If you want to buy your first home and have some flexibility about where to live, you may want to look at some of the hottest housing markets in the US. As you consider where to live and buy your first home, you want to look at factors such as job growth; affordability; vacancy rates; income and the number of people who live in the area who are in their 20’s and 30’s.
As the housing markets continue to roar, so do the financing opportunities for 1st time home buyers in the U.S.
Here are some of the top markets that experts say you should consider:
Grand Rapids, MI
You might be surprised by this one, but Grand Rapid’s is the second largest city in the state and is seeing very strong job growth, which has seen an increase of 2.5% in the past year alone. Grand Rapids has a low vacancy rate at #16 in the country, and a high number of people that are 35 or younger at 22%. More than 2/3 of the people who live in Grand Rapids own their own home and the median sales price is reasonable at $163,000.
Next on the list is Nashville, also known in many parts as Music City USA. You do not have to play in a band to love this growing city. It is the home of the Grand Ole Opry, and residents of Nashville are always ready to have fun with the lively music and entertainment scene here. Tennessee’s capital has a healthy 23% of people who are under 35, and it has the strongest job growth in the US at 3.1% year over year. However, be aware that the affordability in this city has declined in recent years and is only ranked #58 in the country according to Trulia.
The capital of North Carolina is well known for bright minds that work and attend school at North Carolina State University, as well as the Research Triangle area. It also is famous for its many cultural and culinary hot spots, such as the Oakwood Historic District with homes going back to the 1800s. It also has the #3 job growth rate in the country according to Trulia, and a low vacancy rate at #15. The affordability rating of this town has taken a hit in the past few years as the median home price is now up to $250,000.
El Paso, TX
This southwestern city on the Rio Grande is popular because of its Tex-Mex cuisine and also has many beautiful outdoor locations for hikers and nature lovers to explore. It also features a rich artist community downtown and a farmer’s market. Some of the top employers in the city are the US military and the University of Texas at El Paso, as well as big retailers and healthcare corporations. The average home price here is great for first time home buyers at only $186,600. It also is a very hot market for the young and single; the median age for El Paso is only 33, and 25% of all residents are single. According to a local real estate agent who spoke to Trulia, the city has great weather, a booming downtown area and affordable homes for the 1st-time buyers.
San Antonio, TX
San Antonio is most famous for the River Walk and the Alamo downtown. But the entire city has been really bustling in the past several years. In 2017, job growth was a healthy 2.2%, and home ownership increased by a healthy rate, the most in 10 years. Right now, homeowners are 2/3 of the city’s population at 65%. This city has a broad base of employers, including city, military, healthcare, technology and education. This 300-year-old city in south Texas has many new job openings, and the median home price is still reasonable at $230,000.
Fort Worth, TX
This is a hot spot city that is known for its cowboys and culture, with more than eight million visitors coming into town each year. There are seven major entertainment districts in Ft. Worth, each with its own shopping, dining, entertainment and cultural attractions. It offers a lot of appeal to new groups of young residents; the city now has the youngest population of any large city in the state. It also is just 17 miles from Dallas Ft. Worth Airport, so personal and business travel is very convenient. Popular employers include Lockheed Martin, American Airlines and the Naval Air Station.
A lot is happening in Columbus, which is the capital of the state and its largest city. It is booming with its employment and also population growth. There also are 30 acres of new parkland on the Scioto River downtown, with many cultural institutions popping up. Many neighborhoods are bustling with new places to shop and eat. According to Trulia, trends in Columbus reveal a 12% increase year over year in median home prices, but the average home still costs only $160,000, which makes it perfect for the first-time home buyer.