Buying a home is a part of the American dream. Buying a home is a large commitment and requires a lot of time and effort. Unsurprisingly, buying a home is a lengthy, multi-step process that looks as follows:
- Start your research early for listings
- Determine your budget (what you can get within your budget varies greatly by location)
- Get prequalified and preapproved for credit for a mortgage
- Find a real estate agent that’s right for you
- Shop for your home and make an offer
- Get a home inspection
- Work with a mortgage banker to get your loan
- Have the home appraised
- Coordinate the paperwork (a title company will typically handle this)
- Complete all paperwork and close the sale
There are a lot of things to consider when buying a home. Future homebuyers consider proximity to family members, public school rankings, safety, climate, proximity to large cities, and more. One of the most important factors to consider, however, is the cost.
The median home value in the United States is $247,084. There are 11 states that have median home values that are more than $100,000 below the U.S. median home value. Among the least expensive home values are Mississippi, West Virginia, and Arkansas.
The cost of buying a home varies greatly between states. Determining your location ahead of time will allow you to understand what you can get for your money and how much you will need to save up for a down payment for the size and location of the home you want to get.
Mississippi is the cheapest state to buy a home in with a median home value of $114,500. This is less than half of the U.S. median home value of $247,084. The median home size in Mississippi is 1,479 square feet, which is larger than some of the median home sizes in more expensive states. Mississippi homeowners will pay property taxes at a rate of 0.81% per year, which results in a median tax of $924 based on the median home value.
2. West Virginia
West Virginia is the second-cheapest state to buy a home. West Virginia’s median home value is $115,000, just $500 above Mississippi’s and about 46.5% of the United States median home value. West Virginia’s $115,000 is expected to get a homebuyer about 1,472 square feet. With the eighth-lowest property tax rate in the U.S. of 0.59%, homeowners can expect to pay about $678 in state property taxes per year.
Arkansas’s median home value is about $123,300, the third-lowest in the country. With a slightly higher median home price, homebuyers can expect to get just a little more space of 1,508 square feet. Arkansas’s state property tax rate is 0.63%, the tenth-lowest in the country, resulting in annual state property taxes of just $776 for a house priced at the median home value.
The median home value in Oklahoma is $130,900, over $100,000 less than the U.S. median value of $247,082. The median home size in Oklahoma is 1,508 square feet, the same as Arkansas but at a higher price. Oklahoma homeowners pay a property tax rate of 0.90%, resulting in about $1,177 in taxes per year based on the median home value.
Kentucky is the fifth-cheapest state to buy a home in with a median home value of $135,300. Kentucky has a slightly smaller median home size than the first four states on this list of 1,456 square feet. The effective state property tax rate in Kentucky is 0.86%, which means that a homeowner would pay about $1,166 in state property taxes every year based on the median home value.
The median home value in Indiana is $135,400, just $100 above Kentucky’s. Indiana’s median home value is still over $100,000 less than the U.S. median home value. The median home size in Indiana is the largest so far on the list at 1,568 square feet. Like Kentucky, Indiana’s effective state property tax rate is 0.86%. Based on the median home price, homeowners in Indiana pay about $1,164 in property taxes each year.
Alabama is the seventh-cheapest state to buy a home in. Alabama’s median home price is $137,200, just under $110,000 less than the U.S. median home value of $247,082. The median home size in Alabama is 1,588 square feet, the largest on the list so far. Alabama has the second-lowest state property tax rate of 0.42%. This combined with a low median home value means that homeowners pay only about $572 in state property taxes per year.
Ohio’s median home value is about $140,000 and the median home size is 1,543 square feet. Ohio’s median home value is over $100,000 less than the U.S. median home value. Ohio’s state property taxes are significantly higher than the other states on this list at a rate of 1.58%. This results in homeowners paying about $2,205 in state property taxes each year based on Ohio’s median home price.
The median home value is $142,300 in Iowa, the ninth-lowest in the United States. This price will get you about 1,492 square feet. Iowa’s state property taxes are relatively high at a rate of 1.56%. Based on the median home value, homeowners in Iowa pay about $2,219 in property taxes every year.
Kansas is the tenth-cheapest state to buy a home in with a median home value of $145,400. This home price gets a homeowner about 1,522 square feet. The effective state property tax rate in Kansas is 1.41%, resulting in annual taxes of about $2,045 in taxes per year for homeowners.