The neighborhoods on this list are cheaper than others in their city for a number of reasons. Sometimes the average home size is smaller; some places have a lot more condos than single-family homes; some places are still dealing with a huge number of foreclosures and haven't recovered from the housing crisis yet, while other places have long histories of unemployment and crime.
Melrose, New York
If you're looking for a cheap place to live in New York City, Staten Island or the Bronx are your best bets. The Melrose neighborhood in the Bronx is the cheapest in the city with the median price at $200,300, followed by a slew of North Shore neighborhoods in Staten Island, which range from $221,700 to $250,300. A number of new development projects have started to turn around Melrose, which has a high concentration of people living in public housing.
Boyle Heights, Los Angeles
The least expensive areas in Los Angeles are scattered throughout the city, but many are located within South Los Angeles or the San Fernando Valley, where median home prices are under $300,000. However, Boyle Heights on the city's east side has the lowest median price at $254,000. Home prices are making leaps and bounds in these areas, having increased double digits over the past year.
Compared to its big-city counterparts Los Angeles and New York City, Chicago's median home price is a steal at $159,000. But if you're looking for a place even cheaper than that, head to the O'Hare area where the median price is a meager $85,700. For that price, you are committing to living near the fifth busiest international airport in the world. If you want to skip the airplane noise, the next cheapest neighborhood is Roger's Park, followed by West Humboldt Park, where median prices hover around $100,000. Roger's Park is home to Loyola University and edges along Lake Michigan. West Humboldt Park is located near some of the city's hottest neighborhoods such as Logan Square and Wicker Park, but it hasn't seen the same kind of gentrification yet.
Homes in Philadelphia are cheap, cheap, cheap--the median price is $104,000. For the fourth-biggest city in the country, you can buy a home in Philly for less than a down payment in most areas, but that comes at a cost. The cheapest neighborhoods in Philadelphia have not weathered the recession well, and are experiencing high levels of unemployment and crime. The least expensive are the Harrowgate neighborhood with a median price of $38,600, the Fairhill neighborhood with a median price of $39,300 and Strawberry Mansion with a median price of $41,800. There are also some up-and-coming neighborhoods where homes are cheap, like Brewerytown, where you can find homes around $60,000. Prices there have increased nearly 25 percent since last year.
Only three "urban villages" in Phoenix fall below the city's median price of $141,900. Alahambra has a median price of $98,300, followed by Estrella at $110,100 and then Encanto at $139,900. Prices in Alahambra, an older suburban village located a few miles from downtown, are up nearly 50 percent over last year, an incredible turnaround in just a year.
Charleston Heights, Las Vegas
The cheapest neighborhood in Las Vegas is tiny Charleston Heights, located on the northern end of Las Vegas, miles away from downtown. The median price there is $86,300. The next cheapest is Winchester, where the median price is $94,100. Unlike Charleston Heights though, Winchester includes part of Las Vegas Boulevard, with all the accompanying attractions.
Like the rest of Vegas, both communities' home prices are up nearly 30 percent over last year--which is still only half what they were worth before the bubble burst. Read more >>