5 Affordable Cities in Texas for Homeownership: Discover the Cheapest Places to Settle Down

Written by: Better Ask Me



Time to read 7 min

Texas is known for its diverse cities and booming real estate market. If you're on the lookout for affordable homeownership options, we have curated a list of five of the cheapest cities to own a home in Texas. These cities offer a balance of affordability, quality of life, and promising growth opportunities. Read on to explore these hidden gems and find the perfect place to call home in the Lone Star State.

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5 cheapest cities to buy a home in Texas.


  • Population: 143,268
  • Median household income: $45,057
  • Median home price: $130,900
  • Closest metropolitan city: San Antonio, Texas, 240 miles north

McAllen is a city located in Hidalgo County in southern Texas, just a short distance from the U.S.-Mexico border. As part of the Rio Grande Valley, McAllen is a city known for its rich culture, vibrant economy, and a warm and welcoming community.

As of 2019, the population was estimated to be around 143,268, making it the largest city in Hidalgo County. The city covers about 48.40 square miles and is characterized by a mix of commercial, residential, and agricultural areas.

McAllen serves as a major hub for retail, international trade, tourism, and healthcare. The city is also known for its educational opportunities, with several institutions for higher learning, including a campus of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and South Texas College.

Culturally, McAllen offers a blend of Texan and Mexican influences, with a vibrant arts scene, diverse dining options, and many festivals and events throughout the year. Attractions include the International Museum of Art & Science, Quinta Mazatlan, a historic Spanish Revival mansion and nature and birding center, and the McAllen Performing Arts Center.

Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate the city's many parks and green spaces, including the McAllen Nature Center and Fireman's Park. Birdwatchers will be particularly drawn to the area, given its unique location on the migratory path between North and South America, making it a haven for diverse bird species.

Despite its growth and development, McAllen retains a sense of close-knit community spirit, with friendly residents and a high quality of life. It truly is a place that embodies the best of southern Texas charm and hospitality.


  • Population: 182,781
  • Median household income: $37,346
  • Median home price: $90,300
  • Closest metropolitan city: Corpus Christi, Texas, approximately 162 miles to the north.

Brownsville is the southernmost city in Texas, located on the western Gulf Coast in South Texas, adjacent to the border with Matamoros, Mexico. Known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and year-round subtropical climate, Brownsville is a uniquely charming city that offers a blend of Mexican and American influences.

As of 2019, the estimated population of Brownsville was around 182,781, making it the 16th most populous city in Texas. Despite its size, the city maintains a small-town feel with a strong sense of community and local pride.

Economically, Brownsville plays a significant role in international trade due to its location along the border, with the Port of Brownsville serving as a major economic hub. The city is also home to a variety of industries, including education, with the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley's main campus located in Brownsville.

The city boasts several attractions for both locals and tourists. The Gladys Porter Zoo is a wildlife preservation park home to various exotic and native animal species. The Historic Brownsville Museum, located in the restored Southern Pacific Railroad Depot, showcases the city's history. For outdoor enthusiasts, the Sabal Palm Sanctuary offers a nature reserve with hiking trails and bird watching opportunities.

Culturally, Brownsville hosts a variety of events throughout the year. One of the most notable is the annual Charro Days Fiesta, a bi-national festival that celebrates the shared heritage of Brownsville and Matamoros.

With its rich history, unique culture, and welcoming community, Brownsville offers a slice of the border life that's truly unique to South Texas.


  • Population: 153,095
  • Median household income: $48,283
  • Median home price: $126,000
  • Closest metropolitan city: Austin, Texas, which is approximately 70 miles to the south.

Killeen is a city in central Texas. It's located in Bell County and is part of the Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood Metropolitan Statistical Area. Known for its strong military presence, Killeen is adjacent to Fort Hood, one of the largest United States military installations in the world.

Here are some key details about Killeen:

  • Population: As of 2019 estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of Killeen was around 153,095.

  • Economy: Killeen's economy is heavily influenced by the military presence at Fort Hood, and many residents are employed by the post. Additionally, education, healthcare, and retail sectors contribute significantly to the local economy.

  • Education: Killeen is served by the Killeen Independent School District, which includes several elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as a career center and an early college high school. Higher education opportunities are available at Central Texas College and Texas A&M University-Central Texas, both located in Killeen.

  • Recreation: Killeen offers several parks, hiking and biking trails, and recreational facilities for residents and visitors alike. The city also houses the Killeen Civic and Conference Center, Vive Les Arts Theatre, and a municipal golf course. Nearby natural attractions like Stillhouse Hollow Lake and Belton Lake offer opportunities for fishing, boating, and camping.

  • Climate: Like much of central Texas, Killeen has a humid subtropical climate, characterized by hot summers and mild to cool winters.

The city embodies a blend of military robustness with the charm of a small but rapidly growing Texas community.

Wichita Falls

  • Population: 104,576
  • Median household income: $45,508
  • Median home price: $95,500
  • Closest metropolitan city: Dallas-Fort Worth Metropolitan Area, located approximately 140 miles to the southeast.

Wichita Falls is a city located in the northern part of Texas. Known for its friendly atmosphere and community spirit, Wichita Falls offers a high quality of life to its residents. Here are some highlights about Wichita Falls:

  • Location: Wichita Falls is located in the northeastern part of Texas, about halfway between Dallas, TX, and Oklahoma City, OK.

  • Population: As of 2019, the city had an estimated population of approximately 104,576, making it the 38th most populous city in Texas.

  • Economy: The economy of Wichita Falls is diverse, including manufacturing, retail, health care, and education sectors. The city is home to the Newby-McMahon Building, commonly referred to as the "world's littlest skyscraper".

  • Education: Wichita Falls is home to Midwestern State University, the only institution in Texas that is a member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges.

  • Attractions: The city offers several recreational and cultural attractions, including the River Bend Nature Center, The Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum, and the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra. The city is also known for the Hotter'N Hell Hundred, the largest single-day 100-mile bicycle ride in the U.S.

  • Parks and Recreation: The city features many parks, including Lucy Park which is home to the man-made Wichita Falls waterfall, for which the city was named.

  • Military Presence: Wichita Falls is known for its military presence as it is home to Sheppard Air Force Base, the largest training base for the U.S. Air Force.

The city has a rich history, a vibrant community, and offers a variety of experiences for both residents and visitors alike.


  • Population: 199,371
  • Median household income: $52,725
  • Median home price: $136,300
  • Closest metropolitan city: Lubbock, Texas, which is roughly 120 miles to the south.

Amarillo, located in the Texas Panhandle, is known as the "Yellow Rose of Texas" as its name is the Spanish word for yellow. It is the 14th most populous city in Texas and the largest in the Texas Panhandle.

Here are some key features and attractions:

  • Palo Duro Canyon State Park: Second in size only to the Grand Canyon, Palo Duro Canyon is one of the top natural attractions in Texas. Visitors can hike, bike, or horseback ride along the trails, camp under the stars, or even catch a performance of the outdoor musical drama, "TEXAS," which is performed during the summer.

  • Route 66 Historic District: Amarillo was a major stop along the famous Route 66. Today, visitors can stroll through the historic district, which is filled with shops, restaurants, and galleries.

  • Cadillac Ranch: One of the most iconic sights in Amarillo, Cadillac Ranch features a row of brightly painted Cadillac cars buried nose-first in the ground. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own spray paint and add their mark to the vehicles.

  • American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum: Amarillo is also known as the home of the American Quarter Horse Association, and the museum is a must-visit for horse lovers.

  • Amarillo Zoo: A family-friendly attraction, the Amarillo Zoo is home to over 150 different species of animals from around the world.

Amarillo has a rich cultural scene, with numerous music festivals, a symphony orchestra, ballet, and opera companies. Its dining scene is also noteworthy, especially its steakhouses, as Amarillo is in the heart of cattle country. The city's famous Big Texan Steak Ranch offers a free 72-ounce steak - provided you can eat it all, along with the sides, in an hour.

Amarillo's strong economy is based on healthcare, education, manufacturing, and the oil industry. The city is also recognized for its friendliness and warm hospitality, giving it a welcoming small-town vibe despite its size.

Texas is not only known for its vast landscapes and vibrant culture but also for its affordability in the housing market. These five cities, McAllen, Brownsville, Killeen, Wichita Falls, and Amarillo, offer a range of affordable homeownership opportunities, low costs of living, and promising community experiences. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or looking to relocate, these cities provide excellent options for those seeking affordable and fulfilling homeownership in the Lone Star State. Explore these affordable gems and find your dream home in Texas today!

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