Mortgage rates continue to climb and many predict that this will lead to cooling housing markets across the country as home buying becomes less affordable. If you’re on the market for a home, and you have the flexibility of remote work, there are still major urban centers where you can buy a home for less than $225,000. We outline some of the most appealing ones below. (See the lowest mortgage rates you may qualify for here.)
If you want to be in the northeast: Philadelphia
Located roughly 97 miles south of New York, Philadelphia is close enough to Manhattan that some people commute between the two cities every day. Philadelphia has plenty to offer all on its own, however. Best known as the place where the US Constitution was written in 1787, Philadelphia is a thriving metropolis with state of the art museums, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Barnes Foundation, as well as the Walnut Street Theatre, the oldest continually operating theatre in the United States. Spend your weekends at the plethora of cultural spaces and parks by the Delaware River, including the Cherry Street Pier and the recently opened Delaware River Trail. Philadelphia has plenty of options for foodies, including Vernick Food & Drink, which is run by a chef trained by Jean-Georges Vongrichts and Morimoto, which showcases Japanese cuisine. Best of all, real estate is still relatively affordable in Philadelphia. For less than $225,000, you can buy this three-bedroom in a neighborhood near the Delaware River, or this recently renovated row home across from a playground.
Average home value: $235,953
Cost of living: 1.2% higher than the US average
If you want a city surrounded by natural beauty: Louisville, Kentucky
Known as the home of the Kentucky Derby, and the birthplace of Muhammad Ali, Louisville is also home to Old Louisville, the largest Victorian architecture district in the United States. Located on the Ohio River about 100 miles southwest of Cincinnati, Louisville is surrounded by a lot of natural beauty, including Fairmount Falls and the Jefferson Memorial Forest, the largest municipally-owned urban forest in the United States. Spend your weekends strolling past the stately Victorian mansions in Old Louisville, going on tours of local bourbon distilleries or taking in a game with the Louisville Bats, the area’s minor league baseball team. Try local specialties including the Hot Brown Sandwich and the Mint Julep at one of the city’s 2,500 restaurants, including the James Beard nominated Seviche and Holly Hill Inn. A budget of $225,000 will give you many options, including this brand new three-bedroom home, this spacious three-bedroom brick home on a corner lot or this recently remodeled house with a detached garage.
Average home value: $232,705
Cost of living: 11.6% lower than the US average
See the lowest mortgage rates you may qualify for here.
If you have a family: Indianapolis, Indiana
Indianapolis has all the benefits of a major metropolis – professional sports teams, a convention center, the Indianapolis Zoo – at a fraction of the price of coastal cities. Perhaps best known for hosting the annual Indianapolis 500, the city also houses the White River State Park, which includes an amphitheater and 250 acres of greenspace, as well as the Indianapolis Museum of Art and The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, which is the largest children’s museum in the world. Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, a nonprofit, works to transform the city’s empty lots into greenspaces for the community. The 8-mile, shared-use Indianapolis Cultural Trail offers a bikeshare program, and takes you through all of the city’s eight cultural districts, where they can stop for a meal at Milktooth, which was chosen as one of the best new restaurant by Bon Appetit magazine in 2015. A budget of $225,000 will buy a spacious three-bedroom house or this newly renovated cottage in a historic neighborhood.
Average home value: $227,543
Cost of living: 16.5% lower than the US average
If you want a small-town feel in a big city: Greensboro, North Carolina
Located in the Piedmont Triad, which also includes Winston-Salem and High Point, Greensboro is roughly equidistant between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the beaches on the Atlantic Ocean, which means that if you settle in the city, you’ll have plenty of options for weekend trips. Named for the Revolutionary War general Nathanael Greene, Greensboro was established as the center of the textile industry in the United States in the 19th century. There are plenty of attractions in the city including the Greensboro Science Center, Greensboro History Museum, Greensboro Coliseum Complex and the International Civil Rights Center & Museum. Perhaps most famous for its barbecue restaurants, including Mac’s Speed Shop and Stamey’s Barbecue, Greensboro is also the home to a burgeoning culinary scene that includes restaurants such as Don Japanese and Machete. A budget of $225,000 will buy you this recently remodeled three-bedroom house or this spacious three-bedroom ranch with a big backyard and a garage.
Average home value: $242,389
Cost of living: 16.1% lower than the US average
See the lowest mortgage rates you may qualify for here.
If you want to stay in New York but don’t have New York City money: Albany, New York
The capital of New York state, Albany is a 400-year-old city on the banks of the Hudson River. Famously—and infamously—the place around which New York state politics revolve, the city also has quite a lot to offer residents, including the Egg, an eye-catching architectural marvel that serves as a performing arts center, and the Albany Institute of History and Art, which contains many significant Hudson River school paintings in its collection. The city is about a three hour drive north of Manhattan; an hour’s drive from Lake George, which offers plenty of outdoor recreational activities; and close to Saratoga Springs, which houses a racetrack and the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Albany’s culinary scene includes restaurants that highlight local food and produce, including the Kitchen Table and Yono’s Restaurant. Albany may be one of the last frontiers in the Hudson Valley where you can find affordable real estate, including this timeless four-bedroom home with a generous porch, and this charming three-bedroom with good bones and a large attic.
Average home value: $268,179
Cost of living: 5.4% lower than the US average
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