21. Iowa City, IA
Best Places Affordable Homes Iowa City IA
Median home price: $168,750
Median family income: $76,063

The University of Iowa is not only Iowa City's top employer, it also offers residents museums, performing arts, great college sports -- and a slice of literary history. Its Iowa Writers' Workshop has produced some of the nation's foremost writers, including John Irving, John Cheever and Robert Penn Warren.

There's also three large medical facilities in the area, creating numerous well-paying health care jobs.

Home prices rise as you get closer to the university, according to real estate agent Denise Hamlin. "If you want to walk to the campus, you'll pay for that," she said. But if you don't mind a 10-minute drive, there are plenty of affordable homes.

See complete data and interactive map for Iowa City

  @Money - Last updated August 28 2012 01:10 PM ET
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