Aug 08 2023

10 housing markets that give you more for less

affordable places to live
affordable places to live

Get more house at a lower price tag? Here are some of the most affordable places to live.

Cost remains a top concern for today’s homebuyers, which is why many are seeking out affordable places to live. Fortunately, these still exist. Housing markets with good jobs, short commutes, plentiful restaurants, ample inventory, and reasonable prices are considered friendly to first-time and repeat homebuyers.

Get more bang for your buck: 10 affordable places to live

affordable places to live

Based on reports from the National Association of REALTORS* (NAR) and**, here’s where your homebuying dollars may stretch the farthest:

1. Atlanta, GA.

The Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta metro area ranked at the top of NAR’s list.* As far as affordable places to live go, Atlanta was the only metro to meet all criteria—such as better-than-average affordability, a higher level of renters able to purchase a median-priced home, and housing inventory growth. Atlanta also has an expanding trail network (the BeltLine) and, many say, Southern hospitality that makes it easier to make friends.

2. Dallas, TX.

The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metro area was ranked for its growing tech workforce, as well as its cheaper housing compared to the national average.* Not only is the Dallas metro one of the most affordable places to live, but it’s also an ideal spot for sports fans, barbecue lovers, and those who don’t want to pay state income tax. However, Texas homeowners do pay higher property tax.

3. DeForest, WI.

DeForest made’s list of top 10 markets for first-time homebuyers.** This is due to its shorter forecasted commute time (at 25 minutes), inventory availability, and fairly affordable median home price. DeForest is a small town located near Madison with good schools and a strong safety rating. It’s also home to an extensive trail network and sits along the Yahara River.

4. Fayetteville, AR.

The Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers metro in Arkansas and Missouri is another tech hotspot with above-average affordability for renters who want to buy their first house.* Northwest Arkansas is known for its inexpensive housing, as well as its job opportunities (coming from companies like Walmart and Tyson Foods). Compared to some other states, Arkansas has a modest income tax.

5. Gloucester City, NJ.

A small suburban town located on the border of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Gloucester City ranks well thanks to its low commute times, younger population share (ages 25 to 34), and cheaper home prices.** Gloucester City also has a notable bar scene and good public schools. The town is a short commute to Philadelphia, at around 20 minutes.

True or false? You should wait to buy a house until rates get a little lower. Contact your local Academy Loan Officer to find out.

6. Knoxville, TN.

Home affordability coupled with a burgeoning job market are several reasons Californians are moving to Knoxville, the NAR report shows.* Knoxville has shopping, dining, and nightlife, along with options for outdoor recreation. Knoxville also hosts multiple seasonal festivals. Good public schools and a diverse population are other selling points of this Tennessee town.

7. Magna, UT.

A suburb of Salt Lake City, Magna has ample enough housing inventory and reasonable enough home prices to entice first-time and downsizing homebuyers. Magna, like other towns on’s list, also has a good ratio of food and drink establishments relative to its population.* For those who want to enjoy Salt Lake City’s food and arts scene, it’s only a short drive away.

8. Portsmouth, VA.

Portsmouth boasts a young population share, below-average home prices, and forecasted housing price growth.* Meaning, a homebuyer who purchases now has the chance to begin Building Prosperity as home prices appreciate. A seaport city located across the Elizabeth River from Norfolk, Portsmouth has plenty of parks and a charming historic district.

9. San Antonio, TX.

The San Antonio-New Braunfels area is another popular Texas destination.* As home prices surged in Austin, many buyers set their sights on the surrounding region. San Antonio and New Braunfels, cities with Mexican and German heritages, are located about an hour, give or take, from Austin. Homebuyers are drawn to San Antonio for being one of the most affordable places to live, as well as for its warmer climate.

10. Windsor Locks, CT.

Windsor Locks has inventory, short commutes, and reasonable (and potentially appreciating) home prices. A suburb of Hartford, living in Windsor Locks gives easy access to Hartford’s arts and sports attractions. Hartford has a diverse restaurant scene, while Windsor Locks has a large number of dining options relative to its population.** The Hartford area is also a hub for lovers of history.

Even as the market shifts, homeownership is still possible

It can be frustrating to browse houses, find the perfect one, and then realize your dreams of homeownership might have to wait. As the market changes, many homebuyers feel forced to put their house hunt on hold. But what if you didn’t have to? Your local Academy Loan Officer is here to assess your unique needs, explain the conditions of your local market, and help you find an affordable mortgage.

Please consult a trusted professional as personal circumstances may vary. No specific results are guaranteed. Not all applicants will qualify. MAC324-1485757.