The 11 best US cities for first-time homebuyers

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Greeley, Colorado, is the second-best US city for a new homeowner.
source
Wikimedia Commons

The housing bubble burst nearly a decade ago, but many people have still not recovered from it – and many people’s attitudes toward buying homes are still quite negative and cautious.

In 2015, the National Association of Realtors reported that only about a third of buyers of primary residences were first-timers, below the historical average of about 40%. And according to a recent Gallup poll, 38% of those who don’t own a home in 2016 don’t plan to buy a home in the foreseeable future.

But many people are still buying homes, and as millennials grow up and settle down, they will have to as well.

With this in mind, the personal-finance website WalletHub has ranked US cities for new homeowners.

WalletHub looked at 300 US cities and ranked their attractiveness for first-time homebuyers based on three key dimensions: affordability, real-estate market, and quality of life.

To determine the ranking of each of these aspects, as well as a city’s overall score, WalletHub looked at 19 “relevant metrics” – such as housing affordability and cost of living for the “affordability” ranking; foreclosure rate for the “real-estate market” ranking; and recreation, weather, and crime rate for the “quality of life” ranking.

It used data from the US Census Bureau, the Council for Community and Economic Research, Zillow, the FBI, the Insurance Information Institute, Renwood RealtyTrac, and WalletHub research.

You can read the full report and rankings here.

Below are the top 11 cities for first-time homebuyers along with their overall scores (out of 100) and rankings in affordability, real-estate market, and quality of life.


11. Salt Lake City

source
Photo Dean | Flickr

Total Score: 62.80

Affordability Rank: 11

Real-Estate Market Rank: 95

Quality of Life Rank: 75

Data from WalletHub


10. Lexington, Kentucky

source
Flickr / Jim

Total Score: 62.84

Affordability Rank: 45

Real-Estate Market Rank: 57

Quality of Life Rank: 36

Data from WalletHub


9. Centennial, Colorado

source
Mr.Lujan/flickr

Total Score: 62.98

Affordability Rank: 122

Real-Estate Market Rank: 33

Quality of Life Rank: 7

Data from WalletHub


8. Lincoln, Nebraska

source
Wikimedia Commons

Total Score: 63.55

Affordability Rank: 70

Real-Estate Market Rank: 43

Quality of Life Rank: 21

Data from WalletHub


7. Boise, Idaho

source
Flickr/Charles Knowles

Total Score: 63.73

Affordability Rank: 3

Real-Estate Market Rank: 87

Quality of Life Rank: 91

Data from WalletHub


6. Longmont, Colorado

source
Facebook/Longmont Recreation and Golf Services

Total Score: 64.11

Affordability Rank: 145

Real-Estate Market Rank: 16

Quality of Life Rank: 2

Data from WalletHub


5. Westminster, Colorado

source
Facebook/Westminster School

Total Score: 64.31

Affordability Rank: 127

Real-Estate Market Rank: 14

Quality of Life Rank: 8

Data from WalletHub


4. Cedar Rapids, Iowa

source
Wikimedia Commons

Total Score: 64.44

Affordability Rank: 17

Real-Estate Market Rank: 82

Quality of Life Rank: 47

Data from WalletHub


3. Thornton, Colorado

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Thornton is a suburb of Denver, CO.
source
Flickr/Jack Gray

Total Score: 65.42

Affordability Rank: 125

Real-Estate Market Rank: 22

Quality of Life Rank: 3

Data from WalletHub


2. Greeley, Colorado

source
Wikimedia Commons

Total Score:65.46

Affordability Rank: 112

Real-Estate Market Rank: 9

Quality of Life Rank: 5

Data from WalletHub


1. Overland Park, Kansas

source
Shutterstock

Total Score: 68.49

Affordability Rank: 58

Real-Estate Market Rank: 29

Quality of Life Rank: 11

Data from WalletHub


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