Buying that first home is a dream for many Millennials. But figuring out where to live, not to mention coming up with a down payment and signing on for a mortgage, can be a nightmarish process.
Luckily a new Smart Asset survey is giving newbie buyers — who are typically in their early 30s — some much-needed guidance when it comes to which U.S. cities offer the biggest advantages when it comes housing affordability and the chances of getting a mortgage, among other metrics.
So where do you get the best bang for your real estate buck? According to the survey, that would be Pittsburgh.
This tech and health-care urban hub earned the honor thanks to its not-too-pricey housing stock and the city’s high loan funding rate — meaning that conventional mortgage loans have become more accessible.
Cities in the Midwest and South rounded out the top five. Oklahoma City, which ranked second, made the list because of its stable housing market and low home prices. Omaha, Indianapolis and Tulsa also offered affordability as well as low market volatility.
If your ideal locale for a first home is in the West or East, you’ve got options. Colorado Springs, with its access to outdoorsy recreation, came in at number eight. Washington D.C., typically called out for its pricey real estate market, ranked 22nd.
Hoping to hit that home-ownership milestone soon? This list can help guide your decision for where to look. But don’t forget to take into account other factors — such as cities where your paycheck goes the farthest and where your outlay gets the highest return on investment.