The 10 Most Affordable Places to Live in Wisconsin

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

SHARE

The 54409 zip code in Antigo tops our ranking of the most affordable places to live in Wisconsin.

We looked at 171 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 Wisconsin

RankCity Affordability Score Median home valueRental costs
1Antigo 🥇100$157,716$1,292
2Marinette🥈98.4$173,284$1,292
3Wausau 🥉97.7$206,342$924
4Merrill97.7$193,599$1,292
5Wisconsin Rapids94.6$211,381$1,292
6Oshkosh93.9$207,361$1,071
7Beloit92.9$187,449$1,082
8Racine92.6$202,368$1,113
9Ashland92.3$194,253$1,292
10Marshfield91.4$235,316$903
Show more

Looking to buy in Wisconsin?

Considering moving to or near Antigo, Marinette, or another affordable place in Wisconsin? Let us match you with a top real estate agent in your new city!

1. Antigo

Here's why the 54409 zip code in Antigo is Wisconsin's most affordable place to live.

🔎 Key data about Antigo

Data pointValueRank (out of 171 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 100 No. 1N/A
Median home value $157,716[1]No. 6 -$156,043.50
Home affordability ratio 2.9No. 3-1.3
Home value five-year change 46.4%[2]No. 790.0%
Home value one-year forecast -1.2%[3]No. 950.0%
Rental costs $1,292[4]No. 54$0
Rent affordability ratio 1.73%No. 430.0%
Median household income $53,976[5]No. 153-$20,754
Property taxes $1,822[6]No. 2-$2,256
Energy costs $0.15 kWh[7]No. 37-$0.01
Show more

Antigo's 54409 zip code is the cheapest place to live in Wisconsin, leading the 171 markets we evaluated. 

The median home value is $157,716, making it the 6th-cheapest housing market in the state. Forecasts project a -1.2% change in home values in the next year. Rent in the zip code averages $1,292 per month, which is the 43rd cheapest amount in Wisconsin.

The median property tax for homeowners in Antigo is $1,822 per household, the No. 2 ranked market in Wisconsin. 

Residents pay $0.15 per kWh of electricity, which ranks No. 37 among Wisconsin markets.

2. Marinette

The 54143 zip code is the 2nd-cheapest place to live in Wisconsin.

🔎 Key data about Marinette

Data pointValueRank (out of 171 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 98.4No. 2N/A
Median home value $173,284[8]No. 10-$140,475.45
Home affordability ratio 2.8No. 2-1.4
Home value five-year change 47.4%[9]No. 891.1%
Home value one-year forecast -0.2%[10]No. 1571.0%
Rental costs $1,292[11]No. 54$0
Rent affordability ratio 1.73%No. 430.0%
Median household income $61,495[12]No. 131-$13,235
Property taxes $1,934[13]No. 5-$2,144
Energy costs $0.15 kWh[14]No. 6-$0.01
Show more

Marinette's 54143 zip code has a median home value of $173,284, which is the 157th-cheapest housing market in Wisconsin. You can rent for an average of $1,292 per month. That's the 54th-cheapest price in the state.

The average household income in the zip code is $61,495, which ranks 131st-highest in the state. 

Homeowners in Marinette pay a median property tax of $1,934 per year, making it the 5th-most affordable market in Wisconsin.

Marinette ranks No. 6 among Wisconsin energy markets. You'll pay $0.15 per kWh of electricity.

3. Wausau

The 3rd-cheapest place to live in Wisconsin is Wausau's 54403 zip code.

🔎 Key data about Wausau

Data pointValueRank (out of 171 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 97.7No. 3N/A
Median home value $206,342[15]No. 21-$107,417.49
Home affordability ratio 3.1No. 7-1.0
Home value five-year change 45.6%[16]No. 74-0.7%
Home value one-year forecast -1.5%[17]No. 40-0.3%
Rental costs $924[18]No. 9-$368
Rent affordability ratio 1.41%No. 14-0.3%
Median household income $65,515[19]No. 111-$9,215
Property taxes $3,142[20]No. 47-$936
Energy costs $0.15 kWh[21]No. 6-$0.01
Show more

The No. 21 cheapest housing in Wisconsin is Wausau's 54403 zip code, with a median home value of $206,342. Rents in the market average $924 per month, making it the 9th-most affordable rental market in the state.

The median property tax for households in Wausau is $3,142, which makes it the 47th-cheapest place in Wisconsin. Wausau ranks No. 6 among Wisconsin markets by energy costs. Residents pay $0.15 per kWh of electricity.

4. Merrill

The 54452 zip code in Merrill comes in at No. 4 on our list of the cheapest places to live in Wisconsin.

🔎 Key data about Merrill

Data pointValueRank (out of 171 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 97.7No. 4N/A
Median home value $193,599[22]No. 14-$120,160.68
Home affordability ratio 3.1No. 5-1.1
Home value five-year change 41.4%[23]No. 37-4.9%
Home value one-year forecast -1.5%[24]No. 40-0.3%
Rental costs $1,292[25]No. 54$0
Rent affordability ratio 1.73%No. 430.0%
Median household income $63,256[26]No. 123-$11,474
Property taxes $2,573[27]No. 15-$1,505
Energy costs $0.15 kWh[28]No. 21-$0.01
Show more

The No. 14 cheapest housing market in Wisconsin is Merrill's 54452 zip code, where the median home value is $193,599. Renters here pay an average of $1,292 per month. 

When it comes to energy costs, Merrill ranks 21st among Wisconsin markets. Residents pay $0.15 per kWh of electricity.

The median property tax for households in the zip code is $2,573, which makes it the 15th-cheapest market in Wisconsin.

5. Wisconsin Rapids

The 54494 zip code in Wisconsin Rapids ranks No. 5 among Wisconsin's most affordable places to live.

🔎 Key data about Wisconsin Rapids

Data pointValueRank (out of 171 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 94.6No. 5N/A
Median home value $211,381[29]No. 27-$102,379.02
Home affordability ratio 3.2No. 8-1.0
Home value five-year change 48.1%[30]No. 961.8%
Home value one-year forecast -1.2%[31]No. 1080.0%
Rental costs $1,292[32]No. 54$0
Rent affordability ratio 1.73%No. 430.0%
Median household income $66,941[33]No. 105-$7,789
Property taxes $2,595[34]No. 17-$1,483
Energy costs $0.14 kWh[35]No. 2-$0.02
Show more

Wisconsin Rapids's 54494 zip code has a median home value of $211,381, the 27th-cheapest market in the state. Forecasts project a -1.2% change in home values in the next year. 

The median property tax per household in Wisconsin Rapids is $2,595. It's the 17th-cheapest market by tax rate in Wisconsin.

6. Oshkosh

The No. 6 most affordable place to live in Wisconsin is the 54902 zip code.

🔎 Key data about Oshkosh

Data pointValueRank (out of 171 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 93.9No. 6N/A
Median home value $207,361[36]No. 23-$106,398.74
Home affordability ratio 3.2No. 12-1.0
Home value five-year change 48.7%[37]No. 1042.4%
Home value one-year forecast -0.9%[38]No. 1240.3%
Rental costs $1,071[39]No. 27-$221
Rent affordability ratio 1.67%No. 36-0.1%
Median household income $64,235[40]No. 116-$10,495
Property taxes $2,927[41]No. 30-$1,151
Energy costs $0.15 kWh[42]No. 37-$0.01
Show more

The back half of our top 10 kicks off with Oshkosh's 54902 zip code, which has the 23rd-cheapest home values in Wisconsin. The median home value is $207,361. Rents average $1,071 per month, making it the 27th-most affordable rental market in the state.

Residents pay $0.15 per kWh of electricity. It's the 37th-cheapest energy market.

7. Beloit

Beloit's 53511 zip code is the 7th-cheapest place to live in Wisconsin.

🔎 Key data about Beloit

Data pointValueRank (out of 171 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 92.9No. 7N/A
Median home value $187,449[43]No. 12-$126,310.50
Home affordability ratio 3.0No. 4-1.2
Home value five-year change 64.9%[44]No. 16318.6%
Home value one-year forecast -0.4%[45]No. 1410.8%
Rental costs $1,082[46]No. 29-$210
Rent affordability ratio 1.75%No. 1250.0%
Median household income $61,825[47]No. 130-$12,905
Property taxes $2,705[48]No. 21-$1,373
Energy costs $0.15 kWh[49]No. 44-$0.01
Show more

You'll find the 12th-cheapest home values in Wisconsin in Beloit's 53511 zip code. The median value: $187,449. Renters in Beloit pay an average of $1,082 per month.

Homeowners in Beloit pay a median property tax of $2,705 per year, which is Wisconsin's 21st-most affordable market.

The average household income is $61,825, which ranks 130th-highest in the state.

8. Racine

The 8th-cheapest place to live in Wisconsin is Racine's 53405 zip code.

🔎 Key data about Racine

Data pointValueRank (out of 171 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 92.6No. 8N/A
Median home value $202,368[50]No. 18-$111,391.65
Home affordability ratio 3.2No. 9-1.0
Home value five-year change 51.7%[51]No. 1205.4%
Home value one-year forecast -1.6%[52]No. 22-0.4%
Rental costs $1,113[53]No. 35-$180
Rent affordability ratio 1.74%No. 1220.0%
Median household income $63,782[54]No. 120-$10,948
Property taxes $3,697[55]No. 83-$381
Energy costs $0.17 kWh[56]No. 92$0.01
Show more

The 18th-cheapest housing market in Wisconsin is Racine's 53405 zip code, with a median home value of $202,368. Renters pay an average of $1,113 per month, the No. 35 rental market in the state.

The median property tax for households in Racine is $3,697, which makes it the 83rd-cheapest place in Wisconsin. The average household income of $63,782 ranks 120th.

9. Ashland

Ashland's 54806 zip code sneaks into the top ten of Wisconsin's most affordable places to live.

🔎 Key data about Ashland

Data pointValueRank (out of 171 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 92.3No. 9N/A
Median home value $194,253[57]No. 15-$119,507.16
Home affordability ratio 3.3No. 16-0.9
Home value five-year change 53.4%[58]No. 1297.1%
Home value one-year forecast -1.2%[59]No. 950.0%
Rental costs $1,292[60]No. 54$0
Rent affordability ratio 1.73%No. 430.0%
Median household income $58,429[61]No. 141-$16,301
Property taxes $2,583[62]No. 16-$1,495
Energy costs $0.15 kWh[63]No. 22-$0.01
Show more

The 15th-cheapest housing market in Wisconsin is Ashland's 54806 zip code, where the median home value is $194,253. Renters pay an average of $1,292 per month. It's the state's 54th-cheapest rental market.

The median property tax for households within the zip code is $2,583, which makes it the 16th-cheapest property tax rate in Wisconsin. 

10. Marshfield

The final spot on our list of the most affordable places to live in Wisconsin goes to the 54449 zip code in Marshfield.

🔎 Key data about Marshfield

Data pointValueRank (out of 171 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 91.4No. 10N/A
Median home value $235,316[64]No. 45-$78,443.87
Home affordability ratio 3.6No. 40-0.6
Home value five-year change 35.9%[65]No. 12-10.5%
Home value one-year forecast -1.1%[66]No. 1220.1%
Rental costs $903[67]No. 6-$389
Rent affordability ratio 1.40%No. 12-0.3%
Median household income $64,556[68]No. 115-$10,174
Property taxes $3,117[69]No. 43-$961
Energy costs $0.15 kWh[70]No. 36-$0.01
Show more

The 45th-most affordable market in Wisconsin is Marshfield's 54449 zip code. The median home value is $235,316. Rent in the market costs $903 per month on average, making it the 6th-most affordable rental market in Wisconsin.

The median property tax for households in Marshfield is $3,117, which is the 43rd-cheapest property tax rate in the state.

Marshfield ranks No. 36 among Wisconsin markets by energy costs, with households paying $0.15 per kWh of electricity.

How we ranked the most affordable places in Wisconsin

We evaluated 171 zip codes in Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin, 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 Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin average, the higher our score on this component. We assign a weight of 7.1% to energy costs.  

Article Sources

[1] Zillow Home Value Index – "Zillow Home Value Index". Updated April 30, 2024.
[2] Zillow Home Value Index – "Zillow Home Value Index". Updated April 30, 2024.
[3] Zillow Home Value Forecast – "Zillow Home Value Forecast". Updated April 30, 2024.
[4] Zillow Observed Rent Index – "Zillow Observed Rent Index". Updated April 30, 2024.
[5] U.S. Census American Community Survey – "U.S. Census American Community Survey". Updated December 7, 2023.
[6] U.S. Census American Community Survey – "U.S. Census American Community Survey". Updated December 7, 2023.
[7] National Renewable Energy Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy – "National Renewable Energy Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy". Updated April 6, 2024.
[8] Zillow Home Value Index – "Zillow Home Value Index". Updated April 30, 2024.
[9] Zillow Home Value Index – "Zillow Home Value Index". Updated April 30, 2024.
[10] Zillow Home Value Forecast – "Zillow Home Value Forecast". Updated April 30, 2024.
[11] Zillow Observed Rent Index – "Zillow Observed Rent Index". Updated April 30, 2024.
[12] U.S. Census American Community Survey – "U.S. Census American Community Survey". Updated December 7, 2023.
[13] U.S. Census American Community Survey – "U.S. Census American Community Survey". Updated December 7, 2023.
[14] National Renewable Energy Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy – "National Renewable Energy Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy". Updated April 6, 2024.
[15] Zillow Home Value Index – "Zillow Home Value Index". Updated April 30, 2024.
[16] Zillow Home Value Index – "Zillow Home Value Index". Updated April 30, 2024.
[17] Zillow Home Value Forecast – "Zillow Home Value Forecast". Updated April 30, 2024.
[18] Zillow Observed Rent Index – "Zillow Observed Rent Index". Updated April 30, 2024.
[19] U.S. Census American Community Survey – "U.S. Census American Community Survey". Updated December 7, 2023.
[20] U.S. Census American Community Survey – "U.S. Census American Community Survey". Updated December 7, 2023.
[21] National Renewable Energy Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy – "National Renewable Energy Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy". Updated April 6, 2024.
[22] Zillow Home Value Index – "Zillow Home Value Index". Updated April 30, 2024.
[23] Zillow Home Value Index – "Zillow Home Value Index". Updated April 30, 2024.
[24] Zillow Home Value Forecast – "Zillow Home Value Forecast". Updated April 30, 2024.
[25] Zillow Observed Rent Index – "Zillow Observed Rent Index". Updated April 30, 2024.
[26] U.S. Census American Community Survey – "U.S. Census American Community Survey". Updated December 7, 2023.
[27] U.S. Census American Community Survey – "U.S. Census American Community Survey". Updated December 7, 2023.
[28] National Renewable Energy Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy – "National Renewable Energy Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy". Updated April 6, 2024.
[29] Zillow Home Value Index – "Zillow Home Value Index". Updated April 30, 2024.
[30] Zillow Home Value Index – "Zillow Home Value Index". Updated April 30, 2024.
[31] Zillow Home Value Forecast – "Zillow Home Value Forecast". Updated April 30, 2024.
[32] Zillow Observed Rent Index – "Zillow Observed Rent Index". Updated April 30, 2024.
[33] U.S. Census American Community Survey – "U.S. Census American Community Survey". Updated December 7, 2023.
[34] U.S. Census American Community Survey – "U.S. Census American Community Survey". Updated December 7, 2023.
[35] National Renewable Energy Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy – "National Renewable Energy Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy". Updated April 6, 2024.
[36] Zillow Home Value Index – "Zillow Home Value Index". Updated April 30, 2024.
[37] Zillow Home Value Index – "Zillow Home Value Index". Updated April 30, 2024.
[38] Zillow Home Value Forecast – "Zillow Home Value Forecast". Updated April 30, 2024.
[39] Zillow Observed Rent Index – "Zillow Observed Rent Index". Updated April 30, 2024.
[40] U.S. Census American Community Survey – "U.S. Census American Community Survey". Updated December 7, 2023.
[41] U.S. Census American Community Survey – "U.S. Census American Community Survey". Updated December 7, 2023.
[42] National Renewable Energy Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy – "National Renewable Energy Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy". Updated April 6, 2024.
[43] Zillow Home Value Index – "Zillow Home Value Index". Updated April 30, 2024.
[44] Zillow Home Value Index – "Zillow Home Value Index". Updated April 30, 2024.
[45] Zillow Home Value Forecast – "Zillow Home Value Forecast". Updated April 30, 2024.
[46] Zillow Observed Rent Index – "Zillow Observed Rent Index". Updated April 30, 2024.
[47] U.S. Census American Community Survey – "U.S. Census American Community Survey". Updated December 7, 2023.
[48] U.S. Census American Community Survey – "U.S. Census American Community Survey". Updated December 7, 2023.
[49] National Renewable Energy Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy – "National Renewable Energy Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy". Updated April 6, 2024.
[50] Zillow Home Value Index – "Zillow Home Value Index". Updated April 30, 2024.
[51] Zillow Home Value Index – "Zillow Home Value Index". Updated April 30, 2024.
[52] Zillow Home Value Forecast – "Zillow Home Value Forecast". Updated April 30, 2024.
[53] Zillow Observed Rent Index – "Zillow Observed Rent Index". Updated April 30, 2024.
[54] U.S. Census American Community Survey – "U.S. Census American Community Survey". Updated December 7, 2023.
[55] U.S. Census American Community Survey – "U.S. Census American Community Survey". Updated December 7, 2023.
[56] National Renewable Energy Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy – "National Renewable Energy Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy". Updated April 6, 2024.
[57] Zillow Home Value Index – "Zillow Home Value Index". Updated April 30, 2024.
[58] Zillow Home Value Index – "Zillow Home Value Index". Updated April 30, 2024.
[59] Zillow Home Value Forecast – "Zillow Home Value Forecast". Updated April 30, 2024.
[60] Zillow Observed Rent Index – "Zillow Observed Rent Index". Updated April 30, 2024.
[61] U.S. Census American Community Survey – "U.S. Census American Community Survey". Updated December 7, 2023.
[62] U.S. Census American Community Survey – "U.S. Census American Community Survey". Updated December 7, 2023.
[63] National Renewable Energy Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy – "National Renewable Energy Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy". Updated April 6, 2024.
[64] Zillow Home Value Index – "Zillow Home Value Index". Updated April 30, 2024.
[65] Zillow Home Value Index – "Zillow Home Value Index". Updated April 30, 2024.
[66] Zillow Home Value Forecast – "Zillow Home Value Forecast". Updated April 30, 2024.
[67] Zillow Observed Rent Index – "Zillow Observed Rent Index". Updated April 30, 2024.
[68] U.S. Census American Community Survey – "U.S. Census American Community Survey". Updated December 7, 2023.
[69] U.S. Census American Community Survey – "U.S. Census American Community Survey". Updated December 7, 2023.
[70] National Renewable Energy Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy – "National Renewable Energy Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy". Updated April 6, 2024.

Authors & Editorial History

Our experts continually research, evaluate, and monitor real estate companies and industry trends. We update our articles when new information becomes available.

Better real estate agents at a better rate

Enter your zip code to see if Clever has a partner agent in your area
If you don't love your Clever partner agent, you can request to meet with another, or shake hands and go a different direction. We offer this because we're confident you're going to love working with a Clever Partner Agent.