Cities or Suburbia Population Race

The Newsletter

Cities or Suburbia: Which Is Winning the Population Race?
Common wisdom holds that there’s an urban revival in America’s cities, but the census shows otherwise: Americans are moving to the suburbs in record numbers.

As economist Jed Kolko points out in, “That revival is real, but it has mostly been for rich, educated people in particular hyperurban neighborhoods rather than a broad-based return to city living.”

Is it the fresh air? The rolling green lawns? The bigger-square-foot bang for your buck? Nobody seems to know exactly why the swing to the suburbs is on the rise, especially when better-paying jobs are in the city. But the trend is gathering steam.

Perhaps the wish to improve life balance is influencing the trend. Then, too, it’s possible that retiring boomers seek calm after their years of working in the eye of the storm.

But that doesn’t account for all of it.

Ask young parents, and they’ll tell you that while moving to the suburbs means giving up the kinetic energy of city life, raising kids in the city creates all kinds of stresses they’d happily avoid. Add to that the appeal of better schools, more space, and better air, and, even without great restaurants, the scales begin to tip.

Indeed, it looks like a number of millennials may soon be joining their elders – after they pay off their student loans.

As an article in Fortune notes, “Survey data shows that more millennials would like to be living in the suburbs than actually are.”

Could we soon be talking about the myth of urban revival?

Take Me Out to the Ballgame: Summer’s Fave Game Is Back

How did a stick, a ball, and a diamond capture the hearts of millions? For those who line the bleachers in big and small towns across North America, baseball’s not just a game; it’s everyone’s summer lifestyle.

Baseball in North America traces its roots back to the late 18th century, when the first reference to the game was made in a Massachusetts law about playing it too close to the town meetinghouse. Since those early days, baseball has seen many changes that shaped it into the sport we love today.

It hailed from two similar British sports: rounders and cricket, which eventually found their way across the pond and were played in schoolyards and college campuses in the 1800s. In the fall of 1845, the New York Knickerbockers Baseball Club was born. Knicks player Alexander Cartwright established the rules that form the basis for today’s game, including the use of a diamond-shaped field and the three-strike rule. Cartwright has been established as baseball’s true father, overturning a widely held, but deemed untrue, legend that a man named Abner Doubleday founded it.

Once the game was standardized by the Knickerbockers, other clubs were established. Baseball’s popularity continued to grow, and eventually leagues formed. The baseball itself also underwent standardization, eventually morphing into the five-ounce, nine-inch sphere with 108 red stitches that we see in pitchers’ hands today.

The sport continues to enthrall us. And best of all, nearly everyone is able to sing along when they hear, “Take me out to the ball game…”

Three Ways to Make Family Camping Fun – Not Stressful

Camping should be a great way to see new places, meet new friends, and bond as a family. But some may find time bonding with the kids stressful … and maybe a bit overwhelming. Take those concerns out of the equation with the suggestions below. And enjoy this inexpensive way to celebrate nature and each other – without technology taking over.

These three tips can make family bonding a pleasure:

Do Research

Find the perfect spot for your family online. If you’re camping newbies, the best campground should be one with amenities that’s also close to a town. As Scott Adler, editorial director of, says in an article in Real Simple, “That way … if there’s a pizza place, someone can pick up a pie and make dinner a lot easier on Mom and Dad. You’ll also be less stressed when (almost inevitably) you realize you’ve forgotten something.”

Consider the types of activities you plan to do. A biking family, for example, may choose a campground near paved roads.

Generate excitement

Engage the kids by getting them involved in planning the trip. Get feedback about what they want to do and foods they want to eat, and let them pack their own bags. At the campsite, encourage older children to pick the spot to pitch the tent, and then put it up together.

Go high-Tech

It can be a culture shock to go from staring at your screen to staring at the night sky. Instead of forcing your kids to do without their devices, let them bring some technology, but also include favorite books and games. As Jen Aist suggests in Real Simple, use their facility with technology to help the kids engage with the outdoors, for example, by locating stars with a GPS.

Best of all, let them play. As Aist notes, “Something magical happens when you are outside that doesn’t happen in other places.”

Wondering How Much Your Home Is Worth?
How has the price of your home changed in today’s market? How much are other homes in your neighborhood selling for?

If you’re wondering what’s happening to prices in your area, or you’re thinking about selling your house, I’ll be able to help.

Click the market report below or select San Antonio Real Estate Market and complete the requested information about your home!

Landscape for Summer Outdoor Fun and Profit
It’s hard to put a value on landscaping projects. A study by indicates the return on investment for landscaping and/or man-made garden architecture can be as high as 150%, while others suggest a more reasonable 15% to 20%.

The bottom line, however, is that everyone wants a front yard with curb appeal and a secondary living space in the back. And while it may increase the value of your home, it also improves your quality of life. Particularly for those in cooler climates, summer is short, and a landscaped outdoors can be, well, priceless.

That said, landscaping can prove a very costly proposition indeed. The generally recommended figure for a landscaping budget is 10% of your home’s value, although that varies according to your local area. The majority of projects reported in a study of landscaping by cost from $1,000 to $5,000 for minor planting or mulching, and $50,000 or more for “complete overhauls.”

Remember, time is also money, and even small projects can take longer than you think. According to the Houzz survey, smaller projects averaged approximately three months of planning and three months of work to complete. Having spent time and money on landscaping, there are ways to reduce future costs:

  • Lawn care alone can cost upwards of $100 a month, so do as much of the maintenance as possible yourself.
  • Construct decks, stairs, and pergolas of maintenance-free materials such as composite decking.
  • Artificial grass can be a big expense up front, but it saves on maintenance (mainly the cost of water) in the long run.
  • Consider using recycled bricks instead of expensive rocks in your landscaping plan.
  • Perennials are a great choice, as they reduce the need to buy new plants every year.
  • Edible gardens can be lovely as well as a good source of delicious vegetables and herbs.

Now, step away from the lawn mower, take a break, and enjoy your newly landscaped property.

SA Realty Watch Group
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Are You Selling Your Home? Get My Free Guide
First impressions count. So if your home isn’t looking its best, you could fail to get the best price for it.

Put that problem right by requesting the free report “Great Ideas for Quick, Easy Fixes That Will Help Your Home Sell.”

Just reply to this email and I’ll send it right out to you.

Quick Quiz
Each month I’ll give you a new question.

Just reply to this email for the answer.

What color shirt does James Taylor wear on the cover of his Sweet Baby James album?

Summer Berry Pavlova
Serves 8
Whites of 4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups mixed berries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine egg whites, salt, and vinegar, and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. Combine 3/4 cup of sugar and the cornstarch, and gradually beat into egg whites. Add vanilla, and beat again until firm and glossy.

Spoon the meringue in 8 big dollops onto a lined baking sheet. Spread each into a circle, creating a little indent in the middle.

Bake for 10 minutes, lower heat to 200 degrees, and bake for another hour with the oven door slightly open.

Remove from oven and cool. Whip cream and remaining sugar together, and then fold in the berries. Spoon whipped cream into each meringue, and top with more berries or mint leaves.

Ask the Agent: This Month’s Question
How do I know if downsizing is right for me?

Downsizing has costs and rewards. You may have to give up things, but you’ll gain something as well. If you’re considering moving to an urban environment from the suburbs, you might miss your neighborhood, your neighbors, and your big workroom and garden. If you’re purchasing a condo or townhome, you may have to pay HOA fees, and you’ll likely sacrifice some privacy.

On the other hand, you’ll probably save on utilities and maintenance costs. You can start fresh and redecorate just the way you want. And you’ll find you’re now able to take advantage of city life and enjoy the benefits of being close to all the urban amenities.

Plan ahead. You’ll probably still want to host family celebrations. So think well-organized kitchen and sufficient entertaining space. Most importantly, keep an open mind. This may be the best move you’ve ever made.

This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter. This newsletter is not intended to solicit properties currently for sale.
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