Real Estate Home Finance

10 Small Towns with Big Home Bargains

The housing market has definitely rebounded since the Great Recession, but if you know where to look, you can still get a home for well under $100,000—especially if you’re willing to do a bit of renovation. To get started, you'll need an adventurous spirit and this list of the 10 most affordable housing markets in the United States, according to data gathered by real estate giant Coldwell Banker.

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Detroit, Michigan

The Motor City may not produce anywhere near as many cars as it once did, but it’s now home to a burgeoning entrepreneurial and DIY scene. And as far as its real estate prices are concerned, there’s really nowhere to go but up: Detroit is the nation’s most affordable housing market, with an average home price of just $64,110.

Related: 18 American Towns Every Old House Lover Needs to See

Cleveland, Ohio

Home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and a rockin’ good basketball team, Cleveland is on the comeback trail—but housing prices are still at rock bottom. The average four-bedroom, two-bathroom home goes for $73,073.

Related: 11 Sneaky Ways to Save When Buying a Home

Park Forest, Illinois

This village of around 22,000 people, located about 30 miles outside of Chicago, was built after World War II as a bedroom community. With its convenient commute to a major urban hub and an average home price of $78,392, the town may be a promising place for bargain hunters to scout.

Related: The Cheapest Ways to Boost Your Home’s Value

Jamestown, New York

Flickr via OZinOH

Known as a hard-luck town and also as the birthplace of Lucille Ball, this western New York community of 30,000 is surrounded by farms and a gorgeous downtown area, yet it’s not too far from Pittsburgh. The average home price is $88,891.

Related: 8 Home Costs That Take New Buyers by Surprise

Utica, New York

Flickr via dougtone

Utica may have lost the manufacturing plants that fueled its growth, but it still sits at the foot of the majestic Adirondack Mountains and boasts a downtown blessed with a trove of rich, historic architecture—not a bad setting at all for a home with an average price of $92,891.

Related: 15 Old House Features We Were Wrong to Abandon

Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

Flickr via macgodbrad

With such advantages as coal, railroads, and the Susquehanna River, this valley city grew up fast, along with its neighbor, Scranton (see below). The average house goes for $94,436, and the city offers an easy escape to the nearby Pocono Mountains for summer hiking and winter sports as well as easy interstate access to big East Coast urban centers.

Related: 9 Questions to Ask Before You Buy a Fixer-Upper

Scranton, Pennsylvania

Calling all fans of The Office: Take a cue from Jim and Pam, and settle down in a sweet little house in Scranton, the home of their fictional employer, Dunder Mifflin. This scrappy Pennsylvania neighborhood of 570,000 residents offers choice pickings for budget-minded buyers, with an average home price of $108,842.

Related: 23 Brilliant Hacks to Help You Weather Winter

Huntington, Indiana

Flickr via auvet

With a population of 17,000 and proximity to Fort Wayne, this lovely locale in the heart of the Midwest epitomizes small-town living. You can pick up a four-bedroom house for an average cost of $105,614.

Related: 12 Things Realtors Look for in Homes of Their Own

Augusta, Georgia

Flickr via designfeast

Home to golf’s famous Masters Tournament, this lush, quiet town is surprisingly affordable. A typical home sells for $106,567.

Related: Hard Sell: 7 Pretty House Colors That Scare Buyers Away

Palatka, Florida

Flickr via al904

Thrifty buyers should check out Palatka, a quaint town in North Central Florida on the St. Johns River, known for azaleas and blue crabs. You can grab your little piece of Florida sunshine at a cut-rate price, with the average abode going for $110,655.

Related: 10 Things to Know Before Buying a Foreclosed Home