Top 5 Places To Settle Down And Call Your Home

If you were guaranteed a job, what city would top your list for places to settle down? When choosing a place to live, affordability tops the list for Americans. Let’s take a look at what you’ll need to do to upgrade to your dream home, in addition to the top five places, according to U.S. News & World Report, to settle down and call home.

 

Perhaps you’re looking for a change in scenery, a fresh start somewhere new, or you’ve outgrown your current home. Whatever the case may be, you know that a new home is on the horizon. So, before we get to the top places to live in the United States, let’s take a look at what all home buyers need to know when upgrading from starter homes.

 

Determine your budget

For a large percentage of Americans, money is an object when considering upgrading to a larger home, which is why affordability and quality of living go hand-in-hand when choosing a place to live. Jot down your current needs in a home and then begin drafting a budget. 

When budgeting for a new home, it’s helpful to know the fair market value of your current home so that you have an idea of how much you will be rolling into your new home. Will you make a profit from the sale of your home, or will you need to spend more time saving for a down payment? For the most accurate figure, work with a local real estate agent who can pull comparable properties in your area and give you a number. 

 

Check your credit

 It’s good to know where your credit stands if you’re planning on financing your new home purchase, as it will affect mortgage eligibility and interest rates. Run a credit report and take care of any issues you may have. The goal here is to make sure your credit score is as high as possible, so if it’s already there, keep doing what you’re doing. 

If there’s room for improvement, work on paying down some existing debt or continuing to make revolving payments on credit cards, car loans, or your mortgage to build your score. It may take some time to build a rock-solid credit score, but the wait will be worth it when you finance your dream home with a low-interest rate!

 

Make a list of must-haves

You’re upgrading to your dream home, which means you likely have a vision in mind. Begin with locations. If you’re planning on staying in your area, what are your preferred neighborhoods? If you have children, in which school district do you want to reside? 

Once you have a location down, you can begin making a list of physical attributes for your dream home and property, such as a large yard or a wraparound porch. Having your vision down on paper will help your real estate agent find you the home of your dreams and give you an idea of where you will be with your budget.

 

Where to settle down

When it comes to ideal places to live, every survey has a different metric for determination. Financial comfortability and affordability were the driving forces between U.S. News & World Report’s, “The 25 Best Affordable Places to Live in the U.S. in 2019.” U.S. News & World Report devised their list by weighing the percentage of income spent on living expenses. Thus, those cities with the lowest percentages spent on living expenses topped the list. Without further adieu, here are the top five affordable places to live, in ascending order:

 

  1. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (21.5 percent of income spent on living expenses)
  2. Fayetteville, Arkansas (20.44 percent of income spent on living expenses)
  3. Des Moines, Iowa (20.11 percent of income spent on living expenses)
  4. Fort Wayne, Indiana (19.57 percent of income spent on living expenses)
  5. Huntsville, Alabama (19.3 percent of income spent on living expenses)

The Top 10 Youngest Billionaires of 2020

Youngest Billionaires of 2020

Who are the World’s Youngest Billionaires?

You can literally find dozens of top 10 lists ranking the world’s richest people, but this one is slightly different. Rather than focusing solely on the age or net worth of these powerful people, this top 10 list also highlights the young partnerships and family legacies of 2020’s youngest billionaires.

Meet the Youngest Billionaires of 2020

10. Lukas Walton

Age: 34

Net Worth: $17.7 Billion

Source: Walmart, First Solar, and Arvest Bank

Lukas Walton rounds out this top 10 list of youngest billionaires. Grandson to Sam Walton and heir to the Walmart fortune, he inherited one-third of his father’s estate after his tragic death in 2005. Today he keeps a low profile and prefers to be a silent investor. He is a renown philanthropist, donating nearly $150 million to his family’s foundation and environmental programs.

9. Said Gutserviev

Age: 31

Net Worth: $1.3 Billion

Source: FortreInvest JSC, SAFMAR, and Cryptocurrency

This Russian entrepreneur is one of the world’s youngest billionaires because of family holdings  and smart investment. After studying and working in London, Gutserviev gained stakes in the oil, coal, financial and retail companies controlled by SAFMAR. He then took the position of CEO of ForteInvest, an oil refinery owned by his father’s investment group. In 2019, he was an early investor in currency.com, the cryptocurrency exchange based in Belarus.

8. Jonathan and Geoffrey Kwok

Age: 31 and 35

Net Worth: $2.2 Billion and $2.7 Billion

Source: Empire Group Holdings

These brothers are the sons of the late Hong Kong real estate mogul and former chairman of Sun Hung Kai Properties, Walter Kwok. After their father’s death in 2018, Jonathan and Geoffrey inherited his stakes in SHKP and control of Empire Group Holdings.

Both Kwok brothers were named beneficiaries of large family trusts. Geoffrey also took a position on the board of SHKP and manages hotel and apartment holdings across China and Hong Kong.

7. Anna and Andre Kasprzak

Age: 30 and 34

Net Worth: $1 Billion Each

Source: ECCO

Along with their mother Hanni, these siblings share ownership of ECCO, the Danish shoe manufacturer. Founded by their grandfather in 1963, ECCO merchandise is now sold in more than 2,200 online stores and 90 countries.

Anna is also an Olympic equestrian rider and competed in the 2016 games in Brazil. She placed 14th in dressage and now runs a private stable in Denmark.

6. Ludwig Theodore Braun and Eva Maria Braun-Luedicke

Age: 30 and 33

Net Worth: $1 Billion and $1.2 Billion

Source: B. Braun Melsungen

These German cousins make this year’s list of youngest billionaires due to their ownership in the family corporation, B. Braun Melsungen. Ludwig Theodor Braun owns 10% while his cousin Eva-Maria Braun Luedicke controls 12%. The medical device company began in 1839 selling herbal remedies. It now employs over 60,000 people worldwide and manufactures a wide range of medical instruments and products.

5. John and Patrick Collison

Age: 29 and 31

Net Worth: $2.1 Billion Each

Source: Stripe

Originally from Limerick, Ireland, these brothers attended university in Boston. While studying at MIT, they came up with the idea for Stripe, a company which allows people and businesses to accept online payments. Stripe attracted big name investors like Peter Theil and Elon Musk, and is currently valued at more than $20 billion dollars.

4. Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy

Age: 29 and 31

Net Worth: $4 Billion Each

Source: Snapchat

These young, self-made billionaires were fraternity brothers at Stanford University and co-founded Snap Chat Inc. Their social media app is used by 203 million people every day to send pictures and videos which quickly disappear.

Both young men have been very generous with their wealth, donating over $65 million in stock shares with promises of more in the future.  In addition, Murphy also has invested millions of dollars in oceanfront real estate near Pacific Palisades and Venice Beach, California.

3. Gustav Magnar Witzoe

Age: 26

Net Worth: $2.9 Billion

Source: Salmar ASA

This young billionaire makes the top 10 list thanks to his shares in Salmar ASA. Founded by his father in 1991, the company is now one of the world’s largest salmon producers. In an attempt to make a name for himself, the younger Gustav Witzoe also has holdings in tech startups and real estate.

2. Alexandra and Katharina Andreson

Ages: 23 and 24

Net Worth: $1.3 Billion Each

Source: Ferd

These Norwegian sisters shot to the top of the world’s list of youngest billionaires. In 2007, they each received 42% of Ferd, their father’s investment company. Johan Andresen retains controlling votes in the company; however, Alexandra and Katharina are now at the helm of its future. Ferd boasts a diverse portfolio as an active investor in private equity, the Nordic stock exchange, and various hedge funds.

1. Kylie Jenner

Age: 22

Net Worth: $1 Billion

Source: Kylie Cosmetics

Whether you love them or hate them, the Kardashian Empire is a force to be reckoned with. Kylie Jenner is 2020’s youngest billionaire in the world. A social media sensation and a self-made billionaire, Kylie turned her brand into a household name. Kylie Cosmetics brings in hundreds of millions each year, ensuring that Kylie Jenner will continue to top future lists of the world’s youngest billionaires.

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When is the Right Time to Downsize?

The Right Time to Downsize

People’s lives and families are constantly changing. Your needs are also dynamic which makes it impossible to predict the future. The perfect family home may become more of a burden over time. Moving is never easy, but here are a few signs that it may be the right time to downsize your home.

Signs That It’s Time to Downsize

1. Too Much Cost and Maintenance

If daily chores are becoming overwhelming, it may be time to consider a smaller home. Every property requires some upkeep, but it should not be a physical or financial burden. It is a difficult thing to admit, but our bodies slow with age meaning we can no longer perform simple daily tasks. Owning your home should be a source of joy, not exhaustion.

Another point to consider is the financial relief downsizing offers. A smaller home means lower mortgage payments, less property taxes, and fewer monthly utility bills. Maintaining a large home is difficult on a fixed income. If your home is weighing you down, it may be the right time to downsize.

2. Need the Cash Payout

Homeownership is a wise investment; especially since the value of your home has likely increased over the years. Selling your home means that you will have a large influx of  cash. This can help you pay off outstanding debts, set up your retirement funds, or finance that trip you have always dreamed about taking. No matter what you decide to do with it, selling your home gives you access to liquid funds and options of how to spend it.

3. Too Much Empty Space

Having a large, beautiful home can be wonderful, but it seems wasted if you are never there to enjoy it. If you travel a lot, own a vacation property that you never visit, or have a rental house that is sitting vacant, the monthly bills basically equate to wasted money.

Perhaps your home is only feeling empty now that your kids have grown and moved out. It is difficult to let go of sentimental attachments to a family home. However, if no one is utilizing the space, then it may be time to let another family settle in and make meaningful memories there.

4. Physical and Emotional Well-being

Another sign that it is the right time to downsize is if your home is causing you physical or mental anguish. Staying in your home after the loss of a loved one, a job, divorce, or  serious accident is a state of perpetual torment for some. If your home holds too many painful memories, it is the perfect time to downsize. A new home can offer a fresh start after a major life change.

There are also safety concerns in your home as you age. Beyond the regular maintenance, there are also issues with accessibility and comfort. Those bodily aches and pains become more pronounced with time. Staircases and bathrooms now pose unnecessary risks and inconvenience. If you are not as able-bodied as you once were, an accessible home or assisted living facility can drastically improve your quality of life.

5. The Desire to Simplify Your Life

Some people believe that an extravagant home is an important aspect of the American dream. However, as previously mentioned, the financial and physical demands can become overwhelming. Downsizing to a smaller home brings an enormous amount of relief with fewer responsibilities.

Priorities also change over time. If you find yourself dreaming of ways to reduce complications in your life and focus on what’s important, then it may be time to downsize. If this sounds like you, then you are certainly not alone. This mindset is more prevalent in today’s society, with great emphasis on tiny houses and reducing the environmental impacts.

Taking the First Step to Downsize

If you are ready to downsize your home, the first step is to get it appraised. Contact a local realtor to find out just how much your home is worth. Once you have an estimate for the current market, you can better plan your future. Deciding the right time to downsize is a major milestone, so take the time to discuss it with your loved ones and make the decision that is right for you.

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