Home Buyers Loving the South:


If you look at where $250,000 in household income buys you the most house, all of the top ten cities are in the South.

The purchasing power of a $250,000 salary, for instance, depends largely on a city’s cost of living and overall tax environment. High earners might be able to maximize their earnings and take advantage of lower tax rates by moving cities. If you want to get the most out of a $250,000 salary, the best place to go seems to be the South, according to a recent SmartAsset study outlining where high earners lose the most to taxes and cost of living.

The purchasing power of $250,000 in cities like New York and San Francisco, for example, is worth just shy of $83,000 after taxes and cost of living, the study finds. In cities like Memphis, Tennessee, and El Paso, Texas, though, $250,000 is worth much more, thanks to the states’ lack of income tax.

1. Memphis, Tennessee Thanks to Tennessee’s lack of state income tax, $250,000 in Memphis holds an estimated value of $203,663.57. A $250,000 salary in Tennessee is taxed at a rate of 29.77%.
2. El Paso, Texas Texas, like Tennessee, does not levy a state income tax. Thus, $250,000 in El Paso has the purchasing power of $200,180. A $250,000 salary in Texas is also taxed at a rate of 29.77%.
3. Oklahoma City Oklahoma’s cost of living is 17% lower than the national average, SmartAsset reports. Thus, someone earning $250,000 will take home a salary worth $197,381.
4. Corpus Christi, Texas Given Corpus Christi’s low cost of living, a salary of $250,000 — taxed at a rate of 29.77% — has a purchasing power of $196,593.
5. Lubbock, Texas In Lubbock, only 7% of households earn more than $200,000. For those earning $250,000, their salary is worth about $196,373.
6. Houston Houston is the largest city on this list, home to more than 2.3 million residents. Here, $250,000 is worth $191,239. Yet, only 9% of the city’s residents earn more than $200,000.
7. TIE: San Antonio, Fort Worth, and Arlington, Texas San Antonio, Fort Worth and Arlington tie for seventh place, as $250,000 in these three cities is worth $188,772. Texas’s absence of a state income tax allows these six-figure earners to maximize their money.
10. Jacksonville, Florida Like Texas and Tennessee, the Sunshine State does not have a state income tax. Thus, $250,000 in Jacksonville is worth $186,169. This salary is taxed at a rate of 29.7%.