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Mt. Juliet's the place to buy a home, report says

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MT. JULIET -- Mt. Juliet has been named the third-best city in Tennessee for homebuyers by NerdWallet, an online consumers’ guide – and Mayor Ed Hagerty is very proud.

“I have it on my Facebook page,” he said. “We are so glad to be getting recognition for what we are doing.”

Hagerty also pointed out that Mt. Juliet has also been named the sixth-safest city in the state, as well as the third most business-friendly. “And our schools are getting top ratings, too,” he added.

Amy Hamilton of Keller Williams Realty in Mt. Juliet, president of the Eastern Middle Tennessee Association of Realtors (EMTAR), is also pleased with the news.

“This area sells itself,” she said. “Mt. Juliet is phenomenal. This just shows what a good place it is.”

Hamilton also pointed out that the schools sell people on the community as a place to live.

“People want at least a 7 for the schools,” she said, adding that when homebuyers look at the ratings at greatschools.com, they discover Mt. Juliet-area schools are all rated 8, 9, or 10, with Lakeview Elementary at 10 and Mt. Juliet High and Middle at 9.

Like Mt. Juliet, nine other communities named among NerdWallet’s top 20 locations in Tennessee in which to own a home are suburbs of Nashville. And most, like Mt. Juliet, are experiencing significant growth in population and business.

Mt. Juliet’s population grew by 12 percent between 2010 and 2012, and it has a home-ownership rate of 82 percent, factors which each counted for 33 percent of the NerdWallet study’s score for Mt. Juliet.

Monthly homeowner costs take up 24.1 percent of the median household income of families in Mt. Juliet. The city’s median home value is $196,200, a factor which combined with Mt. Juliet’s monthly homeowner costs to make up the remaining 33 percent of the score.

Mt. Juliet’s overall score for the city is 83.9, thanks to the above numbers. All of the information was based on U.S. Census figures.

NerdWallet analyzed data for 58 Tennessee cities, towns, and places with more than 10,000 residents to answer the questions in its study. NerdWallet also discovered these added facts:

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) says spending more than 30 percent of household income on housing costs is unsustainable and leaves families short on cash for food, clothing, and utilities. 

Yet 40 percent (260,000) of renters in Tennessee are spending more than 35 percent of their income on housing, according to the Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA).

Monthly costs for home ownership found in the top 20 Tennessee communities in NerdWallet’s study ranged from 23 percent to just over 30 percent, making home ownership an even better bargain.

This type of study is “one more tool” to help families make a decision when they consider moving to this area, Hamilton pointed out.

“People like to see things in print or on the Internet about the area they are considering,” she said.

Correspondent Connie Esh may be contacted at cewrites@yahoo.com.

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homebuyers, Mt. Juliet, NerdWallet
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