See How a $500,000-Plus Home in Kentucky Compares to Ones in California and Other States
When you hear someone say, "Who can afford to live in California?" for the umpteenth time, they're exactly right?
HOME COST DISPARITIES
I hear it from folks who've investigated living in the Golden State and I've heard it from folks who DO live there and are trying to move out. I would say--having ZERO knowledge of their situations--that you could really turn a profit by selling a California home and moving somewhere where it's far less expensive.
I've decided to find a few homes and do some comparisons. No, I'm not comparison shopping; I have no plans to move. But I did want to see, with my own two eyes, illustrations of that disparity.
And, boy, did I find some.
A SAMPLE HOME IN KENTUCKY
I found a random house on the market in Wilder, Kentucky--population 3,088. It's in northern Kentucky and likely within the Cincinnati metropolitan area. That might make any house more expensive than if it were in certain other parts of Kentucky, but this LOOKS like a house that costs half a million dollars. It has five bedrooms and four bathrooms.
A SAMPLE HOME IN TENNESSEE
Here's a comparable home in Nashville going for $575K. It has four bedrooms, and three bedrooms and covers 2,692 square feet.
THE CHEAPEST STATE IN WHICH TO BUY A HOME IS...
I also checked in with Learn.Roofstock.com to get the lowdown on the cheapest states in the U.S. in terms of new home prices. West Virginia tops the list. So let's head to its state capitol, Charleston, and take a gander at this beauty--also on the market for $575,000. At 4,437 square feet, it features five bedrooms, three full baths, and one half-bath.
AND THEN THERE'S CALIFORNIA
That is stunning. I love the look of this house. I can't imagine what something like this would cost in California.
Speaking of which...
In Palmdale, California, this nearly 60-year-old ranch style with 1,696 square feet of living space and features four bedrooms and three baths goes for $529,900.
Here's another comparison. In 1964, my parents bought a ranch-style house--the one I grew up in--for $16,500. After running it through an inflation calculator, that would come to $141,518 in 2022. And it's 2,000 square feet bigger than the Palmdale home.
Yes, four bedrooms is a lot, but I marvel that the size difference. You could FIT this house into one of the others.
It's not really a secret that the cost of living in California is outrageous. I'll certainly never live there. But it's always interesting to see something for yourself.