New York isn’t the cheapest place to live – especially when you’re closer to NYC – but there are a few regions in our beautiful state that are easier on your bank account than others. Western New York is one of the most affordable areas to call home and, thanks to the folks over at
Niche, we now know which places around Buffalo offer the most for your money. Niche’s ranking took into consideration overall affordability, average tax rates, housing costs, and food costs, as well as other key factors like resident reviews, and several areas in Erie and Niagara Counties earned high marks when it came to low costs.
For our own ranking, we took a look at Niche’s grades for both affordability and local attractions to find the perfect balance of cheap but awesome places to live near Buffalo. Here are our picks for the 10 top spots that offer the most enticing perks while also maintaining an affordable price:
Located just 15 minutes from Downtown Buffalo, the village of Sloan is home to roughly 3,000 Erie County residents. Sloan earned the #1 spot on Niche’s list of Buffalo’s overall cheapest suburbs, with high praise for its access to outdoor activities, public schools, and family-friendly environment. You’ll find more homeowners than renters here, but with a median home value of $74,000, it’s not hard to see why. If you’re looking for a small town to settle in that’s not too far from some bigger city action, make a trip over to Sloan to check out the affordable housing options in its lovely neighborhoods.
Angola is a charming area within the town of Evans that is home to about 2,000 Western New Yorkers. The village received an appealing report card with high marks overall. Its location near the waterfront and its above-average public schools draw in lots of families looking for a place to put down roots. While the median home value is a bit higher (at $113,400), the median rent remains relatively low (at $636), which attracts many young professionals to the area as well.
3. North Tonawanda
Follow the Niagara River and travel about 20 minutes north of Buffalo and you’ll find yourself in North Tonawanda, which ranked highly in terms of overall affordability and was also rated as the 5th best place to raise a family in Niagara County. The average home value here sits at $112,600 and the median rent is $666. With a population of around 30,000 residents, North Tonawanda offers a great blend of both city living and small-town life.
This area just outside of Buffalo is another great spot to check out if you’re looking for a city in Erie County with a small town feel. Lackawanna is home to roughly 18,000 residents and is home to plenty of local businesses and great places to dine, making its balance between attractions and affordability particularly enticing. The median home value in Lackawanna is $90,100 and the median rent is $621, with nearly equal rates of renters vs. homeowners. The suburb earned high marks for its nightlife, diversity, and ease of commute, as well as praise for its family-friendly environment, so Lackawanna is a good choice for both young professionals and families.
While Kenmore sits at the 11th overall cheapest place to live on Niche’s list, but we think this suburb deserves a little more recognition for its balance between affordability and activity. Kenmore received A grades the categories of Public Schools, Good for Families, Outdoor Activities, Nightlife, Health & Fitness, and Commute, as well as a B grades for the categories of Cost of Living, Housing, Jobs, Crime & Safety, and Diversity, making this area one of the most well-rounded on the list. Kenmore’s median home value sits at $119,000 and median rent sits at $733, and while not the cheapest, it offers a little bit of everything and is great value for what you get.
Lancaster is home to just over 10,000 residents and received an overall B grade from Niche, scoring high for its public schools, outdoor activities, and family-friendly atmosphere. While the median home value here sits at $122,900, the median rent is only $649. It’s not hard to see why so many people are choosing to move to this affordable suburb.
If you’re looking for a teensy tiny suburb to call home, Erie County’s very own village of Blasdell is a great place to set your sights on. Home to just over 2,000 residents, you’ll hear locals raving about the great public schools as well as all of the different restaurants and bars to choose from. With the average home costing just $94,000 dollars and a median rent of $704, Blasdell is an affordable option for both renters and buyers.
This small town up in Niagara County is home to around 20,000 residents and offers the luxury of living near both Buffalo and Niagara Falls. Lockport definitely has a suburban vibe that attracts both families and young professionals, and with a report card showing A or B grades in every category except Weather (and let’s be honest, this is Western New York… no town around here is going to receive a top grade for weather), this town is enticing for many reasons - including its median home value of $88,500 and average rent of $693.
9. West Seneca
Though a bit further from the lakefront, West Seneca is one of the larger suburbs on this list. It has a population of just over 45,000 and is just a quick and easy drive from Buffalo. Locals love the easy access to both outdoor activities and nightlife options, as well as the high-performing public schools and a healthy population that is welcoming to families. The median home value here is $141,500 and the average rent sits at $780, but the numerous opportunities here make it worth the higher price tag.
10. East Aurora
The noteworthy Buffalo suburb of East Aurora earned high marks across the board in Niche’s ranking, receiving A grades for its public schools, housing, family-friendly community, job offerings, and outdoor activities. The town of just over 6,200 residents is considered one of the best places to live in Western New York, and this, of course, drives up the cost to live here. The median home value is $189,500 and the median rent is $791, but if it’s still within your price range, East Aurora is an all-around excellent choice.
There are so many wonderful places to live throughout Western New York, with some of the best popping up just outside of Buffalo. No matter your price range, there is a community around here that’s the perfect fit.
We focused on some of the best areas that balance both affordability and attractions, but if you’d like to see Niche’s detailed rankings of Buffalo suburbs, including a few that we didn’t feature on this list, click