Housing is probably your most expensive cost when you sit down and create your monthly budget. Although the housing bust has caused havoc in the lives of millions of Americans who have already bought a home for those young people looking to buy, this could be the opportunity of a lifetime.
“Buy low and sell high” is one of the keys to financial success and building your wealth through real estate acquisition is still one of the "Top 4 Ways to Get Rich in America". Buying a home today or in the near future while interest rates are at historic lows (around 4.5 percent) is a great way to start your wealth building off right.
When making your decision on where you want to live you should never base it solely on the price of a home in that area. MSN recently published an article “Most Livable Bargain Markets” and honestly I wouldn’t want to live in any of those places. Just because the price of housing and the accompanying cost of living is low does not mean it is the place best suited for you and your lifestyle. Checking out the neighborhood before you buy for schools, cafes, entertainment, etc. are all key factors that add to your happiness. With that being said, here are some lists of great places to live according to lifestyle as well as home price. You should also check out our article “The Cheapest Places to Rent in the US" as your best decision in this economy may not be buying a house right now.
10 Cheapest Places To Buy a House (list courtesy of CNN Money June 2011)
Youngstown, Ohio. Median price: $55,400
Lansing, Mich. Median price: $64,400
Toledo, Ohio. Median price: $64,900
South Bend, Ind. Median price: $68,700
Akron, Ohio. Median price: $74,900
Ocala Fla. Median price: $75,400
Dayton, Ohio. Median price: $78,000
Cumberland, Md. Median price: $80,700
Grand Rapids, Mich. Median price: $81,100
Decatur, Ill. Median price: $81,300
If you are looking for a place to retire, check out this excellent article in US News that covers several topics for retirees to inclde: the best places to retire, the best places to start a second career, the best places for single seniors, and the 10 best retirement bargain spots.
There are many home affordable programs available right now to help stimulate the stumbling housing economy. Here is a link to one of these programs.
The current interest rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage is around 4.8%, the lowest it has been in years.
Getting a 15-year fixed mortgage (currently at 3.5%) will save you over 30% in interest.
Note: Black Enterprise has published their annual list of 10 best cities to live for African Americans (October 2010). Their list combines several factors to include: black home ownership rates, median black household income, black home loan rejections, percentage of black college graduates, black unemployment rates, percentage of black households earning more than $100,000 a year, and percentage of black-owned businesses. This list will certainly not get you the cheapest place to live, but it will locate you in an African American community that may satisfy some of your other lifestyle criteria.
1. Jacksonville, FL
2. Columbus, OH
3. Indianapolis, ID
4. Charlotte, NC
5. Dallas, TX
6. Nashville, TN
7. Houston, TX
8. Raleigh-Durham, NC
9. Atlanta, GA
10. Washington DC
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