People have different criteria when choosing where to live, depending on their lifestyle, personal preference, stage of life, and employment. Regardless of the other factors people consider, everyone has a budget to which they must stick when making their decision. Those who have a limited budget will generally look for locations that have low property or rental prices and a reasonable cost of living. Based on these factors, here are the 20 most affordable places to live in New England.
20. Exeter, NH
Exeter is a picturesque town on the riverfront close to New Hampshire’s coastline. The historic architecture gives the town the quintessential New England feel. It is under an hour to Boston and only 25 minutes to Portsmouth. The town is known for its restaurants, craft breweries, and boutique shops. While the lifestyle on offer is fantastic, Exeter remains one of the most affordable options in New England, and the median home value in this town is around $390,000. Although it is the most expensive location on this list, it remains well below the New England average.
19. Kennebunk, ME
The median home value in Kennebunk, Maine, is just under $390,000, although it is possible to buy a home for as little as $231,000. Kennebunk’s property market is a good mix of the old and the new, with modern structures sitting alongside homes from the late 18th century. Therefore, there is something on the property market to suit all tastes. The low property prices and affordable cost of living are only two reasons to consider this location, as it has a lot more to offer. Kennebunk is full of New England character, there are plenty of amenities and attractions, the schools in the city are excellent, and there are miles of sandy beaches with stunning coastal scenery.
18. Northampton, MA
Apartment Therapy lists Northampton as an affordable place to live for those who want to live in New England without paying Boston prices. The median home value is around $319,000, and the cost of renting a two-bed property is also reasonable at just over $1,500 a month. Northampton also has a lot to offer with regards to lifestyle, as there is a vibrant downtown that is jam-packed with galleries, shops, and restaurants. Residents can also spend time outdoors, as it is easy to walk and cycle around this city.
17. Portland, ME
Portland is the largest city in Maine, and it consistently ranks as one of the best places to live due to the strong housing market, the overall quality of life, and the steady job market. The city combines coastal living, history, and a thriving food scene. The median home value in Portland, Maine, is just over $311,000, although there are plenty of properties under $25,000. Many of the homes in this city are Victorian properties that sit along tree-lined streets.
16. Montpelier, VT
According to List with Clever, one of the most affordable places to live in New England is Montpelier, which is the capital city of Vermont. With less than 8,000 residents, Montpelier is one of the United States’ smallest capitals. It has the typical New England feel and a vibrant downtown area. The city is full of historic architecture, with very few homes built after World War II. Although house prices are rising in this city, as they are in most locations, it remains one of the most affordable places to live in terms of cost of living. While the median listing price is around $302,000, there are plenty of properties within the $150,000 to $250,000 price bracket.
15. Worcester, MA
Worcester is the second-largest city in New England, and it is a popular location for those who work in Boston as Boston is only a commuter-rail ride away. Despite its proximity to Boston, the house prices and cost of rental are significantly lower. The median home price is around $281,000, while renting a two-bedroom apartment costs approximately $1,400. Although the cost of living is low, there are plenty of appealing features of this area, including activities for people of all ages to enjoy, good transport links, and excellent schools.
14. Providence, RI
Providence in Rhode Island is less than an hour from Boston and has a similar vibe. However, the property prices are much lower, with the median home value at just $256,000. There are many stunning 19th-century properties in Providence, and the downtown area has a trendy restaurant and arts scene. As it is a walkable city, residents do not spend much on transport costs. Also, the earnings potential is decent as there are employment opportunities across many sectors.
13. Easthampton, MA
Easthampton is a college town with a population of just over 16,000 people. It is one of the most affordable options in Massachusetts, as the general cost of living is low, the median house price is $242,200, and the median monthly rent is $909. Although the area has a young vibe due to the colleges and universities, it is also a good option for families as the public schools are excellent and there are many activities for families to enjoy.
12. Kingston, RI
If your preference is to live in Rhode Island, then one of the most affordable options is Kingston. Most of the properties in this city sit in the $230,000 to $470,000 price bracket, and the median house price is $238,000. Kingston’s overall cost of living is reasonable, and it is a city that offers a good quality of life. Some other features of this city that may appeal are the low crime rates, steady job market, and highly-rated schools.
11. Naugatuck, CT
Naugatuck is the second-cheapest place to live in Connecticut in terms of property prices, as the average home value is $231,836. However, it is even more affordable for those who are renting, as it has the best income-to-rent price ratio in the state. The median household income is almost $75,000, while the average cost of renting in Naugatuck is only $1,069. Naugatuck is just south of Waterbury, and it has a population of 31,347 people. According to Niche, other positive features of this location include a diverse community, above-average schools, plenty of outdoor activities, and below-average crime rates.
10. Battleboro, VT
Battleboro sits on the banks of the Connecticut River, and the median home value in this city is just $212,000. Renting is also cheap, with the average cost of renting a two-bedroom property at $1,024. The downtown area is full of restaurants, shops, and breweries. As you move outwards from the downtown area, there are streets with Victorian houses and then old farmhouses further out of the city, which then lead to suburban neighborhoods. The city is surrounded by mountains and a rural landscape that give residents the opportunity to spend their free time enjoying outdoor pursuits such as hiking and skiing.
9. Somersworth, NH
The second most affordable place to live in New Hampshire is Somersworth, which is a small city just north of Portsmouth with a population of 11,925. There is a strong housing market in this city, and the median home price is $184,700. It is worth noting that the job market is also strong, and unemployment is low. Therefore, the earnings potential is good, and the median household income in Somersworth is $66,663. In turn, this means there is an excellent home price-to-income ratio.
8. Stratford, NJ
The second cheapest place to live in New Jersey is Stratford, which is a town in Camden County approximately 30 minutes from Philadelphia. The area attracts commuters who cannot afford to live in Philadelphia, as property and rental prices in Stratford are much lower. The average house price is $179,100, while the median household income is high at $79,677. Stratford is home to 6,971 people, and there are lots of benefits of living in this area for the residents. There is community diversity, the schools are above-average, crime rates are low, transport links are excellent, and there are various activities that will appeal to varied tastes.
7. Somerdale, NJ
Not only is Somerdale the seventh most affordable place to live in New England, but it is also the cheapest place to live in New Jersey. Somerdale is a town in Camden County that has a population of only 5,448 people, and it is only half an hour from Philadelphia. Due to its affordability, it is a popular option for those who work in Philadelphia but cannot afford the high cost of living and expensive properties in the city. The median price of a home in Somerdale is $170,500, and the average monthly rental cost is only $802. The area appeals to those who enjoy the outdoors, as it is surrounded by hiking trails and places to enjoy nature.
6. Torrington, CT
While Torrington is only the sixth most affordable place to live in New England, it is the cheapest place overall to live in Connecticut. Almost 35,000 people live in this city, and it is the largest city in Litchfield County. There is something to appeal to all demographics in Torrington, so the community is diverse. The median house price in this city is $153,700, which is significantly below the state average and the average for New England. What makes the properties even more affordable is that the median household income is high at more than $63,000, meaning there is a good house price to income ratio.
5. Rutland, VT
Rutland is one of the largest cities in Vermont, and it has a population of 15,398 people. It is also one of the most affordable places to live in the state, with the average home costing approximately $153,500. However, the low property prices are not all that Rutland has in its favor, as there are outstanding schools, a diverse employment market, and many attractions to enjoy in the city for people of all ages.
4. Adams, MA
Adams is the most affordable place to live in Massachusetts, says Space Wise. While the median home price is $148,200, the average monthly cost of rent is $628. Adams is in the northwest of Massachusetts, and it is home to 5,412 people. In addition to the low cost of living and affordable property prices, this is a safe place to live with many leisure activities and a low unemployment rate.
3. Newport, NH
Newport is the most affordable place to live in New Hampshire and the third most affordable place to live in New England overall. It is a small town just outside concord that has 5,240 residents. The median home price in this town is $138,600 while renting a two-bed property costs on average $882. Also, the overall cost of living is low compared to the average for New England. Those who live in Newport can enjoy the outdoors, as there are places for fishing, hiking, skiing, and boating.
2. Presque Isle, ME
Presque Isle is both the second most affordable place to live in Maine and the second cheapest location in New England. The average property price in this city in Aroostook County is around $15,400. Despite the low property prices and the affordable cost of living, residents of the area have good earnings potential as the job market is strong and unemployment rates are low. Presque Isle has a population of 9,116.
1. Caribou, ME
According to Home Snacks, Caribou is not only the cheapest place to live in Maine, but it is also the most affordable place to live in New England. It is the most northeastern city in the United States, and it has a population of 7,710. The average price of a home in this city is only $90,700, while the cost of renting is generally under $600 a month. Another plus point in Caribou’s favor is that the employment market is strong. On the other hand, there are sometimes downsides to choosing to live in an affordable location. In this case, the high crime rates and below-average schools may deter some people.