The Definitive Guide to Buying Your First Home

Barbara Corcoran: This is the best city for first-time home-buyers—and it's not NYC or LA

This is the No. 1 city for first-time home-buyers
This is the No. 1 city for first-time home-buyers

The faster you buy your first home, the better, says real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran. As she tells CNBC Make It, "you've got to get in the game."

That said, she recognizes that home prices are high and getting higher. That's partly why, if you can be flexible about location, she suggests you consider buying in a city that can give you bang for your buck: Nashville, Tennessee.

That's Corcoran's top choice for young home-buyers. "Everybody seems to want to live in New York, L.A. or Washington … but you're barking up the wrong tree because it's so expensive," she says.

It's places like Nashville "where you're going to make the most money when you go to sell, five years, 10 years out," she adds. There, "for $295,000, you can get a three-bedroom house. ... Also, the prices have gone up almost 10 percent in the last nine months. That's tremendous gain."

Amazon concurs: The company announced in November that it will build an east coast operations hub there and create 5,000 jobs, for which the average salary will be over $150,000 a year.

Besides offering an affordable housing market, "there are more jobs in Nashville than any other small city in America," says Corcoran. A 2018 Workforce Report from LinkedIn found that, over the past two years, hiring rates in Nashville have risen significantly: 11.2 percent. And Nashville ranked as the No. 3 city for attracting talent.

If you want to get high pay, make your way to Austin.
Barbara Corcoran
real estate mogul

The only other U.S. cities gaining more people are Austin and Denver, according to the report. Corcoran suggests first-time home-buyers also look there.

Austin is going to be more expensive than Nashville in general, says Corcoran, but it "has a lot of high tech businesses — Dell and Apple are there — so if you want to get high pay, make your way to Austin."

Denver, meanwhile, "has so much more room for growth," Corcoran says.

At the end of the day, "If you're watching your wallet and you want to make the most money in up and coming [cities], those, I think, are the three best cities right now to plunk you cash down."

Don't miss: Real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran: Use this simple formula to figure out how much to spend on your first home

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Here's exactly how much house you can afford on your salary, according to Barbara Corcoran
Here's exactly how much house you can afford on your salary