinland Park was home to several factories, many now converted into apartments and office space. The namesake park offers a picnic space and a playground. Grab a beer at Zaftig Brew Pub after.
Find the best Columbus neighborhood for you
Did you fall in love with this midwestern city? No surprise there! Columbus has historic neighborhoods, beautiful architecture, parks and walkable street grids. Whether you’re grabbing a beer in the Brewery District or strolling on your way to class at Ohio State, there’s a neighborhood for you. Ready to move on? Find apartments for rent in Columbus.
The rent information included in this article is based on a median calculation of multifamily rental property inventory on Apartment Guide and Rent. 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.
Shares of government mortgage financiers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac stumbled badly today after a Barron’s report pointed to an impending Treasury bailout.
Barron’s Jonathon Laing said legislation included in the recently passed housing bill would allow a taxpayer-funded recapitalization of the slumping pair, spelling trouble for both shareholders and current management.
Laing believes that by some calculations each of the companies is roughly “$50 billion in the hole,” if their balance sheets were marked to fair value and you factor out stuff like deferred tax assets.
He noted that Freddie Mac took only a $51 million loss on repurchased mortgage loans in the first quarter, down from $736 in the fourth quarter, as the GSE chose instead to bring bad loans current and worry about them in the future.
Fannie Mae also postponed the buyback of soured loans, avoiding more than $1 billion in second-quarter charge-offs.
Apparently raising capital seems to be out of the question, considering just $300 million of Fannie’s $7.2 billion capital raise from the second quarter is still intact.
Brother Freddie was unable to, or chose not to raise $5.5 billion in capital, with CEO Richard Syron citing reasons such as shareholder dilution for failing to complete such a sale.
Of course, the OFHEO said both were adequately capitalized as recently as June, though the GSE regulator recently lowered the capital surplus requirement for the two mortgage giants.
Here’s how a bailout may go down:
Treasury would install new management and directors at both, curb the GSEs’ sometimes reckless investment and guarantee operations, and liquidate in an orderly fashion the GSEs’ troubled $1.6 billion in on-balance-sheet investments. Then the companies could be resold to the public without their explicit government debt guarantees, or folded into government agencies like Ginnie Mae or the FHA.
Shares of Fannie Mae fell $1.76, or 22.25%, to $6.15, while Freddie slid $1.46, or 24.96%, to $4.39.
One interesting aspect of the home loan process is the sheer number of individuals you’ll work with along the way.
You don’t just speak to a salesperson and call it a day. Lots of people are involved in what is a very complex transaction.
Aside from salespeople, there are loan underwriters, processors, appraisers, escrow officers, real estate attorneys, and more.
Let’s discuss the roles these people hold to help you better understand what it takes to get a mortgage.
Remember, you’re asking to borrow a large sum of money, so it’s going to take time and energy (and lots of people) to get to the finish line.
The Sales Rep/Loan Officer/Mortgage Broker
The first step in the home loan process typically involves a sales person, which can be a banker at your local branch or credit union, a loan officer, or a mortgage broker.
If we’re talking about a purchase, this may come before/during your home search or after you’ve found your property with the assistance of a real estate agent.
If it’s a mortgage refinance, you’d simply jump right to this step to rework the details of your existing home loan if you wanted a rate and term refinance or a cash out refi.
You might be referred to an individual/company, or you might do your own discovery to find a suitable partner. Either way, always look beyond the referral you were given.
Your real estate agent might know a great lender, but you your own research as well.
It’s important to gather multiple quotes from different companies to ensure you get the best deal.
Now, this individual will be your main point of contact during the loan process, and perhaps most importantly, will provide you with pricing.
Bankers and loan officers work at the retail level, while mortgage brokers offer wholesale rates from their lender partners.
You can read more about the differences (banks vs. brokers) but either way they’ll likely be the person you speak with most.
Aside from providing pricing, these individuals can help get you pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage, discuss different loan scenarios, and guide you on loan choice.
If you have mortgage questions, they should be able to provide answers and give you guidance.
They may make certain recommendations, such as down payment amount, loan type, or provide an opinion about paying discount points or when to lock your rate.
This individual will be with you from start to finish, but doesn’t work alone. They’ve got an entire team to help you close your loan in a timely fashion.
FYI, you may also come across a “mortgage planner,” which is an individual who may assist a busy senior loan officer.
They can communicate loan status, provide follow-up, collect conditions, and perform other tasks if the LO is unavailable or simply needs a hand.
The Loan Processor
Once you’ve spoken to a sales representative (or LO/broker) and have decided to move forward, you’ll be in put in touch with a loan processor.
The main goal of the processor is to put together a clean loan file that can be submitted to the underwriting department.
This means collecting key documents, ensuring there are no red flags, double-checking everything, and making any necessary corrections.
The processor may also reach out after the loan is approved to collect additional documents to satisfy any outstanding conditions.
They will also provide updates to the loan officer or broker, who will then keep you in the loop about where you’re at in the process.
The processor essentially acts as a liaison between the underwriter and sales rep/LO/broker.
This ensures things move along smoothly and any hiccups can be resolved quickly without delay.
The Loan Underwriter
The loan underwriter probably holds the most important role in the home loan process.
They decide if the mortgage is approved, declined, or potentially suspended pending further explanation.
It’s for this reason that the loan processor only sends the loan package to the underwriter once everything has been thoroughly checked.
You only get one chance to make a first impression, so it’s imperative to get it right. Otherwise you could face delays or simply get flat out denied.
Aside from approving the loan, the underwriter will also provide a list of conditions needed to close the loan.
Most mortgage approvals are conditional, meaning you might need to furnish additional information or documentation to obtain your final approval.
Once these documents are provided, whether it’s another bank statement or letter of explanation, the underwriter will clear the outstanding conditions and move the loan to the funding department.
The Home Appraiser
While your loan is being reviewed by the underwriter, an appraisal will be ordered to determine the value of the underlying property.
Remember, aside from determining your ability to repay the loan, the bank also needs to ensure the collateral for the loan is valued properly.
This individual will visit the property to assess its condition, take photographs, and determine recent sales comparisons.
They will formulate a valuation based on the property details, such as number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, amenities, location, lot size, condition, and so on.
The value they come up with, known as the appraised value, is used as the basis for the loan-to-value ratio.
Generally, the goal is for the appraiser to support the purchase price of the property or the value declared for a refinance.
If the value is lower, the details of the loan may need to be reworked, such as a higher down payment.
For certain types of loans, such as FHA loans and VA loans, the home appraiser will also ensure that certain Minimum Property Requirements (MPRs) are met.
This ensures the property is safe for the occupants, that there are adequate living conditions, and no major hazards, such as lead paint or termites.
The Home Inspector
If we’re discussing a home purchase, you’ll want to get an inspection done. And you’ll want to do it ASAP while any contingencies are still in place.
While a home inspection typically isn’t required, they’re generally a good idea.
Aside from finding out what’s potentially wrong with the property, you can ask for credits from the seller if the inspector finds any significant issues.
As the name suggests, a home inspector will come out to the property and assess the condition of the structure itself, the foundation, the interior, the roof, the electrical, HVAC, and more.
Some may also inspect the pool and spa, if one exists, though you could be charged extra.
They’ll make notes as they survey the property and issue a formal report afterwards. This can be used to negotiate with the seller if anything material comes up.
The Notary Public
Once it’s time to sign your loan documents, you’ll need to make an appointment with a notary public.
This individual serves “as an impartial witness” when signing important documents, such as those related to a home purchase or mortgage loan.
Your settlement agent should organize a time to meet with this individual to conduct your signing.
The notary may come to your home or meet you somewhere else to review and sign documents.
The main job of the notary is to verify the identity of the signer and ensure they are willing to sign the documents “without duress or intimidation.”
This requires you to furnish identification, such as a driver’s license, during the signing appointment.
The Escrow Officer
Another very important individual in the transaction is the escrow officer, a third-party who facilitates the loan closing and collects/disburses funds to the appropriate parties.
Some of their key roles include preparing final statements for the buyer, such as cash required to close, and determining costs such as property taxes, insurance, prepaid interest, and loan payoffs.
The escrow officer will send you a settlement statement that lists all the fees and closing costs associated with your loan, along with any lender credits and loan payoffs and funds required.
They will also liaise with a title company and forward necessary documents for loan recording.
Importantly, they’ll provide wiring instructions to all parties, including the buyer, so you know where to send funds (cash to close).
If you have questions about things like prepaid items, mortgage impounds, and loan payoffs, they can be particularly helpful.
The Title Agent
To ensure the property is free of any liens, encumbrances, or defects, a title insurance policy is usually required in order to take out a mortgage.
A title agent is the individual who conducts a title search, orders a preliminary title report, and eventually issues title insurance on the subject property. This makes them a licensed insurance agent
They are also in charge of recording the deed and loan documents with the county once the loan has funded.
You might hear the words title and escrow used interchangeably, but title has to do with property ownership/lien history, while escrow is about the calculation, collection, and disbursement of funds.
However, they may perform other settlement tasks beyond just title depending on the state where they’re located.
The Loan Closer/Funder
If you’ve made it this far, it means the loan is almost funded. But there’s still work to be done.
The loan closer/funder has to review the file to ensure everything is accurate and complete, and if not, address and fix any errors or outstanding issues.
They must ensure all prior to funding (PTF) conditions are satisfied and work with the settlement agent to prepare funding figures and timing of disbursement.
This includes the review of signed closing documents and items like hazard insurance and the preliminary title report.
And if everything looks good, request the wire instructions from escrow after a thorough review.
The Real Estate Attorney
Note that in certain states, a real estate attorney could be required to prepare certain documents and/or to conduct the loan closing.
This individual may order and certify a title report, review loan documents, and advise you if necessary.
Beyond that, they can ensure the interests of all parties are protected, and handle any legal issues or disputes that may come up.
One last thing. You may find that there is some overlap with a title company and escrow company, as the former can also provide escrow and notary services as well.
So depending on where you live, you could have one company or individual handle several tasks.
As you can see, there are quite a few people involved in the funding of a home loan, which explains why they take a month or longer to close.
Once you know more about each person’s role, it should be easier to navigate the home loan process and make better sense of it all.
And perhaps adjust your expectations that there isn’t a same-day mortgage and likely won’t be for the foreseeable future.
Dark Matter Technologies, formerly Black Knight Origination Technologies, is focused on mainly two things: the smooth transition to new owners, and lowering the cost to originate loans for lenders.
Executives from Dark Matter Technologies, under the Constellation Software umbrella, said that a down market is the best time to make investments in technology and prepare for the next cycle.
With lenders focused on bringing origination costs down in a tough origination environment, the firm saw up to a 300% year-over-year growth in new user numbers for the past couple of years.
“We actually do well in any kind of market,” Rich Gagliano, CEO of Dark Matter Technologies and former president of Black Knight, said in an interview with HousingWire on Friday.
“Now we’re in a down cycle, they need to do it with fewer people and they need to be more efficient to get the cost down. So it’s really the same story, just different markets,” Gagliano said.
Dark Matter Technologies, which completed the acquisition of Black Knight’s Empower and Optimal Blue last week, will be working towards a smooth transition over to Constellation Software with its 1,300-plus employees for the remainder of the year.
The company doesn’t plan to raise pricing for Empower and is focused on services and products that will drive down the cost of origination and employee borrower retention, executives said.
Gagliano, Sean Dugan, CRO of Dark Matter Technologies and Tom George, co-president of Romulus, part of the Perseus Group of Constellation Software, participated in the interview.
Read on to learn more about Dark Matter Technologies’ plan for mortgage.
This interview has been condensed and lightly edited for clarity.
Connie Kim: Constellation’s Perseus Group has a pretty big real estate portfolio. What were the reasons for buying Black Knight’s Empower and Optimal Blue? What opportunities did the firm see?
Tom George: The way Constellation operates is that we focus on acquiring vertical market software companies and portfolios of vertical market software companies with the intent to stay in these industries forever.
We started almost 20 years ago and Perseus in the homebuilding industry, we built a significant player in homebuilding software, that led us to an adjacency residential real estate where we bought over 20 companies. More recently, we started acquiring businesses in the mortgage tech space.
We plan to be in the mortgage tech space forever. And we plan to continue to acquire there.
Kim: What other mortgage tech companies has Constellation Software acquired?
George: We’ve acquired three other businesses in the mortgage space. We bought Mortgage BuilderSoftware from Altisource Portfolio Solutions in 2019. There have been two additional acquisitions – ReverseVision, which is a leader in the reverse mortgage LOS space, and then a document storage product called Back Support.
Kim: Are you expecting any layoffs during the transition? Will the same management from Black Knight’s Empower and Optimal Blue be in place?
Rich Gagliano: We’re not expecting any changes. [About] 1300 [employees] are going to move over with us and it’s business as usual.
Kim: It’s a tough mortgage origination market right now. How does the company expect to manage profit amid industry consolidation, bankruptcies and attrition?
Gagliano: We’ve seen a strong pipeline. Even though the markets are down, what we encourage and talk to clients about is when you’re slow, that’s the best time to make technology changes. Now is the time for that change, and get yourself ready for the next cycle.
We actually do well in any kind of market. But honestly, when the market is crazy, lenders are looking for efficiencies because they can’t find and hire enough staff. Now we’re in a down cycle, they need to do it with fewer people and they need to be more efficient to get the cost down. So it’s really the same story, just different markets.
Kim: I definitely hear a lot of mortgage tech companies saying ‘this is the time to invest, especially when the market is down.’ You mentioned a strong pipeline, are we talking about new clients?
Sean Dugan: We’ve had 200% to 300% growth year-over-year for the last couple of years. And we don’t see that backing up. Those are not financial metrics, that was just on the number of clients acquired. When we took the Empower LOS platform to the down- to mid-market clients and really focused on that, we saw the number of acquisitions per year grow in a really significant fashion.
Kim: Empower has an estimated market share of around 10-15% after ICE’s Encompass which takes up about 40 to 45% of market share. How does Dark Matter plan to compete against Encompass?
Gagliano: We believe strongly in technology. We’re generally in most of the deals when we know about them. We believe that the automation, and the technology and the solution that we bring, and the ecosystem that we have, is best in the industry and really helps these lenders drive cost out of the system.
We compete with multiple product providers out there, including Encompass. But we like where we are positioned and I think our clients like the innovations that we’ve brought over the past over years.
Kim: When I talk to lenders, they say when using a company’s LOS, using the same company’s add-on products makes it more cost-efficient and seamless. What are some of the add-on products the company has already developed or is seeking to develop to win over lenders?
Gagliano: Just over the past couple of years, we’ve added Ava, which is our artificial intelligence capability. Ava has added a couple of additional products over the past two years. We’ve added an underwriting efficiency product, we’ve added a post-close product that’s going into production – so fairly new products.
We’re going to continue to use the products that we have in our bundle today and sell those so no changes there. But we are incrementally adding new technology, new innovations, that are going to help drive that cost down.
Dugan: We’ve also delivered digital portals for each one of our business channels within Empower, which would include retail, wholesale, correspondent, home equity and assumptions. We also have business intelligence as a component, and then a vendor aggregation platform, which was by the name of Exchange. Those are some of the components that make up the Dark Matter-owned bundle of services within Empower.
Kim:I know Ava has some kind of AI aspect to it. Right now, a lot of mortgage tech companies are focusing on AI. How they’re going to utilize AI to be that middleman between the customer and the loan originator. I’m curious how Dark Matter is going to integrate AI and machine learning (ML) to the LOS and other products.
Dugan: Regardless of what the technology solution is, clients are looking for flexibility, configurability – things that they can configure to meet their particular requirements. They’re looking for a really significant return on their investment, and they’re looking to drive the cost of origination as well as employee and borrower retention.
Kim: One of the concerns about the ICE-Black Knight merger was the fear that ICE would raise prices on the LOS products.Will there be any pricing changes for Dark Matter Technologies?
Gagliano: We don’t have anything planned at this point. Our Constellation partners haven’t asked us to come in and raise prices. That’s not part of their strategy, their strategy is to acquire quality companies and run the businesses.
Kim: Who does Dark Matter Technologies consider as competitors right now?
Dugan: It’s any origination technology provider. There are a number of providers that are delivering services specific to underwriting capabilities, so we would compete with them. So I think it’s a host of providers and vendors across the ecosystem of this particular vertical that we compete with on a day-by-day basis.
Kim: What are your prospects for the remainder of the year for mortgage origination? What are some of the larger goals for Dark Matter Technologies?
Gagliano: Through the end of the year, we’re going to be transitioning to Constellation moving off Black Knight Technologies. We’ve added some corporate-level capabilities already. So we feel good about where we are and stay focused on that through the end of the year.