The Lowcountry turns out to be one of the more alluring spots for first-time purchasers to buy a residence — based on comparatively lower prices, taxes and crime rates, an online personal finance tracker finds.
Metro Charleston placed 24th among the best cities for first-time home buyers, as calculated by WalletHub. The South Carolina coastal city graded between two Colorado communities, 23rd ranked Longmont and Fort Collins at 25th. Buoying up its score was a 15th place ranking in lowest real estate tax costs. Charleston also placed 106 in housing affordability and 83 in quality of life.
By comparison, the Colorado small cities trumped Charleston in home prices and in real estate taxes but soared in quality of life with Longmont finishing in eighth and Fort Collins, No. 1.
WalletHub says it reviewed 300 cities in 27 key categories to determine 2018's Best and Worst Cities for First-Time Home Buyers. Topping the chart was Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; followed by Tampa, Florida; Centennial, Colorado; Boise, Idaho; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Thornton, Colorado; Frisco, Texas; McKinney, Texas; Cary, North Carolina; and Gilbert, Arizona.
Berkeley, California scored lowest, while the rest of the bottom 10 in order consisted of Detroit; Flint, Michigan; San Francisco; San Mateo, California; Oakland; Miami Beach, Florida; Elizabeth, New Jersey; Newark, New Jersey; and Anchorage, Alaska.
The website says 38 percent of single-family home purchases in 2017 involved first-time buyers.
WalletHub also compared highest and lowest totals by category, including:
- Akron, Ohio, proved to have the most affordable housing with a 1.72 ratio of median home price to midpoint annual household income while Berkeley was the least affordable at 15.25.
- Honolulu reported the lowest real-estate tax rate to price at 0.28 percent, with Waterbury, Connecticut the highest at 3.65 percent.
- Cleveland stood out with the highest rent-to-price share at 17.8 percent, while San Mateo was the lowest at 3.8 percent.
- Shreveport, Louisiana, carded the lowest average energy cost, $109.48 per household while Honolulu was the steepest at $432.62 per household.