Amid the subprime mortgage disaster, it’s easy to forget that a lot of people own their homes outright. In fact, a full one-third of U.S. homeowners don’t have a mortgage to worry about.
According to an analysis of census information by USA Today, there are 123 areas of the country where 40 percent or more of home owners donâ€™t have a mortgage.
Many of those areas also never had any sort of boom in prices, either because they are in declining areas that have suffered job losses and dwindling population or because they are thriving retirement communities.
Cities with the highest percentage of owner-occupied properties that are mortgage free:
Bluefield, W. Va.: 57 percent
Sebring, Fla.: 56 percent
Odessa, Texas: 54 percent
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas: 54 percent
Weirton, W.Va.-Steubenville, Ohio: 53 percent
Source: USA Today, Haya El Nasser and Paul Overberg