Three new cities moved into the most affordable places to call home in West Virginia according to our HomeSnacks 2022 report.
How did we determine West Virginia’s most affordable places? We consulted West Virginia’s most recent Census data on cost of living.
The competition was fierce to say the least. Many of the Mountain State’s top ten most affordable places boast great home prices, safe neighborhoods, and good jobs. Any one of these West Virginia places would be a great place to enjoy life while saving money. Not only does living in West Virginia’s most affordable places free up cash for your overall cost of living, it provides extra money for the fun ‘West Virginia’ things to do and see. Like, rafting The Gorge in Lansing or scoring tickets to the West Virginia State Fair in Lewisburg.
Now, don’t get it twisted; just because these West Virginia places are affordable, doesn’t mean they’re unsafe. It’s actually quite the opposite. When you save money on your cost of living, you have more money to spend on your home, keeping your community safe, and providing funds for necessary programs. So, it’s definitely not lost on us that some of West Virginia’s most affordable places are also some of its safest places.
Have we piqued your curiosity? If so, take a look below at our list of West Virginia’s most affordable places.
The 10 Most Affordable Places To Live In West Virginia
It’s simple economics, folks. When you choose to live in one of West Virginia’s most affordable places, you’re choosing to live where your West Virginia dollar will go the furthest. And that, friends, makes perfect sense.
So, what’s the most affordable place to live in West Virginia for Weirton? Drum roll… the number one most affordable place to live in West Virginia is Weirton.
To see how your city compared, take a look at the list below. And if you don’t see you’re favorite there, head to the bottom.
And if you already knew these places were cheap, check out some more reading about West Virginia and the cheapest places in the country:
The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In West Virginia For 2022
Welcome to Weirton, the first least expensive to call home in the Mountain State. At a median price of $94,000, Weirton has the sixth cheapest homes in West Virginia. But that’s not the most important point here; it’s that, with a median income of $50,822, Weirton residents pay the smallest proportion of their salaries on homes. On top of that, Weirton has the fourth best rent to income ratio statewide. Weirton also scored a 8/10 on our overall SnackAbility scale, with an emphasis on good schools, solid amenities, and on being one of the safest places in West Virginia. All that for some of the lowest prices in West Virginia. Sounds like a bargain to me!
Weirton is about 45 minutes west of Pittsburgh.
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.8x (most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 78.3x (18th cheapest)
More On Weirton: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living
Located in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains, Grafton ranks as our second most affordable West Virginian city for 2022. If you’re looking for dirt-cheap housing, then Grafton is the place for you. A median home price of $77,500 is the cheapest in the state, and a median rent of $553/month is the lowest you’ll see on this list.
In fact, the rent in Grafton is nearly half the average rent in West Virginia, a state already known for affordable rent. In any case, once you get to Tygart Lake State Park and start fishing or kayaking on the 10-mile lake, we’re pretty sure that financial worries will be the last thing on your mind.
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.2x (5th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 62.5x (26th cheapest)
More On Grafton: Real Estate | Cost Of Living
Located along the Ohio River in northern West Virginia, New Martinsville ranks as the third most affordable place in the state for 2022. We don’t think folks in New Martinsville need any convincing that they live in one of the cheapest states in America. Not when they can get a house for $95,300 or an apartment for $718/month. New Martinsville is affordable for both renters and buyers, but buyers have a slight edge, thanks to the city’s standing as the second easiest place to pay off the mortgage statewide.
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.1x (2nd most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 63.1x (22nd cheapest)
More On New Martinsville: Real Estate | Cost Of Living
Kicking off our list of most affordable places to live in West Virginia is Clarksburg, a small city in the north-central part of the state. If you’re looking to settle down in West Virginia for the long-haul, Clarksburg has you covered with the fourth cheapest homes for sale in West Virginia, with a median price of $88,600.
Thanks to a median income of $41,226, Clarksburg residents enjoy the third best home price to income ratio in the state. Clarksburg’s rent to income ratio is also safely in the top ten, with a median rent of $679/month. Just be sure that you come to Clarksburg with your party-face on, because this city has five festivals a year, celebrating everything from ethnic heritages to Jesus.
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.1x (3rd most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 60.7x (8th cheapest)
More On Clarksburg: Real Estate | Cost Of Living
Moundsville is built along the Ohio River, just across the water from the state of Ohio, in the northernmost part of West Virginia. For a town of just 8,356 people, it provides access to a lot of interesting architecture. There’s the gothic West Virginia State Penitentiary, first built in 1876 and closed down in 1995. Meanwhile, a 25-minute drive will take you to America’s Taj Mahal, Prabhupada’s Palace of Gold.
But the main attraction for the residents of Moundsville? It ranks as the number 5 most affordable places to put down roots in West Virginia.
The cost of living comes in at 80% of the overall national average. That value mostly derives from the rock-bottom housing market. The median home price sits at $79,500, the third lowest mark in the state. Rents are equally cheap. You can score a rental for a median price of $567 per month.
True, median incomes are low in the area. That figure comes in at just $33,399. But in context, Moundsville still provides excellent value. It has the number 8.0 best home price-to-income ratio in West Virginia.
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.4x (8th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 58.9x (5th cheapest)
More On Moundsville: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living
Located an hour southeast of Charleston, Oak Hill ranks as the sixth most affordable city in West Virginia. Oak Hill is one of the best places to raise a family in West Virginia, so if you’re just starting off with some new kiddos, Oak Hill is a great, affordable option. Especially when you can get a home here for the 12th cheapest price in the state, with a median price of $106,600. And for adventure-seekers, white-water rafting on Lower New River is a must-do experience.
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.5x (12th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 81.0x (2cheapest)
More On Oak Hill: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living
Bluefield comes in as the seventh cheapest place to call home in West Virginia, thanks to super low prices on housing. How low are we talking here? Well, at $78,900, Bluefield has the second least expensive homes for sale in the state. And a sub-$600/month rent gives Bluefield the second lowest rent on this list. If you want to rise above the stress of personal finance, we recommend a visit to East River Mountain Overlook for stunning views of Mercer County.
Bluefield is in the southern part of the state, on the Virginia border.
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.2x (4th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 51.3x (23rd cheapest)
More On Bluefield: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living
Parkersburg is a city in and the county seat of Wood County, West Virginia, United States. Located at the confluence of the Ohio and Little Kanawha rivers, it is the state’s third-largest city and the largest city in the Parkersburg-Marietta-Vienna metropolitan area. The population was 31,492 at the 2010 census. Its peak of population was more than 44,000 in 1960. The city is about 14 miles south of Marietta, Ohio.
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 6)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.4x (7th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 56.5x (14th cheapest)
More On Parkersburg: Real Estate | Cost Of Living
If you’re a single guy or gal looking for an affordable place to find love in West Virginia, Princeton might just be the place for you. That’s because, in addition to being the ninth cheapest city to live statewide, Princeton is also one of the best cities for singles in West Virginia, thanks to awesome date-night options like catching a show at the Chuck Mathena Center. Buying a home in Princeton will set you back about $99,100, which, combined with a median income of $41,925 gives the city the sixth best home price to income ratio in West Virginia.
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 5)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.4x (6th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 58.7x (19th cheapest)
More On Princeton: Real Estate | Cost Of Living
Nitro is located right outside of Charleston on the Kanawha River. The major employer in town is Monsanto which has had a bit of a love hate relationship over the years. Luckily, it’s more on the love side at the moment. The big draw for out of towners is the Mardi Gras Casino located on the east side of town.
And while you might not always get lucky at the casino, it’s hard to go wrong with the cost of living in Nitro. The city has the 11th cheapest homes and 12th cheapest rent anywhere in west virginia. The median home price in Nitro is $104,000, while you can find a place to rent for just $700.
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.4x (9th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 62.2x (7th cheapest)
More On Nitro: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living
Cheapest Places To Live In West Virginia FAQs
What county in West Virginia has the lowest cost of living?
The county in West Virginia with the lowest cost of living is Jefferson County. The average living wage in Jefferson County is $101,469 according to MIT data. Jefferson County has the lowest cost of living because it has relatively less expensive childcare and housing costs compared to West Virginia as a whole. Childcare costs $28,262 a year in Jefferson County for two children compared to the West Virginia average of $17,259. Housing costs, defined as a blend of the average rent and average mortgage payment, are $11,184 per year in Jefferson County compared to $9,229 on average in West Virginia.
What is the cost of living in West Virginia?
The cost of living in West Virginia is 3.4% lower than the US average. According to MIT, the required living wage for a family of four with two working parents in West Virginia is $86,704 vs the national average for a family of four with two working parents of $89,744. The median income of a West Virginia household is $48,037.
What is the cheapest housing market in West Virginia?
The cheapest housing market in West Virginia is Grafton. The average home value in Grafton is $77,500, the lowest in the state. The average home value in West Virginia is $123,200, almost 1.6 times higher than Grafton.
Methodology: How We Determined The Most Affordable Places To Live In The 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 West Virginia 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 26 places in West Virginia that have more than 5,000 people.
The place with the lowest cost of living in West Virginia according to the data is Weirton. You can download the data here.
Summary: There You Have It Mr. Or Mrs. West Virginia Cheapskate
If you’re looking at the cost of living numbers in West Virginia, this is an accurate list of the most affordable places to live in West Virginia for 2022.
Here’s a look at the most expensive cities in West Virginia according to the data:
For more West Virginia reading, check out:
- Worst Places To Live In West Virginia
- Most Dangerous Cities In West Virginia
- Best Places To Live In West Virginia
The Most Affordable Places To Live In West Virginia