Top 5 Best & Worst Cities for Homeowner Happiness

By HomeAdvisor

Updated January 17, 2019

Published February 2017

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Happiness is important to everyone, so HomeAdvisor decided to see just how much a person’s happiness is influenced by where they live. The first-ever survey of its kind, the poll is a comprehensive look at the things that make people happiest about their homes and their communities. After looking at the results, it’s clear that accessibility, community, and dwelling are all important components in the recipe for a happy home life. Here’s a look at some of the top – and bottom – cities for homeowner happiness.

Happiest Cities

Looking for a place that boasts a high percentage of happy homeowners? These five cities are spread throughout the country and have a lot of differences, but they all share the common thread of residents who are happy with their homes.

1. San Francisco

San Francisco suburbs

Image Credit: Public Domain

Despite the high cost of living in the City by the Bay, San Francisco ranks at the top of the list, with 74 percent of the city’s survey respondents saying, “It’s the best place to live.” Even more respondents plan to stay in the community for the next 5 years. Other resident perks are the close proximity to everything the city has to offer, plenty of access to shopping, and easy access to highways. Plus, 70 percent of respondents say they live close to neighbors they trust.

2. Los Angeles

Downtown LA

Image Credit: WikiMedia

Nearly 70 percent of Los Angeles homeowners think that LA is the best place to live, and a full 78 percent say that their home makes them proud. In addition, 70 percent say they feel safe in their communities – a key factor that undoubtedly has a positive influence on a homeowner’s happiness.

3. Denver

Downtown Denver CO

Image Credit: WikiMedia

The Mile High City is also home to many happy homeowners, with 8.1 out of 10 residents calling their city the best place to live. Safe neighborhoods, good fire, police and medical services, and a strong sense of neighborhood trust place this city among the happiest in the nation.

4. Saint Louis

Saint Louis suburbs

Image Credit: WikiMedia

Easy access to attractions and services, a reasonable commute, and community safety are just three of the reasons that St. Louis homeowners are happy. Additionally, 70 percent of the survey respondents are happy with their home’s size and layout, which is a big plus when it comes to homeowner satisfaction.

5. Seattle

Seattle skyline

Image Credit: WikiMedia

Seattle rounds out the top five, with 77 percent of the city’s respondents reporting that they plan to stay in the community for the next five years. Sixty seven percent believe the cost of Seattle living is reasonable, another bonus that keeps homeowners happy.

Worst Cities

Unfortunately, not all homeowners find their hometown to be a big source of happiness. These cities ranked at the bottom of the list, with survey respondents reporting satisfaction levels below the national average in a number of key areas.

5. Milwaukee

UWM in Milwaukee WI

Image Credit: WikiMedia

When compared to other homeowners across the nation, Milwaukee’s residents tend to find a little more fault with their homes, with only 64 percent reporting that they are proud of their residence. In fact, only a little more than half report that their home is their favorite place to be.

4. Indianapolis

Downtown Indianapolis

Image Credit: Pixabay

Seven out of 10 Indianapolis residents believe that their city’s cost of living is reasonable, but that isn’t enough to pull this city out of its spot in the bottom five. Seven percent of respondents say they hope to leave the city in the next five years, and five percent say they are not proud of their home.

3. Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City

Image Credit: WikiMedia

Many of Salt Lake City’s homeowners also express a desire for a change, with only 49 percent of respondents saying that their home is their favorite place to be, which is well below the national average of 55 percent. Additionally, only 58 percent live in close proximity to their work, which means a longer commute that might impact homeowner happiness.

2. Philadelphia

Philadelphia skyline
Image Credit: WikiMedia

It may be the city of brotherly love, but not all Philly homeowners love their city. A full 10 percent report that they hope to leave the community in the next five years. What’s more, only 66 percent say that they feel safe in their community, and only 53 percent have neighbors they enjoy – both factors that can contribute to homeowner happiness.

1. Baltimore

Res Hill in Baltimore

Image Credit: WikiMedia

Baltimore ranks on the bottom of the list, with only 59 percent reporting that they hope to stay in the community for the next five years. Just 52 percent of survey respondents say that their home is their favorite place to be, and only 40 percent believe that the cost of living is reasonable. Baltimore residents also have a relatively long commute, with only 51 percent of people living in close proximity to their work, and the rest looking at an average commute time of 50 minutes.


  1. marcia, October 1:

    Is there a list of which cities were surveyed? Were there more than the 10 shown here?

  2. HomeAdvisor, October 26:

    Hi Marcia,

    There were 38 cities (or MSAs) included in the survey. MSAs account for suburbs outside of major cities.

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