5 Best States To Own A Home


It would be great if someone could lead you to the world’s best wine, the greatest car on the market—or the perfect place to own a home. The problem with “best” lists is that they’re subjective. No one will argue that Hawaii is beautiful – but whether it’s thebest place to be a homeowner depends on how much you like the beach, the climate and the high cost of living. When it comes to choosing the “best,” however, there are some indisputable factors, and the bottom line is usually money. Below are five of the best states to own a home, based on reasoning that will keep more money in your pocket.

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5. Mississippi

It may be hard to spell, but it's easy to declare it a great place for homeowners. The birth state of musician Jimmy Buffett boasts the fourth lowest property taxes in the nation. What’s more, the low cost of living makes owning a home attractive. It’s also a senior-friendly state; and everyone will be a retiree someday. Elder citizens don’t pay taxes on pension income, and the warm climate prevents chills to aging, aching bones.

4. New York

Forbes named the home of Niagara Falls, the Hamptons, the Adirondacks and the Big Apple as the #1housing market in America. The survey examined data from the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index to discover the healthiest housing markets, and New York came out on top. In addition, the state ranks #2 for low property crime. Not only will your house retain its value, but your chances of being robbed are low.

3. Louisiana

It’s close to Mississippi not only in location, but also in homeowner incentive. The Tax Foundation ranked it#1 for lowest property taxes, which will keep more money in your hands, guaranteed. According toMarketwatch, it’s #2 on the list of best states in which to retire. Seniors don’t pay taxes on pension income, and those balmy nights on the Bayou are a pleasure for all.

2. Florida

It may be home to hanging chads and political whackos, but Florida is a great place to be a homeowner. With no state income tax, the Sunshine State offers residents a generous property tax exemption, keeping taxes relatively low and protected from severe increases. The crime rate is currently the lowest in 41 years, and Kiplinger’s ranks it #3 on states with the most projected job growth in 2012. Add that to the gorgeous climate and abundance of waterfront properties, and Florida may just be a homeowner’s dream come true. Just be careful when getting a mortgage, though, because it also tops the list of worst states for mortgage fraud.

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1. Pennsylvania

The sixth wealthiest state by gross state product has a low rate of unemployment, a good sign for anyone trying to purchase a home. There’s no sales tax on medicine, food or clothing, and Kiplinger's ranks it #3 on its 2011 survey of tax-friendly states for retirees, because they don’t tax Social Security or pensions. Investorplace named it #4 on its list of “Best States for Homeowners,” since the housing market remained strong during the recession, and the percentage of homes underwater is low. With high net homeowner equity and a loan-to-value of 61.8 percent, the Quaker State can ring the Liberty Bell to announce its top berth earnings as the best state in which to own a home.

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