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Real Estate Enthusiasts

The least affordable cities for first-time homebuyers

Are you a first-time homebuyer? Buying a home for the first time can be a daunting task. Besides having to shop the market for your dream house, you also have to throw down a huge chunk of change once you find it. 

Home shopping isn’t for the faint of heart. But if you’re ready to take the leap, it’s a good idea to do your research. While you want the perfect home, you also want to be able to afford it.

A 2021 study conducted by AdvisorSmith, took a look at every city in the U.S. to determine which ones were least affordable for homebuyers. Turns out, where your home is located has a huge impact on how much it costs. Here’s a look at the least affordable cities for first-time homebuyers in the United States:

Ranks #1: Palo Alto, California

  • Weighted home price: $2,673,779
  • Median household income: $160,360

Ranks #2: Newport Beach, California

  • Weighted home price: $1,997,099
  • Median household income: $128,294

Ranks #3: Santa Monica, California

  • Weighted home price: $1,413,628
  • Median household income: $92,490

According to the study, 80% of the top 50 least affordable cities are in California. But that doesn’t mean high home prices don’t exist in other places. Here are a few cities first-time homebuyers might want to avoid that are not located in the Golden State:

Ranks #20: New York, New York

  • Weighted home price: $680,837
  • Median household income:  $69,407

Ranks #23: Honolulu, Hawaii

  • Weighted home price: $691,574
  • Median household income: $72,943

Ranks #28: Boulder, Colorado

  • Weighted home price: $684,193
  • Median household income: $74,900

Now that you know where the most expensive cities are, you’re probably wondering where you can live without breaking the bank. Here are the top five most affordable cities in America for first-time homebuyers:

Ranks #1: Flint, Michigan

  • Weighted home price: $34,067
  • Median household income: $32,236

Ranks #2: Gary, Indiana 

  • Weighted home price: $48,616
  • Median household income: $31,341

Ranks #3: Peoria, Illinois

  • Weighted home price: $90,090
  • Median household income: $53,360

Ranks #4: Decatur, Illinois 

  • Weighted home price: $70,837 
  • Median household income: $41,440

Ranks #5: Jackson, Missouri 

  • Weighted home price: $69,435
  • Median household income: $38,972

It’s important for first-time homebuyers to consider their finances when purchasing a home. Don’t just focus on the type of house you can afford, but the location as well. Not only do home prices vary per city, but so does gas, school tuition, renovators and contractors. Understanding what you can afford, and where, will help you in the long-run.

3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

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