Tag Archives: Forbes

The Most Expensive U.S. ZIP Codes (2012 Edition)
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Most expensive ZIP codes in the U.S.Since late-2011, home values have climbed in many U.S. markets.

The government’s Home Price index puts the increase at +3.7% an annual basis and the National Association of REALTORS® shows home sale prices up 11% since last year.

The price at which a home sells is determined by the economic force of supply-and-demand but location and amenities matter, too; establishing a baseline from which supply-and-demand can work. 

Using data compiled by real estate market data firm Altos Research, Forbes Magazine recently presented America’s 10 most expensive ZIP codes for 2012. California and the New York Metro area dominate the list.

  1. New York, NY (10065) : $6,534,430
  2. Alpine, NJ (07620) : $5,745,038
  3. Atherton, CA (94027) : $4,897,864
  4. Sagaponack, NY (11962) : $4,180,385
  5. Hillsborough, CA (94010) : $4,127,250
  6. New York, NY (10014) : $4,116,506
  7. Los Altos Hills, CA (94022) : $4,016,050
  8. New York, NY (10021) : $3,980,829
  9. Rolling Hills, CA (90274) : $3,972,500
  10. New York, NY (10075) : $3,885,409

As an illustration of how home prices have climbed since Forbes publishes last year’s Most Expensive ZIP code list, this year’s #10 — Upper East Side, New York City, New York — would have ranked third in 2011.

The Forbes list may be interesting but, to home buyers or sellers in Cottonwood , it’s far from the final word in home values. Real estate remains a local market which means that — even within a given ZIP code — prices can vary based on street and neighborhood, and home characteristics.

Look past the general data and get to the specifics. Talk to your real estate agent for local market pricing.

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America’s 10 Richest Counties
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America's Richest CountiesThere are 3,033 counties in the United States. Which 10 are the richest in terms of median household income? Not surprisingly, those near major economic centers rank high.

In a study based on household income estimates from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, Loudoun County, Virginia captures the number one spot in America’s Richest Counties.

Loudoun County is a Washington, D.C. suburb and is home to Dulles International Airport, as well as a well-educated workforce.

The complete Top 10 list of America’s Richest Counties :

  1. Loudoun County, Virginia ($115,574)
  2. Falls Church City, Virginia ($114,409)
  3. Fairfax County, Virginia ($105,416)
  4. Los Alamos County, New Mexico ($103,643)
  5. Howard County, Maryland ($103,273)
  6. Hunterdon County, New Jersey ($100,980)
  7. Douglas County, Colorado ($99,198)
  8. Fairfax City, Virginia ($97,900)
  9. Somerset County, New Jersey ($97,440)
  10. Morris County, New Jersey ($96,747)

As a region, it’s estimated that 40% of the Washington, D.C. metro area economy can be attributed to federal spending. This helps explain why Falls Church City, Virginia; Fairfax County, Virginia; and Howard County, Maryland all scored high on the list. It’s also why Los Alamos ranked 4 — the largest employer in Los Alamos is the Los Alamos National Laboratory, one of the largest science and technology institutes in the world.

The New Jersey counties are popular commuter areas for homeowners who work in New York City.

As a home buyer in Sedona , the wealth of particular area may matter to you, but it won’t be the sole reason you purchase. You may have interest in a quality school district, or a vibrant nightlife, or a a high walkability factor, for example.

For more detailed statistics about the 10 counties at top or other local markets, be sure to ask your real estate agent. 

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The Top 10 Cities In Which To Raise A Family
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Great places to raise a familyLooking for a great place to raise a family? Forbes Magazine has a list that may help you.

Titled “The Best Cities For Raising A Family“, Forbes has compiled and analyzed data from America’s 100 largest metropolitan areas, accounting for seven lifestyle factors including cost of living, commuting ease, school quality, crime density, and home affordability.

Given these selection criteria, it’s no surprise that Grand Rapids, Michigan took top honors. The area’s low median income is offset by an extremely low cost of living and a school system that’s among the best in the nation. Nearly 90% of the homes in Grand Rapids are affordable families earning the median income — the seventh-highest affordability ranking in the country — and commutes are quick.

Since the housing peak, home prices are down just 12% in Grand Rapids — a figure below the national average.

The complete Top 10 list for the Forbes “The Best Cities For Raising A Family” piece were:

  1. Grand Rapids, Michigan
  2. Boise, Idaho
  3. Provo, Utah
  4. Youngstown, Ohio
  5. Raleigh, North Carolina
  6. Poughkeepsie, New York
  7. Omaha, Nebraska
  8. Ogden, Utah
  9. Cincinnati, Ohio
  10. Worcester, Massachusetts

Now, before you make a home-buying decision based on the Forbes report, remember that real estate is a local market and even city-wide statistics can be too broad to be helpful to everyday home buyers in Sedona. Even within Grand Rapids, there are some neighborhoods that outperform in terms of home valuations and school quality, for example; and some areas from which a daily work commute may be more cumbersome. 

For accurate, real-time housing data for any of the above markets or for a smaller neighborhood like West Sedona , be sure to ask a real estate professional.

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