- A combination of low cost of living and a low crime rate lure home buyers.
- Some of the best places to sell a home are in relatively small towns.
If you have a home where other people want to live, it's money in the bank.
Not so long ago, the easiest place to sell a home was in or around a large city. That's because our jobs tended to be centered around large cities. Now that millions of us work from home, we’re less interested in commute time and more interested in quality of life. For a lot of people, quality of life includes spending less on a home, escaping traffic, and a deeply-rooted sense of community.
This year's "Best Places to Sell a Home" includes a few smaller, less dense areas of the country. We looked for places with a relatively low cost of living to attract new buyers. We wanted to find cities with a low crime rate, and we looked for places where home equity was on the rise, even before the pandemic.
In no particular order, here are 10 places that make selling a home a breeze:
1. Milton, Wisconsin
Cost of living: 90.5, lower than the national average of 100.
Median home price: $155,600
Home appreciation over the last 10 years: 49%
Crime rate: Violent crime is rated at 6.5 and property crime at 10.6 (out of 100). Both are far below the national crime rate. To put this rate into perspective, the national average for violent crime is 22.7 and for property crime is 35.4.
Home of Milton College from 1844-1982, Milton has a rich history steeped in tradition. Built at the intersection of two trade routes in southernmost Wisconsin, Milton was settled in 1838 by Joseph Goodrich, a noted abolitionist. The city remains proud of the part it played in the Underground Railroad.
2. New Hanover, New Jersey
Cost of living: 97.8, below the national average.
Median home price: $291,000
Home appreciation over the last 10 years: 18.9%
Crime rate: Violent crime is rated at 7.5 and property crime at 7.1, much lower than the national rate.
New Hanover Township, located in the Delaware Valley, is a quiet, peaceful area, as evidenced by the low crime rate. Homes haven't appreciated in New Hanover like they have in some areas of the country, but they are up nearly 19% in 10 years. With a low overall cost of living and affordable housing, it's a great place to be selling a house this year -- particularly to families looking for a safe place to raise their kids.
3. Rangely, Colorado
Cost of living: 94.3, below the national average.
Median home price: $186,800
Home appreciation over the last 10 years: 54%
Crime rate: The violent crime rate is at 10.8 and property crime at 9.1, both far below the national rate of crime.
Rangely is located in the high desert of Northwest Colorado. The town enjoys 300 days of sunshine each year, hundreds of miles of off-highway vehicle trails, and one of the only rock-crawling parks in the state. Rangely is also located on the Dinosaur Diamond Scenic Byway. With a low cost of living and a low crime rate, the town has been ranked one of the best cities to work from home.
4. Colstrip, Montana
Cost of living: 74.7, well below the national average.
Median home price: $118,200
Home appreciation over the last 10 years: 66.7%
Crime rate: Violent crime is rated 7.6 and property crime 11.5, much lower than the national crime rate.
Colstrip has certainly gone through growing (and shrinking) pains over the last few years with coal mines shutting down to make way for new energy types. But the changes have done nothing to diminish the spirit of the people who remain. The cost of living in Colstrip, along with the low crime rate, make it the perfect spot to build a life in Big Sky Country. And the fact that home values have appreciated by nearly 67% over the past decade means home sellers are likely to have built a nice bit of equity.
5. El Paso, Texas
Cost of living: 81.4, nearly 20 points lower than the national average.
Median home price: $162,100
Home appreciation over the last 10 years: 31.6%
Crime rate: El Paso violent crime is rated at 22.1 and property crime at 30.6, below national rates.
With a population of over 680,000, El Paso is one of the larger cities on our list this year. Still, the crime rate is below the national average and the cost of living can't be beat for a town this size. There's plenty to do with museums, botanical gardens, state parks, and historical sites, but it's the friendliness of the people that make El Paso worth considering as a home.
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6. McKinney, Texas
Cost of living: 107.9, just above the national average.
Median home price: $412,800
Home appreciation over the last 10 years: 103.4%
Crime rate: Violent crime is rated at 10.5 and property crime at 26.2, below national crime rates.
Located about 37 miles north of Dallas, McKinney offers a low crime rate and an A-rated school system from Niche.com. While it will cost a buyer a bit more to get into a McKinney home, sellers should make out like bandits due to home appreciation of 103.4%.
7. Gilbert, Arizona
Cost of living: 116.3, above the national average of 100.
Median home price: $476,700
Home appreciation over the last 10 years: 169.6%
Crime rate: Violent crime is rated at 10.4 and property crime at 23.1, well below national crime rates.
Yes, the cost of living is higher than the national average in Gilbert, but with homes appreciating by 169.6% over the last decade, it's a great place to sell a house. Once called the "Hay Shipping Capital of the World," Gilbert is now home to over 281,000 residents and boasts a nationally ranked K-12 school system.
8. Port St. Lucie, Florida
Cost of living: 100, precisely the same as the national average.
Median home price: $288,500
Home appreciation over the last 10 years: 160.7%
Crime rate: Violent crime is rated at 9.1 and property crime at 22.3, far below the national crime rates.
Real estate values have risen by a whopping 160.7% in the last 10 years, making this unique corner of Florida ideal for sellers. Buyers will enjoy it too, though. With relatively affordable real estate prices, a low crime rate, and a town quirky enough to allow dozens of peacocks to roam the streets, Port St. Lucie is sure to be an easy sell.
9. Cary, North Carolina
Cost of living: 115, above the national rate of 100.
Median home price: $458,100
Home appreciation over the last 10 years: 64.6%
Crime rate: The violent crime rate comes in at 8.9 and property crime rate at 19.8, both well below the national rate.
Less than a 20-minute drive from Raleigh, Cary is a gorgeous city with 2,688 acres of parks and 80 miles of paved greenways. The crime rate is low, and while the cost of living is a bit higher than standard in North Carolina, it's a seller's paradise with a home appreciation rate of 64.6%.
10. Santa Clarita, California
Cost of living: 147.1, far above the national average of 100.
Median home price: $684,100
Home appreciation over the last 10 years: 94.6%
Crime rate: Violent crime in Santa Clarita is ranked at 11.9 and property crime at 22.2, each well below the national average.
Santa Clarita represents the most expensive real estate on this year's list. Still, the fact that it's in the Bay Area and still somewhat affordable makes it worth considering. Great weather, warm people, and a low crime rate are all draws. So too is the herd of bison (originally a gift from Walt Disney) that roams their 10-acre home at Santa Clarita's William S. Hart Park.
What's better than selling a home in a red-hot housing market? Selling a home in an area where people want to move.
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