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

You don’t have to bust your bank account to get an affordable home in some American cities.
Updated Aug. 7, 2023
couple holding new house keys outdoor

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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.

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.

In June 2023, the median sale price for a home in Cleveland was $118,000, according to the real estate website Redfin.

Pro tip: If you choose to visit any of these cities, consider booking your trip with a travel credit card to earn points and miles.

St. Louis, Mo.

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 there has been a dip in the national housing market in recent months, St. Louis has actually seen an increase in prices.

The median home price in the Gateway to the West reached $250,000 in June, according to Redfin. But this could dip, as the median home price was $196,000 in February.

Birmingham, Ala.

Kevin Ruck/Adobe birmingham alabama skyline under orange sky

The historic city of Birmingham has also seen a recent increase in home prices, with the median sale price reaching $228,000 in June.

But there are still plenty of great options around the $200,000 level. And only two months ago, the city saw a median sale price of around $187,000 for a home.

Detroit, Mich.

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 was $75,000 in June, 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, N.Y.

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 $177,400 in June. Rochester is a good option if you want to live in a less expensive area of New York State.

Baltimore, Md.

Kevin Ruck/Adobe beautiful baltimore skyline along with yachts

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 $230,500 in June, but the cost was at $200,000 only a few months prior.

Memphis, Tenn.

Kevin Ruck/Adobe memphis tennessee skyline at sunrise

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

And while you may not be able to buy Graceland, you could get a home in Memphis for a median sale price of $205,000 in June. That represents a 2.4% decrease in price compared to a year earlier.

Indianapolis, Ind.

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 $249,950 in June, which still might allow you to get an affordable home around that $200,000 mark. 

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 $210,000 in June, which is 5% higher than a year ago. But the city saw a median sale price below $200,000 back in April, so there is potential for prices to go back down again.

Louisville, Ky.

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 $250,000 in June. 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, Kan.

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 $235,000 in June, marking a 7.3% increase compared to a year earlier.

The rise in median sale price between April and June could reflect the seasonal changes in the market. If you’re thinking of buying a home in Wichita, prices may decrease when the summer selling season ends.

Bottom line

tirachard/Adobe african american family happy while shifting

If you’re looking for a new home, it’s important to find the right mortgage lender that understands your needs, concerns, and circumstances.

You’ll want to have a dependable income as well as a healthy emergency fund that can cover home costs or repairs in case of an emergency.

Curbio Benefits

  • Update your home so you can sell faster and for more
  • All-inclusive service means you don’t have to lift a finger
  • Small repairs to whole-home renovations, Curbio can do it all
  • $0 due until the home sells with no interest charges

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.