If you’re looking to buy a new home and put down some roots, doing so in cities like San Francisco or Seattle might not be the best choice. With gentrification displacing thousands of long-time residents, there’s a chance that when you decide to sell your home and move elsewhere in the city, you won’t be able to afford it.
According to The Mercury News, salaries in the Bay Area surpass the national average. While earning a higher salary does sound mighty fine, higher salaries also drive up the prices in the housing market. If you’re not making SF’s (or another affluent city’s) average salary, you won’t be able to make its average mortgage payment.
For Americans, owning your own home is part of the great American dream, and guess what? It’s not unattainable. The housing market bubble of 2006 (despite having happened a decade ago) still has many Americans reeling even after the economic recovery. Millennials are especially wary of purchasing a home. Is owning a home really worth a 30-year mortgage?
We can be part of the housing market again; we just have to play it smart. Here are five cities in the United States where home ownership is possible and fruitful.
- Las Vegas, Nevada
Average Annual Salary: $52,600
Average Home Sale Price: $169,000-$172,000
Despite being nicknamed Sin City and well-known for draining the wallets of money-hungry tourists, Las Vegas is affordable, diverse and cultured. Yes, you read the last word correctly, it is cultured. Home to Symphony Park and the Discovery Children’s Museum, Las Vegas has gained traction in expanding its brand as it were to including the arts and education. Not to mention (but I’ll go ahead and mention it) Las Vegas features an extraordinary natural landscape. Take the family to adventure for a day in Red Rock Canyon or along the Bristlecone Trail.
- Columbus, Ohio
Average Annual Salary: $44,000
Average Home Sale Price: $128,000-$163,000
When you think of the state of Ohio, you probably think of small-town suburbanites, but that’s just a stereotype. Columbus, Ohio is the 15th largest city in the U.S., boasting a nearly 1 million population. Perfect for foodies and hobbyists, Columbus’ main strip, the Short North offers music, visual and performing arts, as well as delicious farm-to-table foods. If you want to raise your family in a place that celebrates creativity, Columbus is it.
- Omaha, Nebraska
Average Annual Salary: $46,000
Average Home Sale Price: $140,000-$166,000
Who doesn’t love good food, good music and good vibes? Omaha, Nebraska (named for its celebrated Native American roots) is the hipster’s dream. Home to eight breweries, foreign cuisine fusions and the Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha knows what’s up. The city’s safe and inclusive neighborhoods will be vital in raising your children with open minds and open hearts, and it’ll even get you a discount when you’re comparing homeowners insurance quotes. And better yet, Nebraska has the highest high school graduation rates in the country!
- Indianapolis, Indiana
Average Annual Salary: $39,500
Average Home Sale Price: $112,000-$149,000
Now for some reading this, Indiana might not seem like the kindest and most inclusive place to live, but don’t let its former governor ruin the state for you. The people of Indianapolis are known for their friendly demeanor and “small-town values,” despite living in an urban area. If you’re from an area with a mild climate that doesn’t appear to show any real change between the seasons, Indianapolis is for you. Experience the colors of fall, the snows of winter, the smells of spring and the heat of summer!
- Memphis, Tennessee
Average Annual Salary: $35,000
Average Home Sale Price: $110,000-$147,000
The birthplace of Elvis Presley, the cost of living in Memphis is 20 percent less than the national average. Home to the Smoky Mountains and with a steep American history, Memphis has played a part in our cultural fabric for the better part of the last two centuries. Are you a history enthusiast? Maybe take a turn in Memphis, you won’t regret it.
Just remember: if you do purchase a house in any of these great cities, you’ll only be adding to their fantastic base!