Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Best City To Live In USA Series; Housing

The second in our series of best city to live in USA takes us into the housing markets of each of the 10 best places to live in America. Just in way of reminder, the cities that we are using in our series are the top 10 small towns to live in according to Money. These towns are not really that small but are between 50,000 and 300,000 in population. In our last post we gave some statistics about the results of the education system in each and here we are going to show what current median housing prices are in each. These are not necessarily the cheapest place to live USA but some of them are on the lower end of the scale.

Another aspect of this to consider is that the best state to live in may be closely tied to the real estate prices because taxes can have a significant effect on the overall price of real estate over the long term. Unfortunately this is outside the scope of this post and may be expounded upon at a later time. Without further explanation here is the graph that shows the median housing prices in what has been classified as the best city to live in America but ultimately that decision will have to be made once you have more information.

Median home price
Rogers, AR
McKinney, TX
Fishers, IN
Overland Park, KS
Fort Collins, CO
Plymouth, MN
Ames, IA
Eden Prairie, MN
Columbia, MD
Bellevue, WA
Newton, MA

You can see the cities that are the cheapest places to live are arranged from lowest to highest price and the order of the list is significantly different than yesterday’s lists of the highest rated for education and this is the reason that each step, or each criterion, is so important. To one person, the education ranking may make it an awesome choice but the housing prices may make it the worst city to live in America.
One way that a person might begin to sort this information out and rate the cities no matter where the data is coming from is to weight each of the criteria. For instance, you may give a score of 1 to 10 with the lowest unemployment being a 10 and then you give each criteria a weight of 1-5 so if employment were very important to you, then you might give it a 4 or 5 weight. In the chart above then the least expensive area might get a weighted score of either 40 or 50 instead of a ten making it carry more weight in the total when you are through rating all cities in all areas that matter to you.

You will have to play around with the numbers and you may want to adjust the weight range you give each criteria or you may want to come up with your own system but whatever you do, you need to make it your own system that works for you. As we have stated over and over on this site the decision for the best place to retire, the cheapest place to live or even the best city to live in USA is extremely subjective.

No comments: