Cheapest places to live in Texas - landscape

The Cheapest Places to Live in Texas with the Best Quality of Life - 2022

Texas has a lot to offer, from the wide-open spaces of the great plains to the bustling metropolises that dot the coast. The Lone Star State is home to some of America’s most diverse cities and communities, while also offering some of its most beautiful natural landscapes. From mortgages to everyday prices, the state’s cost of living is a major factor in determining whether you want to move to Texas. Nevertheless, you can find cities with affordable living costs and great quality of life in the Lone Star state. Before settling there, you might want to know the cheapest places to live in Texas with the best quality of life.

Methodology

We based our ranking on the 3 following criteria: the average housing prices (house and apartment prices) and the average cost of living. Statistics come from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER). 

To support our ranking, we thought it would be relevant to compare the statistics of the cities concerned with the rates of the State of Texas: the average renting price in Texas is $911, while the average housing price is $142,700. We’ve used this data to rank the 10 cheapest cities in America while also considering their quality of life (health, pollution, green space and recreation, climate, education, and employment opportunities). 

The top 10 cheapest places to live in Texas

1. Mercedes

1. Mercedes

The city of Mercedes has a lot to offer its residents. The city is close to destinations suitable for sport fishing as well as game hunting. Mercedes is also known as the premier retail center of the Valley, featuring the Rio Grande Premium Outlets (the region’s largest factory outlet mall) and is a thriving central business district (more than 65 diverse businesses). Also note that sales associate is an in-demand job in Mercedes. There are many different restaurants in Mercedes that offer cuisine from around the world, as well as great Mexican food. 

There are multiple upsides to living in Mercedes, which include a 24% lower cost of living than the Texas average and an average home price of $57,900 which is 59% lower than the rest of Texas. Moreover, the rental average price for an apartment is $559 (39% lower than the Texas average).

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Mercedes

2. Pecos

2. Pecos

Pecos is a beautiful mountain town in southwest Colorado. It was founded in 1881 and currently, it has a population of 2,073 people. The town is surrounded by the Pecos Wilderness Area, which is a protected area for wildlife and natural beauty. Driving jobs are the most in-demand jobs in Pecos. There are many activities you can do in Pecos, such as hiking, fishing, skiing, and golfing. 

Pecos is also one of the cheapest places to live in Texas. The cost of living in Pecos is 13% lower than Texas’ average and the cost of buying a home is $44,700, which is 69% lower. The rental average price for an apartment is $784 (14% lower than the Texas average).

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Pecos

3. Brownsville

3. Brownsville

Brownsville is a small welcoming city in Texas, close to the Mexican border, and has a rich history that includes the Battle of Palmito Ranch during the Civil War. The city has a lot of parks and easy access to bike and walking roads. One of the pros of living in Brownsville is that commuting is very easy, you can get to any place in about 10 minutes only. Also, Brownsville is a place for you if you work in the health care or the telecommunications industries.

The cost of living in Brownsville is 20% lower than the Texas average whereas the home average price is $83,800 (41% lower than the Texas average). The rental price for an apartment is $644; that’s 29% lower than the Texas average.

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Brownsville

4. Pampa

4. Pampa

Pampa, a city of Gray county, is located 55 miles from the northeast of Amarillo. There are many activities that you can do and places to visit nearby. Some activities you can enjoy are hiking and horseback riding. You should consider moving to Pampa if you seek tranquility. Bear in mind that truck driving jobs are in high demand in Pampa.

The cost of living in Pampa is 16% lower than the Texas average and the average price to buy a home is $73,800 (48% lower than the Texas average). If you are looking to rent, then you are in for a treat. The rental average price for an apartment is $719. This makes it an ideal location to move to, and one of the cheapest places to live in Texas.

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Pampa

5. Harlingen

5. Harlingen

Harlingen is a small city in Texas. It is famous for its mild weather, variety of outdoor activities, and close proximity to larger cities like Brownsville and McAllen. The city has a population of around 67,000 people and covers an area of around 17 square miles. Harlingen has a lot to offer for those who want to live here. The city has two shopping malls, two high schools, and three colleges. Fishing and exploring nature trails are also common activities to do in Harlingen. You’ll easily find a job in Harlingen if you’re a registered nurse or a sales associate.

The cost of living in Harlingen is 18% lower than the Texas average. If you are looking to buy a home the average price is $81,900, that’s 43% lower than the Texas average. The rental average price for an apartment is $696 (24% lower than the Texas average).

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Harlingen

6. Vidor

6. Vidor

Vidor is a city in the south of Texas and is named after the Czech immigrant, Ladislao Vidor. The Vidor Public Library offers a variety of services for its residents: including a children’s and teen room, audio-visual selections, books, computer access, summer reading program, as well as various workshops throughout the year. Vidor is a great place to live and the cost of living is quite low. There are many activities you can do in Vidor, such as fishing, biking or swimming. Concerning job opportunities in Vidor, sales associates are in-demand jobs.

The cost of living in Vidor is 8% lower than the Texas average. Buying a home in Vidor is 40% cheaper than the average price of $142,700, and the rental average price for an apartment is $714 (22% lower than the Texas average).

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Vidor

7. McAllen

7. McAllen

McAllen is a large city with many activities for residents to enjoy. It has many parks that are perfect for outdoor activities. One such park is McAllen Park, which features an 18-hole golf course and a water park.  McAllen is a city located on the southernmost tip of Texas. It is one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States. McAllen offers a lot of employment opportunities in the automotive, aerospace, medical, and electronics industries.

The cost of living in McAllen is 13% lower than Texas’ average, making it one of the cheapest places to live in Texas. Buying a home costs about $117,500 (18% lower than the Texas average). If you are looking to rent, the average price for an apartment is $739.

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McAllen

8. Amarillo

8. Amarillo

Amarillo is the largest city in the Texas panhandle, and it’s also home to some of the most popular attractions in Texas. The city offers many outdoor activities for those who are looking to get outside and explore. One of these activities is hiking, which can be found at Palo Duro Canyon State Park. Other outdoor activities include fishing and golfing. The food industry is the main industry operating in Amarillo.

The cost of living in Amarillo is 9% lower than the Texas average. With an average price of $120,500, purchasing a home is 16% cheaper than the rest of cities in Texas. The rental average price for an apartment is $781.

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Amarillo

9. El Paso

9. El Paso

El Paso is the 6th most populous city in the state of Texas. It is a great place to live with a low cost of living, low crime rates, and plenty of activities to do. The city has been named one of the best places for families because of its family-friendly environment. There are many parks and recreational opportunities for children and adults alike. Moreover, one can find all kinds of restaurants in El Paso. Plus, registered nurses are the most in-demand jobs in El Paso.

The cost of living in El Paso is similar to other cities in Texas and is 2% lower than the Texas average. To buy a home, the average price is $119,300 (16% lower than the Texas average). The rental average price for an apartment is $769, which is 16% lower than other places in Texas.

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El Paso

10. Temple

10. Temple

Situated around 100 miles from Dallas, Temple has a population of about 13,000 people. The city is known for its historic buildings and its proximity to the Belton Lake State Park. Temple is home to over two dozen parks which you can visit year-round for various activities such as fishing, picnicking, hiking, and biking. Moreover, you should consider moving to Temple if you work in the health or life sciences industries.

The cost of living in Temple is 4% lower than the Texas average whereas the average price to buy a home is $126,100 (12% lower than the Texas average). The average price to rent an apartment is $821 (10% lower than the Texas average).

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Temple

How much mortgage can I afford in Texas?

Mortgages given to you by a bank depend on the amount of money you earn, debts incurred, and your general living expenses. The higher mortgage you can afford, the more expensive a home you can afford to purchase. 

You might want to find out how much mortgage you can afford in Texas with this mortgage calculator based on your household income, debts, and down payment amount.

Household Income 

before taxes, no debts 

Down Payment

Maximum Mortgage You Can Afford in America

Term length: 30 years fixed

Interest rate: 3.500%

$70,000

$20,000

$256,983

$100,000

$30,000

$396,668

$120,000

$40,000

$493,125

Conclusion

Texas is a great state to live in. There are many cheap places to live and a lot of opportunities for people to make a career in the state. With a cost of living, an average home and rental prices that are below the national average in most cities, it’s one of the most affordable states. Texas also has one of the safest cities to live in.

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