Richard Stein – Realtor®, Douglas Elliman, GREEN, SFR, CBR, eCertified®

Local Agent, Worldwide Marketing – Douglas Elliman Real Estate formerly Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate

Cities That Will Pay People to Relocate

Cities pay to relocate

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Some cities faced with sluggish population growth are making an enticing offer to consumers: They’ll pay new residents—up to $10,000 in some cases—to make the city their new home. Such incentives are growing more common, according to a new report from Livability. The various metros are hoping to attract new residents to relocate and help them revitalize their economies.

Cities are coming with abundant offers too, from paying off student loans to handing out free plots of land. Here are some of the cities making offers:

  • Burlington, Vt.: Vermont is willing to pay new residents up to $10,000 toward moving expenses, as well as a computer and a co-working space for those who move to the state and work remotely.
  • Marne, Iowa: Marne officials are offering new residents a free plot of land in the town, which is located between Omaha and Des Moines. The free lots average 80 feet by 120 feet. New residents can use the land to build a conventional or modular home.
  • New Haven, Conn.: New Haven offers up to $80,000 in incentives for new homeowners, including $30,000 for energy saving home upgrades; $10,000 in interest-free loans for first-time buyers to use as a down payment; and $40,000 for college tuition to any in-state college for kids who graduate from New Haven public schools.
  • Baltimore: The Buying Into Baltimore program offers $5,000 to those relocating anywhere in the city. For those who also work in the city, they’ll throw in another $5,000 toward a first home. For those who buy a fixer-upper through the city’s Vacants to Value Booster program, they’ll receive up to $10,000 to purchase a vacant home and renovate it.
  • Harmony, Minn.: The city is offering up to $12,000 in cash for new residents who decide to build a home there.
  • Hamilton, Ohio: The Ohio metro is offering up to $5,000 to new residents toward their student loans. Applicants are required to then live in the city’s urban core and show proof of employment in the greater Hamilton area.
  • Ludington, Mich.: Small-business owners may be lured to Ludington’s annual contest that awards an entrepreneur with $50,000 for their startup idea. The winner of its Momentum Business Plan Competition is then required to locate their business to Mason County.

House Sets Sights on Flood Insurance Extension

Man sitting on couch in flooded home

© Michael Blann – DigitalVision/Getty Images

Congress has until July 31 to extend the National Flood Insurance Program, which provides policies in 22,000 communities nationwide, and this week brought a last-minute flurry of activity as the deadline approaches.

Reps. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.) and Steve Scalise (R-La.) introduced a bill to extend the NFIP through Nov. 30. Reps. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) also introduced a four-month extension bill, which included eight bipartisan reform bills. Meanwhile, 62 members of the House sent a letter to leaders in both congressional chambers, urging them to take action to avoid a lapse in coverage.

After behind-the-scenes wrangling, the House is now expected to take up and pass the MacArthur-Scalise bill early next week and send it to the Senate for consideration with little time to spare before the July 31 deadline. Congress has enacted six short-term extensions of the NFIP since September 2017. The National Association of REALTORS® has called on its members to take action and tell their congressional representatives to not let the NFIP lapse.

NAR estimates that a lapse in the NFIP could result in about 40,000 fewer home sales per month. REALTORS® can use a prewritten letter template to email their legislators.

The Ideal Age for First-Timers to Buy

Male and female sit on fence in front of house, pictured from waist down.

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Apparently the magic number for first-time home buyers is 28. That’s the average age that most Americans think a person should be when they buy their own home, according to a new report conducted  last month among a sample of 1,001 respondents.

This may be a bit optimistic in practice, at least for buyers in today’s market. The National Association of REALTORS®’ 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers found the median age of first-time buyers was 32 years old for the second year in a row.

The Bankrate study did find some differences in opinion between genders and regions of the country. While a quarter of men think people should strive to buy their first home by age 25, just 12 percent of women say the same. Those who live in the Northeast appeared to have lower expectations for buying a first home than other survey participants. Nearly one in five living in this region responded that the right age to buy a home for the first time is 35 or older, twice as many as any other region.

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