If affordability is top of mind as a prospective homebuyer, the Midwest is an excellent place to start. These 10 cities are the most affordable places to purchase a starter home, with the lowest mortgage-to-income percentage. The average starter home price as shown is determined by the median value across the bottom third of priced homes in the area (fifth to 35th percentile).
Buying a home has plenty of advantages (and disadvantages). A starter home isn’t necessarily intended to be your forever home, so it may come with a few more considerations.
Advantages of buying a starter home
Homeownership is a top goal for many Americans for good reason—there are many benefits to buying your first home. Let’s review the top three advantages to buying a starter home:
1. You get a taste of homeownership at a lower cost.
The most attractive feature of a starter home is (presumably) that it will cost you less because of its modest size or less popular location. Buying a more affordable home allows you to become a homeowner without waiting years to save up a hefty down payment.
A smaller home also means it will require less furniture and upkeep, which will save you money on overall housing costs.
2. You can build home equity.
You won’t ever get back all that money you spend on rent. But with monthly mortgage payments, your housing expenses are helping you build home equity (the difference between your home’s value and the mortgage). Think of it as building up your net worth.
Depending on your situation, it may be beneficial to use your home equity from your starter home to purchase your “forever home” down the line. This can be especially true if you plan to keep your starter home as a real estate investment.
3. You can use it as a real estate investment in the future.
Real estate investment is rising, with the market expected to hit $30.5 billion by 2031. If you’re one of the 34% of Americans who believe real estate is the best long-term investment opportunity, buying a starter home is a good way to get started. When it’s time to move into your forever home, you can rent out your starter home or try to sell it for a profit.
4. You feel less pressure to buy the perfect home.
Your starter home will most likely not be your dream home—and that’s the point. Buying a starter home should be less stressful than a forever home because your first home doesn’t have to “check all the boxes.” It should be just big enough for your family and able to meet all your needs, not your wants. A starter home is a perfect opportunity to experience homeownership and learn what features you want (and don’t want) in your future forever home.
Disadvantages of buying a starter home
While buying a starter home is a sound financial investment for many, it can spell disaster for others. Before you start shopping, consider the following disadvantages of buying a starter home:
1. It may require a lot of money.
Homes are bigger these days, so starter homes are often older and may even be fixer-uppers. You’ll want to get a proper home inspection before buying and ensure you have enough cash to deal with repairs. Fortunately, fixing up the home can lead to a bigger profit when it’s time to sell or rent, but you want to make sure it makes financial sense, too.
2. It’s hard to find.
As discussed, there’s a shortage of starter homes. As of March 2023, the average-sized home is 2,525 square feet, and you’ll be paying for every inch. The lack of affordable starter homes could make for a frustrating home-buying experience, and it might not be worth the headache for a home you plan to move out of in only a few years.
3. You’ll have to buy another home, move, and (potentially) sell.
The home-buying process is a lot to handle—and so is moving. But you’ll have to do those two things again if you buy a starter home. Plus, if you’re not keeping your starter home as a rental property, you’ll have to sell it, which could be difficult depending on the outlook of your local housing market.
4. You could lose money.
Many people buy a starter home to increase their net worth, but the opposite can happen. If you buy in an area with a depreciating house value or have to invest too much money into fixing your starter home, it could cost you more than your profit. Also, remember that, in some cases, you’ll have to pay capital gains taxes on selling your starter home before you move into a new one.
The starter home may be becoming a thing of the past, but the idea is still attainable in many U.S. cities. Although millennials mostly chose to rent for longer to save up for their dream home, Gen Z is taking promising strides toward homeownership, tracking ahead of their parents’ generation thanks to the pandemic-era low mortgage rates. If your dream home still feels years away, investing in a starter home may be a sound financial decision for you to build up your home equity and (potentially) break into the real estate investment market.
The This Old House Reviews Team compared 100 of the largest U.S. cities across six metrics to rank the best cities to buy a starter home. These six metrics are explained below, along with the data sources:
- Average starter home cost: This is the median value across the bottom third of priced homes in the area (fifth to 35th percentile). Data comes from Zillow and represents the average from May 2022 through April 2023.
- Mortgage as a percentage of income: The average mortgage payment is based on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 6.4% applied to the average starter home cost. Income represents the median household income for renters in the area. Data comes from Zillow and the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2021 1-year American Community Survey.
- Young homeownership rate: This is the number of owner-occupied housing units divided by the total occupied housing units for individuals under age 35. Data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2021 1-year American Community Survey.
- Concentration of restaurants: This is the number of restaurants per 10,000 people. Data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2021 County Business Patterns Survey.
- Concentration of entertainment establishments: This is the number of entertainment establishments per 10,000 people. Data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2021 County Business Patterns Survey.
- Violent crime rate: This is the number of violent crimes per 10,000 people. Data comes from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting as of 2019.
We calculated an average ranking using the six metrics above, half-weighting the concentration of restaurants and entertainment establishments and single-weighting all other metrics. The top-ranking city scored 100, and the worst received a 0.
Long past its painful peak, inflation in the United States may be heading steadily back toward its pre-pandemic levels, without the need for further interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.
Such a scenario became more likely, if hardly guaranteed, after Nov. 14’s surprisingly tame report on consumer prices for October. The Labor Department’s data showed a broad-based easing of inflation across most goods and services. The price of gas? Down. Appliances? Down. Autos? Down. Same for airfares, hotel rooms and doctors’ fees.
Overall inflation didn’t rise from September to October, the first time that consumer prices collectively haven’t budged from one month to another in more than a year. Compared with a year earlier, prices rose 3.2% in October, the smallest such rise since June, though still above the Fed’s 2% inflation target.
Excluding volatile food and energy prices, so-called core inflation was just 0.2% last month, slightly below the pace of the previous two months. Measured year over year, core prices rose 4% in October, down from 4.1% in September, the smallest rise in two years.
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“The inflation fever has broken,” said Bill Adams, chief economist at Comerica Bank. “Rising petroleum production is holding down gas prices, house prices are rising more slowly after mortgage rates surged in 2023 and rents are also rising more gradually” as more apartment buildings are completed.
October’s milder-than-expected price figures make it much less likely that the Fed will impose another rate hike. Many economists now say that the Fed’s most likely next move will be to cut rates, likely sometime next year, though that would depend on whether inflation continues to cool.
What’s driving inflation lower?
A major factor has been a big improvement in the supply of many things — workers, housing and components for manufactured goods.
Millions of Americans have come off the sidelines in the past year and flooded back into the workforce, seeking and (mostly) finding jobs. Immigration has increased, too, and with it more people looking for work. With more hires available, businesses haven’t had to raise wages as much to fill jobs, thereby easing the pressure on those businesses to raise their prices.
At the same time, the largest number of new apartment buildings nationwide in decades are being completed, a trend that is helping slow rent increases. Rental costs, after a spike in September, rose at a much more gradual pace last month.
Rents and other housing costs are likely to keep coming down, economists say, as the cost of new leases continues to fall, according to real-time data providers such as Zillow. Those lower prices show up in the government’s data with a lag.
And the supply chains that were badly snarled during the pandemic have pretty much unwound. An ample availability of products, parts and components help keep a lid on their prices. Automakers, for example, are having a much easier time finding semiconductors.
Partly as a result, new car prices declined last month, defying fears that the now-settled autoworkers’ strike would reduce dealers’ inventories and send prices higher. Used car prices, too, are down. They fell for a fifth straight month in October and have tumbled 7% from a year ago.
“We’re finally undoing that and getting the benefits,” Austan Goolsbee, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, said Tuesday in remarks at the Detroit Economic Club.
Separately, consumers are widely expected to pull back on spending after a blowout summer, with credit card debts — and delinquencies — rising and average savings falling. Cooler demand should force businesses to compete more on price.
Gas costs have kept falling this month, with the national average price at the pump averaging $3.35 Tuesday, down 42 cents from a year earlier. Those prices declines could push overall inflation, measured year-over-year, below 3% by December.
Aren’t things still pretty expensive?
Yes, inflation is still painfully apparent in many areas. They include auto and health insurance and some groceries, like beef and bread.
The average cost of auto insurance, which jumped 1.9% just from September to October, has soared nearly 20% from a year earlier. As new and used vehicles have grown more expensive, so has the cost of insuring them. And health insurance prices rose 1.1% last month, though that was largely due to a change in the government’s methodology.
But even as overall price increases slow, it doesn’t mean inflation is reversing or that most prices are falling back to pre-pandemic levels. The consumer price index, the most widely followed measure of inflation, remains about 20% higher than it was before the pandemic.
Milk prices, which have ticked down compared with the past year, are still 23% higher than they were pre-pandemic. Ground beef prices are 31% higher. Gas prices, despite a steep decline from a year ago, are still 46% higher than before the pandemic.
Many economists say a key reason why so many Americans hold a gloomy view of the economy despite very low unemployment and steady hiring is that these prices — on items that they buy regularly — remain much higher than they were three years ago.
Are paychecks keeping up?
Barring a deep and painful recession, prices aren’t going to fall to their pre-pandemic levels. Instead, economists say, Americans’ wages need to rise to help pay for the higher costs.
Wages and salaries trailed inflation in 2021 and 2022, exacerbating the pain of higher prices. Yet this year, as inflation has cooled, average pay has pulled ahead of inflation. By most measures, average paychecks, adjusted for inflation, are back to where they were before the pandemic.
Yet that essentially means that Americans, on average, have had scant real pay increases compared with three years ago. And while average pay may be back to pre-pandemic levels, many people have received below-average pay raises and are still behind inflation.
How might the Federal Reserve respond?
The Fed will likely welcome last Tuesday’s report as evidence of further progress toward getting inflation back to its target of 2%. Fed officials, led by Chair Jerome Powell, are considering whether their benchmark rate is high enough to quell inflation or if they need to impose another increase in coming months.
Powell said recently that Fed officials were “not confident” that rates were sufficiently high to tame inflation. The Fed has raised its benchmark interest rate 11 times in the past year and a half, to about 5.4%, the highest level in 22 years.
But the central bank has raised its key rate just once since May. Since its last meeting on Nov. 1, a government report showed that hiring cooled in October compared with September, and wage growth slowed, thereby easing pressure on companies to raise prices in the coming months.
Adams, the Comerica economist, said he thinks the Fed’s most likely next move will be to cut rates, likely by mid-2024.
The Fed’s rate hikes have increased the costs of mortgages, auto loans, credit cards and many forms of business borrowing, part of a concerted drive to slow growth and cool inflation pressures. The central bank is trying to achieve a “soft landing” — raising borrowing costs just enough to curb inflation without tipping the economy into a deep recession.
Said Eric Winograd, chief economist at AB Global, an asset management firm: “They look like they are on course to generate a soft landing. There’s no guarantee that they will actually manage to accomplish it. But right now, that’s the story that the data are telling.”
Some concerns with renting that survey respondents highlighted include getting stuck with bad neighbors (49%) and the possibility of eviction (48%). The Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that around 2 million renters face eviction proceedings each year, particularly in low-income areas where affordable housing is in short supply.
Our survey also found that 46% of respondents say not being able to build equity is a disadvantage of renting. Ideally, homeowners can borrow from their home equity to cover expenses or make improvements and eventually make a profit when they sell their homes. Currently, homeowners nationwide have an estimated $136,000 in home equity.
So is renting or buying the better option? It depends. For those in markets where housing prices have skyrocketed, renting may be the way to go for both short- and long-term scenarios. But in many places, owners will still come out on top even with higher interest rates — especially if they intend to stay in their houses for the long term.
Buying a house may not be the right choice for everyone financially. Potential homeowners need to base their calculations not only on where they live, but also on whether both the short- and long-term costs of homeownership make sense for them.
To compare how much homeowners and renters would be spending over the course of 30 years, the research team at Today’s Homeowner analyzed housing cost data from Redfin and Zillow in 97 of the largest U.S. cities. We did not include utilities in our analysis, and keep in mind that these figures are rough estimates, not exact figures.
- Total mortgage costs: The total mortgage payments were calculated using the average sale price of homes from July 2022 Redfin data and the average yearly interest rates from Freddie Mac. We assumed a 7% downpayment.
- Property taxes: Data comes from the 2021 1-Year ACS. To estimate the average property tax increase by city, we estimated the annual average increase over the past 20 years to project increases over the next 30 years.
- Maintenance costs: We averaged key home improvement costs using Angi estimates. We broke those down further into annual projects and singular projects based on how frequently the projects need to be completed.
- Annual projects: gutter cleaning, vent cleaning, full lawn service, HVAC repair, pressure washing
- Singular projects: roof repair, resurfacing driveway, fence installation, siding replacement, window replacement, interior painting, replace HVAC, toilet replacement, deck repair, flooring replacement, mold remediation
- Homeowners insurance: annual homeowners insurance premiums from 2022 Quadrant Information Services
- Rental housing costs: Average rent data comes from Zillow between August 2022 and July 2023. We estimated the increase in rent by calculating the average annual rental cost increases from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s fair market rent values. We increased rent every year for 30 years by this average and added it up to calculate total rent costs.
- Renters insurance: Annual renters insurance premiums from 2022 Quadrant Information Services
Our calculations assume that property taxes and rental costs will increase steadily over the next 30 years based on estimations and historical averages. Homeownership and rental costs were calculated for a three-bedroom home.
We surveyed 1,000 renters about their opinions surrounding renting versus purchasing a home. We also explored the reasons people decide to rent or buy property and when they want to become homeowners. The survey responses were collected September 13-14, 2023. Using raw survey data, we weighted responses to align with population demographics across age, gender, and income status to represent all U.S. adults.
When you rent a car, a customer service rep may try to sell you rental-car insurance. Rental insurance may protect you from having to pay if the rental is stolen or damaged. But in some circumstances, you may not need to purchase additional coverage. For example, if you already have full-coverage car insurance, your policy may extend to the rental.
Bankrate’s insurance editorial team covers scenarios where you may need rental insurance and explains how some common types of rental-car insurance work.
When do you need rental car insurance?
Figuring out if you need rental-car insurance can be confusing. The type of coverage you carry on your personal auto policy, your contract terms and the reason you are renting a vehicle can all determine whether you should purchase extra rental-car coverage.
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In most cases, the coverage you carry on your auto policy will extend to a rental car as long as you rent a private passenger vehicle. In some scenarios, however, your personal auto policy can leave gaps in coverage that will cost you if you are in an accident in your rental car. Most insurance professionals advise exploring your options with your agent before driving off in a rental vehicle.
- You do not have any type of insurance.
You’ll want to purchase rental-car insurance if you don’t have car insurance. That’s because most states have laws requiring you to carry a minimum amount of car-insurance coverage while driving a vehicle. Consider purchasing a damage waiver and liability coverage from the rental company to protect your rental.
Some uninsured drivers rely solely on the rental-car coverage that their credit-card company provides. Although rental-car coverage through your credit card can be helpful if you already have a primary insurance policy, it might not offer adequate protection as the only means of insuring your rental vehicle. Before declining additional damage protection, you may want to call your card issuer for more information on their rental-car coverage policy.
- You do not have collision or comprehensive coverage.
Collision and comprehensive coverage are part of what’s known as full-coverage car insurance, which covers damage to your vehicle after an at-fault accident or other incident, such as hail, theft or fire. These types of coverage typically extend to a rental vehicle. However, if you only have liability insurance coverage, your personal car insurance won’t cover damages to the rental.
To protect yourself in this situation, you can purchase a loss-and-damage waiver from a rental agency. This agreement waives your financial responsibility for damages or loss to the rental car.
- You do not want to pay a deductible.
If you rely on your personal car insurance to protect your rental car, and you get into an accident, you typically have to pay a deductible. However, if you buy rental-car insurance and you get into a collision, there is no deductible required.
Types of rental-car insurance
Rental-car insurance is somewhat similar to regular auto insurance. You can select the type of coverage and the level of coverage you want based on your needs. However, the types of rental-car insurance are much different from auto insurance.
Before getting rental-car insurance, you should be aware of your options. The most common types of rental-car insurance include:
- Loss-and-damage waiver: Sometimes called the collision damage waiver, this is a waiver rather than a true policy. It essentially says that the rental company will not come after you in the event that the rental car is damaged or stolen. However, if you have collision and comprehensive car insurance, this may be included in your policy.
- Supplemental liability protection: This covers damage you do to other vehicles or property. However, your own liability insurance may cover these instances, even when you are driving a rental car.
- Personal accident protection: Personal accident protection covers the medical costs for you and any passengers if you are involved in an accident. Again, if you have personal injury protection or medical-payments coverage under your existing policy, you may already be covered.
- Personal-effects coverage: This coverage pays for any belongings that may be stolen from your rental car. In this case, your homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance policy may offer similar coverage.
While there are many different types of rental-car insurance, it does not cover everything. For example, this type of insurance doesn’t reimburse you for the cost of renting a car. However, you may be reimbursed for rentals in some circumstances if you have rental reimbursement coverage — which is typically an endorsement you can add to your existing policy for an extra cost. Note that this coverage provides reimbursement only if you’re renting a car because your insured vehicle has suffered a covered loss.
How much is rental-car insurance?
The cost of rental-car insurance depends on a few factors. For one, it depends on the company you buy coverage from. It also depends on the state, what type of car you are renting and how many miles you are driving. Purchasing add-on coverages will also increase the amount you pay.
Does my credit card offer rental-car insurance?
Many credit-card companies offer rental-car insurance as one of the benefits for cardholders. However, rental-car insurance provided by your credit-card company is usually secondary insurance. That means if you get into an accident or the car gets stolen, your auto-insurance company will get billed first. If that is the case, your deductible will apply to the claim.
There are some credit-card companies that offer primary rental-car insurance, although it is less common. Primary insurance does not go through your personal auto insurance, so you do not have to pay a deductible. You can call your credit-card company to determine if your card offers rental-car insurance and what type of insurance it offers.
Most major credit-card companies, like Visa, MasterCard and American Express, all offer some form of rental-car insurance for their cardholders. To take advantage of the coverage, you usually have to pay for the rental car using the card and rent the car in your name.
Which insurance providers offer rental-car insurance?
Most major car-insurance providers automatically provide rental-car insurance coverage at no additional cost beyond what you are already paying for your monthly premium. However, it is important to remember that the coverage you carry on your policy is what will also apply to your rental. If you have liability only on your personal auto policy, you may want to consider bridging the gap with a loss-and-damage waiver.
Some companies offer standalone rental-car coverage policies. The rates for these policies can be cheaper than a standard auto policy, but the coverage provided is not as robust.
- Allianz Global: Allianz Global’s Rental Car Damage Protector includes $50,000 in coverage, for just $11 per day, and offers coverage anywhere in the world. Every policy comes with up to $1,000 in coverage for lost baggage and personal items and $1,000 in trip-interruption coverage.
- Bonzah: With a Bonzah rental-car insurance policy, you can get up to $35,000 in coverage, plus up to $500 in coverage for lost luggage and personal items, no deductible and a 10-day free look period. Bonzah also offers up to $1 million in supplemental liability coverage.
- RentalCover.com: Rental-car insurance from RentalCover.com is meant to supplement insurance from your credit-card provider. The company claims that drivers can get supplemental insurance for up to 50% less than a loss-and-damage waiver from the rental counter. One of the biggest draws is that drivers can cancel their rental insurance for a full refund up until their car pickup time.
- Sure: Sure is a mobile-based rental-car insurance company that is entirely digital. When you download the app, you can select your trip dates, the type of coverage you want, the deductible and more. That means you can update and make changes to your choices on the go. Every policy comes with great perks, like flat-tire protection, lost-key reimbursement and towing coverage.
Frequently asked questions
- What is the best car-insurance company? Since coverage options and premiums vary by insurer, there’s no single insurance company that’s right for everyone. To find the best car-insurance company for you, select a few insurance companies that interest you and request quotes from each to compare. While shopping, consider various factors, such as rates, coverage options and customer-service ratings.
- Does rental-car insurance cover roadside assistance? When you rent a car, rental agencies typically don’t include roadside assistance, though some companies like Hertz may include a basic roadside plan. If you already have roadside assistance, then it may extend to your rental. In addition, some rental companies may allow you to purchase a separate roadside assistance — which is different from rental insurance.
- How will an accident in a rental car affect my insurance? Getting into any accident will most likely affect your insurance premium, whether it is in your car or a rental car. This is especially true if you have rental-car insurance through your auto-insurance provider or a credit-card company. Anytime you file a claim that is attached to your auto-insurance policy, the company will know you had an accident and will likely increase your rate accordingly.
In 2013, Mississippi passed the Literacy Based Promotion Act, which required all third graders to read at grade level to advance to the fourth grade. At the time, Mississippi’s reading scores were historically among the lowest in the nation. The state spent two years and $20 million preparing for the rollout of the program.
The program included intensive literacy instruction for third graders reading behind grade level.
Fourth grade reading scores in the state went from 49th in 2013 to 21st in 2022.
In 2013, Mississippi students were 9 percentage points below the national average. By 2022, it had exceeded the national average.
In 2022, at the fourth grade level, Mississippi’s lower-income children and lower-income Black children both outscored their peers nationwide by roughly one academic year.
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The results have been referred to as the “Mississippi Miracle” by the New York Times and the Associated Press, among others.
Los Angeles Times business columnist Michael Hitzik, citing the work of education bloggers Bob Somerby and Kevin Drum, recently suggested the success of Mississippi’s third grade reading gate program may not be the “Mississippi Miracle” it has been reported to be, based on a closer look at the data.
While we question some conclusions reached by Somerby, Drum and Hitzik, their data analysis revealed a bit of information worth following. While Mississippi fourth grade literacy scores now outpace the national average for both white and Black students, eighth grade literacy scores are far below the national average.
This suggests students who received intensive literacy instruction in third grade made only temporary gains, briefly besting their national peers in fourth grade but falling back behind in subsequent years.
That’s easy to understand: It’s reasonable to assume the conditions (socioeconomic status, family status, etc.) that caused the students to fall behind by the third grade persist beyond the third grade, despite the instruction.
The decision to implement this program at the third grade level was not random. Studies showed that a child who cannot read at grade level by third grade is unlikely to ever catch up. We suspect the same can be said for those not reading at grade level in fourth through twelfth grades too.
Yet there is no program — and certainly no additional funding — to reenforce what they learned through the intensive instruction they received in the third grade. The data suggest students may benefit from additional intensive instruction beyond the third grade year.
Mississippi’s commitment to improving reading shouldn’t begin and end in the third grade. We believe establishing some program along the lines of third grade gate for subsequent grades might truly change the landscape of public education in Mississippi.
By definition, a miracle is something that is inexplicable. We much prefer success built on commitment and resources.
Modern living in this custom Flagstaff home is proof you really can have it all! You’ll arrive to find a covered porch inviting you to reflect and appreciate the fantastic surroundings. Fine craftsmanship is on show at every corner inside where warm tones adorn 45-degree walls, and luxury vinyl flooring gleams under the soaring heights of the vaulted ceilings. A true chef’s paradise, the kitchen equips you with all Samsung appliances, including a built-in air fryer, smart fridge, pot filler, and a bespoke alder wood hood. Gorgeous soft-closing cabinetry, a farm sink, rich quartz countertops, and a multi-seater island with a ready KitchenAid stand complete this impeccable culinary space. Relax in the laid-back family room that sports a windmill fan and tailor-made media center with shelving for keepsakes. There’s Mohawk stain-resistant carpeting in your well-proportioned private retreats, all graced with marvelous views and ample closets. In the primary suite, an adjoining 4-piece ensuite highlights an oversized walk-in shower with waterfall heads, perfect for a rejuvenating shower after a long day. Expensive cedar wood and black metal fence line the perimeter of your sun-kissed backyard, providing welcome seclusion. Throw your worries to the wind as you bask in majestic mountain vistas. Other notable offers include spray foam insulation, an A/C unit, an attached oversized 2-car garage, and natural gas for low utility costs. Plus, explore the limitless potential of the rest of your land. Whether you want to bring your animals, nurture your green thumb, or further expand your real estate footprint, there’s plenty of space to let your imagination run wild. Come make this gem yours while the offer still stands!
A 1929 GEM of historical value with classic Dilbeck Style character & charm! This English Manor offers a stellar location bordering the world renowned “Gathering Place- A Park for All”, and close to Downtown Tulsa, the Midland valley & Riverside Trails, Utica Square shopping, Brookside, Sobo & Cherry St. Districts, Trader Joe’s & Whole Foods! New in 2021, a STATE-OF-THE-ART KITCHEN open to living areas featuring vast Quartz countertop space & storage, “LG Signature Suite” SS appl. including a dual fuel gas/induction range w/dble ovens, sous vide cooker, wine captain & island bar seating. A stately gas-log fireplace warms the intimate formal living. The dining room & den offer floor-to-ceiling windows providing ample natural light w/views of the park-like grounds & flag stone patio area complete w/outdoor grill, wood burning fireplace & POOL! Wood beam ceiling & doorway treatments add to the character along w/special, lead glass windows & hardware. Spacious primary suite added post 1929 w/high ceiling, bookshelves & storage, fireplace, dual closet space, private balcony deck & luxury bath w/dual vanities, jetted tub & sep. shower. Second bdrm suite w/vintage style bth & fireplace. Game room with flagstone flooring, “Sub-Zero” refrigerator, bar & full bath c/be first floor 5th bdrm with minimal adjustment. Stunning backyard Sycamore Tree of notoriety & unique wildlife. Wood, stone, & tile flooring only. 4 of 5 zones of A/C & Furnace units replaced with Lennox Brand, 2021+duct replacement. Electrical panel upgrade to service new kitchen “Vent-A-Hood”. New roof 2020. Finished basement office, craft space, or climate controlled storage approx. 347 sq. AP not in quoted footage.
Bring your horses and stay for life! This 3832sqft cabin boasts incredible year-round views of the Blue Ridge mountains, and features 21+/- acres with a 4-stall horse barn, fenced pastures, and a separate, secondary living space that would could provide additional income or space for extended family if desired.LandMetcalf Farm consists of two homes on two parcels totaling 20 +/- acres. The property is perimeter fenced with cross fencing, woven wire and high tensile fencing, and is ready for your horses, cows, donkeys, or anything else your heart desires! Already in place is a large barn, complete with 4 stalls, a tack room, equipment storage, and plenty of dry hay storage. While there is not a natural water source on the property, Metcalf Farms is connected to public water and has multiple spigots around the property for ease of use. ImprovementsThe main home is 3832 sq ft, and spans across three floors. On the main floor you’ll find the Primary bedroom with ensuite (complete with granite countertops and a jetted tub), featuring a vaulted ceiling and french doors that open up to stunning views of the Blue Ridge mountains and your own rolling pastures. Also on the main floor is a bonus room with a closet that could be used as another bedroom or an office space, laundry room, a living room featuring a stone fireplace (wood-burning), open-concept kitchen/dining area with granite countertops, and a second entertaining space. Upstairs you will find three additional bedrooms and a full bathroom. All three upstairs bedrooms feature vaulted/cathedral ceilings and gorgeous views of the mountains. In the basement level is a mother-in-law suite complete with an open living/dining space, bedroom, kitchen, full bathroom and stackable washer and dryer. The property also features an open-concept, 1980 doublewide mobile home with 3 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms. This home overlooks Table Rock mountain and has hardwood floors, and a level, fenced-in back yard. This home would make an excellent short or long-term rental property, or use it to bring a larger group together on the same property as the current owners do. Region & ClimateMorganton NC features the quintessential WNC weather. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 31°Fto88°Fand is rarely below18°For above95°F. The average annual rainfall is approximately 48 inches. LocationWestern North Carolina is considered a haven for those who love the outdoors! Metcalf Farms is 15 minutes from Lake James State Park, and one hour to Table Rock Mountain (though you can see it right from the property!) Morganton is approximately: 40 minutes to Asheville,NC 75 minutes to Charlotte, NC 2 hours to Greensboro, NC
ondon’s FTSE 100 lost ground after new figures revealed house prices have slipped, sending shares in the UK’s top listed builders lower.
The data from Halifax found the average house price fell by about £1,000 in April, the first downturn after three consecutive months of increases.
The lender said it expects to see more downward pressure on house prices over the course of the year, as the housing market remains subdued.
Major builders Berkeley Group and Barratt Developments also saw their share price dip by more than 2% at close.
Meanwhile, British Airways owner IAG Group jumped to the top of the index after rival Ryanair announced it was creating around 10,000 jobs after ordering 300 new aircraft, signalling an optimistic outlook for the aviation sector.
The FTSE 100, however, closed 14.29 points lower, or 0.18%, at 7,764.09.
The lacklustre investor mood comes ahead of important US inflation data on Wednesday, which is expected to influence the Federal Reserve’s future monetary policy decisions.
US stock markets started the day on the backfoot with the S&P 500 down 0.35% and Dow Jones down 0.1% by the time European markets closed.
Craig Erlam, senior market analyst for OANDA, said: “We’re seeing a slightly softer trading session on Tuesday as investors eye crucial inflation data on Wednesday.
“We’ve finally reached the point at which the Federal Reserve may be at the end of its tightening cycle and we can start to look forward to when it can feasibly begin to ease policy in order to offset any shock to the economy.
“But in order for either of these to occur, we need to see evidence in the data that the Fed is on a path to 2%, starting Wednesday.”
European markets saw a subdued session with the Cac 40 declining 0.59%, and the German Dax eking up by just 0.02%.
The pound was flat against the US dollar at 1.2616, but up 0.5% against the euro to 1.1519.
In company news, shares in Purplebricks plummeted to a new record low after the online estate agent warned its cash reserves were under threat, and shareholders are set to lose value if a sale of the business goes ahead.
Purplebricks put itself up for sale in February and it is still looking for a buyer to revive its fortunes.
But the firm said its cash reserves could diminish if a strategic review and sale were not completed soon.
Shares in the company were 66% lower when markets closed.
Insurer Direct Line saw its share price slip after revealing its earnings outlook remains “challenging” as the cost of claims has shot up.
It comes despite the company pushing up prices across its motor and home insurance policies in efforts to offset cost rises.
But the business assured investors it was taking action to improve the business’s performance and that trading over the first quarter had been “positive”.
Shares in Direct Line were down 4.6% at close.
The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were IAG, up 5.3p to 155.8p, Flutter Entertainment, up 350p to 15820p, Relx, up 45p to 2479p, Beazley, up 9p to 590.5p, and Intercontinental Hotels Group, up 80p to 5492p.
The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Unite Group, down 43.0p to 908.5p, Ocado, down 20.5p to 475p, Land Securities, down 21.2p to 644.6p, DCC, down 151.0p to 4714p, and British Land, down 11.4p to 386.9p.
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