Finding a home that meets your needs without breaking the bank can be a serious challenge. State-wide, Washington has a median home value of $366,800. 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 Washington 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 Washington is a start, but you'll save even more money by working with a great agent.
The top Washington 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 Washington
Whether you're looking for a quiet small town or a trendy suburban neighborhood, it's possible to locate pockets of affordability throughout Washington.
Here are our top picks for Washington residents on a budget:
Spokane is the birthplace of Father’s Day and the home of the Spokane Falls, a roaring waterfall located right in the city. The local market has experienced a lot of growth recently, with the median home value rising 11.4% just in the past year. Currently, the median home value is $212,400, and it’s expected to rise another 7.3% over the next year.
This vibrant northwestern city is full of trendy restaurants and fine dining experiences fit for any palate. When the sun sets, there’s a city full of music, bars, and nightlife to enjoy, and that’s not to mention the breathtaking nature that surrounds the city.
Situated just 60 miles from the beautiful Mount Rainier, this city in central Washington is the seventh most populous in the state and home to many local apple, wine, and hop producers in the surrounding area.
Yakima, named after the Native Americans that lived there prior to colonization, is an affordable city with a median home value of just $228,400. Like Spokane, this city has seen astronomical growth over the past year, with home values appreciating by 10%. The trend is expected to continue throughout the coming year with an expected growth of 6%.
Due to its location in the middle of Washington’s wine country, Yakima is a prime choice for sommeliers. Its proximity to one of the nation’s most beloved state parks, Mount Rainier State Park, also makes it a fantastic option for nature lovers.
Even after you've found a more affordable place to live in Washington, 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 $366,800, you'd pocket $1,834 to help you move (or splurge on a great housewarming gift for yourself).
This port city located in the northwest of Washington is best known for the Museum of Glass, which features works by world-famous glass artist Dale Chihuly. The locality has a clear interest in the arts and culture, as this mid-sized city of approximately 200,000 is also home to the Tacoma Art Museum.
Home values in Tacoma have been on the up and up, with the median home value increasing 10% in just the past year. The current median home value in the city is $312,200, and it’s expected to increase another 5.3% this year.
Like most places in Washington, Tacoma is near to spectacular scenery, including Mount Rainier and Olympic National Park. Those who want to live immersed in natural beauty will not be disappointed.
Located right on the Oregon-Washington border, this mid-sized city is just 15 minutes by car from Portland and a couple hours from Mount Hood. Vancouverites truly have the best of both worlds, as they can enjoy the rich culture of Vancouver and Portland, while taking in the vast natural beauty around them.
The current median home value in the city is $321,200, which represents a 6.4% increase since last year. The market is fairly neutral right now, but housing values are expected to grow another 2.4% this year. Since the market isn’t as competitive as Spokane, Yakima, or Tacoma, buyers may be able to get a better bargain here.
Bellingham is a coastal city situated right below the Canadian border. The city is full of — you guessed it — awe-inspiring nature. Residents are treated to phenomenal views of the snow-capped Mount Baker to the east and the soothing sights of Bellingham Bay to the west. As its name suggests, Bellingham truly offers its residents the chance to live “la belle vie”: the beautiful life.
Housing prices are a bit steeper in this city, but it’s still one of the cheapest cities in the state, and good bargains can be found. The market is hot, with the median home value sitting at $431,100, which is a 9.9% increase in the past year. Home values are expected to rise another 5% this year, so Bellingham is a great place to invest in a home.
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 Washington
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.