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The Most Affordable U.S. Cities in Which to Buy a Home



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By : Richard Ray    99 or more times read
If you are in the market for a new home, you may be finding that many homes are simply out of your price range despite the recession and the increased number of foreclosures.

Nationwide, house prices actually rose about 3% for the second consecutive quarter in 2009, partly due to lower mortgage rates and an extension of the First-Time Homebuyer Credit.

However, if you happen to live in one of the most affordable US cities – or able to relocate – there are still places where you can get a lot more house for your money. Traditionally of course some areas of the country have always been more affordable than others – the Midwest and Southeast, for example.

A recent study by the National Association of Home Builders of the most affordable large cities in America found that Indianapolis, IN is the most affordable place to live. The average house price is an affordable $107,000 – a figure well below the national average of $190,000. Most of the city's 2 million residents or so can easily afford to buy as the average family income is around $68,000.

The city suffers from unemployment along with everywhere else, although at around 7.7%, it’s less than the national average of almost 10%. It's not only the affordable housing and the overall standard of living that make the city such a draw. Residents will tell you their city has great shopping and nightlife, a world-class children’s museum and of course, the country’s most famous racetrack.

Depending on which list you go by, the second and third most affordable cities are both in the Midwest as well – Detroit, MI and Youngstown, OH. Both of these cities have lost a significant number of jobs during recent years, meaning more foreclosures – and more bargains for homebuyers. A perfectly adequate three-bedroom house in Detroit just sold for $6,900 – less than half the price of most new cars.

Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Kansas City and Cincinnati are all also inexpensive places to live, with lower than average house prices. And Texas has several large metropolitan areas that regularly appear in lists of most affordable cities – Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston. If you are looking for something more rural, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and West Virginia are all inexpensive.

And the least affordable cities in the United States? It will come as no surprise to residents of New York City, Honolulu and Los Angeles to learn that those places have the highest house prices in the country. In most of these cities, you will need close to half a million dollars to buy a house, rather than an apartment.
Richard Ray, author of this article writes for the Householders Guide where you can find up to date Real Estate News and Household Information.

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