Investor Alert

Aug. 20, 2022, 6:53 a.m. EDT

5 awesome places in America where you can still buy a home for less than $250,000

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By Brienne Walsh

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Home buyers had reason to hope in July, when the share of listed homes with price reductions reached 19%, according to Realtor — a number not seen since 2017. And that happened just as mortgage rates were falling from their June highs ( see the lowest mortgage rates you can get now here ). Of course, most home price are still very high, so we decided to look for cool cities where the median home price was around $250,000 or less (psst: in some cases, that budget might even buy you a home with an in-ground pool).

If you want lots to do: Omaha, Nebraska

Famously the city where Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is headquartered, Omaha has plenty to offer beyond one of the wealthiest men in the world. Once known as the gateway to the West, Omaha, which is located on the Missouri River close to the Iowa border, is the birthplace of many essential American inventions, including the Reuben sandwich, the Top 40 radio format and the TV dinner. The city is also home to the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, which offers 160 acres of immersive habitats; the Durham Museum, which is housed in an Art Deco building; and the Old Market, a district with cobblestone streets that houses art galleries, restaurants and boutiques. Given that Nebraska is one of the nation’s largest beef producers, the city houses many steakhouses, including 801 Chophouse at the Paxton.

Typical home value: $271,446Population: 487,300Average cost of living: 10.2% lower than the U.S. average Source: Zillow; Sperlings Best Places

If you want a flourishing arts scene: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

After experiencing a period of decline at the end of the 20 century, when the city’s booming steel industry all but stopped production, Pittsburgh has reinvented itself as a hub for medical and biotech companies. In fact, more than 155 life sciences start-ups have been founded in the city since 2000. The city is also renowned for its cultural offerings, which include the Andy Warhol Museum and the Carnegie Museum of Art, as well as a cultural district that houses the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, August Wilson African American Cultural Center and four art galleries run by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.  Foodies will be pleased with a plethora of options, including dining at Chengdu Gourmet and 40 North, both of which are run by James Beard-nominated chefs.

Typical home value: $235,267Population: 300,431Average cost of living: 12.5% lower than the U.S. average

See the lowest mortgage rates you can get now here .

If you love the great outdoors: Chattanooga, Tennessee

Derived from a Creek word that means “rock rising to a point,” Chattanooga is full of natural splendor, including nearby Lookout Mountain, which is home to the country’s tallest and deepest underground waterfall that is open to the public. People who love spending time outdoors will find plenty to do at attractions including Rock City, a hiking spot with panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, and the Raccoon Mountain Caverns, which includes 5.5 miles of paths through caves full of natural crystal formations. Other attractions include the Tennessee Aquarium, as well as the Chattanooga Market, an open air crafts and farmer’s market that also showcases live music. Chattanooga offers a variety of cuisines, including Japanese-style izakaya at Two Ten Jack and New Orleans-style cajun seafood at Blue Orleans.

Typical home value: $285,178Population: 182,113Average cost of living: 16.2% lower than the U.S. average

If you want to wear a t-shirt in January: Tallahassee, Florida

Home to Florida State University and Florida A&M University, Tallahassee also has Florida’s most educated population, with over half of residents possessing a bachelor’s degree or higher. Living in Tallahassee means enjoying the classic Southern landscape — think live oak trees dripping with Spanish moss — and being a pretty short jaunt from the beach, as the white sand beaches along the Gulf of Mexico are only 22 miles south. Roughly equidistant between Jacksonville and Pensacola, Tallahassee prides itself on its cultural and outdoor attractions, including 24 art galleries and 15 museums. The 68,000-acre St. Mark’s National Wildlife Refuge is only 25 miles away. Or leave your car at home and use the free trolley system to get to one of the city’s many restaurants, including the Edison, a chic eatery in a converted power station.

Typical home value: $266,278Population: 197,102Average cost of living: 6.2% lower than the U.S. average

If you love those Texas vibes: El Paso, Texas

Located on the banks of the Rio Grande, El Paso offers attractions including the El Paso Zoo, El Paso Museum of Art and Franklin Mountains State Park, which is one of the largest urban parks within city boundaries in the United States. If you love Mexican cuisine, you’ll go wild over the food in El Paso, which houses restaurants including Taft Diaz and Café Mayapán, which serves traditional Mexican food prepared by women who also receive job training.

Average home price: $201,398Population: 678,415Average cost of living: 18.6% lower than the U.S. average

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