See What a Budget of $300,000 or Less Will Get You in 10 Cities Across the Country

Because there's never been a better time to drool over real estate listings.

By
Melody Warnick
On Friday, May 1, 2020 - 11:00
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What do millennials obsess over when they’re trying to decide where to live? According to Livability's national survey, the answer is clear: affordability. For 70 percent of respondents, affordability is one of the top three factors that determine where they'll move next.

It's easy to pull data and make a list of cities with affordable median home prices, but it's way more fun to see what a certain price point will get you in different places, isn't it? We scoured real estate listings in 10 of our favorite cities to find 10 homes heavy on the curb appeal. The best part: They’re all under $300,000. While these specific listings might be sold by the time you click on this article, they'll give you an idea of the offerings of each city, and don't fret: there are plenty more awesome houses in each of these great cities — and one of them might be your dream home.

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1. Meridian, ID

Size: 3 beds/2 baths, 1,766 square feet
Price: $292,990 
Listing agent: Megan Luther, CBH Homes

Right outside Boise, Livability’s #1 best place to live in 2020, the growing city of Meridian offers a family-centered dreamland of summer concerts in the bandshell at Kleiner Park, water slides at Roaring Springs and a surprisingly international selection of restaurants. (Go for the tonkatsu ramen at Ramen Sho or the original beef-stuffed Gaucho empanada at Tango’s.) Upscale shopping at the Village at Meridian mirrors slightly more upscale housing prices, but you can still find a bargain, like this brand-new 3-bedroom with high ceilings, subway tile in the kitchen and a welcoming front porch.

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2. Pueblo, CO

Size: 3 beds/2 baths, 1,766 square feet
Price: $264,500
Listing agent: Desiree Croasdell, Sound Venture Realty

As adorable as this classic 1942 tile-roofed casita is, we’re pretty sure its best feature is that it’s within walking distance from the city park in Pueblo, a diverse and energetic city located about two hours south of Denver. There’s even a zoo with penguins and zebras! And a train that takes you around the park! And no joke, there’s a miniature amusement park with a carousel that only costs 50 cents for a ride! The other star attraction of this city of 111,000 is the 32-acre Riverwalk along the banks of the Arkansas, where a 30-minute boat cruise will give you time to contemplate whether to order the ribeye or the filet mignon at Twenty One Steak with all the money you saved. 

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3. Sioux Falls, SD

Size: 3 beds/2 baths, 2,324 square feet 
Price: $255,000 
Listing agent: Kate Patrick, 605 Real Estate LLC

Sioux Falls ranked #7 on Livability’s 2019 Top 100 Best Places to Live list because it’s friendly, clean and affordable, just like this 1952 mid-century modern home with two fireplaces. A couple blocks away, explore the 205 acres of Sherman Park, with the U.S.S. South Dakota Battleship Memorial, the Delbridge Museum of Natural History and the 1,000 animals of the Great Plains Zoo. Don’t miss Sioux Falls’ namesake at Falls Park or SculptureWalk, a year-round outdoor exhibit of art. 

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4. Memphis, TN

Size: 3 beds/2 baths, 1,971 square feet
Price: $280,000
Listing agent: Amanda Lott, The Lott Team

Find some affordable old-school cool with this dreamy 1923 bungalow with gorgeous hardwood floors and an updated kitchen and bathrooms (hello, claw-foot tub!). Then venture out into Memphis to enjoy the retro vibe of Elvis’s iconic mansion Graceland; blues clubs on Beale Street; and Sun Studios, where legends like Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis recorded. On your way home, hit Payne’s Bar-B-Q, known around town since 1972 for serving one of the best chopped pork sandwiches in the country. 

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5. Prattville, AL

Size: 5 beds/3 baths, 2,458 square feet
Price: $289,000
Listing agent: Janie Wood, Lowder New Homes

Located twenty minutes outside Montgomery, Prattville is growing fast. That means a bumper crop of affordable new homes springing up all over town, including this roomy 5-bedroom with an all-white kitchen, covered patio and handy boot bench just inside the garage entry. Catch a summer concert at the Creekwalk, then grab a pint at Autauga Creek Craft House and a bowl of gumbo at Uncle Mick’s Cajun Market and Cafe in the beautiful brick buildings of Prattville’s historic downtown.

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6. Elizabeth City, NC

Size: 4 beds/2.5 baths, 1,904 square feet
Price: $185,000
Listing agent: Nick Bridgers, Howard Hanna Real Estate Services

Elizabeth City sits on the Pasqoutank River as it widens into the Albemarle Sound, making it a waterfront community just a 45-minute drive to Outer Banks beaches, but without the beach town prices. This historic 1940 four-square has wood floors, an updated kitchen, and built-in glass-fronted cabinets in the dining room. And it’s just a mile from downtown, where you can enjoy a crab cake sandwich at the Island Creek Grill before watching the boats go by at Waterfront Park

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7. Tyler, TX

Size: 3 beds/2 baths, 2,296 square feet
Price: $285,000
Listing agent: Carla Turner, Newberry Real Estate

The yellow rose of Texas? That’s probably somewhere in Tyler, a city of 105,000 known as the Rose Capital of America for its history of rose cultivation. Residents can stop and smell 35,000 rose bushes at Tyler’s 14-acre rose garden. There’s also a spring Azalea Festival and 13 miles of trails to explore at Tyler State Park. More the indoorsy type? You can get into the Museum of Art for only $5 or the Discovery Science Center for $8. Last stop: this 1964 brick ranch that looks like the Fixer Upper team already visited, with vaulted ceilings, painted beams, gorgeous lighting and your own backyard pool. 

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8. Cedar Rapids, IA

Size: 3 beds/2.5 baths, 2,149 square feet
Price: $229,900
Listing agent: Josie Ashmore, Pinnacle Realty

The sweetly old-fashioned exterior of this 1912 colonial hides a totally modern interior, including an on-point updated kitchen with a 5-burner gas stove with pot faucet, and a vaulted master suite with a double walk-in shower. It’s as contradictory as Cedar Rapids itself. On the one hand, the city of 132,000 is headquarters to multinational company Collins Aerospace and has more engineers per capita than anywhere else in the country. On the other, it offers traditional pleasures like watching the minor-league Cedar Rapid Kernals play, visiting the studio where Grant Wood painted American Gothic, and grabbing a grilled Gouda and Bacon sandwich from City Melt in the revamped NewBo City Market downtown.

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9. Santa Fe, NM

Size: 3 beds/2 baths, 1,628 square feet
Price: $299,000
Listing agent: Daniel Huberman, Santa Fe Realty Unlimited

For many people, Santa Fe is a dream location: warm days, cool nights, unbeatable mountain views and a cool Southwest vibe that’s captured in this surprisingly affordable pueblo-style townhome. The custom wood, tile and metalwork and garage-turned-art studio fit right into a city that’s been recognized as the third largest art market in America, with 240 galleries scattered around town. Georgia O’Keeffe lived and worked here off and on for 57 years, so make sure to stop at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, which collects some 3,000 of her works. 

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10. Muncie, IN

Size: 4 beds/2.5 baths, 3,289 square feet
Price: $240,000
Listing agent: Annette Caldwell, Coldwell Banker

Muncie is a classic college town made famous by David Letterman, who went to school at Ball State University here; and Bob Ross, who was filmed making his happy little tree paintings in a studio in town. It’s also a great place for families. Check out Minnetrista, a 40-acre campus that includes public gardens, an art museum, play areas and historic homes to explore, plus plenty of educational programming and classes for kids and adults. When the weather’s nice, there’s also the Tuhey Park pool and splash pad and the 62-mile Cardinal Greenway, an epic cycling path that bisects Muncie. Make it home in this 1931 Tudor-style home, with a sunroom and dreamy built-in bookshelves. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Melody Warnick is a freelance writer and the author of This Is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live<