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More affordable homes around higher priced cities

Article from Realtor.com By Evan Wyloge https://www.realtor.com/news/trends/most-affordable-and-desirable-neighborhoods-in-expensive-cities-metros/

1. Vernon, NJ (07462)

Median home list price in September: $245,500
Year-over-year change in price per square foot: 40.7%
Metro: New York, NY
Metro’s median home list price in September: $719,000

It might be hard to believe that Vernon, with its lakes and densely forested hills, is only 50 miles or so northwest of New York City. Situated on the New York–New Jersey border, it’s an ideal location where you can pick up the Appalachian Trail for hiking in the summer or enjoy snow sports in the winter at the nearby Mountain Creek Ski Resort.

“It’s just a great place to live,” says Keren Gonen, a real estate broker at Realty Executives in Vernon. “You can work in the city, and when you get home, you’re on a lake. You’re in the woods. You have a big backyard.”

A lot of the buyers Gonen sees are coming from New York City or nearby Bergen County, NJ, where the typical home costs about $780,000.

“They come out here because they can get a 3,000-square-foot home on a half-acre lot for the same price of a condo in Manhattan,” she says.

Vernon tops our list because of the whopping 44% price-per-square-foot discount compared with the overall New York City metro. But prices in the town are also rising fast. In fact, in September, home prices per square foot were up 41% compared with the year before—by far the fastest-appreciating location on our list. The rest of the metro is seeing only about a 13% appreciation in price per square foot.

But one of the best attributes of the area is the sense of community, says Gonen.

“Everyone knows each other,” she says. “Everyone really looks out for each other.”


2. Roxboro, NC (27574)

Median home list price: $312,400
Year-over-year change in price per square foot: 31.9%
Metro: Durham, NC
Metro’s median home list price: $499,000

Roxboro, a few miles south of the Virgina-North Carolina border, is a cheaper alternative to the Research Triangle of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, about an hour north.

The town is just minutes from the picturesque Hyco Lake, a popular spot for boating, fishing, and swimming. And of course, it’s within commuting distance of the triangle, home to technology and science industries as well as large schools like Duke University and North Carolina State University.

Shoppers in the outskirts of Roxboro can save about 30% on a home compared with the rest of the metro. And while the Durham-Chapel Hill area has seen the home price per square foot appreciate a respectable 7% over the past year, the neighborhoods on the periphery of Roxboro have seen more than 30%.

Buyers can get a large, three-bedroom ranch home in Roxboro on 1.5 acres for $350,000.


3. Rochester, NH (03867)

Median home list price: $474,000
Year-over-year change in price per square foot: 21.3%
Metro: Boston, MA
Metro’s median home list price: $849,000

Boston is one of the most expensive housing markets on the East Coast. That’s driven homebuyers on a budget to places like New Hampshire, where they can often find less expensive real estate.

Rochester, which sits on the New Hampshire-Maine border, is about an hour and a half north of the center of Beantown. For those who don’t mind the commute or don’t have to go into the office often, the savings are significant. Per square foot, homes in Rochester are 40% less expensive than the rest of the Boston metro.

In Rochester, $400,000 will buy a three-bedroom, three-bathroom home built in 2015 with a fenced backyard. For $550,000, buyers can get a five-bedroom home with a sunroom, office, first-floor bedroom, and a basement home theater with built-in speakers.


4. Brentwood, CA (94513)

Median home list price: $899,000
Year-over-year change in price per square foot: 6.8%
Metro: San Francisco, CA
Metro’s median home list price: $1,095,000

The real estate prices in Brentwood, a small, almost entirely suburban city about an hour east of San Francisco, might not seem like a bargain at first glance. But the city, unofficially dubbed “Corn Town” due to the area’s agricultural history, has homes for significantly less than in other parts of the ultrapricey San Francisco Bay Area.

Brentwood has the biggest discount in price per square foot, relative to the metro it’s in.

Homes in this ZIP code are also appreciating quickly. The price per square foot of homes in Brentwood grew around 7% in the past year, which is the most modest price growth of any of the places we’re highlighting here, but which has significantly outpaced San Francisco’s sluggish price growth.

Brentwood’s population boom—almost tripling over the past two decades—reflects just how quickly this area is gaining in popularity.

Buyers can snag this three-bedroom, two-bathroom house with a two-car garage for about $670,000.


5. Homestead, FL (33035)

Median home list price: $399,000
Year-over-year change in price per square foot: 13.5%
Metro: Miami, FL
Metro’s median home list price: $599,000

Home shoppers in the Miami area might want to head south for the best combination of relatively low prices and quick home appreciation. On the very southern tip of the metro area, they’ll find the small suburban city called Homestead.

The high-demand suburb was historically an agricultural area, and there are still miles of farmland surrounding Homestead. Beyond that, there are glade preserves all the way to the ocean.

Biscayne Bay and the Biscayne National Park are straight east, the Everglades National Park sits to the west of the area, and Key Largo is only 45 minutes south.

Homes in Homestead are about 35% less per square foot than in the rest of the Miami metro area. The Homestead Miami Speedway has become a regular home to NASCAR and IndyCar races, drawing thousands of motor sports enthusiasts.

For $380,000 buyers can get a contemporary three-bedroom townhouse in the Cali Greens neighborhood with granite kitchen countertops, stainless-steel appliances, and hurricane-resistant windows.


6. Bridgeport, CT (06606)

Median home list price: $395,000
Year-over-year change in price per square foot: 19.2%
Metro: Bridgeport, CT
Metro’s median home list price: $911,950

Bridgeport, about 60 miles north of New York City, is a city nestled among some much pricier, tonier towns along the Long Island Sound, including Greenwich, CT, and Westport, CT.

Residents here can easily commute to New York City, and that’s pushed the Bridgeport metro’s home prices north of $900,000. In some parts of the metro, like Westport, the median home price is more than $2 million, according to Realtor.com data. Farther south, in Greenwich, the median home price is near $4 million.

But those who shop for homes in Bridgeport proper can find some deals.

The city itself, which has struggled economically over the years, is experiencing gentrification and attention from investors, according to Matthew Murray, a real estate agent with Higgins Group. That’s leading to rising home prices in areas like Bridgeport’s North End and Reservoir-Whiskey Hill neighborhoods.

“A lot of the institutional buyers, the corporations who are doing the buys,” he says, are “making them into rentals, and they’re marking those up as best as they can.”


7. Newton, IA (50208)

Median home list price: $225,950
Year-over-year change in price per square foot: 9.2%
Metro: Des Moines, IA
Metro’s median home list price: $369,900

Iowa is already known for its affordable real estate, with median home prices in the Hawkeye State 20% below the national average. But Newton, a small city on the periphery of the Des Moines metro, takes affordability to the next level.

This is where buyers can find the least expensive homes on our list. The median home price in Newton is around $226,000, which is almost 50% less than the national median price of $429,500 in September. It’s also about 40% below the median-priced home in Des Moines, about 30 miles to the west.

Like other areas we’ve found, this is historically an agricultural area. It was also the longtime home of Maytag’s washing machine production, until the company’s plant was shut down in 2007. Since then, the area’s economy has shifted, particularly with the opening of the Iowa Speedway, also located in Newton. This motor sports raceway attracts fans with its variety of left-turn races, including the announced addition of a NASCAR Cup Series race this summer.

This remodeled three-bedroom Newton home has modern updates like new appliances and cabinets, a two-car garage, and even a fishpond. It’s listed for just $169,000.


8. Eatonville, WA (98328)

Median home list price: $732,500
Year-over-year change in price per square foot: 19.7%
Metro: Seattle, WA
Metro’s median home list price: $799,000

About 60 miles south of the bustling core of the Seattle metro area sits the small town of Eatonville.

The town is a gateway to the area’s natural wonders, including Mount Rainer, the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, and even Mount St. Helens, about 50 miles south. There are also a couple of ski resorts within about 90 minutes. This makes Eatonville a natural draw for hikers, skiers, anglers, or anyone else with an appreciation for the outdoors.

Residents here have relatively quick access to the largest Pacific Northwest metro, but with a serious discount on real estate compared with the Emerald City, where home prices have nearly doubled the national average in recent years. Homes in this small, serene town go for about 20% less per square foot than in Seattle.

And while Seattle’s median home price per square foot has been rising at a relatively quick 7% over the past year, Eatonville has seen almost 20% appreciation over the same period.

To get a taste of the Pacific Northwest flavor this town has to offer, check out this rustic “tiny home” for $270,000, on more than an acre of land, next to Ohop Lake, with an address on “Ski Road.” Just a few doors down the road, $500,000 will get a two-bedroom house right on the lake.


9. Ladson, SC (29456)

Median home list price: $339,400
Year-over-year change in price per square foot: 14.6%
Metro: Charleston, SC
Metro’s median home list price: $525,000
Metro’s year-over-year change in price per square foot: 6.2%

Last on our list is Ladson, a small town about 20 miles northwest of the booming Southern city of Charleston. Homes in Ladson cost around 25% less than in the rest of the broader Charleston metro area. However, real estate prices are growing at more than twice the pace.

This Lowcountry suburb is less than a half-hour from the center of Charleston, and just a few more minutes from several beaches.

Ladson is also the host of the Coastal Carolina Fair, a 10-day celebration of the area’s coastal culture.

What's my Home Worth? Get the true Market Value customize to you!

Not an inaccurate estimate algorithms that can be off by $10000s costing you $40000 $50000 or more by not pricing your home correctly