Finding a home that meets your needs without breaking the bank can be a serious challenge. State-wide, Pennsylvania has a median home value of $187,500. 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 Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania is a start, but you'll save even more money by working with a great agent.
The top Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania
Whether you're looking for a quiet small town or a trendy suburban neighborhood, it's possible to locate pockets of affordability throughout Pennsylvania.
Here are our top picks for Pennsylvania residents on a budget:
1. West Mifflin
This Pittsburgh suburb of just over 20,000 is arguably the most affordable place to live in the state of Pennsylvania. Considering it’s just minutes from a major city, that translates to major value.
Located right on the picturesque Monongahela River, West Mifflin is also home to Kennywood Park, one of the country’s oldest traditional amusement parks. Kennywood features six roller coasters as well as dozens of other rides and amusements and is a major magnet for regional tourism.
With good schools, low crime, and a growing community of retirees, West Mifflin truly has something for everyone. The median income in West Mifflin comes in at $50,368 and the median home value is $93,800 for 2019, according to data from Niche. The average monthly rent is an affordable $581.
2. Oil City
As you might imagine from the name, Oil City was founded as an oil boomtown. Now Oil City is a modest town with amazing infrastructure, the original Carnegie Library, the J.D. Rockefeller Transit Building, and Victorian mansions that are scattered throughout the town.
The downtown area was recently designated historic and the city appointed the Oil City Arts Commission to cultivate a local arts scene. There are great schools here, and a low crime rate, to go along with the very affordable cost of living, making Oil City one of the best all-around packages in Pennsylvania.
The median income in Oil City comes in at $36,098 and the median home value is $48,800 for 2019.
Even after you've found a more affordable place to live in Pennsylvania, 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 $187,500, you'd pocket $938 to help you move (or splurge on a great housewarming gift for yourself).
This town of just over 9,500 is a handful of miles southeast of Pittsburgh. Beside its proximity to a major city, Brentwood boasts impressive amenities like the Brentwood Arboretum, an exhaustive network of biking trails, Brentwood Park, and the historic Windsor Hotel.
It’s located between the Great Lakes and the Allegheny Mountains, so the climate is temperate with much more precipitation than the rest of the state. If you plant a garden in Brentwood, it will soon grow into a jungle.
Curiously, Brentwood has one of the largest proportions of millennials of any town in Pennsylvania. The median income in Brentwood comes in at $55,192 and the median home value is $97,800 for 2019.
Pottsville is likely the only town on this list that was founded by a literal king; King Charles II granted the land to William Penn way back in the early 18th century. Not surprisingly, the city has fantastic colonial architecture. Pottsville has just under 14,000 residents, all of whom enjoy one of the lowest costs of living in the state.
To give you an idea of how much influence this modest town once had, consider that Pottsville once had an NFL team, the Maroons. Those boom years are past, but the town still has great bones.
These days, Pottsville is primarily a coal town, though the Yuengling brewery is also located here and is a major employer in Pottsville.
Today, the median income in Pottsville comes in at $39,886 and the median home value is $68,800 for 2019.
Back in the 1890s, Vandergrift was a huge steel town. But labor unrest had the owner of the steel mill worried, so he decided to avoid strikes by keeping his workers happy. He hired the acclaimed architect Frederic Law Olmsted to build an entire utopian town where his steelworkers could live.
It’s no surprise, then, that Vandergrift is a gorgeous town with generous green spaces and picture-perfect houses. They’re so gorgeous that Hollywood came here in 2011 to shoot the sci-fi blockbuster I Am Number Four with Vandergrift standing in for the fictional town of Paradise.
The town is small, with a population of just over 5,000, but it offers a very high quality of life, at an amazing price point. The median income in Vandergrift comes in at $38,456 and the median home value is $66,900 for 2019.
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 Pennsylvania
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.