6 Cities Where You Can Buy a Home for $100,000 or Less

Are you trying to break into real estate but need help knowing where to start? Or maybe the increase in property prices is overwhelming? If so, you’re not alone. At the end of 2023, the median home price in the US was $417,000, making it hard for investors to purchase and maintain properties. However, I found six cities where you can buy properties for $100,000 or less and profit from your investment.


Detroit, Michigan 


Photo by William Duggan on Unsplash

First on our list is Detroit with 801 properties on Zillow for $100,000 or less in June 2024. Some homes in Detroit could make you $1,200-$1,400 in monthly rent. Also, keep the 1% rule in mind when looking for properties. The rule states that the property should be rented out for at least 1% of its purchase price for cash flow and good returns.


Why invest in Detroit?

  • J.P. Morgan Chase, a multinational finance company, celebrated their tenth anniversary of investing $200 million into Detroit, saying J.P. Morgan Chase will be part of the city for another 90 years. The $200 million provided the following:
    • 72,000 Detroiters were placed in apprenticeships, full, or part-time jobs.
    • 17,000 Detroiters participated in job training programs aligned with high-demand industries.
    • More than 13,000 small businesses received capital or technical assistance.
    • More than 5,000 affordable housing units were created or preserved.
    • More than 15,000 Detroiters received services to improve their financial health.

A massive company like J.P. Morgan didn’t invest in Detroit for nothing. They invested $200 million because their research showed the city and J.P. Morgan would benefit from their economic investment. 

Indianapolis, Indiana


Photo by Ryan De Hamer on Unsplash

In Indianapolis, I found around 50 properties on Zillow that were $100,000 or less in June 2024, yielding about $900-$1,100 of monthly rent. When looking for rentals, do not rely on photos posted by the seller- make sure you get an inspection. Inspections can show issues with the property and identify what needs current or future repairs. You can use results from an inspection as a negotiating tool. Never skip inspections!


Why invest in Indianapolis?

Low unemployment and high job growth rates are important because they ensure a company’s potential pool of applicants will have places to work. 

Kansas City, Missouri

Photo by Farhodjon Chinberdiev on Unsplash

According to Zillow, there are 74 properties in Kansas City $100,000 or less as of June 2024. These properties could make around $1,200-$1,400 a month. Some properties in Kansas City have been on the market for a while. If a property has been on the market for a while and had its price lowered, there is always a reason. In this situation, ask why the price was initially lowered and submit a lower offer.


Why invest in Kansas City?

  • In 2022, the region’s economy increased by $4.28 billion
  • In 2024, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis ranks Kansas City metro 15th of 50 in the nation for growth in real GDP among populous metros. 
  • GO Banking Rates recognizes Kansas City as one of the 25 top affordable, fast-growing cities to consider in 2024. 
  • Kansas City is also one of the top life science research markets.
  • One-third of the world’s animal health industry takes place in Kansas City.

St. Louis, Missouri

Photo by Kenny Nguyễn on Unsplash

In St. Louis, there are 156 properties on Zillow for $100,000 or less as of June 2024. These properties can comfortably bring in around $1,400 monthly. When looking for properties, make sure you set a fair rental rate. The 1% rule is good, but make sure you compare other listings in your area and stay in the middle of those. Utilizing both of these strategies will give you a fair rental rate.


Why Invest in St. Louis?

  • In the North City, construction is underway on the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s $1.7 billion headquarters. Accepting employees in 2026, it will feature many amenities like a courtyard, a coffee bar, and a mile-long walking trail.
  • Saint Louis Zoo has plans for 425 acres in North County in 2027, increasing tourism to St. Louis. 

When cities invest in amenities like these, they believe the population will expand, which brings in more potential renters.



Cleveland, Ohio

Photo by DJ Johnson on Unsplash

In Cleveland, there are 182 properties on Zillow for $100,000 or less in June 2024, which could make you $1,200-$1,400 monthly. With many properties and cities to choose from, there are a lot of variables that go into selecting the right one. When investing, consider the following:

  • Job growth. 
  • Local economy.
  • Unemployment rate.
  • What employers are entering the city.
  • What employers are leaving the city.

These considerations give you a better idea of where to put your time and money to maximize profit and minimize loss. 


Why Invest in Cleveland?

  • Cleveland Metropark’s $300 million CHEERS project (Cleveland Harbor Eastern Embayment Resilience Strategy) is redeveloping the waterfront from downtown east to Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve near Gordon Park. 
  • Cleveland is also starting construction of more than 600 housing units on the Scranton Peninsula. 
  • Sherwin-Williams is building a new HQ tower for 3,500 workers. 

A new lakefront and office are a great sign for a profitable investment.



Dayton, Ohio

Photo by Michael Bowman on Unsplash

Last on our list is Dayton, Ohio, with 89 properties for $100,000 or less as of June 2024. These properties could bring in around $1,000-$1,300 per month. Fun fact– I have successfully invested in Dayton from out of state for over four years, making it a good start in your investing career! If you want to learn more about out-of-state real estate investing, click here.


Why Invest in Dayton?

All these companies expanding in the city bodes well for Dayton, providing jobs and money to the economy.

Final Thoughts

See? Even with the increase in median home prices at the end of 2023, getting into real estate doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Remember the tips we discussed in the article:

  • The 1% rule.
  • Always get an inspection.
  • If a property’s price is lowered, there’s always a reason.
  • Look at other rental rates in your area.
  • Look for job growth. 
  • Look at the local economy.
  • Check the unemployment rate.
  • Check what employers are entering the city.
  • Check what employers are leaving the city.

If you’re interested in gaining knowledge to help you invest in real estate, tune into my show, Black Real Estate Dialogue. You can watch on YouTube, and you can listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.



Free Out of State Investing Training- https://www.outofstatemoney.com/

8 Steps to Buying Out of State Properties- https://www.outofstatemoney.com/long-distance-investing-guide

The Remote Landlord’s Toolkit- https://www.outofstatemoney.com/remotelandlordtoolkit

The Creative Financing Playbook- https://www.outofstatemoney.com/creativefinancingplaybook


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