Top 12 Cities for First Time Home Buyers in 2017

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Bryan Dornan

Refi Guide Founder

Only 35% of people under 35 in America owned their own home in 2016.

While some may think that owning your own home is hard to afford, it’s not really true….if you know the best places to look!

A recently home buying report by SmartAsset found the best and most affordable cities to buy a home. The site did a ranking of every US city with a population of at least 300,000 based upon the following factors:

  • Number of lenders
  • Rate of loan funding
  • Value per square foot
  • Affordability
  • Median income
  • Stability of home owners
  • Number of quarters that market declined since 2010

Overall, the survey found that first time home buyers get the best deals in Oklahoma and Texas. And six of the top 15 has cities in those states. Here are the best cities for first time home buyers:

#12 Anchorage, Alaska

While not too many Americans necessarily want to relocate to Alaska, this city has a loan funding rate of 79%; average price per square foot of $191; average monthly mortgage payment of $1110, and a median income of $78,000.

#11 Columbus, Ohio

The Midwest is becoming a hotter place to buy houses as more big companies are relocating here due to cheaper overall costs. And many consumers are following them there.

In Columbus, you can enjoy a loan funding rate of 76%; average price per square foot of $78; average monthly mortgage payment of $570; and a household income of $51,800.

top cities for first time home buyers

#10 Arlington, TX

Texas as a whole is a big growth state; some statistics show that much of the job gains in the last eight years were actually in the Lone Star State.

Arlington is a suburb of Dallas, and it has a loan funding rate of 73%; average price per square foot of $82; average monthly mortgage payment of $529; and a median income of $57,700.

#9 Colorado Springs, Colorado

Colorado has seen plenty of growth in recent years as more Americans are relocating from California, due to high real estate and living costs.

Colorado Springs boasts a loan funding rate of 77%; average price per square foot of home is $115; average monthly mortgage payment is $823; and the median income is $57,400.

#8 Fort Worth, Texas

This is another suburb of the Dallas Metroplex area in northern Texas, and it is growing very quickly.

Fort Worth has a loan funding rate of 73%; average price per square foot of $76; monthly mortgage payment of $529 on average; and median household income of $57,700.

#7 Dallas, Texas

Dallas has been seeing a massive boom in the last decade. Not only is this an affordable place to live; it also has very pro growth policies so there is a lot of construction going on all the time.

It has a loan funding rate of 70%; average price per square foot of home is $91; the monthly mortgage payment is $490; and the median household income is $49,925.

#6 Louisville, Kentucky

Kentucky enjoys a very low cost of living, and is increasingly making it a destination for many first time home buyers.

It has a loan funding rate of 74%; an average price per square foot of $88; an average monthly mortgage payment of $581; and a median household income of $47,600.

#5 San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio is bit more under the radar than other cities in Texas, including Houston, Dallas and Austin. But San Antonio has many advantages in its favor. It has a very low cost of living, cheap land, and more corporations are moving here as Austin is much more expensive than a decade ago.

The loan funding rate here is 62%; the average price per square foot is $81; the average monthly mortgage payment is $478; and the median household income is $50,800.

#4 Wichita, Kansas

Wichita is enjoying a building boom; this state is very centrally located and the cost of real estate and cost of living is low. So some corporations are deciding to move away from the coasts and relocating in the Midwest.

The loan funding rate in Wichita is 78%; the average price per square foot is $77; the average monthly mortgage payment is $486 and the median household income is $50,300.

#3 Omaha, Nebraska

Nebraska is another state that has seen several large corporations relocate here in the past ten years. The loan funding rate here is high at 83%; the average price per square foot is $100; the average monthly mortgage payment is $552; and the median household income is $53,400.

#2 Houston, Texas

Houston has also seen a huge amount of growth in recent years. While the area economy is more dependent upon higher energy prices, the recent drop in oil prices has not damaged the local economy as much as feared.

The loan funding rate in Houston is 69%; the average price per square foot is $88; the average monthly mortgage payment is $509, and the median household income is $53,800.

#1 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

When it comes to affordable first time home buying, you will have difficulty beating Oklahoma City. The loan funding rate here is an impressive 75%; the average price per square foot is $78; the average monthly mortgage payment is $496; and the median household income is $46,500.

The Bottom Line

It is not true that it is very difficult today to buy a home as a first time buyer. Lending standards have definitely loosened substantially in the last five years. There also are many low down payment programs available; you can get an FHA mortgage loans now and put down as little as 3.5%.

Home prices are rising in much of the country, but they are not a barrier to entering the home buying market if you buy in the right cities. The people with the most problems are those who buy in high cost areas in California and New York.

About Bryan Dornan

With over 20 years in the mortgage industry, Bryan Dornan has started several companies, such as the Lead Planet, Mortgage Lenders Plus and the Refi Guide. Mr. Dornan has written hundreds of finance related articles in an effort to promote home-ownership to consumers across the United States.