11 Cities Where You Can Still Buy a House for Under $250,000

Bypass the housing market frenzy with these affordable alternatives.
Updated April 11, 2024
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While the busy spring and summer real estate market may have increased median sale prices, there are plenty of U.S. cities where you can get a home for under $250,000.

If you want to keep more money in your bank account by buying a home for less than $250K, maybe one of these cities is right for you.

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Cleveland, Ohio

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe skylines of cleveland ohio with lakeview

Cleveland, a humble gem along the coast of Lake Erie, boasts excellent restaurants and museums. Visitors (and potential residents) should check out the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Great Lakes Science Center, and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

According to the real estate website Redfin, the median sale price for a home in Cleveland was $110,000 in February 2024.

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St. Louis, Missouri

f11photo/Adobe beautiful st louis downtown skyline

St. Louis is a lovely hub of culture and cuisine at the intersection of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers.

While the national housing market has dipped in recent months, prices in St. Louis have actually increased.

According to Redfin, the median home price in the Gateway to the West reached $205,500 in February.

Birmingham, Alabama

Kevin Ruck/Adobe birmingham alabama skyline under orange sky

The historic city of Birmingham has also seen a decrease in home prices, with the median sale price dropping 7.5% since the same time last year.

Buyers can expect to pay around $165,000, which is the median sale price according to Redfin as of February 2024. 

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Detroit, Michigan

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe skyscape of detroit michigan at midnight

Detroit can be a great hometown if you want to live near water or in a city on the upswing with plenty of new restaurants and cool nightlife.

The median home sale price in the city is well under $250,000 at $81,000 this month, which is easily affordable for some buyers. Prices, however, will be higher as you move to more popular neighborhoods in the city.

Because it’s a rebuilding city, know that you may have to consider rehabbing a home.

Rochester, New York

Roland/Adobe lake besides rochester skyline

Upstate New York is where you’ll find Rochester, which sits on the shore of Lake Ontario and is the home of the Rochester Institute of Technology. Rochester is also the headquarters for Xerox, Wegmans, and Paychex.

The average price of a home in Rochester was $124,900 in February. Rochester is a good option if you want to live in a less expensive area of New York State.

Baltimore, Maryland

Kevin Ruck/Adobe baltimore skyline

The home of the Baltimore Orioles and Baltimore Ravens is also home to affordable housing.

Redfin placed the median home sale price in Baltimore at $197,000 in February 2024, which is up 11.4% since the same time last year.

Memphis, Tennessee

Kevin Ruck/Adobe memphis tennessee skyline at sunrise

The home of Elvis Presley could also be the next place you call home. 

While you may not be able to buy Graceland, you could buy a home in Memphis for a median sale price of $187,500 in February. That represents a 3.1% decrease in price compared to a year earlier.

Indianapolis, Indiana

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe iconic indianapolis roundabout with skyline

The home of the Indy 500 may be a hot track when it comes to cars, but you can still find home prices that haven’t sped away yet.

The median sale price for a home in Indianapolis was $230,000 in February.

Depending on what you’re looking for and what compromises you might be willing to make, you may find a fixer-upper or smaller home under $200,000.

Des Moines, Iowa

pabrady63/Adobe beautiful iowa city skyline at sunset

Looking for a good Midwestern town to buy a house? Consider Des Moines.

The capital of Iowa had a median sale price of $203,000 in February, which is well under those looking within the $250,000 range.

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Louisville, Kentucky

Marco/Adobe bridge to louisville skyline during day

Take in the beauty of Kentucky as well as some amazing horse racing at Churchill Downs with a home in Louisville.

The city saw a median sale price of $230,000 in February. You may have to slug it out to get a good deal for much lower than that, but it is possible for both new and existing homeowners.

Wichita, Kansas

Jacob/Adobe population centre of wichita in kansas

Another great Midwest city to consider is Wichita, the largest city in Kansas.

You could find a home there for a median sale price of $205,000 in February, marking a 8.2% increase compared to a year earlier.

Bottom line

tirachard/Adobe african american family happy while shifting

Finding the right mortgage lender is a crucial first step to securing your dream home.

A knowledgeable lender can guide you through the process, explain your options, and ensure you won't need help paying your mortgage every month.

This will put you in a strong position to move forward with confidence, knowing you have the financial security to manage your new homeownership journey.

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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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