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The 10 best cities for first-time home buyers

Emmie Martin
Couple toasting over champagne in new home.

When buying your first home, you want to choose a place you love — and also one you can afford.

To determine the best cities for first-time buyers, personal finance site SmartAsset evaluated U.S. cities with populations of 300,000 or more across seven metrics: value per square foot, number of mortgage lenders, loan funding rate, market volatility, home price fluctuations, housing affordability and homeowner stability.

The site used data from a number of sources, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Zillow, the Mortgage Bankers Association, the U.S. Census Bureau and the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Below, check out 10 cities where first-time buyers can find a combination of affordable homes, numerous mortgage lenders and thriving real estate markets.

10. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Average home value per square foot: $104.50

8. TIE: Raleigh, North Carolina

Average home value per square foot: $137.58

Raleigh, North Carolina

8. TIE: Tucson, Arizona

Average home value per square foot: $121.42

7. Columbus, Ohio

Average home value per square foot: $111.33

6. Dallas, Texas

Average home value per square foot: $137.75

Dallas, Texas

5. Omaha, Nebraska

Average home value per square foot: $124.08

4. Cincinnati, Ohio

Average home value per square foot: $94.08

3. Arlington, Texas

Average home value per square foot: $111.42

Oklahoma City.

2. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Average home value per square foot: $83.25

1. Fort Worth, Texas

Average home value per square foot: $105.42

If you're interested in becoming a home owner, the first step is figuring out what you can manage to pay. From there, you should start saving up enough to cover a down payment, as well as closing costs, maintenance fees, homeowners insurance and other related expenses.

Here are a few more resources to help you get started:

  • If you're planning to buy a home in 2019, don't make this mistake
  • 85 percent of millennials expect to own a home—here's how to buy one, in 8 steps
  • The 4 biggest mistakes first-time homebuyers make, according to real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran

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