Buying a house in the U.S. is expensive, but most homeowners and potential buyers know that it’s worth it. Whether you’re looking to relocate to be closer to friends or family, can work remotely from anywhere, or just want to live somewhere more affordable, it’s time to check out some of the cheapest places to buy a house in the U.S.
Number one on the list goes to West Virginia. Often referred to as “Wild and Wonderful West Virginia,”, the median home sale price in West Virginia is $139,168 — that’s much lower than $440,300, which is the median home sale price in the U.S.
Overall, the housing market in the U.S. has been steadily declining compared to last year. In fact, existing home sales in July 2022 were down 5.9% from June 2022 and down 20.2% from 2021. Despite this trend, affordability is still a problem in many parts of the country. However, there are ten states that still offer affordable homes.
Check out our list of the cheapest places to buy a house in the U.S.A. Keep in mind that affordability factors can vary quite widely and our list is based on the median home sale price in the state. We have also included some general metrics as well as median days on market to give you an idea of how active the real estate market is in each particular state.
The cheapest states to buy a house in U.S. are as follows:
#1 Cheapest State: West Virginia
#2 Cheapest State: Mississippi
#3 Cheapest State: Oklahoma
#4 Cheapest State: Kentucky
#5 Cheapest State: Kansas
#6 Cheapest State: Ohio
#7 Cheapest State: Indiana
#8 Cheapest State: Missouri
#9 Cheapest State: Michigan
#10 Cheapest State: Arkansas
Median home sale price: $139,168
Median household income: $48,037
Median days on market: 56
Nicknamed the mountain state, West Virginia is a mostly rural state with a few small cities, beautiful scenery, and lots of outdoor activities. Its major cities are Charleston, Morgantown, and Huntington. This state is responsible for producing the majority of the coal used in other states, and its economy depends heavily on its mineral resources. Homebuyers come to the state for its access to outdoor activities, the Appalachian Mountains, outdoor activities such as white water rafting, and hiking, its hospitality, and its overall affordability.
There are some factors, however, that contribute to their low property values — West Virginia is ranked #50 among U.S. states for infrastructure, and #47 for healthcare.
The median home sale price in Huntington is $102,622. The median home sale price in Morgantown is $253,978, and in the state’s capital, Charleston, it is $151,621. Morgantown is home to West Virginia University (WVU) and its well-known football team, The Mountaineers.
Median home sale price: $166,096
Median household income: $46,511
Median days on market: 54
Mississippi’s capital is Jackson and its nickname is The Magnolia State. Economically, Mississippi is ranked poorly at #49 out of all U.S. states. Similarly, employment and healthcare access rank the state at #49 and #50 respectively out of all states and the District of Columbia.
The two largest cities in Mississippi are Jackson and Gulfport, with the median home price in Jackson being $81,062. Homes here typically range from $20,000 for a fixer upper to over $3 million for an extravagant mansion. Gulfport has a median home price of $186,045. The state is in the Southeastern U.S. and is bordered by the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. It is home to diverse landscapes, coastal towns, rural areas, and small cities.
Median home sale price: $182,683
Median household income: $53,840
Median days on market: 44
Oklahoma is known as The Sooner State because the first settlers claimed their stake on land in this state before the official opening date. Oklahoma City and Tulsa are the largest cities in the state and Top industries in Oklahoma include aerospace, biotechnology, and energy. People often come to visit Route 66 and its dedicated attractions including a museum. The state also has many museums, parks, scenic drives, and botanical gardens.
This southcentral state is an affordable place to live with a growing economy. House prices have gone up since last year but have generally stayed the same since last month. The average house price in Oklahoma City is $197,108. Tulsa has a median home price of $188,261.
Median home sale price: $198,926
Median household income: $52,238
Median days on market: 42
The Bluegrass state is what Kentucky is often referred to. Others call it the horse state and it’s full of beautiful farms, home to famous race horses, and known to be one of the friendliest places to live. It hosts the largest horse race of the year, The Kentucky Derby, and is a southeastern state bordered by the Appalachian Mountains and the Ohio River. Besides horses, the state is also known for producing outstanding bourbon.
Cost of living in Kentucky is considered very affordable, with a cost of living index of 87.5 (with 100 being the U.S. average). Other factors such as infrastructure and access to healthcare also give Kentucky high rankings at #18 and #16 respectively.
Frankfort is the capital of Kentucky and its largest cities are Louisville and Lexington. Home prices in Louisville have a median of $233,209 and the median home price in Lexington is $285,679. Kentucky’s housing market had a huge uptick from 2016 to 2021 and the sales volume of houses doubled in that period.
Median home sale price: $207,207
Median household income: $61,091
Median days on market: 22
Kansas is known for The Wizard of Oz, its barbecue joints, wheat, and great plains. It has extreme temperatures with very hot summers and freezing winters. Kansas is ranked #7 in the U.S. in infrastructure, and has a cost of living index of 91.5, which is considered quite affordable compared with the rest of the country.
In July 2022, home sales prices fell by 16.5% compared to the same time last year. In Kansas City, the median home price is $176,196. In Topeka, home prices average around $162,229. In the state’s largest city, Wichita, the median home price is $180,086. People are often drawn to these cities because they offer some of the conveniences of major cities but are still on the smaller side and are surrounded by farmland and picturesque scenery.
Median home sale price: $212,539
Median household income: $58,116
Median days on market: 37
Ohio is part of the midwest and is home to Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and many other smaller towns. Cleveland is home to The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and has a large waterfront shopping and nightlife area. The state has more than 40,000 miles of waterways and gets its name from the Ohio River.
Ohio is ranked #1 among all states in affordability, with a cost of living index of 86.3 — however, job growth in the state is growing rather slowly at a rate of just 0.7% compared to a U.S. average of 1.4%.
The typical home value in Ohio’s capital city of Columbus is $244,738. Columbus is home to Ohio State University, one of the country’s largest universities and one of the state’s largest employers. The Columbus region is also home to 16 Fortune 1000 companies and several major retailers also have headquarters there. Intel is building a new factory in the area as well which hopes to bring 3,000 jobs to the region. Cleveland offers even more affordable houses with a median home price of $110,556.
Median home sale price: $221,977
Median household income: $58,235
Median days on market: 37
Indiana, located in the midwest, is known as the Hoosier state. Most of Indiana’s jobs come from manufacturing and the automotive industry. In regards to real estate, year-to-date sales have cooled off a bit compared to last year, with a decline of nearly 4%.
Indianapolis and Fort Wayne are the most populated cities in Indiana. Indianapolis is well known for its motor speedway and its races that bring spectators from all over the world, especially the Indy 500. Additionally, it has a well known zoo, museums, and a state park, among other attractions. The median home price here is $228,389. Fort Wayne has an extensive network of parks and boulevards that connect its three rivers, with a median home price of $205,319.
Median home sale price: $231,048
Median household income: $57,290
Median days on market: 45
Missouri is a landlocked state in the midwest that is bordered by eight states. It’s known for its Gateway Arch in St. Louis and barbecue restaurants are popular throughout the state. It is home to state parks, cities, suburbs, rural areas, and is nicknamed the Show-Me state.
The state of Missouri is ranked #4 among all states in affordability, with a cost of living index of 84.1. Major industries here include automotive manufacturing, biosciences, and financial and professional services — unemployment rates continue to decline at 2.5%, compared with an August 2021 high of 4.1%.
As of July 2022, sale prices of residential homes are up 8.3% from the same time last year.
Kansas City and St. Louis are the state’s largest cities by population. Kansas City sits on the border of Missouri and Kansas and has a median home price of $231,132. St. Louis homes have a median price of $177,027.
Median home sale price: $237,156
Median household income: $59,234
Median days on market: 37
A state in the upper midwest region of the country, Michigan is known for its great lakes and has a large boating community. In fact, Michigan has more miles of freshwater shoreline than any other state in the nation.
Michigan is ranked #3 in the country for affordability, with a cost of living index of 84.6. The state also earned the #1 spot for their economy among 37 states with populations over 2 million, according to Bloomberg.
The typical home value in Detroit is $69,804. At one time Detroit was a thriving metropolis and the motor capital of the world, however it has been rebuilding itself after a large economic downturn. Rocket Mortgage is headquartered there and the waterfront areas are known for eclectic shopping, gourmet food, and beautiful architecture. Grand Rapids, located in Kent County is known for being on the Grand River, and just east of Kale Michigan. Its median home value is $264,988.
Median home sale price: $258,300
Median household income: $49,475
Median days on market: 48
Arkansas is a southern state that borders the Mississippi River. Its capital is Little Rock and its home to Hot Springs National Park and the William J. Clinton Library named after the former President. This state is considered quite affordable, claiming the #7 spot in the country for affordability with a cost of living index of 83.9. When it comes to healthcare, however, Arkansas is ranked #49 out of all states and the District of Columbia, due to limited access to healthcare as well as poor quality of its healthcare systems.
As of July 2022, home prices overall in Arkansas were up 15.7%. Little Rock’s median home value is $197,459. The median home value in Fort Smith is $156,881, and the median home value in Fayetteville is quite a bit higher at $344,617. This is partially due to a housing shortage and many out-of-state buyers purchasing homes in the state.
Header Image Source: (REVOLT / Unsplash)
- "Median Sales Price of Houses Sold for the United States ," FRED (July 2022)
- "State Facts for Students," United States Census Bureau (October 2021)
- "Kansas Housing Market Stats – July 2022" Kansas Realtors (August 2022)
- "7 interesting facts you should know about Ohio and its history," Dayton Daily News (February 2018)