5 Cheapest Neighborhoods for MLB Fans to Buy In

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- If Take Me Out to the Ball Game basically sums up your philosophy of life, here's a look at five U.S. cities where you can buy a home near a Major League Baseball park for a minor-league price.

"It's easier to get to the game if you live in one of these neighborhoods, and you might even be able to hear the roar of the crowd from your deck," says economist Jed Kolko of Trulia.com, which analyzed home prices near MLB ballparks recently. "And even if you never go to a game, baseball fans like to go to restaurants and bars -- so there's usually lots of excitement in the neighborhood."

Trulia ( TRLA) found that properties near Big League parks list for 45.6% more per square foot on average than homes do overall in each metro area studied.

But the site also discovered that home values near ballparks vary widely from city to city, with asking prices ranging from $28 per square foot in the cheapest locale to $653 a square foot in the costliest one.

"The differences reflect how huge the gaps in affordability are from market to market in the United States," Kolko says. "All five of the lowest-cost neighborhoods are in cities away from the coasts, where property tends to be less expensive. And stadiums in four of the five low-cost cities are located in less-expensive parts of their individual towns."

Click below to check out the U.S. metro areas that Trulia found offer the lowest-priced housing near their respective ballparks. (The study omitted Toronto, home of the Canada's Blue Jays.)

Trulia looked at all residences listed for sale on its site during the 12 months ended Feb. 28 and within roughly two miles of a Big League ballpark. Prices per square foot refer to median asking prices for all houses, condos and townhouses other than foreclosures.

Fifth-cheapest MLB neighborhood: Rangers Ballpark area, Arlington, Texas
Price per square foot:
$86

The Texas Rangers have one of baseball's best records so far this season, but you can move near their Dallas/Fort Worth-area stadium for an affordable $86 per square foot.

That's 10% above the median for the metro area in general, but Dallas/Forth Worth has long had housing costs that are well below the U.S. average.

As for the ballpark itself, it's relatively new (less than 20 years old) and sits roughly midway between Dallas and Fort Worth.

Fourth-cheapest MLB neighborhood: PNC Park area, Pittsburgh
Price per square foot:
$85

Like the Rangers, the Pittsburgh Pirates have one of MLB's best records to date and some of the lowest prices for residences near the team's home field.

Median-priced housing near PNC Park lists for just $85 a square foot even though the stadium is along the Allegheny River and within walking distance of downtown Pittsburgh.

That's partly because the Steel City has low housing costs in general, but also because homes close to 12-year-old PNC Park cost 10% below what's typical for the metro area as a whole.

Third-cheapest MLB neighborhood: Miller Park area, Milwaukee
Price per square foot:
$72

Home prices near Miller Park are doing about as well as the slumping Milwaukee Brewers are these days.

The Brewers are stuck in the cellar of the National League's Central Division, while Trulia found that housing near the team's home field lists for 30% below the median for Milwaukee as a whole.

Add in the fact that the Brew City has modest home prices to begin with and you'll find that buying a median-priced place near 12-year-old Miller Park will only cost you $72 per square foot.

Second-cheapest MLB neighborhood: Turner Field area, Atlanta
Price per square foot:
$64

The Atlanta Braves are leading the National League East Division, but housing near their home field isn't doing nearly as well in the real estate market.

Turner Field sits in a Downtown Atlanta neighborhood where residences list for only $64 a square foot -- 10% below the median in a metro area whose home prices are already below the U.S. average.

Property near Turner Field doesn't cost much even though the facility is near the Georgia State Capitol and Atlanta's central business district.

Cheapest MLB neighborhood: Kauffman Stadium area, Kansas City, Mo.
Price per square foot:
$28

The Kansas City Royals' Kauffman Stadium hosted last year's MLB All-Star Game, but residences near the site aren't winning many honors from house hunters.

Homes for sale there list for just a median $28 a square foot -- 70% below the norm in already-inexpensive Kansas City.

The low asking prices come despite the fact that Kauffman Stadium enjoyed a $250 million facelift that wrapped up in 2009.

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