The Best Housing Markets for Veterans

January 29, 2024 - 3 min read

Just like some housing markets can be more conducive to first-time home buyers and can help your dollar go further, others support military veterans better.

Using 19 different measures, a report from WalletHub found the top places for veterans to live among the 100 largest U.S. cities.

If you’re a veteran looking to buy a home, these metro areas could be your best fits in 2024.

Verify your VA loan eligibility. Start here

Top cities for veterans

A mix of high interest rates and inflation turned 2023 into a slow year for home buying. However, experts anticipate a bounce-back in 2024, with declining mortgage rates and high-growth markets.

Many prospective borrowers will try to figure out the best places for them to live, based on affordability and personal preferences. For veterans, this can mean the housing markets that offer more support for former military members.

“I think most places in the U.S. are grateful to veterans for their service. A vet should think about the same things anyone else thinks about: Cost of living. Job prospects of the city. Does the city have the weather the person wants? Are tax rates high? If the vet wants to carry a concealed weapon, what are the local laws? These types of questions,” Jim Brau, Army veteran and finance professor at Brigham Young University, said in the report.

WalletHub analyzed America’s 100 largest cities by population and determined which cater to veterans’ needs the best. It measured 19 different weighted parameters geared toward veterans across four categories — employment, economy, quality of life, and health — to determine a score on a 100-point scale. Each metro area also received a rank in those four categories.

The table below shows WalletHub’s top 12 cities for veteran home buyers:

Housing marketScoreEmployment rankEconomy rankQuality of life rankHealth rank
Raleigh, N.C.68.911251349
Austin, Texas68.581722729
Orlando, Fla.67.253532438
Tampa, Fla.67.114445614
Virginia Beach, Va.66.66382969
Scottsdale, Ariz.66.294510557
Colorado Springs, Colo.66.0943161024
Gilbert, Ariz.65.706112057
Laredo, Texas65.15217029
Jacksonville, Fla.64.7016243017
Chandler, Ariz.64.6910281557
Irvine, Calif.64.631167281

Help for veteran home buyers

Buying property is often the largest financial endeavor people make. With affordability so tight, anywhere you can potentially save money can go a long way.

Fortunately, if you served in the military, you’ll likely be eligible for mortgages backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which often come with benefits like lower interest rates and no down payment requirement. The VA also offers a construction loan if you want to build your own home.

Additionally, if you’re already a VA borrower, these lending products could be helpful:

No matter what kind of loan you want, you should always shop around to help you get a lower rate and see if you’re eligible for any other assistance programs in your area.

Time to make a move? Let us find the right mortgage for you

The bottom line

If you’re a former military personnel looking to buy a home, these housing markets could provide you with the best blends of a veteran-focused lifestyle.

Interest rates have fallen from 2023’s highs, making this year much more attractive for prospective borrowers.

If you’re ready to become a homeowner, reach out to a local lender and see what loan options you have as a veteran.

Paul Centopani
Authored By: Paul Centopani
The Mortgage Reports Editor
Paul Centopani is a writer and editor who started covering the lending and housing markets in 2018. Previous to joining The Mortgage Reports, he was a reporter for National Mortgage News. Paul grew up in Connecticut, graduated from Binghamton University and now lives in Chicago after a decade in New York and the D.C. area.
Aleksandra Kadzielawski
Reviewed By: Aleksandra Kadzielawski
The Mortgage Reports Editor
Aleksandra is the Senior Editor at The Mortgage Reports, where she brings 10 years of experience in mortgage and real estate to help consumers discover the right path to homeownership. Aleksandra received a bachelor’s degree from DePaul University. She is also a licensed real estate agent and a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR).