The 10 Most Affordable Places to Live in Alabama

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By Michael Yessis Updated June 13, 2024
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Edited by Ashley Simon

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The 36207 zip code in Anniston tops our ranking of the most affordable places to live in Alabama.

We looked at 175 zip codes in the state, evaluating home values, rental costs, energy rates, property taxes, and five other affordability indicators. We used the data we gathered to calculate our proprietary Affordability Score for each zip code.  

Top 10 most affordable places to live in Alabama

RankCity Affordability Score Median home valueRental costs
1Anniston 🥇100$186,323$1,000
2West End-Cobb Town🥈96.6$55,563$1,443
3Selma 🥉96.1$86,596$1,443
4Oxford95.5$192,184$1,075
5Montgomery95.1$191,342$1,307
6Gadsden93.1$95,861$1,443
7Saks93.1$141,969$1,443
8Hokes Bluff92.9$123,739$1,443
9Piedmont92.8$138,096$1,443
10Prichard92.7$31,182$1,443
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1. Anniston

Here's why the 36207 zip code in Anniston is Alabama's most affordable place to live.

🔎 Key data about Anniston

Data pointValueRank (out of 175 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 100 No. 1N/A
Median home value $186,323[1]No. 66 -$55,979.01
Home affordability ratio 2.8No. 35-0.9
Home value five-year change 34.2%[2]No. 25-11.4%
Home value one-year forecast -3.2%[3]No. 7-2.2%
Rental costs $1,000[4]No. 3-$443
Rent affordability ratio 1.49%No. 12-0.7%
Median household income $66,949[5]No. 69$1,502
Property taxes $806[6]No. 121-$77
Energy costs $0.15 kWh[7]No. 1$0.00
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Anniston's 36207 zip code is the cheapest place to live in Alabama, leading the 175 markets we evaluated. 

The median home value is $186,323, making it the 66th-cheapest housing market in the state. Forecasts project a -3.2% change in home values in the next year. Rent in the zip code averages $1,000 per month, which is the 12th cheapest amount in Alabama.

The median property tax for homeowners in Anniston is $806 per household, the No. 121 ranked market in Alabama. 

Residents pay $0.15 per kWh of electricity, which ranks No. 1 among Alabama markets.

2. West End-Cobb Town

The 36201 zip code is the 2nd-cheapest place to live in Alabama.

🔎 Key data about West End-Cobb Town

Data pointValueRank (out of 175 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 96.6No. 2N/A
Median home value $55,563[8]No. 4-$186,738.98
Home affordability ratio 1.7No. 6-2.0
Home value five-year change 1.8%[9]No. 1-43.7%
Home value one-year forecast -4.1%[10]No. 4-3.1%
Rental costs $1,443[11]No. 47$0
Rent affordability ratio 2.20%No. 470.0%
Median household income $31,807[12]No. 167-$33,640
Property taxes $308[13]No. 8-$575
Energy costs $0.15 kWh[14]No. 1$0.00
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West End-Cobb Town's 36201 zip code has a median home value of $55,563, which is the 4th-cheapest housing market in Alabama. You can rent for an average of $1,443 per month. That's the 47th-cheapest price in the state.

The average household income in the zip code is $31,807, which ranks 167th-highest in the state. 

Homeowners in West End-Cobb Town pay a median property tax of $308 per year, making it the 8th-most affordable market in Alabama.

West End-Cobb Town ranks No. 1 among Alabama energy markets. You'll pay $0.15 per kWh of electricity.

3. Selma

The 3rd-cheapest place to live in Alabama is Selma's 36701 zip code.

🔎 Key data about Selma

Data pointValueRank (out of 175 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 96.1No. 3N/A
Median home value $86,596[15]No. 13-$155,706.04
Home affordability ratio 2.1No. 10-1.6
Home value five-year change 10.2%[16]No. 3-35.3%
Home value one-year forecast -4.2%[17]No. 2-3.2%
Rental costs $1,443[18]No. 47$0
Rent affordability ratio 2.20%No. 470.0%
Median household income $41,528[19]No. 152-$23,919
Property taxes $501[20]No. 42-$382
Energy costs $0.15 kWh[21]No. 1$0.00
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The No. 13 cheapest housing in Alabama is Selma's 36701 zip code, with a median home value of $86,596. Rents in the market average $1,443 per month, making it the 47th-most affordable rental market in the state.

The median property tax for households in Selma is $501, which makes it the 42nd-cheapest place in Alabama. Selma ranks No. 1 among Alabama markets by energy costs. Residents pay $0.15 per kWh of electricity.

4. Oxford

The 36203 zip code in Oxford comes in at No. 4 on our list of the cheapest places to live in Alabama.

🔎 Key data about Oxford

Data pointValueRank (out of 175 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 95.5No. 4N/A
Median home value $192,184[22]No. 72-$50,117.89
Home affordability ratio 3.1No. 51-0.6
Home value five-year change 36.5%[23]No. 34-9.0%
Home value one-year forecast -3.2%[24]No. 7-2.2%
Rental costs $1,075[25]No. 6-$368
Rent affordability ratio 1.75%No. 21-0.5%
Median household income $61,519[26]No. 83-$3,928
Property taxes $637[27]No. 84-$246
Energy costs $0.15 kWh[28]No. 1$0.00
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The No. 72 cheapest housing market in Alabama is Oxford's 36203 zip code, where the median home value is $192,184. Renters here pay an average of $1,075 per month. 

When it comes to energy costs, Oxford ranks 1st among Alabama markets. Residents pay $0.15 per kWh of electricity.

The median property tax for households in the zip code is $637, which makes it the 84th-cheapest market in Alabama.

5. Montgomery

The 36106 zip code in Montgomery ranks No. 5 among Alabama's most affordable places to live.

🔎 Key data about Montgomery

Data pointValueRank (out of 175 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 95.1No. 5N/A
Median home value $191,342[29]No. 71-$50,960.08
Home affordability ratio 2.8No. 33-0.9
Home value five-year change 36.4%[30]No. 32-9.2%
Home value one-year forecast -1.8%[31]No. 20-0.8%
Rental costs $1,307[32]No. 34-$136
Rent affordability ratio 1.88%No. 29-0.3%
Median household income $69,512[33]No. 61$4,065
Property taxes $656[34]No. 87-$227
Energy costs $0.15 kWh[35]No. 1$0.00
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Montgomery's 36106 zip code has a median home value of $191,342, the 71st-cheapest market in the state. Forecasts project a -1.8% change in home values in the next year. 

The median property tax per household in Montgomery is $656. It's the 87th-cheapest market by tax rate in Alabama.

6. Gadsden

The No. 6 most affordable place to live in Alabama is the 35904 zip code.

🔎 Key data about Gadsden

Data pointValueRank (out of 175 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 93.1No. 6N/A
Median home value $95,861[36]No. 15-$146,441.52
Home affordability ratio 2.2No. 14-1.5
Home value five-year change 32.5%[37]No. 21-13.0%
Home value one-year forecast -1.6%[38]No. 32-0.6%
Rental costs $1,443[39]No. 47$0
Rent affordability ratio 2.20%No. 470.0%
Median household income $42,738[40]No. 151-$22,709
Property taxes $448[41]No. 30-$435
Energy costs $0.15 kWh[42]No. 1$0.00
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The back half of our top 10 kicks off with Gadsden's 35904 zip code, which has the 15th-cheapest home values in Alabama. The median home value is $95,861. Rents average $1,443 per month, making it the 47th-most affordable rental market in the state.

Residents pay $0.15 per kWh of electricity. It's the 1st-cheapest energy market.

7. Saks

Saks's 36206 zip code is the 7th-cheapest place to live in Alabama.

🔎 Key data about Saks

Data pointValueRank (out of 175 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 93.1No. 7N/A
Median home value $141,969[43]No. 29-$100,333.51
Home affordability ratio 2.6No. 26-1.1
Home value five-year change 34.3%[44]No. 26-11.2%
Home value one-year forecast -3.6%[45]No. 6-2.6%
Rental costs $1,443[46]No. 47$0
Rent affordability ratio 2.20%No. 470.0%
Median household income $53,895[47]No. 108-$11,552
Property taxes $497[48]No. 41-$386
Energy costs $0.15 kWh[49]No. 1$0.00
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You'll find the 29th-cheapest home values in Alabama in Saks's 36206 zip code. The median value: $141,969. Renters in Saks pay an average of $1,443 per month.

Homeowners in Saks pay a median property tax of $497 per year, which is Alabama's 41st-most affordable market.

The average household income is $53,895, which ranks 108th-highest in the state.

8. Hokes Bluff

The 8th-cheapest place to live in Alabama is Hokes Bluff's 35903 zip code.

🔎 Key data about Hokes Bluff

Data pointValueRank (out of 175 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 92.9No. 8N/A
Median home value $123,739[50]No. 22-$118,563.70
Home affordability ratio 2.4No. 18-1.3
Home value five-year change 31.3%[51]No. 17-14.2%
Home value one-year forecast -1.7%[52]No. 25-0.7%
Rental costs $1,443[53]No. 47$0
Rent affordability ratio 2.20%No. 470.0%
Median household income $51,119[54]No. 118-$14,328
Property taxes $542[55]No. 59-$341
Energy costs $0.15 kWh[56]No. 1$0.00
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The 22nd-cheapest housing market in Alabama is Hokes Bluff's 35903 zip code, with a median home value of $123,739. Renters pay an average of $1,443 per month, the No. 47 rental market in the state.

The median property tax for households in Hokes Bluff is $542, which makes it the 59th-cheapest place in Alabama. The average household income of $51,119 ranks 118th.

9. Piedmont

Piedmont's 36272 zip code sneaks into the top ten of Alabama's most affordable places to live.

🔎 Key data about Piedmont

Data pointValueRank (out of 175 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 92.8No. 9N/A
Median home value $138,096[57]No. 28-$104,206.25
Home affordability ratio 2.8No. 36-0.9
Home value five-year change 26.3%[58]No. 7-19.2%
Home value one-year forecast -3.9%[59]No. 5-2.9%
Rental costs $1,443[60]No. 47$0
Rent affordability ratio 2.20%No. 470.0%
Median household income $49,474[61]No. 123-$15,973
Property taxes $524[62]No. 50-$359
Energy costs $0.15 kWh[63]No. 1$0.00
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The 28th-cheapest housing market in Alabama is Piedmont's 36272 zip code, where the median home value is $138,096. Renters pay an average of $1,443 per month. It's the state's 47th-cheapest rental market.

The median property tax for households within the zip code is $524, which makes it the 50th-cheapest property tax rate in Alabama. 

10. Prichard

The final spot on our list of the most affordable places to live in Alabama goes to the 36610 zip code in Prichard.

🔎 Key data about Prichard

Data pointValueRank (out of 175 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 92.7No. 10N/A
Median home value $31,182[64]No. 1-$211,120.06
Home affordability ratio 1.1No. 1-2.6
Home value five-year change 22.1%[65]No. 5-23.4%
Home value one-year forecast -0.4%[66]No. 1290.6%
Rental costs $1,443[67]No. 47$0
Rent affordability ratio 2.20%No. 470.0%
Median household income $27,464[68]No. 174-$37,983
Property taxes $259[69]No. 3-$624
Energy costs $0.15 kWh[70]No. 1$0.00
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The 1st-most affordable market in Alabama is Prichard's 36610 zip code. The median home value is $31,182. Rent in the market costs $1,443 per month on average, making it the 47th-most affordable rental market in Alabama.

The median property tax for households in Prichard is $259, which is the 3rd-cheapest property tax rate in the state.

Prichard ranks No. 1 among Alabama markets by energy costs, with households paying $0.15 per kWh of electricity.

How we ranked the most affordable places in Alabama

We evaluated 175 zip codes in Alabama with a population over 10,000 on nine metrics. We then assigned each market an Affordability Score based on its weighted and combined rankings. 

✍️ Editor’s note: Our Affordability Score identifies the most affordable places in a state by zip code.

Often the zip code we identify will represent an entire city or portion of a city. 

Occasionally the zip code we identify will encompass an area that includes one or more small towns. In these cases, the data we’ve gathered applies to the entire zip code, not just the single town we’re using to help identify the zip code's location. 

If you’re looking to move to one of these affordable places, we recommend doing additional research to make sure the costs in the area — and the quality of life it offers — meet your specific needs.

Methodology: What is an Affordability Score?

Our proprietary Affordability Score is a score on a scale of 0 (worst in state) to 100 (best in state) that estimates the affordability of a particular zip code. It takes into account these key data points for each zip code.

  • Median home value: The median home value for each zip code comes from the Zillow Home Value Index. The lower the median home value relative to the median value in Alabama, the higher our score on this component. We assign a weight of 23.8% to median home value.
  • Home affordability ratio. The home affordability ratio is the typical median home value divided by the median household income in the zip code, which reveals the number of years of household income needed to afford a home in that zip code. A lower ratio is better because it means more households can afford a home. The data comes from the Zillow Observed Rent Index and the U.S. Census American Community Survey. We assign a weight of 23.8% to the home affordability ratio.
  • Home value five-year change: The home value five-year change is the amount that the median home value in the zip code has risen or fallen during the last five years. Our data comes from the Zillow Home Value Index. We assign a weight of 4.8% to the home value five-year change.
  • Home value one-year forecast: The home value one-year forecast comes from Zillow Forecast data. It projects how much home values in the zip code are forecasted to change in the next year. We assign a weight of 4.8% to the home value one-year forecast.
  • Rental costs. The rental costs are the observed rents in the zip code, sourced from the Zillow Observed Rent Index. The index includes "listed rents that fall into the 40th to 60th percentile range for all homes and apartments in a given region." We assign a weight of 11.9% to rental costs. 
  • Median household income: The inflation-adjusted median household income figures for the zip code comes from the U.S. Census American Community Survey. We assign a weight of 4.8% to median household income.
  • Rent affordability ratio. The rent affordability ratio is the ratio of rental costs divided by median household income, which provides the percentage of household income needed to pay a typical month’s rent in the zip code. The data comes from the Zillow Observed Rent Index and the U.S. Census American Community Survey. We assign a weight of 11.9% to the rent affordability ratio.
  • Property taxes: The property tax figures are the median real estate taxes paid in the zip code, sourced from the U.S. Census American Community Survey. The lower the property tax rate relative to the Alabama average, the higher our score on this component. We assign a weight of 7.1% to property taxes. 
  • Energy costs: The energy costs are the costs of a kilowatt hour (kWh) of residential electricity in the zip code, sourced from the U.S. Department of Energy. The lower the cost of electricity relative to the Alabama average, the higher our score on this component. We assign a weight of 7.1% to energy costs.  

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Authors & Editorial History

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