Home prices are supposedly declining, but the median price of homes is still well above what it has been in past years. According to data from Realtor.com, the median listing price for homes in October 2022 was $425,000, which is still over 13 percent higher than last year.
At this level, many people are priced out of the housing market. But if you think you’ll save money renting your home instead of buying, think again. Rent is also higher than it has been in years past. The median rent in October 2022 was $1,983, compared to $1,839 in 2021, Rent.com data shows.
If all of your expenses are getting too high, it might be time to consider moving to a more affordable state. What are the cheapest states to live in? Keep reading for all the details.
The Cost of Living Helps Determine the Cheapest States to Live In
The cost of living plays a significant role when determining which are the cheapest U.S. states to live in. According to World Population Review, the average U.S. household spends $61,334 on expenses. That’s over $5,000 per month. Cost of living expenses include housing, transportation, groceries, utilities, and healthcare.
Another important factor to look at is the average salary in a state you're considering moving to. If you’re a remote worker taking your job with you, wages in the state should be less of an issue. But if you plan to get a job, you should find out what you can expect to be paid and if the state has enough jobs to go around.
Mississippi has the lowest cost of living in the country, falling on the cost of living index at 83.3 out of 100. The median price of homes in the state is $140,818, and the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $777. However, Mississippi may not be the best place to relocate. The state has the highest poverty rate in the country and is often considered one of the worst states to live in.
Kansas may not be on the top of your list of states to move to, but it's the second cheapest place to live. The average cost of a single-family home is $176,898, and rent for a two-bedroom apartment is around $862. Your job prospects in Kansas are probably pretty good because the state has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the U.S.
Living in a place where “the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain” doesn’t sound all that attractive, but Oklahoma is a pretty cheap place to live. Housing prices are 25 percent lower than the national average. Rent costs an average of $814 a month, and the median home value is about $150,754. However, the state does have a higher poverty rate than the rest of the country.
Alabama is tied with Oklahoma on the cost of living index, ranking 87.9 out of 100. Home values in Alabama are around $170,184, and the average rent for a two-bedroom home is $807. The cost of living for a family of four is about $6,731, and over 15 percent of the state’s residents live at or below the poverty line.
When it comes to housing expenses, Georgia is 25.6 percent below the national average. Atlanta is more expensive than the rest of the state, and the median cost for a home is $246,272. The state also has a low unemployment rate of 3.2 percent.
Other states that are cheap places to live are Tennessee, Missouri, Iowa, West Virginia, and Indiana.