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Roanoke Region: Lowest Cost of Living

The 2012 annual data are in, and figures show that Roanoke has the lowest cost of living of any metro in Virginia. With costs about 8.6 percent lower than the national average, Roanoke has a lower cost of living than more than 75 percent of metro regions across the nation.

The area's strongest competitive advantages are in housing and health-care costs, though food costs and miscellaneous service costs are consideratably lower than the national average. The region's cost of living is lower than many Southern competing metro areas including Asheville, N.C.; Greenville, S.C.; Charlotte, N.C. and Chattanooga, Tenn. Thank you to the Roanoke Regional Partnership for sharing the good news.

Who Comes to Open Houses?
The National Association of REALTORS® recently conducted a survey of 2012 buyers to find out who attended open houses as part of their home search process. Here's what they learned:
  • 45% of 2012 buyers attended one or more open houses
  • 45-64 was the age group most likely to find a home through an open house
  • Couples (married or unmarried) are more likely than single buyers to walk through an open house
  • Repeat buyers are more likely to find their homes from an open house than first-time buyers
  • The South is the region of the US where buyers are more likely to find a home through an open house
  • Buyers who use a language other than English in the home are more likely to use open houses than buyers whose primary language is English
Check out upcoming area open houses at
Buyers' Home Feature Preferences
The National Association of REALTORS® just released its 2013 Profile of Buyers' Home Feature Preferences, based on home purchases made between 2010 and 2012.

Geography and demography strongly influence what buyers value in a home. The typical home purchased was 1,860 square feet, built in 1996 with three bedrooms and two full bathrooms. Slightly over half of the homes purchased were on a single level.

Southerners tended to buy newer homes and placed a higher importance on air conditioning. Other highlights include:
  • 78% chose a home with a garage.
  • 57% purchased a home with a fireplace.
  • Having a laundry room rated highly.
Though 97% of home buyers were satisfied with their recent home purchase, the majority wished their home had more or larger closets and more storage.

Within 3 months of a home purchase, 53% of buyers undertook a home improvement project, spending an average of $4,550. The most common after-purchase projects were: a kitchen project, bathroom project, new or replaced lighting and new appliances.
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