A Look at Real Estate Across the Country

Moving is a major decision that most people will experience multiple times in their lives. Before beginning the process of moving, there are many things to consider before settling on a new location. One of the most important factors to consider is the price of real estate. Real estate values vary across the nation, but there are a few areas that stand out as the most and least expensive places to live. In addition, you should also consider the cost of living. Some of the areas with the highest real estate prices also have the highest costs of living, and you need to know if you can afford both. The future economic growth for a city is an important consideration because a city that has businesses leaving instead of coming in will lead to a declining job market.

The Most Expensive States:

Connecticut

Connecticut is home to some of the most expensive real estate in the country. Home prices in Connecticut sit significantly above the national average. In addition to the higher home prices, other goods and services, including clothing and entertainment, are far more expensive in comparison to the rest of the nation. The average resident would need to earn around $94,000 in Connecticut to have the same standard of living as someone who earns $75,000 in Florida.

California

The median home price in California is around $429,000, and if you are renting, it is hardly more affordable. In fact, the average apartment in California costs around $1,900 per month if you live in the larger cities. California cities are consistently ranked as the most expensive places to live in the country. The San Francisco Bay Area is home to the nation’s highest cost of living, and Bay Area cities like San Jose and San Francisco are known for their exorbitant housing markets.

New Jersey

New Jersey is a popular refuge for homebuyers and renters who are looking to escape the high price of real estate in the New York area, but this has caused a surge in New Jersey home prices. The median home value in the Garden State sits around $278,600. Rent is also above the national average at around $1,800 dollars a month.

Alaska

Unlike the other places on this list, Alaska is not a land of booming cities. Alaska’s high prices are caused by the fact that most products must be shipped from the US mainland. This means everything from groceries to homes are significantly more expensive than they would be in continental cities of a similar size, and the average home price in Alaska is around $252,000.

New York

New York is one of the most expensive states in the nation, and a large part of this is because of the astronomical real estate prices in New York City. Big Apple residents can expect to pay well above the national average for apartments and homes that are relatively modest in size. In NYC, the average price to buy a home is $681,600 and to rent is $2,817. Though housing costs in upstate New York are more affordable than New York City, property taxes in New York state are often more expensive in comparison to the rest of the country.

Washington DC

Despite the fact that it is not a state, the nation’s capital is home to some of the most expensive real estate in the land. For renters, the average price for an apartment in Washington DC is around $2,000 per month. To comfortably afford a two-bedroom apartment, analysts say a household would need an income of $108,300. This number is even harder to swallow considering the median household income for DC renters was less than $50,000.

Hawaii

With warm weather year-round and breathtaking beaches, it is unsurprising that Hawaii is home to very expensive real estate. Like Alaska, the cost of living is higher than much of the country because most products must be shipped in from the mainland. These high prices are reflected in home values with the median price for a single-family home in Oahu is around $795,000.

The Least Expensive States

Mississippi

Mississippi is home to one of the most affordable real estate markets in the country. Sitting around $128,700, the average home value in the Magnolia State is well below the national average. With an average salary in Jackson, MS at around $44,203, a two-income household could easily afford a home at the median price.

Arkansas

Another southern state boasting affordable home prices is Arkansas. With the median home price of $175,000, Arkansas is a great place for those looking to buy an affordable home. Many Arkansas cities have been growing in recent years. Fayetteville is growing at a fast rate and is expected to be one of the 100 largest metro areas in the US by the end of 2019. As the home of multinational company Walmart, Arkansas is becoming more attractive to job hunters seeking comfortable wages and a lower cost of living.

West Virginia

Because of its rugged geography, the cost of living in West Virginia is below the national average. The mountainous terrain allows West Virginia to stay fairly isolated from its neighboring states. The predominantly rural state’s median home value is around $97,000. If a person were to move to the metro area closest to West Virginia, Washington DC, they would have to pay over 5 times more on the average home in the DC area.

Tennessee

With a reasonable cost of living, the median home value is around $167,000, and the state is home to some of the lowest property taxes in the country. Both the housing market and the cost of living widely vary based on where you are in the state. Unlike some of the other states on this list, Tennessee is home to two metropolitan areas that boast a population of over one million people in each. Particularly in the Nashville area, the cost of living and median home value have both increased in recent years due to a surge in population.

South Dakota

South Dakota is a sparsely populated Midwestern state with under 900,000 in the entire state, and the state’s rural nature has allowed the home prices to remain fairly low. South Dakota offers some of the most reasonably priced real estate in the country with the median home price is around $223,000.

Alabama

Home to rural, urban, and coastal real estate, the median price for homes in Alabama is around $170,000. Alabama has a widely varying and rapidly growing real estate market. The median value for property on Alabama’s Orange Beach sits around $365,000, a stark difference from Alabama real estate further from the Gulf of Mexico.

Kentucky

Residents of the Bluegrass State enjoy a cost of living below the national average and reasonable property tax rates. With the average salary in Kentucky around $40,000, the median home price in Kentucky is around $143,600. The highest real estate prices are likely to be found in the state’s largest city, Louisville, but they are more affordable than many cities of comparable size.

A Look at Migration Patterns

Northeastern states tend to have more expensive real estate, while prices in the Midwest and Southeast tend to be more affordable. If you are moving to the western United States, rural western states and the Rocky Mountain region tend to be more affordable than states that are located along the west coast. As a rule, large cities tend to be more expensive than their rural counterparts. However, smaller cities located farther away from coastal areas often offer affordable housing options, modest cost of living, and reasonable average salaries.

In recent years, the Northeast and Midwest have experienced decreases in population. This phenomenon has been especially pronounced in former industrial cities located in the Rust Belt like Detroit, Cleveland, and Pittsburg. Southeastern and West Coast states are increasing in population. With people flocking to these warmer states, southern cities like Austin, Nashville, and Atlanta have experienced population booms. With the growth in the population, cities also see an increase in real estate prices because of the law of supply and demand, and for cities who have a decline in population, real estate prices drop because there is too much market and not enough buyers.

Across the country, real estate looks different based on what you can purchase with your money. For example, a two-story family home in one part of the country will be under $200,000, and in another part of the United States, the same home would be well over $1,000,000. Whether you are purchasing a piece of real estate to use for investment purposes or simply moving to a new city, it is important to take into consideration all the variables that will affect the real estate prices. To save money, you might consider living outside of an urban area where real estate prices are typically lower, or you might decide a specific location is worth the price tag. No matter what city you live in, take time to explore the area and establish relationships so it will truly feel like home.

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