Cheap Homes for Sale in Nice Towns
(Most Recent Update: 2014)
By Steve Gillman
You can find cheap houses for sale in many parts of the country,
but sometimes they are in towns you just aren't aware of. For
example, when we lived in Traverse City, Michigan, we learned
that in Cadillac, less than an hour away, the houses cost half
as much; it's a great little town with a large lake in the center,
and all the usual amenities. We eventually decided on Florida
for a home (after some years in Arizona and Colorado), but at
the moment there are still houses for sale in Cadillac for less
than $50,000, although ready-to-live-in homes seem to start around
The criteria for towns listed on this page are:
1. Basic amenities present (grocery stores, theater, doctors,
2. Population of at least 6,000.
3. Houses under $75,000.
More specifically, there must be at least a handful of houses
with a minimum of two bedrooms and two bathrooms listed for sale
for under $75,000. This is determined using Realtor.com and ignoring
the first 10 to 30 lowest-priced listings (depending on the size
of the town), on the assumption that these are usually true fixer
uppers. In other words, there have to be some houses for sale
under $75,000 that need only cosmetic work done at most.
Places to Buy a Cheap
House is a page with towns where you can still get a house
for under $50,000 -- the original criteria for featuring communities
on this site, and still possible here and there.
Places to Live is a page that has information on towns where
homes are reasonable ($75,000 to $125,000), and appear to be
nice places to live according to our research.
Anaconda, Montana tells
our story of buying a home for $17,500.
Towns with Cheap Homes for Sale
Alamogordo, New Mexico
Alamogordo is in south-central New Mexico, and although it
is in a desert, you can drive half-an-hour to the forests and
cooler temperatures of the Sacramento Mountains. The beautiful
White Sands National Monument is nearby, and there are more than
300 days per year of sunshine here. The clear skies are why the
German Air Force practices at the Holloman Air Force Base, south
Prices: When we first covered Alamogordo it had quite a few
inexpensive homes. Then it rebounded more quickly than the rest
of the country. Then prices seemed to fall again, which prompted
its return to this page. There are dozens of decent homes
for sale for less than $75,000 at the moment.
Hickory, North Carolina
Hickory is located in North Carolina's Piedmont region, 50
miles northwest of the City of Charlotte and 80 miles east of
Asheville. It is intersected by Interstate 40, US Highway 321
and US Highway 70. The official city website lists as one of
it's "amazing facts," that the Hickory Public Library
is the first public library in North America to use smart card
technology. With a population of around 30,000, Hickory is large
enough to have everything you need.
Prices: Fixer uppers can be had for less than $50,000, and
there are some very attractive houses for around $65,000,
especially if you're willing to look at modular homes.
Cherokee Village, Arkansas
With a population of only around 5,000 you might miss some
of the amenities of larger cities here, but the beautiful surroundings
will make up for that. There are forests, hills, rivers and woods.
Prices: Decent places in good shape start at around
Alpena is located on Thunder Bay on Lake Huron's northwestern
coastline, at the mouth of the Thunder Bay River. It has retained
much of its architectural tradition from the turn of the last
century, with well-preserved houses and buildings - especially
in the "old town" section just north of the Thunder
Bay River. It has a nice downtown area, next to the marina, where
many summer boaters come in for a visit - including scuba divers
checking out the Thunder Bay Underwater Preserve just off the
coast. Alpena's economy is supported by tourism, cement production,
paper processing, automotive and machine products manufacturing.
The fishing is great in the area, with ice fishing the most popular
Prices: This used to be on our page of towns with homes under
$30,000 (a page that no longer exists, by the way). At the moment
you can still buy nice Victorian homes for around $75,000
Keokuk is in Lee County, in the southeastern corner of Iowa,
along Highway 61. This is farm country, but the town is also
on the banks of the Mississippi River. Population: 11,400.
Prices: A few years back there were homes under $20,000 here,
but the nicer ones start around $60,000 now.
Independence is located in the southeast corner of the state,
and is about 180 miles south of Kansas City and about 120 miles
east of Wichita. It has brick-lined streets, a bustling downtown,
and an economy based on various industries. It is small (population
9,800), and a good town in which to buy a cheap house.
Prices: This is another town moved here from our "really
cheap" page now that prices have risen. Plan to pay about
$60,000 for something livable.
Hot Springs, Arkansas
A vacation destination for many years because of the National
Park of the same name, Hot Spring's historic landmarks and buildings
include classic hotels, Victorian architecture, world-class art
studios, restaurants, nightclubs and famed Bathhouse Row. It
is also the hometown of former President Bill Clinton. The town
is located in the Diamond Lakes region of the scenic Ouachita
Mountains. Crystal hunting, fishing, water sports, hiking, golf,
camping, site seeing and horseback riding provide year-round
opportunity for outdoor recreation.
Prices: Despite all of these good things, you can still buy
a cheap house in Hot Springs. There appear to be some decent
ones starting at about $50,000, and many under $75,000.
How to Find Cheap Homes for Sale
If you want to research any of the towns listed here, or if
you want to find other towns with affordable housing, visit our
page on how to find your own inexpensive
homes. There is some good information on how to search for
the towns, and on where to get the prices of the houses for sale
To make any home cheaper, review the page on real
estate negotiation techniques.
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