Buying a home is a big investment and a daunting prospect. Choose right? You’ll bag yourself a financial security net that will help you sleep easy at night. Invest in a dud, and you’re looking at a nightmare that many people never wake up from.
These cities and towns aren’t just affordable; they represent an opportunity to give you and your family a leg up financially. Not only are they close to top schools and some of the most lucrative jobs in the country, but the value of homes in these neighborhoods is also set to skyrocket over the next few years.
1. Louisville, KY
The birthplace of Kentucky Fried Chicken is so much more than a box meal. While the area’s long history and rich culture attract visitors from across the country, it’s a lucrative housing market on the cusp of exploding that will finally convince you to drop your anchor in the Derby City.
In 2015, Jefferson County PVA reported giant leaps in housing prices, with property values rebounding by as much as 92% since bottoming out in 2012. It’s a trend that has continued since then, with homes in the city center skyrocketing in value. And now, bidding wars across the city are pushing up the value of all properties, from condos and apartments to townhouses and mansions.
While many factors, such as the high concentration of top schools in the metro area, have contributed to the area’s revival, new constructions Downtown have catalyzed an influx of new residents and renewed interest among developers. Despite this, homes in the area are still relatively affordable, with the overall cost of living falling 10% under the national average, according to Payscale.com.
Niche.com – which grades cities using data such a crime rates, job availability and housing costs – awarded Louisville an “A-” rating, suggesting potential buyers search for properties in Cherokee Gardens and Cherokee Seneca neighborhoods.
2. Baldwin Borough, PA
Pittsburgh, and Baldwin, are bucking a nation-wide trend. Where most areas are seeing fewer and fewer real estate listings every year, the city’s inventory has only grown, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Buying in Baldwin, one of the city’s biggest boroughs, will put you right bang in the middle of the thriving metropolis without the hazards typically associated with proximity to the city center.
Not only does the suburb experience relatively little crime, but it’s also situated in one of the most sought-after school districts in the state. Niche.com awarded an “A-” grade to the borough overall.
3. Muskego, WI
The leafy green streets of Muskego will take you from pristine parks to any of its three scenic lakes and then back to your spacious home. Living in the city can feel like paradise, but without the six-figure cost usually associated with luxury living.
Situated just 20 minutes from downtown Milwaukee, the small city is booming. And it’s not just low crime rates and affordable housing attracting more and more families to the urban oasis. The area is home to some of the top schools in the state, with students scoring an average of 23.7 on the ACT – much higher than most others in their conference.
4. Derby, KS
Residents of Derby have access to one of the best deals in the country. Where most Americans spend an average of 32.9% of their monthly income on housing costs, Derby-ites are shelling out just 24% to keep a roof over their heads.
The BBQ-obsessed city plays host to some of the state’s biggest food festivals attracting tourists year-round. This opens up your options, allowing you to rent out your property on a short- or long-term basis if you’re looking for a real estate investment that will pay for itself.
However, you’ll reap the biggest rewards by calling Derby home. Not only do residents bring in more money than the average household elsewhere in America, but you and your family will also have access to some of the top schools in the state, according to Niche.com.