Searching for the most affordable state to buy a house? Numerous factors can influence home affordability, from taxes and utilities to the cost of living and local salaries.
These elements can create a complex landscape when it comes to finding the most economical state to purchase a property. While some areas may come with pricier homes, they might also offer higher salaries to counterbalance the cost.
We’ve used a blend of income data and housing prices to compile a list of the top 15 states offering the most affordable homes in the country. Whether you’re searching for the tranquility of rural landscapes or the dynamism of city living, you’ll find appealing and economical options in these states.
Most Affordable States
15. North Dakota – Home Value: $242,261
Renowned for expansive landscapes and its booming oil industry.
North Dakota is recognized for its vast landscapes and thriving oil industry. A strong community vibe and affordable living costs are what you can look forward to when you move here. Opportunities for outdoor pursuits such as hunting, fishing, and hiking are abundant.
The premier cities for prospective homebuyers in North Dakota include:
- Grand Forks: Situated in North Dakota’s northeastern part, Grand Forks houses the University of North Dakota and a rich array of cultural sites.
- Bismarck: The capital city, Bismarck, offers an economical lifestyle and a plethora of outdoor activities.
- Fargo: The most populous city, Fargo, boasts a robust real estate market and a stable economy.
14. Illinois – Home Value: $236,049
Presents a blend of rural and urban living alongside a robust economy.
Illinois provides a mix of cosmopolitan and country life along with a stable economy. Prospective homeowners can expect to experience diverse outdoor activities such as skiing, fishing, and hiking, along with a variety of cultural experiences. The state also hosts several top-tier universities.
The prime cities for potential homebuyers in Illinois include:
- Champaign: Home to the University of Illinois, Champaign offers a blend of metropolitan and college-town charm.
- Springfield: As the capital city of Illinois, Springfield has a rich historical background and an array of cultural attractions.
- Chicago: Renowned for its iconic architectural style and world-renowned museums, Chicago offers a diverse real estate market with numerous affordable options.
13. Missouri – Home Value: $227,347
Offers affordable living and diverse landscapes.
Missouri is a state that offers affordable living and a diverse landscape. Homebuyers can enjoy a variety of settings, urban and rural, as well as numerous outdoor activities like boating, fishing, and hiking. Additionally, the state has a robust economy supported by multiple burgeoning industries.
Key cities for potential homebuyers in Missouri include:
- Springfield: Located in southwest Missouri, Springfield offers an affordable cost of living and access to many outdoor activities.
- Kansas City: Situated on the Missouri and Kansas border, Kansas City boasts a vibrant arts scene and a burgeoning real estate market.
- St. Louis: Famous for its Gateway Arch and bustling downtown, St. Louis has a thriving real estate market with several affordable options.
12. Indiana – Home Value: $222,592
Famed for its robust economy and Hoosier hospitality.
Indiana provides a strong economy coupled with traditional Hoosier hospitality. Prospective homeowners can look forward to an affordable cost of living in a variety of settings, both urban and rural. The state also houses several top-tier universities.
Main cities for potential homebuyers in Indiana include:
- Bloomington: Home to Indiana University, Bloomington has an active downtown and numerous outdoor activities such as biking and hiking.
- Fort Wayne: Situated in northeast Indiana, Fort Wayne offers a low cost of living and a strong sense of community.
- Indianapolis: Known for its cultural attractions and sports teams, Indianapolis boasts a growing real estate market with various affordable options.
11. Michigan – Home Value: $218,684
Known for affordable living and proximity to the Great Lakes.
Michigan is a state that offers an economical cost of living and easy access to the Great Lakes. Prospective homeowners can partake in a variety of outdoor pursuits such as swimming, fishing, and boating. The state also has a strong economy, particularly anchored by the automotive industry.
The top cities for prospective homebuyers in Michigan are:
- Ann Arbor: With the University of Michigan at its heart, Ann Arbor offers a blend of cosmopolitan amenities and college-town allure.
- Grand Rapids: Identified as one of the best places to reside in the U.S., Grand Rapids has a diverse economy and a vibrant arts scene.
- Detroit: Renowned for its bustling downtown and cultural attractions, Detroit’s real estate market is on the rise with several affordable options.
10. Kansas – Home Value: $210,742
Famed for its expansive prairies and welcoming communities.
Kansas provides affordable living and a strong agricultural sector. The state, known for its wheat fields and open spaces, has much to offer its residents. Home to top-tier universities like the University of Kansas and Kansas State University, it also hosts a myriad of cultural events, including theater performances, museums, and festivals.
The leading cities for homebuyers in Kansas include:
- Kansas City: Straddling the border with Missouri, Kansas City offers a blend of small-town and city living, along with a variety of cultural attractions and affordable real estate options.
- Topeka: The state’s capital, Topeka, offers a blend of small-town and city living, with a variety of cultural attractions and affordable real estate options.
- Wichita: The state’s most populous city, Wichita, offers a blend of small-town and city living, with a robust economy and affordable real estate options.
9. Alabama – Home Value: $206,044
Famous for its hospitable climate and Southern hospitality.
Alabama is a state recognized for its warm climate and Southern hospitality. With its rich history, museums, and beautiful beaches, Alabama has a plethora of offerings for its residents. Top-ranking universities like the University of Alabama and Auburn University call this state home. starting from 15 to 1.
The top city to consider for homebuyers in Alabama are:
- Birmingham: The largest city in Alabama, Birmingham, offers a mix of city and small-town living with a variety of cultural attractions and affordable real estate options.
- Huntsville: Known as “Rocket City,” Huntsville offers a mix of history and innovation with access to outdoor recreation and affordable real estate options.
- Mobile: Located on the Gulf Coast, Mobile is a charming port city with a variety of cultural attractions and affordable real estate options.
8. Ohio – Home Value: $205,800
Affordable living with a diverse economy.
Ohio features a low cost of living, coupled with a multifaceted economy. It’s a state that takes pride in its industrial legacy, which remains a source of many attractions. The state boasts several highly-rated institutions, such as the Ohio State University and the University of Cincinnati. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore a range of state parks, lakes, and forests.
Cities in Ohio that are prime for homebuyers include:
- Cincinnati: With its prime location on the Ohio River, Cincinnati offers a blend of urban and small-town living, a rich arts and culture scene, and reasonably priced real estate.
- Cleveland: Situated on the shores of Lake Erie, Cleveland is a vibrant city with diverse cultural attractions and affordable housing.
- Columbus: As Ohio’s capital, Columbus presents a mix of urban and suburban lifestyles, a robust economy, and affordable housing opportunities.
7. Iowa – Home Value: $200,038
Renowned for its picturesque landscapes and vibrant agricultural industry.
Iowa is admired for its striking landscapes, robust agricultural sector, and charming small towns. It’s a state that provides a serene and wholesome life for its residents. Housing a few prestigious universities like the University of Iowa and Iowa State University, the state offers excellent education opportunities. The state also has a wealth of cultural attractions, including museums, theatres, and festivals.
The top cities in Iowa for potential homebuyers are:
- Iowa City: The home of the University of Iowa, this city boasts a lively college-town atmosphere, various outdoor activities, and a rich arts and culture scene.
- Cedar Rapids: Positioned in eastern Iowa, Cedar Rapids is a growing city with diverse cultural attractions and opportunities for outdoor recreation.
- Des Moines: As the capital of the state, Des Moines presents a mix of urban and suburban living, with an active arts and culture sector, and a range of affordable housing options.
6. Kentucky – Home Value: $190,037
Promises affordable living and a rich history.
Known for its horse racing, bourbon distilleries, and iconic bluegrass music, Kentucky offers a unique and rich cultural heritage. The state’s beautiful landscapes are equally inviting. Home to prestigious institutions like the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville, Kentucky provides excellent educational opportunities. The state also offers a variety of outdoor adventures, with state parks, lakes, and forests.
Ideal cities in Kentucky for homebuyers are:
- Bowling Green: In southern Kentucky, Bowling Green offers a quintessential college-town environment, along with hiking, boating, and affordable housing.
- Lexington: Known as the “Horse Capital of the World,” Lexington mixes historical charm and outdoor activities with a thriving equestrian culture and reasonable property prices.
- Louisville: As Kentucky’s largest city, Louisville offers a blend of city and small-town living, with an active arts scene and affordable housing options.
5. Oklahoma – Home Value: $188,453
Famed for its welcoming communities and robust economy.
Oklahoma stands out for its low cost of living and robust economy. The state’s diverse geography and friendly communities make it a popular choice among residents. It houses top universities such as the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University. Additionally, nature lovers can explore various lakes, mountains, and state parks.
The prime cities for homebuyers in Oklahoma are:
- Norman: Home to the University of Oklahoma, Norman provides a college-town atmosphere, outdoor activities such as hiking and biking, and affordable housing.
- Tulsa: Tulsa, recognized for its Art Deco architecture and cultural offerings, provides an excellent mix of city and suburban living and reasonably priced housing options.
- Oklahoma City: As Oklahoma’s capital, this city offers a blend of urban and suburban living, a solid economy, and affordable real estate options.
4. Louisiana – Home Value: $182,959
A distinctive mix of cultures and traditions.
Louisiana boasts a unique blend of cultures and traditions. Known for its music, festivals, and delectable Cajun and Creole cuisines, Louisiana has a vibrant cultural scene. Home to top universities like Tulane University and Louisiana State University, the state offers excellent educational opportunities. Outdoor attractions include state parks, wildlife refuges, and historical sites.
Top cities in Louisiana for potential homebuyers include:
- Lafayette: Renowned for its music and cuisine, Lafayette offers a mix of cultural and outdoor activities along with affordable housing.
- Baton Rouge: As the capital of the state, Baton Rouge provides a blend of urban and suburban lifestyles, a thriving economy, and affordable property options.
- New Orleans: Known for its vibrant culture and music, New Orleans offers a blend of city and suburban living with a variety of affordable housing options.
3. Arkansas – Home Value: $178,744
Offers natural beauty and a burgeoning arts scene.
Arkansas provides a high standard of living with affordable housing options. Known for its natural beauty and thriving arts scene, Arkansas is home to many state parks, lakes, and mountains, offering various outdoor recreation opportunities. Historical landmarks and museums testify to the state’s rich past. Prestigious universities like the University of Arkansas, Arkansas State University, and the University of Central Arkansas are located in the state.
Arkansas cities ideal for homebuyers are:
- Hot Springs: Famous for its natural hot springs, the city offers a unique blend of history and outdoor activities along with reasonably priced real estate options.
- Fayetteville: Housing the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville has a college-town atmosphere with outdoor activities such as hiking and biking.
- Little Rock: As the capital of the state, Little Rock offers a blend of urban and suburban lifestyles, an active arts scene, and affordable real estate options.
2. Mississippi – Home Value: $162,292
Boasts affordable living and a pleasant climate.
Mississippi offers a low cost of living and a mild climate. The state’s rich history and culture are evident in its museums, art galleries, and music festivals. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy the state’s beaches, forests, and parks. The University of Mississippi, Mississippi State University, and Jackson State University are some of the top universities in the state.
Cities in Mississippi ideal for potential homebuyers are:
- Hattiesburg: Located in southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg is a delightful college town with a tight-knit community and affordable real estate options.
- Gulfport: Situated on the Gulf Coast, Gulfport is a vibrant beach town with a growing economy and opportunities for outdoor recreation.
- Jackson: As the state capital, Jackson presents a blend of urban and suburban living, a wealth of cultural attractions, and affordable property options.
1. West Virginia – Home Value: $146,578
A pristine beauty with friendly communities.
West Virginia’s breathtaking natural beauty and welcoming communities make it a desirable place to live. The state offers affordable housing and a high standard of living. Those who love the outdoors can take advantage of state parks, hiking trails, scenic drives, and the opportunity to go camping. The state’s rich history and cultural heritage are showcased in various museums and festivals. Notable universities in the state include West Virginia University and Marshall University.
Cities in West Virginia ideal for homebuyers include:
- Morgantown: With West Virginia University, Morgantown has a college-town vibe and offers outdoor activities such as hiking and boating.
- Huntington: Located in the western part of the state, Huntington is a charming riverside city with a burgeoning economy and affordable housing options.
- Charleston: As the state capital, Charleston provides a blend of city and small-town living with a bustling downtown and easy access to outdoor recreation.
Will home prices drop in 2023 in the United States?
Yes, some forecasts suggest that home prices in the United States may drop in 2023. For instance, a Reuters poll forecasted an average home price decline of 4.5% in 2023.
Will the US housing market downturn be worse in 2023?
The downturn in the US housing market in 2023 is expected to be significant, with some forecasts predicting a fall in home prices of up to 8%. However, the extent of the downturn will depend on various factors, including interest rates and the overall economic situation.
What to expect in the US housing market in 2023?
The US housing market in 2023 is expected to see a slowdown with lukewarm demand and limited inventory available for sale. Home prices might decline, and buyers may gain some leverage.
Will house prices go down in 2024 in the USA?
The forecasts for 2024 are mixed. Some sources suggest that home prices may continue to fall, while others suggest that prices may stabilize or even increase. It’s important to note that these are forecasts and actual outcomes may vary.
Are US house prices falling?
As of the latest data, US house prices are expected to fall in 2023, but the situation may vary across different regions and cities.
How long will interest rates stay high?
The Federal Reserve has indicated that interest rates may stay high for the next few years. However, the exact duration will depend on various factors, including inflation and economic growth.
How high will interest rates go in 2023?
The Federal Reserve has projected that the federal funds rate could reach 5.6% by the end of 2023.
How long until interest rates go down?
Interest rates are expected to start falling after 2023, with some forecasts suggesting a drop below 2.00% by mid-2025.
Will interest rates go up in 2025?
Current projections suggest that interest rates may decrease in 2025, with the federal funds rate potentially dropping to around 3.4%.
The decision to purchase a home is a significant one, impacting both your lifestyle and financial situation. Considering factors such as affordability, cultural amenities, outdoor activities, and educational opportunities can help ensure you make the right choice for your needs and preferences.
Each state on this list offers its unique charm and attractions, from the pristine landscapes of North Dakota to the vibrant arts scene of Missouri and the distinctive cultural mix of Louisiana. Whether you’re looking for a bustling urban environment or a peaceful rural retreat, there’s a state that suits your lifestyle.
As homebuyers, it’s essential to do your research and understand the real estate market, community, and local amenities before making your final decision.