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Homes are harder to come by in the age of COVID-19. In April the supply of houses for sale was down 24 percent compared to last year, according to a recent report from Redfin. With the number of listings plummeting as people continue to stay put, it’s becoming increasingly tough for buyers to find a place in their price range. Unless, that is, your search happens to lead you to Des Moines. 

A new analysis from Realtor.com that looked at the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the United States suggests that the Iowa capital has the biggest inventory of affordably priced homes, with the average property costing $270,000 (that’s a decent amount less than the national median of $320,00). The Midwestern hub might be known for its surrounding cornfields and the Iowa caucuses, but it also regularly appears at the top of the company’s affordability lists, notes chief economist Danielle Hale.

In Des Moines and cities further south, Hale notes that houses are on the less pricey side of things because there are fewer people living on top of one another, providing more opportunities for builders to keep up with demand. Baton Rouge, Atlanta, and Virginia Beach are the next three best options for buyers on a tight budget. 

While most people think of Des Moines as a place to fly over or drive through on the way to their final destination, there’s more to the under-the-radar town than meets the eye, from treasure-filled vintage shops to gardens galore. Putting down roots is still possible. 

It’s hammer time: Follow @reno_notebook for easy rental updates, clever DIYs, and tips to nail your next project.