The National Association of Realtors has called Florida a "haven for first time home buyers." The state claims three of the top ten cities rated as best for those seeking their first home.
Realtor.com took into account several factors when compiling the list. These were city popularity, home prices, inventory, time on market, and unemployment rates. Now is the perfect time for those seeking their first home to begin hunting in friendlier markets as lenders are more open to alternative credit scores – perfect for those with thinner credit profiles. According to Bankrate, new immigrants and young adults are poised to benefit most from lenders' openness to scores that take into account nontraditional factors such as rent payments.
Bankrate states that it is during the spring season that the home buying process heats up, and as spring turns to summer, here is some more information on the best markets for first time home buyers.
1. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
The top rated market is Pittsburgh. Bankrate reports that the median listing price is $135,000. Anytimeestimate.com reports that Pittsburgh offers assistance through the PHOP Program, which provides financing for first time home buyers seeking a single family home, duplex, triplex or four unit residence. There are over 11,000 listings here with an average inventory age of 128 days. The unemployment rate is 5.7 percent.
2. Tampa – St. Petersburg, Florida
Tampa – St. Petersburg in Florida is the next highest rated market. St. Petersburg also offers an assistance program for those in search of their first home. Those who purchase and occupy their first home within municipal boundaries are eligible for financial assistance from the city. Here the average price for a home is $169,000. Unemployment stands at 5.9 percent. The median inventory age is 88 days and there are over 21,000 listings in the area.
3. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – New Jersey (N.J.)
Next are the New Jersey suburbs of Philadelphia. Specific towns are not elaborated on much further, though this area does bear a lower tax burden than it's Pennsylvania counterpart, according to Pew Charitable Trusts and the Philadelphia Research Initiative. The median price for one of the 10,656 listings in the area is $174,900. The average age of the inventory is 141 days. The area's unemployment rate is 6.4 percent. The Pennsylvanian side of this region comes into the list at number seven.
4. Fort Worth – Arlington, Texas
The Homebuyer Assistance Program offers subsidies of up to $14,999 for those navigating the home buying process for the first time. Either the full amount can be used to help with a mortgage, or $3,000 to assist with closing on a home. The 8,433 listings here have an average inventory age of 67 days. The median pricing is $175,000. Bankrate reports the unemployment rate to be 5.4 percent.
5. Orlando, Florida
Orlando offers a Down Payment Assistance Program for first time home buyers with assistance ranging from $7,500 to $10,000. The amount is based off of household income. Of more than 13,000 listings, the median price is $191,900. The average age of the inventory is 81 days and the unemployment rate in Orlando is 5.5 percent.