The 5 Cheapest Cities in New York

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KEY POINTS

  • Upstate New York is home to several cities with a low cost of living.
  • Low housing costs are the primary factor in determining which cities are the most affordable, since housing is most people's largest expense.


Not everywhere in New York is as expensive as New York City.

When most people think of New York, they think of one of the biggest -- and most expensive -- cities in the country. But there's a lot more to New York state than just the city that shares its name. Upstate New York is home to some pretty affordable cities with a lot of charm.

Here's a look at the five cities with the lowest average monthly bills on housing, utilities, cable, satellite, phone, and more, according to doxo.

1. Hornell

Hornell is located near the state's southern border, about 70 miles south of Rochester. It's a rural community, once a major railroading hub and now the home of a railroading museum honoring its past. It also has a proud history of brewing beer and features several craft breweries. Those who prefer to spend time outdoors will enjoy the nearby Stony Brook State Park.

Housing costs in the area are pretty affordable for homeowners and renters. The average mortgage payment is just $757 per month while the average renter pays $672 per month. Auto and health insurance in this area also falls well under the national average.

2. Oneida

Oneida, New York, is located 30 miles east of Syracuse. It has a little something for everyone, including fishing, a theater, vineyards, and some delicious restaurants. The city also has the unusual distinction of being home to the world's smallest church, which is less than 30 square feet in size.

Its cost of living is also pretty small, with the average resident paying about $1,395 per month. Housing costs are more expensive here than in Hornell, but they're still under $1,000 per month for the average homeowner. Oneida locals also get pretty affordable rates on cable, satellite, and phone bills compared to people in other New York cities.

3. Ogdensburg

Ogdensburg is located on the Saint Lawrence River, just south of the Canadian border. That can make for some cold winters, but the city makes up for it with excellent fishing, golfing, an extensive hiking and biking trail system, and a bunch of family-friendly activities throughout the year.

It's also budget-friendly, with an average mortgage payment of $729 per month. Renters pay even less at $638 per month on average. Utilities are actually a bit more expensive here than the national average, but the city makes up for this with savings on phone and cable bills.

4. Norwich

Smack dab in the middle of the state, you'll find Norwich, a small town known for its classic car museum. It's also home to an old-fashioned movie theater and some excellent restaurants. And for those days when you feel like losing yourself in a bigger city, Syracuse is only 60 miles away.

Rent is under $700 per month on average in Norwich. Mortgage payments are a bit more expensive, but they're still well below the national average. Norwich drivers can expect to pay a little more than average for their car insurance premiums, but they may be able to offset this with savings on cable and health insurance.

5. Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls advertises its biggest attraction in its name. The impressive waterfall, spanning the U.S. and Canadian border, draws millions of tourists each year. But the town has a lot more to offer. There's an old fort nearby, along with wineries, shopping malls, art galleries, jet cruises, and more.

Like most of the cities on this list, it's so affordable in large part due to its low housing costs. Both renters and homeowners pay rates that are considerably below average for the state and the country as a whole. However, utility costs are a little more expensive here, so residents may want to limit their usage to keep their bills down.

All of the cities above have average monthly bills under $1,450, per doxo, but there are plenty of other New York cities that offer rates pretty close to this. If none of these towns above appeal to you, check out some other cities that are off the beaten path to see what they have to offer.

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