Buying a house is a dream for many. When you search for the cheapest states to buy a house in, there is much more to consider than what meets the eye. Finding affordable homes for sale or a cheap house for sale may seem very easy. On the contrary, it can be a real challenge when you want to get the best value for your hard-earned money and find cheap homes for sale.
What To Look For
When you are on the lookout for some of the cheapest houses in America, you need to consider the following factors:
- Land Cost
The cost of the land is one of the biggest influencing factors when it comes to the cost of a home. Some of the cheapest places to live in the US will have the cheapest land in America. If the land costs more, your house cost will go up. Find states with the cheapest land and draw up a comparison.
- Cost Of Living
Even if you pick one of the cheapest houses in USA, it may not be a wise investment if you have to spend a lot to live there. When you want something “cheap,” you need to consider the expenditures after your purchase. Find and compare the cost of living in various states to know which is the cheapest state to live in. Make a list of states with low cost of living to find a place that won’t burn a hole in your pocket.
- Size Of The Property
The bigger the property, the more the cost will be. This does not mean you should go for a small size home and compromise on your comfort for cost. A little research will help you find some of the cheapest homes in America. You can find good sizable homes at a low cost if you pick the right state and location.
What is your lifestyle, and what are your needs? Does the place have access to all that you need? Is it close to your workplace, the bus stop, train station, stores, hospital, school, etc. ? The proximity of a place plays an important role in determining its cost. When you are searching for cheap houses for sale, ensure you won’t be spending too much time or money on travel.
The location of the property is also very important. Houses located in the heart of the city will cost more than houses located on the outskirts of town. If you are looking for the cheapest real estate in US, you need to look outside cities. Yes, you may have to travel more to get anywhere. The challenge is finding the cheapest place to buy a house that is not too far from civilization.
Come up with a list of cheapest states to buy a house in, states with the lowest cost of living, sizes, and features of the properties. You will have a fair idea of the options available to you. When you spread out your options in front of you, you can easily identify the least expensive places to live in the US.
Apart from checking what is the cheapest state to live in, it would be best if you considered your standard of living too. You cannot live in one of the lowest standards or in a state with heavy poverty just because the house is cheap. You need to consider what standard of living you want to maintain and what type of a place you want to raise your family in.
The poverty rate in the state is one of the major deciding factors of the standard of living. If the poverty rate is very high, you cannot expect very comfortable amenities or state of the art amenities. You may save more with the low living costs, but when many residents live below the poverty line, the overall living conditions may not be very impressive.
When you buy a home, you need to think about the future generation. It would be best if you had good schools for your children where they can thrive and develop to accomplish in life. If the education system and provisions are not very impressive in a state, you may have to consider relocating once your child’s education becomes an issue.
- Duration / Purpose
The last but still important factor to consider when you are buying a house is the purpose of your purchase and the investment duration. While most people buy houses to live in, many use them as an investment option.
If you are buying a house to rent out and make some monthly rental income instead of letting your money sit in the bank, then health care, education, and the cost of living may not matter. It is up to whoever rents your property.
You just have to ensure you maintain the property well and have enough space to fit an average family’s expectations. When you invest in a house or two, you will get a steady rental income as long as you have tenants. You don’t have to do much about the investment.
Why Is Cost Of Living Important?
When it comes to expenditure, it is not just the cost of the house; you need to consider the upkeep expenses too. Buying a house is a one-time investment. It is an expenditure that will not recur. You can get good home loans if you have strong financial backing.
With your income in hand, not only will you have to pay back the loan and the charges on it, but you will also have to spend on day-to-day needs. Different states have different costs of living, depending on various parameters.
In some states, food can be expensive, while medical or educational expenses can be high in others. You need to factor in your major expenses and then compare the costs in each state. The higher the cost of living, the more you will spend daily, and the lesser your savings will be.
It may seem nice to live in a posh and expensive area, but it can be financially and mentally draining if you keep computing your expenses and savings every month. What is the use of investing in an expensive home if you can’t live peacefully in it?
What Influences Cost Of Living?
So, what are the factors that influence the cost of living in a state? Let’s take a closer look:
- Housing – The cost of the land, the house, and rental value. This will be your major investment.
- Transportation – How much do you need to spend getting to work from home or to move around in your city.
- Utilities – Water, electricity, and other basic necessities for a comfortable life.
- Groceries – Food and other essentials are a major part of any household’s monthly expenses.
- Health – Right from basic medications to doctors and specialists.
- Others – Other essential expenses that may or may not be repetitive.
Least Expensive States To Live In
When you buy a house in one of the most affordable states to live in, you can relax and enjoy the home rather than worry about repayments. For this, you need proper data about the cost of living in various states in America. These may not be the states with the cheapest land but can be financially easy on you in the long run.
Here are 10 of the cheapest states to live in the US, represented by their cost of living index.
1. Mississippi – Cost Of Living Index – 83.3
If you’re looking for affordable homes for sale, Mississippi is the place to be. The median home price in the state is just $114,000, and homes are selling for an average of $129,000. That’s well below the national median home value of $219,700. And it’s not just cheap houses that are available in Mississippi. It’s one of the states with the lowest cost of living, making it a great place to buy a home if you’re on a budget.
Costing 17% less than the national average cost of living, Mississippi is the cheapest state to live in. Mississippi has the lowest housing and transportation cost in the entire nation. However, it does not rank as one of the best places to invest in as poverty rates are very high. Both education and economy are of low standards here.
- Housing – 66.3
- Transportation – 86.7
- Utilities – 90.4
- Groceries – 92.2
- Health – 94.7
- Others – 90
2. Kansas – Cost Of Living Index – 86.5
Arkansas is another excellent state with cheap homes for sale. The median home value in Arkansas is $116,000, and homes are selling for an average of $132,000. That’s slightly higher than Mississippi’s median home values but well below the national average. And like Mississippi, Arkansas has a low cost of living, making it an affordable place to buy a home.
If you want to buy a house in Kansas, the housing cost is 28% below the national average cost. It is the third-lowest in the entire country, where you need to pay less than $180,000 to buy a home for a single-family. You will be spending less than the national average on groceries and transportation.
However, Kansas has a poverty rate slightly below the national average, where the average family income is below the nation’s average. The unemployment rate in this state is only 2.5%, which is one of the lowest in the country.
- Housing – 72.36
- Transportation – 97.3
- Utilities – 100.2
- Groceries – 91.7
- Health – 100.4
- Others – 4
3. Alabama – Cost of Living Index – 87.9
Alabama, the third cheapest state to live in, is the second cheapest state to buy a house in. You need to spend just about $170,200 to buy a single-family home. When you compare the cost of living, the health and transportation costs are among the lowest in the entire nation; the groceries and utility costs are close to the national average.
The average family income is just below the national average, so the state is just about the national average when it comes to various costs. However, 15.6% of its people live below the poverty line, making it one of the poorest states in the country.
- Housing – 70.1
- Transportation – 97.7
- Utilities – 100.7
- Groceries – 98.2
- Health – 91.2
- Others – 3
4. Oklahoma – Cost of Living Index – 87.9
If you’re looking for states with the cheapest land, Oklahoma is the state for you. Oklahoma’s median price of an acre of land is just $500. That’s less than half the national average price of $1100 per acre. And with a median home value of $124,000, Oklahoma is one of the cheapest state to live in.
Oklahoma ranks the fourth cheapest state in the country. If you are looking for one of the cheapest states to buy a house in, this could be a good option. With housing costs being 25% lesser than the national average, Oklahoma ranks the fifth cheapest state in the country for buying a house.
According to reports, in 2022, Oklahoma may not be a great state to invest in if you are looking at a long-term stay with your family. Health, utilities, transportation, and groceries are well below the national average, bringing down the cost of living. However, more than 15% of the residents live below the poverty line.
- Housing – 74.7
- Transportation – 94.8
- Utilities – 95.1
- Groceries – 94.5
- Health – 94.5
- Others – 6
5. Georgia – Cost Of Living Index – 88.8
If you are looking for the best state to buy a house in, this could be a good option. Houses cost 25% less than the national average cost, making it an affordable option for those who do not want to spend much but do not want to live in a poverty-stricken state.
The median family income in Georgia is more than the national average, and only 3.2% of its people do not have employment. More than 40% of its residents have their own homes, and the cost of living is not very high either. Transportation, utilities, and health costs are all below the national average cost.
If you are taking out a big loan to buy a house, you may not want to spend much on your daily expenses, which means a state with a low cost of living can be a feasible option.
- Housing – 74.4
- Transportation – 92.6
- Utilities – 90.5
- Groceries – 95.9
- Health – 96.7
- Others – 97.1
6. Tennessee – Cost Of Living Index – 89
Now this state has a poverty rate of 13.8%, but the unemployment level is just 3.4%. If you want to buy a typical single-family home in this state, you can get one for less than $250,000 and spend just around $260 per month on your utilities.
The cost of transportation is one of the lowest in the nation, and health care is not very expensive. So, you don’t have to spend much to live here with your family.
- Housing – 79.3
- Transportation – 88.8
- Utilities – 92.5
- Groceries – 94.7
- Health – 91.2
- Others – 2
7. Missouri – Cost Of Living Index – 89.8
Ranked No. 7, houses in Missouri will cost you 20% less than the national average. You can expect to spend less than $200,000 for a typical single-family home. Though all costs are lesser than the national average, Missouri boasts one of the highest minimum wage paying states in the entire country.
So people are not living below the poverty line here but need not spend much on their daily needs either. You could save well if you were to live in this state. Even health and transportation are much lower than the national average, lightening the financial burden of a typical family.
- Housing – 80.3
- Transportation – 92.4
- Utilities – 95.4
- Groceries – 95
- Health – 94.6
- Others – 93.3
8. Iowa – Cost Of Living Index – 89.8
Iowa has the sixth cheapest housing option in the country. If you plan on buying a house in this state, you can get a typical single-family home for as little as $166,000. The median income of a family is more than what is typically required to meet basic expenses. The poverty rate in this state is only 11%, which is much less than the national average.
Home to more than 20 state parks and nine national parks, Iowa is a great place to live if you’re looking for cheap houses for sale. The median home value in Iowa is $139,000, and homes are selling for an average of $148,000. That’s well below the national median home value of $219,700. And like other states on this list, Iowa has a low cost of living, making it the best state to buy a house.
Though all other parameters cost less than the national average, the low cost of housing makes this a good option for those looking for the cheapest states to buy a house in.
- Housing – 76
- Transportation – 92.4
- Utilities – 94.9
- Groceries – 98.4
- Health – 94.6
- Others – 3
9. West Virginia – Cost Of Living Index – 90.5
West Virginia is another great option if you’re looking for the cheapest places to live. The median home value in West Virginia is $129,000, and homes are selling for an average of $137,000. That’s well below the national median home value of $219,700. West Virginia also has a low cost of living, making it the cheapest place to buy a house.
If you live in West Virginia, you will be spending less than the national average on health, transportation, utilities, and groceries. You can buy a typical single-family home for less than $120,000. More than 43% of the residents own houses in this state.
Despite a low cost of living and good housing options, West Virginia is not highly favored for families as the economic opportunities are very limited. The educational outcomes are not very satisfactory either, making it less suitable for families with children.
The poverty rate is also pretty high in this state, recording 16%, the fourth-highest in the nation.
- Housing – 78.6
- Transportation – 92.2
- Utilities – 89.4
- Groceries – 96.5
- Health – 88.1
- Others – 99.7
10. Indiana – Cost Of Living Index – 90.6
The cost of living in this state is 10% less than the national average. You can buy yourself a typical single-family home for less than $190,000. The housing rate is the eighth cheapest in the country.
All the basic costs are lesser than the national average, making this one of the ten cheapest states to live in the US.
- Housing – 78.3
- Transportation – 98.3
- Utilities – 99
- Groceries – 92.7
- Health – 94.6
- Others – 8
The southern and Mid-western regions tend to have some of the lowest living costs. As you move to the Northeast or the Pacific coast, you will notice the cost of living is very high. In fact, some of the most expensive places to live in the US can be found in these regions.
Buying a house is a long-term investment. Whether you want to live in it with your family or rent it out. It would be best if you put in a lot of thought and consideration before paying the deposit for a home. With careful planning and information backed by data, you can make a wise investment decision.
These are just a few of the cheapest states to buy a house. These states are worth considering if you’re looking for an affordable place to live. Each state has its unique charm and offers something different for residents. But they all have in common that they’re relatively cheap places to live. So if you’re looking for a place to call home, these states are a great option.
Remember to never rush into investing in a house. If you want a cheap yet good state to invest your hard-earned money in, consider several parameters.