The 20 hottest housing markets in America

Suisun City is featured as #17 on the list of hottest housing markets in America!

Population: 29,492

Median household income: $71,306

Median home listing price: $327,000

Job growth in the past year: 2%

Jobs added in the past year: 3,300


Real estate is a competitive business. In some markets, if you don’t jump on a property you like right away, you risk losing it within days — or even hours.

new study by found the hottest housing markets in country by zip code, measuring the time it takes properties to sell and how frequently homes are viewed.

Homes in the hottest zip codes go fast, selling in an average of 25 days — a full 53 days faster on average than the rest of the country, according to These places also have a few crucial similarities: They tout strong job markets and are home to a large population of millennials, one of the largest generations in US history.

Notably, the top three places — Watauga, Texas; Pleasant Hill, California; and Northglenn, Colorado — are all located along the perimeter of major metro areas: Fort Worth, San Francisco, and Denver, respectively. These peripheral locations allow buyers to purchase relatively affordable homes within expensive metro areas, according to the report.

Read on to check out the 20 hottest housing markets in America by zip code.

20. 58103 — Fargo, North Dakota

20. 58103 — Fargo, North Dakota


Population: 118,523

Median household income: $46,311

Median home listing price: $193,000

Job growth in the past year: 2%

Jobs added in the past year: 4,700

19. 49508 — Kentwood, Michigan

19. 49508 — Kentwood, Michigan

Google Maps

Population: 51,357

Median household income: $49,201

Median home listing price: $148,000

Job growth in the past year: 3%

Jobs added in the past year: 8,600

18. 14625 — Rochester, New York

18. 14625 — Rochester, New York


Population: 209,802

Median household income: $30,784

Median home listing price: $203,000

Job growth in the past year: 1%

Jobs added in the past year: 3,600

17. 94585 — Suisun City, California

Population: 29,492

Median household income: $71,306

Median home listing price: $327,000

Job growth in the past year: 2%

Jobs added in the past year: 3,300

16. 78749 — Austin, Texas

16. 78749 — Austin, Texas


Population: 931,830

Median household income: $55,216

Median home listing price: $360,000

Job growth in the past year: 4%

Jobs added in the past year: 24,000

15. 37214 — Nashville, Tennessee

15. 37214 — Nashville, Tennessee


Population: 654,610

Median household income: $46,758

Median home listing price: $198,000

Job growth in the past year: 1%

Jobs added in the past year: 3,200

14. 95123 — San Jose

14. 95123 — San Jose

Wikimedia Commons

Population: 1,026,908

Median household income: $83,787

Median home listing price: $725,000

Job growth in the past year: 2%

Jobs added in the past year: 16,000

13. 48072 — Berkley, Michigan

13. 48072 — Berkley, Michigan

Google Maps

Population: 15,268

Median household income: $70,625

Median home listing price: $229,000

Job growth in the past year: 3%

Jobs added in the past year: 16,000

12. 66204 — Overland Park, Kansas

Population: 186,515

Median household income: $72,231

Median home listing price: $150,000

Job growth in the past year: 3%

Jobs added in the past year: 9,700

11. 40242 — Louisville, Kentucky

Population: 615,366

Median household income: $44,806

Median home listing price: $187,000

Job growth in the past year: 1%

Jobs added in the past year: 4,000

10. 92104 — North Park, California (part of the broader San Diego area)

Population: 80,276

Median household income: $47,454

Median home listing price: $497,000

Job growth in the past year: 1%

Jobs added in the past year: 20,000

9. 97222 — Milwaukie, Oregon (part of the broader Portland area)

Population: 20,830

Median household income: $55,827

Median home listing price: $309,000

Job growth in the past year: 4%

Jobs added in the past year: 7,600

8. 63126 — Crestwood, Missouri

Population: 11,966

Median household income: $66,842

Median home listing price: $183,000

Job growth in the past year: 2%

Jobs added in the past year: 9,000

7. 01276 — Melrose, Massachusetts

7. 01276 — Melrose, Massachusetts

Google Maps

Population: 27,997

Median household income: $86,409

Median home listing price: $462,000

Job growth in the past year: 1%

Jobs added in the past year: 7,700

6. 94954 — Petaluma, California (part of the San Francisco Bay Area)

Population: 60,438

Median household income: $80,590

Median home listing price: $596,000

Job growth in the past year: 2%

Jobs added in the past year: 4,000

5. 78247 — San Antonio

5. 78247 — San Antonio

Population: 1,469,485

Median household income: $46,317

Median home listing price: $184,000

Job growth in the past year: 3%

Jobs added in the past year: 23,000

4. 80916 — Colorado Springs, Colorado

4. 80916 — Colorado Springs, Colorado

Storefront in Colorado Springsteofilo | Flickr

Population: 456,568

Median household income: $54,228

Median home listing price: $178,000

Job growth in the past year: 2%

Jobs added in the past year: 7,200

3. 80233 — Northglenn, Colorado (part of the broader Denver area)

Population: 39,197

Median household income: $53,616

Median home listing price: $278,000

Job growth in the past year: 3%

Jobs added in the past year: 7,900

2. 94523 — Pleasant Hill, California (part of the San Francisco Bay Area)

Population: 34,810

Median household income: $81,556

Median home listing price: $630,000

Job growth in the past year: 2%

Jobs added in the past year: 7,200

1. 76148 — Watauga, Texas (part of the broader Fort Worth area)

Population: 24,525

Median household income: $61,716

Median home listing price: $137,000

Job growth in the past year: 3%

Jobs added in the past year: 28,000

Mortgage Applications Rise for New Home Purchases

Mortgage Applications Rise for New Home Purchases
Mortgage applications for new home purchases increased by 5 percent relative to the previous month, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Builder Applications Survey (BAS) data for August 2016.

“Applications for new home purchase mortgages were up in August on an unadjusted basis following a sluggish July,” says Lynn Fisher, MBA’s vice president of Research and Economics. “New home purchase applications increased 5 percent over the month and increased more than 14 percent compared to August a year ago. Based on the applications data, our estimate of seasonally adjusted new home sales for August reached 601,000 sales, the highest level observed in our survey since it began in 2012. While our new home sales estimates have trailed the recent Census data, the increase in our series in August, which derives from a different source of data compared to the Census, provides some corroboration that single family building activity has remained strong even as the summer winds down. Our sense is that builders have been attempting to catch up with demand in the face of labor shortfalls and other limiting factors in various parts of the country.”

By product type, conventional loans composed 67.7 percent of loan applications, FHA loans composed 18.4 percent, RHS/USDA loans composed 0.7 percent and VA loans composed 13.2 percent. The average loan size of new homes decreased from $325,843 in July to $325,224 in August.

The MBA estimates new single-family home sales were running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 601,000 units in August 2016, based on data from the BAS. The new home sales estimate is derived using mortgage application information from the BAS, as well as assumptions regarding market coverage and other factors.

The seasonally adjusted estimate for August is an increase of 11.3 percent from the July pace of 540,000 units. On an unadjusted basis, the MBA estimates that there were 48,000 new home sales in August 2016, an increase of 6.7 percent from 45,000 new home sales in July.

MBA’s Builder Applications Survey tracks application volume from mortgage subsidiaries of home builders across the country. Utilizing this data, as well as data from other sources, MBA is able to provide an early estimate of new home sales volumes at the national, state, and metro level. This data also provides information regarding the types of loans used by new home buyers. Official new home sales estimates are conducted by the Census Bureau on a monthly basis. In that data, new home sales are recorded at contract signing, which is typically coincident with the mortgage application.

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10 Home Renovations That Offer the Best (and Worst) Return on Investment

Hammer on Stack of Money

Judy Dutton

Remodeling may be a labor of love, but it’s also an investment that can seriously boost the value of your home.  Only by how much? Well, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2016 Cost vs. Value Report, you’ll recoup an average of 64% of what you paid for a renovation if you sell your home this year.

To arrive at these figures, Remodeling asked consultants in various markets to estimate the average cost for 30 home improvement projects, from adding a bathroom to replacing a roof. Then, they asked real estate agents nationwide to estimate the expected resale value of these renovations so that readers could compare their out-of-pocket costs to how much money they’d get back when it came time to sell their home.

The next best-paying renovation on the list: manufactured stone veneer, offering a respectable 92.9% return.

Meanwhile—sorry, luxury tub fans—the home improvement project that reaps the worst ROI is the addition of a bathroom, at 56.2% (although the “added value” of an extra bathroom for anyone who’s ever had to wait their turn for one is, of course, priceless).

Take-home lesson? If you’re looking for a general rule of thumb, it’s that less is more: Lower-cost projects  generally reap bigger returns, with four of the five projects that cost less than $5,000 ranking among the top five for money back when you sell.

Check out the best (and worst) returns for home renovations in the two charts below, including how much you’ll pay and get back if you sell your home this year.



Creating a Rustic and Reclaimed Living Room

Incorporating these design elements into your living room will make it feel warm & cozy – just in time for fall!

The following is a guest post from Kerrie Kelly, ASID

A rustic, reclaimed living room is all about that perfect combination between old and new. Thanks to its unwavering ability to bring warmth into a space, rustic influences have become all the rage by bringing in cozy textures and natural elements from the olden days into modern spaces. They also celebrate the art of reusing, combining flea market finds with salvaged materials from the past. Let’s take a look at a few easy ways you can create an organic oasis complete with farmhouse-inspired furnishings, woodsy wallpaper and chic accessories.

Weathered Materials and Organic Shapes


What better way to bring rustic charm into your living room than with weathered and organic materials? Texture and patina are essential for adding a sense of age to a living room. Reclaimed wood has become the holy grail of the rustic look—when used on an accent wall or as ceiling beams, the wood can instantly create a space that seems like it has been around for generations.

Contrary to popular belief, your living room doesn’t need to be completely covered in reclaimed wood to pull off that rustic charm. Antique brass and hammered metals also add to the verdigris of a cozy living room, layering well with rougher textures and distressed patinas. Accenting a space with a few organic shapes limits the feeling of everything being mass-produced—wicker baskets are easy additions for newspaper or blanket storage, while hand-turned wooden bowls make great coffee table decor or knick-knack holders. Want to bring in the look of weathered materials without the commitment of nails and glue? We love an accent wall made of removable wallpaper with a shiplap print for a quick and easy rustic touch.

Warm, Earthy Colors


The rustic living room is all about incorporating warm, earthy tones from the natural world. While many color inspirations can be pulled from the natural materials, others can come from a variety of travel spots to combine into a cozy palette for your living room. We love the look of rusty tones from the deserts of the American Southwest to earthy hues from the Smoky Mountains. Don’t think your living room needs to be a catalogue of all shades of beige—there is room for a sprinkling of vivid color accents like a deep cherry red, prairie golden yellow, chambray blue and faded desert turquoise.

Hearty Fabrics


Like the rustic look, hearty fabrics highlight both natural beauty and ruggedness. Stray away from light fabrics like silk—their delicateness won’t blend in well with the heartiness of reclaimed pieces. Instead, stick to sturdier fabrics like wool, burlap, cotton and linen, which have a long history in homey rooms. The right pattern can also play a part in tying together your living room—try trendy-colored gingham, flannel or striped pillows for contrast, or a modern quilt for a classic piece of Americana.

Recycled and Reclaimed Accents


Materials aren’t the only addition to your living room that can be re-purposed. Create a collected look with miscellaneous furniture, lighting, art and accessories for a quintessential rustic and reclaimed living room. Feel free to combine multiple styles into a curated look that screams “you”—industrial lighting, vintage signs, farmhouse accents, you name it. Look for an old-timey rocking chair or consider re-purposing a wing back for a fun take on an old design staple.



Accessories are the perfect way to add a dose of femininity to a space overwhelmed by rustic wood and deeper tones. Soften a space with a sheepskin rug or a well-loved Persian rug. A dazzling old chandelier will add sparkle, as will a few industrial style reading lamps with antique shine. An old-school bar cart is a great flea market find, and accented with the right metallic barware it can add a fabulous little touch of speakeasy glamour to a rustic room.

Have you ever created a rustic and reclaimed living room in your space? What were your go-to accessories and furnishings?

Developing stylish homes is a hallmark of Kerrie Kelly’s work at Kerrie Kelly Design Lab in Sacramento, Ca. Kerrie’s advice on rustic spans wall, floor and furniture inspiration. Kerrie writes on interior design for Home Depot, where you can review a selection of wallpaper patterns that could help bring out the rustic look you’re looking for.

Images via Shutterstock

8 Unwritten Etiquette Rules Every Home Seller Should Know.


David Sacks/Getty Images

If you’re trying to sell your home, you’ve probably scrutinized it, staged it, and scrubbed it down from floorboards to rooftop as if the folks from Architectural Digest were stopping by for a cover shoot. OK, so it’s in immaculate shape—but your home isn’t the only thing under scrutiny here. You are, too! That’s right: No matter how nice your home is, your behavior can also affect how buyers feel about making an offer.

Last week we told you the secret etiquette rules that every home buyer needs to know in order to nail the deal. Today we’re focusing on the selling side of the equation. Here are the (previously) unwritten etiquette rules sellers should follow to show their home—and themselves—in the best possible light.


Sure, you’re dying to know if prospective buyers will love what you’ve done with the kitchen, but Realtors® agree sellers should not be there lurking in the shadows during an open house or showing.

“Buyers don’t feel as comfortable when the owner is at the home watching their every move,” explains Nicholas Kensington of Scottsdale Real Estate. “Get out of their way so that they can start to picture themselves living there instead of being spied on.” So take a powder. Or at least hide.

Take your pets with you

You think Humbert is the cutest labradoodle ever, but not everyone is bound to share that opinion. In addition to having allergies, some home shoppers may not be in the market for a run-in with an animal they don’t know.

“Imagine, as a buyer, having the background music set to ‘barking dog’ while you are trying to take in the home’s nuances that you, as the seller, have worked so hard to hone,” says Brenda Hayward, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker. “To say nothing of the stress it puts on your beloved pet. Take your mutt for a car ride, to the dog park, or for a long walk. It will do you both good.”

Betty Clark, who claims an “irrational fear of birds,” says she was shocked by how many open houses she ran from due to unexpected tweeting and chirping from caged and uncaged feathered friends. Don’t alienate would-be purchasers by forcing your pets on them.

Move your car

“Make it easy for visitors to park and view the home,” Kensington notes. “No one likes parking issues. Having them is a sure way to get a viewing off to a bad start.” In fact, if potential buyers have to park a block away and walk, they may just skip taking the tour of your home. Or if they’re willing to make the hike, they may be in a lousy mood by the time they enter your home. Why risk it?

Lay out important documents

If questions arise while buyers are on the premises, it may help them decide to put in an offer that much faster if they can find answers quickly and in writing.

“Leaving necessary documents in an easy-to-find spot isn’t just good for selling, it’s also good selling etiquette,” says Kensington. “Put out the home inspection report, appraisal, home warranty, monthly bill information—gas, oil, electric—and proof of any major repairs are all good things to let people look through when they are considering buying your home.”

Offer some refreshments

House hunters can get parched and peckish. You can help!

“Putting out a few small bottled waters in a small bowl of ice is always appreciated, along with some light, easy grab-and-go sort of refreshments like mints or cookies,” says Cara Ameer, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker.

Be patient waiting for feedback

Of course, you’re dying to know what buyers thought of your home, but that information may not flow back to you instantaneously. Buyers often want to process what they’ve seen and think it over before making an offer. If one comes through, don’t worry, you’ll hear about it!

“It is reasonable to ask for feedback from your Realtor after the showing, but understand it may take a day or two for the buyer’s agent to respond,” Hayward says.

Don’t be greedy

Who doesn’t want top dollar for their home? But an unwillingness to negotiate can kill a possible deal and keep your home on the market long after you were hoping to be unpacking at your new place.

“Focusing on your bottom line is always important, but greed can lead to disaster. Remember a little of something is better than a lot of nothing. Generosity will lead you to your promise land,” says Josh Myler, a Realtor with The Agency.

Listen to the professionals

If your Realtor has some suggestions for improvements that may help sell the home faster, take them to heart but don’t take them personally.

“Don’t shoot the messenger,” says Caroline Gosselin, a Realtor with Sotheby’s Prominent Properties. “Keep emotions out and listen to what a licensed, trained, professional has to say about the house, be it a Realtor or an inspector. It’s immature and unmannerly not to be able to take criticism and be able to move on.”

Liz Alterman