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These are the best and worst places to buy a home in 2024

The best and worst places to buy a home in 2024 fluctuates greatly depending on factors like age, net worth and lifestyle. A top real estate professional shares tips.

When it comes to buying a home, every individual, couple or family has a different set of factors that determine the kind of property they are looking for and the location they are going to find it. 

A person in her 20s looking for her first home probably has a different set of wants and needs than an individual in his 60s in search of a vacation home to add to his real estate portfolio. 

At the end of the day, when it comes to searching for a home, individuals must determine their preferences and uncover what luxury means to them. 


"Luxury is a state of mind. The way someone defines luxury is up to them," Eric Lavey, a top agent of Sotheby’s International Realty in Beverly Hills, California, told Fox News Digital. "It could be quality. It could be a location. It could be an amenity. It could be architecture and design, and it probably doesn't stop there. But, first and foremost, I think any buyer today has to define and get really clear on what luxury means for them."

Luxury for homebuyers may come from a spot that features a lot of new construction, freshly renovated properties, lots of amenities, an overflow of highly rated restaurants and plenty of places to shop. Lavey notes that buyers looking for these features in a home will generally head for the hubs of America. This includes places like Los Angeles, New York, Miami, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Dallas and Austin. 

While these places may be filled with material luxury, they are likely not attainable for young professionals at the start of their careers in search for their first home. 

"They're all moving to areas that are not thought of as high levels of culture or youth," Lavey said of the first-time homebuyer. "So, I think they're going to start creating their own culture." 


It is often thought that a person's first home is his forever home. Levey labeled this as an idea that doesn't hold true today. 

"People don't buy their forever homes the first time around, and that was different generations ago," Lavey explained. "Someone might have bought a home at the age of 25 that they were in for 30-40 years. That is not only rare, but virtually impossible to think of today," Lavey said.

Lavey explained that this is mostly because people aren't afraid to make changes today and move to a place that fulfills those aspects that are important to them.

Places with a high cost of living, like the West Village in New York, are less ideal for the typical first-time homebuyer, while places like Boise, Idaho, and Bend, Oregon, have become more popular, but even those are beginning to head toward an unattainable level for young people, Lavey noted. 

Lavey highlighted cities like Charleston, San Antonio, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach as locations that have become popular places for first-time homebuyers.

These places may be more affordable than major cities, but it's important for buyers to consider whether they're willing to sacrifice the lifestyle that comes with urban locations, like popular restaurants, entertaining shows, intriguing museums and access to various stores at every turn. 

"When you live in places like Boise and other places that are a bit more removed from major cities, you're not going to get a lot of that. You might get some of it, but you're not going to get a lot of it and that's a trade-off," said Lavey.

At the end of the day, while it can be easy to get wrapped up in the more luxurious details like size and amenities, Lavey said that location should be a driving factor in the decision of choosing your first home. 

"When a first-time buyer is making the purchase, they're usually starting at the entry point of the market, and the entry point of the market, unfortunately, starts with size. And it's usually really small," Lavey explained. A home can't be moved very easily, but you can adapt and renovate, Lavey noted. 

For seniors, Florida has often been labeled the place to retire. People in the 60-and-over age range find places like Florida desirable for the favorable warm weather. 

"People who have the resources are now choosing to live, to pick their lifestyle, based on what's best for what they want to do," Lavey explained. "So, that means living in places that are generally more temperate."

Lavey highlighted Southern California, the state of Florida and markets in Texas, like Austin, as being popular among senior homebuyers. 


Weather and taxes are major factors for those over 60. Reports by The Motley Fool and Bankrate, which considered these factors and others, included places like Alaska, New York and Massachusetts among the worst places for seniors. WalletHub and World Population Review both had Kentucky, Oklahoma and New Jersey at the bottom of their lists. 

Lavey noted that taxes shouldn't be the sole reason to move from one place to another. If it is, it's very likely you'll end up missing the place you left behind.

"I think we're going to see a reshift of that … of the reasons why people left because of pandemic reasons and tax reasons," Lavey said. "People are going to go back to the idea of, 'I want what I want because this is what's important to me. Culture is important to me, being around my friends that I was around for 30 years is important to me.' A lot of them like nice weather. That's the bottom line, where they can have more of an active lifestyle because active lifestyles for retirees right now is really important."

The idea that Lavey calls "properties as family magnets" is another driving factor he finds retirees searching for. They find a wealth of importance in seeing their kids and grandkids, so they look for a property that is going to be a spot for the family to gather. 

"It may seem like the old days where everyone comes back to your hometown, but that's just not realistic," Lavey said. "You have to entice family these days and friends to come visit you. When you've got a really remarkable Aspen ski house or a remarkable beach house in Malibu or a remarkable home on the intracoastal in Miami or Fort Lauderdale, or on a private island … it's not difficult to get everyone on a jet real quick to get there."

The value of quality time with family for this senior group has also drawn them to what would normally not be considered traditional for a retired individual or couple. 

Lavey highlighted bustling cities like New York and Los Angeles as places he's seen older people move to because it's where their kids are living. A lot of seniors moving to cities also enjoy that urban lifestyle they may have been lacking for many years while they were living elsewhere. 


For those in the market for a home in 2024 and beyond, there are always going to be a lot of factors to juggle, but Lavey has found that, for many, it's not the material build of a home that is drawing people in. 

"I can tell you,what's really important to the people that I work with are not material things," he said. "It is moments, it is family, it is friends and it is experiences."

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