Finding an area with good jobs and cheap housing is difficult in today's economy, but not impossible. For years, both coasts have boasted employment growth, while the Midwest remained stagnate. The Southwest with its moderate climate grew faster than any section of the country. The fast growth however, has left a glutted housing market, and fewer opportunities for new jobs.

TUTORIAL: Buying A Home

One of the best areas for very affordable homes is Deerfield Beach, Florida. But for those still working, the job market is not as inviting, as most employment opportunities are in the service sector. (For some other suggestions, see Top 10 Cities For A Career In Finance.)

For the best job opportunities, Bethesda, Maryland has seen a job explosion is recent years. It has one of the highest median family incomes in the nation. There are many opportunities for jobs here but housing can be very expensive - especially considering it is less than an hour's commute to Washington, D.C.

Combining several lists: the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Forbes, CNN, and Sperling's Best Places, these are the top five cities for both job opportunities and affordable housing.

1. Indianapolis, Indiana
This Hoosier city scored high on every list. The city boasts ten sports teams, an amazing city park system including Canal Walk, and one of the nation's top museums, Indianapolis Children's Museum.

Labeled both the Amateur Sports Capital of the World and the Racing Capital of the World, Indianapolis has one of the lowest costs of living for a major metro area at nearly 18% less than the national average.

The median price for a home here is $120,000. Surrounded by thriving suburbs offering easy commutes into the city, as well as a variety of city living options, you can find great housing as a good price.

The job outlook is very optimistic, with many jobs in management from the numerous corporate headquarters to scientific and tech jobs. The jobless rate in Indianapolis is less than 8% - that's nearly 3-5% below the national average. (For other cities with cost-effective real estate, see Top 5 Cities For Cheap Real Estate.)

2. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
This city surprises many people, as Pittsburgh is in the heart of the "rust belt," and known for its steel mills. Genuine hard work by the local government, businesses and the community has kept this vibrant city alive and thriving. Over the last ten years, nearly 1,600 technology companies have located here, including a Google campus. Neighborhood revitalization projects offer incentives to homebuyers, and old industrial neighborhoods are now filled with small businesses. It is also the headquarters to several financial institutions.

Ranked #1 as America's Most Livable City by Rand McNally in 2007, Forbes in 2010 and The Economist in 2011, Pittsburgh, is one of the best places in the United States for good jobs, a great community and very affordable housing.

3. Omaha, Nebraska
Corn may be king of agriculture, but Warren Buffett is king of finance; he resides in Omaha and that attracts big business. A smaller Midwest city, Omaha offers charming neighborhoods in a variety of price ranges, good employment prospects at dozens of Fortune 500 companies, as well as a low cost of living. (To help determine if you are ready to purchase a home, read Are You Ready To Buy A House?)

4. Columbus, Ohio
Ohio's capital and largest city offers an enviable arts and theatre community, including the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) (a nationally recognized museum), the Ohio State University (the largest in the nation), and it was ranked the number ten city by Relocate America in 2010. Great job prospects in the high-tech, agricultural and chemical industries, some of the best housing prices in the state and a very affordable cost of living make Columbus look very inviting.

5. Austin-Round Rock, Texas
A college town, Austin was ranked as the third-fastest growing city in the United States in 2006. Austin is an extremely diverse city, boasting a mix of professors, musicians, high-tech workers and a large gay community, Austin's slogan is "Keep Austin Weird." For the influx of high-tech corporations over the last decade, it has also acquired the nickname the "Silicon Hills." Nationally known for its music, it has a preserved its small local business base, has a vibrant and noted arts community, affordable housing and a low cost of living.

The Bottom Line
If you're looking for good job prospects combined with affordable housing, think the Midwest as it is coming back vibrant and strong. (To help you get a fair deal on your next home, check out 10 Tips For Getting A Fair Price On A Home.)

Related Articles
  1. Entrepreneurship

    Elon Musk Success Story: Net Worth, Education & Top Quotes

    Read more about Elon Musk, the South African immigrant turned technology and engineering entrepreneur and inventor worth $13.6 billion.
  2. Economics

    Explaining Replacement Cost

    The replacement cost is the cost you’d have to pay to replace an asset with a similar asset at the present time and value.
  3. Insurance

    Healthcare Premiums Keep Rising, But Salaries Aren’t

    Learn how college and health insurance costs have skyrocketed while wages have stagnated, and how, given the necessity of these services, consumers are stuck.
  4. Economics

    The Top 5 US Cities with Highest Minimum Wage

    Learn how awareness campaigns have led to huge minimum wage hikes in several large cities, and discover which U.S. cities have the highest minimum wages.
  5. Retirement

    Is Cohousing Right for You?

    Cohousing isn't for everyone. But if you're community-minded or committed to living green, it may be an ideal option for you.
  6. Retirement

    What is Cohousing and How Does it Work?

    Originally a Danish concept from the 1960s, modern cohousing communities can be found in the U.S., England and China. But how exactly do they work?
  7. Economics

    Is Texas The Future Of America?

    The top three fastest-growing cities are located in Texas and 20% of jobs created between 2009 and 2014 were in the Lone Star State.
  8. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Looking To Invest In Texas? Here Is How

    Ranging from energy to household names, here are some of the top investment opportunities in Texas.
  9. Personal Finance

    How Inflation Affects Your Cost of Living

    How will your wallet be impacted by inflation?
  10. Personal Finance

    The 10 Most Expensive Cities For Expats

    Whether a job transfer, retirement or the desire to experience another culture is motivating you to move, you'll want to know which international cities are the costliest for Americans – and ...
RELATED TERMS
  1. Society of Actuaries (SOA)

    The SOA is a professional organization for actuaries in the U.S., ...
  2. Structural Unemployment

    A longer-lasting form of unemployment caused by fundamental shifts ...
  3. Happiness Economics

    The formal academic study of the relationship between individual ...
  4. Indexation

    Linking adjustments made to the value of a good, service or other ...
  5. ACCRA Cost Of Living Index - COLI

    A measure of key living costs compiled by the Council for Community ...
  6. Sliding Scale Fees

    A type of tax or cost that may change according to an associated ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. Are Social Security benefits adjusted for inflation?

    Social Security benefits are adjusted for inflation. This adjustment is known as the cost of living adjustment (COLA). For ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What are some of the drawbacks of industrialization?

    In economic history, industrialization is the social and economic transformation of the human group from an agrarian society ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How can I increase my standard of living in my retirement years?

    If you're decades away from retirement, the best way to ensure a decent standard of living during your golden years is to ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What is the relationship between research and development and innovation?

    Although it's possible to achieve innovation without research and development and it's possible to conduct research and development ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Which states are the most expensive for high-income earners?

    The most expensive states for high-income earners are California, Hawaii and New York. The tax rates assessed by these states ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How can you calculate your cash budget in Excel?

    Calculating a cash budget in Excel is best completed by dividing your budget into inflows and outflows. Excel makes it extremely ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!