When most people think of Pennsylvania, they think of historic Philadelphia Colonial-style homes and the hefty price tag that comes with these houses. But in fact, there are many affordable areas of Pennsylvania where the cost of living is scandalously low and your dollar goes a lot farther than it does in Philadelphia.
Not only are these places affordable, but they also offer some amazing features from one of the nation’s oldest amusement parks to historic Victorian architecture to a utopian town designed by one of the greatest American architects in history. Without further ado, here are our picks for the five most affordable places to live in Pennsylvania.
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.
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.
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.
If you’re interested in taking advantage of the affordability of one of these Pennsylvania towns, your next step should be to team up with an experienced local real estate agent. A great local agent will help you find exactly the property you want, for the price you need, and through their extensive market knowledge and negotiating experience, could even uncover additional savings for you.
Clever Partner Agents are elite performers in their respective markets with have proven track records. Whether you’re looking to buy a family home in Vandergrift or a turn of the century Colonial in Pottsville, a Clever Partner Agent can help you navigate the buying process, and they offer a full-service experience for a low flat fee.