Cheapest Places To Live In West Virginia For 2020


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

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the cheapest places to live in West Virginia.

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Three new cities moved into the most affordable places to call home in West Virginia according to our HomeSnacks 2020 report.

How did we determine West Virginia's most affordable places? We consulted West Virginia's most recent Census data on cost of living.

The competition was fierce to say the least. Many of the Mountain State's top ten most affordable places boast great home prices, safe neighborhoods, and good jobs. Any one of these West Virginia places would be a great place to enjoy life while saving money. Not only does living in West Virginia's most affordable places free up cash for your overall cost of living, it provides extra money for the fun 'West Virginia' things to do and see. Like, rafting The Gorge in Lansing or scoring tickets to the West Virginia State Fair in Lewisburg.

Now, don't get it twisted; just because these West Virginia places are affordable, doesn't mean they're unsafe. It's actually quite the opposite. When you save money on your cost of living, you have more money to spend on your home, keeping your community safe, and providing funds for necessary programs. So, it's definitely not lost on us that some of West Virginia's most affordable places are also some of its safest places.

Have we peaked your curiosity? If so, take a look below at our list of West Virginia's most affordable places.

It's simple economics, folks. When you choose to live in one of West Virginia's most affordable places, you're choosing to live where your West Virginia dollar will go the furthest. And that, friends, makes perfect sense.

So, what's the most affordable place to live in West Virginia for Clarksburg? Drum roll... the number one most affordable place to live in West Virginia is Clarksburg.

To see how your city compared, take a look at the list below. And if you don't see you're favorite there, head to the bottom.

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

The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In West Virginia For 2020

Clarksburg, WV

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 15,830
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.9x (2nd most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 62.1x (9th cheapest)
More On Clarksburg: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Clarksburg is a city in and the county seat of Harrison County, West Virginia, United States, in the north-central region of the state. The population of the city was 16,578 at the 2010 census. It is the principal city of the Clarksburg, WV Micropolitan Statistical Area, which had a population of 94,221 in 2014. Clarksburg was named National Small City of the Year in 2011 by the National League of Cities.

The median income in Clarksburg comes in at $44,187 and the median home value is $86,000 for 2020.

Weirton, WV

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 18,894
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.9x (1st most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 69.9x (5th cheapest)
More On Weirton: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Weirton is a city in Brooke and Hancock counties in the U.S. state of West Virginia. Located primarily in Hancock County, the city lies in the northern portions of the state's Northern Panhandle region. As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 19,746. It is a principal city within the Weirton-Steubenville Metropolitan Area, which had a population of 124,454 residents, and by extension part of the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area.

The median income in Weirton comes in at $48,775 and the median home value is $94,900 for 2020.

Grafton, WV

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 5,091
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.3x (7th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 61.6x (10th cheapest)
More On Grafton: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Grafton is a city in - and the county seat of - Taylor County, West Virginia, USA. The population was 5,164 at the 2010 census. Both of West Virginia's national cemeteries are located in Grafton. Mother's Day was founded in Grafton on May 10, 1908 and the city is home to the International Mother's Day Shrine. Grafton was one of the first places to observe Memorial Day in the United States. Grafton originally developed as a junction point for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, serving numerous branches vital to the local coal industry.

The median income in Grafton comes in at $33,012 and the median home value is $75,900 for 2020.

Bluefield, WV

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 10,022
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.5x (10th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 58.0x (16th cheapest)
More On Bluefield: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Bluefield is a city in Mercer County, West Virginia, United States. The population was 10,447 at the 2010 census. It is the core city of the Bluefield WV-VA micropolitan area, which has a population of 107,342.

The median income in Bluefield comes in at $34,283 and the median home value is $84,900 for 2020.

New Martinsville, WV

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,190
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.3x (5th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 60.2x (12th cheapest)
More On New Martinsville: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

New Martinsville is a city in Wetzel County, West Virginia, United States, along the Ohio River. The population was 5,366 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Wetzel County.

The median income in New Martinsville comes in at $43,209 and the median home value is $98,300 for 2020.

Vienna, WV

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 10,446
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 10)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.4x (9th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 78.3x (1st cheapest)
More On Vienna: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

The median income in Vienna comes in at $53,776 and the median home value is $129,200 for 2020.

Princeton, WV

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,907
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.3x (4th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 56.7x (19th cheapest)
More On Princeton: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Princeton, often referred to as the "Jewel of the South," is a city in and the county seat of Mercer County, West Virginia, United States. The population was 6,432 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Bluefield, WV-VA micropolitan area which has a population of 107,342. The town hosts the Princeton Rays baseball club of the Appalachian League.

The median income in Princeton comes in at $39,826 and the median home value is $90,600 for 2020.

Oak Hill, WV

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 8,458
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.5x (12th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 60.1x (13th cheapest)
More On Oak Hill: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Oak Hill is a city in Fayette County, West Virginia, United States and is the primary city within the Oak Hill, WV Micropolitan Statistical Area. The micropolitan area is also included in the Beckley-Oak Hill, WV Combined Statistical Area. The population was 7,730 at the 2010 census. Country singer Hank Williams was discovered to be dead while the car in which he was a passenger was stopped in Oak Hill, and Oak Hill is generally accepted to be his place of death.

The median income in Oak Hill comes in at $37,567 and the median home value is $94,700 for 2020.

Review Of Oak Hill by HomeSnacks User

Originally I am from Oak Hill, and this list while true to the data doesn't seem to show the real nasty areas.

Wheeling, WV

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 27,190
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.5x (13th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 65.8x (7th cheapest)
More On Wheeling: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Wheeling is a city in Ohio and Marshall counties in the U.S. state of West Virginia. Located almost entirely in Ohio County, of which it is the county seat, it lies along the Ohio River in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Wheeling was originally a settlement in the British colony of Virginia and later an important city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Wheeling was the first state capital of West Virginia. Due to its location along major transportation routes, including the Ohio River, National Road, and the B&O Railroad, Wheeling became a manufacturing center in the late nineteenth century. After experiencing the closing of factories and substantial population loss following World War II, Wheeling's major industries now include healthcare, education, law and legal services, entertainment and tourism, and energy.

The median income in Wheeling comes in at $42,489 and the median home value is $107,700 for 2020.

Review Of Wheeling by HomeSnacks User

Wheeling is a relatively safe, small town located in a tri-state area of the Ohio Valley within 60 minutes of Pittsburgh, PA with the nearest international airport.

The waterfront of downtown can also be lively in the summer with various music events. The Center Market area is a cute, trendy spot with a local brewery, a wine bar, a hair salon, a coffee shop, a creperie and some antiques shops. Don't miss Ogelbay Park, a wonderful resort with upscale dining, golf, tennis, and more and the Festival of Lights at Christmas.

St. Albans, WV

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 10,442
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.3x (8th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 65.3x (8th cheapest)
More On St. Albans: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

St. Albans is a city in Kanawha County, West Virginia, United States, at the confluence of the Kanawha and Coal Rivers. The population was 11,044 at the 2010 census.

The median income in St. Albans comes in at $49,554 and the median home value is $114,800 for 2020.

How We Determined The Most Affordable Places To Live In The Mountain State For 2020

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In West Virginia
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 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 West Virginia 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 27 places in West Virginia that have more than 5,000 people.

The place with the lowest cost of living in West Virginia according to the data is Clarksburg. You can download the data here.

There You Have It Mr. Or Mrs. West Virginia Cheapskate

If you're looking at the cost of living numbers in West Virginia, this is an accurate list of the most affordable places to live in West Virginia for 2020.

Here's a look at the most expensive cities in West Virginia according to the data:

  1. Morgantown
  2. Martinsburg
  3. Charleston

For more West Virginia reading, check out:

Where Are The Most Affordable Places To Live In West Virginia?

Rank City CheapScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 Clarksburg 5.0 15,830 1.9x 62.1x
2 Weirton 5.0 18,894 1.9x 69.9x
3 Grafton 6.0 5,091 2.3x 61.6x
4 Bluefield 9.67 10,022 2.5x 58.0x
5 New Martinsville 9.67 5,190 2.3x 60.2x
6 Vienna 10.0 10,446 2.4x 78.3x
7 Princeton 10.0 5,907 2.3x 56.7x
8 Oak Hill 11.0 8,458 2.5x 60.1x
9 Wheeling 11.33 27,190 2.5x 65.8x
10 St. Albans 11.33 10,442 2.3x 65.3x

How Is The Area In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.