Ten Great States for First-Time Homebuyers

As most people are all too aware, buying a home is a financial goal – likely the most significant for a large section of the populace – that has been delayed for many wannabe homeowner thanks to the recent recession. However, now that the economy continues to strengthen in 2015, many Americans have decided the time is finally right for them to buy their first home.

In a past post, Preparing for Homeownership, I noted that for many of us, a home will be the single largest purchase we will make during the course of our lifetime. Buying a home requires an understanding of all the factors that will impact a potential purchase and savvy management of finances to close the deal. I highlighted key actions such as saving an adequate amount for a down payment, determining how much of a mortgage payment could be afforded and accounting for new expenses (e.g. property taxes) in your budget.

Prior to doing all those things, however, perhaps the most important decision that will be made is where to live. The United States is a large country with lots of options! To see which states offer the best conditions for new homeowners, a recent study ranked the 10 states with the most growth in the number of first-time homebuyers, while maintaining lower levels of foreclosure rates, over the past 10 years.

Some highlights from the study:

  • Seven out of the 10 states in the study fall in the Northeast region of the United States, including the top three: 1. West Virginia, 2. New Hampshire and 3. Rhode Island
  • Arizona – my home state – rounded out the list at No. 10 as the only West Coast state in the contiguous United States, noteworthy for its low mortgage payments and the Home Plus Home Loan Program.
  • Washington D.C. has the highest median price of a home on this list with more than a half of a million dollars, but boasts one of the lowest foreclosure rates at 0.01 percent.

The detailed ranking and analysis for each state can be found at here.

James
 

James retired in 2005 after serving 21 years in the United States Army. During the latter part of his career, James' interest in personal finance was piqued based on his own experiences and observations of the way most Americans plan – or more accurately, fail to plan – for retirement and the difficulty many face in starting the process. His most valued education has been lessons learned from personal experience and through conversations with smart, savvy friends.

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