Tuesday, September 30, 2014
   
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Gothenburg in Top 10 again

NerdWallet ranks the city No. 6 as best place to own a home

A San Francisco consumer-advocacy group says Gothenburg is the sixth best place to own a home in Nebraska.

 

The city ranked first for homeownership rate which was 81.3%.

 

NerdWallet based the rankings on three critical factors, taken from federal data, that include availability of homes, affordability and whether or not the city is growing.

Other factors, such as monthly household income, were also considered.

Minden took top honors as the best home ownership city and Chadron was last. (See page 2 for the top 10 list and criteria used.)

Casey and Caresse (Metzger) Ross are new and proud local homeowners.

The couple bought a house in foreclosure a week after they were married and rehabilitated the structure.

Fortunately Casey, who now works for the city, was a carpenter.

“We’ve put so much blood, sweat and tears into the house and spent many late nights making it our own and loving it,” said Caresse, a 2009 Gothenburg High School graduate.

Casey graduated from Arnold High School the same year.

Caresse, who works as a teller at First State Bank, said the bank took a chance on the newlyweds and loaned them the money to buy the three-bedroom house.

“Being a homeowner is awesome because we can do what we want—paint, landscape and bust and tear down walls if we want,” she said.

For Casey and Caresse, affordability, the bank loan and a willingness to roll up their sleeves and work on the house—after finishing their day jobs and on weekends—were key to owning their own home.

Maggie Clark, a NerdWallet analyst, said that’s what the study shows.

“The ranking shows that Gothenburg is stable with residents invested in the town,” Clark explained. “It’s an affordable place to buy, particularly for people for whom home buying is a priority.”

Additionally, she said Gothenburg is a good place for people to look at when thinking about buying a home and for the those who already live here.

What kept the city from ranking higher, Clark said, was a drop in population growth from 2010 to 2012.

Nebraska’s homeownership study is part of NerdWallet’s national series.

“We’re going state by state to determine which cities have good characteristics for homeowners,” Clark said.

She noted that many cities, like Gothenburg, rank high because they have characteristics people like.

Last October, NerdWallet rated Gothenburg as the third best city in the state in which to raise a family.

For a more detailed look at the homeownership study, visit nerdwallet.

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