NEW YORK, NY - So you've decided it's time for a change of scenery, and you're ready to move to a new town with new opportunities - but you haven't decided where to go yet! A quick internet search will bring up dozens of "best places to live" lists, but how do you know which list you should trust and which ones you shouldn't?
Realtypin.com's top 5 list takes several factors into consideration - including median listing prices, average number of days a home is on the market, inventory, home value stability, and the local unemployment rate (since the economy dictates home buying). After analyzing these statistics, we think these are your five best bets when it comes buying a home in 2013:
1. Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
The Metroplex is on a lot of top lists, and we can see why! The median listing price here is higher than many other metropolitan areas (it currently sits at $512,315), but homes here are more affordable than ever. In fact, that price is actually 5% lower than their historical average. Plus, if you want to put the home on the market a few years down the road, you're likely to get a good resale value in Dallas. Sale prices here are down only 15% from the real estate peak in 2006. Compare that to the 30% decrease in the national average!
2. Tucson, AZ
If you're looking for a fix-it-up house flipping project, Tucson is the place to buy! Over 50% of the homes currently on the market are foreclosures, so you're likely to get a deal if you shop around. In fact, the median listing price in Tucson was $273,353 last month, but the median sales price was only $130,000. Plus, the University of Arizona, an Air Force base, and a U.S. Army intelligence center all call the area home. Even if you don't work for any of them, that's a good thing. After all, government and military jobs are often unaffected by the economy, so Tucson has a lower unemployment rate than the rest of the country.
3. Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids may not be considered a thriving metropolis like some of the other cities on our list, but it could be the best place to get bang for your buck. The median listing price in Grand Rapids is $167,569. Compare that to the median family income in town ($44,224), and you can see why buyers might want to give buying in this city more thought. Home values here are nearly 5% higher than they were last year, while the unemployment rate is 2% lower.
4. Austin, TX
Austin is home to the University of Texas, and it's a go-to destination for many of the world's top technology companies. Many Fortune 500 companies have their regional or corporate headquarters in Austin -- including Advanced Micro Devices, Facebook, Texas Instruments, 3M, Apple, IBM, Whole Foods Market, and Google. And, Dell Computers worldwide headquarters in located about 30 minutes away. With so many thriving corporations in town, the chances of finding a good-paying job here are favorable. The median household income is only slightly higher than the Texas state average of $39,927, but more than 20% of Austinites make between $60,000-80,000 a year.
5. Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix used to be a prime example of how the economic decline in recent years has affected home sales. Home values here have dropped more than 50% from their peak in 2006, and many of the homes for sale over the past couple of years have been foreclosures. That's why investors came to town. They wanted to buy the depreciated properties, and sell them for a profit in the future. In the process, they also helped the local housing market. With fewer homes now for sale, it caused a boost in home value. Want proof? The average price per square foot in Phoenix last month was $676. That's over a 700% increase over this time last year!