Lendingtree recently ranked 100 cities in America for first time homebuyers and the results are not what you would think…
Typically, lists like these go into depth about economic factors like average entry level income in growing industries and the expected growth in population. However, this list is anything but typical.
The study factors in things like average down payment amount, percentage of buyers with credit below 680, and share of buyers using FHA mortgages.
Notable from the list is the #1 city Little Rock, Arkansas. With an average down payment of just 12% this is a first time homebuyers haven.
Here are some of the cities that made the list that we offer coverage for though Ferguson Insurance Center along with their rankings.
5. Winston, N.C.
With an average down payment of around $24,500, the cultured city of Winston (which is has been the city of Winston-Salem since the two towns merged in 1913) is a good place to lay down roots for first time home buyers. This town boasts a great median affordability of around 80% and also offers great career opportunities in the fields of health, banking and technology.
Winston-Salem is also called the “City of the Arts and Innovation" for its dedication to fine arts, theater, and technological research.
In 2012, the city was listed among the 10 best places to retire in the U.S. by CBS MoneyWatch.
21. Greensboro, N.C.
The 68th most populous city in the United States has 35% of first time buyers taking advantage of FHA benefits, which allows them to put as little as 3% down. As a part of the Piedmont Triad, which includes High Point and Winston-Salem, its population makes up a good part of 1,599,477 people in the combined statistical area.
As for large employers, the city hosts offices for Bank of America, American Express and is the home of the headquarters to the Atlantic Coast Conference, also known as the ACC in college sports.
22. Columbia, S.C.
The capital of South Carolina has beautiful city skylines and is home of the largest Army installation site for Basic Training, Fort Jackson. To own your first home in Columbia, all you need is about $27,000, the size of the average down payment.
With a highly diversified economy, Columbia is a place for almost any industry career corporate ladder climb to begin.
26. Augusta, Ga
A part of the consolidated city-county called Augusta-Richmond County, the metro Augusta area is divided by the Savannah River and is also a major resort town, which comes in handy for the droves of people that flock to “The Master” golf tournament each spring.
Outside of golf, Augusta has been tabbed to be the base for the National Cyber Security Headquarters, which is slated to bring up to 10,000 cyber security specialists to the area.
43. Richmond, Va
The capital city of Virginia was ranked the 19th best city to live in by Time in October 2017 and is home to 8 Fortune 500 companies. There is plenty of jobs at strong companies in Richmond.
Add that to museums, monuments, and historic districts and you get a heavy dose of culture with room for growth. You can get your own piece of Richmond with just a 14% average down payment.
48. Atlanta, Ga
Georgia’s capital has the 17th largest economy in the world, eighth in the country. The city almost doubles the national average for adults 25+ with at least a 4 year degree.
Among the work fields are Media, Information Technology and, recently, Film and Television. With the housing market starting to stabilize in the city,top-16-questions-home-buyers-should-ask-but-dont.html Atlanta could be a great buy with on an average of 15% down.
Also Read: Top 16 Questions Home Buyers Should Ask But Don't
49. Virginia Beach, Va
Virginia beach is part of the 7 cities that make up Hampton roads but is by itself the 41st most populous city in the nation. With major companies like CBN, Stihl, Amerigroup and Geico adding to the economy, Virginia beach’s economy is well diversified.
However, these companies pail in comparison to the tourism industry. The atlantic coast city has plenty of entertainment for the tourists, and if you want to become a first time homebuyer here, it will only take 12% down on average.
58. Greenville, S.C
Greenville is part of the fastest growing urban area in South Carolina. While it used to be “The Textile Capital of the World” Greenville now offers favorable wage and tax benefits that have lured in companies like Michelin, AVX Corporation and Scansource.
Education is also a very big priority in Greenville as it holds the 49th largest public school district in the United States. Just 15% average down payment can go a long way, as the median home price is $237,000
63. Charlotte, N.C
The 17th most populous city in America is home to NBA and NFL Franchises and is one of America’s fastest growing cities. It also has 164 separate elementary, middle and high schools.
It’s also a major financial city and is ranked 3rd behind New York City and San Francisco in banking assets. You only need a 15% down payment to buy your first home in North Carolina’s largest city.
69. Charleston, S.C
The oldest city in South Carolina has a lot to offer first time homebuyers with an average sq. footage just over 2,000 sq. feet in the median priced home. For the average first time buyer you only need 17% down to own here.
With huge growth in the information technology sector, there is an upward trend in how well this city could grow in the future.
72. Raleigh, N.C.
The city of oaks is the capital of North Carolina and with just 15% down on average you can own your first home in the 72nd most affordable city for first time buyers.
Raleigh is a major center for high tech, biotech and textiles in the US and has plenty of entertainment available with the arts and sports in the city.
Also Read: 3 Things you can do to Keep your Home Insurance Costs Down
81. Durham, N.C.
The home of the Duke Blue Devils is also home of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, which takes enrollment of up to 680 students who live in state and excel at Science, Math and Technology.
The two largest employers are Duke University and Duke University Health Systems. It’s third largest employer...IBM.
The median home price is just $199,300 and you only need an average down payment of 16% to buy your first home in the city.
89. Washington D.C.
The U.S Capital is still a great place to start your home buyers journey. Though Government and Tourism make up a large chunk of the jobs available in DC, the economy is very well diversified, especially in the areas of education, finance, public policy, and scientific research.
16% average down payment goes a long way for first time home buyers but with a median home price of $548,300 according to Zillow that is still a hefty chunk of change.