renterBy Angelina Bader
Apartment List

Apartment List surveyed over 5,000 renters and homeowners about their perception of renter stigma. The survey results indicate that nearly 30 percent of Americans believe that there exists a negative social stigma associated with renting. This belief is prevalent among renters and homeowners alike. 34 percent of renters and 28 percent of homeowners agree that America’s renters – all 109,000,000 of them – are stigmatized in today’s society.

Nearly 9 in 10 Americans equate homeownership with personal success and economic security.

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We hear it a lot, right? “Amazing location. Must see.” And with a fair amount of skepticism, we click. “Oh yeah, we’ll just see about that…”

But this one, this wonderfully updated, sweet little home really is a must see and the location? Well, it’s amazing. It’s walking distance to hiking and biking trails and a little puddle of water called Lake Grapevine.

And then there’s adorable downtown Grapevine with its vintage train, wonderful restaurants, and charming boutiques. Oh, and you’re a short drive from Southlake, too, and hello, they have a Tyler’s.

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RichardsonEditor’s Note: Recently, MoneyWise revealed its list of the 40 most frugal and friendly places to retire. In a bid to provide an idea of what housing inventory is available in these cities and towns, we’re taking a look at listings in each of the cities on the list.

Not everyone can spend $1 million or more on a second home, even if it’s with the idea that eventually you’ll retire there. So when MoneyWise’s list of 40 places to retire that are more budget-friendly came out, we were curious — what kind of homes could you find in these towns?

Last week, we looked at the 23rd city on the list — Thousand Oaks, Calfornia. This week, we look somewhere very familiar: Richardson, where we found three great homes — all for less than $410,000.

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I have stacks of homes to blog, and I’m going to the Neil Diamond concert Tuesday evening, but I just have to get this out there: 4302 Colony West Drive, Richmond, TX.

As they say, WTF?

This is a home in the Houston suburb of Richmond, and apparently belongs to an artist/jewelry designer who does a lot of work with mannequins.

They are, like, everywhere, even on the ceilings. 

Our team has been chatting about this house now for a few days. Home stagers are running for Xanax. (more…)

Most expensive homes listed in U.S.

Photos courtesy of Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty

A Texas ranch was included in Curbed.com’s roundup of the most expensive homes for sale in the U.S. earlier this week. Perhaps the Hill Country town of Lampasas should rebrand itself Lampa$a$, given the $81 million price tag on the Hill Country property, which ranks among the 25 most expensive homes currently listed for sale in the nation. It ranks 21st in the lineup that ranges from $250 million to $78 million, with most in what seems to be a sweet spot for top-tier housing prices — the low to mid-80s.

See the full story on SecondShelters.com.

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What are the punch list essentials to take a house from long-term rental to a near immediate sale? Northern Realty Group agent Lisa Logan was presented with just this dilemma. Of course, it’s helpful if the listing is in Ryan Place, where demand remains insanely strong and inventory persistently low.

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Here is another useful stroke – have a seasoned construction engineer in the family who has worked on some of the highest profile residential projects in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, like the most expensive house for sale in North Texas. (Hint: one of the two billionaire Andy Beal is said to be shopping.) Meet Project 2509 Willing Avenue, a 2,200-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath, 1919 Craftsman. The home just needed some interior refreshing.

“I can’t emphasize the importance of something as basic as a good paint job,” begins Lisa’s husband Shanon Logan. “Just removing the accumulated layers of years of bad paint work and starting fresh does a great deal to improve a first impression.” (more…)

Texas Unemployment and Housing over Time

Well, well, well … looks like Texas is more attractive than ever, thanks to it healthy employment rate and housing market. The Motley Fool notes that not only did Texas recover from the recession faster than most states, but it’s thriving at a more substantial clip than other metro areas. It beat Washington, North Carolina, and Colorado.

Buoyed by the oil and gas industry, Texas sailed a relatively smooth course through the financial crisis. A 2009 study by BusinessWeek put five Texas cities in the top 10 cities least effected by the recession in all of the U.S.

Today, the oil and gas industry is having some issues, but Texas remains a solid market in which to own a house. Home prices have proven strong through multiple economic cycles, and the Texas employment market remains strong.

Further, Austin, Texas, was ranked as the top local economy to raise a family in a study that considered the town’s growth, economic stability, and housing market.

But what areas in Texas are the best spots to buy? Believe it or not, it’s Collin County. Jump for more.

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Texas Map Experian v2

It’s finally happened. We know you can’t believe every (any) thing you read on the internet, we can now say the same of credit-reporting agency Experian, whose tag line is “Data Quality.”

I saw an infographic (a nice name for a chart full of data that’s been made “fun”) purporting to show “The Wealthiest ZIP Codes in America” published by credit bureau Experian. To be pedantic, I will point out that “America” consists of two continents and many countries while this chart only talks about the Unites States.

The chart lists the top three ZIP codes in each state. Each state falls into a region. For example, Texas is part of the West South Central region that also contains Louisiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas. It also lists the number of households in each code. Data reportedly came from the IRS and US Census and was filtered through wealth.mongabay.com, freep.com and zipatlas.com.

I spent a few minutes whirling around the chart seeing if I recognized any zip codes from cities I used to live in…and zippo, I couldn’t place any of these toitiest of hoity ZIP codes. So being the scab-picker that I am, I looked a little deeper … (“ruh-roh” as Scooby would say)

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