Given that the median sale price of an existing home was $346,900 in 2021, a 17% increase from the previous year, it may seem like there is no place to buy an affordable home in the United States. (On the plus side, mortgage rates, although they have risen, are still near historic lows – you can see the lowest mortgage rates you could qualify for here). But a new analysis from Realtor.com, which looked at February 2022 housing data in the nation’s 250 largest metros, found that there are many cities with median home prices below $200,000, and in some cases less than $100,000.
So what gives? Elena Cox, data reporter for Realtor.com, says there are generally two reasons housing prices have remained low in a city – either there isn’t much demand or the average job pay in the region is low, making it difficult for residents to save for down payments. That said, that doesn’t mean these places don’t each have something special: here are the ten cheapest cities to buy a home, according to Realtor.com’s list, and what life is like in each. they.
If you like to dine by the water: Peoria, IL
Median house price: $98,000
Located in central Illinois, about 150 miles southwest of Chicago, Peoria offers a waterfront neighborhood with outdoor event spaces, restaurants, a walking path, museums, and theaters. The city is also home to Wildlife Prairie Park, an 1,800-acre zoological park that is home to 60 species once native to the region, including bison, wolves, and bobcats. It’s no wonder people across the country started buying properties in the city in the summer of 2021, reports The Washington Post. That said, the unemployment rate in the city is high.
If you like historical sites: Terre Haute, IN
Median house price: $104,900
Just east of the Illinois border, this town sits on high ground next to the Wabash River. Formerly a hub for farmers, millers and pork processors in the 19and century, Terre Haute experienced an economic decline in the 20and century as industries moved to cheaper places. The city, however, has many cultural relics from its heyday, including the Swope Art Museum, which was founded by a jeweler and Civil War veteran; Collett Park, created in 1883 and featuring a pavilion inspired by ancient Roman architecture; and the Indiana Theater, which was built in 1922 to host silent film and vaudeville performances, and is still in operation as an event space today.
If you love hiking: Saginaw, MI
Median house price: $112,200
Used as a fur trading post in the early 19and century, Saginaw, which is located less than 20 miles from Lake Huron, later became a hub for automobile manufacturing and lumber production, as well as the site of salt, coal and oil deposits. At the end of the 20and century most of the industry had left the town, but there are still many remnants of more prosperous times, including the castle museum, which was built in the late 19and century to house a post office. The town is surrounded by nature preserves, including the Price Nature Center, which features 186 acres of trails, as well as grillhouses and a playground.
If you want to start a small business for less: Youngstown, OH
Median house price: $118,000
Youngstown offers cultural attractions including the Fellows Riverside Garden, which comprises twelve acres of manicured grounds, as well as the Butler Institute of American Art, which was built by American industrialist Joseph G. Butler, Jr., and houses 22 000 works of art. . The town is located a few miles west of the Pennsylvania border, and recent efforts to revitalize Youngstown have included the creation of a downtown pedestrian plaza and the opening of the Youngstown Business Incubator, which focuses on digital, women- and minority-owned businesses, and is housed in a former department store.
If you want a thriving downtown: Davenport, IA
Median house price: $127,400
Named the most livable city in the United States by the United States Conference of Mayors in 2007, Davenport is located on the banks of the Mississippi River. Proudly declaring itself a progressive community on its website, Davenport has invested in the revitalization of its historic downtown in the 21st century. The city repaired Modern Woodmen Park, home to a minor league baseball team, and built the Skybridge, a 50-foot-tall pedestrian bridge that connects LeClaire Park to waterfront trails and parks. Another addition relatively new to the city is the glass building of the Figge Art Museum, which was designed by the famous British architect David Chipperfield.
If you want a place that is LGBTQ+ friendly: Erie, PA
Median house price: $148,400
Pennsylvania’s main access point to the Great Lakes, Erie is famous for being the site of the Battle of Lake Erie, which marked a turning point for the United States during the War of 1812. Located less than 100 miles from Buffalo , Cleveland and Pittsburgh, Erie was the center of the Rust Belt and declined during the 1970s as manufacturing left the area. There’s plenty to do in the city, including Almost Isle State Park, a 3,200-acre peninsula that curves into Lake Erie and offers sunbathing, boating, fishing, swimming and hiking during the summer months. Today, Erie is known for its breweries and its openness to the LGBTQ+ community.
If you love the outdoors: Charleston, WV
Median house price: $148,900
Capital of West Virginia, Charleston is located at the confluence of the Elk and Kanawha Rivers in the Allegheny Mountains. Blessed with great natural beauty, Charleston, a major salt production site in the 19and century, has a minor league baseball team, the West Virginia State Museum, and a riverside park that hosts live music every Friday throughout the summer. The town is surrounded by forests and hiking trails, including the Kanawha State Forest, popular with birdwatchers.
If you like local theater: Utica, NY:
Median house price: $169,450
Part of the Mohawk Valley, Utica is located near the Erie Canal and was an important center of textile production in the 19and century. After a long period of decline due to the flight of manufacturing industries to the area, the population of Utica shrank. At 21st century, it has experienced a revitalization. In 2021, the city received $10 million from New York State for projects including a mixed-use arts space and an update to the Stanley Theater, which hosts local performances of shows including Waitress and South Pacific. . The city is also home to the Utica Zoo, which has 200 animals representing 99 species, and the Saranac Brewing Company, a family business that has been in business for over 130 years.
If you love music: Macon, GA
Median house price: $174,950
Don’t be fooled by the malls and chain stores that surround this town. Macon’s interior consists of rolling green hills, horse farms, pecan groves, and a historic business district that received $19.6 million in investment in 2017 for revitalization efforts. Known as the birthplace of Otis Redding, the city is home to music venues and Fresh Produce Records, a major record store.
If you like car racing: Topeka, KS
Median house price: $184,950
Topeka has one of the most variable climates in the United States, with hot, humid summers and cold, snowy winters. Attractions include Heartland Motorsports Park, which features various auto races, and the Evel Knievel Museum commemorating the famous daredevil.