Carmel ranks best for first-time home buyers


By Renee Larr

Nerdwallet recently ranked Carmel as the best city in the U.S. for first-time home buyers. The study looked at factors including livability, economics and stability.

“The goal of the study was to find great places people might not think of that are perfect for first-time homebuyers,” said Dan Tonkovich, data analyst for mortgages for Nerdwallet. “It was as much as we could possibly quantify into what first-time home buyers should be thinking about when buying a home.”

Livability was 30 percent of the overall weighting, which included data on the crime rate and school ratings.  Economic data accounted for 40 percent.

“Economics had a heavier weight than the other two, because first-time home buyers are a little more price-sensitive than the second-time home buyer,” Tonkovich said. “We looked at two major factors there. One was income vs. home price, so how much are you making vs. how much does the median home cost each place. The second place

CIC COM 1224 Dan Tonkovich

we looked at was down payment assistance in each place.”

Nerdwallet partnered with Down Payment Resources for statistics on down payment assistance available in each city. Tonkovich said a down payment can be a barrier for home ownership for some people.

Stability accounted for 30 percent of the rating.

“With stability, when buying a first-time home, you don’t want to buy a home in an unstable market,” Tonkovich said. “We looked at price volatility of the housing market over the last four years. We looked at unemployment rates and how often the prices of homes have come down over the four years.”

Carmel was chosen based on the quality of schools, low crime rate, low market volatility and low unemployment rate.

“Across the board, Carmel did pretty well, and that is reflected in this ranking,” Tonkovich said.

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