Looking Into the Average House Price By State

Peter Chambers

Feb 3, 2021

average housing prices by state

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Knowing what an average house price by state is can allow you to find the best deal possible or sell your house for what it’s worth. Many different factors impact the cost of living space in a given area, including competition and inventory. 

How do you get the most house for your money? According to Homes.com, it is only $81.00 per square foot to buy a home in the state of Arkansas, making it the cheapest place to buy a house. The median listing price is $122,200. If you can buy a house anywhere, you may get the most bang for your buck in this area.

Most people are a bit more limited in their choice of where to buy. You may be tied to a job in a particular city or have family in a particular state. 

Choosing Your State

Even moving one state over can keep you close to work and family but save you money on the value of a home. For example, the cost of a home in Washington D.C. is $626,911, while in nearby Virginia it can be as low as $285,229. Decide how far you want to commute and how much you can save on buying a home.

There are some tax issues to consider when deciding on a home state, too. For example, you may wind up paying taxes to two municipalities or making tax filing much more difficult than living and working in the same state. 

Taxes in one state may be higher than in another. Florida has no state income tax, but neighboring Alabama does. 

10 Cheapest States for Real Estate

Whether you’re looking for an investment property or you simply want to buy an affordable home, the ten states with the least expensive median home value according to the same Homes.com data collection includes:

  1. Arkansas – $122,200 for 1,508 square feet
  2. Indiana – $147,400 for 1,568 square feet
  3. West Virginia – $132,400 for 1,472 square feet
  4. Oklahoma – $126,800 for 1,508 square feet
  5. New Mexico – $184,200 for 1,635 square feet
  6. Alabama – $144,000 for 1,588 square feet
  7. Nebraska – $158,300 for 1,696 square feet
  8. Ohio – $138,200 for 1,543 square feet
  9. Wisconsin – $172,900 for 1,508 square feet
  10. Michigan – $152,700 for 1,438 square feet

Some of the more expensive states you might want to avoid include New York, California and Hawaii. 

How House Prices Change Within Each State

Even within the same state, there are vast differences in the cost of living. So while New York’s house prices might seem accessible, the further you move away from NYC, the more affordable property becomes. How do you navigate the smaller, regional markets within each state?

Choosing a Town With Lower House Prices

If you buy in a major city, you can expect to pay double or more for a home of the same size with a smaller yard. Moving just 20 minutes away to the suburbs can save you thousands and secure you a home with more amenities and space.

Make a list of how far you’re willing to commute for your job and what your options are for getting to work. Can you carpool? Is there good public transportation? Some areas offer a train, such as Chicago, Washington DC and New York City. 

If you don’t mind a commute, seek smaller towns within driving distance. The cost of homes in small locales is often much less. The inventory may be a bit more limited, but if you’re patient, you’ll find just what you need.

House Prices Differ By Neighborhood

There are even differences within the same city in the cost to live in more desirable neighborhoods. Look at what each place offers. If you’re an avid biker, you may want to opt for the location with bike lanes. 

On the other hand, if you don’t have children with no plans for them, getting in a better school district may not be relevant to you. You can save a little by opting for a similar house in a different area.

Once you find a house in your price range, drive around the surrounding blocks and survey nearby streets. Check crime maps of the area and pay attention to amenities. Do you have access to high-speed internet? How far are stores and entertainment? Think about the elements mattering most for you and choose the location matching your needs most closely.

Average House Prices in U.S. States

No matter where you choose to purchase a home, you can save money. Look for a fixture upper that just needs cosmetic improvements. Jump into the market when inventory is high, and demand is low, so you don’t get into a bidding war and drive the cost up.

Look for a home that has what you need, but maybe not all you want. The key is to shop around and find the right price for your budget.

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