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Homes in the Nation’s Snowiest States Cost $13,000+ More Than Those With the Least Snow
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Though a white Christmas may be on some people’s wish lists this year, it’s certainly not on everyone’s. While some might be willing to pay a premium to live in an area sure to get plenty of snow each year, others might be willing to pay a similar premium for none.
To determine how expensive housing is on both sides of the snow globe, LendingTree used U.S. Census Bureau and historical weather data to compare the cost of a median-priced home in the states that get the most — and least — snow each year.
In doing so, LendingTree found that median-priced homes in the nation’s 10 snowiest states are more expensive, on average, than median-priced homes in the least snowy states.
- Median home values in the nation’s 10 snowiest states are $13,060 more, on average, than median home values in the nation’s 10 least snowy states. That said, the median home value in Hawaii — the least snowy state in the U.S. — is almost three times more expensive than the median value in the nation’s snowiest state, Vermont.
- Though they tend to be more expensive, median-priced homes are slightly more affordable relative to median household incomes in the nation’s snowiest states. In the 10 states that see the most snow annually, median-priced homes are an average of 3.93 times more expensive than median annual household incomes. In the 10 states with the least snow, they’re 4.09 times more expensive. This difference can be largely attributed to Hawaii and California, two states with notoriously high housing costs.
- With an average of more than 79.32 inches of snowfall each year, Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire are the nation’s snowiest states. Median home values in the states — $235,000, $211,000 and $297,800, respectively — are 3.59 times more than the median household incomes. This is good news for snow lovers. It means homes in these states are relatively affordable compared to the national average median home value to income ratio of 3.79.
- Hawaii, Florida and Louisiana are the states that see the least snow, with an average snowfall of 0.07 inches annually. Besides getting the least snow, Hawaii boasts the nation’s highest median home price, $648,000. Fortunately for those who prefer warmer weather, median-priced homes in Florida and Louisiana are considerably less expensive at $261,500 and $174,000, respectively.
Home affordability in the nation’s snowiest states
No. 1: Vermont
- Average annual snowfall: 89.25 inches
- Median home value: $235,000
- Median household income: $67,428
- Median home value to income ratio: 3.49
No. 2: Maine
- Average annual snowfall: 77.28 inches
- Median home value: $211,000
- Median household income: $58,782
- Median home value to income ratio: 3.59
No. 3: New Hampshire
- Average annual snowfall: 71.44 inches
- Median home value: $297,800
- Median household income: $80,972
- Median home value to income ratio: 3.68
Home affordability in the nation’s least snowy states
No. 1: Hawaii
- Average annual snowfall: 0.00 inches
- Median home value: $648,000
- Median household income: $86,391
- Median home value to income ratio: 7.50
No. 2: Florida
- Average annual snowfall: 0.01 inches
- Median home value: $261,500
- Median household income: $61,736
- Home value to income ratio: 4.24
No. 3: Louisiana
- Average annual snowfall: 0.20 inches
- Median home value: $174,000
- Median household income: $51,730
- Home value to income ratio: 3.36
Homebuyers should consider snow-related costs
As our study illustrates — barring exceptions like Hawaii and California— buying a home in a snowy state is likely to cost slightly more, on average, than buying a home in a warmer part of the country. That said, certain factors can make living in a state that sees a lot of snow each year logistically challenging and expensive.
For example, while excessive heat can cause structural damage to a person’s home or make certain activities like going outside difficult, snow can be far more disruptive. Not only can severe cold and snow cause major home damage like burst pipes and flooding, but intense snowfall can also render travel virtually impossible. In extreme cases, being snowed-in can prevent someone from important tasks like going to the grocery store or getting to a hospital for medical attention.
Due to the additional challenges from cold weather, those who live in snowy climates should plan to spend extra to ensure their homes are sufficiently weatherproofed. Residents who live with snowy seasons should also own a vehicle capable of driving in the snow. These extra costs can quickly add up and can make paying for a home in a part of the country that gets a lot of snow relatively expensive, regardless of how much the home itself is worth.
Tips for buying a home in a snowy state
If you’re the kind of person who can’t imagine living somewhere without an ample snow season each year, consider the following tips to make buying and owning a home in a snowy state more affordable.
- Shop around: No matter where you’re buying, shopping around for a mortgage before purchasing a home can help you get a lower rate and save tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.
- Ensure that you’ve got the right insurance: Having the proper insurance is especially important in snowy areas, where bad weather can easily cause damage to your house. In the same way that shopping around for a mortgage can help save you money, shopping around for insurance can do the same.
- Consider weather-related costs: Those who live in a snowy area are likely to incur numerous costs related to the weather, from needing to spend extra on snow tires for their car to shelling out cash for a snowblower. By calculating how much you can afford to spend on a home each month, you can better budget for snow-related expenses.
This study’s housing and income data come from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey with one-year experimental estimates — the latest available.
Snowfall data from USA.com was compiled using historical data from more than 18,000 weather stations over 30 years from 1980 to 2010 — the latest data readily available.