Affordable homes in the safest cities
Safety and affordability aren't always synonymous when it comes to real estate, but we've found seven charming homes that can offer you both.
Using statistics reported to the FBI, we found cities with a population of at least 200,000 that had the fewest reported violent crimes per capita. All but one of the top cities is located in a Southern or Western state.
Then we looked at homes on the market near each area's median sale price using data from RealtyTrac, a California-based firm that tracks real estate trends. Affordability in this case is relative to the median sale price in each area.
Some of these homes feature trendy kitchens and remodeled interiors, while others offer great outdoor living, close proximity to schools and plenty of community activities.
Prices range from $150,000 to $676,000, or a monthly payment of $740 to $3,333, assuming a 20% down payment and average current interest rates on a 30-year, fixed-rate loan.
Address: 1201 Windy Meadow Drive
Square feet: 2,006
Median sale price: $154,970
This single-story home built in 1975 is the best deal on our list, offering the lowest price per square foot. It has three bedrooms, two full baths and an attached two-car garage. The kitchen features polished, solid-oak butcher-block counter tops, a portable island and a trendy farmhouse sink. It opens into a family room with a fireplace. There's wood laminate flooring throughout and a large yard for kids or pets. This home's location is ideal for commuters because of its proximity to U.S.-75, the Dallas North Tollway and the President George Bush Turnpike. It should also appeal to families because there's a middle school just blocks away in the Park Forest subdivision.
Tom May; RE/MAX DFW Associates VI; 214-223-4600
Address: 7955 E. Chaparral Road #13
Square feet: 1,691
Median sale price: $375,000
This two-bedroom, two-bath townhouse in the La Villita gated community is full of desert style. For starters, the exterior of this sand-colored, single-story home features a Spanish-style roof, a shaded patio and a fenced yard. The interior shines with travertine floors, high ceilings and exposed wood beams. The kitchen includes coveted black granite counter tops and stainless-steel appliances. You'll find a fireplace in the formal living room. The family room is located in the back of the home and has a great view of the patio. There are dual sinks in the master bathroom. And this home has a two-car garage.
The community features a spa and heated pool. From the townhouse, it's only a 5-minute drive to walking paths, The Village Health Club and Old Town Scottsdale. Association fees are $220 per month.
Michele Cervantez; HomeSmart Real Estate; 602-451-7118
Address: 53 American Run Ave.
Square feet: 1,551
Median sale price: $200,000
This two-story home in Henderson, a city southeast of Las Vegas, is a real charmer. It has three bedrooms, two full bathrooms and a half bath. The open floor plan features a kitchen that looks out over the living room. There's tile floor throughout most of the home and carpet in the bedrooms. The kitchen has solid-surface counter tops, a pantry, a breakfast bar and standard appliances. This home also boasts a nice backyard with a patio that could be used for entertaining. And the low-maintenance desert xeriscaping instead of a lawn means you won't have to do much yard work.
Andy Hitchcock; Prudential Americana Group; 702-796-7777
Address: 1335 Melrose Ave.
Square feet: 1,304
Median sale price: $360,000
This home in southeast San Diego County makes a great case for outdoor living, featuring a large backyard patio with a built-in barbecue grill, small refrigerator and plenty of room to prepare and serve food. But the interior of this single-story home built in 1964 also packs in the amenities. It includes three bedrooms and two bathrooms situated in an open-floor plan bathed in natural light from the home's skylights. There's wood and tile flooring throughout. The remodeled kitchen includes granite counter tops and stainless-steel appliances. You'll also find a fireplace in the living room. If you have young children, this might be a perk: There's an elementary school a tenth of a mile away – just behind this property.
Alejandra Romero; California Homes Realty; 619-606-0062
Address: 1909 Aquamarine Drive
Square feet: 1,868
Median sale price: $249,000
This two-story home built in 1982 features four big bedrooms and three full bathrooms, but the real selling point is outside. Its large fenced backyard gently slopes to a neighborhood pond big enough for small boats. Some of the neighbors even have tiny docks in their backyards. In the spacious, open kitchen you'll find ceramic tile floors, new standard appliances and plenty of cabinet storage. There's carpet throughout most of the house, a fireplace on the main floor and an attached one-car garage.
Karen Tyler; Team Tyler Homes; 757-636-5187
Address: 714 E Las Colinas Place
Square feet: 1,636
Median sale price: $232,250
Situated on a cul-de-sac in a gated community, this cute one-story home located in a Phoenix suburb is one of the least expensive on our list. There are three bedrooms and two bathrooms. It has an open floor plan with the kitchen looking out into the spacious living room. The master suite is split off from the other two bedrooms, offering a little more privacy. The current owner plans to add new granite counter tops and stainless-steel appliances in the kitchen prior to the sale. The home's flooring also will be updated. Landscaping is low-maintenance desert xeriscaping with the exception of a small backyard lawn. You'll get a one-year home warranty with a full price offer. The community features parks and lakes, but homeowners association fees are a pricey $417 per month.
Tina Halbwachs; Long Realty Partners; 480-297-1029
Address: 65 Sable
Square feet: 1,749
Median sale price: $670,000
This townhome is the most expensive home on our list, but you get what you pay for here. It's a three-bedroom, three-bathroom one-time model home built in 2008 that has been fully upgraded. Two of the bedrooms are master-style suites that offer private balconies and large walk-in closets. You'll find an open living room and dining room that feature large built-in bookshelves. There are custom Art Deco chandeliers in the dining room. The kitchen includes honey maple cabinets, stainless-steel appliances, solid-surface counter tops and a custom island. You'll also find hardwood floors and Berber carpet throughout the home. The upstairs loft area has a tech center with a desk, and the tandem two-car garage has additional storage space. The subdivision pool and tennis courts are just around the corner from this home. The community also has an exercise area and spa, for which you'll pay a hefty $451 a month in association fees.
Jane Kim; Stepping Stone Realty; 714-397-2588