Most affordable pet-friendly cities: 79 metros ranked by FIDO Score™

Affordable Pet Friendly Cities by FIDO Score | The Mortgage Reports

FIDO Score™: Where does your city rank?

You've probably heard of FICO scores -- the credit rating lenders use to determine your mortgage eligibility. But have you heard of FIDO ScoresTM?

A FIDO Score™ is the measurement of a city's pet-friendliness and home affordability.

In every city across the country, pets are treated as family. So, pet owners want to live in an area that provides the best quality of life for your loved one -- great veterinary care, off-leash parks, and even pet-friendly restaurants.

But they don't want to break the bank to do it.

That's why The Mortgage Reports set out to answer the question, "Which cities are both pet-friendly and home-affordable?"

We started off with data from WalletHub's 2016 study, ranking the most pet-friendly cities. Then we added affordability data from the National Association of Realtors and the Bureau of Labor Statistics to determine FIDO Scores™ for 79 cities.

Where does your city rank?

Affordable Pet-Friendly Cities Map

Finding a pet-friendly city that's also home-affordable...what a challenge.

We've made it a bit easier with this interactive map. Darker shades indicate cities with the highest FIDO Scores™.

Cities are graded on a curve. The highest-ranked city — in this case, Cincinnati, Ohio — receives a baseline score of 100. Other cities fall in line behind the number-one spot based on a formula which compares home affordability and pet-friendliness.

Find your perfect city. Happy searching!

The most affordable & pet-friendly cities

City The
Mortgage
Reports
FIDO Score™
Rank
The
Mortgage
Reports
FIDO Score™
WalletHub
Pet-Friendly
Rank
WalletHub
Pet-Friendly Score
Median Home
Price
Median Annual
Income
Income-to-
Home-Price
Ratio (IHPR)
Cincinnati, OH 1 100.0 8 57.43 $145,400 $48,130 33.1%
Toledo, OH 2 98.3 40 49.24 $107,600 $43,430 40.4%
St. Louis, MO 3 97.7 10 56.97 $154,900 $48,240 31.1%
Lexington-Fayette, KY 4 94.2 4 60.94 $152,700 $43,620 28.6%
Oklahoma City, OK 5 94.0 16 55.15 $144,800 $45,280 31.3%
Fort Wayne, IN 6 93.3 42 49.04 $123,000 $42,250 34.3%
Birmingham, AL 7 91.9 2 63.11 $183,000 $46,440 25.4%
Tulsa, OK 8 90.4 33 51.01 $151,400 $44,840 29.6%
Atlanta, GA 9 88.6 14 55.61 $182,800 $50,720 27.7%
Tampa, FL 10 88.1 3 62.51 $207,500 $45,510 21.9%
Baton Rouge, LA 11 87.9 11 56.86 $169,300 $44,460 26.3%
Lincoln, NE 12 87.3 23 52.36 $160,200 $44,500 27.8%
Greensboro, NC 13 87.2 36 49.94 $147,000 $42,680 29.0%
Omaha, NE 14 87.2 30 51.25 $164,600 $46,490 28.2%
Louisville, KY 15 87.1 29 51.27 $157,700 $44,270 28.1%
Columbus, OH 16 85.8 50 47.27 $170,700 $48,850 28.6%
Wichita, KS 17 85.6 74 42.98 $101,600 $43,280 42.6%
Albuquerque, NM 18 85.1 20 53.98 $189,300 $45,920 24.3%
Kansas City, MO 19 85.0 49 47.48 $179,000 $48,900 27.3%
Durham, NC 20 84.9 32 51.15 $228,800 $57,850 25.3%
Pittsburgh, PA 21 83.7 21 53.40 $209,000 $47,360 22.7%
Cleveland, OH 22 83.2 76 42.11 $126,100 $48,250 38.3%
Buffalo, NY 23 83.0 72 43.13 $125,900 $46,390 36.8%
New Orleans, LA 24 82.7 38 49.30 $186,400 $43,410 23.3%
Minneapolis, MN 25 82.3 48 47.78 $234,700 $55,010 23.4%
Tucson, AZ 26 82.1 35 50.34 $202,700 $44,560 22.0%
Winston-Salem, NC 27 80.8 59 45.77 $145,100 $44,100 30.4%
Scottsdale, AZ 28 78.8 5 60.31 $237,900 $47,540 20.0%
Orlando, FL 29 78.6 1 63.42 $230,000 $43,060 18.7%
Memphis, TN 30 78.2 68 44.30 $150,100 $42,940 28.6%
Colorado Springs, CO 31 77.3 7 57.92 $266,100 $49,450 18.6%
Boise, ID 32 77.1 12 56.11 $207,700 $43,040 20.7%
Las Vegas, NV 33 76.9 9 57.31 $240,300 $43,480 18.1%
Madison, WI 34 76.3 22 53.37 $251,300 $50,830 20.2%
Corpus Christi, TX 35 76.2 60 45.14 $184,400 $43,810 23.8%
El Paso, TX 36 76.1 77 41.37 $146,700 $37,440 25.5%
Virginia Beach, VA 37 75.6 62 45.05 $206,500 $46,470 22.5%
Henderson, NV 38 75.6 13 55.78 $240,300 $43,480 18.1%
Raleigh, NC 39 75.2 45 48.20 $250,300 $50,410 20.1%
Charlotte, NC 40 75.2 79 41.00 $209,600 $49,600 23.7%
Jacksonville, FL 41 75.1 58 45.93 $215,000 $45,140 21.0%
Arlington, TX 42 75.1 61 45.10 $236,500 $50,350 21.3%
Phoenix, AZ 43 75.1 47 47.98 $237,900 $47,540 20.0%
Indianapolis, IN 44 75.1 84 40.72 $159,200 $46,840 29.4%
Fort Worth, TX 45 75.1 64 44.88 $236,500 $50,350 21.3%
San Antonio, TX 46 74.9 75 42.13 $202,600 $45,210 22.3%
Austin, TX 47 74.7 28 51.70 $286,400 $50,830 17.7%
Milwaukee, WI 48 74.7 78 41.09 $221,000 $49,350 22.3%
Sacramento, CA 49 74.4 24 52.11 $319,700 $54,690 17.1%
Mesa, AZ 50 74.3 69 43.99 $237,900 $47,540 20.0%
Nashville, TN 51 74.2 70 43.98 $232,200 $45,780 19.7%
Portland, OR 52 73.7 18 54.36 $359,900 $53,960 15.0%
Seattle, WA 53 73.3 27 51.77 $422,100 $63,300 15.0%
Houston, TX 54 73.1 86 40.06 $222,300 $52,870 23.8%
Reno, NV 55 73.0 6 60.01 $320,300 $45,210 14.1%
Chicago, IL 56 72.7 92 38.07 $228,600 $54,340 23.8%
Baltimore, MD 57 72.7 90 38.77 $237,600 $54,920 23.1%
Philadelphia, PA 58 72.6 96 34.63 $209,000 $53,590 25.6%
Miami, FL 59 72.3 51 46.91 $318,000 $46,160 14.5%
Dallas, TX 60 72.2 87 39.33 $236,500 $50,350 21.3%
Denver, CO 61 71.2 34 50.61 $396,100 $55,910 14.1%
Riverside, CA 62 70.8 57 45.96 $326,500 $46,820 14.3%
Aurora, CO 63 70.5 66 44.34 $396,100 $55,910 14.1%
Jersey City, NJ 64 70.4 91 38.60 $386,000 $61,790 16.0%
San Bernardino, CA 65 70.2 80 40.96 $326,500 $46,820 14.3%
Newark, NJ 66 70.0 95 36.31 $386,000 $59,890 15.5%
Boston, MA 67 69.6 98 33.50 $414,200 $64,080 15.5%
Long Beach, CA 68 69.6 63 45.00 $485,800 $55,650 11.5%
San Diego, CA 69 69.4 37 49.41 $564,000 $55,480 9.8%
Chula Vista, CA 70 69.1 55 46.27 $564,000 $55,480 9.8%
San Francisco, CA 71 69.0 53 46.36 $815,000 $76,160 9.3%
New York, NY 72 68.7 100 24.49 $386,000 $63,320 16.4%
Oakland, CA 73 68.3 56 46.12 $815,000 $62,760 7.7%
Los Angeles, CA 74 68.2 93 36.70 $485,800 $55,650 11.5%
Irvine, CA 75 68.2 65 44.48 $750,000 $55,890 7.5%
San Jose, CA 76 67.4 85 40.31 $1,070,000 $78,990 7.4%
Anaheim, CA 77 67.2 94 36.41 $750,000 $55,890 7.5%
Honolulu, HI 78 67.2 89 39.12 $746,000 $51,080 6.8%
Santa Ana, CA 79 67.0 99 31.03 $750,000 $55,890 7.5%

 

Methodology

FIDO Scores™ are highest in cities that are both pet-friendly and affordable.

Pet-friendliness is determined using a score from a 2016 WalletHub study which examines 19 metrics in 100 cities -- everything from veterinary care costs to the number of pet-friendly hotels.

Affordability is determined by comparing an area’s median income with its median home price to come up with an Income-to-Home-Price Ratio, or IHPR. For instance, if the average home price is $100,000, and you make $25,000 per year, the IHPR is 25%.

The higher the IHPR, the more home-affordable the city.

The base "affordable/pet-friendly" score was determined by multiplying WalletHub's pet-friendly score with IHPR.

Then, for ease of understanding, the top-ranked metro in home affordability and pet-friendliness combined was given a benchmark score of 100 (in this case, Cincinnati, Ohio). Other cities are graded on a curve behind the number-one spot based on the following formula:

100 - (top base score - [Pet-friendly score x IHPR x bonus and/or penalty])

The bonus/penalty system is necessary because some cities were quite pet-friendly, but were not very affordable. Others were ultra-affordable, but scored low on WalletHub's pet-friendly rank.

Ranking cities purely by a standard weighting system resulted in strange results. For instance, Wichita, Kansas gets high marks by affordability standards. But it’s WalletHub’s 74th most friendly city -- not very pet-friendly. A standard weighting system, for instance, 70% weight on home price and 30% weight on pet friendliness, would put Wichita in the #2 spot on the Affordable/Pet-friendly list. The bonus/penalty system pulled the city down to 17th.

Therefore, cities that were above the 50th percentile in both pet-friendliness and affordability received a bonus of 150% of their original score.

An additional 10% bonus was given to the top 10 pet-friendly cities and the top 10 affordable cities.

Cities below the 20th percentile in both categories were given a 20% penalty. This prevented cities that were ultra-pet-friendly but not affordable (or vice-versa) from achieving a high rank. After all, the study intends to surface affordable and pet-friendly all-stars in the group.

The result is the FIDO Score™: a measurement of the best places to live for pet lovers who don’t want to spend a mint on a house.

Oh, and you might be wondering what "FIDO" in FIDO Score™ stands for. Drop us a line and let us know your suggestion. We'll update this page with the best idea, up to and including posting a picture of you and your furry loved one dead-center on our page!

Sources:
WalletHub's 2016 Most Pet-Friendly Cities https://wallethub.com/edu/most-pet-friendly-cities/5562/
Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2016 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oessrcma.htm
National Association of REALTORS Metropolitan Median Area Prices and Affordability 2017 Q1 https://www.nar.realtor/topics/metropolitan-median-area-prices-and-affordability