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The 50 best places to buy a home for under $250,000

GOBankingRates Logo By Cameron Huddleston of GOBankingRates | Slide 1 of 51: Now is a good time to buy a home. At least, that’s what more than half of Americans polled by the National Association of Realtors believe. However, the survey found that those with higher incomes were more likely than those with lower incomes to say it’s a good time to buy a home.
“Not surprisingly, as incomes increase, the process of buying a home is less of a strain,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, in a press release. Considering that the median home list price in the U.S. is $289,000, according to Zillow, it’s also not surprising that people making less than six figures aren’t as likely to think it’s a good time to buy homes. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t affordable homes to be found.
In fact, GOBankingRates discovered 50 places where the median home list price is below the national median and the quality of life is good. After all, it’s one thing to find a cheap home, and it’s another to find a well-priced home in an area with low crime rates, an affordable cost of living and plenty of amenities. GOBankingRates started by examining the largest cities where the median home list price is less than $250,000, based on 2019 data from Zillow. Then, the study reviewed several other criteria:

Livability score, sourced from AreaVibes
Median household income, sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau
Violent and property crime rates per 1,000 residents, sourced from Neighborhood Scout
Unemployment rate for residents between ages 20-64, sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau
Percentage of population living below the poverty line, sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau
Annual cost of living for nonhousing expenses, sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau and Sperling’s Best Places

Some clear trends emerged: All but three of the 50 best cities to buy a home for under $250,000 are in the South and Midwest, and 16 are in Texas. Overall, it’s obvious that location makes a huge difference in what you can afford.

The 50 best places to buy a home for under $250,000

Now is a good time to buy a home. At least, that’s what more than half of Americans polled by the National Association of Realtors believe. However, the survey found that those with higher incomes were more likely than those with lower incomes to say it’s a good time to buy a home.

“Not surprisingly, as incomes increase, the process of buying a home is less of a strain,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, in a press release. Considering that the median home list price in the U.S. is $289,000, according to Zillow, it’s also not surprising that people making less than six figures aren’t as likely to think it’s a good time to buy homes. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t affordable homes to be found.

In fact, GOBankingRates discovered 50 places where the median home list price is below the national median and the quality of life is good. After all, it’s one thing to find a cheap home, and it’s another to find a well-priced home in an area with low crime rates, an affordable cost of living and plenty of amenities. GOBankingRates started by examining the largest cities where the median home list price is less than $250,000, based on 2019 data from Zillow. Then, the study reviewed several other criteria:

  • Livability score, sourced from AreaVibes
  • Median household income, sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau
  • Violent and property crime rates per 1,000 residents, sourced from Neighborhood Scout
  • Unemployment rate for residents between ages 20-64, sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau
  • Percentage of population living below the poverty line, sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau
  • Annual cost of living for nonhousing expenses, sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau and Sperling’s Best Places

Some clear trends emerged: All but three of the 50 best cities to buy a home for under $250,000 are in the South and Midwest, and 16 are in Texas. Overall, it’s obvious that location makes a huge difference in what you can afford. Click or swipe through to see the full list.

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