Gone are the days that people just settle down wherever they wish! Ever changing house prices and frequent cost of living changes, means that most of the time, we don't choose where to live, it chooses us. New York might be your dream destination, but Nebraska might be your only option...
From the East to West coast, this article will dive into everything you need to know before buying the best value home in the US; even down to how the prices of groceries will differ. The best value state to buy a house in? We'll let you decide!
The cheapest stateCon:
high crime ratesIn 2023, Iowa is currently the cheapest state to buy a house in. The median home price is $147,800, and the estimated monthly mortgage payment is $702. This is a huge contrast to expensive states like New York and Washington and one of the cheapest options on this list!
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Maybe not as glamorous as some other states, but Iowa is a great choice for those who want a more affordable location to settle down in. As this Midwestern state is the biggest producer of corn in the country, there’s plenty of farmland as well as cities and in Iowa for those who prefer a balanced lifestyle.Original content sourced from Femanin.com
Good education opportunitiesCon:
Poor public transport systemsIndiana ranks number two on the list of cheap states to buy a home in. Here you can grab a house for $141,700 on average, which will take just 11.03% of the median income. Estimated monthly mortgage payments come in at just over $670, so you can definitely make your money go a bit further here.
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A cheap cost of living as well as low crime rates and great education opportunities makes this a great location to settle down in and start a family! Like Iowa, it’s a state full of farmland, but you’ll find more activity near major universities including Purdue.
Huge entertainment sceneCon:
Harsh wintersOhio claims the bronze spot on the list. Another Midwestern state, Ohio has a median house price of $145,700 in 2023, which requires just 11% of the average person’s income. However, unlike Iowa and Indiana, there’s a lot more going on here; it has a huge football scene.
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Cheer on the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Cincinnati Bengals or the Cleveland Browns. Settling down in Ohio comes with a price, however. The cost of living might be appealing, but the state does come with it's drawbacks such as harsh winters, and poor public transport!
Strong sense of communityCon:
High taxesKnown as the Cornhusker state, Nebraska has a median house price of $155,800. This means residents will pay just 11.19% of their income on a mortgage payment, which is about $740.22. As the name suggests, it’s another state that’s big on corn production, and there are tons of farms that produce beef.
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If you don’t fancy living on a farm, and city life is still the one for you, then you can buy property in towns like Omaha and Lincoln. With it's affordable cost of living, it's low crime rates and strong sense of community nebraska is a great place to call home!
Great food cultureCon:
Extreme weatherSo Kansas and Nebraska are technically tied for fourth on this list. While they each cost 11.19% of a median household income, Kansas actually has cheaper houses, as the median home costs $151,900 here. Like the other states we’ve covered so far, Kansas has plenty of farms, so many jobs available!
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There are other pros to living in Kansas, not just the low cost of living. The state is rich in history to delve into, and the food culture is one of the greatest in the country! You can also buy a home in the likes of Kansas City or Wichita if you don’t want to live somewhere too rural.
Cheap utility billsCon:
Low quality healthcareMississippi is a lot different from the farm states we’ve listed! Known as the Magnolia state, Mississippi is the leading producer of catfish, and has tons of Southern charm. Here you can buy yourself a home for around $119,000, which will take just 11.21% of the median household income.
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Have you been convinced to move state yet? It's not just house prices that contribute to the low cost of living in Mississippi; utility bills are 9% lower than the national average too. This makes Mississippi an all round, low-cost destination to settle in!
High povertyHouse prices in West Virginia are neck and neck with Mississippi. Monthly mortgage payments are estimated to be $568.23, which compared to other states, isn't bad at all! If you like spending time in the great outdoors, West Virginia might be the state for you!
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You’ll find tons of spectacular scenery in West Virginia, it’s nestled right in the Appalachians, which is why it’s called the Mountain State! It is very easy on the eye! Other bills are also cheaper than the national average too, such as groceries which are 5% lower than the rest of the country!
A rich historyCon:
Lack of big citiesA little bit more expensive than the likes of Mississippi as we climb up the list, Oklahoma has a median home price of $136,800. This takes around 11.64% of a median household income. You can expect monthly mortgage installments to average $649.95 which is still on the cheaper end of the scale!
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If history is your thing, Oklahoma will offer plenty to get your teeth into! As well as house prices, the overall cost of living in Oklahoma is lower than in other parts of the country as aspects such as groceries, healthcare, and utility bills are lower than the national average!
Slow pace of lifeCon:
Brutal wintersMichigan has some great cities, industries and natural scenery to offer its residents – as well as decent house prices! Homes here cost around $154,900 on average, which takes just 11.7% of a standard household income. A pretty cool deal for a state packed with opportunity.
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If you love the water, Michigan is one of the cheapest states to buy a house with the coast nearby, the freshwater coastlines will provide endless, affordable fun for the family! If you want affordable house prices that aren't dominated by farmland, this would be a great choice!
Perfect for retireesCon:
Risk of natural disastersIn 2023, Arkansas house prices currently stand around $129,000, this definitely puts it in the more affordable areas to live, as monthly mortgage payments average $607.19. As well as affordable house prices, the general cost of living in Arkansas is lower than most other states.
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If you do decide to live in Arkansas, you can enjoy the spectacular natural landscape, which features acres of stunning lakes, rivers and hot springs that provide endless fun! For retirees who want to get the most out of their pension, this might be a great place to relocate to!
High humidity levelsThis is where house prices start to creep up a bit. The median home price here jumps up to $142,700, which is a fair few thousand more than Arkansas. You’ll be expected to pay $677.99 in monthly mortgage payments, which equates to 12.2% of a median household income.
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This state is known for football and southern hospitality, and has cool cities like Birmingham and Montgomery that are rich in US history. Alabama is an all-round inexpensive state to reside in. Alabama also has a plethora of stunning beaches, meaning cost free days out too!
A calm, quiet stateIn North Dakota, you can expect median home prices to be around $193,900, while the median income is just over $90,000. This means that North Dakota homes take only 12.27 percent of the median household income, and monthly mortgage repayments are around $921.24.
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Other advantages to living in North Dakota are that it's one of the most tax-friendly states in the US, and it has been rated as the happiest state in the country. It is also one of America’s least populated states meaning there is lots of opportunity to relocate here if desired.
Racial discrimination still existsA median home in Kentucky will set you back around 141,000, making it the thirteenth cheapest state to buy a house in. You can expect to pay $669.91 a month on mortgage repayments, which will take 12.35% of an average household income. There truly is something for everyone in Kentucky, too!
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So what's so special about living in Kentucky? Despite the low cost of living and low tax prices, the state is in a central location, meaning family from all across the country will be easier to keep in contact with! This state is also the home to fried chicken... what's not to love?
Huge music sceneCon:
Landlocked stateIn Missouri, the median house price is currently just over $157,000. As the average household earns $72,300 per year, 12.4% of that will go towards a home, with estimated monthly mortgage payments coming in at $746.88. Renting is also pretty cheap here too!
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Missouri, also known as the Show-Me state, is famous for its super cool blues and jazz scenes, and is home to one of the largest beer producers in the country. If this sound like your jam, it could be a location for you! Missouri's blended Midwestern and Southern culture makes this a great location!
Huge job opportunitiesCon:
Small populationHouse prices in South Dakota average $157,200. The typical mortgage payment here is just under $800 per month! South Dakota is usually referred to as the Mount Rushmore state, and is home to the highest point in the Rocky Mountains. Pretty cool, don't you think?
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There are tons of tourist attractions in South Dakota, including Mount Rushmore. This means that the state generates lots of income each day, making it one of the nicer states to live in. It also has a huge agricultural industry, meaning lots of job opportunities for those who chose to reside here.
Long and cold wintersThe median home price in Pennsylvania is $180,200, which is a bit of a jump from South Dakota. This means you’ll be expected to $856.15 each month in mortgage payments, which is 12.68% of the median household income (median incomes here are $81,000 per year).
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Pennsylvania is the birthplace of Hershey’s chocolate, and has everything from sprawling forests to dense mountains. With friendly locals and lots of outdoor recreation, this state is a breathtaking location to settle in. If you're looking to retire here, expect generous tax cuts too!
High property taxesMedian house prices in Wisconsin aren’t too dissimilar from those in Pennsylvania. You can get a property for $180,600 here, and monthly mortgage payments are an average of $858.05. As median salaries are around $80,300, a home will take 12.82% of your household income.
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Wisconsin is known as ‘America’s Dairyland’ as it’s one of the biggest producers of dairy, and is particularly famous for its cheese. Other pros of living in Wisconsin include quality healthcare, top-rated public education, and picture perfect scenery. A beautiful location that everyone can enjoy!
Home of ChicagoCon:
High competition for jobsWhile Illinois easily makes it on the list, you can see that it’s a little bit pricier than other states, as homes usually go for around $194,500 here. As average incomes are about $85,000, you’ll pay 13.05% of your household income on your home, and have monthly mortgage payments of $924.09!
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Illinois is home to Chicago, which is one of America’s most iconic cities, and is the largest city in the Midwest. As we see the prices of houses increase throughout the list, it seems the luxury of famous US cities comes with a price! This state is still relatively cheap considering this!
Huge food cultureCon:
Dangerous gun laws in placeWhile homes in Texas are actually cheaper than those in Illinois (the median home price is $172,500) average household incomes are lower at $75,100. This means you’ll be spending more of your income on your home, and will take 13.10%. You can also expect to pay $819.57 on monthly mortgage repayments.
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If you decide to settle here, you’ll have plenty to enjoy; cowboy culture, fantastic Tex Mex food and diverse landscapes. Home to rich musical culture, you will be exposed to some of the world's most talented artists if you reside in Texas, as well as a vast variety in cuisines and cultures!
Great job opportunitiesCon:
Awful for allergiesIn Georgia, the median price you’ll pay for a home is $176,000. Again, it’s cheaper than other states on the list, but these homes will take 13.43% of the median household income. Estimated monthly mortgage payments are expected to be $836.20 on average.
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Georgia is known as the Peach state thanks to its high production of this fruit. As well as fruit production, Georgia is rapidly expanding in its variety of businesses meaning there are many job opportunities for those who are considering buying a property here!
Lovely weather all year roundCon:
High crime ratesIn South Carolina, the median house price is $162,300, and average salaries are $68,700. This means that you’ll pay 13.47% of your household income on your home! South Carolina is a popular state for budding house buyers, as it enjoys warm temperatures, beaches, and festivals.
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These luxuries that South Carolina offer come with a bit of a price, and although South Carolina as lots of luxuries to offer at a decent price point, there might be a reason for it! Crime rates are higher in this state than others, and has the fifth highest property crime rate!
High paying jobs on offerCon:
High tax ratesIn Minnesota, homes cost a lot more. This is because wages tend to be higher ($93,100 on average in fact). The median house price in Minnesota is $223,900, which means mortgage payments come in at $1,063.78 per month. Your home will also account for 13.71% of your household income in the state!
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For urban living, Minnesota is comparatively affordable in comparison to other states! Although Minnesota is ranked as a cheap state to buy a house, they have some of the highest taxes in the whole country! Something to think about if you want to relocate here!
Huge state parksCon:
Hurricane prone!North Carolina is a little more pricey than its southern sister. The median house price here is $172,500 (about $10,000 more than South Carolina) and accounts for 13.87% of a standard household income. This means that your monthly mortgage payments will work at $819.57 on average here.
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North Carolina has great food and arts scenes, along with huge state parks with massive mountains. Although this isn't an expensive location to buy a home in, North Carolina is susceptible to natural disasters and is the 3rd most hurricane prone state in the country!
Famous music sceneCon:
Low wagesThe median house price is lower in Tennessee than it is in North Carolina, but as homes take 13.9% of people’s incomes, it’s that bit lower on the list. You can bag an average home in this state for around $167,200, and should expect to pay $794.39 each month for your mortgage.
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Tennessee is generally associated with great music and top-tier whiskey. Does Tennessee sound like the state for you? If it does, you must be aware of the cons! High crime rates and criminally low wages make this state difficult to live in! You can get the house, but it's hard to keep it up...
Great education opportunitiesCon:
High cost of livingIn the state of Maine, median house prices for 2023 are around $190,400. As average household incomes consist of $75,700, homes will account for 14.34% of people’s salaries. So your monthly mortgage payments will work out at $904.61 – which is still cheaper than Minnesota!
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Maine is an affluent state that is home to great craft beer, farm-to-table dining and tons of lighthouses. Maine also has great opportunities for children in terms of education. As this is a more affluent area, it comes with an overall higher cost of living.
A desired stateCon:
Susceptible to bad weatherWith plenty of Creole personality and an impressive musical history, Louisiana is becoming a pretty desirable state. Houses here average $163,100, so are on the cheap side, but wages tend to be lower (they’re currently $64,700, so trailing others featured on this list).
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Residents spend 14.37% of their household income on their home, making it one of the more difficult places to buy a home. As well as being on of the pricier places to buy a house, Louisiana is also susceptible to hurricanes, and! It also has a pretty poor healthcare system...
No state taxCon:
High unemployment levelsIn New Hampshire, homes are pretty expensive – especially when you compare the price to other states on this list. However, just like Minnesota, average incomes are higher here, and are a median of $98,200 in 2023. This takes 15.19% of an average household income, with monthly mortgage payments of $1,243.37.
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New Hampshire is known for its beautiful natural landscapes, and is home to the stunning White Mountains. This is a state where you get what you pay for! With an overall high quality of life, low crime rates, and great education opportunities, New Hampshire is an all-round beautiful place to live!
The home of great collegesCon:
High tax ratesThe median house price in Connecticut is $275,400, which is nearly double the price of a home in Iowa. Residents in Connecticut earn $102,600 on average, which accounts for 15.3% of their income. So monthly mortgage payments therefore work out at around $1,308.46.
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The home of both Yale University and ESPN, it’s a thriving state that has tons of culture, personality and a great education system for those with a family. As well as climbing up the ladder of expensive properties in the US, Connecticut has higher taxes that contribute to its high cost of living!
Low property taxCon:
Lacks diversityIn Wyoming, the median house price is $220,500, and monthly mortgage payments are $1,047.62. As average household incomes are $81,900, the income-to-mortgage ratio is 15.35%. If you decide to move to Wyoming, you can enjoy stunning natural scenery, including the famous Yellowstone national park.
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It also has a low population, so lots of space for those who chose to live there! Although slightly pricier than Connecticut, the taxes are much better for our wallets! It has a low property tax, and there is no state tax or personal income to pay if you live in Wyoming!
A safe stateCon:
High cost of livingHouse prices increasing rapidly in Vermont. In 2023, the median price for a home is estimated to be $227,700, and payments for a monthly mortgage are expected to be $1,081.83. The median household income here is $84,100, so residents will need to fork out 15.44% of their salary to keep their property.
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There are lots of pluses to paying a bit extra for a property such as the states safety, however, Vermont has limited job opportunity! Vermont is also the 10th most expensive state in the country in terms of all-round cost of living, so is it really worth it?
High paying jobs on offerCon:
High tax ratesThe average house price in recent years for New Mexico stands at around $293,325, which is relatively affordable for a lot of high income households - the good news is, it's also a good investment opportunity in this state, and with a huge tourist market, it's a plus!
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The median household income is below the national average, meaning that many people struggle to buy in this state even though prices are lower than other big states. Interesting facts about those who live in New Mexico is that the state has a high crime rate, and they have poor education on offer.
No state tax neededCon:
The location comes with a priceThe average house price if you're looking to buy a comfortable home in the state of Delaware is around $369,846. The good news about buying a house in Delaware is that this state has one of the lowest tax rates of any of the states in the US, so good news for real estate investment!
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Delaware is also an extremely convenient location, and is close to beaches and other state parks! Price houses will only start increasing, so if Delaware is for you, then act fast! Although the cost of living is higher than what we have seen on the list already, Delaware residents pay no state tax!
The home of DisneylandCon:
Densely populatedIf you're looking to set up roots in the sunny state of Florida, then you're looking at around $377,000 for an average house here. Of course, there are so many different areas to choose from in this state, and the houses are going to be more pricey the closer you go to big cities or the beaches.
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Also home to Disneyland, Florida, it's an amazing choice for families with children, and other Disney fanatics! Although the magic of Disneyland graces Florida, it means that the state is densely populated which results in very unfriendly locals who don't want you around...
Good quality of lifeCon:
Healthcare is expensiveIf you'd rather escape the hustle and bustle of a huge tourist city and looking at houses in Alaska instead, it'll cost you around $417,500 on average, but there are houses that might be cheaper (or more expensive) depending on where you look. You'll need a hefty down payment if you want to buy here!
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You pay for so much more than the property itself, rather for its stunning views and good quality of life that the state brings. Alaska is known for it's fresh, local seafood, and great air quality which many people want to escape to. Other bills such as healthcare are above the national average.
Low cost of livingCon:
Unbearable heatIf you're browsing the property market in the desert state of Arizona, you'll be looking at around $420,310 on average for a family home. As well as needed a lot of money, though, you'll also need to have a very high credit score to have any hope of buying a house in this state.
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Once you have your property, the cost of living is low, making it a great locations for retirees to settle down in. For many, Arizona is a location that they will not reside in due to it's unbearable heat. If an icy winter isn't your idea of a christmas miracle, then Arizona is a good choice!
Great employment opportunitiesCon:
High cost of livingThe historical state of Maryland boasts house prices around $425,000 as the current average, and it's no surprise really when there's so much to see and do! The other thing you need to be aware of is that Maryland also has a high cost of living that you'll need to think about.
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The cost of living in Maryland is 22% higher than the national average, and house prices is over 50% higher than the national average! Although Maryland has an incredibly high cost of living, there are incredible employment opportunities, and the state has a great mix of small towns and cities!
Perfect for a laid-back lifestyleCon:
Not ideal for working professionalsIf you're looking to escape to the beautiful state of Hawaii and buy a home there, you'll need to expect price tags around $428,700 based on the market in recent years. If you're a foreigner to Hawaii looking to buy, though, it's going to be a more complicated process than if you're a native.
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Hawaii comes with a huge cost in all aspects, and there are limited employment opportunities for those willing to pay the price. The reason costs are so high in Hawaii is because of its beautiful scenery as well as it's laid-back lifestyle, a better choice for retirees rather than working professionals.
Close proximity to New YorkCon:
Higher tax for retireesHouse prices on average in the state of Rhode Island stand at around $435,044, currently, and the good news is that the cost of living in this state is relatively low compared to others - but this is offset by the high price of taxes in this area. It's close proximity to New York makes it a cheaper alternative.
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Due to the temperatures in this state, you might also find your heating bills can rise despite its low cost of living! If you are retired, your taxes will come in higher than average. It's a great option for those who want to have the New York lifestyle and be close by without paying the prices.
Not much to see or do!The housing market in this state has got better in recent years, so it's a good investment opportunity to buy property in Idaho - and it'll set you back around $440,864 for a house. The housing market here is specifically good for first time buyers as the value in your home will only increase!
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Packed full of small town charm, it does mean there's not much to see or do in this state! The cost of living is not too expensive for its residents, and all necessary bills such as healthcare come in at below average. There are also tons of agriculture opportunities!
Increasing homelessnessThe average home in the hot desert state of Nevada will cost you around $440,990 in property investment. The only trouble with this is that, in recent years, there haven't been that many houses on the market to choose from, with areas like Las Vegas being particularly popular.
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There are many pros and cons to Nevada, including a great job market but a lack of decent healthcare. Nevada sits just slightly above the national average in cost of living. Las Vegas strip, has forced many people to leave as well as increasing homelessness by large amounts.
Great opportunities for working professionalsCon:
The city that never sleepsIt's difficult to pinpoint one average house price in New York because of the sheer amount of areas and opportunities. Some properties can cost millions if you're looking to be in the middle of the city in a penthouse, but on average, a standard house will set you back around $441,462.
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The culture and opportunities that the state offers are priceless, and people will pay millions for the chance to live in the big apple! Living in New York usually means that you will be drawn into the fast paced lifestyle. It's loud, busy, but the nightlife and job opportunities are not to be missed.
Low crime ratesCon:
Home to the country's worst driversThe average price for a home in Virginia is around $445,000. Keep an eye on those prices, though, because they have been going up and up in recent years! For example, cities such as Arlington has an eye watering median house price of $750,000. It's one of the best states in terms of it's scenery.
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Virginia is home to the country's worst drivers, worst humidity, and if you have allergies, forget about it! However, Virginia has a low crime rate, and great schools - perfect for raising kids! The outdoor activity opportunities are second to none, too!
Awful phone signalMontana is a beautiful state to buy a home, and the average house price is $447,068. You'll need a solid down payment, a good credit score and to be savvy with your finances to have a good chance of making the most out of property investment in this glorious Rocky Mountains state!
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It's friendly locals, stunning views, and outdoor activities makes it a perfect location to settle down in. This is a popular choice for many real estate investors. Montana might not be a good choice for those who have moved away from families, as keeping in contact might be hard due to its bad signal!
A family-friendly stateCon:
Has one of the highest tax ratesIf you're looking to make an investment in New Jersey property, you're looking at around $487,868 on average, based on recent years. Before you buy a home, though, you need to be aware that New Jersey has some of the highest tax laws - so you need to decide whether it's worth it!
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Studies have shown that on average, a New Jersey resident will spend over an eye watering $900,000 in their lifetime on taxes. However, the pros of buying a house in New Jersey are endless! Good healthcare, there's lots to do, it's a family-friendly state... Some say it's the 'American Dream!'
No sales tax on propertiesCon:
A very expensive state to live inIf you're looking for a nice new home in Oregon, you can expect prices around $496,690. The good news about property in this state is that prices do seem to be dropping in recent years, and there are also many great areas to choose from - so it should be a good investment.
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Oregon is the 5th most expensive state to live in, but only ranks 18th for average income rate, meaning you have to work to your limit to live here. The plus side to buying a property in Oregon is that there is no sales tax... so no hidden fees are a plus!
High paying jobs on offerCon:
The worst air quality in the countryThe average price for a standard home in Utah is $509,383 - and you may find that the property market is priced very high because this state is known for its high job opportunities and low unemployment numbers. This means it's in demand for a lot of people looking to set down roots!
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While being incredible expensive with low salaries, it is also prone to wildfires in the summer, and has some of the worst air quality in the country! Despite this, the crime rate in Utah is also 40% lower than the national average and the national parks are breathtaking!
Seen as the best place to live in the USCon:
High cost of livingColorado is very much in-demand for people who love the outdoors and want to live somewhere with stunning scenery - which is great news if you have around $540,838 to splash on an average house in this state. Worth it for that scenery and national parks?
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Colorado, by many, has been branded the best place to live in the United States. Other pros about buying a house in Colorado is that the economy is booming and it offers some of the best jobs on the market! Despite this, the all-round cost of living in Colorado is 5% higher than the national average!
Active volcanoes cause riskHome to the president, house prices you can expect in the state of Washington are, on average, around $578,460 - and you can also expect a high cost of living and built up traffic if you want to live here. There are pros, of course, including diverse culture and a rich history!
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The cons... you will be paying a pretty penny on not only your property, but your other bills too! Washington is home of 5 potentially active volcanoes, so there are major risks with buying a property. However, there is no state income tax, meaning you have more income to splash on your home.
Top quality education systemCon:
Corrupt government$590,457 is the average home price for a house in the state of Massachusetts, and this area is known for its steady housing market. This state also isn't a very cheap place to live - although it is a beautiful place, and many fans of New England living want to buy property here.
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The price is high, but the cons that also come along with living here will make you wonder if it's worth it! Harsh winters, bad traffic, and a frequently corrupt government to name a few; Looking past this, the top quality public education, and quality healthcare is enough to make people call this state home!
Cheaper to buy than rentCon:
High risk of homelessnessIt might be no surprise that the state of California comes in as the most expensive state to buy property in, with an average of $741,789 for a house. The good news is, there's never really a bad time to buy a house in California, and a lot of people find it more affordable to buy in this state than rent.
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Home to the biggest stars on the planet, it is one of the most sought after locations to buy a home in the whole country. Many people are blinded by the glitz and glamor of California, but that's not always the case. High rates of homelessness and income inequality in the state sheds a new light!