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It’s not clickbait to say that the top one will surprise you.
The real estate market is going bananas (the technical word, we’re guessing) right now. States across the country are seeing bidding wars in both urban locations and rural. Nationwide, housing prices have risen more than 35 percent over the last year. San Mateo County has the honor, or perhaps dubious distinction, of being the first market to break a median home price of $2 million.
You aren’t alone if you’re feeling left out of the real estate market, and not just in California. People everywhere are feeling as though they’ll never be able to afford a home of their own, especially as the nation is seeing a rising cost of living. Each year, Wallethub releases a list of the best states to live in. They use criteria such as education rate, quality of hospitals, income growth, quality of life, safety, and yes, housing prices. Believe it or not, some are almost affordable.
Some of the rankings are confusing. Some states (like Utah) score very close to the top on the main metrics, but score #7. You can read the methodology here.
Pennsylvania, the second home state for Fairprice Movers, is number 10 of the best states to live, according to the survey. Pennsylvania rates a total score of 59.21. The Keystone State ranks near the middle in most metrics (#30 in affordability, #42 for its economy) but a higher ranking in health and education (#25) pushes it to the top 10.
Pennsylvania’s cost of living
Pennsylvania’s median household income is just shy of $62,000 and its median home cost is only about $174,000.
When a lot of us think of Iowa, we think of corn fields and flatlands. While that might be true, it’s the ninth best state to live in, according to the survey. It ranks #20 in affordability, which might be surprising. Its economy and cost of living, at #13 and its education and health rankings, at #11 help give Iowa an overall ranking of 59.49.
Iowa’s cost of living
Iowa’s household income is around $60,000 and homes are very affordable with a median home price of about $158,000.
New Hampshire isn’t the only New England state to make our top 10 list of best places to move to. The total score for New Hampshire is a very respectful 59.59. New Hampshire ranks low in affordability (#40) but the New Hampshire economy and cost of living rank #4 and education and health rank #6. If you want to experience New England life without spending an arm and a leg, New Hampshire might be the answer.
New Hampshire’s cost of living
The median household in New Hampshire earns about $75,000 and the median home cost is about $274,000.
If you love the Rocky Mountains, but you don’t want to pay Colorado’s high housing prices and high cost of living, Utah might be the answer. Utah’s total score is 59.84 and it places toward the top in nearly every metric. It ranks #6 in affordability, #3 in its economy and #8 in education and health.
Utah’s cost of living
Utah’s median income is about $76,000 and its median home price is about $425,000, which is still considerably higher than the US median, at about $295,000. Utah’s other quality of life metrics are what elevates it to the top 10.
The Dairy State is another of three midwestern states to rank in the top 10. With a healthy score of 60.94, Wisconsin ranks #32 in affordability, #20 in its economy and #10 in education and health.
Wisconsin’s cost of living
Wisconsin’s median income is about $64,000 and its median home price is about $226,000.
The Land of 10,000 Lakes is the top ranking midwestern state with a total score of 60.79. It ranks very respectably at #9 for affordability, #16 for its economy and cost of living, and #4 for education and health.
Minnesota’s cost of living
The median household income in Minnesota is about $71,000. Its median home price is around $235,000.
Washington and Oregon are nearly as expensive as California, so a lot of people are moving to their neighbor state of Idaho. The Gem State rates as the 4th best place to live on the list of best states to live in. Idaho’s total score is 61.16. It ranks #15 for affordability, #5 for its economy and #29 for education and health.
Idaho’s cost of living
Idaho’s median household income is about $66,000 and its median home price is about $389,000.
The third of the best states to live in surprised us a little. New York, The Empire State has a total score of 61.63, which is surprising given how it ranked with the main metrics for the best states. New York ranks #47 in affordability, #33 for the economy and #18 for education and health. While the cost of living in the city is high, you can find very affordable real estate if you head upstate. Way upstate.
New York’s cost of living
The median household income is about $72,000 and its median home price is about $657,000.
Rounding out our New England states is Massachusetts, with a total score of 62.70. Ranked at #45 for its cost of living, it’s one of the least affordable states to live on the list. Its economy fares better at #12 in the country. It’s probably not surprising that the state that’s home to Harvard ranks #1 in health and education.
Massachusetts’s cost of living
Massachusetts’s median income is about $81,000 and its median home price is about $508,000.
Some of us had to look twice at the list. New Jersey is the top rated state, with a score of 63.01. Despite New Jersey’s reputation, its nickname of The Garden State is earned. New Jersey is close to the bottom for affordability — ranked #49. Its economy and cost of living rank #32 and it ranks #5 for education and health.
New Jersey’s cost of living
The median income in New Jersey is around $83,000 and the median home price in New Jersey is about $500,000.
If you plan to move to any of the best states, or any of the US Continental States, Fairprice Movers can move you there at a very reasonable price.
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When you live in the city, there is a good chance you don’t interact much with your neighbors. If you lived in an apartment, pretty much the best anyone can ask for is that your neighbors don’t have loud parties lasting well into the night.
But during the COVID migration to the suburbs, people are learning that there’s a lot more to being a good neighbor than reining in the noise from your late night parties.
If you bought your new home, there’s a good chance your neighbors will be with you for a long time. Now might be the time to study up on how to be a good neighbor, or better yet, a great neighbor.
Ask your neighbors for advice
Rather than search Google or Yelp for a services you might need, ask your neighbors. Your next-door neighbor might have the perfect landscaping person or handy person. The family down the block might know of a great babysitter and pediatrician. The neighbor with the three dogs has a reliable and popular dog walker and local veterinarian. Your neighbor with beautiful hair can refer you to her hairstylist.
There’s nothing better to get to know your neighbor than complimenting them as you ask for referrals.
Become a good neighbor by building a good fence
Good fences make for good neighborsThere’s an old idiom that says good fences makes for good neighbors, or something like that. We agree, but not because we dislike our neighbors.
A fence keeps dogs from entering a good neighbor’s yard. It keeps weeds local on one side. It also eliminates any doubt as to who is responsible for the slice of land abutting the fence. In other words, good fences stop problems with neighbors before they get a chance to start.
Become a good neighbor by learning local ordinances and abiding by them
Be respectful by honoring your neighborhood homeowner’s associationPerhaps your new community has a homeowner’s association, or perhaps not. If you do have a homeowner’s association, it’s in your best interest as a good neighbor to learn the ordinances.
Keeping your lawn too overgrown or your house the wrong color might not seem like a big deal, but it can cost you money and devalue your new neighbors’ homes; the opposite of a good neighbor.
If you don’t have a homeowner’s association, your community will still have ordinances. Most cities forbid loud noise after a certain hour. They may also have parking restrictions and perhaps even laws forbidding certain plants.
Become a good neighbor by keeping your home up
Realtors often tell people that they should find the worst house in the best neighborhood. We can almost guarantee that whoever owned that worst house didn’t make too many friends out of the neighbors.
Once you move into your new home, the upkeep is all yours and it’s the perfect time to show your new neighbors that unlike the previous owner, you are a good neighbor.
If you want to be a good neighbor, maintain your yard, paint your home if needed, keep your windows clean, etc. Bring on the curb appeal the previous owner didn’t bother with…you’ll see your equity increase too.
What do you want to bet that you’ll make new friends as your new neighbors come out to check out what you’re doing.
Be a good neighbor by being a good pet owner
A good neighbor is a good pet owner. Let your dog stay inside most of the day and all night, so they won’t bark 24/7 and annoy the entire neighborhood with the noise.
Clean up after your dog or cat, especially if they defecate in a neighbor’s yard. Let your friendly dog meet your neighbors. A hand sniff can go a long way toward establishing a harmonious community and neighborhood.
Be a good neighbor by hosting a neighborhood party
In days past, it was common for good neighbors to welcome new arrivals to the neighborhood with a gift of food. While you might have neighbors like that in your community, there’s a good chance that you might have to make the effort to meet your new neighbors.
Host a good neighbor party. It doesn’t need to be expensive.
Go analog for just one day or night. Pass some flyers on your community or neighborhood. Maybe do a pot luck barbecue or cocktail hour for a neighborhood housewarming party.
Invite your neighbors for coffee
Maybe a party isn’t your thing. Instead, invite your neighbors, one by one, to a neighborhood coffee shop for some friendly gossip.
Be a good neighbor by keeping it down during parties
You might not invite your neighbors to all your parties and even if you do, be respectful. No loud noise after 10:00. In fact, it’s best that any outdoor party go inside before then.
Be a respectful good neighbor by keeping the noise down
Even then, keep the noise down. Don’t let your guests block driveways or take spaces from your new neighbors. You also don’t want drunk party guests annoying your neighbors and your community.
Be a good neighbor by obeying trash ordinances
Some communities have their own trash collection services and others have third party community trash collection. Regardless, there are laws and limits on what you can do. Be respectful and take your trash out to the curb the night before pickup. Bring it in as soon after pickup as possible.
Be respectful of your neighbors on bulk pickup days
If you have a bulk pickup, try not to clutter the sidewalks so your neighbors won’t trip. Take the bulk items out to the trash area as close to the pickup day as possible.
Your neighborhood or community might require that your trash cans are behind your fence on non-trash days. When you collect them, take them to your back yard if possible.
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