The 10 best cities for first-time homebuyers

These US cities are perfect for people taking the homeownership plunge based on affordability, livability, and price stability.

Larry Downing/Reuters/File
A For Sale sign hangs in front of a house in Oakton, Va.

When shopping for your first home, it’s easy to fixate on price and neighborhood. But other factors also should go into determining the best place for this milestone purchase — the largest purchase in most people’s lives — including the area’s affordability, livability and price stability.

To determine the best cities for first-time homebuyers, NerdWallet used these criteria and analyzed the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, online data provider NeighborhoodScout and Down Payment Resource for the 448 largest places in the U.S. by population. Down Payment Resource’s data allowed NerdWallet to assess the availability of homeownership assistance programs, which can help cash-short first-time homebuyers.

Indiana and Texas dominate the list with their affordable housing, strong schools and plentiful jobs. No large cities made the top 10 list, which is composed of suburbs or small cities within major metroplexes. These areas stand out because they’re close to the amenities and jobs of a big city, often with a more affordable and quieter lifestyle.

The cities that did make the list revealed there may be a sweet spot for population when it comes to the top places for first-time buyers. Five of the top 10 cities have populations between 83,000 and 89,000.

Top 10 cities for first-time homebuyers

  1. Carmel, Indiana
  2. Fishers, Indiana
  3. Johns Creek, Georgia
  4. Frisco, Texas
  5. Newton, Massachusetts
  6. Allen, Texas
  7. Gilbert, Arizona
  8. Centennial, Colorado
  9. Olathe, Kansas
  10. Sugar Land, Texas

Read the full report for more details. If you’re considering buying a home, try NerdWallet’s mortgage calculator to see how much you can afford in specific U.S. locations.

Emily Starbuck Crone is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: emily.crone@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @emstarbuck. Dan Tonkovich is a data analyst at NerdWallet. Email: dtonkovich@nerdwallet.com.

The article Best Places in America for First-Time Homebuyers originally appeared on NerdWallet.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to The 10 best cities for first-time homebuyers
Read this article in
https://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2016/1214/The-10-best-cities-for-first-time-homebuyers
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today
https://www.csmonitor.com/subscribe