10 Cheapest Places to Live in Massachusetts

You want to move to a picturesque state like Massachusetts that soars magnificently at a majestic 50% above the ordinary norm. 

Sitting on the East Coast of the United States between Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, Massachusetts is home to 6, 79,422 people.

Cheapest Places to Live in Massachusetts

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So, I understand that being an outsider it’s difficult for you to know about the Bay State affordable places. But, don’t worry, I got you covered.

I’ve lived in Waltham, Massachusetts for the past 10 years working with iRobot and can offer you an honest review on the cheapest places to live in Massachusetts.

However, I want you to know that affordable towns in Massachusetts are typically found in the suburbs rather than the urban areas. 

You can easily access public transportation to reach the city and enjoy the urban lifestyle. Let’s explore where you can find your budget-friendly home in Massachusetts.

Cheapest Places to Live in Massachusetts

1. Athol

  • Population: 9,154
  • Cost of living index: 96.7 (US average of 100)
  • Crime rate: 12.94 (per 1,000 residents)

70 miles west of Boston, nestled in the wooden hills of North Central Massachusetts, on the bank of Millers River in Worcester County, Athol is a beautiful town to call home.

The most captivating feature of the town is the Millers River, which annually draws hundreds of participants to the Orange River Rat Race.

Additionally, Bearsden Forest Conservation Area beckons nature enthusiasts to explore its hills, offering splendid views of the town.

The total expenditure for a single adult, covering shelter, well-being provisions, food, and other conveyances amounts to approx. $39, 803, which falls below the annual expenditure for Massachusetts.

A renter in Athol allocates a modest $854 per month towards housing expenses. A typical household in this area boasts an annual income of approximately $54,500, accompanied by the ability to afford a median-priced home valued at $165,100.

Businesses in Athol are thriving, benefiting from a populace where 88% of adults have a high school diploma. Residents also relish job security and a high standard of living score.

Things to do in Athol:

  • Admire the architecture in Downtown Athol
  • In the summer months, come to Alan E. Rich Environmental Park for canoeing
  • Enjoy a picnic at Silver Lake Park
  • Go for a hike through the scenic oak-pine woods at the Newton Reservoir or at Doane’s Falls
Doane's Falls, Cheapest places to live in Massachusetts
Doane’s Falls

2. Palmer

  • Population: 12,434
  • Cost of living index: 92.8 (US average of 100)
  • Crime rate: 9.62( per 1,000 residents)

If you’re yearning for an economical place to live in Massachusetts, a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, there is no place more splendid than Palmer.

Nestled on the eastern edge of Pioneer Valley and situated between Springfield and Worcester in the South Central region, Palmer proves to be an idyllic haven for retirees and families, offering convenient access to top healthcare and education sectors.

The annual cost of living of a single adult on average is around $35, 903, coupled with the distinctive advantage of an average annual income of $68694. 

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Residents of this town can purchase a house for approx. $188, 600 while renters allocate a reasonable $907 each month on housing expenses.

Visitors from far and wide flock to Palmer’s Richardsonian Romanesque structure, a train-themed family restaurant, to relish its delectable cuisine and know its wonderful history.

Things to do in Palmer:

  • Visit the 1890s-era Palmer’s Public Library to indulge in reading local history
  • Explore the Yankee Flea Market, featuring 200 vendor booths offering antique license plates, mirrors, dolls, furniture, and much more to purchase
  • Taste Alvin Rondeau’s Dairy Bar’s ice cream
  • Along the bank of the Quaboag River, embark on hiking and photography adventure
Palmer’s Public Library
Palmer’s Public Library, Picture – Palmer’s Public Library

3. Longmeadow

  • Population: 15,863
  • Cost of living index: 111.5 (US average of 100)
  • Crime rate: 6.42 (per 1,000 residents) 

In Hampden County, on the east bank of the Connecticut River, lies an affordable suburb of Massachusetts known as Longmeadow, conveniently situated just 8 minutes from Springfield.

In your pages of history books, you’ll find mention of the Smithsonian Institution Building, whose splendid sandstone edifice stands as a major attraction.

With its impressive old houses, Long Meddowe Fall festival, the theme park at Six Flags New England, and an abundance of green space – Longmeadow proudly ranks among the finest places in Massachusetts.

A remarkable 97% of its residents proudly hold high school diplomas, boasting an impressive average income of $124,410 per year. The annual expenses for a single adult amount to around $35,903, a figure notably lower than the national average.

Things to do in Longmeadow:

  • Visit the First Church of Christ in the Longmeadow Historic District.
  • Revel in the serenity of nature at Forest Park.
  • Marvel at the diverse wildlife, including Arctic foxes, spider monkeys, American alligators, axolotls, pythons, and more at the Zoo in Forest Park and Education Center.
  • Enjoy some quality time exploring the Longmeadow Historical Society
Unforgettable occasion of baptism at First Church of Christ
Unforgettable occasion of baptism at First Church of Christ

4. Pelham

  • Population: 1,280
  • Cost of living index: 106.7 (US average of 100)
  • Crime rate: 6.43 (per 1,000 residents)

You’re destined to fall in love with the tight-knit charming community of Pelham. Nestled in the heart of the Pioneer Valley of the Connecticut River and surrounded by the pristine expanse of the Quabbin Reservoir, Pelham stands as one of the most romantic idyllic places to call home.

This budget-friendly Massachusetts town, located near Springfield, boasts a median home value of approximately $365, 200, making it an accessible option for many. On average, renters contribute $1, 339 per month towards their housing expenses.

The Pelham School System serves as the town’s primary employer. The town’s industrial landscape mostly encompasses the manufacturing industry and poultry farm.

Pelham holds the distinction of being one of the beloved places to retire in Massachusetts as the ambiance and cultural opportunities are so huge to experience.

Things to do in Pelham:

  • Take a refreshing dip at Puffer’s Pond
  • Embark on a guided tour of the Beneski Museum of Natural History
  • Delight in leisurely walks along the extensive trails of the Quabbin Reservoir
Puffer’s Pond
Puffer’s Pond

5. Cordaville

  • Population: 2,650
  • Cost of living index: 86.6 (US average of 100)
  • Crime rate (violent): 8.2 (per 1,00 residents) 

Amidst the backdrop of the soaring cost of living in Massachusetts’s capital Boston, there lays a charming refugee known as Cordaville, an affordable suburb of Boston to enjoy village life and quiet ambiance.  

In the picturesque enclave of Cordaville, the median household income ascends to an impressive $165,800, a sum that stands as a testament to prosperity, exceeding the median home value by a noteworthy 3.4-fold, which hovers around $563,700. 

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A single adult expense is around $39, 803 a year, which is again comparatively affordable. The public schools are ranked excellent however, the options are limited. 

Also, Cordaville has so many restaurants, parks, and relaxing spots that retirees dream of settling down and enjoying their time. Its location being close to Southborough helps the retirees to visit healthcare faculty within no time. 

Things to do in Cordaville:

  • Enjoy time at the cemetery called The Irish Round Tower
  • See the pretty landmark of Cordaville called as Old Stone Church Historic Site
  • Witness the unique piece of history called Udor Tower

6. Leominster

  • Population: 43, 352
  • Cost of living index: 109.2 (US average of 100)
  • Crime rate: 19.37 ( per 1,000 residents)

If you are in search of an active, involved, and a safety neighbourhood then look no further than Leominster, a beautiful city that is 25 minutes downtown Worcester. 

The attractive thing about Leominster is its location; Interstate 190 is just a few minutes away, making it very convenient for residents. 

Back in the beginning of the 19th century, its economy was based on agriculture. However, these days, it’s also focusing on manufacturing sectors like the production of combs, sunglasses, baby carriages, and importantly plastics.

That’s why the city is also known as the Plastic Town of Massachusetts. Leominster has great hiking spots, so for an adventurous soul, this place is a haven. 

For the growing family, this place is perfect because everything, from shopping centers, and restaurants, to entertainment centers, schools, and hospitals is easily accessible.  

Additionally, the median home value averages around $237, 100 with a single adult annual expense estimated at around $39, 803. 

I‘m sure you’ll love this beautiful Massachusetts city with low living expenses and ample opportunities for a happy life.

Things to do in Leominster:

  • Spend a carefree afternoon enjoying the sun at Pierce Meadow
  • Take an energetic walk on the Monoosnoc Ridge Trail
Funstuf Party Place
Funstuf Party Place

7. Hopkinton

  • Population: 3,567
  • Crime rate: 2.22 per 1,000 residents)

I’m sure you’ve heard about Hopkinton, the starting point of the Boston Marathon. But did you that it boasts some top-rated schools, with a rating of 8/10?

Before 2020, the Hopkinton’s real estate market was quite affordable. However, during COVID-19, people from Boston flocked here to enjoy a suburban lifestyle, resulting in high real estate prices.

But, in comparison to Boston, it remains much more affordable, with median home costs of $486, 900 and estimated single adult expenses of around $46,861.

Additionally, its economy is robust, with many residents employed at Dell, as Hopkinton serves as the headquarters for this American Multinational Corporation.  

Things to do in Hopkinton:

  • Enjoy sunshine or water at Hopkinton State Park
  • If you enjoy day hiking, come to Whitehall Reservoir
  • Participate in outdoor concerts at Hopkinton Downtown
Hopkinton State Park
Hopkinton State Park

8. Somerset

  • Population: 18,271
  • Cost of living index: 107.9 (US average of 100)
  • Crime rate: 8.60 (per 1,000 residents)

On the western bank of the Taunton River in Bristol County sits Somerset where the average family income is less than $76, 311 annually. 

And, a single adult’s annual expense is around $36, 364 with a median home value of around $272, 000. Don’t you want to move to this pretty low-cost city in Massachusetts?

The streets are adorned with tall, well-established trees and it is teeming with historic public and residential buildings. The place is one of the hidden gems in Massachusetts.

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Things to do in Somerset:

  • Spend a day at the Somerset Village Historic District, learn the history of the city, and more
  • Come to the riverfront park in Somerset known as Pierce Beach & Playground
  • Taste the top sirloin beef rib roasts and boneless hams from Auclair’s Market

9. Franklin

  • Population: 70, 927
  • Cost of living index: 136.6 (US average of 100)
  • Crime rate: 2. 91 ( per 1,000 residents)

Franklin Town has been ranked as the 5th among the top 20 safest cities in Massachusetts. I would recommend choosing Stone Ridge on the North end of Franklin State Forest to reside.

Every school has strong local programs that keep their quality upgraded and on-mark. The city’s economy has flourished by Garelick Farms, Air Inc., SMTC Corporation, and other manufacturing sectors. On average a median household earns $111, 935.

However, the home price in Franklin is $488,600 which is high but its geographic location and other daily expenses makes it one of the best place to reside.

 Things to do in Franklin:

  • Book lovers, come to Franklin Public Library
  • Enjoy the pedestrian-friendly Downtown
  • On weekends go for a bike ride in the woods of Franklin State Forest
Franklin State Forest
Franklin State Forest

10. North Adams

  • Population: 12,729
  • Cost of living index: 84 (US average of 100)
  • Crime rate: 34.70 (per 1,000 residents)

The residents of North Adams are truly remarkable in their warmth and kindness, creating a genuine sense of community. For me, this is the best place to retire in Massachusetts.

However, it must be acknowledged that this place bears the weight of economic challenges. But, you’ll be immensely grateful for the quality education you’ll be receiving from the schools. 

The economy of North Adams runs on the tourism and hospitality sectors. Entrepreneurs are investing in the economy by opening hotels, restaurants, and other recreation centers. 

In terms of affordability a median renter pays $757 with an average annual income of four is around $41, 471. 

If you want to buy a home in North Adams it will cost you around $ 144, 300 which is undoubtedly one of the inexpensive neighborhoods in Massachusetts.

Things to do in North Adams:

  • Enjoy Art at MASS MoCA
  • Enrich your knowledge at North Adams Public Library
  • Witness the natural beauty at Natural Bridge State Park
MASS MoCA
MASS MoCA

Read More:

FAQs: Cheapest Places to Live in Massachusetts

1. Is it cheaper to live in NY or MA?

A. Massachusetts is significantly more affordable than New York. On average, the cost of living in New York is $3,879, whereas, in Massachusetts, it is $2,641. It is quite evident that the cost of living in New York is 1,238 times greater.

2. Is California cheaper than Massachusetts?

A. Living in Massachusetts is cheaper compared to living in California. As per the cost of living index, Massachusetts ranks 127 whereas California ranks 149.

3. What is the safest affordable place to live in Massachusetts?

A. Leominster, Massachusetts, nestled southeast of Fitchburg along the banks of the Nashua River, stands out as one of the safest and most affordable places to establish one’s residence. In Leominster, you have a 1 in 65 chance of falling victim to property crime, while the odds of being a victim of violent crime are just 1 in 258.

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