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If youâ€™re looking to move your home and your practice, you have to consider many factors. But thereâ€™s one factor that trumps the rest: location, location, location.
When looking for a new place to move you should find out if you'll get the most value for your dollar, before you see how many nice restaurants the city has.
Whether it’s your first home, third home, or a new place to practice, buying real-estate is an exciting, and sometimes frustrating, milestone. So many factors go into it, such as your financial standing, your ability to invest, the local tax rates, the needs of the local patient population, and of course, how the new home looks, functions and meets your needs. The one factor that always stays consistent, however, is location.
Last year the team at Dentist’s Money Digest spotlighted a report from WalletHub, a personal finance website known for its detailed reports, that ranked the best cities to buy a home in the United States. For 2018, WalletHub updated their report, offering a refreshed list of the best cities to buy a home that reflects their up-to-date standings.
The report from WalletHub comes from a study that compared 300 cities in the two categories of “Real-Estate Market” and “Affordability & Economic Environment”. These categories were made up of unique metrics that were graded on a 100-point scale.
For instance, under “Real-Estate Market,” metrics like home value forecast, median home-price appreciation, share of home selling for a gain, and the average number of days until a house is sold were used. In the “Affordability & Economic Environment” category, metrics like housing affordability, maintenance affordability, population growth rate and job growth rate were used.
Once each metric was evaluated, and each city given a score for “Real-Estate Market” and “Affordability & Economic Environment”, the weighted average was taken to come up with an overall score used to rank the cities from best score to worst score. You can take a look at the top 5 cities to buy a home below, along with their overall scores.
If you saw last year’s rankings, then you know that Frisco, TX, McKinney, TX, and Allen, TX, are still carryovers from the top 3. When it comes to just the “Affordability & Economic Environment” category these cities also rank 1, 2, and 3 respectively.
The most surprising rankings hidden within these overall scores come from the number 3 and 4 cities. Allen, TX is just outside the top 10 when ranked by “real-estate market” coming in at number 11. Then, Santa Clara, CA is ranked nearly at the very bottom of all 300 cities when it comes to “Affordability & Economic” rank, standing in at 247.
Outside of a strict 1-300 ranking of all cities involved in the study, Wallethub also found some interesting facts about these cities that could be useful when zeroing in on a place to move. For example, the city with the lowest maintenance cost as a percentage of your income is Longmont, CO, which ranks in at number 30, but is not even in the top 100 when measured by “Affordability & Economic Environment.” Santa Clara, number 4 in the Top 5 places to buy a house, has the lowest % of delinquent mortgage holders, whereas places like New York and Springfield percent of delinquent mortgage holders is 83x higher.
Of course, no study can take into consideration human elements like taste, preferred weather, community, and ultimately what it is you like. Yet, buying a house boils down to money and it’s important to consider which location will give you the best value for your dollar.