Tuesday, October 11, 2011

America's Cheapest Real Estate

The Cheapest Real Estate in America

Editors note: I just read this interesting article on the website 'Home Goes Strong' and thought I would pass it along. There's some food for thought in here when it comes to either staying put and refinancing or pulling up your roots and moving to a cheaper place.

Cheapest Real Estate in America: Houston by BIJI KURIAN
houston downtown, a photo by BIJI KURIAN on Flickr.

Leah Ingram writes:

Do you live in America's Cheapest City?

We're ready to refinance the mortgage on our home, again! We actually just went through refinancing about a year ago, when mortgage rates had first dropped. But now that the typical 30 year mortgage rate has dropped even further - it's down below 4% - we thought we would be crazy not to at least look into whether another refinancing was worth the trouble, even though we had just refinanced less than a year ago.

First, we asked our current bank, the one that holds our mortgage, to consider changing our interest rate to bring it more inline with current rates being offerred at other banks, of course they agreed to do so but only if we agreed to pay an astronomical change fee. When we worked it out we discovered it would take two years at the new lower mortgage rate to make back the difference from the service charge. I knew there had to be a better deal out there and sure enough I found a bank that was more than willing to eat the closing costs and give us a new mortgage at a rate even lower than the reduced rate our bank had offerred on the refinance deal. And the best part of it all is that it will only take a bit more than one mortgage payment to make up for the upfront costs we will likely incur - we will probably need an updated home appraisal.

You see even though we had just had a home appraisal a year ago from our previous refinance, like most places in the United States, homes where we live (suburban Philadelphia) just haven't increased in value. Many have held their value though and some more so than in other American cities where real estate is still depressed. But all of that said the bank that is offerring our new mortgage just wants to make sure our home still holds enough value to cover the new mortgage.

If you're looking to buy a new home in you want to explore the best cities for singles, families and the  best cities for jobs. Bottom line - it's a good idea to buy where the real estate holds its value. However, if you're on a tight budget it's best to know where the cheapest places to live are too.

According to an infographic I read recently from Credit Sesame, here are the top 5 cheapest cities (based on cost per square foot) for real estate in America:

  1. Houston @$54 per square foot
  2. Phoenix @ $79
  3. Atlanta @ $132
  4. Chicago @ $158
  5. Miami @ $182

One Day in Houston

Editors note: What I find most interesting about these places is that many American's would say these are some of the best places to live in America too. Cheap and a nice place to live? It doesn't get much better!

Source: America's Cheapest Real Estate:

1 comment:

Ms T Appleton said...

I am so over ownership. I just want an apartment on the beach somewhere that I can call the landlord and tell him to come fix the sink and be done with it. I guess if I had enough money I could have someone manage the property if I owned it but by renting, if I get a wild hair and want to move whenever and wherever I can. Now that is freedom and freedom is what I want...