Are you planning to buy a new home this year, as well as a great home warranty policy to go with it? You might need to decide first where you can afford to buy.
According to Bankrate’s analysis of data from the National Association of Home Builders, the median home price has risen roughly 30% in the last decade, while household income has gone up just 11% in the same amount of time. A separate report by Clever Real Estate based on the census highlights this issue even more starkly by looking at data over the last 50 years. After accounting for inflation, they found that home prices have increased 118% since 1965, while income has only increased 15%.
However, don’t let these statistics discourage your dream of homeownership. There are still many places across the US where buying a home is affordable. Read on to discover ten cheap cities for buying a home in 2024.
1. Akron, Ohio
Our first proposed city for your new home is Akron, Ohio. In 2021, Akron’s median home listing price was $157,417, which is 54.5% below the national average.
As the fifth-largest city in Ohio, Akron has a small community feel paired with a low crime rate. Located about 40 miles south of Cleveland, it has become a hub for many manufacturing and production companies over the years. Formerly known for its rubber manufacturing, the city is now known for its plastic manufacturing, and it has even been dubbed the “Polymer Valley.”
According to Best Places, home prices in Akron are 750% less expensive than they are in New York City. Plus, Akron offers a lot more than just affordable housing. It also has a zoo, art museum, and several large parks. In addition, it’s home to Cuyahoga Valley National Park, which offers miles of hiking trails and a scenic waterfall. And luckily, it’s covered by great home warranty providers such as Choice Home Warranty.
2. Detroit, Michigan
While crime rates in Detroit, Michigan, are above the national average, there are still many safe neighborhoods for potential home buyers to settle down in.
According to Realtor.com, the median home listing price in Detroit is $78,000. While median salaries are also on the lower end, median earners in the Motor City will spend just around 6% of their monthly income on mortgage payments. This means plenty of money left over each month for home renovations (buying a home warranty plan from a company like Select will ensure these renovations are secure).
Although Detroit has suffered several major blows in the past decade, the city has been on the upswing over the last few years. Major companies such as Quicken Loans, General Motors, and Ally Financial are still headquartered in Detroit, so great job opportunities aren’t hard to come by. Additionally, Apple recently announced plans to partner with Michigan State University and open its first North American developer academy in Detroit.
3. Memphis, Tennessee
While many people think of Elvis or country music when they think of Memphis, Tennessee, some experts think the city is poised for the next big tech surge. Alongside Memphis’s growing tech scene, FedEx, the state government, and the US government make up the city’s largest employers.
According to Zillow, the typical home value in Memphis is just under $140,000. The city’s median age is 34, so it’s a great place for young professionals or young families to buy a home.
And while Memphis’s reputation may be changing, the city definitely hasn’t forgotten its roots. Known as the “cradle of American music,” Memphis is home to hundreds of concerts and shows each year.
4. Tulsa, Oklahoma
With a cost of living that’s 15% below the national average, Tulsa is a great place to buy a home in 2024. The city’s population is just over 400,000, and the average income is just over $46,000. According to Realtor.com, the average home listing price is $200,000 in Tulsa.
Once known as the “oil capital of the world,” the wealth that came to the area in the 1920s has left a lasting mark on the city. Even local sports teams, such as the Tulsa Drillers and the Tulsa Oilers, pay tribute to this time. Thanks to the city’s prosperity of the 20s, Tulsa is home to some of the country’s best art deco architecture.
While the oil boom ended for the city in the 60s, the energy industry continues to thrive. Careers in aerospace are plentiful, and the city is home to American Airlines Maintenance and Engineering Center, the largest center of its kind.
5. Baltimore, Maryland
Baltimore is another city that often gets overlooked due to high crime rates. However, there are plenty of high-quality home security systems available these days to keep your home and family safe.
Baltimore is home to many high-profile employers, including John Hopkins University and Northrop Grumman, one of the world’s largest military technology providers and weapons manufacturers. The government also heavily supports Baltimore’s economy, as over 18% of workers are employed by the local, state, or federal government.
Baltimore’s location is also unmatched, as it’s situated just an hour from Washington DC, and you can easily get there by hopping on the MARC from Penn Station. Many Baltimore residents choose to work in the much more expensive Washington DC without paying the astronomical home prices.
The median home price in Baltimore sits at $205,000, and the median salary is a little over $50,000.
6. Tampa, Florida
If you’re looking for somewhere warm and affordable to call home, then you may want to check out Tampa, Florida. The cost of living in Tampa is 9.1% below the national average, and the median income is $50,909. The city’s median home price is $259,155.
While you won’t be able to score oceanfront property in Tampa, the beaches are just 30 minutes away. With mild winters, warm summers, and over 170 parks, living in Tampa can feel like a permanent vacation.
Job opportunities abound in this laidback city, and you can easily find a job in healthcare, technology, or finance. While salaries are 15% below the national average, you aren’t subject to any state income tax. Additionally, Tampa residents spend 31% less on electricity than the average American.
And, let’s not forget about the city’s epic food scene. Tampa is home to a significant Cuban population, and you’ll find delicious, authentic Cuban restaurants around nearly every corner.
7. Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio, is not only an affordable city but a young one too. The median home price is $140,000, and the median age is 36. Situated on Lake Erie, it’s known for being an extremely lively city, as people enjoy boat parties and water sports for as long as the weather cooperates.
It’s also a great place for nature lovers, as the city is home to an extensive network of nature preserves. The Cleveland Metroparks System has over 300 miles of hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails, plus nature centers, golf courses, picnic areas, and fishing areas.
The city’s economy is also experiencing steady growth, and a new partnership between the state of Ohio, two universities, and three hospitals is projected to create 20,000 jobs over the next decade.
8. Saint Louis, Missouri
Saint Louis, Missouri, is home to just over 300,000 residents, making it one of the smallest big cities on this list. However, it has an extensive history that makes it unique.
Thomas Jefferson acquired Saint Louis as a part of the Louisiana Purchase, and the city was also the point of departure for Lewis and Clark’s expedition in 1804. This rich history has led to a wealth of historic museums and buildings, many of which are free to the public.
Low housing costs also make Saint Louis an attractive place to settle down, with the median housing price sitting at $244,787.
9. Rochester, New York
While you’ll likely never see New York City on any affordable city list, upstate Rochester definitely makes the cut. Rochester is poised to become slightly less affordable in the future, so now is the time to buy.
However, current home prices are competitive, with the median listing price currently sitting at $140,000. While it’s a good 5.5-hour drive from New York, the upstate area has so much going on, you may not even find yourself longing for the Big Apple.
Rochester sits right on Lake Ontario, and it’s just 1.5 hours away from Niagara Falls.
10. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
While Wisconsin may be best known for beer and cheese, the city of Milwaukee is also making a name for itself as an affordable place to buy a home. Situated on the western side of Lake Michigan, Milwaukee has a median home price of $167,000.
Healthcare dominates the economy, as the city’s top three employers are Aurora Healthcare, Ascension Wisconsin, and Froedtert Health. Those looking to flee more expensive metro areas like Chicago are finding Milwaukee to be an attractive destination, as it’s only 90 miles from the Windy City. Plus, median home listing prices are almost half as much as Chicago’s, making Milwaukee a great option for those who want to enjoy the big city life without going broke.
Conclusion: Which City is Right for You?
As you can see, there are many great affordable cities to call home in2024. Now, it’s time to decide which of these cities is right for you.
All of these cities have something truly unique to offer their residents. And, while you may not get some of the same things you would in big cities like New York or Seattle, with much more affordable home prices, you’ll have plenty of money left over each month to actually enjoy your surroundings, and to make sure you have good coverage.