by Elizabeth Aldrich | April 12, 2021
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Make more money while spending less in these popular Midwestern cities.
The housing market is hot, and there are plenty of good reasons to look for a home in 2021. Mortgage rates are still relatively low, and rental prices are likely to go up in the near future. Plus, as more people get vaccinated, there's a good chance housing inventory will increase.
If you're wondering where to look, the Midwest is arguably the best place to buy a house. Here's why.
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If you consider average house prices by state, most of the Midwest falls on the very low end. Even Minnesota -- the most expensive of the Midwestern states -- falls below the national average with a median home value of $266,887. In Iowa, the median home price is just $155,781.
You might picture cornfields and towns with one main road when you think of this part of the country. But it's not just rural areas and small towns that boast an affordable housing market. The median home value in Chicago is $249,152, and in Indianapolis, it's only $153,159.
You'll get a better quality of life in a lot of Midwestern cities than you would in some of the East and West Coasts' more bustling metropolises. That's especially true when you consider how much further your money will go in the Midwest.
You don't have to worry as much about stressful traffic and long commutes as you would in more densely populated areas. On top of that, because the Midwest is more spread out, you're also more likely to find spacious homes with yards at a reasonable price point.
There are also plenty of areas in the Midwest with excellent schools, beautiful scenery, and plenty to do. Chicago ranked No. 6 on our list of most socially conscious cities. Minnesotans have the highest average credit scores in the United States. And believe it or not, Des Moines, Iowa was even ranked No. 7 on the U.S. News & World Report list of Best Places to Live in the U.S. in 2020–2021. Ann Arbor, Michigan snatched up spot No. 12.
If you're leaning urban, there are plenty of cities for high salaries and low cost of living in the Midwest. We've listed 10 cities where the median household income significantly exceeds the average cost of living. At the top of the list, you'll find cities like Des Moines, Iowa; St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota; Joliet, Illinois; and St. Louis, Missouri.
Even when you look at the 10 most affordable cities with high salaries and low costs of living on a national level, the Midwest is still prevalent -- Des Moines, St. Paul, and Minneapolis all make the cut. Des Moines has the lowest unemployment rate of any city on that list, and it's also the cheapest city to live in. Residents of both St. Paul and Minneapolis earn nearly 22% more than the national median household income.
Whether you're looking to save money or want to stretch your mortgage further, the Midwest is an excellent place to start your house hunt. From Chicago to Iowa, you're sure to find something that fits the bill.
Chances are, interest rates won't stay put at multi-decade lows for much longer. That's why taking action today is crucial, whether you're wanting to refinance and cut your mortgage payment or you're ready to pull the trigger on a new home purchase.
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