The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Washington In 2023


The cheapest places to live in Washington for 2023 are Ephrata, Toppenish, and Othello.

The cheapest places to live in Washington offer a lower cost of living without compromising on quality. Despite its reputation for high living costs, Washington does offer some pockets of affordability. From the rain-soaked streets of Seattle to the lush green trails of the Pacific Crest, there are affordable cities in Washington for families to retirees and everyone in between.

So where can you live affordably in Washington that gives you access to beaches, mountains, trails, Starbucks, and more without taking a significant cut out of your paycheck?

Our approach to identifying these cost-friendly locations involved a comprehensive study of real estate prices, average income, and general living expenses. We also considered the unique elements that make Washington an attractive place to live – its proximity to the coast, a vibrant coffee culture, and even the Grey’s Anatomy charm.

In these Washington towns, you can afford a larger Starbucks budget for those rainy days with the money you save on real estate and general living costs. Read on to learn more about the cheapest places to live in Washington.

The 10 most affordable places to live in Washington

  1. Ephrata
  2. Toppenish
  3. Othello
  4. Prosser
  5. West Richland
  6. Union Gap
  7. Pasco
  8. Quincy
  9. Moses Lake
  10. Grandview

What’s the most affordable place to live in Washington? The cheapest place to live in Washington is Ephrata.

If you feel more of the coastal vibe, check out Hoquiam and Woodland.

These affordable Washington cities allow access to this state’s beautiful towns and resources without breaking the bank.

What follows is our methodology and more about Washington’s top ten cheapest cities.

Check out some more reading about Washington and the cheapest places in the country:

The 10 cheapest places to live in Washington for 2023

Washington may be one of the most expensive states in America, but you wouldn’t know it in Ephrata, the most affordable city in the state. Ephrata is a great place to buy or rent, with both options costing less of your hard-earned income than most cities in Washington. The median income in Ephrata is $67,153 and the median home price is $175,700. At just a hair over $700/month, Ephrata’s median rent is slightly higher than the cities above, but still substantially lower than Washington in general.

Ephrata is located in central Washington, just east of Quincy.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 8,348
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.6x (most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 77.5x (76th cheapest)
More On Ephrata: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Ephrata, WA

Located 20 miles southeast of Yakima, Toppenish is the second cheapest place to live in Washington. At a median price tag of $159,200, Toppenish boasts some of the cheapest homes in the state. And with residents earning a median income of $57,268, you’ll have the mortgage paid off before you even finish unpacking. As a bonus, you can see loads of spectacular art in Toppenish without spending a dime, because the city has over 75 murals to see. Trying to spot them all would be an inexpensive way to spend the day in Washington’s second most affordable city.

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 8,843
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.8x (3rd most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 68.5x (107th cheapest)
More On Toppenish: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Toppenish, WA

Rounding out our list of cheapest places to live in Washington is Othello, a city an hour north of Kennewick.

The median home price in Othello is $206,300 and the median income is $58,450, which gives Othello the 13th lowest home price to income ratio in the state. The median rent in Othello is $826, less than half the average rent in Washington. Buying or renting, living in Othello is sure to result in more money in your pocket at the end of every week.

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 8,470
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 10)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.5x (13th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 70.8x (112th cheapest)
More On Othello: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Othello, WA

Prosser is one of the cheapest places to live in wa. With a population of just over 6,061 people, Prosser boasts a median home value of $210,100 and a median rent of $866. These numbers make it easy for residents to find affordable housing options that fit their budgets.

Prosser’s economy is primarily concerned with agriculture, focusing on fruit orchards and packing plants. The city is also known for being part of the Yakima Valley AVA, a prominent wine-growing region. With nearly 30 wineries in and around the city, Prosser has become a hub for wine production.

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 6,061
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 6)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.5x (10th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 70.3x (119th cheapest)
More On Prosser: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Prosser, WA

Source: Public domain

Centered around the cities of Richland, Kennewick, and Pasco, West Richland is the fifth cheapest city in Washington.

A word of warning about West Richland — you’ll need to secure a high-paying job before the city’s affordability becomes apparent. With a median home price of $322,200 and a median rent of $1,365, housing in West Richland is about 30% pricier than the next highest cities on this list. However, because residents earn a median income of $109,209, folks pay a smaller proportion of their salaries for housing.

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 15,988
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.0x (4th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 80.0x (37th cheapest)
More On West Richland: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

West Richland, WA

Union Gap, located in wa, is one of Washington’s most affordable places to live. With a median home value of $140,200 and a median rent of $883, residents can enjoy a high quality of life without breaking the bank. In fact, the home price to income ratio is only 2.67, making it one of the most affordable cities in the state.

As the retail hub for the Yakima Valley, Union Gap has access to a variety of shopping and dining options. Additionally, the city is home to part of the Yakama Nation, adding cultural significance to the area.

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 6,499
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 5)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.7x (2nd most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 59.5x (111th cheapest)
More On Union Gap: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Union Gap, WA

With a population of 76,398, Pasco is by far the biggest city on this list, so if you want affordability without sacrificing big city amenities, this is the place for you. And with Sacajawea State Park in your backyard, it’s not like you’ll be super far from nature either.

At $250,500 and $993/month for median home price and rent respectively, Pasco may seem a touch on the pricey side of this list. But residents are paid more as well, with a median income of $70,486. That doesn’t put Pasco in the top ten statewide for either home price or rent to income ratio, but solid rankings in each category places Pasco firmly on this list.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 76,398
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.5x (14th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 71.0x (83rd cheapest)
More On Pasco: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Pasco, WA

Located in central Washington, Quincy is the eighth cheapest place to live in the state. “Opportunities Unlimited” is the city’s motto, and boy is that true in monetary terms.

The median income in Quincy is $63,207 and the median home price is $216,000, giving the city the eighth lowest ratio of home price to income in Washington. And while rent in Quincy is slightly higher than #1 Connell, renters pay the 3lowest proportion of their income for rent in Washington. Couple these low bills with free activities like hiking around Ancient Lakes, and your savings will grow faster than you know what to do with them.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,630
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 5)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.4x (8th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 67.3x (24th cheapest)
More On Quincy: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Quincy, WA

Moses Lake, the largest city in Grant County, is an excellent option for anyone looking for a cheap place to live in Washington. With a median home value of $205,100 and a median rent of $1,036, the cost of living in Moses Lake is significantly lower than many other cities in the state.

Moses Lake has a diverse economic base that includes agriculture, carbon-fiber manufacturing, and technology sectors. The city has attracted notable companies such as REC Silicon, BMW in partnership with SGL Group, Mitsubishi, Boeing, Dell, and Guardian Industries, among others.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 24,764
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.2x (7th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 61.6x (45th cheapest)
More On Moses Lake: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Moses Lake, WA

Located between Yakima and Kennewick, Grandview is the tenth cheapest city in Washington. With a combination of both a middle-of-the-pack median home price and median income at $155,400 and $52,500 respectively, Grandview has the fifth lowest home price to income ratio in the state. You can save even more money by buying your produce at Bill’s Berry Farm instead of the grocery store.

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 10,894
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.0x (5th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 58.0x (62nd cheapest)
More On Grandview: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Grandview, WA

Cheapest places to live in Washington FAQs

The county in Washington with the lowest cost of living is Snohomish County. The average living wage in Snohomish County is $103,576 according to MIT data. Snohomish County has the lowest cost of living because it has relatively less expensive childcare and housing costs compared to Washington as a whole. Childcare costs $21,546 a year in Snohomish County for two children compared to the Washington average of $19,075. Housing costs, defined as a blend of the average rent and average mortgage payment, are $22,872 per year in Snohomish County compared to $17,877 on average in Washington.

The cost of living in Washington is 5.9% higher than the US average. According to MIT, the required living wage for a family of four with two working parents in Washington is $95,068 vs the national average for a family of four with two working parents of $89,744. The median income of a Washington household is $77,006.

The cheapest housing market in Washington is Wapato. The average home value in Wapato is $109,400, the lowest in the state. The average home value in Washington is $366,800, almost 3.4 times higher than Wapato.

Methodology: How we determined the most affordable places to live in the Evergreen State for 2023

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Washington
Determining affordability for places in Washington boils down to two factors:

  1. How much money do I make?
  2. How much does it cost to live here?

You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make to determine affordability. For example, imagine a place in Washington where median incomes are $100,000 and housing costs $200,000 to buy. That’s more affordable than living in a place with a median income of $50,000 where houses cost $101,000. The ratio of income to home prices is higher in the first example.

With that logic in mind, we derived several cost of living statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2017-2021 for Washington. The cost of living statistics are:

  • Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
  • Median Income / Median Rent (higher is better)
  • Median Home Price

You can include median home price as a stand alone variable because high home prices generally correlate with higher costs for all goods and services (heating, electricity, food, etc). You then compare these cost of living metrics for each place in Washington to figure out which is the least expensive.

We aggregate those rankings into a “Cost of Living Index” for each city in Washington. The “Cost of Living Index” allows you to rank all of the 120 places in Washington that have more than 5,000 people from least expensive to most expensive.

The place in Washington with the lowest cost of living according to the data is Ephrata. You can download the entre cost of living data set for Washington here.

Washington affordabilility summary

This is an accurate list of the most affordable places to live in Washington for 2023, if you’re looking at the cost of living numbers in Washington.

Here’s a look at the most expensive cities in Washington according to the data:

  1. Lynnwood
  2. Bellingham
  3. Renton

For more Washington reading, check out:

The cheapest places to live in Washington

Rank City Cost of Living Index
1 Ephrata 4.67
2 Toppenish 12.33
3 Othello 15.0
4 Prosser 15.67
5 West Richland 17.0
6 Union Gap 18.0
7 Pasco 18.5
8 Quincy 18.67
9 Moses Lake 20.33
10 Grandview 22.0
11 Hoquiam 26.0
12 Clarkston 27.67
13 Richland 27.67
14 Woodland 29.33
15 Enumclaw 31.67
16 Kennewick 33.33
17 Spokane 34.33
18 Washougal 34.67
19 Buckley 34.67
20 Liberty Lake 34.67
21 Battle Ground 36.33
22 College Place 37.33
23 Aberdeen 37.33
24 Yakima 38.67
25 Airway Heights 40.0
26 Yelm 40.0
27 Sunnyside 41.0
28 Spokane Valley 41.17
29 Duvall 41.33
30 Chehalis 41.33
31 Kelso 43.0
32 East Wenatchee 43.33
33 Bonney Lake 44.0
34 Camas 44.0
35 Fircrest 46.33
36 Selah 49.0
37 Longview 49.33
38 Ferndale 50.0
39 Orting 50.0
40 Wenatchee 50.67
41 Blaine 50.67
42 Steilacoom 50.67
43 Stanwood 51.0
44 Covington 51.33
45 Centralia 51.33
46 Snoqualmie 52.0
47 Tumwater 52.33
48 Edgewood 52.67
49 Sedro-Woolley 54.67
50 Maple Valley 54.67
51 Port Angeles 54.67
52 Arlington 55.83
53 Marysville 56.67
54 Lacey 58.33
55 Walla Walla 58.33
56 Shelton 58.67
57 Black Diamond 59.67
58 Sultan 60.67
59 Dupont 60.67
60 Sammamish 62.67
61 Milton 65.0
62 Lake Stevens 65.33
63 Bremerton 65.67
64 Auburn 67.33
65 University Place 67.33
66 Tacoma 67.67
67 Mount Vernon 67.67
68 Fife 68.0
69 Lake Forest Park 68.0
70 Brier 68.33
71 Monroe 68.33
72 Puyallup 68.67
73 Ridgefield 69.0
74 Ocean Shores 69.0
75 Kenmore 70.0
76 Lynden 71.33
77 Snohomish 71.67
78 Olympia 72.0
79 Bainbridge Island 73.0
80 Lakewood 73.67
81 Pacific 74.0
82 Port Orchard 75.33
83 Seatac 75.67
84 North Bend 75.67
85 Vancouver 77.67
86 Burlington 78.0
87 Cheney 78.33
88 Ellensburg 79.0
89 Bothell 79.33
90 Oak Harbor 81.67
91 Poulsbo 82.33
92 Mercer Island 82.67
93 Redmond 83.0
94 Newcastle 83.0
95 Anacortes 83.33
96 Federal Way 83.33
97 Sumner 83.67
98 Sequim 84.0
99 Gig Harbor 84.0
100 Normandy Park 84.33
Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2023. This is our tenth time ranking the cheapest places to live in Washington.

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.