Professional athletes are a unique bunch. We watch them on TV, see them play in our favorite stadiums, and read about their personal lives on social media or in tabloids. But what we don’t always see is what’s happening behind the curtain.
For example, you know that most professional athletes live in nice house. But what you may not know is that they don’t always buy homes in the cities where they play. The transient, short-term nature of professional sports contracts – combined with the seasonality of playing – leaves many renting. Then in the offseason, they move back home. But where is home?
5 of the Most Popular Cities
Every story is different. There are pro athletes spread out across all 50 states and dozens of countries around the world, but here are some of the most popular havens:
- Los Angeles
Los Angeles will always be the capital of the celebrity world. For professional athletes that want to rub shoulders with other celebrities, attend the biggest parties, and live the quintessential superstar lifestyle, there’s no other place to be. Real estate and taxes are ridiculously high, but who cares when you’re bringing in six- and seven-figure monthly paychecks?
On the other side of the country is Miami. For athletes that like warm weather and nightclubs, but prefer the east coast to the west coast, Miami is the place to be. While real estate prices are still ludicrous, the tax rate is far more friendly.
While Los Angeles and Miami have the glitz, glam, and fashion, Houston has a more laid back feel. It’s still a big city with lots of amenities, but it’s got that Texas flare that many pro athletes find more their style. You’re especially apt to find athletes who were born in smaller southwest towns end up relocating to Houston.
Houston is great because it’s relatively inexpensive, has a number of nice communities (such as The Woodlands), and is highly accessible and central to much of the region.
Just a three and a half hour drive north of Houston is Dallas, which is about as swanky as Texas gets. For athletes that want bright lights and lively nightlife, yet still prefer Texas undertones, Dallas is it.
Dallas is especially attractive for athletes that have interests in business and entrepreneurship. Unemployment is at an all-time low, there are a number of tech companies in the area, and the relatively low cost of living creates huge opportunities.
Hotlanta is the perfect mixture of everything. It offers a big city environment, low cost of living, some variance in weather, and convenient location. For pro athletes that grew up in the southeast or currently play for a team in the region, the Atlanta suburbs are a popular place to turn. You can get a lot of house for less money than most other major urban areas.
How Pro Athletes Buy Houses
Not only are pro athletes typically buying bigger and nicer homes than the average American homebuyer, but they’re also handling the process differently. In fact, most athletes have their agents and advisers contact pro sports realtors or other connected agents who then work to come up with a handful of listings that are presented (based on a specific set of requests).
It’s not unheard of for a busy pro athlete who is in the middle of a season to purchase a house unseen (or have their spouse select one). Then there’s the process of packing and shipping household goods, transporting vehicles, and selling or leasing the previous home – all of which must be carefully coordinated.
Contrary to popular belief, most pro athletes don’t purchase homes in cash. They’ll typically put down a hefty down payment and then finance the rest. (But let’s just say getting approved isn’t typically a problem.)
Even with all of the differences, buying a house is buying a house. Whether you’re a pro athlete or 9-to-5 worker in a small business, purchasing a home is a big commitment and has to be taken seriously. It just so happens that pro athletes tend to have more disposable income to absorb a hit.