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Good Cities for Homebuyers
The U.S. housing market cannot seem to get back on track, and potential buyers and sellers are nervous and uncertain. However, there are some bright spots. Walletpop.com, AOL’s personal finance website, has a list of the 10 best U.S. cities in which to buy a home in 2011. According to the site, the “mostly unscientific and partially-biased list is based on a grab-bag of lifestyle priorities and, yes, thorough reporting.”
The 10 cities are:
Austin, Texas. WalletPop calls the Texas capital and home of the University of Texas the country’s Best All-Around City, and adds that it is the nation’s 12th-most affordable. Job growth from 2000 to 2010 was more than 14 percent, and there are more than 2,000 technology companies in town, not to mention the jobs that come with state government and the university. The city’s population is 799,267, its median family income is $73,747 and its median home price is $119,788.
Deerfield Beach, Fla. This coastal city has a median home price of $89,400, and even beachfront homes are relatively affordable. Deerfield Beach has a population of 74,584, but it is close to the big-city sports, cultural and entertainment offerings of Fort Lauderdale and Miami.
Broomfield County, Colo. This area between Denver and Boulder is filled with breathtaking natural beauty and opportunities for outdoor fun and adventure. But jobs here also grew 50 percent from 2000 to 2010, spurred by high-tech companies that take advantage of the fact that 38 percent of the county’s 55,000 residents have at least a bachelor’s degree. The median home price is $239,000.
Durham, N.C. Durham has become a retirement mecca, in no small part because of Duke University, which provides both a world-famous medical center and a senior learning program. The population is 223,284, and the median home price is $174,900.
Woodbury, Minn. This suburb of St. Paul draws praise as a great place to raise a family, with good schools as well as plenty of lakes and trails for hiking and biking. Both the state government and 3M provide plenty of jobs. With a population of 58,515 and a median home price of $240,100, about the only thing not to like is the winter.
Warner Robins, Ga. Being home to Robins Air Force base helped this city, with a population of 53,629, weather the recession. Housing is very affordable, with a median home price of $110,400 and a median family income of $63,000. Its location between Savannah and Atlanta is also attractive.
Madison, Wisc. This city, which is the state capital and home to the University of Wisconsin, consistently ranks high on various lists of attractive places to live. It has all the entertainment, sports and cultural advantages that come with a big-time college town, and its two lakes provide lots of outdoor opportunities as well. But housing remains affordable, with a median home price of $209,400.
The Poconos. WalletPop says these Pennsylvania mountains offer the best deal on a vacation home, with a median home price for Pocono Lake of $110,000. The area offers year-round fun, with lakes, trails and mountains for skiing.
Portland, Ore. This is an excellent city for young people. It has beautiful scenery and plenty of employers, including Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Legacy Health System and Fred Meyer Stores. It also offers lots of entertainment options, and it has a strong emphasis on protecting the environment.
San Francisco. Admittedly, with a median home price of $628,000, the City by the Bay will never be considered affordable. However, it offers lots of bang for the buck, including breathtaking scenery, both natural and manmade, as well as world-class cultural opportunities and entertainment, a temperate climate and shopping to fit any taste.