You’re here because you want to know the cheapest places to live in Washington State. This is probably not the first article you opened. I get it – after all, finding an affordable place in Washington is a challenging task.
Generally, to find the cheapest places in Washington State, you would want to go as far away from Seattle as possible. Particularly, these places are in the Southeast and Northeast parts of the state.
Below is the list of the most affordable places to live in The Evergreen State.
Table of Contents
- 10. West Side Highway
- 9. Otis Orchards-East Farms
- 8. Toppenish
- 7. Union Gap
- 6. Town and Country
- 5. West Richland
- 4. Quincy
- 3. Finley
- 2. Hoquiam
- 1. Connell
- Related Questions
- Final Thoughts
10. West Side Highway
- Median Home Value: $170,000
- Median Rent Price: $984
- Median Household Income: $62,695
West Side Highway is on the southwest side of Washington. This area is covered by Cowlitz County and named after a state highway, which runs from north to south between Kelso and Longview.
Living here, you’ll take advantage of the affordable living, but also other things. You’ll have a sight of the beautiful mountainside, pleasant climate, and its proximity to Portland.
9. Otis Orchards-East Farms
- Median Home Value: $324,254
- Median Rent Price: $1,002
- Median Household Income: $76,875
Otis Orchards-East Farms is a mid-sized city located 20 miles west of the Idaho border. If the look and feel of the neighborhood play a big part in your decisions when buying a home, then you must check this area out.
For example, you will easily notice how many of the buildings were built from a certain period or whether signs you’ll see on stores are written in multiple languages. This area has outstanding things when it comes to the way it looks and way of life that are worth noting.
- Median Home Value: $159,900
- Median Rent Price: $669
- Median Household Income: $43,823
Located in Yakima County, living in Toppenish will provide you with a scant suburban feel. Most people living here own their homes and enjoy the many parks scattered in the area.
Toppenish is a small town and perfect for people who are looking for a simple, peaceful life. While things hardly happen here, living here will make you a part of a friendly community that cares about each other.
Several festivals are being celebrated throughout the years. On weekends, there are open-air markets selling clothes and foods.
7. Union Gap
- Median Home Value: $165,696
- Median Rent Price: $669
- Median Household Income: $38,667
Also located in Yakima County, Union Gap is another cheap place to live in Washington State. Like the previous one, this is another town that will give you a suburban feel, but with a mix of rural atmosphere.
This town offers a lot of shopping and dining options. It also offers convenient freeway access to the highways leading to the major towns and cities.
Geographically, Union Gap is a great springboard to cities in both western and eastern parts of Washington and even Lower Yakima Valley. Its main location in the state has backed it with a climate, which makes it a perfect place for different outdoor activities. It also serves as the entryway to the Ahtanum Forest, where you can find some of the best snowmobiling in the whole state.
6. Town and Country
- Median Home Value: $212,200
- Median Rent Price: $910
- Median Household Income: $64,863
A place with an interesting name, Town and Country is a suburb located in Spokane County. Living here will give you a sparse suburban feel. You’ll get to enjoy many parks and coffee shops scattered all over the town.
If you’re looking to live in a non-city place in Washington State that is transportation-friendly, Town and Country is a great option. The train and bus system can take you to your place of work or any destinations you needed to be. You can also ride your bicycle or walk to your destination without worry.
On top of the land transportation, you’ll also find it convenient how the airport is just out of town. This airport serves airlines that fly to different destinations nationwide. However, most of them will have Seattle as the connecting flight.
5. West Richland
- Median Home Value: $374,180
- Median Rent Price: $960
- Median Household Income: $92,952
Not only one of the cheapest, Richland, which is in Benton County, is also one of the best places to live in Washington State. West Richland is another place that will give you a rural feel.
West Richland offers diverse weather, offering all four seasons very markedly. While there are not a lot of attractions to see, there are three major cities you can get to that are only 20 minutes away.
With its friendly communities and excellent school options, it’s a great place to raise a family.
- Median Home Value: $133,500
- Median Rent Price: $133,500
- Median Household Income: $56,921
Located in central Washington, Quincy is another cheapest place to live in the state. The city lives its motto, “Opportunities Unlimited” when it comes to monetary aspects.
Being a small town, living here will make you get to know everyone right away, and in time, distinguishing a local from a visitor will be so easy. There are not a lot of attractions and things to do, but you’ll get an affordable and safe community to live in.
Quincy’s community is getting stronger and stronger which now is one of the major whiskey producers in the state. All schools have also been modernized on the recent. It’s not perfect and might need some revitalization, but it’s surely is a terrific place to live.
- Median Home Value: $177,100
- Median Rent Price: $1,044
- Median Household Income: $73,438
Located in Benton County, Finley is another great place to live, which offers you a suburban-rural feel. Aside from having a lot of parks, the town also has a lot of establishments that are always hiring.
So, moving here, finding a job shouldn’t be a problem. There are two main industries in Finley: construction and healthcare. Together, these industries make up 12% of the workforce of the town.
This town might be small. However, it still offers a lot of fun things to do. Living here, you’ll enjoy day-to-day activities, including weekend day trips. If you need something from the city, Kennewick is only a few miles away, which offers more recreational activities and other forms of entertainment.
Being a part of Tri-Cities, living in Finley will give you the best of both worlds.
- Median Home Value: $96,600
- Median Rent Price: $717
- Median Household Income: $19,373
A small town located in Gray Harbor County, Hoquiam, is on the second spot of cheapest places to live in Washington. With its small size, you’ll be surprised by what this town has to offer – it has many parks, bars, and other sites of entertainment.
The town gives big importance to sports and hobbies. This means everyone always has something to do, most of which are outdoor activities like bow and arrow shooting, hunting, fishing, horse-riding, and hiking. If you want something more laid-back like just eating or having coffee, the town has a few restaurants and cafes.
- Median Home Value: $119,600
- Median Rent Price: $668
- Median Household Income: $38,309
The place that topped our ranking as the cheapest place to live in Washington is Connell. This city is in Franklin Country and is 40 miles north of Kennewick.
Connell is a place that you must live in to fully understand its beauty and unique characters. But aside from its geographical beauty, it is the people that make this place unique. Although it’s a city, it has a close-knitted community where getting to know everyone is so easy.
And on top of everything mentioned above, Connell is also a safe and quiet place to live as well.
Is Washington a Tax-Free State?
Yes! Aside from having towns and cities with low living costs, Washington State has no state income tax. This means that working in Washington, your paycheck will be free of taxes other than the federal income taxes. Because the state has no income tax, you’ll take home more money from your paycheck and provide more income for the basic cost of living.
However, you must know that Washington does have a statewide sales tax of 6.5%. Some of those who are living near the Oregon border choose to take a short trip to take advantage of Oregon’s tax-free shopping.
What is the Cost of Living in Washington State?
To come up with this list, each city’s cost of living index was calculated and compared the result to the national average of 100. The categories considered in this affordability index are groceries, healthcare, housing, utilities, transportation, and utilities.
|Rank||City||Avg. Closing Costs||Annual Property Tax||Annual Homeowner’s Insurance||Avg. Annual Mortgage Payment||Median Income||Affordability Index|
|10||West Side Highway||$2,631||$2,492||$448||$9,753||$68,358||39.85|
|9||Otis Orchards-East Farms||$2,790||$2,749||$498||$10,841||$76,875||40.52|
|6||Town and Country||$2,570||$2,274||$401||$8,715||$64,796||42.18|
The cost of living stats indicated below is based on a US average of 100. An amount below 100 cheaper than the US average, while higher than 100 means more expensive than the US average.
|Cost of Living||Washington||United States|
|Median Home Cost||$381,300||$231,200|
What Are the Cheap Places to Live in or near Seattle?
The truth is, finding a cheap place to live in Seattle is like finding a needle in a haystack. If you really need to live in Seattle but can’t afford to pay the rent in full on your own, then find a roommate.
While it’s not impossible to find a cheap place to live in the Emerald City, you’re more likely to find them in neighborhoods with higher crime rates and social issues. Some neighborhoods that are worth checking out are Beacon Hill, Boeing Field, Rainier Ave, and Sea-Tac.
Another solution is to find a place outside the city limits. Seattle is battered by an extremely high cost of real estate. There is basically not much buildable land left at all closer to the city, and even further out, we are seeing less and less due to the mountains and water.
Some of the places with good proximity to Seattle but not as expensive are the following places:
- Bothell (12 miles)
- Gig Harbor (23 miles)
- Tacoma (25 miles)
- Everett (25 miles)
- Olympia (40 miles)
How to Qualify for Low-Income Housing in Washington State?
There are subsidized living options for seniors, disabled, and low-income individuals in Washington State. However, you have to know that there are long waiting lists due to the limited inventory of available housing.
In order to qualify for Washington State’s Low-Income Housing Program, the income of the household shouldn’t exceed 80% of Area Median Income (AMI). As of April 2020, the income levels are as follow:
Number in Household
|30% AMI||80% AMI|
Households with income that doesn’t exceed 30% of AMI will be prioritized on the waitlist. Keep in mind, too, that the process usually takes 1 to 3 years. However, if you’re very persistent and a bit lucky, you may possibly get it in 6 months or earlier.
Washington D.C. is one of the most expensive states in the United States – it has expensive housing and basic expenses. And while this is the case, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s also one of the best states to live in the country.
This also doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to live more affordably in the state. Hopefully, this article has been helpful in your search. If you have further questions about this topic, let us know in the comment below!