Buying your first home may seem like a very stressful process. It’s all new to you and there is a lot of conflicting information out there about what you should do to find your starter home. Of course, a good real estate agent makes a difference and can take some of the stress out of the situation.
As a first-time homebuyer, it’s also important to understand what you’re shopping for. Often, you’ll be looking for an affordable starter home, which means you should understand the best places in the United States to find your starter home. Here’s a look at the top cities in the country for first-time home buyers.
Find Your Starter Home in San Francisco, CA
While San Francisco, CA has a reputation as one of the most expensive places to buy a home in America, there are still a few areas within the city that are less expensive than others. Examples would be homes in District 10 on the SE side of the city (neighborhoods like Bayview, Hunter’s Point, and The Excelsior) and District 3 on the SW side of the city (neighborhoods like Ingleside and Merced Heights). Within the SF bay area region there are also areas where you’ll be able to search for a great starter home. When you look at value, Redwood City, on the San Mateo peninsula in Silicon Valley, is one place to buy a starter home near San Francisco:
- Palm Park – Best for commuters and known for great schools with prices lower than $1.1 million, on average.
- Redwood Oaks – Higher prices, closer to $1.4 million, on average, but great for commuters and some of the best schools in the area.
- Woodside Plaza – Great for commuters and schools are very good with prices averaging less than $1.4 million.
- Roosevelt – Great schools with a good commute and prices around $1.35 million.
- Lyon Hoag – Good commuter location, but prices are closer to the $1.7 million range.
- While homes near Redwood City range from $1.1 to $1.4 million, which is right around the San Francisco average of $1.2 million.
Find Your Starter Home Elsewhere
If you’re considering a starter home in San Francisco, these are some areas where you might find your starter home. If you are looking outside the bay area, other U.S. cities with great neighborhoods to find your starter home include:
- New York City – Specifically the Yonkers area, which provides home with a price lower than the metro median home value by about $200K. Ludlow, North Side and Woodlawn Heights are the top neighborhoods here for first-time homebuyers.
- Chicago – Palatine is the place for starter homes in Chicago with a low median home value. Its’s rather affordable, especially the Fairgrounds Park and Palatine Manor areas.
- Washington, DC – The Avondale area is a great place for starter homes in the D.C. area. University Park and Kingman Park are also two good choices.
- Miami – The Melrose Vista area is a very popular spot for first-time homebuyers in Miami. This is the Fort Lauderdale area and Flamingo Park is a top neighborhood for starter homes.
You don’t have to feel like the best starter homes are only found in small towns or remote communities. While small towns may be more affordable, big cities across the United States offer great homes for first-time homebuyers willing to do some research and start with their first home, not their forever home.