The 10 Best Cities for First-Time Homebuyers

Navigating the home-buying landscape can be a dizzying process. Here’s a look at the top buyer-friendly markets in the U.S.

Do you dream of one day owning a house? With homeownership at its lowest rate in 50 years, it can sometimes seem like a dream that’s out of reach. For millennials especially, buying property can be likened to attending an Eagles concert or sporting a feathered Farah Fawcett hairdo—in other words, it’s something many of us aren’t rushing to repeat.

But there’s still hope: If you want to own a home, consider moving to the Midwest.

First-time buyers in markets throughout the Midwest won’t have to deal with as many bidding wars or outrageous prices; they’ll be able to find a first home that fits their needs with less stress. The top markets for home-buyers are places where the availability of affordable, entry-level homes and the presence of cash buyers are less of an issue. And in the Midwest, there are a lot of areas that meet that criteria.

In particular, a recent report by SmartAsset ranked every U.S. city with a population of over 300,000 based on seven metrics: the number of mortgage lenders, loan funding rate, value per square foot of home, affordability ratio (the ratio of median household income to ownership costs), homeowner stability, market volatility and the number of quarters since 2010 that home prices declined.

This shows that, overall, the outlook is great if you’re in the middle part of the country, and not-so-great if you’re on the western or eastern extremes.

Here are the top states that boast the best-buys for homeowners.

10. Dallas, Texas

Loan funding rate: 70%

Average price per square foot of home: $91

Average monthly mortgage payment: $490

Median household income: $49,925

9. Louisville, Kentucky

Loan funding rate: 74%

Average price per square foot of home: $88

Average monthly mortgage payment: $581

Median household income: $47,692

8. San Antonio, Texas

Loan funding rate: 62%

Average price per square foot of home: $81

Average monthly mortgage payment: $478

Median household income: $50,867

7. Wichita, Kansas

Loan funding rate: 78%

Average price per square foot of home: $77

Average monthly mortgage payment: $486

Median household income: $50,326

6. Omaha, Nebraska

Loan funding rate: 83%

Average price per square foot of home: $100

Average monthly mortgage payment: $552

Median household income: $53,444

5. Houston, Texas

Loan funding rate: $69

Average price per square foot of home: $88

Average monthly mortgage payment: $509

Median household income: $53,822

4. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Loan funding rate: 58%

Average price per square foot of home: $75

Average monthly mortgage payment: $482

Median household income: $52,390

3. Indianapolis, Indiana

Loan funding rate: 77%

Average price per square foot of home: $69

Average monthly mortgage payment: $456

Median household income: $42,378

2. Tulsa, Oklahoma

Loan funding rate: 74%

Average price per square foot of home: $72

Average monthly mortgage payment: $515

Median household income: $48,926

1. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Loan funding rate: 75%

Average price per square foot of home: $78

Average monthly mortgage payment: $496

Median household income: $46,584