Who says millennials can’t have the American Dream? We just can’t live in NYC or San Fran to do it
You can afford a home — just not where you’re living now.
Home prices have hit a 31-month high, according to the latest data from S&P/Case Shiller. And in three cities — Seattle, Portland and Denver — they’ve hit all-time highs.
For many of us, that news leads to a big sigh and a worry that we’ll never be able to buy our first home. Or at least will have to wait many years before we do so; the average first-time homebuyer, after all, is now in their mid-30s.
The good news: That’s not true in all cities. That’s the conclusion of a study released Wednesday by financial firm SmartAsset, which looked at every U.S. market with at least 300,000 people and rated them based on how affordable the houses were, how stable the market was (so you’re less likely to lose your investment) and the availability of conventional mortgage loans.
In general, first-time homebuyers will have the best luck in Texas: Seven of the top 25 cities are in the Lone Star state, including San Antonio, Houston and Fort Worth.
Here are the 10 best cities for first-time homebuyers:
1. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
This city scores the No. 1 spot thanks to the fact that homes are pretty cheap — the median is just $82 a square foot — and “mortgage loans have become more accessible” in the area, so you’re relatively likely to get approved for a loan.
2. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
This city’s housing market is a win for first-time home buyers because it gets particularly high marks for both affordability and stability.
3. Omaha, Nebraska
“Omaha has one of the highest loan funding rates in our study,” the study authors write. “Of all the homebuyers who apply for conventional, non-jumbo loans, 84% have their loan applications processed. That’s a good indication that many first-time homebuyers will be able to get approved for the mortgage loans they apply for.”
4. Indianapolis, Indiana
Indianapolis is a fairly inexpensive city for homeowners, with the median home at just under $71 per square foot.
5. Tulsa, Oklahoma
Tulsa rounds out the top five with a high likelihood you’ll get your mortgage loan application approved and low home prices.
San Antonio, Houston, Colorado Springs, Fort Worth, Louisville and Witchita round out the top 10. Read the full study here.
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