Most people equate big city life with big-city home prices, but that isn't always the case. Believe it or not, there are a handful of populous metro areas where first-time homebuyers can have it all—a mortgage and the perks of a metropolitan area—according to Move.org.
Cities such as Los Angeles and Chicago aren’t going to be on this list, because for most people, owning property in the country’s largest cities isn’t realistic.
However, there are plenty of smaller cities with plenty to offer. For example, the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area of South Texas, boasts a population of 855,176 and a median home price of $87,100. The Lakeland-Winter Haven part of Florida can offer a median home price of $150,800, and their population is 686,218. And Columbia, SC, has a robust population of 824,278 and a humble median home price of $150,800.
Other metro areas with populations around or over 650,000 and median prices under or around $250,000 are Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL; Boise City, ID; Baton Rouge, LA; Greenville-Anderson, SC; Ogden-Clearfield, UT; Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL; and Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL.
Surprisingly, four of these affordable areas are in Florida, meaning living within driving distance to a beach is within reach for first-time buyers.
For those wanting to purchase in smaller metro areas,—with a population between 90,000 and 120,000—there are 10 with the median home price ranging between $80,000 and $120,000. These areas include Sebring-Avon Park, FL; Beckley, WV; Pine Bluff, AR; Bay City, MI; Anniston-Oxford, AL; Parkersburg-Vienna, WV; Hot Springs, AR; Danville, IL; and Weirton-Steubenville, WV-OH.
Traditionally, the higher the population, the higher the demand for homes, and the higher the prices. But these lists show that you can live in a populous area without spending millions of dollars. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission in Texas, for example, rivals Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura in California when it comes to people. And with a median home price that’s 75% less, McAllen is far more affordable for nearly everyone.
For more about affordable metros, visit Move.org.