The 50 Best Places To Buy a Home for Under $250,000

A family home is one of the key elements for many Americans, providing a long-term solution to their housing and a real estate investment for their portfolio.

Discover: Barbara Corcoran Says, ‘Forget About Florida,’ Move Here for Cheap Homes
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However, in many places in America, housing prices have started to rocket so high that homeownership has become the sort of dream that’s only imaginable for the rich. When the median home value in your area is $1 million or more, a 20% down payment alone comes to $200,000.

That’s why GOBankingRates has compiled a list of the best options for people who are ready to look beyond the beaten path for a place where buying a home is affordable and life is good. The study compiled the median home value from cities across the country, limiting itself to just those where prices are under a quarter-million dollars. It then added on factors like crime rates, unemployment and overall livability, scoring each and combining them to rank each city.

So, see if your hometown is one of the places where you can expect to be able to buy a home for a price that’s not outrageous.

Fountain Square in downtown Bowling Green.

50. Bowling Green, Kentucky

  • 2022 average home value: $237,894
  • Livability score: 73
  • Median household income: $43,633
  • Unemployment rate: 3.2%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 25.0%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 3.67
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 38.31

Be Aware: 5 Types of Homes That Will Plummet in Value in 2024
See: 5 Places in Florida Where Home Prices Are Still Cheap

View of Kansas City, Missouri skyline at dawn

49. Kansas City, Missouri

  • 2022 average home value: $212,643
  • Livability score: 58
  • Median household income: $60,042
  • Unemployment rate: 2.4%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 15.0%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 14.58
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 42.70

Know: 10 Things Frugal People Always Do When They First Buy a House

The Arkansas River and downtown Wichita from Veterans Memorial Park at 339 Veterans Parkway in Wichita, Kansas on August 13, 2017.

48. Wichita, Kansas

  • 2022 average home value: $175,602
  • Livability score: 60
  • Median household income: $56,374
  • Unemployment rate: 2.9%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 15.2%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 11.76
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 47.28
Montgomery, Alabama, USA downtown skyline at night.

47. Montgomery, Alabama

  • 2022 average home value: $128,088
  • Livability score: 65
  • Median household income: $49,989
  • Unemployment rate: 2.5%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 21.2%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 6.18
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 36.23
Old brick house in the Old Salem Historic District, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

46. Winston-Salem, North Carolina

  • 2022 average home value: $217,990
  • Livability score: 64
  • Median household income: $50,204
  • Unemployment rate: 3.1%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 19.0%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 11.49
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 40.36
Columbus-GA

45. Columbus, Georgia

  • 2022 average home value: $138,836
  • Livability score: 60
  • Median household income: $50,542
  • Unemployment rate: 3.3%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 19.5%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 7.17
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 26.34

Learn: Why Florida’s Retirees Are Fleeing — And Where They’re Going Instead

Evansville is a city in and the county seat of Vanderburgh County, Indiana, United States.

44. Evansville, Indiana

  • 2022 average home value: $167,195
  • Livability score: 58
  • Median household income: $45,649
  • Unemployment rate: 2.3%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 19.9%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 7.44
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 36.71
Abraham Lincoln statue in front of the Illinois State Capital Building in Springfield, Illinois - Image.

43. Springfield, Illinois

  • 2022 average home value: $135,537
  • Livability score: 61
  • Median household income: $57,596
  • Unemployment rate: 3.6%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 18.5%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 8.38
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 38.12
Elkhart, Indiana, USA - August 24, 2014: View of the downtown of the city of Elkhart, in the State of Indiana.

42. Elkhart, Indiana

  • 2022 average home value: $185,429
  • Livability score: 65
  • Median household income: $43,868
  • Unemployment rate: 2.5%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 19.6%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 12.85
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 31.40
summer footbridge and lake In Lubbock Texas.

41. Lubbock, Texas

  • 2022 average home value: $195,999
  • Livability score: 68
  • Median household income: $54,060
  • Unemployment rate: 2.9%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 19.4%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 10.85
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 38.53

Find Out: Housing Market 2024: Zillow Predicts 5 Hottest Home Trends That Homebuyers Will Be Looking For

Lafayette is a small City in the State of Louisiana - Image.

40. Lafayette, Louisiana

  • 2022 average home value: $202,790
  • Livability score: 73
  • Median household income: $55,329
  • Unemployment rate: 3.1%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 19.5%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 6.04
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 41.26
Edinburg Texas.

39. Topeka, Kansas

  • 2022 average home value: $159,014
  • Livability score: 61
  • Median household income: $50,870
  • Unemployment rate: 2.7%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 15.2%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 7.11
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 45.16
Corpus Christi Municipal Marina in Texas

38. Corpus Christi, Texas

  • 2022 average home value: $205,269
  • Livability score: 69
  • Median household income: $59,993
  • Unemployment rate: 4.5%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 17.0%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 8.79
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 32.65
Pittsburgh-Pennsylvania

37. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • 2022 average home value: $211,339
  • Livability score: 75
  • Median household income: $54,036
  • Unemployment rate: 3.7%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 19.7%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 5.98
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 30.02

Next: Housing Market 2024: Avoid Buying a Home in These 4 California Cities

McAllen, TX / USA - June 22, 2019: Rio Grande river on the US side - Image.

36. McAllen, Texas

  • 2022 average home value: $195,966
  • Livability score: 81
  • Median household income: $52,422
  • Unemployment rate: 6.8%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 21.0%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 1.82
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 18.27
Greensboro, North Carolina, USA downtown skyline.

35. Greensboro, North Carolina

  • 2022 average home value: $228,026
  • Livability score: 66
  • Median household income: $51,667
  • Unemployment rate: 3.6%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 17.4%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 8.86
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 36.0
Armand Bayou in Pasadena Texas

34. Pasadena, Texas

  • 2022 average home value: $206,139
  • Livability score: 71
  • Median household income: $61,182
  • Unemployment rate: 3.9%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 17.9%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 6.35
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 25.24
Kansas City Kansas

33. Kansas City, Kansas

  • 2022 average home value: $161,492
  • Livability score: 59
  • Median household income: $50,707
  • Unemployment rate: 2.4%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 18.4%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 4.72
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 21.54

Discover: 7 Safest and Cheapest Cities To Live in Florida

Louisville Kentucky

32. Louisville, Kentucky

  • 2022 average home value: $224,899
  • Livability score: 64
  • Median household income: $58,357
  • Unemployment rate: 2.7%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 15.2%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 9.79
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 33.0
Wichita Falls is a city in and the county seat of Wichita County, Texas, United States.

31. Wichita Falls, Texas

  • 2022 average home value: $147,753
  • Livability score: 75
  • Median household income: $50,856
  • Unemployment rate: 3.3%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 18.5%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 5.82
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 31.59
Grand Rapids Michigan skyline along the banks of the Grand river.

30. Grand Rapids, Michigan

  • 2022 average home value: $238,003
  • Livability score: 67
  • Median household income: $55,385
  • Unemployment rate: 3.1%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 18.6%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 9.82
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 25.81
Lake Charles, Lousiana

29. Lake Charles, Louisiana

  • 2022 average home value: $181,000
  • Livability score: 70
  • Median household income: $49,913
  • Unemployment rate: 3.0%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 20.8%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 4.69
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 24.24

Read: I’m a Real Estate Agent: 5 Cities Where Homes Will Be the Best Bargains in 2024

Birds Flying Over Pier Topsail Island Beach Jacksonville, NC.

28. Jacksonville, North Carolina

  • 2022 average home value: $205,393
  • Livability score: 71
  • Median household income: $47,483
  • Unemployment rate: 3.7%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 16.3%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 3.76
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 19.09
Killeen, Texas - August 25th 2016: Residential neighborhood in the South with blue sky in the background.

27. Killeen, Texas

  • 2022 average home value: $213,014
  • Livability score: 67
  • Median household income: $52,072
  • Unemployment rate: 4.0%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 15.7%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 6.19
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 17.18
Davenport skyline along the banks of the Mississippi RiverMore Davenport images.

26. Davenport, Iowa

  • 2022 average home value: $160,993
  • Livability score: 69
  • Median household income: $56,315
  • Unemployment rate: 3.7%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 15.8%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 6.63
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 36.16
Warren, Michigan

25. Warren, Michigan

  • 2022 average home value: $184,946
  • Livability score: 70
  • Median household income: $55,153
  • Unemployment rate: 3.2%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 15.3%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 5.24
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 15.61

See: I Retired Early: Why Real Estate Investing Was the Secret to My Success

High angle view of Roanoke Virginia with famous church in the background -- St Andrews Catholic Church.

24. Roanoke, Virginia

  • 2022 average home value: $224,331
  • Livability score: 75
  • Median household income: $48,476
  • Unemployment rate: 2.6%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 18.4%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 4.90
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 38.77
Circular Town Center, Indianapolis, Indiana - Image.

23. Indianapolis, Indiana

  • 2022 average home value: $212,980
  • Livability score: 65
  • Median household income: $54,321
  • Unemployment rate: 2.2%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 16.4%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 7.32
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 35.20
Laredo is the county seat of Webb County, Texas, United States, on the north bank of the Rio Grande in South Texas, across from Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico.

22. Laredo, Texas

  • 2022 average home value: $196,466
  • Livability score: 72
  • Median household income: $55,603
  • Unemployment rate: 3.7%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 22.2%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 3.15
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 12.37
Skyline of High Point, North Carolina

21. High Point, North Carolina

  • 2022 average home value: $206,176
  • Livability score: 62
  • Median household income: $54,331
  • Unemployment rate: 3.6%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 14.6%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 5.22
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 27.82

Check Out: These 5 Cities Are Becoming Popular With Baby Boomers: Should You Consider Them for Your Retirement Years?

Odessa is a city in and the county seat of Ector County, Texas, United States.

20. Odessa, Texas

  • 2022 average home value: $198,665
  • Livability score: 63
  • Median household income: $66,769
  • Unemployment rate: 3.8%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 13.4%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 5.92
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 25.98
Carnegie Library in Bryan, Texas

19. Bryan, Texas

  • 2022 average home value: $239,999
  • Livability score: 73
  • Median household income: $49,181
  • Unemployment rate: 2.8%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 23.5%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 5.79
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 19.60
High Dynamic Range HDR Photo of Downtown Columbus Ohio.

18. Columbus, Ohio

  • 2022 average home value: $235,400
  • Livability score: 73
  • Median household income: $58,575
  • Unemployment rate: 3.1%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 18.4%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 5.96
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 33.16
Bricktown Canal in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

17. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

  • 2022 average home value: $182,569
  • Livability score: 69
  • Median household income: $59,679
  • Unemployment rate: 2.4%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 14.9%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 6.29
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 37.37

Learn: Barbara Corcoran Says Now Is the ‘Best Time’ To Buy a House: Here’s Why

Historic home of President Harry S. Truman in Independence, Missouri.

16. Independence, Missouri

  • 2022 average home value: $177,135
  • Livability score: 71
  • Median household income: $53,996
  • Unemployment rate: 2.4%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 14.3%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 5.52
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 35.88
City view with Bonaza church in the centre of El Paso village on the western part of La Palma island.

15. El Paso, Texas

  • 2022 average home value: $190,159
  • Livability score: 74
  • Median household income: $51,325
  • Unemployment rate: 4.0%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 18.3%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 2.54
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 12.73
Close up on an antique map of the county of Hamilton, state of Iowa.

14. Hamilton, Iowa

  • 2022 average home value: $241,626
  • Livability score: 74
  • Median household income: $50,034
  • Unemployment rate: 3.1%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 16.4%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 4.92
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 31.95
Pensacola Florida skyline

13. Pensacola, Florida

  • 2022 average home value: $234,795
  • Livability score: 69
  • Median household income: $59,119
  • Unemployment rate: 2.3%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 15.3%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 6.22
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 27.74

Check Out: 3 Ways Upper-Middle-Class Retirees Stay Rich in Retirement

Longview_Texas_iStock-1359209897

12. Longview, Texas

  • 2022 average home value: $200,386
  • Livability score: 78
  • Median household income: $53,854
  • Unemployment rate: 4.0%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 18.6%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 3.50
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 25.23
Abilene is a city in Taylor and Jones counties in West Texas, United States.

11. Abilene, Texas

  • 2022 average home value: $174,950
  • Livability score: 75
  • Median household income: $54,493
  • Unemployment rate: 3.2%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 15.4%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 4.78
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 20.68
Amarillo, U.S.A. - May 21 2011: Texas, Route 66, the buildings of the city center

10. Amarillo, Texas

  • 2022 average home value: $181,193
  • Livability score: 73
  • Median household income: $55,174
  • Unemployment rate: 2.6%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 15.8%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 7.46
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 33.71
Tyler-Texas

9. Tyler, Texas

  • 2022 average home value: $222,562
  • Livability score: 70
  • Median household income: $58,385
  • Unemployment rate: 3.3%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 14.9%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 4.50
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 26.44

Know: How Far a $100,000 Salary Goes in America’s 50 Largest Cities

Norman, Oklahoma, USA - April 24, 2018: Daytime view of the quaint and historic Main Street in the downtown district in the third-largest city in Oklahoma.

8. Norman, Oklahoma

  • 2022 average home value: $227,192
  • Livability score: 76
  • Median household income: $59,866
  • Unemployment rate: 2.4%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 16.7%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 3.17
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 31.23
Hampton Virginia lighthouse

7. Hampton, Virginia

  • 2022 average home value: $233,401
  • Livability score: 72
  • Median household income: $59,380
  • Unemployment rate: 3.0%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 14.4%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 2.87
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 24.99
DES MOINES, IOWA - JULY 11, 2018: Des Moines, Iowa Skyline from the Pappajohn Sculpture Park.

6. Des Moines, Iowa

  • 2022 average home value: $179,879
  • Livability score: 75
  • Median household income: $58,444
  • Unemployment rate: 2.8%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 15.3%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 6.32
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 31.89
Lynchburg, Virginia

5. Lynchburg, Virgina

  • 2022 average home value: $216,265
  • Livability score: 82
  • Median household income: $54,015
  • Unemployment rate: 2.9%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 17.6%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 4.20
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 20.90

Read: Net Worth Floridians: How Much to Be Poor, Middle-Class, or Rich in Florida

Green Bay Wisconsin

4. Greenbay, Wisconsin

  • 2022 average home value: $206,384
  • Livability score: 70
  • Median household income: $55,221
  • Unemployment rate: 2.1%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 15.4%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 4.54
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 15.22
Joliet is a city in Kendall and Will counties in the U.

3. Joliet, Illinois

  • 2022 average home value: $205,688
  • Livability score: 70
  • Median household income: $77,373
  • Unemployment rate: 4.2%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 10.7%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 5.05
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 11.51
Fort Wayne Indiana

2. Fort Wayne, Indiana

  • 2022 average home value: $195,509
  • Livability score: 75
  • Median household income: $53,978
  • Unemployment rate: 2.2%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 15.5%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 2.64
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 23.13
A Placid Summer's Day in Edmond, Oklahoma - Image.

1. Cedar Rapids, Iowa

  • 2022 average home value: $187,941
  • Livability score: 76
  • Median household income: $63,170
  • Unemployment rate: 3.5%
  • Percentage of people below the poverty line: 11.2%
  • Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents: 3.41
  • Property crime rate per 1,000 residents: 26.78

Joel Anderson contributed to the reporting for this article.

Methodology: In order to find the 50 best places to buy a home for under $250,000, GOBankingRates looked at the 100 most populous cities where home values from Jan. 2022 to Jan. 2023 did not go above $250,000 and had an average during that same period below $250,000 according to Zillow’s Jan. 2023 data. Once these 100 cities were identified, GOBankingRates looked at the following factors: (1) median household income as sourced from the United States Census Bureau’s 2021 American Community Survey; (2) an overall livability score out of 100 sourced from AreaVibes; (3) violent crime rate per 1,000 residents and (4) property crime rate per 1,000residents, both sourced from Neighborhood Scout; (5) Metropolitan Statistical Area unemployment rate from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ preliminary data for December 2022; (6) percent of population living below the poverty line sourced from the United States Census Bureau’s 2021 American Community Survey; and (7) an annual cost of living expenditures estimate (groceries, healthcare, utilities and transportation), based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2021 Consumer Expenditure Survey and local cost of living indices sourced from Sperling’s Best Places. All factors were then scored and combined, with the lower score being best, and then ranked to give the final placements. All data was collected on and up to date as of March 9, 2023.

More From GOBankingRates

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: The 50 Best Places To Buy a Home for Under $250,000

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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