When you look at the coastal cities, you pretty much know that the expensive homes will be hugging the coast and then get cheaper from as you look further inland. You put your best and toughest cops on the coast, you offer the most entertainment, all the services are going to be top knotch. Everyone wants to visit the coast and you have to pay more money for the bigger inconvenience of getting to it.
I have never suffered worse treatment as a homeless person than I did on the coast. They are well-funded and very protective of their communities there. I had a guy pull his gun on me, I’ve been reported to the cops, the city ordinances are very strict about your night time activities.
It’s a little more of a gray area further inland. I’m not exactly sure where the higher valued areas are. If I were to guess, people seem to pay a little more to live further up mountains and hills or next to lakes or large rivers. The ideal spot would be a waterfall, but it seems that the communities decide that no one should be allowed to own a waterfall. I could be wrong though.
It’s hard to see on the map where the higher elevations are exactly. Many times, the elevations seem to scatter the road system so that the roads don’t follow parallel lines. The roads have to work around the angle of the mountains. Most roads try not to go straight up and down the mountains. Although, they do it in Astoria, Oregon and the driving is treacherous because of it.
Looking for screwy road systems may not the best means of deciding where the high priced housing is. You could look for lakes or rivers too. Many times, people are willing to spend extra money to build there. Although, sometimes the river may be a little too uncontrollable and may not provide stable ground to build anything on.