The 13 worst US cities for first-time home buyers

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

If you’re picking out your wallpaper, it might already be too late.

But for those who haven’t yet bought their first home, avoid these cities.

WalletHub conducted research on 300 US cities and came up with the 13 worst cities for first-time homebuyers.

The website looked at housing affordability, cost of living, real estate taxes, foreclosure and violent-crime rates, and 14 other measures to determine their list. Affordability was weighted the most heavily out of the 19 total data points, and the affordability ranking is included with each city in the list below, along with the quality of life ranking WalletHub gave each city, both out of 300.

In some areas of the country, it may even make more sense to rent a home or apartment, instead of buying.

“Before you consider buying, calculate the financial returns on buying vs. renting in your area under a variety of assumptions,” Andra Ghent, associate professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Business, told WalletHub.

“It’s not always a better financial decision to own than to rent.”

Read on to find out which cities were the worst.

#13 Carson, CA

Wikimedia / Laurie Avocado

Overall rank: 288

Affordability rank: 227

Quality of life rank: 137

Data provided by WalletHub

#12 Elizabeth, NJ

Wikimedia / Dagrecco1982

Overall rank: 289

Affordability rank: 252

Quality of life rank: 65

Data provided by WalletHub

#11 Yonkers, NY

Wikimedia / HamTech87

Overall rank: 290

Affordability rank: 269

Quality of life rank: 242

Data provided by WalletHub

#10 Inglewood, CA

Wikimedia / Bobak Ha’Eri

Overall rank: 291

Affordability rank: 255

Quality of life rank: 165

Data provided by WalletHub

#9 Paterson, NJ

Google Earth

Overall rank: 292

Affordability rank: 242

Quality of life rank: 25

Data provided by WalletHub

#8 New York, NY

William Warby / Flickr

Overall rank: 293

Affordability rank: 287

Quality of life rank: 285

Data provided by WalletHub

#7 Miami, FL

Ines Hegedus-Garcia/Flickr

Overall rank: 294

Affordability rank: 299

Quality of life rank: 164

Data provided by WalletHub

#6 Compton, CA


Overall rank: 295

Affordability rank: 238

Quality of life rank: 218

Data provided by WalletHub

#5 Santa Barbra, CA

iStock / Dima_Rogozhin

Overall rank: 296

Affordability rank: 295

Quality of life rank: 187

Data provided by WalletHub

#4 Berkeley, CA

Visit Berkeley/Facebook

Overall rank: 297

Affordability rank: 298

Quality of life rank: 261

Data provided by WalletHub

#3 Oakland, CA

Shutterstock/Radoslaw Lecyk

Overall rank: 298

Affordability rank: 281

Quality of life rank: 296

Data provided by WalletHub

#2 Miami Beach, FL

REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity

Overall rank: 299

Affordability rank: 300

Quality of life rank: 267

Data provided by WalletHub

#1 Newark, NJ

Paul Sableman/flickr

Overall rank: 300

Affordability rank: 229

Quality of life rank: 274

Data provided by WalletHub

CHECK OUT: The Atlanta Fed shreds $6 million in cash a day – and it’s used to grow tomatoes