Scranton, Pittsburgh named top cities for first-time buyers

By Leighton, Kelly | Feb. 27, 2018 | 2 min. read

Scranton and Pittsburgh were recently named two of the top 10 cities for first-time homebuyers by LendingTree.

The website took into account the average down payment, the average down payment percentage, the share of buyers using an FHA mortgage, the percentage of buyers who have credit below 680, the share of homes sold that the median income family can afford and the average FHA down payment as a percentage of average down payment for all loans.

Scranton was named the eighth best. Greater Scranton Board of Realtors® President Sherri Miller said that Scranton’s attraction to first-time buyers is the price. “On the low end, a buyer can buy a home in the $50,000 range. It wont be great, but it will be livable. While this isn’t our average price range, as a first-time buyer, if someone doesn’t have a high expectation, they can get something in and around that range,” she said.

Scranton also offers many amenities, like parks, shopping centers, walking trails and museums, she said, adding that Scranton is also in close proximity to skiing, a concert venue, an airport and a baseball stadium.

“We have a nice, diverse city with lots of things for people across ages. Everything is close by. You don’t have to travel far.” Miller also said that while inventory in Scranton has not been as high as normal, it isn’t as low as other parts of the country.

“Scranton is affordable with all the services you need nearby,” said Miller.

Pittsburgh was named the ninth best city for first-time buyers.

“We have low prices for homes, good job prospects, cultural events and sporting games,” said PAR District 10 Vice President Preston Moore. “People can live in the city and walk to places.” Moore also said the city offers a good mix of housing stock, with both older and newer houses.

Moore also applauded the city for a “relatively low crime rate,” noting that while Pittsburgh may not be as big as New York City or Philadelphia, it still offers all the amenities.

“However, if buyers find a house, they have to act quickly. The market here has been like this for a few years. You can’t hesitate. If you find something you like, you have to make a move. The house will be gone or you will be in a bidding war,” he warned.

“It’s a good city for young professionals,” added Moore.

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