There comes a time in your life as an individual when you want to become independent and settle in a place of your own, whether it is because you want to attain your personal life goals or because you want to cut on rent expenses – and, actually, there a few things that are more empowering than buying your own home. In the U.S. this comes very early in time when compared with other countries, as it is custom for many families to provide food and accommodation for their children until the time they go to college or become otherwise economically independent, which usually occurs in their early 20s or even earlier. However, the economic and housing crisis of recent years have made it increasingly difficult to find the house of your dreams at an affordable price.
As you can see, affording your own home is not something that is completely impossible.
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The good news is that you don’t have to move to the middle of nowhere or spend the majority of your paycheck in order to find an affordable housing. As a matter of fact, RealtyTrac, which analyzes U.S. property data, identified the most affordable places to live in the U.S. in their latest 2015 survey. They surveyed 582 counties across the country and compiled price and wage data. With this information, they developed a ranking of affordability by dividing the region’s average mortgage payment by average weekly wages.
Using RealtyTrac’s findings, we can see the most affordable counties in the U.S. that are part of a metropolitan statistical area. The ten most affordable ones, going from most affordable to more expensive, are: St. Louis County, MO, St. Louis City, MO, Lake, IN, Fairfield, SC, Wayne, MI, Darlington, SC, Clayton, GA, Roane, TN, Cuyahoga, OH and Baltimore City, MD. For the most part, these counties are located in the Midwest and South, with Missouri, South Carolina, Michigan and Ohio placing multiple counties in the list.
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As you can see, affording your own home is not something that is completely impossible. You don’t even have to go to deserted towns where houses are being sold for really ridiculous prices at the cost of having to rebuild the entire town’s life and business, but there is something of a catch in all of this: big cities and California are places where most people still live struggling with a monthly rent and where most people, even professionals with a good paycheck, will find it really hard (nearly impossible) to afford their own housing.
However, the suburbs are a good place to make a living and grow, and they can afford you the added value of time and the assets necessary to take your life to the next level – that is, if you ultimate goal is making it to a big city. For those people looking a place where to settle in comfortably, this list is a very good tool to use to start looking for the affordable housing of your dreams.