Finding a home that meets your needs without breaking the bank can be a serious challenge. State-wide, Massachusetts has a median home value of $398,800. When you add in maintenance costs and property taxes, it can be difficult for many to buy and own a home.
That's why we've compiled a list of affordable cities in Massachusetts to help you find a new place to live. All of these places are more affordable than average, meaning you can get more bang for your buck.
Looking for the most affordable places in Massachusetts is a start, but you'll save even more money by working with a great agent.
The top Massachusetts real estate agents know the local market and where to find pockets of more affordable homes. They can also help negotiate a better price when you do find your dream home.
At Clever Real Estate, we can match you with agents in any area you're interested in — even multiple areas at the same time. You can interview as many agents as you like until you find the perfect place to call home — all at no cost or obligation to you.
Most affordable cities in Massachusetts
Whether you're looking for a quiet small town or a trendy suburban neighborhood, it's possible to locate pockets of affordability throughout Massachusetts.
Here are our top picks for Massachusetts residents on a budget:
Located an hour and a half to the west of Boston, Leominster is a suburban community of a little more than 40,000 people. It is about an hour away from Logan International Airport.
Although housing prices are higher than the national average, Leominster's homes are a lot cheaper than Boston's. The average price of a house in Leominster is around $263,000.
Leominster is the birthplace of Johnny Appleseed and they celebrate their native son every year at the Johnny Appleseed Arts and Cultural Festival.
The community is very family friendly even though some say it does not offer many entertainment options for young singles. There are decent public schools and plenty of parks for young children.
Head west on U.S. Highway 202 out of Leominster, and you will arrive at Franklin, which is about two hours outside of Boston.
Even though it is farther from the city, the home prices in Franklin are higher than Leominster. The average Franklin home is about $430,000.
Franklin is also smaller than Leominster, with only about 32,000 residents.
The average citizen is well educated. More than half of the residents have at least a bachelor's degree. The higher education level could be because Franklin is home to Dean College.
Franklin is a town rich in history. In fact, you may only need one or two guesses to figure out who the name of the town honors (here's a hint: it's not Aretha). Ben Franklin was so humbled by the recognition that he donated 100 books to Franklin's public library.
Even after you've found a more affordable place to live in Massachusetts, moving there can be expensive. By working with a Clever Partner Agent, you'll have an expert in your corner and you may be able to take advantage of Clever Cash Back.
When you buy a home with a Clever agent, you might be eligible for up to 0.5% cash back to use on anything you want. For the average home value of $398,800, you'd pocket $1,994 to help you move (or splurge on a great housewarming gift for yourself).
Considered a suburb of Boston, Methuen is located an hour north of the city. It is a city surrounded by many golf courses.
Methuen is more ethnically diverse than other cities in Massachusetts. In fact, over 18% of its citizens were born outside the U.S.
The average home price is around $350,000, and the prices are rising.
There are over 7,000 students enrolled in the Methuen School District, and residents describe the area as an excellent place to raise a family.
Locals and tourists visit The Loop, a shopping and recreation area. There are many notable restaurants in The Loop as well.
Although the home prices are well above the national average, Quincy is still more affordable than Boston. Houses in Quincy average around $475,000 and the prices continue to rise.
Quincy is about 45 minutes southeast of Boston, near the Quincy Bay. Over 90,000 people are living in the area, which makes it the 8th largest community in Massachusetts.
Even though Quincy is the most expensive city on this list of “most affordable towns,” residents can easily hop up to Boston to enjoy all the city has to offer. Because of this, Quincy is popular to younger people. There are plenty of bars and other nightlife in the city. It is described as having an urban feel. Most of the city's residents rent their homes.
Westfield is near the Springfield area of Massachusetts, and this suburban-feeling community is home to over 40,000 people.
If you are okay living a couple of hours outside of Boston, you can find a home for about a third of the cost of Bean Town. Probably because of this affordability, almost 70% of the residents of Westfield own their own homes.
Westfield is home to a college by the same name and the town's residents are more educated than average. The average household income is around $62,000.
The benefits of a great real estate agent
If you're just researching affordable places to live, you might wonder why you need a real estate agent. They're the ones that help you once you've already decided on a house, right?
Not necessarily. The truth is, it's never too early to start looking for an agent. In fact, talking to a realtor early on in the process can help you narrow down your options much faster than doing research on your own.
A real estate agent's job is to know everything about their local area. They'll find the best deals in desirable neighborhoods — and might just help you snag your dream home for an affordable price. Let a Clever agent help you discover your options today — all while you enjoy 0.5% cash back!
Frequently asked questions about affordable places to live in Massachusetts
In addition to shopping in some of the most affordable areas, you'll want to work with an experienced real estate agent. They can find you hidden gems at low price points. A good agent can also negotiate like a pro to get you a lower sale price and more buyer incentives. You may also be able to take advantage of home buyer rebates.
We recommend using the 28/36 rule to know how much house you can afford. This means your housing expenses shouldn't exceed 28% of your income, and all of your total debt shouldn't exceed 36%. Learn more about how to calculate your home buying budget.