What do 626,000 Vermont residents know that we don’t? Well, besides how cool it is that Burlington is home to Ben & Jerrys and how much fun can be had on the ski slopes in Stowe, Vermonters know that their state has some of the most affordable places to live in America.
Yes, there really are affordable places in the Vermont, but you’re going to have to know how to navigate the state’s slightly above average cost of living if you want to call it home. And that’s where HomeSnacks comes in, folks. We took a look at the US Census data and cost of living data for Vermont and created a list of the cheapest places to live in The Green Mountain State for 2022.
Our research led us to multiple conclusions. One, there is currently a housing crisis in the sixth smallest state in the country. So, you better have a home locked in before you decide to move. Two, you’re going to need a high paying job. Currently the median income for Vermont is not competitive enough to buy a home; but, owning a home is better than paying rent. And, third, you should probably take a look at our list of affordable places below before you make ANY decisions. There might be some on that list that surprise you.
So, want to know where your income will go the furthest in Vermont? Where you can beat Vermont at their ‘cost of living’ game? Keep reading.
The 10 Most Affordable Places To Live In Vermont
You won’t have to sacrifice safety for affordability if you choose to live in one of Vermont’s most affordable places. Many of Vermont’s most affordable places are some of its safest.
And what’s the most affordable place to live in Vermont? Newport is the cheapest place to live in Vermont and you won’t have to sacrifice anything: this place is the best of the best.
To see how your city compared, take a look at the list below.
And if you already knew these places were cheap, check out some more reading about Vermont and the cheapest places in the country:
The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Vermont For 2022
We’re staying up near the Canadian border but driving east to arrive at our cheapest city in Vermont, Newport. If you’re looking for the absolute cheapest homes for sale in Vermont, Newport is the place for you. Homes in Newport go for $118,800, which is absurdly cheap for Vermont. But cheap homes are only half the story; Newport also has the best home price to income ratio in the state, so you can get the mortgage paid off here before the new-house smell has time to fade. Just look out for aquatic monsters at Lake Memphremagog and everything should be hunky-dory.
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.4x (most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 59.9x (9th cheapest)
More On Newport: Real Estate | Crime Rate
So you’ve decided to settle down in the Green Mountain State and you’re looking for an affordable place to call home. Might we suggest Poultney, the overall cheapest place to live in Vermont. Poultney has the second least expensive homes on the Vermont market, with a median home price of $139,400. What’s more, Poultney residents pay the second smallest percentage of their income on homes statewide. Not to mention that Poultney is one of the best cities for singles in Vermont thanks to awesome amenities like Lake St. Catherine State Park around. If you just want to get a feel for Vermont without committing to a mortgage, the rent to income ratio in Poultney is the sixth best in the state.
Poultney is located a half hour southwest of Rutland.
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 6)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.8x (2nd most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 60.1x (16th cheapest)
More On Poultney: Real Estate
Swanton comes in as the third least expensive place in Vermont for 2022. Like Enosburg Falls, Swanton owes its high position on this list to its rock-bottom rent prices. You can snag an apartment in Swanton for just $823/month, which, combined with a median income of $57,250, gives Swanton the second best rent to income ratio in Vermont. Don’t worry that you’re swapping security for affordability either, because Swanton is one of the safest places in Vermont. And we guarantee that spending a day bird-watching at Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge, monetary concerns will be the last thing on your mind.
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.0x (4th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 69.6x (17th cheapest)
More On Swanton: Real Estate | Crime Rate
One of the biggest cities in Vermont, Rutland also scores quite high in terms of affordability. Rutland got an 8/10 on our overall SnackAbility scale, so you know it’s got a good market for jobs and homes, solid schools, and awesome stuff to do. Those with a background in liberal arts will appreciate the Norman Rockwell Museum, while folks just trying to shred some sweet VT powder will be drawn more by nearby Pico Mountain. However you get your kicks, Rutland’s got you covered with the fifth cheapest homes in Vermont at $151,900. Rutland is safely in the top ten for housing to income ratios statewide, for both renters and buyers.
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.2x (5th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 60.2x (12th cheapest)
More On Rutland: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living
The story in Vergennes is very similar to the one in Jericho — pricier housing, but with commensurate pay. As one of the richest cities in Vermont, with a median income of $63,859, the residents of Vergennes have no trouble paying a bit more. Especially when they get top-quality trails and parks, like Button Bay, right in their backyard. Vergennes is the only city on this list to have a median rent over $1,000/month, but the city is still in the top ten for rent to income ratio. Getting a house in Vergennes will set you back about $219,800.
Vergennes is located between Rutland and Burlington.
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.4x (8th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 66.1x (3rd cheapest)
More On Vergennes: Real Estate | Crime Rate
Located in northern Vermont outside of Montpelier on Route 302 is Barre, the sixth most affordable place to live in Vermont for 2022. This charming town of some 9,000 people stakes its claim to the Granite Center of The World because of vast granite deposits found here. And while “Barre Gray” granite might be some of the most coveted granite in the world for luxury apartments, the city of Barre has kept to its miner roots and still maintains its affordability.
Like much of Vermont, it’s incredibly safe to live here and the weather is nice, as long as you like it cold and snowy. You can expect over 40 inches of precipitation each year and summer highs in the 60s.
Overall, the cost of living in Barre is well below the state average and 15% below the national average. Housing here is especially affordable as the city has the fourth cheapest homes and second cheapest rent anywhere in vermont. The median home price in Barre is $149,200, while you can find a place to rent for just $775.
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 8)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.5x (10th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 55.4x (15th cheapest)
More On Barre: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living
Morrisville briefly had a professional hockey franchise in 2011. The team, part of the Federal Hockey League, folded after just 10 games. But still, having a team at all isn’t bad for a town of 2,017 people. These days, Morrisville is best known as the number 7 cheapest place to live in Vermont.
Situated in an out-of-the-way spot in the northern part of the state, Morrisville is built along the banks of the Lake Lamoille. The quaint community provides a median home value of $175,000. Rents in the area run a median price of $945.
Given the economy of the region, these figures offer excellent value. The median income stands at $53,138. Compared to the home price figure, then, Morrisville offers the number 6.0 best ratio of home price to income in all of Vermont.
Since the departure of the Vermont Wild hockey team, big-city entertainments are scarce in the vicinity of Morrisville. It’s an hour drive to the state’s largest city of Burlington.. If you like outdoor activities, though, Morrisville is the place for you. The Mt Mansfield State Forest just a half hour’s drive away.
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.3x (6th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 56.2x (19th cheapest)
More On Morrisville: Real Estate
We’re taking a long drive north to our eighth cheapest city in Vermont, Enosburg Falls. While Poultney takes the #1 spot due to its cheaper homes, Enosburg Falls takes the gold medal for renters in Vermont. With a median rent of $775/month, Enosburg Falls rental costs are less than half the the average rent in Vermont. Even better, thanks to low unemployment and a solid median income, residents of Enosburg Falls pay the ninth lowest percentage of their salary on rent statewide. If you’re looking for free things to do in Enosburg Falls, we recommend visiting Cold Hollow Sculpture Park. Even if you’re not an art-lover, it’s a top spot for picnickers.
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 5)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.7x (11th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 57.0x (20th cheapest)
More On Enosburg Falls: Real Estate
Bellows Falls is located in southern Vermont 25 miles north of Battleboro right on the Vermont/New Hampshire border. In addition to being a border town, it also borders the Connecticut river. Like most small Vermont towns, there are plenty of local antique shops to walk around on the weekend and parks to bring your kids to during the week. The town is also known for its Roots on the River Festival each year.
When it comes to affordability, Bellows Falls has you covered. The overall cost of living is 10%+ lower than the Vermont average and, like many places on this list, housing is particularly affordable. Rent in Bellows Falls is cheaper than the statewide average, with a median price of $868. If you decide to move your family here, the median home price in Bellows Falls is $148,500. The median income in Bellows Falls is $42,907.
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.5x (9th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 49.4x (13th cheapest)
More On Bellows Falls: Real Estate | Crime Rate
Next on our list of most affordable places to live in Vermont with a stop in the state’s capital city, Montpelier. We’ve already given Montpelier an 8.5/10 on our overall SnackAbility scale and named it one of the best places to live in Vermont, so this new credential as the 11th cheapest place to live is just a nice bonus. While a median rent of $1,060 is the second highest on this list, folks in Montpelier earn a median income of $65,668, meaning that the city has the fourth best rent to income ratio in Vermont.
There’s plenty to do in Montpelier, but my personal favorite is Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks. You might go in just to get a free taster, but I can guarantee you won’t be able to walk out without buying some sort of divine maple treat.
Rank Last Year: 11 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.9x (13th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 62.0x (4th cheapest)
More On Montpelier: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living
Cheapest Places To Live In Vermont FAQs
What county in Vermont has the lowest cost of living?
The county in Vermont with the lowest cost of living is Chittenden County. The average living wage in Chittenden County is $105,491 according to MIT data. Chittenden County has the lowest cost of living because it has relatively less expensive childcare and housing costs compared to Vermont as a whole. Childcare costs $20,925 a year in Chittenden County for two children compared to the Vermont average of $18,306. Housing costs, defined as a blend of the average rent and average mortgage payment, are $19,536 per year in Chittenden County compared to $14,410 on average in Vermont.
What is the cost of living in Vermont?
The cost of living in Vermont is 7.7% higher than the US average. According to MIT, the required living wage for a family of four with two working parents in Vermont is $96,665 vs the national average for a family of four with two working parents of $89,744. The median income of a Vermont household is $63,477.
What is the cheapest housing market in Vermont?
The cheapest housing market in Vermont is Johnson. The average home value in Johnson is $0, the lowest in the state. The average home value in Vermont is $230,900, almost nan times higher than Johnson.
Methodology: How We Determined The Most Affordable Places To Live In The Green Mountain State For 2022
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:
- How much do money do I make?
- How much do I have spend to live there?
You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.
For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it’s actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.
With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2016-2020 around incomes and costs. They are:
- Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
- Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
- Median Home Price
We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).
You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Vermont to figure out which is the least expensive.
What you are left with is a “Cost of Living Index” by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.
So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 18 places in Vermont that have more than 1,000 people.
The place with the lowest cost of living in Vermont according to the data is Newport. You can download the data here.
Summary: There You Have It Mr. Or Mrs. Vermont Cheapskate
If you’re looking at the cost of living numbers in Vermont, this is an accurate list of the most affordable places to live in Vermont for 2022.
Here’s a look at the most expensive cities in Vermont according to the data:
- South Burlington
For more Vermont reading, check out:
- Worst Places To Live In Vermont
- Most Dangerous Cities In Vermont
- Best Places To Buy A House In Vermont
The Most Affordable Places To Live In Vermont