How Much You Need to Earn to Own a Home in 50 Top Cities

How much you have to earn to afford to buy and maintain a home varies widely from city to city — depending not only on home prices, but also on taxes, insurance and other costs.

Couple outside a homeMonkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

Buying a home is becoming harder and harder for many Americans, and in some cities it’s out of reach for many. Just how much do you need to earn to consider buying your own home in America’s major cities?

Mortgage research website HSH.com dug into the most recent data, and discovered that while some cities are indeed making homeownership seem about as likely as Martian citizenship, others are more reasonable. HSH analyzed data from the National Association of Realtors, Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers Association of America to determine the annual base cost of owning a home in the largest U.S. metropolitan areas — including principal and interest on a 30-year mortgage, plus property taxes and homeowners insurance. From that cost, they calculated the income required to own a home.

Californians don’t have a lot of good news in the report. Residents of the Golden State pay for all that sunshine — at least if they live in major cities. The four most expensive metro areas in which to buy a home are all in California. If money is an issue, perhaps you should seek your sun in Phoenix, Arizona, or Tampa, Florida — those sunny spots show up on the list of least-expensive areas.

Here’s a look at what it takes to buy a home in 50 top metro areas, from the most affordable (No. 50) to the costliest:

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