It turns out millennials can buy homes and enjoy avocado toast, despite some rich guy’s unsolicited opinion on the matter. In fact, recent data shows Gen Yers represent the largest slice of home buyers in the country, at 36 percent. The only issue? You might just have to rethink your big-city dreams to do it.
To figure out the best places for millennials to set down real-estate roots, Money synthesized stats from Attom Data outlining median home prices by state and compared those to US Census Bureau info regarding median salary for 25 to 44 year olds (which is the Census Bureau’s closest age range to the current Pew Research determinant of millennials: 22 to 37 years old). The results paint a picture—in map form—of the most affordable home-buying options in the country.
Oregon, Hawaii, and California are by far the most expensive, costing an average of five times the typical millennial salary, and a handful of states come in at a close second—including Washington, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Maine—at four times the average salary.
When it comes to becoming a homeowner, the midwestern states offer the most bang for your real-estate-seeking buck.
For finding the deals, or at least most realistic options, the Midwest might be the place to be. Those in Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama have it the best with median homes that cost two times the median salary. (And, it should be noted these are some of the states where women are living their best lives in terms of job security, mental health, and medical-cost affordability.) For someone in Iowa who makes around $60,000 a year, that $148,000 home doesn’t seem too unattainable—especially compared to the $455,000 average cost in California or the $325,500 price in Colorado.
The best news about these lower-cost-of-living areas is that you can still be within driving distance of some of the major metropolitan areas, but you’ll have assets. Maybe you’ll even end up with more sprawling space and the ability to finally live out your backyard garden dreams.
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