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How First-Year Homeownership Costs Compare by City

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How First-Year Homeownership Costs Compare by City

A recent SmartAsset study reveals the most expensive cities for new homeowners.


October 26, 2021
Man in apartment looks at city skyline
Image: Stock.adobe.com

Down payments and closing costs can sometimes make the first year of homeownership the most expensive, particularly in major cities like New York, where additional taxes drive up prices for metropolitan properties.

Homebuyers in smaller cities like Indianapolis will find affordable median home prices and low closing costs, but topping the list of first-year homeownership fees are cities like San Francisco, where costs are over 7 times higher than in Indianapolis, according to a recent SmartAsset report.

The median home value in Indianapolis, Indiana is just $184,474, the lowest of all 20 cities in our study. Average closing costs, excluding escrow and prepaid expenses, are also lower than any other city at just $2,852. The average property tax bill in Indianapolis is just $1,900 per year, about a third of the average for all 20 cities. All of this amounts to the first year of homeownership costing just $50,014.

It’s no surprise that San Francisco, California is the nation’s least affordable large city for first-year homeownership. Homebuyers in the City by the Bay will need a whopping $364,900 for their first year, thanks in large part to a median home value of $1,439,752. The average property tax bill in San Francisco is $9,214, the third-highest across our study.

For the full 2021 study of homeownership costs ...

Read More

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