Make Your Neighborhood Everything it Can be

Our neighborhoods are where we spend a majority of our time and where our kids first learn about the outside world. So, isn’t it important to make them everything they can be?

A lot has been written about improving neighborhoods – a recent Google search yielded almost 13 million hits – so there’s no shortage of research material. Here are some ways you can change your little part of the world.

Get involved in town/city government

Municipal government meetings aren’t exciting, but these meetings are where you get information and a say on issues and initiatives. Some large cities have begun to stream their city council meetings online (and many others televise the proceedings), so you can keep yourself informed. Staying up on the issues in your community will help steer you to a cause or initiative you can get into.

Clean up

A clean neighborhood is not just more attractive, it’s generally safer. It becomes a better place for your kids to play and offers others (including potential buyers) a good image of the community. Start with your own backyard (and front yard), then get neighbors together one day a month to clean up public areas. And pick up litter everywhere, not just on your own property.

Attend Community Events

Attending community festivals, block parties and barbeques makes friends of neighbors, and strengthens community bonds. If this isn’t happening, take the initiative yourself and throw a barbeque or party. Others will inevitably follow.

Take time to enjoy your neighborhood

Visit the local grocery story, coffee shop, farmers’ market and library. Explore your neighborhood, jog its streets, and encourage your neighbors to do the same by learning from other communities. For example, more than 100 cities across the world have joined the League of Slow Cities, predicated on the idea that savoring your surroundings (just like savoring your food) contributes to a meaningful life.

Young Buyers are Driving the Luxury Real Estate Market

Generation Ys, who have always fancied the finer things in life, are bringing this mentality to the real estate market by rapidly acquiring high-priced real estate. And they are not stopping at one purchase; this generation is more likely to buy several properties as investments.

So what’s behind this trend? It comes down to economics. The low interest rates and lower real estate prices of recent years have made it easier for Gen Ys (now in their 20s and 30s) to extend their love of luxury into the real estate market. Not for them the starter bungalow of their grandparents’ generation. This group brings the same enthusiasm they have for designer duds to million-dollar condos.

We also have the tech boom to thank. Many young tech titans have become wealthy, now owning stock in various technology companies. With extra cash and high-powered jobs, many are seeking to diversify their portfolio. And how better than by purchasing REAL real estate?

Finally, social media has helped developers and brokers promote their products to this highly tech-savvy generation of buyers. One new condo development in Manhattan reached out through Instagram, the photo-sharing website. When it hit the market, the 24-unit development sold out within a month.

Gen Ys know what they like and have what it takes to get it. And as a result, they’re shaping the real estate industry now and into the future.