First-Time Homebuyers Guide 2019
Starter homes

Austin's red-hot real estate market among the best in U.S. for first-time buyers

Austin real estate market among the best in U.S. for first-time buyers

Open front door of a house
The Austin metro area is one of the best places in the U.S. for first-time homebuyers, according to Bankrate.com Photo by Ian Nolan/Getty Images

Austin — the metro area, that is — ranks as one of the best places in the country for first-time homebuyers in 2019, according to a report from financial site Bankrate.com.

The site measured affordability, culture, job market, market tightness, and safety in the country’s 50 largest metros. Austin, which ranks 14th overall, does particularly well in the job market category, coming in 6th. In the other categories, the Capital City ranks 39th in affordability, 22nd in culture, 22nd in market tightness, and 13th in safety, according to the report. 

When it comes to buying a new home, the report tells potential buyers to bypass coastal hot spots for cities like Pittsburgh, which is first in the nation on this year's list. 

"Prospective first-time homebuyers should probably look past the West Coast and Rocky Mountains when deciding where to take on homeownership,” the report says. “Major metros near the Pacific Coast, especially in California, fell to the bottom of the list.”

Bankrate weighted affordability at 30 percent; safety, market tightness, and job market quality at 20 percent each; and culture at 10 percent.

The report also shares tips for first-time homebuyers:

  • Consider moving farther away from where you want to live if affordability is a concern
  • Consider buying a home that’s “older, smaller, or needs some work”
  • Ask family and friends for a down payment gift
  • Buy with a friend
  • Rent out rooms to help with the mortgage
  • Build a “solid” credit score, “adding regular contributions to a high-yield savings account to help get mortgage offers with lower interest rates”
  • Don’t wait for prices to fall

As far as the rest of Texas, the rest of the state's major metro areas landed on the lower half of the list.

Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington ranks 34th overall, tying with Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, Michigan. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land ranks 39th, and San Antonio-New Braunfels ranks 40th.