25 best places for affordable homes

Want to retire near the water, but without paying premium prices for a home? Residents who buy real estate in these towns see their incomes go the furthest.

1 of 25
1. Fort Smith, AR
Fort Smith, AR
Median home price (2007): $87,000
Median family income: $51,939

The days of Wyatt Earp and Jesse James may be gone, but a piece of the Wild West endures in Fort Smith, where annual festivals, the Old Fort Days Rodeo, and "Miss Laura's" brothel-turned-visitors' center keep the frontier spirit alive.

Nestled in the Ozark Mountains, the town is surrounded by the Arkansas River and its tributaries, where thrill-seekers go white-water rafting or canoeing. Three- or four-bedroom houses hover around $200,000. Waterfront properties are pricier: A house with river frontage starts around $500,000 for a four-bedroom, three-bath home and can range into the millions.

Wine aficionados can drive about an hour through the Arkansas River Valley into wine country for tours and tastings.

See complete data on Fort Smith from Best Places to Live

Homes for sale in Fort Smith

NEXT: Des Moines, IA
Last updated September 22 2008: 11:09 AM ET
Source: Home prices, income stats from Onboard Informatics
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