Can you guess which ones made the list?

Cole Valley San Francisco
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For those who are looking to buy a home for the first time, the feat can seem like quite the hurdle. With housing prices and interest rates still high, and a competitive market, it’s tough out there! And the number of first-time home buyers are dropping, too, because of those high prices—according to personal finance site WalletHub, 26% off home purchases were made by first-time home buyers in 2022, down from 34% the previous year.

All hope is not lost, though, it’s still possible for first-timers to get their dream starter home. It just depends on where you look. WalletHub recently put together their 2023’s Best & Worst Cities for First-Time Home Buyers report to help aspiring homeowners figure out which areas to set their sights on.

To compile the report, the team at WalletHub looked at 300 cities of varying sizes across three key dimensions: Affordability, real estate market, and quality of life. They evaluated those three dimensions by using 22 metrics, like housing affordability, cost of living, cost per square foot, active listings per capita, homeownership rate for millennials, quality of school system, job market, and violent-crime rate.

Gilbert, Arizona
Gilbert, Arizona

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From the list, there is some bad news and good news for the West (or people who are looking to live in the West). The bad news? The 10 worst cities for first-time home buyers are all located in the West, with nine being in California and one being in Alaska. The good news? Three Western cities made the 10 best cities—Surprise and Gilbert in Arizona and Boise, Idaho. 

Other bright spots from the report include the finding that the city with the best real-estate tax rate was Honolulu, Hawaii (Colorado Springs and Denver were also in the top five). And when it comes to median home-price appreciation, the California cities of Sunnyvale, Stockton, Richmond, and Vallejo made the top five.

Take a look at the 10 Best Cities and the 10 Worst Cities for First-Time Home Buyers below. And you can see the full report at WalletHub.

Best Cities for First-Time Home Buyers

1. Palm Bay, Florida

2. Cape Coral, Florida

3. Tampa, Florida

4. Port St. Lucie, Florida

5. Orlando, Florida

6. Surprise, Arizona

7. Gilbert, Arizona

8. Boise, Idaho

9. Chesapeake, Virginia

10. Henderson, Nevada

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Boise, Idaho

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Worst Cities for First-Time Home Buyers

291. Daly City, California

292. Burbank, California

293. San Mateo, California

294. Oakland, California

295. San Francisco, California

296. Los Angeles, California

297. Santa Barbara, California

298. Anchorage, Alaska

299. Santa Monica, California

300. Berkeley, California