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The 10 Cheapest States To Buy A House In 2022 + Money-Saving Moves

8-minute read

May 12, 2022

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Did you know that down payments for a home are 3 – 6 times cheaper than most Americans think? As a potential home buyer, knowing where you can get the most bang for your buck can help you narrow down your list of options.

We analyzed data from measuring the movement of single-family house prices in Q4 2021,1 cost of living index,2 the house price index per state in Q4 20213 and median household income4 to gather our estimates on the cheapest states to buy a house in 2022.

Note that your particular overall costs may not reflect your state's averages and medians, since each person's localized housing market, income, credit score and additional qualifying factors should be taken into consideration. To find more precise estimates, check your state or local county housing markets. To learn more about how we ranked the cheapest states to buy a house, jump to the methodology section.

Learn which states are the cheapest and most expensive to buy a house, plus ways to help save you cash when buying your new home. If you’re thinking about building your home from the ground up, learn which counties are the cheapest to build a home.

Key Findings

  • Tennessee is the cheapest state to buy a house in 2022.
  • Oregon is the most expensive state to buy a house in 2022.
  • $514,568 was the average house price in the United States in Q4 2021.

Table Of Contents

The states listed below ranked the highest on basis of the following factors:

  • Movement of single-family house prices by state: The change in single-family house prices in Q4 2021 from Q3 2021
  • Cost of living index by state: The amount of money needed for a comfortable lifestyle, with “100” marked as the United States national average
  • House price index per state: Single-family home transactions with conventional and conforming mortgages in Q4 2021
  • Median family income: Average household income

1. Tennessee

If you’re looking to improve your Southern hospitality skills, Tennessee may be the place for you. Tennessee is full of musical hotspots – like Nashville, the country music capital of the nation, and Memphis, the birthplace of rock 'n' roll and the blues.

If you enjoy spending time outdoors, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is at your doorstep. With its low cost of living, lack of income tax and low property taxes, it’s no wonder why this state is ranked number one on our list.  

Tennesse Infographic

Measure of movement of single-family house prices: 297.21

Cost of living index: 89

2. Illinois

With a cost of living sitting considerably lower than the national average, it makes sense why Illinois sits high on our list. Illinois is also home to the Windy City – Chicago offers all the perks of city life, with plenty of restaurants to try the classic deep dish Chicago-style pizza. With a higher movement in single-family house prices, it’s clear that many Americans see Illinois as one of the best states to live in.

Illinois Infographic

Measure of movement of single-family house prices:  305.98

Cost of living index: 94.3

3. Oklahoma

Oklahoma is more than just one of the cheapest states to buy a house. With barbecue food galore and mid-sized city living in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, it’s hard to beat. If you can deal with striking changes in seasons, you may appreciate life amongst the Oklahomans. Plus, Oklahoma’s cost of living index sits notably lower than the national average at 87.9.

Oklahoma Infographic

Measure of movement of single-family house prices: 305.55

Cost of living index: 87.9

4. Ohio

Ohio may not be on your mind when it comes to relocating, but there is more there than meets the eye. Ohio offers small towns, bustling cities and outdoor activities to meet anyone’s needs.

If you love football, you’ll find no bigger fans than in Ohio – you’ll just need to choose between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns before you move there. Ohio’s cost of living index is significantly lower than the national average, sitting at 91.3.

Ohio Infographic

Measure of movement of single-family house prices:  227.64

Cost of living index: 91.3

5. Texas

As one of the largest states in the U.S., there are endless options for both cities and small towns to buy a home in Texas. If you enjoy Southern comfort cuisine and vibrant culture, this state has no limit. Plus, with a low cost of living and no income taxes, it makes it a cheaper option compared to nearby states like New Mexico.

Texas Infographic

Measure of movement of single-family house prices: 273.25

Cost of living index: 92.1

6. Virginia

Virginia is full of rich American history, from Jamestown to colonial Williamsburg. Plus, it offers both mountainscapes in areas like Blue Ridge and beaches in coastal towns like Chesapeake and Portsmouth. The beautiful scenery, low cost of living and historic places to explore make Virginia a hard state to beat.

Virginia Infographic

Measure of movement of single-family house prices:  271.16

Cost of living index: 101.8

7. Indiana

If you prefer living somewhere that sees the changing of the seasons, Indiana may pique your interest. Indianapolis, the state capital of Indiania, is currently one of the largest cities in the United States and has plenty of economic opportunities.

If you love Midwestern comfort foods and living among friendly faces, Indiana is a great place to call home. Indiana’s cost of living also sits significantly below the national average, making it an affordable option.

Indiana Infographic

Measure of movement of single-family house prices:  250.48

Cost of living index: 90.6

Find out what you can afford.

Use Rocket Mortgage® to see your maximum home price and get an online approval decision.

8. Delaware

Delaware may not be on your radar to buy a house in, but if you’re looking for a tax-friendly state, it’s a great option. If you’re craving the capeside lifestyle, Delaware offers a whole coast against the Delaware Bay with plenty of beachy towns to explore.

There are countless state parks, including Cape Henlopen State Park and Delaware Seashore State Park for the avid hiker in you. From fishing to simple bird watching, there are plenty of fresh-air activities to take advantage of. Plus, the cost of living is just above the United States average, sitting at 107.9.

Delaware Infographic

Measure of movement of single-family house prices:  272.6

Cost of living index: 107.9

9. Iowa

Done with the city life and looking to move to the tranquil heart of America? Iowa offers a change of pace – with rolling hills of green and plenty of room to plant your roots. Des Moines and Cedar Rapids balance both city and countryside life.

If you’re a movie fan, you can even take weekly trips to the iconic Field of Dreams in Dyersville. With the low cost of living and low crime rate, Iowa can be an idyllic place to call home.

Iowa Infographic

Measure of movement of single-family house prices: 390.94

Cost of living index: 89.9

10. Mississippi

If you’re looking for some all-year sun and great Southern cuisine, you may thrive in Mississippi. As one of the Gulf Coast states, there’s plenty of sandy beaches to explore, including the infamous Ship Island. Mississippi is known to welcome those who enjoy a slow-paced lifestyle with one of the lowest costs of living.

Mississippi Infographic

Measure of movement of single-family house prices: 318.87

Cost of living index: 83.3

Cheapest States To Buy A House

Below are the top 20 cheapest states to buy a house in 2022.

 

Rank

State

Q4 2021 Measure Of Movement Of Single-Family House Prices

Q4 2021 All-Transactions House Price Index

Median Household Income

1

Tennessee

297.21

310.42

$68,600

2

Illinois

305.98

280.26

$85,000

3

Oklahoma

305.55

407.56

$67,000

4

Ohio

227.64

543.83

$75,300

5

Texas

273.25

519.47

$75,100

6

Virginia

271.16

451.12

$93,000

7

Indiana

250.48

630.57

$73,300

8

Delaware

272.6

409.83

$83,000

9

Iowa

390.94

363.17

$79,500

10

Mississippi

318.87

582.98

$60,000

11

North Carolina

362.19

334.24

$70,900

12

Wyoming

329.98

500.46

$81,900

13

Missouri

317.16

664.53

$72,300

14

Connecticut

298.11

438.75

$102,600

15

Washington

266.67

531.22

$91,600

16

Alabama

344.01

531.66

$66,700

17

Minnesota

321.03

520.51

$93,100

18

Georgia

320.51

718.05

$74,700

19

Wisconsin

348.42

421.85

$80,300

20

Rhode Island

308.38

434.51

$88,000

Most Expensive States To Buy A House

Below are the 20 states ranked as the most expensive states to buy a house in 2022. 

Disclaimer: We used the most recent available data to gather our estimates on the most expensive states to buy a house in 2022. To find more precise estimates, check your state or local county housing markets.

  1. Oregon
  2. New Mexico
  3. Alaska
  4. Utah
  5. Hawaii
  6. Nevada
  7. Kentucky
  8. South Carolina
  9. Massachusetts
  10. New York
  11. Nebraska
  12. Arkansas
  13. Louisiana
  14. Maine
  15. Idaho
  16. New Hampshire
  17. Arizona
  18. Pennsylvania
  19. Montana
  20. West Virginia

Expert Money-Saving Moves

There are plenty of ways to save money besides moving to a cheaper state to purchase your new home. Below are some tips and advice to follow from professional real estate experts and investors to help you leave more cash in your pocket.

If your budget allows, choose the better neighborhood

Better homes in highly desirable locations tend to appreciate faster and also hold their value when the market turns.5 Once you’ve settled on your ideal state, research the best neighborhoods with factors like educational systems, crime rates and average home value. This will help you narrow down your list of possible areas to investigate when searching for your new home.

Buying smaller may be better in the long run

When buying a home for yourself, buying a smaller, cheaper house in your ideal neighborhood will help you avoid extra taxes and utility costs that would come from a larger house, netting you a lower cost of living in the long run.6

Buying cheap vs. expensive will depend on what you’re looking for

Property is currently appreciating across the board, but how quickly and how much your property appreciates might depend on what you’ve put into it. For instance, more expensive homes may already have had the finishing touches completed, which doesn’t leave much room for implementing more home improvements.

Meanwhile, a cheaper home may require the buyer to put extra money into repairs and renovations, but the profit to be made on those renovations may be greater and may generate a quicker appreciation of the property. Whether to buy lower or aim higher depends on each buyer and what they’re hoping to get out of a home purchase.7

To keep more coins in your piggy bank, check out the infographic below for more money-saving tips.

Download Money-Saving Moves

If you’re ready to purchase a new home, be sure to check out your options before securing a home loan. See what today’s rates are and let us help you find the perfect fit for your homeownership journey.

Today's Purchase Rates

FHA 30-Year Fixed *

4.875 Rate / 5.936 APR

Legal Disclosures

  • 30-year FHA Fixed-Rate Loan: An interest rate of 4.875% (5.936% APR) is for the cost of 2.125 Point(s) ($4,324.38) paid at closing. On a $203,500 mortgage, you would make monthly payments of $1,209.36. Monthly payment does not include taxes and insurance premiums. The actual payment amount will be greater. Payment assumes a loan-to-value (LTV) of 74.91%. Payment includes a one-time upfront mortgage insurance premium at 1.75% of the base loan amount and a monthly mortgage insurance premium (MIP) calculated at 0.8% of the base loan amount. For mortgages with a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of 74.91%, the 0.8% monthly MIP will be paid for the first 11 years of the mortgage term. Thereafter, the monthly loan payment will consist of equal monthly principal and interest payments until the end of the loan.

Assumptions

  • Listed rates are offered exclusively through Rocket Mortgage.
  • Mortgage rates could change daily.
  • Actual payments will vary based on your individual situation and current rates.
  • Some products may not be available in all states.
  • Some jumbo products may not be available to first time home buyers.
  • Lending services may not be available in all areas.
  • Some restrictions may apply.
  • Based on the purchase/refinance of a primary residence with no cash out at closing.
  • We assumed (unless otherwise noted) that: closing costs are paid out of pocket; this is your primary residence and is a single family home; debt-to-income ratio is less than 30%; and credit score is over 720; or in the case of certain Jumbo products we assume a credit score over 740; and an escrow account for the payment of taxes and insurance.
  • The lock period for your rate is 45 days.
  • If LTV > 80%, PMI will be added to your monthy mortgage payment, with the exception of Military/VA loans. Military/VA loans do not require PMI.
  • Please remember that we don’t have all your information. Therefore, the rate and payment results you see from this calculator may not reflect your actual situation. Rocket Mortgage offers a wide variety of loan options. You may still qualify for a loan even in your situation doesn’t match our assumptions. To get more accurate and personalized results, please call to talk to one of our mortgage experts. 
View Rates

Methodology

To find the cheapest states to buy a house, we analyzed data from 2021 including the movement of single-family house prices in Q4 2021, cost of living index, the house price index per state in Q4 2021 and median household income.

Here are the factors we considered when weighing our rankings:

  • Movement of Single-Family House Prices by State in Q4 2021 – 30%
  • Cost of Living Index by State – 30%
  • House Price Index Per State in Q4 2021 – 30%
  • Median Family Income – 10%

Source List

1FHFA

2MERIC

3FRED

4HUD  

5Direct communication with Bill Gassett, founder of Maximum Real Estate Exposure

6Direct communication with Leif Kristjansen, founder of FiveYearFIRE

7Direct communication with Matt Woods, co-founder and CEO of Sold.com

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