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5 best cities for first-time homebuyers looking to save

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Pittsburgh reigned supreme on SmartAsset’s list thanks to affordable home prices that break down to an average price-per-square-foot of $91 — the 13th-lowest among the 64 cities included in the analysis. But first-time buyers in Oklahoma City should keep an eye on home costs, property taxes (1.064 percent), homeowners insurance and closing costs ($5,833 for a $200k home), all of which often catch newbies by surprise. Omaha, Nebraska Omaha rounded out the top three with the highest loan-funding ratio. The average price-per-square-foot is $113.08 and market volatility (the standard deviation of annual price change each quarter) is 2 percent. Houston can also boast about zero quarters of negative growth and an average price-per-square-foot of $87.50. Although Tulsa has one of the cheapest average price-per-square-foot ($77.75), the average household income isn’t enough to keep up, especially when other home-related costs and taxes are factored in. According to SmartAsset, Tulsa has a five-year income-to-housing-costs ratio of 4.8. Much like Houston, San Antonio and Dallas have a plethora of HUD-approved lenders (154 and 187, respectively) and buyers can be assured about the long-term value of their home as San Antonio only had one quarter of negative growth from 2012 to 2017 (Dallas had none). Louisville made the list due to having the 15th-highest mortgage funding ratio (76 percent). In total, we looked at 64 cities and ranked them across the following seven metrics: the number of HUD-approved lenders, loan funding ratio, average price-per-square-foot, affordability ratio, stability score, price variance and the number of negative quarters from the first quarter of 2012 to the fourth quarter of 2017.