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Old 06-26-2008, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Papillion
2,589 posts, read 9,852,844 times
Reputation: 904

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#1 Witchita
#2 Omaha
#3 Harrisburg-Carlisle
#4 Madison
#5 San Antonio
#6 Indianapolis
#7 Pittsburgh
#8 Dallas-Fort Worth
#9 Tulsa

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Why live in an expensive city when there are some great, affordable treasures out there? Here's MSN Real Estate's list of the nine best, livable cities where you won't need to trade the good life for the boring.

By Melinda Fulmer, MSN Real Estate



If your income doesn't top six figures, making it in big cities such as New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco can be tough. It can take more than a decade to save up enough money to buy a house; and even then, the size of that mortgage payment might keep you up nights.

But if you're willing to look beyond these urban hot spots to midsize cities in the middle of the country, there are cheap places to live where the economy is strong, home prices are appreciating and the quality of life is good.

To develop the 2008 MSN Real Estate Most-Livable Bargain Markets list, we asked Bert Sperling of Moderator cut: link to a competitors site removedto evaluate the most affordable housing markets from the 100 largest U.S. metro areas and pinpoint the nine most livable areas: places where unemployment is low, commute times are short and there's enough interesting entertainment or recreation to keep most people busy. We defined affordability by the ratio of median income to median home price.
Moving to one of these cities could allow you to "sell your two-bedroom bungalow in Southern California … and buy a house on a number of acres and suddenly have a nest egg you've never had before," Sperling says.
Quote:
The cities chosen for our list have a population of at least 500,000 between the major city and surrounding county. They range in size from Harrisburg-Carlisle, Pa., with a population of 525,380, to one of the nation's largest metropolises, Dallas-Fort Worth, with a population of 6 million. Three are state capitals, and many have universities or colleges to provide cultural amenities.

Here's a look at what makes these cities in the middle of America great, and the drawbacks you might find in moving from another area.
Quote:
Omaha-Council Bluffs, Neb.-Iowa
Job prospects are bright in this town, with the lowest unemployment of any city on the list. That's due in part to the large number of young people leaving the area after college. But that's starting to change. Thanks to an emerging alternative-music scene in Omaha, more restaurant and entertainment choices in its Old Market redevelopment downtown, and new high-rise residential developments along the waterfront, more young professionals are choosing to stick around and work for the area's insurance and food-processing companies.

Outside of downtown, families can find shaded streets and well-established suburbs covering the hills north and west of town, while newer developments lie in the flatter areas to the west.

Cons: Like many Midwest cities, Omaha is not very ethnically diverse. Its winters are harsh. And some residents on Sperling's site complained of bland scenery, conservative attitudes and too many chain restaurants.

Last edited by Yac; 06-30-2008 at 06:54 AM..
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Old 12-13-2008, 08:12 AM
 
1,364 posts, read 1,767,251 times
Reputation: 1111
"Cons: Like many Midwest cities, Omaha is not very ethnically diverse."

This is true only if you live +15 miles west of downtown, ...or in Council-tucky.
Everything else is starting to look like East L.A..
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Old 12-13-2008, 12:06 PM
 
Location: IN
22,375 posts, read 39,008,217 times
Reputation: 14918
Wichita is number one on that list. ROFL.
Omaha has a much more diversified, growing, and stable economy compared with Wichita. The economic growth in the Omaha metro area is also much greater than the Wichita metro area.
Wichita= little if any real estate appreciation + huge $$$ specials taxes.
Omaha= better appreciation than Wichita + much better economy than ICT.
Harrisburg= slow steady growth & appreciation, along with the southern PA corridor.
Madison= home of UW Madison, more desirable setting, greater RE appreciation with time + good economic growth prospects.
San Antonio= this is a big growth corridor in the future, eventually merging up with Austin in the long-term. Econ growth here looks fairly good, and RE appreciation will be slow and steady like the rest of TX.
Indianapolis= this city has average growth rates, and always seems to rank near the top in terms of affordability. RE values explode on the Hamilton County northside (Carmel & Fishers areas).
Pittsburgh= a "well positioned" rust belt city that has reinvested in healthcare and other related industries. Its RE values are generally quite low, but I hear taxes are fairly high. Healthcare is definitely a growth area for Pittsburgh due to demographic aging.
Dallas/Ft. Worth= this area is very well positioned for long-term rises in RE value. Economic growth has exploded in the suburban counties, but look for the core Dallas and Tarrant county urban areas to start to see a little more econ growth in the future.
Tulsa= This town has cheap RE prices for a good reason. Econ growth has been largely negative in Tulsa County and surrounding area for quite some time. Oklahoma City has emerged as the emergent economic power in the Oklahoma sphere.
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Old 12-13-2008, 08:24 PM
 
2,214 posts, read 1,890,577 times
Reputation: 371
Quote:
Originally Posted by amerifree View Post
"Cons: Like many Midwest cities, Omaha is not very ethnically diverse."

This is true only if you live +15 miles west of downtown, ...or in Council-tucky.
Everything else is starting to look like East L.A..
Exactly.

Council Bluffs is, well, Council Bluffs.

But urban Omaha is actually extremely diverse, until you get into the SW suburbs. And a lot of the people living there are doing so because those areas aren't diverse. Yet.
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Old 12-14-2008, 12:59 AM
 
Location: Tampa (by way of Omaha)
14,189 posts, read 20,574,000 times
Reputation: 9721
Pardon me, but it's time for me to climb back up on my soapbox again.

It drives me up the friggin wall when these rags harp on, or promote "diversity" like it's some great thing. Obviously what they are saying is that if you're of a different race or a foreigner, you might feel like an outsider. While I understand the logic behind that, it just doesn't stack up in the real world.

I've said it before, but living here in "diverse" Florida, I've seen more prejudice than I did back home in Omaha. People (in general) get along much in Omaha, and there is nowhere near the amount of mutual distrust from all different races. I can't tell you how much easier I made (and kept) friends of different races back in Omaha.

This "diversity" as a lithmus test thing is nothing short of a farce, and even worse is that it always gives people the wrong impression of Omaha.

(stepping down off soapbox now)
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Old 12-14-2008, 03:16 PM
 
Location: Omaha
2,716 posts, read 6,429,905 times
Reputation: 1227
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bosco55David View Post
Pardon me, but it's time for me to climb back up on my soapbox again.

It drives me up the friggin wall when these rags harp on, or promote "diversity" like it's some great thing. Obviously what they are saying is that if you're of a different race or a foreigner, you might feel like an outsider. While I understand the logic behind that, it just doesn't stack up in the real world.

I've said it before, but living here in "diverse" Florida, I've seen more prejudice than I did back home in Omaha. People (in general) get along much in Omaha, and there is nowhere near the amount of mutual distrust from all different races. I can't tell you how much easier I made (and kept) friends of different races back in Omaha.

This "diversity" as a lithmus test thing is nothing short of a farce, and even worse is that it always gives people the wrong impression of Omaha.

(stepping down off soapbox now)
Thank you! That wasn't a soapbox you were standing on. It is pure logic.

Diversity is in no way an indication of quality of life. Quality of life is how everyone treats each other regardless of race. It doesn't matter how many races you cram into one space but the quality of people in that space.

Con? That screwed any credibility that articlle otherwise had.
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Old 12-14-2008, 06:25 PM
 
Location: Chicago
3,340 posts, read 9,029,344 times
Reputation: 1238
Quote:
Originally Posted by Filet Mignon View Post

And a lot of the people living there are doing so because those areas aren't diverse. Yet.
Are you implying that we live in west Omaha because of its lack of diversity? I live in Southwest Omaha and I have Black friends, Asian Friends, and Hispanic friends. Way to stereotype.
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Old 12-15-2008, 01:14 AM
 
61 posts, read 166,514 times
Reputation: 34
from 72nd to downtown theres a good mix of black white and hispanic each with its own pocketed area, but it all mixes in public. like attending central high there was close to equal amount of black white and hispanic kids.
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Old 12-15-2008, 05:32 AM
 
2,214 posts, read 1,890,577 times
Reputation: 371
Quote:
Originally Posted by Go Ne View Post
Are you implying that we live in west Omaha because of its lack of diversity? I live in Southwest Omaha and I have Black friends, Asian Friends, and Hispanic friends. Way to stereotype.
SOME people moved out west to avoid being around non-whites, yes. SOME people.
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Old 12-15-2008, 05:34 AM
 
2,214 posts, read 1,890,577 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MR.JEFFY View Post
from 72nd to downtown theres a good mix of black white and hispanic each with its own pocketed area, but it all mixes in public. like attending central high there was close to equal amount of black white and hispanic kids.
I have a child attending Omaha North High School. There's nowhere near equal numbers of blacks, whites & hispanics. It's about 75% black - and is a fantastic school!

Anybody that knows "Brother Haynes" knows why.
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