Here Are the States That Americans Are Fleeing the Fastest—and Why

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The pandemic hasn’t stopped fed-up Americans from fleeing colder, more expensive parts of the country and moving to warmer, cheaper locales. Instead, it’s sped up the exodus for many folks who would have otherwise waited.

The state people can’t seem to get out of fast enough is none other than New Jersey, according to United Van Lines’ 44th Annual National Migration Study. For the third year in a row, the moving company found that residents were leaving the snowy state, known for its high taxes, home prices, and cost of living.

(United Van Lines based its findings on the percentage of inbound/outbound state moves compared with the overall number of state moves. Only states with at least 250 or more moves with United Van Lines were included.)

New Jersey’s median home price tag was $442,500 in November, according to the latest realtor.com® data available. That’s nearly $100,000 more than the national median list price of $348,000. As many people are able to work entirely remotely for the first time during the pandemic, some are seeking to relocate to more affordable places to fire up their laptops.

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Watch: Sacramento’s Secret: Why This California Market Is No. 1 for 2021

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Folks are also moving out of New York, where the median home price was $570,050, and Illinois, where homes go for $249,500, according to realtor.com data. And they’re going to the South and the West, in particular states that offer a lower cost of living, warmer weather, and strong, local economies.

Those relocating during the pandemic are more likely to be retirees and younger workers seeking high-paying jobs in areas with strong economies, says economist and public policy professor Michael Stoll at the University of California, Los Angeles.

People have also moved to be closer to their families, particularly in the middle of these twin health and financial crises. In many cases, the pandemic has sped up their relocation timelines.

“COVID has prompted people who are at or near retirement age to move to places where they would have moved later,” says Stoll. “If you have to stay at home and you can work remotely and you were thinking of moving in two years, why not do it now?”

Where are Americans moving?

No, the top destination isn’t Florida. People are going to Idaho for the second year straight.

The state, which is known for its potatoes and ski resorts, isn’t exactly a warm-weather hot spot. But Idaho is a whole lot cheaper than California and has a strong economy—drawing both retirees and highly skilled workers. The state capital, Boise, also boasts a burgeoning tech job market.

Idaho’s median home list price was $433,600 in November, according to realtor.com. While that’s certainly not a bargain, it’s significantly more palatable than the median $728,500 in nearby California.

“Those who tend to move [for work] are younger and have greater incomes,” says Stoll. “Job growth has been robust in the South and the West.”

(Vermont would have topped the list, overshadowing Idaho, but it didn’t meet United Van Lines’ 250 move threshold to be included on the list.)

South Carolina’s warm weather, beautiful beaches, and lower taxes and cost of living thrust the Palmetto State into the second most popular destination. The state’s median home price was $285,000. Oregon, another California alternative with a stronger job market, came in third, with a median $475,050 home price.

“They’re warmer, more temperate climates, and they’re cheaper places,” says Stoll. Some of the top destinations also appeal to baby boomers. “[They] have the retirement infrastructure [with] retirement communities, health care systems, and amenities.”

The post Here Are the States That Americans Are Fleeing the Fastest—and Why appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Meet the NYC Man Living in a 22,000-Square-Foot Mansion Rent-Free

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Tamara Beckwith / NY Post

Roy Fox hasn’t paid rent for his New York City apartment in more than 30 years. But he’s not sweating an eviction.

In a city of 8.4 million people, Fox, 81, is one of just 23 lucky New Yorkers who reside in one of the city’s publicly owned historic sites spread across the five boroughs.

After working as a radio host in cities from his native Chicago to Detroit and Pittsburgh, Fox, a gregarious rascal brimming with well-worn one-liners, happened upon an offer he couldn’t refuse: a chance to live rent-free in the King Manor House, an 11-acre historic landmark in Jamaica, Queens.

The only catch? Serving as its caretaker.

He never signed a contract or agreed to any concrete terms, but that was more than 30 years ago. Who’s counting?

“[I just] open and close the place,” Fox said of his 1806-built museum dwelling (sections of which date back to 1700). “Work hardly comes to mind.

While he doesn’t earn a salary, Fox also doesn’t have to pay a dime to live in one of the biggest houses in one of the most expensive cities in the world.

“It’s payment for all the years I’ve done, doing nothing,” Fox joked of his role in the 29-room, 22,000-square-foot historic mansion.

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Fox lives rent-free in the King Manor House, an 11-acre historic landmark in Jamaica, Queens, where a portrait of John Alsop, eldest son of Rufus King, hangs on one of its walls.

Tamara Beckwith / NY Post

In the late 1980s, Fox’s then-wife had a job restoring the carousel at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Her boss tipped her off that the parks commissioner was looking for someone to live in the King Manor, and the rest is history.

“It was such a New York story,” said Fox of the serendipity of finding his beloved home.

Fox was lucky enough to arrive in 1989 just as the centuries-old manor once owned by Rufus King—one of the five framers of the US Constitution and a vocal abolitionist, whose sons Charles King and John Alsop King became president of Columbia College and governor of New York, respectively—was undergoing renovations.

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The landmark 19th-century home was last renovated in the late 1980s.

Tamara Beckwith / NY Post

“The beginnings of anti-racism were here at King Manor with this family and others like them,” Fox said. “I’m housebound, but what a house to be bound in.”

His timing gave him the opportunity to advocate for how the old servants’ quarters—soon to be his own apartment—were to be redesigned. His two-bedroom home on the third and top floor of the estate is oddly shaped, thanks to a 19th-century renovation that clumsily combined three original buildings on the farm.

Fox’s apartment includes a combined kitchen and dining room, an office, which sits four steps below the rest of his apartment, one bathroom and two bedrooms. But he frequently abandons his king-size bedroom in favor of a snooze on his spare-bedroom pullout.

Connected to his office, and separated from the rest of the mansion, is a tiny pink room. It is presumed to have originally acted as a child’s room for warmer seasons, as it doesn’t have a fireplace.

King Manor is the 1806 home of Rufus King, one of the framers of the US Constitution and an influential abolitionist.

Brian Zak / NY Post

Fox stopped the crew from closing off the kitchen, as was in the blueprint, to maintain more open space for dining, though he admittedly doesn’t cook. A sign hangs in his kitchen that reads, “This kitchen is here because it came with the place.”

He does, however, make snacks. A popcorn machine stands at the ready, eager to be fed the special yellow kernels Fox picks up at the Union Square Farmers Market.

Before COVID, he accepted guests—old friends, King scholars and manor staff—for popcorn, beer and an animated history lesson.

But today, he lives almost alone—his first and then second marriages didn’t stick and he never had children—save for his beloved feline roommate, Super Cat, a stray who adopted him a year and a half ago.

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The real king of the manor isn’t a Fox, but a feline—Super Cat.

Tamara Beckwith / NY Post

However, over the years in his role as caretaker, Fox has accumulated a large ersatz family of museum staff, researchers, community members and friends.

“Fox is the heart of King Manor,” said King Manor executive director Kelsey Brow. “Years pass, and the Fox is still in the house. He always says, ‘King Manor, like no other museum.’ Well, there’s no other caretaker like our Fox!”

The center of Fox’s unique home is his office, where he spends the day at a simple wooden desk angled next to the best window, which provides a magnificent view of the green grounds that surround the estate. Turn 180 degrees and another window offers a peek at bustling Jamaica Avenue.

His space is simply outfitted with the exception of a festive 4-foot-tall spruce tree that a friend gifted him. Fox decorated it with white Christmas lights.

“It’s like me, it’s hysterical, not historical,” Fox said of his décor. “I’m not big on furniture.”

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Roy Fox passes his days surrounded by his collection of 4,000 books in his apartment and office — the former servants’ quarters — above the King Manor House in Jamaica, Queens.

Tamara Beckwith / NY Post

There are no antiques or other historic artifacts in his living quarters. He said he likes to keep all the history downstairs in the more public-facing manor. Down there, he loves to admire the oversize US Constitution that rests on a table in the living room below, and the life-size statue of King—Fox makes a game of sneaking objects like books and a paper copy of the US Constitution into the statue’s hands to amuse visitors.

You won’t find a TV in Fox’s den. He hasn’t owned one since 1982, when he gave his away to a homeless guy. But what he doesn’t have in 21st-century entertainment or fancy knickknacks, he makes up for in books.

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Fox hanging with a life-sized statue of Rufus King in the library.

Tamara Beckwith

Fox owns more than 4,000 pieces of literature, from the historic and significant, to today’s best-sellers (Mary Trump’s “Too Much and Never Enough” is his most poignant read of 2020, he relayed).

The apartment has so many books that it beats out King’s own collection of 3,200 books, many of which now reside in the Library of Congress.

“I feel like I’m surrounded by my friends,” Fox said of his massive book collection.

Fox reads and writes voraciously, always carrying a pen and piece of paper with him around his apartment and the house, taking notes, capturing quotes and circling passages in his books.

Fox said he is unbothered by the solitude of shuffling around a giant manor and months of no visitors. (The museum just reopened in September with three tours a day and advance registration is required.) He is content with his books, his cat and the history in the floorboards.

He’s also unperturbed at the thought that the spirits of historic figures may be rattling around in the night when he is on the property alone.

“Haunted? The only scary thing in this building is me,” Fox laughed, noting the exception of Super Cat. “From the moment I come into the apartment, she’s by my side.”

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10 Extreme Facts About TV Host Ty Pennington—and His Brand-New Show

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Jerod Harris / Contributor / Getty Images

Ty Pennington has become a household name working as a hunky carpenter on TLC’s “Trading Spaces” and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (which won him two Emmy Awards before the show ended in 2012).

But since then, Pennington’s been somewhat MIA—which is why fans were likely thrilled to hear that HGTV has announced his return on a new show, “Ty Breaker.”

Set to premiere on Jan. 11, “Ty Breaker” will follow Pennington as he helps homeowners decide whether to buy a new home or renovate the house they already have. He’s joined by HGTV stars Alison Victoria (“Windy City Rehab”), Grace Mitchell (“One of a Kind”), and Sabrina Soto (“The High Low Project”), who rotate as the show’s guest designers.

Yet even though Pennington has a devoted following of fans who are sure to tune in, there’s a lot about this reality TV star that many might not know. To whet your appetite, here are a few surprising facts about Pennington that could make you see him in a whole new light.

1. Ty’s full name is so odd, we get why he shortened it

As it turns out, Ty isn’t short for Tyler or Tyrone. Nope. His full name is actually Tygert! In 1964 he was born Gary Tygert Burton Jr. in Atlanta.

So how’d his last name change to what it is today? In his book “Life to the Extreme,” Pennington says that, growing up, he barely saw his biological dad, but was lucky to have a stepfather to fill that role, Nick Pennington.

2. Landscaping and construction paid his way through college

Long before “Trading Spaces,” Pennington grew up in Georgia and paid his way through college, taking night classes while working landscaping and later construction jobs. He majored in graphic design, and had originally wanted to be an artist.

After graduating, he worked as a model, then as a set designer before transitioning to TV.

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Watch: Exclusive: HGTV’s Orlando Soria Gives Us a Tour of His Home

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3. He’s been in way more reality TV shows than you realize

While both “Trading Spaces” and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” were massive hits, not all shows Pennington graced with his presence were so lucky. In 2012, he hosted a talk show called “The Revolution,” which was canceled after a few episodes. Those were followed by “On the Menu” in 2014 and “American Diner Revival” in 2015.

4. Ty Pennington is quite the cook

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Pennington explained that his culinary interests started when his mother was taking night classes and he and his brother were left to make themselves dinner.

Even though he sticks to carpentry on screen today, he’s never shy to share his cooking skills on social media.

5. He built his own home

In 2014, Pennington designed and built his own house in The Hammock, an area of Flagler County, FL, famed for its pristine beaches.

“Over the years I’ve built hundreds of homes for other people and decided that finally, now is the time to build one for my family,” Pennington told local news outlets.

While Pennington hasn’t widely shared photos of his home, plans on file with the Flagler County Building Department indicate it was worth $680,000 when built. It includes a pool, cabana, and two-story atrium, and has, in his words, “a combination of open plan modern with some craftsman motifs. This is going to be a NextGen home, which is a home of the future, including green products, energy efficient technology and the latest innovations in building products and technology.”

Pennington has also been known to try out new home improvement ideas on his space. In one Instagram post he explained how he updated his deck railings to better handle the Florida humidity. (The secret apparently has to do with using cypress wood.)

6. He has many amazing women in his life

Sorry, ladies, Pennington has been in a relationship with Andrea Bock for around 20 years. They also say they have little interest in walking down the aisle—after two decades together, what do they have to prove?

The couple are also intensely private, with Pennington posting no photos of Bock on his social media pages. Although two women do occasionally appear in his posts, including his niece and his mom, Yvonne Burton (with whom he quarantined).

7. Pennington is crafty as well as handy

This carpenter has been known to show off a crafty streak, too. Some recent favorites? Making custom stamps and repurposing thrift-store frames.

8. He struggles with ADHD

Anyone who’s ever watched Pennington on TV knows he has a ton of energy, but in 2012 he said publicly that this is due to his attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

“Hyperactivity is just one aspect of ADHD,” he told HuffPost. “There’s distractibility and there’s impulsivity.”

He’s also said that his difficulties when it comes to paying attention have caused challenges in his personal relationships. Still, he added that seeing a psychiatrist and taking medication have helped over the years.

9. He got dinged with a DUI

In May 2007, Pennington was charged with driving under the influence in Los Angeles. He was fined $1,500, received 36 months probation, and was ordered to undergo a 90-day alcohol education program.

In a statement Pennington said, “I hope this experience can help others as much as it has helped me.”

10. He’s fine not hosting the new ‘Extreme Makeover’

Fans were thrilled to see “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” return to TV in February 2020—but they may have also been surprised to see that the reboot featured Jesse Tyler Ferguson from “Modern Family” as the host. Some fans were so disappointed, they vowed to boycott the show entirely.

So what happened to Pennington? It turns out, the carpenter wasn’t even asked to host the show, but he’s not hurt by the change.

“I’m too old for it now,” the 54-year-old said in one interview. “I shouldn’t hog all the good vibes.”

Pennington does make appearances on the show as a guest designer, so he’s still part of the makeover magic—and will soon get more airtime once “Ty Breaker” premieres this year.

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Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber Buy on Miami’s Exclusive North Bay Road

Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber

Getty Images for Turner

Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber are the latest celebrity couple scooping up property in Miami, a source tells Page Six exclusively.

We’re told the good-looking pair have bought a coveted waterfront place on Miami Beach’s exclusive North Bay Road. According to the source, the multimillion-dollar home was purchased off-market.

The power couple—who extensively remodeled homes in Malibu and Beverly Hills—plan on doing the same with their new pad. “They really enjoy building and renovating houses,” says the source.

Gerber, who founded the nightlife company Gerber Group and tequila line Casamigos with George Clooney and Mike Meldman, has ties to the area — he opened hotspot The Whiskey on Ocean Drive in the 1990s.

Karlie Kloss and Josh Kushner just bought a $23.5 million eight-bedroom estate on North Bay Road this month. Other neighbors in the prestigious area include Tory Burch co-founder Chris Burch, former J Crew CEO Mickey Drexler, and billionaire Barry Sternlicht.

Miami has seen an influx of A-listers lately, with Page Six exclusively reporting that Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump and Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady recently bought on the nearby Indian Creek Island, also known as the “Billionaire’s Bunker.”

The post Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber Buy on Miami’s Exclusive North Bay Road appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

New Homes, New Year: 11 Brand-New Homes for Sale

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realtor.com

There are lots of reasons we’re looking to slam the door shut on 2020. But how about leaving your old house behind and toasting new beginnings in the new year?

We’ve found 11 great homes on the market right now that are brand-new—all ready for you to move in and make a fresh start.

The dwellings we’ve found might provide positive vibes as you embark on your 2021 journey. Besides their desirable locations, many offer such new-home perks as energy efficiency and smart home features.

And when a home has just been built, you’ll spend less time phoning the plumber or tackling a DIY project. That leaves you ample time to curl up with a book, whip up a feast with all those new appliances, or simply sip a drink on your new back porch.

We’re happy to raise a glass and toast to a new year, and to cheer on these 11 new homes. Pour yourself some bubbly, and let’s take a tour of some of these fresh builds.

1. 34 Rosemont Ave, Waltham, MA

Price: $879,000
Spiffy specs: This new, energy-efficient construction in the Piety Corner District was meticulously designed by a premier builder.

Features include soffit ceilings, crown moldings, nickel-gap accent walls, stained hardwood floors, built-ins, and a gas fireplace.

The layout features a chef’s kitchen with new appliances, a mudroom, and a master suite with a walk-in closet and en suite bath. The basement has a finished bonus room. A backyard offers a paver terrace and professional landscaping.

Waltham, MA

realtor.com

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2. 4706 Highview Pl, Raleigh, NC

Price: $589,900
Spiffy specs: This custom-built home has hardwood floors, three bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, and 2,650 square feet of living space. Highlights include a kitchen with quartz counters, upgraded appliances, and dark wood cabinetry.

The open living area comes with a fireplace, and the windowed dining area features a modern chandelier. The outdoor space includes a covered rear deck and a lot of almost 1 acre.

Raleigh, NC

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3. 2436 Folly Ln SE, Atlanta, GA

Price: $457,881
Spiffy specs: You can’t get newer than this. This residence is scheduled to be completed in January. Located close to the Braves’ stadium and the Silver Comet Trail, the home abuts a green space.

Inside, the three-bedroom home includes hardwood stairs, a bedroom or home office with full bathroom on the first floor, and a kitchen with upgraded quartz counters, a large island, pendant lights, and microwave drawer.

A family room has a beautiful beamed ceiling, with plenty of windows. The owner’s suite includes two closets, as well as a bathroom with a double vanity and a walk-in shower. Outside, the back deck is perfect for grilling and relaxing outside with friends and family.

Atlanta, GA

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4. 427 Delayne Dr, Austin, TX

Price: $1,695,000
Spiffy specs: This modern home offers four bedrooms in a spacious, 4,350-square-foot interior. Luxe details include designer finishes, wood floors, and soaring ceilings.

The open-concept living area features a custom gas fireplace and views of the outdoors. The owner’s suite has a private entry to the backyard, and there are two more en suite guest bedrooms. A game room accesses the pool.

The large lot includes a private pool and spa, as well as over 1,000 square feet of covered outdoor space. Located in the gated community of Reunion Reserve, the tranquil Hill Country setting features green space and proximity to downtown Austin.

Austin, TX

realtor.com

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5. 3823 Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis, MN

Price: $598,000
Spiffy specs: Get all the benefits of suburbia without leaving the city. This four-bedroom home comes with a luxurious master suite, walk-in tiled shower, upper-level laundry, and hardwood floors.

The living and dining area on the main floor features an open kitchen with island seating. You can also host visitors or an au pair in a guest suite in the fully finished basement.

Minneapolis, MN

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6. 12302 Ashbury Ave, Cleveland, OH

Price: $299,900
Spiffy specs: This home has not yet been built, but the idea is tempting. You can customize it to your exact tastes, adding square footage or a finished basement. The contemporary, designer home will include large windows, 10-foot ceilings, and abundant light.

Outside, the exterior design will feature a front porch and a two-car garage. Other perks include an Energy Star rating that qualifies for the city’s 15-year tax abatement.

In addition, the locale is close to Case Western Reserve University, the Cleveland Institute of Art, and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

Cleveland, OH

realtor.com

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7. 518 Second St, New Orleans, LA

Price: $639,500
Spiffy specs: Fall for this three-bedroom charmer in the heart of the Irish Channel neighborhood. Just completed, the interior features an open first-floor layout with exposed beam ceiling, antique pine wood flooring, cove crown molding, and a kitchen with quartz counters.

The adjacent family room looks out on the backyard. Details include deep covered porches, a security system, LED recessed lighting, and tall ceilings.

New Orleans, LA

realtor.com

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8. 39 Canto Del Pajaro, Santa Fe, NM

Price: $629,500
Spiffy specs: This custom-designed home with a tile roof fits right into its natural surroundings. The four-bedroom space features a fireplace, tall ceilings with wood beams, and plank wood-tile flooring.

Outside the living room, there’s a covered patio with fireplace. A glorious open kitchen features a granite island and bar seating.

An owner’s suite has a luxurious bathroom with a walk-in shower, tub, and walk-in closet. The study, complete with a fireplace, could be converted into another bedroom.

Santa Fe, NM

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9. 5455 25th Ave SW Unit A, Seattle, WA

Price: $520,000
Spiffy specs: This super-modern abode offers contemporary design packed into a two-bedroom floor plan. An open layout includes an airy living, dining, and kitchen space.

Other details include luxury vinyl plank floors, stainless appliances, and quartz counters. It’s also a green build, complete with parking wired for an electric vehicle.

Seattle, WA

realtor.com

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10. 4032 Riviera Dr, San Diego, CA

Price: $1,299,000
Spiffy specs: With 360-degree bay views from the private rooftop deck—and just a two-minute walk to the water—this sparkling three-bedroom home is a beach lover’s paradise. The modern, open-concept layout features a combined kitchen and living area, and a two-car garage with an electric car port.

San Diego, CA

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11. 2596 First St Unit D, Napa, CA

Price: $525,000
Spiffy specs: Live the dream in the wine country. This Northern California three-bedroom includes a spacious master suite.

The modern floor plan features a kitchen, breakfast bar, living room, and garage with interior access to the main floor. The 1,027-square-foot abode is close to shopping, dining, and transportation, and, of course, wineries.

Napa, CA

realtor.com

The post New Homes, New Year: 11 Brand-New Homes for Sale appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.