find myself a city to live in
August 3, 2012 12:20 PM Subscribe
In what medium to large city (or any place with a medical hub) could I buy the cheapest 1br or studio condo? Snowflake details inside.
posted by sweltering to work & money (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I am disabled and my marriage is shaky. I'm a planner; so is my probably exspouse. If we split, I think I would probably need to look at condo ownership with my chunk of the marital assets and help from families (I can't maintain a house; it's a really debilitating physical disability). If my family helps me with rent or my ex pays me alimony to help with rent, I'll be ineligible for services. But I don't make enough money from disability to pay market rent anywhere. Social services doesn't, however, count a home you live in and own.
Thus, our collective rationale. (Also, my parents reallllly don't want me to move back in.)
It may seem strange to leave geography so open. I've been a pretty rootless person for awhile, in academic diaspora. Family? Meh. Prior to becoming disabled I went to undergrad away from home in the Midwest. Grad school on the east coast. Have been living all over the west coast from the mid-twenties to early 30's, with a brief stay at the Mayo Clinic for a few months. I settled in Portland and it's my home, and the cheapest studios there go for $85k. I am OK with trying somewhere new, though I'd love to go back, because that's where my network is. Seattle is the place I moved for my husband's job a year and a half ago. Because the Seattle Freeze is real, I'm unhappy and miss my friends.
Important! I need to be in a state that has generous services for disabled people like homecare, expanded Medicaid (I'm dual eligible when I'm not with my computer programmer husband), paratransit, etc. This means blue states, largely, and wealthier states. Washington and Oregon, for example, are excellent. (Washington is horrendously expensive.) This probably cancels out The Cheapest Places to buy a condo. I also need to be near a medical hub -- I have a rare genetic disorder. At least a well regarded university hospital. Again, this cancels out The Cheapest Condos in America. Realtors (or others who have a handle on the market), where do you think the best market might be for me?
Is there considerably more room to bargain on condos when buying with cash or conventional than on houses these days because of FHA loans, as an aside?
Sorry if this sounds cold. The feelings part has long been worked out over years. I'm just trying to plot this out.