These 10 Affordable Small Towns Are Popular for Movers

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  • The draw of affordable suburbs was as strong as ever for movers as 2023 began, Opendoor data show.
  • The top zip codes for movers were all in the south, but popular cities like Miami missed the list.
  • Here are 10 places where home buyers settled in their quest for sunshine and a small-town feel.

Big cities: exit stage left. Movers are prioritizing a small-town feel and affordability over the bustle of urban centers — a trend that will likely continue this year. 

The millions who purchased a home in 2022 preferred the outskirts of cities, according to an analysis of moving data by Opendoor, a so-called i-Buyer that makes instant offers on homes. That’s a shift from a leading trend of 2021, when Americans flocked to blockbuster Sun Belt destinations like Miami and Austin, which have become increasingly unaffordable.

Suburbs that topped Opendoor’s list — like Murfreesboro, Tennessee, outside of Nashville, and New Braunfels, Texas, situated in between Austin and San Antonio — boast housing that’s more affordable than the rest of the country and are small enough to breed a sense of community.

Opendoor found that little has changed as the new year begins, even with the real estate markets cooled by high mortgage rates. People “would be motivated to move somewhere new for a more affordable cost of living,” the company said in its report.

Median home prices climbed year-over-year for a record 130th consecutive month in December, while existing home sales continued to slow, the National Association of Realtors reported on Friday.

The sentiments reflected in Opendoor’s report are abundantly clear to moving businesses like U-Haul and on-the-ground experts like real estate agents, who believe the trend is here to stay. There’s little doubt that people who’ve already made the moves from pandemic hotspots to suburbs would agree. 

But while dense cities may be out of vogue with movers, sunshine is still in. Americans want the warm temperatures and favorable tax policies that many southern states can offer, Opendoor’s analysis shows. 

The towns making Opendoor’s top 10 are also within an hours drive from cities with a lot of jobs and parks, mountains, rivers, and streams. 

Opendoor’s ranking was derived through an analysis of homes sold in the 53 metro areas where it operates. While the list isn’t all encompassing, it draws from data in every region of the country.

If you’re pondering a move, and thinking like the millions who did so last year, behold, these zip codes are the ones to consider. 



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