Last week, NerdWallet compiled a ranking of the "Best Places for Homeownership," which analyzed select metrics in the 100 most populated metro areas in the U.S. to identify the top 10 small, mid-sized, and big cities for homeowners (of course, the small cities are still among the 100 most populated metros, so small is subjective). They set out to identify these cities by examining the following data: homeownership rate, and population growth. They also used median household income and monthly homeowner costs to measure cost of living, "to asses whether residents could live comfortably in the area." While these are all important metrics, they did not take into consideration the price of a new or existing home in these cities, which is quite high in Wilmington, N.C., and Naples, Fla. 

We've used Metrostudy data to pull the median closing price for both new and existing homes, as well as the average household income of new and existing buyers (of course, there is a difference between the two). Our interactive map below displays the median closing pricing price for new home buyers by default. Selecting the briefcase icon will switch the display to show the average household income data, and selecting "Existing" will allow you to view both metrics for those buyers as well. 

These markets are considered the top 10 small cities for homeownership, but what about for buying a new home?

To re-rank the top 10 based on new homeownership, we used Metrostudy data to compare the median price for existing versus new homes. We calculated how much more homebuyers in each market would pay for a new home based on the 2014 median closing price. The percent increase represents the additional cost based on the existing home median closing price and shows the difference in median price.

Charleston, West Virginia marks a killer deal, where buyers will pay less than 15% more for a new home based on median prices last year. In the top six markets, new homes in the median price range can be purchased for less than $100,000 more, but toward the bottom of the list the price gaps between existing and new homes widen significantly with the typical buyer paying more than twice the price for a new home in Ocala, Florida.

Builder-Metrostudy Remixed Rank:


1.  Charleston, W.V.


     New vs. Existing Home Price Difference: $16,900


     Percent Jump Between Existing and New: 13.07%


     NerdWallet Rank: #4

2.  Fort Collins, Colo.


     New vs. Existing Home Price Difference: $55,900


     Percent Jump Between Existing and New: 22.95%


     NerdWallet Rank: #9

3.  Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, N.C.-S.C.


     New vs. Existing Home Price Difference: $56,100


     Percent Jump Between Existing and New: 39.31%


     NerdWallet Rank: #3

4.  Wilmington, N.C.


     New vs. Existing Home Price Difference: $73,400


     Percent Jump Between Existing and New: 40.64%


     NerdWallet Rank: #10

5.  Springfield, Mo.


     New vs. Existing Home Price Difference: $58,700


     Percent Jump Between Existing and New: 45.26%


     NerdWallet Rank: #8

6.  Fort Wayne, Ind. 


     New vs. Existing Home Price Difference: $74,700


     Percent Jump Between Existing and New: 61.23%


     NerdWallet Rank: #2

7.  Huntsville, Ala.


     New vs. Existing Home Price Difference: $101,600


     Percent Jump Between Existing and New: 74.05%


     NerdWallet Rank: #1

8.  Columbus, Ga.-Ala.


     New vs. Existing Home Price Difference: $102,800


     Percent Jump Between Existing and New: 80.06%


     NerdWallet Rank: #7

9.  Naples-Marco Island, Fla.


     New vs. Existing Home Price Difference: $203,200


     Percent Jump Between Existing and New: 82.33%


     NerdWallet Rank: #6

10.  Ocala, Fla. 


       New vs. Existing Home Price Difference: $124,000


       Percent Jump Between Existing and New: 130.39%


       NerdWallet Rank: #5