Cost of Housing Move to Illinois!

Move to Illinois!

“Meet the cheapest US states to buy a house"

BY JULIA MUELLER - 04/27/23”

“A new study analyzing Zillow data has found that the monthly median sale price of a house last year was more than $500,000 in Utah, California and Colorado — and more than a staggering $800,000 in Hawaii.

The study, conducted by Studio City realtors, found that Hawaii clocked in as the most expensive state in the U.S. for homebuyers. On the island, the average home price was $805,775 — hundreds of thousands of dollars more than the cheapest state on the list.

Studio City realtor Tony Mariotti noted that market turbulence contributed to a “significant increase” in house prices across the U.S.

Home prices went up nationwide in February after months of declines amid low inventory and a small uptick in demand — and experts have said they expect affordability will continue to be a problem for prospective homebuyers in the months ahead.

Here are the priciest and cheapest U.S. states to buy a home:

The most expensive states to buy a home

Eight states and Washington, D.C., saw a monthly median sale price of a house last year of $400,000 or higher, with Oregon sitting at that exact figure. 

Washington state, Nevada, Montana and Washington, D.C., came in between $402,900 and $487,500. 

California, Colorado and Hawaii were the top three most expensive, at $537,000, $537,125 and $805,775 in monthly median sale prices last year, respectively.

Costs differed in different areas within states: for example, the median monthly sale price of a house last year in California’s cheapest city of Red Bluff was $320,000 — while the ticket in its most expensive city of San Jose was $1,370,000.”

Affordable Housing

“Homebuyers looking for a bargain might have better luck in the Midwest. The cheapest state nationwide was Illinois, where the monthly median sale price of a house last year was $133,750.

The median sale price in Illinois’s cheapest city, Galesburg, was $90,000, while its most expensive, Chicago, sat at $282,750.

Ohio and Oklahoma came in as the country’s second and third cheapest state, at a monthly median sale price last year of $155,000 and $175,063, respectively. 

Michigan, Missouri, Indiana, Arkansas, West Virginia and New York all logged median sale prices under $200,000 — and the median sale price in Alabama was exactly at that price point.”

Click to read the full article:  https://thehill.com/homenews/3973544-cheapest-states-to-buy-a-house/?email=35e57319730c7897fe205537c4737366426dbd1c&emaila=675e5a99b2bd4b98d8dba1150588cc31&emailb=12298ff6d4febaf3d59a9c9233feae97b86cbe70e8808fe7cb0690887433cf80&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=04.27.23%20NP%20-%20The%20Hill%20News%20Alert%20-%20Meet%20the%20cheapest%20US%20states


Affordable Housing

Move to a nice rural community with a University and affordable housing. 

County Median Home Prices


From https://www.thebulwark.com/, an excellent site.


Slow Boring Matt Yglesias https://www.slowboring.com/ looks at county-level maps of population decline, which is a little like peering into a crystal ball. Click the map below to go to a larger map.

He notes: “[T]he issue in the contemporary United States is that the average growth rate is very low. Fully 47% of counties lost population between July 2021 and July 2022.”

An interesting corollary to this fact touches on one of my hobby horses: housing.

One big problem with population decline is that it makes houses too cheap. I know, I know, I’m normally talking about how it’s bad when regulatory barriers make houses too expensive. But it’s also bad for houses to be too cheap.

Why? A concept I learned about years ago from urban economist Issi Romem and that I wish was in wider circulation is the idea of the market price of housing vs. the replacement cost of a house. The market price is obvious: if you put your house up for sale tomorrow, how much could you get for it? The replacement cost is what it would cost if a tornado demolished your house tomorrow and you had to rebuild it from scratch. . . .

In a scenario of population decline, though, the market value of a house falls below the replacement value of the structures. You can see this by looking at statistics, but it’s pretty easy to eyeball where it’s taking place because the signature is a neighborhood with more vacant lots or vacant buildings than ongoing construction projects. Huge swathes of Detroit are, infamously, like this. But it’s also true of Cleveland and St. Louis and Milwaukee and Baltimore and other cities. Abandoned or vacant buildings are a source of blight — negative amenity value to the neighborhood. And each city with a significant amount of vacant property has its own policy apparatus for dealing with it and its own local discourse about the merits of that apparatus and whether the problem should be handled some other way. In years of reading about this, though, I’ve never heard of a city that has a magic formula to deal with vacant lots and blight. What I have seen is the vacant building problem vanish in my own neighborhood in D.C. due to robust market demand for housing. I’ve also seen in Chicago that a city can be capacious enough to support a lot of construction activity in the West Loop, even while significant swathes of the South Side look a lot like Cleveland."

Read the whole thing.


My thoughts:

The cost of housing in much of the USA is a major concern. In the high growth "hot areas" housing costs are too high. We planners address this in a variety of ways, without a great deal of success.

One way for an individual to get affordable housing is to move to one of the many counties where population growth and the cost of housing is relatively low. This works best for retirees and people who can work from home.

You want a nice area with little congestion or traffic or pollution.  A good location is in a low growth low cost area that also has a University or College, which means that there will be interesting things to do nearby. And of course you want minimal crime.

The four counties or cities below area areas where I have lived recently, and show the average cost of a home from Zillow.com. The costs are not as high as California or New York, but still higher than the national average

Manatee  County 445,000 Bradenton 384,526

Sarasota County 462,500 Sarasota City  454,834

Cook County       285,000

Lake County     294,000

Will County      290,000

USA                     428,700

The Counties and cities below are lower cost counties in Illinois. As you can see home prices are much lower.

Lasalle County   156,000

Peoria County    119,643

Fulton County     94,011

Macomb      91,161

Macomb is a nice rural community in western Illinois and home to Western Illinois University. As you can see, homes are affordable. One also wants to check crime rates.




Zillow for Monmouth, IL, a nice western Illinois communtiy with a small college.

Some other affordable areas in Illinois.







The best way to approach this is to research your ideal 

affordable community. Then take a long vacation in your target 

towns. Stay in a B&B and get to know the locals. And then perhap 

rent for your first year to make sure you like the community.


Pelicans and Porpoises April 25, 2023 Bradenton Riverwalk

My daughter points out these are dolphins, not porpoises. I knew that, nut I like the alliteration, and I figure it is close enough for government work.

A dolphin is not a porpoise, and a porpoise is not a dolphin1. They are both aquatic mammals in the order Cetacea, but they belong to different families23. Dolphins are part of the family Delphinidae, while porpoises are part of the family Phocoenidae234. They have different physical appearances, such as body size, shape, and teeth25. There are more species of dolphins than porpoises5. Some older people may use the term porpoise to refer to dolphins, but this is incorrect. 

Click for all this morning's photos


Nice Sunset April 14, 2023 Shot from our Condo


Click for more photos of the nice sunset April 14, 2023. Shot from our Condo

Sunset Video April 14, 2023