If you dream of a Midwestern home, you can’t go wrong with Iowa. Recognized as the leading producer of corn worldwide, Iowa also hosts interactive state fairs, and nature fanatics will enjoy viewing the beautiful bluffs that overlook the Mississippi River. Whether you’re looking to retire or take the next step in your career, Iowa welcomes you with open arms. NewHomeSource compiled a list of the top 10 most affordable cities to help inform your choice.
Home Price to Income Ratio: 2.05
Average Property Tax: $1,096
Median Household Income: $39,779
Keokuk earned the top spot on our list of most affordable cities in Iowa. Located along the Mississippi River, Keokuk is home to nearly 10,000 residents. Enjoy city highlights such as Rand Park, Elks Fairview Golf Course, and Victory Park, which provides a scenic view of the mighty Mississippi.
2. Fort Madison
Home Price to Income Ratio: 1.91
Average Property Tax: $1,257
Median Household Income: $42,694
Fort Madison is another affordable city along the Mississippi River, where the river actually runs east to west – and not north to south. Residents can visit the city’s namesake and get a glimpse of what life was like for a soldier stationed at Old Fort Madison. Other points of attraction include the city parks, Lost Duck Brewery, and the Sheaffer Pen Museum, which features exhibits of their earliest writing instruments dating back to 1906.
Home Price to Income Ratio: 2.48
Average Property Tax: $1,937
Median Household Income: $47,327
Located in north Iowa, Waterloo is a city of approximately 67,000 and is the seat of Black Hawk County. Discover all the city has to offer as you explore the amusement parks, museums, and golf courses scattered across the city. If you need a break from the bustling city, visit the Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanical Garden, featuring 40 acres of idyllic gardens.
Home Price to Income Ratio: 1.96
Average Property Tax: $1,528
Median Household Income: $47,540
Burlington is another thriving city along the Mississippi River. Enjoy golfing while savoring a riverside view or try your luck at the local casino. If you’re the creative type, you can practice your skills at the Art Center of Burlington. People of any age can register for a class to draw, paint, or make pottery.
Home Price to Income Ratio: 2.03
Average Property Tax: $1,435
Median Household Income: $47,429
Oskaloosa is the county seat of Mahaska County; a statue of Chief Mahaska, the county’s namesake, is perched on a pedestal in the courthouse square. The city is home to William Penn University, a plethora of restaurants, and plenty of places of worship. Edmundson Park is a popular spot that encompasses a regular park, recreation trails, a fishing pond, a dog park, and a golf course.
6. Sioux City
Home Price to Income Ratio: 2.10
Average Property Tax: $1,924
Median Household Income: $55,433
With over 85,000 residents calling it home, Sioux City is one of the most populous cities in the state. Families looking for a big city feel will enjoy Sioux City; there’s no shortage of activities to enjoy. Visit the history and art museums located downtown or enjoy some fresh air while walking the trails at the unique educational facility – the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center.
Home Price to Income Ratio: 2.36
Average Property Tax: $1,793
Median Household Income: $48,481
Newton is situated in central Iowa, approximately 30 miles east of Des Moines. Nature lovers will appreciate the various opportunities to put on hiking shoes and leave the city bustle behind. Visit the beautifully landscaped gardens at Newton Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, catch an outdoor event at Maytag Park, or go camping at Newton / Des Moines East KOA Journey.
8. Fort Dodge
Home Price to Income Ratio: 2.29
Average Property Tax: $1,479
Median Household Income: $40,866
Fort Dodge is a north-central city home to nearly 25,000 Iowans. Residents can enjoy the parks and disc golf course located along the Des Moines River, which meanders through the western portion of the city. Other notable attractions include an aquatic center, art museum, and The Fort Museum and Frontier Village, which showcases 19th century establishments that make you feel like you’ve traveled back in time.
9. Council Bluffs
Home Price to Income Ratio: 2.24
Average Property Tax: $2,198
Median Household Income: $53,524
Council Bluffs is located along the Mississippi River at the Nebraska-Iowa border. Visit nature preserves, brush up on local history at Union Pacific Railroad Museum, or cool down at the water park. Outdoor enthusiasts will love Lake Manawa State Park, where you can hike, boat, and swim to your heart’s content.
Home Price to Income Ratio: 2.53
Average Property Tax: $1,642
Median Household Income: $44,094
Rounding out our list is Clinton, another city astride the Mississippi River. Enjoy a beautiful walk at Bickelhaupt Arboretum, learn something new at Sawmill Museum, or take the kids to Felix Adler Children’s Discovery Center. On sunny days, enjoy a picnic or jogging session at Ericksen Community Center, which serves as a hub for all kinds of interesting activities.
Cities with the Best Home Price to Income Ratio
While the list above is sorted by the lowest overall cost of living index, the following cities have the lowest home price to income ratio, meaning you can get more home for your money.
Sarah graduated from Trinity University in 2012 with a degree in International Relations and Political Science. She writes blogs on new homes, decor, communities, and more for NewHomeSource. When she’s not writing, you can find her spending time with her three cats.