Lisa Courtney'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.
No homeowner wants to borrow more money. However, if you’re experiencing hard financial times or looking for a way to fund a home improvement project, there are ways to borrow money with your home as collateral.
In this article, we’re going to talk about home equity loans and home equity lines of credit (HELOC). We’ll explain how they differ and break down their benefits and risks.
Before the bubble
Before the financial crisis of 2007-2008, many homeowners were borrowing readily based on the equity of their home. Interest rates were low on home equity loans, encouraging homeowners to leverage their portion of homeownership.
During the recession, however, all of that changed. People owed more money on their mortgages than their homes were worth, and banks became reluctant to lend.
In recent, years, however, house prices have been creeping back up, and banks and homeowners alike have gained confidence in the equity of their home.
As a result, a growing number of homeowners are turning back to home equity loans and lines of credit as a source of low-interest financing.
So, what exactly are these loans and credit lines?
The difference between a home equity loan and a line of credit
A home equity loan is a lump sum of money that you borrow which is secured by the value of your home. Typically, home equity loans are borrowed at a fixed rate. Lenders take into consideration the amount of equity you have in your home, your credit history, and your verifiable income.
A home equity line of credit (HELOC) is a bit different. Like a credit card, you are able to borrow money as you need it via a credit card or checks. HELOCs often have variable interest rates, which means even if you’re approved for an initial low rate it could be increased. As a result, HELOCs are better suited for borrowers who can withstand a higher leverage of risk and variation each month.
Is now a good time to borrow?
If you’re a homeowner, there’s an understandable temptation to use the equity you’ve built over the years to your advantage. In some cases, home equity loans and HELOCs can earn you better interest rates than other forms of borrowing.
However, as with other loan types, it’s important for homeowners to realize that HELOCs and home equity loans are not the same as having cash in your savings account.
Another danger that borrowers face is the potential for foreclosure if things go badly. While most lenders won’t seek foreclosure after a few missed payments, your home has been put up as collateral for repaying the loan. Most lenders will choose to sell a defaulted loan to a collections company rather than seek foreclosure.
Ultimately, the best course of action is to avoid borrowing unless it will help you out financially in the long term. However, for those with high home equity who may, for one reason or another, need to borrow, a home equity loan or line of credit might be the best choice.
When you decide that you want to buy a home, you probably hope it will all happen overnight for you. There’s some bad news though. It can take between 6 weeks and 6 months to buy a home! It could take even longer if you face a few roadblocks or inventory happens to be low in your area. There’s so many variables when it comes to getting a place to live that everyone has a different experience during their home buying process.
A Long Road
Even if you decide to buy a home today, and find a home you love tomorrow, there’s a bit of a “grace” period before you actually get to own the home. There’s many different steps that you’ll need to complete in order to successfully secure a home.
The first step that you need to complete when you want to buy a home is that of getting pre-approved. The lender will look at your debts, income, and credit history in order to get a complete financial snapshot of you. With this information, the lender will be able to tell you just how much house you can afford. This will be given to you in the form of a maximum loan amount. If your loan amount is $300,000, you can’t be shopping for $400,000 homes. The pre-approval process generally only takes a few days, but everyone’s circumstances are different.
Get An Agent
Before you even start on the house search, you’ll need to find a real estate agent who can help you on your home search and knows how to secure the home transaction. Do a little research on agents in your area. You can also ask around amongst your family and fiends to see if they have recommendations. Who you pick for your agent can have an impact on how smooth your home search process and transaction will be.
Start Searching For A Home
Start your home search online. With today’s technology, online home searches save those shopping for a home a lot of time. By simply looking at details and listing descriptions, you can narrow down the number of homes you‘d like to see in person. The online home search is a way to screen homes and eliminate the ones that you have no interest in.
It never hurts if you are driving around and see a “for sale” sign. You can take down the address and look it up later. If you’re interested, you can always set up an in-person showing with your realtor.
How Much Time Should You Expect To Spend?
When it comes to how long you’ll be searching for a home, you’ll need to be realistic. If you’re only doing casual weekend searches, it could take a bit more time than if you have a bit more flexibility in your schedule. Then, you have the final steps to look forward to which include:
- Mortgage underwriting
All of these final steps can take varying amounts of time from a few weeks to a few months to complete. Patience and diligence are indeed requirements when it comes to buying a home.
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