The best place to buy a home by generation

Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor

Generation gap

On the hunt for the best place to buy a home? It might be Grand Rapids, Memphis, or even Tucson — but according to a new study, it all depends on your generation. 

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Where Millennials should buy a home

A new analysis from rounded up the best places for Millennials, Baby Boomers, and Gen Xers to buy a home. There was no overlap.

According to the study, the best place for Millennials is Grand Rapids, Michigan. Home prices clock in between $175,000 and $250,000, depending on the neighborhood. Local real estate agent Steve Volkers says that aside from its affordable home prices, the amenities are also a big draw for younger buyers.

“It’s a city where there’s enough to do but you can still travel around in it within 15 to 20 minutes,” he said. “You have the availability of good arts, a really great food scene, and a number of big breweries in town.”

Other top spots for Millennials include Salt Lake City; Scranton and Allentown, Pennsylvania; Madison, Wisconsin; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Rochester, New York; Portland, Maine; Providence, Rhode Island; and Minneapolis.

Here’s what Millennials want in a starter home

Top spots for Boomers and Gen Xers

For slightly older buyers in Generation X, Memphis takes the top spot. According to the analysis, Gen Xers are buying homes about $50,000 more than Millennials and are often looking in higher-priced markets. They’re also often move-up buyers, looking for larger properties and communities with great schools.

Other cities to also make the list for Gen Xers were Los Angeles, Stockton, and San Jose, California; Bridgeport, Connecticut; Lakeland, Florida; Louisville, Kentucky; Raleigh, North Carolina; Knoxville, Tennessee; and McAllen, Texas.

What the American dream home looks like by generation

Boomers are taking a different approach to buying a home, instead looking at smaller cities where taxes are low and the costs of living are manageable. They’re also more interested in warmer climates.

According to, Tuscon, Arizona is the top city for this cohort, followed by Fort Myers, Florida. Others to also make the list include Albuquerque, New Mexico; Spokane, Washington; Greenville, South Carolina; Dayton and Akron, Ohio; and Sarasota and Daytona Beach, Florida.

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Get today’s mortgage rates

Are you looking to buy a home in one of these generational markets? Then shop around and see what mortgage rates you qualify for today.

Verify your new rate (Aug 11th, 2020)