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Where Are the Most Affordable Places in the USA to Buy Real Estate?

By  Karen Banes

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We’ve talked a lot here at Wealthender about whether buying a home is the right choice for you. We’ve also talked about freelancing and remote work. If your job has gone remote, or you’ve taken the plunge into freelancing, you may have a lot more flexibility as to where to buy real estate. If that’s the case, it could be worth looking at how much more property you can buy in some areas than in others for a similar price, especially if, like many Americans, and millennials in particular, you’re struggling to get on the property ladder at all.

Obviously cost is never the only thing to look at when buying real estate. If this is going to be your primary home, it has to be somewhere you actually want to live. If it’s an investment property it will need to be in a good rental market (if you’re renting it out) or in an area with good resale prospects (if the plan is to try and flip a property for a profit). Affordable property tends to be in lower-income areas, which will always have an impact on resale potential, and even if you work remotely, others in your family might need to be in areas with local job opportunities.

There are, therefore, a lot of issues to be considered when looking at where to buy real estate, but if you’re thinking about it, it doesn’t hurt to at least consider the difference relocation could make to your future housing costs.

So Where Is the Cheapest Real Estate in the US?

With the help of data compiled by World Population Review, we dug into which states offer the most bang for your buck when it comes to buying real estate. It’s important to note that these statistics are based on the median home price in each state, which means of course that you could find something significantly cheaper, or of course, a lot more expensive. Obviously there will be a lot of difference within each state, and even within cities, but to give you a general jumping off point to explore from, the five states with the cheapest median home price in 2021 were as follows.

West Virginia (Median home price: $107,927)

As anyone who has visited knows, West Virginia is known for its beautiful mountain scenery and miles of wilderness. It’s the only state to lie completely within the Appalachian Mountain range and is the third most forested state in the US. While parts of West Virginia are pretty remote, it’s also fairly central, from a geographical standpoint. The state is located within a day’s drive of 75% of the rest of the US population, so you may be closer to friends and family than you thought. The state’s largest city is Charleston.

Mississippi (Median home price: $127,206)

The state of Mississippi is known for beautiful scenery, southern hospitality, and being a relatively safe state to live in. Over 60% of the state’s land area is forested, and it is of course named for the Mississippi river, the largest river in the USA by volume. The Mississippi Delta area is known as the birthplace of Blues music, and the state’s largest city is its capital, Jackson.

Arkansas (Median home price: $129,484)

Arkansas is also known for beautiful wilderness areas, including stunning lakes, rivers, and hot springs, containing over 600,000 acres of lakes and 9,700 miles of streams and rivers. The state is also, of course, the birthplace of former president Bill Clinton and was the first state to elect a woman, Hattie Ophelia Caraway, to the US senate. The state’s largest city is Little Rock.

Oklahoma (Median home price: $131,080)

Nestled in the south central part of the US, Oklahoma is known for its Great Plains, rolling hills, lakes and forests. The state is home to a large population of bald eagles, and Oklahoma’s Joseph H. Williams Tallgrass Prairie Preserve claims to be the largest protected piece of tallgrass prairie left on earth. The state’s largest city is Oklahoma City, followed by Tulsa.

Alabama (Median home price: $140,991)

Alabama is known for a variety of breath taking scenery, from beautiful pine and hardwood covered mountains in the north, to stunning gulf coast beaches in the south. The state is the birthplace of Rosa Parks, Helen Keller and Nat “King” Cole. It’s also where NASA built the first rocket that would put humans on the moon, at the Marshall Space Flight Center. The state’s biggest city is Birmingham, very closely followed by Huntsville.

Maybe one of these states appeals to you. Maybe it doesn’t. If you’re currently renting in a major US city where the median home price is $700,000 or more, it certainly might be something worth thinking about.

About the Author

Karen Banes

I’m a freelance writer specializing in online business, personal finance, travel and lifestyle. I also work as a content creator for hire, helping brands and businesses tell their stories, grow their audiences, and reach their ideal customers. I’ve lived, worked and studied in six countries, across three continents. Stop by my blog TheSavvySolopreneur.net to learn how to run your own (very) small business on your own terms. You can also connect with me at my website KarenBanes.com or follow me on Medium.com

To make Wealthtender free for readers, we earn money from advertisers, including financial professionals and firms that pay to be featured. This creates a conflict of interest when we favor their promotion over others. Learn more. Wealthtender is not a client of these financial services providers.
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