Friday, August 15, 2014

How Much Is Your Rent?

We're keeping it short and sweet this week. Here's a chart detailing the average rental prices for 2 bedroom apartments in various US metropolitan areas. Chattanooga isn't listed on here, but you can get an idea of what rent is like here by checking out other regional cities. We don't own this data, it originally came from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Harvard Study Finds Bright Outlook for Rental Investors

Ever thought about investing in rental property? Well, since you're reading a blog about investing, I'm sure you probably have! The good news is, it looks like it might be getting a bit less risky to do so! A new study seems to suggest that rent rates are rising a bit, while construction continues at a steady pace! Here's the article quoted below:

The rental market looks very positive for investors right now, but there are signs that tenants are falling behind.  
The rental vacancy rate was 8.3 percent in 2013—the lowest it’s been since 2000, according to “The State of the Nation’s Housing” report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. 
Naturally, rents rose—by 2.8 percent overall, or 3 percent at professionally managed properties with five or more units. It’s probably not too surprising that multifamily loans are up, too, by 13 percent last year. (That increase is actually lower than 2012, when the number of new multifamily loans increased by 36 percent.) 
And while new multifamily construction is on the rise, so are rentals of single-family homes. Between 2006 and 2012, the number of single-family rentals increased by 3.2 million. Only about half as many new apartment units were built in that time. 
Meanwhile, real median renter costs were up 4 percent between 2011 and 2012, even as median renter incomes declined by 13 percent. Almost half of renters are spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing; about 25 percent are using in excess of 50 percent of their income on a place to live. 
The effect is more pronounced for low-income families. About two-thirds of people earning $15,000 annually—about what you’d make on a full-time, minimum-wage income—spent more than 50 percent.
Click hereto read the full report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies.

This article was originally published on Community Investor, while the report cited was originally published by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. The Grace Frank Group in no way claims ownership of this knowledge or involvement with these parties.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Rent Is Rising Fast in Chattanooga

A sobering reminder that explosive economic growth of the kind Chattanooga has been experiencing has its stumbling blocks. This article from the Chattanooga Times Free Press lays out the rental and leasing situation in the Chattanooga housing market.

Pictured: Not Chattanooga

Put simply, the rise in population, coupled with the increase in construction, has steadily driven prices up. While this isn't necessarily a bad thing, it does tend to make things harder for lower-income and long-term residents who are not used to the higher cost of living.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Want to Start Your Own Business? Consider Chattanooga., a local web news site here in Chattanooga, recently posted an article
referencing another article. Track with me here. The original article came from a website called Wallet Hub, which is, in's words, a "personal finance social network."

No idea what that means, but it did rank Chattanooga #21 out of #150 on a list of the best US cities to start a business.

#21! While that may not seem like a fantastic spot, keep in mind that that puts Chattanooga ahead of places like Texas, New York, Atlanta, and most of Florida. This means that not only is Chattanooga a good place to start your business, but that it is also a good place to invest. With a growing population and plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurship, investing

Click here to see the full article from Wallet Hub, complete with maps and more in-depth analysis of the process of compiling the list.

Friday, March 7, 2014

A Nifty Map for your Consideration

Maps are useful. They are a great way to synthesize knowledge and information, and present it in such a way that is both accessible to millions and easily understood. And with the increasing number of people getting most of their information from the internet, maps and infographics have become even more commonplace.

The Americas hadn't been invented yet.

Fascinating. More to the point, here's a map presenting a state by state breakdown of incentives for renewable energy. While not the most exhaustive source, it is interesting nonetheless and well worth a look. It's an interactive map, so you'll have to click on the state you want to know more about.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Why Real Estate Investment Is Better Than Stocks

Oldies, but the goodies.

Most people would probably agree that when it comes to longer term investments, the stock market will, 9/10, be more profitable than real estate. And probably less work to maintain and sell.

But is it? Or is the value of real estate investment simply understated or misunderstood? Mark Ferguson, real estate broker and blogger at, disagrees.

Click here to read his list of 9 reasons why Real Estate is a worthwhile investment, and even better (he claims) than investing in the stock market.