Is it just us or is everything so expensive these days? (Spoiler: It’s not just us.) Indeed, the cost of living in many urban areas has become prohibitive of late, and this is felt particularly acutely by families who crave a quality life that it seems only the one percent can afford. If you’re looking to set up shop somewhere that checks all the boxes without breaking the bank, just consult our list of up-and-coming places to live near a major city and you might find a homebase that has affordability, amenities and so much more on its side. Here, a short list of the hottest zip codes around, based on Opendoor data of homes that went into contract within 90 days of listing in 53 different metropolitan areas.
The Best Places to Move If You Want to Be *Near* a Major City—Without the Major Cost
1. Clarksville, Tennessee (near Nashville)
A number one homebuyer favorite for the second year in a row, Clarksville owes its wide appeal to a sparse, suburban setting that affords families more space, as well as a vibrant tight-knit community, small town feel, and close proximity (roughly 40 minutes by car) to Nashville, which is one of the hippest cities in the South. It’s also worth noting that the cost of living in Clarksville is currently eight percent below the national average and, according to uphomes.com, job opportunities abound—particularly in government, education, hospitality, healthcare and social work sectors.
2. Yukon, Oklahoma (near Oklahoma City)
Chelsea Goyer, Head of Brokerage at Open Door, tells us that folks are moving west in response to overcrowding and rising prices in the Oklahoma City metro area. The major draw of Yukon? Award-winning schools, enviable housing developments that rival other suburban hubs (think: Plano, Texas), and major employers like Devon and Chesapeake Energy.
3. Katy, Texas (near Houston)
The major appeal of Katy, Texas is its prime location just outside of Houston—a city that has enjoyed enduring popularity among homebuyers. The Houston energy corridor provides gainful employment to many in the area and young families will be pleased to know that Katy is also home to one of the best-rated school districts in the state.
4. Summerville, South Carolina (near Charleston)
This quiet suburban town is situated just outside of Charleston (40 minutes by car), so commuting to the city for work or entertainment is a breeze. Best of all, this zip code boasts a lush green landscape, excellent Lowcountry dining options, close proximity to beautiful beaches and an abundance of outdoor activities—including fishing, boating and hiking at Ashley River and Rosebrock Park. In other words, Summerville is the kind of place where there’s so much Southern charm you might stay a weekend and decide never to leave.
5. Murfreesboro, Tennessee (near Nashville)
You can get plenty of bang for your buck in Murfreesboro, where the housing prices are affordable and the history is rich. (Notable Civil War monuments include the Stones River National Battlefield and Stones River Cemetery.) That said, Murfreesboro is certainly not stuck in the past: The town has parks, museums and cultural centers galore, and is conveniently located just 30 minutes outside of Nashville, where the entertainment and dining scene is second to none.
6. Kissimmee, Florida (near Orlando)
This warm and sunny inland city is just a stone’s throw away from Orlando’s numerous, family-friendly attractions—Disney World, SEA LIFE Aquarium, Gatorland and Fun Spot America, to name a few—and its subtropical climate and affordable prices attract homebuyers young and old.
7. Loganville, Georgia (near Atlanta)
The experts at Opendoor report that families and young professionals are flocking to Loganville, Georgia because of its beautifully maintained parks, highly-rated school district and homey suburban vibes. Located just under an hour away from bustling Atlanta and even closer to Athens, Georgia—spacious living is basically Loganville’s calling card. To put it succinctly, the quality of life here is pretty damn peachy.
8. Parker, Colorado (near Denver)
You’ll find top-notch schools, easy metro access and parks aplenty in this affordable, family-friendly and irresistibly quaint spot outside of Denver. Coffee shops and boutiques line the streets, small-town hospitality is always on the menu and the state’s capital city—located a mere 30 minutes away by car—has enough dining, entertainment and culture on offer to fill a whole lifetime itinerary.
9. Port Saint Lucie, Florida (near Miami)
Per Goyer, more affordable prices are to be found once you start moving away from the beaches. Case in point: Port Saint Lucie, which is located less than half an hour north of Palm Beach, and is home to significantly more affordable housing compared to other spots in South Florida’s Treasure Coast. Move here and you’ll be treated to a relaxed atmosphere, a cluster of clean, safe neighborhoods that are surrounded by sprawling golf courses, and a picturesque network of boardwalk-lined waterways that wind through breathtaking tropical mangroves and are home to a diverse array of aquatic life.