Questions and Answers
What are the cheapest large US cities for real estate?
10 most affordable major metro areas
Where average earners can most afford a median-priced home.
Metro area State Median Inc. Median price Percent affordable
Indianapolis IN $65,100 $122,000 85.9%
Youngstown OH $52,100 $86,000 85.5%
Detroit MI $56,700 $95,000 85.5%
Buffalo NY $58,300 $88,000 82.9%
Grand Rapids MI $61,500 $128,000 81.6%
Dayton OH $59,800 $113,000 81.2%
Toledo OH $58,900 $115,000 80.5%
Harrisburg PA $64,300 $140,000 79.5%
Akron OH $61,300 $115,000 79.5%
Rochester NY $64,100 $117,000 79.0%
I've been here for 15 years. Like most places, the job situation varies depending on your area. There are a lot of high-tech companies here (Motorola, Google, Intel, Microchip), but many of them have had recent cutbacks or major outsourcing. Things still seem good if your work is related to construction, real estate, tourism or medical fields.
As others have noted, metro Phoenix is one of the most rapidly growing cities in the country with new 10,000+ housing developments being dropped in the desert almost daily. This unfortunately has resulted in a lot of sprawl, making it hard to get anywhere and resulting in a cookie-cutter culture where every store, cafe, shopping center and housing development looks the same. The rapid growth used to keep housing prices down, but they have shot up dramatically in the last couple of years.
Although the city lacks for character and culture (at least, compared to other cities of its size), the surrounding area has some great places like the red-rock canyons of Sedona, the mountains of Flagstaff and Prescott and natural wonders like Grand Canyon, Superstition Mountains and Lake Powell.
Summers are hot (115 plus is not uncommon), but as they say, it is a 'dry' heat (low humidity) which takes the edge off it. The other 8 months of the year are pretty nice (especially spring and fall). No snow to shovel, no weeks of cloudy skies and no icy roads.