News & Trends
January 13, 2022

What are the 10 Most Affordable US Cities to Live in?

The post-pandemic shift of American living has created more possibilities for people to move out of their native cities and explore other locations. Local economies, job markets, and amenities have all been impacted. With remote work on the rise, there are more opportunities to change your scenery. To help you decide about where to move next, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 most affordable U.S. cities to live in.

How is a City’s Affordability Determined?

Determining a city’s cost of living depends on various complexities and the numbers can fluctuate over time. The Council for Community and Economic Research implemented a process that measures the average local prices of consumer goods, healthcare, and transportation against the same local prices in other cities. For our list, we’ve used median household income and median home price to determine affordability because the largest portion of people’s paychecks go toward home costs and expenses.

How Does This Effect Your Own Affordability?

Knowing how much you can afford for a home is also important. There are various mortgages that can help you achieve homeownership, some of which have unique down payment requirements. If you have questions about how much you can afford, contact us today.

Memphis, Tennessee

Seated right on the Mississippi River, Memphis hosts a little over 650,000 residents. With an ever-present music scene (B.B. King, Johnny Cash, and Otis Redding all started in the Memphis area) and great food, this Tennessee city is diverse and ideal for young professionals or families. The cost of living is 20% below the national average and Tennessee doesn’t impose a state income tax.

Median household income: $39,000

Median home price: $148,857

Kansas City, Missouri

With over two million residents, Kansas City has plenty of history and a lot of community fun. Housed between two rivers and two states (the other being Kansas), this metropolis has great school districts and safe neighborhoods. Kansas City has plenty of opportunities in healthcare, education, and trade.

Median household income: $51,630

Median home price: $332,000

San Antonio, Texas

Home of the historic Alamo, San Antonio has features everyone can enjoy and is bursting with culture. The second largest city in Texas with 1.5 million residents, San Antonio has plentiful job opportunities and military stations. There are so many things to do, with festivals that celebrate the American and Mexican culture blend, historic museums, and a gorgeous River Walk.

Median household income: $50,000

Median home price: $198,100

Omaha, Nebraska

Clocking in at just under a million residents, Omaha embraces change while still honoring and celebrating history. With plenty of parks and museums to explore, a zoo and an aquarium, Omaha has a great art culture. Health services, education, and technology are large industries in this mid-Western city. Surrounded by fertile agriculture and farming, Omaha also embraces farm-to-table and health-conscious food culture.

Median household income: $50,550

Median home price: $210,000

Indianapolis, Indiana

This bustling city named after its own state features the world’s largest children’s museum and the largest-attended sporting event in the United States, the Indy 500. Beyond sports, Indianapolis residents are passionate about their cultural and artistic diversity.

Median household income: $51,060

Median home price: $275,070

Cincinnati, Ohio

Cincinnati has wonderful amenities, such as museums, zoo and botanical gardens, and other art and culture centers. Cincinnati has over 2 million residents, making it one of the largest cities on the list. With careers in science, business, arts, and healthcare, there are plenty of job opportunities. Although primarily a car-centric city, Amtrak trains and Greyhound buses are easily accessible in the downtown metro area.

Median household income: $51,410

Median home price: $303,910

Kalamazoo, Michigan

With less than 300,000 residents, Kalamazoo is an up-and-coming art and culture hotspot. This small city features numerous community events such as farmers markets, chili cook offs, and art shows with local artists. Healthcare, education, and pharmaceutical production are major local industries. Meanwhile, fifteen of the area’s high schools are recognized on U.S. News & World Report’s Best High Schools rankings.

Median household income: $48,230

Median home price: $161,050

Huntsville, Alabama

Most known for its U.S. Space and Rocket Center, Huntsville has just under half a million residents and boasts a vibrant science, aerospace, defense, and technology field. Recognized as one of the fastest-growing metro areas in Alabama, Huntsville has been converting older structures into breweries, arts centers, and apartments. While the cost of living is higher than Alabama’s state average, it’s still significantly lower than other metropolitan areas in the United States.

Median household income: $55,980

Median home price: $192,660

Buffalo, New York

An easy 30-minute drive from Niagara Falls, Buffalo’s cost of living is nearly 50% lower than New York City. This city features a large sports presence no matter the season with beloved football and hockey teams. Despite hosting 1.1 million residents, Buffalo still has a small-town neighborhood feel. Education, healthcare, and energy are all career draws.

Median household income: $51,000

Median home price: $202,100

Des Moines, Iowa

While Iowa used to be viewed as a sleepy state, Des Moines has been slowly transforming into a midsized Midwestern hub. The city embraces technology and insurance businesses. With a little more than 650,000 people, Des Moines has a small-town and friendly atmosphere. When comparing Des Moines’ housing costs and values against similarly sized metro areas, this Iowa city comes in at the top.

Median household income: $53,000

Median home price: $273,134

Ready to Explore?

If you’re ready to live somewhere new or out of state, it’s never too early to find out more information. Using top ten lists, such as this one, and taking notes about what appeals to you will help you and your Real Estate Agent determine what will work best for you. To learn more about buying a home, contact us. You’ll be put in touch with a knowledgeable Loan Originator that will work with your unique needs and affordability.

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