The Definitive Guide to Buying Your First Home

The 10 best cities to buy your first home

Houses, a pathway, the Allegheny River, and Autumn trees in Washington's Landing in Pittsburgh.
Davel5957 | E+ | Getty Images

Breaking into the housing market can be difficult, especially for beginners. But in some places it's more possible, and less stressful, than others.

A recent LendingTree study identified the best cities for first-time homebuyers, where down payments are typically lower and mortgages can be easier to secure.

The study ranked the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S., taking into account six factors: average down payment amount, average down payment percentage, number of buyers using an FHA mortgage, how much buyers are saving by using FHA loans, percentage of buyers with low credit scores and percentage of homes that are affordable for middle-income buyers.

Majority of the top cities are clustered in the Midwest, including Detroit, Michigan, and Columbus, Ohio. That's mostly due to the fact that the region is relatively affordable, says Tendayi Kapfidze, chief economist at LendingTree.

"First-time buyers are at a disadvantage to buyers who currently own a home as first-timers have no equity to assist with the down payment," he tells CNBC Make It. "Thus, lower priced areas, such as those in the Midwest, that require a smaller down payment in dollar terms afford first-time buyers more opportunity."

Chart asset: LendingTree best places for first time homebuyers

Click to enlarge

Here's a closer look at the top 10 places.

10. Kansas City, Missouri

Average down payment amount: $37,375
Average down payment percentage: 16 percent
Share of buyers using an FHA mortgage: 27.76 percent

9. Detroit, Michigan

Average down payment amount: $38,261
Average down payment percentage: 16 percent
Share of buyers using an FHA mortgage: 38.14 percent

8. Louisville, Kentucky

Average down payment amount: $35,614
Average down payment percentage: 15 percent
Share of buyers using an FHA mortgage: 21.71 percent

7. Columbus, Ohio

Average down payment amount: $34,400
Average down payment percentage: 14 percent
Share of buyers using an FHA mortgage: 37.57 percent

6. Indianapolis, Indiana

Average down payment amount: $38,114
Average down payment percentage: 16 percent
Share of buyers using an FHA mortgage: 30 percent

5. Birmingham, Alabama

Average down payment amount: $33,747
Average down payment percentage: 14 percent
Share of buyers using an FHA mortgage: 39.18 percent

VIDEO1:2001:20
Kevin O'Leary says this is the best way to buy a home that will appreciate

4. Cincinnati, Ohio

Average down payment amount: $36,042
Average down payment percentage: 15 percent
Share of buyers using an FHA mortgage: 32.04 percent

3. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Average down payment amount: $30,234
Average down payment percentage: 13 percent
Share of buyers using an FHA mortgage: 25.38 percent

1. TIE: Cleveland, Ohio

Average down payment amount: $32,775
Average down payment percentage: 15 percent
Share of buyers using an FHA mortgage: 32.95 percent

1. TIE: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Average down payment amount: $34,049
Average down payment percentage: 15 percent
Share of buyers using an FHA mortgage: 36.53 percent

These metro areas have other things going for them, too: Cincinnati is a top city for start-ups, Pittsburgh is among the country's best cities for millennials, and Oklahoma City boasts rising salaries and happy workers.

Like this story? Subscribe to CNBC Make It on YouTube!

Don't miss: The 15 most difficult places to buy a home in the US

VIDEO3:1803:18
Self-made millionaire: Don't buy a house before you ask yourself this question
Houses, a pathway, the Allegheny River, and Autumn trees in Washington's Landing in Pittsburgh.
Davel5957 | E+ | Getty Images
make it

Stay in the loop

Sign Up

About Us

Learn More

Follow Us

CNBC.COM