Watch Episodes on HGTV & discovery+

The Top 10 Cities to Buy Houses Under $20,000

The Top 10 Cities to Buy Houses Under $20,000

If you’re looking for the cheapest of Cheap Old Houses, there are few places you’ll want to keep your eye on. As remote-work becomes more common and many have more flexibility in terms of housing location, why not consider making a move to chase the old house opportunity of your dreams? Here are ten cities where you may be able to find houses for under $20,000:

1) Detroit, Michigan – The median price of an old house in Detroit was $151,000 in 2022 (Redfin)! That means there are a lot of affordable finds to be had. The city of Detroit is very large in terms of land area, and in its hey-day, nearly 2 million people lived within the city limits. After folks began heading for the suburbs beginning in the 1960s, many of those homes were left abandoned. Today, you can often scoop them up for a steal.

2) Youngstown, Ohio – The 11th largest city in Ohio and ranked the 4th best city to live in the state, Youngstown saw a major shift when steel mills and other industry left the area. Now, the city is focusing heavily on renewal – and it’s a great time to score a Cheap Old House.

3) Buffalo, New York – Buffalo has a large stock of older homes, so folks looking to move out of New York City and into a Cheap Old House may have good luck browsing here.

4) Cleveland, Ohio – Cleveland has many homes available for sale at affordable prices, including many that need significant renovation. If you’re ready for a project, there are a lot of Arts & Crafts and Tudor Revival style houses worth saving.

5) Birmingham, Alabama – In addition to being one of the most cosmopolitan and creative place to be in Alabama, Birmingham has a large number of homes available at low prices, including many historic properties.

6) Gary, Indiana – Another town historically dominated by major industrial activity that is gaining new footing. As of 2023, more than 13,000 homes and other buildings sat abandoned in Gary.

7) Macon, Georgia – A city known for it’s history – and affordable, too! A site of Native American earthen mounds, known as the birthplace of Southern Rock, and home of the Tubman Museum for African-American art, history and culture, Macon’s median home price is currently under $150,000. The architecture is diverse and many nationally-renowned homes serve as additional eye candy!

8) Eden, North Carolina – A perfect work-from-home locale, Eden is near the Virginia border and though industry has dwindled over the years, many also commute to nearby Greensboro or Danville, VA (another great place for finding affordable old homes!) for work. The median home price is around $150,000 and the surrounding areas are beautiful – the town motto is “Small Town, Big Outdoors.”

9) Kansas City, Missouri – The cost of living in Kansas City is almost 15% below the national average, and the main reason for that is the *super* affordable housing! The area offers residents a nice urban/suburban mixed environment and there are many fixer-uppers to be had – an ideal combination.

10) Memphis, Tennessee – Ranking in the top 25 cheapest places to live in the U.S. in 2022, with costs about 15% below the average, the city’s status a premier inland shipping hub means Memphis is home to many shipping and transportation jobs. Low property taxes also make Tennessee a location worth considering when shopping fora Cheap Old House.

It’s important to keep in mind that while these cities may have homes available for under $20,000, these homes may also require significant renovations and may be located in areas on the rise – or on their way! It’s important to thoroughly research any potential purchase and consider the cost of renovation and ongoing maintenance before making a decision.

Join the Revolution

Just Following Us on Instagram? You’re Missing Out on 2,000 Houses Each Year.

We offer 4 weekly eNewsletters, focused on all different types of Cheap Old Houses! Subscribe to one, or get a discount bundle (all four for the price of two!)

Join the Revolution

we offer 4 weekly eNewsletters, focused on all different types of Cheap Old Houses! Subscribe to one, or get a discount bundle (all four for the price of two!)


    Receive our FREE weekly notifications of the most beautiful cheap properties to land on the market!
    We cherry pick the most beautiful old houses for sale for under $100K and share them with you.

    Enter your email below to receive our FREE
    weekly notifications !
    Skip to content