“You got to look at this house I found online,” my brother-in-law exclaims.
“You are going to wonder why you are still in Napa.” He then instructed me where to go online by taking me to one of his favorite websites, Zillow.com.
We stopped on a three-bedroom, three-bath, almost 1,900 square foot, new custom-built home with lake access for just under $235,000 in Holiday Island, Arkansas.
Arkansas may not be the location of my dreams, but the house was beautiful. It certainly proves his point once again — California is overpriced.
I started running the numbers through my head—I could sell my house in Napa, pay cash for this house in Arkansas, and have an influx into my bank account to boot.
Or, I could keep my Napa house, take some of the equity, and buy the house in Holiday Springs. Then, rent my house in Napa and still pocket over $1,000 dollars each month after expenses.
But there is no place like Napa. I have lived in this area all my life. Making a move would be tough. I would need several really good reasons to consider such a move.
So, I start my online search to find the “perfect” location or more likely to affirm that Napa is the best place for me at this time in my life.
“Where is the best place for me and my family to live?” I asked myself.
If I make a move out of the area, it will need to be the best place I can find so I can stay there for the rest of my life. I start making a list of what is important to me as I pursued my quest.
Where to live to avoid natural disastersYou probably will not find a location on this planet immune to natural disasters. Still, I found a map that incorporates earthquake, tornado, and hurricane location data at the New York Times website.
Many websites are offering their interpretation of the highest and lowest risk cities. It turns out for the map I viewed, Corvallis, Oregon is the least prone and Dallas, Texas, the most.
I don’t care to live in either of these locations, so I may have to accept the occasional earthquake.
House prices are one thing; what about the cost of living?I discovered a website worth bookmarking, TaxFoundation.org, which has data not only regarding taxes by state, but I found an affordability index by state. “What Is the Real Value of $100 in Your State?” is a map and index rating each state by how far $100 will go.
Based on 2017 data, Mississippi stretches your $100 to $116.01, ranking this state number one. Followed closely by Alabama and Arkansas, a close third place at $114.42.
The least affordable states where your $100 has less purchasing power are no surprise. Hawaii is number 50 at $84.18, followed by New York at $86.73, with California as the third least affordable with an index of $88.18.
In part 2, I will continue my quest to find the “perfect” place to live.
Burt M. Polson is the CEO of ACRESinfo.com, a commercial real estate brokerage company and CEO of StoneMarkerInvestments.com, a private equity real estate fund. Call him at 707-254-8000 or email email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
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