2018’s Best Places to Flip Houses

2018’s Best Places to Flip Houses

Adam McCann, Financial Writer
Publication Year: 2018

If you’re among the millions of HGTV viewers who’ve seen an episode of “Flip or Flop,” you’ve probably thought about the thrill of gutting a house and turning a five- or six-figure profit. But the process isn’t as easy as the professionals on television make it look. Any experienced home flipper would caution you that transforming a fixer-upper into a profitable property is a difficult process.

In other words, don’t get your hands dirty until you’ve learned a thing or two about real estate, construction and how much damage your project could do to your wallet. Breathing new life into a low-cost property won’t necessarily return your full investment and allow you to pocket another $68,143, the average gross flipping profit in 2017. According to RealtyTrac, though, the current homeownership rate is 64.2 percent (down from a high of 69.20 percent in 2004). That may translate to fewer potential buyers off the bat, depending on the location of your property.

To help you choose the right market to list your masterpiece, WalletHub compared more than 170 U.S. cities across 27 key indicators of market potential, cost and quality of life. Our data set ranges from median purchase price to average full home remodeling costs to housing-market health index. Read on for the winners, expert home-flipping advice and a full description of our methodology.

Main Findings

Source: WalletHub

Best & Worst Cities to Flip Houses

Overall Rank (1 = Best) City Total Score ‘Market Potential’ Rank ‘Renovation & Remodeling Costs’ Rank ‘Quality of Life’ Rank
1 Sioux Falls, SD 73.18 72 7 27
2 Nampa, ID 70.46 69 2 19
3 Boise, ID 68.89 57 8 18
4 Fort Wayne, IN 68.07 22 17 77
5 Missoula, MT 67.50 3 32 72
6 Peoria, AZ 66.83 86 9 24
7 Oklahoma City, OK 66.52 31 15 67
8 Fort Smith, AR 66.11 141 1 160
9 Des Moines, IA 65.81 79 5 66
10 Tampa, FL 65.73 37 24 49
11 Knoxville, TN 65.54 11 10 129
12 Las Cruces, NM 65.40 165 6 143
13 Greensboro, NC 65.38 25 13 113
14 Rapid City, SD 65.12 128 14 127
15 Pembroke Pines, FL 64.74 27 72 10
16 Orlando, FL 64.34 29 30 73
17 Chandler, AZ 64.22 53 53 16
18 Colorado Springs, CO 63.96 54 54 20
19 Nashville, TN 63.95 81 16 60
20 Columbia, SC 63.87 36 19 121
21 Charleston, SC 63.62 38 67 13
22 Columbus, GA 63.32 1 71 147
23 Jackson, MS 63.26 19 3 168
24 Cape Coral, FL 63.21 41 81 5
25 Billings, MT 63.12 84 44 91
26 Gilbert, AZ 62.82 74 70 8
27 Grand Rapids, MI 62.80 94 36 33
28 Lincoln, NE 62.68 91 50 26
29 Huntsville, AL 62.46 24 41 103
30 Springfield, MO 62.31 44 11 150
31 Wichita, KS 62.27 30 25 132
32 Glendale, AZ 62.22 66 22 99
33 Phoenix, AZ 61.57 68 27 87
34 Denver, CO 61.40 103 63 15
35 Tempe, AZ 61.30 50 58 63
36 Virginia Beach, VA 61.17 34 80 38
37 Columbus, OH 60.94 59 57 59
38 Raleigh, NC 60.91 116 55 25
39 Tulsa, OK 60.84 60 21 133
40 New Orleans, LA 60.63 21 46 124
41 El Paso, TX 60.50 149 12 95
42 Henderson, NV 60.48 121 42 40
43 Cedar Rapids, IA 60.42 95 34 88
44 Aurora, CO 60.15 82 73 29
45 Spokane, WA 60.06 16 48 144
46 Lexington-Fayette, KY 60.02 39 75 70
47 Shreveport, LA 59.94 4 20 172
48 Overland Park, KS 59.89 154 84 1
49 Baton Rouge, LA 59.81 2 65 161
50 Mobile, AL 59.80 64 18 157
51 West Valley City, UT 59.64 133 28 83
52 Tallahassee, FL 59.58 45 37 137
53 Little Rock, AR 59.41 107 4 162
54 San Antonio, TX 59.36 127 29 86
55 Durham, NC 59.19 62 77 54
56 Fort Worth, TX 59.04 120 56 56
57 Las Vegas, NV 58.94 118 31 84
58 Grand Prairie, TX 58.88 111 69 32
59 Jacksonville, FL 58.87 28 78 93
60 Salem, OR 58.82 35 89 47
61 Port St. Lucie, FL 58.80 77 97 9
62 Laredo, TX 58.64 122 49 126
63 Charlotte, NC 58.58 56 85 43
64 Fort Lauderdale, FL 58.56 43 66 109
65 North Las Vegas, NV 58.41 104 35 104
66 St. Petersburg, FL 58.33 32 91 61
67 Mesa, AZ 58.28 61 82 58
68 Arlington, TX 58.19 119 40 90
69 Austin, TX 58.07 145 79 17
70 Augusta, GA 58.06 18 38 171
71 Fayetteville, NC 58.01 142 39 140
72 Memphis, TN 57.63 5 43 170
73 Reno, NV 57.46 125 68 57
74 Akron, OH 57.26 65 52 142
75 Omaha, NE 57.18 98 83 45
76 Pittsburgh, PA 57.00 14 122 39
77 Chesapeake, VA 56.95 70 88 55
78 Indianapolis, IN 56.89 92 47 136
79 Louisville, KY 56.86 106 62 106
80 Winston-Salem, NC 56.81 47 60 149
81 Tucson, AZ 56.78 117 23 152
82 Richmond, VA 56.51 13 106 81
83 Tacoma, WA 56.40 26 93 111
84 St. Paul, MN 56.30 63 104 36
85 Plano, TX 56.28 123 117 4
86 Scottsdale, AZ 56.27 89 114 12
87 Cincinnati, OH 56.08 23 92 117
88 Kansas City, MO 56.05 159 51 89
89 Modesto, CA 55.89 115 61 116
90 Rancho Cucamonga, CA 55.34 105 103 23
91 Lubbock, TX 55.25 139 45 138
92 Salt Lake City, UT 55.22 164 74 46
93 Sacramento, CA 55.16 98 96 50
94 Columbia, MD 55.08 15 118 101
95 Hialeah, FL 54.76 33 94 123
96 Corpus Christi, TX 54.74 151 64 108
97 Madison, WI 54.63 97 123 14
98 Charleston, WV 54.62 158 59 165
99 Washington, DC 54.48 42 113 76
100 Norfolk, VA 54.24 48 90 122
101 Miami, FL 54.01 55 99 100
102 Birmingham, AL 53.91 8 100 155
103 Seattle, WA 53.51 40 148 11
104 Baltimore, MD 53.24 6 102 154
105 Albuquerque, NM 53.20 168 33 139
106 Toledo, OH 53.08 83 76 148
107 Portland, ME 52.93 75 119 42
108 Buffalo, NY 52.92 12 105 146
109 Garland, TX 52.79 110 95 96
110 Minneapolis, MN 52.76 73 135 35
111 Montgomery, AL 52.73 169 26 151
112 Philadelphia, PA 52.66 17 128 107
113 Huntington, WV 52.22 112 86 153
114 Ontario, CA 51.70 96 107 94
115 Irvine, CA 51.64 147 142 2
116 Newport News, VA 51.42 52 112 130
117 Riverside, CA 51.17 87 120 82
118 Fresno, CA 51.11 51 116 131
119 Irving, TX 50.93 134 121 41
120 Fontana, CA 50.91 102 138 34
121 Cleveland, OH 50.73 9 109 166
122 Santa Clarita, CA 50.26 148 127 28
123 Moreno Valley, CA 50.21 88 133 74
124 Warwick, RI 50.04 80 124 98
125 Chattanooga, TN 49.99 46 132 110
126 Milwaukee, WI 49.25 109 111 128
127 San Diego, CA 49.06 114 150 22
128 Dallas, TX 48.76 124 130 78
129 Oceanside, CA 48.74 101 143 44
130 Providence, RI 48.41 67 115 158
131 Garden Grove, CA 48.22 137 131 69
132 Houston, TX 48.11 157 101 119
133 Worcester, MA 47.87 10 153 120
134 San Bernardino, CA 47.81 78 126 145
135 Vancouver, WA 47.76 140 134 68
136 Amarillo, TX 47.70 167 108 97
137 Anchorage, AK 47.47 171 110 134
138 Stockton, CA 47.44 93 125 141
139 Detroit, MI 47.33 130 87 167
140 Chula Vista, CA 47.32 113 145 62
141 Aurora, IL 47.28 108 147 53
142 Anaheim, CA 47.18 135 136 79
143 Santa Ana, CA 47.11 131 137 80
144 Rochester, NY 47.06 129 98 159
145 Chicago, IL 47.02 89 151 71
146 Huntington Beach, CA 46.89 138 159 7
147 St. Louis, MO 46.69 7 158 135
148 Long Beach, CA 45.71 136 141 92
149 Portland, OR 45.65 162 146 37
150 Glendale, CA 45.13 146 149 51
151 Nashua, NH 44.98 166 139 65
152 Atlanta, GA 44.64 49 162 85
153 Bakersfield, CA 44.26 100 152 114
154 Manchester, NH 44.22 163 129 125
155 Honolulu, HI 43.53 156 156 52
156 Fremont, CA 42.85 153 170 3
157 San Jose, CA 42.53 144 167 6
158 Jersey City, NJ 42.35 75 166 48
159 Santa Rosa, CA 41.97 170 157 31
160 Dover, DE 41.57 172 140 118
161 Los Angeles, CA 40.97 143 160 102
162 Pearl City, HI 40.89 126 155 115
163 New York, NY 40.83 85 169 64
164 Oxnard, CA 40.70 155 154 112
165 Boston, MA 40.50 132 168 30
166 Wilmington, DE 40.03 20 163 169
167 New Haven, CT 39.04 160 144 156
168 Oakland, CA 38.74 150 164 75
169 San Francisco, CA 38.09 152 172 21
170 Yonkers, NY 37.18 71 171 105
171 Newark, NJ 35.89 58 165 164
172 Bridgeport, CT 34.60 161 161 163

 

Ask the Experts

Flipping houses can be a tricky business, especially for novices. For insight on the house-flipping market and advice on choosing a good property, we asked a panel of housing and real-estate experts to weigh in on the following key questions:

  1. What are the most common mistakes people make when trying to flip a house?
  2. What is the best way to finance a flip? Should people try to go all cash or borrow?
  3. What types of people are typically well-suited for engaging in house flipping?
  4. What factors — financial and otherwise — should go into the decision of whether a house is a good candidate to be flipped?
  5. Is house flipping a contributing factor to the overheating of some real-estate markets? Should this type of business be more regulated?

Daniel E. Durden

Chief Executive Officer, Pennsylvania Builders Association
Daniel E. Durden

What are the most common mistakes people make when trying to flip a house?

Most “rookies” fail to consider all of the costs involved in purchasing, improving and reselling residential property. They fail to consider taxes, permits, loan costs and the fact that their home-improvement skills may be much more limited than they thought. New flippers often think they can dive into a hot market, make a quick buck and get out. They often fail to plan for unseen structural issues in the house, bad neighbors (of both the human and animal variety) or the carrying costs of a property that just won’t sell at the price point they wanted.

What is the best way to finance a flip? Should people try to go all cash or borrowing is the way to go?

It’s always best to play with other people’s money when you have that option. That said, even though there is much more financing available than was the case five years ago, getting a loan/line of credit or a large enough loan can be a problem. Again, it’s easy for a rookie to get financially overextended.

What type of people are typically well suited for engaging in house flipping?

Risk takers. If you have strong home improvement skills and a great work ethic and/or a great eye for homes with good bones but ugly faces; you may be well suited for flipping. But if you aren’t inclined to take risks, you should probably look for another way to invest. Many a couple with one risk taker and one security-minded individual find their way to divorce or separation over whether the game is worth the gamble. Do you really have the financial and emotional wherewithal to hang in there when improvement costs exceed your budget or when you discover previously unseen water leaks, toxic mold, structural flaws, property disputes, etc.? With the current high demand for housing, risk takers with capital – financial or human – can do very well flipping houses and that statement will remain true even if the overall economy suffers a downturn. We have a huge shortage of housing that, despite their efforts, builders will be unable to fill in the existing environment.

What factors — financial and otherwise — should go into the decision of whether a house is a good candidate to be flipped?

If you have a basic understanding of real estate, the broad financial calculus is fairly simple. How cheaply can you buy the home? What must you invest in it to resell it? How much will the market bear in the immediate future for that (presumably improved) house? Of course, actually making accurate financial projections for those first two questions requires some insight, research and understanding of home construction, maintenance and costs. In some ways, the third question is the trickiest or the one where the most luck is required. Every real estate decision is local and it is local on a micro level. It doesn’t matter if overall home prices in your metro are rising if they are falling through the floor in the neighborhood where you are buying. Even weak markets have star communities and the reverse is equally true. Most flippers should never try to buy and flip in neighborhoods they don’t know well. All that said, if you can master buying low and selling high you will be a king in any market.

Separate from the purely financial, there are some obvious rules of the road. If I were a flipper I would try to identify underpriced or run down properties in rising markets where the improvement costs were minimal and/or easily affordable. If the house is well-constructed and in decent shape, it may only need a face lift. Paint, new carpet and updated fixtures tend to pay for themselves with ease. If you have to start knocking down walls and adding on rooms, you had better have another level of expertise and risk tolerance.

Is house flipping a contributing factor to the overheating of some real estate markets? Should this type of business be more regulated?

I’m not an economist. While I believe that flipping can contribute to price increases in some markets – speculative home buying was a major contributor to the collapse of prices in formerly hot markets during the Great Recession – in most cases, flipping doesn’t present a problem that the market cannot address. In a stereotypical flip a married couple or a pair of friends may buy a dated property, spruce it up and resell it. As a rule, the increased price of the home will be a reflection of the increased value of the home. Of course those numbers rarely move in perfect concert; but they tend to be close enough that neither home buyers nor neighbors are harmed. One caveat – the homes should actually be flipped. If a lot of houses are bought, removed from inventory but not sold for lengthy periods of time, that can create some local market disequilibrium. As a rule, a law abiding seller and an educated buyer don’t need more regulation that will only add to the costs of the property. There is enough friction in the house-buying context already and additional costs of compliance don’t help anyone find an affordable home.

Robert M. Silverman

Professor, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, School of Architecture and Planning, University at Buffalo
Robert M. Silverman

What are the most common mistakes people make when trying to flip a house?

Underestimating the amount of time and the cost of making improvements to property. Often, flippers do not know the full extent of needed repairs and they take longer to complete than originally planned. The other common mistake is that flippers over-estimate comparable sales prices in an area and the amount of time that properties take to sell.

What is the best way to finance a flip? Should people try to go all cash or borrowing is the way to go?

If a flipper has access to cash he or she can reduce costs of acquiring a property since there are no financing fees or interest to pay on a short-term loan. So, paying cash can lead to more profits from the sale of a property.

What type of people are typically well suited for engaging in house flipping?

People with background in real estate, construction or general contracting, and knowledge of real estate law, and also people who have cash to purchase properties with.

What factors — financial and otherwise — should go into the decision of whether a house is a good candidate to be flipped?

Properties selling for under-market value that are located in high demand housing markets are good candidates for a flip, especially if they are structurally sound and just in need of cosmetic updates. A lot of times these are properties that are part of estate sales. A secondary consideration might be if a house is architecturally unique, but these are often the properties that can involve greater cost to renovate.

Is house flipping a contributing factor to the overheating of some real estate markets? Should this type of business be more regulated?

Yes, and no. In some instances, flipping can inflate housing prices, since flippers will invest money in older homes and update them, then charge more the property in order to earn a profit. But that really constitutes the upgrading of the property and listing it at its new value. If someone were to purchase an older house and then pay a contractor to renovate it, they would likely pay a similar amount of money in the end and have to own the house during renovation. When experienced flippers can do renovations in a relatively short period of time and flip a house, the net effect on the real estate market is beneficial. But, in many cases, inexperienced flippers take much more time than expected to renovate properties, in some cases years. This can take housing off the market for extended periods of time and reduce the inventory of property on the real estate market. The reduction in inventory can artificially drive up the cost of housing.

Tammy Leonard

Associate Director, Economics Research Group, Associate Professor, Economics Department, University of North Texas
Tammy Leonard

What are the most common mistakes people make when trying to flip a house?

An important factor that is often overlooked is the relationship between a house and its neighborhood. We often hear “location, location, location” but flippers may be unaware of the extent to which that influences home prices. Significant work has shown that there are many aspects of a house’s immediate neighborhood that are capitalized into its price and that often cannot be changed in the flipping process. For example, the quality of the local schools, the number of nearby foreclosures, neighborhood upkeep, proximity to local transportation and proximity to urban green spaces are all factors that are likely to impact how much a flip can command in the market. Sometimes these neighborhood factors operate on a very local scale; nearby foreclosures and/or neighborhood blight may impact home prices only in a small quarter-mile area. Awareness of these factors is often a key difference between home buyers who are flippers and home buyers who intend to be owners. By thinking like an owner, flippers can make more strategic decisions regarding the scale of a flip and also make small changes in the flipping process that yield benefits for the flip’s profits and the neighborhood. For example, flippers can maintain the aesthetic appearance of the property immediately after taking ownership to improve neighborhood home values.

What factors — financial and otherwise — should go into the decision of whether a house is a good candidate to be flipped?

Flippers need to understand how different characteristics of the housing asset are valued in the housing market. Economists study the decomposition of house prices using hedonic price studies. Real estate practitioners have intuitive knowledge of these factors by knowing “what sells”. It is important to note that while there are some generalities, the relative importance of different house characteristics in determining a house’s price vary across different housing markets. Flippers should understand what the local pool of prospective buyers value most and try to add the most value there.

Is house flipping a contributing factor to the overheating of some real estate markets? Should this type of business be more regulated?

Research has shown that house flipping can help to improve neighborhood home prices; and thus if approached responsibly, house flipping can be beneficial for communities. Following the 2007-2008 financial recession, organizations such as Habitat for Humanity received some federal funding through HUD’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program. When those funds were used for what was essentially house flipping, houses in the neighborhoods around the houses that were flipped increased in value and the impact appeared to be a long-term effect. We might expect these same results for house flipping that is undertaken in poorer or distressed neighborhoods. The full set of causal factors associated with overheating of real estate markets is not fully understood by economists. However, the ingredients appear to require more than simply house flipping. To the extent that house flipper add real value to the housing asset and are able to sell it at a profit in proportion to the value added, flipping should not be a cause of speculative run-ups in housing prices. Of course, flippers that take on too much risk and default on their financial obligations likely do have a negative impact on the local community and economy; these irresponsible flipping practices need to be monitored and/or regulated.

Robert Henry

Associate Professor, University of New Hampshire
Robert Henry

What are the most common mistakes people make when trying to flip a house?

I think the most common mistake is that people take on projects that they are not prepared for. They see people repairing a house and the people on TV make it seem easy. It is easy for them because they know what they are doing.

Another common mistake is that they underestimate the time and money it will take to do a project the correct way. On all construction related projects one will run into unexpected issues, (rotting wood, roof needs replacement, electrical issues, old boilers, etc.). Every professional construction project has money set aside to handle these types of issues. If they do not come up, then it is money saved. Not allocating a contingency budget is not a wise thing to do.

What type of people are typically well suited for engaging in house flipping?

The type of person that should consider flipping should have patience. Also, one should always be thinking several steps ahead as it is often necessary to order material that can take several weeks to deliver. Same is true with hiring contractors.

 

Abhinav Alakshendra

Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Florida
Abhinav Alakshendra

What are the most common mistakes people make when trying to flip a house?

House flipping is a serious and lucrative business. The number of flippers in the market has been growing given the huge profit potential. However, there are multiple failures which can and should be used as lessons for other.

House flipping is expensive and therefore an access to low-cost financing is a must. Often investors (especially small investors) go overboard while acquiring properties and exposing themselves later when it comes to investing in fixing.

Also, often small investors don’t pay required attention to holding cost which could be longer than expected.

Another most common mistake is not having enough knowledge of the local market. Some cities are simply rental markets for various reasons and some tend to be buyer’s market. For instance, small university towns tend to sell more homes in May and June and smaller cities with large hospitals often see more real estate transactions in April.

Finally, having no exit strategy could be catastrophic. Things don’t go always as planned and therefore having alternative options is always a great idea. A typical exit strategy would be renting till market recovers or a buyer is willing to give asking price. Often, flippers lack patience and are interested in dealing with renting hassles, in turn, incurring huge losses in the process.

What is the best way to finance a flip? Should people try to go all cash or borrowing is the way to go?

House flipping business involves plenty of risks. Financial institutions are here to reduce the risks for flippers. Undoubtedly, borrowing money reduces profit margin, however, if flip time is reasonable, the benefit of having lower risk outweighs lower profits due to interest rate payments. For some big serial investors, going all cash may make sense.

What type of people are typically well suited for engaging in house flipping?

Investors, professional contractors, and real estate agents are likely to be more successful. However, I have come across people from many different backgrounds successfully flipping houses.

What factors — financial and otherwise — should go into the decision of whether a house is a good candidate to be flipped?

Finding a good candidate for flip should be an exact science rather than ‘hunch’.

Ideally, the starting point should involve extensive study of the local real estate market. In some markets like Baltimore and Jacksonville, ROI’s are quite high (95% and 75% respectively) and at the same time, most of the markets in California have ROI’s in single digit.

Also, understanding and sticking to the 70% ARV (after repair value) rule is critical. On paper, 70% ARV looks quite conservative but it has been tried and tested and it works.

Is house flipping a contributing factor to the overheating of some real estate markets? Should this type of business be more regulated?

House flipping is on the rise almost in all major markets. Economists agree that house flipping contributed to the crash of 2006-07. It would be hard to find out the magnitude of the overheating caused by house flippers during the crash, however, it’s fairly easy to see the impact of house flipping on the crash. For instance, some of the most crash affected cities experienced an unusually high rate of house flipping. In 2005, almost one in five homes sold were flips. The flip rate was higher than 15% for Miami and Phoenix, two highly affected real estate market.

There is no doubt that house flipping contributes to the overheating in some markets. Therefore, stricter regulation in the house flipping market is a logical step. However, we still have not introduced any major regulation directly targeting this market. The housing crash though has introduced a sort of self-regulation in the market. The access to easy financing is gone and now we see a wave of committed and deep-pocketed investors in the market.

Methodology

In order to determine the best and worst cities to flip houses, WalletHub compared 172 cities — including the 150 most populated U.S. cities, plus at least two of the most populated cities in each state, except for the cases where data limitation existed — across three key dimensions: 1) Market Potential, 2) Renovation & Remodeling Costs and 3) Quality of Life.

We evaluated those dimensions using 27 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for house flipping.

Finally, we determined each city’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample. Our sample considers only the city proper in each case and excludes cities in the surrounding metro area.

For context, “home flipping” is a real-estate term for buying a property with the purpose of reselling it for a profit, which is generated through appreciation of the home’s value or repairs and renovations.

Market Potential – Total Points: 35

  • Average Gross Return on Investment (ROI): Triple Weight (~6.56 Points)
  • Percentage Change in Gross ROI of Flipped Homes (2017 vs. 2016): Full Weight (~2.19 Points)
  • Median Purchase Price: Full Weight (~2.19 Points)
  • Share of Home Flips: Full Weight (~2.19 Points)
  • Average Days to Flip: Full Weight (~2.19 Points)
  • Home Turnover Rate (2016 vs. 2015): Full Weight (~2.19 Points)
    Note: This metric specifically measures the percentage of all homes sold in one year.
  • Housing-Market Health Index: Full Weight (~2.19 Points)
  • Average Ratio of Sale Price to List Price: Full Weight (~2.19 Points)
  • Real-Estate Agents per Capita: Full Weight (~2.19 Points)
  • Foreclosed Homes per 10,000 Homes: Full Weight (~2.19 Points)
  • Real-Estate Tax Rate: Full Weight (~2.19 Points)
    Note: This metric was calculated as follows: Median Real-Estate Tax / Median House Price.
  • Share of Flips Sold to Cash Buyers: Full Weight (~2.19 Points)
  • Share of Flips Sold to FHA Buyers: Full Weight (~2.19 Points)
  • Median Year Built: Full Weight (~2.19 Points)

Renovation & Remodeling Costs – Total Points: 35

  • Average Kitchen Remodeling Costs: Full Weight (~8.75 Points)
  • Average Bathroom Remodeling Costs: Full Weight (~8.75 Points)
  • Average Full Home Remodeling Costs: Full Weight (~8.75 Points)
  • Median Construction-Worker Salary: Full Weight (~8.75 Points)
    Note: “Construction Worker” includes plumbers, electricians, carpenters, etc.

Quality of Life – Total Points: 30

  • Crime Rate: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)
  • K–12 School-System Quality: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)
    Note: This metric measures the share of public schools rated by GreatSchools.org with above average score.
  • Share of Population with Walkable Park Access: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)
  • Family-Friendliness: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)
    Note: This metric is based on WalletHub’s “Best & Worst Cities for Families” ranking.
  • Annual Job-Growth Rate: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)
  • Unemployment Rate: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)
  • Median Salary: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)
    Note: This metric was adjusted for cost of living.
  • Median Credit Score: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)
  • Pace of Economic Growth: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)
    Note: This metric is based on WalletHub’s “Fastest-Growing Cities” ranking.

 

Sources: Data used to create this ranking were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Renwood RealtyTrac, Zillow, Houzz, Federal Bureau of Investigation, GreatSchools.org, The Trust for Public Land, Council for Community and Economic Research, TransUnion and WalletHub research.