Who doesn’t want to own a home? For many Americans, homeownership is probably the greatest personal life investment one can make during their lifetime.
Ultimately, a house cannot truly become your home until you finish all of the mortgage payments. It can take a decade to multiple decades before a mortgage is fully paid off.
The typical cost of a new home is $326,000. Depending on your mortgage contract terms, you might have to make an average $1,600 mortgage payment every month.
Want to live in a large metropolitan city on the eastern or western coast of the United States? The cost of living in large cities is always high, so the typical costs for a home or mortgage payments will also be higher.
There are many safe, small, and medium-sized cities with a low cost of living. It may be more practical for you to buy a home in such cities relative to the current state of your personal finances.
If you need help finding a quality home at an affordable price, contact the Loan Brothers at Mares Mortgage today.
Cost of Living and Livable Wage
Homeownership and the decision to buy a new home in a small or medium-sized city should never be undertaken without serious contemplation.
You must consider factors like employment, cost of living, and a livable wage.
The cost of living refers to everyday and recurring costs you must make to live in a city, like rent, mortgage, food, and so on.
A minimum wage is the minimum amount of pay for employment set on the federal, state, or local level. A livable wage, which is based on the local cost of living standards, is the amount of money you need to earn to live comfortably, irrespective of a minimum wage.
You can utilize online living wage calculators to help you calculate how much money you may need to buy a home and work in another city.
In this article, you will find livable wage standards for a single adult relative to buying a home in a small city. You will have to adjust your own living wage standards according to the size of your family and personal finances.
Now, here is a list of 11 cities where you can buy a home for less than $150,000.
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Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston, West Virginia, is the state capital. The city has a population of about 50,000 inhabitants.
This city is located at a historical confluence between the Kanawha and Elk rivers. It is a notable tourist attraction for its small-town charm, Americana heritage pride, and outdoor activities.
The city’s minimum wage is $8.75 per hour. For context, the federal minimum wage is only $7.25 per hour. The living wage for a single adult is about $10.56 per hour.
A single adult must make a $22,000 living wage to live in Charleston, West Virginia.
A home in Charleston can cost anywhere between $124,000 to $150,000.
Florence, South Carolina
Florence, South Carolina, is a small town about 82 miles northeast of the state capital Columbia. Florence has a population of less than 38,000.
The city is notable for its Southern history and cuisine.
The minimum wage in Florence is $7.25 per hour, but the living wage for single adults is about $11.07 per hour. A single adult would need to make $23,000 to live in Florence.
The average cost of a home in Florence is $143,000.
Mobile is a Gulf Coast port city located in the lower southwesternmost corner of the state. It has a population of just under 190,000. You will find Mobile about 240 miles west of Tallahassee, Florida.
Mobile is renowned for featuring the longest-running Mardi Gras parade in the country.
The minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. As a single adult, you will need to make about $12 per hour to earn a living wage. You would need a salary of $24,600 to live in Mobile.
You can buy a new home in Mobile, Alabama, for $130,000.
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Fayetteville, North Carolina, is a medium-sized city located about 65 miles southwest of Raleigh, the state capital. The population of Fayetteville is about 210,000.
Fayetteville is known for being the home of historic military base Fort Bragg and other historical sights of local and national importance.
Fayetteville’s minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, but the living wage for a single adult is $12.19 per hour. You would need to make at least $25,300 to live in this city.
The average cost of a home in Fayetteville, North Carolina, is $130,000.
Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, is located on the southernmost shores of Lake Winnebago. It is a small city with a population of less than 43,000. Milwaukee is located about 67 miles southeast of Fond du Lac.
Fond du Lac is a French term meaning “foot of the lake.” The city was founded in 1836 and was once a Prohibition-era safe haven. Fond du Lac is also considered one of the 20 safest cities in the United States.
Cheese and milk production are among the top business industries in the state.
Fond du Lac’s minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, but a single adult requires a living wage of $11.22 per hour to live here. You would need to make at least $23,300 to live here.
You can buy a home in Fond du Lac for $128,000.
Ocala is a small city of over 60,000 people located in the upper panhandle portion of Florida. Orlando is located about 80 miles southeast of Ocala.
Ocala is the historical site of the 7-years long Second Seminole War of the late 19th century. The city is notable for its state parks, forests, and historical business venues. Ocala is also well known for its zipline adventure tours.
The minimum wage in Ocala is $8.46 per hour, but the living wage for a single adult is $11.07 per hour. To live in Ocala, you would need to make at least $23,000.
Buying a home in Ocala, Florida, will cost about $122,000.
Waterloo, Iowa, is a moderately sized city with a population of just under 70,000. Iowa’s capital city Des Moines is located about 110 miles southwest of Waterloo.
Waterloo is an industrial manufacturing hub. The city is renowned for its John Deere Tractor and Engine Museum. Waterloo’s tourism sector is also notable for its outdoor, museum, and scenic biking activities.
The minimum wage in Waterloo is $7.25 per hour, but the living wage for a single adult is $11 per hour. If you want to live in Waterloo, you need to make at least $23,000.
You can buy a home in Waterloo, Iowa, for about $109,000.
Peoria is a city of over 115,000 people located in the upper mid-half of Illinois. Chicago is located about 156 miles northeast of Peoria.
Peoria’s main claim to fame is that it is the oldest city on the banks of the Illinois River. The city’s main tourism draw is its historical and Illinois River-related restaurants and business venues.
Peoria’s minimum wage is $8.25 per hour, but the living wage is about $11.35 per hour. As a single adult, you would need to make at least $23,600 annually.
A home in Peoria costs about $105,000.
Binghamton, New York
Binghamton is a small city of just under 46,000 people located about 177 miles northwest of New York City.
Binghamton is known for having the most famous wooden carousel rides in the country. Rod Serling, the host of the classic Twilight Zone series, was born in Binghamton and featured some of the city’s wooden carousel rides in an episode.
The current state minimum wage in Binghamton is $11.80 per hour, but it will raise incrementally every year until it reaches $15 per hour.
A single adult would need to make a living wage of about $11.74 per hour. You would need to make at least $24,400 annually to live comfortably in Binghamton.
You can buy a home in Binghamton, New York averages for about $96,000.
Akron is a city of 200,000 people located about 40 miles south of Cleveland.
In the late 19th century, Akron was considered the rubber capital of the globe at one point. Now, Akron is better known as the home city of basketball great LeBron James. Akron is also known for its bustling jazz-themed nightlife venues.
The minimum wage in Akron is $8.55 per hour, but a single adult would need to make at least $10.70 per hour. A single adult would need to make at least $22,250 annually to live in Akron.
A home in Akron will set you back about $92,000.
Kankakee is a small town in Illinois comprising about 26,000. Chicago is located about 60 miles north of Kankakee.
“Kankakee,” is a Native word that roughly translates to, “open to view,” or, “open land.” The city is mostly known for its fishing activities, historic architecture, and state parks. Kankakee has a robust manufacturing and labor industry.
The state minimum wage is currently $9.25 per hour. The minimum wage will increase by $1 every year until 2025 when it will reach $15 per hour. Still, a single adult will need to make at least $11.43 per hour to make a livable wage.
You can buy a house in Kankakee, Illinois for about $75,000.
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Consult a Professional Mortgage Lender
Don’t just rely on personal research if you want to buy a home for $150,000.
While you should involve yourself in such a process as much as possible, there are too many unknowable factors you won’t be able to consider to make a truly informed decision.
Contact the Loan Brothers at Mares Mortgage to help you find an affordable home according to personal finances.
Related – House Buying Checklist for Beginners