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The 5 Most Affordable Places to Live In Missouri

Missouri combines the warmth of the South with the modesty of the heartland, and it also offers pockets of unparalleled affordability. From the Summit City of the Ozarks to a St. Louis suburb, here are the five most affordable places in Missouri.
Missouri combines the warmth of the South with the modesty of the heartland, and it also offers pockets of unparalleled affordability. From the Summit City of the Ozarks to a St. Louis suburb, here are the five most affordable places in Missouri.

Midwestern in location, but quaintly southern in culture, Missouri combines the charm and warmth of the South with the solid Midwestern decency of the heartland. Of course, around bustling St. Louis or the tourist mecca of Branson, the cost of living tends to be higher. But if you look hard enough, you’ll find that there are pockets of amazing affordability in Missouri.

The places on this list don’t just offer a low cost of living; they also offer a high quality of life. These towns feature biking trails, lakes, parks, and historic architecture. And, yes, they’re also cheap. In fact, one of the cities on this list was the cheapest place in the entire country for several years running. There’s never been a better time to buy a house in Missouri.

Here are our picks for the five most affordable places to live in Missouri.

Webb City

This beautiful town of about 11,000 is right on the Kansas border and is within sight of the Ozark Mountains. Until a few years ago, Webb City boasted not only the lowest cost of living in Missouri but in the entire country. Though it doesn’t quite hold the crown anymore, it’s still incredibly cheap, and considering the amenities and location, it offers great value.

Though it was in a long economic decline for several decades after the local mining industry collapsed, the manufacturing base is slowly but steadily being revitalized. Who knows how much longer Webb City will be so affordable? Also consider that as home values start to rise in a town that’s so historically affordable, you might want to think about doing some investing.

According to Niche data, the median income in Webb City comes in at $48,318 and the median home value is $102,200 for 2019.

New Franklin

New Franklin is a quaint little Missouri town that just might be the most affordable place to live in the entire state. With a little over 1,100 residents, New Franklin features several parks, including nine-acre City Park, and it’s right on the historic Katy Trail, a 237-mile long trail that’s been repurposed for cycling, walking, or hiking.

The median home value in New Franklin is a very affordable $80,900 and the average monthly rent is $412. The median household income in New Franklin is $31,500.

Fayette

This idyllic town of nearly 3,000 residents is only 26 miles from Columbia and is surrounded by gently rolling hills. Because Central Methodist University is located here, it combines the vibe of an old-fashioned small town with a Midwestern college town. Along the picture-perfect main street are art galleries, restaurants and cafes, and boutiques.

There are multiple lakes within an hour’s drive and the presence of the university means there’s a significant art scene here. Despite all these amenities, it’s one of the most affordable places in Missouri, with a median home value of $81,300 and an average monthly rent of $740. The average household income here is $40,006.

Aurora

Known as the Summit City of the Ozarks, this midsized town of 7,800 offers a great quality of life as well as a low cost of living. The town boasts five parks, and supposedly Brad Pitt is a descendant of the founders of the town.

The median home value in Aurora is $78,100, and the average rent is $686. To put that in perspective, the average household income here is $36,563.

St. Ann

This mid-sized suburb of St. Louis was founded in the post-World War II boom and quickly mushroomed to nearly 20,000 residents. Though it’s no longer growing as much as it was in the 60s and 70s when outside development money built shopping centers and retail complexes, St. Ann has stabilized as a community with an emphasis on redevelopment and revitalization.

Today there are a little more than 13,000 residents, but the town boasts one of the best public parks programs in the state, as well as top-notch public schools. The fact that it also offers one of the lowest costs of living in the state makes it a no-brainer for anyone looking to settle down in a place where they’ll get the most bang for their buck.

The median income in St. Ann comes in at $46,680 and the median home value is $87,000 for 2019.

If you decide to move to one of these Missouri towns and take advantage of the amazing value offer, your next step should be to partner with an experienced local real estate agent. A great agent will help you navigate the complex home buying process.

Clever Partner Agents are top performers in their respective markets and come from top brands and brokerages. Whether you’re looking at a cottage in St. Ann or a cabin in Aurora, a full-service Clever Partner Agent can make sure you’re getting the best deal possible.

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Jamie Ayers

Jamie is the Director of Content at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you with top real estate agents and helps you save thousands on commission. In the past, Jamie has managed columns for clients in a variety of leading business publications, including Forbes, Inc., CEO World, Entrepreneur, and more. At Clever, Jamie's primary goal is to provide home sellers, buyers, and investors with the information they need to successfully navigate the ins and outs of the real estate industry.

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