The three most affordable cities with warm weather are Knoxville, TN, Memphis, TN, and San Antonio, TX. The three most affordable states are Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia.
You want to live in a place in the United States with warm weather but you don’t want to pay exorbitant prices for the privilege. Where can you go to escape the cold weather without breaking the bank? What cities have a low median home price while still having pleasant weather?
In this article you’ll discover some options for you. I’ll first give you a list of 10 affordable cities with great weather and then share with you a ranking of top 10 most affordable warm weather states (including both mild climates as well as hotter ones).
Top 10 Affordable Major Cities With Warm Weather
I researched data for this article according to Numbeo’s ranking on the cost of living in the United States that ranks 66 major US cities. Users living in these places submit their data with prices of things like rent, groceries, utilities, transportation, restaurants, and more.
I went through the list and picked the first 10 cities with year round mild weather. This means that the average temperature in the winter doesn’t drop below 50 °F during the day in the coldest month. I don’t take into account how hot the summers get. The average winter temperature by itself is good enough of a filter to get rid of places that get too cold, guaranteeing relatively mild winters.
Here are your best options for affordable cities with warm weather:
1. Knoxville, TN
Knoxville is the most affordable city for those who want to enjoy warm weather most of the year. While it has one month when daytime temperatures drop below 50 °F, temperatures drop to 48 °F and only in January. If you don’t want extreme weather, Knoxville is perfect in this aspect.
The cost of living, well below the national average, may make up for the cooler temperatures for a few weeks. If finances are above weather in your priorities, this is one of the best inexpensive warm places to live. With less than 200,000 residents, Knoxville is the closest thing to a small town on this list.
2. Memphis, TN
Memphis is a hotter and more populous alternative to Knoxville, with temperatures about a few degrees Fahrenheit higher. In fact, it’s the warmest city in Tennessee. If you want more entertainment venues and big city living, Memphis, as a three times larger city, is a better option. Compared to other cities in this ranking, Knoxville and Memphis are the only cities with four distinct seasons (though Memphis has less pronounced seasons).
3. San Antonio, TX
San Antonio is one of the warmest cities in Texas. It has warm to hot weather year round and offers very affordable housing prices for such a big, major city. If you want to enjoy big city living without the extremely high costs, San Antonio is one of the best choices among the warm inexpensive places to live. Due to its distance from the Gulf Coast, San Antonio has slightly less humid weather than Houston. This means slightly more comfortable summer heat.
4. Tucson, AZ
Tucson is much cheaper than Phoenix, particularly as for rent. While it’s cooler than Phoenix, it still enjoys warm and sunny weather perfect for those who are tired of living in a cold or cloudy place. Note that while cooler, Tucson still experiences extremely hot summer temperatures.
5. Jacksonville, FL
Jacksonville is the most affordable city out of the biggest cities in Florida (check out the warmest cities in Florida). Its rent prices are very low (lower than in San Antonio, so it’s a better option if you want to lower your monthly housing payment), though groceries are much more expensive. Still, as for hot places to live in America, it’s one of the best big city choices.
6. Houston, TX
Houston is more expensive than San Antonio but still very affordable if you consider all the opportunities such a major and well-developed city offers to its residents. Houston is also the ninth hottest city in Texas. The problem with Houston is its consistently high humidity, leading to very high heat indices in the summer. Air conditioning is a necessity.
As one of the largest cities in the United States, Houston is great for those who want to live in a more culturally diverse area but still with relatively cost-effective housing.
7. Fresno, CA
While Californian cities tend to be extremely expensive, prices in Fresno are only a little above the national average. Considering Fresno’s dry and sunny weather, it may be a good option for those who like mild winters (with daytime temperatures of about 55-60 °F) and hot summers (about 92-98 °F). Fresno definitely offers some of the best weather to live in USA for those who like a more arid climate and not the standard Californian Mediterranean climate.
8. Orlando, FL
Orlando is the second cheapest city in Florida out of the major cities. While renters pay more than in many of the other cities in this ranking, groceries are cheaper than in Jacksonville. And the warm climate is still very dependable year round, with good weather most of the time (perhaps outside of the hottest, humid summer months).
9. Las Vegas, NV
If you want the sunniest weather possible while living in a big, affordable city, Las Vegas is the second best option after Tucson. It has noticeably cooler winters than Tucson but offers more entertainment options, fun events year round, and a wider variety of restaurants and outdoor activities. The city offers the best weather if you want the sunniest climate possible.
10. Fort Lauderdale, FL
Fort Lauderdale is the third city in Florida in this ranking and the tenth most affordable place for warm weather lovers. It has the highest rent index out of all ten cities but groceries are cheaper than in Jacksonville. It’s also one of the hottest cities in the state, though less hot than Key West which is the hottest place in Florida. Still, cold temperatures are unlikely to bother you in Fort Lauderdale. It has the mildest winters out of the ten cities featured in this ranking.
If you want the hottest weather possible, check out my article on the hottest cities in the US as well.
What makes a best place to live? Warm weather, low cost of living but also… safety to enjoy it. I published an article on warm safe places to live in the US if you’d like to live in a warm place with high safety. Combine that article with findings from this article to find the best place to live for yourself.
Top 10 States With Warm Weather and a Low Cost of Living
According to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC), here are the warm states with the most affordable cost of living:
One of the warmest states in the US, Mississippi is the cheapest state with the second most affordable housing after Alabama and the least expensive groceries after Texas. The median income in the state is about $25,000 which is about $5,000-10,000 lower than in the highest earning states.
Check out the warmest cities in Mississippi.
Alabama has the most affordable housing in the US with the lowest median home sale price (according to Redfin, about $268,200). It’s also one of the hottest, enjoying warm winters and very hot summers.
Check out the warmest cities in Alabama.
In some ways, Georgia is like a cheaper and more diverse alternative to Florida. Of course, it doesn’t have the same beautiful white sand beaches but its affordable cost of living, cooler weather and beautiful mountains may be desirable by many. Average high temperatures place Georgia in “spring/summer temperatures year round” territory. The median home price in Georgia is also one of the lowest out of the warmest states.
Check out the warmest cities in Georgia.
Tennessee is not as warm as many other states on this list but it’s still an affordable place with a moderate cost of living and relatively rare freezing temperatures. While not that temperate, Tennessee has relatively mild summers compared to other states in this ranking.
Check out the warmest cities in Tennessee.
Texas has the lowest cost of groceries in the entire nation. With high paying jobs and all the amenities easily available in its major cities, it’s one of the most attractive affordable places to move to. While it’s not as hot as Florida, some places in Texas still offer warm to hot weather year round.
Check out the warmest cities in Texas.
Louisiana’s low cost and its eclectic culture with great weather most of the year makes it one of the most interesting options for those seeking warmer climates without breaking the bank.
Check out the warmest cities in Louisiana.
7. South Carolina
South Carolina’s spectacular beaches and its year round mild weather (except for the humid summers) combined with relatively cheap housing prices for a coastal state make it another great contender for an affordable place for hot weather lovers.
Check out the warmest cities in South Carolina.
8. North Carolina
North Carolina has cooler weather than South Carolina and slightly higher prices. But the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains covering most of Western North Carolina may make up for it for those who love mountain hiking.
Check out the warmest cities in North Carolina.
Nevada is one of the best states for lovers of sunny weather. Clear skies are pretty much guaranteed the entire year. For its sunny weather, Nevada is still relatively affordable, though you need to be ready to face extreme temperatures in the hottest summer months. If you’re looking for hot places to live in USA, though, it’s one of your best options.
Check out the warmest cities in Nevada.
Virginia has one of the mildest climates in this list. But if you value living closer to some of the biggest cities on the East Coast, it may be a good option with pleasant weather most of the year. The state is also home to some of the safest warm cities in US.
Check out the warmest cities in Virginia.
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