These Are the Best and Worst Cities for First-Time Home Buyers

If you're in the market for your first house, you're going to want to pay attention.

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The pandemic has created a boom in the housing market as more and more people are looking to put their landlords in the rearview and buy instead of rent.

Though prices are skyrocketing, many first-time buyers remain undeterred—according to WalletHub, 14% more people are looking to buy now than last year. For this reason, the finance site has put together a handy list to help them, determining the best and worst cities for first-time homebuyers by ​​​​​looking at 22 key metrics from cost of living and cost per square foot to real estate tax rates and property crime.

Topping the list of best cities to buy right now was Chesapeake, Virginia, while Berkeley, California, ranked number one in the worst cities for first-time buyers.

Here are the top 10 best cities for first-time homebuyers:

  • Chesapeake, Virginia
  • Gilbert, Arizona
  • Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Cape Coral, Florida
  • Boise, Idaho
  • Hampton, Virginia
  • Peoria, Arizona
  • Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • Norfolk, Virginia
  • Surprise, Arizona

These are the top 10 worst cities for first-time homebuyers:

  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Burbank, California
  • Glendale, California
  • Santa Barbara, California
  • San Mateo, California
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Santa Monica, California
  • Oakland, California
  • Berkeley, California

Just because a city is ranked in the top 10 best cities for first-time buyers, however, doesn't mean that you can afford it. There are a lot of other factors to consider, such as the cost of living. The lowest cost of living, for example, can be found in Laredo, Texas, which ranked number 126 on WalletHub's list of 300 best and worst cities for first-time buyers. Other cities on the list include Amarillo, Texas; Flint, Michigan; Fort Smith, Arkansas; Jackson, Mississippi; and Lansing, Michigan—none of which were ranked among the best cities for new buyers. 

The top 10 best cities for first-time buyers were also not among the cities WalletHub found to have the most affordable housing. That honor went to Toledo, Ohio. According to the math-savvy folks at WalletHub, which is 19.1 times cheaper than Santa Barbara, California, which has the least affordable housing. Honolulu has the lowest real estate tax at 0.29%, while Waterbury, Connecticut, has the highest at 3.74%. 

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Caitlyn Hitt is Daria IRL. Don't take our word for it—find her on Twitter @nyltiaccc.