I always thought that Indiana was a pretty cost effective place to live and work, but I just needed some real numbers and data to back me up. I found that backing when I read this article and found out that Indianapolis, IN is the most affordable city in the country to live in right now, with a median home price of $107,000.
What's also pretty amazing is that the median income is $68,100. That's pretty high considering the low prices in the housing market. Our dollar goes a lot farther here and on the flip side, homes don't appreciate quite as aggressively as in other areas. The positive to that argument is that we don't have the bubble bursts in real estate to the extent that California, Florida, and other major areas experienced. The benefits that I experience here in Indianapolis are in my business of owning and managing real estate. With low home prices, I am able to create more residual income as the mortgage payments are less as a consequence of a lower purchase price. This goes hand in hand with the fact that I can apply extra money to principal as well and pay off the houses quicker. It's a win/win all around.
On the other end of the spectrum, not all surprising, is the least affordable place to live. New York City. As seen here, the median home price is $425,000, while the median income is $64,800. That is a huge differential between home price and income! No wonder so many people rent in the Big Apple.
The interesting part of this article that isn't mentioned is the fact that when you go outside of these cities, prices tend to be even lower (with the exception of high end suburbs, which can be higher on average). When you look at housing costs in rural areas, especially in Indiana, you see even lower housing costs than in the major cities. You also see slightly lower median incomes, but that's not always the case.
The trade offs. You know there are always trade offs. Of course, we have the Indianapolis Colts, the Indianapolis Pacers, The Indianapolis Indians (minor league baseball team for the Pittsburgh Pirates), The Indianapolis 500 race, Wes Montgomery came from Indianapolis, Dave Letterman went to Ball State, Don Mattingly grew up in Evansville, Indiana, and many other notable events, sports, and people. But, Indiana is cold and located in the Midwest, where there aren't movie actors, we don't have an ocean or beaches, no mountains, lots of corn fields, and very little in the way of entertainment industry. Those are the trade offs.
So then the question becomes "What's it worth for you to live where you live?" If you love the location, weather, features, people, network, job, etc. that you have and live in, then no price tag can be placed on that (within reason of course). Happiness is paramount and affordable housing can be found nearly any place.
Have a great week everyone!