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Top 20 of the Least Expensive Places to Live in Texas

is it cheap to live in texas?

Ever heard of a Prada Mall in the middle of a desert? Want to know where your favorite drink, Dr. Pepper, originated? Ever seen the good old Honky-Tonk bars? Well, the Lone Star State has got answers for you!

Texas, the second-most populous US state, is famous for cowboys, guns, and barbeque. What’s cooler is that friendship is their official motto! If Texas were a country, it would be larger than any country in Europe. Texas has to offer the famous amusement park of 6 flags, the Padre Island along the Gulf of Mexico, the Big Bend National Park in West Texas, etc.

You should not miss out on the wonderful dining, shopping, and cultural experiences on your visit to the San Antonio River Walk. The historical site of the Alamo takes you back to the 19th century.

Texas is full of surprises. The weather varies widely from arid to humid. The fastest road in the US is located in Austin, the capital of Texas. You may visit a Space Center in Houston. And the list goes on and on!

With all that fun, rich history, and amazingness, living should be expensive – right? The answer may surprise you. As it turns out, on average, the Lone Star State offers affordable places as compared to the entire United States!

So, if you’re already planning to move to Texas then start packing your stuff and have a look at our list of 20 cheapest cities in Texas. We have disclosed median home prices, the average cost of living, the average cost of rent, etc. for various cities.

Top 20 of the Most Affordable Places in Texas

The wait is finally over. Don’t worry about having to surf the internet. We have already done the hard work for you. Below is the list of the top 20 budget-friendly places in Texas.

Amarillo

Living in Amarillo, Texas

Amarillo wins first place on our ranking of cheapest cities. Yet there is no compromise on recreation and facilities. Amarillo is the gateway to the famous Palo Duro Canyon State Park. Schools, athletic facilities, golf courses, a zoo, fire and police departments, etc. are available. General, as well as surgical hospitals, are also accessible.

This cheapest city is located in the Texas panhandle. The summers are clear while winters are short but very cold, cloudy, and windy. There are plenty of education and job opportunities. The housing costs are below the national average.

If you ever move to this place you will be called an Amarilloan.

  • Median Home Price: $147,611
  • Average Rent: $850
  • Estimated Living Wage: $18.14 per hour
  • Cost of living Index: 80.1

Brownsville

Brownsville is a city in South Texas, adjacent to the Mexico border. It has the cheapest rent price and cost of living index on the list. The housing costs are below the national average. 

The city has multiple houses and battle sites reminding of the American Civil War. The city harbors many top-ranked public schools in Texas. Health facilities, fire, and police departments are located in the city. The summers are hot and long, while winters are short and dry. Famous places of Brownsville include Gladys Porter Zoo, Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park, and Resaca De La Palma State Park.

You will be called a Brownsvillian once you are settled there.

  • Median Home Price: $118,205
  • Average Rent: $736 (cheapest)
  • Estimated Living Wage: $17.31 per hour
  • Cost of living Index: 70.3

Wichita Falls

Wichita Falls is the cheapest place in Texas to buy a house. This city is famous for the “world’s littlest skyscraper” that was built there in 1919. You can enjoy hiking and bicycling in Lake Wichita Park. The Lucy Park features a duck pond, a frisbee golf course, and picnic areas.

Both public and private schools are available. There are colleges that offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Citizens can utilize the intercity bus service, the Skylark van service as well as airports.

The residents experience long and humid summers and cool winters. Home prices are way below the national average.

  • Median Home Price: $116,290 (cheapest)
  • Average Rent: $794
  • Estimated Living Wage: $17.47 per hour
  • Cost of living Index: 74.5

Laredo

Laredo is located on the west end of the Rio Grande Plains. International trade with Mexico is the backbone of its economy. The city features cheap houses that folks with low median household incomes can aspire to own. 

The most notable event celebrated throughout the city is Washington’s Birthday Celebrations. There are stadiums, arenas, parks, golf courses, public and private schools located in the city. The well-known Texas A&M International University is in Laredo. 

The temperature is high during summers and mild during the winters.

  • Median Home Price: $162,457
  • Average Rent: $851
  • Estimated Living Wage: $17.86 per hour
  • Cost of living Index: 84.0

Lubbock

Lubbock is in the northwestern part of the state. It is also known as the “Hub City”, for being the educational, healthcare, and economic hub of the South Plains.

The historic places that are worth visiting in Lubbock include Cactus Theater, the Carlock building, and Lubbock Lake Site. The city is home to many parks that feature small lakes.

  • Median Home Price: $159,201
  • Average Rent: $955
  • Estimated Living Wage: $17.92 per hour
  • Cost of living Index: 79.9

Beaumont

Beaumont is located in Southeast Texas on the Neches River. The surroundings of the city receive the most rainfall in the state. The region experiences two distinct seasons, a wet and a dry season.

The Lamar university is the biggest employer in the city. The Port of Beaumont deserves a special mention for playing a role in the region’s economy. Numerous museums, historical places, and parks serve as attraction spots for tourists and locals.    

  • Median Home Price: $124,798
  • Average Rent: $868
  • Estimated Living Wage: $18.10 per hour
  • Cost of living Index: 78.3

Waco

Waco is located halfway between two major cities of Dallas and Austin. It is also known as the “Heart of Texas”.

Waco features the Dr. Pepper Museum, the Washington Avenue Bridge, the McLennan County Courthouse, the ALICO building, the Armstrong Browning Library, etc. Famous recreational attractions include the Lake Waco, Hawaiian Falls, Waco Suspension Bridge, etc. Residents of the city experience mild winters and hot summers.

  • Median Home Price: $154,794
  • Average Rent: $862
  • Estimated Living Wage: $17.80 per hour
  • Cost of living Index: 77.0

Abilene

The city of Abilene is located northeast of Taylor County. The economy of the region is centered around government, education, manufacturing, and healthcare. The education system in the city is appreciated for its quality. A high school has opened in the city that trains students in STEM subjects. Numerous parks and recreational spots are scattered throughout the city.

  • Median Home Price: $148,033
  • Average Rent: $924
  • Estimated Living Wage: $17.68 per hour
  • Cost of living Index: 78.1

Killeen

The city of Killeen is located in Bell County. The average high temperatures reach up to 96oF (36oC) in summers, whereas the average low can drop to 36oF (2oC) in winters.

Fort Hood is the largest employer in the region followed by Killeen School District and Central Texas College. Killeen features Vive Les Arts Theatre, the Killen Mall, and a public bus transit system. For public safety, there is a fire and a police department.

  • Median Home Price: $150,113
  • Average Rent: $923
  • Estimated Living Wage: $17.63 per hour
  • Cost of living Index: 78.5

McAllen

McAllen is situated close to Mexico at the southern tip of the state of Texas. The climate is mostly warm and humid with short winters. Two distinct seasons occur throughout the year: a dry (Nov to Apr) and a wet season (May to Oct).

With the lowest crime rates, McAllen has been ranked among the safest cities in the state. The cost of living in the region is lower than the national average. Dog lovers can run their pets in the Dog Park. There is also a sprayground park, a Palm View Golf course, and a Bicentennial Bike Path. The average rent of $789 is below the national average.

  • Median Home Price: $157,232
  • Average Rent: $789
  • Estimated Living Wage: $17.37 per hour
  • Cost of living Index: 78.6

Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi” literally means “body of Christ”. It is a coastal city in the south of Texas, located 130 miles southeast of San Antonio. Summers are long, hot, and humid, whereas, winters are short and mild. Most of the citizens are employed in government sectors and wholesale and retail trades. The coastal city has some unique destinations to offer such as the USS Lexington and the Texas State Aquarium.

  • Median Home Price: $179,046
  • Average Rent: $1,028
  • Estimated Living Wage: $19.20
  • Cost of living Index: 83.1

El Paso

Living in El Paso, Texas

El Paso is located in the far western part of Texas. The summers are hot but less humid. The winters are cool and dry. The region also receives snow. The job market is diverse with locals employed in international trade, military, government, health care, tourism, etc.

If you ever move to El Paso, you will have lots of events to enjoy. A few notable of them are Amigo Airsho, KLAQ Great River Raft Race, and Fiesta de las Flores.

  • Median Home Price: $152,537
  • Average Rent: $837
  • Estimated Living Wage: $17.61 per hour
  • Cost of living Index: 81.4

San Antonio

Living in San Antonio, Texas

Located 75 miles to the southwest of Austin, the city of San Antonio is the second-most populous city of Texas. The economy is focused on oil and gas, financial services, tourism, health care, etc.

This affordable city will not let you compromise on fun and enjoyment. The Riverwalk and the historical Alamo attract millions of tourists every year. Numerous events are held every year. The city houses some of the largest US private companies. Thus, it can be a good place for young professionals.

  • Median Home Price: $202,634
  • Average Rent: $992
  • Estimated Living Wage: $19.38 per hour
  • Cost of living Index: 89.7

Pasadena

Pasadena, Texas was named after Pasadena, California because of lush vegetation. The city cherishes the Pasadena Volunteer Fire Department, the largest of its kind in the entire US. Petroleum, aerospace, healthcare, solar panel manufacturing, etc. are the major industries in the area.

Pasadena Independent School District is the largest employer in the city, followed by the SGS Petroleum Service Corp. and the Boeing Company. It also has a police department, historical museums, a community theater, and an annual rodeo.

  • Median Home Price: $175,494
  • Average Rent: $963
  • Estimated Living Wage: $19.64 per hour
  •  Cost of living Index: 91.2

Midland

Midland is located on western Texas’s Southern Plains. The city has remained famous for its skyline. Midland is one of the cities that have a low unemployment rate. The Midland Independent School District is the largest employer in the area.

The city features the McCormick gallery and the Midland Community Theatre. For folks who love reading books, there is the Midland County Library and the Haley Memorial Library and History Center. For high school students, public and private schools are available. Colleges in the city offer degrees in IT, aviation, health sciences, etc.

  • Median Home Price: $260,079
  • Average Rent: $1,262
  • Estimated Living Wage: $19.90 per hour
  • Cost of living Index: 98.6

Houston

Living in Houston, Texas

Houston has the highest population in Texas. It is located in Southeast Texas near the Gulf of Mexico. Houston is famous for its tall skyline, underground tunnels, and skywalks links. The weather is hot and humid in summers, the winters are cold and dry.

The city is famous for its energy industry, aeronautics, and biomedical research. It has a sizeable international community which makes it culturally diverse. Major events held in Houston include Rodeo, Houston Greek Festival, the Art Car Parade, and the Houston Auto Show. The education system is well established boasting multiple public and private schools, four state universities, and a few private colleges.

  • Median Home Price: $204,810
  • Average Rent: $1,041
  • Estimated Living Wage: $17.14 per hour
  • Cost of living Index: 96.5

Arlington

Living in Arlington, Texas

Arlington is located 12 miles east of downtown Fort Worth. The Arlington Independent School District is the largest employer followed by the University of Texas and General Motors. The city houses the Six Flags Over Texas theme park and the Six Flags Hurricane Harbor waterpark.

The Choctaw stadium and the AT&T Stadium are also located in the city. Arlington has several public and private colleges.

  • Median Home Price: $236,401
  • Average Rent: $1,055
  • Estimated Living Wage: $20.44 per hour
  • Cost of living Index: 100.6

Denton

Living in Denton, Texas

The city of Denton lies on the northern edge of Dallas-Fort Worth. Denton offers annual artistic and cultural events to its tourists and locals. Public libraries are open for visitors. Notable institutions include the University of North Texas, the Texas Woman’s University, and the North Central Texas College.

The city’s economy relies on educational services, healthcare, retail sectors, and social services. The University of North Texas is the largest employer in Denton. In our list of cheapest cities, Denton offers the highest median household income.

Two major hospitals form the infrastructure of the city’s healthcare system. The Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) runs a local bus service as well as a regional rail. A sophisticated network of highways encircles the city area. 

  • Median Home Price: $266,964 
  • Average Rent: $1,082
  • Estimated Living Wage: $20.53 per hour
  • Cost of living Index: 97.1

Irving

Living in Irving, Texas

Irving is a city located in Dallas County. The city is home to the Las Colinas planned community. Numerous big companies are located inside the area. A sizeable foreign-born population resides here due to it being one of the most affordable cities. Citigroup, Inc. is the largest employer followed by Verizon Communications and Irving Mall. 

The Irving Arts Center, the Ruth Paine House Museum, and the Irving Archives and Museum serve as great attractions. Several public and private schools, as well as universities, make up the education system.

  • Median Home Price: $254,385 
  • Average Rent: $1,146
  • Estimated Living Wage: $20.43
  • Cost of living Index: 100.6

Mesquite

Mesquite lies east of Dallas, Texas. The United Parcel Service is the largest employer in the city. Mesquite has several parks, a trail system, a golf club, an art center, etc. Schools and universities fulfill the educational needs of students.

  • Median Home Price: $204,027
  • Average Rent: $1,104
  • Estimated Living Wage: $20.43
  • Cost of living Index: 98.5

Ranking the Top 20 Places: Step By Step Procedure

To come up with this list, we gathered data for almost all places in Texas. The data includes a variety of parameters such as average rent, population, cost of living index, transportation index, groceries index, taxes, average home price, etc. 

We chose the top 50 most populated places to isolate cities from rural areas. This is necessary because cities have high-paying jobs and thus daily commutation from rural areas would elevate the cost of living there. 

In the next step, we ranked every city against every parameter. For example, a city would rank 10th in-home rent, 3rd in average home price, 12th in transportation charges, etc.

To come up with the final list, we took the average of parameters-based rankings for every city.

The Most Economical Places to Live in Texas

RankCityPopulationMedian Home PriceMedian Rent PriceCost of Living IndexLiving Wage per Hour
1Amarillo190,695$147,611$85080.1$18.14
2Brownsville175,023$118,205$73670.3$17.31
3Wichita Falls104,553$116,290$79474.5$17.47
4Laredo236,091$162,457$85184.0$17.86
5Lubbock229,573$159,201$95579.9$17.92
6Beaumont118,296$124,798$86878.3$18.10
7Waco124,805$154,794$86277.0$17.80
8Abilene117,063$148,033$92478.1$17.68
9Killeen127,921$150,113$92378.5$17.63
10McAllen129,877$157,232$78978.6$17.37

FAQs

Find answers to some of the frequently asked questions below.

Is it cheaper to live in New Mexico or Texas?

The cost of living in both New Mexico and Texas is lower than the US average. Among the two, New Mexico is, on average, slightly cheaper to live in.

Is Arizona or Texas cheaper?

Arizona’s cost of living is higher than the US average. The cost of living in Texas is lower than the US average. In short, it is cheaper to live in Texas as compared to Arizona.

Why is buying a house in Texas cheap?

There are a couple of factors at play here. Texas has a lot of available land for house building. The cost of labor and the state taxes are also low.

What are the disadvantages of living in Florida?

Florida is a costly place for people with low income. There are a lot of tourists and outsiders. Moreover, Florida is often hit by hurricanes. For mountain-loving folks, there is another element of disappointment as Florida is mostly flat.

Conclusion

Texas has got some affordable places to move to. It has a variety of cities where home prices are reasonable. The weather, however, is mostly hot and humid. You may discover exciting places such as parks, museums, canyons, beaches, rivers, libraries, historical places, etc. As a Texan, you can work in big or small private companies, government sectors, wholesale and retail trade, military, tourism, etc. In short, you can expect to find cities that suit your taste with cost of living that is below the national average.

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