Contributed by Info Guru Bryce Hammons
In his Forbes.com article, “Best Places to Live Cheaply,” Daniel Fisher writes about the cheapest places to live in the U.S.
Combining criteria of cheap housing, low cost of living, low violent crime rate, school quality, and low unemployment, Fisher pinpointed ten top spots throughout the country.
Data from Economy.com, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), was combined with the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Affordability Index in order to compile Fisher’s list.
10. Elkhart-Goshen, Indiana
Elkhart-Goshen, Indiana, finds itself at number ten with a median housing price of $103,000 and an unemployment rate of 10.2 percent. With a GreatSchools rating of 6 out of 10 and the median income at $58,600, Elkhart-Goshen finds itself as a safe and affordable option for the even the most cost-conscious citizens.
9. Wheeling, W. Va.-Oh.
With the compilation of the list, certain cities found their way into the top ten due to better schools and/or lower crime rates while others fell out thanks to abnormally high crime/low school scores. Wheeling found its way onto Fisher’s list, despite being ranked 21st on the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Affordability Index, due to a low crime rate and extremely high ranking schools.
8. Springfield, Ohio
With a beautiful median home price in the $73,000 range, Springfield, Ohio, makes an appearance at number eight on Forbes’ list. They have a medium income of $56,800, a low crime rate, and an unemployment rate hovering around 8.9.
7. Fairbanks, Alaska
For those looking to get away from it all and find solace in the natural beauty of Alaska, the city of Fairbanks may fit the bill. A look at the $216,000 median home price might turn away potential home buyers, but low property taxes plus a large inventory of homes around the median level price actually give the city a very high affordability index score.
6. Pocatello, Idaho
With an unemployment rate hovering around 9 percent and a median housing price of $108,000, Pocatello, Idaho, ranks sixth on the list. Nestled in the western foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Pocatello is home to Idaho State University, 32 parks, beautiful golf courses, hiking trails, the Pocatello Zoo, and more for those adventurous types.
5. Bay City, Michigan
Bay City describes itself as a major entertainment and recreational center; it’s located near the Saginaw Bay and is known as a top spot for commerce, industry, and government. As well, with low unemployment and even lower median housing prices, Bay City offers a little bit of everything for the prospective buyer.
4. Kokomo, Indiana
Kokomo is a place filled with rich automotive history and inventive technology breakthroughs. Coined as the “City of Firsts,” the beautiful and quaint Kokomo offers:
• Violent crime rate – 300 per 100,000 residents
• Median house price – $88,000
• Median income – $61,400
• Unemployment rate – 9.6 percent
Cumberland, Maryland, sits within 150 miles of bigger cities such as Pittsburg, Baltimore, and Washington. A beautiful spot with good schools, low unemployment, and a median house price of $81,000, it makes its way onto the Forbes’ list as a strong contender for the top spot.
2. Monroe, Michigan
In Monroe, the NAHB estimates that 97.8 percent of homes are affordable to median-income families. Thus, the city provides high paying jobs and a median house price of $101,000. With a low crime and unemployment rate, Monroe offers the best of low cost living.
1. Sandusky, Ohio
Sandusky is one of the cheapest (and best) places to live in the country. It’s a city which provides million dollar water views, a low crime rate, and some highly rated schools to boot. Despite some of the amenities, Sandusky has one of the most affordable housing markets available.
Add in solid schools in the area, an incredibly low unemployment rate, and a crime rate which is half the national average, and you’ve got yourself a great place to raise a family, live on the cheap, and find a place to truly settle down.
Forbes.com: Best Places To Live Cheaply (slideshow).
Yahoo News: Best Places To Live Cheaply (article).