Finding the most affordable places to live in New York is challenging even if you're a native. State-wide, New York has a median home value of $387,100. When you add in maintenance costs and property taxes, it can be difficult for many to buy and own a home. Because of that, we scoured the data to find the most affordable cities in New York, looking at median home prices, cost of living, and other factors to find your best options.
Looking for the most affordable places in New York is a start, but you'll save even more money by working with a great agent. The top New York 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.
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The capital city of New York is where most of the action happens in the political world of New Yorkers. There’s a lot of lobbying and jobs for lawyers in Albany. On top of that, there’s an active nightlife, historic attractions, and stadium sports and entertainment.
According to data from Zillow, the median home listing is around $175,000 and values are going up in this hot seller’s market. While the median household income is lower, around $42,000, the city has a lot to offer. There are even free events and concerts all throughout the summer downtown.
With SUNY Albany, Sage College, and Saint Rose all located within the city, there’s a lot of new ideas and creative energy around. Several of the public schools are highly rated and have programs connected to the institutes of higher learning, making the city great for raising high achievers.
Since it became a Dutch trading post in the 1650s, Kingston has been a major pathway of upstate New York. If you love getting outdoors and being on the water, you’ll get both from the Rondout Creek and the Hudson River.
For lovers of architecture, check out the many pre-revolutionary war homes that dot the city. History and architecture buffs will love living in this city.
Right now, it’s truly a buyer’s market as homes have a median value below $175,000. If you’re looking to buy and invest in the region, you could see big returns quickly. Even if you’re just looking for a home to settle down in, you could negotiate something that offers you the chance to refinance soon after you close on it.
Finding a home to buy here is easier with a local agent! With Clever, you'll find a great New York realtor who can help with your home search.
Sitting way up near the Canadian border in St. Lawrence County is Ogdensburg with a population of around 11,000. Don’t overlook this sleepy city as it’s one of the cheapest places to rent or buy a home.
While the median income in the city is around $39,000, the median home value is just $54,000. It’s been named as a great city to retire in and has been a thriving small city for as long as the border has existed. Nearly a third of the households here have kids that are in school, meaning there’s an active family life in the city.
From here, you can take the highway as a direct route to Ottawa for a weekend away in Canada. The city has an international airport if you need to get a little further away.
On the opposite end of the state, there’s an affordable town right by the Pennsylvania border. The schools in this city of 14,000 are highly rated and there’s even a community college within the city to keep your kids around a couple of years after high school graduation.
Olean’s median home value is just around $58,000, making it a great place for people who make the median income in the city. If you’re bringing home $40,000 a year, which is the median in the city, you’ll be able to pay off your home quickly and easily. While it might not be the ideal place for a home flipper, it’s a nice place to settle down.
While it was once the home of bootleggers, Olean is now a safe place to live. With a serious academic bend in the city and a community where 30% of households have school-aged kids, it’s a fantastic place for families.
If you need a lot more scenery than some of the other places on this list, you can go all the way to the western tip of the state near Niagara Falls. In Kenmore, you’ll find a city with small town charm and a population of 15,000 giving it enough people to make for a diverse life.
The median income in the city is around $60,000 and the median home value has climbed up to more than $150,000. People are starting to learn about what a great place Kenmore is to settle down in.
The city has lots of great public schools, including the high school where CNN journalist Wolf Blitzer graduated from. If you’re looking for a place to raise your family, this is a fantastic choice. Just 20 minutes from Buffalo, you get access to the city without the crime, with better schools, and with much bigger yards.
How to find affordable homes in New York
Whether you want to live in a bustling New York metro area or a tranquil small town, there's plenty to love in New York. Working with a local real estate agent is the best way to find the most affordable places to live in New York.
Ready to start house hunting? Clever is a free service that can match you with the best realtors in New York. And, when you buy with a Clever partner agent, you could get 0.5% of your purchase price back as a check after closing. On a $300,000 home, that's an extra $1,500 back in your pocket. That's real money!