Does Your Neighborhood Have It All? The Top 25 for Affordable Homes, Highly Rated Schools, And an Easy Commute

Does Your Neighborhood Have It All? The Top 25 for Affordable Homes, Highly Rated Schools, And an Easy Commute

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Just 25 neighborhoods have a mix of affordable homes, highly rated schools, access to public transit and plenty of inventory, according to an analysis of 80 major U.S. markets conducted by Redfin, the next-generation real estate brokerage.

More than half of the neighborhoods on Redfin’s list of neighborhoods that “have it all” are in the Chicago area, the rare major metro area that has remained relatively affordable and has largely bucked the severe inventory shortage trend seen across much of the country over the past few years.

Neighborhoods in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, San Antonio, Dallas, Houston and Miami also made the list. These are places to watch in 2018, when we expect last year’s trend in migration from expensive, high-tax coastal markets like San Francisco, Silicon Valley and New York toward smaller, more affordable cities, to intensify.

Rank

Neighborhood  (City)

Median Sale Price $

Median Days on Market

School Ranking

Transit Score

Crime Rate (Lower is Better)

1

Dunning (Chicago, IL)

256,000

76

6.6

55.4

35

2

Ashburn (Chicago, IL)

175,000

63.5

5.6

55.5

38

3

Squirrel Hill (Pittsburgh, PA)

272,500

72

5

50.4

28

4

Jefferson Park (Chicago, IL)

275,000

60

8

63.8

36

5

Elmwood Park (Chicago, IL)

250,000

62

5

54.1

38

6

Oak Park (Oak Park, IL)

278,000

69

9.4

59.9

38

7

Wrigleyville (Chicago, IL)

269,000

55

7.8

78.6

40

8

West Ridge (Chicago, IL)

189,000

69

8

57.7

44

9

North Park (Chicago, IL)

226,500

81

8.8

53.8

44

10

Evanston (Evanston, IL)

272,000

65

7.5

51.7

40

11

Edgewater (Chicago, IL)

203,750

63.5

6.667

70.7

49

12

Campustown (Urbana, IL)

122,100

80

5

55.8

56

13

Independence Heights (Houston, TX)

137,000

69

5.667

50.5

61

14

Andersonville (Chicago, IL)

243,000

62

5.5

75.8

53

15

Lincoln Square (Chicago, IL)

285,000

61

6.889

62.2

48

16

Shaker Heights (Shaker Heights, OH)

115,560

108.5

7.25

51.9

71

17

North Miami Beach (North Miami Beach, FL)

220,000

59

6

50.9

59

18

Belmont Gardens (Chicago, IL)

275,000

59

5

62.4

49

19

Lafayette Place (San Antonio, TX)

142,500

52

5.5

51.2

75

20

University Circle (Cleveland Heights, OH)

165,000

77

7

55.1

77

21

Cadillac Heights (Dallas, TX)

205,000

538

6.333

52.8

80

22

Speigle Heights (Lexington, KY)

277,500

171

5

55.8

69

23

Fort Worth (Fort Worth, TX)

259,950

59

5

50.0

84

24

Central City (Birmingham, AL)

270,000

66

8

54.7

87

25

Mount Adams (Cincinnati, OH)

291,000

82

5

70.8

83

Redfin identified the neighborhoods using the following criteria:

  • Affordability: Zip codes were selected that had a median home sale price below the national median of $291,700*.
  • Home Selling Speed: Several months of falling inventory and strong demand mean the most desirable homes go off the market within days of being listed. Selected zip codes had a median days on market of at least 46**.
  • Highly Rated Schools: Neighborhoods with a GreatSchools rating of 5, which is considered average or higher were chosen.
  • Transit: Neighborhoods with a Transit Score® of at least 50, indicating many nearby public transportation options, were included.
  • Low Crime Rates: Using crime data from BestPlaces, our ranking favored places with lower reported violent crime.

The new tax bill, which caps state and local tax (SALT) deductions at $10,000, compounds affordability concerns, particularly in the high-tax state of Illinois, home to 14 of the 25 highlighted neighborhoods. Redfin agent Alex Haried in Chicago, says taxes should always be considered when analyzing affordability.

“Our general rule of thumb in Chicago is to set aside about 2 percent of the sale price for local taxes each year,” he said. “These are the same taxes that help the city maintain a world-class transit system and help our schools rank highly, so it’s a necessary evil and a big reason why so many Chicago zip codes made the cut.”

Another theme for areas that ranked highly was access to job centers, which is the case for Squirrel Hill in Pittsburgh.

“Relocators have really taken kindly to Squirrel Hill not only because of the affordability but also the commute,” said Redfin Pittsburgh agent Jennifer Sowers. “Google, Uber and Carnegie Mellon University are large employers in the area and a short commute away via public transit.”

The full report, complete with a detailed methodology, can be found here.


Topics: Energy Star, Going Green, Healthy Homes, Home Design & Plans, Rebates / Tax Credits, Sustainability Trends & Statistics, Sustainable Communities


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