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10 Cities Where Housing is Still Affordable

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Black Couple moving into a new house

Are there any affordable real estate markets left in this country?

In this crazy housing market, have you completely given up hope of buying a house? What if we told you there are still cities where you can buy a house for less than $200,000. Now, you will not want to live in some of these cities, but it’s worth knowing where housing is still very affordable. 

Forbes magazine looked at 100 metro areas with a population of at least 100,000 to identify the top 10 most affordable cities for homebuyers. They also looked at median income of the city, average home costs, and median real estate taxes to calculate affordability. 


  1. Kansas City, Kansas

Kansas City is one of the most affordable midwestern cities, with the median listing prices in 2020 below $200,000. The median salary in Kansas is $37,861 and the average state income tax is 4.68%. If you work in the healthcare field, this city would definitely be a good match for you as the healthcare industry is the top industry in Kansas City.  

The University of Kansas Hospital and the University of Kansas Medical Center employ more than 10,000 people combined. Other big industries include manufacturing and transportation. 

The median annual real estate tax is $1,663 in Kansas City with the average monthly utilities cost sitting at $271. 

  1. Buffalo, New York

Buffalo is the largest city in upstate New York. It was once home to more millionaires per capita than anywhere else on Earth, but today it is home to one of the most affordable real estate markets. The median home price in Buffalo in 2020 was $184,000 with a median annual salary of $41,036. 

The city has gone through some transformation over the last decade with new restaurants, entertainment, and events popping up. Average state income tax in Buffalo is at 6% and expect to pay a median annual real estate taxes of about $1601. 


  1. Montgomery, Alabama

If you’re looking for the lowest median annual real estate taxes on this list, you have found it in Montgomery at just $512. The median home listing price was $192,000 in 2020 in this southern city. The average state income tax is also low at 3.67%. And if you work in the aerospace industry, the good news about Montgomery keeps adding up as it is also home to major aerospace companies like Boeing, Northrop, Lockheed Martin, and the U.S. Department of Defense, just to name a few. 

Another major industry in Montgomery is the automotive industry with companies like Hyundai. 


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  1. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

We have done several videos on Wisconsin being one of the worst, if not the worst state, for the well being of African Americans, but Milwaukee did make the list of the most affordable housing markets. 

The median home listing price in 2020 in Milwaukee was $167,000 with a median salary of $41,166 and annual real estate taxes of $3,122. Healthcare is the major industry here with the top three employers in the city being in the health sector.  The average state income tax is 5.78% and expect to spend about $200 on monthly utilities. 

  1. Rochester, New York

We are back in the state of New York with another affordable city that made the list. The median home listing price in Rochester was $151,000 in 2020 with the median salary sitting at $41,646. Recently, Rochester has seen a huge flood of newcomers leaving major cities like New York City for more affordable places. 

The average state income tax is 6% here and the median annual real estate taxes sit at $2625. The biggest employer in the city is the University of Rochester and its medical center, with 32,000 employees. 


  1. Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore is another east coast city that’s still affordable in many measures, including housing with a median home listing price in 2020 at $191,000. The median salary in the city is $50,108. Baltimore has many pluses, including plenty of government job opportunities and proximity to the super expensive DC market. Baltimore also made our list of best places financially for African Americans, although many viewers disagreed with the pick. 

Some of Baltimore’s high-profile employers include John Hopkins University and Northrop Grumman, one of the world’s largest weapons manufacturers and military technology providers. 


  1. Memphis, Tennessee

If you’re a techie, Memphis might be a good fit for you as the city is primed for a tech surge. In fact, the city is outpacing other metro areas in terms of Black owned businesses accessing venture capital. The median home listing price in 2020 for Memphis was $123,000 with a median salary of $38,949. 

Some of the biggest employers in the city include FedEx, the U.S. government, and the Tennessee state government.  And expect to pay an average state income tax of just 1% in Memphis. Another bonus for the city is the music scene, which has deep historical roots, from blues to country to rock and roll. 


  1. Toledo, Ohio

When we get to Toledo, we see the median home listing price slip below $100,000 to sit at $95,000. Located on the Western end of Lake Erie, Toledo has struggled with a sluggish economy for decades but has seen some improvements in recent years. Employment in the construction and financial institutions saw a positive growth in 2018 and 2019. 

If you are in academia, Toledo also makes a great city as there are almost three dozen universities and higher learning institutions located within 60 miles of Toledo, including the Bowling Green University and the University of Toledo.  The median salary here is $37,220 and the average state income tax rate is 3.84%. 


  1. Cleveland, Ohio 

Another city in Ohio makes the list of the most affordable housing markets in the country. Here, the median home listing price in 2020 was $140,000. The city of Cleveland is also located on Lake Erie and is an ideal city for those who love outdoor activities. Besides water activities, the Cleveland Metroparks system boasts more than 300 miles of walking, bicycles, and horse trailers. 

The job market is solid in Cleveland with unemployment rates lower than the national average. The median salary here is $47,268 and expect to pay an average state income tax of 3.84%. 


  1. And the most affordable housing market in the country goes to Detroit, MI

If there is one city that has gone through a massive financial debacle, it is Detroit. However, the city has been trying to recover for years now. Companies like General Motors, Ally Financial, and Quicken Loans are headquartered in Detroit. 

The median home listing price in 2020 was just $59,000. Although the city has the lowest home prices on this list, it also has the lowest median salary at $36,000. However, median earners in Detroit only spend about 6% of their monthly income on mortgage payments, which is insanely low.  

There are still a lot of abandoned and boarded up homes in Detroit for those gutsy real estate investors.