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- A 17-city analysis assesses whether it makes sense for homeowners to live close to where they work.
- In some places, suburbs had almost a 30 percent advantage, while in others, the advantage was in the city proper.
- Cheap real estate and no state income tax make Las Vegas a good place in which to live and work. Homebuyers in Boston and New York would do best to look outside city limits.
Thanks to a real estate slump in Las Vegas, if you work in Sin City, living in the city offers great advantages to homebuyers. But if you work in New York City, it may be worth considering putting down roots outside of the city, or even outside of the state.
That’s the conclusion of HSH.com, a publisher of mortgage and consumer loan information, which recently analyzed 17 cities to assess whether it makes sense for homeowners to live near their job, or live outside of the areas and deal with a potentially long commute.
Although each homeowner’s or buyer’s situation has several variables that impact which decision is the best fit, HSH.com examined five factors that impact the overall livability of those 17 states:
- Real estate costs, including mortgage payments and rates.
- Cost of living relative to other areas of the country.
- State taxes, including income, sales and gas taxes.
- State crime rates, including both property and violent crimes.
- School performance, based on statewide averages for eighth grade math and reading scores.
In some places, suburbs had almost a 30 percent advantage, while in others, the advantage was in the city proper, HSH.com said.
According to the survey, cheap real estate and no state income tax make Las Vegas a good place in which to live and work. It’s also a good idea to live near your place of employment in Memphis, Philadelphia, Mobile (Alabama) and Cincinnati.
But in other cities, it makes sense to work in the city, but set up shop in the ‘burbs — or even across state lines, HSH.com said. Expensive real estate in cities like Boston, New York, Washington, D.C., and Portland, Oregon, make living outside of the city limits a better option.
And if you work in some cities that are conveniently located on the border of a state — including Kansas City, Missouri, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Wilmington, Delaware — buying a home in a neighboring state is actually your best option, HSH.com said.
Some of these areas are “so tightly clustered with cities that it can be hard to distinguish one area from another, making comparisons among locations less distinct,” the publisher said.
“Income, availability of housing and career opportunities might be very different on one side of a state border or another, and reciprocal tax agreements can impact how earnings in one state are taxed in another,” HSH.com said.