We investigate the US locations with the best weather to discover what else they offer those buying in the USA in addition to sunny days.

I think it’s safe to say most of us would be up for a little more sunshine in our lives. The last Bank Holiday weekend just showed us what we’ve been missing! Doesn’t it just make everything feel better when the sun shines? Now, if having a little bit of heat in your life is fuelling your desire for buying in the USA, today we’re taking a look at the top five states for sunshine. We’re considering not only which States get the most sunshine hours, but also their most desirable features for expats and what types of property you can snap up in the region.

Yuma, Arizona, holds the world record for the most recorded annual average sunshine

The findings that we looked at evaluated each State in terms of optimal weather conditions. After all, 50 degree heat all year round is hardly going to be ideal for every party involved! For the terms of the survey, optimum weather conditions were described as:

1 – Comfortable temperatures: Between 17–30°C for seven or more months of the year.

2 – Clear skies: With sunshine for at least 60% of the time, as a yearly average.

3 – Dry weather: With an absolute maximum of 60 inches (152 centimetres) of rain per year.

Sunset over the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon. The sun sets on another glorious day.

In no particular order, here are our top five…

Arizona

In Arizona, you can expect a wonderful 81% of all days to be sunny. Average daily temperatures across the State from April to October are well within the ideal range of between 17-30°C. If heat is your top priority when buying in the USA, the city of Yuma is the hottest spot and is sunny 90% of the time. In fact, Yuma holds the world record for the most recorded annual average sunshine. Plus, it has the highest annual total sunshine hours in the USA throughout every month bar July, August and September. Other particularly sunny locations within Arizona include, Flagstaff, Tucson and Phoenix.

What else does Arizona offer?

Firstly, while you may think you’ve heard little about the State – there is one element of it you’ll be more than familiar with… The Grand Canyon. The mile-deep gorge, through which the Colorado River runs, cuts through 277 miles of incredible desert terrain. Arizona doesn’t just offer desert, you can even ski in certain corners of the State where pine trees are far more common than cacti. Furthermore, there are world-class ski resorts to check out at Tucson, Alpine and Flagstaff.

Arizona has low unemployment rates and ample job opportunities, particularly within travel and tourism, finance, business and government. Also, if you’ve always quite fancied living in the Wild West, Arizona is your closest bet. It’s an ideal spot for wine lovers and is arguably the second-best location for wineries in the entire USA. Sedona or the Verde Valley Wine Trail are perfect places to sample the Arizona’s wares. Finally, you’ll be able to enjoy an artsy, music-loving scene – after all, the State is the birthplace of musical legends like Stevie Nicks, Linda Ronstadt and Alice Cooper.

Arizona property

This spacious, four-bedroom, two-bathroom property in Yuma is on the market for just $229,900 (£169,000). The property boasts a fantastic fenced pool, perfect for cooling off on the hottest Arizona days. There is also a sizeable garden, two-car garage, an additional pool deck and a pergola to shade in.

Florida

Many of our readers considering buying in the USA have Florida right at the top of their list. If you hadn’t heard the rumours about Florida’s idyllic year-round temperatures, the State’s nickname, ‘The Sunshine State’ certainly gives the game away. Areas like Key West, Orlando, Gainesville, Miami and Fort Lauderdale continue to attract both expats and so-called winter ‘snowbirds’ with their balmy days and nights. Key West is one of the driest areas in the State with an annual rainfall of 39 inches teamed with a 76% sunshine rate. St Petersburg, a hugely popular location, once earned itself the world record for having 768 consecutive days of sunshine! While that was back in 1967, long sunny stretches certainly don’t appear to be a thing of the past in Florida.

What does Florida offer expats?

In addition to glorious weather there are lots of pros to buying in Florida. Firstly, there is no state income tax. Housing costs remain well below the national average, particularly in areas like St Petersburg, Tarpon Springs, Bonita Springs, Fort Pierce and Live Oak. You’ll be able to spend your days (or just your winters) relaxing on the world’s best beaches. Additionally, you’ll have the perk of accessing the discounts to local attractions that are offered to residents and will be most welcome every time your family comes to visit.

Florida property

Florida property

This six-bed property is perfect for anyone looking for a holiday home for the whole family to enjoy. The enormous property is 15-munites from Disney, has its own private pool and comes fully-furnished. This lovely home is on the market for $450,000 (£330,000).

California

When you sit down to plan your journey towards buying in the USA, are you California Dreaming? We don’t blame you! The state enjoys a mild climate all year round, which means that even when temperatures do drop, the sky remains a wonderful shade of blue. Areas like Fresno, Sacramento and Stockton all average 27 clear sky days per month during summer, and furthermore, no matter the time of year popular spots like San Diego, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and Santa Maria rarely experience temperatures below 18 degrees. Temperatures don’t tend to rise above 30 degrees and rain is relatively uncommon.

What else does California offer?

What doesn’t it offer should really be the question! We’re talking beaches, national parks, lakes, ski resorts, deserts and wine region. California’s top-notch weather allows you to get outside to enjoy hiking, cycling, surfing and some of the most spectacular coastal road trips you’ll find anywhere in the world. Additionally, this is a location for foodies, music and art lovers, sports fans…and the ambitious. California is a hub of the world’s most exciting tech companies, plus it’s the home of Hollywood!

California property

Californa Property

Californa Property

Now while this property is a little pricier at $849,000 (£624,473), its lakeside location is absolutely to-die for. The five-bedroom, three-bathroom property boasts a three car garage, a place to dock your boat and a large outdoor entertaining area overlooking the water. The property is finished expertly throughout, offers lots of natural light and is wonderfully located close to downtown Sacramento.

Georgia

If you like things slightly cooler than what’s on offer nearby in Florida, Georgia might be the US State for you. The average year-round temperature is 17 degrees. Macon is one of the sunniest and driest cities, boasting just 45 inches of rain per year and a 66 percent sunshine rate. Popular spots like Athens, Atlanta, Savannah, Augusta and Columbus stay just slightly cooler than Florida, making them far more bearable during the stinking hot months between May and September.

What else does Georgia offer?  

The median property price in Georgia sits at $148,100 (£109,000), which is well below the national US average of $213,146 (£156,797). Additionally, property and gas taxes and rent are lower than the national average. While it’s considered the ‘Deep South’, people’s political persuasions are becoming more liberal and it’s an incredibly friendly spot. Savannah was even ranked one of the Friendliest Cities in the USA by Conde Nast Traveller last year. The State has a reputation for for its pristine beaches, marvellous national parks, fresh produce (especially peaches!), sports galore and as being home to 18 Fortune 500 companies, specialising in everything from mining to textiles.

Georgia Property

Georgia Property

Georgia Property

This elegant five-bedroom, five-bathroom property, located in Athens, is on the market for just $395,000 (£290,700). Outside, you’ll find an enormous swimming pool, complete with a spacious deck shaded by leafy trees. There is also a sizeable back deck, perfect for enjoying those warm summer evenings with new friends.

Texas

Even when winter comes, temperatures in Texas stay wonderfully pleasant. This is perhaps a State more suited to those of you who like things to err on the hot side, as during summer temperatures can reach highs of 35-36 degrees in popular spots like Del Rio, Victoria and Brownsville. Most places within the State average a sunshine rate of 60 percent. Doesn’t sound too shabby to us!

What else does Texas offer?

Again, Texas is another spot with no personal or corporate income tax, which is particularly exciting if you’re moving to the USA for employment. Its unemployment rate is well below the national average and a number of major industries are currently booming including business, education, health and professional services. Texas is another State that is remarkably beautiful and that enjoys beaches, desert and national parks galore. The food is fantastic – particularly if you’re a marinated meats kinda guy and the educational system is excellent, with over 200 colleges and universities located here.

Texas property

Texas property

Texas property

This three-bedroom, modern Texas home is on the market for just $212,900 (£157,000). Finished carefully throughout and offering a large back garden and covered decking area, this could be just the bargain family home you’ve been searching for.

USA Property Guide cover

The USA Buying Guide covers every stage of the property buying process, sharing our experience and knowledge to ensure a safe and successful property purchase. The guide will help you to:


  Ask the right questions
  Avoid losing money
  Avoid the legal pitfalls
  Move in successfully

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