Cheapest Places to Live in Texas: Texas is an amazing place to settle down and spread out your roots. While most of us know about the bigger cities like Dallas and Houston, there are actually a number of charming, moderately priced cities in which singles, families, and retirees can build a beautiful life.
Let’s take a look at what draws people to these vibrant Texas cities and explore some of the benefits of living in each. A low cost of living bundled with lively cultures, thriving businesses, and one-of-a-kind attractions are all great reasons to consider living in one of these places!
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Harlingen, Texas #1
Located in the Rio Grande Valley, Harlingen is the first city on our list. Coming in with a median gross rent average of $791 and an average monthly mortgage of $1,179, this is the least expensive Texas City. Harlingen is home to the Valle Vista Mall and a number of parks, as well as many family-friendly neighborhoods.
The cost of living in Harlingen registers at 8% below the national average, offering affordable housing with plenty to do.
Wichita Falls, Texas #2
Wichita Falls is located about 100 miles northwest of Dallas-Fortworth. The median gross rent average is $869 and the average monthly mortgage payment is $1251. Wichita Falls is home to two universities: Midwestern State and Vernon College, in addition to the 20+ schools in the city’s public school system. Residents in Wichita Falls enjoy excellent job opportunities, outdoor activities along the Red River, and an active community.
McAllen, Texas #3
McAllen is a border city, located just across from the Mexican town of Reynosa, Tamaulipas. In McAllen, the median gross rent is $878 and mortgages cost, on average, $1411. With its proximity to the border, McAllen provides a variety of diverse cultural attractions, including the McAllen Botanical Gardens and the Quinta Mazatlan World Birding Center.
Additionally, the Texas Cirus Fiesta is hosted here each year in the month of April. Residents of McAllen can enjoy a variety of parks and trails, swimming, camping, and fishing, plus the other amenities at Lake Falcon State Park and Lake Case Blanca International Park.
Laredo, Texas #4
Laredo, with its median gross rent of $902 and a monthly mortgage average of $1498, is also situated near the US-Mexican border. Average home prices in Laredo are below $100,000, making this city with its cultural vibrancy and abundance of public parks quite attractive to people looking for a lower cost of living.
Especially since there is no need to compromise on educational opportunities (Laredo is home to Texas A&M and Laredo Community College), outdoor recreation (La Casa Blanca International State Park and El Cenizo Wildlife Refuge are nearby), or art attractions (like the Laredo Center for the Arts).
Beaumont, Texas #5
Next up is Beaumont, with its $906 median gross rent and $1443 average mortgage payment.
Big Thicket National Preserve is one of the biggest draws for this city located in Southeast Texas. Additionally, Beaumont offers a gorgeous waterfront area near the Neches River, which is the perfect spot for residents to go swimming or fishing.
There is a mixture of housing types available in Beaumont, ranging from retro bungalows to newer apartment buildings to charming one-family homes. Beaumont also has an abundance of employment opportunities, including everything from oil drilling to lumbering jobs. Plus, they have prime healthcare nearby! Keep this city on your shortlist if you are looking for affordable Texas cities.
El Paso, Texas #6
Number 6 on our list is El Paso. This western Texas city has a median rent of $910 and mortgage-paying homeowners pay $1373 monthly, on average. The gorgeous landscapes alone are reason enough to consider moving to El Paso, but this gem of a city has even more to offer!
From the hiking trails available in the nearby Franklin Mountains to the Juarez-Lincoln International Bridge, there is no lack of attractions to keep you busy. Plus, El Paso is home to the University of Texas at El Paso, which rounds out what this affordable city has to offer its residents.
Amarillo, Texas #7
George Straight and Willie Nelson both wrote songs crooning about this affordable Texas city situated in the panhandle. With its stunning wide skies and recreation areas to match, Amarillo offers its residents an abundance of hiking, biking, and fishing opportunities.
The median gross rent in Amarillo is $928 and the average mortgage payment comes in at $1380 monthly, making this city a great place for those looking to live affordably.
The Palo Duro Canyon State Park offers a great place to view dramatic sunsets, plus it’s close to downtown, so getting there is no big deal!
Speaking of the downtown, Amarillo has many attractive business offerings, cute shops, and entertainment opportunities, and it’s home to the Big Texan Steak Ranch, where you can get a delicious Texas-sized meal.
Waco, Texas #8
Waco’s lower cost of living- a $939 median rent and monthly mortgages that average $1419-offers its residents a charming college town feel without a high price tag.
Waco hosts the Baylor University Bears as well as Texas State Technical College, but of course, its true claim to fame is Chip and Joanna Gaines.
Residents adore the proximity of the Magnolia Market and its accompanying Silos, but there are many more amenities to seek out if you choose to settle in Waco. From the Texas Sports Hall of Fame to the Cameron Park Zoo and the Dr. Pepper Museum, you will have plenty to do every weekend. And if that’s not enough, the charming architecture and local neighborhoods will make you want to call Waco home.
Abilene, Texas #9
Abilene is number nine on our list of affordable Texas towns. Its median rent is $961, and its average monthly mortgage payment $1402. Whether you are an art lover, an outdoor enthusiast, or a shopping fan, Abilene has something to offer you. This Texas city has 20-plus art galleries, the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature, a botanical garden, access to Abilene State Park, and a local mall.
Residents of Abilene adore the hometown feel that is combined with enticing extras usually found in larger cities.
Killeen, Texas #10
Wrapping up our list of the cheapest places to live in Texas is Killeen. The median rent here is $989 and monthly mortgage costs average $1347. Positive attributes of living in Killeen include the Fort Hood Military Base and access to Belton Lake, which is a great place to fish, boat, or camp. Plus, Killeen offers first-class entertainment at the Vive Les Arts Theatre, abundant shopping, and other cultural attractions, like the Museum of East Texas.
When you combine these amenities with affordable neighborhoods that feel cozy and welcoming, it’s clear why Killeen is a popular place for people to settle down.
Final Thoughts: Cheapest Places to Live in Texas
Texas has a lot to offer its citizens. From picturesque Waco to charming Harlingen to the panhandle’s Amarillo, if you are looking for the cheapest cities in Texas, it is obvious that you have many amazing choices.
Just because you are looking for affordable living, doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice entertainment, outdoor activities, access to shopping, or the arts. With the right research and careful consideration of your needs, you can find an affordable city in Texas where you will be comfortable spreading out and staying!
Source for rent and mortgage statistics: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/US/PST045222