Alex is the founder of 9Kilo Moving, which he started to help people easily find and choose the right moving company to make their move as stress-free and seamless as possible.
He has spent over 20 years working in the moving industry, so he knows every aspect of the business and uses his knowledge to write about the industry and give moving advice.
At some point in life, you might feel like owning a home.
Raising a family isn’t the only reason. The want of a sense of ownership and
free space also pushes many to buy homes. When you start understanding the
meaning of equity and how owning a home helps you build that equity, you’ll
start looking for a property right away. But it’s not as easy as handing a
check from one hand and receiving home keys from another.
First-time home buyers often look for lower mortgage rates and lesser down payments. It is obvious, keeping in mind that first-time homebuyers are young men and women with lesser savings. Though savings alone don’t determine home-buying decisions, a hundred different things like the neighborhood, availability of amenities, job opportunities, etc. do. Ultimately, you look for a good quality of life in the city you plan to live in. We understand your wish to buy your first home in the right city, so here is our list of top 10 best cities for first-time homebuyers.
CALCULATE MY MOVE
This city in the western part of the US is called ‘Sun City’
because of its 302 days of sun every year. But hey, that isn’t the only reason
El Paso is sunny. Its low down payment for buying homes makes it a good choice
for first-time homebuyers. According to El Paso Times, the average down payment
for properties in the city is $7,400. That’s quite affordable compared to the
average down payment in most US cities.
Okay, so home buying is done and dusted, but what after
that? El Paso scores in our books too! The cost of living is low with
affordable prices for groceries and utilities. When you don’t feel like saving
money and rather eat out, Tex-Mex cuisine awaits your attention. Since El Paso
sits closer to Mexico, you get to explore different dishes and cultures. If you
plan on raising a family in El Paso, go for it as it has many elementary
schools. Moreover, kids are going to love the El Paso Museum of History and its
impressive 3-D digital wall.
Homebuyers look for stability and job opportunities too when
deciding on which city to invest in buying a home in. El Paso has many
opportunities in the Information Technology field. Residents of El Paso earn an
average income of $20,050 a year. With all your needs covered, El Paso can be a
good bet while considering where to buy your first home.
Median Home Value:
Cost Of Living:
Unemployment Rate: 8.3%
See also: Moving to Texas
Buying a first home can feel intimidating. And we aren’t just talking about the expense bit of it. The city you move to should feel welcoming and accepting of you. The communities of Louisville are liberal and open to everyone. Queer residents and visitors feel at home in Louisville because of its LGBTQ inclusiveness. So it’s a great city to buy your first home in as it is more than a common stereotypical neighborhood.
Speaking of its affordability, Louisville is quite
affordable to middle-income families. The city offers down payment assistance
for first-time homebuyers. So assistance is available on a 3% down payment
thanks to this program. That means you can save the money you otherwise would
have spent on huge down payments. Just remember you need a minimum credit score
of 660 to be eligible.
What is the use of assistance if you end up spending a
fortune on utilities? That’s not the scenario in Louisville. The grocery prices
and utility prices in Louisville are 11% and 6% lower than the national average
respectively. Now, as a first-time homebuyer, you needn’t spend your 25 to 30s
worrying about that bank balance. You don’t have to spend every weekend eating
Kentucky Fried Chicken, there’s so much more to do in Louisville. You can see
the art at the 21c Museum Hotel or explore the Louisville Nature Center. Being
a center of manufacturing, Louisville houses two major Ford plants, solving the
majority of employment concerns of its residents.
Median Home Value: $204,801
Cost Of Living: 88.4
Unemployment Rate: 6.1%
Also See: Top Neighborhoods in Louisville for Families
Located in the Research Triangle, job opportunities are plentiful in Raleigh. Multiply that with the incredible educational opportunities and you have a reason to see Raleigh as a long-term home. First-time homebuyers look for cities that can provide opportunities at every stage of their lives, and Raleigh is such a city. This will make your first home investment worth it. Raleigh’s affordability also allures many lower to middle-income families. The quality of life and the beauty of the city is sure to totally woo you.
The vibrant city is dotted with historic buildings and lined
with oak trees. The median income in Raleigh is $ 61,500 and the wide economic
opportunities allow you to earn it. As a first-time homebuyer, you want your
home to be in a city that matches your vibe. The museums and food tours are
going to make you fall in love with the city. WalletHub has ranked Raleigh as
the best city to invest in real estate because of its housing affordability and
strength of the local economy. Moreover, more millennials are moving towards
Raleigh-Durham. This explains the rapid growth of housing construction.
Median Home Value: $340,303
Cost Of Living: 102.3
Unemployment Rate: 5.0%
The mere thought of owning a first home in the beautiful
backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains is appealing. You’ll never miss the lack
of work-life balance in Knoxville. This is because of its active life in the 55
parks. Because of the presence of universities, you can enjoy a hip life. Knoxville
is bustling with hundreds of dining and entertainment options. You must be
wondering why we chose to add Knoxville and not Nashville to our list. But
trust us, affordable housing is a major factor for first-time homebuyers.
Knoxville is much more affordable when it comes to real
estate than Nashville. There is less competition in Knoxville for single-family
homes, something that first-time homebuyers look for. Knoxville Area
Association of Realtors says that around 21,000 homes were sold in the city in
2020. Since there is availability, the rates are affordable. So it’s the right
time to strike! When it comes to opportunities, you’ll be surprised to know
that Knoxville is a recession-proof city. Do your research and consider making
Knoxville a forever home.
Median Home Value: $250,248
Cost Of Living: 85.5
Unemployment Rate: 3.8%
See also: Moving to Tennessee | List of Top Moving Companies in Tennessee
We can’t help but add this coastal city to our list.
Virginia Beach is one such city that makes coastal living affordable. What a
thrill it would be to own your first home near the sea! Plus, you’re not
compromising on anything, given the great economic opportunities. By that, we
don’t mean jobs in the tourism sector alone, but also in the thriving
Though the cost of living is slightly on the higher side,
housing in Virginia Beach is quite affordable. Check if you’re eligible for the
Virginia Housing’s Down Payment Assistance. All your friends and family will
keep dropping by your first home if you buy it in Virginia Beach – a city where
the entire year feels like a summer holiday. If you get lucky, you might find a
property much near the shoreline.
When the 28 miles Atlantic shoreline is just a walk from
your home, you’ll be glad you invested in real estate in Virginia Beach. There
are 108 public schools in Virginia Beach and lots of amenities around most
neighborhoods. Apartments in Virginia Beach are affordable according to
Realtor.com. So Virginia Beach is arguably the best choice if buying a first
home alone, with a partner, or as a family.
Median Home Value: $327,771
Cost Of Living: 105.6
Unemployment Rate: 6.5%
Also See: Popular Neighborhoods in Virginia Beach for Families
Food would surely be one of the factors if you consider
moving to Cincinnati. The mix of Midwestern and Southern food in Cincinnati is
going to make you feel like settling in the city forever. There’s a load of
perks you get when you decide to invest in property in Cincinnati, like the
access to Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden.
You can be in your 30s and not thinking of starting a family
yet, but Cincinnati is great for the long term. There are many good schools in
Cincinnati and lots of things to keep children busy, like the children’s
museums in the art deco Union Terminal. When you plan long-term like this while
buying the first home, it acts as a one-time investment. You don’t have to plan
to relocate to another city as your children grow up.
Cincinnati will look more appealing to you when you know of
its Housing Opportunity Index, which is 84. This means 84% of the homes sold in
Cincinnati are affordable to middle-income families. The economic opportunities
in Cincinnati are ever-growing; the city also houses the Procter & Gamble
headquarters. Affordable housing, quality of life, and employment opportunities
are the major reasons why you should consider buying your first home in
Median Home Value: $202,318
Cost Of Living: 84.6
Unemployment Rate: 5.3%
Another Kentucky city to make it to this list. You must be
wondering why we added the world’s Horse Capital to this list. Not all first
homebuyers are fans of horse races, but sure are fans of affordable housing.
Apart from the Keeneland Race Course, there is a lot more that adds to the
economic opportunities of Lexington. There are jobs in the manufacturing and
technology sector. Lexington administration offers ample entrepreneurial
support, resulting in the growth of businesses in the city.
The housing expenses in Lexington are 7% lower than the
national average. The Government of Lexington offers non-repayable mortgage
subsidies and 0–2% loans to lower to middle-income first home buyers. The cost
of living is relatively lower even though Lexington is a large city. When you
save on housing and cost of living, your youthful years can be without a bet
smoother. This makes Lexington a wonderful choice for first-time homebuyers.
Another aspect where you end up saving in this city is the
transport because the bus fares and gas prices are 5% lower than the US
average. Now you can spend all that saved money on the attractions Lexington
has to offer, like the art galleries and craft breweries.
Median Home Value: $236,745
Cost Of Living: 89.1
Unemployment Rate: 4.4%
If you’re a fan of aesthetics and beautifully designed homes
but disappointed by the high prices of such properties, Pittsburgh is your
savior. This city gives you both Victorian-style architecture and new
construction at affordable prices. Go anywhere in the city and you’ll find all
real estate affordable for middle-income families. Adding to your relief is the
FHL Pittsburgh Bank. The bank has a First Front Door program designed for first
home buyers. You can avail upto $5,000 of grant assistance under this scheme.
Now that your budget concerns are solved, let’s talk about
the quality of life. Pittsburgh has a beautifully restored downtown and a
peaceful community residing in it. Three major league sports teams will keep
you entertained. If you are not eating the healthy Pittsburgh Salad, you can
cheat on your diet with the Big Mac that locals love.
The economy of Pittsburgh is seeing a steady growth in the
advanced manufacturing, energy, and financial sectors. Thinking long term,
healthcare services are advanced in Pittsburgh, adding to the reasons for
buying a home here.
Median Home Value: $214,585
Cost Of Living: 87.5
There is a lot that Chandler has for you, and at affordable
rates too! You’ll find yourself spending quite some time in the Desert Breeze
Park. Events like the Ostrich Festival see Chandler bustling with energy.
Buying your first-time home as a family in Chandler is a good decision, given
its education system and extracurricular activities for children. Chandler
Museum, Arizona Railway Museum, and Tumbleweed Park are some of the attractions
The property rates in the cities of Arizona or Florida will
make you shy away from them. But Chandler is an exception as both its real
estate and cost of living is affordable to first home buyers. If you’re looking
for a house in Arizona, go ahead with Chandler. The First Time Home Buyers
program by the city government provides assistance to low-income groups.
You can rest assured about economic opportunities in
Chandler. The Intel network in the city has announced an expansion, which will
see a growth in 3,000 high-tech, high-paying jobs. With that sorted, what do
you do on weekends? Chandler is a center for arts, parks, and restaurants. All
these factors make Chandler an ideal city to buy your first home in.
Median Home Value: $424,986
Cost Of Living: 113.0
See also: Moving to Arizona
One of the best US downtowns and the best city to raise a family, Boise draws many first home buyers to itself. You might think that a city as popular and as populous will surely be expensive, but that isn’t so. Boise is one of the most affordable cities in the Pacific Northwest. It is one of those rare cities which sees both growth in the tech scene and proximity to nature. Put these aspects together with its low cost of living, and wham! You have an ideal city to consider buying your first home in.
There are several jobs in the science and technology
sectors. The job market has increased by 2.8% over the past year. Many young
professionals are opting to move to Boise because of its affordable housing and
economic opportunities. Apart from this, the abundance of trees, delicious
food, and cultural attractions are worth settling for. There are several down
payment and closing cost assistance programs available in Boise. But remember
that due to so many advantages, the demand for homes in Boise is always high.
So keep an eye out for properties on sale and make a quick decision before a
house you liked is gone off the market.
Median Home Value: $472,634
Cost Of Living: 103.6
Unemployment Rate: 4.3%
We know you consider many aspects before buying your first
home. And you should, because this is going to be the biggest investment you
might ever make in life. That’s why we haven’t considered affordability alone
while compiling this list. Once you have a fair idea of which city to go to,
start hunting for properties in it!
See Also: Questions a First Time Home Buyer Should Ask | Buyer’s Market vs Seller’s Market | What is HOA? | Credits for First Time Home Buyers
What Is The Right Age
To Buy Your First Home?
Ideally, 30-35 is an age by which most people have
accumulated enough savings to afford a first home. There should be enough for
at least a 30-40% down payment. By 35, most people have the ability to pay
regular EMIs. The median age for most first-time buyers in the US is 33. If
you’ve zeroed in on a property and can afford it, you can even buy your first
home between 25-30 years of age.
What Schemes To
Consider While Buying Your First Home?
There are a ton of schemes designed by federal and state
governments for first-time homebuyers. Often homebuyers are unaware of the
benefits awaiting them through such schemes. Keep an eye on programs and check
your eligibility to avail them. If you don’t find yourself eligible for any
government assistance, there are many private sector banks that design schemes
for first home buyers.
Here are some schemes
that might help:
Related: Top-Rated Moving Companies in USA | How to Best School for Your Child when Moving | Closing on an New Home |Shortlisting Home buyers
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