The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Texas For 2019


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

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

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Ever thought about going to a rodeo? Swimming in the Gulf of Mexico? Working on an oil rig? If so, Texas might just be the state for you.

Texas, best known as the Lone Star State, is home to the Alamo and many famous historical sites. It is also known for their gorgeous bluebonnet blooms, the Astrodome, and of course, BBQ.

You can’t go to the South without indulging in some good BBQ with a cold beer.

You also can’t go to the South without noticing something quite different about the people… namely southern hospitality. States in the southern U.S., especially Texas, are known for being friendly. Who wouldn’t want to be surrounded by friendly people?

Texas offers a bit of weather to suit everyone… that likes intense heat that is. If you want to live in the desert, Texas has a city for you. If you want to swim through the air because it’s so humid, Texas sure has a city for that as well.

Whatever you choose, your tans will be epic and you can have a summer lasting twice as long as anywhere else.

What else is the South known for? Their affordability. That’s right. In Texas, you can have amazing food, crisp beers, nice people, AND not break your bank.

Sign me up.

If you are looking for a warmer climate, both in weather and personality, look no farther.

It must be a good sign when the cheapest city to live in Texas is named Progreso. Perhaps all the residents here aren’t so broke they have to live off Progresso canned soup.

Although most of the cheapest cities are in Northern Texas, if you are looking for that beach town, there are a few that won’t steal all your money.

Interested in how we figured out the top 10 cheapest cities in Texas? Read on to learn about our methodology and just why each of our top 10 cheapest cities are so affordable.

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

The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Texas For 2019

Progreso, TX

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 5,867
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.2x (3rd most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 77.1x (34th cheapest)
More On Progreso: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Progreso ranks number one on our cheapest cities in Texas list for a reason: you can get an apartment in Progreso for as little as $350/month. Is that possible in many other cities? We didn’t think so.

So why else is Progreso so awesome? The cost of living is low, the weather is amazing, and the beaches on the Gulf of Mexico are a quick drive south.

The median income in Progreso comes in at $43,036 and the median home value is $50,700 for 2019.

Pecos, TX

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 9,552
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 5)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.0x (1st most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 70.8x (65th cheapest)
More On Pecos: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Pecos is a desert town that won’t dry up your bank account. In 2012, it was ranked in Forbes as one of the fastest growing small towns in the U.S., meaning home prices are low, but this town is about to get a massive boom. Because of its affordability, you could even buy a house in this city and know that jobs will keep coming because of the bustling economy.

The temperatures might get a little bit toasty in this town, but why not use that extra cash for a good ice cream or two?

The median income in Pecos comes in at $54,967 and the median home value is $54,200 for 2019.

Breckenridge, TX

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 5,496
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.5x (11th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 72.4x (52nd cheapest)
More On Breckenridge: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Have you ever heard of Gerald M. “Jerry” Tubbs? Yeah, the famous Dallas Cowboys football player? He’s hometown ranked third in affordability in Texas. Breckenridge is a city that will make sure your bank account not only stays in the positive, but also builds. Breckenridge used to be a major oil town– so it knows how to get money.

The median income in Breckenridge comes in at $41,867 and the median home value is $62,700 for 2019.

Diboll, TX

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 5,325
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.7x (32nd most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 83.0x (22nd cheapest)
More On Diboll: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Diboll is a quaint town in Eastern Texas. If you are interested in hot, humid weather and lumber, then this is the town for you. Diboll is cheap because the cost of living in this town is low. Can you imagine paying only $500/month? And these aren’t just glamourized shoeboxes, either. That would be a miracle for anyone living in New York City.

The median income in Diboll comes in at $39,009 and the median home value is $68,000 for 2019.

Lamesa, TX

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 9,322
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.6x (16th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 72.3x (53rd cheapest)
More On Lamesa: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Do you like cattle, cotton products, and a healthy load of savings? Perhaps Lamesa needs to be on your Texan radar. This city is known for its Dal Paso Museum, which houses local artifacts. It is also the home of several musicians and actors, including country singers Brandon Kinney and Don Walser.

So why not choose Lamesa? You can get a large apartment on the cheap and listen to some famous local musicians.

The median income in Lamesa comes in at $41,487 and the median home value is $66,300 for 2019.

Post, TX

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 5,568
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 9)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.4x (4th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 71.1x (61st cheapest)
More On Post: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

You won’t be sending out all of your hard-earned cash if you live in Post, Texas. In Post, you can spend your time looking out upon the Great Plains and drinking a beer versus spending your money in expensive bars and clubs.

This city is great for families who want a small town atmosphere with the ability to save money like no other.

The median income in Post comes in at $50,563 and the median home value is $68,300 for 2019.

Vernon, TX

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 10,765
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.6x (15th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 65.4x (93rd cheapest)
More On Vernon: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Vernon, located in Northern Texas, is a city ready to make your money last. Vernon is a city for anyone interested in the ranch life, as Vernon houses the largest ranch in Texas. Interestingly, Vernon is home to Tyson’s bacon processing plant. So if you like baked potatoes with all of the fixins, this might be the town for you.

The median income in Vernon comes in at $41,554 and the median home value is $65,500 for 2019.

Monahans, TX

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 7,526
Rank Last Year: 20 (Up 12)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.4x (5th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 77.1x (35th cheapest)
More On Monahans: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Monahans is located in the panhandle of Texas. Other than being ridiculously cheap, this city has a lot to offer its residents. It is famous for its state park, Monahans Sandhills. Who needs a wintery mountain resort for skiing if you can take a snowboard to a few sand dunes?

The city is also the center of the Permian Basin. Essentially, that means there is a ton of fossils underneath this town and who doesn’t like fossilized ancient aquatic life?

The median income in Monahans comes in at $64,773 and the median home value is $89,100 for 2019.

La Feria, TX

Source: Wikipedia User |
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 7,314
Rank Last Year: 34 (Up 25)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.5x (8th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 61.9x (125th cheapest)
More On La Feria: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

La Feria is a town near the coast in Texas. It is a town with hot summers, but nice winters, which means you can wear shorts year-round here. La Feria ranks 9th in our cheapest cities in Texas because of its low cost of living.

In La Feria, you can rack up the savings accounts because rent here is so low, you will think you are living for free. For around $500/month you could live in a spacious apartment in this town. We doubt your friends will believe your luck.

The median income in La Feria comes in at $38,625 and the median home value is $56,600 for 2019.

Sweetwater, TX

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 10,740
Rank Last Year: 23 (Up 13)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.5x (7th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 60.0x (150th cheapest)
More On Sweetwater: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Last but not least comes Sweetwater. Located in the heart of Texas, this town is one for anyone who needs an escape from cities that drain your energy and your bank. Sweetwater has been a frequent inspiration for pop culture, including the artist Fastball and J.K. Rowling’s book, Quidditch Through the Ages.

The median income in Sweetwater comes in at $37,679 and the median home value is $54,700 for 2019.

How We Determined The Most Affordable Places To Live In The Lone Star State For 2019

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Texas
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 Texas 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 343 places in Texas that have more than 5,000 people.

The place with the lowest cost of living in Texas according to the data is Progreso.

There You Have It Mr. Or Mrs. Texas Cheapskate

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

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

  1. College Station
  2. Fair Oaks Ranch
  3. Marble Falls

For more Texas reading, check out:

Where Are The Most Affordable Places To Live In Texas?

Rank City CheapScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 Progreso 13.67 5,867 1.2x 77.1x
2 Pecos 24.0 9,552 1.0x 70.8x
3 Breckenridge 26.33 5,496 1.5x 72.4x
4 Diboll 27.17 5,325 1.7x 83.0x
5 Lamesa 30.33 9,322 1.6x 72.3x
6 Post 31.67 5,568 1.4x 71.1x
7 Vernon 42.67 10,765 1.6x 65.4x
8 Monahans 45.0 7,526 1.4x 77.1x
9 La Feria 48.33 7,314 1.5x 61.9x
10 Sweetwater 55.33 10,740 1.5x 60.0x

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