(The Center Square) – Despite the coronavirus pandemic that hit the country in 2020, 40% of all home purchases were made by first-time buyers in the past year, up 14% from 2019.
A new to learn by WalletHub studies 300 cities of varying sizes across the country to identify the best places for new homebuyers based on key indicators.
“The location of a house is just as important as its furnishings,” said Adam McCann, the author of the study. “If the neighborhood is awkward, it can detract from the great home experience. Potential buyers may want to narrow down their search to an area with a good reputation before delving into apartment details. “
The surge in first-time buyers over the past year can be attributed to two factors: a dramatic decline in interest rates and the decision by companies to allow employees to work remotely on a permanent basis.
According to WalletHub results, Chesapeake, Virginia is the best place for a first-time home buyer with an overall score of 65.15.
The rest of the top 10 are: Gilbert, Arizona, Lincoln, Neb., Cape Coral, Florida, Boise, Idaho, Hampton, Virginia, Peoria, Arizona, Virginia Beach, Virginia, Norfolk, Virginia, and Gilbert, Aris.
Of the 10 worst cities for first-time home buyers, the top nine are in California: Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Glendale, and Burbank. The other city in the bottom 10 is Boston.
In compiling its data, WalletHub rated cities based on 22 metrics on affordability, property market and quality of life.
Affordability includes the average cost of homeowner insurance, the cost of living, and local property taxes.
The real estate market takes into account factors such as foreclosure rates, mortgage lenders and real estate agents per capita, and building permit activity.
Quality of life includes things like the quality of the school system, the weather and the crime rate.
Patricia Ryan, a professor of finance and real estate at Colorado State University, told WalletHub that the key factor a first time home buyer should keep in mind is their exit strategy, as most first time buyers will likely move to a larger home after a few Years.
“Will the house and the neighborhood be attractive to future first or second buyers?” She said. “With that in mind, many first-time buyers aren’t as concerned about school districts when they don’t have children, but their potential buyers may have school districts high on their list.”
Ryan suggests that first-time buyers create a “must and want” list not just for themselves but for potential future buyers as well.