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Speaking of inexpensive places to live in the US
Old 03-03-2007, 08:49 PM   #1
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Speaking of inexpensive places to live in the US

I have been playing on Realtor.com the last two days in search of such a place. I wanted to see what houses cost in less populated areas of the country. I was playing around with South Carolina today and saw some really cheap houses in Greenville, but fear that also equates to crime and a not so nice area. Then I plugged in Chapel Hill, North Carolina that I know is a nice area, and houses were more than double the cost there. (thoudh of course less than many other areas)

I'm talking $75,000 to $120,000 houses. Do you only find them in either remote areas or bad areas?

Does cheap housing always equate to poor areas, less educated people, lack of facilities and and crime? Why else would a house be cheap by todays standard. If it was a nice place to live, then more people would want to live there and it wouldn't be cheap anymore.
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Re: Speaking of inexpensive places to live in the US
Old 03-03-2007, 09:03 PM   #2
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Re: Speaking of inexpensive places to live in the US

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Does cheap housing always equate to poor areas, less educated people, lack of facilities and and crime?
Interesting question. This site has lots of information on housing prices and crime stats on almost every town in the US. http://www.city-data.com/

Let us know what you find out.


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Re: Speaking of inexpensive places to live in the US
Old 03-03-2007, 09:28 PM   #3
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Re: Speaking of inexpensive places to live in the US

Yes interesting question because the median house stat. doesn't tell what kind of property you are paying. Without naming any some large areas have only very old, tiny, run down housing stock.

There was a study earlier mentioned on the board about the cost of a similar grade house across the USA. Those were not country houses. I am guessing that out of town you can find much cheaper bargains. Please update us if you find something good as I would like to know better myself.

http://early-retirement.org/forums/i...p?topic=9725.0
http://www.businessweek.com/print/bw...927_389195.htm

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The most affordable markets in the country were: Minot, N.D.; Killeen, Tex. ($140,310); Arlington, Tex. ($140,975); Grayling, Mich. ($144,250); Topeka, Kan. ($148,050); Canton, Ohio ($148,333); Tulsa, Okla. ($148,575); Billings, Mont. ($150,141); Fort Worth, Tex. ($151,250); and Cadillac, Mich. ($151,530).
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Re: Speaking of inexpensive places to live in the US
Old 03-03-2007, 09:34 PM   #4
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Re: Speaking of inexpensive places to live in the US

There are many nice areas around Greenville. My mother had moved there about 4 years ago. She died 2 years ago and we have a darling single family home with 1450 sq ft in Fountain Inn which is rented out now. In that area we can sell the house for about 125K. The same house in Phoenix metro would go for 225k in the poorer areas up to 375 to 400K. I venture it is the same story in many parts of the country. Once you see some good sounding properties then pull the demographics off of the community/county websites. Remember coastal & big city sunbelt cities tend to be pricey. I want to look around city sizes less than 50,000 people and be 2 or 3 hours from a major metro at least.

Fountain Inn, Mauldin and Travelers Rest are all nice areas in close proxinity to Greenville.
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Re: Speaking of inexpensive places to live in the US
Old 03-03-2007, 10:45 PM   #5
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Re: Speaking of inexpensive places to live in the US

I looked into South Carolina awhile back. It has high crime and high unemployment. The same factors tend to affect real estate prices everywhere: jobs, amenities, culture, weather, crime, taxes, schools, etc. I don't think there are any "undiscovered" cities or towns. Also, from what I remember, prices in NC and SC already had a lot of the "baby boomers will all retire here" speculation premium built in. If I invest in either of those states, it will be in a middle of the road lake house on a nice lot that could be a fixer upper or tear down in 10 years. I think those kinds of properties will do well in the future.
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Re: Speaking of inexpensive places to live in the US
Old 03-03-2007, 11:32 PM   #6
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Re: Speaking of inexpensive places to live in the US

Actually, I am on a web site right now called Citi Data com. It is a great forumn site. It lists all the US States and people ask information about different areas they are interested in. People who live there or did live there give them their opinions of the area.

As it turns out, from reading, it appears Greenville area of SC is supposed to be quite pretty and the weather is not to bad. There were some posts about crime, but most posts have been favorable.

Someone posted some pictures of a park area in the town around a creek that was really beautiful.

Those thinking of relocatin should check it out. And yes I do agree with the last poster. It seems that these areas are being targeted by our future boomer retirees, so it may make for a good investment in the future years. But I don't know if they have the price built in now as you say.
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Re: Speaking of inexpensive places to live in the US
Old 03-03-2007, 11:36 PM   #7
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Re: Speaking of inexpensive places to live in the US

Texas has quite a few places that are desireable yet very inexpensive, The San Antonio area and Dallas area have decent houses that can be had for 125-150K.
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Re: Speaking of inexpensive places to live in the US
Old 03-03-2007, 11:40 PM   #8
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Re: Speaking of inexpensive places to live in the US

Houses are just sticks and bricks. Land is just dirt. The value comes from the local economy, for the most part. Higher wages = more expensive homes.

FWIW, we recently visited some relatives in South Texas. Nice weather, good infrastructure, cheap houses. Not a lot of serious crime, but perhaps some petty crime due to generally lower incomes in the area.
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Re: Speaking of inexpensive places to live in the US
Old 03-03-2007, 11:55 PM   #9
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Re: Speaking of inexpensive places to live in the US

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Originally Posted by modhatter
. . . Does cheap housing always equate to poor areas, less educated people, lack of facilities and and crime? Why else would a house be cheap by todays standard. If it was a nice place to live, then more people would want to live there and it wouldn't be cheap anymore.
Look in the midwest -- cities like St. Louis, Akron, Evansville, . . . Better yet, look at the small towns in the spaces in between these cities.

Housing is very affordable while the populations are well educated and crime is low. Of course there isn't much to do for entertainment, but housing is cheap.
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Re: Speaking of inexpensive places to live in the US
Old 03-04-2007, 04:43 AM   #10
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Re: Speaking of inexpensive places to live in the US

I guess this has turned into kind of a sport for me. Where is there some undiscovered, underrated gem with low cost of living?

Recently read an article somewhere (can never remember exactly where these articles are from) about East Texas becoming a potential retirement haven for boomers. East Texas is a pine forest region with a number of lakes roughly 100-150 miles east of Dallas.

Housing is cheap. Major towns are Tyler, Longview and Marshall. Closest large cities would be Dallas to the west and Shreveport, LA to the east. When I looked at some more info I found education levels to be fairly low and rainfall to be quite high. After taking a look, seems like you might as well go down to Central TX and have more sunshine, less rainfall, a more educated population and nicer scenery and lakes for not that much more money.

OK rewahoo, that's your cue....
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Re: Speaking of inexpensive places to live in the US
Old 03-04-2007, 05:42 AM   #11
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Re: Speaking of inexpensive places to live in the US

I live in a suburb of Dallas. Houses in my neighborhood would sell from about $130 to $150. These are brick 3br 2bath with 2 car garages. 1400 to 1800 square feet. Crime is not a problem. However property taxes are. Electric bill not so low with the Texas Summers. No state income tax though.
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Re: Speaking of inexpensive places to live in the US
Old 03-04-2007, 05:48 AM   #12
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Re: Speaking of inexpensive places to live in the US

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Originally Posted by califdreamer
I guess this has turned into kind of a sport for me. Where is there some undiscovered, underrated gem with low cost of living?

Recently read an article somewhere (can never remember exactly where these articles are from) about East Texas becoming a potential retirement haven for boomers. East Texas is a pine forest region with a number of lakes roughly 100-150 miles east of Dallas.

Housing is cheap. Major towns are Tyler, Longview and Marshall. Closest large cities would be Dallas to the west and Shreveport, LA to the east. When I looked at some more info I found education levels to be fairly low and rainfall to be quite high. After taking a look, seems like you might as well go down to Central TX and have more sunshine, less rainfall, a more educated population and nicer scenery and lakes for not that much more money.

OK rewahoo, that's your cue....
Not Wahoo, but I am amazed at how far down in the stack some folks are willing to go. I have a cousin who was a police officer in Marshall. Sometimes I would ride around with him on a Saturday night. Nothing much going on other than the usual Southern working class male barfights and the occasional "domestic dispute". I think one would either need a taste for the gothic or be very easily satisfied to make much out of this place. It is perhaps the most southern town in all of Texas, and was the site of much racial conflict during Reconstruction.

It does however have an interesting 19th century history. It was for a time the headquarters of Texas and Pacific RR, and as I remember President and Mrs. Grant once spent the night in a local hotel, in the very four poster bed that I occupied some 100 years or so later. Country ham and grits were A-1, and if you like being called honey this is your kind of place. Nearby Caddo Lake gave me my first look at a Cypress swamp which I liked. Other good things about the town are that it is close to Bossier City LA, home of Louisiana Downs.

Ha
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Re: Speaking of inexpensive places to live in the US
Old 03-04-2007, 07:00 AM   #13
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Re: Speaking of inexpensive places to live in the US

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OK rewahoo, that's your cue....
Uh..now I'm conflicted. I grew up 'behind the pine curtain' right in the middle of those ETX towns you mentioned, and I is edumucated. You won't find many scorpions in ETX but if the 90% humidity doesn't get you in the summertime, the other critters will. (If you're interested in specifics, I'll be happy to provide you with a detailed list.)

The Hill Country is pretty much the same, just fewer pine trees and more rattlesnakes.

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Re: Speaking of inexpensive places to live in the US
Old 03-04-2007, 07:31 AM   #14
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Re: Speaking of inexpensive places to live in the US

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Originally Posted by HaHa
Not Wahoo, but I am amazed at how far down in the stack some folks are willing to go. I have a cousin who was a police officer in Marshall. Sometimes I would ride around with him on a Saturday night. Nothing much going on other than the usual Southern working class male barfights and the occasional "domestic dispute". I think one would either need a taste for the gothic or be very easily satisfied to make much out of this place. It is perhaps the most southern town in all of Texas, and was the site of much racial conflict during Reconstruction.

It does however have an interesting 19th century history. It was for a time the headquarters of Texas and Pacific RR, and as I remember President and Mrs. Grant once spent the night in a local hotel, in the very four poster bed that I occupied some 100 years or so later. Country ham and grits were A-1, and if you like being called honey this is your kind of place. Nearby Caddo Lake gave me my first look at a Cypress swamp which I liked. Other good things about the town are that it is close to Bossier City LA, home of Louisiana Downs.
It's also the home of Bill Moyers. To learn more about the town, see his PBS documentary on growing up there in the 60's: "Marshall, Texas; Marshall, Texas".

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Re: Speaking of inexpensive places to live in the US
Old 03-04-2007, 08:14 AM   #15
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Re: Speaking of inexpensive places to live in the US

I'll see if I can get that from the library. Thanks for the suggestion.

Ha
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Re: Speaking of inexpensive places to live in the US
Old 03-04-2007, 08:36 AM   #16
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Re: Speaking of inexpensive places to live in the US

Western New York. If you can put up with the winters and somewhat higher taxes, housing (with a few exceptions) is very affordable in the cities and suburbs. The population is well educated with many colleges in Buffalo and Rochester. Great golf, theatre, entertainment, restaurants etc. Buffalo is only 90 miles from Toronto, one of the great world cities. Summer and fall is fine. Spring is a bit short. Winters are not as bad as people think. In Buffalo, and its suburbs, you get affordability in a cosmopolitan environment.
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Re: Speaking of inexpensive places to live in the US
Old 03-04-2007, 08:54 AM   #17
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Re: Speaking of inexpensive places to live in the US

I remember the last time I drove out west, thinking 'how could anyone live in the TX panhandle or the flatlands of Kansas?' On my return drive home I entered north MS seeing all the pretty pine trees and thinking 'you know, MS is really not all that bad'. Of course to many, MS is the armpit capital of the country.

East TX wouldn't be that bad to me as it reminds me of home here in MS. But hey, thats just me.
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Re: Speaking of inexpensive places to live in the US
Old 03-04-2007, 09:16 AM   #18
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Re: Speaking of inexpensive places to live in the US

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Originally Posted by modhatter
Actually, I am on a web site right now called Citi Data com. It is a great forumn site. It lists all the US States and people ask information about different areas they are interested in. People who live there or did live there give them their opinions of the area.
Could you share the web address please? I tried citidata.com, and it brought up a foreign site.
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Re: Speaking of inexpensive places to live in the US
Old 03-04-2007, 09:27 AM   #19
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Re: Speaking of inexpensive places to live in the US

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I remember the last time I drove out west, thinking 'how could anyone live in the TX panhandle or the flatlands of Kansas?' On my return drive home I entered north MS seeing all the pretty pine trees and thinking 'you know, MS is really not all that bad'. Of course to many, MS is the armpit capital of the country.
MS is absolutely gorgeous and is no armpit capital to me!! MS has an inexpensive cost of living, a delightfully relaxed southern culture and outlook that I appreciate, and a whole lot to offer in general. MS might even be a retirement target for me, except that (being stuck in the Katrina aftermath down here in NOLA) I want to get at least 1 state away from hurricanes. That's not logic speaking, but I decided that if it would give me peace of mind, I'd probably just go a little farther north simply because I want to!

Actually, I suppose that if things ever get put back together down here and if I felt safe here (about as likely as the sun rising in the west tomorrow) I might stay in NOLA. Otherwise, I'm outta here - - Springfield, MO, which is most likely, or Huntsville, AL (a distant 3rd because it isn't technically one state away from the Gulf), or College Station, TX (distant 4th because of property taxes). All three have relatively low cost of housing. Trying to keep my options open until "FIRE Day".
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Re: Speaking of inexpensive places to live in the US
Old 03-04-2007, 09:30 AM   #20
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Re: Speaking of inexpensive places to live in the US

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Western New York. If you can put up with the winters and somewhat higher taxes, housing (with a few exceptions) is very affordable in the cities and suburbs. The population is well educated with many colleges in Buffalo and Rochester. Great golf, theatre, entertainment, restaurants etc.
Great suggestion! I spent a short while In Rochester. It was fall, and the weather was nice. The city IMO is great, with amenities and educational level way beyond what would be common for a place this size. University of Rochester has an excellent medical school and hospital, and includes the Eastman School of music for wonderful free to low cost entertainment. Plus there are lots of other nice things compliments of George Eastman.

http://rochester.backpage.com/reales...?category=4412

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg...e=gr&GRid=2184


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