NewsUS Real EstateMay 21, 2024

10 Best US Cities With Houses Under $200K

With real estate prices constantly rising, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find affordable homes in the US, but not impossible. It just requires a lot of research. To save you time, we have done that research and compiled a list of houses under 200K and the US cities where you can find them

So, whether you’re a US citizen looking for an affordable place to live or a foreign investor looking to buy reasonably-priced properties in the States, this article is for you. 

However, before we share our list with you, we would first like to mention some main things you should consider before buying a house for under 200K.  

Here we go.

3 Main Things to Consider When Looking for Houses Under 200K

Before we go into the list of houses under 200K, we feel it’s important to tell you that affordability comes with a price that’s not measured in dollars. The average house cost in the US is around $495,000 (May 2024), meaning everything below that price will usually come with certain issues that you should be aware of and consider before buying. Most notable problems that you might encounter while looking for the answer to Where can I buy a house for 200K, include:

crime rate is something you should consider when looking for houses under 200k

1. Crime Rates

Houses under 200K are often located in places with high crime rates. There are exceptions to this, which we’ll mention below, but it’s important that you know that. So, make sure to check the crime rates for the city and the neighborhood where the property you’re interested in is located. 

2. Property Age 

Houses are like cars; the older they are, the more problems they can cause. 

Property age is another factor to consider when looking for houses under 200K. Before making a move on one, make sure to do a detailed property inspection. This is one of the most important parts of the real estate buying process, especially when purchasing affordable houses. There’s a reason why these types of houses have low prices, and your goal should be to figure out how much of that cost is connected to the house’s condition. 

Check the electrical and heating installations, plumbing, and foundation. Inspect the house for mold and check the gutters, roof, drainage, and flooring. Go through the house with a fine-tooth comb to ensure you get the true picture of its condition and evaluate how much money you’ll need to invest in preparing the house for your family or future tenants (in the case you’re aiming to rent the property). 

3. Opposite of Prime Location  

The third and last factor to consider when looking at houses under 200K is that they are usually not located in prime locations (i.e., places where people want to live in). These things always fluctuate and can change on a yearly basis, but it’s important to keep it in mind. Make sure to check population growth rates (including migration rates) for the city in which the property you’re interested is located. These will tell you a lot about your investment’s potential viability and longevity.

Houses Under 200K: Top 10 US Cities

1. Chicago, Illinois 

With a population of around 2.7 million, Chicago is the third-most populous city in the US. It was founded in 1833, and due to its strategic location, it quickly grew into what it is today — an international hub for finance, commodity trading, culture, industry, and so much more.  

The city is home to some of the most popular sports teams in the world, including 

Chicago Bears (NFL), Chicago Bulls (NBA), Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox (MLB). Additionally, Chicago is experiencing a small population decline, with the city losing around 3% of its residents since 2020.  

As we’ve mentioned above, affordability comes with a price, and in the case of Chicago, that price is high crime rates. According to the latest information, the violent crime rate is the highest as it has been in the past decade. Some would argue that this is the reason why there are so many listings for houses under 200K in this city. But, we should also note that despite the high crime rate, Chicago is still an economic powerhouse, with a whopping 35 Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the city and a yearly GDP of around 830 billion dollars. This makes the city a prime location for foreign real estate investors looking for affordable properties.

Neighborhoods where you can find houses under 200K in Chicago include:

  • Englewood
  • Hegewisch
  • West Pullman
  • Park Forest

Average home price — $296,901

Average rent — $2,241

Average property tax — between $2,500 and $6,388

Median household income — $65,781 

Population — 2,74 million

Chicago Crime Rate —  37 per 1000 residents

National Average Crime Rate — around 22,5 per 1000 residents

2. Detroit, Michigan

Detroit, a former center of the US motor industry, has been in slow decline since the 1970s. A birthplace of Motown music and home to the NBA’s Detroit Pistons, the city has experienced big problems and even went bankrupt a couple of times. 

Detroit has started slowly recovering, with the latest information showing a slight population growth for the first time in decades. And, as experienced investors know, real estate exists for people, and as long as people keep moving to Detroit, you’ll always be able to find good investment opportunities.

Detroit neighborhoods with houses under 200K include:

  • Herman Kiefer
  • North LaSalle
  • Gateway
  • Piety Hill
  • Dexter-Linwood

Average home price — $73,843

Average rent — $1,212

Average property tax (in percentages) — 3,21%

Median household income — $34,762 

Population — 620,376

Detroit Crime Rate —  66,09 per 1000 residents

National Average Crime Rate — around 22,5 per 1000 residents

3. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, also known as the “Steel City” and “The City of Bridges,” is a city with a rich industrial history and was, for a time, the third largest economic center in the US, only behind New York and Chicago. It’s also famous for its cultural contributions and is home to the Carnegie Museum of Art, the world-famous Andy Warhol Museum, 

The city is experiencing a slight population growth (around 0.68% % in 2021). However, we should also mention that between 2000 and 2020, Pittsburgh lost around 10% of its population. 

And, as far as crime goes, it’s not good. In 2022, violent crimes and rapes were up almost 46%. The bad crime rates didn’t greatly impact the city’s economy, with Pittsburgh’s GDP still going strong at around 150 billion per year. The average home price in the city is slightly above 200K, although there are a lot of listings for houses under 200K, and some of them are in the following neighborhoods:

  • Upper Hill
  • Middle Hill
  • Bluff
  • Polish Hill
  • Troy Hill

Average home price — $234,424

Average rent — $1,511

Average property tax (in percentages) — 1,36%

Median household income — $54,306

Population — 302,898

Pittsburgh Crime Rate —  36 per 1000 residents

National Average Crime Rate — around 22,5 per 1000 residents

4. Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland, also known as the “Forest City,” is located on the southern shore of Lake Erie. It’s famous for being home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, among other things. The city has a strong economy with a yearly GDP of around $138,3 billion, in no small part thanks to the Cleveland Harbour, built in 1825. The population of the city has been steadily rising in the past couple of years, with the latest data showing an increase of 0.4% in 2023. Popular Cleveland neighborhoods, where you can find houses under 200K, include:

  • North Broadway
  • Brooklyn Centre
  • West Boulevard
  • Jefferson 
  • Edgewater

Crime rates are higher than the national average, with property crimes being the most prevalent of all. 

Average home price — $109,453

Average rent — $1,363

Average property tax (in percentages) — 1,41%

Median household income — $33,678

Population — 361,607

Cleveland Crime Rate —  59,9 per 1000 residents

National Average Crime Rate — around 22,5 per 1000 residents

5. Baltimore, Maryland

Since the 19th century, Baltimore has been somewhat of an industrial center, with two of the major industries being shipbuilding and steel production. The city has one of the business ports in the US and is home to the world-famous Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Hospital, making Balitmor one of the US leaders in medical science and healthcare. 

Baltimore has experienced population growth in the last year or two. However, its overall population has dropped by around 8% in the past decade. Baltimore’s main downside and the primary reason behind the average cost of houses being under 200K is its high crime rate.  Some neighborhoods in Baltimore where you can find houses under 200K are:

  • Mid-Town Belvedere
  • Johnston Square
  • Old Town
  • Gay Street
  • Oliver

Average home price — $187,223

Average rent — $1,427 

Average property tax (in percentages) — 0,988%

Median household income — $54,124

Population — 569,931

Baltimore Crime Rate —  48,4 per 1000 residents

National Average Crime Rate — around 22,5 per 1000 residents

6. Tulsa, Oklahoma

For the majority of the 20th century, Tusla was known as the “Oil Capital of the World” and was one of the most important centers of the US oil industry. The city is a cultural hub of the region, famous for its Art Deco Architecture, the Philbrook Museum of Art, and the historic Cain’s Ballroom. Apart from bustling and growing cultural life, Tulsa has been experiencing an economic renaissance, with the city’s yearly GDP rising from 54 billion in 2018 to 62 billion dollars in 2022. However, crime rates in Tulsa are high, more than double the national average, which is one of the primary reasons behind affordable house prices.

A couple of Tulsa’s neighborhoods where you can find houses under 200K are:

  • Sunrise Terrace
  • Fair Heights
  • Mid Tulsa
  • Turner Park 
  • Maxwell

Average home price — $203,763

Average rent — $951

Average property tax (in percentages) — 1,2%

Median household income —$52,438

Population — 411,867

Tulsa Crime Rate —  51,9 per 1000 residents

National Average Crime Rate — around 22,5 per 1000 residents

7. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee is known for its amazing breweries, its Major League baseball team, the Milwaukee Brewers, and its NBA team, the Milwaukee Bucks (winners of the NBA championship in 2021). The population growth rate is on the rise, along with the economy, with the Forbes magazine naming it an up-and-coming tech city. 

And unlike most cities on this list, the crime rates in Miluwakke are actually going down. In 2022, crime was 7% lower than the previous year.

Investing in Milwaukee has a low entry barrier, with the average home being priced at around $200,000. And, the best part is that Milwaukee is a landlord-friendly state, making it an ideal place for anyone looking to buy rental property in the US. Neighborhoods where you can find houses under 200k include: 

  • Uptown
  • Riverwest
  • Sherman Par
  • Washington Park
  • Martin Drive
  • Saint Joseph

Average home price — $203,691

Average rent — $1,462

Average property tax (in percentages) — 2,53%

Median household income — $45,318

Population — 563,305

Milwaukee Crime Rate —  51 per 1000 residents

National Average Crime Rate — around 22,5 per 1000 residents

8. Montgomery, Alabama

Montgomery, the capital of Alabama, is famous for being home to the Civil Rights Memorial (a fountain made entirely of black granite). The city has experienced a population growth of around 0,98% (between 2020 and 2021) and a GDP growth (from around 18 billion in 2018 to over 22 billion in 2022). 

According to the information provided by the city’s mayor, in 2022, the crime rate in Montgomery was down almost 12%, which is always a good thing for investors and those looking for a main residence. 

Montgomery neighborhoods where you can find houses under 200K include:

  • Downtown
  • Capitol North
  • Cottage Hill
  • Five Points
  • Centennial Hill

Average home price — $142,720

Average rent — $1,329

Average property tax (in percentages) — 0,43%

Median household income — $49,989 

Population — 196,986

Montgomery Crime Rate —  32 per 1000 residents

National Average Crime Rate — around 22,5 per 1000 residents

9. Memphis, Tennessee 

Memphis, situated on the Mississippi River, is a city famous for being the birthplace of blues, soul, and rock and roll. Some of the most popular music artists, including Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash, recorded their albums in the Sun Studio (now boasting a legendary status). 

The population is on the decline, with the city losing almost 5% of its residents between 2017 and 2022. On the flip side, crime rates are going down, with the most notable decrease being a 40% reduction in car thefts. 

Memphis neighborhoods where you can find houses under 200K include:

  • Midtown
  • East Memphis-Colonial-Yorkshire
  • Downtown
  • Parkway Village-Oakhaven
  • Raleigh
  • Shelby Forest-Frayser

Average home price — $151,054

Average rent — $1,073

Average property tax (in percentages) — 0,58%

Median household income — $43,981 

Population — 621,056

Montgomery Crime Rate —  32 per 1000 residents

National Average Crime Rate — around 22,5 per 1000 residents

10. Jackson, Mississippi

Jackson, Mississippi’s capital and most populous city, has suffered hard times in recent years. It has experienced a population decline (around 11% since 2010), increasing poverty rates (plus 6.6% since 2021), and lowered median income, just to name a few. But, despite all these issues, Jackson still plays an important role as the region’s industrial center and a home to major industries, including electrical equipment and machinery, processed food, and metallurgy. 

Neighborhoods in Jackosn where you can find houses under 200K include:

  • Capitol Neighbors
  • Georgetown Community
  • Western Hills 
  • Wingfield
  • Grand Avenue

Average home price — $64,653

Average rent — $1,019

Average property tax (in percentages) —  0,79%

Median household income — $39,969

Population —145,995

Jackson Crime Rate —  44,3 per 1000 residents

National Average Crime Rate — around 22,5 per 1000 residents

Looking to Buy a Property in the US? NRI Can Help

Nonresident Investor is a company that specializes in helping people to buy properties in the US. We help our clients during every step of the buying process, from introducing them to real estate agents to helping them get a mortgage loan. You can even start looking for houses under 100k!

Whether you’re looking to diversify your real estate portfolio, invest in rental property, buy a vacation home, or a primary residence, NRI is a perfect place for you. To learn more about what we can do for you, we invite you to schedule a 15-minute absolutely free consultation call with our founder, Luka Malkovich, or contact us with your questions, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. 

Luka
Founder & CEO
Luka Malkovich is a serial entrepreneur with years of experience in international real estate investing. As the CEO of Nonresident Investor, Luka’s mission is to educate foreign nationals about the US real estate market and help them secure funding and buy property in America. That’s why he’s using his expertise to turn the NRI blog into a knowledge hub for anyone interested in learning about US real estate. This article was written by a professional content writer in conjunction with Luka Malkovich. Luka has thoroughly reviewed this article and has given his final approval before publishing.

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