Having grown up in a small town, I can appreciate the comfort that exists for residents when it comes to minimal crime, knowing almost everyone in town and truly belonging to a community.
I was very fortunate growing up in Montrose, Colorado. It was a safe town – with many people in those days not locking their doors to their homes and even putting the keys of vehicles on the sun visor. By no means was it a wealthy community. We received a great education and also learned life-long work skills and a strong work ethic. Just like the song for the TV show Cheers, it “was a place where everybody knows your name.” It was also a place that if my brother and I went to a location we were not supposed to go to, my parents knew long before we got home. There was one movie theatre that had just one screen – whatever was showing was a take-it or leave proposition. It was a great place to grow up.
To identify the most affordable small towns in the U.S. where people desire to live (similar to the one described above), Realtor.com examined 500+ Micropolitan Areas (towns/communities). They restricted the analysis to those with a population ranging from 10,000 to less than 50,000 and ranked by median price. In addition, they required the following metrics:
- Low unemployment rates
- Below national-average crime rates
- Towns where households on average spend no more than 28 percent of their annual income on housing costs — leaving adequate cash flow for other homeowners needs
So what towns did Realtor.com’s metric select as the most affordable small towns?
To read the entire article from Realtor.com click http://www.realtor.com/news/trends/most-affordable-small-town-youd-actually-want-to-live-2017/
While Montrose, Colorado would have made the cut on Realtor.com’s population restrictions (19,000+ today), their home values excluded them. The median home price is $215,800 according to Zillow, up 7.5 percent in the past year. This is what happens when the town is the jumping-off point for Telluride and the majestic San Juan Mountains with seven peaks greater than 14,000 feet above sea level and 13 others higher than 13,000 feet. Still to this day, despite the cost of housing, at the Montrose Rose Bowl on Monday nights you can still get a one-hour use of a lane for the family, including shoe rentals, a pitcher of pop (yep-they call it pop), one order each of nachos and french fries for a grand total of $25.
Granted, smaller towns may have limited specialized health care or dining options and other man-made recreation, but the list of Realtor.com towns (and do read the linked article above) look pretty inviting.