These 6 Cities are Stressed Out, But Housing Prices Are Pretty Affordable

by Carson BuckAugust 31, 2016

These Cities May Be Stressed, But They Have The Cheapest Homes For Sale

No matter where you live, stress is a part of life. It’s not all bad, either – after all, stress can be a motivator to help you ramp up your productivity and get things done. But if you’re not careful, stress can also lower your life expectancy, make you feel terrible, and strain your relationships with friends and family.

Stress can be caused by a variety of factors, and things like commuting time and job satisfaction can cause work-related stress. Family problems can certainly turn up the pressure cooker, as can societal issues such as high crime rates and socioeconomic conditions. Financial difficulties also have a way of stressing us out. Debt-to-income ratio, job security, and of course, housing affordability can all play a role in determining how anxious (or relaxed) we feel.

According to a recent ranking by Wallethub, these are some of the most stressed-out cities in the country. Thankfully, high housing costs aren’t contributing to residents’ overall stress levels. If you’re looking for a place to buy affordable housing, these cities might be worth a look, but you’ll have to figure out ways to keep yourself calm.

Detroit, Michigan

Detroit Skyline
Oh, Detroit. This once-thriving automobile manufacturing metropolis is a shadow of its former self. Don’t get us wrong, there are signs of renewal all over the city, and we’re definitely hoping that Motown makes a major comeback. For now, though, Detroiters have plenty to be stressed about. The city’s violent crime rate is the highest in the nation. It has the lowest average credit rating, and the highest percentage of residents in poverty. TheStreet noted that Detroit also ranks highly in the money-related stress category, but with median home values around $36k, the cost of purchasing a residence doesn’t seem to be a contributing factor.

Mobile, Alabama

Mobile, AL
Mobile, Alabama takes the top spot for stress, stemming from health and safety issues, a category that encompasses stressors such as mental health, suicide rate, the number of uninsured residents, and the percentage of adults in fair or poor health. It also came in fourth for work related stress, 18th for family stress, and 37th for troubles related to money. But… if you were looking to buy a house on the cheap, you could do worse than Alabama’s gulf coast city. Mobile’s median home value is just north of $106k, and is projected to see a modest increase over the next year.

Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham AL

“The Pittsburg of the South” is Alabama’s second most stressful city. Birmingham residents complain about money-related stress, and with good reason – only Detroiters have it worse financially. The city grabs another second-place slot to its neighbor Mobile when it comes to health and safety stress, and comes in sixth for familial woes.

So, how does it fare for home values? As you might have guessed, buying a home in Birmingham is actually quite affordable. With a median home value just shy of $62k, houses here are a bargain – but don’t expect the market to stay that way forever. It’s currently a seller’s market, and values are expected to rise considerably over the next year.

Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis TN
According to TheStreet, Memphis is one stressed-out city. What’s giving “Blues City” residents the blues? A lack of harmony at home could be part of it, as could health and safety matters. Median home values here are right around $75k, but with 9% gains over the past year and more forecast to come, home values could be making renters a bit nervous.

However, it seems that Memphis residents have learned to deal with their stresses. The city also ranks highly for coping with stress, a metric that includes some healthy outlets (psychologists, physical activity, and sleep), and some not-so-healthy diversions (binge drinking and smoking).

Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland Ohio
Hello Cleveland! How are you feeling tonight? Stressed?

“The Rock and Roll Capital of the World” may be known for its blistering guitar solos, but it’s also one of the top five most stressful cities in the United States. Stress at home seems to hit Clevelanders pretty hard – nobody said the rock and roll lifestyle was easy. Job-related stress is also a major factor, but with home values projected to hover around $52k over the next year, anyone with a decent-paying job should be able to afford a home of their own in Cleveland.

Shreveport, Louisiana

Shreveport, LA
Louisiana has several cities on the high-stress list, but Shreveport takes top honors. Why is this northwest LA city so on edge? Work, for one thing. Shreveport residents work long hours and sustain higher than average commutes, and some worry about job security. They’re also biting their fingernails over family and health. However, Shreveport residents are not as concerned about money as people who live in many of the other cities on this list – as evidenced by their higher median home values.

Keep Your Cool Out There!

We don’t want you to get too stressed out, even if you live in one of these stressful cities. Thankfully, homes are affordable in just about all of them, so you’ll have a great place to unwind when life starts to get crazy. is the place to dream and discover your ideal home! Are you starting to get the itch to look for your first or next home, but don’t know where to start? You’ve come to the right place! Browse our real estate and lifestyle blog for home buying tips, mortgage guides, DIY ideas, interior design, lifestyle topics, general home inspiration, or just some homes fun. We are sure you can scratch that itch and find all the information and tools you need to help in your home search. Want to start looking at available real estate right now? Head to our home page and check out homes for sale or rent listings all over the country.
Happy house hunting!

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About The Author
Carson Buck
Carson is a real estate agent based out of Phoenix, Arizona. Carson loves data and market research, and how readily available it is in today's world. He is passionate about interpreting these insights to help his clients find and buy their perfect home. Carson got into the real estate industry because he loves the feeling of handing over the keys to a new home to happy clients. In his free time, he works on his backyard bonsai garden and spends time with his wife, Julia.