Best Metro Areas For First-Timers

San Diego is only for affluent buyers now:

Best metro areas for first-time buyers in 2023

Bankrate ranked 50 metro areas across four broad categories: housing prices in relation to local wages; the tightness of the local housing market; the employment picture; and wellness and culture. Based on that scoring, the top areas are:

1. Austin: This metro area’s job market is booming, and it ranks first in that category. Austin also placed second in market tightness and near the top in wellness and culture. It lags in just one area: affordability. With a median home price of $565,000 as of September, according to Redfin, Austin can be a challenging market for young buyers looking for a starter home.

2. Kansas City: The Kansas City metro area ranked No. 3 in affordability and No. 11 in market tightness. However, its ranking was pulled down by middle-of-the-pack showings in job market and wellness and culture.

3. Raleigh: Raleigh ranks No. 1 in market tightness, or lack thereof. In this category, Bankrate graded metro areas by how many homes were for sale compared to a year ago, and how quickly those homes sell. In the other three categories, the Research Triangle region (which includes nearby Durham and Chapel Hill) ranked outside the top 10, but still above average.

4. Minneapolis: The Twin Cities region placed fifth in the labor market category, thanks to a low unemployment rate, strong job growth and short commutes. While it didn’t dominate in any other category, the metro area performed well overall, posting top 20 finishes in wellness and affordability.

5. Jacksonville: This northern Florida metro area placed in the top 10 in both the job market category and in housing market tightness.

Worst metro areas for first-time buyers in 2023

At the bottom are a group of five metro areas with steep home prices and tight housing markets:

46. Riverside: California homebuyers who are willing to move inland can get a house for hundreds of thousands of dollars less than they’d spend in a beachside city like San Diego. One trade-off is long commute times, which pulled Riverside down in our rankings. Lower incomes compared to coastal Southern California also make affordability a challenge.

47. San Diego: San Diego ranked 49th out of 50 in affordability, easily offsetting its No. 4 ranking in wellness and culture.

48. New York City: The largest metro area in the U.S. had back-of-the-pack showings in Bankrate’s job market and affordability categories. The lone bright spot was a No. 3 showing in wellness and culture.

49. Boston: Boston came in 46th in affordability, and its rankings in the other three categories were in the middle of the pack.

50. Washington, D.C.: The nation’s capital ranks 44th in job market, a result of weak job growth and long commutes. In another poor showing, D.C. ranks 39th in market tightness. Its only top 10 finish came in wellness and culture.

All 50 metros ranked here:


Our National Referral Network

Do you need help with finding your next home!

For those who can stay around here, it’s easier – and I can help you.

How about those of you who want to leave San Diego County – how can you find good help?

We are part of a national referral network known as Married at Compass – a vetted group of married agents around the country. Here’s our website:


We’d love to introduce you to our friendly partner agents in other areas!

Best Places to Live in Mexico

Ok, ok – North Carolina is too far, and Arizona is too hot. How about moving to Mexico?

Mexico is the ultimate vacation destination, with thousands of miles of beaches, mouthwatering cuisine, fascinating culture, and traditions steeped in thousands of years of history. But our southern neighbor has become increasingly popular with digital nomads and expats, too, due to its affordable cost of living and health care, warm weather, reasonably priced housing and low property taxes, and stable economy. In 2022, a record number of Americans relocated to Mexico, with Mexico City as a top destination.

Read on for eight of the best and most welcoming places to relocate to in Mexico for safety, economic opportunities, and a wealth of recreational activities.


Ten Best Markets For Buyers, 2023

According to the Knock Buyer Seller Market Index report, continuing shifts in the U.S. housing market will increase the number of buyers’ markets from 13 to 34 by the end of 2023.

It’s still early days in 2023, and going by the latest data from the Knock Buyer-Seller Market Index, 44 of the 100 largest housing markets favored (or strongly favored) sellers, 44 were neutral, and 13 favored buyers.

That’s actually good news for buyers. A year ago, all 100 of those markets favored sellers.

But over the past 12 months, the slowdown in home sales and home price growth have been shifting the market in buyers’ favor.

According to the Knock Buyer-Seller Market Index, which measures the degree to which each of the 100 largest markets favors home buyers or sellers, based on key housing market metrics, the market has shifted over the past 12 months to change the number of markets favoring buyers from zero to 13. And by the end of 2023, that number is expected to reach 34.

Using data from the Knock index, here are the 10 best markets for buying a home in 2023. The index uses the following six equally-weighted housing metrics, each representing six years of monthly data, to analyze each market:

  • Average sale-to-ask price ratio—Average calculation of the ratio of final home sale price to asking price.
  • Number of Homes Sold
  • Inventory—Number of active listings
  • Median Days on Market—Median number of days between a property’s listing date and the day it’s removed from the market (when it goes pending).
  • Median Sale Price—Middle of the home sale price distribution
  • Months’ Supply—Calculation: number of active listings / months’ supply using a six-month moving average inventory estimate as the denominator (starting June 2017)


Here are the ten best markets for buying a home in 2023, based on those six key housing market metrics:

  1. Salt Lake City, UT
  2. Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington, TX
  3. Denver–Aurora–Lakewood, CO
  4. Charlotte–Concord–Gastonia, NC-SC
  5. Memphis, TN-MS-AR
  6. Las Vegas–Henderson–Paradise, NV
  7. Charleston–North Charleston, SC
  8. Colorado Springs, CO
  9. St. Louis, MO
  10. New Orleans–Metairie, LA


Based on seasonal trends and data for the Knock Index, home buyers are expected to return to the market in greater numbers this spring, creating a window of opportunity for sellers.

Seasonal patterns typically bring an increase in buyer activity in the spring, and with what we’ve seen in January, the market is likely to shift in sellers’ favor in the months ahead before moving decisively in favor of buyers by summer and staying in that direction for the rest of 2023.


New Senior Homes in SD

Ok, ok you want to downsize but you don’t want to bake in the desert – plus you like living in San Diego. Aren’t there any newer, smaller choices around here?

Lennar has purchased three local golf courses and are on their way to building them out. The development of the Carmel Mountain Ranch golf course off the I-15 freeway (above) faced some resistance from the locals, but they beat that back and a gated senior community is now underway.

The Junipers is a senior community (55+) in Rancho Penasquitos and will include a mix of 455 single-family detached-homes and townhouses for sale. There will also be 81 attached homes for rent for low-income seniors households. It will include a 2.87-acre public park and a 2.82-acre loop trail.

Pricing isn’t out in the open but I’m guessing it starts just under a million.



Another new-home development is called the Farm, and it’s right off Rancho Bernardo Road. It isn’t solely for seniors, but they have a couple of one-story plans.  Here’s a quick tour of their 2,500sf one-story home under construction:

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