In a comparison of 50 U.S. metros, Grand Rapids, Michigan was named as having the best work-life balance, as housing costs take up only 18 percent of residents' income, and commutes are only about 22 minutes.
Some experts speculate that the weather in Grand Rapids may be a positive for its housing market by keeping property values balanced. States with warmer weather tend to have less affordable markets with higher housing prices, Realtor.com reports. "Grand Rapids ... is a place people likely wouldn’t go out of their way to seek out, although people from Michigan looking for a more moderately priced and hip city may find themselves gravitating there," said real estate agent Cara Ameer.
Granted, anyone who's ever set foot in New York, much less lived there, knows that "balance" isn't what The City So Nice They Named It Twice is all about. "Most people move to New York for the intensity or opportunities, not for the balance," points out Kali McFadden, a senior research analyst at LendingTree. And that's why many New Yorkers flock here but eventually flee.