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August 23rd, 2011 (Modified on May 22nd, 2015)

Do you work in one state, live in another? Maybe you should



Businesses tend to be clustered around major metropolitan areas. In many cases those cities are close enough to two or three different states to give you a choice of where to live.

So let’s say you work in Philadelphia. Ideally, you could live in either Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Delaware.

But which one is best? In which state could you pay the least, but still enjoy the highest quality of life?

Suburban bliss: Best places to live outside 12 big cities

“Where you choose to live may save or cost you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on mortgage payments and taxes every year,” says HSH.com VP Keith Gumbinger.

“While choosing a place to live also includes personal and logistical considerations, HSH.com provides individuals with quantifiable data that should be a part of that decision.”

Our latest article on HSH.com examines 12 big cities which neighbor on two to three different states. Comparing tax rates (including income, sales and gas taxes), housing costs, mortgage rates, school performance, and general cost of living, we provided a Cost and Quality Scores for each surrounding state studied compared with that of its central metropolitan area.

Where’s the best place to live? Here are some of our results:

NYC FINALNew York, New York

·     Suburban New York: 2.48 percent better

·     New Jersey: 7.67 percent better

·     Connecticut: 9.84 percent better

Housing costs throughout this area are very expensive, which is why these scores are as close as they are. However, Connecticut benefits from having the lowest income tax of these three states.

Chicago FINALChicago, Illinois

·     Suburban Illinois: 0 percent better

·     Wisconsin: 5.62 percent worse

·     Indiana: 14.65 percent better

No distinct data for the surrounding area of Illinois was available, which is why it got the same score as Chicago. Wisconsin’s higher income taxes and home prices made it a more costly alternative, while Indiana benefited chiefly from lower income taxes and more affordable housing.

Cinci FINALCincinnati, Ohio

·     Suburban Ohio: 7.79 percent better

·     Kentucky: 8.75 percent worse

·     Indiana: 4.87 percent better

With all these Cost and Quality Scores within 10 percent of Cincinnati’s baseline, this is a pretty close decision. Suburban Ohio scored best chiefly because housing costs are considerably lower once you move outside the immediate vicinity of Cincinnati. According to HSH.com’s mortgage calculator, making this move would save you 30.9 percent on a monthly 30-year mortgage payment. By contrast, higher home prices were Kentucky’s chief downfall.

Mobile FINALMobile, Alabama

·     Suburban Alabama: 1 percent better

·     Florida: 9.17 percent better

Housing may be more expensive in Florida, but this is outweighed by the advantage of having no state income tax in the Sunshine State.

Be sure to read “Suburban bliss: Best places to live outside 12 big cities” in its to entirety read the rest of our analysis

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About the HSH Blog

HSH.com's daily blog focuses on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets. Our mission is to relate how changes in mortgage rates and housing policy, as well as the latest financial news, impacts consumers, homebuyers and industry insiders alike. Our 30-plus years of experience in the mortgage industry gives us an edge as we break down the latest changes in an ever-changing market.

Our bloggers:

Tim Manni

Tim Manni is the Managing Editor of HSH.com and the author of their daily blog, which concentrates on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets.

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