There's a new reason to be excited about Grand Rapids and our housing market. Grand Rapids has been named one of the most-accessible cities in the U.S. for first-time homebuyers.

LendingTree.com has ranked the nation's 100 largest cities in order of which are the most-accessible for first-time homebuyers. Grand Rapids ranked third on the list.

Lending Tree called Grand Rapids the best place to be a FHA borrower. They said, "Grand Rapids tops the rankings for non-prime credit share of FHA borrowers at 59 percent and FHA benefit with a down payment at just 22 percent of the amount paid by other borrowers."

Detroit finished 13th in the rankings.

The report considered these factors:

  • Average down payment.
  • The share of buyers using a FHA mortgage.
  • Average down payment percentage.
  • Percentage of buyers who have less than prime credit (below 680).
  • The share of homes sold that the median income family can afford.
  • Average FHA down payment as a percentage of average down payment for all loans.

The Top 10 Most-Accessible Cities for First-Time Homebuyers:

  1. Little Rock, Ark.
  2. Birmingham, Ala.
  3. Grand Rapids, Mich.
  4. Youngstown, Ohio
  5. Winston, N.C.
  6. Dayton, Ohio
  7. Indianapolis
  8. Scranton, Penn.
  9. Pittsburgh
  10. Cincinnati

The Bottom 10 or the Most-Challenging Cities of First-Time Homebuyers:

  1. Denver
  2. New York City
  3. San Francisco
  4. Austin, Texas
  5. Las Vegas
  6. Los Angeles
  7. Oxnard, Cal.
  8. Boston
  9. Sacramento, Cal.
  10. Miami