My brother-in-law regularly scans several websites listing houses for sale and occasionally sends those hard-to- believe ones my way.
His goal is to find the “perfect” home in the best location for an affordable price. He has become well-versed in searching what is available and getting to know the market in a few select areas he would like to live.
In part 1, I told you about the latest house he sent me in Holiday Springs, Arkansas. I agree this was a fantastic house at an amazing price, making it worth it for him to consider a move from Napa.
I started analyzing Holiday Springs, comparing it to Napa.
First, I considered the weather and found it is not as much of a drawback as I initially assumed—a bit colder in the winter and muggier in the summer.
Next, I consider the employment base and major employers. Followed by crime statistics, cost of living, and political climate. At first glance, Holiday Springs looked enticing, but it is not Napa, California.
I started searching for the “perfect” location for my family and me. I stumbled on several websites offering surveys that will help you find your new city, so I took a couple.
One had 10 questions, including my weather preferences, what I like to do in my free time, preferred commute time, and employment information. After answering all the questions, the survey told me my perfect place to live was Los Angeles, California.
I am not sure how this survey determined Los Angeles as my favorite place to live because I would place it as my least. I am not going to put much value in this, or any other survey, for that matter.
In part 1, we highlighted how to find locations to live to avoid natural disasters. Followed by the affordability index ranking how far your money will stretch or shrink. My research continues, here are two highlights.
Best states for businessYou may consider the best state to find employment or the best state to retire.
Having my own company and being self-employed, I am concerned first about taxes. A positive real estate climate is essential, followed by the employment base.
I found TaxFoundation.org to provide me a quick rundown of the most and least tax favorable states for businesses. Wyoming, South Dakota, and Alaska are the top 3 desirable while California, New York, and New Jersey the least.
The weatherMy preference is to be in a warm climate all year round. BestPlaces.net has many tools to find the best place to live based on several criteria.
There is a comparison tool where I asked to compare Napa, California, with Holiday Springs, Arkansas. I discovered Napa has 20 percent more sunshine, 50 percent less rain, and no snow. Temperatures are not significantly different, with Napa being a bit warmer overall.
There is a lot of statistical data available to help you make an objective decision on where to live. In the end, though, it is where you feel comfortable and can call home.
Napa continues to be that place for me.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
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