#5. Winston-Salem NC
North Carolina has no shortage of amazing cities to put your roots down, but Winston-Salem is a particularly good spot for first-time buyers because of the town’s historic appeal and its easy access to 40 vineyards in the region (need we say more?). Large urban green spaces, plentiful art galleries, 19th century taverns, plus a top-ranking HBCU campus all make this town of 244,000 feel like a much larger city in all the best ways.
The Winston-Salem real estate market is also accessible to first-time buyers, with the median price of homes sold at an affordable $141,100, and an HOI of 79.3% (meaning the large majority of the homes in the area are affordable based on income and housing costs). You can also count on your investment to gain value in Winston-Salem, as home values are predicted to rise about 5% over the next year. And should you choose to sell your home, you won’t have to worry about it sitting on the market for too long — according to Zillow, the average days on the market is around 52, which is a week less than national trends.