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Top 10 Most Affordable Cities To Buy a First Home Feature Image
Posted on 07/19/2121 5 minute read

Top 10 Most Affordable Cities To Buy a First Home


A lot has changed in the past few years, and the housing market has certainly reflected that. First-time homebuyers may be feeling the frustration of not finding the perfect home in their current city after months of searching.

Don’t give up yet, homebuyers — just think a bit beyond the city lines. Have you considered looking at homes in another city? 

Whether you are ready for a big cross-country move or just a city or two away, you have plenty of other options.

We dug into the top 10 most affordable cities for your first home, based on factors such as home price, income, and more. 

Read on to discover where your first home could be, even if it looks a bit different than you first imagined.

1. Detroit, Michigan

Despite Detroit’s economic past, the city’s comeback has been consistent. 

Since it’s still on the upswing, many still haven’t gotten the memo that the city’s offerings and its housing market offer plenty of opportunity to first-time buyers. 

According to realtor.com, Detroit is currently a buyer’s market. Home prices in Detroit are extremely affordable, and the businesses, restaurants, and attractions provide residents with ample entertainment outlets.

Median listed home price: $70,000

Median household income: $30,894

Average property tax rate: 2.5%

2. Cleveland, Ohio

Home of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, packed with arts and culture, and placed right on Lake Erie, Cleveland can provide first-time homebuyers with an exciting yet affordable place to call home.

Cleveland residents appreciate the value of all the city has to offer combined with affordable housing, utilities, food, and transportation.

Median listed home price: $109,000

Median household income: $30,907

Average property tax rate: 2.4%

3. St. Louis, Missouri

As the starting point for the famous Lewis and Clark Expedition, St. Louis is filled with history, museums, art, and city parks. 

St. Louis has a diverse range of restaurants, quick transportation, and low cost of living despite the historic neighborhoods.

Median listed home price: $155,174

Median household income: $43,896

Average property tax rate: 1.4%

4. Buffalo, New York

As the second-largest city in New York, Buffalo may be vastly different from New York City, but still offers plenty of history, beauty, art, and entertainment.

Steer clear of Buffalo if you’re not a fan of cold, though, because this city is known for its harsh winters.

Median listed home price: $158,000

Median household income: $37,354

Average property tax rate: 2.6%

5. Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis is known as the Home of the Blues and birthplace of rock ‘n roll. This exciting city has mild winters and sunny, warm conditions spring through fall. 

Growth in tech jobs is on the rise, and everything from education to groceries and utilities are below the national average.

Median listed home price: $165,000

Median household income: $41,228

Average property tax rate: 1.4%

6. Wichita, Kansas

Wichita is known to be a great city for first-time buyers due to its employment opportunities and low cost of living. Booming cattle, grain, and oil industries have helped support the growth of Wichita. 

It’s also known as the Air Capital of the World. Wichita has dozens of festivals each year, plus plenty of museums, art galleries, and shopping opportunities.

Median listed home price: $184,900

Median household income: $52,620

Average property tax rate: 1.3%

7. Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis has an exciting downtown that’s easy to navigate, and the surrounding areas outside of downtown are filled with affordable housing, shopping, and entertainment. 

Residents can experience the best of both worlds: city living and comfortable suburban living.

Median listed home price: $194,000

Median household income: $47,873

Average property tax rate: 1%

8. Tulsa, Oklahoma

Tulsa is known to be rich in job opportunities and green spaces, besides being an affordable city to make home. Tulsa offers a lot of beauty and nature nearby for those who love to hike, fish, or kayak.

Tulsa isn’t very high on the radar for first-time buyers as far as cities go, but it might be the perfect choice to start a career or family.

Median listed home price: $214,900

Median household income: $47,650

Average property tax rate: 1.1%

9. Jacksonville, Florida

As far as big beach cities go, Jacksonville has a low cost of living yet still provides residents with the weather and lifestyle they want. 

First-time buyers eager to leave behind their cold state, or who are chasing a job opportunity, might find Jacksonville to be their top choice.

In 2019, the median household income was $91,037, too, which is much higher than other cities on this list.

Median listed home price: $245,000

Median household income: $91,037

Average property tax rate: 1%

10. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

As the largest city on the list so far, Philadelphia still is an affordable place for first-time homebuyers to settle down. For buyers who want to enjoy big city life without paying New York or Chicago home prices, Philadelphia is a great choice.

Philly is packed with rich history, including the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, and is known for its famous cheesesteaks and the film “Rocky.”

Median listed home price: $259,000

Median household income: $45,927

Average property tax rate: 1%

How to buy your first home in an affordable city

We hope that you found some inspiration in this list of affordable first home cities. 

No matter where you are in the homebuying process, it helps to have a trustworthy and honest mortgage loan officer working with you.

The professionals at Homefinity can help you prequalify for a loan so you can easily and confidently find homes within your budget. Your loan officer will be there to navigate the entire home-buying process with you, or offer casual support — the level of involvement is up to you.

If you’re struggling with any aspect of qualification, your loan officer also can offer guidance and support to get you where you need to be. Contact us today to get started.

Photo by Josh Garcia on Unsplash



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