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Looking for a Fresh Start After Bankruptcy? Give These Cities a Look.


Filing bankruptcy, among other things, is about getting a new start. Few things can match the sense of relief that follows even the first phone call to our office, let alone the day you know for sure that your bills are gone forever.

For some, starting over may mean leaving behind everything that contributed to your old spending habits, the material goods, the car, even the house, that led you deep into the financial abyss. If that sounds like you, maybe it's worthwhile to consider a relocation, not just a downsize.

Know that moving is expensive. So yes, you'll have to save money. That takes time, and yes, more money. But the most important question is, of course, where to move? Thankfully, the folks at Forbes.com have assembled us a list of places that get the Best Bang-For-The-Buck when relocating. Here is how they broke it down:

Forbes examined markets that at one time were considered second to the most popular regions during the boom times. For example, at one time, homes in Orlando and Las Vegas were flying off the lots. Developers went nuts and inventory was quite high. Now? Well, not so much. Home values are depressed and the foreclosure rates are at the top of the list.

Home prices are down 29 percent from 2006, making areas that never really experienced the boom that much more affordable. And, with a solid employment base, consisting of families who have roots in the area, as opposed to transient corporate workers who ship out every couple of years, places like Des Moines, IA and McAllen, TX are nice places for those looking to get a solid re-start.

Don't want to move that far? Try Greenville, SC or Chattanooga, TN, which made the list at numbers 20 and 8, respectively. Because the boom avoided these areas for the most part, home values stayed relatively even, as did jobs.

If you must know (why else are you reading this post), Omaha, NE was at the top of the list. Forbes researched the 100 largest MSAs (Metropolitan Statistical Area), examining foreclosures as a percentages of home prices; apartment vacancy rates; unemployment figures; three-year job forecast; three-year home price forecast; housing affordability; median real estate taxes and commuting time.

Here is the Top 25 cities that offer you the Most Bang-For-The-Buck:

1. Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE
2. Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR
3. Jackson, MS
4. Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA
5. Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC
6. Wichita, KS
7. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX
8. Chattanooga, TN-GA
9. Colorado Springs, CO
10. Ogden-Clearfield, UT
11. Scranton--Wilkes-Barre, PA
12. Columbia, SC
13. Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA
14. Provo-Orem, UT
15. Syracuse, NY
16. Baton Rouge, LA
17. Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY
18. Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL
19. Tulsa, OK
20. Greenville-Mauldin-Easley, SC
21. Raleigh-Garner, NC
22. Pittsburgh, PA
23. Knoxville, TN
24. Louisville-Jefferson County, KY-IN
25. Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA

You may note that a number of the cities are from regions away from the coast, as those regions tend to experience serious market growth in a fast-moving economy. You may notice too that there is not one California city in the Top 25. In fact, there is only one in the Top 50.

Cities in the mid-west, west and industrial regions of the east tend to hold a particular attraction to folks looking to find affordable homes and jobs. Many places in the west offer outstanding recreation and service industry jobs as well cities that cater to the younger, live-life-with-less crowd that is continuing to grow in the midst of a Wall Street-driven recession.

Whereever your final destination, remember that http://blog.billsbills.com/ is always as close as your Web browser.

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