a place to call home
April 23, 2006 7:03 PM   Subscribe

Are there any up and comming real estate markets? The type of place you can buy a good starter house for around 100k/150k. bonus for liberal minded places that are close (45 min drive max) to a midsized city.
posted by kantgirl to Home & Garden (24 answers total)
new orleans is cheap these days ;)
posted by radioamy at 8:35 PM on April 23, 2006

Is that in fact true? I've read that there's a housing shortage.
posted by timeistight at 8:40 PM on April 23, 2006

new orleans is cheap these days ;)

Definetly qualifies as "liberal minded" as well. You know the old saying "When there's blood on the streets, buy real estate" or in this case poluted water.
posted by delmoi at 8:41 PM on April 23, 2006

renting is expensive, buying is cheap.
posted by radioamy at 8:42 PM on April 23, 2006

According to this page the median home price in Nola is $140k
posted by delmoi at 8:43 PM on April 23, 2006

According to this NYT article home prices are about $10-$20k more then there were pre-Katrina.
posted by delmoi at 8:47 PM on April 23, 2006

I live in St. Petersburg, FL and you can still occasionally find fixer-upers for around $150k in decent areas and cheaper in scetchier parts. The city routinely votes democrat in the big elections and has a large gay community.
posted by photoslob at 8:47 PM on April 23, 2006

Can I make yet another plug for Pittsburgh as a cheap place to live? The median home price here is $106,000 and a lot more libral minded than you would think.
posted by octothorpe at 9:02 PM on April 23, 2006

Philadelphia meets your requirements. You won't be able to live in the suburbs for 150k, but you could live in the city. 150k will get you nice home in a not-so-trendy neighborhood or a fixer-upper in a some-what trendy neighborhood.

Natural disasters like earth quakes and hurricanes reduce the supply of houses, which causes prices to increase.
posted by malp at 9:04 PM on April 23, 2006

You could do worse than Duluth, Minn. When I lived there a few years ago, it had the cheapest housing in the country, and it still appears to be very affordable.

It's pretty liberal-minded (it has a U of Minn. campus), and it's in a beautiful spot at the tip of Lake Superior. To me, it qualifies as midsized, but then the biggest city I've ever lived in is Portland, Ore. The Twin Cities are a couple of hours away.
posted by diddlegnome at 9:30 PM on April 23, 2006

I assume you're talking about the U.S.

However, for the Canadians in the audience, in BC there are two markets I really feel are going to go nuts soon, after Vancouver starts to drop: Sechelt/Gibsons, and Quesnel/Williams Lake. The former are within a short just to West Vancouver/Horsehoe Bay, the latter are central to the new interior highway and not affected as Prince George is by already-high prices.
posted by Kickstart70 at 9:49 PM on April 23, 2006

Can I make yet another plug for Pittsburgh as a cheap place to live? The median home price here is $106,000 and a lot more libral minded than you would think.

Cheap place to live? Yes. Absolutely. Great place to raise a family, clean, quiet, and full of great universities and hospitals. But you get what you pay for. The economy is stagnant; the people, while very neighborly, are NOT liberally minded at all; there is very little culture for 20 somethings and 30 somethings; and to make matters worse, last year it was the second most cloudy city in the US (only behind Seattle). The weather, because of Lake Erie, truly sucks.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 10:15 PM on April 23, 2006

The city I live in and grew up in, Ames, Iowa is a beautiful city and pretty liberal although there are a lot of religious people running around, it's by no means the majority. It's 30 min outside of Des Moines. Median home price is like $165k.

Iowa has the 4th best schools in the country by state, and Ames has some of the best schools in the state.
posted by delmoi at 10:51 PM on April 23, 2006

Starter house less than 150K is easy. Here's a list of median prices of existing houses by MSA. MSAs with median prices of less than $175--200K should have starter houses for 150K or less.

Picking out places that are reasonably liberal isn't hard; just crosslink to county-level presidential votes.

But a lot of those aren't going to be "up and coming" if you mean "the next California." Most will continue to have moderate, boring growth.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:37 PM on April 23, 2006

There are tons of areas around Portland Maine which are quite inexpensive. And Portland is a great place to live.
posted by miss tea at 5:46 AM on April 24, 2006

Baltimore. While the city has plenty of problems, not least schools that don't function, for that price you can get a house in a good neighborhood. It's close to DC and even to Philly.
posted by OmieWise at 5:58 AM on April 24, 2006

Around Indianapolis is quite affordable if you stay out of the more posh subdivisions on the north side. You can also drive out into the corn fields in any direction and look for a house on a couple of acres for not too much, if you're into that kind of house.
posted by jduckles at 6:32 AM on April 24, 2006

Athens, GA meets your criteria. I'm quite fond of it. Atlanta is just a bit further away than 45 minutes (an hour is more like it, unless you badly time your drive), but the University of Georgia brings in enough culture that you can go years (many months, anyway) without visiting Atlanta.
posted by ewagoner at 6:58 AM on April 24, 2006

I agree that Indy is affordable, but Indiana on the whole is about 180 degrees from liberal.
posted by Gamblor at 7:33 AM on April 24, 2006

[New Orleans] Definetly qualifies as "liberal minded" as well.

Not in my experience, it doesn't. I lived there about 10 years ago and I found the general feeling to be at best provincial and at worst racist and right-wing. Maybe it's different if you can fit into a "community," e.g. the gay community or the music and arts community, but as someone who doesn't particularly identify with interest groups, I wouldn't go back there for a million bucks--even if I thought it could be rebuilt.
posted by scratch at 8:11 AM on April 24, 2006


If you are willing to live in the suburbs you can get a home for $150.

We recently legalized marijuana and the mayor owns a bar, so I think Denver counts as "liberal minded."

And if you can stand the credit card hippies, there is always Boulder. The housing is absurdly expensive, but I hear it is more reasonable in the outlying areas.
posted by Sheppagus at 8:51 AM on April 24, 2006

How about Galveston, TX? It's got a laid-back live-and-let-live attitude. Yes, I know about the Texas reputation, but the Island itself votes reliably Democratic. On the "liberal" scale, there are 5 gay bars here for a population of less than 60,000. The conservatives here (like our Congressman) are more likely to be the libertarian type, rather than the in-your-face type. There's also two universities (with university-minded people) and a large medical establishment at UTMB.

There are, for now, many reasonably priced houses on the Island, but a building and redevlopment boom is getting underway. Property values are rising, but there are deals to be had.

Also, the Island is about a 45 to 60 minute drive from Houston, depending on time of day. That's a bit more than "mid-sized," of course, but there you have it.
posted by Robert Angelo at 9:19 AM on April 24, 2006

Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. I wouldn't classify it as up-and-coming, exactly, but it meets your other criteria.
posted by MsMolly at 11:27 AM on April 24, 2006

I'll second Baltimore City (the suburbs are expensive) and throw in Raleigh. (If Raleigh isn't liberal enough, you're close to Chapel Hill and Carborro.)
posted by Airhen at 1:48 PM on April 24, 2006

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