Least expensive/ Least stressful places to live in the USA

Reply Tue 1 Sep, 2009 03:13 pm
small 1970's home appraised at $250K in 2006.

Guess what? If the bank hasn't foreclosed, it's at 76k again
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Reply Tue 10 Aug, 2010 02:53 pm
The only thing i can tell you for sure is that FLORIDA is expensive specially Dade-county(Miami, Coral Gables, Hialeah, Kendall, Miami Beach, Aventura, North Miami, North Miami Beach, Westchester, Miami Gardens, Miami Lakes) and Broward-county(Hollywood, Miramar, Pembroke Pines, Sunny Isles, Hallandale, Ft. Lauderdale). I have lived here 24 years and things are not looking up. The people are getting ruder by the second, the heat is nasty(lets not forget the humidity), Yes you can find very beautiful apartments and homes, but they are not worth what people are asking for. TRAFFIC IS HORRENDOUS and not just school hours or work week hours, NO, ITS ALL DAY AND ALL NIGHT, whether you take expressways or down streets. Florida is a vacation state or RETIRMENT. Not for people with family or trying to build a life. This place is just PARTY ALL THE TIME.
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Reply Sun 15 Jan, 2012 01:11 pm
As a resident of FL for 22 yrs...it's a misconception that FL is a cheap place to live. In 1989 it was reasonable, but now with the highest utility rates in the U.S., your electric bills are as high as mortgages used to be. There is a glut of foreclosures but you're taking a serious chance with black mold & mildew and various infestation issues!
Reply Sun 15 Jan, 2012 01:40 pm
That all depends on what exactly your criteria are. Are you looking for a good area for families or looking for a good area for retirement, etc.?

Rapid City and Pierre, South Dakota as rated by various surveys quite a bit lower in cost of living, high in employment and a decent quality of life (low crime rate, fresh air, etc.)
""According to the recently released U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010 American Community Survey, South Dakotans have the nation’s second shortest commute-to-work time. People working in South Dakota spend about 16 minutes traveling to work. Maryland and Southern New York State had the highest commute times at more than 31 minutes."

Knoxville, TN

Cost-of-Living Rank: 33
Crime Rate Rank: 55
Commuting Rank: 7
Household Income Rank: 89
Home Ownership Rank: 21
Homeowner Costs Rank: 3
Education Rank: 10

Pittsburgh, PA is highly rated, one the home of the fallen giant steel industry, it's diversified its economy and boasts low crime and high educational attainment. Pittsburgh also has the highest home ownership rate in our 10.
"People know that Pittsburgh is a really great place for families because of safety, schools and the arts."

"Provo (and Orem) Utah, is a bustling college town, home to Brigham Young University, but it's not just a great place for students. Families flock there for its safety and schools: It has the highest percentage of high-school graduates on our list and one of the lowest crime rates."

Ogden UT also

Albany metro (Troy, Schenectady, Saratoga Springs)

Cost-of-Living Rank: 45
Crime Rate Rank: 17
Commuting Rank: 23 (typical commute is 20-25 mins avg)
Household Income Rank: 30
Home Ownership Rank: 68
Homeowner Costs Rank: 33
Education Rank: 8

Metro Albany is an area with which I've got 7 yrs experience at residing. Apple orchards and dairy farms abound in the outskirts. Close proximity to great skiing in VT and nearby Hunter Mntn down in Catskills, and gorgeous fall foliage and outdoors in Berkshires to the east and Adirondack State park to it's north.

Home of RIP and Technology and Business incubation center and future home to a brand state-of-the art new computer chip fab plant nr Saratoga Springs.

There's a start for you.

Abundant access to all kinds of arts, all year round in serveral close locations as well as access to the summer perfromances of dance, music and theater (Berkshires in MA too).

A partly remodeled and gentrified downtown Troy (nr RPI) and waterfront area. Lots of old brownstone and architectural delights. Its at the start of having a real estate (albeit mini '... at the moment) upswing.


A few years back in Sarasota and St. Pete there were problems with some Chinese mfr insulation and black mold in some apartments and homes. These problems are pretty much under control now.

Infestation? Seriously? This is a semi-tropical environment ..and I see and talk with many people who use good exterminators or they DIY. It's well under control at least on southwest FL. I feel that is an overblown issue.
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Reply Sun 15 Jan, 2012 01:45 pm
Sorry, but my experience in FL is different from yours. Perhaps you're in a different part of FL than I am or maybe you have a different provider. In Sarasota here I use FPL and electric rates are not as high as you indicated. I lived in Albany NY until 20 months ago. All the activity being the same (working from home) my electric bills for the same sized apartment are about the same or less than it was in greater Albany.

Admittedly rents are high. Homes are not as cheap as I'd like, but with foreclosures ...a reasonable deal can be had. People are caught in a sandwich as they have homes they may have bought more than 7 yrs ago when FL was at peak. In the last 5-6 yrs RE prices have dropped percipitously.
Reply Sun 15 Jan, 2012 02:03 pm
Where things have fallen down or changed. See the following:

Estimated median house or condo value in 2009: $195,036 (it was $95,600 in 2000)

Read more: http://www.city-data.com/city/Sarasota-Florida.html#ixzz1jYiib0Gr

However there's a RE trend and some niches which have popped up that is changing as we speak. Foreclosures and the availability of cheaper homes is a market that is hard to get accurate figures on.
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Steve Spencer
Reply Mon 3 Sep, 2012 11:03 pm
Hi friends,

Don't mess with Texas when it comes to affordability. According to Kiplinger's annual ranking report major metropolitan areas in the Lone Star State has least expensive places to live in. This ranking reports are prepared by using U.S. Census and the ACCRA Cost of Living, which is assembled by the Council for Community and Economic Research. The index measures relative price in several categories, including consumer goods, housing, transportation, utilities and health care, to come up with a composite score for each city.

Best Regards,
Steve Spencer
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