GOBankingRates

Best and Worst States for First-Time Homebuyers

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Many Americans have delayed purchasing their first home thanks to the fallout from the housing crash that began in 2007. Now, a decade later, home prices and values have recovered in most areas of the United States. First-time homebuyers need to act promptly before they get priced out of the market.

To see which states offer the best conditions for prospective new homeowners, GOBankingRates ranked the 50 states, based on three factors:

  • Foreclosure rates
  • Share of the market represented by first-time homebuyers
  • Median list price for a home

In addition to these factors, the study also identified home-loan programs that can help buyers lock down affordable mortgages in each state. Ranked from worst to best, click through to find out where first-time homebuyers could run into trouble, and which states are the best for settling down.

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0. New Jersey

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 495 (No. 1 highest)
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 63 percent (tied No. 3 highest)
  • Median List Price: $289,000

New Jersey has the highest rate of foreclosures in our study, spearheaded by troubled counties like Sussex County and Atlantic County, which includes Atlantic City. The state’s median list price doesn’t make the deal much sweeter, despite the high percentage of first-time homebuyers in the market.

New Jersey has several programs that first-time homebuyers can apply for. The HomeSeeker Program provides $16,000 for first-time homebuyers and veterans to use as down payment or assist with closing costs when buying a home in select counties. The Smart Start Program is available to homebuyers enrolled in NJHMFA’s First-Time Homebuyer Program, NJHMFA 100% Financing Program and certain borrowers in the Homeward Bound program.

If you still plan on buying your first home in New Jersey, GOBankingRates found the best city in New Jersey to buy a home.

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-1. South Carolina

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 1,021
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 49 percent
  • Median List Price: $224,900

First-time homebuyers account for less than half the mortgage market of South Carolina. And while the state’s median list price is less than the U.S. median ($245,000), South Carolina has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the U.S.

Residents can apply for SC Housing’s First-Time Homebuyers program and qualify for up to $6,000 in down payment or closing cost assistance.

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-2. Hawaii

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 1,794
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 55 percent
  • Median List Price: $595,000 (No. 1 highest)

Hawaii easily takes first place for the most expensive housing in the U.S. If you’re looking to buy your first home in Hawaii, some help might be available. Hawaiian first-time homebuyers can apply for the Down Payment Assistance Loan Program offered through the Hawaii HomeOwnership Center.

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-3. North Carolina

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 1,312
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 48 percent (tied No. 5 lowest)
  • Median List Price: $234,900

Foreclosure rates are particularly high in the counties of Onslow, Cumberland and Jones. Much of the most affordable housing is in pre-foreclosure, which is generally considered the most difficult stage to buy a distressed home, according to Zillow.

First-time homebuyers can apply for the N.C. Home Advantage Mortgage Program, which can include down payment assistance and a Mortgage Credit Certificate for savings of up to $2,000 a year.

Doug Kerr / Flickr.com

-4. Vermont

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 6,093 (No. 5 lowest)
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 40 percent (No. 1 lowest)
  • Median List Price: $240,000

First-time homebuyers don’t seem to be big on purchasing a house in Vermont, as the state ranked the lowest for the first-time homebuyer share of the market. For those who do want to buy their first home in Vermont, several VHFA programs are open to all types of homebuyers, including MOVE, Advantage and MOVE Mortgage Credit Certificate. Vermont’s ASSIST program, which addresses down payments and closing costs, is only available for first-time homebuyers.

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-5. Oklahoma

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 1,443
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 47 percent (tied No. 4 lowest)
  • Median List Price: $169,990

First-time homebuyers take up less than half the state’s share of homes, but they stand to benefit from a median list price that is well below the U.S. median. HFA offers several homebuying programs in Oklahoma, such as the OHFA Dream program; OHFA Gold program, specifically for first-time buyers; and OHFA 4 Teachers program, specifically for educators who are first-time buyers.

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-6. Colorado

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 3,409
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 49 percent
  • Median List Price: $385,000 (No. 4 highest)

Housing costs have risen substantially over the years in Colorado, with the median list price nearly doubling from its lowest point in January 2012 to today. To help manage high housing costs, homebuyers in Colorado can apply for programs through CHFA, including CHFA SmartStep and CHFA HomeOpener.

Related: Top 20 Cities Where Home Prices Are Skyrocketing

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-7. Iowa

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 2,177
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 45 percent (No. 2 lowest)
  • Median List Price: $164,500

With the seventh-cheapest median list price, Iowa provides an affordable setting for buying your first home, although first-time homebuyers are a minority in the market. You can take advantage of programs through Iowa Finance Authority, such as the Homes for Iowans and Homes for Iowans Plus programs. First-time homebuyers, specifically, can apply for Iowa’s FirstHome and FirstHome Plus programs.

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-8. Delaware

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 844 (No. 3 highest)
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 58 percent
  • Median List Price: $256,900

Foreclosure rates in Delaware are among the highest in the country, but very uneven within the state. On the high end, Kent County experiences one foreclosure in fewer than 500 housing units, while Sussex County sees only one in more than 1,100 units. Residents can apply for Delaware’s First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit as well as its Advantage 4 Grant program, which offers down payment assistance.

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-9. Oregon

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 2,366
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 50 percent
  • Median List Price: $327,990

Oregon’s median list price has grown by more than 80 percent in the last five years. To make buying a home more achievable, first-time homebuyers can apply for OHCS programs such as Cash Advantage, which offers low fixed interest rates plus cash assistance, and Rate Advantage, which offers the lowest fixed rate on mortgages possible.

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-10. Maine

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 2,490
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 47 percent (tied No. 4 lowest)
  • Median List Price: $219,000

Looking at housing affordability by state, Maine’s median list price is appealing, costing about $25,000 less than the U.S. median. Maine homebuyers can apply to the First Home Program or the Salute ME Program, which is for active-duty military and veterans.

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-11. Montana

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 5,754
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 46 percent (tied No. 3 lowest)
  • Median List Price: $285,000

Montana has one of the lowest rates of foreclosure, which bodes well for first-time homebuyers, although they make up less than half the market. For Montana residents, first-time homebuyers are eligible for the 80 percent Combined Program offered by the Montana Board of Housing, as well as a special Habitat for Humanity loan program if you meet designated criteria.

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-12. Illinois

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 861 (No. 5 highest)
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 58 percent
  • Median List Price: $205,000

First-time homebuyers form the majority of the housing market in Illinois, but the rate of foreclosures is a red flag. First-time homebuyer programs include @HomeIllinois Program and 1st Home Illinois, provided by IHDA.

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-13. Idaho

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 2,702
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 49 percent
  • Median List Price: $249,000

The number of new foreclosures in Idaho has been declining from its high point in October 2016. Idaho Housing offers several mortgage products, including conventional loans, Rural Development loans in rural areas, FHA loans and VA loans.

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-14. Florida

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 1,233
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 56 percent
  • Median List Price: $274,995

In terms of foreclosures, Florida ranks among the worst states to buy a home, with the 10th-highest rate of foreclosures in the study. If you’re a first-time homebuyer in Florida, check out Florida Housing’s First Time Homebuyer Program to see if you qualify.

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-15. Arizona

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 1,486
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 54 percent
  • Median List Price: $259,999

Perhaps because of the fallout of the housing bubble, Arizona’s median list price has risen gradually, not sharply, over the years. The Arizona Finance Authority offers the HOME Plus Home Loan Program, which provides a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and down payment assistance to qualifiers.

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-16. Alabama

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 1,607
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 51 percent
  • Median List Price: $179,900

Alabama’s median list price is more than $60,000 less than the national median, which is a boon for first-time homebuyers. Alabama first-timers can apply for the Step Up Mortgage program, if annual household income doesn’t exceed $97,300, according to the Alabama Housing Finance Authority.

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-17. Wyoming

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 2,798
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 49 percent
  • Median List Price: $235,000

The median list price in Wyoming has increased by about 12 percent in the last five years, from $209,000 in March 2012 to $235,000 as of March 2017. The Wyoming Community Development Authority offers loan programs for first-time homebuyers, such as its First-Time Homebuyer Program, Home Again and Spruce Up Wyoming Programs, which finances costs to purchase and rehabilitate substandard housing.

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-18. Kentucky

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 2,797
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 47 percent (tied No. 4 lowest)
  • Median List Price: $165,000

Kentucky offers affordable housing and home prices here have risen modestly, not sharply, in the last five years. Despite this, Kentucky’s share of first-time homebuyers in the housing market is less than 50 percent, among the lowest of the 50 states.

Programs can make Kentucky even more affordable to first-time homebuyers. The Kentucky Housing Corporation offers two programs for funding home loans: Secondary Market Funding Source and MRB Funding Source.

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-19. Maryland

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 812 (No. 2 highest)
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 63 percent (tied No. 3 highest)
  • Median List Price: $285,000

Maryland has been a popular state for first-time homebuyers over the years. Since 2011, their share of the mortgage market has surpassed 60 percent. At the same time, however, housing costs aren’t cheap, and Maryland’s foreclosure rate is second only to No. 50 New Jersey.

First-time homebuyers in Maryland can take advantage of several loan products provided by the Maryland Mortgage Program, including the conventional program for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage with Down Payment Assistance.

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-20. Nevada

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 847 (No. 4 highest)
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 62 percent (No. 4 highest)
  • Median List Price: $269,500

After being hard hit in the housing crash, Nevada housing has recovered to a degree, with the median list price growing by 40 percent in the last three years. Nevada’s share of first-time homebuyers has increased by double digits since 1996, but it also has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the country, which keeps the state from ranking among the best states for home buyers.

The Nevada Housing Division offers home financing through its Home Is Possible programs, which provide money for down payment or closing costs.

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-21. Arkansas

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 3,137
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 47 percent (tied No. 4 lowest)
  • Median List Price: $155,000 (No. 4 lowest)

Measuring housing affordability by state, Arkansas is one of the best states for homebuyers thanks to its cheap median list price. However, this hasn’t translated to more first-time homebuyers settling in the state.

If you’re willing to pay a higher interest rate on your first mortgage, the ADFA Move-Up Choice loan program provides a grant of 4 percent of the loan amount that you can put toward closing costs, a down payment or even settling debt in order to qualify for the loan in the first place.

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-22. South Dakota

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 8,127 (No. 4 lowest)
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 46 percent (tied No. 3 lowest)
  • Median List Price: $208,250

South Dakota boasts one of the lowest rates of foreclosures in the U.S. And even though housing is cheaper than the national median list price, South Dakota hasn’t proved to be a state for first-time homebuyers. Along with North Dakota, South Dakota is one of the few places to see its share of first-time homebuyers decline since 1996.

The South Dakota Housing Development Authority offers its First-Time Homebuyer Program for those who meet income limits, housing unit criteria and a home purchase price of less than $250,200.

Doug Kerr / Flickr.com

-23. New Hampshire

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 2,182
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 53 percent
  • Median List Price: $269,000

Homebuyers can get some assistance through New Hampshire Housing, which offers a number of home buying programs, including its conventional Home Preferred program as well as its Home Flex program. The latter program can get money to cover a down payment, closing costs and rehabilitation of the home you want to purchase.

Jimmy Emerson DVM / Flickr.com

-24. North Dakota

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 11,597 (No. 2 lowest)
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 47 percent (tied No. 4 lowest)
  • Median List Price: $238,901

As with its neighbor to the south, North Dakota’s minimal foreclosure rate is comforting for homebuyers. Also like South Dakota, however, its share of first-time homebuyers has dropped below 50 percent since 1996.

Low- to moderate-income first-time homebuyers can apply for the FirstHome Program, offered by the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency. The agency also offers a housing rehab product, Major Home Improvement Program, for low- to moderate-income households to buy and refurbish a single-family home.

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-25. Indiana

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 1,426
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 53 percent
  • Median List Price: $149,900 (tied No. 2 lowest)

When comparing housing affordability by state, the only one to beat Indiana’s median list price is Ohio. First-time homebuyers in Indiana can also enjoy one of the cheapest costs of living in the nation.

First-time homebuyers in Indiana have several programs offered by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority to check out, including the Affordable Home, My Home and Next Home programs.

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-26. Wisconsin

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 2,889
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 49 percent
  • Median List Price: $179,000

Wisconsin’s median list price is more than $60,000 cheaper than the U.S. median. Yet, the state has never taken off as a place for first-time homebuyers, with the share of the market hovering around, but usually below, 50 percent.

When it comes to affordable mortgage solutions, WHEDA offers several home loan programs with income and loan limits that allow for more borrowers to qualify, including WHEDA Advantage and First Time Home Buyer Advantage specifically for first-time buyers.

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-27. Utah

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 2,086
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 55 percent
  • Median List Price: $315,000

Over the last three years, Utah’s median list price has grown by almost a third. While home sales in March 2017 beat the previous month, they were down 85 percent versus a year ago. It’s tough to say what effect this could have on first-time homebuyers, whose share of Utah’s mortgage market peaked at more than 60 percent in 2009 and 2010.

Utah residents can apply for the FirstHome Loan Program offered by the Utah Housing Corporation, where borrowers can put 6 percent of their loan amount toward paying for a down payment and closing costs.

James R. Martin / Shutterstock.com

-28. Tennessee

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 2,528
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 50 percent
  • Median List Price: $180,000

Tennessee has cheaper living expenses than most states, which is a big help for first-time homebuyers who need to make their paychecks last longer. Combined with applying for a Great Choice Home Loan program offered by the Tennessee Housing Development Agency, homebuyers really can make Tennessee work with their housing budgets.

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-29. Kansas

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 3,571
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 48 percent (tied No. 5 lowest)
  • Median List Price: $156,950 (No. 5 lowest)

It’s hard to beat Kansas when it comes to affordable housing — something first-time homebuyers can’t help but notice. Since March 2012, the median list price has risen by only 16 percent and remains one of the cheapest in the country.

Kansas hasn’t developed into a hotspot for first-time homeowners, but you can find loan programs to fit your needs. The Kansas Housing Corporation offers the First Time Homebuyer Program for those eligible, which provides assistance for down payment and closing costs.

More in Real Estate: You’ll Need This Much Money to Live Comfortably in America

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-30. Texas

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 2,446
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 53 percent
  • Median List Price: $260,000

Texas offers plenty of opportunities for first-time homebuyers, especially for entrepreneurs — it is one of the best states to start a business. If you’re a first-time homebuyer and want to secure the best interest rates on a mortgage, check out My First Texas Home, offered by the Texas Departament of Housing and Community Affairs. The program also includes down payment and closing cost assistance.

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-31. Ohio

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 1,153
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 56 percent
  • Median List Price: $142,500 (No. 1 lowest)

First-time homebuyers won’t find a cheaper median home price than in Ohio — for now, at least. In the last three years, the median list price rose only 11 percent, and is more than $100,000 less than the U.S. median.

The Ohio Housing Finance Agency offers several first-time homebuyer loan options. USDA, VA and conventional loans require a 640 minimum credit score while FHA loans require a minimum of 660.

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-32. Louisiana

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 1,486
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 55 percent
  • Median List Price: $195,000

Louisiana has steadily increased its share of first-time homebuyers since 1996, so that they now form a majority of the mortgage market. Louisiana homebuyers can take advantage of home loan programs such as the LHC Preferred Conventional Program and Market Rate GNMA Program.

Doug Kerr / Flickr.com

-33. Connecticut

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 1,152
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 61 percent (tied No. 5 highest)
  • Median List Price: $290,000

Though housing costs are above average, Connecticut has been a popular state for first-time homebuyers since 1996, benefiting from nearby major cities and access to job opportunities. First-time homebuyer programs can help alleviate the burden of Connecticut’s high cost of living. The Connecticut HFA offers a range of home loan products that first-time homebuyers can take advantage of, including its conventional Homebuyer Mortgage Program as well as its Homeowner’s Equity Recovery Opportunity Loan Program for purchasing and refurbishing foreclosed or abandoned properties.

Doug Kerr / Flickr.com

-34. Massachusetts

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 1,661
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 61 percent (tied No. 5 highest)
  • Median List Price: $399,900 (No. 3 highest)

Like Connecticut, Massachusetts has been a stronghold of first-time homebuyers for many years. Housing expenses are high, with the median list price just a hair below $400,000. The MassHousing loan program offers affordable interest rates, 30-year repayment terms and mortgage payment protection to assist in paying your home loan if you lose your job.

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-35. California

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 1,833
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 63 percent (tied No. 3 highest)
  • Median List Price: $489,000 (No. 2 highest)

First-time homebuyers have formed a major part of California’s market for many years, and their share actually exceeded 70 percent in 2009 and 2010. Housing is expensive, but California residents can apply for the CalPLUS Conventional Program and CalPlus FHA Program to help manage the cost of buying a home. These loan options have zero-interest programs if you qualify.

Eliot Phillips / Flickr.com

-36. Nebraska

Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 3,923
First-time Homebuyer Share: 56 percent

Median List Price: $185,000

The median list price in Nebraska has increased by more than $40,000 over the last three years, but at $185,000, it is still $60,000 less than the national median price. Nebraska first-time homebuyers can apply for the Homebuyer Assistance Program through the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority.

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-37. Washington

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 2,759
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 51 percent
  • Median List Price: $325,000

Since 1996, Washington has grown dramatically as a state for first-time homebuyers. Washington’s median sale price also grew by more than 50 percent over the last five years.

Washington has a few programs that first-time homebuyers can apply for, such as its Home Advantage First Mortgage Program and Home Advantage Down Payment Assistance Second Mortgage Program.

Chris Yunker / Flickr.com

-38. Missouri

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 2,931
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 57 percent
  • Median List Price: $158,900

In terms of housing affordability by state, Missouri just missed cracking the top five states for the lowest median list price. Missouri homebuyers can apply for first-time buyer programs such as Cash Assistance Payment Program and Mortgage Credit Certificate Program to make buying a house even more affordable.

Doug Kerr / Flickr.com

-39. Virginia

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 2,026
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 57 percent
  • Median List Price: $288,000

Virginia homes have a price tag above the U.S. median. Fortunately, first-time homebuyers have several financing programs they can qualify for, such as the HOMEownership Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance Program. You can also apply for home loans through the Virginia Housing Development Authority, such as the Fannie Mae HFA Preferred with Reduced Mortgage Insurance and Fannie Mae 97% No Mortgage Insurance. Virginia can be an affordable place to live — the city of Virginia Beach is where a paycheck stretches the furthest.

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-40. New Mexico

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 1,553
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 57 percent
  • Median List Price: $209,900

First-time homebuyers will like New Mexico’s median home price, which is cheaper than the national median. Over the last five years, the median price has grown by a modest 21 percent, which bodes well for affordability.

First-time homebuyers can apply for New Mexico’s First Home Program and Next Home Program. Additionally, you can apply for the state’s First Down Program in conjunction with the First Home Program.

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-41. Minnesota

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 4,874
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 52 percent
  • Median List Price: $239,900

Low foreclosure rates and cheaper-than-average housing helps to propel Minnesota to No. 9 for the best states to buy a home for the first time. Minnesota offers programs such as its Start Up Program and Mortgage Credit Certificate Program, where first-time homebuyers can claim 35 percent of their annual mortgage interest as a tax credit.

Paul Brennan / Shutterstock.com

-42. Georgia

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 1,898
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 56 percent
  • Median List Price: $212,900

Since 1996, Georgia has developed a sizable population of first-time homebuyers, rising from a market share of 43 percent to 56 percent. First-time homebuyers can apply for the Georgia Dream Homeownership Program, and must meet income and home purchase price limits.

Tomasz Wozniak / Shutterstock.com

-43. Alaska

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 8,762 (No. 3 lowest)
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 52 percent
  • Median List Price: $270,000

Alaska sees very few foreclosures, and although its median list price is above the U.S. median, it has increased only 8 percent over the last three years. There are two programs to support first-time homebuyers: one for tax-exempt buyers and the other for taxable first-time homebuyers.

Doug Kerr / Flickr.com

-44. Pennsylvania

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 1,517
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 59 percent
  • Median List Price: $185,000

Since 2007, first-time homebuyers have formed the majority of the mortgage market in Pennsylvania. Combined with a relatively cheap median list price of $185,000, and the fact it is less expensive to own a home than to rent, Pennsylvania comes in as the No. 6 best state for first-time homebuyers.

In terms of financing, first-time homebuyers can apply for a Pennsylvania HFA home loan. In addition to 30-year, fixed-rate terms, you potentially can receive assistance with the down payment and closing costs, as well as save up to $2,000 a year when you qualify for the Mortgage Tax Credit Certificate.

Richard Cavalleri / Shutterstock.com

-45. New York

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 1,506
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 65 percent (No. 2 highest)
  • Median List Price: $359,000 (No. 5 highest)

New York traditionally has been a state with a high proportion of first-time homebuyers. Almost two-thirds of the mortgage market is first-time homebuyers. Although housing can get costly in some regions of the state, New York offers many more affordable markets than equally expensive states in New England.

First-time homebuyers in New York can qualify for several programs, including the Conventional Plus Program; Remodel New York Program, for people interested in buying homes that need restoration; Achieving the Dream Program, for low-income buyers; Low Interest Rate Program and many others.

James R. Martin / Shutterstock.com

-46. Michigan

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 3, 228
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 54 percent
  • Median List Price: $152,000 (No. 3 lowest)

If you’re a first-time homebuyer, Michigan is one of the best states to buy a home because of low foreclosure rates and very affordable housing. Over the last three years, the median list price has increased by only 22 percent, from $124,900 in March 2014 to $152,000 as of March 2017 — one of the least-expensive prices in the country.

First-time homebuyers are eligible for MSHDA’s MI Home Loan program, which includes Down Payment Assistance of up to $7,500.

Jeff Hart / Flickr.com

-47. Mississippi

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 4,189
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 54 percent
  • Median List Price: $165,000

Like Michigan, Mississippi has one of the lowest foreclosure rates in the nation. It does not beat Michigan on median list price, but $165,000 is still one of the cheapest in the country, and roughly $80,000 less than the U.S. median.

Residents of Mississippi can get affordable homebuying programs offered by Mississippi Home Corporation such as its Smart Solution Mortgage, which provides first-time homebuyers with the ability to claim 40 percent of their mortgage interest as a tax credit on income taxes.

Doug Kerr / Flickr.com

-48. West Virginia

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 12,235 (No. 1 lowest)
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 52 percent
  • Median List Price: $149,900 (tied No. 2 lowest)

West Virginia boasts the lowest rate of foreclosures in the nation. Adding to the state’s appeal for first-time homebuyers is its $149,900 median list price, tied with Indiana for the second-lowest in the nation. The state’s low cost of living boosts housing affordability as well.

The West Virginia Housing Development Fund offers its Homeownership Program to borrowers who: have a gross income that falls within county income limits; are buying a home within a certain price limit; and have not owned a home within the last three years in specific counties.

Doug Kerr / Flickr.com

-49. Rhode Island

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in 2,984
  • First-time Homebuyer Share: 67 percent (No. 1 highest)
  • Median List Price: $279,900

For first-time homebuyers, Rhode Island is the best state to buy a home. Homebuyers face low foreclosure rates, along with an overall trend of declining new foreclosure filings nearly every month since May 2016. People shopping for their first home will find a strong presence of fellow first-time homebuyers as Rhode Island has the highest share of them in the mortgage market.

The median list price is above the national median, however, so getting an affordable home loan is important. Rhode Island Housing offers the Down Payment Assistance Program for first-time homebuyers. To be eligible, your annual household income must be less than $87,360 (for a one- to two-person household), the maximum loan limit is $424,100 and the property must be in one of six select communities.

Up Next: The Best and Worst Places to Live if You’re Trying to Save Money

Methodology: States were ranked according to three factors. 1) Foreclosure rates, which are based on the number of foreclosure actions to housing units as of March 2017, sourced from RealtyTrac; 2) Percentage share of mortgage market comprised by first-time homebuyers, sourced from FHFA; 3) Home median list price, based on March 2017 data, sourced from Zillow. These three factors contributed to a final score that determined each state’s ranking.