I would like to buy my family a house.
I’ve never owned a house.
We currently live near the Denver, Colorado metro area and starter homes that don’t need major updates or renovations, don’t have postage stamp sized back yards, are located in nice, safe neighborhoods and school districts, and aren’t located in cramped suburban subdivisions begin at $800,000+.
I refuse to pay $800K for a starter home. I can probably afford it. But I refuse. Especially in this real estate market that NO DOUBT will peak the week I sign on the dotted line for a slave-contract mortgage.
Here’s my question for people with boots-on-the-ground perspective in affordable communities:
Where, anywhere in the continental US, can one spend less than $400,000 for a well-maintained or newish 4 bedroom home with a nice sized yard, in a good school district, with less than a 45-minute commute to an airport that can get me easily (direct flights) and affordably to anywhere else in the country?
Our careers are location-independent, but we travel enough for work and family visits that a good, easily accessible airport is necessary.
We aren’t interested in extremes in weather or isolation. We can tolerate winter, but don’t want to have to suffer through long, cold, dreary, or dangerous ones. And we love summer, but don’t want to sweat our asses off in extreme heat or humidity (at least for long). And while I’m sure there are deals in remote enclaves, we’d like to be near communities with kids and resources for kids (parks, playgrounds, rec centers, ice rinks, hospitals, etc…) for our 4 year old to play with.
Bonus points for areas with good outdoor activities nearby (hiking, biking, boating, swimming, skiing, etc…)
I know these communities exist, but I need to hear from people who love their affordable communities and are willing to share with me why?
I appreciate any help. Please contact me via the “contact” button at the top of this blog post, or reply to the twitter, linkedin, or facebook thread that directed you to this link.