Last month, the website GoBankingRates.com published a list of the “10 Best States for First-Time Home Buyers”. The list generated its results by looking at the number of first-time home buyers in each state over the last decade, comparing those numbers to the foreclosure rates in each state over the same timeframe. Unsurprisingly, West Virginia ranked #1 due to the fact that its home values remain nearly 80% lower than the national average. What is surprising, and relevant to those of you out there considering making the oft-frightening jump from renting to owning, is that New Hampshire actually ranks #2, despite the average home value and sale price being twice as much as in WV.
The main reason why NH failed to claim the top spot is that foreclosure rates in the Granite State are much higher than in WV. But perhaps the most alarming figure –and the most important one- for those of you out there considering making the leap into home ownership is this: buying in NH is actually cheaper than renting. The typical monthly mortgage payment in the state (around $1000, as of July) is about 19% less than the median monthly rent.
The list also goes on to attribute some of NH’s ranking to the efforts of the state to actively help and attract first-time home buyers. State-aided loans allow first-time buyers to get reasonable mortgages with a significantly smaller down payment than they would have to initially fork over elsewhere. Large tax credits from the state can also help first-time buyers.
Rounding out the top five are a few other New England states; Rhode Island, Vermont, and Massachusetts.