Thinking of buying a home in the near future? According to real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran, you’re in the right city to start looking. On NBC’s “Today” show, Corcoran recently rated Akron among the best cities in the country for home bargains.
What put Akron ahead? The city rated highly under Corcoran’s criteria, which included aspects such as decent housing prices, good schools and job growth. She also took into consideration where home prices have increased in the last year. Corcoran considers these elements important when choosing a city to call home. “Everyone likes to get a good deal on a house, a cheap price, but if you’re buying in a market where it’s still falling or in a market where you can’t get a good job or a good school, it doesn’t make sense,” she explained on the show. “These places fill all that criteria.”
Carol Jacobanis of Barbara Corcoran Inc. helped compile the list and explains that rising home prices are a sign of recovery. “While the median home price in Akron is still 10 percent less than its 2007 peak, it’s only about 1 percent less than it was a year ago,” she says. Corcoran used a beautiful cape house in West Akron as an example of the many quality homes selling at the median price, about $108,000. “That is one big house and in mint condition,” Corcoran told interviewer Ann Curry.
Jacobanis says that the number of new research, financial and high-tech businesses moving to Akron should improve job prospects in the city. “It’s not the old rubber capital of the world that Akron used to be, though it’s still home to the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company,” she says. Akron also has a low unemployment rate, 9.7 percent, just below the national average, along with a lot of young people moving in.
Akron realtor Nancy Holzwarth agrees that Akron is a thriving area and great place to locate to. She says Akron has a lot to offer for many reasons. “Akron is located within easy access of other major cities. It also offers many cultural activities and has wonderful metro parks and family oriented activities.” The city has 6,600 acres of parks and 33.5 miles of biking and hiking trails.
Right now Akron home prices are competitive and mortgage rates are at a 50-year low. A federal tax incentive of up to $8,000 is available for qualified first time and repeat buyers. “It’s a great time to buy a home in the Akron area,” Holzwarth says.
How much house can you afford?
Use this helpful online home finance calculator to find out how far to stretch when house hunting:
“Top 10 Cities for
Best Home Bargains”
• South Bend, Ind.
• Akron, Ohio
• Topeka, Kan.
• New Haven, Conn.
• Tucson, Ariz.
• Portland, Maine
• Kingston, N.Y.
• Trenton, N.J.