The Best Places to Live That Are Affordable

The median cost of a house is a factor that goes into determining where the best areas to live affordably are.
The median cost of a house is a factor that goes into determining where the best areas to live affordably are. (Image: Don Farrall/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Each year, a number of different organizations and publications develop lists of the most affordable places to live well. These lists are based on a wide variety of criteria, inclusive of the median house prices, local economy growth, general cost of living, and the entertainment and leisure opportunities available in each area. These lists, of course, change from year to year.

Indianapolis, IN

As reported in 2010, the median price for a home in Indianapolis is $113,000, and the average household income is approximately $68,000. And, as the capital of and the largest city in the state of Indiana, Indianapolis has plenty of opportunity to offer its residents. A diversification of employers helps the city to weather economic downturns; the pharmaceutical, banking, government, insurance, and automobile industries are all important employers in Indianapolis. As of December 2009, Indianapolis' unemployment rate was 8.5%. In 2010, Indianapolis was included on the Forbes, Yahoo! Real Estate, and CNN Money lists of affordable places to live in the United States.

San Antonio, TX

The cost of living in San Antonio is relatively low, yet the employment opportunities are high, winning the Texas city a spot on CNN Money's 2010 list of affordable places to live. In 2010, the median price of a home in San Antonio was reported as being approximately $78,5000, while the median annual family income was just shy of $56,000. Important industries for the San Antonio economy include tourism, financial services, and bio-medicine. In addition, the city is a major military area, with approximately 75,000 service men and women stationed there.

Glendale, AZ

Glendale, Arizona is a suburb of the larger city of Phoenix, and is home to several major sports teams and facilities--the Arizona Cardinals and the Phoenix Coyotes, as well as the spring training facilities for the LA Dodgers and the Chicago White Sox. Low cost of living has made Glendale a popular retirement destination. In 2010, the median cost of a home was $105,000 and the median family income was approximately $68,000. CNN Money included Glendale on its 2010 list of affordable places to live.

Detroit, MI

In 2010, the median cost of a home in Detroit, Michigan was $85,000. The median family income, as reported in the same year, was $55,900. During the 2009-2010 economic recession, Detroit suffered a high unemployment rate of around 14%, due in part to the lack of diversity in the area's economic makeup. However, those in Detroit who have jobs make, on average, a respectable salary and are benefited with a low cost of living. In 2010, Detroit appeared on the CNN Money and Yahoo! Real Estate affordable-living lists.

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