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Cortland ranks #1 on places to live: How did it get there?

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  • Staff Report has selected Cortland as the No. 1 Most Affordable Small Town Where You’d Actually Like to Live in their annual ranking.

Cortland, located in central New York, was noted for its small-town charm, affordable housing, and proximity to larger cities such as Syracuse and Ithaca. The real estate website emphasized Cortland’s average home price, which is roughly one-third of the national median, as a significant factor in its top ranking.

The allure of Cortland, according to, is the blend of affordability and accessibility. Cortland residents enjoy quick access to mid-sized cities, with Ithaca around 35 minutes to the south and Syracuse approximately 45 minutes to the north. Yet, despite its location, the town’s median listing price remains significantly lower than the national median, offering prospective homeowners excellent value for their money.

Adding to the town’s appeal, Cortland boasts a vibrant Main Street filled with restaurants, bars, coffee shops, vintage boutiques, and tattoo parlors, offering a quintessential small-town feel. Other local attractions include the Cortland Repertory Theatre and The 1890 House Museum, further enhancing the town’s charm.

Moreover, the proximity to the Greek Peek Mountain Resort, just a 15-minute drive for most residents, enhances Cortland’s attractiveness as an affordable and enjoyable place to live.