Since COVID changed our way of life, real estate has been growing in price tremendously. Fortunately for a first-time homebuyer, there’s one city that has remained affordable.
Buying A Home? Take A Look At Pittsburgh
With each passing year, buying a home becomes more and more challenging. Affected by the ongoing COVID crisis and inflation, the real estate market is booming, barring first-time homebuyers from entry. So, what should one do when looking to buy a home? Search for a more affordable housing market!
In 2022, Pittsburgh received first place on a list of the most affordable cities to buy a home. According to the Bankrate Best Metros for First-Time Homebuyers study, it has the best marks across all 11 data points measured among the nation’s 50 largest metro areas!
Real estate in Pittsburgh is affordable for most families and first-time buyers. The average cost of a home is only $171,100! Meanwhile, the average cost of a home in the U.S. in 2022 is more than double that, at around $350,000. The Housing Opportunity Index (HOI) for the city is also around 82.9%, according to the National Association of Home Builders. So, buying a home is possible for most families with the local median income.
Perfect For A First-Time Homebuyer
Yet, despite being a cheap city, Pittsburgh has a lot of attractive benefits for first-time homebuyers. For example, the architecture of the area ranges from Victorian to new construction in both the city center and suburbs, so there’s plenty of styles to choose from.
In addition to the incredible price, there are three major-league sports teams, an outstanding art scene, a lively city center, and delicious cuisine. A first-time homebuyer will also be able to take advantage of 29 colleges and universities, while businesses like Uber, Google, Facebook, and Duolingo have offices in the area for those looking for a job. Meanwhile, modern restaurants and bars attract a ton of young people, which has caused the area to trend on social media. In fact, Pittsburgh is now one of the Top 10 Best Foodie Cities!
Furthermore, First Front Door, a program for first-time homebuyers, will help qualified newcomers with their closing costs and down payment. If you’re buying a home for the first time and earn below 80% of the area’s median income (which is around $76,000 a year), you can take advantage of the program! With First Front Door, buyers receive $3 in assistance for every $1 contributed to the new home up to $5,000.
With so many positives, a lot of families from other areas have kept their eye on Pittsburgh. Jim Jarrett, president of the Realtors Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh and an associate broker at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices The Preferred Realty, said that a lot of Californians, in particular, shop for homes in the Pittsburgh metro area. “I’ve been showing $750,000, $800,000 homes to people from California,” he said. “They’re like, ‘This would be $3.5 million where we come from.’”
But Pittsburgh isn’t the only option. Other beautiful and affordable metro areas first-time homebuyers may consider are Minneapolis, which has a rather low unemployment rate; the safe and cheap city of Cincinnati; Kansas City; and Buffalo.