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Cost of Living Calculator

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Reality Check

CNNMoney.com recently developed a “cost of living calculator” that can act as a reality check for either yourself or a client moving across the country.

Let’s say your home seller is moving to another coast and needs to know what salary bump to ask for, this is a great tool. If your investment client is simply throwing darts at a map, this is a good way to help them narrow down their needs before they spend all your time verbally dreaming about a condo development.

Example: Austin to San Fran

Take for example if we moved from Austin to San Francisco- we would have to make considerably more to sustain ourselves and just housing alone is 244% more expensive than where we are now and groceries alone are  37% more.  But if we moved to Wisconsin, our housing would cost less. It seems common sense to you, but sometimes people need a reality check, especially if they’re still in the dart throwing phase of relocation or investment.

Plus, the calculator is fun to play with and made us realize how lucky we are to live in such a techcentric, gorgeous place so inexpensively!

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius - she has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Chuck G

    July 9, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    Lani,

    For those of us who sell in the San Francisco Bay Area, NAR should create a special “RSS” designation –> Realtor of Sticker Shock. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t hear about it, even with prices dropping the way they have. This cost of living calculator just quantifies what everyone already feels. Thanks for passing it along…

    CG

  2. Ian Greenleigh

    July 9, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    This is really cool! Thank God for Austin’s cost of living, even if it’s inching up. Thanks Lani!

  3. Joe Loomer

    July 10, 2009 at 11:14 am

    @Lani – you truly are the queen of connections!

    Thanks for this great tool – perfect for my business as I have a robust military client base that move all over the place.

    You Rock!

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  4. Jason Sandquist

    July 10, 2009 at 11:18 am

    @laniAR to bad they don’t have an embeddable version you could use, but nonetheless very useful

  5. Lani Rosales

    July 10, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    joe, thanks for such kind words!

    jason, i was thinking the EXACT same thing! that would be a cool sidebar widget. lame.

  6. Shane

    July 12, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    What a great tool, thanks for sharing. CNN always has some great relocation tools and info. I remember comparing our current residence in Buffalo NY to Raleigh NC. It was one of the main reasons we relocated.

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Austin

Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?

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Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.

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aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.

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zillow move

Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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