Lamenting the lack of affordable homes for sale in your area? You’re not alone. Across the country, high real estate prices are making it difficult, if not impossible, for many Americans who would like to buy a home and make the transition from renters to owners.
Nationwide, the median sales price for an existing single-family home was $235,000 in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to data from the National Association of Realtors. In San Jose, the median sales price was $1 million, while in San Francisco, Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Honolulu, median prices topped $500,000. People earning $53,000 per year — roughly the median household income in the United States — would have trouble affording a home in those cities, as well as others, including Boston, Seattle, and Denver, based on home affordability calculators (and assuming they could afford to put 20% down).
With those numbers, the idea that you can still get a home for $50,000 or less might seem laughable. In many cities, $50,000 isn’t even enough to get you to a 20% down payment. Yet house prices aren’t sky high everywhere. In some parts of the country, you’ll still find homes in the low six, and sometimes even five, figures. To be sure, these budget-friendly towns don’t always top the lists of best places to live. They might have higher unemployment or poverty rates, or average salaries might be relatively low. High crime and bad schools might be problems in other areas. The homes themselves might be on the smaller side and could need work. Still, these cities might be the right fit for people who are willing to look beyond America’s biggest metropolises to turn their dream of home ownership into a reality.
According to the Realtors association data, there are dozens of metro areas in the U.S. where the median single-family home price is $150,000 or less, including Cleveland, Wichita, and Winston-Salem. In other words, half the homes in those cities sell for under $150,000. In some, homes are even cheaper. We’ve highlighted the 15 cities with the lowest median home prices. In these towns, you can still buy a home for just $50,000.
All home listing information from Zillow as of March 1.