Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Vacationing Out West

English: Fly fishing on the South Santiam rive...Image via WikipediaWith the longer days and increasingly warmer weather we are getting out in Oregon, it is hard to ignore that the summer season is right around the corner. Every couple, family or individual deserves to take some time off and enjoy the nice weather, so why not make a vacation out of it out west! Here are some fun vacation ideas and recommendations to help start your planning.

Take a Hike!
Hiking is a great way to discover the most beautiful places in the world, with the freedom to choose when are where you want to go. If you are in the learning mood, you can take a walking tour of a national park or landmark location. Quite often they are free or at a low cost, and they make you appreciate your surroundings even more.

Climb Every Mountain!
There are no shortages of mountains out west. The Rockies run from Mexico to Canada, and have a great deal of variety to meet your novice or advanced mountaineering needs. It is usually best to refer to a local guide book or resource when choosing mountains to hike or explore. Always make sure you've done your research so you are never in over your head!

Rivers Galore
With mountains come rivers, and with rivers come endless activities. Some of the more popular activities include whitewater rafting tours, fly fishing tours and river side camping. Like mountain activities, river activities out west have a large range in experience level. Always know what you are getting yourself into!

Know where to Stay
With all the activities you will put yourself through, plan out a place to stay in advanced based on your comfort needs. If you plan on sleeping out under the stars, that may seem like not much effort, but do you research and find a park or location that allows overnight camping. If you're more like me, and appreciate a warm and cozy night, take a stay in a condo. If you're coming out to Oregon, I would take a look at some Oregon condo vacation rentals. This site has locations in Depoe, Newport, Gleneden and Bend Oregon, but also has locations all over the American West.

Best of luck to your vacation planning and happy travels!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Texas Economy

texas our texas(Photo credit: jmtimages)I hear it pretty often. "I'm moving to Texas, the economy is great down there, lots of jobs, great cities, etc.." The real estate industry seems to support my suspicions. The Texas real estate industry is one of the few that is seeing a rise in home prices, especially in the hot San Antonio region, so if you are looking for some San Antonio TX real estate, you better snatch those properties up fast! I thought I would look into Texas a little more into the Texas economy, and see if all the hype matched the stats. Here is what I found:

Employment:
Texas is indeed one of the largest employers in the country. Not only that, but over the past several years the rate of employment has expanded at a moderate pace, about 2% according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

Industry:
As in correlation with job growth, businesses and industries have seen positive and consistent growthover the past several years. Retail sales have substantially increased over the past few years, which indicates stronger buying power of residents in Texas. An eye opener for me was the fact that there have been strong improvements in Texas real estate. Sales have been up 8.7% from a year ago, and prices rose by 0.8%, which are numbers that don't easily go up together. There are also many Texas home rebates that are particularly high at the moment, which provides even more incentive to consider living in the state.

The biggest question economists are asking about Texas is how long can they sustain consistent economic growth like this for? Towards the end of 2011, employment and economic growth flattened, but overall the year of 2011 was positive for Texas. In any rate, it is always good to see a state that is enjoying prosperity despite economic hardships.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sunset Beach North Carolina

Sunset on Hilton Head Island, December 28, 2006Image via WikipediaHow can you not like a place called Sunset Beach? This beach town sits a mile away from the border of South Carolina, and is known as a popular spot for travelers looking to spend a day on the beach, but want to get away from the Myrtle Beach crowd. If you're ever visiting the Sunset Beach North Carolina, here are a few things to consider partaking in:

Bird Island State Reserve: Bordering Sunset Beach, this state park is perfect for bird watchers and those who want to get away from the crowds. If you wake up early enough, this is a great place to go shell hunting.

Gift Shops: Just a quick walk from the beach, there is a great collection of gift shops in the town. One includes the Ocean Isle Fishing Center, which has all sorts of fishing supply needs as well as experts who love to talk to visitors about how to be a better fishermen.

Restaurants: A beach town would not be complete without some great restaurants and Sunset Beach doesn't disappoint. Magnolias is a great place to grab breakfast or lunch. One of the top local dining places is the Sea Trail Plantation, which is great for both a casual lunch or a classy dinner.

Like many of its neighboring towns, Sunset Beach has a great deal of rentals available during the summer. If you are looking at Sunset Beach real estate so you can live there full time, there are several spots to consider. Sunset Harbor real estate is always in high demand for its ideal location and proximity the the beach. Carolina Shores is a less expensive option as it is a bit further inland, but it is a nice town to have easy access to. There are several neighboring towns if you are having difficulty finding the right place including Calabash real estate.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

What is the biggest real estate market according to Google?

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBaseWant to know real estate markets that have the biggest potential for growth? How about looking at state-by-state search volumes in Google! The Google Adwords Keywords Tool gives semi-accurate search volumes for any keyword you wish to know more about. In this situation I used [<insert state> real estate] as my keywords. I've listed the real estate search volumes by each 50 state in comparison to other metrics like population and size. The results are rather surprising.


State

United States Search Volume

Population

Land area (sq. miles)

Pop. Density (sq. miles)

Florida

27,100

18,900,773

53,927

339.87

Utah

22,200

2,770,765

82,144

33.31

Maine

14,800

1,333,074

30,862

42.66

Hawaii

12,100

1,366,862

6,423

200.56

Colorado

8,100

4,939,456

103,718

47.62

Alaska

6,600

721,523

571,951

1.2

Arizona

6,600

6,412,700

113,635

57.2

California

6,600

37,341,989

155,959

235.68

Montana

6,600

994,416

145,552

6.65

New York

6,600

19,421,055

47,214

412.81

North Carolina

6,600

9,565,781

48,711

189.33

Michigan

5,400

9,911,626

56,804

176.1

New Hampshire

5,400

1,321,445

8,968

146.72

South Carolina

5,400

4,645,975

30,109

148.79

Texas

5,400

25,268,418

261,797

92.92

Vermont

5,400

630,337

9,250

67.16

Wyoming

4,400

568,300

97,100

5.49

Idaho

3,600

1,573,499

82,747

18.42

Maryland

3,600

5,789,929

9,774

576.39

New Jersey

3,600

8,807,501

7,417

1,170.64

Oregon

3,600

3,848,606

95,997

39.48

Connecticut

2,900

3,581,628

4,845

722.65

Delaware

2,900

900,877

1,954

446.82

Georgia

2,900

9,727,566

57,906

167.27

Tennessee

2,900

6,375,431

41,217

150.78

Virginia

2,900

8,037,736

39,594

196.22

Minnesota

2,400

5,314,879

79,610

65.57

New Mexico

2,400

2,067,273

121,356

16.35

Ohio

2,400

11,568,495

40,948

280.5

Wisconsin

2,400

5,698,230

54,310

103.63

Massachusetts

1,900

6,559,644

7,840

828.82

Pennsylvania

1,900

12,734,905

44,817

277.76

Rhode Island

1,900

1,055,247

1,045

1,005.54

Alabama

1,600

4,802,982

50,744

91.87

Arkansas

1,600

2,926,229

52,068

54.84

Illinois

1,600

12,864,380

55,584

232.11

Indiana

1,600

6,501,582

35,867

177.79

Kentucky

1,600

4,350,606

39,728

107.46

Missouri

1,600

6,011,478

68,886

85.82

Nevada

1,600

2,709,432

109,826

23.68

North Dakota

1,600

675,905

68,976

9.3

Oklahoma

1,600

3,764,882

68,667

53.04

Washington

1,600

6,753,369

66,544

98.42

West Virginia

1,600

1,859,815

24,078

75.36

Iowa

1,300

3,053,787

55,869

53.74

Louisiana

1,000

4,553,962

43,562

101.25

South Dakota

1,000

819,761

75,885

10.6

Mississippi

880

2,978,240

46,907

62.65

Kansas

720

2,863,813

81,815

34.25

Nebraska

720

1,831,825

76,872

23.2


Regardless of whether these numbers are 100% accurate, search volumes can be an accurate measure of demand for any market or industry.