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The 15 most Affordable places to live in the United States

  • Corey
  • Apr 12, 2016

Tough economic times sweep down on all of us like a hurricane, determined to leave everyone on their backs. Everyone, except those that are wise enough to make precautionary provisions and those that are instinctive to see it coming and move out of its way.

For some of us, it is a late reaction and the panic that ensues always catches us unaware, much like the economic downturns the USA experienced in 2001 after 9/11 or after the housing market bubble burst in 2008.

The most important thing is to have your options lined up for when such a situation arises, say the option of where to move. With a touch of our real estate concierge services and data from the Council for Community and Economic Research and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, we have cut out the hard work for you. We have the 15 most affordable places to live around the United States based on the price of housing, commuting and utilities as well the cost of living.

Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis Tennessee downtown arial shot

Home to the world beating catastrophic diseases researchers in St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the river city averages $180,375 per home. A two bedroom apartment in city center goes for $726 per month on average, while basic utilities for a similar apartment chink in at $120.52. When put against New York, consumer prices are 31.31 percent lower in Memphis. No wonder the cost of living in this city is too low—at 14.3 percent below the national average.


Cedar Rapids, Iowa

cedar rapids iowa skyline

Cedar Rapids’ attractiveness is show-cased throughout its multiple performing arts venues, theme parks, and museums, something that has got it on every best-places-to-live list. Its below-average cost of living and inexpensive housing are also a regular highlight for the city of five seasons. Its median home value is 24.7 percent lower than the national median at $133,900, while a monthly bus pass is at a measly $40.

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Topeka, Kansas

topeka kansas skyline

Perhaps less known for its cultural output, the low cost of living and unemployment rate are its strongest points, especially to big families. Unemployment is at 4.4 percent, 0.8 points below the national average. The median home value in the capital of Kansas is $92,700, and the ratio of expenses to income is less than 0.27.

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McAllen, Texas

mcallen texas

This is one of the most cost-pleasing areas in the United States; where utilities plus rent $173 in a 900 square-foot apartment set you back $1000 on average. If you want to own a home in McAllen, the median value is at $115,300. Dinner out, accompanied by appetizers, main course, wine and dessert is only $59.

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Columbia, South Carolina

columbia south carolina skyline

Located in the center of South Carolina, Columbia has many options to live and work for those on a tight budget. The median home value in Columbia is $124,500, while only 33.7 percent of your monthly income is spent on utilities, commuting, and miscellaneous. Fun lovers can enjoy Finlay Park in the downtown area, host to most of the city’s action attractions, including major events, festivals and road races.

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Indianapolis, Indiana

indianapolis indiana skyline

The cost of living in Indianapolis is 27.03 percent lower than in Honolulu, Hawaii. This means that a can of coffee that costs $7.32 in Honolulu is at $5.34 in Indianapolis. Median home value is comparably low too at $102,000. Utilities, housing and commuting eat up only 33.4 percent of the average monthly income of a resident in Indianapolis.

Sources: &

Temple, Texas

temple texas

Texas has some of the lowest costs of living around the country and Temple lies among the most affordable of its cities. It lies in the middle of the Dallas, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio, making it a great spot for frugal fun lovers. Commuting costs 8.2 percent below the national average, and utilities are 0.1% under average. A typical three-bedroom house costs between $113,600 and $206,600.

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Ashland, Ohio

ashland ohio

The drive from Ashland to Cleveland, one of the largest cities in Ohio, is only 67 miles, just about an hour on the road. And considering the cost of transportation in this city, time should be your only constraint when travelling. Utilities costs run 16.3% below the national average, while the median home value is $124,400.

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Toledo, Ohio

Toledo ohio Skyline

Another city from the midwestern state makes it on the list. Toledo often referred to as the “Water Recreation Capital of the Midwest,” is located on the western edge of Lake Erie. It boasts some of the lowest prices on housing, utilities, and commuting with only 32.3% of the monthly income spent on all.

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Pueblo, Colorado

pueblo colorado

With its cost of living index at 86.2 against a national average of 100, Pueblo, Co. ranks among the cheapest places to live. It offers below-average prices on the essential categories, including health care, transportation, utilities, and groceries. Prices start at $14,500 for a three-bedroom home and shoot up to $849,000 for 157-acre estate.

Sources: &

Fort Wayne, Indiana

Fort Wayne Skyline

Residents of Fort Wayne enjoy not only the recreational amenities the city has to offer but also its low living expenses. Basic utilities such as electricity, heating, water and garbage chew up only 24 percent of the monthly income of a typical resident.  The median home value in this city is a modest $92,000, while the income tax rate is a flat at 3.4 percent per individual.

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Lawton, Oklahoma

lawton oklahoma

The city in southwestern Oklahoma, just 87 miles from Oklahoma City is a haven for you that would want to spend less than 27 percent of your monthly income on home expenses. The median home value is $74,800, while median household income is $43,953.

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Round Rock, Texas

round rock texas downtown shot

Round Rock is a suburb in Greater Austin area. Cost of living here is 1 percent lower than most of the places in the United States. With a wealth of employers, including computer technology company Dell Inc., the economy of Round Rock is much healthier than the other parts of Texas. The median home price is $222,000.

Sources: &

Pryor Creek, Oklahoma

pryor creek oaklahoma

According to the Council for Community and Economic Research, Pryor Creek has twenty eighth best healthcare prices in the country. Its cost of living is 13.7 percent under the average, and the median home value is $91,100.

Sources:, & 

Akron, Ohio

Akron ohio skyline

It doesn’t get any cheaper than the rubber city, where only 28% of monthly income is set aside for housing, transportation and utilities. The median home price in Akron, Ohio is s $60,900 which is 52% lower than in most American cities. The median listing price in the fifth largest city in Ohio is $120,450 and the cost of living is 5% lower than anywhere else in Ohio.


It’s on the cards that they are cheaper places to live, but these are the cities whose costs are way below the national average and you would still want to live there. Let us know what you think in the comments below.




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