Looking to buy your home on a modest budget? Then you may want to widen your search to consider the Southern cities of Huntington, West Virginia; Lynchburg, Virginia; Fort Smith, Arkansas; Mobile, Alabama, and Macon, Georgia.
Recently, Realtor.com crunched numbers to see where in the country you could get an $1,000 or cheaper monthly mortgage. They calculated with a hypothetical 30-year-fixed-rate loan for each of the 200 largest metropolitan areas, with balances for geographic diversity. "These loans included 10% down payments, 4.55% mortgage interest rates, 0.5% of the value of the home in private mortgage insurance payments, and a $40 home insurance payment for each $100,000 in home value," writes the article's author Lance Lambert. "Additionally, we factored in 1% of the home's value going toward home maintenance annually, the industry standard."
Based on their calculations, they found that the price point of a home to get a mortgage under $1,000 a month is $162,000 or less. Worth noting: For the sake of this exercise, they excluded property taxes and down payments.
So what's the number one spot in the country to snag an affordable home for less than a $1,000 a month? Youngstown, Ohio took the crown with a median list price of $121,800 and 63.7% of listed homes offering a monthly mortgage of $1,000 or less. (Figures used for median list price were based on April 2019 listings and for the portion of homes with a monthly mortgage of $1,000 or less, calculations were taken from the last week of April 2019.)
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Here's how the Southern cities in the top 10 rankings stacked up:
4. Huntington, WV
Median list price: $143,300
Share of homes with monthly mortgage of $1,000 or less: 58.2%
6. Lynchburg, VA
Median list price: $150,000
Share of homes with monthly mortgage of $1,000 or less: 54.7%
8. Fort Smith, AR
Median list price: $160,400
Share of homes with monthly mortgage of $1,000 or less: 50.4%
9. Mobile, AL
Median list price: $179,800
Share of homes with monthly mortgage of $1,000 or less:45.4%
10. Macon, GA
Median list price: $173,800
Share of homes with monthly mortgage of $1,000 or less: 45.2%
You can read the full article on Realtor.com here.
Oh how we love these five amazing Southern cities so. Guess it's time to flip a coin to see if we're in an Arkansas or Georgia state of mind. Or Alabama. Or...