These Are The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In North Carolina For 2019


We used data and science to determine which places in North Carolina go easy on your wallet.

Join HomeSnacks
Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our fourth time ranking the cheapest places to live in North Carolina.

Swipe left for slideshow. Article continues below.

When you think of affordable, does it take you back to your childhood?

Do you remember your mom making you wear your sister or brother’s old clothes?

It’s simple economics, people. The less you have to spend on bills and taxes, the more you will have to spend on things that matter: like your home, good food, and just overall good fun.

This economic formula for affordability is no different for the good people of North Carolina.

Most people think that North Carolina’s cities are filled with a bunch of fancy shrimp and grits restaurants, snobby Tar Heel fans, and a plethora of wealthy tobacco plantation owners.

While all this might be true for some North Carolina cities, the NASCAR fans and BOGO lovers of North Carolina would beg to differ, North Carolina’s cities have a lot to offer to all income levels; and surprisingly, it is actually extremely affordable.

If you ask any North Carolinian, they will say hands down that North Carolina is one of the best states in the country. And in order to be one of the best, they have to have some of the nicest, most affordable places to call home, right?

Now, don’t get your hand-me-downs in a bunch. Just because North Carolina is affordable, doesn’t mean it’s all trailer park cheap. It means the cost of living is doable. And that means that you have more money to do the fun stuff that the Tar Heel State has to offer: like renting a summer beach house in the Outer Banks or taking a snowboarding trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains.

So, grab yourself some of great granny’s sweet tea and a basket of hush puppies and read on.

Yes, North Carolina is the best state for those looking for a little good ‘ol fashioned, inexpensive fun.

It seems like North Carolinians are always on the go having fun around every turn. This fun happens because the Tar Heels know the value of a dollar. More importantly, they know the North Carolina cities where your dollar will go the furthest.

What does the most affordable place to live in North Carolina look like?

Well, after crunching the US Census median housing costs, median income, and overall cost of living data, Sawmill is the most affordable place to live in North Carolina.

If you care about home values, cost of living, and high quality of life, take a look at the list below to find the most affordable places in North Carolina, where, yes, you can have it all.

And if you already knew these places were cheap, check out some more reading about North Carolina and the cheapest places in the country:

How We Determined The Most Affordable Places To Live In The Tar Heel State For 2019

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In North Carolina
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:

  1. How much do money do I make?
  2. How much do I have spend to live there?

You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.

For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it’s actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.

With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2013-2017 around incomes and costs. They are:

  • Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
  • Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
  • Median Home Price

We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).

You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in North Carolina to figure out which is the least expensive.

What you are left with is a “Cost of Living Index” by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 132 places in North Carolina that have more than 5,000 people.

The place with the lowest cost of living in North Carolina according to the data is Sawmills.

The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In North Carolina For 2019

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 5,161
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.4x (3rd most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 62.4x (45th cheapest)
More On Sawmills: Homes For Sale | Data

The median income in Sawmills comes in at $41,875 and the median home value is $99,100 for 2019.

Hamlet, NC

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 6,401
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.5x (5th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 60.0x (51st cheapest)
More On Hamlet: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

The median income in Hamlet comes in at $37,485 and the median home value is $92,200 for 2019.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 5,473
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.5x (9th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 71.7x (23rd cheapest)
More On Nashville: Homes For Sale | Data

Nashville is a city in Nash County, North Carolina, United States. The town was founded in 1780 and features a rare collection of Victorian and Queen Anne style homes. It is part of the Rocky Mount, North Carolina Metropolitan Statistical Area. The estimated population of Nashville was 5,460 in 2015. It is the county seat of Nash County. Like Nashville, Tennessee, the town and its county were named for Francis Nash, an officer of the North Carolina militia who died in the American Revolutionary War. The city sits in East Central region of North Carolina, between the Research Triangle and the Coastal Plain. The city is about 35 minutes east of Raleigh.

The median income in Nashville comes in at $49,656 and the median home value is $126,400 for 2019.

Marion, NC

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 7,752
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.6x (14th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 57.7x (60th cheapest)
More On Marion: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Marion is a city in McDowell County, North Carolina, United States. It is the county seat of McDowell County. Founded in 1844, the city was named in honor of Brigadier General Francis Marion, the American Revolutionary War Hero whose talent in guerrilla warfare earned him the name -Swamp Fox-. Marion’s Main Street Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The population was 7,838 at the 2010 Census.

The median income in Marion comes in at $34,308 and the median home value is $89,400 for 2019.

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 6,610
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.6x (11th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 69.8x (27th cheapest)
More On Trinity: Homes For Sale | Data

Trinity is a city in Randolph County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 6,614 at the 2010 census.

The median income in Trinity comes in at $50,718 and the median home value is $129,900 for 2019.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 11,509
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.7x (18th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 75.0x (19th cheapest)
More On Archdale: Homes For Sale | Data

Archdale is a city in Guilford and Randolph counties in the U.S. state of North Carolina. The population was 11,415 at the 2010 census, up from 9,014 at the 2000 census.

The median income in Archdale comes in at $51,154 and the median home value is $135,800 for 2019.

King, NC

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 6,763
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.6x (10th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 80.6x (15th cheapest)
More On King: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

King is a city in Stokes and Forsyth counties, North Carolina, United States. The population was 6,904 at the 2010 census.

The median income in King comes in at $58,268 and the median home value is $148,600 for 2019.

Cherryville, NC

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,854
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.6x (16th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 61.9x (47th cheapest)
More On Cherryville: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Cherryville is a small city in northwestern Gaston County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 5,760 at the 2010 census. The New Year’s Shooters celebrate the area’s German heritage by beginning each year with a customary chant and the honorary shooting of muskets. Cherryville is located approximately 30 miles west of Charlotte and 13 miles northwest of Gastonia.

The median income in Cherryville comes in at $42,083 and the median home value is $110,300 for 2019.

Lewisville, NC

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 13,516
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.4x (2nd most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 93.2x (6th cheapest)
More On Lewisville: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

The median income in Lewisville comes in at $79,071 and the median home value is $186,700 for 2019.

Williamston, NC

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,398
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.6x (13th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 52.3x (81st cheapest)
More On Williamston: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

The median income in Williamston comes in at $32,474 and the median home value is $83,400 for 2019.

There You Have It Mr. Or Mrs. North Carolina Cheapskate

If you’re looking at the cost of living numbers in North Carolina, this is an accurate list of the most affordable places to live in north carolina for 2019.

Here’s a look at the most expensive cities in North Carolina according to the data:

  1. Boone
  2. Elon
  3. Kill Devil Hills

For more North Carolina reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Cheapest Places To Live In North Carolina

Rank City CheapScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 Sawmills 21.0 5,161 2.4x 62.4x
2 Hamlet 21.33 6,401 2.5x 60.0x
3 Nashville 23.67 5,473 2.5x 71.7x
4 Marion 26.67 7,752 2.6x 57.7x
5 Trinity 27.0 6,610 2.6x 69.8x
6 Archdale 29.0 11,509 2.7x 75.0x
7 King 29.67 6,763 2.6x 80.6x
8 Cherryville 29.67 5,854 2.6x 61.9x
9 Lewisville 31.67 13,516 2.4x 93.2x
10 Williamston 32.0 5,398 2.6x 52.3x

Like HomeSnacks on Facebook: