Buying yourself a home is a big decision, something full of choices you’d better carefully make before putting down several hundred thousand dollars in equity or handing a couple of decades of monthly payments to the bank. You need to consider a number of factors, like investment value, crime rates and accessibility to services, transport and shopping.
You also have to keep in mind what the local economy is like, how the weather can get and what kind of structural condition your house is in. As you can see, there are numerous factors to consider and only certain neighborhoods or cities are going to make the cut. Here is a list of several that have all the bases covered and make for excellent places to settle into, in no particular order.
Austin’s population of roughly 800,000 people will ensure that you don’t feel hemmed in by the big city, while providing you with all the amenities that any large city should have. Combine this with great weather, low crime rates, an excellent night life and a 14.2% job growth rate between 2000 and 2010 and you get a fantastic all around living experience. There are also over 2000 technology companies headquartered in Austin and the population keeps growing at a steady rate. These are the kind of indicators that also lean towards excellent investment value in purchasing your home. Current home prices, at a median of $120,000, are relatively cheap for the time being.
Ansley Park, Atlanta, Georgia
Rated in 2010 as one of America’s Top 10 neighborhoods by the American Planning Association, Ansley Park is designed in such a way so that not one of the homes on its 275 acre expanse is located more than a few minutes’ walk from any one of 14 parks. This safe and clean urban neighborhood is located close enough to Atlanta’s central business district to offer stunning skyline views. Median home prices are a bit steep at $226,000 but this is more than made up for by the access to excellent family friendly living and proximity to a major and growing metropolis with thriving technology industries.
Deerfield Beach, Florida
This small but bustling town of 75,000 residents, located in southern Florida, near both Miami and Fort Lauderdale, sits along beautiful coastline and boasts year-long warm weather. There are numerous beachfront properties on sale and at extraordinarily cheap prices. The median home cost in this town is about $89,000 and at an enormous discount from recent highs of $400,000 plus. This alone is a good indicator of increasing potential housing value in either the near or long term future, especially if you consider the city’s geographical location.
Paradise Palms, Las Vegas, Nevada
Paradise Palms is located only two and a half miles from the Las Vegas Strip and sits in between Las Vegas’ Boulevard indoor mall and the National Golf Course. This planned neighborhood was built during the 1960’s and expanded from there. Las Vegas may not be an ideal location for many types of homeowners, but the neighborhood of Paradise Palms, along with the whole city of Las Vegas, are at a state where home prices have hit rock bottom and stand a very good chance of going up at least part of the way to their boom prices. One promising trend is that Las Vegas has made strong efforts to turn back the dereliction tide and the quantities of owner occupied homes are steadily increasing.
Smaller 2000 sq foot homes can be founds for as little as 50 to $60,000 and even large vintage houses of the most sought after kind can be bought for between $200,000 and $400,000.
Broomfield County, Colorado
Broomfield isn’t a city or a neighborhood, but a whole county that’s located right in between Denver and Boulder. The area boasts a small population of only 55,000 residents and home prices average a somewhat stiff $239,000. However, the proximity to two major cities is only one of the benefits of buying real estate in Broomfield County. The scenery of the area is extraordinarily beautiful, plenty of nature is available for enjoyment and job growth in the area has shot upwards by more than 50% during the last 10 years. Homeowners with a University education, especially one in technical or computer science related fields can easily benefit from the closeness of several major technology corporations.
Broomfield County may not be the best option in terms of real estate investment planning, but as a career investment for certain types of professionals and their families, it could be an excellent choice for home buying.
Other Real Estate Investment Options
Five neighborhoods and cities represent only a tiny fraction of the numerous neighborhoods and regions across America that would be ideal for home investment and lifestyle improvement. There are probably hundreds of locations to choose from, and as long as you keep in mind key points about economic growth, crime, real estate prices and local ownership regulations in mind, deals can be found in surprising locations.