MSN.com recently published a fairly interesting article about eight of the cheaper American cities to move to for a reasonably priced lifestyle. It seems that a lot of quite well-paid professionals in America simply cannot afford to buy houses where they are currently living. The article says that they have three main choices:
1. Continue to rent a home in despair of ever owning one,
2. Stretch your personal finances to the absolute maximum with an oversized mortgage and have to worry about it for decades,
3. Look for somewhere else to live.
The article itself is written for those who are more interested in choosing option number three, and follows fairly closely to the United Nations yearly analysis of the best places on the world to live, albeit considerably more simplified. In general they look that employment rates, the general economy of the area, median home prices, relative cost of living indexes, and the potential for future job growth within the area. Unfortunately they did not include any Canadian cities within their study. In the top eight cities that they came up with [in no particular order] are:
Asheville, North Carolina
Nashua, New Hampshire
Some of the things that they suggest when looking for a new place to live include making certain that the area has a healthy economy, since high unemployment tends to drive up crime, and somewhat surprisingly, to avoid cities that are in the middle of a boom. This is due to the fact that when the boom cycle finish is, the inevitable slowdown will catch them with many half completed projects. They also suggest that a college or university presence always increases the living value of whichever town or city they happen to be in. In their most obvious suggestion is to simply visit the area that you are thinking of moving to, since there is no substitute for the hands-on approach.