Real Estate News

Where Are the Best Cities for First-Time Buyers?


Written By: Jaymi Naciri
Monday, July 29, 2019

WalletHubrsquo;s new 2019s Best amp; Worst Cities for First-Time Home Buyers report should help. The financial website studied ldquo;300 cities of varying sizes across 27 key indicators of market attractiveness, affordability and quality of liferdquo; to determine the best places for first-time buyers across the country. Their three key dimensions were: Affordability, Real-Estate Market, and Quality of Life, which were then evaluated using 27 >

Wersquo;ve taken their top threemdash;Tampa, FL, Overland Park, KS, and Thornton, COmdash;and dug in a little further.

No. 1: Tampa, FL

Tampa achieved WalletHubrsquo;s No. 1 ranking despite an ldquo;affordabilityrdquo; rank of No. 147. It enjoyed a No. 2 rank in ldquo;real estate marketrdquo; and No. 13 for ldquo;quality of life.rdquo;

U.S. amp; World Reportrsquo;s list of the Best Places to Live has Tampa in the No. 56 spot nationally. Among their reasons to put down roots in the city: The ldquo;laid-back beach life>

Livability adds some important background on the city and its growth: ldquo;Some may have counted Tampa out after the city was hit hard by the Great Recession. But over the last eight years, Tampa hasnrsquo;t just managed to get back up, itrsquo;s been completely transformed into a desirable and competitive city. In fact, Tampa is now one of the fastest growing citiesnbsp;in the nation,nbsp;with nearly 300,000 new residents migrating to the city between 2010 and 2017.rdquo;

Of particular interest to millennial buyers is Water Street Tampa, a 3 billion mixed-use urban waterfront development that is ldquo;helping transform the city into a vibrant, diverse and attractive option for young people looking for a new place to call home.rdquo;

What to watch out for: Hope yoursquo;re a fan of high humidity. Summers can be brutal here, with ldquo;intense humidity, daily rain showers, high temperatures and occasional hurricanes,rdquo; said U.S. News amp; World Report. Also, the average age in Tampa is 40mdash;the oldest among WalletHubrsquo;s top three.

No. 2: Overland Park, KS

Overland Park was 104th in affordability, 24th in real estate market, and ninth for quality of life in WalletHubrsquo;s study for an overall No. 2 rank. The city was also named MONEYrsquo;s No. 15 best place to live.

ldquo;The second-largest city in Kansas, Overland Park continues to attract newcomers with the resources and appeal of a big city,rdquo; they said. ldquo;Its public schools are famed for their high graduation rate, while the bustling business communitymdash;Overland Park is home to telecom giant Sprintrsquo;s world headquarters, among other employersmdash;helps keep unemployment low.rdquo;

Livability notes the ldquo;balance of business and quality of liferdquo; and also points out the ldquo;large assortment of indoor and outdoor recreation options,rdquo; which span 72 parks and more than 1,800 acres of open space, plus ldquo;good restaurants and shopping areas. The cityrsquo;s low crime rate and stable economy attracts many couples with children.rdquo;

What to watch out for: The slower pace of life is lauded in Overland Park, but if yoursquo;re used to city living, you might be bored. The median age is 38, which tracks higher than many other cities that cater to first-time buyers, and only 36 of homes in the city are owned. Also: tornados.

No. 3: Thornton, CO

Thornton was 138th in affordability, 28th in real estate market, and fourth for quality of life in the WalletHub report. Just eight miles from Denver, Thornton is a bustling suburb that offers family-friendly living within in the shadow of a major metropolitan area. As such, the city is thriving.

ldquo;Economic diversity and easy access to the great outdoors make these cities among the most attractive places to live in Colorado,rdquo; said Livability. ldquo;Since 2010, the city has had a population growth of almost 18 percent. That growth largely caters to younger buyers seeking out an ideal place to purchase their first home. The cityrsquo;s median age is just 33.

Peak Property Group points out the ldquo;views of the Rockies to the west, and the towering Denver skyline to the south,rdquo; as well as the ldquo;fabulous sense of community, the strong economy, and the plentiful recreational opportunities that are easily accessible from this Denver suburb.rdquo; In addition, the key location on the north end of Denver just 20 minutes from the airport ldquo;make it an attractive place to build strong companies without incurring the costs associated with a downtown location.nbsp;Allegro Coffeenbsp;built their headquarters in Thornton in 1977 and they arenbsp;still brewing up some of Americarsquo;s best breakfast beverages. The city is also home tonbsp;Regis University, Google,nbsp;Intrex Aerospace,nbsp;Ascent Solar, andnbsp;Sungard Data Systems.rdquo;nbsp;

What to watch out for: Winters are cold. Really cold. An average low of 19 in January cold.

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Updated: Monday, August 19, 2019


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