The 10 States Where You Can Still Afford To Buy a New Home

LOANS - MORTGAGES
Unlock the door to homeownership in these surprisingly affordable states.
Updated Feb. 21, 2024
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Newer homes generally have lower maintenance costs and other issues but may also cost more. And you may have a better chance to afford a newer home in some states than others.

If you don’t think you can afford a newer home, determine the cost of buying a fixer-upper and doing extensive renovation work to make it what you want. Either way, owning a home has historically been a good way to build wealth.

So where can you find affordability and new or newer home construction? Check out these states to see if one of them might fit your plan for a home purchase.

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Georgia

Smole/Adobe couple standing outside their new house

Georgia’s population has grown in recent years, notably around Atlanta.

That growth is likely one of the factors behind an increase in new housing authorizations in the city. According to annual data by the U.S. Census Bureau, Atlanta saw a 21.9% year-over-year growth in authorizations in 2022. Other cities in Georgia, like Macon and Athens, also saw increases.

According to real estate website Zillow, the average home value in Georgia is $319,166. That compares favorably with the average home value in the United States of $346,653.

Michigan

hedgehog94/Adobe couple talking with real estate agent

The Mitten State may be a good option if you’re looking for new construction and affordable housing.

Michigan ranked among the top 20 states for new home construction permits in October, putting it on track to potentially make the top 20 for the entire year as it did in 2022.

Home prices in the state are also more affordable compared to other states, which could make it easier for you to find an affordable home that’s also new. The state’s average home value is $233,858, around $85,000 less than the national average.

North Carolina

bernardbodo/Adobe couple moving in

Florida’s population is growing, but its housing costs have also increased with the average home price higher than the national average.

So, if you’re considering moving south or retiring early, you may want to consider North Carolina instead. The state was third in new home permits in October, putting it below Florida but above California.

But those new and existing homes cost less than either Florida or California. The average home value in North Carolina is $320,324, which is lower than the national average and much lower than California’s average home value of $746,473.

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Tennessee

Jacob Lund/Adobe couple renting a new house

Tennessee saw an 8.6% decline in new home permits in 2022 compared to a year earlier, but the actual number of permits still puts the state among the top 10 in the U.S.

Homes in the state are also increasing in price, with a 2.5% increase in home value compared to a year earlier. But the average home value in Tennessee sits at $309,795, which is about $40,000 less than the national average.

Virginia

LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS/Adobe happy family outside new house

One of the areas spurring growth in Virginia is the northern Virginia region near Washington, D.C. For example, the area of Arlington and Alexandria saw an 18.2% increase in new home permits in 2022 compared to a year earlier.

Virginia ranked in the top 10 states issuing new home permits in October, and the state has an average home value of $371,545, which is only around $25,000 higher than the national average.

Indiana

Dragana Gordic/Adobe couple getting keys from their realtor

Indiana came in 10th among states with the most new housing permits in October, issuing around 200 more permits than the more expensive state of Washington.

The average home value in Indiana is $230,053, more than $100,000 below the national average of $346,653. However, the Indiana home value increased 4.2% compared to a year earlier. 

Now may be a good time to buy a home if you plan to stay in it and see your investment increase.

Pennsylvania

Aldeca Productions/Adobe keys with house door background

The Keystone State may be an inviting option for buyers who want to get a new or newer home at an affordable price.

The state ranked 12th in new home permits issued in October and made it into the top 20 states with new permits in 2022. Cities like Pittsburgh helped boost permits with an 8.5% rise in permits issued in 2022 compared to a year earlier.

A home in Pennsylvania has an average value of $256,703, with a 4% increase compared to a year earlier.

Ohio

simona/Adobe beautiful woman wearing sun hat showing keys of new apartment

Ohio made it into the top 20 states issuing home building permits in 2022 with almost 31,000 new permits. 

Cities in northeast Ohio helped boost new housing permits, with Cleveland seeing an 11.8% increase in 2022 and nearby Akron seeing a whopping 150.8% jump that year.

Homes in Ohio are affordable for potential buyers, with the average home value at $218,216, well below the national average.

Minnesota

alfa27/Adobe couple looking at new countryhouse

Minnesota may be a great option if you’re looking for an affordable new home and don’t mind the cold too much.

The average home value for a place in Minnesota is $324,667, less than the national average. The state was among the top 20 states based on new home permits issued in 2022.

Minnesota’s third-largest city, Rochester, home to the Mayo Clinic, helped bring the state into the top 20. The city saw a 51.6% increase in permits issued in 2022 compared to a year earlier.

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Texas

Rido/Adobe woman hugging man while holding keys with moving boxes in background

The Lone Star State may not be so lonely if you decide to join the throngs moving there. And they need new homes.

The state topped the list of new home permits in 2022, with more than 260,000 permits being issued for new home builds as cities Houston and San Antonio each saw a 9.3% increase in permits.

According to Zillow, Texas also has plenty of affordable housing, with the average home value under $300,000. The average value of a home in Texas is $298,424, almost a 2% decline compared to a year earlier.

Bottom line

Andy Dean/Adobe hispanic family in front of their home

A home is likely going to be the most expensive purchase in your life. When you are trying to figure out how much you can spend, don’t forget expenses such as property taxes, insurance, and maintenance, even for a new build.

As you save for a down payment on a home, be sure to use a high-yield savings account, which pays a higher interest rate on your cash while you’re looking for the right home.

Finally, think about your short-term and long-term goals. Will this be your forever home? If so, you may want to set money aside for updates like a new kitchen in a few years.

Or is it a starter home where you expect to live for only a few years? You’ll still want to keep the house in top shape so you won’t have big expenses when it comes time to sell.

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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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