Sale price is not the only measure of how affordable a home is, but it is certainly a major factor. Although finding an affordable home is increasingly difficult, there are still plenty of cities with homes for sale under $100,000.
GOBankingRates surveyed real estate listings to find cheap houses for sale in 30 cities across the United States, specifically houses under $100,000. Homes in this budget range from teardowns to fully renovated houses with four or more bedrooms and lots of amenities.
Click through to find out about these bargains, and learn which cities have the most affordable homes.
1. Shamokin, Pa.
Located on the outskirts of central Pennsylvania's Anthracite Coal Region, Shamokin is a struggling city with a 24 percent poverty rate, GreatSchools Ratings averaging four out of 10 and a median home value that is about 76 percent lower than the median for Pennsylvania as a whole. You can pick up a standard four-bedroom, two-bath home located on a small city lot with over 1,500 square feet of living space for less than $80,000.
Find out if it's better for you to build or buy a house when you're ready to make the move.
2. Corning, N.Y.
Rand McNally named Corning the Most Fun Small Town in America, and the town offers plenty in the way of entertainment, thanks to its Finger Lakes location; artistic, historic and agricultural attractions; and low home prices. A three-bedroom, two-bath home with about 1,500 square feet, located in the Northside area, is listed at $95,000. Northside-area crime rates are higher than in communities to the north and south, but school ratings are comparable to those locations' ratings.
3. Fergus Falls, Minn.
Fergus Falls is a vacation destination known for outdoor recreational activities such as snowmobiling and hiking. With median prices for houses and condos hovering around $131,000 in Fergus Falls versus $211,800 for Minnesota overall, according to City-Data, it is still possible to find a home selling for less than $100,000. You can find deals under $100,000, such as a 1,120-square-foot home with five bedrooms, two baths and a detached garage, in a part of town with comparatively high crime rates and school ratings that are typical for the area for under $95,000, or a slightly smaller three-bedroom, two-bath home in an area with lower crime rates, for just under $90,000.
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4. Wheeling, W.Va.
Known for its charming downtown and ample opportunities to enjoy beautiful natural surroundings, Wheeling is located along the Ohio River, less than 20 miles from the Pennsylvania border. The citywide median home price here is $109,008, according to City-Data, so you can expect to find a good selection of homes for sale for less than $100,000. A typical home priced at $79,900 has three bedrooms, one bath, just under 1,000 square feet, and about one-fifth of an acre in an area of town with low crime, easy access to supermarkets and highly rated schools.
5. Minot, N.D.
An oil boom has ushered in a new era for Minot, helping it recover from the effects of major flooding in 2011. Despite a mean home price of $225,944, according to City-Data, it is still possible to purchase a home here for under $100,000, and you do not have to sacrifice location: A $77,000 home with two bedrooms and two baths in the historic Eastwood Park area is close to downtown as well as the Roosevelt Park Zoo.
6. Nampa, Idaho
You can't buy a lot of home for under $100,000 in Nampa, located near Boise, but you might find a 1,300-square-foot fixer-upper in this price range or a 1,400-square-foot home in a 55-and-older community. On a positive note, these homes are likebvly to be close to downtown. Overall, Nampa achieves high AARP Livability scores for transportation, environment and opportunity, and middling scores for neighborhood amenities, convenience and affordable housing. The city's mean home price is $168,410, but you can purchase a duplex for considerably less — $78,528, on average, according to City-Data.
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7. Sulphur, Okla.
You can find home bargains throughout the historic area of Sulphur, although under-$100,000 properties seem to be clustered in the southwest corner of the downtown area, according to a survey of Zillow listings. These are not bargain-basement properties, comparatively speaking, but a budget of $92,000 can get you a three-bedroom, two-bath, 1,000-plus-square-foot home on about one-third of an acre, in a residential neighborhood near shops and restaurants. Budget homes elsewhere start at under $25,000 for a fixer-upper to $59,000 for a two-bedroom, one bath starter home.
8. Tyler, Texas
Boasting a population of 103,700 and growing quickly, Tyler bills itself as an economic hub and the Rose Capital of the United States, and it offers sub-$100,000 homes fairly equally distributed throughout the city. The city scores 63 points out of 100 for access to affordable housing, according to AARP's Livability Index, and you can get a move-in-ready two-bedroom, one-bath home with 1,100 to 1,200 square feet on a nice size lot for $80,000.
9. Shreveport, La.
Shreveport is known for its location on the Red River and for its cultural attractions and casinos. Shreveport's health and opportunity scores rank low on AARP's Livability Index, and median household income is just $34,647, according to City-Data, but you can buy a cheap house in a neighborhood with an elementary school with a GreatSchools Rating of 10 for well under $100,000: This three-bedroom, two-bath home with almost 1,100 square feet, on less than one-fifth of an acre, is priced at $57,000 and located in a low-crime area with good transportation options.
10. Jackson, Miss.
The "City With Soul" has left its mark on U.S. history and music — the blues in particular — and boasts a mean home price of $134,091, according to City-Data, so it is no surprise that Jackson would have plenty of homes listed for sale below $100,000. About half of the 303 sub-$100,000 homes identified in a survey of Zillow listings are pre-foreclosures, with prices starting at just $2,500 among the active listings. Or you can get a three-bedroom, two-bath, 1,650-square-foot home with a one-year home warranty for $70,000.
If you're interested in a foreclosed home, just make sure to understand what you might be getting into by buying one.
11. Birmingham, Ala.
The Woodlawn neighborhood of Birmingham is undergoing a revitalization that has attracted performing- and fine-arts businesses as well as social entrepreneurs, but houses are still cheap here, with a modest two-bedroom, one-bath, 900-square-foot home listed for $39,000. In addition to the positive changes resulting from revitalization, residents enjoy easy access to supermarkets, parks and transportation; however, the number of vacant homes is more than four times the U.S. median vacancy rate, and the crime rate is about 49 percent higher than the national median, according to AARP's Livability Index.
12. Lithonia, Ga.
With a median resident age of 29.2 years and a median household income of $29,219 — 45 percent lower than the $53,559 median for Georgia overall — Lithonia is a relatively young and relatively poor city, according to data reported by City-Data. Mean home prices hover in the low $260,000 range, but you can still purchase a home here for under $100,000: A newly renovated, two-bedroom, two-bath, 1,248-square-foot home on one-fifth of acre lists for $77,500. Schools here have a mix of GreatSchools Ratings, from 1 to 9, with the highest rating being for an engineering high school.
13. Newberry, S.C.
A recent survey of Zillow listings in Newberry showed just 22 homes listed at less than $100,000, with an average move-in-ready home having three bedrooms, two baths, 1,398 square feet listed for $62,000 — proportionate to the town's $95,920 median home value but way below the $212,970 mean price reported by City-Data. In AARP Livability Index scores ranging from 1 to 100, Newberry scores 65 for affordable and accessible housing, 62 for transportation, but lower for conveniences, such as proximity to supermarkets, jobs and recreational destinations. The health score is a low 31, but Newberry's crime rate is 14 percent below the national average.
14. Fort Wayne, Ind.
It is not surprising that Fort Wayne has plenty of homes listed in the sub-$100,000 range, considering its mean sale price of $121,750, according to City-Data. With a budget of $70,000, you can get a charming three-bedroom, one-bath home with around 1,300 square feet of living area — located in an area with a respectable AARP Livability Score of 66, thanks to its proximity to basic services, jobs and recreation, good transportation options and above-average economic opportunities. Bump your budget up to $99,000 for homes with as many as four bedrooms and up to around 2,000 square feet of living space.
15. Hampton/Roxboro, N.C.
You'll be hard-pressed to find a home for under $100,000 in Hampton, but you will find a few options less than 20 miles away in Roxboro, where you can buy a three-bedroom, two-bath home with over 1,100 square feet for $75,000. This small town is a little out of the way, and its median household income and estimated per capita income are very low, according to City-Data, but it has its own history museum and recreation and arts complexes and is located within commuting distance to Durham, Chapel Hill and Raleigh.
16. Rocky Mount, N.C.
Rocky Mount is a twice-named All-American City with plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities as well as facilities such as The Imperial Centre for the Arts & Sciences, North Carolina Wesleyan College and the Rocky Mount Sports Complex. Although the mean home price here is $160,468, according to City-Data, you can purchase a home for under $100,000. In fact, $82,900 will buy you a charming three-bedroom, two-bath, 1,668 home on a quarter-acre lot located less than a mile from City Lake and Tar River.
17. Harrisonburg, Va.
You will probably need to head a few miles outside of Harrisonburg to purchase a home for less than $100,000, but nearby towns such as Singers Glen, Linville and Rockingham might have what you're looking for. In Linville, for example, you can buy a two-bedroom, one-bath, 850-square-foot home on over half an acre for $86,900. Nestled in the Shenandoah Valley, between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Allegheny Mountains, Linville has a relatively low total AARP Livability Index score of 54 but rates very well in categories such as environment and opportunity, with scores of 67 and 78, respectively.
While considering a home purchase, you'll also want to know how much homes are worth in every state so you can be confident in your decisions.
18. Garland, Texas
Home list prices start just a few thousand dollars above $100,000 in Garland, so you might be able to negotiate or wait for a sub-$100,000 bargain. During a recent survey of Zillow listings in this suburb of Dallas, a newly renovated two-bedroom, two-bath brick home with 750 square feet was going for $95,000 — a great deal considering the renovation included pricey updates such as a new roof, new kitchen and new tile flooring throughout.
19. Fulton, N.Y.
Fulton has fallen on tough times in recent decades, but it is worth a look due to its location in Oswego County, a year-round vacation destination, and its strong opportunity, transportation and affordable housing scores in AARP's Livability Index. Fulton's mean home price is $134,657, according to City-Data, but you can find homes for sale starting at less than $20,000. A more typical budget-priced home has three bedrooms, two baths, roughly 1,700 square feet, and lists for $70,000.
20. Rutland, Vt.
Located in the Green Mountains of Vermont, Rutland is known for skiing in nearby Killington, hiking, swimming and beautiful fall foliage. The median household income in Rutland is about 26 percent lower than the Vermont average, but so are mean home prices — $185,607 versus $249,900, according to City-Data. Although budget homes are not plentiful in Rutland, you can get a three-bedroom, one-bath, 1,572-square-foot renovated farmhouse on almost a half-acre of land for under $85,000.
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21. Springfield, Mass.
Bargain hunters looking to purchase a cheap house will find a nice selection in historic Springfield, located in western Massachusetts' Pioneer Valley, not far from Amherst. Although Massachusetts has a reputation for high home prices, thanks to its $357,800 mean home price, Springfield's mean is just $154,300, according to City-Data, and you can find nice homes here for less than $100,000. A charming three-bedroom, one-bath, 1,987-square-foot Victorian-style fixer-upper in the historic district is for sale for $74,900, according to its Zillow listing.
22. Chandler/Mesa, Ariz.
Gilbert isn't exactly a hotbed of under-$100,000 homes, but you might come close in Chandler — a neighboring city with a population of 247,459 — despite its hefty mean home price of $304,485, according to City-Data. Park trails, championship golf courses and a thriving downtown make Chandler worth a look. You can find an auction listing for a 1,342-square-foot home with a reserve price of under $109,000 or, alternatively, consider a manufactured home in nearby Mesa, Arizona, where $85,000 can buy you a modified single-wide with one bedroom and one bath.
23. Newport, N.H.
Newport is a small town with a population of 6,500 and low unemployment and crime rates, located in the Upper Connecticut River Valley of southwestern New Hampshire. You won't find much in the way of cheap housing here, considering Newport's $247,741 mean home price, as reported by City-Data, but with good timing and a little luck you can still find a home for under $100,000. In fact, $90,000 to $99,000 can buy you a typical four-bedroom home with more than 2,000 square feet of living space.
24. Bangor, Maine
Bangor is located on the Penobscot River, about 90 miles from vacation hot spots like Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. Although the Bangor metropolitan area has over 150,000 residents, the city itself has about 32,000 residents, according to City-Data. With a modest mean home price of $175,163, a $100,000 budget gives you a decent selection of homes to choose from, with a typical in-town colonial with four bedrooms, one bath and 1,900 square feet listing for $91,500.
25. Buffalo, N.Y.
New York's second-largest city is located in western New York, near the confluence of Lake Erie and the Niagara River, which conspire to produce the lake-effect snow for which Buffalo is well known. Buffalo is perhaps the best city on the list to purchase a home for under $100,000 because that price point is proportionate to the city's $121,647 mean housing price; with an AARP total Livability Index score of 64, Buffalo is one of the most livable cities surveyed. A typical home among the sub-$100,000 homes available during a recent survey of Zillow listings offers three bedrooms, one bath, over 1,300 square feet and lists for $59,900.
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26. Detroit, Mich.
Considering Detroit's median home value is just $43,500 and its mean home price is $74,482, according to City-Data, it is no wonder a recent survey of Zillow listings turned up 1,600 homes for sale for less than $100,000. Homes listed at this price point are generally clustered in the northwest and northeast areas of the city, but you can find some in desirable neighborhoods such as East English Village, which is known for its inclusive culture. A typical four-bedroom, two-bath, roughly 1,500-square-foot brick bungalow — a common architectural style for English Village East homes built in the 1930s and 1940s — in need of work and being sold as is, lists for $22,500.
27. Winter Haven, Fla.
Don't let the inland location of Winter Haven fool you — with 50 lakes, the Chain of Lakes City is all about water, as its nearly two dozen boat ramps, 14 public docks and 30 waterfront parks illustrate. Winter Haven is equidistant to Tampa and Orlando, with a modest citywide $122,064 median house or condo value and $154,291 mean housing price. As these numbers suggest, it is not difficult to find a home here for less than $100,000. Although homes in the lower price range start at less than $35,000, a more typical, $69,000 home, offers three bedrooms, two baths and nearly 1,500 square feet of living space.
28. Pocomoke City, Md.
Located along the Pocomoke River at roughly the midpoint between Chincoteague Bay to the east and the Chesapeake Bay to the west, Pocomoke City calls itself "The Friendliest Town on the Eastern Shore." Although AARP Livability Index ratings are mediocre in most categories, Pocomoke City has one of the higher scores on the list for environment and community engagement. Homes listed below $100,000 are located primarily near the downtown area, which stretches along the waterfront. Within this group, a mid-priced two-bedroom, one-bath home with 861 square feet of living space lists for $65,000.
29. Toledo, Ohio
Located on Lake Erie, Toledo had almost 600 homes at or below $100,000 during a recent survey of Zillow listings, with a few located in the Old West End, one of Toledo's most popular neighborhoods-- a good choice for buyers looking for the worst house in the best neighborhood. For example, a home listed for $67,777 has four bedrooms, one bath, almost 3,300 square feet, hardwood floors, beamed ceilings and a sunroom, according to its Zillow listing.
30. Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
This upstate Pennsylvania city lies along the Susquehanna River and offers casino gambling, horse racing and minor league hockey and baseball teams; it is also centrally located to Pocono Mountains attractions such as skiing, hiking and whitewater rafting. Although Wilkes-Barre rates fairly low in most AARP Livability Index measures, it is one of the highest on this list for affordable housing, as illustrated by the 109 under-$100,000 listings found during a recent survey of Zillow listings. A cluster of homes near the city's center is notable for the downtown location and proximity to attractions such as the FM Kirby Center for Performing Arts and the 52-acre Kirby Park, and a home on a city lot listed on Zillow for $49,000 features three bedrooms, one bath and over 1,300 square feet.
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