Habitat Debate: Should You Buy or Rent a Home?

By Liz Wolf   April 18, 2014

buying a home

After 14 years of renting, Rami Sabanegh became frustrated with paying high rents and began weighing the purchase of a home.

“I felt like I was throwing my money away,” said Sabanegh, 33. “Also, when you rent, you don’t have privacy.”

When Sabanegh and his wife found out they were expecting a baby, that further prompted them to pursue homeownership. “I wanted to have a home for him to grow up in,” Sabanegh said.

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The 7 Top Tech Hubs Among America’s Small College Towns

By John Egan   April 16, 2014

college graduation

In the HBO comedy “Silicon Valley,” one of the characters refers to the famed tech hub as “the cradle of innovation.” To be sure, Silicon Valley has given us the home computer, the iPhone and many other tech innovations.

Yet even some small college towns in the U.S. can lay claim to being cradles of innovation, although on a much smaller scale than Silicon Valley. Without a doubt, the built-in brainpower and resources of a university can be a catalyst for tech startups in small college towns. Not every college town graduates to the level of a mini-Silicon Valley, though.

“College towns are no longer just sleepy hamlets where learning, sports, conversation and partying prevail,” social and economic theorist Richard Florida wrote in 2011 on The Atlantic Cities website. “The rise of the idea-driven, human capital-powered knowledge economy has transformed many of them into economic powerhouses.”

So, which small college towns in the U.S. make the grade as standout tech hubs?

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New York vs. LA vs. Chicago: Which One Is America’s Best Big City? [Infographic]

By John Egan   April 10, 2014

city skyline

The Big Apple seems to have everything you’d ever want, from bagels to Broadway to the Bronx Zoo. In the City of Angels, you’ll find beaches and sunshine and stars. The Windy City offers deep dish pizza and Michigan Avenue and Wrigley Field.

Of course, the best qualities of each city go beyond these. But if you were considering a move to either New York City, Los Angeles or Chicago, how would you choose which of America’s three biggest cities to call home? This infographic may help answer that question.

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Are You Guilty of Making These 10 Home-Selling Mistakes?

By John Egan   April 4, 2014

home for sale

While it might be more of a seller’s market than a buyer’s market for homes in the U.S., that doesn’t mean a home seller can just kick back and wait for the offers to flood in.

For one thing, there’s heightened concern over lending. Home sellers are fretting more about the ability of home sellers to qualify for mortgages, according to a recent survey of homeowners by real estate brokerage Redfin. In addition, more homes are being sold. Sales of existing homes went up 9 percent in 2013 compared with the previous year, according to the National Association of Realtors, and hit their highest mark since 2006.

To be sure, a tight lending environment and an abundance of for-sale signs should give home sellers something to wring their hands over. But even if those concerns weren’t a factor, a home seller still must avoid slip-ups that could cost thousands of dollars—or could kill a deal altogether.

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9 Tips From the Pros on How to Get Apartment Deals

By John Egan   April 3, 2014

apartment for rent

About one-third of Americans are renters. And that means about one-third of Americans, at one point or another, have practically pulled their hair out when hunting for an apartment or another rental property. Searching for an apartment is about as much fun as getting a cavity filled.

Still, the quest for an apartment doesn’t have to be nearly as anxiety-filled as sitting in the dentist’s chair. One way to ease the apartment-hunting anxiety is to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible. And according to an survey, deals are important to many renters. In the survey, one-fourth of the renters who said they’re moving this year are doing so to find a cheaper apartment.

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6 Solid Tips for Moving Abroad

By Rachel Hartman   March 24, 2014

jet taking off

If you’re thinking of crossing borders, there’s good news: Today’s globetrotters have a long list of options when it comes to choosing a place to live.

China, Germany and Singapore are among the top-ranked choices for today’s expats, according to HSBC’s Expat Explorer Survey, released in October 2013. The survey asked more than 7,000 expats to answer questions about living in another country, including finances, quality of life and raising children.

Before making the leap abroad, however, “do your homework,” advised Tim Leffel, author of “The World’s Cheapest Destinations.” The hours you spend planning for the big move will help reduce stress during the transition.

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Infographic: 8 Shockingly Expensive Homes and Apartments in San Francisco

By John Egan   March 17, 2014

San Francisco home

Ah, San Francisco. The Golden Gate Bridge. Fisherman’s Wharf. Union Square. Alcatraz. Chinatown. The City by the Bay sure is alluring and pretty.

However, housing costs in San Francisco are repelling and ugly. These days, a one-bedroom apartment in the city easily fetches $2,800 a month. Meanwhile, the median home price in San Francisco now exceeds $1 million. Ouch!

If you think those figures are eye-popping, check out this infographic. It shows eight astronomically priced apartments and homes in San Francisco. These pads certainly are alluring and pretty, but they’re also outrageously expensive. More than $16,000 a month for an apartment??!! Welcome to some of the most expensive homes and apartments in San Francisco.

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Infographic: Portland vs. Austin — Which One Is the Weirdest?

By John Egan   March 14, 2014

portland vs. austin weird

It’s not a Hatfields-and-McCoys feud. It’s more like a friendly rivalry. The good people of Portland, OR, and Austin, TX–and in cities elsewhere–regularly debate which city qualifies as the weirdest. It’s almost a badge of honor, as each place strives to “keep it weird.”

Well, we decided to settle this debate once and for all. Here are our unbiased results (even though we live in Austin).

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Micro-Apartments: Small Spaces, Big Trend

By Tanya Rutledge   March 11, 2014


After moving into a new apartment last summer, Carlos Perez made a bold move—he let his Costco card expire.

That’s because Perez’s new apartment on Harriet Street in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood spans only 300 square feet, less than one-third the size of his former 1,000-square-foot pad. So Perez no longer has room to buy household goods in bulk.

Perez, residential life coordinator at the California College of the Arts, is one of many young professionals across the country who are flocking to a new type of living space: micro-apartments.

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New buddyTruk App Connects People With Moving Helpers

By Kathryn Hawkins   February 19, 2014


Unless you own a truck, you’ll probably need to call on others for help when you’re planning a move or purchasing bulky furniture for your home. You have a few options: Hire a moving company, rent a truck or ask a friend who owns a truck to help you move.

But in some cases, none of these options holds much appeal.

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