Buying houses is sooo 2005. Or so goes the conventional wisdom, that young adults traumatized by the housing crash are now content to never own anything bigger than a refrigerator box. Add in bloated student loans and stagnant salaries, and it’s no wonder millennials have given up on home ownership.
True, buying a house in the Bay Area or Miami is a long shot for anyone under 40 who hasn’t sold their startup to Google. But the high cost of the coasts doesn’t represent the country at large, where prices are reasonable in plenty of legitimately excellent places to live.
The National Association of Realtors publishes what it calls the Housing Affordability Index for every city, tying typical home mortgage payments to annual per capita income. A score of 100 means a person can just do it. A score of 300 means you can pretty much live like Lil Jon and still have your own 3/2.
So we took a look at this index, as well as where cities fell on some other “Best of” lists and their overall living amenities, and found these 14 worthy, affordable cities. They might not have the sexiest locations in the land. They also might -- brace yourself, now -- be in red states; yet some are, in fact, among the most LGBTQ-friendly cities you can find anywhere. In every case, they offer a chance for even an average earner to own a piece of the dream.