When you're looking for the cheapest places to live in the U.S., you don't necessarily only want the cheapest city. It is no good if the housing is affordable, and the cost of living low, but there are high crime rates and high unemployment. But equally important as well are factors relative to your position in life. What is your sweet spot and what can you afford, given your present income? Your pursuit of the best places to live cheaply should also include the use of some of these tools and tips to find the perfect place for you and your family.
The experts from Forbes came up with the following list after looking first at housing affordability indices, and then also at the cost of living. But they also took into account violent crime rate, with stats coming from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Next, they looked at the unemployment rate, and also investigated the quality of education and schools in the cities.
And the following are the top 5 cities considered the best places to live cheaply:
Number 5: Bay City, Michigan
Bay City, Michigan makes the top 5 of Forbes's list of best places to live cheaply mainly because of the low median price of housing in the city. At $73,000, the average-priced home is within reach of most residents.
Number 4: Kokomo, Indiana
While the unemployment rate of 9.6% is slightly higher than the national average of 8.8%, Kokomo is still an inexpensive place to live with relatively affordable housing. The median home price is $88,000.
Number 3: Cumberland, Maryland
Coming in at Number 3 is Cumberland, a city with a population of just over 20,000, though if you include the metropolitan area, that swells to over 100,000. Median household income is $52,200, and the median home price is low at $81,000.
Number 2: Monroe, Michigan
Another Michigan city, Monroe comes in at Number 2 on Forbes list. With a median household income of $69,000 compared with the median home price of $101,000, Monroe is a place that is very attractive to young families looking to start out life. Jobs that pay well are abundant, mainly because of the manufacturing businesses in the area. Add low unemployment and crime rates, and a low cost of living, you have a city worth a closer look.
Number 1: Sandusky, Ohio
With a violent crime rate sitting at a low 247 per 100,000 residents, half the national average, Sandusky claims the top spot on Forbes's list of best places to live cheaply. Good schools, affordable housing, low unemployment as well as the cost of living are the other reasons that make this city Forbes's number 1 choice. And if these reasons are not enough to tempt you to move there, there's also Cedar Point Amusement Park. See if the kids will let you say "no" to that!
So if living cheaply appeals to you, these 5 cities should be at or near the top of your list of places to move to next. But we always encourage doing some research to find the best place for you, because only you can decide what's the best place for you. Personal choice and circumstance can make your best place quite different from someone else's. But we can help you with these 10 steps for finding the best place for you. Have fun searching for the best place to live.