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30 Cities Where You Can Buy a House for Under $100K

John Csiszar

Homeownership has long been a key function of the American dream, but that dream is becoming increasingly out of reach for many Americans. In particular, residents of major urban centers are finding a lack of inexpensive homes, with even modestly priced homes running close to or over $1 million. But, for people ready to consider living in more affordable regions — particularly the Midwest — there are plenty of areas where cheap houses abound.

A study from GOBankingRates found 30 cities where you can buy a house for under $100,000, based on the median list price on Zillow. If you’re looking to escape a sky-high mortgage payment that might leave you scrambling to make ends meet month after month, these cities might be a good place to start.

30. Belleville, Illinois

  • Median list price: $99,900

Belleville just squeaks by when it comes to cities with median list prices below $100,000, which isn’t bad considering its proximity to St. Louis. It’s one of two cities in Illinois that offer homes with a five-figure price tag.

29. Lawton, Oklahoma

  • Median list price: $99,000

Lawton is one of the few cities on GOBankingRates’ list that aren’t located in the Midwest. Lawton is the southernmost city in this study.

28. Florissant, Missouri

  • Median list price: $99,000

Florissant is the only city in Missouri with an average list price under $100,000, making it the most affordable city for housing in the Show-Me State.

27. Elyria, Ohio

  • Median list price: $97,000

Elyria flirts with the $100,000 price cap for inclusion on this list, but $97,000 is still a bargain compared with the national median list price of $227,700, according to Zillow.

26. Roseville, Michigan

  • Median list price: $94,900

While Michigan doesn’t have nearly as many entrants on this list as its neighbors to the south, Indiana and Ohio, the region’s trend toward cheap home prices appears to hold for the Great Lakes State. There are three Michigan cities in this study, with Roseville being the most expensive one. 

25. Pekin, Illinois

  • Median list price: $93,250

Pekin is one of two Illinois cities on this affordable housing list. Located in the northern half of the state, the city lies about a three-hour drive from Chicago.

24. Penn Hills, Pennsylvania

  • Median list price: $89,900

Pennsylvania is blessed with affordable housing, with no fewer than six cities on this list. Penn Hills is just a short jaunt away from downtown Pittsburgh.

23. Muskogee, Oklahoma

  • Median list price: $89,900

Muskogee is one of two Oklahoma cities on the list, and it’s slightly more affordable than its neighbor, Lawton. The city began growing rapidly after the discovery of oil in 1905 and now boasts numerous recreational activities.

22. Altoona, Pennsylvania

  • Median list price: $89,900

Altoona offers a median list price under $90,000, making it another quiet, Pennsylvania city within reach for people looking to buy a home on a tight budget.

21. Scranton, Pennsylvania

  • Median list price: $89,700

Scranton was formed as a railway town, and the city is the proud home of the Steamtown National Historic Site, which preserves the town’s rail heritage. It’s also the home of the Scranton Iron Furnaces, located at the Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum. Homes are quite affordable, with the median listing under $90,000.

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20. Lansing, Michigan

  • Median list price: $84,100

Lansing is home to the Michigan State Capitol, which was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1992. The city also offers affordable housing, with a median list price that’s under $85,000.

19. Richmond, Indiana

  • Median list price: $82,900

Richmond is one of four Indiana towns on this list of cities with the most affordable housing. It offers your typical small-town, Midwestern amenities, from a chocolate trail and museums to antique shopping and family orchards.

18. Erie, Pennsylvania

  • Median list price: $79,945

The only “eerie” thing about this Pennsylvania city located on Lake Erie, after which it’s named, is just how affordable its housing market is.

17. Cleveland

  • Median list price: $79,900

This Ohio city is home to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Cleveland Museum of Art — one of the best museums in the country, according to Insider — yet homes are still extraordinarily affordable.

16. Lorain, Ohio

  • Median list price: $79,400

Another Buckeye city among the most affordable places for housing, Lorain is situated on Lake Erie in the Greater Cleveland area. The city is sometimes called “The International City” because it’s home to over 55 different nationalities.

15. Toledo, Ohio

  • Median list price: $79,000

Toledo’s another affordable Ohio city located on Lake Erie. The city boasts a world-renowned art museum, and there are nearly three dozen colleges and universities within a 60-mile radius.

14. Euclid, Ohio

  • Median list price: $77,500

This Ohio city is named after the Greek mathematician, so maybe it isn’t surprising that you can find a square deal on a new home with a median list price of $77,500. With prices that low, plenty of prospective buyers must wonder, “What’s the angle?”

13. Mansfield, Ohio

  • Median list price: $77,000

Mansfield offers a median list price slightly below that of its neighbor city, Euclid. Movie buffs might enjoy living in the city that’s home to the Ohio State Reformatory, a castle-like prison featured in movies such as “The Shawshank Redemption” and “Air Force One.”

12. Marion, Indiana

  • Median list price: $72,900

Marion has been cited as one of the best small cities in America, and less than $73,000 is required to own the average home in this city of under 30,000 people. Its low cost of living makes the city even more affordable.

11. Muncie, Indiana

  • Median list price: $72,750

Muncie is one of the most affordable cities in the country — the third Indiana city that qualifies for this study. Muncie is also the home of Ball State University.

10. Reading, Pennsylvania

  • Median list price: $69,900

Reading is one of four cities in Pennsylvania with a median home price below $70,000. The city is the namesake of the Reading Railroad in Hasbro’s Monopoly game, although the real railroad no longer exists.

9. Akron, Ohio

  • Median list price: $69,900

Living in Akron means being able to share a hometown with NBA superstar LeBron James, and you’ll be treated to a Midwestern lifestyle for less than $70,000.

8. Dayton, Ohio

  • Median list price: $67,270

This southern Ohio city is one of 10 cities in the Buckeye State on this list, possibly demonstrating how the decline of industry in the upper Midwest might have also created a lot of great buying opportunities in real estate. The average home in Dayton lists for just $67,270, which is about half of the state’s median home value of $139,700, according to Zillow.

7. York, Pennsylvania

  • Median list price: $65,000

Named after York, England, this city in south-central Pennsylvania is also known as the “White Rose City.” York was actually the temporary capital during the Revolutionary War. Homes in this city are much more affordable than in York’s English namesake.

6. Anderson, Indiana

  • Median list price: $64,900

There are just 10 cities in this city where the median list price falls under $65,000 a year. Anderson is one of four Indiana cities represented on GOBankingRates’ list.

5. Springfield, Ohio

  • Median list price: $63,900

Although Springfield isn’t quite as affordable as the top two cities on the list, it still remains one of the cheapest cities in America where you can buy a home under $100,000.

4. Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

  • Median list price: $62,500

One city where an out-of-control real estate market won’t leave you “barre-d” from homeownership is Pennsylvania’s Wilkes-Barre. With a median list price of just $62,500, this city just southwest of Scranton, Pennsylvania, could be a good place to start your search for a more affordable place to call home.

3. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

  • Median list price: $59,000

Harrisburg has the most affordable housing market in Pennsylvania, with the median list price running under $60,000. The state capital of Pennsylvania also houses the National Civil War Museum.

2. Flint, Michigan

  • Median list price: $39,900

Flint might have been in the news for the wrong reasons over the past few years, but it’s worth noting that this Michigan city still has a lot to offer — particularly for someone interested in affordable housing. The median list price in the city is under $40,000, meaning you can buy your entire home for less than the average down payment in San Francisco.

1. Youngstown, Ohio

  • Median list price: $39,900

Two cities in this study stand out for offering affordable homes in extremis. Tied with Flint for the lowest median list price in the nation, Youngstown allows people the chance to own a home at a price point that would be impossible in much of the rest of the country.

Click through to see how much you need to own a mansion across America.

More on Investing In Real Estate

Joel Anderson contributed to the reporting for this article.

Methodology: GOBankingRates found 30 cities to buy a home where the median list price is under $100,000, sourced from Zillow’s January 2019 index. All data was gathered on Feb. 22, 2019.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 30 Cities Where You Can Buy a House for Under $100K