First-time homebuyers should look here.

By Sarah Yang
Updated June 15, 2017

It’s no secret that the real estate market is getting more and more competitive. With housing prices rising, it can be tough for potential homebuyers to find their dream home, especially for first-timers looking for houses in extremely competitive markets like New York or San Francisco.

There might be hope that you won’t have to sacrifice your preferred location if you picked the right neighborhood though. To help the process, Trulia rounded up a list of affordable neighborhoods in expensive metro areas across the United States. The experts looked at the 100 biggest metros in the country to create a neighborhood value score.

They looked at six factors: number of “starter” homes (percentage of homes that would take up between 25-31 percent of the buyer’s household income), median price per square foot, restaurant count within half a mile, percentage of residents who have a 30-minute commute or longer, school quality, and reported crime. While these might not be the cheapest neighborhoods in the metro areas, they “reflect the best bang for your buck” with amenities and locations near city centers in New York, San Francisco, Miami, and Washington D.C, and Chicago.

Take a look at the top three neighborhoods in these metro areas below:

San Francisco

In San Francisco, it’s not surprising that the best value neighborhoods are located south of the city proper in Redwood City, Burlingame, and San Mateo.

  1. Palm Park in Redwood City
  2. Roosevelt in Redwood City
  3. Redwood Oaks in Redwood City

New York

Most of the best value areas are outside of Manhattan (and even the outer boroughs of the Bronx or Brooklyn).

  1. Ludlow in Yonkers
  2. North Side in Mount Vernon
  3. Woodlawn Heights in New York City (the Bronx)

Washington, D.C.

You’ll find high value neighborhoods north and south of the capital.

  1. University Park in Avondale, Maryland
  2. Kingdale Park in Washington, D.C.
  3. Fairlington-Shirlington in Arlington, Virginia


In the unpredictable Miami real estate market, the median home value is $298,300 and the median list price is $435,000, but buyers seeking a value should look in the areas below.

  1. Flamingo Park in Melrose Vista
  2. Riverland Village in Melrose Village
  3. Bal Harbour in Fort Lauderdale


Trulia states that most of Chicago is relatively affordable, and that most Chicago neighborhoods did not vary that much—so the experts looked at neighborhoods outside of the city center to find hidden value.

  1. Fairgrounds Park in Palatine
  2. Palatine Manor in Palatine
  3. Orland Park in Cameno Real