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The 50 worst cities for first-time homebuyers

Stacker Logo By Katherine Gallagher of Stacker | Slide 1 of 51: While there are plenty of positive aspects to consider when settling on where to purchase your first home, those pluses have to be weighed against any number of negatives. Understanding factors such as the overall affordability of the area, quality of life, safety, schools, and real estate projections are essential in the research that goes into purchasing a home.

Since the 2008 recession, the popularity of homeownership has been replaced by the affordability and flexibility of renting. There are 47% more renters than homeowners in almost half of all major U.S. cities, up from 21% in 2006 before the recession, according to a 2018 report from Marketplace representing 10 years of data. Seventy-five percent of people aged 18 to 24 say that they still consider owning a home an important personal goal. Unfortunately for millennials caught in the recession, this goal may not be as realistic as it may have been for past generations. Student loans have tripled since 2006, now totaling more than $1.5 trillion and leaving many young Americans entering the post-school workforce with crippling debt.

Because of these concerning financial reasons, Americans are increasingly prudent about how they spend their money—especially with something as big as purchasing a home. To determine the worst cities for first-time home buyers, we reviewed data from WalletHub to rank affordability, real estate markets, and quality of life. We then grouped the results for each city into an overall score and ranked them accordingly with higher ranking representing worse scores. We then researched the cities themselves to find out why that city may be a bad choice for homebuyers, if it ranks at the bottom for anything else, and aspects about the city that might detract first-timers. We further looked at factors from BestPlaces, including which cities had the highest statistics for crime, which cities were the most expensive, and which ones had the lowest overall quality of life, and compared it to the national averages. Keep reading to see which U.S. cities are the worst options for first-time homebuyers.

You may also like: Best cities for first-time homebuyers

The 50 worst cities for first-time homebuyers

While there are plenty of positive aspects to consider when settling on where to purchase your first home, those pluses have to be weighed against any number of negatives. Understanding factors such as the overall affordability of the area, quality of life, safety, schools, and real estate projections are essential in the research that goes into purchasing a home.

Since the 2008 recession, the popularity of homeownership has been replaced by the affordability and flexibility of renting. There are 47% more renters than homeowners in almost half of all major U.S. cities, up from 21% in 2006 before the recession, according to a 2018 report from Marketplace representing 10 years of data. Seventy-five percent of people aged 18 to 24 say that they still consider owning a home an important personal goal. Unfortunately for millennials caught in the recession, this goal may not be as realistic as it may have been for past generations. Student loans have tripled since 2006, now totaling more than $1.5 trillion and leaving many young Americans entering the post-school workforce with crippling debt.

Because of these concerning financial reasons, Americans are increasingly prudent about how they spend their money—especially with something as big as purchasing a home. To determine the worst cities for first-time home buyers, we reviewed data from WalletHub to rank affordability, real estate markets, and quality of life. We then grouped the results for each city into an overall score and ranked them accordingly with higher ranking representing worse scores. We then researched the cities themselves to find out why that city may be a bad choice for homebuyers, if it ranks at the bottom for anything else, and aspects about the city that might detract first-timers. We further looked at factors from BestPlaces, including which cities had the highest statistics for crime, which cities were the most expensive, and which ones had the lowest overall quality of life, and compared it to the national averages. Click or swipe through to see which U.S. cities are the worst options for first-time homebuyers.

You may also like: Best cities for first-time homebuyers

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