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Top 10 cities for veteran homebuyers

List considers employment, cost of living, poverty and education

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Takeaways:

  • Every year thousands of U.S. military are often faced with an overwhelming amount of challenges as they transition back into civilian life.
  • The two greatest challenges are finding a job and finding a home.
  • Virginia Beach, Virginia, St. Louis, Missouri, and Omaha, Nebraska, rank among the top cities for veterans in the U.S.

Every year thousands of U.S. military join the ranks of retired veterans and are often faced with an overwhelming amount of challenges as they transition back into civilian life.

Perhaps the two greatest of those challenges are finding employment and a place to call home. They’ve fought to preserve the American dream for all of us, but now they must fight among us to pursue that dream for themselves.

After devoting their lives to this country, veterans return home to an unwelcoming job market filled with employer biases about the military demographic. Thus the reason for this list.

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We at Veterans United Home Loans wanted to help this country’s heroes overcome one of those daunting challenges and narrow down their search for a city to call home.

As we drafted potential cities for the list, we considered a number of past “Top 10” lists compiled by AOL Jobs, WalletHub, Livability, Forbes, MilitaryTimes and USAA. Once the list of potential cities was formed, each city was analyzed and ranked according to 17 variables.

Each variable was sorted into one of three weight categories: high importance to veterans, medium importance to veterans and low importance to veterans. Each city’s final score was determined by its ranking in each of the 17 variables multiplied by that variable’s weight.

The variables in each category included:

  • High importance to veterans
    • Veteran unemployment rate
    • Median home price
    • Percentage of monthly income spent on monthly home payment
    • Percentage of monthly income spent on rent
    • Percentage of veterans living below poverty line
    • Veteran population as a proportion of total population
    • Cost of living compared to national average
    • Job growth percentage (as of 2013)
    • Educational attainment (percentage of citizens with high school diploma or higher)
  • Medium importance to veterans
    • Proximity of military bases within 100 miles
    • Primary job sectors
    • Number of veteran-owned businesses per 1,000 people
    • Number of VA hospital or outpatient clinics within 50 miles
    • GreatSchools rating
    • Civilian unemployment rate
  • Low importance to veterans
    • City population
    • Climate

The final rankings were determined by each city’s total score, with the lowest score winning it all. Without further ado, here are Veterans United’s Top 10 Cities for Veterans to Live:

Top 10 Cities For Veterans

Samantha Reeves is the senior real estate and homebuying expert for Veterans United Home Loans and the agent education director for Did You Serve? LLC. You can follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

Email Samantha Reeves.