Under-$100K homes aren’t unicorns; here’s where to find them

Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor

$100,000 home havens

The nation’s median home price might sit around $200K, but in some cities, buyers can find a home at half that. In fact, according to a new analysis, 10 U.S. cities are downright havens for under-$100K homes, with Pittsburgh leading the pack.

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Seeking a steal

According to data from, Pittsburgh has the most under-$100,000 listings in the entire nation, with over 2,600. And at $179,950, the median home price in the area isn’t that much higher either.

Detroit comes in at No. 2, with nearly 2,500 listings under $100,000. Many of the homes are fixer-uppers, according to experts, but that’s OK. The city’s on the upswing, and many investors are seeing two to three times their investment upon selling.

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Nearby Chicago took the No. 3 spot with 2,397 under-$100K homes. Most of these affordable properties likely lie in the outlying communities on the outskirts of town.

Other cities that boast plenty of under-$100,000 properties include St. Louis; Cleveland; New York; Memphis, Tennessee; Birmingham, Alabama; Philadelphia; and Atlanta.

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Know what you’re getting into

It’s important buyers be aware of what they’re getting with a home priced under $100K. In some areas, the home may be move-in ready, but in others, it could require serious work or compromise on quality.

As Danielle Hale,’s chief economist, puts it, “Bargains definitely exist, but buyers should go in with their eyes open. In some of those areas, $100,000 can buy a pretty decent home that maybe needs a little bit of updating. In others, it might be a home that needs an awful lot of work and might be in not-yet-up-and-coming neighborhoods.”

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Get today’s mortgage rates

Considering buying an under-$100K home in one of these affordable cities? Shop around and see what mortgage rates you qualify for today.

Verify your new rate (May 25th, 2019)