Would you move to Buffalo for a bigger closet?

Buffalo! via Flickr user Dougtone

This week, Forbes came out with its America’s Most Affordable Cities list.  Unsurprisingly, Brooklyn, and nowhere within biking distance of it, made the cut.

However, Buffalo, in upstate New York was listed as the #1 Most Affordable city in America! With a population of 1,135,509 and a cost-of-living index of 96.1, which translates to “low cost of living,” this 6-hour drive from New York has it all (for those who want things like a mortgage and maybe a window that doesn’t look over an air vent). Just to compare: Forbes rated New York City as the Most Overpriced City in America, but they’re forgetting things like day-after half price sandwiches, attractive people everywhere and overall awesomeness that makes living here totally worth it.  Still, cheap is cheap, so would you move to any of America’s most affordable cities to save a buck?

Other cities on the top of the list include Memphis, Cincinnati, Dayton, and Knoxville. For whose who want to buy a home and perhaps have little luxuries like a car and maybe even a parking spot, is moving to Tennessee or Ohio worth it? Would you trade up 24-hour delis, Meatball Takedowns and working four and a half jobs along with an unpaid internship for a chance to obtain a house you can call your own? Keep in mind of course, that these places, unlike Kansas or Pittsburgh or Detroit, won’t give you anything in exchange for moving there. Other than a longing to be back in New York.

According to Forbes, trying to purchase a home in New York City with a budget of $140,000 will most likely lead you to a 375-square-f00t apartment in Queens. But in Knoxville, Tennessee, “$140,000 can buy a 1,750-square-foot, four-bedroom rambler on a pretty, tree-lined street.”

There are plenty of “pretty, tree-lined” streets in Brooklyn– Fifth Avenue! Union Street! Eastern Parkway!– and I wasn’t able to access any studies that prove that having more square-footage in your life leads to more happiness.

Of course, we all have our priorities, and perhaps relocating to a more affordable city could be right for some of you. But I’m not giving up my weekends at Smorgasburg and Brooklyn Brewery, days spent working at coffee shops with a slew of other freelancers and the total awesomeness of Brooklyn for any other place any time soon.

[UPDATE: The author of this post was tweeted this link inviting artists to move to Buffalo before it gets gentrified. According to the author, the advantages of Buffalo include a laid back vibe, bars open late at night, its sports fame and the fact that you won’t have pay a lot to live in a neighborhood where hardly anyone speaks English. We remain unconvinced.]


  1. Annnnddd that’s why NYC is the most overpriced city, people like the author don’t expect more for themselves or don’t want it. How is coffee shops and a brewery worth almost $2000/month in Brooklyn living in a closet? With 8 million+ people breathing down your neck?

  2. The hipster crowd all eventually move out, back to where they came from (Georgia, Maryland, Ohio, Wisconsin) or to low cost places like Buffalo. The reality is most move to the big city to “make it” but don’t. So don’t knock the Buffalos of America ’cause that’s where you’ll be living in 5 to 10 years.

  3. Greg Fischer

    My hometown….as much as I love it, I wouldn’t move back even if I was priced out of New York. My first couple year here I was considering it, but the city doesn’t foster my industry and I just fell in love, so that’s that

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