Cheapest Homes in Illinois

According to city-data.com, the average home value in the state of Illinois hovers around $215,000. While this number may seem fairly affordable, there are many factors in your property search that will heavily increase the purchase price of your dream property.

Factors such as location, condition and size of the home have the ability to greatly alter the target cost of the properties which meet your wish list. Furthermore, if considering a condo or a home in a gated community, expect to pay considerable condo and Home Owner Association fees.

As a rule of thumb, the closer to Chicago you are, the higher the property values become. Therefore, if you're looking for affordability, you must be willing and able to make a compromise regarding accessibility to Chicago, the aesthetic condition or the square footage of the home and lot.

In hopes of helping you find the cheapest homes in Illinois. Below, we'll discuss six areas of Illinois which hold an average home value of $215,000 or less. The statistics below will include the median income for households in the area, the average home value, crime rate in comparison to the national average, population, diversity and accessibility to Chicago or the nearest big city.

Aurora, IL

The Cheapest Homes in IllinoisIn Aurora, IL the average household earns an annual income of $60,000. The average value of homes in Aurora, IL stands at approximately $210,000. This is only 2.3% less than the average price of homes in the state of Illinois. However, if you're seeking a home near Chicago, where the average home price is $287,500, the savings are considerable.

Another feature which makes Aurora desirable is the manageable commute to Chicago. The average commute time to Chicago from Aurora is approximately one hour. However, you can expect to spend an extra 20-minutes halted in traffic during rush hour.

Aurora is located in Kane County, and is considered a large city as the population exceeds 170,000. The crime rate in Aurora is just 6% lower than the national average. And, the area is diverse as 44% of its population is white-non Hispanic, 38% of the population is Latino, 10% of the population is Black, 5% Asian and 3% mixed/other. This level of diversity is comparable with that of Chicago's.

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Highland, IL

Madison County hides a rare gem of a town called Highland. On average, the majority of households in Highland, IL earn $49,000. And, the average home value is $150,000. This is 30% less than the average of the state of Illinois, and 48% less than homes in Chicago. The commute to Chicago is just 45-minutes. However, the commute boosts to one hour when stuck in traffic.

Residents of Highland needn't worry about crime, as the community features a crime rate that is 56% less than the national average. In fact, throughout the years of 1999 to 2008, there were no recorded murders and less than 10 rapes in the neighborhood.

Though Highland may seem like a dream worthy town, it does have its detriments. If you're seeking diversity, it may be best to hightail it elsewhere, as 97.5% of Highlands, 10,000 residents are classified as white-non Hispanic. In turn, this translates into less than 100 Hispanic, 40 Asian and 10 Black residents. Speculatively, the lack of diversity causes the minority population to be highly susceptible to discrimination from the longstanding white population.

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Blue Island, IL

Though households in Blue Island may only average an income of $43,000 per year, this quaint city of Illinois boasts many offerings. The average value of a home hovers around $190,000. This price tag is 12% lower than the Illinois average, and 34% less than the Chicago average. In addition, Blue Island residents can enjoy a 25-minute commute into Chicago, and only expect a five minute delay in traffic.

Because of the close proximity to Chicago, a higher crime rate is expected. Yet, Blue Island maintains a crime rate that stands at less than 13% of the national average and 45% less than Chicago's high crime rate. A total of six murders were recorded and less than 100 rapes were recorded between 1999 and 2008.

Approximately 22,000 Cook County residents call Blue Island home. Overall, the area offers diversity in both race and age, safety, affordability and a close proximity to Chicago.

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Aviston, IL

Aviston, IL of Clinton County has one of the state's highest average household incomes of $65,000. Concurrently, the average value of a home in Aviston is a mere $165,000. This is 23% less than the state's average, and a savings of 43% when compared to Chicago.

Aviston, IL is one of the safest towns in America, as the crime rate is 99.3% less than the national average. To make the news even sweeter, in the year of 2006, not one crime was recorded in all of Aviston. And in 2008, only one crime, a theft, was reported.

With that said, the town is better suited for families rather than vibrant young professionals. The depressingly low population of 1,700 leaves a lot to be desired in the realm of fun and excitements. And the population is made up of 98% white-non Hispanics, leaving only 20 residents to account for the minority population.

Another caveat is the inaccessibility to Chicago, as the commute time exceeds five hours. However, the closest major city, St. Louis, MO is only a 53-minute drive.

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Belleville, IL

Homebuyers in Belleville, IL earn a median household income of $44,000. Though it is rather on the low end of the spectrum, the level of affordability is high in Belleville because the average home value is just $116,000. This is a 46% savings over the statewide average home value of $215,000, and a whopping 60% savings than if you were to purchase a property in Chicago, with its median value of $287,500.

While the affordability of the area is undeniably a benefit, those involved in the Chicago workforce needn't apply. The commute time to Chicago from Belleville, IL is a five hour drive - an impossible daily commute. However, the closest city, St. Louis, MO, is just a stone's throw away at a 15-mile distance, and a 31-minute commute.

The St. Clair County city has a high population of over 140,000. However, its ostensible diversity is lacking as the population is dominated 78% by white-non Hispanics, and only 27% of the remaining population is distributed amongst minorities.

The crime rate in Belleville weighs in at 42% above the nation's average. But, even this average is still 50.1% less than Chicago's crime rate.

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Rockford, IL

The average household income of Rockford, IL of Winnebago County is a modest $38,000. When compared to the state average income of $56,000 per household, Rockford falls 32% behind. But, this is not to say that its residents are barely hanging by a thread in a financial aspect.

The median home price in Rockford is $112,000. And, the median home price in the state of Illinois is $215,000. Therefore, living in Rockford poses a 48% savings in housing. This essentially puts Rockford ahead by 16% where affordability is concerned.

While affordability is certainly an asset, the city's crime rates are sky-high at over 211% of the national average. In 2008 alone, there were over 6,400 thefts, 3,000 burglaries, 1,000 assaults, 800 auto thefts, 147 rapes and 21 murders.

If you're seeking to commute to Chicago for work, expect a commute time of two hours. The largest city nearest to Rockford is Madison, WI at a 90-minute commute. In addition, the job opportunities in Rockford are dismal as the city was ranked #21 on the list of "Top 101 Cities with Highest Unemployment of 2009."

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When trying to find the cheapest homes in Illinois, the average listing price a clear determining factor. But, as a rule of thumb, if the prices are exorbitantly low, it's for a reason. Maybe the town's crime rate rises far above the national average, the population is miserably low or the job opportunities are dry as raisins.

Consider all possible outcomes of making the move to any of the towns listed above. The safety of your family and the question of how your livelihood will be affected by the relocation are two of the most important factors that must be considered.