10 Most Affordable Places to Live in Montana

Key Takeaways:

– Living in Montana offers breathtaking landscapes and endless outdoor activities
– Charming small towns and cities like Missoula and Bozeman offer Western hospitality and cultural experiences
– The median list price for homes in Montana is $609,000
– Redfin has compiled a list of the 10 most affordable places to live in Montana, all with median list prices under $609,000
– Laurel is the most affordable place to live, with a median home price of $299,000
– Great Falls, Columbia Falls, Billings, Helena, Bigfork, Livingston, Belgrade, Kalispell, and Missoula are also affordable options
– Each city has its own unique attractions and activities to offer residents

REDFIN:

Living in Montana offers a variety of highlights, with its breathtaking landscapes of the majestic Rocky Mountains, vast prairies, and pristine lakes, all providing endless opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, and skiing. The state’s charming small towns and cities like Missoula and Bozeman offer a blend of Western hospitality, arts, and cultural experiences. 

If Montana sounds like the state for you, then you may also be curious what cities fit into your budget. When it comes to buying a home in Montana, the median list price is $609,000.

Don’t worry if that price doesn’t fit in your budget – we’ve got options to help you find a home or apartment that does. Redfin has rounded up a list of the 10 of the most affordable places to live in Montana – and they all have a median list price under $609,000. From Laurel to Columbia Falls, read on to see what cities you may want to consider moving to this year.

#1: Laurel 

Median home price: $299,000 
Median household income: $62,250 
Laurel, MT homes for sale
Laurel, MT apartments for rent

With a median home sale price of $299,000, Laurel comes in at number one on our list of most affordable places to live in Montana. There are about 7,800 residents living in this small city. If you’re considering moving to this area make sure to explore downtown Laurel, visit Thompson Park, and check out the views at Sundance Lodge Recreation Area.

#2: Great Falls

Median home price: $339,000 
Average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $1,340 
Median household income: $58,272 
Great Falls, MT homes for sale
Great Falls, MT apartments for rent

Taking the second spot on our list of affordable cities to live in Montana is Great Falls. When living in this city of 60,400 people, you can check out the artwork at the C. M. Russell Museum, visit one of the riverfront parks like West Bank Park, and see the historic architecture in downtown Great Falls.

#3: Columbia Falls

Median home price: $397,000 
Average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $1,709 
Median household income: $64,500 
Columbia Falls, MT homes for sale
Columbia Falls, MT apartments for rent

Next is the town of Columbia Falls, which has about 5,500 residents. The median home sale price is $397,000 which is about $210K less than the median home sale price in Montana. If you find yourself moving here, make sure to visit one of the parks in town, check out Teakettle Mountain, and drive just outside of the area to explore the picturesque town of Whitefish. 

#4: Billings

Median home price: $400,000 
Average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $1,386 
Median household income: $58,272 
Billings, MT homes for sale
Billings, MT apartments for rent

A little more expensive than Columbia Falls is the city of Billings. With roughly 117,400 residents in Billings, make sure to check out downtown Billings where you’ll find museums like Yellowstone Art Museum and the Wise Wonders Science and Discovery Museum, and visit the Riverfront Park along the Yellowstone River.

helena montana capitol

#5: Helena

Median home price: $409,000 
Average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $1,225 
Median household income: $58,272 
Helena, MT homes for sale
Helena, MT apartments for rent

Another great affordable town to consider moving to is Helena. Home to 33,100 residents, this charming area can be a great option to add to your list. Living in Helena, you can explore downtown Helena where you’ll find Reeder’s Alley, the Original Governor’s Mansion, and Holter Museum of Art, see the Montana State Capitol, and hike Mount Helena and Mount Ascension Park.

#6: Bigfork

Median home price: $467,000 
Median household income: $73,443 
Bigfork, MT homes for sale
Bigfork, MT apartments for rent

Another noteworthy city is Bigfork, where the home prices are about $140K less than the state’s average. Bigfork has about 4,800 residents and is a great city to consider renting or buying a house this year. There are lots of activities to do in this city. You can take in the scenic views at Wayfarers/Flathead Lake State Park, and stroll through the charming downtown area, among many other local favorites.

#7: Livingston

Median home price: $501,000 
Median household income: $62,893 
Livingston, MT homes for sale
Livingston, MT apartments for rent

Claiming the seventh spot on our list of affordable places to live in Montana is Livingston. With a population of roughly 8,400, you’ll be living in a smaller city, but there is no shortage of things to experience in Livingston. Don’t miss out on visiting the quaint downtown area where you can check out museums like the Livingston Depot Museum and the Yellowstone Gateway Museum once moving to the area.

Two women fly-fishing in Montana

#8: Belgrade

Median home price: $541,900 
Median household income: $82,769 
Belgrade, MT homes for sale
Belgrade, MT apartments for rent

If you’ve lived in Montana for a while, it’s likely you know of Belgrade. Just about 11,600 residents call this affordable city home. Living in Belgrade, be sure to check out one of the parks in town or grab a meal while exploring downtown Belgrade.

#9: Kalispell

Median home price: $548,900 
Average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $1,325 
Median household income: $57,123 
Kalispell, MT homes for sale
Kalispell, MT apartments for rent

Another great place to consider living in Montana is Kalispell where the population is about 26,100. Popular things to do in Kalispell include visiting the charming downtown area and seeing museums like the Northwest Montana History Museum and Hockaday Museum of Art, exploring Lone Pine State Park, or taking a road trip to Glacier National Park.

#10: Missoula

Median home price: $602,450  
Average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $1,095 
Median household income: $59,783 
Missoula, MT homes for sale
Missoula, MT apartments for rent

Claiming the 10th spot on our list of affordable places to live in Montana is Missoula. This city has a population of 74,800 and you can visit The Historical Museum at Fort Missoula, hike Mount Jumbo, the Barmeyer Trail, or Crazy Canyon, and explore downtown where there are museums, views of the river, and plenty of historic sites. There’s always something to check out while living in Missoula.

Methodology: All cities must have over 4,000 residents per the US Census and have a median home sale price under the median list price in Montana. Median home sale price from the Redfin Data Center during February 2024. Average rental data from Rent.com February 2024. Population and median household income data sourced from the United States Census Bureau.

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Property Chomp’s Take:

Living in Montana offers a variety of highlights, with its breathtaking landscapes of the majestic Rocky Mountains, vast prairies, and pristine lakes, all providing endless opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, and skiing. The state’s charming small towns and cities like Missoula and Bozeman offer a blend of Western hospitality, arts, and cultural experiences.

If Montana sounds like the state for you, then you may also be curious about what cities fit into your budget. When it comes to buying a home in Montana, the median list price is $609,000. Don’t worry if that price doesn’t fit in your budget – we’ve got options to help you find a home or apartment that does. Redfin has rounded up a list of the 10 most affordable places to live in Montana – and they all have a median list price under $609,000. Let’s take a look at these cities and what they have to offer.

1. Laurel: With a median home sale price of $299,000, Laurel comes in at number one on our list of most affordable places to live in Montana. There are about 7,800 residents living in this small city. If you’re considering moving to this area, make sure to explore downtown Laurel, visit Thompson Park, and check out the views at Sundance Lodge Recreation Area.

2. Great Falls: Taking the second spot on our list is Great Falls. With a median home price of $339,000, this city of 60,400 people offers plenty of attractions. Check out the artwork at the C. M. Russell Museum, visit one of the riverfront parks like West Bank Park, and see the historic architecture in downtown Great Falls.

3. Columbia Falls: Next is the town of Columbia Falls, which has about 5,500 residents. The median home sale price is $397,000, which is about $210,000 less than the state’s median. If you find yourself moving here, make sure to visit one of the parks in town, check out Teakettle Mountain, and drive just outside of the area to explore the picturesque town of Whitefish.

4. Billings: A little more expensive than Columbia Falls is the city of Billings. With roughly 117,400 residents, Billings offers a vibrant downtown with museums like Yellowstone Art Museum and the Wise Wonders Science and Discovery Museum. Don’t forget to visit the Riverfront Park along the Yellowstone River.

5. Helena: Another great affordable town to consider moving to is Helena. Home to 33,100 residents, this charming area can be a great option to add to your list. Explore downtown Helena where you’ll find Reeder’s Alley, the Original Governor’s Mansion, and Holter Museum of Art. You can also hike Mount Helena and Mount Ascension Park for some outdoor adventure.

6. Bigfork: Another noteworthy city is Bigfork, where the home prices are about $140,000 less than the state’s average. Bigfork has about 4,800 residents and is a great city to consider renting or buying a house this year. Take in the scenic views at Wayfarers/Flathead Lake State Park, and stroll through the charming downtown area, among many other local favorites.

7. Livingston: Claiming the seventh spot on our list is Livingston. With a population of roughly 8,400, you’ll be living in a smaller city, but there is no shortage of things to experience. Visit the quaint downtown area where you can check out museums like the Livingston Depot Museum and the Yellowstone Gateway Museum.

8. Belgrade: Just about 11,600 residents call Belgrade home. Living in Belgrade, be sure to check out one of the parks in town or grab a meal while exploring downtown Belgrade.

9. Kalispell: With a population of about 26,100, Kalispell is another great place to consider living in Montana. Visit the charming downtown area and see museums like the Northwest Montana History Museum and Hockaday Museum of Art. Explore Lone Pine State Park or take a road trip to Glacier National Park.

10. Missoula: Claiming the 10th spot on our list is Missoula. This city has a population of 74,800 and offers plenty to do. Visit The Historical Museum at Fort Missoula, hike Mount Jumbo, the Barmeyer Trail, or Crazy Canyon, and explore downtown where there are museums, views of the river, and plenty of historic sites. There’s always something to check out while living in Missoula.

These are just some of the affordable places to live in Montana. Each city has its own unique charm and attractions to offer. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or a tight-knit community, Montana has something for everyone. Consider these cities when looking for your dream home or apartment in the Big Sky Country.

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