Housing experts are telling Americans hunting for affordable homes should consider this picturesque city in Upstate New York.

Congratulations to Cortland

According to Realtor.com, Cortland is among the 10 most affordable places to live in the entire country. Actually, it topped it's most recent list!

Essentially, the pandemic and everything else that came along with it uprooted the housing market. Home prices surged by 33 percent since 2020 because demand has grossly outpaced the supply.

Limited inventory meant that people would engage in crazy bidding wars in hopes of snagging a desirable home, sometimes causing it to be sold the day it was listed.

Sold Home For Sale Real Estate Sign and House
Andy Dean/ThinkStock/TSM

Now that home prices in the country are averaging about $436,800, home buyers are having difficulty finding a place that checks all their boxes while not breaking the bank.

That's why Realtor.com singled out the city of Cortland - it offers many amenities families would find desirable, in addition to offering agreeable home sale prices.

In fact, that's what made Cortland the #1 most affordable small town in all of America.

Why Cortland is #1

Cortland's home sales average about $159,250, which is practically a third of the current national median.

But aside from affordability setting Cortland apart from the rest, Realtor.com also notes the city follows the real estate agents' mantra: Location, location, location.

Cortland is accessible to the state's major cities like Ithaca and Syracuse, which are a respective 35-minute and 45-drive.


Cortland also offers plenty of perks that many cities don't. First, it is surrounded by panoramic, picturesque views that we Upstate New Yorkers cherish.

This mostly-rural and quiet community also rests on the banks of the Tioughnioga River and is hailed as the "southeastern gateway to the Finger Lakes region."

But there's more to Cortland than drinking in the gorgeous sights and sounds, it's also rich in history, which means the area is full of old homes and historic sights.  The first settlers arrived in Cortland around 1791, which was later incorporated as a village in 1853 before finally being christened New York's 41st city in 1900.

Cortland is also home to a slew of seasonal events, like the Pumpkin Festival or Seedstock, that literally could come right out of a Hallmark movie.

It also has an enviable Main Street dotted with restaurants, stores and other attractions -- not to mention how beautifully it's decorated around the holidays.

Photo via Skaneateles Chamber of Commerce
Photo via Skaneateles Chamber of Commerce

Speaking of attractions, it offers ample skiing in the winter, leaf peeping in the fall, as well as plenty of hiking or camping in the warmer months.

In all, this city offers plenty to do without sacrificing privacy or peace of mind. The fact that it comes at a bargain price is what makes it America's most affordable small town.

What other cities made the list?

While Cortland ruled this year's roundup, it's joined by some fantastic company. In order, here are the nation's top 10 most affordable small towns to call home in 2023.

  1. Cortland, NY
  2. Kearney, NE
  3. Branson, MO
  4. Sandusky, OH
  5. Galesburg, IL
  6. Aberdeen, SD
  7. Rutland, VT
  8. Iron Mountain, MI
  9. New Ulm, MN
  10. Taos, NM

Agree with this list? Disagree? Let us know!

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This single-family home built in 2005 has a mind-blowing price tag, but is absolutely gorgeous.

Gallery Credit: Bespoke Real Estate, Zillow.com


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