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November 2022

best cities for millennials

Top 7 Best U.S. Cities for Millennials

1000 500 Taylor Witt

Millennials, born from 1981 to 1996, are a generation on the move. They are looking for more affordable living, a positive job outlook, and a balance between work and a fulfilling personal life. These are the seven best US cities for millennials to move to, whether or not they can afford their first home or if they’re looking to make their first offer on a house.

Denver, Colorado

Denver has one of the largest concentrated populations of millennials in the US, representing up to 34% of the people living in some of the downtown neighborhoods. This is a more expensive city for millennials with high average rents. With a well-paying job, the quality of living more than makes up for the costs. You can enjoy lots of parks and climbing on rocks at the nearby Rocky Mountains, or even ski.

 Nashville, Tennessee

While Nashville may be known for country music, it has a diverse collection of industries in health care, compounding pharmacies, finance, publishing, and music production. This gives millennials in the city plenty of employment sectors to choose from. The vibrant nightlife and sprawling neighborhoods mean millennials can always find something to do, from trying one of the many local breweries or attending city festivals.

Seattle, Washington

Seattle is a great place for millennials seeking employment in the booming tech industry. This city has one of the largest tech sectors in the country, which gives millennials job opportunities to work in the industry for big-name companies, such as Microsoft. Although Seattle does have one of the most expensive housing markets in the US, it has accessible public transit around the city. The city’s location on Puget Sound and many parks around the city provides plenty of outdoor activities to keep millennials busy.

Jacksonville, Florida

The millennials moving to Jacksonville will live in a city with multiple beaches, but at an affordable price. The city has a low unemployment rate, and average housing prices are lower in Jacksonville than national prices. The artistic neighborhood of Riverside has one of the largest increases in the millennial population across the city. The draw of the neighborhood likely comes from eclectic shops, trendy restaurants, and high walkability ratings. Additionally, it’s even featured on a new list for the top summer vacation cities in the U.S.

San Jose, California

More than 13% of people living in San Jose are millennials. San Jose also has growing incomes, although the average rent is high in the city. Across the city, there are lots of neighborhoods popular with millennials from the bustling downtown area to manicured Rose Garden and Japantown.

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis is a Midwestern city with a family-friendly vibe and a great safety ranking — suburbs like Edina are some of the safest places in America. Minneapolis is a city with amazing public schools for kids of all ages, and that goes a long way as concerns with school systems, student transportation and other issues ramp up. Additionally, with great restaurants and an abundant number of the craft breweries millennials love, this city attracts an increasing number of millennials. For an urban city, it has an affordable median rent of just under $1,800 per month. It shares proximity to its sister city of St. Paul, which helps millennials find even more things to explore.

Washington, D.C.

The nation’s capital of Washington, D.C., is a magnet for millennials for many reasons. Millennial Wages in D.C. are the highest in the nation. Despite the political environment, millennials in this city are some of the best off in terms of mental health. This small city has a lot of public transit options. Local metropolitan trains go to the suburbs of D.C. Trains leaving the city even go to larger cities along the east coast, such as Boston. This makes it easy for millennials to travel, a popular activity for this generation.

Although they enjoy city living, millennials want a balanced lifestyle. Each of these cities provides a unique experience but has something for every millennial from affordable rent to beach-style living. These cities are some of the best for millennials.

How To Reduce Your Building Operations Costs

1000 500 Taylor Witt

Commercial property owners can reduce their building operating costs in a variety of ways. These costs may include real estate taxes, insurance premiums, utilities, maintenance of the building’s infrastructure, such as its HVAC and other systems, repairs, remodeling, or payments to contractors that assist with the building’s maintenance and operation. 

Renegotiating contracts, shifting certain costs to renters, employing professional tax accountants, investing in infrastructure, and other strategies can all help cut costs.

A competent property manager will examine all of a building’s costs to find areas where money can be saved. A building owner might find numerous methods to save money by using a building automation system (BAS).

In reality, a BAS with analytics and intelligence has the capacity to continuously gather data from linked smart devices and identify patterns using machine learning. 

Once the expenses associated with lighting, heating, cooling, water use, and other aspects of a building’s operations are understood, some of these costs can be included in lease agreements, reduced by investing in infrastructure that reduces costs, or a mix of the two.

Depending on the assumed lifespan of the structure, initial costs make up only 10–20% of the entire cost. Government and institutional structures have longer lifespans than privately held buildings.

Over the course of the building’s lifespan, upkeep, operation, and component refurbishment/replacement account for an incredible 80–90% of the remaining costs. If you ignore this significant chunk of costs, you risk losing money.

Reducing your operating expenses

Building operations costs can be a significant expense for any organization, but there are ways to reduce these costs without compromising the quality or function of your building. Here are some tips on how to reduce your building operations costs:

  • Review your current expenses and identify areas where you can save money.
  • Evaluate your current building management company and see if there are ways to reduce their fees.
  • Review your utilities expenses and look for ways to reduce energy consumption.
  • Implement a preventive maintenance program to avoid costly repairs down the road.
  • Work with your team to identify any potential cost-saving measures.

Electricity

The electricity bill is one of the major running expenses that is typical in building operating costs. The first method involved is careful utilization of electricity. This requires turning off lights when not in use, utilizing as much natural light as possible during the day, and turning off all electronic equipment before leaving the office or building. 

Make sure to replace all old bulbs with energy-saving ones, and only buy energy-efficient equipment when it is time to replace or resupply.

Even while there are techniques to reduce your energy usage with any elevator, installing a brand-new lift system is the most straightforward solution. Upgrade to a newer, more energy-efficient lift model if your current one is old or not functioning properly.

Temperature

In a residential building, small changes adopted from household energy ideas can have a big impact. For instance, louvered shutters, roof vents, or solar screening can all be used to control natural sunlight and solar heat.

Check for leaks, gaps for sealing, and insulation in windows, doors, garage bays, and air ducts.

Preventative maintenance

Over time, reactive maintenance typically costs more than preventive maintenance. Facilities will begin to cut their operational costs in these areas when they adopt technology and solutions to get them out of crisis or reactionary situations.

Maintaining a safe and dependable lift requires a preventative strategy and regular maintenance. It’s also critical to keep in mind that the cost of routine maintenance is typically significantly lower than the cost of fixing a lift that has malfunctioned or caused an accident.

Maintain heating systems

Maintaining your HVAC system, whether it’s a little one or a big direct-fired heater, is crucial. Efficiency greatly benefits from keeping internal parts clean and in good condition. Catching wear early enough to prevent a break can mean the difference between a minor repair and an emergency frozen structure.

If your HVAC equipment needs maintenance or repairs, get in touch with the experts and let them know what you need done. Make sure to look for a business that is based close to where you reside.

Find and seal leaks

Finding air leaks can be done with the aid of pressurization testing, thermal cameras, and visual examinations. It is frequently sufficient to use caulk, various door weather seal techniques, and weather stripping to close even somewhat considerable air leaks around drafty doors and windows.

Due to wear and tear or bad design, truck bays, doors, and roof vents may have inadequate seals or no seals at all. Make sure to maintain these areas and look for choices that do incorporate insulation. Think about using roof vent dampers that can be closed when the discharge of smoke isn’t an issue or when you want to keep the heat inside the building.

Best initiatives to reduce operating costs

One of the strongest areas to concentrate on to lower the TOC of buildings, particularly during significant renovations or new construction, may be green initiatives.

Today, there are numerous renewable energy sources, including solar and wind energy as well as geothermal heating possibilities. A building can also be made to be more energy-efficient by using high-quality insulation, windows, doors, and construction materials. These selections will ultimately lower your TOC and are both politically and socially acceptable.

TOC can be decreased by implementing maintenance procedures and technologies that help your facility shift from a predominately emergency maintenance focus to one that embraces predictive maintenance

Final thoughts

Saving money on operating costs is important for any facility, but it’s also important to think about the long-term impact of energy usage and maintenance. Implementing green initiatives and preventive maintenance can not only lower TOC in the present, but it can also set up a building for success in the future. 

Keep these tips in mind as you work towards a more efficient, cost-effective facility.

DIY Budget Friendly Furniture Ideas For Your First Home

1000 500 Sam Radbil

When you buy your first home it is exciting, but it can also be expensive and stressful. Homes need to be furnished, and you want to decorate in a way that is unique to you and your taste, but spending more money on new furniture for a whole home can really add to the cost. A lot of people can find old furniture in thrift stores, online marketplaces, and from family members looking to get that old couch out of their basement. 

However, not all of these items are going to go together or be to your taste. If you can hire a custom home builder, why not also customize your furniture? Aside from repainting or staining furniture a new color, there are a lot of DIY furniture projects you can do right at home to add a different touch to your home. Here are some easy and budget-friendly projects anyone can do.

Dresser Drawers as Side Tables

brown woven basket on white wooden drawer

Thrift stores are filled with dressers that you can get for a really good price. However, while you might not need a dresser this isn’t the only thing they can be used for. One way to repurpose an old dresser is to use only the drawers to create side tables for your home. All you have to do is glue four wooden legs to the bottom of the drawer with the handle side facing up. Now you have a creative and unique end table perfect for any room in your house. 

Desk to Nightstand

black laptop computer on brown wooden table

Have you ever considered cutting a desk in half to create two brand-new pieces of furniture? If you can find a desk with a drawer on each side, this is perfect for a project like this. All you have to do is cut the desk in half, then refinish the edges and add two new legs on each one. Now you have matching bedside tables that you can use in any bedroom. If you don’t like the color of the tables you can always stain or paint them a new color after you’ve finished sanding and gluing. 

Make Your Own Vanity

white candle beside clear glass flower vase

A vanity is a beautiful and useful piece of furniture, but they can be very expensive, new and even vintage. Instead of buying a vanity, all you need is a mirror and a desk. There are a lot of gorgeous vintage mirrors in perfect condition at thrift stores and second-hand websites. If you don’t want to take up space with a desk, you can hang the mirror on the wall and install floating shelves underneath it to keep your supplies on. Now you have a vanity space without needing a bulky desk. 

Old Door as a Headboard

Old doors, especially vintage ones, are beautiful pieces that you can use in your home as more than just a way to close off a room. If you need a headboard but want something unique, an old door is a great option. Just remove the doorknob and sand off the paint and any rough edges to remove splinters. Now you can paint it any color that you want, and even add some crown molding if you want to give it more detail. Just add the door to the wall behind your bed, and you have uniquely updated your bedroom. 

Old Ladder as a Coat Rack 

Having your coats lying around everywhere makes them difficult to find, and your home untidy. Instead of just laying them on the side of the couch or the back of a chair, you need a coat rack. A coat rack is a really useful but often overlooked piece of furniture to have in any house. Instead of buying a traditional one, you can make it out of an old wooden ladder. All you have to do is sand the ladder down so no splinters can poke through your clothes or skin. Then you can paint it any color you like, and prop it up against a wall near the entryway of your home. Now you have somewhere to keep the coats you wear frequently, and it looks great too. 

Sustainable Window Frames

A Guide to Sustainable Window Frames and Styles

1000 500 Taylor Witt

From the foundation to the appliances and everything in between, there are a number of considerations when creating a sustainable home. One element in particular that can have a significant sustainability impact is your property’s windows

The way a window is made and how the product is sourced is one element of sustainability, and the other is energy efficiency. Many window manufacturers have eco-friendly products, so it’s easy to find windows that can make your building more sustainable and energy efficient. Here is a brief guide on the benefits of using sustainable window frames and styles in your residential or commercial property, as well as the most sustainable materials and types of glass styles.

Benefits of Having Sustainable Windows

window curtain open wide

A significant amount of energy flows in and out of a building through its windows. While installing sustainable windows may be more expensive up front, the energy savings will likely be worth it in the long run. Research suggests sustainable home products can help save a lot of money on your heating and cooling bills. In fact, sustainable windows may save you up to 50% on energy bills.

Additionally, quality and sustainable windows can help increase the value of your home. And, it’s overall better for the environment. 

Most Sustainable Window Frame Materials

calm body of water near brown mountain under white and gray sky

Cost and efficiency of sustainable windows vary. Some are less expensive but don’t have best eco-friendliness, while others may be more expensive but can save significant dollars in energy bills.

  • Fiberglass is one of the top materials to use when it comes to sustainable window frames. It’s more energy efficient than other options, requires a low level of maintenance, and is durable and long lasting. Fiberglass is made from sand that has been spun into pieces of glass, and sand is plentiful and renewable, making it more sustainable for the environment. Look for frames that contain foam insulation within the frame cavities for the best efficiency.
  • Vinyl is a second sustainable material. It’s also low maintenance but also the most cost-efficient. It can come in a variety of colors and options, is durable, has a long life span, and the material can be recycled.
  • Wood is also a good option, but sustainably sourcing wood for commercial products can be difficult so you’ll want to ensure it is certified and approved as sustainably sourced (approved for use by the U.S. Forest Stewardship Council). Wood frames must also be treated regularly and inspected for water damage, which can develop mold. While it’s a more expensive option, these frames are also recyclable. 
  • Aluminum and composite are inexpensive and require minimal maintenance, but the material conducts heat, so they are less energy efficient than other options. Cost, energy-efficiency, and level of eco-friendliness can vary by manufacturer.

Types of Sustainable Glass for Windows

There are essentially three types of sustainable glass you can use for windows:

  • Insulated glass: Insulated glass is triple or quadruple pane, meaning there are three to four individual pieces of glass in the window with air space between them. The air offers insulation, giving these windows great thermal performance.
  • Low-E glass: Low-emissivity glass is coated with an invisible layer of silver that helps protect the interior of the room from solar energy. These can be designed to hold heat out or hold heat in (depending on your climate), making them largely efficient.
  • Argon glass: With these windows, argon gas is added inside Low-E glass with two panes. This adds insulation between panes, making them more efficient. Argon gas is also a better insulator than air.

Certifications and Ratings

When shopping for sustainable window frames and styles, look specifically for these certifications and ratings: 

  • R- and U-Values. R-value measures the insulation properties of a material. The higher the value, the greater for insulation ability. U-values measure the energy efficiency of windows. The lower the number, the better. 
  • National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), which shows U-value, solar heat gain, and visible light transmittance values.
  • Energy Star, which is sponsored by the EPA and Department of Energy to promote energy-efficient products.