The Bureau of Economic Analysis released its 2011 figures last week, including a list of the "richest metropolitan areas in the United States by personal income per capita." That list, as The Atlantic noticed, has some surprising entries. At number one, with an average income above $75K per person, is the infamously crime-ridden metropolis of Bridgeport, Conn. Of course, that income number is skewed by the inclusion of wealthy bedroom communities like Greenwich and New Canaan in the Bridgeport metro area. In Bridgeport proper, there are some real estate bargains to be had, despite the region's recorded wealth. This 1929 shingle-style manse, on a spacious lot in the Brooklawn neighborhood, is listed by the owner for just $300K. The positively Rockwellian home packs in plenty of features for that small sum—millions less than one might expect to pay elsewhere in the Bridgeport metro—including five bedrooms, four bathrooms, large updated eat-in kitchen, butler's pantry, original moldings, decorative archways, french doors, and a detached three-car garage.
? The practically unheard-of city of Midland, Texas and the surrounding finds itself at number two in the rankings, thanks largely to a thriving oil and gas industry. That penchant for mineral extraction means large tracts of land are still wildly expensive, but spacious family homes can be had for prices that won't break the bank for the average Midland resident. This 3,800-square-foot brick spread is listed for $385K. It might not be the most stylish, but has four beds and three baths, and fully utilizes its quarter-acre lot.
? There was nothing surprising about finding San Francisco on this particular rich list, particularly since it has some of the country's most expensive housing. Finding a deal here might be a bit more difficult, considering the median home price is more than $700K. With that as an average price, this three-bedroom apartment in the sought-after suburb of Tiburon is a decent value, at $689K. That price buys an expansive outdoor space with panoramic bay views, an updated kitchen, and 1,354 square feet.
? The metropolitan area centered around San Jose, Calif., just south of San Francisco, includes much of Silicon Valley and many a tech millionaire, but one need not have been an early investor in Google to afford a home in the region. The trouble with the (somewhat) affordable housing stock is that it's so damn boring. This beige-on-beige condominium isn't exactly inspiring, but it is in contract for close to $550K. At least the three-bed flat has a small outdoor space suited for grilling and access to a shared swimming pool for those hot California summers.
? Washington, D.C., with it's robust government employment and plenty of lobbyists and contractors, is not a surprise in the top five, but many of the city's million-dollar buyers flee to the Maryland or Virginia suburbs, leaving small but stately digs for those with lesser budgets. This $629K duplex, located in a brick building not far from the National Cathedral and the St. Alban's School, boasts two bedrooms, three bathrooms, an eat-in kitchen, in-unit washer/dryer, and a coveted outdoor space.
· The 20 Richest Metros in America (the First 2 Will Surprise You) [The Atlantic]
· 340 Brooklawn Ave [Zillow]
· 4011 Dunkirk Street [Zillow]
· 34 Andrew Drive [Zillow]
· 530 La Conner Dr [Zillow]
· 2828 Wisconsin Avenue [Zillow]