The 10 Most Affordable Places to Live in Vermont

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

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The 05201 zip code in Bennington tops our ranking of the most affordable places to live in Vermont.

We looked at 14 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 Vermont

RankCity Affordability Score Median home valueRental costs
1Bennington 🥇100$242,150$2,471
2Rutland🥈88.6$261,163$2,471
3Barre 🥉86.9$300,021$2,471
4Milton85.2$441,859$2,471
5Essex77.8$477,005$2,325
6Saint Albans66.9$366,793$2,471
7Burlington66.0$470,372$2,415
8Middlebury64.6$455,496$2,471
9Montpelier63.1$415,930$2,471
10South Burlington59.6$479,632$2,748
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1. Bennington

Here's why the 05201 zip code in Bennington is Vermont's most affordable place to live.

🔎 Key data about Bennington

Data pointValueRank (out of 14 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 100 No. 1N/A
Median home value $242,150[1]No. 1 -$169,264.23
Home affordability ratio 4.2No. 2-1.3
Home value five-year change 46.0%[2]No. 3-5.4%
Home value one-year forecast 0.6%[3]No. 141.1%
Rental costs $2,471[4]No. 4$0
Rent affordability ratio 3.29%No. 40.0%
Median household income $58,257[5]No. 12-$16,948
Property taxes $4,272[6]No. 1-$1,394
Energy costs $0.20 kWh[7]No. 1$0.00
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Bennington's 05201 zip code is the cheapest place to live in Vermont, leading the 14 markets we evaluated. 

The median home value is $242,150, making it the 1st-cheapest housing market in the state. Forecasts project a 0.6% change in home values in the next year. Rent in the zip code averages $2,471 per month, which is the 4th cheapest amount in Vermont.

The median property tax for homeowners in Bennington is $4,272 per household, the No. 1 ranked market in Vermont. 

Residents pay $0.20 per kWh of electricity, which ranks No. 1 among Vermont markets.

2. Rutland

The 05701 zip code is the 2nd-cheapest place to live in Vermont.

🔎 Key data about Rutland

Data pointValueRank (out of 14 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 88.6No. 2N/A
Median home value $261,163[8]No. 2-$150,250.88
Home affordability ratio 4.6No. 4-0.9
Home value five-year change 55.0%[9]No. 103.6%
Home value one-year forecast -0.1%[10]No. 130.4%
Rental costs $2,471[11]No. 4$0
Rent affordability ratio 3.29%No. 40.0%
Median household income $56,667[12]No. 13-$18,538
Property taxes $4,443[13]No. 3-$1,223
Energy costs $0.20 kWh[14]No. 1$0.00
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Rutland's 05701 zip code has a median home value of $261,163, which is the 13th-cheapest housing market in Vermont. You can rent for an average of $2,471 per month. That's the 4th-cheapest price in the state.

The average household income in the zip code is $56,667, which ranks 13th-highest in the state. 

Homeowners in Rutland pay a median property tax of $4,443 per year, making it the 3rd-most affordable market in Vermont.

Rutland ranks No. 1 among Vermont energy markets. You'll pay $0.20 per kWh of electricity.

3. Barre

The 3rd-cheapest place to live in Vermont is Barre's 05641 zip code.

🔎 Key data about Barre

Data pointValueRank (out of 14 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 86.9No. 3N/A
Median home value $300,021[15]No. 3-$111,393.19
Home affordability ratio 4.4No. 3-1.1
Home value five-year change 59.9%[16]No. 138.5%
Home value one-year forecast -0.2%[17]No. 110.3%
Rental costs $2,471[18]No. 4$0
Rent affordability ratio 3.29%No. 40.0%
Median household income $68,592[19]No. 9-$6,613
Property taxes $4,584[20]No. 4-$1,082
Energy costs $0.20 kWh[21]No. 1$0.00
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The No. 3 cheapest housing in Vermont is Barre's 05641 zip code, with a median home value of $300,021. Rents in the market average $2,471 per month, making it the 4th-most affordable rental market in the state.

The median property tax for households in Barre is $4,584, which makes it the 4th-cheapest place in Vermont. Barre ranks No. 1 among Vermont markets by energy costs. Residents pay $0.20 per kWh of electricity.

4. Milton

The 05468 zip code in Milton comes in at No. 4 on our list of the cheapest places to live in Vermont.

🔎 Key data about Milton

Data pointValueRank (out of 14 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 85.2No. 4N/A
Median home value $441,859[22]No. 7$30,444.38
Home affordability ratio 4.1No. 1-1.4
Home value five-year change 43.3%[23]No. 2-8.1%
Home value one-year forecast -0.7%[24]No. 3-0.2%
Rental costs $2,471[25]No. 4$0
Rent affordability ratio 3.29%No. 40.0%
Median household income $107,744[26]No. 1$32,539
Property taxes $5,185[27]No. 5-$481
Energy costs $0.20 kWh[28]No. 1$0.00
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The No. 7 cheapest housing market in Vermont is Milton's 05468 zip code, where the median home value is $441,859. Renters here pay an average of $2,471 per month. 

When it comes to energy costs, Milton ranks 1st among Vermont markets. Residents pay $0.20 per kWh of electricity.

The median property tax for households in the zip code is $5,185, which makes it the 5th-cheapest market in Vermont.

5. Essex

The 05452 zip code in Essex ranks No. 5 among Vermont's most affordable places to live.

🔎 Key data about Essex

Data pointValueRank (out of 14 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 77.8No. 5N/A
Median home value $477,005[29]No. 10$65,591.00
Home affordability ratio 4.9No. 5-0.6
Home value five-year change 46.8%[30]No. 5-4.5%
Home value one-year forecast -0.7%[31]No. 3-0.2%
Rental costs $2,325[32]No. 2-$146
Rent affordability ratio 2.39%No. 1-0.9%
Median household income $97,383[33]No. 3$22,178
Property taxes $6,584[34]No. 13$918
Energy costs $0.20 kWh[35]No. 1$0.00
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Essex's 05452 zip code has a median home value of $477,005, the 10th-cheapest market in the state. Forecasts project a -0.7% change in home values in the next year. 

The median property tax per household in Essex is $6,584. It's the 13th-cheapest market by tax rate in Vermont.

6. Saint Albans

The No. 6 most affordable place to live in Vermont is the 05478 zip code.

🔎 Key data about Saint Albans

Data pointValueRank (out of 14 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 66.9No. 6N/A
Median home value $366,793[36]No. 5-$44,621.28
Home affordability ratio 5.4No. 11-0.1
Home value five-year change 58.6%[37]No. 127.2%
Home value one-year forecast -0.7%[38]No. 3-0.2%
Rental costs $2,471[39]No. 4$0
Rent affordability ratio 3.29%No. 40.0%
Median household income $67,705[40]No. 10-$7,500
Property taxes $4,424[41]No. 2-$1,242
Energy costs $0.20 kWh[42]No. 1$0.00
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The back half of our top 10 kicks off with Saint Albans's 05478 zip code, which has the 5th-cheapest home values in Vermont. The median home value is $366,793. Rents average $2,471 per month, making it the 4th-most affordable rental market in the state.

Residents pay $0.20 per kWh of electricity. It's the 1st-cheapest energy market.

7. Burlington

Burlington's 05408 zip code is the 7th-cheapest place to live in Vermont.

🔎 Key data about Burlington

Data pointValueRank (out of 14 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 66.0No. 7N/A
Median home value $470,372[43]No. 9$58,957.66
Home affordability ratio 5.2No. 7-0.3
Home value five-year change 56.9%[44]No. 115.6%
Home value one-year forecast -0.8%[45]No. 1-0.3%
Rental costs $2,415[46]No. 3-$56
Rent affordability ratio 2.67%No. 2-0.6%
Median household income $90,522[47]No. 5$15,317
Property taxes $6,430[48]No. 12$764
Energy costs $0.20 kWh[49]No. 1$0.00
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You'll find the 9th-cheapest home values in Vermont in Burlington's 05408 zip code. The median value: $470,372. Renters in Burlington pay an average of $2,415 per month.

Homeowners in Burlington pay a median property tax of $6,430 per year, which is Vermont's 12th-most affordable market.

The average household income is $90,522, which ranks 5th-highest in the state.

8. Middlebury

The 8th-cheapest place to live in Vermont is Middlebury's 05753 zip code.

🔎 Key data about Middlebury

Data pointValueRank (out of 14 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 64.6No. 8N/A
Median home value $455,496[50]No. 8$44,082.02
Home affordability ratio 5.2No. 6-0.3
Home value five-year change 42.1%[51]No. 1-9.2%
Home value one-year forecast -0.5%[52]No. 90.0%
Rental costs $2,471[53]No. 4$0
Rent affordability ratio 3.29%No. 40.0%
Median household income $88,041[54]No. 7$12,836
Property taxes $6,371[55]No. 11$705
Energy costs $0.20 kWh[56]No. 1$0.00
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The 8th-cheapest housing market in Vermont is Middlebury's 05753 zip code, with a median home value of $455,496. Renters pay an average of $2,471 per month, the No. 4 rental market in the state.

The median property tax for households in Middlebury is $6,371, which makes it the 11th-cheapest place in Vermont. The average household income of $88,041 ranks 7th.

9. Montpelier

Montpelier's 05602 zip code sneaks into the top ten of Vermont's most affordable places to live.

🔎 Key data about Montpelier

Data pointValueRank (out of 14 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 63.1No. 9N/A
Median home value $415,930[57]No. 6$4,515.76
Home affordability ratio 5.3No. 9-0.2
Home value five-year change 47.9%[58]No. 6-3.5%
Home value one-year forecast -0.2%[59]No. 110.3%
Rental costs $2,471[60]No. 4$0
Rent affordability ratio 3.29%No. 40.0%
Median household income $78,376[61]No. 8$3,171
Property taxes $6,281[62]No. 9$615
Energy costs $0.20 kWh[63]No. 1$0.00
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The 6th-cheapest housing market in Vermont is Montpelier's 05602 zip code, where the median home value is $415,930. Renters pay an average of $2,471 per month. It's the state's 4th-cheapest rental market.

The median property tax for households within the zip code is $6,281, which makes it the 9th-cheapest property tax rate in Vermont. 

10. South Burlington

The final spot on our list of the most affordable places to live in Vermont goes to the 05403 zip code in South Burlington.

🔎 Key data about South Burlington

Data pointValueRank (out of 14 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 59.6No. 10N/A
Median home value $479,632[64]No. 11$68,218.03
Home affordability ratio 5.3No. 8-0.2
Home value five-year change 50.6%[65]No. 9-0.7%
Home value one-year forecast -0.7%[66]No. 3-0.2%
Rental costs $2,748[67]No. 13$277
Rent affordability ratio 3.04%No. 3-0.2%
Median household income $90,383[68]No. 6$15,178
Property taxes $6,289[69]No. 10$623
Energy costs $0.20 kWh[70]No. 1$0.00
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The 11th-most affordable market in Vermont is South Burlington's 05403 zip code. The median home value is $479,632. Rent in the market costs $2,748 per month on average, making it the 13th-most affordable rental market in Vermont.

The median property tax for households in South Burlington is $6,289, which is the 10th-cheapest property tax rate in the state.

South Burlington ranks No. 1 among Vermont markets by energy costs, with households paying $0.20 per kWh of electricity.

How we ranked the most affordable places in Vermont

We evaluated 14 zip codes in Vermont 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 Vermont, 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 Vermont 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 Vermont average, the higher our score on this component. We assign a weight of 7.1% to energy costs.  

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