Massachusetts is an expensive place to live in most parts, but there are some cities and suburbs that offer a more reasonable cost of living. Places like Boston and Cambridge may cost an arm and a leg, but there are outlying areas that are just as affordable as many of the other cities in the US that offer a lower price for homes, rentals, groceries, and utilities.
Affordability is also determined by the income to rental/home price ratio for the area. Here are the 20 most affordable places to live in Massachusetts for your consideration.
20. Westford, Massachusetts
According to Niche, Westford is a suburb of Boston that is far less expensive than living in the heart of the city. Westford has a population of 24,342 residents. It offers a variety of neighborhood amenities including great places to eat, good shopping venues, and ample job opportunities.
There are also public beaches in the town along with lovely lakes for outdoor recreation, fishing, and more. Westford holds frequent historical events. The public schools are highly rated and Westford is a place that is surprisingly affordable to live in, considering all of its amenities.
19. Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Longmeadow is a suburb of Springfield. The population of this small community is just 15,791 residents. Longmeadow is one of the best suburbs in the Springfield area to purchase a home.
Although there isn't a huge nightlife in this town, it's not far from the larger cities of Springfield or Enfield to find clubs and other types of nighttime entertainment. The schools are highly read, the people are friendly and it has a fairly low rate of crime. Although it's a desirable place to live, the cost of living is low.
18. Pelham, Massachusetts
Pelham is another affordable suburb of Springfield. It's ranked as one of the best places to buy a house in the area with an A rating from Niche. Public schools are excellent, and it's not far from any kind of amenities you could want. Pelham homes are less expensive to purchase than those in the larger cities in the state, yet the suburb is close enough to drive for work in the larger city, opening up a choice of more employment opportunities.
17. Cordaville, Massachusetts
Cordaville is a suburb of Boston that offers more affordable housing and an overall cost of living. It's a small town that is not far from the city, but it offers a more laid-back atmosphere with a population of just 3,039 residents living within its borders. Public schools are ranked as excellent with housing getting an A rating for affordability and availability.
16. Hopkinton, Massachusetts
Hopkinton is a suburb of Boston that is rated as one of the best places to purchase a home in the area. This is a medium-sized neighborhood with a population of 17,598 residents.
The desirability level is high with affordable housing available, job opportunities, and plenty of places for hiking and other outdoor activities. It's a diverse area with a stable socio-economic climate. It's not only a safe place to raise a family, but it's also affordable when compared to the larger cities in the state.
15. Pinehurst, Massachusetts
7 News Boston, lists Pinehurst as one of the more affordable places to live in the state of Massachusetts. The average annual income in Pinehurst is $105,000 per year. Residents pay approximately $19,654 annually for their mortgages.
The affordability index is 28.85, which is relatively decent. Other costs of living factors combine to make Pinehurst one of the cheapest places to live in the state of Massachusetts.
14. Somerset, Massachusetts
Somerset is even more affordable than Pinehurst with an affordability score of 28.96. Although the average family income is less at $76,311 per year, the cost of housing and other living expenses is also lower.
The average price that a family pays in mortgage costs is roughly $13,835. This makes Somerset a good choice for those in need of more affordable housing options.
13. Wilmington, Massachusetts
Wilmington is slightly less expensive when it comes to the average mortgage-to-income ratio of residents. The average family earns $122,813 per year, suggesting that it is somewhat affluent, however, the average annual mortgage payment is $21,363.
If you are on a fixed income, this may not be the best choice, but if you're an active member of the workforce with qualifications to land one of the many available jobs in the area, it's an affordable town to live in.
12. Franklin Town, Massachusetts
Franklin Town is rated as n affordable place to live with an average family income of $115,355 per year. The median annual mortgage payment is $22,752 per year. The income to mortgage ratio gives Franklin Town an overall affordability rating of 29.42 which isn't bad if you're active in the workforce.
11. Adams, Massachusetts
Adams has an overall affordability rating of 30.39. While this city is not considered to be an affluent area, it does offer a low cost of living. Remarkably, the average annual mortgage payment is just $7,665.
This is about a third less than some of the other affordable cities. The annual family income average is $47,593 which is commensurate with the cost of living to give Adams such a high score. If you're on a fixed income, it's one o the better places to live in the state.
10. Spencer, Massachusetts
Extra Space lists Spencer as one of the most affordable places to live in the state. The small town has a population of just 5,790 residents. The median home price is $202,200 if you want to be a homeowner. If you choose to rent, the median rent price is $706 per month, which is one of the most affordable prices in the nation.
The unemployment rate is a mere 4.2% and there are jobs available in the area. It's a quiet place to live with plenty of amenities including shops, restaurants, and cafes. There are also plenty of opportunities for getting outdoors for recreation such as hiking, biking, and more.
9. New Bedford, Massachusetts
New Bedford is a larger city in Massachusetts with a population of 94,988 residents. The median purchase price of a home is $204,100. The monthly rent averages $777. In addition to its affordability, New Bedford is a great place to live with unemployment at 6.4% and a crime rate that is safer than 12% of other cities in the nation.
It's just an hour out of Boston, but far enough away to be less congested. This is a historical city with cultural diversity and lovely architecture. It's brimming with museums, historical sites, and plenty of places to shop, dine and seek entertainment.
8. East Hampton, Massachusetts
at Hampton has a 5 percent unemployment rate with ample job opportunities. It's a smaller town with a population of just 16,042 residents and the crime rate is low compared to other nearby cities.
The median purchase price of a home is $242,200 with rent at $909 per month. Homes in the area are modest and most have large yards. It's a relatively safe place to live with excellent schools and private colleges, good local dining, and plenty of entertainment options.
7. Leominster, Massachusetts
According to Homesnacks, Leominster is a city of 41,606 residents. It's moving up on the affordability list with a decent home price-to-income ratio and an acceptable income-to-rent ratio. It's actually better for homeowners than for renters.
The area is prime for those who enjoy the great outdoors and related recreation. The cost of living is far less in Leominster than for its neighbor Boston. The median home value is $241,800 with an average income of $61,825. Median rent charges are $973 per month. It's also one of the safer cities to live in.
6. Fitchburg, Massachusetts
Fitchburg is a city with a population of 40,702 residents. It's listed as the 6th most affordable place in Massachusetts to purchase a home. The median purchase price of a home in Fitchburg is $196,600.
The average annual income is $57,207. Even though Massachusetts is one of the most expensive states in the USA, some of the cities are downright affordable to live in. Fitchburg is one of them.
5. North Adams, Massachusetts
North Adams is a small town with a population of only 12,959 residents. Although the home price to income ratio is the 4th most affordable, it goes back a step with the higher income to rent ratio.
The city is near the New Hampshire state borderline. The median rent in North Adams is just $757, which is among the most affordable anywhere. The average purchase price of a house in North Adams is $140,900. The median annual income for families in the city is $41,471.
4. Gardener, Massachusetts
Gardener is a charming little town with a population of 20,610 residents. The median rent price is just $838 per month. The average home price is $185,700. Families who live in this city on average bring home an income of $49,679 annually. The city is the home of Dunn State Park which has a lot to offer in the way of affordable outdoor recreation activities.
3. Agawam Town, Massachusetts
Agawam Town is the third cheapest place to live in the state of Massachusetts. The home price to income ratio is the second most affordable with the income to rent ratio the 11th cheapest. It's a medium-sized town with a population of 28,696 residents who call it home.
It's in a beautiful location near the Connecticut River, not far from the larger city of Springfield where there are plenty of amenities. The median family income is $68,944 per year.
If you want to purchase a home in this city, the median purchase price is $230,700. For recreation and fun, this city is home to Six Flags of New England, which brings in its share of tourism to give the local economy a boost and provide more jobs.
2. Chicopee, Massachusetts
Chicopee is a larger city with a population of 55,421 residents. It's one of the cheapest places in Massachusetts to live. The median monthly rent is $923, which is more economical than in many other cities. If you want to purchase a home, the average selling price is among the lowest in the state at a mere $182,100. It's actually cheaper to own a home than to pay rent in this town.
The average annual family income is $53,225. This is a highly desirable place to live with plenty of hiking and other activities available at Chicopee Memorial State Park, and it doesn't cost you a cent.
1. Palmer Town, Massachusetts
Palmer Town is a small city in Massachusetts with a population of only 12,237 residents. It has been rated as the number one cheapest place to live in the state for two years running. There simply isn't a more affordable place to live in Massachusetts.
The median annual household income is $64,651, which is moderate for any place in the USA. The median purchase price of a home is $197,000. The ratio of home price to income is the best in the state.
The median cost of rent is $962 per month. There are plenty of things to do in this small town, especially if you enjoy outdoor recreation. Palmer Town is situated in the south-central part of the state with Springfield on one side and Worcester on the other if you want to go to a larger city for more entertainment options.
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Written by Liz Flynn
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