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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.
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. 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.
If you are looking for a warmer climate, both in weather and personality, look no farther.
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. Everywhere from Austin to El Paso has a place you can afford.
What's the cheapest place to live in Texas? According to our analysis of cost of living, Pecos is the most affordable place to live in Texas. It must be a good sign when the cheapest city to live in Texas is named Pecos. Perhaps all the residents here aren't so broke they have to live off Pecoscanned 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 ten cheapest cities in Texas?
Read on to learn about our methodology and just why each of our top ten 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 2020
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 household income in Pecos comes in at $63,478 and the median home value is $65,200 for 2020. The unemployment rate sits at 6.9%.
Have you ever heard of Gerald M. "Jerry" Tubbs? Yeah, the famous Dallas Cowboys football player? He's hometown ranked second 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 household income in Breckenridge comes in at $42,952 and the median home value is $63,500 for 2020. The unemployment rate sits at 6.4%.
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 household income in Vernon comes in at $45,515 and the median home value is $67,500 for 2020. The unemployment rate sits at 4.3%.
Located in western Texas near the New Mexico border, Muleshoe ranks as the fourth most affordable city in the state. Muleshoe really shines by having some of the lowest home prices in the state, with a median price tag of a measly $68,500. Combine that with a median income of $47,703, and you've got the sixth best home price to income ratio in Texas. So it's probably best to buy instead of rent in Muleshoe if you want to take full advantage of the city's uber-affordability.
In any case, most of the best things to do in Muleshoe won't cost you a dime.
The median household income in Muleshoe comes in at $47,703 and the median home value is $68,500 for 2020. The unemployment rate sits at 2.9%.
Remember the Alamo... if you're looking for one of the most affordable cities in the Lone Star State. Located in the Rio Grande Valley, Alamo is the fifth cheapest city in Texas, with a super low median rent of $545. You won't have to live on microwavable dinners to keep your wallet happy in Alamo. And with all your leftover cash, you can easily take weekend trips over the border to Mexico, where your money will go even further. Sounds like a win-win to me.
The median household income in Alamo comes in at $39,275 and the median home value is $70,600 for 2020. The unemployment rate sits at 8.0%.
Located in central Scurry County, Snyder ranks as the sixth most affordable place in Texas. Snyder has the tenth lowest home price to income ratio in the state, so you should have an easy time getting enough money together to buy a home. And if you graduate from Snyder's Western Texas College, you'll have one of the best job placement rates in the state. The two main industries in Snyder are oil and wind energy, so depending on your background, one of these fields may keep you minted for a long time.
The median household income in Snyder comes in at $56,585 and the median home value is $84,300 for 2020. The unemployment rate sits at 5.2%.
It's not easy being green...unless you can save loads of money like you can in Kermit. Earning enough money to buy a home is easy as pie in Kermit, where the home price to income ratio is the second lowest in Texas. Part of that is low ratio is due to the fact that homes in Kermit are among the cheapest statewide, so it's a great place to move if you're arriving with your savings ready.
How cheap are these homes exactly? Well the median home price is $62,000, while the town's median income is $55,000.
The median household income in Kermit comes in at $55,000 and the median home value is $62,000 for 2020. The unemployment rate sits at 4.5%.
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 household income in Monahans comes in at $68,125 and the median home value is $88,200 for 2020. The unemployment rate sits at 7.4%.
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 household income in Lamesa comes in at $40,913 and the median home value is $65,300 for 2020. The unemployment rate sits at 5.6%.
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 household income in Diboll comes in at $40,883 and the median home value is $81,800 for 2020. The unemployment rate sits at 14.6%.
How We Determined The Most Affordable Places To Live In The Lone Star State For 2020
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:
- How much do money do I make?
- 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 2014-2018 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 348 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 Pecos. You can download the data here.
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 2020.
Here's a look at the most expensive cities in Texas according to the data:
- College Station
- Prairie View
For more Texas reading, check out:
The Most Affordable Places To Live In Texas
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