Boardman affordability ranked 19th by

Boardman is one of nine Ohio towns to make the affordable homes list.



BOARDMAN — The township is the 19th most affordable place to live in the United States, according to

The list was announced Monday as part of Money magazine’s annual “Best Places to Live” feature.

“That’s a surprise,” said township Trustee Elaine Mancini, explaining that she was unaware that researchers were looking at the township. “That’s a very nice reflection on our community.”

Boardman is one of nine places in Ohio that earned a spot on the list of the top 25 areas where homes are affordable. The others are mostly suburbs of Cleveland, Columbus or Cincinnati.

Northbrook, Ohio, near Cincinnati, earned the top spot.

“Residents who buy real estate in these 25 towns see their incomes go the furthest,” the Web site says.

It describes Boardman as: “Part of that up-and-coming Pittsburgh-Northeast Ohio region ... the sprawling town is known mostly for farming and its banner crop of athletes, which include former Cleveland Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar.”

The news comes as no surprise to Bill Coates of Burgan Real Estate. But he’d make one change: “I feel that our entire area should be on that list,” Coates said.

Valley affordability

The whole Mahoning Valley is an affordable place to live. Coates said he recently visited a family member in Morgantown, W.Va., who recently bought a house.

“It was probably 11⁄2 times the cost for the same size house and the same amenities,” he said.

An instructor in principles and practices in real estate at Youngstown State University’s Metro College, Coates said the area’s affordable housing is something he stresses.

The Web site shows a photograph of the Schiller-Chuey Summer Kitchen in Boardman Park.

The median family income, according to the site, is $61,012 with a 2006 median home price of $103,175.

“On the real estate scene, an array of cute single-family homes goes for under $100,000, with an abundance of fixer-uppers for half that price,” it says. “There are also quality higher-end properties around this charming town.”

Niklaus Amstutz, a school board member, believes the township’s proximity to Pittsburgh plays a role in its ranking.

“Boardman is a great commuter town for Pittsburgh,” he said. “You can get to the Pittsburgh airport in about 45 minutes and to downtown Pittsburgh in about an hour. Our property taxes are low and our schools are better or just as good [as Pennsylvania schools].”

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