Curiosity

Here Is The Best City In Every State To Buy A Home

This is really interesting.

If you’re house hunting, we’re willing to bet you’ve got a few features on your wish list you hope to find in your dream home—things like a spacious closet or big windows to let the sunshine pour into your living room.

Then, there’s the more practical aspects to consider: Is your dream home in a good school district? How safe is the neighborhood? Are the property taxes reasonable? And, will your home have a good resale value?

GoBankingRates mined data to help narrow down the best city to buy a home in every state. To arrive at these deserving cities, GoBankingRates analyzed important components like school districts, property tax bills, home prices and median household income as well as the median home listing prices. A quick note, though: GoBankingRates.com didn’t include Alaska, Montana or Hawaii in their guide because there wasn’t sufficient data in these states.

Ready to get your move on? Here’s where the data says you should be checking out open houses!

Alabama: Madison

  • Median property tax bill: $763
  • Median home listing price: $228,775
  • Median household income: $92,965

Looking to buy a house in Sweet Home Alabama? Madison is in the Huntsville metro area, which has a booming, tech-driven economy and is home to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. (Yes, you can send your kids to space camp!)

madison alabama photo
Flickr | ShanMcG213

Arizona: Tucson

  • Median property tax bill: $1,701
  • Median home listing price: $179,000
  • Median household income: $37,149

Compared to nearby Phoenix and Scottsdale, housing is especially affordable in Tucson, according to the analysis from GoBankingRates.com. For example, the median home price in Scottsdale is $564,000; in Phoenix, it’s $250,000. Since wages tend to be lower in Tucson, it might be a good idea to commute into one of those neighboring cities, though, to nab a higher-paying job. (After all, we’re guessing you’ll want a pool, you’ll probably need to throw some money towards that air conditioning bill come summertime, because the average temperatures in Tucson flirt with 100 during the summer months.

Arkansas: Jonesboro

  • Median property tax bill: $698
  • Median home listing price: $172,500
  • Median household income: $40,583

Music lovers, this city in Northern Arkansas is just an hour away from Memphis, Tennessee, where Elvis, B.B. King and Johnny Cash all recorded music and where you can soak up some live music and eat some great barbecue on the weekends. While you’re close to a great nightlife scene, the crime rates are much lower in Jonesboro and with 20 some parks totaling 900 acres, it’s great for families.

 

jonesboro photo
Flickr | William Allen, Image Historian

California: Los Gatos

  • Median property tax bill: $5,275
  • Median home listing price: $1,899,000
  • Median household income: $122,860

Just outside of San Francisco, this Santa Clara County city is picturesque, with streams running through its hills and valleys. Bloomberg Business Week ranks this northern California city as the 33rd wealthiest in the nation, so it’s no surprise that the median housing price teeters near the $2 million mark. But the city invests more than the national average in schools, according to Sperling’s.

 

Colorado: Colorado Springs

  • Median property tax bill: $1,124
  • Median home listing price: $269,900
  • Median household income: $54,228

Denver is booming right now. But you might want to save it for some weekend “staycations,” exploring the craft breweries and the revitalized Union Station train depot, with a fun mix of restaurants and bars. When it comes to buying, Colorado Springs boasts median home prices that are $175,000 less than those in Denver. Plus, Colorado Springs has plenty of things to do to keep your weekends active, with the crimson red rocks in Garden of the Gods a must-see and the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo a fun spot for families.

@ericpoolephoto has the Garden all to himself on a powder day.

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Connecticut: Westport

  • Median property tax bill: $6,898
  • Median home listing price: $1,539,000
  • Median household income: $151,771

If you’re looking for a good school district, definitely turn your attention here. Staples High School in Westport made the U.S. News list of best high schools in the country. This coastal town describes itself as “New England in tradition; cosmopolitan in outlook.”

 

Delaware: Lewes

  • Median property tax bill: $741
  • Median home listing price: $369,990
  • Median household income: $53,505

This historic town that was founded in 1631 sits on Cape Henlopen, where the Delaware Bay and Altantic Ocean meet. The Henlopen State Park itself is a pastoral piece of land where you can spend the weekends, with miles of beaches, nature trails and bird sanctuaries. In the historic district of Lewes, you can walk between museums and local restaurants.

Sunrise in Delaware ☀️ Nikon D7200 Sigma 10-20mm lens.

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Florida: Fort Walton Beach

  • Median property tax bill: $1,374
  • Median home listing price: $179,900
  • Median household income: $49,552

Move here and get ready to fill your Instagram feed with #sunset photos. Fort Walton Beach is along the “Emerald Coast,” which is a 100-mile span of beach towns situated on the Gulf of Mexico. Aside from great year-round fishing and walking along the white sand beaches of Okaloosa Island, Sperling’s predicts job growth will expand by 40 percent in the next decade.

Georgia: Buford

  • Median property tax bill: $2,199
  • Median home listing price: $299,900
  • Median household income: $43,750

You might rub shoulders with Atlanta Falcons players in this tiny suburb just outside of Atlanta. That’s because it’s close to the Atlanta Falcons training facility and is home to many of the players, according to ESPN. Plus, you’re close enough to the big city to commute into Atlanta.

Idaho: Boise

  • Median property tax bill: $1,468
  • Median home listing price: $244,900
  • Median household income: $49,209

Zillow is dubbing Boise’s housing market a buyer’s market with home values up about 11 percent in the last year, signaling that a home purchase here is a worthy investment. This capital city is definitely vibrant, with wineries and craft breweries putting this city on the map for something other than potatoes. Plus, Boise is near mountains and lakes, making it a fun basecamp for the adventurous types.

Illinois: Vernon Hills

  • Median property tax bill: $6,862
  • Median home listing price: $345,000
  • Median household income: $89,667

First, a warning from GoBankingRates.com: The median property tax bill in Lake County, which is where Vernon Hills is located, is on the high side. Expect to pay about $7,000 a year in property taxes. Beyond that, though, the northern Chicago suburb is economically diverse and is a retail hub for surrounding cities.

Indiana: Munster

  • Median property tax bill: $1,656
  • Median home listing price: $224,900
  • Median household income: $72,532

The housing market in Munster caught the attention of GoBankingRates.com because Zillow forecasts home values will be rising 2.2 percent within the next year. This city in the Chicago-metro area, which is home to three lakes, boasts a nice park system and 11 miles of bike paths, dotted with innovative public art and a sculpture program.

Iowa: Ames

  • Median property tax bill: $2,397
  • Median home listing price: $274,500
  • Median household income: $42,373

This central Iowa city boasts small-town charm, and has some nice extras like artist-decorated benches in the downtown area. But, Ames also has small class sizes in its schools, consistently boasting the highest number of National Merit Scholar Finalists in the state. Plus, the city has a booming medical economy. And big-name bands like to drop by and play here, with Kenny Chesney and Dave Matthews Band gracing the stages. Ames is also a draw for international symphonies and Broadway musicals.

Kansas: Olathe

  • Median property tax bill: $2,787
  • Median home listing price: $278,500
  • Median household income: $76,519

Kansas is one of the best states in the U.S. to get a mortgage because of competitive 30-year fixed rates, according to GoBankingPro.com. Plus, unemployment rates are lower than the national average and there’s promise for job growth, according to Sperling’s. Olathe, which is in the northeastern part of the state, is a hub for many companies, including Garmin, Honeywell and Farmers Insurance Group. Plus, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) maintains a traffic control center in Olathe, adding to the business diversity.

Kentucky: Murray

  • Median property tax bill: $875
  • Median home listing price: $160,000
  • Median household income: $29,993

A big pull here is the low property tax bill, which is under $1,000 a year. Plus, housing costs are relatively low compared to surrounding areas. Homeowners here get to take advantage of all the outdoor activities, like hunting, hiking, kayaking and birdwatching, since Murray is close to Kentucky Lake and Land Between the Lakes.

Louisiana: Zachary

  • Median property tax bill: $894
  • Median home listing price: $245,000
  • Median household income: $72,012

Just like the top pick in Kentucky, Zachary homeowners pay tax bills under $1,000. Home values are also increasing here, making Zachary a good place to invest. Situated in the East Baton Rouge Parish, Zachary has a diverse business community with labs, financial institutions and manufacturers operating in the city.

Maine: Falmouth

  • Median property tax bill: $3,309
  • Median home listing price: $512,450
  • Median household income: $99,324

This picture-perfect coastal town borders Casco Bay, and was named a “Top City to Live and Learn” by Forbes. Residents and visitors here retreat to Mackworth Island, which a former governor donated to the State of Maine for public purposes, declaring the 100-acre land a “sanctuary for wild beasts and birds.”

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Maryland: Rockville

  • Median property tax bill: $4,193
  • Median home listing price: $474,950
  • Median household income: $98,530

This city spends more than the national average on education, according to Sperling’s. The area is booming with a number of software and biotechnology companies housed here. Also, the city is diverse, with the U.S. Census Bureau reporting that Rockville is home to one of the largest Chinese communities in Maryland.

Massachusetts: Wellesley

  • Median property tax bill: $4,750
  • Median home listing price: $1,599,500
  • Median household income: $159,615

Housing prices and income levels are both high in this eastern Massachusetts city. Wellesley is home to Wellesley College, a women’s liberal arts school as well as two other colleges. One thing that makes this city unique is Wellesley’s Wonderful Weekend, an event which happens every year before Memorial Day and includes a huge fireworks display and veteran’s parade.

Winter weather has returned to Wellesley! ❄ #WellesleyCollege

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Michigan: Beverly Hills

  • Median property tax bill: $3,314
  • Median home listing price: $359,900
  • Median household income: $103,011

Nope, not that Beverly Hills; you won’t be bumping into Brenda Walsh or Donna Martin here. This is Michigan’s version of Beverly Hills, where home values are on the rise and expected to go up by 2 percent over the next year, according to Zillow. This suburb is just outside of Detroit, which is going through a major renaissance with its arts and cultural scene.

Minnesota: Minnetonka

  • Median property tax bill: $3,058
  • Median home listing price: $385,950
  • Median household income: $80,068

Rising home values, low crime rates and project job growth is a trifecta that GoBankingRates.com recognized to put this city on its map. Large employers like UnitedHealth Group and Cargill help keep the local economy steady here. And a fun fact? Minnetonka is the Dakota Indian word for “great water.”

 

Mississippi: Petal

  • Median property tax bill: $1,050
  • Median home listing price: $174,900
  • Median household income: $50,955

Perched on the Leaf River, this small city outside of Hattiesburg has been dubbed the “Safest City in Mississippi.” Plus, the city has built several miles of mountain bike trails in Petal River Park, a 70-acre city park that’s on the banks of the Leaf River.

Missouri: St. Louis

  • Median property tax bill: $2,432
  • Median home listing price: $127,500
  • Median household income: $34,800

Because one in five houses and apartments are vacant, the cost of housing in this city is super affordable, according to GoBankingRates.com. The city’s symbolic Gateway Arch is a nod to 19th century explorations led by Lewis and Clark. You’ll also stay busy on the weekends, with barbecue and blues music in the Soulard district and with visits to the St. Louis Zoo, which is free!

🌆

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Nebraska: Omaha

  • Median property tax bill: $2,999
  • Median home listing price: $189,900
  • Median household income: $48,751

You could be neighbors with billionaire Warren Buffett in this Nebraska city, which is located along the Missouri River. The downtown and Omaha riverfront area recently went through a major $2 billion revitalization, according to the visitor’s bureau. As part of it, a $22 million pedestrian bridge curves across the Missouri River. It’s one of the longest pedestrian bridge projects and is meant to give Omaha residents and visitors some great views of the city’s skyline.

Nevada: Reno

  • Median property tax bill: $1,786
  • Median home listing price: $356,302
  • Median household income: $46,489

Even if you don’t plan to live here, GoBankingRates.com ranked this city as one of the best places to own an investment property. That’s because Reno has bounced back from the housing crash that happened in 2007-2008 and home values are on the rise. In fact, they went up by 13 percent over the last year, according to Zillow. Reno has a couple claims to fame. It’s dubbed the “Biggest Little City” and this northern Nevada town is just about 20 miles from Lake Tahoe. Just like Las Vegas, Reno is also home to many casinos.

 

Kindness is like snow, it beautifies everything it covers! #snowyday #mtrosesummit #reno #nevada ❄️❄️❄️

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New Hampshire: Bedford

  • Median property tax bill: $5,422
  • Median home listing price: $477,107
  • Median household income: $123,423

A suburb of Manchester, which is the largest city in the state, this small town is about 50 miles outside of Boston. Crime rates are lower than those in surrounding suburbs, according to Sperling’s, and home values increased by nearly 4 percent in a year, according to statistics from Zillow. The town’s population has been increasing and its residents number just over 20,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Winter Palace taken by GoPro #gopro #winter

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New Jersey: West Windsor

  • Median property tax bill: $7,016
  • Median home listing price: $670,800
  • Median household income: $161,716

U.S. News ranked West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South as one of the best in the country. Also, AOL/NeighborhoodScout named West Windsor as the best neighborhood to raise children because of its school district and neighborhood safety.

#autumn #westwindsor

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New Mexico: Los Alamos

  • Median property tax bill: $1,771
  • Median home listing price: $286,500
  • Median household income: $107,031

This city in New Mexico was once a “secret city” during World War II. The Los Alamos National Laboratory was established in 1943 as part of the Manhattan Project. A fast-growing city, the national laboratory is the area’s largest employer, with more than 10,000 employees. While the school districts are above average and median household income is higher than average in New Mexico, one thing to be aware of when moving here is the wildfire risk.

New York: Jericho

  • Median property tax bill: $9,941
  • Median home listing price: $848,000
  • Median household income: $137,463

On the north shore of Long Island, Jericho is just about 30 miles from Manhattan. Jericho spends almost three times the national average on its students, according to Sperling’s, and class sizes are small. Plus the unemployment rate here is lower than the national average.

Lovely weather for a sleigh ride together…

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North Carolina: Asheville

  • Median property tax bill: $1,365
  • Median home listing price: $329,000
  • Median household income: $44,077

In a word, Asheville is booming. Home values saw double-digit growth in the last year and are expected to rise again within the next year, according to Zillow. And you might recognize this city from the silver screen, as the Hunger Games movies were filmed here. Located along the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville has a thriving music scene with a number of music festivals, charity concerts and street festivals. It’s also a hub for outdoor recreation, including whitewater kayaking.

North Dakota: Grand Forks

  • Median property tax bill: $2,408
  • Median home listing price: $239,000
  • Median household income: $44,134

Zillow expects home values to bounce back in this North Dakota city after a dip last year. The presence of the University of North Dakota has meant plenty of college sporting games, plus arts and cultural events including theater productions and art exhibits. Also, the Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra has been performing for more than a century.

Ohio: Cincinnati

  • Median property tax bill: $2,537
  • Median home listing price: $139,900
  • Median household income: $34,002

This Ohio city has a little something for everybody, from professional sports (did you know the Cincinatti Reds are the oldest franchised team in the MLB?) to biking along on the riverfront to visiting the roughly 500 animals that take residence at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens. Housing prices here are also fairly low, which is appealing to buyers. But another bonus? Unemployment rates are lower here than other Ohio cities like Cleveland and Dayton, according to GoBankingRates.com.

All trails lead to Cincy. 🔥 . . . . #the_reup #flyvertiport

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Oklahoma: Stillwater

  • Median property tax bill: $1,154
  • Median home listing price: $179,720
  • Median household income: $32,255

Home to Oklahoma State University, Stillwater was part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Today, it has a diverse economy, with aerospace, biotech and agribusiness among the industries that are thriving. A fun fact: Garth Brooks got his start playing at local bars in Stillwater, like Willie’s Saloon.

Old post office in downtown #Stillwater, #Oklahoma.

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Oregon: Portland

  • Median property tax bill: $3,139
  • Median home listing price: $399,900
  • Median household income: $53,230

Put this on your real estate map, especially if you’re in the millennial generation. (The National Association of Realtors says this is particularly a hotspot for millennial homebuyers). It’s a choose-your-own adventure in this Pacific Northwest town. Nearby Mt. Hood is a winter playground, where you can snowmobile, ski, snowshoe and sled. Plus, a thriving food and craft beer scene will keep you exploring the downtown area on the weekends. The city also has 300 miles of outdoor trails, according to the visitor’s bureau.

The city we love. #portland #pdx #portlandnw @marshallpnw

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Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh

  • Median property tax bill: $2,686
  • Median home listing price: $174,900
  • Median household income: $40,009

Travel & Leisure has been giving Pittsburgh some love. The magazine named it a must-visit place in 2016 and says Steel City is turning into “Cool Town, U.S.A.,” with hip eateries like Dinette, where veggies are grown on a rooftop garden before topping pizzas. Plus, home values have increased by 15 percent in the last year, according to Zillow, making Pittsburgh a good place to invest.

Throwback to 2014 History Uncorked at the Heinz History Center.

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Rhode Island: Portsmouth

  • Median property tax bill: $4,215
  • Median home listing price: $439,000
  • Median household income: $77,483

This coastal Rhode Island town declares itself the “birthplace of American democracy.” It was settled by pilgrims escaping religious persecution in Boston in 1638, according to the town’s historical accounts. GoBankingRates.com lauds it as the best place to buy a home in Rhode Island because home values have gone up by 11 percent in the last year and are forecasted to continue rising.

Happy 18th girly!! Thanks for the many laughs and adventures💛

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South Carolina: Fort Mill

  • Median property tax bill: $1,003
  • Median home listing price: $329,295
  • Median household income: $61,100

A suburb of Charlotte, Fort Mill’s job growth is expected to boom by more than 40 percent in the next decade, according to Sperling’s. Fort Mill schools also perform above the national average, according to the township. Each spring, Fort Mill has a large Strawberry Festival, with concerts and strawberry picking.

South Dakota: Brandon

  • Median property tax bill: $2,178
  • Median home listing price: $249,900
  • Median household income: $69,792

Located in the Sioux Falls area, Brandon has been ranked one of the safest small towns in the U.S. Plus, the town is just 5 miles away from Sioux Falls, where you can ski at Great Bear Recreation Park or visit the waterfalls in Falls Park.

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Tennessee: Oak Ridge

  • Median property tax bill: $1,037
  • Median home listing price: $148,000
  • Median household income: $52,534

Once a secret city during World War II, Oak Ridge is just outside of Knoxville and the housing marking is thriving with home values expected to go up by 4.5 percent in the next year, according to Zillow. The American Museum of Science and Energy recaps the town’s history during World War II. In nearby Knoxville, an urban trail system is connecting the city’s downtown area with mountain bike trails. You can also paddleboard along the Tennessee River and check out some rare red pandas at Zoo Knoxville.

Nothing but good days👍🏻

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Texas: Austin

  • Median property tax bill: $4,432
  • Median home listing price: $380,000
  • Median household income: $55,216

While the housing prices are higher in Austin than most places in Texas, it’s probably worth it. U.S. News & World Report just named Austin the best place to live in the U.S. based on affordability, job prospects and quality of life.

Utah: Logan

  • Median property tax bill: $1,118
  • Median home listing price: $189,950
  • Median household income: $35,770

Just outside of Salt Lake City, housing expenses in Logan are about 36 percent less than those in Salt Lake City, according to GoBankingRates.com. Outdoor enthusiasts appreciate this Utah city, which is in Cache Valley on the slopes of Bear River Mountains. Logan Canyon is a popular rock climbing spot. When it comes to rankings, Forbes named Logan as one of the best places to retire.

Logan, Utah #beatiful #cave

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Vermont: Montpelier

  • Median property tax bill: $3,817
  • Median home listing price: $229,500
  • Median household income: $60,676

Montpelier is the smallest capital city in the United States.There’s an interesting juxtaposition that GoBankingRates.com points out about this Vermont city: Montpelier’s median home listing price is slightly lower than the U.S. median. But, Montpelier’s median home value is more than $40,000 higher than the national median, making it a good investment. Residents appreciate the abundance of outdoor activities, from cross-country skiing in the winter to whitewater rafting along the Winooski River in the summer.

First story at the #StateHouse❄️🎥 #Montpelier #Vermont #TVNews

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Virginia: Ashburn

  • Median property tax bill: $5,095
  • Median home listing price: $489,990
  • Median household income: $122,687

Sperling’s zones in on this Virginia city because it’s expected to see a 37.8 percent increase in job growth over the next 10 years. For those commuting into Washington, D.C., Ashburn is along the Dulles Technology Corridor and houses high-tech businesses, providing a solid base for the local economy.

Washington: Redmond

  • Median property tax bill: $3,855
  • Median home listing price: $700,000
  • Median household income: $99,586

Dubbed the bicycle capital of the northwest, this city is about 15 miles outside of Seattle, though housing prices are more affordable. The city is especially proud of its expansive bike trails, with on-street bike lanes making it easy to commute around town, as well as several off-street trails. Plus, the city hosts Derby Days, which is the oldest bike race in the country. Redmond is also home to one of the few Velodromes on the West Coast.

Snow day.❤

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West Virginia: Wheeling

  • Median property tax bill: $684
  • Median home listing price: $125,500
  • Median household income: $36,085

Listing prices here are still lower than the U.S. median, but home sale prices within the last year here saw a remarkable 31 percent increase, according to GoBankingRates.com. You’ll find plenty to do in this city, too, which hosts dozens of fairs and festivals throughout the year. You can also visit the zoo or the Wheeling Symphony or take advantage of the outdoors scene with golfing, hiking, biking, kayaking and other water sports.

Suprisingly quiet on the path tonight. 🤳🏼#wheelingwv #wheelingfeeling

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Wisconsin: Brookfield

  • Median property tax bill: $4,169
  • Median home listing price: $337,450
  • Median household income: $91,485

Just outside Milwaukee, this Wisconsin suburb is seeing increased home values, which are expected to go up by another 3.3 percent in the next year, according to Zillow. The suburb is a hub for shopping and dining and also pulls in visitors for its fall farmer’s markets.

Then you find a great path through the woods. #brookfieldwi @travelwisconsin #october

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Wyoming: Lander

  • Median property tax bill: $1,270
  • Median home listing price: $229,500
  • Median household income: $53,028

Looking to relocate to the Wild West? This Wyoming city is affordable, plus you’ll get to take in a mountainous panoramic view in a small city with a population under 10,000. You’ll also be near Sinks Canyon State Park, which boasts a river running through mountainous terrain.

The #MilkyWay was on point in #LanderWY last night!

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