When there is an opportunity to move, there is also a question: what is the best place to live in? Affordability is one of the most important factors in choosing where to live, especially when Real Estate becomes prohibitively expensive in major city hubs. There are many ways to define affordability as it may contain various factors that depend on the personal preferences and stages of life. For this article, we look at housing costs per square foot, median income, job opportunities, and quality of life.
1 – Austin, Texas
• Upsides: A Healthy State of Economy, High Quality of Education, Affordable Housing
• Downsides: Increasing Housing Prices, High Immigration Rates
Texas is known for its “Everything is Bigger in Texas” lifestyle. People who come to visit Texas are attracted to their warm weather and safe cities and suburbs. Many visitors may even consider moving there one day after visiting The Lone Star State.
Austin is a culturally rich city that is known for its music and creative scene. Apart from providing diverse cultural experiences, Austin also attracts the best talent in the technology and healthcare industries. As these industries grow, many corporate and law firms tend to establish their operations there to provide their services to existing firms. This influx of firms creates job opportunities that require different skills, which in turn drive up the population growth rate for Austin. Currently, the housing costs are still very affordable while median income is increasing. Even though the house prices are still low, due to high immigration rates, there might be a potential increase in housing prices soon.
2 – Memphis, Tennesse
• Upsides: Low Costs of Living, No Income Taxes, Scholarship Opportunities
• Downsides: Severe Weather Conditions, High Crime Rate in Some Areas
One of the main reasons why Memphis and generally Tennessee are so attractive to people who look to relocate is the low cost of living. Groceries and food prices, utilities, and the cost of housing itself are one of the lowest in the country. They have great restaurants and different cuisines with one of the best farmers markets in the country on top of that. Statistically, Memphis is a great place to start a business because they have one of the highest five-year survival rate and easy access to commercial financing opportunities. Unfortunately, Tennessee has high crime rates in some areas, but Memphis tends to be safer than other cities in the state.
3 – Raleigh, North Carolina
• Upsides: Low Housing Costs, Thriving Job Market, Accessible Healthcare
• Downsides: Cost of Living is Higher than National Average
Raleigh has a very scenic nature even in urban areas. People who like to be connected with nature may find the urban areas of Raleigh very comforting as they are surrounded by Oak trees all around. Raleigh even is referred to as the City of Oaks for this reason. This city has a very competitive housing market compared to other cities of similar sizes. An average rental cost of an apartment comes out to under $1000 and in addition to that, the sales tax is 7% lower than the national average.
4 – Colorado Springs, Colorado
• Upsides: Affordable Living, Healthy Economy, Growing City
• Downsides: Exponentially Growing Population, Safety Concerns
Colorado Springs is quite affordable in terms of rental properties in the area. On average, rental prices in Colorado Springs equate to $1200 per month, and the housing market tends to grow in line with the increasing population rate. It also has a strong economy with many colleges, military outposts, and airports stimulating the economy. Moreover retail leaders like Amazon and Walmart Establish their operations there contributing to job market growth and investing in the infrastructure of the city. Airports also improve the infrastructure of the city and of the airports, which contributes to an increase in tourism. An increase in job opportunities and infrastructure projects creates a problem of exponential population growth, which may drive up the housing prices in the future if the supply of real estate would not be able to catch up with the demand. Even though the economy of Colorado Springs is growing, there is quite a bit of criminal activity, which may be a concern for some people looking to move to the city.
5 – Boston, Massachusetts
• Upsides: A Healthy Job Market, High Average Earnings
• Downsides: One of the Most Expensive Housing Nationally
Young people and skilled workers who have the desire to live in a city full of history may consider Boston as their new hometown. Boston is home to some of the most prestigious universities in the world such as Harvard and MIT. These educational institutions heavily invest in the infrastructure of the city providing high-paying jobs to skilled workers in technology and healthcare industries. People who are lucky enough to find a high-paying job in Boston also usually have access to one of the best healthcare providers. Even though Boston is considered as one of the most affordable cities, the housing prices and cost of living may be very expensive and a person with no job in Boston may not be able to afford it that easily. Many people who have an opportunity to work from home tend to move out of the city to save on housing costs and still enjoy the perks of working in Boston.
6 – Atlanta, Georgia
• Upsides: Reasonable Cost of Living, Stable Job Market, Unique Infrastructure Projects
• Downsides: Safety Concerns
Atlanta is home to quite a few corporate headquarters. Delta Air Lines, The Home Depot, and The Coca-Cola Company have their headquarters located in Atlanta. 16 Fortune 500 companies have their corporate offices in Atlanta, and they contribute to a stable job market in the area. Atlanta is also seeing a boom in emerging startups, which helps the economy grow and creates more job opportunities for citizens. These companies invest heavily in infrastructure projects that make travelling around Atlanta a very convenient experience. From the previous years, Atlanta had issues with criminals, and even though the situation changes for the better, some people may still feel unsafe in urban areas of this city.
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