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Looking to Own Your Own Home? It Might Be Time to Move

August 13, 2019DMT.NEWS

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The 10 Best Cities for Millennial Home Buyers

Once you hit a certain age, buying a house becomes more and more appealing. Whether you see it as an investment, or you’re just sick of living in a rental that you can’t really justify investing in to customize to your tastes, there are a lot of reasons why buying a house can feel like the next logical step.

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However, if you’re currently living in a major city, buying a house or a condo can seem like an impossible feat. Costs are high, inflation is no joke, and saving for a downpayment can feel like taking two steps forward and one step back. However, if you’re flexible with your destination, buying a home may be easier than you think. List with Clever recently created a list of the top cities for millennial homebuyers. These cities are the best combination of job opportunities, home affordability, livability, and housing market forecast that will make buying a home more achievable.

According to a recent Credit Karma survey, the cost of living can be high in cities compared with the suburbs, according to our survey findings. And it’s no secret that wages haven’t kept up with the rising costs of living.

“Our survey shows that city dwellers, in particular, might be feeling the pressure of slow wage growth and the high cost of living,” says Dana Marineau, The VP of Brand, Creative Communications at Credit Karma.

“The key is to not live or spend beyond your means, so if you think living in the city will cause financial strain, you may want to look into housing options outside the city that are more accommodating to your budget,” she says.

Marineau urges that before you consider moving – regardless if you’re looking in the city or not – the first step is to create a realistic budget for yourself, based on your income, expenses and debts. Be honest with yourself about how much you can afford and stick to that. The U.S. Census Bureau recommends spending no more than 30 percent of your monthly income on rent. As a starting point, if you’re looking for housing, do the math and see what 30 percent can get you.

And, keep your long term goals in mind too. If living in a city will be more expensive than the suburbs, that may end up preventing you from achieving longer-term financial goals, like contributing to your 401K or saving to buy a car.

 Rochester, New YorkGettyImages

If you can’t imagine living anywhere other than New York, well, good news: you don’t have to leave the state to buy a home, but… you may have to leave the city. Rochester, while it may be a good five hours from Manhattan, offers an ideal balance between real estate forecasting and home affordability. Perched on Lake Ontario, Rochester boasts an up-and-coming culinary scene, including hundreds of vineyards and breweries, as well as handfuls of great parks and outdoor activities.

Des Moines, IowaGettyImages

Des Moines is the capital city of Iowa and ranks highest on the list for job opportunities and home affordability, which allows first-time homebuyers to strike a very comfortable balance. Iowa’s most populated city also has a budding contemporary art and music scene as well as a handful of world-class museums, including the Des Moines Art Center and Pappajohn Sculpture Park.

Omaha, Nebraska

Omaha is the largest city in Nebraska, nestled on the Missouri River close to the Iowa border. It’s known for its pioneer history, museums and cultural centers and will keep young homebuyers busy with its craft breweries, music festivals and budding coffee culture. While its job opportunity score is lower than Des Moines’ score, its home affordability score will make finding a great first home easy.

RELATED: The Most Affordable U.S. Cities to Live In

Dayton, OhioGettyImages

Although Dayton has recently suffered undeniable hardship, the city has come together to rebuild and hopefully shape an even brighter future for the metropolis. The sixth biggest city in Ohio is known for being home to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, the Greater Miami Riverway and various other outdoor wonders and activities.

Grand Rapids, MichiganGettyImages

If you’re hoping to buy your first pad in Chicago, consider packing up and heading to another great (and much more affordable) city on Lake Michigan. Three hours outside of Chi-Town, Grand Rapids boasts just as much natural beauty as its Illinois counterpart, as well as a pretty robust microbrewery scene.

Syracuse, New YorkGettyImages

Syracuse has one of the highest scores in terms of home affordability on the list – and while it ranks rather low for job opportunities, if you’re able to secure a job where you can work from home or telecommute, this may be the spot for you to lock down your first home. Located on the Canadian border, Syracuse has great yoga and outdoor activities, as well as great art museums, Broadway shows and live music.

Akron, OhioGettyImages

Akron is the fifth-largest city in Ohio and should definitely be on your list if you want to own a home but don’t want to sacrifice yourself to the suburbs. According to Vogue magazine, Akron should be on your radar due to its underrated nightlife, indie film scene and impressive foodie history (the hamburger was allegedly invented in Akron!).

RELATED: These Cities Have the Worst and Safest Drivers

Columbus, OhioGettyImages

The state capital of Ohio has a lot to offer both visitors and first-time homebuyers alike. The city’s Scioto Mile is a collection of parks on either side of the Scioto River, with a dotting of interactive fountains and trails – making it an outdoor lover’s dream. The city itself is booming, with a growing festival culture and foodie scene that includes rich farm-to-table dining and dynamic nightlife.

Harrisburg-Carlisle, PennsylvaniaGettyImages

Harrisburg-Carlisle ranks notably high for home affordability and livability, so if you’re able to secure freelance work outside of Pennsylvania, your overall livability in the city will be quite comfortable. Just two hours outside of Philly, Harrisburg-Carlisle is known for its assortment of historic museums and nearby mountain ranges (great for weekend hikes!).

Cincinnati, OhioGettyImages

Tucked into the Ohio River, Cincinnati is known for its nineteenth-century architecture, including Findlay Market, a sprawling seasonal farmer’s market that draws in both tourists and locals alike for its fresh produce, cheese counters and world-class butchers. The home affordability score is high, but the livability score is low, which means your overall cost of living will still skew higher, but will be offset by a lower mortgage payment (so go ahead and get that farm-fresh steak from Findlay).

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Kaitlyn McInnis, Khareem Sudlow

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