Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Best States to Live in the Southeast

The southeastern United States is an ever-changing place. Once considered less educated, less wealthy and less desirable than its geographical counterparts, it is now a widely populated place filled with sprawling metropolises, tiny southern towns and everything in between. Home to many colleges and universities, plenty of professional sports teams and some of the biggest military bases and aerospace engineering plants, the southeast is now considered one of the best places to live in the United States. Journey with us from North Carolina to Florida as we discover some of the best states to live in this region.

The Best State to Live in the Southeast

The choices for the award in this category are many and diverse. Nearly every southeastern state deserves to be here for one reason or another. However, there is one that stands head and shoulders above the rest. North Carolina deserves the spot for several reasons. Its quasi-southern charm, drenched in old money and steeped in history, provides plenty to see and do. From the tobacco fields of yesteryear to the majestic plantation houses available for tours, North Carolina offered many contributions to the foundation of a great nation. In 2010, Forbes Magazine voted North Carolina the third best state for business in the nation. Culture, arts and entertainment are also strong here, and North Carolina may well be one of the best states to live in the southeast based on beauty alone. People have long flocked to this area during the fall, when the leaves turn brilliant colors not seen outside of watercolor sets. With 14 national parks , plenty of opportunities for fishing and hunting and some of the most beautiful lighthouses on the east coast, North Carolina has plenty to offer the nature lover. Cary, North Carolina has been voted the safest place to live in the southeast, as well as earned a Top 5 spot on Money Magazine’s “Best Places to Live in the Nation.”

Cheapest State to Live in the Southeast

Mississippi is quite possibly the cheapest state to live within the southeast. With a cost of living index 23 points below the national average and a median home price of just over $170,000, it is easier to afford more here. Although the median income falls short of the national average, families do not need to earn as much here as they would in some of the more expensive states.

Best Southeast States to Retire to

Florida is the best southeastern state to retire to, and possibly the best state for retirees in the entire nation. The climate is always warm, albeit rainy at times, and the 55+ community accounts for a significant percentage of Florida’s population. There is plenty to see and do for retirees including shopping, fine dining and outdoor activities. The median home value was $129,000 in 2010, much lower than the national average of nearly $180,000. Florida has no income tax and caps its property tax at a flat 3% per year for year round residents. The annual Florida tax burden is ranked 47th in the nation, making it lower than almost anywhere else in the country. Florida is truly a retiree’s paradise.

The southeastern United States offers some of the best places to live. Here, the charm of the south meets the romance of the Atlantic coastline. The southeast has made great strides in the past twenty years, and is now a great place to live, work and play.

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