Great Places For A First-Time Home Buyer In Rochester, New York

The Greater Rochester, NY area is an incredible place to live, work, and play. In fact, I’ve lived in the Rochester area for my entire life and it’s hard to imagine that changing anytime soon!

Having helped dozens of first time home buyers during my career as a Rochester NY Realtor, I’ve definitely learned about the most common places first-time buyers like to purchase their first home. 

One unique feature of the Greater Rochester real estate market is that there is truly a home for everyone.  Whether a first-time buyer is looking for a $70,000 starter home or a $400,000 family home, it can be found relatively easily in Rochester.

Greater Rochester, NY Area Suburbs



The downtown Rochester area is surrounded by dozens of fantastic suburban areas.  Over the past 6 years of working with dozens of first-time buyers, two of the most popular suburban areas for first-time buyers are Irondequoit and Henrietta. Below is some helpful information about both Irondequoit NY and Greece NY.

Town Of Irondequoit

Located to the north downtown Rochester is the Town of Irondequoit. Irondequoit is one of the most popular areas for first-time buyers. The Town of Irondequoit is split into two school districts, West Irondequoit and East Irondequoit.

Why is Irondequoit NY one of the most popular areas for first-time buyers? The number one reason why many first-time buyers purchase their first home in Irondequoit is because of its affordability. Irondequoit NY homes for sale will range from $60,000 up to $500,000+, so as mentioned above, there is a home for everyone in Irondequoit.

The typical home a first-time buyer can expect to find in Irondequoit would be a 3-4 bedroom, 1-1.5 bath colonial, cape cod, or ranch built in the 1940-1960 range. Depending on the location within Irondequoit, a first-time buyer canexpect to pay $80,000 - $120,000 for this type of home which is very affordable. 

In addition to the affordability of Irondequoit homes, the proximity of the Town in relation to things to do in the area is fantastic. Just a short10-minute drive from Irondequoit will have you in the heart of the downtown Rochester area.  In addition to the proximity of Irondequoit to Downtown, the Town is also located along the shores of Lake Ontario which is nice for first-time buyers who enjoy boating or relaxing on the beach during the summer months.

Town Of Henrietta

Located to the south of the downtown area is the Town of Henrietta NY. Henrietta is another very popular greater Rochester suburban area for first time home buyers. The Town of Henrietta shares a school district with Rush NY, the Rush-Henrietta School District.

The primary reason why Henrietta is a popular destination for first-time buyers is due to the low real estate taxes in the Town. Homes for sale in Henrietta NY have some of the lowest real estate taxes in the entire Greater Rochester region, especially when comparing to some of the other suburban areas.

A home that has an assessed value of approximately $100,000 in Henrietta will have taxes ranging from $3,500-$4,000. This is considerably lower than other suburban areas in the Rochester area. For example, a home assessed for $100,000 in Irondequoit would have taxes ranging from $5,000-$5,500.

The difference in the real estate taxes will make a huge difference in a first time buyers monthly payment amount. Henrietta’s low real estate taxes alone make it a very popular area for first-time buyers.

In addition to the low real estate taxes, Henrietta is also conveniently located to I-90, which is the major interstate that runs all the way from Albany, NY to Buffalo, NY. This makes Henrietta attractive to those first-time buyers who may travel around New York State for business (or pleasure).

City of Rochester, NY

The City of Rochester is broken into many different “quadrants.” Each of the areas has their own unique features. There are a few very popular quadrants within the City of Rochester that tend to draw first-time home buyers.

  1. North Winton Village – Arguably the most popular neighborhood for first-time buyers in Rochester is the North Winton Village area. This area is located in the northeast part of Rochester, bordering the town of Irondequoit, Penfield, and Brighton. The North Winton Village is located close to many popular bars and restaurants. First-time buyers looking in the North Winton Village area are currently experiencing some difficulty with finding properties since the inventory of homes for sale in the area is low. When a home is listed in the North Winton Village area, it’s often sold within a couple hours of being listed for asking price or more!
  2. South Wedge – The South Wedge neighborhood is located just to the south of downtown Rochester. This neighborhood is filled with bars, coffee lounges, and unique restaurants all within walking distance of the homes in the area. First-time buyers looking to purchase a multi-family home are also drawn to the South Wedge area as there are quite a few of them in the neighborhood.
  3. 19th Ward – The 19th ward neighborhood is quickly becoming one of the most popular areas for first-time buyers in Rochester. Located to the southwest of downtown, the 19th ward is one of the most popular areas for University of Rochester employees due to its proximity to the University. The 19th ward is one of the most affordable areas in Rochester and makes it a very popular destination for first time home buyers. 

To truly understand the affordability of homes in the area, check out these homes for sale in Rochester to see exactly what I mean.

Final Thoughts

The Greater Rochester area is an awesome place to buy a home for the first time.  As you can see from the above information, there are dozens of neighborhoods and towns that are affordable for first-time home buyers. 

First time home buyers who’re moving to Rochester are often very surprised by the type of home they can get for their money.  Affordability is one of the best things about Rochester real estate, no question!


Kyle Hiscock is a Realtor in Rochester, NY with RE/MAX Realty Group. He is the founder and owner of his website, Rochester Real Estate Blog, where he frequently publishes helpful real estate related content.