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Bargain Real Estate: Explore U.S. Cities Boasting Single-Family Homes Under $300k

As median home prices soar close to the half-million mark and mortgage rates surge past 7%, both homebuyers and investors are feeling the pinch in today's market. While a few cities in the Midwest and South still offer homes for $100,000 or less, they're exceptions rather than the rule.

 

Despite the housing shortage, Realtor.com highlights several markets where quality homes in good neighborhoods are available for under $300,000. These cities include:

 

Birmingham, Alabama

Buffalo, New York

Cleveland, Ohio

Detroit, Michigan

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Rochester, New York

St. Louis, Missouri

Yet, even with these options, rising rents and tight mortgage approvals mean that moderately priced homes may struggle to break even at current interest rates, even with a 20% down payment. However, buying now could position investors to benefit from an upward price cycle when rates eventually drop. Additionally, purchasing a primary residence in these affordable cities while investing in them for the long term could help keep debt-to-income ratios in check.

 

Let's delve deeper into three of these markets:

 

Birmingham, Alabama: Birmingham saw a 4% annual rise in median house prices to $290,000 in March 2024. With a 27.6% increase in listing inventory year over year, buyers and investors have more options. The city boasts industries like car manufacturing, finance, and healthcare, making it an attractive investment destination.

 

Buffalo, New York: Buffalo has undergone a significant economic transformation in recent years, with population growth for the first time in decades. The metro area's median list price stands at $270,000, with a 4.2% increase in inventory. Healthcare, banking, and manufacturing are major employers in the region, contributing to its stability.

 

Cleveland, Ohio: Cleveland has gained attention for its economic resurgence, highlighted by hosting the women's NCAA Final Four and a solar eclipse viewing event. The metro area offers a median list price of $227,000, up 8.4% annually, and boasts a diverse economy driven by industries like healthcare, manufacturing, and technology.

 

In conclusion, these cities share a common thread of reinvention, leveraging industries like tech and medicine to revitalize their economies. With government incentives and investments driving growth, they offer promising opportunities for real estate investors seeking affordable housing markets with strong fundamentals.


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