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WalletHub maps out best cities for first-time homebuyers

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If you’re planning on buying your first home in Colorado or Texas, you’re in luck: Several cities in those states offer more bang for your buck, less crime and pleasant weather.

But if you’re planning to buy in a few urban areas in California, you may be in for a rough time as long as you own your home.

Those are the conclusions of WalletHub, a financial product resource for consumers and small-business owners, in a recent analysis of the most favorable housing markets for first-time homebuyers.

Source: WalletHub

WalletHub compared 300 U.S. cities to determine their attractiveness to first-time buyers, based on 18 different metrics including housing costs, property crime rates, weather conditions and real estate taxes.

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Data used to create the rankings were culled from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Council for Community and Economic Research, Zillow, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Experian, CoreLogic and WalletHub research.

“Buying a home for the first time is an exciting and important milestone in the lives of most consumers. That was, at least, until the housing bubble collapsed nearly a decade ago. Today, homebuyers are more skeptical than ever in the wake of the financial crisis, especially given the drastic variations in economic recovery across the U.S.,” WalletHub said in announcing its findings.

Topping WalletHub’s list is Overland Park, Kansas, which didn’t rank very high in terms of affordability, but received good marks for its living environment.

Next up is Allen, Texas, which ranks second overall and is joined by other Texas cities Frisco (5th), Plano (6th), Carrollton (7th) and McKinney (8th).

Several cities in Colorado also made the top 10: Centennial (3rd), Longmont (9th) and Thornton (10th).

Rounding out the top 10 is Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, which ranked fourth.

Ranking lowest on the list are several California cities: Compton and Richmond rank dead last, and Inglewood, Salinas and Oakley are among the worst 10.

Notably, New York is considered by WalletHub to be one of the worst markets, ranking 295 out of 300.

Drilling down on individual metrics, Flint and Detroit, Michigan; Dayton and Akron, Ohio; and Joliet, Illinois, all rank as the nation’s most affordable cities; while California once again received low rankings, with Glendale, Berkeley, Santa Barbara, San Francisco and Santa Monica considered least affordable.

Cities with the lowest crime rates include:

  • Mission Viejo and Thousand Oaks, California
  • Centennial, Colorado
  • Yonkers, New York
  • Naperville, Illinois

Conversely, buyers may be wise to purchase home security protection in these “least safe” cities:

  • Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Springfield, Missouri
  • Spokane, Washington
  • Miami Beach, Florida

Email Amy Swinderman.