Many publications create lists of “The Best Places to Live.” Major entities like US News and CNBC are a few of the more popular publications that have their own list and as with any list, they have their own criteria of what makes something “the best place.” In my opinion, there are two major things that must be considered when trying to find a great place to live.
1 – Median Household Income vs Median Cost of Living
Cost of living is often overused and overcomplicated. Investopedia defines cost of living as, “the amount of money needed to sustain a certain level of living including basic expenses such as housing, food, taxes and health care.” Simply put, it’s the cost to have basic needs in a particular living area.
Why live in a place where you can barely pay for groceries? Why live somewhere that has excessive costs to see a physician? Why live where taxes are high and taking large portions of your hard-earned paychecks? Comparing the average income of a city to the average cost for basic needs is essential to finding a great place to live. Doing this will help you prevent unwanted stress about normal living expenses.
2 – Median Household Income vs Median Cost of Housing
We just looked at basic expenses, but this consideration takes out things like bills and groceries and focuses solely on the cost of your home. Having a roof over your head is a must. Living in a city where that’s a difficult accomplishment probably isn’t the best city for you. Your housing payment shouldn’t be a burden. As Stewardship Mortgage teaches, your house payment should enhance your life.
Here’s the good news: SmartAsset.com created a list of the most livable cities. Unlike some popular publications, it factored in more than great places to dine out and tourist attractions. This list factored in my number one and two concerns. And better yet, three of the cities on its top ten list are in my home state of Arizona—Phoenix, Chandler, and Gilbert! Yes, the weather is amazing and crime rates are low, but most importantly, the average household income compared to the average essential costs of living are exceptional.
Are you interested in becoming a home owner in Arizona? Would you like to see how much you can comfortably afford? Schedule a free appointment with one of our Mortgage Advisors today!