The Real Cost of Living in the Pottstown Area

    The Real Cost of Living in the Pottstown Area

    Oct 19, 2021

    The Real Cost of Living

     

    What is the real cost of living in the Pottstown Area? 

    Moving in or out of an area often requires that you do your due diligence. There is usually a checklist of factors to consider, with security and cost of living being right at the top of that list for most people. 

    Factors like housing, food, healthcare, population, and transportation are the core determinants of the cost of living in any area. In this article, we would discuss these factors with regards to Pottstown, while showing you how they may compare to the national average. 

    Cost of living in Pottstown, Pennsylvania 

     

    The cost of living index is the estimated amount you need to afford the basic necessities for survival in an area. It generally takes into account estimates for food, healthcare, transportation, real estate, utilities, taxes, and other necessities. 

    A significant benefit of the cost of living index is that it helps you compare your current location to your destination. By knowing the cost differences, you can make an informed decision of whether or not you want the move. 

    The cost of living index is based on a national average of 100. Where 100 is the average, a number greater than 100 is above average and anything less than 100 is below the national average.

    Overall, Pottstown’s cost of living is 99, which is slightly below the national average of 100. This means that Pottstown’s cost of living is just 1% lower than the national average. 

    The breakdown of this value includes housing (30%), transportation (10%), food and groceries (15%), healthcare (7%), energy/utilities (6%), and other irregular expenses making up the remaining 30%. 

    Note: this metric covers the homeowner alone; expenses like child care and taxes are not included. 

     

    Real estate 

    One of the biggest draws for people looking to move to Pottstown is the cost of housing. For instance, when compared to most other residential areas across the country, the cost of buying a home is much more affordable in Pottstown. 

    However, there are elements involved in the process of purchasing a home that you should consider. Firstly, there’s the down payment, which can be anywhere between 0 (VA/USDA) to 20% of the selling price. Then there are closing costs as well.

    Other expenses such as utility bills, property taxes, insurance, and maintenance costs contribute to the overall cost of owning a home in Pottstown. If you are moving from a previous location, the sale of your home needs to also be completed.

    Property taxes and utilities aside, the median housing cost ranks around 54.2 for Pottstown and 75.1 for Pennsylvania as a whole. 

    With regards to owning a home, the median home cost is $260,300, compared to the national average of $291,700. It is worthwhile to note that this estimate is not the average, nor the arithmetic mean. The median home price is the middle value when you arrange all the prices in recent years in order, from the lowest to the highest. 

    Typically, the median home cost is a better indicator than the average because unusual spikes or deeps in prices in the market do not affect this figure. 

    Pottstown Median Income and Debt-To-Income Ratio

    The Debt-To-Income [DBI] ratio refers to the percentage of your gross income that goes into servicing your monthly debt payments. The percentage of income spent on monthly housing payments is usually a good indicator of the cost of housing in an area. 

    A healthy DBI ratio for renters and homeowners is less than 28% of your gross income. Given that the median incomes for Pottstown’s homeowners and renters are $62,263 and $24,847 respectively, then the monthly housing expenses shouldn’t exceed $1,453 and $580 for homeowners and renters. 

    Healthcare access and affordability 

    Healthcare constitutes a significant portion of the overall cost of living anywhere. In terms of affordability and access, the state of Pennsylvania ranks 15th in the United States. 

    Affordability is measured in terms of the rates set for insurance coverage in a state, as well as the out-of-pocket expenses that come with receiving healthcare. 

    Accessibility, on the other hand, refers to how easy or difficult it is to receive healthcare. We measure access to healthcare by taking into account the challenges that can prevent you from receiving care. 

    Factors such as distance to hospitals and healthcare centers, availability of sufficient facilities and qualified healthcare professionals, ease of access to insurance coverage, and how quickly a healthcare provider can see you all influence a state’s access to healthcare ranking.

    Note that as important as it is to have affordable healthcare, accessibility to it is crucial. Standing at 97, the cost of healthcare being slightly cheaper in Pottstown is another of its significant advantages. 

    Other factors 

    It is fair to say that housing consumes the bulk of a family’s gross income. So, it contributes the most towards the cost of living in a neighborhood. However, other factors such as food, transportation, and utility are also key players in the overall costs.

    Transportation within Pottstown has a cost index of 98.5, which is about the average you would find across the US. Factors that influence this ranking include the average cost of gasoline, vehicle insurance, cost of maintenance, and the mass transit fare within Pottstown. 

    Other factors such as the cost of the vehicle, vehicle registration, licenses, or taxes aren’t accounted for in this estimation. 

    Meanwhile, the cost of groceries and food in the Pottstown area at 102.3, is a tad bit higher than the national average of 100. Utility costs or costs of consumption of energy such as heating or cooling, use of electricity, gas, and other energy sources is also average at 100.9. 

    Conclusion

    Compared to the national average, the cost of living in Pottstown, Pennsylvania is beyond reasonable. Across the board, prices are slightly cheaper in this area than the average within the country. What is not obvious so far is just how well Pottstown compares to other neighborhoods within Pennsylvania. 

    For instance, the overall cost of living for Phoenixville, Pennsylvania at 114.4 is 15.4% higher than Pottstown at 99. Whether you consider the national average, or you look across the state of Pennsylvania, you will find that Pottstown is a safe bet for someone wanting good-quality standards of living, at a lower cost.