10 February 2011


RENT OR BUY. Pete Flint of the real estate research and marketing site Trulia has revealed his assessment on whether it is more economical to rent a two-bedroom apartment, townhouse or condo, or to buy one. The research compares the median rent price and the median purchase price in the fifty most populous U.S. cities to produce a rent/buy ratio. While a few gray areas exist, depending on fluctuations in the housing market and on one's own situation, the conclusion is that it is less expensive to buy in 72% of those cities. During the current housing slump, this makes sense over the short term. My concern would be whether one could turn around and sell that same home, should the need arise. At the moment, it is not a seller's market. (Click on any image to enlarge.)

Here is an interactive graphic showing the breakdown in specific numbers, in which you can compare cities by population, foreclosures, job growth, rent and list prices, and the rent/buy ratio.

NAMES. Although the website thinkbabynames is probably aimed at prospective parents, it is a fun resource for learning about the origin and meaning of anyone's name. You have to wonder, what were some parents thinking?

WALKING. Good news for those of us over age 50 -- "In healthy adults, the hippocampus -- a part of the brain important to the formation of memories -- begins to atrophy around 55 or 60. Now psychologists are suggesting that the hippocampus can be moderately expanded, and memory improved, by nothing more than regular walking." So in addition to cardiovascular and pulmonary benefits, walking can improve my memory? Sounds like a win-win proposition, so long as your neighborhood isn't a place where you're likely to be mugged.

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