Getting the Most out of Life

Where to Buy Your First Home: The 5 Best Cities for Millennials

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Buying your first home is a major life event and a financial goal for many, but it’s a huge commitment—physically, financially, and emotionally. You must consider your savings and budgeting, impending lifestyle changes, maintenance and upkeep, and the community you move to. For Millennials, who are typically in the midst of many life transitions such as marriage, career changes, and family planning, it’s important to examine these factors closely and make a decision that meets your needs and goals.

Thinking about buying a home in the city? You should be. There are greater job prospects in cities than in suburbs, plus a larger amount of available homes and easy access to amenities. Here is a list of our top five cities for Millennials looking to buy their first home:

1. Austin, Texas

Austin offers a diverse community, a great music scene, and tons of recreational activities. The city attracts a young crowd, too: Between 2010 and 2012, Millennials made up more than 17 percent of the population, according to data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) featured by MarketWatch. With an average home price of $262,000 and an annual job growth rate of 4.2 percent, Austin is a great city to consider for your first home purchase.

2. Orlando, Florida

With year-round sunny weather, affordable housing, theme parks, and beaches about an hour’s drive away, what more could you ask for? The average home price is an incredibly affordable $188,000 and annual job growth is at 3.6 percent, making Orlando is a great place to settle down.

3. Denver, Colorado

Denver is the relocation city of choice for many older Millennials. NAR reports that Gen Yers between the ages of 25 and 34 accounted for a whopping 29.2 percent of those who moved into the city between 2010 and 2012. Snowy weather aside, it’s well equipped for sports fans and outdoor enthusiasts. The average home price in Denver is about $278,000, while annual job growth is at 2.6 percent.

4. Boise, Idaho

Boise is the most populated city in Idaho, home to approximately 214,200 residents. It also boasts a gorgeous surrounding landscape of rivers and snowcapped Rocky Mountains—an urban outdoor enthusiast’s dream. Boise’s average home price is similar to Orlando’s, falling at about $184,000. Annual job growth comes in at 2.2 percent.

5. Salt Lake City, Utah

Gen Yers made up more than 17 percent of Salt Lake City’s population between 2010 to 2012, according to NAR. With 21 national parks and monuments nearby, the city offers easy access, whether you’re looking to ski or ride in a hot air balloon. The average home price in Salt Lake City is $250,400, and the annual job growth rate falls at 2.9 percent.

When checking out the best place to purchase your first home, remember to consider job market conditions, overall home affordability, and the inventory. (Is it a buyer’s or seller’s market?) Then reflect on your personal situation. Will your life change soon? Do you anticipate holding onto this property for five or more years? If the answer to the first question is yes and to the second is no, renting may still be your best bet.

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Mary Beth is shaking up traditional views of financial planning by leveraging technology to work with GenYers across the country to help them make smart choices with their money. She is a Certified Financial Planner™ and Founder of Workable Wealth. Her expertise has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Forbes and more.