The 10 Most Affordable Places to Live in West Virginia

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

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The 26301 zip code in Clarksburg tops our ranking of the most affordable places to live in West Virginia.

We looked at 43 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 West Virginia

RankCity Affordability Score Median home valueRental costs
1Clarksburg 🥇100$114,716$867
2Wheeling🥈98.5$144,920$842
3Keyser 🥉94.8$169,506$1,205
4Weirton94.8$133,870$1,205
5Parkersburg94.4$122,745$863
6Moundsville93.9$126,531$1,205
7Huntington92.3$118,826$1,205
8Charleston91.7$103,883$1,205
9Pleasant Valley91.6$179,666$1,205
10Vienna91.3$180,769$1,205
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1. Clarksburg

Here's why the 26301 zip code in Clarksburg is West Virginia's most affordable place to live.

🔎 Key data about Clarksburg

Data pointValueRank (out of 43 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 100 No. 1N/A
Median home value $114,716[1]No. 3 -$83,138.68
Home affordability ratio 2.4No. 5-0.9
Home value five-year change 29.0%[2]No. 7-10.1%
Home value one-year forecast -3.2%[3]No. 4-1.4%
Rental costs $867[4]No. 5-$338
Rent affordability ratio 1.79%No. 5-0.2%
Median household income $48,496[5]No. 32-$11,377
Property taxes $712[6]No. 9-$294
Energy costs $0.12 kWh[7]No. 7-$0.01
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Clarksburg's 26301 zip code is the cheapest place to live in West Virginia, leading the 43 markets we evaluated. 

The median home value is $114,716, making it the 3rd-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 $867 per month, which is the 5th cheapest amount in West Virginia.

The median property tax for homeowners in Clarksburg is $712 per household, the No. 9 ranked market in West Virginia. 

Residents pay $0.12 per kWh of electricity, which ranks No. 7 among West Virginia markets.

2. Wheeling

The 26003 zip code is the 2nd-cheapest place to live in West Virginia.

🔎 Key data about Wheeling

Data pointValueRank (out of 43 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 98.5No. 2N/A
Median home value $144,920[8]No. 13-$52,935.16
Home affordability ratio 2.6No. 9-0.7
Home value five-year change 24.1%[9]No. 3-15.0%
Home value one-year forecast -3.5%[10]No. 3-1.7%
Rental costs $842[11]No. 3-$363
Rent affordability ratio 1.49%No. 2-0.5%
Median household income $56,662[12]No. 24-$3,211
Property taxes $957[13]No. 21-$49
Energy costs $0.14 kWh[14]No. 25$0.01
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Wheeling's 26003 zip code has a median home value of $144,920, which is the 3rd-cheapest housing market in West Virginia. You can rent for an average of $842 per month. That's the 3rd-cheapest price in the state.

The average household income in the zip code is $56,662, which ranks 24th-highest in the state. 

Homeowners in Wheeling pay a median property tax of $957 per year, making it the 21st-most affordable market in West Virginia.

Wheeling ranks No. 25 among West Virginia energy markets. You'll pay $0.14 per kWh of electricity.

3. Keyser

The 3rd-cheapest place to live in West Virginia is Keyser's 26726 zip code.

🔎 Key data about Keyser

Data pointValueRank (out of 43 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 94.8No. 3N/A
Median home value $169,506[15]No. 21-$28,349.62
Home affordability ratio 2.5No. 8-0.8
Home value five-year change 39.1%[16]No. 240.0%
Home value one-year forecast -1.7%[17]No. 220.1%
Rental costs $1,205[18]No. 7$0
Rent affordability ratio 2.01%No. 80.0%
Median household income $67,139[19]No. 12$7,266
Property taxes $785[20]No. 14-$221
Energy costs $0.11 kWh[21]No. 1-$0.02
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The No. 21 cheapest housing in West Virginia is Keyser's 26726 zip code, with a median home value of $169,506. Rents in the market average $1,205 per month, making it the 7th-most affordable rental market in the state.

The median property tax for households in Keyser is $785, which makes it the 14th-cheapest place in West Virginia. Keyser ranks No. 1 among West Virginia markets by energy costs. Residents pay $0.11 per kWh of electricity.

4. Weirton

The 26062 zip code in Weirton comes in at No. 4 on our list of the cheapest places to live in West Virginia.

🔎 Key data about Weirton

Data pointValueRank (out of 43 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 94.8No. 4N/A
Median home value $133,870[22]No. 10-$63,985.36
Home affordability ratio 2.3No. 2-1.0
Home value five-year change 39.8%[23]No. 250.7%
Home value one-year forecast -1.6%[24]No. 260.2%
Rental costs $1,205[25]No. 7$0
Rent affordability ratio 2.01%No. 80.0%
Median household income $58,233[26]No. 21-$1,640
Property taxes $784[27]No. 13-$222
Energy costs $0.12 kWh[28]No. 7-$0.01
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The No. 10 cheapest housing market in West Virginia is Weirton's 26062 zip code, where the median home value is $133,870. Renters here pay an average of $1,205 per month. 

When it comes to energy costs, Weirton ranks 7th among West Virginia markets. Residents pay $0.12 per kWh of electricity.

The median property tax for households in the zip code is $784, which makes it the 13th-cheapest market in West Virginia.

5. Parkersburg

The 26101 zip code in Parkersburg ranks No. 5 among West Virginia's most affordable places to live.

🔎 Key data about Parkersburg

Data pointValueRank (out of 43 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 94.4No. 5N/A
Median home value $122,745[29]No. 5-$75,110.61
Home affordability ratio 2.8No. 16-0.5
Home value five-year change 37.1%[30]No. 19-2.0%
Home value one-year forecast -2.0%[31]No. 18-0.2%
Rental costs $863[32]No. 4-$343
Rent affordability ratio 2.00%No. 70.0%
Median household income $43,134[33]No. 41-$16,739
Property taxes $730[34]No. 11-$276
Energy costs $0.12 kWh[35]No. 7-$0.01
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Parkersburg's 26101 zip code has a median home value of $122,745, the 5th-cheapest market in the state. Forecasts project a -2.0% change in home values in the next year. 

The median property tax per household in Parkersburg is $730. It's the 11th-cheapest market by tax rate in West Virginia.

6. Moundsville

The No. 6 most affordable place to live in West Virginia is the 26041 zip code.

🔎 Key data about Moundsville

Data pointValueRank (out of 43 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 93.9No. 6N/A
Median home value $126,531[36]No. 6-$71,324.28
Home affordability ratio 2.3No. 3-1.0
Home value five-year change 19.0%[37]No. 1-20.1%
Home value one-year forecast -4.0%[38]No. 1-2.2%
Rental costs $1,205[39]No. 7$0
Rent affordability ratio 2.01%No. 80.0%
Median household income $54,578[40]No. 26-$5,295
Property taxes $546[41]No. 2-$460
Energy costs $0.16 kWh[42]No. 43$0.03
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The back half of our top 10 kicks off with Moundsville's 26041 zip code, which has the 6th-cheapest home values in West Virginia. The median home value is $126,531. Rents average $1,205 per month, making it the 7th-most affordable rental market in the state.

Residents pay $0.16 per kWh of electricity. It's the 43rd-cheapest energy market.

7. Huntington

Huntington's 25704 zip code is the 7th-cheapest place to live in West Virginia.

🔎 Key data about Huntington

Data pointValueRank (out of 43 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 92.3No. 7N/A
Median home value $118,826[43]No. 4-$79,029.29
Home affordability ratio 2.5No. 7-0.8
Home value five-year change 35.7%[44]No. 17-3.4%
Home value one-year forecast -2.9%[45]No. 8-1.1%
Rental costs $1,205[46]No. 7$0
Rent affordability ratio 2.01%No. 80.0%
Median household income $47,254[47]No. 37-$12,619
Property taxes $682[48]No. 7-$324
Energy costs $0.15 kWh[49]No. 27$0.02
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You'll find the 4th-cheapest home values in West Virginia in Huntington's 25704 zip code. The median value: $118,826. Renters in Huntington pay an average of $1,205 per month.

Homeowners in Huntington pay a median property tax of $682 per year, which is West Virginia's 7th-most affordable market.

The average household income is $47,254, which ranks 37th-highest in the state.

8. Charleston

The 8th-cheapest place to live in West Virginia is Charleston's 25302 zip code.

🔎 Key data about Charleston

Data pointValueRank (out of 43 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 91.7No. 8N/A
Median home value $103,883[50]No. 1-$93,972.55
Home affordability ratio 2.2No. 1-1.1
Home value five-year change 37.7%[51]No. 20-1.5%
Home value one-year forecast -1.9%[52]No. 19-0.1%
Rental costs $1,205[53]No. 7$0
Rent affordability ratio 2.01%No. 80.0%
Median household income $46,498[54]No. 39-$13,375
Property taxes $929[55]No. 18-$77
Energy costs $0.15 kWh[56]No. 27$0.02
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The 1st-cheapest housing market in West Virginia is Charleston's 25302 zip code, with a median home value of $103,883. Renters pay an average of $1,205 per month, the No. 7 rental market in the state.

The median property tax for households in Charleston is $929, which makes it the 18th-cheapest place in West Virginia. The average household income of $46,498 ranks 39th.

9. Pleasant Valley

Pleasant Valley's 26554 zip code sneaks into the top ten of West Virginia's most affordable places to live.

🔎 Key data about Pleasant Valley

Data pointValueRank (out of 43 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 91.6No. 9N/A
Median home value $179,666[57]No. 25-$18,189.41
Home affordability ratio 3.0No. 20-0.3
Home value five-year change 29.6%[58]No. 10-9.6%
Home value one-year forecast -2.4%[59]No. 15-0.6%
Rental costs $1,205[60]No. 7$0
Rent affordability ratio 2.01%No. 80.0%
Median household income $59,875[61]No. 19$2
Property taxes $1,020[62]No. 26$14
Energy costs $0.12 kWh[63]No. 7-$0.01
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The 25th-cheapest housing market in West Virginia is Pleasant Valley's 26554 zip code, where the median home value is $179,666. Renters pay an average of $1,205 per month. It's the state's 7th-cheapest rental market.

The median property tax for households within the zip code is $1,020, which makes it the 26th-cheapest property tax rate in West Virginia. 

10. Vienna

The final spot on our list of the most affordable places to live in West Virginia goes to the 26105 zip code in Vienna.

🔎 Key data about Vienna

Data pointValueRank (out of 43 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 91.3No. 10N/A
Median home value $180,769[64]No. 26-$17,085.88
Home affordability ratio 2.9No. 17-0.4
Home value five-year change 38.1%[65]No. 22-1.0%
Home value one-year forecast -1.7%[66]No. 220.1%
Rental costs $1,205[67]No. 7$0
Rent affordability ratio 2.01%No. 80.0%
Median household income $63,011[68]No. 14$3,138
Property taxes $1,012[69]No. 25$6
Energy costs $0.12 kWh[70]No. 7-$0.01
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The 26th-most affordable market in West Virginia is Vienna's 26105 zip code. The median home value is $180,769. Rent in the market costs $1,205 per month on average, making it the 7th-most affordable rental market in West Virginia.

The median property tax for households in Vienna is $1,012, which is the 25th-cheapest property tax rate in the state.

Vienna ranks No. 7 among West Virginia markets by energy costs, with households paying $0.12 per kWh of electricity.

How we ranked the most affordable places in West Virginia

We evaluated 43 zip codes in West Virginia 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 West Virginia, 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 West Virginia 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 West Virginia average, the higher our score on this component. We assign a weight of 7.1% to energy costs.  

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