Best Cities to Be a Single Homeowner

Janet Berry-Johnson
Janet Berry-Johnson
  • 8+ years writing about insurance, taxes, and personal finance

  • Certified public accountant

Janet applies her experience in personal finance, taxes, and accounting to make complex financial topics accessible. Her byline has appeared on numerous web media.

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Tanveen Vohra
Edited byTanveen Vohra
Tanveen Vohra
Tanveen VohraManager of Content and Communications
  • Property and casualty insurance specialist

  • 4+ years creating insurance content

Tanveen manages Insurify's data insights, annual home and auto insurance reports, and media communications. She’s regularly featured in media interviews on insurance topics.

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Published February 13, 2023 at 11:00 AM PST

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Are you thinking of taking the plunge into homeownership but feeling a bit daunted by the idea of tackling this major purchase on your own? A second income from a life partner could make it easier to manage a mortgage, but if you opt to buy solo, you’re certainly not alone. Roughly 28% of home buyers are single individuals, according to the National Association of Realtors.

The good news is plenty of cities are singles-friendly, making it easier than ever for you to accomplish your home ownership dreams. 

To identify the best cities for single homeowners, Insurify’s data scientists created a composite score made of up variables including the average cost of a one-bedroom home, the average cost of home insurance, the prevalence of arts and entertainment venues, the cost of living, unemployment rates, and transit options.

Read on to find out which cities are tops for singletons in the U.S.

Insights

No single city is the one-size fits all answer for single homeowners. Each city on our list offers something unique that makes it an ideal place to set down roots.

  • Cities on our list are spread across the U.S., with locations in the Pacific Northwest, Midwest, and northeastern states.

  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, ranks No. 1 on our list of best cities to be a single homeowner due to its low cost of living, affordable housing and home insurance, and the prevalence of entertainment venues and transit options.

  • The average price of a one-bedroom home in the top 10 cities is $233,908, while the average monthly cost of home insurance in these cities is $181.

  • The midwestern cities of St. Louis, Missouri, and Fargo, North Dakota, have the lowest costs of living on our top 10 list. For single homebuyers budgeting with one income, a low cost of living can be an essential factor in their buying decision.

  • Missoula, Montana, ranked No. 2 on our list despite having a higher cost of living due to its outsized entertainment venues. It’s one of the smallest cities in our analysis but has more entertainment venues per capita than any of the other 134 urban centers we looked at.

The best cities for single homeowners

Here’s our list of the top 10 cities for single homeowners, and some insight into how they earned their spot.

10. Burlington, Vermont

  • Single Homeowner Score: 90.0

  • Average price for a one-bedroom home: $303,613

  • Average monthly cost of home insurance: $125

Burlington, Vermont, isn’t one of the least-expensive cities on our list in terms of housing costs or cost of living. But what it lacks in affordability it makes up for with a low unemployment rate (3.1%) and above-average entertainment options.

The city is known for its vibrant music scene and its many art galleries, museums, and theaters. This city on the shores of Lake Champlain has a very walkable downtown area, and it has the goal of becoming the best small city for walking and biking on the east coast. This makes it ideal for single homeowners who want to get around easily without a car.

Learn More: Burlington, VT Homeowners Insurance Quotes

9. Lincoln, Nebraska

  • Single Homeowner Score: 91.4

  • Average price for a one-bedroom home: $240,574

  • Average monthly cost of home insurance: $276

Lincoln, Nebraska, makes our list as a great place for single homeowners due to its low cost of living and low unemployment rate of just 2.5%.

Football and craft beer enthusiasts will also be in good company in Lincoln, as it’s home to the Nebraska Cornhuskers college football team and boasts 4.13 craft breweries per 100,000 residents.

8. Fargo, North Dakota

  • Single Homeowner Score: 95.2

  • Average price for a one-bedroom home: $156,076

  • Average monthly cost of home insurance: $143

Fargo, North Dakota, is one of the top 10 cities for single homeowners due to its low cost of living, including affordable housing and home insurance. Not only are residents able to enjoy lower costs, but the city also has a surprisingly strong tech startup community and high-quality healthcare.

As the largest city in North Dakota, jobs in the manufacturing, medical, and technology industries are plentiful. Some of the city’s top employers include North Dakota State University, Sanford Health, US Bank, Microsoft, and John Deere.

7. St. Louis, Missouri

  • Single Homeowner Score: 96.0

  • Average price for a one-bedroom home: $126,706

  • Average monthly cost of home insurance: $232

St. Louis, Missouri, is an excellent choice for single homeowners due to having the second-lowest housing costs and lowest cost of living on our top 10 list. The downtown area is also very walkable, with many nearby public transit options.

The Gateway to the West is also known for its abundance of cultural attractions, including the Gateway Arch, St. Louis Zoo, Missouri Botanical Garden, Peabody Opera House, and Pulitzer Arts Foundation. Sports lovers can also look forward to cheering on the St. Louis Blues hockey and St. Louis Cardinals baseball teams.

Learn More: Homeowners insurance in St. Louis

6. Madison, Wisconsin

  • Single Homeowner Score: 96.0

  • Average price for a one-bedroom home: $228,437

  • Average monthly cost of home insurance: $125

Madison, Wisconsin, is an excellent choice for single homeowners looking for a place to call home. Wisconsin’s second-largest city offers affordable housing and homeowners insurance, low unemployment, and plenty of public transit options.

This Midwest college town has plenty to do in every season: skiing and ice skating in winter, sailing and swimming in summer, scenic biking and hiking in the spring and fall, and craft breweries to visit throughout the year.

5. Portland, Oregon

  • Single Homeowner Score: 96.0

  • Average price for a one-bedroom home: $355,519

  • Average monthly cost of home insurance: $104

Portland, Oregon, lands in the middle of our top 10 list of best cities for single homeowners due to its high scores for public transit options and wealth of entertainment venues.

It’s also a great place for foodies. With award-winning restaurants, delicious food carts, and farmers’ markets, this Pacific Northwest city is known for fresh seafood and doughnuts.

Learn More: Homeowners insurance in Portland

4. Rapid City, South Dakota

  • Single Homeowner Score: 96.8

  • Average price for a one-bedroom home: $221,424

  • Average monthly cost of home insurance: $221

Rapid City, South Dakota, is an excellent city to call home for single homeowners due to its affordable housing market, an abundance of entertainment venues, and low unemployment rate.

Not only is this city more affordable than many other cities on our list, but it also boasts plenty of outdoor activities. It’s within an hour’s drive of five national parks and monuments, including Mount Rushmore. Plus, the nearby Black Hills make for great excursions.

3. Minneapolis, Minnesota

  • Single Homeowner Score: 97.5

  • Average price for a one-bedroom home: $186,641

  • Average monthly cost of home insurance: $250

Minneapolis, Minnesota, is an excellent choice for single homeowners looking for a place to call home. The Twin Cities have affordable housing and also boast the highest transit score in our top 10 list. The area’s Metro Transit offers fast, frequent service to both downtowns (Minneapolis and St. Paul), the Mall of America, and many other popular attractions.

And if proximity to the Mall of America isn’t enough for shoppers to flock to Minneapolis, the city also charges no sales tax on clothing and shoes.

2. Missoula, Montana

  • Single Homeowner Score: 98.4

  • Average price for a one-bedroom home: $406,384

  • Average cost of home insurance: $212

Missoula, Montana, is an excellent choice for single homeowners looking to call this charming mountain town home. Although it’s the most expensive city in our top 10 list when it comes to the cost of a one-bedroom home, its low unemployment rates and plentiful entertainment options make paying more for housing worth it for many residents.

But that’s not all Missoula offers. Situated in the beautiful Rocky Mountains, the city is surrounded by rivers and wilderness areas, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. It’s no wonder so many University of Montana graduates stick around.

1. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Single Homeowner Score: 100.0

  • Average price for a one-bedroom home: $113,706

  • Average cost of home insurance: $119

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is the top-ranking city on our list of best cities for single homeowners and with good reason. This energetic city in western Pennsylvania has a lot to offer those looking to call it home.

First and foremost, Pittsburgh boasts an incredibly low cost of living, with affordable housing and homeowners insurance rates. It’s also convenient to get around by bus, light rail, or bike, has a booming restaurant and craft brewery scene, and plenty of theaters, concert venues, art galleries, and museums to keep residents entertained throughout the year.

Learn More: Home insurance in Pittsburgh

Methodology

The data science team at Insurify referred to their proprietary quotes database and publicly accessible data to identify the best cities for new homeowners in 2023. Cities were ranked based on a composite score of factors including the cost of home insurance; one-bedroom home prices; the overall cost of living; unemployment rate; ease of alternative transportation; the number of arts and entertainment establishments per 100,000 residents; and opportunities for single adults. Data evaluating these factors were sourced through Insurify’s database of real-time insurance quotes from partner insurance companies, updated data from Insurify’s ranking of the best cities for young professionals, and external data sets from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, WalkScore, and Zillow.

Conclusion

You have many factors to consider when you’re thinking about buying a home, but it’s important to remember that the city you choose to live in can have just as big an impact on your quality of life as the house itself. 

If you’re looking for a great place to buy a home, be sure to consider entertainment venues, the cost of living, employment opportunities, and other factors that would make you feel more comfortable living in the area. And if you’re not sure where to start your search, check out the communities on our list. 

Janet Berry-Johnson
Janet Berry-Johnson

Janet Berry-Johnson, CPA is a freelance writer with a background in accounting and income tax planning and preparation. She's passionate about making complicated financial topics accessible to readers. She lives in Omaha, Nebraska with her husband and son and their rescue dog, Dexter. Visit her website at www.jberryjohnson.com.

Tanveen Vohra
Edited byTanveen VohraManager of Content and Communications
Tanveen Vohra
Tanveen VohraManager of Content and Communications
  • Property and casualty insurance specialist

  • 4+ years creating insurance content

Tanveen manages Insurify's data insights, annual home and auto insurance reports, and media communications. She’s regularly featured in media interviews on insurance topics.

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