Best cities for first-time homebuyers

By Stephanie Horan | Smart Asset

Since March, mortgage rates have fallen steadily. According to Freddie Mac data, the 30-year fixed-rate average was at 2.90% and the 15-year fixed-rate average stood at 2.40% for the week ending September 24, 2020. These rates are 0.74 and 0.76 percentage points lower, respectively, than a year earlier.

Over the same period, Americans have saved more: Bureau of Economic Analysis data shows that though the personal saving rate fell from its record 33.0% in April, the July 2020 personal saving rate of 17.8% is still 10.1 percentage points higher than last year.

With mortgage rates at all-time lows and Americans saving more than ever, now may be a good time for individuals and families considering homeownership to take a serious look at their options. Buying a home for the first time requires significant research and thought. Even after qualifying for a mortgage and covering the down payment and closing costs, first-time homeowners must consider their comprehensive financial situation and whether they will be able to make the monthly mortgage payments. First-time buyers may also want to consider certain city-specific factors such as entertainment options, commute times and job opportunities.


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