Real Estate & Mortgage Blog
“Bigger is better” has long been something of an American rallying cry. Bigger cars! Bigger salaries! Bigger food! So it’s little wonder in this era of hybrid and remote work that the raw allure of owning a great big home has never been greater.
Over the past several years, buyers shifted their home searches away from large coastal cities toward more affordable suburbs and cities where they could snag a luxuriously large home with a roomy yard for the kids and dogs to play. This obsessive search for more space doesn’t seem to be a fleeting, pandemic-fueled trend.
But of course, not everyone has the bulging budget to splurge on a sprawling estate—especially at a time when home affordability is taking a severe hit nationwide. So where can you find a home that offers room to breathe and won’t deplete your savings?
We’ve crunched the numbers, analyzed the data, and scoured listings across the country to bring you the top 10 U.S. cities where you can find the most sizable homes at a reasonable price. In fact, we found places with the greatest number of affordable mansions—places over 5,000 square feet and under $1 million.
To find these properties, we inspected every single-family home listing on Realtor.com® from the past year and then calculated what percentage of every metropolitan area’s single-family home listings those big, budget-friendly homes made up. (As it turns out, in the typical metro, only about seven-tenths of a percent of all single-family homes met our affordable mansion criteria.)
“Many of the metros on the list stand out for being generally affordable locales, with plenty of space to grow and sprawl,” says Hannah Jones, senior economic research analyst with Realtor.com. “They tend to be less densely populated, especially as you get farther from the city center. So buyers can get more space at a lower price.”
The list of metros with this kind of affordable luxury is geographically diverse, spanning from the industrial heartlands of the Midwest to the booming tech hubs in the South and stretching to the U.S.-Mexico border towns of Texas. There are some surprises, too, like Washington, DC, and Denver. (Despite their reps for having a high cost of living, both offer pockets of affordability, particularly in their suburban outskirts.)