Do you fantasize about living someplace warm? Don’t want to spend a fortune with the cost of living? Not all parts of the US are freezing cold, and there are some places with warmer climates, allowing you to escape the cold.
Warm places to live with low cost of living isn’t a myth. There are some incredible cities that offer warmer weather all year round that are also quite affordable. Knowing about cheap warm places to live can be a game-changer – and we have 20 cities to check out.
We’ve taken the time to research the cheapest warm places to live throughout the US. This means that we’re looking at both the weather (highs and lows) as well as the cost of living.
Here’s some of the methodology we’ve used:
- Cost of living indexes: We’ve used websites like Numbeo and Bestplaces.net to explore the cost of living in cities across the United States.
- Weather patterns: We’ve researched the warmer cities, making it easy to determine the highs, the lows, and if there’s any kind of snowfall during the winter months.
- Lifestyle blogs: We’ve reviewed some of the popular lifestyle blogs to see where people enjoy living. This allows us to find the most affordable warm places to live that people actually want to live in.
- Statistics: Sites like US News, AARP, and others will often rank cities based on climate, affordability, and more. These have been used to help us find warm affordable places to live.
With all this research, you can discover the 20 most affordable warm places to live, allowing you to explore a move if you’re ready to escape the freezing cold once and for all.
20. Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix is a warm place to live, with 85% of the year filled with sunny weather. If you love clear skies and hot weather in the summer, it’s the ideal location. The median cost of a new home is around $170,000, making it an affordable place to live.
In addition to all of this, Phoenix is a larger city that provides residents with all the amenities of a larger metropolitan area. There are tons of entertainment venues along with excellent restaurants. Quite a few neighborhoods are worth looking at, depending on what you want to be close to. For example, Chandler can put you closer to wineries while Goodyear will put you closer to Luke AFB.
19. Yuma, Arizona
Yuma has a hot climate in the summer but the winters are pleasant and mild. It’s one of the sunniest places to be in the entire United States. Around 90% of the year is filled with bright sunshine. The annual low temperature is just under 62 degrees F with highs averaging 88.4 degrees.
The median home price is $136,600, making it an exceptionally affordable place to live. Yuma is a great place for retirees who cannot tolerate the cold weather in wintertime. It’s also a popular destination for snowbirds who spend half the year in other parts of the United States, then fly southwest for the winter. According to Payscale, the cost of living is about 4% lower than the national average, too. This allows you to save a bit of money – ideal for being able to explore regardless of the time of year.
18. El Paso, Texas
El Paso is another warm city in the United States. The cost of living is average in the city and its outlying areas. It’s close to the southern border, so you’ll be able to visit some of the resort cities of Mexico for even more warmth.
El Paso residents enjoy about 300 days of sunshine a year. You can purchase a new home for as low as $214,000, based on Zillow stats. It’s an affordable place to live with plenty of outdoor recreational options, including mountain hiking, biking, and camping. You’ll find scenic drives, museums, and botanical gardens, too.
17. Lake Charles, Louisiana
Lake Charles has a mild climate with about 213 days of sun in an average year. The climate is warm in the summers. US Climate Data shows that the coldest month is January, with lows in the low 40s. Meanwhile, August is the hottest month and it still only gets into the low 90s, allowing you to enjoy warm but not overly hot weather for the majority of the year.
The median home price is a low $132,7000. Whether you’re looking for a warm place to retire or you just want to escape from extreme cold, Lake Charles is an excellent option. If you enjoy a city with southern charm and a touch of Cajun culture, consider moving to Lake Charles.
16. Roswell, New Mexico
Roswell is known for its UFO landings and the infamous Area 51. It’s also a great place to settle if you enjoy lots of sunshine and a warm climate. The annual high temperature is 75.5 degrees F with an average low of 46.3 degrees.
The median price of a new home is $143,278, according to Zillow, which makes it an affordable place to live. If you enjoy seeing some of the most beautiful desert sunsets and sunrises in the world, then you might want to consider moving to Roswell. Of course, you can also look forward to the annual UFO festivals, too.
15. Port Charlotte, Florida
Port Charlotte is an amazing place to live, with low taxes and a median housing price of $296,500. In comparison to many other parts of Florida, this area has a low cost of living. Bestplaces.net explains that the cost of living is on an index of 88.9, with the national average being 100, showing that it’s cheaper, too.
The climate is warm and humid and the environment is relaxed and kicked back. If you want to live on the waterfront this is an excellent place to live to realize your dreams. Boating, fishing, and more can be your hobbies as you discover Port Charlotte as one of the warm places to live with a low cost of living.
14. Grand Prairie, Texas
Grand Prairie has a warm climate and it’s more suited to those who enjoy close proximity to the big city. It’s a popular place for retirees to settle, but it’s also ideal for families with children. There are lots of entertainment venues, fitness centers, and parks. It’s also close to Six Flags, wineries, and both MLB and NFL venues.
While the winters can be chilly and wet according to Weather.com, the summer is hot with high humidity. Grand Prairie does have a winter season that dips below many of the other cities on our list, but the summers make up for the few months of chilly temperatures.
13. Bella Vista, Arkansas
Bella Vista is a small town with a population under 30,000. The weather is lovely and warm. The town is surrounded by hardwood forests with several walking trails. There are many golf courses along with shooting ranges, tennis courts, and swimming pools, and the town is home to seven lakes. Trip Advisor offers an impressive list of activities.
The median home price is $322,853, which is high but the rest of the cost of living is relatively low. Renters pay just $650 a month on average. Bella Vista is one of the most affordable places in the state of Arkansas to live. It’s an excellent choice for retirees or for couples who are raising a family with kids.
12. Clemson, South Carolina
Clemson is a college town that offers an affordable place to live. It’s just two hours from Atlanta, so you can enjoy the relaxation of a smaller town, but you’re not far from a large metropolitan area. The median home price is around $211,500, which is reasonable compared to the national average. Bestplaces.net discusses how rent is about $1200 per month – considerably less than many other college towns around the US.
Clemson is a great place for young people who are pursuing an education at the local institution of higher learning. It’s also a great place to stay and build a family, which is why we consider it to be one of the best and most affordable warm places to live.
11. Savannah, Georgia
Savannah is a lovely southern town that is ideal for pedestrian traffic. The climate is hot and humid in the summer. It’s wet and mildly cold in the winter. The median cost of housing has grown over the years to be about $293,446 according to Zillow, but it’s still more affordable than many other cities in Georgia. It’s an affordable place to live, but it’s also filled with tons of things to do.
There are plenty of amazing restaurants that range from southern-style comfort foods with grab and go speed, to fine dining experiences that offer the taste of the culture and cuisine of Savannah. There are also other amenities including parks and entertainment venues. With the beautiful weather year-round, it’s no wonder why there are so many outdoor concerts and festivals.
10. Santa Fe, New Mexico
AARP continues our warmest and most affordable places in the USA. Santa Fe is a lovely and diverse city with a blending of Spanish, American, and Native American cultures. It’s not far from the southern Rocky Mountain Range. The cost of living is average, but the median household income is higher. This makes it an affordable place to live in. There is plenty of sunshine in Santa Fe with only a few days of rain each month. Summers will typically get into the 80s or 90s. The winters will get a bit of snow, but it’s just enough to cool things down. You’re certainly not going to face blizzards, which is what you may be accustomed to up north.
9. Las Cruces, New Mexico
Las Cruces is an incredibly affordable place to live. The cost of living is below average compared to the rest of the country. Zillow estimates that you can buy a new single-family home for $282,000 on average, which is lower than many other cities in the US.
The weather is mild in the winter but it can get hot in the summertime. Las Cruces is a larger city with a population of 97,618 residents. Plus, you’ll always find things to do, including farmer’s markets, theaters, and annual festivals.
8. Vero Beach, Florida
According to AZ Big Media, Vero Bech is a great place for retirement or for anyone who loves warm climates. It’s also an affordable place to live. The average cost of a home in Vero Beach is just $222,800. There are so many amenities that it’s a little slice of heaven.
It’s a resort-like city featuring a variety of professional theaters, art museums, 41 parks, and much more. On average, the high temperature is 90 degrees with a low of 52 degrees.
7. Huntsville, Alabama
Huntsville, AL is highly ranked on US News & World Report. It’s not only one of the cheapest warm places to live but it’s also considered #2 in Best Places to Live and #50 in Best Places to Retire. It’s a fast-growing metro with plenty of companies to work for, craft breweries to explore, and a major arts hub. Your salary will go further, and it’s 35% less expensive to live in than New York City, based on Numbeo’s statistics.
The weather is warm, with most summer temperatures sitting in the mid to high 90s. Winters are moderate, and you’re likely to only see about an inch of snow for the entire year.
6. Lafayette, Louisiana
Lafayette is a city that is rich in Cajun history and culture. It’s just a few hours out of New Orleans. The temperature averages a high of 92 degrees during the summertime and at its coldest, the average low only reaches 43 degrees. The city is bustling with farmer’s markets, restaurants, and lots of entertainment options.
There are abundant swamps, rivers, and lakes around the area, which provide yet more outdoor fun and activities. Surprisingly, the cost of living is 8 percent below the national average. You can get a new home for an average cost of $216,285, based on Zillow statistics. Of course, this depends heavily on the neighborhood you want to be in. Downtown is cheaper, but the crime is higher. Ideally, you’ll want to be in a neighborhood around Louisiana State University.
5. Tulsa, Oklahoma
Tulsa, Oklahoma, was featured on US News & World Report’s most affordable places to live list for 2023-2024. It was placed at #20, but we’re moving it up the list because it also has some very desirable temperatures. It’s not as far south as some of the cities, so it doesn’t get sweltering hot. Winters can require hoodies but you can forget a snow shovel entirely.
Tulsa offers affordable homes, and many residents will only spend about 21.7& of their income on the cost of living. Since it’s one of the bigger cities in the state, you’ll also find zoos, museums, parks, and plenty of other things to stay busy with.
4. Chattanooga, Tennessee
Forbes actually identified Chattanooga as one of the top 15 cheapest places to live in America with warm weather. While this is a bit north of many of the cities on the list, it’s still a southern city within the state. Snow is unlikely – if it does happen, you’ll get an inch or two in January. You’ll have some beautiful attractions to explore like Ruby Falls, cave kayaking, trolley tours, and more.
The cost of living is 7% lower than the national average, allowing you to save money on homes, utilities, and more. It’s a great place to live and save money, which is why it’s one of the top cheap warm places to live.
3. Dallas, Texas
Dallas is a warm place to live, with an average high of 57 degrees in January. Summers can get sweltering hot with temperatures rising to an average of 96 during the hottest months. If you like warm weather, then you will love Dallas. While there are some places in the city that are expensive to live in, this large metropolis is filled with neighborhoods and suburbs that are affordable to live in. You simply have to explore the best options.
You also have the advantage of all of the amenities of a larger city with world-class museums, restaurants, cocktail bars, and tons of entertainment venues. There are also parks, sculpture gardens, and plenty of places to enjoy outdoor patio seating at select eateries.
2. Gulf Shores, Alabama
In Gulf Shores, you won’t need to worry about getting a chill. The average temperature in the month of January is 57 degrees Fahrenheit with temps around 85 degrees in the month of September. Snow is nonexistent, which should make you feel a lot better, too.
Gulf Shores is on the Gulf Coast of Alabama, and it’s a popular vacation destination filled with lovely white beaches, seafood restaurants, and unique bars and cocktail lounges. There is always something to do in Gulf Shores. As long as you don’t settle directly on the beach, the cost of living is very affordable. Bestplaces.net estimates that the cost of living in the city is about 13% lower than the national average.
1. Golden Isles, Georgia
Golden Isles, Georgia, is part of the Atlantic Coast, found between Savannah and Jacksonville (Florida). The region includes a few barrier islands as well as the city of Brunswick. In Golden Isles, the average temperature in the winter is 68 degrees F. The climate is mild and warm. If you’re a fan of island life, then you will absolutely love Golden Isles. It’s a part of the barrier islands in the state of Georgia.
The town is filled with southern charm, complete with moss-draped oaks. It’s an affordable place to live, according to Numbeo (especially when you compare it to bigger cities like Atlanta), and you’ll never run out of fun things to do. Golden Isles is more of a laid-back community that is ideal for birdwatchers. There are plenty of marshlands and sandy driftwood beaches to explore in the area.
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Written by Liz Flynn
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