The Cities Where Average Joes Can Live the Largest

By
Clare Trapasso

Imagesbybarbara/iStock

These days it seems like the prices of just about everything (except gas, smartphones, and maybe chalupas) is inexorably on the rise. So what are average Joes or Janes to do if they want to have a little dough left over after paying their bills each month? Well, they could get a second job, cut back on takeout Chinese or nights out on the town—or head straight for Virginia Beach, VA.

This vacation destination was rated the top city where residents can afford to live comfortably—and then some—according to a recent GOBankingRates.com ranking of the best and worst cities in livable affordability.

So what does it mean to live comfortably? Well, the study relied on the classic 50-30-20 rule of budgeting to determine their rankings—that’s where 50% of your income pays for necessities like food and housing, 30% goes towards discretionary expenses including entertainment, and 20% goes toward savings. If you have anything over that, it’s gravy. Thick, delicious gravy.

After looking at the median incomes and the cost of living in 50 cities across the country, the study determined that after covering their ordinary expenses, residents of Virginia Beach have an extra $16,072 left over in their annual budgets.

The median home price in Virginia Beach is $297,500, according to realtor.com®. The seaside city—Virginia’s largest—boasts a 3-mile boardwalk, an aquarium and plenty of primo hiking and biking in its state park.

“It’s a great vacation community,” says Alison Creamer, a real estate agent at Keller Williams Elite Town Center in Virginia Beach, adding, “We have a very healthy economy.”

Creamer’s seeing lower housing inventory than in previous years, which is pushing prices about 3% to 5% higher. But there are enough residences on the market to meet demand, which isn’t out of control, she says.

The East Coast beach community was followed by Bakersfield, CA. with Colorado Springs, CO, Arlington, TX, and Mesa, AZ, rounding out the top five.

Not surprisingly, many of the cities where people struggle to get by are also some of the nation’s (if not the world’s) most expensive locations.

Miami topped the list, followed by San Francisco, New York, Boston, and Los Angeles.

“It’s true that cities with higher costs of living often have higher incomes as well,” GoBankingRate.com’s personal finance expert Elyssa Kirkham said in a statement. “But those earnings can be stretched thin quickly in America’s most expensive areas.”

Top 5 Cities Where People Can Afford to Live Comfortably

  1. Virginia Beach, VA
  2. Bakersfield, CA
  3. Colorado Springs, CO
  4. Arlington, TX
  5. Mesa, AZ

 

Top 5 Cities Where People Struggle to Live Comfortably

  1. Miami, FL
  2. San Francisco, CA
  3. New York, NY
  4. Boston, MA
  5. Los Angeles, CA

This article was originally written/posted by realtor.com. 

http://www.realtor.com/news/trends/top-cities-to-live-comfortably/