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The Top 10 Cheapest States To Buy A House In 2023

11-Minute Read
Published on April 24, 2023
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Home buyers are always searching for a deal. Where you buy a house is often determined by factors like work, family and affordability. If affordability is priority number one for you, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve pulled the data to find the cheapest state to buy a house in 2023.

Key Findings 

Here are some key findings about the cheapest states to buy a house:

  • None of the top 10 are on the east or west coasts.
  • Five of the top 10 states are located in the South.
  • The 10 cheapest states to buy a house are mostly rural.

The Cheapest States To Buy A House

To find the most affordable states to buy a home, we used the following metrics:

  • Median sold price
  • Cost of living index
  • Average housing index
  • Average utilities index
  • Average total monthly energy costs

The property taxes in each state were not included as metrics as these costs vary per city and location of the home. When following the steps to buying a house, it’s important to consider these metrics as well as how the home and its location fits your needs.

1. Mississippi

Mississippi state capital building in downtown Jackson, Mississippi.
  • Region: South
  • Median Sold Price (2022): $205,000
  • Cost Of Living Index: 84.98
  • Average Total Cost Of Energy: $149.40

Mississippi, “The Magnolia State,” is the birthplace of Elvis Presley and the delta blues. It’s also the cheapest state to buy a house in 2023. As of 2020, the total state population was 2,961,279,  making it the 32nd most populated state. The most populated city is Jackson, with 153,701  residents. The low cost of living in particular – almost 15% below the national average – makes it an incredibly affordable place to buy a house and live.

2. Ohio

Arial view of Dayton with river, trees, buildings and Witches Tower.
  • Region: Midwest
  • Median Sold Price (2022): $196,849
  • Cost Of Living Index: 89.98
  • Average Total Cost Of Energy: $156.82

Ohio is number two on our list and the cheapest state in the Midwest. It’s also the most populated on this list, with a 2020 population of 11,799,448. That makes it the 7th most populated in the country. Columbus is its most populated city with 905,748  residents – the second-most populated midwestern city after Chicago. Ohio’s growing cities and low housing prices can make it an easy sell for many.

3. West Virginia

Aerial view of Morgantown, with buildings and river bend.
  • Region: South
  • Median Sold Price (2022): $198,085
  • Cost Of Living Index: 89.90
  • Average Total Cost Of Energy: $166.42

Nestled in Appalachia, West Virginia has gorgeous views and plenty of affordable housing options. With 1,793,716 residents as of 2020, it’s the 11th least populated state in the country (though not the least populated state on this list). Its high affordability is desirable, especially since its easternmost region is an hour from Washington, D.C. – one of the country’s most expensive cities.

4. Kansas

Aerial view of rural Kansas town with trees, houses, roads and railroads and farmland.
  • Region: Midwest
  • Median Sold Price (2022): $98,113
  • Cost Of Living Index: 87.49
  • Average Total Cost Of Energy: $166.24

Kansas, “The Sunflower State,” is a largely agricultural state, with nearly 90% of its total land devoted to farmland. It’s also the geographical center of the U.S. As of 2020, the state had 2,937,880 residents. Its most populated cities are Wichita and Overland Park (a populated suburb of Kansas City, Missouri). While many may think of Kansas as flat farmland, the state has distinct regions with their own culture.

5. Iowa

View of Des Moines skyline at sunset from park with two flags and landscaping.
  • Region: Midwest
  • Median Sold Price (2022): $210,265
  • Cost Of Living Index: 89.29
  • Average Total Cost Of Energy: $160.58

Northeast of Kansas, Iowa is another major agricultural state, with corn being its biggest export. Population-wise, it’s around the same size as Kansas, with 2,937,880 residents as of 2020. Des Moines is its most populated city, with 214,133 inhabitants in 2020. Dubbed “The Hawkeye State,” Iowa is an affordable state that’s also great for college sports, and it’s the birthplace of the band Slipknot.

6. Oklahoma

Fall view of downtown Oklahoma.
  • Region: South
  • Median Sold Price (2022): $212,250
  • Cost Of Living Index: 87.07
  • Average Total Cost Of Energy: $158.94

Oklahoma, known as “The Sooner State,” sits right below Kansas in the middle of the United States. It has a population of with its biggest city being its capital – Oklahoma City – with 681,054 residents. Oklahoma’s economy is based on energy, as it’s a large producer of crude oil and natural gas. If you’re interested in getting a piece of Oklahoma, it can be had for relatively cheap.

7. Wyoming

Aerial view of Laramie, with hills, trees, commercial buildings and trains.
  • Region: West
  • Median Sold Price (2022): $230,119
  • Cost Of Living Index: 92.53
  • Average Total Cost Of Energy: $129.81

Wyoming is the one and only western state on this list. It also happens to be the windiest, with an average wind speed of 21.5 mph  in its windiest areas. It’s the least populated state in the country, with a population of just 576,851 residents as of 2020. Wyoming is known as “The Equality State” because it was the first state to give women the equal right to vote. 

8. Nebraska

Downtown Lincoln with buildings, trees and football stadium.
  • Region: Midwest
  • Median Sold Price (2022): $251,637
  • Cost Of Living Index: 91.93
  • Average Total Cost Of Energy: $133.60

Rounding out the midwestern states, Nebraska comes in at spot eight for cheapest states to buy a house. Nebraska’s got 1,961,504 residents, with its largest city being Omaha, at 486,051 residents. Known as “The Cornhusker State,” and with its proximity to Kansas, Oklahoma and Iowa, it shouldn’t be surprising that Nebraska is another agricultural state. If you’re looking for fresh produce and affordable housing, Nebraska should be at the top of your list.

9. Missouri

 Lush green trees, river and view of Branson homes on the right.
  • Region: Midwest
  • Median Sold Price (2022): $218,037
  • Cost Of Living Index: 90.13
  • Average Total Cost Of Energy: $160.81

Missouri, also known as “The Show Me State,” is known for its musical heritage of jazz and blues and its distinct barbecue. With a population of 6,154,913, it’s one of the more populated states on our list. It has several distinct regions, from mountains, to plains, to the Missouri Bootheel along the Mississippi River. Missouri’s a state with a lot of variety to offer if you’re looking for an affordable.

10. Alabama

Aerial view of Montgomery along the river.
  • Region: South
  • Median Sold Price (2022): $243,153
  • Cost Of Living Index: 88.07
  • Average Total Cost Of Energy: $181.74

Rounding out our list, Alabama is one of the cheapest states to buy a house. It’s also one of two states on this list to border the ocean (with its neighbor, Mississippi, being the other). As of 2020, Alabama had a population of 5,024,279. It’s also home to Auburn, one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S.

The Cheapest States To Buy A House In Each Region

Now that you’ve read about the cheapest states in the country overall, let's break it down by the country’s four regions.

1. Northeast

The northeastern region of the U.S. was the only region that didn’t make our list of the 10 cheapest states to buy a house. It contains many of the country’s most populated (and expensive) cities, like New York City, Philadelphia and Boston. But you can still find a deal here. If affordability’s what you’re after in this region, look at these states first.

  • Pennsylvania
    • Average Home Sold Price: $258,816

Pennsylvania, with its rolling hills and great cities, has a lot to offer. With the national median home sale price at $467,700 , Pennsylvania’s average is significantly lower. That means affordable housing may be found here. Even in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, a quality house can be had for a better price than other parts of the country.

  • Maine
    • Average Home Sold Price: $238,921

Maine, America’s easternmost state, has a population of . Also known as “Vacationland,” it’s a popular place for New Englanders to retreat to in the summer. That can make it a great place to own a home, whether it’s for personal use or as a rental property. Good news is that its average home sold price is the lowest in the region.

  • Vermont
    • Average Home Sold Price: $306,433

Vermont, also known as “The Green Mountain State,” is a northeastern state known for its natural beauty. With a population of just its biggest city is Burlington, which only has 44,743  residents. Vermont is known for its tourism, with many people enjoying outdoor recreation, like skiing. That can make it a great place to own a home, especially since it’s one of the most affordable states to buy a home in the region.

2. South

The south is one of the fastest-growing regions in the United States. With its warm weather, strong economies and easy living, many people are moving to the region. It makes moving easier because it’s one of the most affordable regions too.

  • Mississippi
    • Average Home Sold Price: $205,000

As the cheapest state to buy a house in the country, you can get a lot for your buck in Mississippi. Sandwiched between Memphis and New Orleans, the state offers southern country living within driving distance of cultural meccas.

  • West Virginia
    • Average Home Sold Price: $198,085

With its rolling hills and winding rivers, West Virginia has plenty to offer in terms of outdoor exploration. It’s also one of the cheapest states to buy a house in the country. As you can see, the median sale price last year was under $200k, making it one of three states under that mark.

  • Oklahoma
    • Average Home Sold Price: $212,250

Bordering the west and the Midwest, Oklahoma is a plains state with a unique identity. With its rich cultural history, Oklahoma is a place you can own a property for much less money than other states.

3. Midwest

The Midwest is a big area. From the Great Lakes region to the Great Plains, you have a variety of low-cost places to choose from. Along with the South, the Midwest is one of the most affordable regions in the country to buy a house.

  • Ohio
    • Average Home Sold Price: $196,849

With cities like Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati, as well as a variety of small, rural towns, Ohio gives you a lot to choose from when it comes to affordable living. Along with Kansas and its neighboring West Virginia, Ohio is one of three states where the median home sale price is under $200,000.

  • Kansas
    • Average Home Sold Price: $98,113

Bordering the South and the West regions, Kansas has the cheapest median home sale price. In fact, the next cheapest (Ohio) is nearly $100K more. Kansas combines many features of the South and West, with its great barbecue, love of football and hot summers.

  • Iowa
    • Average Home Sold Price: $210,265

Iowa, the Hawkeye State, is an agricultural powerhouse. But it has many other things going for it, too. The University of Iowa and Iowa State University bring many students to the state. It’s also known as a political hub, with the Iowa Caucuses being a big electoral event for both the Republican and Democratic parties.

4. West

With its stretching landscapes and gorgeous views, the West is the least densely populated region of the United States. While the West Coast has some of the most expensive cities in the country, a house can be had for less in several parts of the region. If you’re looking to move out west, these are the most affordable states to buy a house.

  • Wyoming
    • Average Home Sold Price: $230,119

America’s least populated state, Wyoming, is also one if the country’s most affordable. From the Medicine Bow National Forest to Yellowstone National Forest, to landmarks like Devils Tower, Wyoming is a state of stark beauty. If you’re looking for a quiet place with expansive views and just the sound of the wind, Wyoming should top your list.

  • New Mexico
    • Average Home Sold Price: $300,013

With its towering mesas and the Rio Grande River, New Mexico is a beautiful place to buy a house. It’s also one of the most affordable states in the West. From the Gila National Forest to the Santa Fe art scene, you can find something to enjoy in New Mexico.

  • Utah
    • Average Home Sold Price: $228,250

Utah is one of the cheapest states in the West to buy a house. With a median home sale price that’s cheaper than Wyoming, you can likely find an affordable home here. Utah offers a warm, temperate climate and plenty of outdoor recreation with its mountains and lakes. If you like to hike and want an inexpensive home, Utah should be on your list.

Tips For Buying An Affordable House In A Low-Cost State

Just because you’re buying a house in an affordable state doesn’t mean you should overlook how much it costs to own a home. There are many factors to weigh when buying a house. Here are some of them.

  • Calculate your cost of living: It’s important to understand an area’s cost of living. Using a cost of living calculator can steer you toward buying an affordable house because you can compare the costs of different areas.
  • Broaden your house location search: Broadening your neighborhood search can help you find an affordable house. Consider looking at neighborhoods adjacent to more popular and expensive ones.
  • Be flexible on a home’s price and size: Being flexible about the size of a home and how much to offer on a home can help you get into a more affordable property. Remember that paying a little more may not raise your monthly payment that much.
  • Monitor the real estate market trends: Watching real estate market trends can lead you to finding a deal on a house. A big part of it is knowing the right time to buy a house.
  • Work closely with a real estate agent: An experienced real estate agent can help you uncover the right house at the best price.

The Bottom Line: Find Affordable Housing In The States With The Lowest Cost Of Living 

There are affordable states to buy a house in every region of the country. But areas like the Midwest and the South have the most affordability to offer. If you’re looking for the cheapest places to buy a house, look in the Great Plains and states along the Mississippi River. But know that you can buy a home in the area that’s right for you with a little research and preparation.

Ready to begin? Start the mortgage approval process today.

Methodology: Finding Cheapest States To Buy A Home 

Rocket Homes collected and analyzed the most recent data on four key statewide metrics to give us insight into the top states with affordable homes. The metrics used in this study include average home sold price, cost of living index, housing index, and utilities index. These metrics were chosen based on public data availability and topical relevancy.

Weights were then applied to each metric depending on their individual importance in the study. The weighted scores for each metric were summed to create the overall score for each state. The final scores are sorted to produce the final rankings.

Metric

Weight

Level

Source

Median sold price

35%

State

Rocket Homes

Cost of living index

25%

State

The Council For Community And Economic Research

Average housing index

15%

State

The Council For Community And Economic Research

Average utilities index

25%

State

The Council For Community And Economic Research

Average total monthly energy costs

 

State

The Council For Community And Economic Research

Victoria Araj

Victoria Araj is a Section Editor for Rocket Mortgage and held roles in mortgage banking, public relations and more in her 15+ years with the company. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism with an emphasis in political science from Michigan State University, and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Michigan.