The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Connecticut


Cheapest Places to Live in Connecticut

The Constitution State, Connecticut, is home to beautiful foliage, amazing education, and delicious seafood. Its proximity to Boston and New York provide a major incentive to make Connecticut home, and the state is linked with an image of upper-crust living.  Believe it or not, some cities in Connecticut do offer affordable living costs.

Connecticut offers several cities with low costs of living and median home values under $200,000.  Unfortunately, many of these areas, although beautiful, are experiencing distress through very low incomes, high poverty rates, and low education rates.  Torrington is considered to be the least expensive city in Connecticut when all factors are considered.

As you go through this list, you may notice many similarities in average costs and incomes, particularly between New Britain and Waterbury.  Several of the communities on this list are quite near each other.  Middletown, New Britain, Waterbury, Meriden, Naugatuck, and Bristol are all within a range of about 20 miles from each other or from Hartford.

10.  Middletown

Middletown

  • Median Home Value: $231,300
  • Average Monthly Rent Cost: $1,133
  • Average Monthly Utilities Cost: $161.62
  • Population: 46,258
  • Average Household Income: $65,572

Housing costs in Middletown are below the national average and are only 88 on the cost of living index. The median home value according to the 2019 census is $231,300.

Single residents of Middletown, CT average $38,265 per year, and households have a $65,572 for median outcome. The low average wages in Middletown make owning a home unattainable for many residents, but rent costs are moderate. You can expect to pay an average of $1,133 per month, for a 1-bedroom, depending on the features of a specific unit.  A single-income household would just barely meet the goal of spending no more than 30 percent of income on housing if they secured a 1-bedroom rental of average cost.

Driving costs in Middletown are on par with most of the United States. Right now, you will pay between $2.73 and $2.78 per gallon at the pump in Middletown.

9. Milford

Cheapest Places to Live in Connecticut

  • Median Home Value: $312,500
  • Average Monthly Rent Cost: $1,580
  • Average Monthly Utilities Cost: $299.32
  • Population: 53,195
  • Average Income Per Household: $91,783

Milford, Connecticut, sits on the coast and offers a more generous average income for both individuals and households than Middletown. Single Milford residents earn $50,037 per year, and households bring in $91,783 yearly. Right now, 74.4% of Milford’s population own their homes, and the median value of them is $312,500. 

The average monthly housing costs for Milford residents who own their own homes are $2,217, so a decent standard of living is actually attainable in Milford, and in a coastal area, no less. The average cost per square foot for homes is only $218, so the homes there are not tiny little city dwellings.

If homeownership is not in the cards, Milford residents will find the average monthly rent to be reasonable.  Milford residents spend an average of $1,580 per month on rent, and there are many options available. Utilities bills are fairly high in Milford, no doubt due to the hot summers and cold, biting wind coming off the water in winters.

8. New Britain

Cheapest Places to Live in Connecticut

  • Median Home Value: $160,800
  • Average Monthly Rent Cost: $1,025
  • Average Monthly Utilities Cost: $238.43
  • Population: 72,495
  • Average Income: $22,893

If you are fortunate enough to have a steady income stream, homes can be purchased quite inexpensively in New Britain.  The community suffers from low incomes, and the home prices are also correspondingly low. Less than half – only 40 percent – of all New Britain residents own their homes.  While a median home price of $160,800 may seem low, that can be hard to wrangle on an average per capita income is just $24,661 and average household income is $46,499. Twenty-one percent of New Britain residents live in poverty. Only 80 percent of residents 25 years or older have high school or equivalent degrees.

Monthly housing costs are low in New Britain, and most homeowners spend $1,682 each month, including mortgage. Houses are currently priced at an average $96 per square foot.

Apartments are not as inexpensive in New Britain as one would hope. A one-bedroom rental averages $1,025 per month, which would end up be one-half of a single person’s monthly income.

7. Waterbury

Cheapest Places to Live in Connecticut

  • Median Home Value: $130,700
  • Average Monthly Rent Cost: $969
  • Average Monthly Utilities Cost: $299.32
  • Population: 107,568
  • Average Household Income: $42,401

Waterbury’s financial situation is similarly challenging to its residents as New Britain’s, but newcomers have the opportunity to find low-cost housing. Of current residents, the average per capita income is $23,128, and the average household income is $42,401. Just as with New Britain, less than half of residents own their own homes; the homeownership rate is 41 percent in Waterbury.  The median home price is $130,700, and that must be done with an average per capita income of only $23,128.   Twenty-three percent of New Britain residents live in poverty. Only 79.6 percent of residents 25 years or older have high school or equivalent degrees.

Monthly housing costs only total $1,587 each month, including mortgage. Houses are currently priced at an average $90 per square foot.

A one-bedroom rental averages $969 per month.

6. West Haven

  • Median Home Value: $193,800
  • Average Monthly Rent Cost: $1,164
  • Average Monthly Utilities Cost: $299.32
  • Population: 54,620
  • Average Household Income: $62,985

West Haven is a coastal city on the Long Island Sound that features a two-hour public transit commute to New York City. For those who can handle the trip into town, a lot of houses can be purchased with a big-city salary. The median home value in West Haven is $193,800, and 54.6 percent of residents are homeowners. Total average monthly bills are $1,955 in West Haven, and that includes mortgage payments.

Monthly rental costs average $1,164 in West Haven.

If you plan to drive for your commute, the average gasoline prices are $2.79 to $2.96 per gallon.

5. Bristol

West Haven

  • Median Home Value: $197,800
  • Average Monthly Rent Cost: $1,027
  • Average Monthly Utilities Cost: $238.43
  • Population: 59,947
  • Average Household Income: $67,507

Bristol is another of the cities near Hartford with a lower cost of living, but the income is a bit more generous here. The median home value in Bristol is $197,800, and 63.6 percent of Bristol’s residents are homeowners. Total average monthly bills are $1,793 in Bristol, and that includes mortgage payments.

The average household income is $67,507, and the average per capita income is $36,351.  Ten percent of residents live in poverty.

Monthly rental costs average $1,027 in Bristol, but renters should still plan for the expensive monthly utilities averaging $238.43 per month.  

The average commute in Bristol is 25 minutes, and it is about an hour to Hartford.

4. Meriden

Cheapest Places to Live in Connecticut

  • Median Home Value: $171,900
  • Average Monthly Rent Cost: $1,027
  • Average Monthly Utilities Cost: $238.45
  • Population: 59,395
  • Average Income: $58,843

Meriden is a small city with an impressive amount of outdoor access, and while the average income is low, the cost of living is also below the national average. Single residents average $33,687 per year, but households earn $58,843.

The median home value is $171,900 in Meriden, and residents spend an average of $1,559 in monthly homeownership costs. Currently, 58 percent of Meriden residents own their homes, and the rest spend an average of $1,027 per month in rent. 

Commutes are short in Meriden, only 23 minutes.  Plan for gas to be about $2.76 per gallon.

3. Norwich

Cheapest Places to Live in Connecticut

  • Median Home Value: $164,200
  • Average Monthly Rent Cost: $1,061
  • Average Monthly Utilities Cost: $238.43
  • Population: 38,768
  • Average Household Income: $57,052

Norwich is perhaps best known for the nearby Mohegan Sun casino and resort operated on the Mohegan tribal lands.  Fortunately for Norwich, casinos create many jobs and bring people to the area. The average household income is $57,052 and the average per capita income is $30,201.

The median home value in Norwich is $164,200, and 51.6 percent of Norwich’s residents are homeowners. Total average monthly bills are $1,749 in Norwich, and that includes mortgage payments.

Monthly rental costs average $1,061 in Norwich.

The average commute is only 23 minutes, and if that is done by personal vehicle, plan for gas that averages $2.76 to $2.91 per gallon. 

2. Naugatuck

Naugatuck

  • Median Home Value: $183,400
  • Average Monthly Rent Cost: $1,069
  • Average Monthly Utilities Cost: $299.32
  • Population: 31,108
  • Average Income: $74,944

Naugatuck has fantastic access to nature via a state park, state forest, and 44-mile long greenway.  Those looking for that type of outdoor living will be pleased with the low cost of living in Naugatuck.  Its cost of living is just a hair over the national average at 102 on a cost of living index where 100 is the national average. 

The median home value in Naugatuck is $183,400, and 69 percent of Naugatuck’s residents are homeowners. Total average monthly bills are $1,821 in Naugatuck, and that includes mortgage payments. 

Average income in Naugatuck can provide a good lifestyle. The household average income is $74,944 and the per capita average income is $36,465.

Monthly rental costs average $1,069 in Naugatuck. If you drive rather than bike the greenway for your commute, plan for an average gas cost of $2.54 per gallon. The average commute for Naugatuck residents is 30 minutes.

1. Torrington

Naugatuck

  • Median Home Value: $153,700
  • Average Monthly Rent Cost: $949
  • Average Monthly Utilities Cost: $242
  • Population: 34,044
  • Average Household Income: $63,172

Torrington is beloved for its New England charm, and that charm can be obtained for a very reasonable price. The median home value in Torrington is $153,700, and 67% of Torrington’s residents are homeowners. Total average monthly bills are $1,126 in Torrington, and that includes mortgage payments.

Available homes range from older farmhouses on acreage to modern new builds. The average household income is $63,172  and the average per capita income is $32,881. Monthly rental costs average $949 in Torrington. 

The average commute for Torrington residents is 26 minutes, and the average price of gas is $2.69 to $2.76 per gallon.

Summing It Up

The cheapest place to live in Connecticut is Torrington, and the median home value there is $153,700. Apartment rentals, utility bills, mortgage payments, and monthly homeownership costs are also low in Torrington, just as they are in the other cities on this list.

Many of these cities feature costs of living at or below the national average. Several in the Hartford area do suffer from high poverty rates and low average incomes. However, if you can assure your own income stream, you can find great deals on homes, often with manageable commutes to larger population centers with employment opportunities.

Kirbee Anderson

Kirbee is a licensed attorney and real estate broker, but DIY projects of all kinds call to her. Kirbee loves being at home with her husband, daughter, and dog and investing her time and energy into projects to make their home a unique and comfortable place for all of them. Her favorite projects include gardening, building new items, and creating solutions to manage clutter.

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