When Spring Has Sprung

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10 Activities Around the Country

What are some of your favorite Spring activities? We explore some places throughout the United States that offer unique ways to enjoy the outdoors. These are perfect if you are a local searching for some fun ways to spice up your weekend. Or for that seasonal home you spend a few months enjoying. It can also prove useful for potential trips to places with warmer weather right now!


Arizona: This state has quickly warmed up for spring. As it welcomes visitors from all over to its Spring Training games. Housing 15 teams in stadiums across the valley, fans can cheer their favorite teams on- while enjoying the famous sunny AZ weather. Looking for more outdoor fun? The state also boasts beautiful hiking spots. Camelback Mountain offers a great view of Phoenix from its summit. Another great trail in the city limits is Piestewa (Squaw) Peak. It’s a classic climb with a stairway to the heavens feel.


California: California is known to be home to a variety of cultural experiences. Why not try them all at Balboa Park? Located in San Diego, this 1,200 acre attraction is home to a variety of museums, theatres, gardens, restaurants and even the San Diego Zoo! Those located in the northern parts of the state can view this index to see a nice selection of parks in their area.


Colorado: Although it may be known as a playground for extreme sports, Colorado is also a wonderful place to rest and relax. The state is abounding with hot springs, so your only stress will be deciding which one to try!


Florida: There may be no better way to welcome warm weather than with a visit to the beach. Stretching 23 miles, Daytona Beach is open 24/7 with free access. This makes it one of Florida’s most popular attractions. Need a break from the water? Visit the beach’s shops, historic sites or spas.


Georgia: It’s time for an adventure in Georgia! This peach-of-a-state offers a variety of fun activities from zip lining to rafting. There are so many ways you are free to pick your own unique adventure. For a full list of fun, visit here.

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North Carolina: Is it really spring without flowers? Get your floral fill visiting one of North Carolina’s beautiful gardens. The formal and informal gardens of the Biltmore House are a must-see. Designed by the famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. Enjoy some of the country’s most luxurious gardens.


Oregon: The climate of this state, make it a perfect place to produce wine. Couple that with the beautiful spring weather and you have the perfect recipe for wine tasting. Check out the Willamette Valley, home to over 250 wineries. Bringing the kids along? Many of these wineries host family-friendly activities, such as badminton, games and nearby museums.

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South Carolina: Having trouble deciding between visiting the zoo or botanical gardens? Make the most of the springtime weather by making a trip to the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. The zoo allows you to experience attractions such as The Birdhouse, Grizzly Ridge and Riverbanks Farm. Visit next door to see the Riverbanks Botanical Garden, home to a variety of beautiful gardens. These will let you enjoy the flora of the season.


Texas: The trademark state flower of Texas is the bluebonnet. This is no surprise as the state is covered in these beautiful blooms. Over the flower craze of spring? Enjoy the bountiful fruits of the season by visiting one of the states pick-your-own farms.


Washington: Many Washington residents use their expansive ferry system as a means of commuting. Yet, it can also be used to enjoy the springtime. Hop on a ferry to get an extensive view of the scenery or (if it’s not raining) to enjoy the fresh air.



A Look at the Nation’s Strongest Housing Markets


Strongest Housing Markets

The real estate market appears to be on the verge of a national stabilization in early 2017, according to Realtor.com in a recently published analysis. And while the nationwide trend is one of commercial moderation, there are several metropolitan areas that seem likely to enjoy growth throughout the coming year.

There is some variation to be found from one market to the next; however, on the whole, these select cities are expected to enjoy average pricing growth of 5.8% and a 6.3 increase in overall sales. Compare this firstly to the projected 3.9% nationwide increase in home pricing, and secondly to home sale growth of 1.9% for a clear understanding of just how far ahead of the pack these markets appear to be.

The nation’s ten most promising real estate markets, as ranked by Realtor.com, are listed below.

  1. Phoenix, AZ
  2. Los Angeles, CA
  3. Boston, MA
  4. Sacramento, CA
  5. Riverside, CA
  6. Jacksonville, FL
  7. Orlando, FL
  8. Raleigh, N.C.
  9. Tucson, AZ
  10. Portland, OR

A major contributing factor in the anticipated strength of these ten markets is that of economic resilience. Each city listed above is home to a thriving business community which contributes to both continued population growth and the steady construction of new homes. As noted on Housing Predictor, “…a housing market is only strong if…the middle class community can truly afford to buy into that real estate field.”

Visit OnQFinancial.com to learn more about our purchase and refinance loan options.


Phoenix Ranked Highest on Top 10 List of Most Promising Real Estate Markets



Market forecasts provided by Realtor.com indicate Phoenix, Arizona is poised to be the nation’s number one housing market in 2017. Price increases will likely amount to 5.9%, while home sales across the board may increase to just over 7%. This places Phoenix immediately above real estate giants such as Los Angeles (2nd), Boston (3rd), and considerably higher than fellow Arizonan metropolis Tucson, which clocks in at 9th on the Top 10 list.

None of this is to say that growth will be dramatic throughout the year ahead, as the possibility of a rate increase could impact housing markets in ways both predictable and, perhaps, unforeseen. Nevertheless, the outlook as it stands now suggests market growth during the coming year, even if it is slower than what we’ve seen for 2016.

Additional factors to keep in mind include:

1) An anticipated increase in new home sales

2) The prospect of a moderately ascendant economy

3)  A slight shift away from attractive coastal cities to their Midwest counterparts whose home markets are financially appealing to first-time buyers.

Though not geographically Midwestern, Phoenix is at the forefront of this shift. The Valley provides young buyers with financially attractive ownership prospects, and is home to a thriving economy, civic-minded communities, and excellent school districts.

For these reasons, among others, the Phoenix real estate market has potential to enjoy a positive calendar year. This development is of major significance to interested home buyers, potential sellers, and to the larger Phoenix economy as a whole. According to researchers with Arizona State University, Arizona is “…on track to create about 76,000 new jobs this year…nearly 8,000 more than expected.”

Visit OnQFinancial.com to learn more about our wide array of home loan products, including our Arizona Grant and Down Payment Assistance Programs.