Photo: Victor Björkund/Flickr
Maybe California is known as the Golden State for a reason — and maybe that reason is that residents are blissed out once they own a home. Whatever the case, California was recently ranked the top state on HomeAdvisor’s Homeowner Happiness Index, while San Francisco was the number-one city. Not bad, right?
Released in late July, the report was compiled with data from over a million “Home Happiness Surveys” created by HomeAdvisor and sent to US homeowners over the age of 21. Each survey had 87 questions, and 17,629 responses were sent in from 39 of the country’s 50 states.
According to HomeAdvisor, the three main factors that influence homeowner happiness are accessibility, community and, of course, the actual home a person lives in. Accessibility relates to commute time and public transportation accessibility, while community relates to diversity, safety and a strong neighborhood network; homes themselves should be reasonably affordable, comfortable and well functioning.
The index shows that San Franciscans in particular are content within those parameters. A total of 77 percent said they have access to shopping venues that meet their needs, while 70 percent said they trust their neighbors. And though the average home age in the city is 42 years, 77 percent said they have been able to complete renovations.
The kicker is that only 37 percent find the cost of living in the city is reasonable. According to Trulia, the median sale price for a two-bedroom home in San Francisco is over $1.2 million — not exactly an easily attainable price for most Americans.
Luckily, some of the other cheerful cities identified by HomeAdvisor are more affordable, including Denver, St. Louis and Los Angeles. If you’re thinking of relocating in pursuit of happiness, you may want to check out one of those places.