Three Real Estate Market Options for First-Time Buyers

This whole week of blogs (with more to come in the future!) is dedicated to the first-time buyer, that scared, exhilarated, brave person about to make the rather daunting plunge into the depths of home ownership. We know you have questions. We hope to bring you some answers.

Today we chose three metro areas served by ZipRealty: Portland, OR; Philadelphia, PA; and Sacramento CA. We selected these as each represents a decent option for a first time buyer. Prices are near the national median in each, and inventory not too limited.  The advantage of a reasonable median price range is obvious; the advantage of good inventory, meanwhile, is (at least) two-fold: 1) You have more options to choose from and 2) You likely have more homes than you do buyers for them– a classic buyer’s market situation. Ideally then, sellers compete for you, rather than the other way around.

Below is the US Census data compiled so far this year on prices of sold homes. The numbers are helpful in assessing the relative affordability of any area’s real estate market:

Average and median Prices for homes in the US in 2011

We’ll now compare our three chosen markets.

  • Prices

Median prices of current active inventory in Portland, OR: $261,950

Median prices of current inventory in Phildephia, PA:  $215,000

Median prices of current inventory in Sacramento, CA: $196,438

  • Inventory

In each case, inventory is down year-over-year. However, there is still a relatively attractive number of units on the market, enough that most first-time buyers would have plenty to choose when selecting their homes.


Current inventory for Portland

See all available listings for Portland, OR here

Current Inventory for Philadelphia

 See all available listings for Philadelphia, PA here

Current Inventory for Sacramento

See all available listings in Sacramento here


These are just three potential markets for the first-time buyer looking for affordability and plenty of options. Tune in the rest of the week for more tips and advice for newbies.


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