#1. Pittsburgh PA
If you’re interested in buying a home in one of Steel City’s 90 neighborhoods, you’ll not only find a wide selection of architecture — from Victorian to arts and crafts to new construction—but you’ll also be pleasantly surprised that stylish design can come at such an affordable price, with the median price of homes sold currently at $171,100. In fact, nearly all of Pittsburgh’s real estate transactions are affordable for the average family. Pittsburgh’s Housing Opportunity Index, or HOI (which measures affordability rates in a city) is 82.9%, according to the National Association of Home Builders. In other words, most of the city’s homes are reasonably priced to a family that earns the local median income.
And as if Pittsburgh didn’t have enough to lure a first-time homebuyer (with 29 colleges and universities plus a booming tech sector with Uber, Google, Facebook, and Duolingo offices), the city also offers a program for first-time homebuyers called First Front Door, which helps qualified buyers with closing costs and down payment. As long as you are a first-time homebuyer and are at or below 80 percent of the area median income, you can get $3 in assistance for every $1 you contribute toward your home — up to $5,000.
Beyond homeownership, Pittsburgh was named one of Livability’s Top 100 Best Places to Live in America this year for a multitude of reasons. Pittsburgh is a great community to belong to, with three major-league sports teams to cheer for, a thriving arts scene, a beautifully restored downtown, and just enough of that Rust Belt grittiness that Pittsburghers proudly love.
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