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The Best State for YOU?? Where’s the Best Place to Live

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United States Best Place to Live

Many mortgage trade publications have lately been delineating the best housing locations, mainly states, that increase purchasing power. The problem I have with this is that other than some almost-retirees, or dual work-from-home couples, the other 99% of the population normally cannot choose what state to call home. But, I digress …

Let’s assume I am incorrect and most can choose what state to call home. At the least, some of the facts presented here may attract business -- which require workers, who need homes. Picture a light bulb flashing here.

Anyway, the National Mortgage News recently posted, “12 states where home buyers have the most purchasing power.” In the third column below, added by me, I thought perhaps we would give you even more information to assist in your next home location decision, with NO offense to that fine publication.

Indiana $156,500
  • You can visit a partial replica of the Pyramid of Giza and Great Wall of China. (Huff. Post)
  • “In 1897, state legislators tried to pass a bill that would legally make pi equal 3.2, because decimals are scary.” (Viralnova)
  • Santa Claus, Indiana receives over one half million letters and requests at Christmas time. (50States)
Missouri $135,000
  • The town of Tightwad is home to the Tightwad Bank, which draws customers from across the country. (Huff. Post)
  • You’ll find the home of Mark Twain and some of his characters, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn (Factmonster)
  • Missourian writers include T.S. Eliot, Maya Angelou, Mark Twain, Tennessee Williams, and Sara Teasdale. (mentalfloss)
Louisiana $179,000
  • The Louisiana State Penitentiary has a public golf course. (Huff. Post)
  • Also, 1 out of every 86 people in LA is incarcerated -- the highest rate in the world. (Viralnova) But do they all golf?
  • And this is where 98% of the world's crayfish is from. (Factmonster)
North Carolina $190,000
  • Two nuclear bombs were accidentally dropped on the state. One almost detonated.  (Huff. Post)
  • North Carolina leads the nation in furniture, tobacco, brick, and textile production. (Onlyin ..)
  • The Biltmore Estate in Asheville is the largest private house in the United States, with 250 rooms. (NCFacts)
New Hampshire $244,933
  • A group of Robin Hooders once paid expired parking meters before tickets could be handed out. (Huff. Post)
  • Irony? The "Live Free or Die" license plates are made by prisoners here. (Viralnova)
  • The home of Artificial Rain, first used near Concord in 1947 to fight a forest fire.  (Factmonster)
Oklahoma $152,500
  • A resident of this state is the only known person to be hit by space junk.  (Huff. Post)
  • “In Bristow, Oklahoma it is against the law to serve water to a customer in a restaurant unless one peanut in a shell is also served. The consequences for this 'serious' offense can result in a fine of up to five dollars.” (legendsof ..)
  • Oklahoma has the most tornadoes per square mile of all U.S. states. (legendsof ..)
Arkansas $154,000
  • A school for the deaf has a “leopard” for a mascot. (Huff. Post)
  • Since 1947, it's illegal to mispronounce "Arkansas" while in Arkansas. The name is a combination of Sioux and French pronunciations that led to the silent S at the end. (Viralnova)
  • You can go treasure hunting in Arkansas at the Crater of Diamonds State Park to search the 37 1/2-acre field containing diamond-bearing soil.
Iowa $166,000
  • The state hosts a yearly National Hobo convention. (Huff. Post)
  • “Sentenced to hang for murder in 1963 (yes, hang), Victor Feguer requested a single olive with pit as his last meal, and said he hoped a tree would grow from his body as a sign of peace.”  (Viralnova)
  • Iowa means "beautiful" and hogs outnumber people 4 to 1. (onlyin ..)
Alabama $155,000
  • In Alabama you can purchase unclaimed baggage from airports around the world. (Buzz Feed)
  • Enterprise, AL, has the Boll Weevil Monument to acknowledge the role the bug played in encouraging farmers to grow crops other than cotton. (50States)
  • It’s illegal for a driver to be blindfolded while operating a vehicle. (movoto)
Nebraska $180,000
  • Monowi, Nebraska, has only one resident, and she's the mayor, librarian, and bartender. (Buzz Feed)
  • The landlocked state has a navy, and anyone can receive the state’s highest honor of “Nebraska Admiral.” (Huff. Post)
  • The official state drink is Kool-Aid -- it was invented there. (Viralnova)
Kentucky $166,500
  • There are more barrels of bourbon here than there are people. (Huff. Post)
  • It is illegal for a woman to wear a bathing suit on a highway unless she is escorted by two police officers or is armed with a club. (The Louisville Cardinal)
  • In this state, it is illegal to fish with a bow and arrow. (The Louisville Cardinal)
Ohio $149,900
  • The state wasn’t officially admitted into the Union until 1953 because of a technicality.  (Huff. Post)
  • Ohio's Cuyahoga River is so polluted that it's caught fire more than once. (Viralnova)
  • The first electric traffic lights were invented and installed in Cleveland in 1914.  (Factmonster)

Obviously, then, if you are a major consumer of bourbon, or you insist on driving blindfolded, or desire incarceration at a golf course, we have already saved you much research time!  But what other factors may influence your decision?  How about some of these?

States with the lowest car insurance. According to Forbes a few years ago, here’s what you will pay on the low end:

Maine: $889.
Iowa: $985.
Wisconsin: $987.
Idaho: $1,011.
North Carolina: $1,022.
Vermont: $1,063.
Ohio: $1,099.
South Carolina: $1,108.

I’ve taken the liberty to italicize those states that appear on both lists so far! That’s Iowa, North Carolina, and Ohio. We have a trend developing.

Let’s next consider those states with the highest property insurance.

Highest Property Insurance


Louisiana appears on lists 1 (purchasing power) and 3 (highest property insurance) as do Oklahoma and and Alabama -- Roll Tide! But no states appear on all lists posted so far. Therefore, this has now become a very personal choice. What’s important to you?

And I wonder if/how the recent hurricanes, fires and floods will affect those insurance prices? Regardless, being a New Jersey homeowner (hey haters, no comments please!), I was thrilled to NOT find New Jersey at the top of this insurance cost list -- shocking! That’s cause for celebration. Therefore, let’s next see how beer prices vary across the good ole US. I don’t drink it, but Thrilllist was kind enough to provide the data and I’m certain some of you readers truly want to know for your own mini celebration!

Price of Beer per State

10 Least Expensive Beer States

Source: https://www.thrillist.com/news/nation/map-shows-case-of-beer-costs-in-every-state

Let’s get serious again. What other factors might truly influence where someone may want to move? Perhaps you will be building your dream home and want stats about doing that? Here are some.

HomeAdvisor.com has a great post that I found very informative. As you can see, it also offers a handy interactive tool which you can use to find an architect or engineer. What fun!

Building a House Cost

Source: http://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/architects-and-engineers/build-a-house/

It might be a good time to think about building that home. Because, guess what, the cost of rent is soaring. Here’s how Zillow depicts that.

Zillow Rent Index


There are many, many factors to take into consideration before deciding where to live -- money, friends, family, crime rates, weather preferences, etc. How can you decide, assuming you are able to choose. Not to worry! There’s a WikiHow for that -- wikiHow to Decide Where to Live! AND, it includes several methods. For example, Method 1 suggests you: make a list, do the research, notice the trends, visit. This may seem like common sense, but don’t be so quick to judge.

I know a woman who moved to Florida from Michigan because she hated cold and snow only to realize she hated summer heat and humidity more. Or how about the friend of a friend who relocated from New York City to Los Angeles not realizing the ring true in LA.

But if you need more methods, better advice, or an improved project plan before you decide where to relocate, there’s much help out there on the WWW.  Conducting a fast Google search will yield a plethora of data. Here is perhaps my personal favorite result.

How to Decide Where to Live | The Art of Manliness

It’s actually a great article and part of a three part series. The ‘manliness’ made a funny first impression on me. So let’s wrap with that and generate an ending smile. Happy house hunting!

House AppearancesFirst Impression

About Kathleen Heck

Kathleen Heck has worked with hundreds of top sales professionals, authors, corporate executives, educators, and management level professionals. She started her career as a college and high school educator. Later she changed industries and moved to financial services, first as a Mortgage Loan Officer and then rising to lead of team of over 2000 financial professionals. She is the author of "After the Beep" and "Meltdown: I Need a Plan". Currently serving as the President of the Croyance Group, Ms. Heck is a Certified Professional Coach and holds several Masters Degrees and a PhD. See more at Croyancegroup.com

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