12 Affordable Housing Markets on the Outskirts of the Most Expensive Cities in America

Get the scoop on 12 affordable housing markets bordering America's priciest cities.
Updated Aug. 31, 2023
Family in front of house

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Overall, the cost of housing in the U.S. is going up. The median sale price of a home was $422,137 in July, marking a 1.8% increase compared to a year earlier.

In cities like Boston, New York, Austin, Miami, and others, you may not be able to afford a home unless you find ways to help pay your mortgage.

But the suburbs near a big city may offer homes that could be more affordable and where you could still enjoy metropolitan life. Here are a few options near popular metro areas.

Kyle, Texas

didesign/Adobe Two lovers moving in the new apartment

Austin has grown in recent years, attracting Texans and out-of-staters to the unique town. 

The median sale price of a home in Austin was $570,000 in July, which is lower than the market peak in May 2022 when sale prices reached $670,000, according to real estate website Redfin.

Instead, consider Kyle, one of Austin's larger suburbs. The area has a mix of newer builds and older homes, and you could find a new home for a median sale price of $339,990 in July.

Plus, if you need to earn extra money to afford living in a hot market, Austin is one of the top areas for freelancers.

Hialeah Gardens, Florida

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Hialeah Gardens has seen an influx of newcomers to Florida, including new residents with families. To cover the shortfall of teachers, the school district is training new teachers to accommodate larger class sizes.

And while the price of a home has gone up 39.7% from a year ago, the median sale price in July was $475,000.

Compare that cost to nearby Miami, which has a median sale price of $579,500, a 10.4% increase compared to last year.

Montvale, New Jersey

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It can be tough to make it in New York City when considering the housing cost. After all, the median sale price for a place in Manhattan was a whopping $1.2 million in July.

Compare that to Montvale, a commuter town in New Jersey with its own stop on New Jersey Transit. In Montvale, you could find a home for $894,600. It’s still steep compared to other parts of the country, but it’s more affordable than New York City.

Waldorf, Maryland

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Washington, D.C., is a hub for federal and tech jobs, leading to higher home prices. For example, a home in the District would’ve set you back $625,000 at a median home sale price in July, according to real estate website Redfin.

If you don’t mind driving to Washington, D.C., instead of living there, check out Waldorf. The town, which is south of the city, has a median sale price of $430,945. 

The suburban town features a 13-mile bike trail and is home to the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs professional baseball team.

Boulevard Park, Washington

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You might be sleepless in Seattle worrying about the cost of housing. The largest city in the Northwest also has the largest median home sale price, reaching $800,000 in July. 

And that price is below the market's peak in May 2022, when the median sale price was $898,000.

Nearby Boulevard Park could be a better option close to the city but with more affordable housing. In July, the median home sale price came in at $462,500, an 18.9% decrease compared to a year earlier.

Lawrence, Massachusetts

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Boston is in the top 20 most expensive cities in the U.S., and its median home sale price was $830,000 in July. Try Lawrence if you don’t mind a 40-minute commute on Massachusetts Bay Transportation.

Lawrence has the rich history you would expect from an old New England town but without the rich price tag for housing. The area’s median home price was $529,200 in July, according to Redfin.

Magna, Utah

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Outside of Salt Lake City is Magna, which is only about a 20-minute drive from the Salt Lake City airport. You can purchase a home in the area for $429,950, the median sale price as of July, which is a 4.5% decline from a year ago.

Compare that to Salt Lake City proper, where a house would cost $555,500 in median sale price in July.

Bell Gardens, California

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Los Angeles can be an expensive option if you live in southern California, with the median sale price hitting the $1 million mark in July, which is 4.4% higher than a year earlier.

Check out the inland suburb of Bell Gardens instead. Prices are still steep at $955,000 as a median sale price in July, but cheaper than the nearby City of Angels.

Aurora, Colorado

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Denver is becoming a more popular option as new residents come to the Mile High City for work and quality of life. Its popularity is reflected in the city’s median home sale price of $585,000 in July. That price is just 1.1% lower than it was a year ago.

Instead, consider Aurora, which is east of the city. You could have picked up a home in the area for a median sale price of $470,000.

Independence, Missouri

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Kansas City is home to the Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs and houses that may be pricier than other cities in the Midwest. The median sale price for the area was $270,000 in July.

Nearby Independence may be a better option. The city, which was the home of President Harry Truman, sits east of Kansas City and had a median sale price of $219,500 in July.

Greenbrier, Tennessee

Greenbrier has plenty of outdoor activities for you to enjoy while also being close to Nashville. But the city doesn’t have the same price tag, with the median sale prices for homes in July coming in at $425,000.

If you prefer to live in Nashville, a median-price home there would’ve cost you $459,900 in July, according to Redfin.

Redan, Georgia

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Atlanta is a peach of a town that continues to attract new residents, with a median sale price in July of $385,000, according to Redfin.

But if that’s too pricey for you, consider a move to Redan instead. The suburb east of Atlanta will cost you $290,432 for a home. 

But be aware that you’re not the only one interested in the area, as that price is a 21% increase compared to prices a year earlier, according to Redfin.

Bottom line

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Housing costs don’t have to eat into your budget if you're willing to live in the suburbs instead of the city.

Check out suburban options if you’re trying to save money on a home, but remember to also factor in other costs, such as property taxes, when creating your budget.

If you’re living paycheck to paycheck or want to retire early, you don’t want to be surprised by additional costs like gas if your commute is longer.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.

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