We're #1!! Honestly, GR has been getting so many accolades in the last few years, this may be old news to those of us that live here, but be sure to pass this article from Vogue.com on to your out-of-town friends! Remind them of how cool GR is, and that it is time for them to visit. They may just end up being your new neighbors... :)
The Best Places to Buy a Home in 2018—Plus Where to Hang Out Once You Move In
Vogue.com - by Christina Perez
The American Dream of home ownership is not dead—but California dreamin’ might be. According to a recent study commissioned by Trulia, which looked at the top ten U.S. housing markets poised for growth, the Golden State—along with states in the Northeast—may not be the best place to invest a down payment in 2018.
“Markets in the expensive West or Northeast failed to make our list, primarily because of affordability (mostly in the West) and slower job growth (mostly in the Northeast),” Trulia’s chief economist, Ralph McLaughlin says. He also noted that the GOP’s potential tax plan, as well as recent natural disasters such as hurricanes and wildfires, have lessened the appeal of certain areas. “If Congress passes either of the current House or Senate GOP tax plans in their current form or some hybrid of the two, the luxury market and housing markets in expensive, high-tax states in the Pacific West and Northeast might see cooling . . . while natural disasters appear to have affected the psyche of homeowners and home buyers.”
So if the historically popular Northeast and West have lost a bit of luster, what parts of the country are primed to shine? Using the key metrics of job growth, vacancy rates, home affordability, inbound Trulia search rates, and cities with a high percentage of populations under the age of 35, the study found that it’s all about midsize cities in the South and Midwest.
Below, a look at the top three cities that made the top 10, with tips on what to do in each should you decide to plan a little scouting trip.
1. Grand Rapids, Michigan
Median Sales Price: $163,750
Don’t let Grand Rapids’s infamous Midwest winters scare you off; Michigan’s second-largest city boasts tons of cultural options to keep you busy. Plus, its proximity to Lake Michigan means there’s plenty of beach time to be had when the weather finally warms up. The Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts offers a nonstop calendar of events, concerts, exhibits, and talks from an impressive roster of up-and-coming talents, while the Grand Rapids Art Museum hosts exhibits featuring big-name artists like Andy Warhol. Architecture fiends should plan a visit to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Meyer May House—tours of the famed architect’s fully restored Prairie House are free and open to the public. For cozy farm-to-table dinners, locals recommend Grove, which offers an ever-changing menu, sustainable wine list, and an unfussy vibe. To experience the city’s burgeoning microbrewery scene, swing by Brewery Vivant for a pint of Belgian-style beer.
2. Nashville, Tennessee
Median Sales Price: $289,900
These days, Music City seems to make an appearance on every “best” list, so it should come as no surprise that it pops up here, too. Though not the most affordable, Nashville boasts the strongest job growth rate in the country and a large population under 35. And thanks to a burgeoning restaurant scene that includes glossy newcomers like Little Octopus and Henrietta Red, it’s no longer just a place for barbecue and honky-tonk. Check out the city’s local coffee culture at the Americana-chic Barista Parlor or the pink-accented Café Roze—both of which are located in hip East Nashville. While in the neighborhood, make a stop at Urban Cowboy’s Public House—with its cozy courtyard and convivial central fire pit, it’s sure to become your regular hangout.
3. Raleigh, North Carolina
Median Sales Price: $250,000
If everyone you know seems to be moving to Raleigh, there’s a reason: North Carolina’s capital is often listed as one of the best places in the U.S. to live and, thanks to a booming tech industry, boasts one of the best employment markets in the country. The influx of jobs and money means the city has become pretty vibrant over the last few years—and some say the culinary scene is one of the most underrated in the country. That’s thanks in part, no doubt, to 2014 James Beard Award–winner Ashley Christensen, who owns six highly acclaimed local restaurants (including Death & Taxes, Beasley’s Chicken and Honey, and Poole’s). Foodies will also love the 30,000-square-foot State Farmers’ Market, which sells produce, meats, cheese, and specialty items from local growers and makers. To soak up the city’s balmy southeast weather, take a stroll through Duke Gardens. With 55 acres of specialty gardens—including a moss garden, peony garden, and carnivorous plant garden—it’s no wonder locals consider it one of the city’s gems.