2020 has been quite the year so far, and if you were looking to buy a house this year, you may be reconsidering because things might have changed job-wise or other circumstances, so you might be looking for a state where housing costs aren’t as high.

Well, you might not need to move out of Michigan to save some money when buying a new house.  According to a new study conducted by SmartAsset, Michigan lands in the top 15 states with the cheapest housing costs, when it comes to buying a home.

SmartAsset took information from the Zillow Home Values Report that was released in June 2020. They then broke that info down and used just 5 metrics to figure out which states were the cheapest and which weren’t. According to SmartAsset, those metrics were:

  • Effective property tax rate. Data comes from the Census Bureau’s 2018 1-year American Community Survey.

  • Median listing price. Data comes from Zillow and is for January 2020.

  • Median listing price per square foot. Data comes from Zillow and is for January 2020.

  • Median value of the bottom one-third of the market. This is the median value for all homes in the bottom third of home values in the state. Data comes from Zillow and is for January 2020.

  • Average closing costs. Data is from SmartAsset’s closing costs calculator and is for March 2020.

Zillow’s research showed that the average median home value for 2020 was $248,857.  SmartAsset’s breakdown of those numbers found the lowest average median house value was less than $187,000.  They also found that home value was consistent for the top 9 states on the list. Those top 9 of “the cheapest states to buy a house”, were the same last year too. The difference is Louisiana is now cheaper than South Carolina, and we moved into the top 15 of “cheapest states”

Michigan landed at number 14 of the cheapest states, our neighbors in Indiana landed at #5 and Ohio rounded out the top 10 at #10.

The other states that beat us out, aren’t really cool states to live in, except maybe South Carolina.  The top 15, from SmartAsset, are,

    • West Virginia
    • Arkansas
    • Alabama  (tied for 3rd)
    • Mississippi (tied for 3rd)
    • Indiana
    • Oklahoma
    • Kentucky
    • Missouri
    • Lousiana
    • Ohio
    • Iowa
    • South Carolina
    • Kansas
    • Michigan

Wondering where the most expensive place is to try to buy a house? Massachusetts tops that list, followed by New Jersey, D.C. (not a state but counted), New York, then Washington and California tied.