Budget-friendly abodes

5 Dallas-Fort Worth cities raise the roof as top places for affordable homes

5 DFW cities cities raise the roof as top places for affordable homes

Arlington home for sale, 804 Brim Ct
This charming five-bedroom home in Arlington is listed for just $348,300. Photo courtesy of Realtor.com

Good news for bargain-minded homebuyers: Five of the best 25 big cities in the United States to buy an affordable family home are right here in Dallas-Fort Worth.

Personal finance website SmartAsset analyzed data for 100 of the largest U.S. cities to come up with its list of the top 25 cities for purchasing an affordable family home. Arlington ranked sixth in the country, claiming the No. 1 spot in DFW. Plano came in at No. 7, Garland at No. 12, Fort Worth at No. 16, and Irving at No. 22.

Chesapeake, Virginia, ranked first overall.

Other Texas cities in the top 25 were El Paso (No. 14), Laredo (No. 15), Lubbock (No. 19), and Corpus Christi (No. 23).

SmartAsset published its study July 8.

Data that SmartAsset considered for the ranking included percentage of homes with at least two bedrooms, five-year change in homeownership rate, down-payment-to-income ratio, housing costs as a share of income, and high school graduation rate.

Arlington ranked 15th best overall for its down-payment-to-income ratio, at 0.60. In other words, a 20 percent down payment on the median-value home in the city makes up only 60 percent of the median household income. Arlington also ranked in the top 15 for housing costs as a percentage of income (21.93 percent) and high school graduation rate (90.5 percent).

Ranking and review website Niche.com puts Arlington at No. 45 on its list of the best places to buy a house in the U.S. and ranks it 11th among the most diverse U.S. cities. Realtor.com praises Arlington as a “thriving city” cozily situated between Dallas and Fort Worth.

Plano, the other Texas city in the top 10, scored especially well on a couple of fronts, according to SmartAsset’s analysis. Data shows 96.8 percent of students in Plano graduate from high school, the highest number for any city in the study. In addition, Plano ranked well for low rates of property crimes and violent crimes.

Niche.com ranks Plano as the fourth best city to buy a house in the country and the fifth best city to live in the U.S. Home improvement website BobVila.com lauds Plano as one of the 12 best cities for first-time homebuyers, describing the city as “a sprawling financial and commercial hub … with vast parkland and an eclectic food scene.”