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Cheap Homes for Sale in Nice Towns

(Most Recent Update: 2014)

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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 $70,000.

The criteria for towns listed on this page are:

1. Basic amenities present (grocery stores, theater, doctors, etc).

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.

More Affordable 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 of town.

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 $50,000.

Alpena, Michigan

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 form.

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 in Alpena.

Keokuk, Iowa

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, Kansas

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 there.

To make any home cheaper, review the page on real estate negotiation techniques.


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Houses Under Fifty Thousand | Where to Find Cheap Homes for Sale