Where Are Young Buyers Relying on Older Co-Signers to Buy Homes?

Couple making a mortgage payment
fizkes / Shutterstock.com

Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on Porch.

After two years of high competition and fast-rising prices in residential real estate, the market is at last seeing signs of cooling off.

While many buyers may be starting to feel relief, younger buyers have had an especially difficult time in this market and may continue to struggle. The Millennial generation — Americans aged 26 to 41 — are currently in their peak homebuying years, representing 43% of buyers according to recent data from the National Association of Realtors.

Because they are earlier in their working lives, young shoppers may have less saved up to put toward a home, and they also tend to be first-time buyers, which means they do not have existing home equity available to help finance a purchase.

To overcome these challenges, some young buyers have relied on older friends and family members with more financial resources to support a home purchase. Co-signers are people who agree to be responsible for loan payments if the primary signer defaults.

To determine the states with the highest percentage of young homebuyers with an older co-signer, researchers at Porch analyzed the latest data from the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council’s Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. The researchers ranked states by the percentage of young homebuyers (34 years old or younger) with an older co-signer (55 years old or older). In the event of a tie, the state with the higher median property value for young homebuyers with an older co-signer was ranked higher.

Following are the states where young buyers are most likely to rely on an older co-signer.

15. Illinois

Modern farmhouse
Hendrickson Photography / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of young buyers with an older co-signer: 0.919%
  • Median property value for young buyers with an older co-signer: $225,000
  • Median property value across all young buyers: $245,000
  • Median down payment for young buyers with an older co-signer: $30,000
  • Median down payment across all young buyers: $20,000

14. New Mexico

Santa Fe, New Mexico
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of young buyers with an older co-signer: 0.969%
  • Median property value for young buyers with an older co-signer: $215,000
  • Median property value across all young buyers: $215,000
  • Median down payment for young buyers with an older co-signer: $50,000
  • Median down payment across all young buyers: $30,000

13. Nebraska

Nebraska city scene
Katherine Welles / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of young buyers with an older co-signer: 0.997%
  • Median property value for young buyers with an older co-signer: $195,000
  • Median property value across all young buyers: $205,000
  • Median down payment for young buyers with an older co-signer: $20,000
  • Median down payment across all young buyers: $20,000

12. Rhode Island

Home in Providence, Rhode Island
Laura Stone / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of young buyers with an older co-signer: 1.002%
  • Median property value for young buyers with an older co-signer: $315,000
  • Median property value across all young buyers: $295,000
  • Median down payment for young buyers with an older co-signer: $50,000
  • Median down payment across all young buyers: $30,000

11. Massachusetts

Provincetown, Massachusetts
Lewis Stock Photography / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of young buyers with an older co-signer: 1.018%
  • Median property value for young buyers with an older co-signer: $435,000
  • Median property value across all young buyers: $445,000
  • Median down payment for young buyers with an older co-signer: $70,000
  • Median down payment across all young buyers: $60,000

10. Oregon

Oregon rural home in the country
Rigucci / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of young buyers with an older co-signer: 1.059%
  • Median property value for young buyers with an older co-signer: $365,000
  • Median property value across all young buyers: $385,000
  • Median down payment for young buyers with an older co-signer: $50,000
  • Median down payment across all young buyers: $40,000

9. New Jersey

Morristown, New Jersey
mandritoiu / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of young buyers with an older co-signer: 1.079%
  • Median property value for young buyers with an older co-signer: $365,000
  • Median property value across all young buyers: $375,000
  • Median down payment for young buyers with an older co-signer: $60,000
  • Median down payment across all young buyers: $50,000

8. Vermont

House in Derby Line, Vermont, in fall
Richard Cavalleri / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of young buyers with an older co-signer: 1.080%
  • Median property value for young buyers with an older co-signer: $215,000
  • Median property value across all young buyers: $265,000
  • Median down payment for young buyers with an older co-signer: $40,000
  • Median down payment across all young buyers: $30,000

7. Utah

House in 1991
Matthew Thomas Allen / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of young buyers with an older co-signer: 1.081%
  • Median property value for young buyers with an older co-signer: $335,000
  • Median property value across all young buyers: $335,000
  • Median down payment for young buyers with an older co-signer: $40,000
  • Median down payment across all young buyers: $30,000

6. Nevada

MaxFX / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of young buyers with an older co-signer: 1.159%
  • Median property value for young buyers with an older co-signer: $325,000
  • Median property value across all young buyers: $325,000
  • Median down payment for young buyers with an older co-signer: $50,000
  • Median down payment across all young buyers: $30,000

5. Montana

Missoula, Montana
Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of young buyers with an older co-signer: 1.176%
  • Median property value for young buyers with an older co-signer: $295,000
  • Median property value across all young buyers: $295,000
  • Median down payment for young buyers with an older co-signer: $50,000
  • Median down payment across all young buyers: $30,000

4. New York

Buffalo New York homes
Richard Cavalleri / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of young buyers with an older co-signer: 1.317%
  • Median property value for young buyers with an older co-signer: $425,000
  • Median property value across all young buyers: $335,000
  • Median down payment for young buyers with an older co-signer: $70,000
  • Median down payment across all young buyers: $40,000

3. California

Homes in Sacramento, California
Emmy Bersa / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of young buyers with an older co-signer: 1.358%
  • Median property value for young buyers with an older co-signer: $535,000
  • Median property value across all young buyers: $545,000
  • Median down payment for young buyers with an older co-signer: $100,000
  • Median down payment across all young buyers: $100,000

2. Colorado

Centennial, Colorado
Faina Gurevich / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of young buyers with an older co-signer: 1.361%
  • Median property value for young buyers with an older co-signer: $385,000
  • Median property value across all young buyers: $405,000
  • Median down payment for young buyers with an older co-signer: $60,000
  • Median down payment across all young buyers: $50,000

1. Hawaii

1960s home interior in Hawaii
jr.gardiner / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of young buyers with an older co-signer: 1.752%
  • Median property value for young buyers with an older co-signer: $545,000
  • Median property value across all young buyers: $555,000
  • Median down payment for young buyers with an older co-signer: $100,000
  • Median down payment across all young buyers: $80,000

Methodology

Man analyzing data on a laptop
fizkes / Shutterstock.com

To determine the states with the highest percentage of young homebuyers with an older co-signer, researchers at Porch analyzed the latest data from the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council’s Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. Only conventional, non-commercial, home purchase loans that originated in 2020 were considered in the analysis.

Additionally, data on median home values are from Zillow’s Zillow Home Value Index. The researchers ranked states by the percentage of young homebuyers (34 years old or younger) with an older co-signer (55 years old or older).

Researchers also calculated the median property value for young homebuyers with an older co-signer, median property value across all young homebuyers, median down payment for young homebuyers with an older co-signer, and median down payment across all young homebuyers. In the event of a tie, the state with the higher median property value for young homebuyers with an older co-signer was ranked higher.

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

Source: moneytalksnews.com

What is a Brownstone? Pros and Cons of Brownstone Apartments

A brownstone may look like other townhouses, but it’s got some unique qualities.

If you’ve ever pictured yourself living in cities like Chicago, Boston or New York City, you may have envisioned the iconic image of buildings and brownstone apartments lining the streets. Many large, East coast cities are known for the iconic brownstone facades that give the neighborhood a 19th-century nostalgic look and feel.

If you’re considering renting a brownstone, it’s important to know about the rich history of these types of buildings in addition to the pros and cons that come with brownstone homes. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know about renting an infamous brownstone.

What is a brownstone apartment?

A brownstone is a row house made specifically from brown sandstone. The brownstone facade is key — it’s the defining feature that sets brownstones apart from other types of single-family homes. Other defining features of brownstone apartments include:

  • A stone stoop leading to the entryway
  • Ornate details carved or etched into the brownstone face
  • Many buildings in a row with no space in between
  • Three to four floors per building

Brownstone itself is soft sandstone that has a natural brown color, hence the name “brownstone.” The stone is easy to mold, cut and shape so you’ll often see ornate carvings on the face of brownstone homes, another feature that sets them apart.

Originally, the brownstone material was inexpensive and less desirable compared to other building materials like brick, marble or granite. Until the 19th century, buildings made of brownstone were cheaper because the brown color was unappealing. However, that changed during the Romantic era when the natural look became popular. Nowadays, brownstones are some of the most expensive apartments on the market.

Brick townhouses

Brick townhouses

What is the difference between a townhouse and a brownstone?

Brownstones and townhouses are similar in the sense that they’re both buildings with multiple floors, units and apartments for rent. They’re both attached to another building. For example, you’ll have your own unit or floor to live on but you’ll share a wall with your neighbors in these kinds of houses.

You can construct a townhouse out of any building material, but many are brick. However, a true brownstone uses brown sandstone building material, otherwise, it’s a regular townhouse. The facades of brownstones are the specific feature that separates them from other types of apartments.

Because many brownstone apartments are older, they may not have modern amenities like brand new buildings. The construction of many brownstones occurred in the early 19th century and living in these may require some maintenance to keep them up-to-date. Keep this in mind when you’re considering renting townhouses versus brownstones.

Things to know about New York City brownstones

While brownstones are in different cities, they’re especially prevalent in New York City. If you’ve seen any movie or TV show set in New York, you’ve likely seen the iconic brownstone homes in beautiful neighborhoods. True brownstones are in a few key neighborhoods of New York City — Park Slope, Upper West Side, Carroll Gardens, Fort Greene and Brooklyn Heights — to name a few. You can walk up and down the street and see brownstone apartments in these areas of the city.

These houses with their steep stone stoops and ornate brownstone facade give the building charm. They’re often located in desirable neighborhoods, too. Because there’s only a set number of genuine brownstones in New York City, there’s often more demand than supply, so the prices are steep.

NYC Brownstone apartments

NYC Brownstone apartments

Pros of brownstone apartment living

As with anything, there are pros and cons to living in brownstones. Here are some of the pros and cons associated with a brownstone apartment.

Spacious living area

While some single-family homes in a big city are small, brownstones are typically larger. Traditional brownstones will have a parlor floor, which is the second floor from the ground floor. The parlor floor is where you’ll have your dining room and living room. The units usually have three to four bedrooms, but can also have as many as nine bedrooms in each brownstone.

Ornate décor

City brownstones are beautiful buildings. As we’ve mentioned, the appeal of a brownstone is typically the history, the idyllic community and the picturesque neighborhood. The construction of brownstones is ornate and the apartment is usually located on a tree-lined street. When you live in a row house, you’ll enjoy the beauty of the decorative brownstone.

Spacious outdoor area

Some people living in brownstone homes enjoy a nice outdoor space as part of their apartment. You’ll get more room and outdoor seating areas in a brownstone compared to other types of apartments. You can walk up from the ground level and enjoy the front stoop or enjoy private outdoor space in the form of a patio or garden area.

Great location

Most brownstones are in nice neighborhoods with tight-knit communities. Because the units are so close to each other, you’ll be close to the other people living in the same brownstone house. People like the brownstone community as most people end up staying in the brownstone for a long time. The units are often close to different restaurants, so you’ll enjoy the amenities of city life when living in a brownstone, too.

brownstone apartments

brownstone apartments

Cons of brownstone apartment living

For every good thing about brownstones, there are some negatives, too.

Expensive rent

Because brownstones are so desirable nowadays, you’ll pay high prices to live in one of them. In New York, brownstones can sell for up to $10 million. If you’re considering a brownstone, make sure the price is in your budget. If not, you can have a similar experience living in a townhouse without a notable facade.

Older buildings

The historic nature of brownstones makes them appealing but it also means the building is older compared to others. You’ll likely have more maintenance and upkeep in brownstones and may lack traditional amenities and features like air conditioning. Also, the steep stoop and staircases are sometimes problematic as they aren’t as accessible as other spaces.

Close to neighbors

If you’re looking for a place to live with lots of room to roam and privacy, a brownstone isn’t the right option as you’re incredibly close to the people next door. Because these buildings are in a row, you’re literally wall-to-wall with other people. Some love this closeness, while others want more privacy.

Finding a brownstone apartment for you

The intricate design and carvings of brownstone apartments are idyllic. You can’t deny that they look beautiful and conjure images of old-school living in cities like New York. Brownstones have a story and you’ll enjoy the natural look of these buildings. Before renting one, make sure that it’s within your budget as they’re pricy apartments.

Source: rent.com

What Is an HOA, or Homeowners Association?

When searching for a home, knowing everything you can about the home and the neighborhood you may move into is important. One thing that home buyers should look for is whether or not they would like to live in a neighborhood or community with an HOA. HOA stands for Homeowner’s Association, and many homes are located within HOAs due to their rise in popularity in recent years.

Common Questions About HOAs 

What is an HOA? 

HOAs are a group of Homeowners in the area that are typically elected or volunteered. Then they form a board of directors that govern common interests in their community or neighborhood. Homeowners in areas with HOAs typically have to pay fees to cover the use and maintenance of amenities in the area. For example, if you owned a home with an HOA in a community or neighborhood with a pool and park, you would be paying the fee for the maintenance of that pool and park. The board of directors for the HOA will not receive any of the money from the monthly fees; they are unpaid. Instead, the fees go to the maintenance, and the HOA makes decisions on the maintenance that needs to be done and who should do it.  

How much do HOAs cost? 

HOAs usually charge a fee monthly. How much this fee is will depend on where you live. Therefore, the cost of every HOA fee varies drastically. But if you want to live in a neighborhood with an HOA, expect the fees to typically cost you hundreds of dollars a year.  

What do HOA fees cover? 

HOA fees typically cover: 

  • Maintenance of Pool 
  • Maintenance of Parks  
  • Trash Removal  
  • Landscaping of Community Areas 
  • Pest Control of Community Areas

What are the typical responsibilities of an HOA?  

The responsibilities of the HOA include the maintenance of the neighborhood along with making any rules that serve common interests. For rules, the board of directors would be responsible for setting these rules as well as listening to complaints from the community and handling them. Plus, if a community member broke a rule, they would be in charge of notifying them and/or issuing them a fine. Along with maintenance and rules, HOA board members are also in charge of holding meetings to address issues and concerns with everyone in the neighborhood. These meetings would be open to the community who pays fees, so anyone should be able to voice any concerns they have. And if you don’t like the board of directors for the HOA in your area, it’s important to note that you can always volunteer to join or be elected to the board. 

What are some pros and cons of having an HOA? 

No matter what choice you make in life, there are always some pros and cons. It’s up to you to determine whether the pros outweigh the cons of living in a community or neighborhood with an HOA. The pros of the HOA are that the amenities in your area, such as the pool or the park, will be maintained and taken care of. A con of an HOA could be the excessive number of rules those amenities may have because of the HOA.  

Something that could be a pro or a con of having an HOA is the monthly fee you have to pay. The HOA fee could be a pro because of everything it covers, but it could be a con if it costs too much or the HOA does not keep up with maintenance or residents of that area like they are supposed to. One final con is that the HOA may issue too many fines, such as you not maintaining your lawn or having a clothesline, or even having too many pieces of outdoor furniture. If your HOA is like this, you may not enjoy living in your home. That’s why it’s important to talk to your neighbors about the HOA before buying the home.  

Whether you’re buying a house for the first time or the third time, it’s essential to know whether or not your home is in an HOA to ensure you and your family are getting the perfect experience inside and outside your home. 


Helen Wells

Hi! I’m Helen Wells, the Content Writer Intern here at Homes.com. In my spare time, you can find me either reading a novel, watching the latest TV drama, or hanging out with my friends. Follow me on Twitter at @hawells21.  

Source: homes.com

How to Make an Apartment Kitchen Look and Feel Bigger – Apartminty

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

A beautiful kitchen boosts your moods instantly you walk in, while dark and cramped rooms dampen your spirits. Due to the growing recognition of the social aspects of the kitchen, people prefer big spaces. However, aesthetics and functionality are the top considerations when designing a kitchen.

Life in urban areas offers more opportunities and attracts a considerable populace. This makes space scarce as demand outstrips supply. If you land an apartment with a small kitchen, follow these hacks to create the impression of a bigger space. 

Go White!

White is the best color for a small kitchen for many reasons. It is loaded with benefits of visual effects, and according to experts in the design field, white spaces tend to clear your mind. This tricks your mind into creating more space. 

A white background also makes it easy for you to seamlessly incorporate other hues for furnishings, décor, and more for a perfect space.

If you love character and effects, consider using several shades of white in a small kitchen apartment. Contrasting textures will keep your room from being sterile. The color will make the wall recede and enhance a sense of space.  

Light, and More Light!

A simple way to make your small kitchen look bigger is by taking advantage of natural light. Keep window treatments minimal and if you want more privacy, use blinds to make your space private without blocking light. Natural light will make your kitchen less confined.

Consider placing a large mirror opposite a window to maximize the daylight. Adding the mirror effect reflects the natural light in different directions. 

Reflective surfaces like stainless steel, marble countertops, and ceramic tiles amplify the effects of both artificial and natural light, making small kitchens larger. 

Ensure that your kitchen has adequate lighting to improve functionality. Pendant lights under the white cabinets add a pleasant ambiance and make your kitchen look bigger than the actual square footage.

Plan your Kitchen Layout to the Latter

When you have a small space to accommodate the numerous functions of the kitchen, plan the layout to the last detail. If you are planning for a kitchen redo, try engaging a professional. 

Provide sufficient countertop space and enough space for seamlessly moving around the room. Great movement flow will make your kitchen look spacious. 

Small kitchens pose storage challenges that make it easy to crowd countertops. Collectible and cookware cramp working space and overwhelm a small kitchen making the room small and busy. Provide space for everything and consider clever kitchen storage ideas. Use cabinets to conceal things away from the sight. 

Clear everything from the counters, cabinet tops, windowsills, floor, and even on top of the fridge! Keep most things behind closed doors, and clean the counters immediately after use. Small kitchens need a minimalist approach to enhance the size. Sleek cabinetry with flat-panel doors will add flair and illusion for more space. 

Integrate Appliances 

Integrated kitchen appliances are kind to the eyes due to their seamlessness, making your room look bigger. The machines only take up room that the cupboards would use, hence their immense space-saving properties making them super effective in kitchens with limited space. 

Another benefit of this style is the sleek, clean finish which enhances small rooms. Integrated appliances create a fuss-free clean finish to your entire layout, which gives a sophisticated appeal.

Conclusion

An inviting kitchen is a game changer regardless of the size. A study suggested that homes with pleasant kitchens eat home-cooked foods promoting healthy families. Use these tricks and hacks to make your small apartment kitchen appear bigger without bringing down walls.  

Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates.

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Source: blog.apartminty.com

How to Make an Apartment Kitchen Look and Feel Bigger

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

A beautiful kitchen boosts your moods instantly you walk in, while dark and cramped rooms dampen your spirits. Due to the growing recognition of the social aspects of the kitchen, people prefer big spaces. However, aesthetics and functionality are the top considerations when designing a kitchen.

Life in urban areas offers more opportunities and attracts a considerable populace. This makes space scarce as demand outstrips supply. If you land an apartment with a small kitchen, follow these hacks to create the impression of a bigger space. 

Go White!

White is the best color for a small kitchen for many reasons. It is loaded with benefits of visual effects, and according to experts in the design field, white spaces tend to clear your mind. This tricks your mind into creating more space. 

A white background also makes it easy for you to seamlessly incorporate other hues for furnishings, décor, and more for a perfect space.

If you love character and effects, consider using several shades of white in a small kitchen apartment. Contrasting textures will keep your room from being sterile. The color will make the wall recede and enhance a sense of space.  

Light, and More Light!

A simple way to make your small kitchen look bigger is by taking advantage of natural light. Keep window treatments minimal and if you want more privacy, use blinds to make your space private without blocking light. Natural light will make your kitchen less confined.

Consider placing a large mirror opposite a window to maximize the daylight. Adding the mirror effect reflects the natural light in different directions. 

Reflective surfaces like stainless steel, marble countertops, and ceramic tiles amplify the effects of both artificial and natural light, making small kitchens larger. 

Ensure that your kitchen has adequate lighting to improve functionality. Pendant lights under the white cabinets add a pleasant ambiance and make your kitchen look bigger than the actual square footage.

Plan your Kitchen Layout to the Latter

When you have a small space to accommodate the numerous functions of the kitchen, plan the layout to the last detail. If you are planning for a kitchen redo, try engaging a professional. 

Provide sufficient countertop space and enough space for seamlessly moving around the room. Great movement flow will make your kitchen look spacious. 

Small kitchens pose storage challenges that make it easy to crowd countertops. Collectible and cookware cramp working space and overwhelm a small kitchen making the room small and busy. Provide space for everything and consider clever kitchen storage ideas. Use cabinets to conceal things away from the sight. 

Clear everything from the counters, cabinet tops, windowsills, floor, and even on top of the fridge! Keep most things behind closed doors, and clean the counters immediately after use. Small kitchens need a minimalist approach to enhance the size. Sleek cabinetry with flat-panel doors will add flair and illusion for more space. 

Integrate Appliances 

Integrated kitchen appliances are kind to the eyes due to their seamlessness, making your room look bigger. The machines only take up room that the cupboards would use, hence their immense space-saving properties making them super effective in kitchens with limited space. 

Another benefit of this style is the sleek, clean finish which enhances small rooms. Integrated appliances create a fuss-free clean finish to your entire layout, which gives a sophisticated appeal.

Conclusion

An inviting kitchen is a game changer regardless of the size. A study suggested that homes with pleasant kitchens eat home-cooked foods promoting healthy families. Use these tricks and hacks to make your small apartment kitchen appear bigger without bringing down walls.  

Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates.

Source: blog.apartminty.com

Stock Market Today: May Delivers One Final Roller-Coaster Ride

May’s final session was a fitting one for a wild month, with the major indexes swinging up and down Tuesday before closing in the red.

Over the Memorial Day weekend, Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller said during a speech in Germany that he expects 50-basis-point interest-rate increases to continue into the later part of the year – a departure from previous dovish statements from Fed members suggesting hikes of that magnitude would be limited to the next two summer meetings.

That sent bond yields spiking Tuesday, with the 10-year Treasury yield reaching as high as 2.88%.

“It is really too bad that the Fed can’t learn to speak with one voice on this,” says Dean Smith, portfolio manager and chief strategist of investment technology platform FolioBeyond. “The constant seesaw from hawkish to dovish is increasing uncertainty in the market and in the economy. The ‘buy-the-dip’ mentality that has been nurtured in a generation of investors is being supported and encouraged by these carelessly dovish Fed speakers. In the end, all it does is make their job harder.”

Also Tuesday, the Federal Reserve’s preferred gauge of inflation – the core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index – rose by 4.9% year-over-year and 0.34% month-over-month, which was more than expected.

“The April increase represents the third month of more muted, but still solid, increases,” UBS analysts note.

Sign up for Kiplinger’s FREE Investing Weekly e-letter for stock, ETF and mutual fund recommendations, and other investing advice.

The consumer discretionary (+0.5%) and communication services (-0.1%) sectors were the best performers in a largely down day. That was largely thanks to Amazon.com (AMZN, +4.4%), whose shareholders on Friday approved a 20-for-1 AMZN stock split set to take effect June 6; that lifted spirits at Alphabet (GOOGL, +1.3%), which intends on executing its own 20-for-1 GOOGL/GOOG stock split in July. (Indeed, 2022 is shaping up to be quite a busy year for stock splits.)

That helped the Nasdaq Composite deliver the smallest loss among the major indexes Tuesday: a 0.4% decline to 12,081. However, the tech-heavy index posted a 2.1% decline for the entire month. The S&P 500 (-0.6% to 4,132) finished May marginally higher, however, as did the Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.7% to 32,990).

stock chart for 053122stock chart for 053122

Other news in the stock market today:

  • The small-cap Russell 2000 slid 1.3% to 1,864.
  • Gold futures declined 0.5% to $1,848.40 ounce, clinching the yellow metal’s second consecutive monthly decline.
  • U.S. crude oil futures were down 0.4% to $114.67 per barrel, good for a nearly 10% gain in the commodity across May. Oil had a back-and-forth session; gains from the European Union’s agreement to ban most Russian crude oil imports were negated after a report that OPEC+ was considering suspending Russia from its oil-output deal.
  • Bitcoin rebounded hard during the long weekend, improving by roughly 10% to $31,649 from its Friday afternoon prices. (Bitcoin trades 24 hours a day; prices reported here are as of 4 p.m.) 

As Red Flags Mount, Stock Up on Quality

A few cracks are starting to show in the American economic engine. Wealth management firm Glenmede’s Jason Pride and Michael Reynolds say that several U.S. leading indicators are signaling slowing growth.

“Last week, the Flash Composite PMI, which tracks the manufacturing and services sectors, fell,” they say. “The latest round of retail earnings reflects slowing demand as consumers grapple with higher costs and pivot their spending from goods to services. The housing market is starting to show signs of softening as sales of newly built homes fell 16.6% in April from March (rising mortgage rates are reducing buyer demand).”

This has Glenmede’s recession model projecting a 10% probability of recession within the next 12 months, up from 0% projections to start the year.

That’s the kind of environment that, unlike the year-plus of rip-roaring gains out of the COVID bottom, necessitates selectivity – every stock pick isn’t just going to stick to the wall, so to speak. Defensively minded investors, for instance, will want to focus on stocks that seem best positioned to perform in bear markets. Dip-buyers will need to make a distinction between “cheap” and “undervalued” – the latter you’re likely to find in these high-growth-potential stocks boasting low prices.

And on the whole, it pays to invest in the best of the best. These 10 S&P 500 stocks, for instance, represent the best the index has to offer right now, in the eyes of Wall Street’s analyst community. Each of them is teeming with bullish pros who believe they have anywhere between 20% to 110% upside over the next year.

Source: kiplinger.com

The Best College Towns in Oregon

You’ll find all the good stuff you remember from college and more in these appealing locations.

Now that we’ve entered what looks, feels and sounds like a COVID off-ramp (knock on wood, fingers crossed, etc.), we thought it a perfect time to explore the best college experiences the Beaver State has to offer. After all, if there’s anything we’ve learned over the last two years, it’s that #FOMO is more than just the worst Millennial invention on record. It’s a physiological condition that demands a serious commitment to breweries, coffee shops and literally every record shop you see.

You know. Oregon college town things!

Eugene, an oregon college town

Eugene, an oregon college town

If you’ve ever witnessed an oversized waterfowl parading around ESPN’s “College GameDay” set, or Google-searched “richest billionaires named Phil,” you’re likely already familiar with the University of Oregon, the green-and-yellow-clad institution that makes Eugene a proud and bustling college town.

Originally established in 1876, UO remains one of the largest public universities in Oregon. Actually, the largest, if your sole criteria is the number of “O” bumper stickers spotted in any random parking lot.

Home to numerous bars (Max’s, anyone?), restaurants (you simply must visit Cornucopia — treat yourself and order Cody’s Naked Wings) and a few nearby hikes worthy of a Sunday afternoon (Spencer Butte is a personal favorite), Eugene is perfect for folks both in and out of college.

Corvallis, OR

Corvallis, OR

Situated about 90 minutes south of Portland, Corvallis, home to Oregon State University, is one of the most charming Oregon college towns you’ll ever visit. The school opened just a few years after the conclusion of the Civil War. Since then, OSU has had its share of notable alumni. That list includes former Nevada Senator John Ensign and NBA Hall of Famer Gary Payton.

Residents of Corvallis get stunning views of Bald Hill and the surrounding foothills, and those in search of a good beer or snack have no shortage of popular salves, including the legendary Local Boyz, Sky High Brewing and Wise Cracks Cafe, among others. What’s more, Corvallis is one of the youngest and most well-educated towns in Oregon, making it an ideal landing spot for anyone looking to indulge their curiosity.

La Grande, one of the best oregon college towns

La Grande, one of the best oregon college towns

With a population of just 13,000 residents, La Grande is the second-smallest college town on this list (and, one must think, anywhere in the U.S.). Home of the Eastern Oregon University Mountaineers, it tends to skew younger than most towns in Oregon, and rents remain far below the state average. Located four hours east of Portland, the vibe in La Grande is best described as earnestly American. Think “Twin Peaks,” only less creepy.

Locals and tourists alike have plenty to keep them busy in La Grande. Side A Brewing serves some of the tastiest beer in Oregon, and The Dusty Spur is a favorite diner. And for those looking for a quieter, more caffeinated experience, Joe Beans is a reliably pleasant option.

Ashland, OR

Ashland, OR

If you haven’t yet visited Ashland you really should. Like, grab your stuff and hustle. It’s that pretty. We’re talking the kind of beauty that reasonable folks might call absurd. Home to Southern Oregon University since 1872 (the school has been in its present location since 1926), Ashland also hosts the annual Shakespeare Festival, one of the most notable events of its kind in the United States.

Foodies have Peerless and Creekside Pizza (among many other delectable eateries), and those searching for a more rustic experience could do far worse than the appropriately named Acid Castles and Fairy Ponds.

Located just north of California, Ashland’s a bit of a drive for Portlanders. The population skews a bit older than the other Oregon college towns on the list. And rents aren’t quite as cheap as those available in La Grande and Klamath Falls. But with geography this gorgeous, you’d be a fool not to consider making your home in Ashland.

Monmouth, one of the best Oregon college towns

Monmouth, one of the best Oregon college towns

Source: Facebook.com/WOUnews

Remember when we told you La Grande was the second-smallest college town on this list? Well, that’s because we’re also plugging Monmouth, home of the Wolves of Western Oregon University. Despite a population just south of 10,000, Monmouth is the ninth-youngest town in Oregon, with rents hovering around the state average.

WOU’s has an equally diminutive stature. Its student body is less than a third the size of UO’s. Nevertheless, the school has sent a fair number of football players to the NFL. That includes current Raiders wide receiver Tyrell Williams.

Home to perennial favorites Yeasty Beasty, Rick’s Place and Grain Station Brew Works, residents can (and should) take advantage of Monmouth’s food and beer scene. And lest the outdoorsy among us begin to feel excluded, remember that Monmouth is notable for Sarah Hemlock State Park and the creepily-monikered Coffin Butte Trail.

Klamath Falls, OR

Klamath Falls, OR

Students looking to specialize in engineering, psychology and applied sciences would be well-served to consider the Oregon Institute of Technology, located four-and-a-half hours southeast of Portland, in Klamath Falls. Originally established to train and reorient veterans of WWII, OIT now serves students across campuses in Wilsonville, Salem and Seattle, WA.

With more renters than homeowners, Klamath Falls tends to skew young and cheap (apartment-seekers can expect to save nearly $300/month compared to the state average). What’s more, Klamath Falls proudly boasts Nibbley’s, Rooster’s and the Ruddy Duck, easily the three greatest restaurants (based solely on the name) ever referenced in sequential order.

Salem, one of the best Oregon college towns

Salem, one of the best Oregon college towns

Less than an hour south of Rose City, Salem’s Willamette University is the oldest university in the Western United States. Though even smaller than EOU, Willamette University is no slouch when it comes to notable alumni. Among others, former students include Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski and Oregon’s most famous ex-governor, Mark O. Hatfield.

Locals enjoy easy access to a whole host of entertaining diversions in Salem, from Oregon’s Enchanted Forest to the Hallie Ford Museum to downtown’s famous Liberty Street, which features numerous cafes, bars and restaurants.

McMinnville, OR

McMinnville, OR

Set deep in the heart of Oregon’s wine country, Linfield University has welcomed its fair share of future-famous alumni since opening its doors in 1858. Among those who once donned the Wildcats’ signature purple and cardinal are Mark Few. He was the head coach of the perennially-successful Gonzaga Bulldogs. It also educated acclaimed author Amy Tan and local musician Laura Gibson.

For those less interested in all things Linfield, McMinnville is one of the most lovable towns in Western Oregon. Go wine tasting or simply stroll along one of McMinnville’s many parks and bike paths. You’re sure to make a fond memory or two along the way.

Forest Grove, one of the best Oregon college towns

Forest Grove, one of the best Oregon college towns

Source: Facebook.com/PacificU

One of the oldest colleges in the state of Oregon is a mere 40 minutes west of Portland, in Forest Grove. Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Nancy Wilson once roamed the halls of Pacific University, as did Harvey W. Scott, the school’s original graduate and former editor of “The Oregonian.”

Locals prize Forest Grove’s verdant farmlands, which from certain angles appear to extend in perpetuity. They also love the Forest Grove Farmer’s Market, in operation each summer from May through October. Art galleries, children’s events, and quick access to the surrounding wine country are all notable highlights of a life well-lived in Forest Grove.

Portland, OR

Portland, OR

One of Oregon’s youngest universities is also its second-largest. Located in Portland’s once-bustling urban center, Portland State University remains a premier institution for those looking to pursue their academic goals in a kinetic, open and progressive environment. Students who opt for the dormitory experience should swing by the Cheerful Tortoise and Rogue Hall. These are two unabashedly youthful dive bars that are conveniently within walking distance of nearly everything Viking-related.

As we’ve mentioned previously on this blog, the Rose City offers its residents plenty in the way of entertainment, from an assortment of indie movie theaters to a seemingly endless supply of nearby hikes. Rents here are a bit higher than what you’ll find in La Grande or Klamath Falls. But what Portlanders lose in financial flexibility they more than gain in greenways. They also get expansive public transit. And, of course, the sort of pop-culture cachet that only Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein could deliver.

All about that college life

Oregon boasts a bastion of well-established and up-and-coming college towns. Whether you’re a soon-to-be high school graduate or simply looking to relocate someplace hip and affordable. And now that we’re finally allowed to exit our homes and explore these campuses in person, what better way to while away a weekend afternoon? Believe me, you don’t want that #FOMO.

Source: rent.com

How to Immediately Get Rid of Those Gross Slugs in Your Bathroom

Pests in our homes are gross but seeing slimy creatures crawling along bathroom walls or slug trails is enough to cause concern. Slugs, which are often described as snails without a shell, are often found in gardens or farms. They’re attracted to food and moisture and love to eat vegetables and flowers. Since slugs and snails like damp conditions, some people might find themselves with a slug infestation in and around bathrooms, including the shower, shower floor or toilet.

If you ever wondered why slugs are in your bathroom and how to get rid of them, here’s a quick primer on what they are, what attracts bathroom slugs, where you might find them around your house and how to prevent slugs or get rid of them at the first sight of slime trails.

What’s a yellow cellar slug?

The yellow cellar slug, sometimes called a cellar slug or tawny garden slug, is yellow-brown or green-yellow in color. They’re part of the Gastropod family, which consists of slugs and snails. They’re pests and can do a fair amount of damage outdoors, especially in gardens. Slugs like to eat decaying plants, including plant leaves or materials.

Why are there slugs in the bathroom?

Slugs and snails are food-driven and like dark damp refuges. They don’t need larger gaps to find their way inside a house. Ideal entry points are as simple as a small hole in a wall or crawl space.

If you see evidence of a slug in your bathroom, whether it’s hiding by a tub drain or you see slime along a bath or shower, you’ll want to look for possible leaky boundaries or other possible entry points. Do you have pet food lingering that will attract slugs? Slugs have been found eating leftovers. Since slugs also eat mold (or, as the British like to say “eats mould”), like those dark spaces in your house where there’s warmth and chill out where algae are growing, you’ll want to look for evidence in those areas.

Look for a possible entry point in your house, look for a hole near a shower wall or near drain lines. If you see a snail or slug’s tell-tale sign of their slime line underneath a drain pipe or near a shower, which often looks like a thread runs along the bathroom floor, either during the night or in the morning, you may have to figure out how to create a bait to trap them.

Slugs eat plants

Are there slugs in other rooms in the house?

Most often, a snail or slug will find its way to a bathroom during the night since that has the conditions it loves best: dark and damp. Also, there are holes via drain lines. That’s not to say they can’t make it into other rooms in your house. As long as there are easy-to-access holes to get into a house and access to food, especially in the form of decaying plants or pet food, they don’t need to make their entry through a bathroom.

If they originally posted their flag in a bathroom, it’ll be that much easier for them to slide their way into other rooms in the house so it’s best to consider ways to get rid of slugs when you first notice them.

How to deter slugs from making their way into your home

The best way to not attract slugs into your house in the first place is to cut off any entry points and not have food available for them to eat. If you notice any holes along windows or flooring, seal them with silicone sealant. You may have slugs feasting on your plants outdoors or on a patio, so line the planters and your entryways with copper tape as a deterrent.

If slugs or snails do make it indoors, some have resorted to pellets and other attempts to get rid of them.

Can I kill slugs with slug pellets?

Slug pellets or slug bait are small cylindrical “bullets” that contain metaldehyde, a substance that’s poisonous to slugs. According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services about the use of using slug pellets to eradicate slugs, “metaldehyde works by disrupting the mucus production ability of snails and slugs. This reduces their digestion and mobility and makes them susceptible to dehydration. Snails and slugs that have eaten metaldehyde often seek hiding places, become inactive and begin to die within days.”

It’s important to note these pellets contain poison and the United Kingdom banned their sale as of April 1, 2022, because they pose an unnecessary risk to birds, dogs and mammals. While they’re still permitted in the United States, it’s important to consider where they’re placed so an animal doesn’t mistake it for pet food or a child doesn’t accidentally consume it by crawling along the floor.

Slug trap

Ways to get rid of slugs in your apartment

Slugs, in general, don’t pose a health risk. But slugs and snails do serve as a host for some parasites during the larval stage. You really don’t want them in your home if you can help it.

If you don’t want to go the pellets route, some people opt for other methods to show these slimy nuisances they’re not welcome. They may also trap or kill them and dispose of their squishy bodies.

According to the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC), iron phosphate is a compound that combines phosphorous and oxygen with iron and can kill slugs and snails when eaten. Another product NPIC recommends that’s non-poisonous to humans is products that contain “food grade” diatomaceous earth. “Diatomaceous earth causes insects to dry out and die by absorbing the oils and fats from the cuticle of the insect’s exoskeleton,” according to NPIC. “Its sharp edges are abrasive, speeding up the process. It remains effective as long as it’s kept dry and undisturbed.”

As mentioned earlier, the copper tape can fend off slugs. Other easy, affordable and do-it-yourself approaches are placing eggshells around the perimeter of where slugs might enter. Or, placing beer in a bowl since they’re attracted to the yeasty odors found in beer. You can also add a bowl that holds standing water so they can slide their slimy bodies into the water trap and drown.

Slugs also avoid salt because salt crystals bind moisture. Salt draws water from slugs and dehydrates them. You can always try an experiment and sprinkle salt in half of an area and not the other area. Then you can see if you notice the telltale signs of slugs in the area you didn’t sprinkle.

Keeping slugs out of your apartment

Any pests are not welcome inside your apartment and slugs are no exception. We want our bathrooms as a place of calm and respite and our homes clean and dust-free and without unwelcome guests. Finding how slugs are getting in is one way to not put out the welcome mat. But if they do find their way indoors, it’s comforting to know there are several ways to stop them in their slimy tracks.

Source: apartmentguide.com

The Best Apartment Flooring Options When Living With Pets

Choosing the right flooring will help ensure a smooth rental experience for both you and your pets.

Pet owners know it’s important to consider units with pet-friendly floors. For most pet owners, the damage from pet claws and pet stains are their biggest concerns. Choosing a pet-friendly flooring to resist pet stains and is extremely scratch resistant is ideal. Be sure to read your lease agreement as many landlords often add a clause about pets. It’s worth taking the time to find the best pet-friendly apartment possible.

Here are some things a pet owner may want to consider when choosing the best floor option for both you and your furry friends in kitchens, family rooms or living rooms.

What’s the best flooring for living with pets?

Finding flooring types with a scratch-resistant finish for our furry friends isn’t easy, especially if you’re seeking the best flooring for dogs since they’re generally more active than cats. A dog’s nails, even when they’re clipped regularly, can do damage to wood floors. Other things to consider are stains caused by liquids, whether it’s urine or water from a water bowl.

Each type of flooring has a list of pros and cons. Dog owners might choose waterproof flooring options because they’re easier to clean after they walk their dogs while a cat or dog owner may look for the right flooring based on how easy it is to wipe off pet hair.

hardwood floors are the best apartment flooring when living with pets.

hardwood floors are the best apartment flooring when living with pets.

Most common types of floors in apartments

Most apartments have hardwood floors, luxury vinyl flooring or laminate flooring in the living room and dining room areas. Kitchens usually feature ceramic tile, vinyl flooring or porcelain tile because these are more water-resistant than hardwood flooring. Water and wood don’t like to mix so you’ll want to avoid using a mop with water or soap-based cleaners on any type of wood floor.

Not as common but also found in homes are cork flooring, bamboo flooring, luxury vinyl plank, concrete floors and natural stone.

Choosing the best type of flooring based on pet use

To help minimize the way scratches appear on floors, consider lighter stains, woods with more grains or lighter-colored tiles if leaning toward vinyl, laminate or ceramic options. The disadvantage of lighter colors is they might show more dirt trekked in from the outdoors.

Think about your pet and how they navigate their spaces in your apartment. If they can go weeks with unclipped claws and scratches are a bigger issue, go lighter. If trekking in dirt from walks is a problem, go with more patterns or darker colors.

dog on hardwood

dog on hardwood

Are solid hardwood floors good for pets?

Not all hardwood is the same. Homes can feature different types of wood species, grains, styles and thickness levels. It’s best to consider your budget and the look you want before buying or installing this type of flooring.

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), it’s possible for pet owners to enjoy having a solid hardwood floor with some considerations. If you’re a wood floor lover, make sure you trim your dog’s nails regularly and you wipe up any messes immediately — whether accidents or muddy paw marks.

The organization also recommends engineered hardwood flooring with the most scratch-resistant finish available as one of the best flooring for dogs if you want that wood floor look. Another recommendation by AKC is to choose the hardest wood you can find, such as teak, mesquite or hard maple, if you’re adding new flooring. “Wood with a matte or low-gloss look will do a better job at hiding scratches,” the organization notes. “And be sure to finish your floor with a scratch-resistant finish.”

Hardwood floors offer a few benefits from a general lifestyle and use perspective. You can usually include them in any décor, whether traditional or modern and installed in most spaces. You can buff or refinish them multiple times before you’re left with a thin layer and need to replace the entire floor.

Refinishing damaged hardwoods

The manufacturing process of some engineered hardwood floors allows you to refinish after sanding. For best results, it’s best if the wear layer is thick. Ideally, you want the wear layer at least three millimeters thick, otherwise, you run the risk of damaging the floor to the point that you’ll need to replace it.

Still, even in high traffic areas, a simple buffing can usually remove unsightly scratches without needing to go through the expense and trouble of refinishing.

Some negatives of hardwood floors: water and wood don’t like to mix so you’ll want to avoid using a mop with water or soap-based cleaners on any type of wood flooring. Instead, use cleaners designed for wood and keep a duster nearby to clean up any messes. Also, wood can get expensive to buy and install. Finding options that are more readily available, such as walnut or ash, can help keep this flooring option more affordable than opting for exotic hardwood species where you’ll be paying a premium.

Other flooring options besides hardwood floors

Another option? Go with distressed or reclaimed wood. While not pet-proof, these flooring options look scratched and well-loved so any marks from pets’ nails aren’t noticeable.

Not a hardwood floor since it’s technically a grass, bamboo flooring has similar features to hardwood and between the two options, is usually slightly more affordable flooring of the two.

Is laminate flooring stain-resistant?

Laminate flooring is the favorite thanks to its stain resistance and durability. It’s also less expensive than hardwood, luxury vinyl tile, ceramic tile and natural stone. When paired with a strong sealant layer, it’s relatively scratch-proof, making it ideal as flooring if you have pets at home.

Laminate flooring can get slippery for pets so finishing it with some texture will help keep those paws from skidding all over the place. Like any flooring, you want to wipe off any surface moisture and keep towels handy by doors where pets walk in and out to clean up any excess moisture or dirt that trails inside.

cleaning floors

cleaning floors

Caring for floors when you have pets

Not everyone has a say in which type of floor comes with their apartment or home. The best types are the ones that make it easy to keep clean and you’re not stuck giving up your security deposit because the floors need refinishing or replacing.

If you have any type of tile, such as porcelain, luxury vinyl or ceramic tile, keep in mind you’ll need to clean grout lines, as well as the tile when things get wet or dirty.

If you find an apartment you love but the flooring will be an issue with your pet, be proactive and think of solutions that will make everyone happier. Some pet owners throw down a thin-piled rug on hardwood, for example, to make it easier for their pets to walk around. Others will add that little mat beneath their pet’s food and water bowl to catch any spills and not let water sit on the floor for too long. If a room has thick or shag-type carpet and your pet can avoid that room, cordon off the room with a baby or pet gate.

Best floors when living with pets

Pets make our lives fuller and more fun and according to the Humane Society, 72 percent of renters have pets. Since more of us have pets than don’t, choosing apartments that are a good match to our lifestyle will go a long way toward an enjoyable rental experience. Taking the time to consider an apartment based on its amenities, whether that means the building includes a pool or a dog run, is one thing. But it’s overlooked details like flooring that sometimes get missed when looking at a place.

If you have pets, it’s a good idea to review apartments based on how your life, and the life of your pet, would be easier and more enjoyable. While flooring isn’t obvious, choosing the best flooring when living with pets will help you both enjoy the place and be as stress-free as possible.

Source: rent.com

What Does Income-Restricted Housing Mean?

Each state works with the federal government to provide affordable housing to renters with limited incomes.

There are nearly 1 million income-restricted apartments and rental homes in the United States. That translates into the federal government spending more than $51 billion annually to assist low-income Americans to have a roof over their head.

Different types of income-based apartments comprise the affordable rental housing landscape. Some are government-owned apartments. And private landlords who underwent an extensive screening process to gain acceptance into the subsidized housing hold others.

What is income-restricted housing?

Income-restricted housing is also known as affordable housing or public housing. The U.S. government established income-restricted apartments as The Great Depression of the 1930s destroyed the worldwide economy. Industrial output plummeted, unemployment soared and families became destitute.

Affordable housing became scarce as the economy worsened. The federal response initially began as the Public Housing Administration. In 1965, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) came about from five existing agencies.

Congress in session

Congress in session

Congress takes action on income-restricted apartments

With economic devastation plaguing Americans following The Great Depression, Congress passed the Affordable Housing Act in 1937. That statute implemented several measures to help develop new and rental housing across the country.  It did so while also subsidizing the rental costs of income-restricted tenants. That program allows private property owners, in addition to government-owned apartments, to offer subsidized housing for low-income families.

Around the same time, Section 8 housing started under the Section 8 Housing Act of 1937.

What is Section 8 housing?

Section 8 is the informal name of the Federal Housing Choice Vouchers Program. The federal government continues to oversee this housing voucher offer.

Participants in the program find their own housing and pay rent with a ‘housing choice voucher.’

How do you apply for Section 8 benefits?

Applying for the Federal Housing Choice Voucher Program is simple. The first step is to contact your local Public Housing Agency (PHA). They will help determine your eligibility. After that, you must complete an application seeking information about total household income, family size, assets and debts, for starters. A criminal background check is also required of applicants.

Keep in mind that in some areas, the waiting list to receive Section 8 benefits, including subsidized housing, is extremely long. For this reason, it’s best to start the process sooner rather than later.

Section 8 housing

Section 8 housing

What makes you eligible for Section 8 assistance?

You might be wondering if you’re eligible for Section 8. While the PHA will be able to tell you for sure, there are a couple of factors that play into eligibility for Section 8 that you can consider ahead of time. You must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • Make no more than 80 percent of your area’s median income
  • Must have not been evicted in the past 3 years for drug-related criminal activity

Not all rentals can become Section 8 housing

Not all property owners want to make their rentals available to Section 8 tenants. However, some states or municipalities have guidelines requiring property owners to accept tenants with government housing vouchers. But that’s not the standard nationwide.

Property owners who wish to have their apartment complexes considered for Section 8 housing should consult the Section 8 Program guide.

Types of public housing

While their names are similar, there are two distinctly different flavors of affordable housing in the U.S. One commonality between them is they both involve government-subsidized living.

Income-restricted housing

In income-restricted housing, rent prices are set on the median income for the local area. The government then caps rental fees at a certain percentage of that figure. That price fluctuates based on state law and the apartment’s size.

Income-based housing

Meanwhile, rent prices for income-based apartments are based on the tenant’s adjusted gross income. That comes with rent capped at 30 percent of that figure. Unlike income-restricted housing, the rental price of income-based apartments has no connection to the area’s average income levels.

States play a key role in affordable housing

Even though HUD oversees affordable housing at the federal level, the state level sets the barometer for median income levels.

That’s because average income levels vary wildly from state to state, and even from county to county. It would be incredibly unfair if average monthly rent prices were just as high in poorer states or counties as they are in wealthier areas.

HUD calculates the median income levels for each metropolitan area within the United States on an annual basis. Once they get that figure, HUD details the maximum income a person may earn to qualify for government subsidies.

Section 8 high-rise

Section 8 high-rise

What are income-based housing limits?

HUD rates a renter’s income eligibility for government subsidies by basing it on area median income (AMI). The thresholds used by HUD to determine housing voucher eligibility are:

  • 30% AMI: Considered extremely low income and are given priority for housing vouchers
  • 50% AMI: Considered very low income and are eligible for housing vouchers
  • 80% AMI: Considered low income and are often on waiting lists for housing vouchers

In general, the lower a tenant’s income, meaning the lower their AMI, the higher priority their application for subsidized housing is given.

Role of the local public housing authority

HUD implements its subsidized housing program on the state level through a local public housing authority (PHA).

There are PHA offices in many cities across the United States. To find the one that serves your area, check the Official Housing Authority.

The PHA is an extremely important player in the low-income housing landscape because it administers both the state and federal guidelines to receive government subsidies.

Determining eligibility for public housing

The local housing authority determines a tenant’s eligibility for income-based programs.

Considerations include:

  • Annual gross income
  • Whether an applicant qualifies as elderly, disabled or a low-income family
  • U.S. citizen or eligible immigration status

Since income limits vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and sometimes, even city-to-city, be sure to check HUD’s correct income graph for the county, size of family and AMI of the applicant.

How to apply for income-restricted apartments

In order to apply for an income-restricted apartment, low-income renters should contact their local PHA. One way to find them is to check the HUD Field Office website.

The application process is slow and tedious, so don’t expect anything to happen quickly. In addition to the usual governmental bureaucracy, the demand for income-restricted apartments has increased markedly, making competition fierce and wait times far longer.

Applying for affordable housing isn’t an easy task. There’s also huge unmet demand for affordable units than there is the supply of subsidized housing. Many applicants spend years on the waiting list before receiving government assistance, which patience is imperative.

Eligibility requirements

Required information for income-restricted subsidized public housing includes:

  • Names of all persons who would be living in the unit, including their gender, date of birth and relationship to the family’s head of household
  • The applicant’s current address and telephone number
  • The family’s specific circumstances, such as whether the applicant is a veteran or currently living in sub-standard housing qualify the applicant for special eligibility consideration
  • The members of the household are all U.S. citizens or eligible immigrants
  • An estimate of your family’s anticipated maximum income for the next 12 months and the sources of that income
  • Names and addresses of employers, banks or any other information the HA requests to verify your qualifications for subsidized housing
  • Eviction for criminal activity: The members of the household can’t have an eviction from public housing or Section 8 for drug-related criminal activity in the three years prior

Filling out an application

Filling out an application

Providing documentation

The applicant must provide all the information requested in the application in order to qualify for an income-restricted apartment. In addition to the documentation you provide, the PHA may also contact your employer or other people they believe can verify or dispute your claims as to why you qualify for government housing.

Next steps

If the low-income applicant meets the eligibility requirements to receive government subsidies, their next step is to submit a written application for a housing order.

Assuming all the information submitted in the application checks out, the tenant must then partake in an in-person interview with a Housing Authority representative.

Wait times vary

Wait times for that in-person meeting vary state to state and even from one jurisdiction to another. The waiting list also prioritizes applicants with greater need. So, it’s advisable to contact the PHA to determine where you are on the waiting list. You can do so by calling the HA or checking online to see if they provide that information.

Along the way, be certain to maintain all your application materials organized and handy. You never know when you might hear from your PHA.

Written notice

A public assistance applicant will receive a written notice to verify if they received acceptance or were denied government housing assistance. Once an applicant qualifies, their name goes on a waiting list for housing.

There are rare circumstances when a PHA can help an applicant immediately. But normally, they get on the waitlist if they’re eligible for government assistance.

Home sweet home

The more specific housing needs a low-income family has for their apartment, the longer it will likely take for such a place to become available. Unfortunately, the public housing system in the United States is overwhelmed by the sheer number of applicants and the lack of sufficient housing units to provide them to all those in need.

Therefore, the best a person can do is apply, sit and wait.

Source: rent.com