There's bad cheap, and there is good cheap. The first usually is a label nobody wants to wear, but when it's a good cheap, well that's a different story. When it comes to cost of living and home prices, sometimes the term cheap can usually be a very good thing.

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Recently Kiplinger compiled a list of the "12 Cheapest Small Towns in America". Their goal was to showcase all the perks that small town life had to offer. Kiplinger noted that small town living can actually be quite inexpensive depending on location. Add in those charming attributes such as truly knowing your neighbors and not having to deal with busy traffic and a high paced lifestyle, going "small" may be the perfect way to go.

Michigan Town Takes the Top Spot

Topping the list at number one is the Michigan small town of Benton Harbor. Just 50 miles west of Kalamazoo, and close enough to get the big city fix if you need it, Benton Harbor is situated on the  shores of Lake Michigan.

Show Us the Facts

According to the report, Benton Harbor has a cost of living that's more than 12% below the national average. The median income of Benton Harbor is roughly a third of the national level with a figure of $21,916 (U.S.: $65,712). Still, the report states the unemployment rate is in line with the country as a whole.

Benton Harbor didn't fair to well with a few other figures though. With a population of 9,843, poverty and crime are high in Benton Harbor. That factor does contribute to a median home value that's a drastic 74% lower than the national median at $63,300 (U.S.: $240,500) according Kiplinger.

The negative numbers may seem a bit ironic considering Benton Harbor is actually home to the Fortune 500 company Whirlpool. Still, the town does have some welcoming charm.

Although that uber "Mayberry" small town life may seem attractive, there is always a list of factors to consider before you pack up and head to a one traffic light town.

You can see the entire list of the "12 Cheapest Small Towns in America" by clicking here.


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