First of all, I hope you didn’t click on this story thinking you’re going to find a huge bargain. Housing affordability in Florida is a big issue. That saying, there are some slightly more affordable cities in Florida to buy a house. But before we get to that, let’s look at some places outside of Florida, especially South Florida, where you’re likely to find the biggest bargain. The number one city on the list isn’t too far from Florida, and is about half the size of Orlando. But without the theme parks.

The Most Affordable City To Buy A House

Let’s go to the experts. The research group built an algorithm that calculated the relative cost of homeownership based on public and private data. The data includes the home’s sale price, mortgage interest rates, and property taxes. They also take into account transportation, getting to and from work, schools, and errands. Lastly, the part that hits Florida hard. Insurance. Homeowner’s insurance is really hitting Florida residents.  They then created this list of the 800 largest cities, with more than 50,000 residents, in the United States.

So which city tops the list of most affordable? It’s just up the road in Macon, Georgia. The study gave Macon a 100% on their affordability scale. Here’s the numbers.

Category Monthly Cost
Mortgage Payment $871
Insurance Costs $187
Property Taxes $94
Transportation Costs $1,021
Total Cost of Homeownership $1,892

Additional factors that put Macon, Georgia on top includes their college. Mercer University is one of the best value colleges in America. The college even has a down payment assistance program. Up to $20,000 in home buying assistance is available to qualified faculty and staff. There’s other programs available for homebuyers including tax freezes for people who purchase historic properties. The city has a rich history dating back to 1809, and it looks like they are incentivizing people to help maintain the historic homes.

Macon is located about 84 miles south of Atlanta. As for the weather, sure, it’s not as warm as South Florida. The temperature will drop below freezing in the winter. You’re also nowhere near a beach. Florida transplants will need to adjust to that elevation of 381 feet, but you’ll be ok. They call Macon “The Heart Of Georgia.” But now, let’s get to Florida.

The Most Affordable Cities In Florida To Buy A House

  • 139: Miami Beach, FL

    No joke, I had to scroll all the way down to number 139 on the list to find a city in Florida listed. And then the surprise of – Miami Beach? According to their findings, Miami Beach has a 95% affordability with a monthly homeowner cost of $3,634. But this is Miami Beach, right? Well, you can buy a house there, but perhaps it’s a bit shy of the “dream home” you may have planned on. Here’s a cozy 640 square foot, well, it’s essentially a walk in closet with a bathroom, that you can get for $300,000.

  • 152: Ocala, FL

    Ocala has an affordability of just under 95% with a monthly homeowner cost of $3,691. Ocala is in between Orlando and Gainesville and nope, no beaches. But, you can get a pretty decent spot for around $300K. If you stay away from the golf course developments, you can even avoid HOA fees.

  • 156: Daytona Beach, FL

    I always thought of this more as a party spot, but I guess you can live there, too. With a monthly homeowner cost of $3,700 it looks to be an ok place to be. You can even get some yard and be set back from the road for just over $300K.

  • 161: Deltona, FL

    Deltona has a monthly homeowner cost of $3,734. There’s also some great fishing in the area. I found this listing for under $300K and it even has a pool!

  • 176: Jacksonville, FL

    I actually know someone who moved from Southwest Florida to go to Jacksonville to save money. With just over 94% relative affordability and a monthly homeowner cost of $3,811, he was quite happy with his move. J-Ville is a much bigger city, so you’ll need to be extra cautious of the neighborhood you buy in to, but there’s some affordability here. I found this one for less than $300K and $13 a month HOA.

  • Southwest Florida

    So where does Southwest Florida end up on this list? Not good. But we already knew that. Cape Coral comes in at number 452 on the list. There are 451 other cities in America that are cheaper to live. The relative affordability is 90% and the monthly homeowner cost is $5,253. Let’s scroll down to number 460 on the list. Fort Myers. A similar relative affordability with a monthly homeowner cost of $5,298. 

    Let’s go up the coast a bit. Bradenton is at number 560. Their monthly homeowner cost is $6,015. Sarasota is number 606. It’s $6,401 a month to live there. 

    Bonita Springs. Number 686 on the list. A relative affordability of 83% and a monthly homeowner cost of $7,760. You know some of those expensive little towns in California? Bonita Springs is right there with them. 

    Where’s Naples? The population cutoff on this list was 50,000 people, so Naples wasn’t surveyed. But I’m sure it would not have been good.

  • But can I buy a house in Naples for less than $300K?

    Sure you can. If you’re not too picky. This might be a good place to do one of those home restoration shows.

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