Wisconsin, Minnesota: Prime Markets for First Time Home Buyers
A report out today from leading real estate and technology news source Inman News places the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington area of Minnesota and Wisconsin as a top housing market for first time home buyers. The report highlights 10 markets where homes tend to be "more affordable" so first time buyers can find good deals.
8 of the top markets have median sale prices less than the national average of $162,000. Half of the markets in the Inman News report saw home price declines greater than the 36% drop from peak experienced by the entire country.
Besides the WI-MN market, you'll find the usual "low housing markets" in there like California and New Jersey. Also included are Georgia and West Virginia. Here's a short excerpt from the report.
"Eight out of 10 of the markets identified by Inman News, including four in California’s Central Valley, saw annual price declines during the first quarter of 2012 that exceeded the national average.
Six out of 10 markets popular with first-time home buyers had higher foreclosure activity rates during the first three months of the year than the national rate, and half had higher unemployment rates in March than the 8.4 percent national rate.
As a group, first-time homebuyers are a bellwether of the real estate industry and the economy as a whole. 'Because of the problems a few years ago, I believe (first-time buyers) are more cautious,' said Dorothy Kielty, an agent at Coldwell Banker Gonella Realty in Merced, where the median price has dropped 71.5 percent from peak. First-timers 'want a home that they can afford more easily if one person loses their job or something else (happens). They don't want to be 'house poor' -- they want to have money for some fun things.'"
One way to avoid becoming house poor is for buyers to find zero down first time home buyer loans like the USDA Rural Development Mortgage. These allow buyers to worry less about the cash for a down payment, and concentrate on finding the right house for their monthly budget.
Before house hunting, make sure you're pre-approved for a mortgage. Real estate agents in all of these prime markets appreciate a buyer who's taken the time to talk to a community mortgage lender to find out if they have the means to buy a house. Learn more about this entire buying process with 10 tips for first time home buyers so you're prepared.
If you're looking to buy your first house, start with our "Free Kit for First Time Home Buyers." The free guide covers aspects of the buying process from mortgage pre-approval to closing costs, even including a glossary of industry terms so no one is talking over your head while you're buying your home. Download it at the button below.