30 affordable US cities where the average home costs $250,000 or less

It’s no secret that skyrocketing home prices are turning once livable cities into playgrounds for the rich. As the housing market recovers from the devastation of the 2008 economic collapse, median home prices are rising while many American’s wages are stagnating.

However, those who have always dreamed of owning a home need not fret. Outside the rapidly growing megacities in America, there are a number of towns where opportunities are high and housing prices are well below $250,000. Many smaller cities such as Chattanooga, Tennessee are flush with high-tech industries, cultural events, and breathtaking scenery that rivals anything found in one of the country’s overpriced metro areas.

Here are 30 cities, ranging from burgeoning municipalities to established boomtowns, where homeowners can settle down without collapsing into debt.

1. Albany, New York

1. Albany, New York

New York’s capital is a city often overshadowed by the immensity of New York City. However, Albany offers the one thing New York City can’t — affordable home prices. The median home price in Albany hovers around $195,000, and has even gonedown 9.4% from 2006 prices. In addition to the welcoming prices, Albany’s citizens are treated to a diversified job industry dominated by tech sectors, well-paying government jobs, and the healthcare industry.