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Where to Buy an Affordable House in 2020

Written by Jaymi naciri Posted On Monday, 30 December 2019 05:00

Budget. Budget. Budget. For many of us, it’s what drives our home search. But how do you know where to find homes that are both affordable from a purchase price standpoint and also located in an area where the cost of living is manageable? 

That was the impetus behind Own Up’s look at the Cheapest States to Buy and Own a House. “The house you can buy for the least money, and maintain on your salary while also paying living expenses and saving extra money,  is the cheapest house because it will pay off in the long run,” they said. “The places in the United States with the most affordable housing balance lower sale prices, lower cost of living, and relatively higher median household income.”

Own Up used the second quarter 2019 cost of living index, August 2019 median home sale prices, and 2018 median household income data for the study. It should also be noted that the most expensive state, surprisingly, was not Hawaii, California, or New York, (although the first two made the list, at No. 3 and 4, respectively.) Topping the list: Montana.

The “cheapest” states

In Michigan, the median home sale price is just $151,500, which ranks sixth in the nation. Median household income in the state comes in 32nd at $56,697, and the cost of living index is 89.5, for a No. 7 rank.

According to Mashvisor, Detroit, Michigan’s most populous city, will be the cheapest housing market in 2020. They identified “the larger US cities where real estate properties are affordable and profitable” to determine the places that are perfect for homebuyers and investors. The median property price here is $168,689, with average monthly rental income of $1,031.

Own Up’s No. 2 cheapest state is Iowa, with a median home sales price of $157,200, which ranks seventh, and the 26th-highest median household income at $59,955. No specific city within the state made Mashvisor’s list. But, for those looking for a home in Iowa, Des Moines makes a good investment. It was “recently named one of the best cities for younger home buyers…still relatively affordable,” and boasting a “strong job market with low unemployment,” according to The Home Buying Institute.

Oklahoma ranked third on Own Up’s list, with a median home sale price of $148,000, and a median household income of $51,924. Ohio was right behind at No. 4. The city of Cleveland also made the Mashvisor list, at No. 5. Its median property price is $163,552 and rental income is $1,042 per month. 

Rounding out Own Up’s top 10 are:

5 (Tie) Indiana and Kansas—Fort Wayne, IN
6 Missouri
7 (Tie) Arkansas and Illinois
8 (Tie) Alabama and Nebraska
9 Pennsylvania

Pittsburg is Mashvisor’s top city in which to purchase a home in 2020, with a median home sales price of $230,803 and rental income of $1,237 per month.

“Out of the best places to invest in real estate for affordability in 2020, Pittsburgh is the most profitable," they said. “Aside from its affordable real estate, Pittsburgh’s cost of living is 5.8% lower than the US average. Its cost of living is also 7% lower than Philadelphia‘s, according to NerdWallet’s Cost of Living Calculator. Not only is Pittsburgh among the cheapest housing markets, but it’s also home to a growing economy, which further pushes demand for real estate.”

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