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Virginia is a Great Place to Retire

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Abberly Waterstone Apartments, Stafford, VAWhen the time comes to pick a place to retire, you want to make it a good one. After all, retirement is the prize at the end of a lot of long years of hard work. So what are the factors that go into picking that magical place?

The perfect place will be a little different for everyone depending on finances, family and, of course, preferences. But for the most common factors – cost of living, safety, healthcare, activities and climate – Virginia comes out on top time and again., a financial analysis website, made a list of their 10 Best States for Retire, ranking Virginia as #5 in the nation.

Whether you’re looking to be closer to the grand kids or just want a certain lifestyle, Virginia has more than enough options. If you’re retired, or thinking about retiring soon, and would like more information on apartments in Stafford, VA contact Abberly Waterstone.


Millennials Love Living in Apartments in Stafford, VA

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Abberly Waterstone, Stafford, VAMillennials are born between the early 1980s to the early 2000s. If there is one hot trend among them, it is their love for apartment living!

According to Forbes, only 11% of consumers ages 20 to 29 have a mortgage, compared to 30% of all consumers nationwide. Since a hefty down payment and solid credit is harder to achieve (especially with outstanding student loans) many young adults are opting for the flexibility of apartment living.

Why do Millennials love the lifestyle associated with renting? Below are four reasons why apartment living is so great!


Let’s face it. Millennials aren't 100% certain what they want to do with their lives right after graduation. Having the flexibility of 6-month and 12-month lease allows for renters to either renew their lease or move on. Whether a millennial wants to move to the city for a job or move from the suburban setting to a downtown environment, the freedom of apartment living provides renters with both options.

Great Company:

With the trend of moving into apartments, apartment living can be fun! If your community is fortunate enough to have a pool, you can meet new friends at your apartment and forge friendships that will last a lifetime. Moving into an apartment provides you with an ideal living situation; it can drastically improve your social situation!

Financial Freedom:

Raise your hand if you are under 30 years old and can put a down payment of $20,000 for a home?

The month-to-month payment options on rent means Millennials don't have the burden of taking out even more loans. Instead, they can actually save money while renting and establish good credit. This will set them up for financial freedom in the future!

Ideal Living Situation:

With the boom in rental developments, builders and developers are listening to what Generation Y is seeking in terms of their living situation. The result? Apartments nowadays are decked with the finest apartment amenities in the perfect locations. Imagine living in a community with a workout facility, Wi-FI business center, pool and dog part. This is what Millennials can expect from their apartment, which is why they’ll consider apartments as the idea living situation!

It is no coincidence that Millennials moving into rental communities have skyrocketed over the past several years. Developers are catering to the needs of Generation Y and in return, Millenialls love everything associated with apartment living!

For more information on apartments in Stafford, VA contact Abberly Waterstone.


How to Tell if You Should Buy or Rent – Stafford, VA

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Abberly Waterstone, Stafford, VAFor most people, buying a house is up there with graduating college and getting married on the list of Important Life Accomplishments, and it makes sense -- once you lay down that chunk of cash, you've committed to adulthood. But symbolic as it is owning a home might not be for everyone, even if you're a mom and you have a big family in tow.

But how can you tell? It's a tough call, and one that really shouldn't come down to norms or what your mother-in-law expects. While it really is case by case, there are some factors that will always come into play. Here are the four biggest questions everyone should ask:

  1. Is there a potential for relocation in a short period of time?
  2. Do you have the financial resources or inclination to handle maintenance and repair (roof, water heater, appliances, windows, lawn garbage, septic pumps, etc.)?
  3. Do you have a stable source of income?
  4. Do you understand the responsibilities of home ownership (property taxes, maintenance, etc.)?

While kids aren't one of the big questions, moms should look at the home-owning process a little differently.

Stable housing is always better for kids, but it doesn't mean you need to own the home. It may make sense to rent if you will have decreased time for house work or maintenance due to work schedules and kids' activities.

Buying is a semi-permanent decision, and one that should stick with you for years. Be sure to do your homework on neighborhood crime, schools, and culture before committing to buying a home.

In terms of financing home-ownership, once you're moved and settled, 35 percent is a good benchmark: If you can keep your housing expenses (so: monthly mortgage, insurance, taxes, association fees, and maintenance) to less than 35 percent of your income, buying might be your best bet.

It sounds simple like that, but most people aren't realistic about the cost of maintenance and repairs. You can reasonably assume that you are going to spend between one and three percent of the home value on maintenance yearly.

But all that still somewhat cuts away from the biggest financial toll of home-ownership, which, of course, is the actual buying itself. In order to get the best deal in terms of loans and mortgages, you need to have a good chunk of cash saved and ready to go.

Typically, it's 20 percent down to avoid PMI. PMI, or private mortgage insurance, is a type of mortgage that protects the lender instead of you. You don't really want one. And if the median cost of a single-family home in the US is about $270,000, that means that you'd need to show $54,000 in the bank -- plus an extra $4,000 to $5,000 in pocket for closing costs.

If you don't have that much, not all hope is lost. There are many lenders who do not require 20 percent anymore. There are some special programs that accept as low as three percent down payment. There are lots of down payment assistance programs out there, particularly for first-time home buyers.

Even so: We're talking about a lot of movable cash and we're talking about five years' commitment to make the purchase worth it.

Generally, you should plan to stay in the house for at least five years. Fees associated with closing costs, marketing conditions, and moving expenses can all affect whether the home will 'pay for itself.’.

If you want to buy but don't want to commit, renting is a good option to give you some more flexibility and some more pocket cash.

With all these modern options, buying a home is arguably more flexible (if more expensive) than it used to be. But owning a home is not every American dream. You might not have the money or you might just not have the inclination, and that's fine -- renting isn't any better or worse. It's all about what's right for you and your family.

For more information on apartments in Stafford, VA, contact Abberly Waterstone.

The Stir

Now It Takes Longer To Break Even When Owning Instead Of Renting

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Abberly Waterston, Stafford, VAThe Breakeven Horizon from Zillow, which measures the amount of time a person needs to live in a home before buying is financially better than renting, has increased 20 days from a year prior to 1 years and 11 months in Q4 2016.

Zillow says that the slowdown of home value growth in pricey markets, many of which are on the coasts, has lengthened the breakeven point.

The Breakeven Horizon factors in growth in rents and home values, price-to-rent ratios, and mortgage rates.

It now takes an additional year and a half to justify homeownership to renting.

Driven by both a slowdown in home value growth over the past year and by continued slowdowns to come, the Breakeven Horizon has lengthened in many of the nation’s most expensive markets.

An expected slowdown in the pace of home value growth in a number of pricey, fast-moving markets means it may take longer going forward to break even financially when buying a home in those areas compared to renting it.

Zillow’s Breakeven Horizon estimates the number of years you would have to live in your home for buying it to have been more cost effective than renting it. Factors including expected growth in rents and home values, price-to-rent ratios and mortgage interest rates can all have a significant impact on the costs and benefits of renting versus buying.

Because home values are growing more slowly, it will naturally take longer to earn enough equity in a home to offset the very large upfront costs necessary to purchase a home.

Home values have rebounded strongly over the past several years, and in some areas are higher than they’ve ever been, so the question of whether or not it’s a good time to buy is becoming less obvious to many households as home affordability itself suffers. Thankfully, for most households, buying a home is not – and should not be – about timing the market and making a financial killing. It’s about deciding where and how to live, and knowing how long you’ll need to wait before making those decisions again.

For more information on renting apartments in Stafford, VA, contact Abberly Waterstone.


Best States in the US: Virginia is #11!

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Abberly Waterstone Apartments, Stafford, VA#11 Virginia

Some states shine in health care. Some soar in education. Some excel in both – or in much more. The Best States ranking of U.S. states draws on thousands of data points to measure how well states are performing for their citizens. In addition to health care and education, the metrics take into account a state’s economy, the opportunity it offers people, its roads, bridges, internet and other infrastructure, its public safety and the integrity and health of state government.

More weight was accorded to some state measures than others, based on a survey of what matters most to people. Health care and education were weighted most heavily. Then came the opportunity states offer their citizens, their crime & corrections and infrastructure. State economies followed closely in weighting, followed by measures of government administration.

OVERALL RANK OUT OF 50: Virginia is #11

For more information on apartments in Stafford, VA contact Abberly Waterstone.


US News

Rent or Own: Questions to Ask Yourself

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Abberly Waterstone Apartments, Stafford, VAThe American dream of owning a home is powerful and prevalent, but that dream doesn’t always make good sense in the light of day. When deciding whether to rent or buy, you’ll want to keep your eyes open and your feet on the ground so you can make decisions that are right for you and your family. Here are 6 things to keep in mind:

1. Crunch the numbers. Buying vs. renting isn’t solely about comparing costs, but that’s still a huge part of the process.

2. Know the market. If you don’t know the difference between a “buyer’s market” and a “seller’s market,” now’s the time to educate yourself. Is low inventory driving prices up and making buyers more competitive? Or is there a glut of homes for sale, giving buyers more leeway to cut deals? In either case, how is the rental market responding? Are home prices trending up or down (i.e., will the places you’re looking at likely be worth more or less in five or ten years)? You can’t predict the future, but you should look at current trends and make informed decisions based on what’s happening now.

3. Itemize your costs. The financial difference between renting and owning is much more than simply the upfront difference in price between paying rent vs. mortgage. Don’t forget to account for property taxes, homeowners insurance, HOA fees, maintenance, and repairs/renovations. (If the fridge stops working, you can’t just call your landlord; you will need either fix-it skills and a can-do attitude or money to hire a pro.)

4. Get real about job stability. One major consideration of the “to buy or not to buy” question is whether homeownership makes sense with your job. Can you count on maintaining at least the same level of income in the years you plan to own the home? Will your job allow you to stay in the same city or state for more than a few years at a time? Will you lose income if you choose to stay home with children? If your career is subject to change, don’t discount the benefit of renting a place that’s easy to leave if you need to relocate or reduce expenses on short notice.

5. Consider the kids. Many people decide to buy homes specifically to accommodate building a family. Questions to ask yourself include: Can you afford to live somewhere with schools that meet your needs? Is there room for not just your current family but also any family members that might join you in the future? If you will have to move in 5 years or less, buying may not be a good idea.

6. Search your heart. Do you even want to own a home? Or do you think it’s just what you should want? If owning a home and all that comes with it -- the good and the bad -- isn’t something you’re excited about, don’t sweep that feeling under the rug. Owning a home can be awesome, but it’s not for everyone. You do you.

For more information on renting apartments in Stafford, VA, contact Abberly Waterstone Apartments.


Virginia is Among States with Smallest Tax Burden

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Abberly Waterston, Stafford, VAMost of us have our tax refund check, unless you owed… and  hopefully the refund is in the bank account–or if not, then at least maybe you have a strategy for a better year. Since part of that strategy could be moving to a more tax-friendly state, Forbes set out to find out which states offer the most favorable tax situations.

Using data from the Tax Foundation, Forbes ranked the total tax burden in each state. The ranking includes income, property, and sales tax, as well as special taxes like real estate transfer taxes, personal property taxes on some vehicles, and special tax district fees.

No. 21: Virginia

State and local tax burden: 9.20%
Effective state tax rate ($50,000 taxable income): 5.24%
Highest tax bracket: $17,000
Rate at highest tax bracket: 5.75%
Per Capita Income: $48,498

For more information on apartments in Stafford, VA contact Abberly Waterstone.


Advantages of Living in an Apartment

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Abberly Waterstone, Stafford, VAWhen you’re making the decision whether to rent or buy, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of each. Depending on your situation and your lifestyle, there may be a clear choice. Other times, however, the decision isn’t so cut and dried. Here are some advantages of apartment living you may not have considered.

  1. No repairs. A tenant doesn’t have to worry when the dishwasher breaks or the toilet backs up or the air-conditioning no longer works. Finding someone to make the repairs – and paying for them – is the responsibility of the landlord.
  2. Amenities. Things like a swimming pool, a tennis court, or a fitness room are things that many people would like in their homes, but may not be able to afford. They’re available in many apartment complexes – particularly larger ones.
  3. Location. The location of a home or apartment is crucial. Location is also one of the factors that most directly affects the price of a building. It’s easier for an apartment complex to afford a desirable location than for a single homeowner.
  4. Security. Another of the advantages of living in an apartment is the availability of several layers of security. There are gated apartment complexes as well as complexes with security at the entrance to keep an eye on the people who enter and leave the complex. It’s also common to have alarms on individual apartments. Some of these features could be too costly for homeowners.
  5. Short-term commitment. If you are only looking for a place to live for a short period of time – for whatever reason – an apartment is usually the best choice. You can negotiate a lease that fits the amount of time you plan to live in the apartment complex in advance, or you may be able to get a month-to-month lease if you are only looking for an apartment for a few months.
  6. Cost. Because of many of the other advantages of living in an apartment, the cost for rent is usually quite a bit lower than the monthly mortgage cost for a homeowner.

As you can see, there are many advantages to apartment living. It can also be a great stepping stone to later home ownership. It isn’t unusual for people to choose an apartment in order to save money for the down payment to purchase a home. On the flip side, there are plenty of people who choose to live in an apartment even when they have the resources to live in a house, simply because they like it better.

For more information on apartments in Stafford, VA, contact Abberly Waterstone.


Virginia is #7 on List of Best States for Business

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Abberly Waterstone, Stafford, VAAmericans want change. Many are tired of real personal incomes barely climbing each year and with the share of unemployed and underemployed workers still north of 10%.

But there are parts of the U.S. that are thriving thanks to strong workforces, low business costs and pro-business regulatory environments. With that in mind, Forbes embarked on its annual look at which states have the best business climates.

A few years back, Forbes ranked the Best States for Business using factors in 40 data points across six main areas: business costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life. Business costs, which include labor, energy and taxes, are weighted the most heavily. We added several new criteria this year, including the number of millennials as a percent of the population. We relied on 14 data sources.

Best States: #7 Virginia
Gross State Product: $464 billion
5-yr annual GSP growth: 0.8%

Virginia ranked among the top two every year from 2006 to 2013.

For more information on apartments in Stafford, VA contact Abberly Waterstone Apartments.


Virginia is a Great State To Make A Living

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Abberly Waterstone, Stafford, VAThe states that landed on the positive end of this annual ranking of where you can make a great living did the following: Offer healthy wages, manageable taxes, a low cost of living, and safe working environments. No extra points were awarded for scenic beauty.

We tend to talk about the U.S. economy and the job market as if they’re all one thing, but it’s too big for that. There are sharp differences from one state to another.

To determine the best and worst states to make a living, personal finance site considered average wages, taxes, cost of living, unemployment rate, and incidents of workplace safety incidents (including illness, injuries, and deaths) for each state.

No. 4 Best State To Make A Living: Virginia

For more information on apartments in Stafford, VA , contact Abberly Waterstone.



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