Industry NewsMarkets & Economy

First-time homebuyer hot spot: Fresno, Calif.

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Editor's note: This report on the Fresno market is an excerpt from a special report by Inman News reporter Andrea V. Brambila, "10 Prime Real Estate Markets for First-Time Buyers," identifying the 10 metro markets with the greatest share of first-time homebuyers relying on mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) in 2011.  When public defense attorney and first-time homebuyer Sergio Benavides decided to buy a home in Fresno after years of renting, his main concern was getting conned. "I'm an attorney, and I read a lot. I know how the economy was destroyed by the housing market, and I did not want to be just another victim," he said. Benavides obtained financing for his purchase through his local credit union, which he felt would have his best interests in mind, and chose an FHA loan. "I felt that with an FHA loan, I could secure a loan with a minimal down payment, and I welcomed additional government regulation and control over such a loan...