10 Most Affordable Cities to Buy a House in the U.S.

Would you like to move somewhere affordable? For many first-time home buyers, finding an affordable place to live is a top priority. In addition to considering factors such as proximity to family, job opportunities, and...

Would you like to move somewhere affordable? For many first-time home buyers, finding an affordable place to live is a top priority. In addition to considering factors such as proximity to family, job opportunities, and the quality of local schools, the overall affordability of homes plays a significant role in the decision-making process.

According to The National Association of REALTORS®, the overall affordability of homes ranks as the second-most important factor for buying a home, just after the quality of the neighborhood.

To help you identify the most affordable cities for buying a house in the United States, the Homebuyer.com research group conducted a comprehensive analysis. Using trusted sources like the U.S. Census Bureau and Altos Research, they built an algorithm that takes into account public and private homeowner data and calculates the relative cost of homeownership in each city. The algorithm was applied to the 800 largest Census-recognized cities to determine the top 10 most affordable options.

What Makes a Home Affordable?

When assessing home affordability, several key factors come into play. The first is the cost of the home itself, including the sales price and the required down payment. Mortgage rates also play a significant role in determining monthly costs.

Property taxes are another crucial consideration. These taxes vary by county and municipality, typically ranging from 1% to 5% of the home's value.

Transportation costs are also factored in, which includes factors such as commuting expenses, access to public transit, and taxes on gas and electricity.

Lastly, the cost of homeowners insurance and other insurance must be taken into account. Homeowners insurance tends to be less expensive in some states, such as Ohio and Iowa, but more expensive in disaster-prone areas like California, Florida, and Louisiana.

Most Affordable Cities by Category

The research categorized the most affordable cities based on their population size:

  1. National Rankings
  2. Large City Rankings: Populations over 113,000
  3. Mid-sized City Rankings: Populations between 71,000 - 113,000
  4. Small City Rankings: Populations between 50,000 - 71,000

The following are the top 10 most affordable cities to buy a house in the U.S.:

#1: Macon, Georgia

Macon, Georgia, takes the top spot as the most affordable city to buy a house. With a rich heritage dating back over 17,000 years, Macon offers a combination of historical charm and affordable housing options. The city is also home to Mercer University, which provides excellent benefits for employees, including assistance for purchasing a home.

Macon, Georgia Image: Macon, Georgia

#2: Detroit, Michigan

Detroit, Michigan, is renowned for its role in the American automobile industry. While the city has faced challenges over the years, it has recently experienced a resurgence, making it an attractive option for home buyers. Detroit offers a thriving arts and culture scene, a revitalized downtown, and affordable housing options.

Detroit, Michigan Image: Detroit, Michigan

#3: Gary, Indiana

Located on Lake Michigan in northwest Indiana, Gary is only a short drive away from downtown Chicago. The city offers some of the lowest-cost homes in the study, making it an affordable option for home buyers. Additionally, the local government has invested heavily in modernization and revitalization efforts, contributing to the city's ongoing transformation.

Gary, Indiana Image: Gary, Indiana

#4: Flint, Michigan

Flint, Michigan, is known for its affordability and modest homeowner property taxes. Despite its challenging past, the city has undergone significant revitalization in recent years. Flint offers beautiful parks, museums, and a strong sense of community. The city has also met water quality standards since 2016, and it has been named one of the best cities to live by U.S. News.

Flint, Michigan Image: Flint, Michigan

#5: Toledo, Ohio

Toledo, Ohio, is a city that offers affordable housing options for everyone. Located on the shores of Lake Erie, Toledo boasts a wide range of outdoor recreational activities, including beautiful parks and gardens. The city is also home to a variety of museums and historic sites, making it an attractive option for those seeking a vibrant and affordable place to live.

Toledo, Ohio Image: Toledo, Ohio

These are just a few of the most affordable cities to buy a house in the U.S. The Homebuyer.com research group has conducted a comprehensive analysis to help first-time home buyers make better-informed decisions. If you're in the market for an affordable home, consider exploring these cities and their unique offerings.

For the complete study and methodology, along with rankings for large and mid-sized cities, please visit the Homebuyer.com website.