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San Antonio one of the best areas for first-time home buyers

Now might be the time to make a move into your first house. Here's why San Antonio ranks high on the list best cities for first-time home buyers.

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Home prices and mortgages remain high nationwide, but San Antonio ranks well for affordability for first-time home buyers.

Kendall Robinett bought her first home last year. The timing and price were right despite a tight housing market.

“It was just time. We needed more space. We were ready to grow the family,” she said.

San Antonio ranked 19 out of the top 20 best metro areas for first-time home buyers in 2023 in a Bankrate study.

“San Antonio is a place where it is possible for the typical worker to afford a house,” said Jeff Ostrowski, an analyst with Bankrate. “It’s still a very difficult market for first-time buyers anywhere in the country just because home prices shot up to record highs and haven’t really come down. Mortgage rates are up pretty significantly from where they were in 2021.”

Factors for the ranking included a combination of affordable and available real estate, a booming job market, plus plentiful wellness and cultural amenities. Robinett said all those elements contributed to her decision to make San Antonio home.

“We just really like the area. We love the people, the culture, the food,” she said. “I felt like this area has a lot of opportunities for the baby.”

Plus, her husband got a new job.

Realtor Jordan Phillips said the housing market is changing, making it easier for first-time home buyers to find and afford a house.

“At the height of the pandemic, we had people coming with an extra $25,000 to $50,000 to closing and now I have some clients looking at purchasing their first home and bringing $2,000 out of pocket,” he said.

Even with higher mortgage rates, there are plenty of incentives first-time home buyers can leverage.

“There is an opportunity to buy down by interest rate,” Phillips said. “If you’re looking for a brand new home in Texas or at least San Antonio, many builders are building up their inventory. When we have inventory sitting, we need to find a way to move it and that’s called giving incentives. We even have builders we work with offering interest rates down to 4.99%. That already seems a lot more approachable.”

For some, it could mean this year is a good year to make a move into a first home.

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