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    Although opinions vary, there are several cities throughout the United States that present buyers with attractive real estate opportunities. According to a list originally compiled by CNN Money, these five cities provide a perfect combination of location, price, and housing stock that present potential home buyers with the pick of the proverbial litter. Your mortgage specialist can help you decide whether your budget can handle a home in one of these desirable areas of the country.

    1. The Southern Region of South Carolina

    Okay, so it’s not a “city” precisely, but the southern portion of South Carolina is one of the nation’s most sought after home-buying spots. With a median listing price of $269,000, homes here are within reach of many families. On average, real estate stays on the market an average of 156 days, which provides buyers with plenty of time to shop around.

    The southern region of South Carolina includes major metropolitan cities such as Charleston and Mount Pleasant. Additionally, resort towns such as Beaufort and Hilton Head Island are both home to reasonably priced offerings in popular seaside areas. The region provides the best of both worlds by offering an historical, relaxed atmosphere within reach of urban population centers.

    2. Reading, Pennsylvania

    Reading is a town that has suffered an economic downturn in recent years. On the positive side, its housing stock is both beautiful and affordable. As the economy recovers, buyers who don’t mind commuting to surrounding cities for work can snag attractive properties in Reading at rock bottom prices. The median listing price is just $173,700, and families can purchase a four-bedroom home with ample acreage for even less. Even better, the housing market in Reading remained relatively stable throughout the nation’s fluctuating real estate plunge. This should be reassuring to buyers who worry about volatile property values.

    3. Santa Fe, New Mexico

    New Mexico is quickly edging out Florida and Arizona as one of the country’s top retirement destinations. It provides a small town atmosphere that is rich in both history and outdoor activities. The temperate climate appeals to both seniors and families with young children. Although the median listing price, which is $389,450, is a bit higher than the national average, the area is quite affordable for a popular resort destination and vacation spot. Home owners who travel can also take advantage of the vacation market by renting out their properties to seasonal visitors

    4. Asheville, North Carolina

    Asheville regularly tops lists as one of the most desirable places to live in the United States. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, it is a small town with a growing concentration of art and music festivals and events. Local realtor, Jon Corbin, reports that the majority of homes are priced at or below $350,000. On average, homes list at $249,000, making Asheville an affordable, beautiful place to call home.

    5. Portland, Maine

    Individuals looking for a warm climate might shy away from Portland, Maine, but the coastal town has a lot to offer. Although Maine experiences harsh New England winters, Portland residents enjoy gorgeous autumn foliage and temperate summers. Seafood lovers will appreciate year-round fresh lobster and an abundance of unique local cuisine. Outdoor enthusiasts can take advantage of water sports, hiking, and boating. The median listing price for homes in Portland, Maine is $260,000.

    Whether you are looking to relocate or you already live close to one of these cities, your mortgage specialist can help you identify the most favorable loan terms that fit your financial goals.

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