First-time home buyers are having a hard time in today’s market, given tight lending standards and competition from all-cash buyers. In February, 34 percent of existing-home buyers were first-timers, a National Association of Realtors survey says. In a healthy market, that would be 40 percent, the NAR says.
But Columbus and the five other markets Zillow analyzed for USA TODAY have become so affordable that people who didn’t think they could afford to own are finding that they can. Lisa Lee, a 25-year-old business analyst, recently bought a $60,000 three-bedroom home in a suburb here that had gone through foreclosure.
Her monthly mortgage, including insurance and property taxes, will run about $140 less per month than the rent she paid on her two-bedroom apartment. She secured an FHA-backed loan. Her down payment and closing costs came to about $2,900.
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