Budget-Friendly: Uncovering America’s Most Affordable Cities for Home Buyers 2023

importance location in home buying sell usa

Unveiling America’s Most Searched Budget-Friendly Home Buys

In the wake of the pandemic, the average cost of a home in the United States has surged by 40%, soaring from $313,000 to $436,800. This substantial increase in home prices, coupled with rising mortgage rates, has made homeownership an unattainable dream for many individuals.

Amidst the surging home prices and escalating mortgage rates, there exists a ray of hope for aspiring home buyers. In a meticulous analysis conducted by WalletHub, key factors including real estate tax rates, median home price appreciation, and cost of living were scrutinized to identify the most favorable cities in the United States for purchasing a home. These cities were meticulously ranked on a scale ranging from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating superior affordability for prospective home buyers.

Budget-Friendly: Uncovering America's Most Affordable Cities for Home Buyers 2023

Affordable Cities in the U.S: Where Buying a Home is Within Reach

Let’s delve into a detailed examination of the 10 categories utilized in the analysis, along with the respective weightings and methodologies employed to evaluate each one.

Metric Weight
Housing Affordability 25.00 points
Cost per Square Foot 16.67 points
Maintenance Affordability 8.33 points
Average Cost of Homeowner’s Insurance 8.33 points
Cost of Living 8.33 points
Real Estate Tax Rate 8.33 points
Rent-to-Price-Ratio 8.33 points
Median Home Price Appreciation 8.33 points
Quarterly Active Listings per Capita 4.17 points
Vacancy Rate 4.17 points

Which cities in the United States offer the greatest affordability for individuals looking to purchase a home?

The metric with the greatest weight is the median price of the property itself divided by the median household income in that area, known as house affordability.

Other significant metrics evaluated include the availability of properties for sale, the average expense of home insurance, maintenance costs, and various other crucial factors that individuals must consider when buying a home.

Rank City Score
T1 Montgomery, AL 71.4
T1 Flint, MI 71.4
3 Toledo, OH 71.0
4 Detroit, MI 70.9
5 Akron, OH 70.3
6 Warren, MI 70.2
7 Pittsburgh, PA 70.1
8 Yuma, AZ 69.5
T9 Springfield, Il 69.1
T9 Palm Bay, FL 69.1

Location, Location, Location

Narrowing down which areas are viable from a lifestyle and financial perspective is a crucial initial step in the process of buying a home. Popular suburban communities and iconic hubs such as Los Angeles or NYC may be highly desirable, but they come with a higher price tag or have housing options that don’t align with lifestyle requirements.

On the other hand, some of the most affordable cities may have drawbacks that impact their desirability. For instance, Flint, Michigan (ranked #1), is still widely believed to have issues with its drinking water. Other places may have high crime rates or limited economic opportunities, like Detroit (#4) or Yuma, Arizona (#9), respectively.

Many cities on the list are concentrated in Michigan, Arizona, and Ohio. When it comes to larger cities that are genuinely affordable, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Philadelphia, and Baltimore are well-known examples that made it onto the list.


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