Top 10 Cheapest States to Build a House

Olivia Elsher

Mar 13, 2023

cheapest states to build a house

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Nearly everyone wants to own a home, but achieving that goal can be more difficult than you might think. Between January 2022 and January 2023, hourly wage earnings decreased by almost 1%, leaving many people to tighten their budgets as they adjust for inflation and increased prices. As a result, you should know the cheapest states to build a house in, just in case you plan to move.

To calculate how expensive different locations are, you have to look at the cost of living index. If the baseline for the United States is 100, then states will either fall below or above that number to determine how expensive it is to live there. Here are 10 of the least expensive states to build or buy a home in. 

1. Mississippi 

Mississippi ranks at the lowest cost of living in the entirety of the United States. It has the nation’s lowest housing and transportation costs, making it one of the most effective places to live if you like the warmer climate. However, it has a lower quality education and health care systems. It might be an option worth looking into if you’re young and don’t have children, especially since the cost of housing is so low.

2. West Virginia

The Appalachian Mountains are rich with history and legends, and they make the perfect place to live if you want to wake up every day with breathtaking views. West Virginia has a Homebuyer Assistance Program, which can help you secure a house in the state if you live there for ten years or longer. It’s also a great place to live if you love exploration and other outdoor activities. Its low cost of living is just a bonus.

3. Alabama 

Though Alabama’s home prices have risen 0.4% in the last year, it remains one of the most affordable housing options for anyone who wants to move. It has lower health care costs, but the health care system also could be better. However, its Southern charm may draw you in and help you find a new home here. The unemployment rate is under 3%, which bodes well for anyone wanting to start anew.

4. Oklahoma 

Oklahoma is one of the most affordable states in terms of housing costs. Health care and groceries are affordable in this state, but it does have one of the highest poverty rates in the nation. However, you will experience all four seasons in this state, meaning you can enjoy the warmth of summer and feel milder winters. It also has a low median property tax rate, so it could be a great place to bring your family.

5. Kansas 

Kansas is the second least expensive state to live in, but it ranks lower in terms of housing. You can still buy a house in this state for under $200,000 on average. The main thing you must watch out for is that Kansas is the third most prominent state for tornadoes, which can lead to injury. However, as long as you can adequately prepare for disaster, you shouldn’t have any issues moving there.

6. Iowa 

This Midwestern state has a poverty rate lower than the national average. It offers a predictable landscape with cold winters, meaning those used to cold weather might feel right at home here. The education system is great, and Iowa comes in as the 16th best state to live in, making it an excellent choice for anyone wanting to relocate with their family.

7. Ohio 

Ohio is a great place for sports fans and outdoors fans alike. With Ohio featuring three major cities, you’ll never be too far from the action when you live here. Since it is one of the cheapest states to build a house in, you’ll notice that the cost of living here is lower than in many other states. Another cool thing about living in Ohio is that Columbus is a “test city” because it encapsulates the US population — meaning that you’ll be able to experience gadgets and food that may or may not become part of mainstream life in a few years.

8. Georgia 

Georgia is part of the South, and you can expect hot summers alongside low housing costs. This diverse state is full of different cultures and people, and Atlanta alone sees over 50 million tourists every year. Georgia is a major draw for lots of entertainment, so you won’t have to travel far for concerts or special shows, and you have plenty of historic cities near you to take in.

9. Kentucky

Kentucky is known for bluegrass music and horse racing, but that isn’t all it has to offer. With housing costs acting as only a small part of your budget, you’ll have plenty of money to explore the area. You’ll also be paying less for groceries and utilities while living here, as the cost of living is far below the national average. It’s easy to stick to a budget while living in Kentucky, all while enjoying the various sights the state offers.

10. Indiana

If the Midwest is where you’d like to call home, look no further than Indiana. Its low crime rate and top universities make it an ideal place to live. Land is also readily available in this state, so you can build a farm or simply have more space to yourself. No matter what size of land you acquire in this state, it’s perfect for creating a garden, so you should be able to build something in a small space and still grow your own food. 

Follow the Cheapest States to Build a House In

If owning a home is your primary goal, try to look for a place to live in one of these unique states, each with pros and cons. Some states with lower living costs didn’t make the list of the cheapest states to build a house in. For example, Missouri ranked sixth in terms of lowest cost of living in 2022, but it didn’t have one of the top 10 lowest housing costs. Above all, you need to figure out what works with your budget. It might help you find the place you were destined to live.

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