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Why Millennials Should Stick to Renting - Raleigh, NC

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Today’s 20-somethings and those in their early 30s came of age in what may have been the worst national real estate market on record since their grandparents were born. Now realtors want to persuade them that it’s high time to take a risk; that it’s time to walk away from paying rents and pay high prices to buy their own homes.

The fact that interest rates are near historic lows, while rents are high in many urban areas, also tilts the balance.

Trulia is urging millennials to push the envelope . Buy a house and eat ramen noodles to make mortgage payments for a year or so, because after a raise or promotion or two, that new apartment or house will look like a bargain and be a much easier financial burden.

But for many Americans, the tradeoff isn’t that easy. And it shouldn’t be. The ideal of home ownership is wonderful – and there are many advantages.

But if you don’t plan carefully, your dream of home ownership can end up as a financial nightmare. Here are the points to ponder.

Trulia is arguing that millennials should stretch themselves financially, basing that argument on a hypothesis that may – or may not – be valid: that they can expect their incomes to rise and their personal financial outlook to improve. You’ll need to be ruthlessly honest with yourself: is that likely to be the case with you?

More than any other single factor, what anyone wrestling with the buy v rent decision needs to ponder is the extent to which they are stable. That means how stable their job is (and how likely they are to get promotions and raises over the coming years), how stable their relationship or marriage is, and how stable their career path is. If the answers to any of those questions signals doubt – that they might not be committed to staying in that house for the next five or more years – then regardless of what the mathematics says, buying probably isn’t a good idea.

That’s because while a house purchase can make sense – even tenuously – when you run the math, it may still not be wise when you examine life circumstances. A great many homeowners found themselves in a predicament during the housing crisis: needing to sell because they were relocating, because they were elderly or because they were military families asked to deploy overseas, but unable to find buyers because of the market conditions. So, evaluate your circumstances.

Be equally honest about your finances. Of course, in some markets where both rents and housing prices are high, the market may impose this discipline on you, making it impossible to save enough for a down payment.

But the costs of home ownership don’t stop with the mortgage. You’ll also need money to pay property taxes, and an insurance policy on your new home. When you were renting, there’s a chance that your landlord covered some of your utility expenses: almost certainly he paid a water bill, and possibly either heating or power. Now, all that will be your responsibility.

You’ll also have to keep putting money into your retirement savings plan, because your house can’t end up being 100% of your nest egg.

This might not even be the right time to buy, anyway. Sure, rental prices are high, but chasing housing prices higher is rarely a wise plan. You may feel that houses are becoming less and less available, and less and less affordable, and you’d be right on both counts. Home prices have risen at 13 times the rate of the typical American’s earnings in recent years, which is in part due to the fact that the number of homes available for sale has been running well below the number that realtors say is required for the market to be in balance. Still, it’s rarely a good idea to get involved in a bidding war simply to ensure you’re buying instead of renting.

Millennials who are mulling the renting v buying tradeoff should also ponder some of the long-term market dynamics that will affect the housing market now. If they buy today, with a minimal down payment, they won’t have much of a cushion to protect their primary asset from any erosion in value in the future. And there are at least a few reasons why such a selloff might occur.

First of all, there’s the market itself. We just don’t know what the reaction will be to a rise in interest rates and mortgage rates. Nor do we fully understand how many properties are left over from the financial crisis and the related real estate debacle that have been repossessed by banks or whose owners still inhabit them but remain in default on their mortgages. Many more of these homes could make their way onto the market in the coming months and years.

Then there are the baby boomers, whose retirement savings fall far short of being able to generate an adequate income for their golden years, and whose homes are by far their largest asset. For many, who are approaching retirement in the next five to 10 years, that will mean selling their home – and flooding the market with another wave of properties for sale.

And while it’s true that low interest rates are tempting to home buyers, if you’re using those low rates in order to make a costly purchase, that’s problematic. A potentially more alluring scenario might be to continue living in a small and inexpensive studio and sock away at least some money in a savings account, and then down the road make a much larger down payment. If you’re borrowing less, your monthly payment might still be the same, but with a big down payment you’d be a bank’s preferred customer and a seller’s preferred buyer in a competitive bidding situation.

For more information on renting an apartment in Raleigh, NC, contact Auston Grove.


Best State For Living After College - Raleigh, NC

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Once you graduate from college, it’s time to decide where you want to put down roots and start a career. Transitioning into the “real world” can be difficult, especially when you start to consider long-term goals.

To help grads find the right place to settle down, we investigated the economic prospects and cost of living in all 50. The states that top the list share two common traits: First, they have excellent projected employment growth rates; and second, they offer earning potential that is relative to the cost of living in the state.


North Carolina lands in the top five thanks to a job market and economy that together represent a great opportunity for degree holders both to bring home a decent paycheck and live. Two rapidly growing markets include business and health care, with job prospects especially strong for dental hygienists.

  • Average score: 29.26/40
  • Cost of living: 23rd

Every state was ranked based on the four data points listed below:

  1. Average salary — The median annual salary for graduates holding this specific degree in this state (based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and National Center for Education Statistics).
  2. Leftover salary — How much money a degree holder can expect to have left over after paying for housing on a median-priced home or apartment (based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Center for Education Statistics, and the American Community Survey, 2013).
  3. Job potential — How many new jobs are projected for careers associated with this degree in the state between 2012 and 2022 (based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Projections Central, the Michigan Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, and Workforce West Virginia).
  4. Cost of living — How affordable the state is to live in overall (based on data from the Council for Community and Economic Research, 2014).

For more information on apartments in Raleigh, NC, contact Auston Grove Apartments.

College-USA Today

Millennials Want to Rent - Raleigh, NC

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A survey conducted shows that millennials are not showing interest in the American dream of owning a house. Rather, they are choosing to rent apartments.

Many experts have argued about the reasons millennials do not want to own a house. Some experts argued that student loan debts, anxiety or fears are the reasons millennials seems to favor renting a home. Yet, other experts are of the opinion that the lack of commitment is the key factor why millennials are not buying houses.

Of a truth, millennials value homeownership, but first, they have to tackle the issues of making more money, settling down, having kids -- all of which rank higher in priority than the thoughts of owning a house. Millennials tend to ask themselves why they should own a house when they are not ready to settle down or start a family.

Reasons they are not buying

1. They want to move around because they do not like their jobs.

The purchasing power of the U.S. dollar is on a steady decline as the indiscriminate printing of money continues to water down the value of a dollar. To make matters worse, millennials are mostly underpaid and overworked, due to lower salaries, buying a house is the last thing on the mind of most millennials. Most of them believe they are under-paid and they will instantly jump ship if they find a better offer.

Therefore, most millennials want to stay light and mobile since it is not easy to move around when you own a property. You might be forced to sell the property at unfavorable terms if you relocate as part of a career move. In contrast, a rented apartment provides all the necessary social amenities and you won't have to worry about selling anything if you need to move.

2. Students loan debt

Millennials between 18-29 years of age report that they or someone in their household has student loan debt. With a trillion dollar in student loan debt, buying of house does not sound fiscally wise for millennials at a time when funds are low and debts are high. Most millennials are still struggling to pay off their student debts loan; therefore, saving for a down payment that qualifies them for a mortgage is not in anyways in their agenda.

3. Spending anxiety

Millennials were the worst hit during the 2007-2009 economic recessions because they had to contend with the effects of starting a career at the peak of the downturn. Hence, many of them have learned to be more careful with their money. An expert at WMOption notes that a house is no longer an asset and "traditional investments do not provide the kind of returns commensurate with alternative investments"; hence, millennials would rather rent a home and invest their money in other stuff.

The decision to buy or rent a home is as personal as it gets. The herd mentality suggests that most millennials would not buy a house. Explore your options, whatever you do, make sure it makes you happy and you can sleep with both eyes closed at night.

For more information on apartments in Raleigh, NC contact Auston Grove apartments.


New Trend: Renting an Apartment in Retirement - Raleigh, NC

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Looks like a new trend is steering away the American dream of homeownership.

If you are a downsizing retiree there is a trend to downsizing. But aside from saving money, there are other reasons that lead people to going smaller. Here are 5 reasons to move down:

A lower monthly payment

Cutting down expenses is considered one of the major reasons for downsizing as it equates to a lesser monthly payment. Mortgage "routinely accounts for 30% or more of gross income - often accounting for 50% of net income. Downsizing can have a dramatic and direct effect on expenses. At the very least, it can result in a significant reduction in your monthly expenditures and a significant increase in your free cash flow and massive savings in interest that is paid over the term of a mortgage.

Property tax savings

In an apartment in Raleigh, NC, you can get rid of your property tax bill altogether.

Savings on utilities

A smaller home takes less energy to heat and cool. Plus, newer appliances in apartment communities increase the efficiency, which means lower bills and less impact on the environment.

No maintenance

An apartment home means lesser space to maintain - that's lesser square footage to vacuum, lesser space for electronic appliances, basically lesser need to use electricity. As far as yard maintenance, there isn’t any, which could sum up to significant dollars in savings including in the monthly water bill.

A smaller home doesn't mean a less-fancy home

With a smaller space, you get to choose key pieces of furniture and art that have higher impact.

High-end luxury and style can be achieved in even smaller spaces. There is a plethora of do-it-yourself designers who offer-up unique ways to create a luxurious space despite small surroundings.

For more information on 2 bedroom apartments in Raleigh, NC contact Auston Grove.

Realty Today

Pet Friendly Apartments Help College Students – Raleigh, NC

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Going to college can cause a lot of anxiety for some students. But a few are discovering they can bring a pet to relieve stress or depression.

“Even if I do have to leave or I have a long day of work or exams or labs.  Just coming back into the apartment in Raleigh, NC and having someone so excited to see you, she just goes berserk when I come home," said Becks, a student.

Becks is a junior.  She says she suffered from anxiety in high school and knows how it can consume her life.

“During finals week you just need something to help you calm down and get away from everything.  So when I found out about the assistance animal policy, I looked into bringing my dog down here and it just worked out that I could have her down here with me," Becks said.

Belle, a chocolate lab is not the only pet Lauren Becks keeps.  She also cares for a fish, turtle and salamander.  Though Belle gets to go to classes.

“She’s just by my side the entire time.  If I’m in class, I’m having a rough day, I think that she can feel it. She’s just beneath my feet.  She sleeps below the desk.  She’ll come over and give me kisses," said Becks.

“Without him it would be a lot harder for me to go to school. Last year I really struggled with getting out of bed especially during the colder months and going to class.  It’s really hard for me to do things without having a reason to get out of bed in the morning," said Tegge.

While more students are living with pets in college, it’s still only a small percentage.

“We have more students with mental health issues coming to college.  We have less stigma.  I won’t say we have no stigma, but we have less stigma.  So those requests are more likely for those reasons," said a faculty member at Ohio State.

For more information on pet friendly apartments in Raleigh, NC contact Auston Grove.


Renters Insurance When Renting Apartments in Raleigh, NC

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Many residents in apartments in Raleigh, NC are renters for the first time. If this is the case, be sure to purchase renter’s insurance. Renters insurance is relatively cheap and covers a lot more than your personal possessions in the home. It does cover the replacement value of your possessions in the event of theft, loss, or other destructive events, but it has other benefits too.

For one thing, renters insurance comes with liability coverage to protect you if anyone is injured in your home. If your kitchen floor is wet, and your friend slips and breaks a leg, you could be found liable. However, with renters' insurance, the liability coverage can pay for their medical bills and other damages.

And, if your home is destroyed or damaged by a fire or other disaster, renters insurance can pay for your temporary living expenses, like a hotel, while your home is being repaired.

Most rental insurance policies are very cheap for the coverage they provide (usually less than $20 per month), and it's a wonder that more people don't take advantage of the coverage offered. In fact, according to one survey , only 31% of renters have renters insurance.

Excerpt -

Apartments in Raleigh, NC with Convenience and Amenities

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Raleigh, NC is a often called a "blossoming southern metropolis" with small town charm and city feel. Raleigh offers top-tier technology, education and life science institutions,  art and culture, culinary expertise, and a heritage of a rich, historic capital city.

There isn’t a location in North Carolina that rivals Raleigh as a place to live: arts, education, dining, recreation, technology and more. If you are looking for a one, -two, or -three bedroom apartment in Raleigh, NC  look no further than Auston Grove Apartments. Luxurious living in a great city, we have the benefit of easy access to fun, entertainment, schools, and night-life and a fantastic destination.

Apartments in Raleigh, NC have distinctive architecture and exclusive amenities. We have multiple floor plans ranging from 706 sq ft to 1,333 sq ft of living space. It all depends on what you need and what you are looking for. We also offer various styles of floor plans for our apartments, and if more space is what you need, we have three bedroom apartments as well.

The perfect balance of a lively city atmosphere in a relaxed setting, Auston Grove is a great way to enjoy apartment home living.

If you want spacious floor plans, community features in an environment made for residents seeking outstanding retail and dining establishments, art galleries, performance halls, museums, and green parks, contact Auston Grove.


Reasons to Downsize to An Apartment in Raleigh, NC

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, October 06, 2015

When you reach a certain and you are beginning to think about downsizing to an apartment in  Raleigh, NC, it is likely that you’ll have some doubts.

The worries that thinking about downsizing brings may be many.

From losing space to have your family to stay for holiday weekends to feeling like your home defines you, there are a myriad of potential worries that might enter your mind when thinking about downsizing.

But really, you shouldn't worry - it needn't be an identity crisis.

Why? Here is the ultimate list of why downsizing is a great idea.

If you're about to go through with it, or are in the middle of doing so, this is why you should be happy at the prospect.

  • You'll have less space to clean. And tidy. Does this have a downside?
  • It's more cost-effective. You might not have fewer bills - because you'll still, presumably, want the same services from your home - but it's likely they will be reduced, because in turn, you have reduced the size of your living accommodation.
  • With the size comes the added bonus of not having any space. There's no extra space for unwanted guests, and them turning up every weekend when you'd rather they weren't there. And, there is no space for unwanted junk.
  • Just think of the money you can save - and invest. Selling your old house could generate a whole wealth of income that you weren't expecting.
  • There's no expectation for you to be the host. Pained at the thought of hosting everyone and their dog during holidays? When you've downsized, you needn't worry. Someone else can do the work, and you won’t be left out of the festivities.
  • You have the opportunity to make your new apartment your own. Think of it as starting from the beginning: you can choose the location anew, the size, the everything.
  • Added to that, you can make your new home age-appropriate. Not enjoying walking up and down the stairs every day? Get an apartment on the first floor. Want a swimming pool for water aerobics without the gym fee? Check out apartment communities with those luxuries.  

See, not scary at all. Great, in fact. For more information on 2 bedroom apartments in Raleigh, NC contact Auston Grove Apartment Homes.


The Telegraph

Six Reasons to Move to an Apartment in Raleigh, N.C.

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Raleigh, N.C. is known to residents as the "City of Oaks," a name that becomes quickly apparent when you visit downtown. Traveling east of Raleigh, you’ll find North Carolina’s beautiful coastal regions, and traveling west, you’ll find the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains. Beyond the city's natural beauty and convenient location, here are six reasons to rent an apartment in Raleigh, NC.

1. Raleigh combines modern, urban living with traditional Southern flair.

Folks often move to Raleigh looking for urban living with a Southern touch. The neighborhoods surrounding downtown Raleigh make it easy for residents to bike to the local farmers market, walk to a new restaurant or bar, or visit the State Capitol Building.

2. There are lots of options for delicious food in Raleigh, from barbecue to vegan.

When it comes to good food, the Raleigh region offers many options. There are plenty of delightfully small, friendly cafes and restaurants catering to diverse dietary preferences, including those who are vegan or vegetarian.

3. Huge First Friday events showcase Raleigh's great galleries, studios and museums.

Remember to mark your calendars for the First Friday Gallery Walk in downtown Raleigh. On the first Friday of every month, local galleries, studios and museums keep their doors open late. Galleries display new artworks, artists talk about their latest creations, and you can find handcrafted gifts for family and friends.

4. Raleigh's neighbors, Durhan and Chapel Hill, are also great places to visit.

When it comes to where you live, good neighbors make a big difference. Raleigh has two neighboring cities, Durham and Chapel Hill, and they are both listed among Livability’s Top 100 Best Places to Live.

5. Many Raleigh area's restaurants serve locally grown food.

6. Several colleges ensure opportunities for education and a college town culture.

Many folks move to the Raleigh region for educational opportunities. North Carolina State University is the largest four-year university in the state, and it is nationally renowned for programs in engineering, biology and agriculture. Duke University is located in Durham, and it is a prestigious private research institution known for its medical school and medical center. And of course, there's the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, best known for its programs in business, government, law and public health.

For more information on apartments in Raleigh, NC contact Auston Grove.


Making the Most of Your Apartment in Raleigh, NC

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, September 22, 2015

It is not easy to move into apartments in Raleigh, NC when you are moving to this area from another part of the state or country. Most are excited to enjoy the benefits of moving to an urban area that allows them easy access to dining, shopping and entertainment.

With some planning and creative ideas, it can be easy and fun to move into your new home.

Here are some tips on how to maximize an apartment space:

  • You need to know the measurements you are working with so you can create a clear plan. Imagine the furniture you have and how it will fit into the space you are working with. Make a list of what furniture you really need. I think we are all natural hoarders, but try to resist that urge. Think small. What do you really need? If you work from home you will need a work space, but you will not probably need that very large sectional couch. When in doubt, throw it out or donate it to a charity.
  • Convertible and movable items are key in a small space, especially in a studio apartment. A sofa bed, day bed or convertible arm chair can be useful to switch your space from sleeping space to entertaining space. An ottoman that has storage can work as a seat or a small table or moved out of the way if it has wheels. It is best if all your furniture has multiple uses. A book shelf can serve as storage and something to divide living space from sleeping space. A curtain is also a good room divider, if you don’t need a book shelf for storage or work space. If everything has its place, it will be a lot easier to enjoy your smaller space.
  • Use every nook and cranny. Every square inch can be used as storage if you add wall mounted shelves. A small closet with shelves or nook can be used as an office nook or storage with storage baskets. A hanging rack in a kitchen is very useful to store larger pots and pans. A hanging wine glass rack can allow you to use cabinet space for storing other items. A small kitchen may not have much counter space, but a butcher block with storage can help extend kitchen work space.
  • Closet organizers can really maximize your usable closet space. If your closet is deep enough, even just a double rail clothing rack can double your hanging capacity. Hanging shoe racks will give you more usable closet floor space.
  • A smaller bathroom’s storage can be improved greatly with shelves and a few hooks especially if you have an attractive pedestal sink that looks pretty, but has no storage.
  • Light colors and a mirror added will give the illusion of space. You may want to work your colors around a piece of furniture to have a theme. Add some personality to it and make it your own and it will be a wonderful place to call home.

Washington Post