Author Topic: Best city to buy a home in US  (Read 680 times)


  • Stubble
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Best city to buy a home in US
« on: December 19, 2020, 02:52:08 PM »
Given a chance to buy a home anywhere in the US, which city would you choose and why. Assume you still have kids at home and schools are important.

We will personally be getting there (FIREing and moving out of current HCOL) and wanted to see what the community thinks are the best places


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Best city to buy a home in US
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2020, 06:41:21 PM »
You will need to be a lot more specific.

What kind of weather do you like?
What's your housing/COL budget?
What kind of politics do you like?
How big of a "city" do you mean?
How old are your kids and what do THEY like?
Do you like outdoor/indoor sports, museums/arts/culture, etc? If so, how would you prioritize?
Do you value proximity to family? If so, where do they live?
Do you want to be near an international airport?

I could go on and on. Don't get me wrong - you'll get lots of answers. But they will be from people who live where *they* like to live, which might be the opposite of where you want to live.


« Last Edit: December 19, 2020, 06:43:41 PM by waltworks »


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Best city to buy a home in US
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2020, 09:38:52 AM »
What @waltworks said. Too many variables between peoples dream city  to name a place.

For me (with no kids) I'd rather have a small apt/condo in the heart of a mid-size/small compact city that is close to lots of outdoor recreation that I can easily access. Plus big city parks. A city where I could walk, bike and use public transit to get everywhere and don't have to be car-dependent. Preferably somewhere with 4 distinct seasons and old enough to have historic buildings and areas. Boston probably fits the bill in the US (or better Portland Maine or Burlington Vermont).

For myself I don't want a house (just sold one and making plans to move elsewhere soon but don't know where "elsewhere" will be at yet) but if in OPs shoes with kids I still wouldn't have any suggestions without more info. I've lived in many different US cities/towns and states (ex-military) so know what I personally like but need more info.

So OP what are your specifics?
« Last Edit: December 20, 2020, 09:46:02 AM by spartana »


  • Bristles
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Re: Best city to buy a home in US
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2020, 09:59:23 AM »
If schools are the priority then go for the best school district.  Fairfax county (Alexandria VA) seems to rank pretty high.


  • Stubble
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Re: Best city to buy a home in US
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2020, 10:34:42 AM »
check out school digger for school rankings or niche has similar rankings

us news world report just updated there rankings of best place to live - Colorado does quite well

there are many other rankings if you search on the inter-webs

like others have said, you are too vague right now.

In a perfect world, i personally would want to live in a great school district (top 20% national ranking), on a lake front lot with large enough lake to tool around on, within 1-2 hours of a ski resort (with 1,000+ ft vertical), preferably next to a medium sized college town in a "purple" state, with total our of pocket home costs (PITI) of no more than $2,500 a month for a SFH.  if you know where this unicorn land is please let me know.


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Best city to buy a home in US
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2020, 10:40:38 AM »
We actually selected our location based on the old NYT series about the "hardest" (ie, worst) and "easiest" (best) counties to live in based on 2010 census data:

You can click on the map (only broken down by county as that's how the census data is tabulated) and see rankings based on their criteria (income, education, health/obesity, etc).

We bought 2 houses, actually, but decided we liked UT better and sold the Los Alamos one.

That data is 10 years old now, of course. I hope they do a followup in a few years to see what (if anything) has changed.