Best & Worst US Towns for First-Time Home Buyers (PHOTOS)

Maressa Brown | Oct 30, 2014 Home & Garden

family looking at house for saleWhether the economy is up or down, the American Dream of becoming a home buyer remains the same. Many still see buying their own home as the ultimate freedom and point of pride, even as the process has become challenging, and we've all gotten a bit more skeptical in the years since the Great Recession hit.

Despite overall trends, there are plenty of places where it's easier to be a first-time home buyer. And others where it's harder, for sure! Considering a plethora of factors like median house prices, real estate taxes, median home price appreciation, and price-to-rent ratios, WalletHub compiled a list of the most and least attractive spots to buy your first home in the US.

Check out 5 of the best places to buy as a first-time home hunter, and 5 of the worst, then tell us: Would you consider packing up and moving to #3?!


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  • Best: Broken Arrow, Oklahoma


    A little less than 20 minutes outside of Tulsa, and 2 hours outside of Oklahoma City, Broken Arrow made it to #1 on the list by boasting major affordability and a top-rated community environment.

  • Best: Allen, Texas


    This northern suburb of Dallas is just about a half hour outside of the major Texas city and made it to the #2 spot on the list, thanks to its promising ranks in affordability and community environment.

  • Best: Centennial, Colorado


    In addition to making #8 on the list (#6 in affordability!), Centennial -- a suburb of Denver -- has also been voted the safest city in Colorado for the past 8 years. Nice!

  • Best: Augusta, Georgia


    Coming in at #21 on the list of 300, this southern city, located at the fall line of the Savannah River, gets its high rank from being pretty darn affordable, especially considering that it is the second largest metro area in Georgia after Atlanta. If you're a golf lover, you know Augusta is also known for hosting The Masters tournament every spring!

  • Best: Naperville, Illinois


    This pretty suburb of Chicago made #37 on the first-time home buyers' list, more for its community environment, but you can also get a deal there! And if you're moving with your parents or in-laws, even better, because it was also rated 1st on the list of best cities for early retirement in 2013 by Kiplinger.

  • Worst: New Bedford, Massachussetts


    Nicknamed the "Whaling City," because it was such an important whaling port (along with Nantucket, MA and New London, CT), New Bedford came in at #296 on the list.

    More from The Stir: 10 Poorest Places to Live in the US -- Did Your State Make the List? (PHOTOS)

  • Worst: Miami Beach, Florida


    Who wouldn't love this view of Miami Beach? But living in the sunny, party town will cost you. It's the 287th worst place for first-time home buyers, and affordability is where it really fails -- it's the 3rd most unaffordable place in the whole list!

  • Worst: Salem, Oregon


    If you want to settle down up in the Northwest, Salem, Oregon, may not be your best bet as a first-time home buyer, as it came in at #237 on the list. The city, which is about an hour south of Portland and is located in the center of the Willamette Valley alongside the Willamette River, has low affordability scores (ranking #226), but the real estate market isn't as bad (ranking #151).

  • Worst: Washington, DC


    Even if you don't plan to move into 1600 Pennsylvania, DC may not be your best bet as a first-time home buyer, as it comes in #251 on the list. The biggest strike against it is community environment (ranking #266), while affordability is a lesser issue (ranking #173).

  • Worst: Richmond, California


    Located in the eastern region of the San Francisco Bay Area, Richmond may get beautiful sunsets, but the city ranks #300 on WalletHub's list, as a result of low scores in affordability, community environment, and their real estate market.

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