Susan Baghdasarian's Blog
As inconvenient as it may be for our personal lives, most of our careers will be impacted by where we live geographically. Some industries thrive in bustling cities, where others require the resources of deeply rural areas.
Geography isn’t the only factor that determines where the jobs are. However, it can give you a leg up in finding a job or changing jobs if you look for a home in a region that has a thriving job market in your industry.
In this article, we’re going to cover some of the main industries in the United States--industries in which many of us work--and talk about which parts of the country have a lot of jobs in those industries.
So, whether you’re just starting off in your career or looking for a change of scenery, read on for the best places to live for your industry.
Health care is needed universally. And if you’re in the industry, whether as an administrator, a nurse, or one of the other hundreds of health-related careers, the good news is that it is typically the fastest growing industry in the country.
That being said, some parts of the country favor the health science careers disproportionately. The states of Massachusetts, California, Florida, and Illinois are the four leading places in the country for jobs in healthcare.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)
The STEM fields make up some of the highest paid and most in-demand careers in the country. They tend to be located around urban hubs. However, it isn’t just Silicon Valley that needs great workers in STEM.
First, we’ll state the obvious. San Jose, Santa Clara, and San Francisco are all bursting with high-paying jobs in the technology industries. With companies like Google, Apple, Adobe, and HP, it’s obvious why this region is known are the heart of the technological world.
However, cost of living in this area is quite high, and there are other regions with a flourishing workforce in STEM. Huntsville, Alabama has low rent prices and is home to several large tech companies like IBM and Lockheed Martin. Boulder, Colorado is another area with a quickly growing tech industry, low unemployment (2.7%), and high salary ($91,000).
Manufacturing jobs have been at the forefront of conversation for years. In spite of many blue collar careers being outsourced overseas, there still remains a thriving manufacturing workforce in the following areas.
North Carolina is ranked number one in manufacturing in the United States. With plants for IBM, Goodyear, and Lenovo, there is a variety of industries that look to North Carolina for manufacturing their products.
Texas has been attracting young workers for their growing number of tech giants and reasonable cost of living. Companies like Lockheed Martin Aeronautics and ExxonMobil make it a good place for machinists and manufacturers to live.
Michigan and the Great Lakes cities are often thought of as being where all the manufacturing jobs fled from. However, there are still a number of large companies who are flourishing in the region. In Michigan alone resides General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, and the Dow Chemical Company.
So, if you work in one of these key industries and are on the lookout for a new place to start or continue your career, keep these cities and states in mind.
You may have heard of an FHA loan, and you probably weren’t sure if you were eligible for one. FHA loans are insured by the Federal Housing Administration which is a part of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
If you have an FHA loan, it includes special mortgage insurance which helps to protect lenders from a loss should the loan be defaulted on.
Why An FHA Loan?
Due to the extra insurance lenders can offer these loans at an lower interest rates. These loans are also easier to qualify for. This makes affordable housing more accessible.
Things To Know About FHA Loans
The minimum credit score depends upon the type of loan that you need.
If you have a credit score of 580 or higher, you can provide a down payment as little as 3.5% with an FHA loan.
If your credit score is lower than 580, you are required to make a down payment of at least 10%.
If your score is lower than 500, you may be ineligible for an FHA loan all together.
FHA loans require a low down payment, which is why it is so enticing to buyers. While these types of loans may have limited availability, it’s good to do your research and see if you’re eligible.
Securing The Down Payment
Generally, buyers use their own savings to make a down payment on a home. Some states have government assistance programs that provide grants to be used for a down payment on a home.
Incentives With FHA Loans
The Federal Housing Administration has special provisions to allow sellers, builders and lenders to pay for some of the other costs incurred while buying a home including the closing costs, appraisal, credit report, or title expenses. This allows builders and sellers to provide incentives to entice buyers. This could have an effect on the interest rates associated with the loan if the lender agrees to pay these costs. Buyers can compare rates with different lenders for these purposes.
Mortgage Insurance And FHA Approved Lenders
The Federal Housing Administration is a provider of insurance and not a lender. You must be sure that you go with an FHA approved lender in order to get your loan in check. This is where it’s important to shop around for benefits, loan standards and rates.
The re are 2 required insurance premiums for FHA loans. The upfront premium is about 1.75% of the loan amount. This is paid at the time the loan is secured and can be financed as part of the loan amount. The second premium is the annual premium which is paid monthly and varies based on factors such as the length of the loan.
As you can see there’s many benefits for home buyers who need additional mortgage insurance and assistance in buying a home. Talk to your lender about how you can secure an FHA loan today and make buying a home a reality.
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When selling your home, you want to be able to get the largest return for your investment. And buyers are looking for their next place to call home. They are looking for a place that they can see themselves living and creating a future. And oftentimes, it’s very difficult for buyers to look beyond the cosmetics of a home, especially when viewing online. Therefore, if large investments are not in the cards for you or won’t bring a significant ROI, small home improvements are the way to go. These small improvements can take your home from blah to wow!
Let’s take a look at some of the best small home improvements that will certainly provide you with a return.
1. Fresh coat of paint: A fresh coat of paint can make the world of a difference in a home. It can instantly brighten up a space and make the home look and feel newer—an instant plus for any seller and buyer. But be sure to choose more neutral colors as not everyone will be a fan of bold colors.
2. Adding architectural touches: Architectural features like crown molding and a chair rail can add an elegant upgrade to any home. They can be fairly inexpensive and would only take a weekend to put up.
3. Update front door: Your front door is a large part of your curb appeal. And a home’s curb appeal can leave a substantial impression on buyers. You can go the inexpensive route and add a pop of color that compliments your home’s exterior and landscaping or purchase a new door if a coat of paint won’t do the trick.
4. Add a backsplash: Backsplashes don’t have to break the bank to catch a buyer’s eye. And there are so many options from subway tile to mosaic to antique tin.
5. New hardware: Updating the hardware in your kitchen and bathroom can make the world of a difference. Adding modern hardware to cabinet doors will add a refreshing, simple update.
6. Update fixtures: Replacing old, worn down bathroom and kitchen fixtures is a very simple home improvement. Although not the cheapest of these options, they will definitely make a big difference in those rooms.Think of a home built in the 90s that has brass fixtures. The home looks very outdated and therefore worth less in the eyes of a buyer. If you update these fixtures to pewter or brushed nickel, you are instantly bringing the spaces into the 21st century and catching the appeal of buyers.
The amount of time, effort, and money that you want to put back into your home is a decision that you alone can make. It may seem silly to put more money into the home you are trying to sell, but it’s quite the opposite. Be smart about your updates and improvements. Try to think like a buyer and make updates that the majority will like and want.
Once you have found the home that you want to live in, put in the offer, and start the process of closing on a home, you may feel like you’re “home free.” The hard part may technically be over, but there’s one more important thing that you need to think about before you get the keys to your place: Closing costs.
A few days before you head to sign all of your paperwork to close on the home, your lender will send you a detailed report of different closing costs that you need to pay upon the settlement of the property.
Closing Costs Defined
Closing costs are what you pay to the lender and third parties. These are due at the time of closing on the property and must be paid up front. You should estimate that your closing costs will be between 2 and 5 percent of the purchase price of the home.
Everything Included In Closing Costs
Closing costs cover both one-time and recurring fees that are a part of your home purchase. The one-time fees are things that are generally associated with buying the home. These would include attorneys fees, lender fees, home inspection fees, document prep fees, underwriting fees, credit report fees, and realtor fees. You’ll also need a bank issued check for your down payment at this time.
At closing, an escrow account will be set up. This is like a forced savings account that will be drawn from to cover things like taxes, insurance, loan interest, and title insurance. These are all very important costs that are a part of buying a home.
Do Your Homework Ahead Of Time
The best way to deal with closing costs is to be prepared ahead of time. Talk to your lender in order to get an estimate of the closing costs. From there, you’ll need to decide if you need to finance your closing costs or simply pay them up front. There are advantages to both approaches. Sometimes, lenders will look at you as less favorable if you need to finance all of your closing costs. It all depends on the terms of your loan. This is why research is vital.
Compare Rates And Lenders
It’s important not to go with the first lender you talk to. Get some recommendations from your realtor and friends to see who might be a good fit for you. Every lender specializes in something different, so you want to be sure that who you chose is a good fit for you.
The most important thing that you can do with closing costs and the financing of your home is to get educated!