Moving? Here are the best metros for first-time homebuyers.

Erik Mclean UnSplash

These cities have high affordability and low crime rates

Housing experts are largely in agreement when it comes to 2024’s homebuying opportunities. They should be better than last year’s.

The experts ConsumerAffairs consulted this week predict interest rates could fall below 6% in the months ahead.

So if you’ve been waiting patiently for an opportunity to buy your first home, 2024 may be your year. But if your job allows you to work remotely and you’re willing to relocate, the opportunities may be even greater.

A recent ConsumerAffairs study identified the best cities for first-time buyers. While home prices were a key component, the study also considered quality-of-life factors. Each metro received a financial friendliness score and a quality-of-life score, which were added together for an overall score.

The quality-of-life score components include crime rates, unemployment rate, climate and racial diversity.

The top 10

Based on those factors, here are the 10 best metros for first-time homebuyers:

  1. Raleigh-Cary, N.C.

  2. Provo-Orem, Utah

  3. Naples-Marco Island, Fla.

  4. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, Calif.

  5. Cape Coral-Ft. Myers, Fla.

  6. San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, Calif.

  7. Port St. Lucie, Fla.

  8. Barnstable, Mass.

  9. Boise, Idaho

  10. Bridgeport-Stamford, Conn.

What makes Raleigh so special? It’s the largest city in the “Research Triangle” of North Carolina, which gets its name from the biggest research park in the U.S. — covering 7,000 acres, where over 50,000 people work at companies including IBM and Cisco.

The Raleigh-Cary area has the fifth-highest financial friendliness score of all metro areas, and it ranks 14th in having the least violent crime.

In addition to comparative affordability and safety, Raleigh-Cary residents benefit from the area’s exceptional greenway system, diverse arts scene, free museums — the “Smithsonian of the South” — and temperate climate.

Madison, Wisc., Knoxville, Tenn., and Elizabethtown, Ky., also rank as markets that are friendly to first-time buyers. Check out the full study here.

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