house hunting

These hot Dallas suburbs deemed best cities for first-time homebuyers

These hot Dallas suburbs deemed best cities for first-time homebuyers

Downtown McKinney
McKinney has the most attractive real estate market in the U.S. Photo courtesy of City of McKinney

Dallas residents venturing into homeownership may want to take their house hunt to the suburbs, as a new study puts two Dallas neighbors among the best U.S. cities for first-time homebuyers.

Personal finance website WalletHub compared the 300 largest U.S. cities to determine which are the best and worst for folks looking to purchase their first home this year. Charming Dallas neighbor McKinney ranks No. 9 nationally, and just behind it is the growing suburb of Frisco at No. 13.

The site measured each city in three major areas: affordability, real estate market, and quality of life.

McKinney has the nation's No. 1 real estate market, according to WalletHub, which takes into account the rent-to-price ratio, share of homes sold in a year, median home-price appreciation, and more. It ranks 45th in quality of life, which encompasses such metrics as recreation facilities, quality of school system, and job market. However, in terms of affordability (cost of living, housing affordability, cost of homeowner's insurance, real estate tax rate, and more), McKinney ranks 160th.

Frisco is right in line with McKinney, taking the No. 3 spot for its real estate market, 48th for quality of life, and 142nd in affordability.

As for other Texas cities, you'll find them much lower on the overall list. But WalletHub also breaks down the rankings by city size, and Fort Worth, which ranks 52nd overall, is the 10th best large city for first-time buyers.

Dallas takes the No. 44 spot on the large cities list, far better than its 204th overall ranking. It scores best in the real estate market ranking (No. 62), but has much room to improve on affordability (No. 263) and quality of life (No. 173). 

Austin performs considerably better at No. 25 among large cities and No. 132 overall, while San Antonio lands at No. 31 among large cities and smack-dab in the middle at No. 150 overall. Houston, meanwhile, ranks among the worst cities for first-time homebuyers at No. 242 overall and No. 50 on the large cities list.

The Lone Star State's suburbs shine brightest, with spots like Richardson, Allen, and Denton dominating the real estate market category nationwide.