While home ownership is the proverbial American dream, it can quickly turn into a nightmare by hefty price tags and costs of living, especially in popular urban areas. All is not lost though! There are plenty of homes out there that are affordable in, and near, some pretty cool cities. Trulia recently put together a list of Charming City Homes for Less Than $175,000, and you may be surprised at just how far your dollars can go. Scroll down to get a glimpse of the wallet-friendly digs across the country.

1. Charming Craftsman in Grand Rapids, Michigan: The second largest city in Michigan, Grand Rapids is just under a 45-minute drive to Lake Michigan. It holds the 19th spot on U.S. News’ Best Places to Live in America List this year, which noted its “healthy job market, affordable housing, and outdoor recreational activities.” This sweet, three-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath bungalow is located on the city’s west side, landing it close to cafes, shops, and restaurants. And while it was built at the turn of the century and is bursting with old-school charm, it was completely renovated in 2011, giving you the best of both worlds for the list price of $147,900.

2. Beachy Bungalow in St. Petersburg, Florida: Sun, sand, surf, and a vibrant arts scene make St. Petersburg a great place to settle in the Sunshine State. Nestled across the bay from Tampa, it’s a slower-paced city that’s still close to the action. This two-bedroom, one-bath home with an ample backyard is listed for just $140,000.

3. Sweet Cottage in Dallas, Texas: With an attractive mix of big-city offerings and a down-home feel in its suburbs, the population of Dallas continues to grow rapidly. U.S. News ranked it the 15th best place to live this year for its “mix of Texas pride and cosmopolitan offerings.” This charming two-bedroom, one-bath home is listed for just $115,000 and is located less than 30 minutes from the city’s center.

4. Sunny and Spacious in Daytona Beach, Florida: Perhaps best known for its wild spring break parties, Daytona Beach, Florida, actually offers quiet neighborhoods and affordable housing all year round. Located just about an hour from Orlando and, of course, minutes from the beach, this two-bedroom, two-bath fixer-upper is listed at $142,000.

5. Turnkey Ready in Tampa, Florida: All of the excitement of a big city, beautiful beaches, and views at every turn make Tampa a great place to live. Other bragging rights include being ranked as the 35th best place to live by U.S. News, which says living here “is like being on vacation all year.” This $174,000 three-bedroom, two-bath home is located in the city’s Old Seminole Heights neighborhood and is within walking distance to several taverns and restaurants.

6. Glamorous Studio in Dallas, Texas: This full-service studio, listed for $159,000, is located just north of Dallas in the Oak Lawn neighborhood, which is perfect for those who prefer to be out and about rather than staying in on a Saturday night. And while it’s just 534 square feet, it has a large outdoor balcony (and comes with its own Murphy Bed), which helps make the apartment feel much bigger.

7. Southwestern Stunner in Phoenix, Arizona: Some like it real hot, and if that’s you, then you may want to take a good look at Phoenix, AZ. It boasts more sunshine than any other metro area in the country, and maybe slightly more important, job growth is heating up there too. This three-bedroom, two-bath condo is located in a gated community and is low maintenance (read: no yard work!). It’s listed at $165,500 and has 1,367 square feet of living space.

8. Cute Starter Home in North Charleston, South Carolina: Less than 10 miles from charming Charleston, this bargain-basement bungalow with two bedrooms and one bath can be yours for just $95,000.

9. Renovated Beauty in Grand Rapids, Michigan: This home, listed at $169,900 and located in Grand Rapids’ East Hills neighborhood, is just a few blocks from downtown’s thriving art scene. Built in 1906, the three-bedroom, one-bath home has 1,501 square feet and has been updated both inside and out with preservation in mind.

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(Photos via Trulia)