We work each month with dozens of first time home buyers in North Carolina who find their dream home outside of a metropolitan city. Why is that? Because some of the NC First Time Buyer programs are only available in more Rural NC areas, so the suburbs are ideal. Not all programs require you to buy in a rural setting, but the best on
We are providing information on the top North Carolina cities with populations greater than 15,000 that have homes available, have affordable housing, and median incomes that appear to support continued housing growth. These are the top five NC Cities for first time home buyers, based upon the “numbers.” Many of these locations are very geographically close to the largest metropolitan centers in NC, specifically Raleigh and Charlotte.
The analysis answers three main questions:
- Are homes available? We looked at the metro area’s home ownership rate to determine the availability of homes. Areas with a high home ownership rate led to a higher overall score.
- Can you afford to live there? We looked at median household income, monthly homeowner costs and median home value to assess affordability and determine whether residents could live comfortably in the area. We used monthly homeowner costs to measure cost of living. Areas with high median incomes and low cost of living scored higher.
- Is the area growing? We measured population growth to ensure that the area is attracting new residents and showing signs of solid growth. This is likely a signal of a robust local economy, which is another attractive characteristic for home buyers.
NC Cities for First Time Home Buyers
With an estimated population of 26,865, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the town of Holly Springs has more than doubled in size since 2000. Interestingly enough, the USDA Home Loan Maps are still pulling census data from 2009. Because of this, we are able to do USDA, no down payment required, loans in much of Holly Springs. In general the area on the side away from Cary going down Ten Ten will qualify for USDA Home Loans in Holly Springs!
In this town where homeowner costs are 22.4% of income, 88% of homes are owned rather than rented. The town is home to a manufacturing facility for the pharmaceutical company Novartis and is less than 20 miles from Raleigh, a the state capitol that has Government Jobs and many high tech employment options. The Holly Springs Schools are part of the Wake County Public School System, and are generally very highly rated.
There’s a new Holly Springs Salamanders Baseball team, that provides families with great baseball from NCAA student Athletes. Families in Holly Springs act as host families for layers who are not allowed to accept pay for playing Holly Springs has the third-highest monthly income on our top 10 NC list at $7,432, and the median home value is $236,700. The town is also filled with rich history — it incorporated in its current form after the Civil War in 1877.
2. Indian Trail
The town with Native American roots sits about 15 miles from Charlotte. Indian Trail celebrated its centennial just seven years ago. Homeowner costs here account for 26.4% of the median monthly household income and 85.8% of homes in Indian Trail are owned rather than rented. The population jumped during the 1990s from 1,942 to 11,905 residents, and has not stopped growing.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimated a population of 34,800 for 2012. The town turned its focus to improving the community atmosphere in 2009, by initiating a Parks Master Plan, which would create more parks and recreation opportunities in the town. Crossing Paths Park, the town’s first municipal park, opened in 2011 and features public art, playgrounds and an amphitheater.
There are many, many new homes communities in Fuquay-Varina, along with a substantial historic downtown presence. It’s located in the southern most part of Wake County, and draws many families who have a military background because it is so close to Ft. Bragg.
The town has a home ownership rate of 74.6% and monthly homeowner costs here take up 29% of median monthly household income. The median home value in this town is $192,700.
There is an Innovate Fuquay Varina Economic Development plan in place to draw more small businesses looking for start up space and to draw more Technology firms to the area.
With a bustling Parks and Recreation department, Fuquay-Varina provides many free opportunities for family fun. The department is responsible for 18 park sites, a youth sports program, senior programs, and summer camps. Residents of Fuquay-Varina have access to six public schools, as well as to Wake Technical Community College, located in the 17 miles between Fuquay-Varina and Raleigh.
4. Wake Forest
This town, which was the original location of Wake Forest University, is considered a growing bedroom community and saw an 11.6% population growth between 2010 and 2012. The home ownership rate is 74.8% and the median household income per month is $6,185.
Wake Forest NC has one of the coolest downtown areas in the state of NC. It’s no wonder so many people want to live in this town that’s just north of Raleigh.
With the new 540 Beltway extension, there’s super fast access to all of the jobs in the RTP. For many home buyers, another benefit has been the ability to buy a house the FHA Loans in Wake Forest NC. Why? Because with this program, you can get a down payment assistance “grant” meaning you can by a house with very little money out-of-pocket.
Many parts of Wake Forest also qualify for no down payment USDA Home Loans. These loans have very low PMI rates and very low interest rates because they are backed by the Government
Homeowner costs take up only 28% of that income. Located just 18 miles from Raleigh, Wake Forest’s residents have access to Wake Technical Community College and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, which is one of the town’s largest employers.
Considered a satellite town of nearby Raleigh, Clayton is the smallest of our top 10 towns with a population of 16,078 in 2012. Clayton saw a 9.3% population growth between 2010 and 2012 and has a 65.7% home ownership rate.
Clayton is one of the larger cities in Johnston County. The whole county qualifies for USDA Home Loans, and it’s our understanding that it’s one of the LARGEST concentrations of USDA Home Loans in the Southeast. Every December the USDA Home Loan Maps are scheduled to be re-evaluated and we will normally see slight changes.
To qualify for the program you need to have decent credit, and you need to buy a house that is located within the USDA Home Loan footprint – and you must be under the income limits for the county.
For now, at least, since the whole “Joco Nation” (including all of Clayton) qualifies for USDA, all you have to check is your income.
Despite its size, Clayton is home to pharmaceutical and manufacturing facilities that are major employers for the town, including pharmaceutical companies Grifols Therapeutics and Novo Nordisk. Well-known Caterpillar Inc. has its building and construction products division located in Clayton. The median home value in Clayton is $258,500.
If you have questions about buy a home in one of these great suburbs, call us! We work with the Top Real Estate Teams in the State, and they know so much more than we do about NC Cities for first time home buyers! We are mortgage lenders, and yes, we’ve lived in NC all of our life We know the mortgage programs that can help you buy your dream home, and we know the agents who can help! Call Steve and Eleanor Thorne 919 649 5058.