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5 Best Places to Live on a Fixed Income: The Ultimate Guide

Affording a home when you're on a fixed income can be difficult. However, many people have been priced out of their area and need to find a home somewhere else. Fortunately, there are certain areas that are cheaper and more accessible to fixed income buyers. Here are five.

Affording a home when you're on a fixed income can be difficult. However, many people have been priced out of their area and need to find a home somewhere else. Fortunately, there are certain areas that are cheaper and more accessible to fixed income buyers. Here are five.

Living on a fixed income presents many challenges. There are even more challenges for those who already have a home but are being priced out of their current location.

Unfortunately, this is a reality for many people. If you've found yourself in the position of needing to move but have a fixed income, you know just how stressful it can be. You can't afford where you are any longer, but finding somewhere else to live where your fixed income will go further can seem impossible.

However, there are several places throughout the country that have a lower cost of living and lower housing prices. Many of these cities also have great communities surrounding them, so you don't have to sacrifice comfort and happiness just to afford to live in your new location.

After looking into a variety of factors like the price of housing, utilities, transportation, groceries, and other essentials, we determined that the following five cities are some of the best for those who are living on a fixed income.

Once you narrow down your location, be sure to partner with a real estate agent in your new area who can help guide you through the home buying process.

Augusta, GA

Augusta is home to 196,899 people, according to Niche. The median home value here is $99,900, and 53% of residents own their home. The median household income is $39,258, and, overall, it's 13% cheaper to live in Augusta than it is to live in the rest of the country.

Housing prices in Augusta are 32% cheaper than the national average. Utilities are 6% less expensive, groceries and transportation are 5% less expensive, and you'll save 7% on healthcare costs.

Residents say that Augusta is a charming city with a small town vibe, plenty of places to shop and eat, and friendly neighbors.

Durham, NC

Durham is home to 257,232 people. According to Zillow, the median home value in Durham is $228,000. Home values have risen by 9.5% in 2018 and are expected to rise another 4.8% in 2019.

The median listing price in Durham is $299,000 and the median sale price is $226,200. Overall, the cost of living in this area is 11% lower than the rest of the country.

Housing is 27% cheaper, and utilities are 13% less expensive here than in the rest of the country. However, you'll pay a slight 1% more for transportation.

Healthcare costs are right at the national average and are still affordable compared to other parts of the country.

Residents say that Durham is a beautiful, diverse city that, while larger than some, feels like a small town and offers a wealth of cultural and arts-centered experiences.

Decatur, AL

The population of Decatur is 54,844. The median home value is $130,600, and 62% of people own their home. The median household income is $43,176, and the overall cost of living is 15% lower than the national average.

You'll save money on just about everything in Decatur. Housing costs 38% less here than it does nationally. Utilities cost 2% less, transportation costs 12% less, groceries cost 4% less, and you'll save a whopping 12% on healthcare.

Residents say that Decatur is a small town with a thriving arts and entertainment community, unique restaurants, and friendly neighbors.

Memphis, TN

There are 654,723 people who call Memphis home. Zillow puts the median home value in Memphis at $85,900. Home values have risen 5.1% in the last year and are expected to increase another 2.3% in the coming year.

The median household income in Memphis is $38,230, but the cost of living here is 17% lower than the national average overall.

Housing costs are 34% lower, food and grocery costs are 9% lower, transportation costs are 11% lower, and healthcare costs are 15% lower when compared to national averages. You'll pay about 3% more for utilities, but given the cost savings in other areas, it's still far cheaper to live here than in many areas of the country. Residents say that it's a culturally rich area full of diversity, history, and friendly people.

Boise, ID

With a population of 220,859 people, Boise is quickly becoming a favorite city among people looking for a less expensive area that's still a growing and vibrant city.

The median home value in Boise is just $299,300, but home values have risen 17.6% in 2018 and are expected to increase another 9.6% in 2019. That being said, buyers who take advantage of the low sale prices now can enjoy appreciation and an increase in home value .

It's still affordable to live in Boise, though. The median household income is $54,547, and overall it costs 8% less to live here when compared with the national average.

Comparatively, housing costs 12% less, utilities cost 14% less, and groceries cost 10% less in Boise than they do in the rest of the country. While transportation will cost you 8% more and healthcare will cost you about 3% more, when taken collectively, it's still cheaper to live in Boise than it is in most areas of the country.

Residents call Boise an outdoor playground for nature lovers and praise the city for its culture, diversity, beauty, and friendliness. There are great places for shopping and dining in the city, too.

Next Steps

It can be difficult to find a place to live on a fixed income, but these cities are great places to start your search. Once you've narrowed down a location, be sure to find an experienced, local real estate agent who can help you through the home buying process.

Real estate agents have expertise and specific knowledge that can help you time your purchase appropriately, negotiate effectively, and make the best offer. They can also help you find a home you love that's within your budget and meets your needs.

Clever Partner Agents are full-service agents that work for a flat fee. They charge a fraction of the commission you'd pay traditionally, and, in states that allow them, they offer a home buyer rebate to Clever buyers who spend at least $150,000.

These cost savings combined with the expertise that Clever Partner Agents offer mean you get the expertise and guidance you deserve at a fraction of the cost.

When you're ready, fill out our online form and we'll introduce you to one of our Partner Agents for a no-obligation consultation.

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Reuven Shechter

Reuven Shechter is the Outreach Coordinator at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you with top real estate agents to help save on commission. He spreads the word about Clever, disseminating studies to journalists and developing relationships with media outlets. Reuven is passionate about investing in real estate and creating lasting success for families. His writing has been featured in Max Real Estate Exposure, Leverage Marketing, and more.

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